San Joaquin Valley Argus, Merced, CA., Saturday, Jan 22, 1887
Mrs. Sarah Agnes Gardenhire, the subject of this sketch, was born November 2, 1852 at Independence, Mo., and came to California in 1871, and with her parents arrived at Mariposa the 14th day of February of the same year. She was married to Frederick M. Gardenhire the 14th day of February, 1872 and soon after the happy couple removed to the town of Merced, where they resided up to the day of her lamented death. She leaves a fond and devoted husband, four little daughters, three sisters and a brother to mourn for one dearly beloved in life.
This is one of the saddest deaths that has taken place in Merced for a long time. As a little life went out with her, mother and babe started on a journey to the better land at the same moment. For several months she had watched with anxious eyes the creation of a new dwelling in which she fondly hoped to spend many years of home happiness with her husband and little ones. But alas 'for earth's hopos'[sic]
Why was this loving wife, this fond and devoted mother taken? This is the question asked by many, Question not. He who doeth all things well, knows best the seed time to harvest. Let us not question his wisdom. Her gentle, sweet, loving spirit, was perhaps stronger than the frail delicate tenement which held it, and the angles bore this strong, loving soul to the spirit land and there installed it a guardian, with strength and power to guide the minds of the little ones and watch them to womanhood, guide their feet in the paths rectitude and influence the father to cling to the little ones left to his care and keeping. If he will listen to the whispering of that gentle, still, small voice, peace, prosperity and happiness, will shine around the hearth-stone, while she looks on and smiles and waits to receive and welcome them to that home of dazzling beauty.
The deceased was a member of Merced Lodge, I.O.G.T., 459, and her sweet, smiling face will be missed by the brothers and sisters in Faith, Hope and Charity, Yes, Our sister is gone, We shall see her no more. Till we meet on gladness on the bright, golden shore. Good bye, sainted sister; the time will soon come, When we will meet thee and greet thee in thy sweet, angel home.
How beautiful and restful she looked in her pure, white robe of cashmere and satin, with the little purple violets exhaling their sweets and clinging around her wax-like fingers. A smile lingered upon her cold, white face whereon was written in unseen letters, rest for the weary.
There were many lovely flower designs twined by loving hands, among them on lettered I.O.G.T., symbolic of the order she loved so well. These letters were formed of violets on a ground of white daisies. The obsequies were conducted by the Rev. E.G. McLean, whose words, eloquent and impressive, must have fallen like gentle dew-drops upon afflicted hearts of the sad mourners. The house, porches and grounds were crowded with sympathizing friends. The remains were followed by a large concourse of people and the beautiful elay [sic] was laid to rest in the Cemetery of the K. of P.. The ceremony at the grave was under the auspices of the Good Templars, Rev. E.G. McLean acting as chaplain. The singing was low, soft and sweet as it mingles with the stifled sobs of the mourners. The bereaved husband with his four little motherless girls have the sympathy of the people of Merced.
Note: R.G.S. is =ROWENA GRANICE STEELE, Editor
San Joaquin Valley Argus, Merced, CA., Saturday, Jan 15, 1887
GARDENHIRE - At her residence in Merced, January 11, 1887, at 2 a.m., Mrs. Gardenhire, wife of Fred Gardenhire.
Transcribed by: Alma Stone