About eleven o’clock Wednesday forenoon last, news was received here that Sheriff Lynch had died at Detroit from the effects of the wound inflicted by the desperado Morgan, at time of his capture, June 28th, 1887. The dispatch caused genuine regret, and flags in various parts of the city were placed at half-mast. At his death bed were his wife and son, his sister and her husband the Re. Potter, and J.E. Denton. On Thursday the remains were escorted to the train by a detachment of Detroit police.
The deceased was a member of Pine Forest Lodge, A.O.U.W., and that society took charge of the funeral. About train time, Thursday evening, some 80 members of the lodge marched to the depot, received the remains and escorted them to the Court House. The handsome casket containing the remains, were placed in the hall, in front of the stairway leading to the Court Room, and the lodge, assisted by ladies of Alpena, immediately began the work of decoration, which when competed, was the most beautiful and elaborate floral display ever made here. At the head of the coffin was a broken column, at least seven feet high, composed of evergreens and flowers. Back of the casket, and towering about it several feet was a pyramid of beautiful flowers, interspersed with evergreens. The floral offerings also extended several feet from the foot of the casket. The flowers were tastefully arranged and looked beautiful, reflecting much credit on those who arranged them. Among the floral offerings were a broken column, sent by P. O’Neil, of Detroit; a magnificent anchor, the offering of the county officials; a beautiful cross, presented by the city police. A beautiful floral tribute that attracted much attention, had the word “rest” worked in flowers on it. Two members of the Select Knights, A.O.U.W., in full uniform, were on guard over the remains until the day of the funeral. The Court House was appropriately decked in mourning by the county officials.
During Friday, Saturday, and Sunday forenoon, the Court House hall was crowded with citizens who had assembled to see the remains and the beautiful floral offerings. At times there was not room enough in the hall to accommodate the crows of ladies, gentlemen, and children. As soon as one group had passed by the remains, there was another ready to take their places. Everyone seemed charmed by the floral display – the free gifts of friends of the deceased.
About two o’clock Sunday afternoon, the Germania band marched to the A.O.U.W. hall, on Water Street. They were there joined by the society and marched to the Court House. The remains were placed in the heares and then the funeral procession began its march down Chisholm Street, the route being to Second and then to the Congregational Church where the funeral services were held. As the procession turned from Chisholm Street to Second, it was composed as follows: Germania band, 15 strong; Pine Forest lodge, 84 in number; minister’s carriage, hearse, guarded by ten members of the lodge, and 79 carriages. The streets along the route were densely crowded with citizens – many thousand being present.
At the Congregational church there was another beautiful display of flowers, while several of the beautiful floral gifts rested on the coffin. The sermon, by Rev. Van Aukin, was a very able and impressive one. He was assisted by several ministers from the other churches. There was not room enough in the church to accommodate but a small portion of the citizens and a much larger crowd was obligated to remain outside, than was in the church. After the conclusion of the services, the funeral procession was again formed in the same order as previously mentioned. When the procession passed Fourth Street, there were 91 carriages in line. Between fifty and one hundred carriages as they returned, reports the number at 147. The band and members of Pine Forest lodge had a long walk – from the lodge room on Water Street to the Court House, then to the Congregational church, then to the cemetery and then back to the lodge room. The distance must have been near 5 miles, and about three miles was over loose sand, which made heavy walking. The band presented a fine appearance in their gorgeous uniforms, and the members of Pine Forest lodge marched in good form.
One group in the procession attracted much attention, being composed of the men who assisted Sheriff Lynch to capture Morgan, at the time Lynch received the wound that proved fatal. The county and city officials attended as a body. W.H. Phelps acted as marshal of the procession and made a good one. The day was a beautiful one and nature was in one of her sweetest moods, as if determined to pay a fitting tribute to the departed dead.
Charles L. Lynch has been a citizen of Alpena since 1866. He was born in St. Clair County, this State, March 21st, 1850. He worked at the lumbering business for several years. In 1883-5 he was elected Alderman from the Second ward, and in November 1886, he was elected sheriff of this county. He had previously acted as under-sheriff, under sheriff J. E. Denton. During the time he served as sheriff he proved very popular and gained public confidence. He possessed the qualities that made a first class sheriff, being brave, cool, self-possessed and not easily excited. He had hosts of friends, who regret his untimely death. Being a member of the A.O.U.W., his family will receive in a week or two, $2,000 insurance.