Date of Death: 13 Feb
Subject: Rev. Henry H. Hedgpeth
Source: St. Louis Christian Advocate, 10 Mar 1869, p. 8
Rev. Henry H. Hedgpeth was born June 5, 1832, and died Feb. 13, 1869.
In his early youth he was converted to God, and united with the M. E. Church, South. Before he had reached his majority he received a license to preach, and was admitted to the traveling connection in the Missouri Conference at its session in St. Joseph, in October, 1852. During the first or second year of his itinerant ministry he was united in marriage to Miss Kenion, who for about ten years shared with him the toils and sacrifices, the privileges and pleasures of the itinerant life. To them were born four children, three of whom had, with the mother, entered into rest before him. One yet remains. May the God of her father and of her mother be her God!
Bro. Hedgpeth had served the church in the office of Presiding Elder for several years, and at the last session of the Missouri Conference was reappointed to the Savannah district. He had nearly completed his first round of quarterly meetings when, on the 22nd of November, he was taken with symptoms of typhoid fever. He made an effort to read the house of Sister Wilson, widow of the late Rev. Anthony Wilson, formerly a member of the Kansas Conference, and after an effort of two days, sick and weary, but with a heart overflowing with gratitude to God, he found himself in the midst of that kind family where during his long and painful illness he was so carefully and tenderly nursed. His sickness was so protracted and his recovery so doubtful that there was great anxiety felt by the church throughout the entire Conference. Sharing this anxiety, and being within about sixty-five miles of him, I determined to visit him, and did so. I desired to know if he were comfortably situated, and was gratified to find that he wanted for nothing that Christian kindness could bestow. Better than this, I found him exceedingly happy in God, full of faith and hope. He desired to live that he might do good, and yet he was perfectly resigned to death if God willed it. We who were present can never forget the morning devotions of the next day after I reached him. He had been placed in an arm chair, and as I read the 23d chapter of Revelation he became unspeakably happy. Tears of joy ran down his emaciated cheeks, and during the prayer and afterward, his responses were loud and fervent. After the prayer we sang--
Jesus, lover of my soul
Let me to thy bosom fly,
His soul seemed to be in a transport of joy.
A few days before this he seemed to have a vision of the spirit world. He said it was no imagination, that it was real, that he was able to see heaven in all its splendid magnificence and glory, and that the happiness of those in heaven was real. He was asked in regard to the suffering of the wicked. He said he could not say much about them, that he saw them very far away, and that they seemed to be getting farther away continually.
In him patience had a perfect work; no word of complaint fell from his lips during all his sickness. His heart was full of love and gratitude to his brother and the kind family that nursed him, and to his brethren and friends that visited him.
When I left him on Saturday morning I had some hope of his recovery; the indications were more favorable than they had been. On Sabbath and on Monday he seemed still to be improving, and on Monday evening his physician expressed himself very hopefully in regard to his recovery.
It was only a few hours after this, while troubled with a cough, that hemorrhage of the lungs occurred, and in a few minutes he fell asleep in Jesus.
His remains were taken to Fillmore, in Andrew county, Missouri, and were buried beside the wife of his youth. The funeral services were conducted by the Rev. C. L. Vanderventer and the writer.
Henry H. Hedgpeth was no ordinary man. Sound in judgment, vigorous in intellect, with an exceedingly clear perception of the truth of God as revealed in the holy Scriptures, and a very large store of general knowledge, he was to the intelligent and attentive listener an exceedingly interesting preacher. Few men in the church were superior to him as an expounded of the word of God.
In theology and ecclesiastical polity, Bro. Hedgpeth was emphatically a Methodist. No one ever heard him, either publicly or privately, inveigh against the doctrine or discipline of that church of which he was an ordained minister. Bro. Hedgpeth was no idler, no croaker. Many difficult and laborious fields were assigned him; but with the cheerfulness of a man whose faith is in God, he occupied those fields, and during the sixteen years of his itinerant life no word of complaint ever fell from his lips.
The workmen cease from their labors, but the work goes on.
His father and three brothers reside in California; one brother, the one who nursed him in his sickness, resides in Missouri, and one sister resides in Kansas. His mother was in heaven ready to welcome him.
W. M. Rush