Sudden Death

Fred Walling Claimed By The Grim Reaper After A Short Illness

Blood Poison Caused by Erysipelas of Bone Defied All Efforts of Physicians and Friends—Slight Injury of Left Hand Received at Play the Origin—Entire Neighborhood Mourns

With only a few hours’ notice and scarcely a realization that he had been injured, the young life of Fred Walling, the 16 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Walling, was suddenly snuffed out, and a cold corpse is all that remains of the bright, jolly young man, the apple of his mother’s eye, and the pride of the whole family. It all happened so suddenly that it seemed they could not realize its meaning until death had claimed its victim, and then the mother was prostrated with grief, and now lies on the verge of nervous collapse.

Fred was attending school at Lincoln and while playing “shinny” last Tuesday received a blow on the left hand which bruised and skinned the knuckle of the first finger. For a few days nothing was thought of the injury and after it did being to swell and become painful, he being of courageous disposition, would not complain, especially as the injury was received by playing.

Friday the family became alarmed and sent for Dr. J.N. Smith, who performed a surgical operation. Saturday evening the alarm began to swell and the alarming symptoms were telephoned to the physician, and when he arrived Sunday morning erysipelas of the bone had set in and that there was practically no hope for his recovery. In spite of all effort the fatal gangrene slowly spread until yesterday morning when it had reached the body, and there was no hope for saving his life, even by amputating the limb.

The dreadful news was gently broken to the dying boy by his sobbing mother but cheerful to the last and still anxious to protect his mother from burdens of sorrow or trouble as he had always been, he lost sight of himself in her suffering and replied, “Don’t cry, I am ready to die, and am going to a better land.”

At two o’clock this afternoon his spirit took its flight, and even in his last hour, enduring the terrible agony of the disease, his only thought was of his mother, and his last word was a word of comfort to her.

Deceased was born on the old homestead near Zena, February 8, 1888 and spent his short life in the neighborhood where he was universally loved and admired as are few boys of his age. He was preeminently “mother’s boy,” being the eldest, and his greatest aim seemed to have been to protect her from care, and to perform her burdens and tasks. On account of his dutiful habits and loving disposition he was often spoken of as a model young man worthy of emulation, and his heroic words and actions on his dying bed have seemed to make his memory cherished almost reverently by the loved ones and large circle of friends.

The funeral services will be held at the Spring Valley Presbyterian church at 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon conducted by Rev. D.H. Leach, and the mortal remains will be consigned to their final resting place in the Zena cemetery.

Source: Oregon Statesman Journal, February 23, 1904.

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