DEATH WON RACE TO DYING FATHER

Camden Post-Telegram – September 2, 1908

Funeral of Former Councilman Ferdinand McWilliams Awaits Son’s Arrival.

Former Councilman Ferdinand McWilliams died at his home on Mercer Street, Gloucester City, yesterday afternoon, after a lingering illness. The deceased was one of the oldest residents of Gloucester and during the war of the Rebellion served as a sergeant in Company D, Fourth New Jersey Volunteers, under Captain Stafford. He was about 74years of age.The time of the funeral will not be set until the arrival of his son, James McWilliams, who left home in Colorado on Friday night with the expectation of arriving here before the death of his father. He is expected tomorrow night.

The time of the funeral will not be set until the arrival of his son, James McWilliams, who left home in Colorado on Friday night with the expectation of arriving here before the death of his father. He is expected tomorrow night.

McWilliams was one of the California Forty-niners and survived a remarkable experience. He went West in the great rush for gold, going by way of Cape Horn. He had good luck in the mines and started back to New Jersey with considerable wealth. Coming by way of the Isthmus of Panama, he he encountered a band of desperate cutthroats who robbed him of his hoard and left him for dead, his frame punctured by many bullet holes.

McWilliams was one of the California Forty-niners and survived a remarkable experience. He went West in the great rush for gold, going by way of Cape Horn. He had good luck in the mines and started back to New Jersey with considerable wealth. Coming by way of the Isthmus of Panama, he he encountered a band of desperate cutthroats who robbed him of his hoard and left him for dead, his frame punctured by many bullet holes.

McWilliams managed to regain sufficient consciousness to crawl to a clump of bushes near an stream of water, and there he lay, he never could tell how long. At dawn he heard the crowing of a rooster and knew that he was near a human habitation. Inch by inch he struggled over the ground until he came to a house, where he fell fainting. He was discovered and tenderly cared for until he was well enough to start on his way home.

McWilliams for years had been employed at the Gloucester Print Works, and was chosen a member of the City Council by the Democrats of his ward, a position he filled faithfully and well. he leaves considerable real estate.

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