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Continued from Index to Combs' Histories
Interview and Obituaries. Susan Combs, b 14 Oct1831, Meade Co, KY; m 10 Apr 1848, Jefferson Co, KY, John F. HARNER, b 4 Apr 1826, Augusta Co, VA; d 20 Feb 1897, Taylorville, Christian Co, IL. She was the d/o Llewellyn D. Combs, d Feb 1840, Adams Co, IL; m 25 Oct 1830, Nelson Co, KY, Maria K. OVERTON, b ca 1790, North Carolina, d aft 1850, Jefferson Co, KY.
Sunday, January 8, 1928 Newspaper interview from The Review of Taylorville, Illinois.
Mrs. Susan Harner, 96, Has Slogan for 1928
[PHOTO: Her handwriting on Harner stationary. "Slogan for 1928 "Lindy and Peace among nations from an old woman past 96 years of age born (can't decipher) KY in 1831. Mrs S.L. HARNER widow of an old newspaperman" Caption: A facsimile of Mrs. Susan Harner's motto for 1928. It was written in her own hand, now a bit shaky after ninety-six years, but none the less legible, on neatly monogrammed stationary.]
[PHOTO: Mrs. Harner seated. Caption: Mrs Susan L. Harner, Taylorville, who has celebrated her ninety-sixth birthday and who says woman have long ago quit dressing.]
"Lindy and Peace Among Nations" Ideal of (torn) and Saintly Taylorville Woman.
A world motto for 1928, suggested through The Review by Mrs. Susan L. Harner,a woman who has lived through the trying periods when nations have been ravagedby war and heroes made on the bloody fields of battle. She has likewise lived through the striking days of peace when good will toward men has brought a host of innovations that have wiped out the crudities of previous decades. To her, Peace is by far the most important and the portion of her ninety-six years that are untinged with battle have been the happiest. She regards the kaleidoscope of time as the marvel of life, that which offers its lessons in joy and sadness and which proves to be the test that heals.
"Lindy is undoubtedly the world's greatest hero, the one striking individual who has brought the greatest good to the world during my day," she says. "He is certainly the one who can be shared by the entire world. "Mrs. Harner is not given to hero worship in the strictest sense of the term, yet with the American ace now doing service as a good will ambassador she calls him great. But Mrs. Harner has seen many great events during her day. Born in Meade county, Kentucky on Oct. 14, 1831, she was wedded to a printer the setting type by hand and laboring in the composing rooms of the Louisville Courier-Journal under George D. Prentice. She saw the old Washington hand press give way for the modern machine that turns out thousands of copies in minutes where hours were once required. She has been closely allied with the printing business, sharing the burdens of the editor-publisher husband in Kentucky, Indiana and in Illinois, coming with him to Taylorville in 1865, a few months prior to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
She is the mother of twelve children and some of them living in the extreme west and others on the south and east coasts. "if people don't want to be widely separated from their children, they had better not become parents, "she sagely remarks, but while she says that it is a hardship to be separated she can and does call on her sons and daughters even if a trip across the nation is necessary.
"In other words, I am a traveler," she says, "going regularly to California, Washington, or Florida". But in Taylorville, she is a perfect stay at home and ten years have passed since she called at any of the local stores. Most of the time, Mrs. Harner spends in reading or discussing with friends those topics that lie dear to her memory. Politics, fiction, inventions-topics usually beyond the sphere of women are within her category.
"You see I am a newspaperman's widow and there was a day when I had to know all that was going on," she laughs. She reads without glasses, a slow studious rate but interest never lags and absorbing news stories and fiction sometimes keep her up until the small hours of the morning, often alone.
"Probably the biggest change that I have witnessed has been the style in women's dresses," she declares when asked what manner of change has left its deepest impression. "Women nowadays need a half yard or less - and it's less sometimes - to make a costume regarded as sufficient to pass censor, and honestly it's a crime." She can recall very vividly the day of hoopskirts and the countless layers of underthings beneath, but she regards (torn) with disdain. "No need to return to the (torn) just the sensible period when women wore skirts."
Mrs. Harner is a lifelong Democrat she says from inheritance because family history shows that she is a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson. There is also the just claim to kinship with pioneers of old Kentucky for her own grandfather was a companion of Daniel Boone when he crossed over the mountains from Carolina.
"ALL WILL BE WELL".
"I remember well - everything I read or hear," she says,"that is everything except where I leave my hat. Usually I can't find it when i want it most, but what is the difference? here I am, ninety-six, enjoying life in the fullest and living in the period when Lindy has crossed the ocean.
"Yes, let the world adopt the slogan 'Lindy and Peace', and if they carry it out, all will be well."
(Transcribed from copy of the newspaper by Rue Avant March 15,1999.)
