This is From the Galena Weekly Gazette, Galena, (Jo Daviess County), IL. March 7, 1901.
Well Known Resident of the County Dies Suddenly at Her Home Near Millbrig.
Mrs. Birkbeck Was Sixty-Two Years Old and Resided Continuously in this County for Sixty Years.
Silently, swiftly and unexpectedly the grim reaper, Death, called Mrs. Birkbeck into the great beyond with very little warning to her or the grief stricken family. To all appearances her health had been perfect until Thursday afternoon when she complained of illness while at her home near Millbrig, in Council Hill Township, and a messenger was dispatched in haste for Dr. Gunn of this city. The physician hurried to the bedside of the suffering lady but upon his arrival at the Birkbeck home he found that death had been before him and that the greatly shocked and almost prostrated husband and children were gathered about the remains of a dearly beloved wife and mother who had been with them in the enjoyment of life but a few minutes earlier. The scene was, indeed, a sad one. Heart Failure was pronounced the cause of her demise, which occurred at about 6:30 o'clock Thursday evening.
Elizabeth Lethlean, the subject of this sketch, was born in Cornwall, England, sixty-two years ago and came to this county with her parents when but two years of age, thus making her one of the oldest continuous residents of the county. About thirty-five years ago she was united in marriage with Thomas Birkbeck and their union was blesses with six children, three sons and three daughters. Of the sons, Samuel is a physician at Gratiot, Wis., Benjamin is a principal of the schools at Soldier's Grove, Wis., and Thomas is at home. The daughters are Mrs. Thomas Graham and Mrs. George Graham of Vinegar Hill, and Sadie at home. Five sisters, three in this county and two in Montana, and five brothers, three of whom are in the latter named state and two in this county, also survive her. Mrs. Birkbeck was a woman widely known throughout Council Hill, Vinegar Hill, and West Galena Townships and was a woman who stood high in the esteem of all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance, and her sudden death is greatly deplored in the community of which she has been a useful and much respected factor for so many years. The sympathy of an extended circle of friends and family goes out to them in their hour acute of grief and sadness.
The obsequies over the remains of the late Mrs. Thomas Birkbeck were observed at 2 o'clock on Sunday afternoon at the family residence in Council Hill Township, Rev. S.J. Yundt of Grace Church, this city, officiating in the midst of a vast concourse of sorrowing friends and relatives of the afflicted family. Besides exemplifying the regular rites of the Episcopal church Mr. Yundt also delivered an eloquent and instruction sermon, during which he eulogized the memory of the departed wife and mother and spoke words of comfort to the sorrowing relatives. Beautiful floral tributes in appropriate designs almost covered the casket. At the close of the solemn services at the house the remains were conveyed to Grant Hill Cemetary near Millbrig where interment was made. The scene at the graveside was most pathetic and touching, the death of the deceased lady having been so sudden and unexpected that her loved ones had not yet become reconciled to the changed conditions and scarcely could realize the fact that she is gone from among them forever.
NOTE: In the above article, it states there is a sketch of her, I could not find it in the paper.
Submitted by Francis & Denise Wolter