DAVID W. FINNEY
The Neosho Falls Post, Thursday, Nov. 9,
1916, Pg 1
of D. W. Finney
The body of D. W. Finney was
brought from Emporia last Friday to Neosho Falls for interment in the Cedarvale
cemetery. Funeral services were held at the home on Saturday, conducted by
Rev. Rice of Emporia, assisted by Rev. F. M. Taylor of Neosho Falls.
Friends from far and near were present to take part in the last sad rites and to
offer sympathy to the bereaved relatives. The services at the graveyard
closed with the beautiful and impressive ceremony of the Grand Army of the
The following relatives and
friends were here to attend the funeral of D. W. Finney last Saturday, Mr. and
Mrs. J. Hemmings of Marceline, Mo., B. S. McConnell and daughter, of Larned,
Mrs. Edwin Tucker, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Tucker, H. D. Tucker and Geo. Wood of
Eureka, Mrs. A. B. Harris of Kansas City, W. W. Smith and daughter and Mrs. B.
H. King of LeRoy.
How typical of all that is the
best in Kansas was the life of D. W. Finney which ended this morning in sleep at
the home of his son, Warren W. Finney in Emporia. An Indiana soldier in
the Civil war, with a gallant record; a pioneer Kansan in Woodson county,
serving his neighbors in the sixties in the legislature; this district in the
seventies in the senate, specializing on educational matters and temperance;
then a lieutenant governor in the eighties, signing the first bill that made
Kansas a prohibition state—that was his public record. What a host of
strong young men of his kind came into Kansas in those days—Ingalls, Plumb,
Martin, Moonlight, Blair, Horton, Simpson, Wilder and Murdocks—the roll
extends wide and long. They had ideals; they were public spirited enough
to give themselves freely for their ideals, and they builded wiser than they
knew. They made possible the Kansas we enjoy today. And foremost
among the builders of the sixties, seventies and eighties was Governor
Finney—the friend and co-worker of all who were striving for the big
fundamental things. How strong and beautiful his life has been, how
directly and forcefully he has gone to his goal, and how high and worthy was his
It is to men like him who have
kept the faith, who believed mightily in good things and worked effectively for
what they believed in, that Kansas owes much more of her luster among the stars
than she owes to us who reap where we have not sown. He died in the faith,
but he had the glorious and unusual blessing of having received the promises not
merely to have seen them afar off. So his last days were serene and
untroubled. Time justified his faith. Emporia Gazett.
of D. W. Finney
The following biography of D. W.
Finney was written by him a few years before his death and presented to his
grandson as a Christmas remembrance. It is here reproduced thinking it may
be of interest to the readers of the Post.
David W. Finney, third son of
Robert and Malinda Finney was born August 22nd 1839 near Anapolis, Pearle
His early life was spent of the
farm in what was then the frontier, and from the time he was old enough to work
his principal occupation was clearing land, making rails and cutting saw logs
for lumber to improve the farm. His schooling consisted of a few months
attendance each year at the district school, was a student of Bloomingdale
Academy till the war, and the death of his father made other duties imperative.
He enlisted as a private in the
Union Army in July, 1862 and was mustered in on Sept. 2, 1862 at Terra Haute,
Ind. and assigned to Co. A, 88th Indiana Volunteer Infantry; served the first
winter in Kentucky in repelling the rebel invasion. In the spring of 1863
was transferred to Tennessee and took part in clearing the country of rebels
from Nashville to Franklin. On March 2nd was a part of the command under
Col. Coburn in the hard fought battle of Thompson’s Station, Tenn., where a
part of the brigade fought all day against the combined forces of Van Dorn,
Forrest and Wheeler, and were forced to surrender about 4 o’clock p. m., their
ammunition being entirely exhausted. He was taken to Richmond, Va. via
Columbia, Tullahoma, Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn. and Lynchburg, Va.; was
confined in Libby prison for about 2 months, and then exchanged and was back at
Franklin, Tenn. in June 1863, ready for the forward march to Chattanooga and
Atlanta; took part in most of the engagements during the first Union guard on
the streets of Atlanta, marched with Sherman to the sea, and from Savannah, Ga.
Through the Carolinas to Richmond, Va.
The war being over, Sherman’s
army joined that of Grant at Washington in the Grand Review. Thence back
to Indianapolis, Ind., where he was honorably discharged. He enlisted as a
private, appointed as 8th Corporal and after the battle of Averysboro was
promoted to the rank of 1st Sergeant.
After the close of the war
attended a six month’s term of school at Waveland Academy.
At the close of the school in June
1866 he came to Kansas to company with Wm. Bacus, Jacob Heath and John T.
Sherfey, all veterans; purchased a fine span of mules and had a new wagon made
to order for this trip, and had the stars and stripes painted on the sides of
the wagon; was warned when they crossed the Mississippi river that they would
get in serious trouble if they did not cover the objectionable painting but
having fought three years to maintain the honor of the flag they did not propose
to do anything of the kind.
Landed at Neosho Falls, Kansas in
August 1866, which then consisted of about a dozen houses. Built a store
room of native lumber, and with Mr. Bacus put in a stock of groceries which they
shipped from St. Louis to Kansas City by river and hauled here by team. A
good part of the time was spent in hauling goods for their store from Kansas
City. Later traded the store for a herd of cattle, which were in turn sold
and he then engaged in the hardware business and implement business for several
years. During the time he took in a partner, Hellen H. McConnell, the best
woman that ever lived and the partnership is for life, was a charter member of
the First Congregational Church of Neosho Falls, of which he is still a member,
and of which he has been a deacon for thirty years.
He traded the store for a farm and
was Right of Way and Townsite agent for the Santa Fe Railway for several years;
was elected a member of the House of Representatives and served one term;
afterwards was elected and re-elected State Senator from the district composed
of Coffey and Woodson counties. At the close of his second term at
Lieutenant Governor of Kansas the first term under the Administration of Gov.
John P. St. John and the second under the Administration of Gov. Geo. W. Glick.
Served one term on the Board of Railroad Commissioners, State of Kansas.
Had always been a Republican until
the theft of the Chicago Convention in 1912, since which time he has been
identified with the Progressive movements.
G. A. R.
Resolutions of respect adopted by
Neosho Falls Post—No. 73, in commemoration of the death of Comrade D. W.
Whereas by the dispensation of
providence we have been deprived by the hand of death of the association and
relationship of our late comrade D. W. Finney formerly a Sergt. of Co. A. 85th
Indiana Vol. Inf.
Therefore, be it resolved by us,
his surviving comrades, that we recall with pride his gallant service upon many
battle fields, his many noble traits of character as a soldier, a comrade and a
citizen, and that we cherish his memory with those fraternal feelings of
affection, charity and loyalty which only old soldiers can feel whose friendship
has been needed in the fire of battle.
Resolved; that we extend our
sincere and heartfelt sympathy to his family in this their sad bereavement.
The march of another comrade is
ended he has answered to the great roll call above, and may we all, friends and
comrades so live that when the time may come for us to join him that others may
say for us as can truly be said of him; here lies the body of a true hearted,
brave and earnest defender of the Republic.
R. B. Leedy.