Contributed by Gigimo
Description: Death of Dr. Daniel ARTER.Date: August 7 1879
Newspaper published in: Cairo, Illinois
The announcement of Dr. ARTER'S death, which took place at a quarter to 10 o'clock, yesterday morning, will excite but little surprise among the people of Cairo.
Something over a year ago his left leg was broken in two places by the fall of a wall, at the foundation of which he was working. Being at that time over 80 years of age, it was thought that he could not recover from his injuries; but possessing a vigorous constitution and a well preserved physical organization, he so far recovered as to be able to move from place to place on crutches; and for a time he was promised a renewed lease of several years of life. Five or six months ago, however, he was taken down with pneumonia, which being succeeded by other ailments, so reduced him in flesh and strength that his recuperative powers failed to assert themselves, and he was confined to his bed continuously from that time forward. The advent of the present hot weather had a most debilitating effect upon him, and growing feebler from day to day, he finally passed away easily and calmly, like one lying down to sweet dreams.
Doctor ARTER was born in the State of Maryland, on the 3rd day of June, 1798, and was at the time of his death, therefore, 81 years, two months and three days old. He was married twice, having six children by his first wife, only one of which now survives him, viz: Mrs. Louis JACCARD, of Caledonia. By his second wife (who still survives him, and who bestowed most patient and loving care upon him during his long and trying illness) he also had six children, four of whom, (all being daughters) survive him and reside in this city.
The Doctor came to Southern Illinois over forty years ago, during twenty-five years of which time he lived in Pulaski county, and practiced medicine. Always blessed with great vigor and activity of both body and mind, he not only became a very successful physician in his treatment of the diseases incident to the country; but became a widely known, popular and influential citizen.
At the outbreak of the war he moved to Cairo, and accepted an appointment from President LINCOLN to the then very responsible and laborious position of Surveyor of the Cairo port. The office he held, always personally supervising its affairs, until the close of the war, when he retired from business altogether, upon a competence for his old age. Although often importuned to offer himself as a candidate for offices of public trust, he seemed to have no ambition in that direction, contenting himself during his eighteen-years residence in Cairo, with a single term as Select Councilman - a position he filled most intelligently and industriously.
Although but little in public life, as already stated, few men were more constantly before the public. Known to and knowing almost everybody in the country - a man of quick perceptions, active intellect and good judgment, he was induced to accept a directorship of the affairs of the Emporium Real Estate and Manufacturing company, during the prosperous days of that corporation, and so well and satisfactorily did he discharge the trusts of the position that, upon his retirement, his co-directors and the officers of the company testified their appreciation of his valuable aid, in the presentation of a splendid and costly gold watch. In the management of his own affairs he was reasonably successful, so much so that his declining years were blessed with a "temporal abundance."
During the past ten years the Doctor gave much thought to the creeds of the different Christian sects, and embodied in pamphlet form the result of much of his thought and researches. He firmly believed in an over-ruling, ever-present intelligence, and in an existence after death; but he discarded all the creeds and isms of the churches; and denied the inspiration of the scriptures and the divinity of Christ. To this deistic belief he clung to the last rational moment of his life, feeling assured that, whatever the future might have in store for the creatures of earth, he would fare as well and happily as the rest.
He approached death without a tremor or a fear - nay, he longed for it as for a happy release from his suffering - as for a sweet rest for his old and toil-worn body. Daily, almost hourly, for months past, he has exclaimed "Oh, will the end NEVER come?" - and, in the growing certainty that the end could not long be delayed, he was never frightened or alarmed; but solaced and comforted. He has run his course; he had outlived the allotted span; nature had prepared him for the change, and he contemplated it calmly, philosophically - never as a terror; but always as a rest to his tired, worn, pain racked, and exhausted old body, and wearied, but ever active brain.
Now and here more is not called for, at least at our hands. We have known him long and well as a most affectionate father to his children; and as a most provident husband; and now as the surviving children and the bereaved widow commit his body to the earth, they can have the solace of knowing that the world is no worse because Doctor ARTER came upon it, performed his mission and passed away. Thousands remember him to bless him for his generous charities, and friendly aid and counsel; and blessed memories of him will live long after all that is now left of him has become a mass of indistinguishable dust.