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dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, April 20th, 2014 08:47 am
I got death certificates in the mail Friday - four of them - for a great grandfather, great grandmother, and two great-great grandparents.

Fred and Eada Parrish Chapin, Victor Claude Balding, and Mary Mathilda, "Tildie" Wharton Burris.

They were related to each other not by blood but by marriage, so I can only use any similarities in causes of death as they apply to me, and other common descendants of the multiple blended families.

The years of death are 1938 (Fred Chapin and Tildie Burris), 1944 (Eada Chapin), and 1945 (Pop Balding).

And as I laid them out side by side, I noticed something else.

Three of the four of them died at home - or at the home of a child, where they had been living. (That's the multi-generational family living under one roof thing that was the rule instead of the exception until after World War II.) They were surrounded by people and things that were familiar, and even if in a small way, comforting.

And it struck me.

What a grand way to die...
The aftermath of World War II not only saw a change in the way American families lived, but also how - and where - they died.

Prior to World War II, only in exceptional circumstances did people die in hospital beds instead of in their own beds, in their own homes, or a home of relatives (frequently their children) that had become their home.

My paternal great grandmother, Tildie Burris, died on 26 May 1938 at the home of her daughter, Emma Burris Crites. Her death certificate notes that she died of chronic nephritis, or kidney disease as we would say now. It also says the doctor saw her for three days leading up to her death and she was in a partial coma. As has been noted by memories of her grandchildren, some of whom said she got "mean" in her later years, the certificate says she had senility.

The next death in the chronology was my great-great grandfather, Fred Chapin, on 29 Dec 1938. He died at Baptist Hospital of prostatic hypertrophy - a condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged. He also had kidney disease - a combination of which we recognize today as dangerous for older men. His doctor attended him (Fred was also diagnosed with senility) from 28 Nov 1938 to the date of his death. I'm going to guess that he was only hospitalized for part of the 32 days his doctor cared for him.

On 2 Dec 1944, my great great grandmother, Eada Chapin, died at the home of her daughter, Hattie Chapin Balding, of a heart attack. There is no note on the certificate of senility, but it does say she had arteriosclerosis.

Only a little more than a month later, my great grandmother, Hattie Chapin Balding, was present at the death of her husband, Victor Claude "Pop" Balding, when he died at home - in the same house - of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Some of those deaths were sudden, some weren't.

But I am sure now - whether I leave suddenly, or because of a lingering illness - if at all possible, I'd like to die at home.
dee_burris: (Default)
Monday, July 2nd, 2012 08:07 am
It's kind of bizarre to see how the city of Little Rock has grown up around what we call the Arkansas Territorial Restoration.

As shown in this 1940 map, the property used to be located at the southeast edge of town.

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But progress brings changes.

This property is now located less than a block from an off-ramp from Interstate 30, in the heart of downtown.

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Plum Bayou Plantation house restoration...
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*Love* the dog trot...
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And the fence...
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dee_burris: (Default)
Monday, June 11th, 2012 08:33 pm
This is the Edmonson family plot at Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock. These are my brother-in-law's maternal ancestors.

Graves in this plot include:
Jonas Smith Edmonson, 1828-1894
Phebe Harris Edmonson, 1835-1903

Their daughter, Mary Frances "Mamie" Edmonson Jordan, 1861-1948

Mamie's children:
Harry Jordan, 1887-1887
Helen Phoebe Jordan Rutherford, 1899-1978

Helen's son from her first marriage to George Ira Brandon, George William "Billy" Brandon, 1910-1927

Helen's second husband, Herbert Hoshall Rutherford, 1899-1930
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dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, June 9th, 2012 08:09 pm
I think this is one of the neatest old photos of a landmark in Little Rock.

Mount St Mary's Convent, when it was originally located at West 7th and Louisiana Streets. It was blessed on 1 Nov 1851.

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Irish bishop Andrew Byrne of St. Mary's Mission near Pine Bluff, Arkansas, called thirteen members of the Sisters of Mercy from Naas, Ireland, to establish St. Mary's Convent in Little Rock in 1850. The convent had a chapel, music room, and a drawing and reception room by 1881.

In 1886 Mother Alphonsus Carton supervised eleven sisters, three novices, and four postulants at the convent.

Mount St Mary's Academy moved to Pulaski Heights in 1908.
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, October 8th, 2011 04:33 pm
Sometimes I find myself wrapping up loose ends in my current family business that take me back in time.

Recently the issue was how many plots there were in the Williams family plot at Roselawn Cemetery in Little Rock, and who owns them.

So yesterday, I found myself looking at Roselawn's official records on the subject. It was interesting information.

On 24 Feb 1958, my grandparents, Joe Duffie Williams and Doris (Balding) Williams bought six plots at Roselawn.

