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Henry Dorsett - Mansfield to Illinois

DORSETT - Saturday, March 9, 1867, The Waukegan (Illinois) Gazette: Henry W. Dorsett is dead. He was a man of positive character. He had some faults and many virtues. The Democratic party of Lake County lost in him their best worker. He was a large brained, high souled, great hearted man. Inveterate in his animosities, he was true to his personal friends. Able to distinguish between the substance and the shadows, Mr. Dorsett, unfortunately, like the majority of Democrats failed to grasp the better future of the Republic. But if he was our political opponent he was nobody’s enemy, clandestinely. His likes and dislikes were never concealed. With boundless sympathies and strong prejudices, the strong passions of the man never made him blind. If he hated well, he loved well. He had energy and enterprise. No young man ever asked aid from him, and if deserving was denied his assistance. Born in Peekskill, NY in 1811, Mr. Dorsett came to this state in 1844 from Mansfield, Pennsylvania. He was engaged for a time in commercial business and in 1846 was elected coroner. In 1848 he was made sheriff and performed his duties faithfully, as well as in 1850 when he served the residue of a term. The circumstances attending his death are briefly these: on Friday week, March 1st, Mr. Dorsett was in his usual health. He had an iron constitution. Within the past five years he had been west as far as Pikes Peak and expected to return there in the coming spring. Early in the day he returned to his residence on State Street, and about 2 o’clock complained of feeling unwell. It was considered a mere billary derangement and no serious apprehensions were entertained. About 5 o’clock Mr. Dorsett grew worse and his physician was summoned. Unfortunately the apparently trivial nature of his ailment failed to bring his personal presence on the second call. Mr. Dorsett retired about 5’clock and expired at a quarter to 12 o’clock. The announcement of his demise took our entire community by surprise, and created a feeling of profound sadness. He was so widely known and so generally esteemed, of so impressive a vitality and of such an intense nature that his death naturally caused a deep gloom in the streets where his manly form and strong personality were so well known. The funeral services were held at the Methodist Church last Tuesday, at 2 1/2 o’clock, every seat being occupied. The number of elderly persons present testified to the respect in which Mr. Dorsett was held by our old settlers. The funeral sermon was delivered by the Rev. J.L. Harris, who took his text from the 20th Chapter of the 1st Samuel: 3rd verse. “There is but a step between me and death”. The discourse was impressive and interesting. The speaker reviewed the uncertainty of life and the morale involved in the grave. The life of those who reject God was a ghostly blank at best. The chronicles of the long lost dead recounted half our recollections. He spoke eloquently and earnestly and evidently had perused with profit some of the best efforts of Paschal and Massilon. Brief, but to the point, the sermon made a profound impression. The allusions to the deceased were pertinent and in good taste. At the conclusion of the discourse the 1059 hymn was sang, and amid the sobs of the afflicted family, the coffin bearing the inscription “HENRY W. DORSETT, died March 1st, 1867. Aetat 56”, was borne to the hearse and the long train of carriages followed. A more solemn scene we have seldom witnessed. In the glinting sunshine, in the early March, which looked so much like May, the mortal remains of Henry W. Dorsett went to their final resting place in our Oakwood Cemetery, beautiful even in the early springtime, because the women of our city can love the dead so worthily and care for their resting place so tenderly. The deceased leaves a wife and five children, three sons and two daughters to lament his loss. May the kind Father who is so merciful to the sparrows lend a consolation to the bereaved family, no mere cold printed words can give. Submitted by Tom Sisolak, Fort Worth, Texas

NOTE: Henry W. Dorsett was a citizen of Mansfield, PA, from 1830 to 1842. He was the son of David Dorsett and Catherine Hickman whose family consisted of, Urhetta, John, Ann, Mary, Samuel, Philetus, and Michael H. The descendants of this family lived in Mansfield for over 120 years. Some may even be there today. Submitted by Tom Sisolak Fort Worth, TX

Bradford County PA
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 14 AUG 2005
By Joyce M. Tice
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