Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sarah and Joseph lose another child

      Viola Emma Withrow was the fifth child born to Joseph and Sarah. She was the third child to die.  Less than two years had passed since the death of Aurilla when Emma, as she appears to have been called, died on April 25th 1888.  She was 20 years and 18 days old.  The following is part of her obituary:
      "She was ever a kind, obedient and loving girl to her aged father and mother, sisters and brother, and beloved by all who knew her, and by all schoolmates in particular.  She was ever a kind and dutiful daughter.  On Sabbath Eve. before she passed away her mother asked her if she was willing to die if God's will, and her answer was "Perfectly, perfectly."  She leaves behind her parents, brother and sister, although, two sister have gone before, both from the same grim monster "Consumption."  This has been truly a sorely afflicted family, and may the messenger of death stay his hand to them in the future."

     Now we know that Mary Kate, the first child, died of consumption before the family moved to their Greene County home.

     I am also a little taken back with the reference to Joseph and Sarah being aged parents. They were 57 and 54. Wow! I guess I must be really aged since that big birthday I just celebrated.

     After my mother died in 2003, I began going through the buffet where she kept special papers.  I found Viola Emma's obituary clipped from the newspaper over 100 years ago. One can certainly access this obituary on line, but I like having the original. Who clipped it? Did Sarah or one of her daughters. Great Grandma Estella was 12 at the time. Could it have been her? Whoever it was passed in on, and I eventually became the handler of this history.

     Sadly, I don't need another title for the next part of the story. Yes, Sarah and Joseph lost another child.  Their youngest child, Sarah Jane, was but 17 when she died on Sunday, October 25th, 1896.

     According to her obituary her cause of death was from being burned.  "It appears she had a spell of sickness some time ago and since has not been right in her mind and had to be watched. She had been left alone in the house and some way her clothes caught fire and burned her so badly that she died from the effects.  The burning occurred on Tuesday and she died the following Sunday."

      This was taken from her obituary which I also found in the buffet. It is very old and frail.

      Additionally, I found a newspaper notice of thanks.

      "We wish to thank the friends and neighbors who so kindly assisted in the care and last sad rite of our daughter Sadie.  Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Withrow."

     Another scrap of newspaper states, "Dr. Swartsell and wife have returned from an extended visit to a daughter in Iowa". A handwritten note indicates 1896. Did they come at the time of Sadie's death?

      I imagine that the younger Sarah Jane was nicked named Sadie to keep from confusing her with her mother. And remember,  Aurilla's wedding application listed her as Rilley.  I think the family might have liked nicknames.


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