Shockley, Clarence

Clarence Shockley
Dec. 6, 1872-Aug. 15, 1907

Niles Daily Star, Saturday, August 17, 1907, page 3, col. 2, microfilm Niles District Library

The funeral of the late Nightwatchman Clarence Shockley will take place from the home at 1:30 o'clock tomorrow afternoon.  The last sad rites will be performed by Rev. F. Rahn, pastor of the Evangelical church. The members of the Modern Woodmen of America will attend in a body, and members of the sheriff's force from about the county will attend as well as members of the South Bend police force, the local police, and members of the common council. Burial will take place at Silver Brook cemetery.

Niles Daily Star, Monday, August 19, 1907, page 1, col. 2-3, microfilm Niles District Library






City Officials, Lodge Members and Visiting Police in Procession


One of the largest funerals ever held in Niles was that of the late Policeman Clarence Shockley, which occurred from the house, corner of Sycamore and 11th streets Sunday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock.

Long before the appointed hour friends began to assemble and within a short time a multitude was in evidence.  The streets for half a block distant were crowded.  The Modern Woodmen of America, of which deceased was a member, were in charge of the arrangements. The Woodmen left their hall 150 strong at 1:15 o'clock, followed by the Niles police force, members of the South Bend police department, Niles' city officials, board of public works, business men and citizens in general.

Halting at the Shockley home the remains, reposing in a handsome oak casket, were viewed for the last time.  Mounds of beautiful roses and flowers of every description were in evidence.

The Modern Woodmen of America, city of Niles, Garden City Fan company and the South Bend police furnished floral pieces, while friends piled flowers all about the casket, making one solid floral bank. In fact, the casket was fairly covered with the most beautiful designs ever wrought.

The music rendered was such as to soften all hearts and moisten all eyes, and was furnished by a quartette consisting of Messrs. John Hamilton and L.S. Chase, Mesdames Mary Porter and John Hamilton.

Rev. F. Rahn of St. John's Evangelical church, conducted the services and paid a beautiful tribute to the memory of the deceased.

At the close of the services the long procession followed the funeral car to Silver Brook cemetery. At the open grave "farewell" was said by the officiating clergyman and the Modern Woodmen of America. The vaulted tomb was decorated with white muslin and evergreens.

Rev. Mr. Rahn, at the graveside, reminded the mourners that Clarence Shockley is not dead; he is only asleep--resting after a well spent life; that he could not, and would not if he could, ever return to us; but we can, if we will go to him; when the summons comes may we say as did he, "All is well;" and the last words to a faithful wife, "I have done my duty."

There were, no doubt, 1,000 or more in attendance.  Those from the South Bend police force, in full uniform, were: Inspector Alex. Bodkin, Sergeant Guy L. Bunker, Patrolmen Wm. Lisenberger, Lemuel Essix, Fred Strong, Edward Lour, George Baer, Geo. Pinter, Stephen Urbanski, Nicholas Lakouski, Edward Defrees and Swan Strom.  Detectives Chas. Keller, Guy Clark and Thos. Butler in citizen clothes, from South Bend, also attended.  Also Fred W. Eldredge, city marshal of Buchanan, and Deputy Sheriff Frank Stryker of Buchanan. Woodmen from South Bend and Buchanan, and members of the Royal Neighbors of Niles, attended, In the line of march the Foresters carried axes, leading the way. Surrounding the funeral car was an escort of policemen.  The pallbearers were: H.B. Laberteaux, Geo. Henkel, Thos. Walsh, Geo. Champion, Carl Fox and Wm. Schulte.


(Note:  Officer Clarence Shockley was shot three times near Main and Front streets around 10:20 p.m. on August 14, 1907 and died of his wounds at 1:20 p.m. on August 15, 1907.  The newspaper accounts of the incident are lengthy and are not transcribed here.)

Summers, Nancy Colby

Nancy Colby Summers
Jan. 30, 1835-June 20, 1915

Niles Daily Sun, Monday, June 21, 1915, page 4, col. 5, microfilm Niles District Library


Mrs. N. Summers, Aged 80 Was Stricken With Paralysis Sunday as She Was Leaving the Church.

The sudden death of Mrs. Nancy Colby Summers occurred at noon Sunday as she was leaving the Evangelical church, where she had attended morning service, although by faith she was a member of the Baptist church with which she united while a young woman and had always been a faithful member.
Mrs. Summers was seen by passersby to stand on the top of the church steps for a moment and then suddenly to fall to the sidewalk below, striking upon her head. She was carried to the home of Fred Lingafelt, nearby and the ambulance was summoned to take her home, but she had already passed away by the time the ambulance arrived. The attending physicians attribute her death to a fractured skull and the fall no doubt resulted from a stroke of paralysis.
About four years ago Mrs. Summers had a fall that left her a cripple, but she was always cheerful and spent her declining years in doing for others and often spoke of her thankfulness that she could work with her fingers though deprived of more active work.
She reared a large family of children, some of whom have gone before her and those left to mourn for her can truly mourn--not alone her children, but her many friends of all ages, for she loved everyone.
She was born in Wellington, Ohio, Jan. 30, 1835, and was deprived of her own mother when three days old. She was brought to Niles in her infancy and had practically always reside here.
After her marriage to George W. Summers they at once took up their residence on a farm west of Niles and she continued to reside there for a number of years after his death, about 38 years ago.
Mrs. Summers is survived by four daughters, Mesdames Charles Potter, Charles Sinclair and S.G. Deam of Niles and Mrs. Ralph Clement of Kalamazoo.
The funeral services will be held Wednesday morning at 10:30 o'clock from the home of her daughter, Mrs. Charles Potter, with whom she had resided for the past seven years.
Those services will be private.
The friends wishing to view the remains may do so from 2 until 5 Tuesday.
Rev. Lyons and Rev. Renner will conduct the services.  Interment will occur at Silver Brook cemetery.

