Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In all fairness to H.D.C.

I had intended (and still do) to use the Copeland mausoleum in the Chariton Cemetery to illustrate the fleeting nature of fame in regard to other earlier members of Lucas County's "elite." Got to thinking about it, however, and decided that in fairness to Howard Darlington Copeland himself I should include a little information about that guy whose name is writ large in stone. So rustled up his obit, which follows.

After I posted the obit to the Lucas County mailing list at RootsWeb this morning, Dick Kinkead asked about the location of Darlington Heights, the Copeland home --- and I'm a little vague about this although I recall my dad talking about it. It was located, if I'm correct, on the Auburn Avenue extension east of Chariton --- the road that now leads to Lakes Ellis and Morris and the water treatment plant. I don't believe either the house or farm buildings are there now, although someone still lives on the site, a hill just before the road curves southeasterly downhill to cross the creek.

The Copeland mausoleum is one of two still standing in the Chariton Cemetery. The Lockwoods have a grim little sealed box in the northwest corner with no indication on its exterior of who specifically is interred inside. The far larger Stanton Vault, built as a commercial venture as well as a final resting place for the Stantons, has been demolished and its remaining occupants unceremoniously buried in a heap where it once was located.

Anyhow, here is Howard Darlington Copeland's obituary, and it is a humdinger:

Tribute to His Memory Written by His Friend, Hon. T.M. Stuart of Chariton
(The Chariton Patriot, 12 May 1910, Page 1)

Chariton has seldom lost as loyal and valuable a citizen as was H.D. Copeland, and the beautiful memorial tribute to him, written by Atty. T.M. Stuart, expresses only in part the loss the county and the state sustains in Mr. Copeland’s death, recorded last week. The large attendance of out-of-town visitors at the funeral, the lavish floral offerings, and the many words of comfort and sorrow that have come to the family, but warrant the high estimate that the people of this community placed upon Mr. Copeland.

One of the most touching letters received was from an employee of the Copeland Commission Co. of Chicago, who writes to this paper ---

Chicago, Ill., Union Stock Yards
May 10, 1910

Please permit me on my own behalf and my fellow co-workers to kindly express through the columns of your esteemed paper, the deep and sincere sorrow we all feel over the death of our fellow business associate and esteemed friend, the late Howard D. Copeland. Knowing him as we did, his death is a personal loss to us all. No man here at this great commercial business center ever stood higher in the estimation of his associates. He was the soul of honor, strictly honest in all his dealings, he endeared himself to all. His kindly and genial disposition made him hosts of friends. By his nobility of character and upright life, he has left a name to his family and friends that will be fondly cherished throughout all time. To have known such a character and been numbered among his friends is an honor we most highly regard.

(signed) A Friend

Those in attendance at the funeral from out of town, besides the pallbearers, were:

Arthur P. Copeland, Rochester, Ind.; George D. Copeland, Marion, Ohio; Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Boothroyd, Chicago, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Long, Osceola, Ia.; Simon Press, Sedalia, Mo.; Henry F. Mitlan, Kirksville, Mo.; Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Trump, Kahoka, Mo.; Geo. A. Young, A. H. Corey, F.H. Dewey, Fred Corey, H.P. Smith, H.B. Morgan, Des Moines; Mrs. Jennie Yetts, Dr. G.W. Whitehill, L. Cristy, A.E. Holcomb, Ottumwa; H.J. Green, Deocrah, Ia.; E. A. Patterson, Iowa City; F.M. Barner, Ames; T. G. Bilson, Knoxville; L.D. Jones, Coffeyville, Kan.; G. W. Humpsted, Victor, Ia.

The memorial tribute written by Hon T. M. Stuart is as follows:

Howard Darlington Copeland has passed away. He died at his home at 2:45 o’clock p.m. on the 3d day of May, 1910. The following is an epitome of his busy life:

He was born at Marion, Ohio, on the 19th day of August 1853, being the eldest child of Howard and Catherine Darlington Copeland. He was educated in the public school of that city, and at the Ohio Wesleyan University of Delaware, Ohio. He came of a family of bankers, two of his brothers and four of his uncles are bankers. At the age of fourteen years he entered the bank of his uncle, Guild Copeland, on Wall Street in the city of New York, and continued in that business, under the directions of another uncle, Arthur C. Copeland, at Rochester, Indiana. He came to Chariton in the fall of 1873 and was employed in the bank of his uncles, Percy and Elijah Copeland, where he remained for nine years, the bank in the meantime becoming the property of Manning and Penick. He was then appointed State Bank Examiner for the state of Iowa, and acted in that capacity for about eight years. At the close of his services as State Bank Examiner, he entered the law office of T.M. Stewart with the expectation that he would study law and fit himself for the legal profession which he always liked, but circumstances were such that he was required to engage in other business, and he drifted into the real estate business and has continued to pursue that business in part ever since, buying and selling real estate for himself and others. In 1893 he founded the commission house of H.D. Copeland & Co. at the Union Stock Yards in Chicago, becoming its president and he continued to act in that capacity up to the time of his death. In 1904 he organized the Burlington Savings Bank at Burlington, Iowa, became its president and continued to operate that bank for about two years, when his growing business enterprises at Chariton demanded his time and attention to such extent that he concluded to and did sell his interest in this bank at a fair profit. But true to the men who assisted him in organizing that bank he did not consent to part with his interest therein until he obtained the express consent of such parties thereto. In August, 1907, he purchased the controlling interest in the Chariton National Bank and became its president and he acted in that capacity up to the time of his death. In the same year he became owner of a hallf-interest in the Osceola Sentinel, which proved to be a profitable investment. He also became interested in the First National Bank of Rochester, Indiana, becoming its vice president. He was one of the promoters of the Fraternal Organization known as the Homesteaders and became its surpreme treasurer. He was also a member of the republican state central committee, and notwithstanding his numerous other duties, he found time to advise with that committee, always being stalwart in politics.

