N. Oswald (1826-1900)
NOBLE LIFE ENDED.
J. N. Oswald Answers The Final Summons.
J. N. Oswald, after an illness of a few weeks, during which time he was
able to be about, on Saturday morning last joined the silent majority.
Only a week before he returned from a health resort in Indiana, where
he had been for a short time, hoping to recuperate. His malady was of
the nature of an internal growth or tumor, and was incurable. Although
in failing health for some time, few were aware of it and his death was
outside of more intimate friends, unexpected.
A business experience of a third of a century in Lebanon gave Mr. Oswald
an acquaintance which extended throughout the county, few men in private
life being as widely known as he, and assuredly none stood higher in the
esteem of his fellow-men than the one of whom we write. He was industrious,
public-spirited, generous to a degree that often caused him to be imposed
upon, upright and God fearing in all his dealings and kind to all. But
an extended eulogium is not necessary for Mr. Oswald, neither would it
be in accordance with his expressed desire. Most of our readers know the
loss sustained by the community in his death, while to his own family
it is far greater.
John N. Oswald was born in a southern province of Germany, May 12, 1826.
While he was a mere lad his father died and at an early age he was apprenticed
to learn the cabinet-makers’ trade, going far away from home. After
working in his native country for nine years he went to Vienna, walking
the entire distance of eight hundred miles, where he was employed at his
trade for seven years, part of the time doing work for the royal palace.
In 1853 he came to America and about ten years later came to Lebanon and
engaged in the business which he followed until death. May 9, 1866, he
was married to Miss Fredrika Bobe, of near Lebanon, whose parents were
born in Germany. Five children were born to them, four of whom with their
mother, survive and reside in Lebanon.
In the issue of the Star of June 7, we gave some reminiscences related
by Mr. Oswald to us, bearing on his early life. These were full of interest,
although we will not reprint them here. But according to his wishes the
letter written to him by his mother about sixty years ago when he was
a lad far from home, urging him to be a good Christian boy, was kept and
lay beside his body in the casket. It is also worthy of repeating that
when he heard of his mother’s illness he walked one hundred miles
in twenty-four hours to her bedside, arriving in time to receive her dying
It is interesting to note that in his thirty-five years of business here
as undertaker, Mr. Oswald buried three thousand, three hundred and twenty-six
persons – more people, likely, than are living in Lebanon to-day.
For nearly thirty years he had no competition her in his vocation.
The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon from the Presbyterian church. Rev.
Silvius, of the C.P. Church, read a Scripture lesson and offered prayer
and Revs. Gerfen and Meyer, of the German church, of which deceased was
a member, made short discourses, the latter in German. Rev. Gerfen also
read an obituary notice.
The funeral was one of the most largely attended of any ever held in Lebanon.
Mr. Oswald was a member of the I. O. O. F., Red Men and Royal Arcanum,
but at his request the Lodges did not attend the funeral in a body.
Source: The Western Star (Lebanon,
Ohio), Thursday, August 9, 1900, page 2, column 3
Copy from the Obituary Collection at the Warren
County Genealogical Society,
Arne H Trelvik
9 January 2011