Died: October 3, 1890, age 22 yrs.
Buried: Pine Ridge Cemetery
October 3, 1890
The death of James D. McClelland was a shock not only to his relatives, but to his friends, and all who knew him were his friends. He was so strong, so full of life and health, none could think of his dying as he did, after five days of illness. Accustomed to exposure to all weathers, he did not think it necessary to change his wet clothing before he went to bed on the Friday night before his death; yet this was apparently the cause of his fatal illness. The next day he was attacked with cholera morbus. He was work for his brother William at Racquette Falls, and far from medical aid. They did all they could for him, but neither he nor they knew how terrible was the disease that fastened upon him. On Wednesday, as he got no better, he decided to go to his father’s at Saranac Lake. They made a bed in the boat and carried him to it. He would not allow his brother to go with him, as he knew he could be ill spared from home just then; and insisted that young Farmer would do just as well, and started for home. When they got Wardner’s, at Stony Creek Pond, he could bear no more, and two men assisted him to the house. There everything possible was done for him and a physician from Wawbeek Lodge attended him, but too late; even then his case was hopeless. Late that night word reached his father that his son was very ill at Wardner’s and a dispatch soon after told the same thing. But no thought of the desperate nature of his illness was entertained, and the night was suffered to pass without action. James had heard that his sister from New York was at home, and he sent word for her to come and take care of him. The next morning, getting what things seemed needful, the father and sister started for their dear sufferer, and reached him three hours before he died. He was so glad and grateful to see them and seemed to be content, though he had called for his mother through the night. His sister gave him medicine to relieve the dreadful pain, which had for many hours been all in his heart, and he thanked her with a smile, saying he knew she could do him some good, and he conversed clearly and lovingly with father and sister until the end came. Once he seemed to wander a little, and begged his father to set him back, he did not want to cross the river, he wanted to go up stream. The father replied brokenly that he was afraid his dear boy must cross the river that time, and he seemed to understand, and smiled. His last words were, kiss me father, and he returned the kiss so sweetly and fell asleep. Meantime dispatches had been sent the mother who had hastened to him, but met them returning just before she reached McCoy’s. From the Bartlett place a dispatch was sent to the family to be ready, and the sad procession started down the lake. Two men kindly volunteered to come with them, and at ten o’clock PM they reached the landing, where were men with teams and lanterns to meet them. Arriving at home they were met by many of their neighbors, who had heard of their loss, and had made all needful preparations. Until the last sad rites were over the kindness and thoughtfulness of the neighbors could not be expressed. Each one seemed anxious to do all in their power to show their respect for the dead, and sympathy for the living. How grateful the parents and family are, words cannot express. May the dear Lord reward them, for we cannot. But whenever the thought of our bitter trial arises, the thought of their loving kindness will also arise. Distant friends were telegraphed for and Thos. Johnson and wife, of Ellenburgh Depot, and G.W. Walton and daughter from Keene, came in time for the funeral. The parents have only pleasant memories of him who has gone. He was a good and loving son, but we can only say, “God’s will be done.” — M.E.