W.D. Lear Obituary
Rev. W. D. Lear Dies At Home In Corvallis
From the Western News, October 15, 1936, p. 1
Samael Nevin, Heritage Geography
Rev. William D. Lear, pioneer minister pf the Bitter Root valley, died early Sunday morning at his home on the outskirts of Corvallis. He was 92 years of age and had been an invalid for several years. His wife, Alice Myers Lear, preceded him in death a few months ago.
The aged minister had been a resident of the Corvallis community for over fifty years and until recent years had been actively engaged in the work of the Christian church. He was founder of the Corvallis, Stevensville, Florence, and Missoula churches, and for years after he retired from active work in the ministry, he was called upon to perform marriages and funeral rites for members of old-time families. His two sons, James D. Lear and Paul, of Corvallis, survive with a brother, Ben Lear, who recently came to Corvallis from Deer Lodge to reside.
Rev. Mr. Lear was born February 17, 1844 at Lancaster, Kentucky. His father was owner of a southern plantation and after his death the family moved to Missouri. His ordination as a Christian minister took place in that state in 1877 and his marriage to Alice Myers was event of 1879 at Millport, Iowa. Coming west in 1880 he served the Christian charge at Helena and later founded the church at Corvallis. Ranching was varied with his ministerial work for most of his years at Corvallis. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. C. A. Sias of Hamilton at the Corvallis United Church Tuesday afternoon. A quartet rendition of hymns was given by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Price, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Felix. Those to serve as pallbearers were Dean and Milford Cobb, Lee Simmons, Gilbert Chaffin, Lester Morris and Charles Bourne. Burial took place beside the grave of Mrs. Lear in the Corvallis cemetery. The pioneer minister had once served Montana as chaplain of the state legislature.