ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


William T. Moak


Misses Orlena and Anna Moak



02 19       [Advertisement] W. T. Moak, dealer in dry goods, boots, shoes, hats, caps, Yankee notions, etc., has just received a new and very large stock of goods in the above line, to which he invites the attention of the public. 


My dress goods department embraces a greater variety of new fabrics and novelties of the season than can be found in other establishments in town.  200 shawls, cloaks, domestic goods, boots and shoes, hats, caps, fancy goods, etc. 


I am bound not to be undersold and want the fact directly borne in mind.    WD



09 15       MRS. HANNAH MOAK

Died.  In Cairo, Green County, N.Y., on the 9th, Mrs. Hannah Moak, wife of William T. Moak of this city.


A few weeks since, with her husband and children, Mrs. Moak left this city on a visit to her Eastern relatives and now comes the sudden and sad intelligence that she will return to her Western home no more.  She was a devoted member of the Methodist Church, and though singularly unobtrusive and retiring in her habits, she will long be remembered as one whose heart and hand were ever actively engaged in every good work.


Misses Orlena and Anna Moak

Moak, Orlena J., b. 1872, d. 1903

Moak, Anna E., b. 1875, d. 1903


Last Sad Rites Are Over

Bodies of Orlena and Anna Moak Interred

Mourners Crowd Church

Sad and Impressive Services at the Congregational Church

Twelve Girl Friends of the Dead Walk Beside Hearses



04 03       MOAK SERENADED

Mayor-elect Moak was serenaded last evening at his First ward residence by the Watertown band.  After several selections had been played on the lawn, Mr. Moak sincerely thanked the boys and invited them into the house, where a few pleasant moments were occupied in hand shaking and congratulations and the new mayor's cigars passed around.  In the course of his remarks Mr. Moak told of several significant things concerning the election.    WR



The remains of the Misses Orlena and Anna Moak, victims of the Iroquois theatre fire in Chicago, were laid at rest in Oak Hill Cemetery yesterday afternoon.  A large crowd of people viewed the coffins at the family home, 902 Western Avenue, and the Congregational Church where the services were held was crowded to the doors and many were unable to gain entrance.  Twelve girl friends of the dead walked beside the two hearses from the home to the church and the sight was one of the saddest ever seen in Watertown. 


The two coffins rested side by side in the front parlor of the residence and were almost hidden from view by the banks of flowers and floral tributes furnished by loving friends.  Members of the school board, city officials and public school teachers, and children from the grade taught by Miss Orlena Moak in No. 4 School, were present at the home and church.  The pallbearers for Miss Orlena Moak were Messrs. C. A. Skinner, H. A. Long, W. H. Woodard, A. A. Hardie, W. C. Stone, Max Melzer.  For Miss Anna Moak, John W. Schempf, C. Heinrichs, J. F. Prentiss, Constance Wiggenhorn, Byron Kabot, F. Hilgendorf.


At the home the service was brief consisting of a solo "One Sweetly Solemn Thought" sung by Mrs. Racek, and prayer by the pastor, after which the funeral procession formed for its march to the church.


Mr. Thompson's sermon was from the text "And all wept and bewailed her; but he said, weep not:  she is not dead, but sleepeth"—Luke 8:52.


"It must have been a scene something like this which took place 1900 years ago in one of the cities of Palestine.  Death came to the home of one of the prominent families of that city and had robbed the home of its fairest jewel, an only daughter.  Grief-stricken and heart-broken, did the mother and father implore Jesus to help them.  A multitude of loving friends were in the home to show their sorrow, and to extend their sympathy in the hour of the parents' deepest grief.  The master enters, and with the words of the text tries to quiet the sorrow and give courage to the sorrowing.  Putting all the unbelieving ones out of the room, he takes the maiden by the hand; and that form, cold in death, feels the pulsating life of the divine son of God, and her spirit comes back to her.


In this story of Jesus restoring to life the daughter of Jairus some truths are so evident and so calculated to comfort us that we do well to speak of them.


First, the young die as well as the old. Youth, strength, and beauty do not guard one against death; nor do fair promise and splendid possibilities keep it from entering the home to snatch away the young life.  Often the one whose morn of light shines bright and clear with prophetic light is taken; while the old, whose sun is westering, remains.  Youth, strength, and beauty are laid low; old age and weakness live on.  Not seldom does death claim those whose prospects of life are the fairest; while the mediocre and common pass on unharmed.  A. Keats, hastened to his death through the cruel taunts of his reviewers, and whose poetical qualities were of the finest, dies at the age of 23; Shelley when only 30; Mozart died at 36; Raphael at 37; Burns before he was 38.  Arthur Hallam, whose tragic death inspired Tennyson to write the immortal ''In Memoriam," and whose life, had it been prolonged, would have meant much to English literature; died while yet a boy.  Thus death comes often to those who by natural endowments are best fitted to live.


Second, but in every sorrow and bereavement Jesus is present to sympathize and help.  To these parents, hopeless with despair; crushed by sorrow, uncomforted by the fondest words of weeping friends, how much did the coming of Jesus mean, his presence, life; his words, inspiration and strength!  Behold him at the open grave of Lazarus! Two weeping sisters are there with their friends.  Their last comfort and stay have departed with their dead brother.  Jesus, himself in tears, not of helplessness, but of infinite sadness at the sorrows of earth, speaks that mighty word, whose power no grave could withstand, and at the sound of which no tomb remain closed. 


