Centennial History of Mason County
By Joseph Cochrane
Springfield, Ill., 1876


Page 223

“We are sorry when a good man dies.” Such was the feeling visible at Forest City on the first of August, 1876

When the man whose mane is at the head of this article ceased to be, although he was past three score years and ten, the allotted period of man’s earthly pilgrimage, we would yet have had him stay longer. He was born near Danville, Kentucky, in November, 1804. He removed to Menard County, Illinois, in 1824, having previously married Miss Susannah Schmick, also of Kentucky, and who preceded him to their home over death’s dark river, on December 14, 1867. For forty-four years the joys and sorrows incidental to this world’s journey, they shared together, not in wealth and affluence, nor in poverty, but in

“That golden mean,
That lived contentedly between
The little and the great;
Felt not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor the plagues that haunt the rich man’s door,
Embittering his estate”

From Menard County they removed to Mason County in 1845, since which time they have made this their home. For the past eight years, or since the death of Mrs. Onstot, he has made his home with his son in Forest City.

It is of the Christian character of Mr. Onstot that we love to speak. Early identified with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, he ever remained a faithful member thereof, and faithful and diligent in all his religious duties. We know whereof we speak in this matter, for we have known of his faithfulness when it was not popular to be identified with the religious interests of the community.

Kind and courteous with all, firm in his convictions of the right, but always willing to be convinced, unostentatious, candor was the strongest element of his character. His funeral was attended in Havana on the evening of August 1^st , by a large concourse of his friends, and all were his friends.

The flowers fade, the heart withers, man grows old and dies; but time writes no wrinkles on eternity. The ever-present, unborn, undecaying and undying – the endless chain composing the life-God – the golden thread entwining the destinies of the universe. Earth has its beauties, but time shrouds them for the grave; its honors are but the sunshine of an hour; its palaces, they are but the gilded sepulcher; its pleasures, they are but bursting bubbles. Not so in the untried bourn. In the dwelling of the Almighty can come no footsteps of decay.

Transcribed Mandy Reiley


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