Dr. John Wesley Godfrey was my great-great grandfather. I know almost nothing about him except that he died suddenly. I know nothing of his ancestors, or even where most of his descendants have gone. The exception of course, is my grandmother Maude Godfrey, who was one of John's children. If you know anything of this Godfrey family, I'd love to hear from you.
DEATH OF DR. J. W. GODFREY
(Clip from Moweaqua, IL Call-Mail newspaper)
At 10:35 Saturday night, May 10th (1902), Dr. J. W. (John Wesley) Godfrey passed into the infinite world. His illness had been brief, but very severe. His malady a complication of disease that baffled the skill of the very best available medical aid. All that could be done was done. Almost from the first hour of his illness, his suffering was intense.
Death finally came as a sweet and blessed relief. Dr. Godfrey was a good man -- a truly noble character. Tender, devoted and loving in domestic life, and as a physician he possessed those sweet and gentle, yet noble and manly traits of character that drew all who knew him well within the mystic circle of his life, confidence and respect. the writer knew Dr. Godfrey and loved him as a man, as an exponent of highest citizenship.
His loss is one that is deeply felt by the entire community. To the bereaved family, the CALL-MAIL can only extend sincerest sympathy in behalf of a sorrowful community. Such characters as Dr. Godfrey do not die -- it is simply a spiritual transition to a higher and holier condition, and it is sweet to know that the end came in beautiful christian confidence, in the presence of his wife and children, mother, brother and other loved ones.
Dr. Godfrey was a man of exceedingly strong will power. With him, right was right, and he wouldn't compromise for a moment a question of honesty or veracity. As mayor of Moweaqua and a member of the Board of Education, he was a model public official and rendered excellent public service. He was Camp physician of Moweaqua Camp No. 313, M.W.A., carrying $2,000 insurance; and he also carried $2,000 insurance in the Aetna Life of New York; he also was a social member of the R. N. of A.
The funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at the Methodist church, and the concourse of sympathetic friends assembled to pay homage to the memory of Dr. Godfrey far exceeded the capacity of the church. The remains were escorted from the residence to the church by the Modern Woodmen (Woodmen is a guess, clip tattered) and the Royal Neighbors, including visitors from Assumption, Blue Mound, Macon, Yantisville and other points. The floral tributes were profusive and exquisite. Never did lovelier flowers bear silent testimony of living friends. The alter at the church presented a bewildering floral picture, not soon to be forgotten.
Rev. W. F. Stevenson officiated, and a quartette composed of Mrs. E. J. Kolborn, Miss Lillian Snyder, J. T. Haslam and J. E. Longenbaugh rendered appropriate selections. The pall bearers were V. Snyder, Jr., Wm. L. Morris, J. P. Aydelott, Oscar Frazee, M. H. Miller, Everett Corrington, C. W. Hipes and John Clark. At the conclusion of the services at the church, the remains were laid to rest at the west cemetery.
Dr. John W. (Wesley) Godfrey, son of James and Sarah Godfrey, was born in Warren County, Illinois, Feb. 9, 1850, and died at his home in Moweaqua, Illinois, May 10, 1902, at the age of 52 years, 3 months and 1 day. He grew up on a farm with his parents and entered college at twenty-one yeas of age. He began the practice of medicine in Indiana, from whence after two years he moved to Moweaqua in 1881, where he has since resided.
All of his life has been spent in Illinois except for the two years in Indiana. Dr. Godfrey was twice married -- first to Amanda Gollagher, Aug. 30, 1877, who died May 6, 1886; two children being born of this union, Roscoe and Maude. On May 3, 1888, he was married to Mary E. Johnson, who survives him. two children were born to them -- Blanche, dying in 1899, and Grace, age 8. His venerable mother, Mrs. Sarah Godfrey, and brother Joseph, both of Ellison, Illinois, survive him and were present at the funeral.
Dr. Godfrey was religiously inclined from his youth, and was converted and joined the U. B. Church at age 18 years. He united with the M. E. church on coming to Moweaqua and was loyal to his christian profession, and died a christian's death.
CARD OF THANKS
To the hosts of loving friends, who so tenderly extended aid and sympathy in our hour of deep affliction, we extend our heartfelt thanks.
MARY E. GODFREY AND CHILDREN
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