Local History and Genealogy

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Catherine Stealy Bigler

"Mother is dead"-only a brief telegram to the children, but to them it holds a world of meaning.  What memories of a life time it suddenly brings to the mind!  What joys and sorrows once shared in the old family nest, now at lasted broken up and deserted forever.  But it all must be for the best.

Catherine Stealy was born near Marion, Seneca County, Ohio, August 5, 1830 and died at her home near Fox Lake, July 27, 1909, aged 78 years, 11 months and 27 days. She moved to Pleasant township with her parents Elder John Stealy and Susannah Stealy, 74 years ago when she was only 5 years old.  Her father was one of the earliest of the pioneer settlers of Steuben county and the first resident preacher to proclaim the Gospel in this part of Indiana.  She was the last surviving member of a family of thirteen children, a younger sister, Mrs Lydia Adams, having preceded her only a few weeks.

She was married to Levi Bigler, Oct 15, 1854, who departed this life March 27, 1907.  To this union were born seven children: Jessie Franklin Bigler, of this city; Viola Lowater, who died Nov 22, 1890; Scott Bigler, of Alameda Cal.; Augusta Bigler of Angola; Mrs Viva Lewis, of Toledo, Ohio; Barton B Bigler, of Logansport, Ind; Mrs Maud Ruckman, Hillsdale, Mich.

Funeral services were held from her late home on Thursday, July 29th, at 2 o'clock p.m., Rev John Humfreys officiating.  Interment in Circle Hill cemetery, so closes a long life, seventy-five years of it being lived here in Steuben county.  It was a life that was full of pioneer toils.  Mrs. Bigler was a woman who never knew what it was to shirk her duties.  The spirit of heroism pervaded her life, even to the last and "Her children arise up and call her blessed."