One of Bell County’s Most Prominent and Respected Citizens
On the night of the 12th inst. at 9:30, Father Baggett departed this life. While this sad and lamentable bereavement did not come suddenly or unexpectedly upon his relatives and friends, yet, many were the tears shed and many sad hearts are now mourning his death.
We have known Father Baggett for a number of years, and on account of our marriage relations, long associations, many business transactions, etc., we learned perhaps as much of hs character as almost anyone apart from his companion and children. While he may have appeared stern and reserved to some, yet underlying that was a sacred and noble principle that sent out its thrilling touch to humanity. In his stern nature was an admirable dignity that said truth, honesty, justice and integrity are mine to practice and exhibit to my follow associates. Deception he detested, and a lie he abhorred, dishonesty he could not tolerate.
There are hundreds of men in Bell County who owe their financial success to him. He made money; he made it honestly and in many instances he made it by helping others to make it. While it was his purpose to make a financial success of life, yet he was indeed a humanitarian. He had within his breast a heart easily touched when objects deserving sympathy presented themselves. His contribution to the cause of Christ amounted to thousands of dollars.
In January of 1864, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, joining Company G, Snowalter's Regiment of Cavalry; he was in the engagements of the Rio Grande River and was promoted to the office of Lieutenant before the close of the war. Mr. Baggett is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, having joined the order in 1857.
Mr and Mrs. Baggett are the parents of ten children: James Monroe was killed in Mexico by the Mexicans and left a wife and children; Ele B. Baggett is a resident of Belton; Annie Baggett is the wife of J. W. Moore; Maggie D. Baggett married Professor Ragsdale; L. H. Baggett resides in Lamnanas; Alexander B. Baggett resides in Coryell County; Mary V. Baggett is the wife of J. M. Lawrence of Bell Counry; Silas J. Baggett is a merchant at Moody; two of the children died in infancy.
THE FUNERAL SERVICE
Elders Latimer, of Belton and Maxwell, of Temple conducted the funeral services at the residence of the deceased, before the remains were carried to the cemetery. The ceremony was solemn, impressive and appropriate. The vast concourse of people at the funeral services were mostly citizens of the town and gave flattering evidences of the admiration and high esteem in which he was held by his neighbors and friends in Belton.
A striking evidence of the esteem and respect entertained for the deceased was shown by the fact that the town was draped in mourning.
He was removed from his residence in the hearse by his brother Masons. The procession to the cemetery was sight to behold. Fifty or more carriages and other vehicles followed him to his last resting place. As the cemetery great crowds of people assembled to look for the last time on his lifeless form, after which he was buried with Masonic honors.
While we felt constrained to mingle our tears with those of others whose hearts were made sad by dispensation of Divine Providence, yet “we sorrow not as those who have no hope." The deceased having been an earnest, yet unassuming Christian for many years, we indulge the hope that for him "to depart is far Better," and that when "Christ shall descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God," he shall ascend to meet his Lord in the air and dwell in his presence forever.
"Where rivers of pleasure unceasingly roll, And the smile of the Lord is the feast of the soul."