March 17, 1905
SECOND OLDEST RESIDENT
Mrs. Sarah Nelson, Better Known as "Grandma Nelson" One of Menard's Oldest Residents Died, at the Age of 93 Years 6 Months and 29 days.
Mrs. Sarah Nelson, familiarly known as "Grandma" by her many friends, died, Saturday evening of old age at the home of her daughter Mrs. Emma Larson, to and half miles north of Athens, aged 93 years 6 months and 29 days.
The deceased was the second oldest person living in this county and had always been in good health within a few days of her death. Grandma was born in Kalmar, Sweden Aug. 12th, 1811. On October 31st, 1833 she was united in marriage to Johannes Nelson; to this union ten children were born, five of whom survive her, namely-Mrs. David Mitts of Spencer Iowa; Peter Nelson of Palmer Illinois; Adolph Nelson of Mechanicsburg, Illinois; Nicholas Nelson and Mrs. A. Larson of Athens. She leaves 26 grandchildren and 5 great grand children. In 1868 in company with her husband and the family who had preceded her she came to America and has lived in the vicinity of Athens and Cantrall continuously since that time. Early in life she was united with the Lutheran church and was a devoted Christian all the rest of her many days. During the last years of her life she was often heard to remark "I wonder why Jesus does not come and take me, I wonder what he is waiting for." Just before she died she reached out both hands and said "sweet mother, sweet mother." Though feeble in body the last years of her life her mind remained unimpaired, and it was always a pleasure and uplift to the grandchildren and friends to sit and listen to her tell of her childhood days, her happy days and her heart breaks, her joys and her sorrows and while she felt that her life since she had become so old was of no use those who knew her best thought differently and mourned to see her go while she was glad to say:
"Farewell to thee, my house of clay,
Together long have we been bound,
But I forsake thy porch to-day
And yield thee up to the cold, cold ground.
Sleep, sleep at last; thy sleep shall be
My rest, my strength my victory."
The funeral services were held at the Methodist church Monday evening at two o'clock, the Rev. C. F. McKown officiating. The funeral was very largely attended and burial was in the Brittin cemetery near Cantrall.
Transcribed by:Rajean Gallagher