Thursday, January 2, 1879,  page 3 column 2
Death of  Woodville Browning
This well known and prominent citizen died at his residence, in this city, on
Thursday last, after an ill-ness of only one week.  He was for many years in
business here, and his son, Mr. Robert Browning, is one of the foremost
merchants of Indianapolis.  He was buried with Masonic honors on Saturday
after-noon.  The following concluding portion of Mr. Sluter's address on the
occasion, will be read with pro-found interest by his numerous friends: "A
good name is rather to be chosen than great riches." Among things to soothe and to assuage grief in the loss of loved ones, the leaving behind a good name is one of the best and strongest. And this in an eminent degree is the case in the present instance.  It will be well worth our attention to
review the principal facts and incidents of the career that has    just come
to a termination.  Woodville Browning was born in the year 1798, in Mason
county, Kentucky, to which place his parents had moved some years previous, from the state of Virginia.  In the year 1824 he went to Madison, Indiana, where in October, two years later, he married her who has been the
companion of his life.  In 1837, he took his family to Vevay, Switzerland
county; but after remaining two years, he determined to settle in Shelby
county.  He came to Shelbyville in 1839, it is the testimony of one who lived
here then, that although Mr. Browning came here without prestige and
without fortune, he soon commanded the respect to every body through his
unobtrusive and gentlemanly demeanor.   So well known is he to you all, that
it is impossible to say anything of him, which you do not already know.  
His form and face, familiar to everyone here, seemed in our minds as if a
part of Shelbyville itself.  The regularity with which he appeared upon
our streets every day at stated hours, with the punctuality of clock work,
his cheerful face, which even in old age did not lose its liveliness and
animation, his pleasant, polite greeting, the humor and vivacity of his
conversation, and his upright, dignified bearing, are among the things that
will linger in our memories.  He was studiously exemplary in his attention
to have his own business.  At his place of business he could always be
found in business hours.  Kind and just in his rela- tions to his
employes, it was no wonder that he was loved and esteemed by them.  Strictly honorable to his customers, he gained not only their custom, but their
friendship and respect, it is undoubtedly a severe test of character to
be a life-long neighbor.  Measured by this rule, Mr. Browning will rank
very high, for few can point to so many neighbors, who have proved friends
to them as well, through the course of a long series of years, and the many
vicissi- tudes that transpire in a life-time.  Many persons can be borne
with for a few years, but when we find a character that after years of
acquaintance still retains its hold upon us, then we may truly conclude
there was merit indeed.  

In 1859 Shelbyville was visited by the dreadful scourge, the Asiatic Cholera, and a year later by another dreadful epidemic. Those were times that tried men's hearts and characters, and then the true worth of such men as Mr. Browning became apparent. He was among those incessant and assiduous in attendance to the sick, and in doing all in his power for them when others had fled from the scene of danger. Those services are still gratefully remembered by parties now living. In his ideas and opinions, Mr. Browning was decided. He was a positive character, and what is better still, his views were always on the side of right and justice. And yet with all this positiveness, he did not obtrude upon others his con- ceptions, but preferred to speak in actions rather than in words. For many years he was a constant attendant upon the sanctuary, and has several times served in its Board of Trustees.  For years he was just as regular in his place at church on Sunday as he was at his store on work days: and a more earnest, interested, and respectful listener to the word of God, it would be difficult to find anywhere.  He was all his life, more or less, under Gospel influence.  He told us with deep interest of hearing in the days of his youth, in the state of Kentucky, the gifted and brilliant Bishop Bascom of the Southern Methodist Church, and other powerful preachers of the Gospel, who in those days so deeply moved large masses of men.  He was not only a regular attendant upon the church, but also a generous contributor, giving liberally of his means for the support of theGospel; and often in former times extending hospitality to the ministers
who visited here.  On Monday morning I was with him.  He was conscious
then, though very weak and apt to drop into slumber.  He recog- nized me and spoke pleasantly and cheerfully.  I read the Holy Scriptures to him,
commended him to look to Christ in his extremity, and earnestly prayed with
him that God would bless him and be with him, and shown upon him his mercy and favor.  On the morning of his death, I was in his house, when he was lying very low; I had been gone but a short time when I heard that he had
breathed his last. The bell that tolled the announcement was listened to with
deep and great sorrow; it was the signal that one of our oldest and most
reliable citizens had gone. With unaffected sympathy and sorrow, men on our streets told the sad news.  God alone can rightly comfort the widow and
the children that remain.  Such a loss as this is an irreparable one on
earth.  Two years ago Mr. Browning celebrated the 50th anniversary of his
marriage, and during all these many and eventful years, never have they been separated at any one time more than two days.  May the gracious, pitying Saviour, who came to Mary and Martha in their grief, comfort these bereaved ones in the gloom and shadow of this great affliction.  And let us all, who are present here, treasure in our hearts the name and memory of the aged and venerable man we have come to bury.  Let us all deeply lay to heart our own mortality; remember that we know not the day nor the hour of the coming of the Son of Man; endeavor to have our lamps trimmed and burning, and be like those waiting for their Lord. And may God in his infinite and rich mercy, grant to us the hope of the Christian, to guide us in the duties
of life; to cheer us amid its trials, and to sustain us as we pass through the dark valley of the shadow of death. 

Submitted by Barb Huff

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