Thursday, February 25, 1897. Newspaper: Christian County Courier, Taylorville, Illinois, Volume IV, number 48 . Obituary of John Fauver Harner of Taylorville, Illinois.
DEATH'S HARVEST. (unable to read) the Last Call - The Record.
A good man died when John F. Harner, of Taylorville, breathed his last on Saturday morning, February 20, 1897 at 3 o'clock. The term good used in its full meaning, expresses a great deal, and so used we apply it to the life and character of J.F. Harner. A master printer, in love with his art, for printing is an art; a perfect gentleman, an honest man. such is the epitome of his long life well spent. His nature was not aggressive, and he stood a part as much as might be from the selfish hurly-burly of the active and the ruthless. He loved quiet and peace. Tolerant and kindly, sympathetic and charitable, he was always ready to succor the distressed, to put balm upon hurt feelings or wounded vanity. He was loved by his fellow craftsmen as was attested by he beautiful floral offerings upon his coffin - one from the School News and one from "His newspaper friends of Taylorville, who admired his art and esteemed his high qualities as a man." He was held in sincere regard and respect bythe entire community, as was shown by the large attendance at his funeral. Poor in this world's goods, coming from one of the humble homes in this city, yet all classes united to fill the Christian church to pay the last sad tribute to his memory. The sermon by the pastor, Rev. W. W. Weedon, was full of pathos, and a high honor was paid the qualities of the deceased when Grand Secretary J. R. Miller, of the I.O.O.F., followed in a beautiful eulogy of his brother lying before him. A man is great only in character. In his sermon Rev. W. W. Weedon spoke in part as follows:
John F., son of Henry W. and Elizabeth Harner was born in Augusta county, Va, April 4, 1826. His parents were both natives of Virginia, but of German parentage. The parents of the deceased emigrated to Lebanon, Ohio in 1831, where Mr. Harner learned his first English and received the greatest part of his schooling within 12 months. Removed to Preble county O., 1834; to New Albany, Ind, and in 1840, where he began the printing business in the Gazette office, January, 1842; removed to Louisville, Ky in 1844, completed his trade as printer in the "Courier" office and afterwards worked many years on the "Journal" when that paper was conducted by the brilliant George d. Prentice. April 10, 1848 he was married to Miss Susan L. Combs, a native of Kentucky. They removed to Owen county, Ind., and in the fall of 1858 and started the Owen county Journal, which he disposed of in 1860 to go on a farm. In 1865 they removed to Pana, Ill. and since then he published the Central Orient at Pana and the Journal and Democrat at Taylorville. he had the record of having been one of the most proficient and artistic printers in the United states and his "rule" and "display" work has received honorable mention in the London papers, as well as in the trade publications of this country.
He was an Odd Fellow in continuous membership since March 30,1849, and a Master Mason since 1859, and was held in high esteem by both these honorable orders. he was a past grand officer in the Grand Lodge and Grand Encampment of Odd Fellows, and for the past 17 years had been one of the state official instructors with a record of "letter perfect" in the unwritten work.
Mr. and Mrs. Harner, for a period of nearly 50 years, journeyed the path of life together, sharing each other's joys and sorrows with little to mar their happiness.
Our deceased brother, in company with his wife, united with the Christian church in Louisville, Ky, and on leaving that city they placed their membership with the Christian church at Spencer, Ind.
Of a family of 12 children, six boys and six girls, born unto them, they reared nine to manhood and womanhood, and of these eight are living, as follows: Mrs. Kate Henley, Anaconda, Montana, Mrs. Cora Boss, Petoskey, Michigan' William. B. Harner, Denver, Colorado' Mrs. Emma Little, Mrs. Susie Burch, George T., Estill E. and Remus C. of Taylorville. Mrs. Boss and William. B. Harner, and a sister, Mrs. Susan Campbell of Indianapolis, Ind., came from their distant homes to attend the funeral. He was a kind, pleasant and genial gentleman. he loved the society of his friends and was deeply interested in everything to moral and social improvement. Politically, he was a earnest and enthusiastic Democrat he was large hearted and liberal minded. he was dearly loved by his family who are sorely bereaved by his death. His sudden call to depart, which came in a paralytic stroke in the lodge room, was quite a surprise, and his fatal illness of short duration. The zeal the fire that in him burned. Not age itself could smother. For more than all things to the last He loved to greet a brother. the music at the church was furnished by Misses Helen Witmer and Gussie Tingley and Messrs. Will Rice and Hardy Kitzmiller. The burial took place under the Auspices of Taylorville Lodge No.413, O.O.O.F., the solemn and beautiful ritual of that order beingused. (Transcribed by Rue Avant March 15, 1999)
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