Obituary Record

Samuel A Francis
Died on 9/21/1899
Buried in Arlington Cemetery

The following obituary of “Uncle Sam” Francis, taken from the Arlington Review, will be of great interest to every old settler in this county. Samuel A. Francis, who died one week ago Thursday, was one of the oldest and most respected citizens in Washington County. He was born in Jackson County, Ala., August 27, 1822, and while quite young, he moved with his parents to Putmanville, Ind. In 1848 he went to Iowa, where on November 15 of the following year, he married Miss Louisa J. Waynick. They made their home in Chariton, Iowa, until 1855, when they moved to Fontanelle, Neb., with the Quincy, Ill. colony.

Many are the brave deeds that were performed by him in the early days. During the severe winter of ’55 and ’56 – the very thought of which even to this day makes the cold chills run up and down the backs of the old settlers, Mr. Francis would go out with his rifle in the early morning and on his return would have a deer or some other wild game, which would be divided among the settlers, as that was their only means of obtaining meat. And, during the severe snow storms of that winter, his only thought seemed to be for the comfort and welfare of the other members of the colony rather than for himself. He was generous to a fault.

In 1869 he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, and under the firm name of Francis & Waynick, they erected the first business building in Arlington, then known as Bell Creek, where they conducted the first general store and lumber yard business in the town. After a number of years of success in the business world, he sold his business interests in town and moved to his farm, which lies at the northeast edge of town, where he lived until his death, on September 21, 1899.

He was the father of ten children, all of whom have preceded him to that vast beyond. His faithful wife, who has shared all his joys and sorrows, remains with the five grandchildren, whom they have raised from childhood, to mourn the loss of a devoted and beloved husband and grandfather. He also leaves one brother, John H. Francis, who resides at Watertown, S.D.

Mr. Francis was a veteran of the Mexican and Civil Wars, having faithfully served his country in times of need.

The funeral services were conducted by Rev. J. H. Frazer at the farm residence Friday afternoon and were largely attended.

The following was from the Courier 28 September 1899

S. A. Francis, an old and respected citizen living near Arlington died of inflammation of the bowels last Thursday and was buried Friday. He was one of the oldest settlers in this state and the experiences of his life here in the early days would make interesting reading.

Francis, Samuel A.

Veteran, Mexican and Civil Wars

Published in Arlington Times on September 29, 1899

Samuel A. Francis was born in Alabama, Aug. 27, 1822, where several years of his life were spent. He, when a boy, moved with his parents to Putnamville, Ind., where he was married to Miss Louisa Waynick in 1849. They lived in Chariton, Iowa until 1855 when they came to Nebraska and settled near Fontanelle, Washington County. He took a homestead and many were the hardships he with his wife and little family endured during the first years of pioneer life in Nebraska. He was a good marksman and many a family had venison from his hunting, deer being plenty at that time. Uncle Sam, as he was familiarly called, was known by all the old settlers and was beloved by them as a generous, kind friend and neighbor. He, with his brother-in-law, John Waynick, built the first houses in Bell Creek (now Arlington) and entered into the business of general merchandise, which they carried on for a few years. Mr. Francis then retired and after a few years bought a farm one-half mile northeast of Arlington where he removed with his family and he has lived there the last twenty or so years of his life.

Deceased was a veteran of the Mexican war, was a strong Lincoln man, and although he had served his country through one war, when the call came in '61 for volunteers he enlisted and served a year in the civil war.

Mr. Francis was an unusually active man for his years and spent his time overseeing his farm up to within two days of his death, which was caused by inflammation of the bowels. On Thursday, in the early morning, he breathed his last, surrounded by his family and near relatives. Deceased was the father of ten children, all of whom preceded him many years. He leaves a wife who for fifty years has been his faithful companion, and five adopted grandchildren, a brother and many friends to mourn the loss of a kind, indulgent husband and father and good neighbor.

For many years the deceased was a member of the Methodist church. Rev. Frazer conducted the funeral services which were held at his late residence, and loving friends bore the remains to their last resting place in the Arlington cemetery.

~~~Obituary courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair Public Library~~~

Note: death date on tombstone

Printed in the Blair Courier on 10/5/1899