January 2, 1907: Funeral of Cherished Doctor Samuel M. Todd Draws Throngs to Honor Him


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

January 2, 1907: The beloved Boyertown physician Samuel M. Todd has died. The funeral service at his home at 100 North Reading Avenue was packed, according to Boyertown’s very popular newspaper, the Democrat, and the surrounding sidewalk and yards were thronged with people paying their respects.

Rev George G. Greenawald, the pastor of Good Shepherd Reformed Church, spoke “very feelingly on the character of the deceased.” There were many beautiful floral tributes, some very costly, but one of the most touching was a basket of flowers with ribbons attached from a little boy with the inscription “My Doctor.” Dr. Todd was particularly loved by the children. His obituary stated that, for more than an hour before the ceremony, a constant stream of viewers passed his beautiful metallic casket with silver trim and hundreds more waited to view the “lifelike” remains afterward. Several prominent men in the community, including his neighbors, banker Adam Shaner, Burgess Henry Binder and merchant Levi Lefever, were pall bearers.

Dr. Todd was a tall, handsome figure with an impressive resume. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he had taught at the Freeland Seminary (now Ursinus College in Collegeville) and served in the Union Army during the Civil War before opening his medical practice in Boyertown in 1867. This cherished doctor will be missed in the community.

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