THE FREMONT COUNTY HERALD. December 27, 1917. "DEATH OF AN OLD RESIDENT OF SIDNEY. John W. Searles Passed Away on Sunday at the age of Nearly 79 years.".-- John W. Searles died at the residence of Mac Young in Sidney on Sunday, December 23, 1917, aged 78 years 10 months and 3 days. The funeral services were held on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., from the Baptist church, conducted by Rev. J. P. Thomas, the pastor. The interment was in the Sidney cemetery by the side of the grave of his wife, the services there being conducted by members of Nishnabotany Lodge No. 153. A. F. & M., of Sidney, of which the deceased was a long time member. The funeral was largely attended by the people of Sidney and vicinity and the floral tributes were beautiful and numerous.
John William Searles was born in Clark county, Ohio, February 20, 1839, being the son of George Searles, who was born in Ohio in 1818. John W. Searles spent the first 14 years of his life in Ohio. His educational privileges were limited, being confined to the country schools, he being the son of a farmer. He remained at home until he attained his majority after which he was married October 31, 1861 at Winterset, Iowa to Miss Martha Jane Cooper.
Mr. and Mrs. Searles resided in Fairfield, Iowa until 1864, he being employed in a grain elevator. They then moved to Burlington, Iowa, where he began working for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railway company as a brakeman, but within a year he was promoted to the position of conductor of an accommodation train running from Burlington to Ottumwa. In 1869 the road was extended to Council Bluffs, and Mr. Seales took one of the heavy passenger trains across the state, continuing on that run until 1877.
For a year and a half after that he was engaged in no active business, and on the first of October 1879, he ran the first train on the Burlington branch out of Sidney, and for 27 years was conductor of the daily train from Sidney to Carson, retiring from that position in 1906. No higher testimonial of faithful service could be given than the fact of his long retention in that position. He was always a courteous and obliging official and won a host of friends among the patrons along the line.
To Mr. and Mrs. Searles were born three children: Charles M. of Brooklyn, New York; Grace M., now Mrs. Webster of Eldora, Iowa; and Harry P., who resides in Colorado.
In 1906, Mr. and Mrs. Searles moved from Sidney to Fairfield, Iowa, where they resided for seven years, returning to Sidney in 1913. Mrs. Searles passed away two years later, and since then Uncle John, as he was familiarly known, has had no fixed place of residence. For awhile he lived with his sister, Mrs. Snider, in Chicago, then lived for a while with his daughter at Eldora. Last fall, he returned to Sidney and made this home with Mrs. Williams east of the court house, and a couple of weeks ago went to live with the family of Mac Young, where he died. Since the death of his wife, he has failed rapidly in health, and was partially paralyzed, being a great care to those with whom he lived, but seemed to be more contented at his old home in Sidney than elsewhere.