He was married Jan. 25th, 1877, to Carrie Custer, daughter of James and Susanna Custer, pioneers of Lucas county. He left surviving him his widow and two children, Mrs. Sue Copeland Whicher and Howard Custer Copeland. He was confirmed in St. Andrews church in 1901 and has since that time filled the position of senior warden of the vestry. He was active in all church duties, and very liberal in his support thereof, and in his death the church has sustained an irreparable loss.

His pall bearers consisted of one representative from each of the business enterprises that he founded, viz.: Mr. C. H. Boothroyd, of H. D. Copeland & Co. of Chicago, Mr. J.A. Penick of the Chariton National Bank, Mr. M. F. Roberts, representing his farming interests, Mr. J. L. Long of the Osceola Sentinel, Mr. R. T. Gilson of the Homesteaders, and his brother-in-law, W.S. Custer,

A large number of people of Chariton and friends from other cities attended his funeral, which was held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal church on Friday afternoon a two o’clock, conducted by Rev. Webster Hakes. His brothers, J.C. Copeland, A.P. Copeland and G.D. Copeland, were present. The Chancel and all of its departments was a mass of beautiful flowers. The casket was covered with rare flowers, the gifts of loving friends. The family pew in St. Andrew’s was left vacant, with the exception of a wreath of beautiful flowers hung on the end thereof.

“His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to the world, this was a man.”

Yes, his life was gentle; it was more like the placid lake, fringed with pines and flowers, basking in the moonlight than it was like the rushing river. While friends and acquaintances by the score sought his association, yet so quiet and unostentatious was his life, that few, comparatively realized the full extent of his mental capacity, or fully comprehended the big heart that led him to quietly shower blessings upon others. Think for one moment on the cares and the responsibility necessarily attending the founding, management and control of the numerous and extensive business enterprises epitomed in the foregoing brief statement. Think of the magnitude of the interests involved and then note the quiet, safe, and masterly manner in which he operated the same. H. D. Copeland was a natural financier, and yet he did not permit the pursuit of money to harden his heart, or close his eyes to the rights of others. He was always just.

His beautiful suburban home, Darlington Heights, through his efforts and hospitality, became the favorite resort of his friends, who were always assured of a hearty welcome, but above all, Mr. Copeland was a Christian gentleman. At the time of his death he was one of the chief supporters of St. Andrew’s Episcopal church, and was regarded as its chief advisor in all temporal matters, but he came to his position so quietly that perhaps very few remember when this church work began. The writer feels that he may speak frankly concerning that part of Mr. Copeland’s history, when he commenced the study of law. He came to my office with the hope that he would complete the study of law and become a member of the legal profession. Strange to say, his services in my law office were valuable from the very beginning. He possessed a legal mind, and he seemed to go intuitively to the legal points in a case. I shall never forget his valuable service in an important personal injury case in which he assisted me in looking up the facts and law of the case. The party was injured in a coal mine at Lucas, and while we became satisfied that he had a meritorious case, yet it became very difficult to find the evidence necessary to sustain the case. Mr. Copeland became very much interested in the case and without my knowledge he visited the coal mines in other parts of the state and came back with affidavits of expert coal men, making it so clear that we were in the right in regard to a certain question, that the case was promptly settled, and our client received ample compensation for the injury he had suffered. I have no doubt if Mr. Copeland had devoted himself to the law, he would have become one of the finest lawyers in the country. Perhaps not as an advocate, but as a judge of law.

Our dear friend has gone, his body moulders in the tomb, while his spirit has returned to the God who gave it, but his example is left for us, and may we not cherish the thought, that time, the destroyer of all, whose almighty arm blots from the face of earth empires and kingdoms, under whose power the eternal hills dissolve, will fail to destroy the influence for the right arising from the acts and deeds of H. D. Copeland.

His friend,

T.M. Stuart

No comments: