The Thursday, August 5, 1897, edition of The Comet newspaper contained some depressing news about the death of a young boy whose name was Mayne Williams, the son of Judge and Mrs. Samuel Cole Williams.
The unidentified journalist noted that it was not often that a writer would be called upon to chronicle a sadder death than that of little Mayne, which occurred the previous Friday afternoon, causing his parents' hearts to be aching and burdened-down with grief, all the more so because the grim reaper made his visit to the home with no advanced warning of his coming.
Mayne Williams Library at N. Roan and E. Market, Young Mayne at about the Time of His Death
In the lad's playful rambles, he encountered a package of pills and swallowed a considerable number of them. When he was discovered soon afterward by his grandmother, the youngster was lying on the floor and told her he was sick. On being questioned, his innocent reply was: “I took a whole lot of medicine; I'm so sorry.”
Everything that loving, human hands and professional skill could suggest to rescue the little sufferer was to no avail and within 40 minutes from the time he was found, his innocent life had gone out. Just as the setting sun veiled itself with mountain peaks, the black pall of grief, denser than darkest night, had shrouded a cheerful, happy home.
Mayne was deceased, and his pure young soul had flown to its heritage of eternal life. Family and friends mourned with those who wept, but rejoiced in the fact that, beyond the somber shadows of the tomb, there is eternal day.
The following funeral announcement was posted in the newspaper: “In Memoriam: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. To the believer, these are precious and inspiring words. Life is full of events, which bring them vividly home to our hearts.
“Little Mayne Williams, was born August 27, 1893 and died suddenly July 30, 1897. He had eaten or swallowed a number of sugar-coated quinine pills, in all 40 grains, perhaps and in 40 minutes, he was limp in death. He was in perfect health, a bright and beautiful boy of a remarkably inquisitive turn of mind, full of life, an affectionate and dutiful child and, naturally, an object of warm parental love.
“The fond parents were already planning for his future education and training, cherishing glad and high hopes of a noble and happy manhood for him they loved so dearly. But in a short hour, all their hopes were blighted forever, touching the human side of this brief, God-given life.
“It had fulfilled, perhaps, the divine purpose here, insofar as little Mayne was concerned; and so the blessed Lord takes back to Himself in harmony with other gracious purposes He has concerning both him and the bereaved parents. May the Lord sanctify this sore affliction to the good of all concerned.
“Grieve not with hopeless sorrow, since our Father in Heaven assures us, there is rest for the little sleeper,
“Joy for the ransomed soul; Peace for the lonely weeper, Dark though the waters roll.
“Weep for the little sleeper, Weep, it will ease thy heart; Can not make the dull pain deeper, Twill help to heal the smart.
“The dear Savior hath found him. Laid him upon His breast; Folded his arms around Him, Hushed him to endless rest.
“Think of him henceforth as a treasure removed, but yours still, in Heaven. J.S. Kennedy, Pastor.”
Soon afterward, the Williams family posted this note of appreciation in the newspaper: “We cannot refrain from acknowledging, in this public manner, our debt of gratitude to our neighbors and friends, the sympathy and kindness so generously bestowed in the hours of sore affliction we were called to experience for in the death of our little son, Mayne.” It was signed by Mr. and Mrs. S.C. Williams.