Milton Leander Kirkpatrick
Gospel Preacher/Educator/Co-Founder of Highland Home School, Alabama
It becomes my painful duty to chronicle the death of our much loved brother, Col. M. L. Kirkpatrick, of Highland Home, Ala. He died at his home Feb. 29, 1892, at 8:30 o'clock a. m. of paralysis. He would have been sixty-two years old, had he lived till next August. He seemed to be in perfect health only a little more than a week before the sad hour came. Though he was complaining a little for three or four days before paralyzed, but few of his most intimate friends knew it. He felt that he had taken cold or grippe the latter part of the preceding week, yet he filled his place in the college without attracting attention in the school-room, up to Tuesday night. Wednesday morning the bell rang for school as he was sitting drying his feet by the fire, and reading a newspaper, in his own room at home. He threw his paper aside, and made an attempt to rise, but fell to the floor paralyzed in his entire left side. He was picked up by loving hands and placed on his bed. Medical aid was summoned immediately, but no relief could be given. He was able to talk so as to be understood for two or three days, gave instructions concerning his business matters, and said he was not afraid to die. His mind was perfectly clear and composed.
Friday evening I received a telegram from Bro. J. M. Barnes, saying, "Come at once, Col. K. cannot live." Though fifty miles away I started early Saturday mormng, drove through the country, and at 6 o'clock stood by the bedside of my dying friend. He was breathing quietly and was evidently conscious. Though his eyes were closed, and his lips were sealed, he made us understand that he knew me, or we thought so. He lingered on until Monday morning and calmly passed away surrounded by his grief-stricken wife, children, and sympathizing relatives and friends. Few men in all this country have enjoyed such universal esteem from all classes of people as did Col. Kirkpatrick. A real friend to the poor, who were rarely turned away empty-handed when help was needed. As a peace-maker he was ever ready to serve his community or friends, and had a happy faculty of bringing order out of confusion. He loved the church of God and was always at his post when duty called. Though not a preacher, he often lectured the church when important questions were pending, or called the wayward back to duty. He gave liberally of his means when the Master's work demanded it. Though he worked not through a missionary society, yet he contributed freely for the spread or the gospel, and has been one of the principal ones of a few disciples who have done more perhaps than all the rest to plant the ancient gospel in South Alabama. The Highland Home College will sadly miss him. He was a universal favorite with all the boys—he had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances who greatly loved and honored him, and when the sad hour came, many seemed to strive to see who could honor him most.
The superintendent of the Midland railroad kindly tendered a special train which was sent down from Montgomery to La Pine (the nearest railroad station) to carry a remnant of old soldiers, who were with the Colonel in the late struggle, to attend the funeral services, and to mingle their tears with those of other sorrowing friends, and to assist in laying their fallen comrade in his last resting place. A very large concourse or people attended his funeral, many of whom, with almost the entire school, were carried on the special train with the corpse from La Pine to Naftal, and returned to La Pine free of charge, as a token of the high regard in which Bro. K. was held by the generous superintendent of the railroad.
The curtain falls—a sad gloom gathers over the disconsolate hearts of his sorrowing friends. Yes, all these, with many grief stricken relatives were left to mourn the irreparable loss. But amid all these is one little group who feel the pang of grief more keenly than all the rest—aye, the fond family group, the devoted wife, the affectionate son and daughter have lost the stay of their earth home that heaven alone can repair. Dear, afflicted ones, you have my deepest sympathy. I bid you "sorrow not as others who have no hope." "Barnes, Jordan and Kirkpatrick," the faithful trio-the cham is broken; one link is gone. One by one, and soon all are gone. Your noble work will soon be done, a.nd then-aye-then we meet again.
-Source: Gospel Advocate, April 14, 1892, p. 236. (Thanks to Tom L. Childers for contributing this obituary.)
Directions To The Gave of M.L. Kirkpatrick
Milton L. Kirkpatrick is buried in the Fair Prospect Cemetery in southern Montgomery County, Alabama. If heading south on I-65 proceed past the I-85 interchange and take Exit 168 (Hwy.80) and go east (left if traveling south). Signs on this exit will also direct you toward Hwy 331. Go east about one mile and turn south on Hwy 331. Travel 28 miles south to mile marker 77. You will come up on County Road 68 (Naftel Rd.) on the left. Don't turn there. Less than 100 yards past the Naftel Rd. turn off on the right hand side is a driveway. The mailbox numbers showed 24730 & 24680, Hwy. 331. Note a little dirt road that heads back north up into a wooded area. At the end is the Fair Prospect Cemetery. In the middle of the cemetery you will find the grave of Thomas J. Golson.
Also buried at Fair Prospect: Thomas J. Golson, Bartlet Hilliard, W.J. Haynes, J.V. Davis, Samuel Jordan. Kirkpatrick, along with J.M. Barnes and Samuel Jordan started a school together in 1881 called, Highland Home College. Kirkpatrick was the brother-in-law of J.M. Barnes and co-proprietor in the college for a period of time. It was a school that served the brotherhood for many years. See more on this school HERE!
Memorial to J.M. Barnes by his nephew Dr. M.B. Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick was the son of M.L. Kirkpatrick
J.M. Barnes is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery.
This memorial was placed in the Barnes Family plot at Fair Prospect
Barnes, Jordan, Kirkpatrick
Preachers, Teachers, Planters
When This Was Wild Frontier
Taught With Love Unstinted,
Helped Bring Religion Here,
Kith and Kin Take Notice
These Leaders 'Neath This Sod
Shaped A Growing Country
Their Monument To God
Erected In Reverent Memory By
Dr. M.B. Kirkpatrick
In Memory of my
Feb 10, 1836
Died April 28, 1913
Remains Rest In
"A WONDERFUL MAN"
Special thanks are extended to C. Wayne Kilpatrick and Tom L. Childers. In March, 2010 while visiting in Montgomery, Alabama, a day trip was taken to visit some of the restoration related sites in south Alabama. The end of the trip involved a visit to Fair Prospect Cemetery in southern Montgomery County. The photos you see on this page were taken by them and your web editor.