Saturday, December 18, 2010

Peter Sidles Dead

Centerville Newspaper Clipping - December 1905
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Pioneer and a Leader in Many Enterprises 
for Good of County
  With the passing away of Peter Sidles, or uncle Peter, as he is affectionately called by his hosts of friends, Appanoose loses one of her staunchest and bravest citizens, one who, through the history of the county, has stood a model of public enterprise, religious principle and what a true citizen should be. At this day when we hear the shrill whistle of the locomotive on the Milwaukee and Burlington systems and view the towns and industries created, we do not stop to think where the credit lies and who inaugurated these necessary improvements, but on looking backward to the time when these projects were but rumors we see a public spirited frontiersman, working with all the energy he is capable of exerting for these enterprises, and that man is Peter Sidles. And again as our gaze falls upon this, the great coal fields of Iowa, and as we glance upon the numerous mines, the leading industry, we wonder who was the first man to start this work, and it is found that here again the name of Peter Sidles, stands among the earliest. 
  Mr. Sidles was a member of the Methodist church, and a man who practiced what he preached no matter what the result might be. He was as staunch a worker in his church as he was in the field of public spirit. Again when the bugle sounded, and our country called for her noble sons to take up their powder flask and gun, one of the first to respond was Peter Sidles, and it was here that the manly principles, and loyalty to his flag and God won for him the friends among the boys in blue that are now so ready to sing his praises. N. M. Scott of Mystic, another loyal soldier and close friend of Mr. Sidles, states that throughout the entire war, when temptation and hardships hardened the hearts of men, Peter Sidles remained true to his profession, his bible and his fellow man, a record that is equaled only by few. 
  He is gone now, but a record remains that lives after him, a record of a man who endured the early hardships of the settler, but lived to reap the wealth he well deserved, a record of over four score years, and every year a credit to his fellow men. The lines of Longfellow's pathetic but truthful poem are well recalled at this time:
      Lives of Great men all remind us,
        We can make our lives sublime.
      And departing leave behind us,
        Foot prints in the sands of time.

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