Mrs. Sylvia Mecherle, 80, widow of the founder of State Farm Insurance Companies, died at 12:36 a.m. Thursday at Brokaw Hospital, where she had been a patient for 14 months.
Her funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Metzler Memorial Home, with the Rev. Russell Shaw officiating. Burial will be in East Lawn Cemetery.
Friends may call at the memorial home after 4 p.m. Friday.


Mrs. Mecherle was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., a daughter of Chambers C. and Sylvia Harris Harbaugh.
She was married to Albert Caldwell in 1909. The couple later taught at the Bangkok Christian College for Boys in Siam (now Thailand).
En route home from assignment there, they boarded the liner Titanic on the voyage of 1912 ending in disaster. Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell and their 10-month-old son were among the survivors after the line rammed an iceberg and went down at sea.
She came to Bloomington in the early 1920's and on January 8, 1944, was married to George J. Mecherle. Mr. Mecherle died in 1951 at the age of 73.
In recent years, Mrs. Mecherle made her home at 305 Grant Road.


Surviving are two sons, Alden G. Caldwell, Allentown, Pa.; Raymond M. Caldwell, with whom she made her home on Grant Road; two sisters, Miss Alice E. Harbaugh, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mrs. Beatrice H. Leach, Pleasantville, N.Y.; a brother, W. M. Harbaugh, Allentown, Pa.
Mrs. Mecherle was a member of the second Presbyterian Church, Chapter 50 of Order of the Eastern Star; a life member of the Bloomington Country Club and Bloomington-Normal Art Association, a member of the Brokaw Hospital League and an active participant for years in the work of the Community Players.

Related Biographies:
Sylvia Mae Caldwell

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(1965) WIFE OF STATE FARM FOUNDER DIES AT 80 Unidentified Newspaper (ref: #1831, accessed 2nd September 2015 03:24:44 AM) URL :

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    Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Friday 21st November 2003, last updated .