14 December 2014

Sunday’s Obituary: Willie L. Loose

A pile of random papers from an unidentified newspaper offered the obituary of a child, a mere 19 year old child, and a poem in his memory. The obituary is that of “our lamented and sainted Bro. Willie Loose, son of Rev. E. Loose.” The poem is by Rev. C. G. Koch.

LOOSE, Willie L., son of Rev. E. and S. Loose, lost his life in the River Raisin, by accident, March 5, 1883, in his nineteenth birthday. His body has not yet been found. He was converted in his eighth year, united with our Church, and remained faithful til death. He was contemplating the ministry when he so suddenly lost his life. He was a most excellent young man. On the evening of March 4th, he conducted our young people’s meeting for the last time. After services he said to me: “I can trust God as never before.” Funeral services May 17th, by the writer, from Isa. 57:1-2, assisted by S. Coply, H. Spitler, A. J. Gramly and C. G. Koch. He leaves parents, 5 brothers and 2 sisters to mourn.  … S. Heininger

So what happened that fateful day and where is River Raisin?

A quick Google search shows that the River Raisin is a river in Michigan, specifically southeastern Michigan. It traverses through the counties of Lenawee, Monroe, Washtenaw, Jackson, and Hillsdale, Michigan as well as a portion of Fulton County, Ohio. Since his obituary states he lost his life in the river, it is most likely safe to assume he drowned.

The Loose family was actually from Pennsylvania! Both parents – Elias and Sophia – were born in Pennsylvania. Willie had an older brother Joseph, who was born in 1859 in Ohio. Willie was born in 1864 in Michigan. The 1880 Census shows Elias is a farmer in Rasinville, Monroe County, Michigan. Both boys farmed as well. The family had a 26 year old servant, John Windland, living with them. Windland was from Bavaria.

Willie is buried in Doty Cemetery, in Monroe County with his family. His tombstone (see Find A Grave below in the sources) lists both his birth and death days as 5 March.

William L Loose. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=44328666&ref=acom. Last accessed online 9 December 2014.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Raisinville, Monroe, Michigan; Roll: 596; Family History Film: 1254596; Page: 565B; Enumeration District: 186; Image: 0319

Sunday’s Obituary is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.