Frank and Catherine Kelley Wall Obituaries

from The News-Leader, Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Thursday, July 9, 1896

The Late Frank Wall

Seldom has our community been so much shocked as when on last Friday the news came that Mr. Frank Wall was killed by a railway engine at his old home in Pennsylvania.  That in the twinkling of an eye, his life had been snatched away.  But on the day before, he had gone on a mission of business and pleasure to his old home at Wall Station, Pennsylvania, in the enjoyment of health and high spirits and possessing an activity rarely witnessed in one of his ripe age.  The subject of this sketch was born in Ireland in County Derry, January 4, 1810.  He had a vivid recollection of the scenes of his early childhood and often spoke of visiting his native land.  His parents, Michael and Margaret McKee Wall, immigrated to America in 1822, settling near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, very near the spot where he met his death.  At an early age he bid adieu to his father’s home and began life on his own resources, working as a laborer on the first railroad built in America, and no the great Pennsylvania canal.  Having a natural adaptability to mechanics he turned his attention to engine repairing and finally obtained a position as engineer on a steamboat running on the Mississippi.  He followed river life for about seventeen years, being a portion of the time a part owner of several boats.  His many adventures on the water, particularly the Gulf of Mexico, in unseaworthy boats were examples of as great men and judgment as were ever displayed by any commodore in our history.  He loved to talk of his river life, which extended over a period of 18 years, full of so many thrilling accidents and various scenes.  For two years he was in the service of the Government in the Seminole War.  In 1847 he married Miss Catherine Kelley, of Columbus, Georgia, quit river life and soon returned to his old home in Pennsylvania till 1866 where he followed a farmer’s life.  He had saved considerable money out of his earnings on the river.  When he left home he had but 50 cents, the price of a sack of walnuts, which he had gathered on his way between his home and Pittsburgh.  Such was the humble beginning of the handsome fortune which he possessed at the time of his death.  Rich in years, in wisdom, in vast experience and in this world’s good, “Uncle Frank” as he was known to thousands passed away.  He had witnessed the great material developments in western Pennsylvania, the growth of the greatest railroad system in America, the establishment of the great steel and iron works in Alleghany County, the growth of Pittsburgh from a small town to a large city and the advancement of lands and territory from the forests to an open, thickly populated settlement.

He had been identified with every move for the betterment of the public, donating land for churches, schools and the ground for the depot on the Pennsylvania Railroad, which bears his name, “Wall Station”.  In 1866 Mr. Wall determined to move to Kentucky, where as he often said the lands were better and the advantages for educating his children greater.  After looking over the region, from  Maysville to Lexington, he finally came to this county, bought land and moved his family among us.  Though a stranger to us, he found a hearty welcome.  He ever loved our people and was happy among us.  From the beginning he was one of our most enterprising citizens.  In time he purchased large property in our county.  Between the poor and rich, the high and low, he made no distinction.  One of his marked characteristics was the respect and consideration always shown to the poor.  Our entire community was thrown into mourning over his death.  The vast concourse of people, who followed his remains to their last resting place attended the high esteem in which he was held.

No man among us can ever revert to the name and memory of Frank Wall and say that he ever deprived them of a farthing of their own, that he ever failed to comply with his promises and liberally compensated the labors for his home.  He was an honest man without guile, a brave man without affront, a friend without a stint, riveted with hooks of steel, a strong believe in Christianity and the traits of the church to which he belonged, the doctrine of which as he often said were taught him by his mother, whose name he often used in greatest reverence.  His memory will ever be dear to us, his honest upright character a lasting example for all who knew him.  Peace, eternal rest to him, who during a long and eventful life was pointed to as an honest, moral and God-fearing man.

The grief-stricken family has the sympathy of the entire community and the writer of this brief, hastily written sketch sensibly feels in the death of “Uncle Frank” the loss of a true and tried companion and friend.

from The News-Leader, Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Thursday, August 18, 1904

Death of Mrs. Wall

Mrs. Catherine Wall died at her home in Springfield last Saturday morning after a long illness of stomach trouble.  The deceased was the widow of Mr. Frank Wall, who was one of Washington County’s wealthiest citizens and who was accidentally killed in 1896 by a railroad train while in Pittsburgh on a business trip.  Mrs. Wall was a woman possessed of great strength of character and a bright mind.  Being possessed of quite a comfortable fortune, she attended to her business affairs personally and with ability.  Mrs. Wall enjoyed the admiration and respect of many friends in Springfield and there is a general expression of regret at her death.  Mrs. Wall’s maiden name was Catherine A. Kelley and her home was at Columbus, Georgia, where in 1847, she was married to Mr. Frank Wall,who was then an engineer on a steamboat running between Pittsburgh and New Orleans.  She went with her husband to Pittsburgh where they lived until 1866 when they moved to Washington County where Mr. Wall was for years a successful farmer and stock raiser.  The deceased was a devoted member of the Catholic Church and the funeral took place with High Requiem Mass at St. Dominic’s here Tuesday morning.  Two sons and four daughters survive as follows:  Mr. Frank Wall, of Louisville; and John K. Wall, of this place; Mrs. Ben E. Simms and Miss Fannie Wall of Springfield; Mrs. Kate Kujan of Nashville and Miss Bell Wall.

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