Another Pioneer is Called by Death

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The Fort Dodge Daily Chronicle: Sept. 4, 1908

Another Pioneer is Called by Death

J.W. Roper is Summoned Home to Reward on Thursday Evening.

Was Pioneer Transfer Man of Fort Dodge

Was Nearing the Eighty-Seventh Milestone of His Life When Summoned – Death Due to Old Age.

Thursday evening with the falling shadows, the spirit of Joseph W. Roper, for many years a resident of this city and the pioneer transfer man of Fort Dodge, joined that of his wife and passed into the great beyond, death being due primarily to advanced age, and occurred at the home of his son, William A. Roper, at 622 North Ninth street, where he had made his home for the past several years.

J.W. Roper was born at Rutland, Vermont, November 25, 1821, and was of sturdy revolutionary ancestry. On the green hills of his native state he grew to manhood and on August 26, 1842, was united in marriage to Miss Mary Esther Latham at Camdor, N.Y., the couple journeying together through life, until a few years after the celebration of their golden anniversary when Mrs. Roper was called to her reward. Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Roper removed from New York to the west, settling for a time in Wisconsin and in 1869 again taking their journey westward to Fort Dodge. Following their arrival here, Mr. Roper engaged in the transfer business, being the pioneer transfer man in the then struggling village. Within his lifetime the deceased witnessed a remarkable change, Fort Dodge growing by leaps and bounds from a little village to one of the best and most progressive cities of the state. After disposing of his transfer business the deceased was for many years connected with the United States Express Co., retiring a few years ago, owing to advanced age.

To Mr. and Mrs. Roper were born five children, four of whom are living, the oldest son, Edgar, having passed away at Eagle Grove a few years ago. Those living are William A. and Charles E., who are engaged in the cigar business, F.E., a conductor on the Chicago, Great Western Railroad, and Mrs. Mary Young. Three brothers and one sister of the deceased are also living, besides seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. The brothers and sister are Samuel Roper of Watertown, Wis., August of Spokane, Wash., F.H. of Estherville, and Mrs. Louisa Hunt of Mankato, Minnesota.

Mr. Roper was a man of kindly heart and a generous disposition and his passing will be mourned by many not akin to him, but who felt the kindness of his bounty when sore oppressed by sickness, care and trouble during the long and cold winters of pioneer days. He was a man of most rugged constitution and notwithstanding his advanced age was to be noted early every morning in the summer at work in his garden, while in the winter no sidewalks were cleaner than those near his home, and his daily communion with nature and nature’s forces perhaps tended to prolong his life many years more than the allotted span.

The funeral will be held at the home on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock, Rev. F.E. Drake, pastor of St. Mark’s Episcopal church, officiating. Mr. Roper was a prominent and life long member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and that society will assist at the services. Interment will be made in Oakland cemetery, by the side of his wife who was called from earth a few short years ago.

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