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John L. Dale (1816-1878)

John Lamb Dale was born March 28, 1816, in Centre County, Pennsylvania, to Jesse Dale and Mary Lamb.  He died October 30, 1878, in Samish, Skagit County, Washington Territory, and is buried in the Bow Cemetery.

Following are four obituaries for John L. Dale from Pierce County area newspapers.  It is interesting to see the variety of death dates and ages in these different obituaries.

The River Falls Press, December 19, 1878:

In his time, the man whose death is recorded elsewhere in this paper was a power in this county and the section of this state adjoining.  Though lacking in education, he made up in natural ability, shrewdness, tact, and in his judgement of men, all that he lacked in “book knowledge.”  In political matters in this county he was for years the acknowledged leader and no man dare to attempt running for office until they had obtained the consent of “Uncle John.”

Although bearing the reputation of one who did nothing without being paid for it, John Dale did not work for money for the sake of money.  He was liberal to a fault ;  and no man who ever appealed to his sympathy was ever sent away empty handed.

During the war Mr. Dale was an active partizan¹ of the Union cause, and his speeches and appeals were of more effect in bringing forward recruits than those of abler men.  He was appointed sutler of the 30th Wisconsin infantry, and the men of that regiment will long remember his portly form and cheerful face.

Since the close of the war he has made Pierce County his home a portion of the time, moving from here to Tennessee, and recently in Washington Territory.

The memory of John Dale will remain fresh in the minds of those who were his contemporaries in political life in Pierce County.  It would be well for all of us if we could pass from the stage of action leaving behind us a character for kindness and cheerfulness, such as is borne by “old John Dale.”

Mr. Dale leaves many relatives in this county, among others his sons, Jesse and James, both well known, though not quite so active in public life as their father.

The River Falls Journal, December 19, 1878:

John L. Dale, well known throughout this section, died at Edison, Washington Territory, on the 30th of October last, in the 62d year of his age.

Pierce County Plain Dealer, December 20, 1878:

DALE— At Edison, Washington T., on the 30th day of October, 1878, of chronic diarrhea, John L. Dale, in his sixty-third year.

John L. Dale, the subject of the above notice, was born at Tionesia, Venango Co., Pa.  In the earlier part of his life he was engaged in the lumber trade on the Monongahela and Ohio rivers, but emigrated to Pierce county, Wisconsin, over twenty years ago, where he resided until five or six years ago, when he moved with his family to Tennessee, and from thence to Washington Territory.  Mr. Dale while living in Pierce County was a politician of some note, a practicing attorney, and during the war held the office of deputy provost marshall [sic], and was a man of more than average ability.

Hudson Star and Times, January 3, 1879:

John L. Dale, an old resident of Pierce County, and one of the Wisconsin pioneers, died at Samish, Washington Territory, Oct. 31st—aged 64 years.  Mr. Dale was conspicuous in the early history of Pierce County; was a man of superior natural ability, o[f] warm and generous impulses, and had hosts of friends in this section, who will be sorry to learn of his death.

1.  An old-fashioned, but still acceptable variant spelling of partisan.

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