WILLIAM S. MEAD OBITUARY
(Born April 16, 1846 to John Brooks Mead and Jane Ashcraft Meade in Daviess County, Indiana. Died in Spencer, Owen County, December 28, 1934. William Stanley was my Great Great Uncle. This information was transposed by myself, Donna Meade Tauber, email@example.com)
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THE OWEN LEADER, SPENCER INDIANA
Spencer, Indiana Thursday January 3, 1935
WILLIAM S. MEAD, CIVIL WAR VETERAN, DIED FRIDAY
Highly Esteemed Citizen Called by Death – Was Prisoner In Andersonville During War
William Stanley Mead, 89 years old, a Civil War Veteran, died at his home here Friday noon following an illness of several weeks. During the past year, his health had failed noticeably.
Born April 16, 1846, near Washington, Indiana, he spent his early life there. At the outbreak of the Rebellion, he tried to enlist in the army, but was turned down on account of his age and small stature. On the third attempt he was accepted as a volunteer and was assigned to Co. E. 6th Indiana Infantry. He was never in the hospital and did not miss a day’s duty in the 3½ years of his service. In 1864 he spent several months in Andersonville prison in southern Georgia. At that time he was but 17 years old.
A few years ago he and his daughter Jessie, made a visit to the old prison pen, his first since his release from the place. He thoroughly enjoyed the trip and his memory still keenly alive and he located various spots in the prison park where certain events had transpired.
In the course of his army service he was advanced to Color Sergeant of the 6th Indiana and was in the first group of troops to scale the heights at Missionary Ridge in that memorable charge.
Mr. Mead came to Spencer some time after the war’s close and has remained here since. He has been actively identified in many enterprises during these years. For several years he operated a stove factory and later installed the light plant, which he operated for several years, selling out finally to a Cincinnati plant.
At the time of his death he was superintendent of beautiful Riverside Cemetery at Spencer, one of the most beautiful burial grounds in Indiana, developed under his careful, systematic work. He served one term as President of the Indiana Association of Cemetery Superintendents. He attended meetings of cemetery officials in Los Angeles and New York, and many places between, always alive to learning new ideas of beautification. He was also active in State and National Grand Army affairs and was an aspirant to the state commanders post and was a runner up on two occasions.
Stanley Mead stood high in the esteem of all who knew him. His advancing years in no way served to curtail neither his interest in affairs nor his activity in these affairs. His mind was always alert and his energy sought to keep pace with his ideas. Only the infirmities of age could slow up his physical activities.
A daughter, Mary Mead Hammond of Indianapolis, was ill and could not attend. Mr. Hammond and son Stanley Mead Hammond were present. A son, Cyrus D. Mead, of Berkley California, could not be there.
As the sun sank into the west the body of this splendid citizen was laid to rest beside the wife who precede him two years ago.
Military Funeral, Accorded Veteran of Civil War Sunday, An Impressive Ceremony; State G.A.R. Men Present; United Methodist Church Packed
The funeral of W.S. Mead Sunday was one of the most impressive services ever witnessed here. The Methodist Church was filled to capacity, with many standing around the walls, unable to find seats.
The American Legion had promised Mr. Mead a military funeral and it was carried out to the letter. His distinguished record as a soldier of the Civil War entitled him to full military honors. A legion drum and bugle corps from Bloomington was present; a guard of honor made up of local Legion men; four gray haired veterans, three of them from Indianapolis, one from Ellettsville, performed the ritualistic service of the Grand Army at the Church. It was all very impressing and touching. At the ceremony the Masons performed their burial ritual in full and the guard of honor then fired the three- volley salute and the bugler sounded taps.
And during the long graveside service the crowd stood in the biting wind to pay their last honors to a citizen and a soldier deserving of all honor.
The pall bearers were Von Schamlz Bruce Mathes and L.E. Hubbard of the Legion, James Rice, Enoch Gray and F.E. Bourne of the Masonic Temple.
Reverend C.R. Stout, pastor, gave the scripture reading; Dr. R.H. Richards of Patricksburg, a nephew, read a memorial sketch of Mr. Mead; Reverend M.V. Foster of Linton, a former Christian pastor here, delivered the eulogy sermon and expressed his deep affection for the deceased.
AT MEAD FUNERAL
Among those who attended the funeral of W.S. Mead here Sunday were Mr. And Mrs. J.W. Williams, Mrs. H.H. Dutton and two daughters, all of Martinsville, Mr. And Mrs. Ed F. White, Mr. And Mrs. Frank White of Quincy, Robert Willoughby of near Crawfordsville, Major D.I. McCormick of Indianapolis and Levi A. Beem. A nephew, Mrs. J.E. Leapley, a neice, both of Indianapolis; D.E. Mead and daughter, Mrs. S.O. Tibbs, of Bedford; Mr. And Mrs. Elwood Williams and daughter, Eleanor, Dr. and Mrs. U.T. Steinhart, E.E. Mead and son Earnest, Ira J. Mead and Miss Lily Mead, all of Washington, Indiana; Mr. And Mrs. Joseph B. Henninger, James Bird, David Kinney and son, all of Indianapolis, and I.N. May of Ellettsville.
CARD OF THANKS
We wish to express our great appreciation of the kind and efficient helpfulness of the American Legion, the State Department of the G.A.R., Masonic Lodge and other organizations and friends during the illness and funeral services of our father.
- The Mead Family
William Stanley Mead, A Good Scout
The Owen Leader, Spencer, Indiana
Thursday January 3, 1935
The death of W.S. Mead marks the passing of the last member of his company – Co. E of the 6th Indiana regiment. He was a good soldier during his army life and, in the terms of modern day praise, he was a good scout to the end of his days.
