Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
EMMETT McDONALD MING. How shall we recall the fond memories that cluster about our beloved dead? How shall we portray the nobleness of his character, the purity of his life, the gentleness of his disposition? How shall we describe his affection as father, his tenderness as son and brother, his devotion as husband, his sincerity as friend? How shall we impart the patience of his suffering, the unfailing fidelity of his trust in the great Healer of all our infirmities, the sorrow and desolation that, at his death fell like a dark pall upon the hearts of the loved ones left behind? We know that all that is must share his destiny; that the brief term of mortal existence is but a passing dream--a story that is briefly told--and man's spirit drifts away on the bosom of that tranquil river that winds with noiseless murmurs through the gloom shaded shadows of the Valley of Death. To eulogize the deeds and preserve the memory of our dead from oblivion is at once our privilege and our sacred duty. Since the dawn of civilization men have made expression at the death of their fellows, whether such dead were citizen, statesman or soldier. Realizing that "all flesh shall perish together, and men shall turn again unto dust," we are naturally inspired with the desire that we may be remembered after death; that after our earthly remains shall have been laid away to sleep throughout the silent centuries yet to come, awaiting the final day, we are fed by the hope that some human heart that yet beats may cherish a memory of us, may yearn for one touch of "a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still." Prompted by such feelings we come to chronicle the lamented death, "in that he died so young," of Emmett McDonald Ming.
Mr. Ming was born at Gray's Summit, Franklin county, Missouri, December 3, 1860. He was a son of Judge James Morris and Jemima (Osborne) Ming, the father a native of Virginia and the mother of Missouri. Judge Ming was a descendant of that chivalrous race of men who peopled the Old Dominion, but in an early day he emigrated to Franklin county, Missouri, and there became one of the leading and influential citizens of that section of the state, and he at one time represented that county in the state legislature and later was elected judge, serving as such for a number of years. His wife belonged to that class of noble Christian women and true type of womanhood found in the South in the happy days before the Civil war. Both the judge and his wife reached ripe old ages and spent their declining years serenely in their cozy home at the quiet town of Washington, Franklin county, where they were ever known as good neighbors, hospitable and helpful. They reared a large family of sons and daughters, Emmett M. of this review having been the youngest.
The subject of this memoir grew to manhood at the town of Washington, and spent his boyhood days upon the farm, close to nature. As a young man he was industrious, honest and everybody liked him, for even at that tender age he had a kind word for everybody, a helping hand for those in need, and a word of cheer for the disconsolate. He had the advantage of an excellent education, having passed through the common schools in Franklin county, and later took a regular course in Central College, Fayette, Missouri.
Mr. Ming began life for himself on a cattle ranch in Arizona, which he owned, but after his marriage he engaged in the lumber business, and later in the hardware and furniture business at Vinita, Oklahoma (then Indian Territory), having selected Vinita as his future home. He built up a large and lucrative trade with the people of that town and locality and was doing much for the material welfare of the same, and at the time of his death his furniture establishment there would have been a credit to any city. He was a stockholder and promoter of the first artesian well at Vinita, and was regarded by all who knew him as a business man of rare foresight and acumen.
Mr. Ming was married November 18, 1891, to Emma Wallis, a daughter of Christopher and Elizabeth (Hoover) Wallis, a well-known family of Marshfield, Missouri, where Mrs. Ming grew to womanhood and was educated. After their marriage they established their home at Vinita, in the Cherokee nation. Their union was blessed by the birth of two children, namely: Christopher, who Was born at Vinita, October 20, 1892, and who is now a prominent young business man of Springfield, Missouri; and Martha Lelia, whose birth occurred at Vinita, July 18, 1896.
In 1899 Mr. Ming built a comfortable home for his family in Vinita, surrounding them with all the comforts of life and preparing a place for them and for himself in his old age. No man was ever more happily married and his affection for his wife and children was tender and strong. He was never happier than when at home with his family. His devotion to his father and mother was genuine as well as was his love for his brothers and sisters, and he was never known to falter in his loyalty to a friend. He was an active member of the Knights of Pythias, and belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church, South, at Vinita. His life was ever an open book, and no one ever heard him say anything derogatory regarding his fellow man.
Mr. Ming was called to his eternal rest in St. Anthony's hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, August 2, 1900, when lacking a few months of his fortieth birthday. He had been in failing health for some time. He was buried at his old home near Washington, Franklin county, on the old Ming homestead, on a beautiful bluff overlooking the Missouri river.
Something of the high standing of Mr. Ming in the community honored by his citizenship, may be gained from the following resolutions, passed by the Knights of Pythias at Vinita, Oklahoma, shortly after his death:
Whereas, God in His infinite wisdom has deemed it best to remove from the scenes of his earthly home our beloved friend and co-worker, Brother E. M. Ming, be it
Resolved, That while we bow in humble submission to His supreme will, yet we mourn the death of our fellow-worker, fully realizing our lodge has lost a faithful member, the community a true patriotic citizen and his family a good husband and father. His many sterling qualities of head and heart, the blameless character, and pure name won the love and admiration of all who knew him.
Resolved, That we extend to the sorrowing family our heartfelt sympathy in their bereavement, praying the all-wise Father to lighten the deep sorrow that has fallen upon them, by shedding into their hearts and lives that blessed peace and comfort which man can not give.
Resolved, further, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of the lodge, that a copy of the same be sent to the local newspaper and also a copy to his bereaved family.
Springfield-Greene County Library