dee_burris: (Default)
2014-04-20 08:47

Musing on death, and dying at home

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)
2014-02-08 09:00

The tragic end of another "orphan" relative...

I wrote about my naughty, naughty auntie recently in this post.

I have now found all of Rebecca Parrish's husbands' dates of death and final resting places. Alas, not Rebecca's...

[personal profile] rainbow often helps me out with research dilemmas, and does a fine job.

When [personal profile] rainbow commented on the entry about Rebecca Parrish, I mentioned that Rebecca's son with Ulysses Grant Bond - her first husband - was unaccounted for.

[personal profile] rainbow went to work and found a bunch of information for the 14 year old "Stevie" I found living with his dad in the 1900 census in South Leitchfield, Grayson Co., KY.
Stephen Washington Bond was named for his paternal grandfather. He was my first cousin, 3 times removed.

It's been hard to account for how he spent his life. His father didn't die until 1948, and stayed close to home. Very close to home. Ulysses Grant Bond is buried in the same cemetery as his parents, five year old daughter, siblings and grand nieces and nephews in Caneyville, Grayson Co., KY.

Stephen could have stayed close to his dad, but seems to have had some wanderlust that took him all the way across the country.

In the 1910 census, he was employed at the Hot Lake Sanitarium in Union Co., OR. Click here, and here for photos from 1940 and the time during which Stephen would have recognized the building, which also served as a hotel. This photo shows the destruction of one of the buildings in the complex by a fire on 7 May 1934.

On 12 Sep 1918, Stephen registered for the draft for World War I in Santa Barbara Co., CA. He gave his occupation at that time as an oil pipeline worker for Associate Oil Co. of the same county. He listed his dad as his next of kin on the card.

And after that, I cannot find Stephen Washington Bond - not in the 1920, 1930, or 1940 censuses, which leads me to believe that my cousin may have been what was then called a hobo.

The next time I can locate him (thanks to [personal profile] rainbow) is at the time of his tragic death on 11 Nov 1951, in Lewiston, Nez Perce Co., ID.
MAN IS CRUSHED TO DEATH IN PIT
Pensioner Perishes on Rails of Engine Turntable


Lewiston, Idaho, Nov. 11 (AP)

An elderly pensioner was crushed beyond recognition last night under a locomotive turntable in the railroad yards of East Lewiston.

The victim was identified as Stephen Washington Bond, 65. He lived in a shack about 150 feet from the turntable.

Police theorized that Bond slipped and fell into the turntable pit sometime after 10:30 last night. He was last seen alive leaving a Lewiston tavern at that time.

Lay on Track

Officers said Bond had apparently struck his head on a rail in the pit. They believe he was seriously injured by the blow but that he managed to drag himself 77 feet across the pit where he collapsed.

He lay beside the track upon which the turntable revolves as it swings around the reverse [of] the direction of the locomotives.

The table was used during the night, and Bond was crushed by the tremendous weight of the table and the engine it carried.

William Hart, turntable operator, found the body early this morning when he noticed some coins and a shoe beside the turntable. A hat and an unopened can of coffee were lying beside the crushed body.

Source: The Spokesman-Review, 12 Nov 1951
Perhaps Stephen chose to live in that little shack by the railroad because of his memories of the sanitarium where he worked in 1910. Maybe he was just very poor or anti-social - or a combination of those or other things. Telling the story of the orphan relatives is never easy.

I've asked for the necessary corrections to Stephen's Find a Grave memorial to make it more complete.

And I'd love to know more about the little boy whose mother left his life all those years ago.
dee_burris: (Default)
2014-02-05 10:04
Entry tags:

Naughty, naughty auntie...

Actually my second great grandaunt, Rebecca A Parrish.

She was the daughter of Benjamin Abraham Yeager Parrish and Minerva Hamilton, and younger sister to my great great grandmother, Eada Belle Parrish.

Rebecca was married three times.

Her first marriage was to Ulysses Grant Bond. They were married in Kentucky in 1883.

According to her next marriage record, Rebecca divorced Bond in February 1899. That's what she said on her marriage license in Perry Co., IN when she married Webster Taylor on 28 Nov 1906.
 photo RebeccaParrishBondmarriagerec.jpg


I haven't yet done the research to find out what happened to Webster Taylor.

