(21 Aug 184207 Jan 1915.  Died at Mount Carmel, Wabash County, Illinois.)








          Taps have sounded for another of the rapidly diminishing host that followed the stars and stripes on the battlefields of the south from ’61 to ’65, and Comrade Thomas F. Bland has answered the call.

          Comrade Bland died at 3:00 o’clock this (Thursday) morning at the family residence, 123 east Second street, after an illness of but a few days.  He had been in failing health for some time, but continued to discharge his duties as rural mail carrier until within a few days of his death.  Some time since he suffered an attack of the grip, but remained at work until Tuesday of last week, when he went to Sullivan, Ind., to attend the funeral of a relative, which occurred Wednesday.  He returned home on Thursday afternoon, but was not compelled to take to his bed until Saturday, when pneumonia set in.  Owing to his advanced age he was not able to combat the disease successfully, and his condition grew worse until death ensued.

          An extremely sad feature in connection with the case is that Mrs. Bland is also very critically ill of the same disease that claimed her husband, and it is feared she can not recover.

          Thomas Finley Bland was born in New Lebanon, Sullivan county, Indiana, February 21, 1842, make his age at death 72 years, 10 months and 17 days.  He was united in marriage to Cecilia B. Merry, August 21, 1866, and six children were born to their union.  The oldest, a daughter, died in infancy.  There others surviving are: Mrs. James F. Springer, Sullivan, Ind.; R.A. bland, Portland, Oregon; Miss Abbye Bland, Seattle, Wash., and Miss charlotte and Ray Bland of this city.  There are also four grandchildren, Wallace and Ruth Springer of Sullivan, and georgette and Richard Bland of this city.  Two sisters, Mesdames Nancy Hunt and Manta Hanchett, and one brother, William H. Bland, all of Sullivan, are surviving members of the deceased.

          At the age of 19, Mr. Bland enlisted as a private in Co. I, 41st Regiment Indiana Volunteers.  His enlistment was for three years, and he served the entire term in a manner highly creditable to himself, being discharged from the service at Indianapolis November 25, 1864.  During a campaign in Georgia he was taken prisoner by the Confederates on May 31, 1864, being held until December of that year, when he was exchanged.  He served in Andersonville and Camp Lawton, near Milan, Ga.  In a memorandum of his prison experience, he says that when exchanged “a more horrible looking lot of men was never seen on earth,” and he was so weak from starvation that he could not walk.

          After his discharge from the army he returned to Sullivan county, Indiana, where he devoted himself to farming until he removed with his family to Mount Carmel about sixteen years ago.  For some time he was landlord of the New Mansion house, and after giving that up was appointed by the Republican editor, then postmaster, as carrier of one of the first three rural routes established out of the local office, a position the duties of which he discharged with the greatest faithfulness until the last.

          The deceased was a member of the Masonic order for a period of probably thirty-five years prior to his death, and he was greatly devoted to it.  He was also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic for a long period, and he took great pleasure in his association with his comrades of the great war.

          Mr. Bland was a member of the M.E. church, and while not ostentatious in his profession, was sincere in his practice of its teachings and was an earnest Christian in every way.  He was a good citizen and an excellent man, a hind husband and father, a good neighbor and friend, who never failed to have a cheery greeting for every one.

          Arrangements for the funeral have not as yet been announced, but the body will be taken back to Sullivan for interment at the old home.