Adair County Deaths & Obituaries


Enoch Lair

Adair County News, December 23, 1908

[Contributor's note: Despite the references to Missouri, the following places as mentioned in the obituary are in Iowa, not the "Show Me" state: Fremont County, Madison Township, Hamburg, and Sidney; and Mount Olive Church and Cemetery. Fremont Co., Iowa is in the southwestern most corner of the state. In 1880, "Uncle Enoch" resided by himself in Fremont Co., Ia., while his youngest daughter, Miss Mattie, a teacher, lived in the Buchanan Township of adjoining Atchison Co, Mo.] 

Uncle Enoch Lair

The deceased was one of Fremont County, Missouri's, oldest settlers. He has passed to the great beyond.

Sunday evening [October 18thth] just as the shadows were lengthening at the ending of the day all that was mortal of our beloved aged citizen Enoch Lair passed to the great beyond and his soul wafted away into the great mysteries of the life everlasting.

Few men in this life reach the extreme age of 90 years and pass through a life so full of great experiences as has Mr. Lair. It was one of the greatest pleasures to engage him in conversation and only a few weeks ago while he was on one of his trips from town back to his home it was our pleasure to take him by the arm and assist him on the way. Even though weary and weak with extreme age he delighted to converse about things of now or things or happenings in the past. Always a man of very strong convictions and keen mind and strong judgment, he seemed to get all of importance that transpired around him and in the expression of is views one was convinced by the sound sense of his utterances.

He has been the especial charge of his daughter, Mattie Lee A. Lair for several years and has received from her kind and loving hands the greatest possible care and loving attention.

He has been a familiar figure about our streets until the last few weeks, since which time his strength has gradually weakened and his vitality failed, and in passing it seemed as though it was the passing of one long, bright peaceful day...

[H]e will be missed from the community as one who was a prominent factor in the history of Fremont county.

Enoch Lair was born in Adair county, Kentucky, Feb. 13th, 1818. When he grew to manhood he was made a Master Mason at Gentryville [Douglas Co.], Mo. He came to Fremont county in 1863 and settled on a farm in Madison township four miles east of Hamburg where he lived several years.

Uncle Enoch, as he was familiarly known, was prominent in all public affairs of an early day in Fremont county. He was instrumental in the building of the Mt. Olive Church three miles east of Hamburg. He was for several years a deacon in that church and also superintendent of the Sunday School there.

He later moved to Hamburg where his daughter, Mattie Lee A. Lair, taught in the public schools. Seven years ago when she was elected County Superintendent of the public schools, he moved with her to Sidney, where he resided till his death.

Funeral services were held at the Baptist Church in Hamburg, Wednesday morning [October 21st] at 10 o'clock, by Rev. Dickenson, of Sidney, assisted by Rev. Williams, of Hamburg.

Mr. Lair was laid to rest in Mount Olive Church cemetery and the side of his wife, Lucy S. Lair, who departed this life 30 years ago.

Five children, three sons and two daughters, survive him: Mrs. C.L. Bragg, of Des Moines, W.P. Lair, of Horton, Kansas, J.C. Lair, of Pittsburg, Penn., M.A. Lair, of Hamburg, and Mattie Lee A. Lair, of Sidney.--A Sidney, Mo., paper.

The deceased was an uncle of Mr. J.S. Stapp, this place [Columbia, Ky.], and he leaves many relatives in Adair and Russell counties.

[Actually, Enoch Lair was J.S. Stapp's uncle by marriage. Enoch married Lucy Stapp, the daughter of Joseph & Harriet (Black) Stapp, on August 2nd, 1847 (bond date) in Russell County, Ky. Lucy was born October, 1829 and died August, 1878. The young Lair family appears in the 1850 Russell County, Ky. census (district 1 hh 255: Enoch G., 32; Lucy, 19; Wallis P. (male), two years. As noted in the obituary, Mr. & Mrs. Lair's remains were interred in the Mount Olive Church Cemetery, as were those of their daughters, Miss Mattie Lair (1862-1948) and Caroline "Carrie" Carrie Lair Bragg (1852-1929).]