W. Scott McKibben Obituary

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Hillside Cemetery, Augusta, Bracken County, Kentucky

Bracken County Obituaries

W. Scott McKibben

This highly esteemed and valuable citizen, after a long and painful illness, departed this life, at the residence of his son, and only surviving child, Mr. S. W. McKibben, in this city, on last Monday, April 18, 1881. One month would have completed his seventy-third year of age. He was long and well known in this community as an active, prompt and systematic business man. Public spirited and enterprising, his name is intimately associated with the material prosperity of the place; and his latest energies were given to the consideration and advancement of a public interest. The elegant comfort and wonderfully improved appearance of the First Presbyterian Church is a memorial of his readiness to bear an equal part with others in a liberal effort to advance the common good. He was of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and matured in the lap of true Presbyterianism, which types a peculiar piety, flowing, as it does, out of the great doctrines of grace, and, as the undercurrent of a great river, moving silently and powerfully in the heart and bearing the soul peacefully and joyously onward to the home of eternal rest. His heart entwined its strongest cords around the friendships of life, and melted in the presence of human sorrow. His hand was ready with substantial tokens to respond to the impulses of a benevolent nature, sanctified by the frequent experience that is was “more blessed to give than to receive”. He sought to express not only in words but in the emphasis of action his own obligations and manifest his gratitude to God, who had been very bountiful to him both in providence and grace. Honest, truthful, kind, charitable, pious during life, these characteristics constituted a precious memory and a richer legacy than the ample wealth bequeathed to loved ones.

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Jane S., wife of W. S. McKibben, died February 22, 1868, in the 54th year of her age

He came to Augusta at the age of eighteen, and was married about a year afterwards to Miss Lambden, of Bracken County. This early and favorable marriage seems to have changed his purpose of life, and he became a dry goods merchant and prosecuted the business successfully for about twenty-five years. He then became, with Mr. Louis Thomas, owner of the Augusta Flouring Mills. In this position for ten years the diligent hand was amply rewarded. Disposing of his interest in the mill, he erected the brick store now owned by W. J. Rankins and Sons, and then for ten years he had a large and successful grocery business. He retired some years ago to his handsomely improved Chatham, and lived in great comfort there until failing health required exemption from care, and the anxieties incident to the most favored farm life. One year ago his beautiful farm was let for a term of years, and he and wife became members of his son’s family, and the recipients of the highest consideration and kindest attention of loving hearts. In these most favorable circumstances and with the best medical attention, it was hoped that health would be restored and length of days given. But affections strong desire and the fondest earthly hopes must be submissive to the Divine will. The loved of Christ may not always be exiles from heaven, even though they share the purest joys of earth. The better things provided constitute the unfading glories of the Christian, and their inheritance is conditioned upon sundering the tenderest ties and happiest associations of man’s earthly state. To reach the heavenly home – to occupy the mansion beautified and arranged in the consummate taste of divine architecture and with reference to unalloyed occupancy and eternal felicity, the redeemed must journey through the valley and the shadow of death. The earthly side of the tomb has indeed a terrible shadow and appalls with its mystic gloom; but the heavenly side is radiant with glory and as seen by the Christian faith, becomes an object of joyous and grateful contemplation. This faith triumphed, in the present case, so that no dread was experienced, and the grave was entered as the shining gate of heaven.

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William Scott McKibben, born Mary 16, 1808, died April 18, 1881, aged 72 years, 11 months, 2 days

Mr. McKibben was married twice. By the first wife, already referred to, had four children: two of them died in infancy; one became the wife of the Hon. F. L. Cleaveland, and died many years ago, and whom he mourned until now the joyous greeting in glory; the other, the worthy son, whose family united with him in filial duty and contributed every possible comfort to the last days of a noble father. By the second wife, whom he married sixteen years ago, and is the accomplished daughter of the Rev. J. K. Burch, formerly of Kentucky, he had one child, a very bright son, who was allowed to cheer the fond parents’ hearts only a few years, when the Savior called him to his own loving arms. This wife, in the sorrow of second widowhood, and manifold griefs of the few months past, has the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community. Of his father’s large family, one sister only, Mrs. Simms, of Bethel, Ohio, survives. She was permitted to mingle with sorrowing loved ones for a week, around the bed of a dying and only brother. She will miss his semi-annual and comforting visits, and feel very lonely. But all these sad hearts should remember, they have often prayed, “Thy will be done”. When the divine will is accomplished these prayers are answered. The Savior’s prayer also embraced this wont, when He asked that his people might be with him and share his glory.

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