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Biography of Mrs. Frances N. Patton

MRS. FRANCES N. PATTON. – This estimable lady, the daughter of Hon. E. N. and Eliza Cooke was born in Erie county, Ohio, on the 3d day of August, 1837; and the greater portion of her early life was passed in that state. In 1851, at the age of fourteen years, she accompanied her parents across the plains to Oregon, reaching Salem on October 10th of that year. She began attendance at the Willamette University, which up to 1853 was called the Oregon Institute; and from the time her name was first enrolled as a scholar, until she bid adieu to the schoolroom, she was known as an attentive, painstaking and most exemplary pupil. On her seventeenth birthday she was united in marriage to Thomas McF. Patton, who at Council Bluffs joined the company with whom she journeyed across the trackless plains. The first year of her married life was spent in Jacksonville; but, at the earnest request of her parents, she and her husband removed to the Capital city, where, with the exception of a two years’ residence in Hiogo, Japan, at which place Mr. Patton was United States consul, she resided until the day of her death, which occurred on Wednesday, December 7, 1886.

Mrs. Patton, soon after her arrival in Salem from Ohio, united with the Congregational church, and was a member of that church throughout her life. She was always foremost in alleviating distress and in dispensing charities, being connected with religious and benevolent associations having those objects in view. She was a life member of the Orphans’ Aid Society, and rendered many years of efficient service to that laudable institution, both as a member and officer. During her residence in Japan, she was told for the first time that she would, at most, live but a few months. With an earnest longing that she might return to Salem, where she could die amid the sweet companionship of her girlhood days, she accepted her fate with true christian resignation.

Leaving Hiogo, – coming home to die, – she reached San Francisco on January 22, 1886, and a few days thereafter found herself again at home. She seemed to gain a new hold on life after her arrival in Salem. Here were concentrated all the most hallowed associations of her life, – home, mother, children and companions. All the relief that human skill could afford and every ministration of love and sympathy, were hers, but without avail; for death had marked her for its own. Still for her it had no terrors. It was simply a happy transition to the life beyond, and an entrance upon eternal happiness. Having discharged all the duties of her life with fidelity, and borne all her trials with christian resignation, she calmly awaited the end, upheld in the sublime faith in the promises of that religion of which she had been for so many years a devout and consistent disciple. She left behind to mourn her loss her husband and family of three children.

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