JOHN A. RATCLIFF                      GRAVESTONE PHOTO                      

Columbus Daily Advocate, Friday, Jan. 8, 1915, Pg. 1

Vol. XX




Man of Unusual Strength and Good

Nature, Well Known Here.


  After a final illness lasting only a short time John Allen Ratcliff, one of the best known men in the vicinity of Columbus, died at his home last night.  The cause of the death was indirectly traceable to a stroke of paralysis suffered two years ago following a fall from a ladder at his home.  Mr. Ratcliff was a stalwart and hardy man, but the paralysis began to impair even his rugged constitution although, to the last it was believed he would recover his strength and health.

  John Ratcliff, was a native of Ohio where he was born 75 years ago.  As a young man he moved to Indiana and there married Miss Elizabeth Davis.  One son, Ezra, who now lives a mile south of town, and a daughter, Mrs. J. P. Freeleigh of Fort Madison, Ia., survive this couple, the mother having died in 1888.

  In 1885 Mr. Ratcliff married the widow Wm. Beckman, who was formerly Miss Cordelia Woody and who with two sons survives him.  The sons are Everett who is with the U. S. Army in the Philippines, and John who was at the deathbed of his father.

  Mr. Ratcliff was a man who impressed everyone he met with his good humor, his wit and his natural strength and physical condition.  A man of regular habits and rugged health, he was in constant good humor with his surroundings and he shed that good humor lavishly.  Coming here with a team and a few dollars in 1872, he made from the soil a wealth of health and a comfortable fortune in property.  Although he was independent in means he was never content to be idle and his seasons of dull work on the farm half a mile south of town wee filled by housemoving in Columbus, where he has been known as a man of wonderful physique.

  Although often besought to be a candidate for office, Mr. Ratcliff repeatedly refused these offers with the exception of one that appealed somewhat to his liking.  He was road overseer in his township for twenty-one years.

  The funeral will be held from the home and will be in charge of the Rev. H. A. Gordon.  The time will be announced tomorrow.

  “John Ratcliff was a man who never knew his own strength,” said A. T. Lee this morning in speaking of the death.  “And his smile admitted him to the friendship of everyone he met.”