June 1, 1909
While respecting in every way the wish of the late Thomas T. Crittenden that his funeral be conducted with as little ostentation as possible, hundreds of former governor's friends, men and women, stood under the trees on the lawn at the residence, 3320 Flora avenue, yesterday afternoon within the sound of the voice of the Rev. Dr. Thomas P. Haley, who with the assistance of Rev. Burris A. Jenkins and the Rev. Dr. S. M. Neel, conducted the simple service for the dead.
Governor Crittenden had left a letter addressed to Dr. Haley asking that he officiate at his funeral. The letter was sealed in 1906.
"I count it one of the choicest blessings of my life to have known and loved Thomas T. Crittenden," said Dr. Haley. "He was a man of great heart, noble mind and character, whom none could know but to love and admire.
"Everyone who knew him was his friend. He had close friends far away as well as near, but among those who most revered him, which is an indication of the kind of man he was, are his neighbors, those with whom he came in contact in his everyday life. Every child in the neighborhood knew him and loved him.
"He was ever willing to recognize his fellows as men, no matter what their station in life might have been. He was as careful to be considerate to the hod-carrier as he was to the banker.
"He would treat the washerwoman with as much consideration as the finest lady."
In finishing his characterization of his dead friend, Dr. Haley touched on Governor Crittenden's rare virtues as a husband and father, saying he was always careful to perform his public duties in the daytime, reserving the evenings for the society of his family.
Over the casket, during the funeral services, was draped the battle flag of the Seventh Missouri cavalry, which Governor Crittenden and Judge John F. Philips organized at the beginning of the civil war. The shot-torn banner was made by the women of Georgetown, Mo., and presented to the regiment. After the war it became the property of Judge Philips, who said it should drape his casket after his death.
No mourner was more sincere than "Uncle" Dan Edwards, who was Governor Crittenden's "waitin' boy," as he styled himself, during the four years of the war. "Uncle" Dan is now pastor of the Metropolitan Negro Baptist church, at Ninth and Washington streets, Kansas City, Kas. He went to the Crittenden home in the early morning and asked for a last look at the face of his old "marster," and, as he said, "tuck dinner" there. He followed his master's body to Forest Hill, where it was buried.
Among those who came to the funeral was J. B. Waddell of Springfield, whom Governor Crittenden appointed as his adjutant general.
Enough floral offerings were sent to make a great mound at the grave. Members of the family, however, asked that the greater part of the flowers be sent to adorn graves that might go through Memorial day undecorated. Among the pieces sent was one from the children of the neighborhood bearing the card which read:
"Children of the Kentucky Block"
City officials and attaches in their offices also sent many beautiful floral pieces.
The pallbearers were Kelly Brent, John Hanley, W. W. Collins, S. L. Long, Daniel T. Blake, W. S. Cowherd, Porter H. Hovey and Leon T. Brown.
So profuse was the floral offering in memory of Governor Crittenden that Mrs. Crittenden requested that some of them be sent to various hospitals in Kansas City after the burial. The flowers were all left at the cemetery until late yesterday afternoon, when many were collected and sent to the following hospitals:
German hospital, new general hospital, old city hospital, Nettleton home, St. Joseph's hospital, St. Mary's hospital, and Mercy hospital.
The council in special session yesterday passed the following tribute to the memory of the ex-governor:
"The death of former Governor Thomas Crittenden is a distinct loss, not only to our city, but to our state and nation. When a boy, following the dictates of his ancestral instincts, he dedicated his life to his country's service and took up his sword to defend its flag. To the closing of his rich and fruitful life, as soldier, congressman, governor, consul general and citizen he gave the best he had, his time, his talent, his eloquence, his energy to the state and nation. He was an illustrious example of American manhood. He was courageous and tender, courtly and constant, patriotic and modest. He honored women, trusted men and worshipped God. He belonged to the rare old school which held honor above wealth and virtue above life. He was every inch a Crittenden, which means that he turned his back to no foe and bended the knee to none but his Maker.
"He has fought the fight, he has finished the work, he has kept the faith and now takes his place full of honor among his distinguished ancestry.
"This city does not mourn alone. Today tears are falling nationwide. We, his neighbors, join with the multitudes in deploring his loss and extend to his sorrowing wife, his distinguished son, our mayor, and all the members of the grief-stricken family our earnest sympathy."