Charles Lewis Blakeslee was born in Berlin, New York, in the year 1827. At the age of thirteen years he removed to the state of Michigan. In 1850 he was married to Caroline Dewey, and made his home in Battle Creek, Michigan.
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In 1863 Mr. Blakeslee moved to Union County, Oregon, with the pioneers of that year, and his family followed him in 1867. Mr. Blakeslee taught some of the first schools in the Grande Ronde Valley, in Summerville, Cove and Union, and in the old school house still stands in Union that was the scene of his early labors.
Five children survive him, as also does his wife-W. B. Blakeslee, of Pine, Oregon; Dr. L. K. Blakeslee, of Pendleton, Oregon; Mrs. W. H. Stafford and Mrs. W. A. Hall, of Union, Oregon; Mrs. J. R. Oliver of La Grande, Oregon.
Mr. Blakeslee became a Mason in 1853, and for 52 years has been an ardent craftsman. For more than twenty years he has been the appointed lecturer in Grande Ronde Lodge No, 56, and of its one hundred members, more than half have received their Masonic teaching from the lips and tongue of this Masonic brother.
From his life and conduct many valuable lessons may be had and sublime encomiums pronounced. He was a firm believer in the existence of a Supreme Being, and the fervency with which he repeated the Lord’s prayer came as a benediction to the balance of his brethren. It was his constant endeavor to walk and act according to the pure principles of virtue and morality. He may have had his faults-we do not for a moment say that he was faultless-but those of us who knew him during the latter part of his life, can say that it was given to the spreading of the principles of virtue and morality. He has taught the young to walk uprightly; he has admonished the middle-aged likewise; he has set an example for the aged that they must ever remember that they are traveling “that broad level of time toward that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns.” Therefore, let it be served for him who is without sin to undertake to mention a single item of fault. With the valor of one famous in Masonic history, he came to his death with fortitude based upon the holy principles of the Christian religion.
The end was peacable and quick, painless and happy. If he had a care, it was for those he left behind, and especially for the noble woman that was his wife, whose grief knew no bounds, and who was his companion for more than fifty years and can testify to his life and the manner in which it was lived. We cannot but believe that he is better now.
He was laid to rest under the auspices of the church he adored and the fraternity he loved. Of him it can certainly be said that he lived a life that when his summons came to take his departure to the realms of light, he did not go in fear and trembling, like “one scourged to a dungeon,” but sustained and soothed with a faithful and unfaltering trust, he approached the end like one who “wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
1905 Newspaper Obituary
Contributed by: Larry Rader