Biography - V. C. McNEER

"Probably no death that has ever occurred in Tuscola came more suddenly or caused more expressions of regret and genuine sorrow to be heard among our people than that of V. C. McNeer, which occurred at Arcola at about 8:30 o'clock on Friday morning last. It came like a shock to his innumerable friends in this city, and many could hardly realize that he had passed to the beyond and that he would mingle no more among us.

"Mr. McNeer, who has bought stock in this county for many years, had occasion to go to Arcola that morning to receive some hogs from John Jones. The fast mail leaves here at an early hour, and in order to make the train he was compelled to run from the First National Bank to the depot. It is supposed that this over-exertion had the effect of bringing on the attack of cerebral apoplexy which carried him off soon after his arrival in Arcola.

"After arriving in that city he went to the scale office of W. S. Jocelyn, where he met his agent, Israel Travener, and soon afterward he sat down to write a check in payment for the animals. He arose, and a moment later was seen to have a peculiar look, as though in agony. He passed his hand to the back of his head and said that he felt a severe pain. He had scarcely made the remark when he seized the arm of Travener and reeled as if about to fall. The latter eased him to the floor and sent for a physician at once, but it was too late. The stricken man never breathed a word after receiving the fatal stroke, and died in fifteen minutes. Dr. McKinney attended him, but no assistance could be given. He was carried to the Arcola hotel, near by, and expired in a room adjoining the office. W. H. Hancock and John Walling were in the city at the time, but arrived a few minutes after he passed away.

"On receipt of the painful news here, the Odd Fellows appointed a committee to go at once and take charge of the remains, he being an honored member of that order. His remains arrived here on the afternoon train, and were met at the depot by several hundred people.

"The funeral occurred at his home near the southern limits of the city on Monday afternoon at two o'clock, when, notwithstanding the intense cold at the time, a large number of friends gathered to pay their last respects to the one who they had known so well in life, and mourned so sincerely in death. The services were brief, and were conducted by Revs. Calhoun and Wyatt, after which the remains were placed in charge of the Odd Fellows, who conducted the services according to their rites.

"The deceased was born near Anderson, Indiana, December 31, 1839, and was consequently fifty-seven years of age at the time of his death. He leaves a wife and four children to mourn his loss, besides one brother and one sister. The sister, Mrs. Catherine Jones, of Alexandria, Indiana, was in attendance at the funeral. The brother, Dan, is a resident of Omaha, and it was impossible to reach him by telegraph, as he was absent from home. Mr. Castle, a brother-in-law, from Alexandria, was also present, and on Monday Mr. and Mrs. John Renner, parents of Mrs. McNeer, arrived from Kansas. Also Mrs. Coffey, of Newman. The funeral was a sad one, and universal sympathy is expressed for the bereaved wife and children, who have suffered the loss of one who was near and dear to them, and whose every thought was to make them comfortable and happy.

"For a quarter of a century Mr. McNeer has made his home in this community, and during that time he has had business relations with hundreds of people throughout the county. His business took him to every town within a radius of twenty miles, and his circle of acquaintances was perhaps larger than that of any other citizen among us. In his business relations covering these many years he was found to be honorable and upright with his fellow men, and it might be said that he has aided more men in a financial way than almost any citizen in the community. He had a large and sympathetic heart, and no friend ever went to him in trouble and was turned away. Many who have been aided by him in the past will remember his kindly acts through life and bless him for it. All feel that an honored and respected citizen has been called, and that his place will be hard to fill.

"It is more than probable that the deceased was aware that he would be taken suddenly, as he had had previous warning of his trouble. Last summer he was stricken while at home, and a few years previous he suffered a light attack." — [Copied.]

Extracted 09 Jun 2019 by Norma Hass from the Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois, published in 1900, pages 218-219.

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