December 12, 2014

Robert Shearer (1823-1895) of Watauga Co., NC

“In Memory of Robert Shearer.

“The subject of this sketch was too well known in this and adjoining counties to need eulogy from any pen to introduce his worth to family, state or church. His life so pure and gentle, yet firm and dignified, is the best encomium.

“Robert Shearer was born July 24, 1823, lived and died in Watauga county, N. C.  He professed a hope in Jesus and joined the Baptist church at Three Forks, by experience, on the first Saturday in Jan., 1853.  He ever lived a member of the church he joined till death took him away.  He lived the religion he professed; his hope was an anchor to his soul, both sure and steadfast, and entered within the vale whither Jesus the forerunner has gone. He loved the cause of his Master dearly and his interest never abated in his old days; although feeble in health ever ready he stood to do his part in everything.  He esteemed it not only a duty but a high privilege to do all he could to advance the cause of Jesus.Truly it can be said of him:

“I love thy church O God,
Her walls before thee stand,
Dear as the apple of thine eye,
Engraven on thy hand.

“For her his tears did fall,
For her his prayers ascend,
To her be given my toils and cares
Till toils and cares did end.

“He was a kind husband, father, and friend to all, and gave liberally of his means to the cause of God and humanity. One aim of his life was to fill his seat in the church which he always did unless sick, and a part of his last day on earth was spent in Three Forks church attending the funeral of Bro. Jonathan Horton.  When he came home Sunday evening from the church, he said to his family:  ‘I will be the next member of Three Forks church to go.’  And he did go that night; ate a hearty supper with his family on earth, and took his morning repast in heaven with loved ones who had gone before.

“He had been married twice – first to Myra Coffey on the 26 day of Nov. 1854.  By this marriage two children were born, Mr. M. G. Shearer now living and Jane Shearer, who died six years ago.  His wife, Myra, died Mar 39th [sic] [Mar.30], 1857 [sic] [1859].  He was again married to Martha M. Estes Feb. 18, 1860, and became the father of three more children.  One departed this life in infancy, the other two yet living, Mary F. Perkins and Myra H. Pulliam.  He struggled against the trials of life but never murmured, looking to the great reward. The battle or life is fought and bravely too, by our brother.  The victory is won.  Death came softly and silently Dec. 2nd,1895, as a servant to carry him over the river, and without a struggle he breathed his last.

“He walked so close with God that he had nothing to do but die and go home.  His death was so sudden that he had no time to tell loved ones good-bye.  He was 72 years, 4 months and 7 days old when the summons came, and found him on the borderland of heaven waiting for heaven’s game to swing open and let him in. The world had lost its charms to him. He had his business all fixed up, therefore was ready.  He had talked to death often to his family,and gave directions about his coffin and other things pertaining to his burial,which were strictly carried out by his family and friends.  He had often said he hoped he would not have to linger and suffer long here to be a burden to any one.  The Lord granted his desire.  At the usual bedtime he was bright and cheerful, retired and slept soundly for two or three hours, the awoke and said to his wife: ‘A sharp pain is hurting in my heart,’ but got up, sat by the fire an hour after taking some remedies, said he was better and would lie down again, which he did.  His wife went to the bed to see that he was well covered, wiped the perspiration from his face and asked if he was better.  ‘Yes, a little,’ he replied, and in a moment he was gone.  The chariots of God came after him, he stepped on and went home twenty minutes after twelve.

“His funeral was preached by elders J. J. L. Sherwood and E.F. Jones to a large concourse of neighbors and friends, who mourn his departure and who will miss his generous hand which was always open to the wants of all worthy objects.  Yes, ‘thon [sic] [thou] hast gone to the grave, but we will not deplore thee.’

“His remains were interred in the family burial ground near his house to await the glorious resurrection, when they shall come forth fashioned like the glorious body of Jesus. ‘Asleep in Jesuus [sic], blessed sleep from which none ever wakes to weep.’

“His devoted pastor, S.”

Myra Emeline Coffey was born Feb. 20, 1836 in NC and died in Yadkin Valley on Mar. 30, 1859.  She was a daughter of Welborn and Sarah "Sallie" Cottrell Coffey; Welborn was a son of William and Anna Boone Coffey, Sallie a daughter of William and Lucy Day Cottrell.  She, Robert (death date Dec. 2, 1895) and second wife Martha Estes are buried at the Shearer Family Cemetery at Perkinsville, Watauga Co., NC.

This tribute was published Dec. 19, 1895 in the Watauga Democrat, Boone, Watauga Co., NC, Page 2, Cols. 1 & 2; transcribed by Jack Coffee, Dec. 11-12, 2014

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