Clark County Clipper, February 28, 1929


David Franklin Gearhart was born at Warm Springs, Huntington County, Pennsylvania, October 20th., 1852, and departed this life at Englewood, Kansas, February 23rd., 1929, at the age of 76 years, 4 months, and 3 days, leaving his beloved wife, four children and six grandchildren to mourn his departure.  He was the oldest of a family of ten children.  When just a baby his parents moved to Manor Hill, Pa., where he grew to manhood.  His Father died the fall that he was nineteen, and his Mother died the following spring.  Being the oldest in the family, he felt like the support of the family depended on him, so he remained a few years with them.  His desire to emigrate caused him to turn responsibility over to his brother and sister next to him and start out to seek his fortune in the west.

He stopped with some friends in Indiana, at Wakarusa and Bremen, where he, being a blacksmith by trade worked in, or run a ship.  He also worked some as a farm hand and one winter he spent in the pine woods of Michigan hauling out logs for lumber.  He was partner with John Whitmer in a blacksmith and wood shop at Elhart, Indiana.

When Kansas was opened for preemption, he came along with a party of whom the Shutts Brothers, Pete Holderman, and the Knepple brothers were members.  He landed at Dodge City and came by stage to Clark county where he pre-empted the claim on which his son James now lives.  He spent his spare time while on the farm (claim), working at odd jobs.  Then later he purchased the blacksmith shop, part of which remains in Englewood now.

October 20th, 1890, he was united in marriage to Luella Aliza Kennedy at Ashland, Kansas.  To this union four children were born.  Their names are James Franklin, Walter Russell, Mary, now Mrs. R. E. Black, and David Franklin Gearhart, Jr.  All are living in Englewood.

In August, 1913, he obeyed his Lord's commandments and became a member of the Church of Christ.  He joined the Masonic Order in Indiana, before coming to Kansas.  He reached the thirty second degree and was a member in good standing of the Scottish Rite Consistory at Wichita.

Mr. Gearhart served his community as a school board member, council member, police judge, and mayor of the town.

He will be remembered as a loving, faithful husband and father by his wife and children.

He is survived, also by five brothers and one sister, John Gearhart, of Cairnbrook, Pa., Annie Peightal, of Mount Union, Pa., William Gearhart, of Fairmont, Nebr., Cyrus Gearhart of Bellefonte, Pa., Oliver Gearhart, of McConnelstown, Pa., and Fred Gearhart, of Pine Grove Mills, Pa.

Thus passes to his reward a man who helped to blaze the way and subdue a wild corner of the earth, making it a sober and God fearing community endowed with churches, schools and other advantages that the young of today enjoy.  Dave Gearhart who is a man of rugged honesty, a good citizen whose friends were numbered by the circle of his acquaintances.  His example of industry and frugality may well be emulated by those who survive.  He has fought the good fight, finished his course and has claimed the reward laid up, for those who serve the Lord faithfully and well.

Contributed by ~Shirley Brier~ November 3, 2005.

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