Kingman people heard with a keen regret last Friday that Dr. Ellis
Hobson of Caldwell had breathed his last at Albuquerque, New Mexico,
after a long and courageous struggle against incurable tuberculosis.
The body was brot home to Caldwell, and funeral services held there
Sunday conducted by his old paster Rev. J. D. Botkin. Burial was at
Wichita Monday [Maple Grove Cemetary].
Dr. Hobson was a Kingman county product, having grown to manhood on the Hobson ranch northwest of Norwich, where his parents settled among the first families in 1878. For a number of years he was a teacher, then took up the study of medicine, graduating in both osteopathy and Electic systems as one of the best-posted practitioners in southern Kansas. He was married in 1904 to Miss Alma Monroe [22 FEB 1876 - 29 FEB 1968]. To this unusually happy union two daughters [Eunice (23 APR 1906 - 8 OCT 1990) and Eleanore (9 SEP 1909 - 17 SEP 1967)] were born, who with their widowed mother survive him. Both parents, two brothers and a sister also survive.
He was born in Henry county, Indiana, on the 30th of August, 1871. From early boyhood he manifested a love for the medical profession; it came as a second nature to him, and as soon as he could prepare himself he entered upon his calling. From the first he succeeded. His thoro competency made him a valued counsellor to his brother physicians, and his never failing hopefulness and quiet confidence a friend and helper to his patients in many ways where mere medicine itself is of little avail.
The illness which finally overcame him was of many months duration. Everything that medical science could devise was done for him, but he grew weaker all the time. As a final hope for at least relief from suffering he was taken to Albuquerque and other New Mexico points, his brother Lynn being a constant companion, sacrificing everything to be with him. Dr. Hobson remained conscious to the very last moment, speaking to wife and brothers who surrounded him as the end came, and leaving a message to those who were distant. As the end approached he asked them to sing, and to offer prayer. Then drawing his wife to his bosom he whispered "Tell the babies papa loves them." His brother Rev. Orlando Hobson, then read aloud a favorite Psalm, the 103d. After a few words more of conversation he bade them all goodbye and closed his eyes in the sleep which know no awakening.
The funeral services of Dr. Hobson were held in the M. E. church on
Sunday Afternoon at 2:30 o'clock. Rev. J. D. Botkin, of Winfield,
delivered the sermon, ably assisted by Rev. I. A. Bartholomew and Rev.
C. M. Myers. Rev. Botkin's text was John 14:1-4, the theme was
The male quartet, consisting of Messrs. O. A. Pearce, Fred Conrow, G. F. Clark and W. H. McIntire, sang several selections - all favorites of the doctor's. The duet, "Some Happy Day," selected by the doctor for his funeral service, was beautifully rendered by Mrs. Coe Robertson and Mr. O. A. Pearce, the male quartet singing on the chorus.
After the services the body was taken to the Schaeffer undertaking apartments and the next morning taken to Wichita for Interment.
Following is the memoirs from which Rev. Botkin preached his sermon:
Ellis L., son of Minos and Mary Ann Hobson was born in Henry county, Indiana, August 30, 1871, and departed this life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 7, 1910, aged 39 years and 8 days.
The Hobson family came to Sedgwick City, Kansas in March, 1878, and in the following May staked a claim in Kingman county five miles from where Norwich was afterwards located. Here the boy grew to manhood. Always profoundly studious, young Hobson early became a teacher, in which profession he soon went to the front and became and continued for several years on of the county examiners.
When about 17 years old an accident occurred that greatly increased his inclination for intellectual pursuits. He was attending a great meeting at Kingman in 1888 to hear an address by A. J. Streetar, Union Labor candidate for president. The seats gave way and young Hobson's ankle was so badly crushed as to put him on crutches for a year and a half.
Mr. Hobson's student life began when a boy at home and continued with great persistence at all times and under all conditions until checked by the physical sufferings of his last illness. Even to the last moments his mind was as clear as the sun, and he counselled with the attending physician concerning the best method of relieving pain in the final struggle.
In his school work Bro. Hobson made a specialty of orthography. Webster's dictionary was his constant companion. The one gave him a finished and accurate style, and the other an abundant vocabulary.
