Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 05:58 am
He's one of my orphan relatives. Cyrus was the oldest of 10 children born to my third great grandparents, Nathaniel Foster Chapin and Elizabeth Pancoast Harris.

He never married or had children. Census and city directory records say that he followed in his father's footsteps and became a carpenter, but he doesn't seem to have been able to work at that trade consistently enough to support himself.

Cyrus never married. He also didn't seem to have set up his own house in his lifetime, living first with his parents into his young adulthood, and as an older adult, with his younger sisters and their families.

He lived with sister Addie the longest - from at least 1900 until her death in 1925. Then he moved from Denver, CO, to Altoona, PA, where he lived out the remainder of his life with his sister, Essie.
Cyrus' obituary made me curious.

Died at 3 o'clock this morning at the home of his sister, Mrs. Essie Lebolt Finn of 1421 Second street, following an illness of six weeks. He suffered from a complication of diseases.

I wondered what "complication of diseases" he had. As previously noted in this post, the 1880 census form said he had sciatic rheumatism, a very painful nerve disease that sometimes makes walking almost impossible. I found it really strange that a 27 year old man would have an illness that usually comes with advanced age.

So I ordered his death certificate from the State of Pennsylvania.
Cyrus' death certificate didn't note any central nervous system disorder.

It says he died of senility.

I've seen scads of death certificates that say that. Searching for it as an "olden days" cause of death, I've also found cautions to doctors about ruling out any other cause of death before just saying someone died of old age.

Cyrus' death certificate also lists a contributory cause of death. But it's the one I think probably killed him.

Chronic interstitial nephritis. In truth, he probably died of kidney failure and also had some form of senile dementia. The death certificate says he was attended by his physician from 15 Feb 1926 until his death at 3 a.m. on 3 Mar 1926.

His obituary said he was ill for six weeks. Makes me wonder how long people waited back then to call the doctor for an ailing 72 year old brother.

And about that "complication of diseases" noted in his obit.

I guess I'll find out on the other side.

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