Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Caton Hoblit; a faked obituary

Caton Hoblit Dead in Texas
Caton Hoblit, for many years a citizen of Fordham townships and well known throughtout this county, died at his home at Christoval, Texas and was buried Friday August 8. The san Angelo Standard not only contained an obituary notice but in addition published what the papers term as the funeral oration of Mr. Hoblit, read as he had written the words. The Standard says:

With no ministers present and without the singing of church hymns, Caton Hoblit, who has resided for the past four years at Christoval, was buried there Friday afternoon, the funeral oration being read just as he had penned the words and requested that it should be.

Mr. Hoblit was a believer in free thought, and while the oration is not entirely original with him, he having selected several quotations from Ingersoll and other free thinking notables, it was prepared by his pen and read just as he prepared it.

It is not an uncommon thing for some people to purchase their own coffins but it is seldom that a man prepares the oration he wishes read above his grave.

Caton Hoblit, son of John E. and Rachel Larson Hoblit was born December 2, 1850 on a farm near Atlanta, Ill., where he was reared to manhood. At the age of 19 he began serving in public capacity, constable, deputy sheriff and city marshall, consecutively for twelve years. In 1871 he was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Price of Atlanta, who lived but three short years, leaving a son who died in infancy.

Mr. Hoblit was again married in 1877 to Miss Alwilda Albaught of LaHarpe, Ill, with whom he moved to Dakota Territory in 1882, taking a homestead.

In 1889 he was admitted to the bar, but was loathe to leave the farm to live a sedentary life, as he was at that time burdened with excessive flesh, weighing over 300 pounds. For the past fifteen years he has been a great sufferer from kidney disease, which had gradually wrecked his nervous system and destroyed his strong consistution.

During this time he had several severe operations.

In 1909, renting his large and well improved farm in South Dakota, he moved to Texas, where, together with his son-in-law, he engaged in ranching, he and Mrs. Hoblit living in Christoval, where he owns a commodious home. One year ago he was sticken with paralysis, which has gradually crept upon him.

During his many years of affliction he maintained a cheerful front, loved to joke and never was sensible to the remarks or puns of others regarding his extraordinary size or weight. He leaves to mourn his loss a wife and one daughter, and five grandchildren. Also a sister, Mrs. K. H. Gregg, living at Blunt, SD and one brother in Tuttle, Oklahoma.

About two years ago Mr. Hoblit purchased the R. J. Flowers ranch near Christoval. he was well known in all the Christoval community as well as in San Angelo, having come to this city frequently to do his trading.

Transcribed from Grandmother's scrapbook. Newspaper not identified; may have been the Clark Pilot Review? Circa 1914
A few pages later, this notice.....
"Caton Hoblit, a former Clark county resident was shot and killed by a Mexican in western Texas last Friday. he was, when here the champion large man of the state, weighing 512 pounds. he came to this country from Atlanta, Ill in 1882 and filed on land in Fordham township, and afterwards increased his posessions to 1100 acres, which he owned at the time of his death. About two years ago he bought a half interest in a large stock ranch in Texas and has since then resided in the south. He was so heavy that he has been unable to walk for the past 10 years and has traveled about the country in a covered wagon fitted up for his special use. His father was alos a very large man but he has two brothers and one sister who are below the medium size. His sister, Mrs. Gregg of Blunt, weighs less than 100 pounds."
Finally, another little clipping:
"The report of the death of Caton Hoblit a couple weeks ago, which appeared in the county papers, proved to be a fake. Mr. Hoblit has written to the Clark papers that he is very much alive, and advises the people of Clark county to wait until they see it in his own handwriting before they believe such a rumor again."

1 comment:

Linda in Lancaster said...

Sounds like somebody either wanted him dead or one of his friends had a great sense of humor! I love obituaries!