But on 2 Jun 1910, Rebecca Parrish Bond Taylor was getting married again - this time to James A Shea.

She had shaved a couple of years off her age, and said she had been married once before, a marriage that ended in the death of her spouse in 1892.
 photo RebeccaParrishTaylormarriagerecord.jpg


I wonder if James Shea knew about Rebecca's previous marriages?

I wonder if he also took some creative license with the "facts" he gave the clerk on this marriage record?
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-10-30 21:39

Abraham Hamilton Parrish, 1856-1915

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The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated. ~Plato
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Photobucket

That 19 year old staring at the camera was one of my cousins.

We are only distantly related, Ham and I.

First cousins, five times removed.

He was the son of Abraham Lincoln Parrish, Jr. and Susanna Elizabeth Snelling. Born in 1856 in Knox County, MO, Abraham Hamilton Parrish was known to family and friends as Ham.

He had one sister, and seven half siblings from his father's marriage to Anna Evans.

He would marry in 1887, and have two sons.

He died in 1915 - alone, at State Hospital Number 2 in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, MO.

He was buried in the cemetery there - a graveyard for patients who either had no family, or no family members willing to claim their bodies.

That cemetery is all but forgotten now, and a state prison occupies the land where the State Hospital was.
Perhaps Ham's mental state had deteriorated due to his uncontrolled epilepsy by the time he was admitted to State Hospital Number 2 on 19 Dec 1899.

His wife, Margaret Gragg, had divorced him and remarried on 11 Dec 1898.

I expect it wasn't a very merry Christmas for Ham that year.

A piece of his medical record survives, from a five year period of time from 1903 through 1908.

It was clear his epilepsy was still uncontrolled.

Mar 16 1903 Quiet except when disturbed by seizures. Doing well physically. Very dull mentally.
July 22 - about the same.
May 15 1905 - staff (?) reports no improvement mentally
June 10 - general health very good. eating and sleeping well.
Jany 6 1906 - general health good. mentally no improvement.
Feb 6 - Remains about the same. eating and sleeping well, and causes no trouble.
Mar 9 - no change
Apr 12 - no change
May 17 - physical condition good. Has frequent convulsions and at times is badly confused
Aug 5 - I can see no improvement in his condition. He eats and sleeps well.
Sept 25 - no change
Oct 23 - no change
Jany 9 1907 - general health good. No improvement mentally.
April 25 - very little change. has numerous convulsions at times is badly confused.
Aug 7 - [illegible] a bite to the second finger of the right hand from another patient
Sept 15 - had to amputate finger today
Oct 20 - wound has healed. and he is in his general condition physically and mentally

Ham died on 25 Aug 1915, at the age of 59. That's just 6 years older than I am now.

His death certificate lists his cause of death as status epilepticus, which is a very grand way of describing a brain that just won't turn off the juice, and that stays in a state of persistent seizure. It is an acute, prolonged epileptic crisis.

I had a young client once with uncontrolled epilepsy. Shortly before her death, I visited her and her mother in her hospital room, where her doctors had her in a light coma. I could still observe seizure activity.

She died too, shortly after I went to see her.
I can't go visit Ham's grave in real life.

But I can leave a remembrance on his memorial at Find a Grave.

And I'll meet him on the other side.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-08-04 08:49

Sympathy Saturday: I was on a roll...

I found another leg of my Parrish family last night.

My Parrish family made its way from Virginia to Kentucky, where some of them hunkered down for several generations.

But many more continued to move - on to Indiana and then to Missouri, where my g-g-grandfather, Fred Chapin, met and married Eada Belle Parrish in Vernon County on Christmas Eve in 1885.
Eada's second cousin, William Henry Parrish, was six years older than she was.

His family had lived in Knox County since at least the early 1850s. William was born in Knox County on 2 Mar 1853.

Photobucket


As far as I can tell, William and his wife, Cordelia Anna Davis, lived and worked in Knox County all their lives, raising five children together.

William and Cordelia's life together ended on 24 Jun 1924, when a tornado ripped through Knox County. Their death certificates say they died of the injuries they suffered in a cyclone. Their gravestone also notes the manner of their deaths.

