"Ed, I believe there is something wrong with your father", exclaimed Mrs. Ed Hooper to her husband this morning. Mr. Hooper hurried in to the house. "Yes, Father's dead", replied the son as soon as he saw the strangely still form of his elderly father sitting in a chair with his death-white face upturned as his head rested on the chair back.
And indeed it was true; Wm. A. Hooper,87, a Civil War veteran, and a life-long resident of this community was dead at his farm home about three miles northwest of Bicknell-had died as he sat in an easy chair before the fire and dreamed of bygone days.
Mrs. Hooper was busy about the house, sweeping and dusting and taking care of the breakfast dishes. Her father-in-law went back into his own room and sat down by the stove. Mr. Hooper has a room to himself where he has his own things and can be alone when he wishes. Before his wife died nine years ago this room was their living room; and the elderly man liked to sit before the fire for hours at a time. No doubt he lived over and over again many of the happy incidents that have happened in that room, evenings after the farm work was done and the children were home from school. And there was sad, heart-wrenching things to remember too.
As soon as he looked at his father, the son knew what had happened.
Wm. A. Hooper was born on a farm near Bicknell, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Hooper, more than eighty seven years ago and lived in this community ever since, with the exception of the years he spent in the army serving his country during the Civil War.
When he was about twenty-one he wed Caroline Gurmack, a young woman who lived with her parents on the place where the Mart Ruble farm is now located. The young couple bought forty acres(a part of Mr. Hooper's 160 acre farm now) and started to wrest a living from the soil.
A baby daughter was born to them and life seemed good to the young people. Then the baby died while still an infant, perhaps two years old. Another baby came and lived about the same age and then died. About this time there were rumors of a great civil war spreading over the land. Mr. Hooper heeded the call of Father Abraham and joined the 120th Indiana infantry and for three years the little farm home, which had so bravely started, was abandoned.
At the end of the war Mr. and Mrs. Hooper again started housekeeping on their 40 acre farm. And this time fate seemed to be smiling on them. By hard work they prospered. Eight other children were born to them during the course of years. Seven of them are still living:
Mrs. Minnie Taylor, Sandborn; Will, at Shelburn; Mrs. Sarah Downey, Bruceville; Frank, Bicknell; Mrs. Dora Gude, Indianapolis; Ed, on the home place, and Heamon, Ironwood, Michigan. There is also a younger brother Tom living somewhere in Kansas.
No funeral arrangements have been made.