Mrs Mary (Gerber) Ackerman
Author Unknown.. written in 1908(ish)
The silver thread of life has again been broken by the death of Mrs. Mary Ackerman, who passed away early Friday morning at her home north of town. Seldom has it been our duty to record the death of one who was so universally beloved as was Mrs. Mary Ackerman. Deceased had been in ill health for about a year and during the past few months she had several attacks of heart trouble, which finally proved fatal.
Mary Gerber was born on August 23rd, 1850 near Sardis, Wayne County, Ohio. At the age of five years she emigrated with her parents John and Magdelena Gerber to Elgin, Iowa. At this time the dreaded scourge cholera was raging in the Central States and her father fell victim to it and died ere they reached there new home in the west. Mrs. Gerber (Grandma Gerber) as she is still affectionately remembered by hundreds of Morton's older citizens, gathered her girls and boys about her and fought life's battles alone. Through hardships that were only possible in those wild pioneer days, this devoted woman worked with unselfish devotion and was greatly rewarded by raising a family of children whom today everyone is proud to honor and respect. Mrs. Gerber and the children John, Chris, Mary and Lydia, moved to Morton in 1865.
In 1868 Mary Gerber was married to Christian Ackerman. After years of ideal married life, her husband met his death in the terrible boiler explosion in the sorghum and cider mill in Morton on Sept 15, 1884 in which four others lost their lives. Mrs. Ackerman, with her children, remained on the farm, in the later years she built her house near the old homestead, which is now occupied by her son J.C. Ackerman.
Mrs. Ackerman was an every-day Christian. The beautifying influences of a pure religion were sprad over a life and character as spotless and charming as ever possessed by any of the noble women who have lived and died during the ages that are gone. It is difficult to pay a fitting tribute to the memory of so noble a woman. One whose every day life was embellished by the most charming and lovable attributes of her sex. No one was more willing to aid the suffering, cheer the desponding, sustain the weak and to throw the frailties of our race the mantle of Christian charity, and when sickness and death came to her as acts of loving kindness and tender solicitude and many were the willing hands and hearts ready to assist those upon whom rested the responsibility of attempting to fight back the ravages of disease - to avert the inevitable - but love and skill were of no avail. The great destroyer had place the signet on her brown and today hundreds who loved her living, mourn her dead.
In the presence of such sorrow, how cold and impotent are words and how doubly deep would be the grief over the grave did not the rainbow of Christian hope span the dark gulf between time and eternity and such pure, bright lives inspire the believe that there is a better world beyond, where, filled from the carroding cares of earth, the good and true are reunited "after life's fitful fever"
She died at 6 o'clock A.M. Friday. Just with the awakening of the new day she went to sleep like a tired child. It was just as the rosy fingers of the orb of day tinted the eastern sky with a sheen of glory. Surely a fitting time for a pure spirit to take its flight heavenward. With the eye of faith we could see at the dawn of this memorable September day an invisible hand wave a signal, and a voice in softest accent on the morning breeze announce that the gates were open and that God's angels were waiting to escort her in.
We can find no truer words to express what we believe the entrance of this good woman's soul into heaven than those found in the passage in the Pilgrim's Progress.
She leaves to mourn her loss, five children, John C. and Chris S. Ackerman, Mrs. Lydia Bauman, and Anna and Sarah Ackerman. Two brothers, Revs, John and Chris Gerber of Fairbury, and sister, Mrs. Lydia Belsley, of Morton, and nine grandchildren. The funeral of the late Mrs. Mary Ackerman held Sunday from the German Apostolic church, was the largest ever held in this section of the state. It is estimated that there were over 1700 people in attendance. Special trains on the Santa Fe, Illinois Traction system and the T.P.&W. were run to accommodate those from a distance who wished to attend The roads from the Ackerman home to Morton and the village streets, also the road from the church to the cemetery were sprinkled late Saturday evening. Had not this precaution been taken, the dust would have been suffocating. The many people who gathered to pay their last respects to the memory of the deceased speak volumes for the esteem in which she was held.
Rev. Gottlieb Hohulin of Goodfield officiated at the Funeral
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