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Obituary of DR. W. M. RHEA
Death of Dr. Rhea

Dr. W. M. Rhea died at his home in this city Monday night, April 3rd, 1899, after an illness of several moths, of a complication of heart disease and dropsy, aged fifty-nine years, two months and ten days. The funeral occurred at the Methodist church Wednesday afternoon under the direction of Larned Lodge I.O.O.F., the sermon, which is said to have been one of the most eloquent ever listened to in this city, being preached by Rev. C. D. Hestwood. The remains were interred in the Larned cemetery.

The deceased was a native of Pennsylvania. He was born January 26th, 1840 at East Waterford, Juniata county, and raised at New Germantown, Perry county. After graduation at Ann Arbor University he practiced medicine at Shade Gap until August 1862, when he enlisted in the union army. He was discharged in May 1863, but re-enlisted in the fall of 1864, and remained in the army until the close of the war. He was married December 29th, 1874. He came to Larned with his family March 1st, 1878, and had been engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery ever since. He was one of the most successful and popular physicians and surgeons in the part of the state, and was widely known throughout western and south central Kansas. He served two terms as mayor of Larned, and was twice elected representative from this county to the state legislature.

He was elected to the office of coroner year after year for many terms, and had been a member of the board of pension examiners and the local physician of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad for more than fifteen years. Supplemental to these statements it is entirely superfluous to add that he enjoyed the respect, confidence and esteem of the people of this community to an unusually high degree, and that his death is sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends, who have known and honored him as a gentleman, and received substantial benefits from his treatment and advice as a physician. Probably no one has ever died in Pawnee county who will be more sadly missed, or whose place will be harder to fill.

Dr. Rhea leaves a wife and family, and a large number of relatives to mourn his death. In response to a request made by the mayor’s proclamation the principal business houses in this city were closed Wednesday afternoon as a mark of respect for the deceased. The funeral was one of the largest that ever occurred in this city.

Transcribed and Contributed by Richard Schwartzkopf

Last Updated:  Tuesday, July 26, 2005 14:03:39

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