I don't know if Eada got word of the tornado, or of her cousin's death. I can't find news coverage of the event, but for a while last night, I sat very thoughtfully at my computer, trying to imagine what it must have been like for my 71 year old cousin and his 67 year old wife as a funnel cloud exploded their world, and took them into the next one.
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-12-31 08:39

Sympathy Saturday: Eada B Parrish and Fred Chapin

These are the obituaries for my great-great grandparents, Eada Belle Parrish (1859-1944) and Fred Chapin (1858-1938).
Fred Chapin

Fred Chapin, 80, of 913 North Valmar street, died at a Little Rock hospital at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. He is survived by his wife, a daughter, Mrs. V C Balding of Little Rock; a sister, Mrs. Essie Finn of Altoona, Pa.; seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at the P H Ruebel & Co. chapel at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the charge of the Rev. Hay Watson Smith. Burial will be in Oakland cemetery. Pallbearers will be Joe D Williams, E V Balding, R Ellington Balding, and Marvin Balding.
Published on Friday, 30 Dec 1938, in the Arkansas Gazette
Mrs. Eada B Chapin
Octogenarian Dies.

Mrs. Eada B Chapin, aged 85, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. V C Balding of 217 Denison street, at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. She had been a resident of Little Rock for 50 years. Also surviving are seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at the Ruebel Funeral Home at 10 a.m. Monday by the Rev. Marion A Boggs. Burial will be in Oakland cemetery. Pallbearers will be W L Terry, L C Gring, J S Holtzman, W M Brandon, J D Williams and Lt. Eugene Balding.
Published on Sunday, 3 Dec 1944, in the Arkansas Gazette
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-12-26 08:14

Madness Monday: William Tuttle Parrish

For the longest time, I thought perhaps William Tuttle Parrish was a brother to my great-great grandmother, Eada Belle Parrish, but I could not connect the dots.

According to the 1900 census of Lake, Vernon Co., MO, William T Parrish was born in June 1850 in Kentucky. I also found him in the 1880 census, just five years or so after he married Sarah Hamlet Bridgewater on New Year's Eve in 1874 in Vernon County.

But I couldn't go back any farther with him, and certainly did not find him in the home of Eada's parents, Benjamin Abraham Yeager Parrish and Minerva Ann Hamilton, both of whom were also born in Kentucky, as were Abraham's parents.

When I received an email contact from a Parrish researcher, who was descended from the father of Sarah Hamlet Bridgewater, I made another stab at trying to identify the parents of William T Parrish, and also to find his date of death, which I have placed between 1900 and 1910 in Vernon Co., MO.

I couldn't find a death record on him at the Missouri SOS State Archive, but I did find out what his middle name was.

From his the death certificate of his daughter, Cinderella H E Parrish Walker, who died on 1 Jul 1930 in Vernon County.

Tuttle. He was William Tuttle Parrish.

And that led me to a set of possible parents - William Allen Parrish (1819-1883, Clark Co., KY) and Katherine Tuttle (1819-1908, Clark Co., KY).

They had an infant son, William, in the 1850 census, and also in their home in the 1860 and 1870 censuses. Their William was not in their home in 1880.
So now, it's on to contact some of the William Allen Parrish family researchers to see if we may have a match.

None of them have information about William Parrish after he left his parental home.
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-10-19 12:23

Those Places Thursday: Lakeland Asylum, Jefferson Co., KY

Photobucket
also known as Central Kentucky Asylum for the Insane
It hasn't been uncommon for me to find some of my kinfolk committed to asylums of one kind or another.

But in the case of one of my many times removed Parrish cousins, I wonder why.

Sudie Parrish Vittitow was three months shy of her 74th birthday when she died at Lakeland Asylum on 25 Feb 1936.

Photobucket
Sad, but telling that the place where she had lived for three years thought she was Sadie instead of Sudie.


A simple Google search tells some horror stories about the care and treatment at the place where Sudie lived for 3 years, 3 months and 13 days after her commitment - like how in the 1930s, cold showers, insulin injections, lobotomies and shock therapy were used to "cure" the patients, many of whom were just old and had dementia.

Some people say the place is haunted.
Sudie was the daughter of William Foster Parrish and Elizabeth Holbert. She was born on 15 May 1862 in Nelson County, KY, as were most of her ten siblings. She had a twin sister named Sallie.

