Death of W. O. Headlee
Well Known Editor and Former Clerk of the Courts Suffers Fatal Attack of Paralysis
Was Aged 58 and Had Been Editor of the "Democrat" 22 Years. - Had Taught School 16 Years and Took Much Interest in School Work.
William Osborne Headlee, editor of the Democrat-Messenger, died in the Waynesburg hospital Sunday morning, January 21st, from paralysis. His sudden death came as a shock to our community and to his many friends throughout the county. Several weeks ago he had been ill with grippe and it is now believed suffered a slight stroke of paralysis. From this illness, however, he had apparently almost recovered and was attending to his usual duties. On Saturday afternoon he expressed himself to his friends as feeling very well and extended a pleasant greeting to those whom he met. He ate a hearty supper and after the meal he and his son, Ray L. Headlee, now located in Wilkinsburg, Pa., but who had arrived home that evening to spend Sabbath with his parents, went to the Democrat-Messenger office. They were sitting in chairs conversing about business matters and had been talking probably half an hour when the father began rubbing his hands and remarked that "his arm was asleep," that his hands and arm, "felt as though needles were in them."
Hon. B. N. Freeland had just entered the office and passed to Mr. headlee and article for publication. The latter in a few moments asked his son to call a physician, telling him to "get one as quickly as possible, or it would be too late." Both his son and Senator Freeland saw then that he was in a serious condition. Ray Headlee ran up stairs to their offices in the Peoples bank building and summoned Drs. Harry Scott, G. M. Scott and C. W. Spragg. Drs. T. N. Milliken, J. A. Knox and other physicians were later called.
In the meantime, Senator Freeland kept rubbing Mr. Headlee's arms to keep up blood circulation, and the latter remarked that "he believed he was going to die." Dr. G. M. Scott, who was his regular physician, upon arrival administered some medicine and the patient was lifted from his chair and placed upon a table. An ice pack was ordered from Stoy's drug store, which was placed upon his head. In a few minutes, however, he became unconscious and did not again regain consciousness. About 9 o'clock, he was removed to the hospital, where nearly all of the physicians of Waynesburg called during the evening to render attention. About midnight his pulse became stronger and some hope was entertained for his recovery, but his death occurred at 9:05 Sunday morning.
Mr. Headlee was born January 27, 1858, in Perry township, Greene county. He was reared upon a farm and after attending public schools qulaified himself for teaching. He bagan the profession of teaching at the age of eighteen, in which he was successful, having taught sixteen terms.
In 1893 he purchased an interest in the Greene County Democrat and became its editor. The publishers of the Democrat then had the name of John T. Goodwin and Company. He continued in that capacity, under various changes of ownership, during the remainder of his life, excepting for one year.
In 1908 Mr Headlee was elected Clerk of the Courts of Greene county, for a term of three years, and in 1911 was reelected for a term of four years, retiring from that office January 1, 1916.
He had filled the office of school director, here, and was greatly interested in school work. It was his custom frequently to attend teachers' township institutes and make talks before them. Always genial in disposition he found pleasure in mingling with people and had a large number of friends and acquaintances.
From his early manhood he had been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and was thereafter an active member in the church and Sabbath school and various church organizations. At the time of his death he was one of the leaders of the Men's Bible class and was a member of the board of trustees of the Waynesburg Methodist Episcopal church, having for some years also served as a steward of the church. He was devout and faithful in his duties and will be greatly missed by his fellow workers.
He had for many years been a member of the Waynesburg Lodge 469, I.O.O.F., and was an official in the lodge. He was also a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen.
He was united in marriage, in 1880, to Margaret Headlee, who with the following children survive him: Ray L. Headlee, Wilkinsburg; James Fay Headlee, Waynesburg; Mrs. Effie H. Dunlap, wife of Samuel Dunlap, Wilkinsburg; Miss Myrtle Headlee, who for the past two years has resided at St. Petersburg, Florida; John Carl Headlee, Miss Pearl Headlee, Glenn and Rex Headlee, at home.
The funeral services were held on Wednesday. At 2 p.m. brief private services were conducted at the home, East Lincoln street, followed by public services in the Methodist Episcopal church at 2:330, conducted by Rev. N. L. Brown.
Interment in Oakmont cemetery.
Waynesburg Republican, January 25, 1917 (Greene County, PA)
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