Although that information was interesting to me all on its own, it was even more interesting when I considered their ages. They were in their fifties, the same decade as I am in now. They had been grandparents for 4 years, with two granddaughters at the time.

Is it time for me to be making that decision? I wonder what caused them to be making it at that time? Had Papa Joe gotten a big bonus and that was one of the things they could check off the list of business they wanted to handle?

Three years later, on 31 Oct 1961, they sold and deeded two of the plots to Lee E and Kathryn G Eoff. Mr. Eoff died in 1972, and Mrs. Eoff in 1976. They are buried in the lots purchased from my grandparents, although their graves have no markers.

I don't know how they knew the Eoffs, or even *if* they did - yet. Maybe the cemetery helped arrange that sale.

Really curious, though...
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 08:27 pm
The first Cathedral of St. Andrew was consecrated in 1846, at Second and Center Streets.

The current cathedral, located at 617 Louisiana Street, was consecrated in 1881 by Bishop Edward M Fitzgerald, who was only 33 when he came to Little Rock, and found five priests to serve the post-Civil War diocese. (He was the only English-speaking bishop, and only one of two prelates in the world, to vote against the declaration of papal infallibility at the First Vatican Council in Rome in 1870.)
Then...

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Now...
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The cathedral is still an active house of worship today.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 07:36 pm
Union Station
Then, 1905-1915
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Now
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Union Station used to be a very important part of transportation in Arkansas.

When I was a kid, my grandmother, Louise Herrington, took me for a ride on an Amtrak train. We only hit a couple of the whistle stops before going back to Arkadelphia, but I thought we were big stuff...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, August 27th, 2011 04:30 pm
So I went by Roselawn today as I was in town taking cemetery photos.

And I drove by this grave.

Chapin.

Now how could they not be related? But I didn't recognize the name.

I took the shot anyway.

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Chester C and Mary Ruth Chapin


And came home and dug around.

Yep. Cousins.

I wonder if Chester and his eighth cousin, Hattie Belle, ever knew each other. They lived in Little Rock at the same time - for years.

And if they did, I wonder if they were ever able to puzzle through exactly how they were related?
dee_burris: (Default)
Monday, August 22nd, 2011 12:59 pm
I went there on Sunday to photograph the graves of Frances Reeve Edmonson and her husband, John Parks Almand.

They are interred in one of the mausoleums, which was locked. I'm trying to contact the cemetery association to gain access, which is proving more difficult than I thought it would be.

Not to worry though...Mount Holly ranks close to the top of my favorite cemeteries, and I never get tired of taking photos there.

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Click here for more... )
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 08:52 pm
Then, with Pfeifers on the left. (The building was built in the late 1890s and operated as a retail and jewelry store in that location until 1963.) It was located at the corner of 6th and Main Streets.

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Now...image from Google Earth.

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dee_burris: (Default)
Monday, August 15th, 2011 09:35 pm
One of the Shinns, Henry Alphonso, (he was a cousin to Josiah Hazen Shinn, the husband of my great grand aunt Minnie Williams) was a photographer in Little Rock and Pine Bluff for over 20 years, until he died in 1901.

There's a directory online with the address of his photography studio in Little Rock, along with his residence address.

So I thought I'd see if the buildings were still standing.

They are now hotel parking lots...

Shoot.
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, August 13th, 2011 02:51 pm
16th and Center Streets, Little Rock
1908

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Same view, 2011
Image saved from street view on Google Earth

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dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, August 11th, 2011 06:01 pm
About 20 years ago, I fell in love with the work of local artist, Richard DeSpain, and bought several of his prints of Little Rock and other areas of Arkansas.

This one was my grandmother's favorite.

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After I had it framed and showed it to her, I told her the store where I bought it said it was DeSpain's interpretation of a photo of Main Street taken in the 1920's.

Oh no, she decisively corrected me. That was in the teens. I remember going with Mama on the streetcar to pay the light bill, and that's exactly the way they had the turn marked.

In the 20's they moved the power company office, and you had to go farther down the street.


Missing you, Grandma.
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, June 11th, 2011 02:36 pm
You wanted to know what I looked like in high school...

Here's my senior class picture...
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And I am gonna upload a bunch of these for the Parkview High School Class of 1977 to Ancestry...

Probably get egged at the 40th reunion...

BTW, I still wear my hair like that - just has a lot of gray now.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 07:34 pm
I love old postcards.

Two here from Hot Springs back in the day. Hot Springs is in Garland County, and was home to several of my relatives from southern Arkansas.

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Central Avenue, Hot Springs - card never mailed


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Arlington Hotel, on Central Avenue - postally used 1913


And Little Rock in 1908. I wish Center Street still looked like this today.

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