John Stalker, Papermaker, Dies

by Laurel | March 15th, 2012

03 March 1927

John Stalker, 1849 - 1927 and his wife, Mary Whitehouse, 1847 - 1923

John Stalker, 1849 - 1927 and his wife, Mary E. Whitehouse, 1847 - 1923 (Forestdale)

Former Mill Superintendent and Alderman — Gave Much Time to Visiting the Sick and Unfortunate.

Holyoke, February 28. — John Stalker, 78, for many years superintendent of the Beebe and Holbrook paper mill, died this afternoon at his home, 249 Walnut Street. In his passing Holyoke has lost a man of sterling character and one of deep and practical sympathy with his fellow men; for it is given to very few who has the leisure to spend day after day at homes and the hospital to try and brighten the hours of those confine there by illness. To hundreds if not to thousands of Holyoke people his death will therefore come as a personal loss. This work of visiting hospitals was taken up by hm soon after his retirement from active life about 1914 and continues up to the last.

After his retirement, too, he found much in the outdoor life to interest him, and to employ his time and talent. He was a practical Nature Lover, and enjoyed nothing more than his regular jaunts throughout the whole countryside about the city.

Mr. Stalker also gave himself to community interests. For several years he served on the aldermanic board with a high appreciation of his civic duty, and loyal devotion to it. As a citizen he was ever alert to promote, both by word and example, all of these influences which tend to make a better city. He served under Mayor Arthur B. Chapin from 1900 to 1903 inclusive and from 1912 to 1917 inclusive under Mayors John H. White and John W. Woods.

For many years it was both the delight and custom of Mr. Stalker to make weekly visits upon the patients of the City hospital. Without regard to creed or social position, he called upon all patients of this institution to give the a word of cheer, and sometimes some tangible evidence of his sympathy and interest in those who were sick. He even remembered to call upon the children in their ward, and in many cases he made these innumerable visitations with a spirit of sympathy and helpfulness the like of which few others could bring. He also went into many homes of the aged and shut-ins and made cheer about by his oft coming. In cases of need he was charitable and in every way performed a pay ministry to the needy.

In early manhood, Mr. Stalker united with the First Methodist church, and was one of the oldest members, both because of his age, and the extent of his membership. For some years he was the superintendent of the church school, and also was a trustee and a member of the official board. He was also a member of Mt. Tom Lodge of Masons, and an honorary member of the Caledonian Benefit Club.

John Stalker was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, on February 14, 1849. At an early age he entered into the work of his father as a papermaker, and severed his apprenticeship as such in the large Peries Mills of Scotland. At the age of 20 years he came to this country, and began work at his trade, first in Maine, then in mills in Connecticut.

On February 14, 1887, he married Miss Ellen Whitehouse and to their union six children were born. Two of these children died in early infancy; four of them grew to maturity and have survived the death of their mother which occurred March 10, 1923.

It was many years ago that Mr Stalker came with his family to Holyoke where he entered the employ of the Valley Paper Company. After remaining with this firm for some time he then came to the superintendency of the Beebe & Holbrook company where he remained until his retirement from active business in 1914.

Mr. Stalker was recently married to Miss Carrie Smith who was a dear friend of the family for many years. She, with four children, survive. The children are, Alfred Stalker, departmental superintendent in the Eastman Kodak Company; Mrs. C. M. Nelson of 217 Walnut Street, this city; George Stalker and Dr. Frank Stalker of 196 and 249 Walnut Street, this city. There are seven grandchildren and two younger brothers, Robert and George Stalker, survive.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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