My neighbors and friends. The old man whom we bury to day in dying talked much about his orchards. For him this world was God's garden and he was sent to tend and keep the trees. His voice was the voice of one who planted in the wilderness and his one ambition was to change the forest into the garden of God. For forty years he has gone through the wilderness planting trees and vines and making ready for the coming of pioneers and their children. For our sake he knew hunger, nakedness, cold. For us he endured fever and thirst, the perils of wild beasts, and the perils of still more savage men.
Once after weeks when he was lost in the forest he returned to a settlement dazed and out of his mind. For a long time afterward he went about with a heavy cloud resting upon his reason. Misunderstanding, some have called him crazy. What hands imposed his great task and made him equal to it no man knoweth. His wonderful career is full of silence and mystery.
In life he was pierced by many wounds, but I trust the leaves of God's trees have now healed those wounds of the heart. Now that he has gone I give his achievement and career a place among the great things of the republic. In an era that produced great men he stands forth among the greatest. He was such an one as could have been produced nowhere else save in this new world, a man unique, original, rugged, pathetic, picturesque, broken-hearted, but victorious .Today we bury his body in peace, but his name shall be held in everlasting remembrance .