Bro. Hobson always meant to be a physician, and studied medicine through his school years, during his career as teacher, always, everywhere. He devoured the school physiology, Gray's Anatomy, and other works bearing on the human organism. Convinced that a doctor should know more than materia medica, he studied osteopathy and became proficient in that healing art. When yet very young he spent much time in the offices of Dr. McIlheny, a regular in Norwich, and Dr. Buch, homeopath, in Kingman, attracting much attention by his proficiency in both of these schools. He really began to practice when but a mere boy, first in his father's family and then among the neighbors. He was very early licensed to practice medicine under the old law and afterward graduated in osteopathy. He then began the study of the eclectic system, and after years of home study and many months spent in the Kansas City Eclectic college graduated from that institution.
I have known the deceased from his boyhood, but I became especially intimate with him upon assuming the pastonate of this church in October, 1903. During my career I have been intimate with many physicians, but I have known none more familiar with the literature of the profession. Dr. Hobson was master of his books. He knew what the various schools taught. Besides this, he was an independent thinker. He was a born physician. He was not a reckless experimenter, but a conscientious, painstaking and profound student of each individual case. A druggist once said to me: "Dr. Hobson's prescriptions show him to be an up-to-date physician." One of the most prominent and skillful doctors in southern Kansas, after a council with Dr. Hobson in a most difficult case, said to me: "I was astonished at that young man. He does not belong to my school, but I found him fully up to date in diagnosis and in the use of remedies. He certainly knows the latest and most approved medicines."
Dr. Hobson came to Caldwell in the fall of 1900 and engaged in the practice of his profession. In his quiet way he built up a large business and won his way to the hearts of multitudes of your best citizens. A few of us know that he did a large practice among the poor without hope of reward except that which comes from a sense of service rendered.
Dr. Hobson was converted and united with the M. E. church when a mere boy. He has always cared for his memebership and soon after reaching Caldwell identified himself with Christian work. His religious platform is found in Matthew 22:37-40: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
The doctor, who was a most discriminating thinker and one of the choicest spirits I have ever known, stood firmly for what he thought right in the sight of God.
During my relation of pastor to him from October, 1903, to January, 1907, I had many opportunities to study his life and character under some severe tests, and while always weak in body he was unusually strong in character. His heart was always moved with sympathy for the poor and unfortunate. No man appreciated friends and friendship more than he. He was deeply moved by the visit of many of you at the train when we passed through this city with him last May on the way to Pecos, Texas. Letters of sympathy from his Caldwell friends when in the hospital caused him to weep for very gratitude, and he would remark: "I am not worthy of all this."
Dr. Hobson was united in marriage to Miss Alma Monroe December 25, 1904. This proved a most happy union. To it have been born two daughters [Eunice & Eleanore], now deprived of a father's care.
The doctor's last illness reaching through many months of great suffering, proved helpful to his spiritual life. Patiently he suffered on. Strenuously he fought for life, holding that it is our business to live and God's business to determine the end of our life. His older brother reached him two days before the end. A short time before the last struggle the doctor looked into his brother's face and said, "Do you think I can make it?" The brother replied, "Do you know whether you can or not?" To which he replied, "No." Then the brother replied, "Ellis, you are very near the end." He said, "Do you think so?" At the reply, "We know so," he closed his eyes a moment and then looked up at those about him with a sweet smile on his face. He embraced his wife and requested them to sing. After song and prayer he beckoned his wife again. When she bent over him he said, "Tell the babies papa loves them." Then he said to each of those about his bed, "Good bye." His brother began quoting the 103d Psalm: "Bless the Lord, O, my soul," when the doctor took it up and said, "And all that is within me bless His holy name." He was asked for a last message to his mother and simply said "Dear mother."
His brother mentioned his own little babes now in Heaven and said, "Ellis, I wonder if you will know them?" To which he replied, "I'll see."
The breathing became shorter and weaker. At last he opened his eyes and whispered, "Good bye" and was gone.
I wish to bear testimony to the constant devotion of the younger brother, Lynn, to the doctor during the entire summer. Leaving an important business he cared for his sick brother in a manner tender and loving.
