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ROBERT GILKEY LARSH - C. W. Soldier
Source: Crawfordsville Daily, Monday, January 19, 1914
Becoming suddenly ill near the home of Ward Enoch, four miles north of the city this morning. Robert G. Larsh, rural mail carrier on route six and one of the most widely known men in the county, died two minutes after he was was carried from his wagon to the Enoch home. The sudden death was result of an attack of the heart trouble to which Mr. Larsh was subject. Several times he has become seriously ill in recent months, but his hasty recovery from each attack had reassured his friends and his death this morning came as a severe shock to his relatives and friends. Mr. Larsh was making his morning mail delivery and had reached the foot of a large hill some distance from the Enoch home when he was stricken. He retained consciousness and turned his horse and drove quickly to the home of Mr. Enoch. Here he called for aid and as Mrs. Enoch reached the wagon informed her of his illness. With the aid of a neighbor Mrs. Enoch supported the stricken man into her home and at once called a physician. Efforts to revive the now unconscious man were vainly made and Mr. Larsh had succumbed several minutes before the arrival of his physician from this city. That he felt the attack was fatal was evident from his last words. "I will never get home." Mr. Larsh is survived by his widow, Mary D. Larsh. No children survive. He was born in Ripley township, July 3, 1846, and would have been sixty-nine years old at his next birthday. The past thirty-five years of his life were spent in Union Township and he was a resident of this city practically all of that time. He had been in the mail service here for several years. The body was brought to his home, south Grant avenue, early this afternoon. Funeral arrangements had not yet been made.
Source: Crawfordsville Journal, January 21, 1914
In this age of perverted ambition, of false standards and false aims, we are forgetting that all that is worthy in life, both public and private - is character. It is not the man who can spend thousands often as a mere salve to conscience, who helps to build up the community in which he lives, but he who faithfully, honestly and fearlessly performs his duty. It is from such a source alone that all is derived that is destined to survive. The good man who has just gone from amongst us, to enter upon a broader and freer existence, was such a man. He had the great advantage to have been well born, in the best acceptance of that term. He was the son of Jane Gilkey and Tolliver Larsh, pioneer country, brought in contact often the wild lawless element that usually flock to the frontier, never lost their gentleness of speech and manner, their inborn integrity, their zeal for all that was to be a vital factor in the betterment which they helped to establish. The Gilkey family were amongst the first and best of the early educators of the county, and the memory of James Gilkey, a great teacher in his day, an uncle of Robert Larsh, was held in high reverence not only by all whom he had ever taught, but his memory was passed on, and survives today in the minds of their children and their grandchildren. Hannah Gilkey, an aunt by marriage was a sister of Commodore Stringham, one of the notable names in early history of the United States navy. Her husband was a prosperous farmer, and their children, reared in such a household, were worthy of their parentage and their training. These relatives were the close associates and playmates of Robert Larsh, and in that home, he spent many of the happiest hours of his boyhood. His father, Tolliver Larsh, was a man of sterling worth, of strong intelligence, and made his influence felt throughout the neighborhood in which he lived on one of the most beautiful and well tilled farms in this county. He was the steadfast protector of the weak, the friend of the poor, interested in the improvements that went on about him, never clinging to the old customs, simply because they were old. His mother, Jane Gilkey, a sister of James Gilkey, was a woman of great disposition of dignity and intelligence and few women have ever had such devotion as was shown her by her children - never exacted but given gladly as her just deserts. It will be seen therefore that the influences which were about Robert Larsh were, from the first, the bast and noblest, and as he grew to manhood and then passed into middle age, those influences, so firmly established, not only by precept, but by steadfast example grew and strengthened. He was educated in the district schools near his home in Ripley township, a district in which the people were much above the average in intelligence, and all his life was keenly interested in public affairs, in questions both of local and of national politics. He was a republican, and never failed to discharge his duty as a citizen - an ardent admirer of Roosevelt, because he had faith in his sincerity and fearlessness. He served as a soldier in the Civil War and was a member of McPherson post, G.A.R., having been elected senior vice commander for the ensuing year. April 1, 1875, he was married to Miss Maria Depew of Terre Haute, who was educated in private schools, then graduated from the Indiana State Normal where she made an excellent record, and for some years taught successfully in the public schools of Crawfordsville. Like many such men, Robert Larsh was somewhat diffident and retiring by nature. He had a great love for all that was beautiful - for flowers which he cultivated with great care, for music, and for good books. Another marked trait was his tenderness and sympathy for animals - a neglected cat or dog found in him a protector and friend, his horse knew his step and the touch of his kind hand. In all his words and deeds he reflected the teaching that he had in a family where the ties of affection were peculiarly strong. He had been for fourteen years connected in various capacities with the Crawfordsville post offices - later in the rural route delivery department. He was greatly loved by all those whom he met on his daily rounds and had many proofs of their confidence and esteem. To this calling he brought the same faithfulness and conscientiousness that he had exhibited in all the duties he was called upon to perform, continuing at his post even when strength and health were rapidly failing. In his sudden passing into the unknown life, he was spared the long years of invalidism and helplessness so frequently the lot of those who remain to grow old, when all that they valued is gone and loneliness is added to the sufferings of infirmity. He was a home-loving man, and that word "home" was the last that he uttered. He has gone to his rest, honored, respected, one of those who in his place and in the ways appointed for him full filled the duty required him. And judged by moral standards, the highest of all standards, of no man can a greater thing be said. M. H. K.
Kim H. has been so awesome to send the old soldiers' obits - this is one and quite appropriate as this is Veterans' Day - 11-11-2011 - kz
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