Because He was Loved

137 years ago today, Captain James McGarry died.

Well known. Well liked. Well respected. But, famous he certainly was not.

His memory could have very easily faded into complete obscurity. It nearly has.

He died too soon, before his life could be documented by those clinging to the romance of the steamboat era.

He died too soon, in the prime of his life with many accomplishments behind him and likely just as many, if not more, before him.

He died too soon, his passing coming as a shock to all of those who knew him.

For years his memory has teetered on the edge of obscurity, overlooked by historians but kept alive because he was loved.

Because he was loved his family grieved so profoundly that the hardest of hearts feels heavy when reading of how that grief was expressed.

Because he was loved his siblings, nephews, and nieces held dear his memory and shared his legacy with the next generation, then another, and yet another seemingly defying the effects of passing time for well over 100 years.

Because he was loved, his memory did not fade into obscurity.

So today let us not remember him for the achievements made on the river but as the man who was loved as a brother and as an uncle.

Captain James McGarry