|Birth: ||Apr. 19, 1843|
|Death: ||Dec. 6, 1923|
Lake City Graphic, Lake City, Calhoun County, Iowa, December 13, 1923.
"Hon. L. F. Danforth, Stricken Suddenly"
"Pioneer of County Passes after few hours illness"
L. F. Danforth was born at Pomfret, Vermont, April 19th, 1843, and passed from this life on December 8th, 1923, having lived a half score more of useful, active and contented years beyond his full three score and ten. His death came as a shock to all, for all knew him loved him. He was the living link that bound the past and the present together. The younger generation appreciated him, as the father and mothers knew him, with his broad and kindly vision, his honorable activity in public and private affairs, and unfailing youthfulness. The growing burden of his years was scarcely noticed by his friends and business associates, who, until the week of his death, enjoyed his cheerful aid and broad fund of experience.
As a pioneer, he lived to fashion the structure as well as the foundation, and whatever and whenever, he did, his work was honest and true. He was never jealous of the present, for he continued to be a part of it. Never magnifying the past, realizing the full value of the present, he welcomed from day to day the revelations of the future.
Mr. Danforth had a native dignity, without pretense. He had poise and proceeded certainly. He could not be driven rashly or in haste. Time was his possession,--time to accumulate an abundance of material things, without greed,--time for business without enmity toward a competitor, --time for his friends and family, for visit and travel, for recreation and culture. His outstanding characteristic was his neighborliness and friendliness. He loved his fellow men. His opinion was sought and respected.
He was one of the survivers of the arduous pioneer days whose patriot lives have stood out among us as giant oaks breasting the shifting winds and changing seasons of time, objects of lofty ideals and true citizenship, inspiring us all for better and nobler achevements.
Mr. Danforth was the son of Hoseley and Sarah (Wood) Danforth, both natives of the Green Mountain state, and the ancestry of his family is traced to Nicholas Danforth, who settled in New England in the middle of the Seventeenth century.
In November, 1873, he was united in marriage with Miss Jennie C. Fox, a daughter of David Fox, a pioneer of Lake City. For about twenty-one years they traveled life's journey together, and in 1894, Mrs. Danforth was called to her final rest.
On December 27th, 1899, Mr. Danforth wedded Mrs. Minnie E. Harris (nee Decker), of Antigo, Wisconsin, who in loving faithfulness and devotion has proved herself in every way, a true helpmate, and who survives her husband.
His home was the center of deepest affections, and within the shelter of its loving walls he spent the happiest hours of his declining years.
Mr. Danforth is also survived by a half brother, Mr. Edward Miller of East Barnard, Vermont. Four brothers have preceded him as has his only adopted daughter, Miss Lulu Danforth.
Mr. Danforth received his preliminary education in the common schools, and in 1866, came to the west, but prior to this time, he had manifested his loyalty to his country by service on the battlefields of the south. It was in August, 1864, that he enlisted as a member of company E, Fourth Vermont Infantry, serving with the army of the Potomac. He participated in the Battle of Cedar Creek, where Sheridan made his historic ride of twenty miles. At length, when the hostilities had ceased, and the country no longer needed his aid, he was mustered out at Burlington, Vermont, in July, 1865, and then returned to his home.
The following year Mr. Danforth came to the west. He spent one winter in St. Louis, and in 1867, arrived in Iowa, stopping for a short time at Council Bluffs, He drove across the state and for a short time worked in Clinton County, after which he went to Boone County, and in 1868 became a resident of Lake City, where he followed school teaching until 1873. With J.J. Hutchison, he then purchase the store of Peter Smith, and the partnership of Hutchison & Danforth continued until 1888, when Mr. Danforth purchase his partner's interest and carried on the enterprise alone until 1901, when he retired from the general merchandise business. He carried a large and well selected stock, and his enterprise and industry brought to him richly merited success. He did every thing within his power to please his patrons. His prices were reasonable, and his business methods honorable. In 1894, on the organization of the First National Bank, he was elected vice president and director, and continued in that capacity until the death of S.T. Hutchison, in 1914, when he became president of that institution, and could be seen almost daily at his desk until the time of his death. He made judicious investments in real estate and bank stock, and the property he has left was honestly acquired without exception from friend or neighbor.
