The actual obituary of the Rev Thomas Smith mentions that there was a previous, premature, outing for the summing up of his life and career, in the Sheffield Independent. I have finally managed to track it down. The episode is most entertainingly described by that newspaper’s rival, the Sheffield Telegraph!
When Thomas Smith died in 1901, the Telegraph added to the above story…
A Sheffield newspaper appeared one morning with the
announcement of his death, followed by an apprecia-
tive sketch of his career. Fond of a joke, he called
at the office of the paper in question to return thanks,
and next day preached from his own pulpit from the
text, “Can these dry bones live?”