Obit: Billings, Edwin S. (1876 - 1930)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Billings, Vine, Rogne, Harriman, Longenecker

----Source: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) Sept. 25, 1930

Billings, Edwin S. (31 Oct. 1876 - 20 Sept. 1930)

This community was deeply grieved Sunday by the news that Edwin S. Billings had died suddenly at Adrian, Minn., early Saturday morning, September 20. Mr. Billings, who had taught at Chokio, Minn., for the past 5 years, had driven to Adrian to meet the school board there with view to taking the superintendence of their schools. One of the school boys from Chokio accompanied him on the trip. As Mr. Billings’ meeting with the school board continued till quite late in the evening, the boy went to their room at the hotel and went to bed. Some time in the night he awoke and found Mr. Billings lying dead on the floor. It appears that at quite a late hour he and the school board had practically reached an agreement as to a contract and he left for the hotel in apparent good health. His death is supposed to have been due to thrombosis, or plugging of an artery.

Edwin Billings was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Billings and was born at the farm home on Pleasant Ridge, Oct. 31, 1876, making him in his fifty-fourth year at the time of his death. He grew up on the farm, completed the rural school course in the Reed School and graduated from Neillsville High School in June, 1894. He taught in the rural schools of this county with marked success for a number of years. He then attended Stevens Point Normal and later Oshkosh Normal, where he graduated. After teaching again for a time he entered the University of Wisconsin and graduated from the Agricultural course. With the exception of one year as principal at Belmont, Wis., his teaching since his graduation has been in the state of Minnesota where he stood high in his profession. He was Superintendent at Canby, Elkton, Rapidan and Lewiston and has charge of the Agricultural work at St. Peters and for five years was Superintendent at Chokio. He still retained the ownership of his home in Neillsville on the North side and visited here each summer. Only a few weeks ago he was here to visit his sister, Mrs. John Vine, since deceased. He was a man of high character, a close student of world affairs and had a brave and kindly philosophy of life. Among his pupils are many who may trace their success to the stimulus he gave to their ambition and moral standards.

On learning of his death, one of his former pupils at Chokio, W. G. Rogne, now a student in the medical course at the University of Minnesota, went to Adrian and arranged to have the body sent to Neillsville by express, Mr. Rogne driving through with Mr. Billings’ car, arriving here Tuesday.

In Mr. Billings’ pocket was found a note book in which he had written a number of quotations which may be said to be a reflection on his life principles. The following is one:

**could be missing a line of two here****

Who fights the daily ?????? without fear

See his hopes fail and keeps unfaltering trust

That God is God, and somehow true and just.

Nor loses faith in man but does his best, Nor ever murmurs at his humbler lot but with a smile and word of hope gives zest to every toiler;

He alone is great

Who by life heroic, conquers fate."

Funeral services will be held at the Masonic Temple, this Wednesday afternoon at 1 o’clock, Neillsville Masonic lodge having charge of the ceremonies. Rev. G. W. Longenecker will also officiates.

Mr. Billings is survived by one brother, Henry Billings in California. He leaves also a nephew, Clayton Vine, of the town of Grant, a niece, Mrs. Herbert Harriman, of Alden, Mich., and cousins at Waukesha and Osceola, Wis. He was never married.



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