Bereaved Bartow.

The Cartersville Free Press Newspaper
Cartersville, Georgia
September 22, 1881 Page 3:
Transcribed and submitted by: 

Bereaved Bartow.

The Sudden Death of Dr. Isaac Newton VanMeter, a Distinguished Citizen.

On Monday last Bartow county was called upon to mourn the loss of another of her best citizens. The sudden demise of one who has during a residence in her limits since the war been an ornament to her citizenry and an honor to her name. We allude to Dr. Isaac Newton VanMeter, than whom a truer friend, or nobler character never lived. The people of the county were illy prepared to receive the news of his death because when last seen, but a few days ago, he was mingling with his friends and seemed the embodiment of health and genial spirit. About ten o’clock on Monday last his body was found at the bottom of an abandoned well located in his horse lot.

As to how his death came about, there are several conflicting theories. It was sudden and mysterious. Suicide is apparent, while it is not altogether improbable that his death was the result of an accident. Again there are many dark rumors of foul play as he was known to have several bitter, and we may say unscrupulous enemies. But as beyond this fact there is not the slightest evidence that would go to lay a murder at the door of any one, so we give it but a passing mention. For several days he was ill, having a high fever at intervals of a few hours, and every symptom of an approaching case of typhoid fever, and though he had not taken his bed, his prostration was momentarily expected. During Sunday night he came to the bed chamber of his young wife and stirred about the room. Thinking him about to obey a summons for his skilled medical services, his wife paid but little attention to his movements, and not until morning, when his clothes were found in his own apartment and he missing, did the slightest anxiety cross the mind of his wife. Search was immediately instigated. The boxing about the unused well alluded to was seen to be displaced. A horrible suspicion flashed through the minds of the searchers and when they peered into the dark depths of the well sufficient evidence was seen to confirm the worst fears. A light was flashed to the bottom and there at a depth of one hundred and twenty-seven feet was seen the ghastly, up-turned face of Dr. VanMeter floating on the surface of the water.

A jury of inquest was held by ‘Squire Baily and a verdict of “death by his own violence” was rendered. It is that the most rigid examination of every circumstance connected with the death was made. It seems to us, (without having visited the scene, and knowing nothing but what we hear on the streets of Cartersville), that the verdict was hasty. A reasonable conclusion would be that in the derangement of the mind, consequent from a burning, parching fever caused the poor man to crave cooling water. In his delirium he wandered to the well and fell in. We do not think he died a deliberate suicide as the verdict of the jury expresses and the judge should have the same in some way modified.

Thus it was that a beloved citizen and friend passed away. A natural delicacy which prevents the reporter from intruding with his questions upon fresh grief prevents us from obtaining sufficient information upon which to base a proper account of the life’s service of the deceased. It is known that he was a native of Virginia and at an early age removed to Illinois where he was raised, educated and prepared for the practice of medicine. At the beginning of the war he entered the services of the United States army and after a few months he was made a surgeon. He came to Bartow with an invading and victorious army and the fertile fields and glorious climate of the county was the organization of a purpose in his mind to make Bartow his home at the cessation of hostilities, and which purpose was carried out. He located on a farm four miles from Kingston where he pursued agriculture and the practice of medicine. He was an ardent member of the republican party and in all its councils held in this place was a leading spirit. His upright manly bearing and fair dealing towards all of mankind was sufficient to draw around an army of friends, and, where as many of us know, when republicanism in Georgia means ostracism from society, he was the beloved of a large circle and his pleasant manners and cultivated, instructive converse was always welcomed in every circle. His fidelity to his party was rewarded by a bestowal upon him of many places of honor and distinction, which he filled with credit. He was a delegate to the convention that nominated Garfield and it is a coincidence that he died upon the same day upon which occurred the demise of that distinguished man.

But the blow—the heaviest, bitterest grief—is with a desolate young widow. But a few months ago, last February, The Free Press announced Dr. VanMeter’s marriage with Miss Kittie, the beautiful and cultured daughter of one of our best citizens, Mr. Levi Jolly, and the details of that happy event, is still fresh in the minds of our readers. May God pity the poor, desolate heart, and strengthen it to bear its load of grief.

September 29, 1881

In Memoriam.

Dr. Isaac Newton Vanmeter was born in Martinsburg, Va., February 2nd 1835, and died in Bartow county, Ga., September 19th, 1881. [Article continues, came to Bartow County in 1866.]

October 13, 1881

Page 3:

“Seventeenth Siftings.”

Mrs. Mattie Vanmeter Knowland and daughter, Miss Lida, from Sandoval, Ill., came south to attend the obsequies of her brother, Dr. I. N. Vanmeter, but unfortunately, was too late to attend the burial. She tarried only a short while, carrying her son with her who has been here several months.


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