The Obituary of James Purvis (1791-1876)

The following is a transcribed copy of the obituary of James Purvis. The original was hand written and found among the family papers of Adelbert M. Scriber, his great grandson. In the obituary of Adelbertís mother, Mary Esther Purvis Scriber it is noted that her grandfather was born in 1791 on a ship sailing from England. If one calculates the year of Jamesí birth based on the statement below, that he was 84 years, 8 months and 13 days, one arrives at June 30th 1791, so the author of this obituary was in error regarding the year of James birth. (the author is unknown)

James Purvis died at Purvis, in the Town of Rockland, Sull. Co. NY March 13th 1876, James Purvis, aged 84 years, 8 months and 13 days. 

The deceased was born June 30th 1781 [1791] and married to Abigail Jackson of the Town of Bethel, Jan 15th, 1815, the fruits of the marriage being fifteen children of which ten are now living. In all this long time of nearly 85 years it is said by the family that the deceased was never ill to amount to anything. Having been born in a time when, and in a section of the country where wild animals of all kinds abounded, it became his chief delight and pastime to roam the forests in search of such game as the section of the country afforded. Endowed with the utilizing zeal and iron endurance that characterized the early pioneers of our country there is scarcely a foot of ground in the towns of Rockland, Fremont and Callicoon that his foot has not trod, nor a valley, nor a ravine that has not re-echoed the ring of his death dealing rifle. It is said that in the course of his hunter's career, he has killed, at the lowest estimate, one thousand deer, besides other game. It was a habit with the deceased and one of his honorable companions to absent themselves from their homes and to take to the forest, camping out at a place in what is now the town of Fremont on the Basker Stream, known as the Rock Cabin, from whence they could pursue their favorite sport for two or three weeks, sending the game they trapped and slaughtered to New York City and thus procuring means of adding a few comforts to their humble dwellings. One remarkable feature in the life of this remarkable man is that during his long life he has lived, with the exception of five years, within the sight of the spot where he was born, although the house in which he was born has since crumbled into ruins. 

Mr. Purvis was converted when he was seventeen years of age and united with the Methodist Church. He was an ardent supporter and firm believer in the faith which he professed, always ready to give evidence of the belief that was his in the public meetings of the people, always earnest and enthusiastic in the cause he had so early in his life espoused. He thus lived as one who was following the precepts of his Divine Master for the space of sixty-eight years, having given evidence many times of his readiness to depart and be with Jesus. 

On the day before his death he seemed to be in even better health than he had been for sometime, when he stepped out of the house and was missed by his son James, with whom he had lived many years. He was found just outside the door in a helpless condition, was taken into the house where he lingered until the evening of the next day, when his spirit took its flight from its frail tenement of clay and returned to the God who gave it. Calmly and peacefully he passed away like a still flowing river, without a struggle or a murmur. He had passed from the stage of earthly action, his prayers for the afflicted will be no more offered, his warning to evil doers will no more be heard or heeded, but his influence will be felt in the remembrance of the good deeds done by him. Peace be unto his ashes.