On two occasions it was this writers privilege to accompany him to the old scenes. In 1923 we went to St. Lois, took boat passage there and made the journey to Shiloh, in southern Tennessee, where April 6 and 7, we spent the anniversary of that fight on the historic battle ground. For two days we roamed over the ground where the North and South fought their first real major engagement. On the last day we located the spot where the 6th Indiana had stood when they met the final charge of the Louisiana Tigers and beat them back and the battle ended.
This small picture shows Mr. Mead at the age of 15 years, when he enlisted in the army. The full-length picture was made when he was Color Sergeant of the 6th Indiana Regiment.
Comrade Mead stood within a few feet of the spot where he had stood on that memorable day in 1862, and where for the first time, he heard the blood chilling “Rebel Yell” as the Tigers emerged from the woods and crossed the wide creek bottom.
In May 1930, Comrade Mead accompanied me to Andersonville prison in southern Georgia – his first visit to the place since his imprisonment there in 1864. Sixty-six years had passed, and yet his memory of places and events was as clear as yesterday. To days we spent there, guests of the park superintendent and his family. We wandered the prison site – now grown into jungle in places – and Mead located spot after spot where various events had occurred. He drank again from Providence Spring; it had burst forth from the hot sand in August ’64 near the spot where he sheltered himself under his ragged blanket. We cooked a “dinner” of fat bacon and corn meal and had our “prison fare” feed, much as it had been “served” in the prison days.
In the little village of Andersonville he talked with a man who had served as a guard there while Mead was a prisoner. Both thoroughly enjoyed the visit. At the Cemetery, Mead placed flowers on the graves of two buddies who had died in the pen. One had died in Mead’s arms.
Returning by way of Chattanooga we spent considerable time on the field of Chickamauga, where Mead had fought with the 6th. Place after place was located and each brought memories flooding back. We had our dinner at Crawfish Springs, one of the spots, made famous by that memorable battle.
We visited Lookout Mountain and thence to Mission Ridge, east of Chattanooga. I photographed him and his daughter in the yard of a private home, standing on what he believed to be the spot where he, as color guard, had scaled the “impossible” heights and planted the 6th Indiana Flag at the Lady Beckenridge gun encampment.
From there to the Lincoln birthplace in Kentucky to drink from the famous sinking spring and gaze on the lowly cabin where the Great Emancipator was born.
The home. And through all that strenuous trip Comrade Mead proved himself a good scout. Tired out each night, he was nevertheless up on his toes the next morning – keyed up to the old pitch by the surging memories that came out of the past.
“A good Scout, Comrade Mead” was what I told him on our return. Now he is gone to another, greater adventure and I predict he will still prove a good soldier and a good scout.
Recently he received a letter from the Quartermaster General of the United States at Washington stating “By direction of the Secretary of War he had been awarded the medal of the “Order of the Purple Heart” on account of wounds he received in action during the Civil War.
In the passing of William Stanley Mead, we are forcibly reminded of the melancholy fact that the rapidly thinning ranks of the “Boys in Blue” of 1861-1865 are about to vanish forever from sight and become only a cherished memory as well as a proud and honored national heritage.
Some three years ago, Mr. Mead attended the funeral of the last living comrade but one of his company, the late George W. Tolson of Daviess County. As Orderly Sergeant, e called the roll of Company E 6th infantry, as he had done so often when in active service. The only soldier who answered “here” was the Orderly Sergeant, Comrade Mead, himself. Upon this occasion if the company roll were called again, there would be no responsive “here”; for the last soldier of Company E has passed on.
But we have in the character and in the marvelous spirit of this soldier in whose honor we observe today these memorial rites, something more enduring than material form and substance.
While in the arduous and perilous service of this country, it was well known that his daring, his coolness and his example, youth through one was, were a by-word in his company.
(author of this newspaper article I believe to be Carl Anderson)
THE OWEN LEADER, SPENCER INDIANA
WENESDAY APRIL 4TH, 1923
Sunday evening W.S. Mead and Carl Anderson, editor of The Leader, left for St. Louis to join the survivors of the Battle of Shiloh on their annual pilgrimage to the battlefield. The survivors have formed an association of which S.M. French of Chicago is Commander. The trip occupies 10 days and covers approximately 1000 miles of exceptionally fine scenery, particularly along the Tennessee River.
Each year the survivors of Shiloh spend the two anniversary days on the battle field (next few words unreadable). A year of minor skirmishes led up to Shiloh and here each army took the other’s measure. It was a Federal victory, gained at a big cost in dead and wounded.
Mr. Mead was a member of Co. E. 6th Indiana Infantry and John Wesley Anderson, father of the editor of this paper, was in Co. A of the same regiment. The latter never revisited the Shiloh field after the battle and Mr. Mead made his first visit last April. He was so enthusiastic over the trip to again visit the battleground this spring. His talks of his trip so enthused the editor that he, too, has arranged to accompany Mr. Mead.
The boat enters the Tennessee River at Paducah, Ky., and crosses the state of Tennessee to within a few miles of the Mississippi line. (next paragraph unreadable but talks of the beauty and enchantments of the area) Mr. Mead was disappointed in this that the flood stage of the Ohio had most of Cairo's “points of interest” under water.
On the boat the old soldiers hold their “campfires” nightly and tell of experiences and fight their battles over again. The editor has been looking forward to the trip with a great deal of interest and the readers of this paper may experience a write up of the excursion. It is the intention to mail stuff to the paper each day and the whole story will not be told in the next week’s issue.
This is the first regular “honest to goodness” vacation “Andy” has had in the ten years he has been running The Leader and he expects to kick up his heels like a two year old in a ten-acre lot.