61 Years Ago Today

Margaret Lapham

On July 17, 1951, sixty-one years ago today, Anna Margaret (Leishman) Lapham (1875-1951), my 2nd great grandmother, died in Coeur d’Alene, Kootenai Co., Idaho, USA. She was buried in Forest Cemetery in Coeur d’Alene.

Margaret (she often went by her middle name) was born in Ohio the daughter of Robert Leishman (1847-1900), an émigré from Scotland, and Mary Melinda Everett (1845-1911). She grew up in Nebraska, where she married Horace Iriving Lapham (1869-1927) in 1895. Together, Margaret and Horace had eight children, the youngest of which was my great grandfather, Theodore “Ted” Alexander Lapham (1910-1955).

Faith played an important role in Margaret’s life going back to her teenage years. She was actively involved in the Presbyterian Church until her conversion to Seventh Day Adventist when she was 18 years old, after overhearing and being convinced by a man who said, “You can’t find between the two lids of the Bible that the Sabbath has ever been changed.”

In addition to her active membership and involvement in the church, her spiritual life manifested itself in writing poetry. Between 1940 and 1945, she wrote 90 poems that were published under the title Courage and Comfort. Towards the end of her life, she wrote two more poems that were put together, along with an obituary, in a booklet entitled “Aunt Margaret’s Last Message.” The following are the pages from this later collection:



The following is a transcription of one the poems, which Margaret titled “Meet Me There”:

On the happy, golden shore, where the faithful part no more,
When the storms of life are o’er, meet me there;
When the night dissolves away, into pure and perfect day,
I am going home to stay, meet me there.

Here our fondest hopes are in vain, dearest links are rent in twain;
But in heav’n no throb of pain, meet me there;
By the river sparkling bright, in the city of delight,
Where our faith is lost in sight, meet me there.

Where the harps of angels ring, and the blest forever sing,
In the palace of the King, meet me there;
Where in sweet communion blend heart with heart and friend with friend,
In a world that ne’er shall end, meet me there.

Meet me there, meet me there,
Where the tree of life is blooming, meet me there,
When the storms of life are o’er,
On the happy, golden shore, where the faithful part no more,
Meet me there.

Margaret was loved deeply by her family, friends, and neighbors. She was memorialized in the following way in her obituary: “her beautiful Christian character, her cheerfulness, even though suffering almost constant pain for many years, and her thoughtfulness of others, will long be remembered by those who loved her, and to know her was to love her.”

Margaret Lapham’s Headstone

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