Jacob Heatwole. Teacher, pastor, first bishop of Colorado Mennonite churches, son of Pre. Joseph F. Heatwole, was born in Harrisonburg, Va., Sept 28, 1871; died at La Junta, Colo., July 2, 1940; aged 68 y. 9 m. 4 d. Dec. 25, 1895, he was married to Bertha Showalter, who died May 24, 1934. This union was blessed with 4 daughters and 2 sons; all but Ruth survive him: Herman Heatwole, La Junta; Annie, wife of Mark G. Snyder, La Junta; Ruth Heatwole (died June 21, 1936); Lenna Heatwole, La Junta; Elizabeth, wife of Howard Hurdman, Greeley, Colo.; Sarah Heatwole, La Junta; Jake Heatwole, La Junta. Eight grandchildren in La Junta and 3 brothers, and 2 sisters in Virginia also survived him. In March 1907 he and family moved from Harrisonburg, Va., to La Junta which was his home until the time of his death. During this time, because of his friendly and sociable disposition, he became widely known in the community. On Dec. 30, 1888, he was received into the Mennonite Church by water baptism in a class of 44 applicants by Bishop Samuel Coffman. In 1890 he attended school at the Peabody Teachers' Normal at Harrisonburg, Va., and from 1892 to 1894 was a student at the West Central Academy, Mt. Clinton, Va. He received a life time teacher's certificate from these schools. He studied music under J. S. Coffman, Timothy Funk and J. H. Hall. He taught school for twelve years in Rockingham Co., Va.
Bro. Heatwole was ordained to the ministry Jan. 2, 1902, by Bishop Anthony Heatwole and to the office of bishop at La Junta, on March 16, 1919, by Bishop D. H. Bender. While in Virginia he worked in the ministry with his father, A. D. Wenger, and others in the West Virginia mountains and at the Clinton, Weavers, Bank, and Pike Churches. In the La Junta Mennonite Church he served as minister and bishop, and as bishop of the East Holbrook, Limon, Manitou Churches. He also was very diligent in looking after the spiritual welfare of scattered members in the territory surrounding these churches. He never failed to make the care of these churches the first thing in his life. Many were the sacrifices and labor and prayers for the spiritual welfare of his flock. In Oct. 1912, Bro. Heatwole was elected by the Kansas-Nebraska Conference as a member of the Local Board of the Mennonite Sanitarium and on Nov. 6, 1912, in the organization of the board he was elected vice-president. He served in this capacity until the death of D. S. Weaver, the President of the Board. On Sept. 9, 1929, he was elected President of the Board to succeed Bro. Weaver. He served in this capacity to the time of his death. In these 28 years of official connection with the Mennonite Hospital he gave unselfishly of his time and effort. Bro. Heatwole was very faithful in Church attendance. His seat was seldom vacant unless called to other communities for church duties. He had a forgiving spirit. It was his habit to read daily from the Authorized American and Spanish versions of the Scripture. When finished he would begin and read it again. Until his health gave way, he was very optimistic spreading cheer and courage to others. He was persistent and determined in any course which he was convinced was right. He was patient with the erring ones, ever hopeful for their restoration. In the home he was a kind and affectionate father. His prayers, his friendliness, and his love will be remembered in the home, the community, and the Church.
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." (Rev. 14: 13).
Funeral services were held in the La Junta Mennonite Church Friday July 5. A large concourse of relatives and friends gathered to pay their last tribute of respect. The program for the service was arranged by Bro. Heatwole Sept. 28, 1938. He emphasized the singing of some favorite hymns. Ministers, J. G. Hartzler, E. E. Showalter, A. A. Leatherman, L. C. Miller, and Allen H. Erb had part in the services.
Bertha Olive Showalter Heatwole
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