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Religious Telescope, December 19, 1894


Rev. Isaac Kretsinger, a pioneer minister of the United Brethren Church, died at his home in Latham, Ill., Nov. 24, 1894, aged 79 years, 10 months, and 19 days, surrounded by all of his surviving family, save one son, J. T. Kretsinger, who was in New York City. Uncle Ike, as he was familiarly called, was born in Shenandoah Co., Va., and will be remembered affectionately by all the ministers of the central Illinois Conference who were members of that body prior to the late schism in our church. He was held in such high esteem by them that by them that for some years it amounted almost to reverence. This was manifested in the conferences when he was present. For some years, seemingly all that was necessary to determine the fate of a measure was to know his attitude toward it. This was due more to respect to him, than to the weight of his remarks; at least many times undoubtedly this was the case. Though often severe and trenchant in discussion he was never designedly exasperating. Deeply interested in all the church enterprises, he was always active in their support both with his means and endeavor. Great was the surprise and even sorrow felt by many of the brethren when it was known that he had decided to cast his lot with the seceders. He had been at the time of his with drawl a member of this church nearly three-score years, and an ordained minister above half a century. With these facts before them, the brethren could but feel profoundly sorrowful. His life has been given to the church, and his best energies expended in building up the Masters cause with in its vale. The days of decline had begun before he separated himself from us. He had been visited by our brethren regularly and frequently.

The writer, a few weeks before he became bedridden, visited him at his home. He was at that time very feeble. The nervousness with which he had been afflicted with for years had spread over his entire body, hands, feet, and head, were in constant motion, keeping him in a state of constant physical exhaustion. His mental vigor and religious fervor were unabated. He manifested a lively interest in the Masters work, and although deprived of doing anything more himself, rejoiced to hear of its progress. Sometime subsequent to my visit his mind succumbed, and it was feared that he would have to be removed to a hospital; but God graciously prevented that by abating the severity of the attack, and he was permitted to die in his own home.

He was married three times. His first wife, Miss Mary Dietrich of Maryland, lived but four months after marriage. Miss Elizabeth Oglesby, a relative of Ex-governor Richard Oglesby of Illinois, became his second wife, and mother of all of his children. She died June 6, 1883, leaving him in feeble health. On the first of the following April, he was married to Miss Sarah E. Nail, who proved her worthiness by the painstaking care she exercised over him. She and all the children save one, who died in its fifth year, survive him, to whom the condolence of a wide circle of sympathizing friends is extended.

His early life is one of toil, with no educational advantages save twentyone days in an old log school house. His summers, when he became old enough, were spent in a carding mill, while in the winter he drove a team. At the age of eighteen, he gave his heart to Jesus and his hand to the United Brethren Church. He was ordained five years later, and was a minister a little more than fifty-six years. Twenty-four years he served as presiding elder. His home always provided welcome for the ministry, irrespective of denomination. The local papers pay a high tribute to his Christian character.

The funeral occurred from the Baptist church, just across the street from Rev. A. B. Powell, a radical preacher, officiating. The body was interred at Mt. Pulaski Cemetery on Sunday, the 26th (with?) a special train carrying the funeral cortege to that place.

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