Death of Demia (Butler) Todd
North Vernon Plain Dealer - June 15, 1876, page 3
Mrs. Todd, wife of Dr. L. W. Todd, of this place, died on last Friday, after a long and painful illness, and was buried on Sunday evening at 4 p. m.,
in the cemetery at Vernon. For several months before she died, she was blind. Her funeral sermon was preached by Rev. Henry G. Wood, in the Methodist church at this place.
North Vernon Plain Dealer - June 22, 1876
Fell asleep in Jesus, at North Vernon on the morning of June 10th, Demia, wife of Dr. L. W. Todd, in the 64th year of her age.
Demia Butler, daughter of Chancy Butler, was born in New York, Oct. 19th, 1812; was married to L.W. Todd, February 26th, 1829, by Rev. T. Johnson, at the
residence of Dr. Pabody, in Vernon, Ind.
Naturally large-hearted, unselfish, sympathetic, affectionate, genial and sunny, possessing a mind of unusual clearness and power, and with these endowments
of mind and heart, all heightened and made more beautiful by the refining power of Divine Grace, no wonder that the sorrow occasioned by her death is so deep, and so universal, for to know
her was to love her. Her presence was sunshine, her love a benediction.
Having dedicated herself in early life to the Lord, each passing year only tended to show how complete and entire had been that consecration. While her
unfailing cheerfulness and vivacity rendered her a favorite in the social circle, yet it was in the character of a Christian that her life shown out in its highest charm and beauty. Full
of devotion to the Master, possessing large enthusiasm and vitality, every good work found her a ready and efficient helper. The Sabbath School work, and the temperance cause were especially
dear to her, enlisting her earnest thought, efforts and prayer. Not soon will be forgotten her abundant labors, her rare self-denial in the cause of temperance, nor her saintly piety for the
rum seller and his victims, nor the Christ-like compassion that breathed through her earnest petitions at the throne of Grace, that intemperance the sum of all woe might be banished from the earth.
During eight months of the most excruciating suffering the promises of God's word was her comfort and her joy, the bread upon which her soul feasted. And though,
for her, the light of day went out in total darkness some months before her departure, yet no murmur ever escaped her lips. "Though he slay me yet will I trust him," was her language. During all
those months of agonizing pain, her faith was unwavering, her hope and joy unclouded.
The following are some of the passages which she most frequently repeated during her sickness, and from which she drew so much sweetness and comfort: "When thou
passeth through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers they shall not overflow thru;' " when thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle
upon thee; that are they who came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; let not your heart be trouble; ye believe in God, believe also
in me; in my Fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. And if I go, I will come again and recieve you unto myself, that where I am there may ye be also." This last
passage she selected to be used at her funeral as the text.
During the terrible days and nights when her extreme suffering was producing blindness, she said to a friend, "A voice is repeating over and over to me the words,
'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.' So clear, so distinct is that message, that
many times it seems that some one is speaking to me in an audiible voice."
Not many days before her death, in an hour of great agony, she requested the same friend to sing, "How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord." Near the close of
the hymn when emotion had for a mement overpowered the singer's voice, the sufferer, with a warm clasp of her hands, with the sightless eyes raised to heaven, with her face lit up with a rapt and
glorified expression, in a sweet clear voice, joined in singing the concluding verse.
"When through the deep waters I call them to go
The river of woe shall not overflow:
For I will be with them thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to them they deepest distress
The shoulder that on Jesus hath treated for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, thought all hell should endeavor to shake
I'll never, no never, no never forsake.
So, he giveth his beloved sleep. M.A.L.
In the same paper
The following article of respect passed by the Sabbath School of this place was read at the funeral of Mrs. Todd by Rev. Mark Robinson:
Died June 10th, 1876, Sister Demia Todd, a teacher in out Sabbath School, a worker in the temperance cause, a strong and earnest worker in the young men's christian
association, a lover and promoter of holiness. In her death the School and Church have lost a friend. All who knew her felt the sweet influence of her christian religion. She retained her
health remarkably well until last fall, since that time she has been confined to her bed; but her mind was clear and her memory strong until the last few hours, when from extreme suffering she
passed into a stupor which ended in death. He hope was strong, her faith unwavoring and her prospects full of immortality. She was an affectionate wife, a tender and loving mother, an earnest
and devoted christian woman. Her affliction was long and severe, yet during the whole time not a murmur escaped her lips. She met death calmly as she would an earthly friend. All to her was
right. All is well.
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