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Joshua A. Lane, An Honored and Respected Christian Citizen

A Brief Sketch of His Life, His Loss in Hampton Will Be Greatly, Keenly Felt

The Record, Friday, May 8, 1908 — Vol. XXXII — No. 27 — Price 3 Cents

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow –” Breathing these words of the psalmist, words which he loved so well during life, articulation growing less and less distinct as the last tie which held him to mortal realm severed, the subject of this memorial, sketch went into the dark shadow and passed through the valley quietly, fearlessly, simply, yet triumphantly, as he trod his way through life, and entered the kingdom of God which he had served consistently, loyally, devoutly, through the more then threescore and ten allotted years.

Joshua A. Lane was an ideal of manhood, a representative of that old New England stock that, alas, too surely seems to be passing away, and from his ancestors, who were among the first to settle in Hampton, he inherited many of the fine, strong, simple qualities which made his life the straightforward, honorable, unostentatious success it was.

The son of Ebenezer, he was the sixth generation of the William Lane who came from Boston to make his home in Hampton somewhere about 1685. He was born Nov. 1, 1831, the third of five sons who comprised his father’s family. Four of these sons were merchants, and the store which the oldest of them, Edwin B., had constructed, and in which first he began his grocery business in 1848, is still standing, shown in the upper left hand of the accompanying illustration, and is now occupied by the Chase dry goods store. It was in this building that was laid the foundation of the business which has continued in successful operation to the present time. Edwin Lane moved to Boston in a few years after opening of the store and was succeeded in the Hampton business by the next younger son, Geo. W. For fifteen years George Lane conducted a successful trace, during much of which time he had associated with him the third son, Joshua A., and on the removal of George to Salem, Mass., Joshua, the subject of this sketch, become sole proprietor. Since then he has continued in active management of the business up to within a few weeks of his death. He had at one time with him as partner, Ernest G. Cole, present postmaster of Hampton, and later his only son, Howard G., who succeeds to the business.

Joshua Lane’s business career has been an unusually successful one. He took his religion into business life and by its aid built up a reputation that was never tarnished and which extends far outside of this community. He was a sealab man in every respect, and every dollar that was added to his now large fortune was obtained without corruption or sharp practice or unjust measure. As an example to the young business man of today he stands forth as the giant pine of the White Mountains, to which he was compared by the Rev. Edgar Warren in his eulogy at the funeral service on Tuesday.

In his domestic life Mr. Lane possessed the same quiet, undemonstrative, simple characteristics so eminent in his business career. He was kindly, sincere, a good husband and father, and created an atmosphere in his home consistent with the deep religious spirit which made him, as his pastor said, “the noblest work of God.” He had the old time reverence for the sacredness of the Sabbath day and through all his life was loyal to the principle. He was a member of the Free Baptist church, devout, constant, helpful; a great Bible reader; a Christian in the true sense of the word. He married in 1867, Lydia A., daughter of Adna Garland, a member of another of the old established families of Hampton, by whom there were three children, Howard G., Ida M. and Sadie B., all of whom survive, as do three of Mr. Lane’s four brothers, Geo. W. of Salem, Mass., Charles H. of Omaha, Neb. and Ebenezer Warren of Hampton.

Mr. Lane’s illness was of comparatively short duration. Up to within a few weeks of his death he attended his business as usual, but toward the end he became so weak that he had to give up, though suffering little pain, and his death followed shortly after, in the same quiet, peaceful method in which he had lived. Yet even the doctors marvelled that such could be, the case when by autopsy was revealed how deep seated and extensive was the ravage of a malignant disease of liver and stomach. He passed away about two o’clock on Saturday, May 2, in the seventy-seventh year of his age.

The funeral service was held in the Free Baptist church at three o’clock on Tuesday, under the direction of Undertaker I. S. Jones. During the hour of the obsequies all business places in town were closed out of respect for the deceased, and the gathering of relatives and friends was so large that the church was completely filled. Among the number were many relatives from a distance and representatives from business firms with whom the deceased had had long and pleasant relations. Of the latter was the old firm of Silas Pierce Co,, the management of which is now, largely in the hands of Hampton men; and also Fowle, Hibbard & Co., the senior member of which, although a cripple, made the trip from Boston on crutches, out of his great regard for the upright man with whom they had traded for years.

.The casket as it rested before the pulpit, was completely embanked with choice flowers in exquisite designs, the silent testimony of respect and love from innumerable friends. The service were greatly enhanced by participation in them of four pastors of the town who had known and honored Mr. Lane — Rev. G. C. Waterman, pastor of the Free Baptist church of which the deceased was a member, Rev. D. H. Adams, a former pastor of the same church, Rev. J. A. Ross, pastor emeritus of the Congregational church, and Edgar Warren, a former pastor of that church. The prayers and words of affection and eulogy of these clergy men, and the lessons they drew from the life of the departed was a fitting testimony to the genuine worth and noble character of the deceased.

Exquisite music was furnished by the Beethoven quartette of male voices composed of Messrs Collins, Lamson and Bales of Exeter and Weeks of Hampton. Three selections were rendered, “Lead, Kindly Light,” “Abide With Me,” and “Gathering Home.”

.The casket was borne by four of the clerks in the store Charles M. Batchelder, Clinton J. Keaton, Frank Kenniston and Albert Brown, and the honorary pall bearers were Abbott Norris, Christopher G. Toppan, Charles G. Marston and Joseph J. Mace.

Interment was in the family lot in Hampton cemetery, the casket inclosed in a metal case.

A long line of carriages followed the body from the church to its last resting place, there being a large number of relatives in this town in addition to those who were here from other towns and cities.

The sympathy of the entire community is extended to the bereaved family.

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