Obit: Dingley, Alfred (1843 - 1906)

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----Source: GREENWOOD GLEANER (Greenwood, Wis.) 04/19/1906

Dingley, Alfred (2 MAY 1843 - 9 APR 1906)

Like a dream it seems, as we think of the death of Alfred Dingley. Up to a little over a month ago we had seen him pass the office almost every day during the winter and frequently had heard him tell some incident of the earlier days in Clark County, Wis. A month ago Friday we had seen him with satchel in hand bidding friends a pleasant good-bye and leaving with John Hubble and family for Beach, N.D. A day less than four weeks from his departure we learned of his death in the hospital at Glendive, Mont., and Sunday, with bright sunshine all around, but shadows in every heart, all that is mortal of Alfred Dingley was laid to rest in the narrow house where all are equal and to which all must sooner or later come.

Mr. Dingley was born in Waterville, Maine, May 2, 1843, which would have made him sixty-three years of age this coming birthday. He was one of nine children, four boys and five girls, of which now only two brothers, George Dingley of Waterville, Maine, and Charles Dingley of Marblehead, Mass., and sister, Mrs. Eunice Conforth of Waterville, Maine, are still living. Receiving a common school education, such as those days afforded. Mr. Dingley left home at nineteen years of age, coming to La Crosse in 1862. Here at once he entered the employ of B. Healy and drove stage from La Crosse to different points, among them Sparta, Black River Falls and Neillsville, or as the latter was known then, Staffordville. It was in this way that he soon became acquainted with Len Stafford, a pioneer of this country, who was doing a large business at the little burg named after him, and was later employed by him for a little over six years.

Among others that Mr. Dingley became acquainted with in his career as stage driver was Leonard Eastman, who in 1868 was called to him home in Canada by illness on the part of some of his people. The latter induced Mr. Dingley to go with him, and for the next ten years, with the exception of two years, he and his wife spent at Waterville, Maine, the latter put in his time, first learning the ship building and carpenter trade, working at Sarnia, Can. And Port Huron, Mich.

It was in Ontario that Mr. Dingley met Mary A Foster and the two were united in marriage Oct. 16, 1870.

In 1881 Mr. Dingley again returned to Clark County, Wis., his wife joining him later and settling at Greenwood, Wis., which has ever since been their home. With the exception of a venture in the sawmill business, when he and George Begley established the mill that was after owned by Robt. Schofield, but known more today as the Jordan mill, and now the Palms-Kippenhan mill, he has followed the carpenter business almost entirely since coming back to Clark County.

When John Hubble decided on going west this spring to improve his claim and land he had bought, he hired Mr. Dingley to go out with him to put up his buildings and the latter planned on putting possibly a year in the west, where caprenters are in good demand and wages are high. For many resaons he disliked going, disliking to be away from his family so far and so long. Among the last words he said to his wife and children when he left the door was that "It will work for the best".

The first night after leaving here that cold wave that overspread the northwest, came on, and it is thought that Mr. Dingley frosted his feet, for he remarked during that night that his feet were cold, and he got up and stamped them a minute or so after which he said they felt warmer. No attention was paid to them until after the party had arrived at Beach and the next day, Sunday, they had gone out to Mr. Hubble’s land. For the first time since complaining of their being cold Tuesday night they troubled him. Believing there was nothing serious the matter with them he began treating them himself, sending to the doctor for ointment, etc., until when they became no better the doctor was called. By this time it was too late and within a day or so he was taken to the nearest hospital, at Glendive, Mont., where both feet had to be amputate above the ankles, on Sunday April 1.

In addition to this and which no doubt made this much worse, his kidneys were in bad shape, he having for years been more or less afflicted with kidney complaint. His condition became more and more hopeless and his wife was sent for, she and Norman leaving Greenwood Thursday and arriving at the patient’s bedside the day following. Though unconscious most of the time he was able to recognize his wife and Norman at first, but after Saturday was unable to converse with them. At 4:30 Monday afternoon, April 9, 1906, death came to his release. The Masonic Lodge at Glendive, which had been looking after Mr. Dingley there, took charge of the body under Mrs. Dingley’s direction was prepared for bringing back to Greenwood, where she and Norman arrived with it, as stated last week, Thursday morning.

The funeral was held from the Baptist Church at two o’clock Sunday afternoon, conducted by Pastor W.S. Boardman, under the auspices of the Greenwood Lodge No. 249, A.F. & A.M., of which deceased had been a member since its organization, he joining by affiliation from his parent lodge in Canada. The casket was covered with beautiful floral offerings from the lodge, also from the Beaver Queens, the Baptist Church and the high school. The body was gently laid to rest in the Greenwood Cemetery with the impressive burial ceremonies of the Masonic Lodge.

Besides the brothers and sister mentioned above, deceased leaves to mourn the brave but almost stricken wife and two adopted children, Norman and Fern, the latter aged 13 and the former 16, each of whom, as has been many times attested during the past weeks have the united, heartfelt sympathy of the entire city and surrounding country, where Mr. Dingley will ever be remembered as a kind husband and parent and faithful, honorable citizen. Though at different times he served his fellow citizens on the town board and on the city council as alderman, he was first and always a home-loving man and at peace with those around him, and doing what he could in a quiet, unobtrusive way for the advancement of the city.

In behalf of Mrs. Dingley the Gleaner extends sincere thanks to all those who aided and added to her comfort in this period of trial and shadows. Especially doe she express her gratitude to the Masonic lodges of Greenwood and Glendive, to the Beaver Queens and Baptist Church, and to the Greenwood High School.



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