“Death Claims Prominent Citizen,” from the Cherokee Scout, Murphy, N.C., Friday, May 21, 1915
D.W. Deweese, who died at his home in this city Friday morning, May 14th, after a long illness, was born in Cherokee County more than 69 years ago. At a time the log home and the log school house were permanent features of which he was wont to speak with as much pride as a king of his palace or the university scholar of his alma mater.
He attended school at these log school houses and obtained such education as could be obtained, until the war between the states. He was fast in the belief that from these unpretentious houses and schools came the greatest intellectual, moral and political heroes.
Just at the point where boyhood and manhood met, a call of the President for volunteer troops to suppress the rebellion was made. This ambitious boy-man kissed his mother goodbye and bid adieu his friends at home, shouldered his musket and marched away to the camps of the Federal armies, where every march was a battle and every battle field a grave yard. He remained faithfully at his post until peace was declared in 1865. He held to the opinion that no state had the right to secede from the union. Therefore the best years of his young manhood were spent in the preservation of the Union. He was frank to state that it was wrong for any man to eat his bread in the sweat of another’s brow. Therefore he was an abolitionist.
The war over, he returned to the old homestead in this county, to find many of his old friends gone, the old home devastated, the people without schools, churches or laws.
But did this young soldier despair? No, he went about advising, teaching and helping until there were established schools and churches all over the county. In fact, it may be truly said of him that no one during the last 50 years of this county’s history has exerted a greater influence over the public mind than he, and may it be said to his lasting credit that when the war was over and peace declared, every spark of enmity for the Confederate soldiers died within his breast, and he ever spoke of them in the most tender and affectionate term and this spirit was fully demonstrated when he was in the general assembly of this state, he added some Confederate soldiers to the pension roll and voted to raise the pensions.
Drew Deweese has been honored with almost every office within the gift of his county people. He had by nature fine executive ability which he strengthened by culture and habit.
He possessed tact; that is he knew better than most men how to accomplish his purposes. He was a lifelong student, especially of public questions. In conversation he was clear, distinct and to the point. He made no pretentions to eloquence or display, but his utterances were plain, sensible and emphatic. So much so that the emphatic almost became the dogmatic. He always had a definite point to drive to and generally got there in good time and order. In his social life he was plain, genteel and courteous, but possessed some peculiarities, the most striking of these was that he never divulged his sorrows or troubled, if he had them, to any one but bore them silently in his own bosom. He lived a true and consistent life, it may be truly said that he set a standard by which it would be well for us to live ourselves.
He is gone. No more can we have the benefits of his wise counsels in our public meetings. No more will he be awakened by clanking steel and the sounding of horses’ hoofs. No more will he heed the call for volunteers to preserve the union.
“To the undiscovered country from whose bounds no traveler returns.”
But when the end came to these 69 years of arduous life; when the golden bowl was broken, the silver cord was loosed, and the pitcher broken at the fountain, it can be truly said that he died as he lived, and there were few if any dregs in the cup.
The funeral services which were held in the Baptist Church, which he was a devoted and consistent member, were conducted by Rev. A.C. Sherwood, the burial services being conducted by the Masonic Order, and attested the esteem in which he was held by the people of his home and the surrounding country. On the occasion the drapery of woe gave place to the beauty of flowers until the splendid little church bloomed and blossomed with festoons of roses.
Business men; the rich and the poor were there; every creed in religion and every division in politicked united in one testimonial to the memory of this splendid citizen and gallant old soldier.
“When all blandishments of life are gone, the brave live on.”