Newspaper Death Article


Stephen Picton

Below is a translation by Geraint Davies of the original article in Welsh. The original articles are digital copies in welsh on the national library of Wales web site from old Welsh Newspaper. This information supplied by Geraint Davies while searching editions of Seren Cymru ( since 1880 this paper has been owned and run by Baptist Union but prior to that was more of a national paper.) He states, this is an article in 1896 recording the death of Stephen Picton and a little of his history. Blue comments and other related comments are by Brian Swann

S. Picton. In Hiawatha Kansas, America, October 19th 1896, Steven Picton passed away after 4 days of severe suffering [I think his tombstone says 18 October 1896]. He was buried the following Wednesday, administered by the Reverend Bingham, Baptist Minister in Hiawatha. He was born December 27, 1825 in Carmarthenshire and came to this country in 1870 , settling in Brown County, Kansas, followed by the rest of his family a year later. The area where he settled was one of the most productive areas in Kansas and very plesant. In 1861 he joined in marriage with Eliza Rees, a farmer's daughter from near Llanboidy, having 15 children together and Mrs Picton and eleven of their children survive after him. Mrs Picton will find it very strange to lose him as they were very loyal to each other. S. Picton was a very religious and loyal man. In 1848 he joined Seion Baptist Chapel in St. Clears where he was a member for 18 years [I think the date here should be 1852, as Stephen Picton moved from Cwmfelin Mynach in the parish of Llanwinio to the parish of St. Clears probably around 1852, and had settled at the farm of Gorse Gandrill in that parish from at least January 1853 to around 1865, when they relocated to Troedyrhiw Farm in the parish of Llangynin. The Chapel itself seems to have opened in 1848. Also I have never tried to trace who owned the actual farms at this time, as I am assuming Stephen Picton was a tenant farmer. ] , leading the singing and a deacon for a large amount of that time. He was a truely talented person in his circles and loved good morals and all things good, he was always sincere and honest and very loyal to his denomination and a devout Baptist but without being sectarian. He praised everyone who made an effort to do good. He was naturally kind and helpful. The secretary and his wife stayed with our late brother and his family for their first 3 months in America and therefore had the advantage of knowing him as a neighbour and for his strong religeous beliefs without doubt deserving more praise than is enclosed in this short account [I am not quite clear who this is referring to. It suggests to me the Secretary of the Baptist Chapel at Hiawatha in 1896. If so, then it should be possible to find out who he was, and working backwards did he come from the same part of Wales? Or could it be the actual James Howell, who wrote this obituary article, and maybe he was now the Secretary of a local Chapel set up in Coulee City in Washington State, but came first to Hiawatha, Kansas, and lived with Stephen Picton and his family for their first 3 months, just like Stephen Picton had lived with David Evans when he first emigrated in 1870]. I preached many a time where he was a member and deacon and even though our religious denomination differed we managed to pray and worship together. He died unafraid with his faith strong in God knowing where he was going.

Coulee City

Washington State


James Howell

The original article was written by James Howell. It might be worth remembering also that in 1886 Stephen and Eliza Picton went back to Wales. They left home on 7 May 1886 and returned on 18 September 1886 in the ship S.S. Baltic, captained by George Barton and owned by the White Star Line. This ship sailed from Liverpool and Queenstown, Ireland. They spent 305 dollars on the trip.

But it looks as though James Howell emigrated immediately after his marriage and before 1886. Perhaps his arrival though at Hiawatha was the spur to persuade Stephen and Eliza Picton to return home one last time 16 years after they had left. It was interesting though that he was from a different faith, being a Presbyterian Minister and not a Baptist Minister.

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