Martin, Mary (Anslow) Machin

Mary (Anslow) Machin Martin
July 3, 1820-May 30, 1919

Niles Daily Star, Saturday, May 31, 1919, page 1, col. 8, microfilm Niles District Library



Mrs. Mary Martin, aged 99, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. T.A. Bunbury, at 6 o'clock last evening. Cause of death was old age.

Deceased had lived in Niles for many years and was one of the city's most widely known residents. She was born in Wellington, England, July 3, 1820. Her maiden name ws Mary Anslow and was married to Thomas Machin in England in 1851.

They located in the east for a short time, coming to Bertrand, where Mrs. Martin resided continuously until 30 years ago, when she came to Niles to reside.

Mrs. Machin was left a widow in 1856 and in 1860 she was married to Henry Martin, who passed away in 1868.

She as the mother of three children, Ann Machin Bunbury, of this city, who survives; Susie Machin Swain and Sarah Machin, the two latter who are deceased. Besides Mrs. Bunbury she is survived by six grandchildren, Florence, Sadie and Edward Bunbury and Thomas Swain, all of this city; Mrs. Guy Howe of Oak Park, Ill., and Mrs. Frank Ortman of Kawannee, Ill.  John Howe and Belinda Swain represent the fourth generation.

She was a devoted member of Trinity Episcopal church for about 68 years and was the oldest member of the church, both in point of years and also continuous membership.

Mrs. Martin was a woman of remarkable mentality and continued so during the closing years of her life. She was in full possession of all her faculties until the last.  She was a great reader, an unusual student of history and always kept in touch with current events.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock from Trinity church. Rev. Harold Hall will officiate. Burial at Silver Brook Cemetery.



Rayburn, John N.

John Rayburn, 83
Jan. 14, 1928 —  July 6, 2011

John N. “Nate” Rayburn, 83, of North 13th Street in Niles, died at 3:08 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at Memorial Hospital in South Bend following an extended illness. He was born Jan. 14, 1928 in Niles to James Ernest Rayburn and Mary Clyda (Blackburn) Rayburn. He graduated from Niles High School and lived here all of his life. He retired from Simplicity Pattern Co. He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict, having served in the United States Army. He was a member of the American Legion Post 26 in Niles and the Simplicity Golf League. John married Beverly Jean (Groves) Rayburn on July 2, 1955 in Niles. He was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly Jean Rayburn and his brother, James Edmond Rayburn. Survivors include his sister, Marguerite Bjorkley of Niles; nephew, James P. (Eileen) Rayburn; and nieces Mary (Richard) Rayburn Kennedy and Laura (Robert) Rayburn Mashburn. Funeral services will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, July 11, 2011 at Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles. The Rev. Randy Pearman of Bethel Baptist Church will be officiating. Burial will be at Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles. Friends may call beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home. There will also be a flag presentation and “Taps” following the services at the funeral home by American Legion Post 26, Niles.

Niles Daily Star, Published online 5:36pm Friday, July 8, 2011

Walton, Arthur

Arthur Walton
Sept. 20, 1879*-Dec. 23, 1926

Niles Daily Star, Friday, December 24, 1926, page 1, col. 3, microfilm Niles District Library



Sadness was brought to a large circle of friends in Niles last evening by the announcement of the death in University hospital in Ann Arbor of Arthur Walton, 46, of Niles.

Mr. Walton entered the hospital three weeks ago, and on last Tuesday he had an operation for goitre[sic].  His wife was summoned to Ann Arbor Tuesday night on account of his serious condition, and she and Mr. Walton's brother, Herbert, of Niles, were at his bedside when he passed away.

Mr. Walton had been in ill health for more than a year, and had consulted with specialists in several hospitals, and had been in Cuba for the benefit of his health. He had recently been in the sanitarium in Battle Creek, and upon returning home had resumed his work as a Michigan Central switchman. His death was quite unexpected.

Mr. Walton was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Walton, deceased, and was born on a farm north of Niles near the interurban crossing which bears the family name. Mr. Walton was married nine years ago to Miss Margaret Foster, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Foster. She survives him, as does also one daughter, Virginia. Besides the widow and daughter, Mr. Walton is survived by four brothers who are: Jay Walton, of Portland, Ore.; Byron, of Aberdeen, S.D.; Dwight, of Kansas City, and Herbert, of Niles. Byron returned to Aberdeen only last Sunday after spending a week with his brother. Dwight is expected in Niles tomorrow.

Mr. Walton was a member of the firm of Walton Brothers, proprietors of the Walton news depot, and since the death of his brother, Roy, four years ago he has given the business much personal attention in addition to his work on the railroad.

Mr. Walton was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and the funeral services will be under the auspices of St. Joseph lodge, No. 4, and F. and A.M.  The body was brought to Niles early this morning by M.S. Rutherford, and it is now at his funeral home.

Mr. Walton was a member of St. Joseph Valley Lodge, No., 4, F. and A.M. of St. Joseph Valley Chapter, No. 2, R.A.M., of Niles Council, No. 19, Royal and Select Masons, and of Niles Commandery, No., 12, Knights Templar.


*Note: Date of birth from WWI Draft Registration