J. D. Botkin.
Those from out-of-town attending the funeral service of Dr. Hobson were M. R. Hobson and wife, father and mother, Norwich, Kansas; Rev. O. K. Hobson and wife [Bessie Harlow], brother, Thayer, Kansas; H. G. Kline and wife [Della Hobson], sister, Wichita; Mr. and Mrs. Hooper Monroe, of Wichita, Mrs. Hobson's parents; Elmer Monroe; Wichita, Mrs. Hobson's [twin] brother, Rolland Monroe, Lyons, Kansas, another brother of Mrs. Hobson; George and Will Beauchamp, of Wichita, cousins of the doctor.
Account of Papa's [Ellis Hobson] last Sickness and Death.
On February 22nd 1910 we went to the Wichita Hospital with Papa. He had been suffering for a long time with a painful knee and had had to walk on crutches since the last of November. The Doctors pronounced it tuberculosis of the bone and later found the lungs impregnated with the disease also. This was a serious time for us for we knew the dreadfulness of this disease but we determined to make a strong fight for life for we certainly had much to fight for.
Papa had a rare soul. Life was so sweet to him. He loved people. He loved Mama and his little girls devotedly and loved his work of ministering to the sick. He had a passion for helping those who were in need: not only those physically sick but those who were soul sick and discouraged with life. He was a glad teacher among those who had no opportunities of learning in early life. He was always glad to forget an injury.
He was passionately fond of music and literature. He loved to sing and was a beautiful singer.
We stayed in Wichita until about the first of May. Most of the time he was in the hospital, some of the time at Grandpa Monroe's.
In May we went to Pecos, Texas and stayed till in July when it became necessary to amputate the leg. We came back to Wichita to the St. Francis Hospital where Dr. Basham performed the operation. Our spirits were lifted high for three days after the amputation for his fever and pulse came down to almost normal and he felt fine. He said to Mama, "Won't it be splendid if we find that this leg has been the cause of all this fever? If it is I will soon be better and we won't have to neglect the children any longer." His thought was constantly for the little ones.
But after three days he became weaker very fast and his throat became infected so that he could speak only by a great effort. He would not become discouraged, though he realized his condition, so on the third of August he determined to go to Albuquerque, New Mexico. His plan was for him and Lynn to go and see if it agreed with him and if so to rent a cottage and send for Mama and babies.
It was too late. He failed very fast and in three weeks he sent for Mama to come telling her to leave the children as they could not keep them at the Sanitarium. Mama made the sad journey alone reaching his bedside August 27th at noon. What a shock to see that dear body so emaciated and changed, yet those were precious days to Mama. To serve those we love is a delight. He wished to be in our own home and wanted so much to see Eunice and Eleanore but would not complain. He said he was ready to die but that he was needed here and must get well. He believed in the power of mind over body so we tried to think there was hope but the final hours came on Wednesday evening Sept. 7th.
Breathing became very hard and he begged to be carried outdoors so he could be revived. Dear Doctor Coruisa picked him up and put him on a stretcher and we carried him outdoors and made him a comfortable bed for the last four hours of his life. He could speak only in a weak whisper and that with a great effort so he talked bu very little. After he had been told that he was near the end he turned to Mama with an agony of grief and pain at parting and said "Sweet .... Alma," and after a long time he said, "Tell the little ones I love them."
He asked us to pray and sing. Uncle Orlando prayed and sang then quoted "Bless the Lord, oh my Soul" and Papa finished saying, "And all that is within me bless His holy name". He face was radiant and his sweet spirit left the earthly casket and it seemed Mama could almost see the Heavenly Father receive his spirit unto himself and say "Well done thou good and faithful servant enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." This beautiful death has been such a consolation and comfort to Mama. May it be to our little girls though their lives.
Papa was not orthodox in his religious belief. He accepted the Unitarian faith three or four years before his death and his soul expanded and grew in the new belief. He believed thoroughly in the principle that "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."
Eunice, every act of your life whether good or evil lives on and on,
and goes to make up your character and fits you for life here and
beyond. May your life be made up of good acts that you may have
nothing to regret.