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Tribute to Sarah Wilson (wife of Henry Wilson) eldest child of Joseph and Margaret (Ferguson) Hamilton

Submitted by The Chaleroi Historical Society

The old and new Monongahela, By John Stogdell Van Voorhis

From Daily Monongahela Republican

The death of this well known person, which occurred December 18, 1889, at the residence of her brother, Rev. Dr. Hamilton, in Washington Pa, removes from among us one of the our oldest native residents. She was born in this place October 24th, 1813, being the eldest child of Joseph and Margaret (Ferguson) Hamilton. With the exception of a few occasional absences her whole life was spent here. In 1837 she was married to Mr. Henry Wilson who died many years ago.

Since that time she has lived a comparatively secluded life. Last August she went on a visit to her friends in Washington.  Her health seemed to be quite good for one of her age, but being suddenly attacked with acute pain in her breast she sank rapidly, and within twenty-four hours her life ended.

After a brief religious services at Washington, conducted by Rev. Drs. Brownson, Woods and Stevensown, her body was brought to this place (Mon. City) on the 19th, and the day following was interred from the house of her relative, C. W. Hazzard. Of her three surviving children, all residing in IL, two were present, Mrs. Smith F. Wilson, of Bloomington, and Mr. R. F. Wilson, of Chicago (accompanied by his wife). On account of the casual illness of her pastor, Rev. Dr. Maxwell, the services of a former pastor, Rev. Dr. Campbell, of Sewickley [Pa], were solicited and kindly tendered. Dr. Campbell spoke with much feeling of her christian character and of her sudden departure. She had feared the Lord from her youth, had been a member of the Presbyterian church here for more than 50 years, had been in some important respects an example for others to imitate.

Though the sphere in which Mrs. Wilson moved in the latter years of her life was a retired one, she will be not a little missed out of our community. She had lived here so long, she had in earlier life taken such an active interest in all current events, and possessed naturally such an unusually retentive memory that her mind seemed to be a storehouse of local information, and she was constantly being made the arbiter of doubtful points in local history. In personal ministry to the sick and afflicted she was a model of self-sacrificing kindness.

During the memorable period of the civil war, her two sons being in the Army, she gave her time and thought almost incessantly to those ministries of kindness for the relief of the sick and wounded soldiers which were then so largely and constantly required, and which here as elsewhere throughout the country, were so freely rendered.

If the question were asked why it was that Mrs. Wilson, "Aunt Sarah" as she was familiarly called by so many, had such a warm place in the hearts of those who best knew her, the reply would doubtless embrace at least 2 points. One of these is that already alluded to, her sacrificing kind heartedness. The other, a certain cheerfulness and equanimity which she owed partly to nature and partly to grace, and which no adversity was able to extinguish. In youth she was remarkably vivacious, and with strong social tastes and attachments, enjoyed life fully. In later years, though overtaken with many and specially severe trials, she did not fall into a murmuring and repining spirit, but was patient, submissive, hopeful. She could always see a bright side to everything. She did not torment herself with fears and distrust of the future. Her faith in Providence was not a theory simply, it was thoroughly and habitually practical.  She had nothing to complain of. She envied no one. She lived less for herself than for others. She was cheerful, contented, happy; and found her greatest delight in ministering to the happiness of others. Dear, kind Aunt Sarah! How much more she did for us all than any of us could ever do for her. --- Mon. City, Jan. 5th, 1890.

Page added July 18, 2011

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