Again see him at the gate of the city of Nain!  A widowed mother is following her only son to the grave.  With the uplifted arm of authority he halts the funeral procession and with the commanding word restores the best-beloved to his mother's arms and love.  Thus can Christ make the dead to live, and show his full sympathy with, and compassion for the grief of afflicted parents and friends.  Thus does Jesus come to every home of sorrow, and is not far distant in every time of stress and need.


Today sorrow has come into our midst.  A widowed mother has lost her children, two daughters, ever tenderly affectionate and thoughtful.  A grandfather has been deprived of the gentle ministrations of his granddaughters.  Relatives have lost those near and dear to them, and shall behold them no more in this earthly life.  Friends too, a host of them, sorrow at the departure of two noble, generous souls from their midst.  Children are here to pay the last sad respects to those who taught them in school and church.  Teachers have come to testify to their admiration of these two, who lie before us in their caskets, and who walked and worked in the same ranks with them.  Let this be to your comfort, sorrowing- mother and sympathizing friends—you are not alone in your grief.  Watertown suffers with you.  Chicago weeps with you for her dead. Noble souls throughout the world are sad today at the awful catastrophe which took away in the briefest time so many young, noble lives.  We are one united heart today, and join with you in your deep loss.


Even through our tears let us look up and thank God that there is so much love in the world.  Alas! that often a Chicago fire, a Galveston flood, an Iroquois holocaust should be necessary to manifest our affection.  This hour of sorrow has been a revelation of the depth and power of friendship, which in the days of unclouded sky might have remained unknown to us.


Human friendships are precious beyond the telling.  There is comfort in the tear which flows for another's pain; and often the warm pressure of the hand speaks volumes beyond the power of words to express.  But above all friendships of earth, towers the divine companionship of the Christ and his God.  The same yesterday, today, and forever, he will be with you in the days to come.  His presence will soothe you in your anguish of spirit, and comfort you in your utter loneliness.  He will be your stay at all times.  Listening again, with tender hearts, to Jesus as he says "Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth," let us forget the forms brought back to us cold and rigid in death, and think of our departed as living spirits touched with the warmth and radiant glow of an immortal life.  Amen.




Death of Mrs. Ella Moak

1845- 1914

Mother of Misses Orlena and Anna Moak


Watertown Gazette, 02 05 1914


Sunday at noon Mrs. Ella Moak, a pioneer resident of Watertown, died at the family home, 902 Western Avenue, and on Tuesday afternoon her funeral took place from her late home to the Congregational Church, her six nephews acting as pallbearers.  The interment was in Oak Hill Cemetery.  Mrs. Moak was one of Watertown's very best lady residents and all who knew her mourn her death sincerely.  The story of her life was so beautifully told by Rev. N. Carter Daniell at her funeral service at the Congregational Church on Tuesday, that we give it in part as follows:


We gather to do honor to the memory of Mrs. Ella Moak.  Today is her funeral; today is the anniversary of her birth.  She was a Watertown girl, born here in 1845, was married, now buried, without practically ever leaving it, and yet we gather to honor her memory. 


Today she is 69 years old.  All too seldom do people live the allotted three score and ten and yet live such an exemplary life that people gather to sincerely honor them.  It is said that a prophet is never without honor except in his own country.  Ella Moak was not without honor either in or out of her own city.


She was the daughter of Thomas and Cornelia Cushman who came into Wisconsin in 1842 from the east.  Her mother was a daughter of Rev. Alford and Susan Beecher.  Alford Beecher was a cousin of Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe.  Alford's brother was a professor of mathematics at the naval school at Newport and from there was promoted to the observatory at Washington where he remained until he retired.


Mrs. Moak was one of four children, two of whom preceded her in death, and one, C. T. Cushman, survives.  When she died, but for her brother, she was alone.  The good book says that we are born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.  The keynote of her life was trouble.  She married Edward Moak.  The happiness she naturally anticipated quickly gave way to grief.  Two girls were born to her. She reared them with much care.  They repaid her with love and beauty of character.  When grown women and a prop and comfort to the mother's declining age, they were cut off in that awful Chicago disaster, the burning of the Iroquois theatre.  There are few people who are visited with affliction upon affliction like that of our sister.


She had much sorrow but was never cast down.  We all have our crosses to bear.  A cross sours most people.  A few it only seems to sweeten.  With all her troubles her faith and sweetness never wavered.  Therefore when friends visited her it often seemed like holy ground.  Truly in her case earth had no sorrow which heaven could not heal.


In her troubles she had one source of comfort, her bible.  It was her constant companion.  In her sorrow where could she find moisture for her dried and parched soul?  All other sources were broken cisterns.  In the bible she found a well of water springing up into eternal life.


She radiated kindness and good fellowship.  That sort of fellowship which made one the better for visiting her.  My predecessor once said that he received a blessing by visiting her.


She had much sorrow; in compensation God gave her many friends.  During all her illness, which began with a paralytic stroke in 1909, her friends rallied to her aid.  But eight months ago she became permanently helpless.  At that time her brother and sister-in-law readily gave up their home in Illinois and came and ministered to her need.  For eight months her body and mind fluctuated.  Her condition imposed continuous and arduous demands and in her sore need her brother and sister-in-law came to her aid and nursed her night and day until her death.


Today is her birthday. We are gathered here to console and grieve.  But she!  What is she doing?  It is her birthday.  Absent from the body, present with the Lord.  Perhaps now, sorrow ended, she is on this birthday rejoicing in the presence of her daughters and her Lord.





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History of Watertown, Wisconsin