George Engle, Pioneer and Well Known Citizen, Died Sunday
From The Colon Express newspaper, August 1921: “George Engle died at his home two miles west of Colon on Sunday evening, August 7th, at eight o’clock, after a long illness which, however, confined him to his bed for only a week. He was 82 years, 7 months and 2 days old.
George Engle was one of the notable men of St. Joseph County. He never knew defeat and was always the master of his own fortune. Not always did things eventuate as he desired, but he was of that tenacious nature that never gives up but compels victory from seeing defeat.
He was a son of George and, Christipa (Klopfer) Engle, both of whom were natives of Alsace Lorraine, then a French Province. The family came to the United States and took up land from the government and it has never been transferred from the family. There were three sons and two daughters of whom but one survives. Mrs. Chauncey Cleveland who continues to reside on the original acres. The home was a log cabin which gave place to a frame structure and during the life of Mr. Cleveland, that was replaced by a fine brick home.
Mr. Engle was born on the Colon homestead January 5, 1839. His early life was that of the pioneer farmer’s son. After he attained his young manhood he was associated with his brother-in-law for eight years in the ownership of a few acres of land. Then a division was made which at the prevailing values amounted to about $1,000, each assuming a portion of certain indebtedness they had assumed. On March 29, 1864, he was married to Miss Caroline Loettgert. To them three daughters were born. Mrs. Clara Mathewson of Kalamazoo, Mrs. Emma Clyde of Mendon and Miss Carrie who died July 6, 1909. Mrs. Engle died November 12, 1878.
On Decemberr 4, 1879, he was married to miss Roxie Eburston, who with their one son, Orla, survives. There are three grandchildren.
Mr. Engle was one of the most successful farmers, alert and aggressive, and added to his acres until he became the owner of something over a thousand fertile acres. The fine stone residence and adjoining farm has been his home for over thirty years.
(Illegible) affairs. He was a stockholder in the Lamb Knit Goods Company. A many sided man whose ripe judgment was frequently sought and always respected.
Mr. Engle was a man of retiring disposition, never sought or cared for public office, his joy was in hard work, thrift and progress and his home. The tie between himself and his family was very close and in the companionship of his relatives he found understanding and companionship.
He became a member of Colon Lodge No. 73 of Free and Accepted Masons May 1st, 1875. In 1919 he was made a life member. He frequently expressed to his wife a desire to that his brothers of that fraternity should officiate at his funeral, using the beautiful funeral ritual at the home and grave.
Few lives leave such lasting impression on any community as this life, just ended leaves on Colon and Colon Township.
The funeral occurred at the home two miles west of Colon on Wednesday and was conducted by his home lodge. The interment was in the Laird cemetry.