J. T. Neal of Murrayville Succumbs After Weeks of Illness
At half past four Monday evening the venerable J. T. Neal of Murrayville quietly breathed his last at his home in Murrayville. Some weeks ago he was attacked with pneumonia and though he rallied somewhat from that, other complications set in and he was unable to overcome them.
Mr. Neal was born in Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 1st, 1828 and was the child of Ambrose and Sarah Neal. The father was a farmer and belonged to the sturdy stock of the bluegrass state and ever tried to bring up his children in the fear of the Lord and to make a mark in the world. Like many others he thought he could improve his condition by removing to Illinois which he did when his children were small. The trip was made with ox wagons and was slow and tedious but no other way across the country was known and so the early settlers made the best of it.
The family settled near the present site of Manchester near the farm of Thomas Dace and went bravely to work. In a few years the mother succumbed to the hardships incident to the early days. Fresh meat was not hard to get as turkeys and deer were plentiful and the small game in abundance. Such things as matches, cook stoves and a host of modern utensils were unknown but the Dutch oven, the reflector, kettles and crane, pone board and other things supplied the deficiency. Tho quarters were small and indifferently supplied, hospitality was a cardinal virtue and seldom was a wanderer turned from the door of a person in those days.
If a dwelling possessed a second story it was reached by a ladder and up it went the guests and slept the sleep of the just. Beds were arranged about on the floors and good cheer and cordial hospitality prevailed. All worked hard and had good health and even today many an octogenarian sighs for some of the good cheer of the olden times when people were genuine without hypocrisy and vanity; when health counted for more than wealth and a good character for more than acres of fine land.
People married when quite young in those days and it was far wiser than now when conditions are so different. Mr. Neal and Miss Elizabeth C. Lemon celebrated Independence day 1848, by getting married, the groom being twenty and the bride several years younger but both were strong and brave and ready for the battle of life and they fought it successfully as everyone knows. They settled down to farming and rearing their family and their children have done them credit. Together they put their shoulders to the wheel and together they labored harmoniously and successfully.
As the children left the family home for residences of their own and advancing years made work harder for the couple they decided to give up the farm and move into Murrayville which they did in 1903 and have since lived happily in a pleasant home surrounded by the comforts of life in good measure.
Mr. Neal is survived by his wife. His children are Mary, Mrs. Henry Martin, deceased; Sarah, Mrs. henry Greenwalt of Manchester; George who died young; Ella, Mrs. Charles Greenwalt of Roodhouse; Emma, Mrs. Charles Crouse of Roodhouse; Lou, Mrs. Newton Brown of Murrayville; Rose, Mrs. Charles Rousey of Murrayville; Lilly, Mrs. William Crouse of Concord; Miss Edith, at home. There are also 34 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be conducted Thursday morning at a time and hour to be announced.