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June 26, 2015

My Own Grandfather’s Obituary
(Born more than a century before me.)
Obituary of Amos Palmer
(October 24, 1833, Enderby, Leicestershire, England to September 7, 1911, Webb City, Missouri, USA)
By A. W. Fry, Mayor of Webb City in the Webb City Register September ??, 1911

“Died September 7th, 1911. A great soul has passed from among us. This man had a vision, he saw a world of peace and plenty rising out of the present chaos, and he knew that all that lay between the hell of the present and the heaven of the future was summed up in one word—ignorance, and to dispel this bane of our lives he consecrated himself to the work of spreading the light of truth. He was one of the torch bearers, and fellow workers with the great minds that stirred England in the cause of human rights about two scores of years ago. He appeared on the same platform with the best speakers of that day and the work then done is just now bearing fruit, for if the signs of the times are an indication of what is smouldering there, England is in the throes of a revolution that will soon astonish the world.

Comrade Palmer felt that the inside workings of the present system had only to be revealed in all its hideousness to cause humanity to rise up in its might and utterly destroy the cursed thing, and those who have had the great satisfaction of hearing him arraign the system that feeds the children of the factory for profit never could look with equanamity upon these conditions again. This was his life, to work unceasingly for the betterment of Humanity.

At the crisis in the world’s new birth the loss of such a mind can be but a misfortune, his grasp of the situation being so great and his ability to present it to an audience so powerful that his friends and comrades of the great work, are staggered but not dismayed, for his life work can but be an inspiration that will exert an influence in the ranks to greater efforts.

A better understanding of the man can be had by the following—favorite poem, which he repeated with telling effect at about the last address he was able to make before overcome by his last illness.


When earths last picture is painted and the tubes twisted and dried.
When the oldest colours have faded and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest and faith we shall need it—lie down for an aeon or two.
Till the master of all good workmen shall set us to work anew.
And those that were good shall be happy: they shall sit in a golden chair.
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comets hair:
They shall find saints to draw from-Magdalene, Peter and Paul;
They shall work at an age at a sitting and never be tired at all;
And no one shall work for money. And no one shall work for fame;
But each for the joy of working and each in his separate star.
Shall draw the things as he sees it for the God, of thing as They are.

Farewell Conrade Palmer your efforts have not been in vain, for verily the dawn of a new day can be seen approaching and we believe your reward awaits you.

Go claim the vast stupendous whole—
On to the heights Immortal soul.”

Amos Palmer was an advocate of temperance and socialism. Socialism was widespread in the American midwest around the beginning of the 20th Century and particularly so along the Kansas-Missouri border where Webb City is located. This popularity had an abrupt end when Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer (no relation) threw the whole power of the Federal Government agains Socialism shortly after the Russian Revolution of October 1917. [[I formatted this nicely, but that does not survive posting.]]


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