DEATH OF DR. HUSKE
Fayetteville Observer, Friday, January 15, 1897
Shared by Myrtle Bridges
The Rev. Dr. Joseph C. Huske, Rector Emeritus of St. John's Episcopal Church, died early this morning at Bordeaux,
the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. James Pearce, near this city.
Joseph Caldwell Huske was born at the old Huske homestead on Ramsey street in this city, on the 7th of January, 1822.
He was the son of John and Ann Tillinghast Huske, and was named for his uncle-in-law, Dr. Joseph Caldwell, the first
President of the University. John Huske, a native of Orange County, was a leading merchant of Fayetteville in his day.
He was twice married, his first wife being Joanna Tillinghast, a daughter of Paris Jencks Tillinghast, who was also a
prominent merchant of Fayetteville, having come here the last of the last century from Providence, Rhode Island, of
which city his ancestors were the founders. The children of this marriage were John, who married Annis, the only sister
of the late eminent Mr. Dobbin; James, who married Miss Donaldson; Elizabeth, who married Mr. William J. Anderson; and
Joanna, who married the distinguished Dr. Benjamin Robinson, the 2nd. His second wife was Ann Tillinghast, a sister of
the first. The children of this marriage were Walter; Joseph (the subject of this notice); Annabella, who married Dr.
Jack Williams, William; Benjamin (who died from wounds received at Williamsburg as Major of the 48th Regiment); Wright;
Sarah, who married the learned Mr. T.J. Robinson; and Helen, who married the Rev. Dr. Richard Hines, of Raleigh afterwards
of Memphis, Tennessee.
Of this large family only Mr. Annabella Williams and Mrs. Jeff Robinson survive; but a number of the grand children
and great grandchildren of John Huske constitute a large part of the best element in Fayetteville's population, and others
of them have become prominent in distant towns and States.
The subject of this notice was graduated at the University, at the head of his class, in 1844. He studied for the ministry
and was ordained a Deacon of the Protestant Episcopal Church at St. John's church in this city, March 21, 1847, by Bishop Ives;
and was advanced to the Priesthood by Bishop Ives, at Grace Church, Morganton, October 8, 1849. On the 23rd of January, 1849,
he was married, in St. John's Church, by the Rev. Jarvis B. Buxton, to Margaret Kirkland, daughter of the late Judge and Senator
Robert Strange. He received two calls to the rectorship of parishes, to that of Tarboro and to that of Morganton. He chose the
latter, which included also the parish of Lincolnton, and these two churches he served with great credit to himself until the
death of Mr. Buxton, in 1851, when he was chosen Rector of St. John's, and entered upon the distinguished and most useful career
which has just closed.
At the end of near forty years' service as Rector of St. John's, his feeble health compelled him to relinquish part of his
duties as head of this large parish and he was made Rector Emeritus in 1888, Rev. Mr. Atkinson being his successor. But he would
not remain idle, and St. Thomas's Church on Hybart's Hill, and St. Joseph's (colored) in town, were founded by him, and, together
with the church at Rockfish, were each served by him once a month.
Dr. Huske was a man of striking appearance, and at the Centennial of the University, year before last, his was the most
notable figure of the many distinguished alumni gathered on that great occasion. He possessed an uncommonly strong mind, which
was highly developed and cultivated by his associations, by his school and college education, and by constant study up to the
last. The Latin classics, particularly Tactitus, were, next to the Bible, the books he prized most; and to his familiarity with
these masterpieces of literature is doubtless to be attributed the fine classic flavor that pervaded his remarkably good English.
As an orator, he was earnest and most impressive, and when the subject of his discourse enlisted the full sympathy of his great
heart, his words seemed almost inspired. But his written sermons were elegant specimens of fine writing and read even better than
they seemed to be as delivered.
Apart from the training derived from his sacred calling and apart from the natural attributes which would commonly lead to
adopting it, Dr. Huske possessed an essentially pious disposition. He was by nature a reverent and a godly man. He was also tender
hearted and generous and filled with the milk of human kindness. He was withal a man of infinite wit. He occupied in consequence a
unique place in this community, and was so loved by the people of all faiths that he might well be likened to the late Bishop Fraser,
of England, whose similar character won for him the title, "Bishop of All Denominations."
Dr. Huske filled a large place in the church in North Carolina, both before the Diocese was divided and since. He was almost
continually, for a number of times, a delegate to the triennial General Convention of the church of the United States. He was for
many years a member of the leading committee of the Diocese of North Carolina, and he was chairman of the same committee of the
Diocese of East Carolina in which this parish now lies. When the new diocese was created, twelve years ago, he was nominated by
Dr. Watson for Bishop, but this great honor he declined on account of his physical inability to perform the arduous duties of the
office, and Dr. Watson was elected.
While his advanced age rendered Dr. Huske's death a thing to be expected in the early course of events he had been looking so
well during the autumn that the community felt a shock when they learned, ten days ago, of his dangerous illness from peritonitis.
He had been in town, walking about among his friends, on Saturday, the 2nd of January, and while some remarked a change in his
appearance, it was not generally observed, we believe.
Fortunate in the circumstances of his life, this man of God was happy in the surroundings of his last hours on earth. His loving
children were gathered about him, and he will be buried beside his wife and near his kindred.
Dr. Huske leaves seven sons: Robert Strange, Joseph C., Alexander S., Benjamin Robinson, the Rev. John (Assistant Rector of
St. Thomas's New York), the Rev. John Kirkland (Rector of the parish of Great Neck, L. I.) and Leighton, and a daughter, Mrs. Pearce.
See "The Funeral of Dr. Huske" January 18, 1897 Issue of Fayetteville Observer (Daily)
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