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An Obituary From the Year of 1889 by Linda Elmore Cohernour

This gives you an idea how an obituary might have been reported in the

newspapers in the year of 1889.    Susan Elizabeth Elmore was my 4th

cousin 5x removed.



The Obituary of




Susan Elmore Lewis died at the home of her son, Captain D. H. Lewis, in Waverly, Texas, on the 16th day of May, in the 84th year of her age.  The following interesting sketch of her life is from the Galveston News:

Mrs. Susan Elmore Lewis was a daughter of General John Archer Elmore of South Carolina, a revolutionary soldier.  She was married to Dixon H. Lewis.  Her brother, Franklin Elmore, succeeded John C. Calhoun in the United States Senate after the latter’s death.   Her brother John A. Elmore was a most distinguished lawyer at the Montgomery, Alabama bar.  Another brother, Rush Elmore, was appointed Chief Justice of the territory of Kansas by Franklin Pierce.  Another brother, William A. Elmore, was superintendent of the New Orleans mint during Mr. Buchannan’s administration.  Her oldest sister, Sarah Elmore, married Benjamin Fitzpatrick, who was three times Governor of Alabama and was United States Senator from that state at the time of the secession.

Deceased was the widow of Dixon H. Lewis, a distinguished member of the United States Senate from Alabama, and chairman of the finance committee of that body at the time of his death, which occurred in New York in 1848.

Perhaps no woman in modern times has seen more of life in all its vicissitudes, or knew intimately more distinguished people than Mrs. Lewis.  Her husband was the intimate and trusted friend of John C. Calhoun and James K. Polk and a contemporary of Webster, Clay, Benton, Cameron and Lincoln.

During the entire political life of her husband which extended through a period of twenty-seven years, she was his trusted counselor and friend, and she never saw him or his party defeated in all the stormy period, beginning with nullification and ending with the annexation of Texas, the close of the Mexican war, and the adding of the Pacific Slope to the National Union.   During her residence at Washington she was the friend of Mrs. Polk, who still survives her.  In 1854, she moved from Alabama to Texas with her only surviving daughter Laura A. Scott, and her two sons, P.M. and D.H. Lewis.  During the war between the states, her younger brother, Colonel Henry Marshall Elmore, commanded a Texas regiment on the Southern side and Susan’s three sons all enlisted in the war, in the same cause. One was killed in the Wilderness, the other two still live.

The life of this woman was spent in unostentatious deeds of goodness.  She was always wise, modest, discreet …and her death was as her life. Like Caesar, she had always desired a speedy death rather than the lingering tortures of disease, and her wishes were gratified by nature, for in the full possession of all her faculties, at the ripe age of 84, death called and found her prepared and ready to join the innumerable throng of saints, heroes and martyrs who had gone before.  Her life was noble….her death accorded with her life.


Taken from the Galveston News

Galveston, Texas – May 16, 1889


Submitted by:  Linda Elmore Cohernour

Class of 1961