Rev. Walter G. Lett passed away at one o’clock a.m., March 17, 1919. He was born in Clinton County, Indiana, April 13, 1841, professed religion at the age of fourteen years, and was baptized by Rev. B. R. Ward into the fellowship of Middlefork Sugar Creek Baptist Church, now known as Hills Church. He felt a call to the ministry in 1871, and was licensed to preach by the Canville Creek Church, Neosho County, Kansas, 1873 or 1874, and was ordained to the work of the Gospel ministry by the Olive Branch Baptist Church, Vernon County, Mo., March, 1877. He was active in the work until old age disabled him to engage longer.
He was married to Rebecca E. Wolfe at Kokomo, Ind., January 19, 1860, who survives him with four sons and two daughters, twenty-seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
He suffered for a year with that terrible disease, cancer of the eye. He said he was ready to go and was trusting in the Lord. Funeral services were conducted by the Revs. G. M. Hall of Pineville and A. L. Hopkins of Powell. We laid his body to rest in the Ousley cemetery to await the resurrection morn. We had walked the path of life together nearly sixty years.
Oh how lonely I trudge on without him, but some day through the merits of Christ, I, too, will lay down the burden and go up higher. I ask every child of God who reads this to pray that I may continue to lean on His everlasting arms.—Mrs. R. E Lett, Goodman, Mo. R. A.
Word and Way, Kansas City, Missouri
10 April 1919, Thursday, Page 16
Walter Goodhue Lett was the son of Balaam and Sarah Osburn (Sally) Lett. Balaam was from Georgia and Sally from Kentucky. Walter was an Indiana Captain in the Civil War, serving the Union forces. He married Rebecca Ellen Wolfe January 19, 1860 in Indiana. They moved to Missouri, on to Kansas, then back to McDonald County. He was a Baptist minister. They had 14 children:
Beverly Ward Lett 1861–1897
Eddie Lett 1863–1863 (stillborn in Tipton County, Indiana, on February 7, 1863)
Elmer Everett Lett 1865–1866 (born March 22, 1865, and died October 5, 1866, in Tipton County)
Walter Moses Lett 1866–1944
Albert McDade Lett 1867–1936
Leni Leoti Lett 1870–1927
Laura Luella Lett 1872–1888 (born August 20, 1872, in Newton, Harvey County, Kansas, and died June 26, 1888, near Neosho, Newton County, Missouri)
Sampson Preston Lett 1874–1952
Mary Brenton Lett 1876–1936
Sallie Lett 1878–1879
J R Graves Lett 1879–1906
D. B. Ray Lett 1881–1882
Thomas Flavius "Flav" Lett 1883–1962
Rachel Alpha Lett 1885–1885 (born February 7, 1885, in Newton County, Missouri, and died July 24, 1885, in Jasper County, Missouri)
In the Indiana records, consistently is reported that they married 19 Feb 1860, however, his wife just as consistently reports 19 Jan 1860.
His service to his country:
Walter enlisted in the Indiana 12th Infantry Regiment, Company B, as a Private. Hancock, County, Indiana; He mustered out 19 May 1862, at Washington, D.C. as a Private. And he joined the service to his country once again--he helped organize Company H of the 118th Indiana infantry, and served as a Captain in that unit, from August 1863 to March 1864. After his death, in April of 1919, Rebecca filed for a widow’s pension, and in 1928, his daughter Mary filed for a pension due to her disability. Moses Andrew Wolfe, his wife's brother, served as a Sergeant in the unit Walter formed.
Edna (Lett) Stauffer, granddaughter, noted that Walter organized the Diamond Grove Baptist Church on July 11, 1879, at the Brown schoolhouse in Newton County, Missouri, which had 7 charter members. He served as its pastor, on and off, for many, many years. Many of our family belonged to this church--the Letts, the Benschoters, the Craigs, the Haselwoods, and the Gunlocks, among others. In July of 1915, due to financial difficulties, the church voted to disband, and in August of 1915, an auction was held to sell the fixtures and the church building. $25 of the proceeds were given to Walter, to honor his service as pastor during its first 7 years, when he received little or no remuneration.
Rebecca Ellen Wolfe Lett
1843–1924 (m. 1860)
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