Ohio History Journal

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VOL. XX. No. 4.

OCTOBER, 1911.


Elsewhere in this Quarterly we give notice of the death of General

Brinkerhoff with an extended account of his busy and useful life and

many of its prominent achievements. But no written record of the life

of such a man can adequately present what he really was to the world

in which he lived. The inestimable outflow of a beautiful and true

character, ever loyal to the highest ideals of life, cannot be recorded,

cannot be duly valued, cannot in the fullest extent be appreciated. Back

of all he did, broad and lasting as it may have been, is the man. Therein

lay his power, his sway, over fellowmen. Sweet and gentle in dispo-

sition, ever courteous and urbane in manner, tenacious of his

own convictions, when once formed, but tolerant of the views and beliefs

of others, his life was a benign atmosphere, soothing and strengthening

to all with whom he came in contact. He loved men, he loved children,

he loved nature in all her varied forms, and buoyed by a hopeful and

optimistic temperament, he rose above the petty annoyances of everyday

experience and above the greater trials and disappointments in effort

and ambition. He was ever a thoughtful and sincere student. All

realms of knowledge attracted his receptive and capacious mind. He

studied men and knew human nature. He read books and absorbed their

contents. The problem of life was ever fresh and deeply interesting to

him. The greater query of the future was his constant meditation.

He was unhampered by the dogmas of narrow sectarians, but he was

steadfast in the belief of a divine and supreme intelligence and the

adjustment in a better and unseen world of all that seemed wrong or

awry in this.  He had a deep sense of responsibility. Every duty that

came to him was earnestly and painstakingly discharged. He sympathized

with the distressed and the unfortunate. It was ever his chosen task

to help others by word or deed.. Selfishness found no lodging in his

makeup. Such men live the highest life in this world of flesh and blood

and accomplish things for themselves and others, and the memory

of such men is a lasting impetus to those who survive them.

Through a period of nearly twenty years the present writer knew,

admired and respected Roeliff Brinkerhoff. Many a delightful hour

have we spent in his presence, an auditor to his rare and interesting

reminiscences, a recipient of his helpful cheer and a beneficiary of the