To the Editor of The Lorain County News

9 November 1863


[Published in the Lorain County News, Vol. 4 (11 November 1863), page 2.]


The following notice appeared in column 1:

In another column will be found a notice by Pres. Finney of the death of Mrs. President Mahan. Her funeral took place at Adrian, Mich., a week ago last Thursday, and was attended by the College students, numbering 200, in a body, in expression of their respect for the departed, and sympathy with the bereaved President.


Finney's letter is in column 2:


Death of Mrs. Mahan.

OBERLIN, Nov 9, 1863.


DEAR BROTHER--The enclosed notice of the life and death of our Christian sister, Mrs. President Mahan, I cut from the Adrian Daily Expositor, of Oct. 28. It will much gratify the numerous friends of President and Mrs. Mahan in this place, to see it in your paper. All who knew Mrs. M. can testify to the truthfulness of this notice. We, who have best known her, can bear the fullest testimony to her many excellent traits of character. She was indeed a most judicious wife and mother, and as a Christian lady she was always exemplary. All who knew them in this community, sympathize deeply with the President and his family in view of their irreparable loss.

I must not indulge my feelings in dwelling upon the excellencies of Mrs. M.; nor, on the other hand, upon the great loss her family has sustained. This article from the Adrian paper will express what is felt in this community in regard to this matter. I have received two letters from the President in regard to the death of his wife. He is, as we should all expect, greatly sustained by the grace of our Lord Jesus. His inward consolation abounds under his outward sore bereavement. God bless him and his bereaved children, and all that know him here will say, AMEN.

Your brother,



"The fears of the friends of this estimable lady have proved too well grounded. Death terminated her sufferings Monday afternoon. She had been ill with acute disease for some two months or more, enduring untold pain, and has literally gone to her rest.

"And so has passed away one of far more than ordinary merit, an intelligent, refined, and thoughtful woman, exerting an influence in all the circles in which she moved, whose extent and molding power will only, now that she has gone, begin to be known. Possessing that quickness of perception and ready tact which is a characteristic of the best of her sex, she was ever doing good in ways unseen and by means unknown to most or all, but none the less potential for that. As an active and wise helper and counsellor to her honored husband, through a long, laborious, and eventful life she won for herself the incomparable words of praise that Inspiration has given us among the highest that can be spoken of the wife--"The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her." As an affectionate, devoted, and faithful Mother, her children must mourn her evermore. As a woman of unostentatious goodness, refined tastes, sterling sense, and all those many excellencies which go to make up a character whose presence is felt to be a blessing, and whose influence is a pervading power for good, she will be mourned and missed by a wide circle of admiring and loving friends.

"There cannot be a doubt that her malady was not alone of the body. At the battle of Fredericksburgh her own son, Capt. Theodore Mahan, of the 16th Michigan regiment, was wounded, and after languishing for many weeks, sunk to rest in a soldier's grave. On him all a mother's hopes and affections seemed peculiarly fixed, and his death was to her a staggering blow, from whose effect it is more than probable she never recovered. She endured patiently and uncomplainingly but the wound was too deep for human medicament.

"To her honored husband the sympathies of our community will very generally and freely go out in this hour of sore affliction. God help him, and minister unto him the same consolation which he has so often invoked upon others in like distress and need. And may her children, as they remember all her precious example, be comforted with the memory of a blessing that abides."