Mr. Danforth was the first candidate in 1869, initiated into the Masonic lodge, at Lake City, Iowa, and throughout the years he has developed in the teachings of Masonry, and at the time of his death was a member of all the Masonic organizations and auxiliaries, up to and including the Thirty-second degree. Probably no other man in this section of the state was a intimately and accurately versed in Masonic knowledge and history as was Mr. Danforth, and no man exemplified in private and public affairs more thoroughly the teachings he had mastered. During the years of his membership, he enjoyed all the honors and offices of the Order, and often was a delegate, not only of the local and state organizations, but represented other states at the general conventions of this fraternity.
In all his political affiliations, Mr. Danforth has always been a democrat, and although in a republican community, has been honored with a number of public offices in which he has discharged his duties with marked promptness and fidelity, In an early day he was assessor, township trustee, and has served on the city council for several years, and also on the school board.
In 1882, he was elected to represent the District of Green, Carroll and Calhoun counties in the 19th session of the State Legislature, and discharged the duties of the office in a manner that reflected credit upon his party and the state.
In 1883, he was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Chicago which resulted in the nomination and election of Grover Cleveland as the President of the United States. At the call of his party in 1901, he again became candidate for the state Legislature, and although Calhoun county was strongly republican, and gave McKinley a majority of seventeen hundred votes, Mr. Danforth was defeated by only three hundred twenty-two votes. The fact that he ran far ahead of his ticket without personal effort on his part is an indication of his popularity, and confidence reposed in him by those who knew him best. In 1906, he was nominated for the office of State Treasurer on the democratic ticket.
Not content to serve his country in its hour of need, Mr. Danforth through life served his comrades in arms, cared for their widows, and counselled their orphans. A loyal member of the G.A.R., no march was too long, no service to exaction or humble to cause him to shirk the duty. Today there is sorrow in the thinning ranks. Mr. Danforth was nurtured in a New England home, and the sense of responsibility to the state and its subdivisions, and to his neighbors, instilled into his mind at his mother's knee, remained with him throughout life.
The history of Calhoun county holds in memory no man in higher esteem, or who, to a greater degree deserves the regard of his fellowmen, than does Frank Danforth, who, in the various relations of his life, has ever won the respect of his fellowmen by his sterling worth, his unwaivering purpose, and his unfaltering devotion to duty.
'Be noble, and the nobleness that lies in other men,
Sleeping, but never dead,
Will rise up in majesty to meeting thine own.'
The funeral services were conducted from the home at 2:30 Tuesday afternoon by Rev. M. C. Powers, of Missouri Valley, assisted by Rev. J.M. Wilson, of this city. Mrs. Wilson sang 'Does Jesus Care' and 'Somewhere the Sun is Shining'
The large number of friends present and the profusion of flowers showed only in a small measure the high esteem in which Mr. Danforth was held by his acquaintances. His comrades of the Civil War, the World War veterans and members of the Masonic order were present to pay their last respects to their departed brother.
At the grave, the American Legion paid military honors by firing three volleys and sounding 'Taps'.
The burial service was conducted according to the ritual of the Masonic fraternity, in charge of Past Worshipful Master, O. W. Lundberg.
Out of town relatives who attended the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Max Decker, of Sioux City, Arthur W. Decker and Mrs. A. W. Wallace, of Council Bluffs."
Card of Thanks
Mrs. L. F. Danforth wishes to express her thanks and appreciation to the many friends, the G.A.R., American Legion, Masonic Fraternity and all others, who by their kindly acts and sympathy assisted her in her recent bereavement. The beautiful floral offerings were also much appreciated.
(Thanks to Ann Bowler for providing this obituary.)
Jennie Cynthia Fox Danforth (1854 - 1894)
Manerva Evelyn Decker Danforth (1867 - 1938)
C. W. Vet. Co. E. 4th Vt Inf.
Lake City Cemetery
Plot: Block 4, Lot 17
Created by: Burt
Record added: Jun 06, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19750342