Selden was a victim of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878.
Among the noblest of the little band who confronted and fell before the plague lately desolating our city, were Selden and Glenn Fant, sons of our honored townsman, Col. James W. Fant. Selden died October 3d, aged 31 years and Glenn died September 27th, aged 25 years.
Selden was married in December, 1871, to Miss Nannie Williams of Coffeeville, and she and her four children now survive a husband and father, than whom one more loving and beloved never constituted the support and happiness of a family. Glenn was never married. In all the relations of life both Selden and Glenn were exemplary and above reproach -- as sons and brothers, dutiful and affectionate, as business men, energetic and upright,and as citizens and friends so public-spirited and unselfish as voluntarily to incur the risk which proved fatal to both. Selden lived in the country, though doing business in the city, and on the breaking out of the epidemic he had only to remain with his family in order to be safe, but so alive was he to what he considered the claims of humanity and of friendship, that he came into the city by six o'clock every morning and performed the responsible duties of Secretary and Treasurer of the Relief committee until he was smitten by the deadly pestilence. Glenn, too, could easily have escaped, but deliberately made up his mind to remain and do what he could to alleviate the horrors of the plague. The place of Express Agent being vacant, he assumed its duties, and was thus the medium of conveying to our disease-stricken and destitute population the provisions and supplies of all kinds which were so lavishly donated by the philanthropic of every section. His post was one of peculiar danger, since it involved exposure to the air till a late hour every night, but it was also one of peculiar usefulness, and he remained at it to the last. A few days before he fell he wrote to a friend in the country:
"Sept.22. *** Death still holds sway in our once happy homes. Our little band (no doubly dear to each other) grows smaller every day - only four or five familiar faces now left. I thought I had become hardened to grief, but sometimes 'tis too hard to bear - God knows 'tis sickening. 'Tis the holy Sabbath day, but there is no rest here. The dreary routine goes on. Eight have been buried to day, among them your friend, Avant Walter. Frank and Jimmie Walter very sick. Jos. Howard, Selden, Mr. Holland and myself all that are left. ***"
What praise can be too great for heroes such as the writer, at once so feelingly alive to the terrors of his situation and so true to its duties: Selden Fant had for some years been a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and though Glenn had never made a profession of religion, his life and character could only have been formed in the christian mould. Concerning both, we can confidently say to their relatives and friends, "That ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope." These brothers "were lovely and pleasant in their lives, ad in their death they were not divided." ***
Transcribed from newspaper clipping found in Fant family scrapbook.