The following obituary of J. Linn Duke, a prominent jeweler and civic leader in Fayetteville during the last half of the 19th century, was published in the Arkansas Gazette on January 28, 1898. The battle of Oak Hill was the Confederate name for the Battle of Wilson Creek near Springfield, Mo.
Was One of Fayetteville's Most Prominent Citizens
FAYETTEVILLE, January 23 — (Special Correspondence) — A gloom hangs over our little city on this Sabbath day on account of the death of our old and intimate friend, J. Linn Duke, who for more than forty years has been one of our most enterprising citizens. Mr. Duke had been very successful in business and owns several elegant brick buildings in the city, and the handsomest jewelry store in northwest Arkansas. His wife and Miss Annie, his only child, are greatly distressed, but he had suffered so long and so severely that they find some consolation in the fact that his sufferings have ended. He had been kept alive several days by artificial means.
Mr. Duke has a host of friends in Arkansas and Missouri who will be sorry to hear of his death. He came to Fayetteville in the year of 1856, when quite a youth, and had lived here ever since. He enlisted in the first military company organized in this county, in May, 1861, known as the Pike Guards, commanded by Captain S. R. Bell, who was killed in the battle of Oak Hill, August 10, 1861. No braver, truer, southern soldier, ever wore the gray than Linn Duke, and his only brother Martelis Duke, who was adjutant of Colonel Burk’s regiment and was killed in the battle of Prairie Grove. This is the third veteran of that splendid company of volunteers who has died at this place within the last ten months — First Colonel E. B. Moore, ex-secretary of state, then Ben McCurdy, who died two weeks ago, and now Mr. Duke. There are but few members of that company left.
Mr. Duke will be buried tomorrow at 3 o’clock p.m. in Evergreen Cemetery, by the Knights of Honor, to which order he belonged for twenty years, having been one of the charter members of the lodge of this place.