She married twice, first to Samuel Vittitow, from whom she was divorced, and then to his cousin, Anthony, who died in 1929.

Altogether, Sudie had 8 children, including sons Clarence and Charlie, who had lived in their parents' home well into their adult years - and up to and including the 1930 census, when they were living with their newly widowed mother as men in their 30s.

So why was Sudie committed to an asylum?

I guess I'll have to wait and ask her on the other side...
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-02-14 19:16

Photo Post: Parrish

Daniel Broder Parrish (1848-1919) was an older brother of Eada Belle Parrish, my g-g-grandmother. I think Eada may have been one of his favorite sisters, because he named one of his daughters for her. Daniel married Susan E Mailor on 17 Nov 1880.

Photobucket


Martha Ellen Parrish (1844-1898) was one of Eada's older sisters. She married James Lafayette Truitt about 1865.
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Leander Hamilton Parrish (1854-1932) was another of Eada's older brothers, and is pictured here with his first wife, Elizabeth Katherine Wilkerson.
Photobucket
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-02-14 18:52
Entry tags:

Grandma gets on the typewriter...

I hauled out my big honking plastic file box tonight to get into my Balding/Chapin/Parrish hard file.

I needed to make sure I had scanned all the prints sent to me by another Parrish researcher and cousin who discovered my family tree on Rootsweb in 2009.

I had, and they will be in the next post.

But while I was in it, I found a document of dates of death for Baldings/Chapins/Parrishes written by my grandmother, Doris Balding Williams, probably shortly after the death of her brother, Gene, in 1980. She may have been transcribing her own mother's entries in her Bible.

Typewritten.

That was unusual for her. Pretty much everything I've seen written by Grandma was in her careful (and always legible) longhand.

What was not unusual was the editorial comment she made in her list of family members and dates of their deaths.

Photobucket

Now, she had to know someone would find this.

And keep it.

And look at it, and laugh out loud...

See you on the other side, Grandma...
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-01-23 13:15

Matrilineal Monday: Eada Belle Parrish

I have three photographs of Eada Belle Parrish.

This was taken around 1889.
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I think this one may have been sometime after that.
Photobucket


I expect this one was taken, with husband Fred Chapin, not long before his death in 1938.
Photobucket

Eada Belle Parrish was born on 13 Jul 1856 in Macomb in McDonough County, IL, to Benjamin Abraham Yeager Parrish and Minerva Ann Hamilton. She was the seventh of eight children I have documented.

I think she may have been a favored little sister for her older brother, Daniel Broder Parrish. When he married and began his family, he named one of his daughters for Eada.

Eada's father, Benjamin, was originally from Kentucky. When and why he removed to Illinois is something I don't yet know. But between the births of Daniel in 1848 and John in 1851, the family relocated. The 1850 census found them in Clark County, IN.

After Eada's mother died in 1865 in McDonough Co., IL, Benjamin Parrish remarried to Melvina Crume. They had three children in Illinois.

Benjamin Parrish moved his family back to Kentucky. In the 1880 census, he and Melvina were in Grayson Co., KY, and by the time of Benjamin's death in 1904, the family was in Butler Co., KY.


Some of the extended family must have made a pit stop in Missouri on the back to Kentucky. One of Eada's older brothers, Henry Clay Parrish, died there in 1894 in Vernon County.

And that's where Eada married Fred Chapin on Christmas Eve, 1885.


I can only account for two children born to Eada and Fred Chapin.

I wouldn't be able to account for one of them had it not been for a helpful email contact from another Parrish/Chapin researcher.

I knew that Hattie Belle Chapin was their daughter.

What I didn't know was that Hattie had a sister, Ruth, who died before the 1900 census. Since the 1890 census got either burned or waterlogged in a 1921 fire at the National Archives, I don't know when Ruth was born.

But now I do know why Hattie named her first daughter Ruth.


By 1900, Fred, Eada and Hattie had moved to Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR from Bourbon Co., KS.

The next year, Hattie married Victor Claude Balding. Both families lived near each other, as census records show them both in Ward 5 in Little Rock through 1920.

Eada was widowed by Fred's death in 1938. She died on 2 Dec 1944 in Little Rock.

Eada is buried beside Fred in Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR.
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-11-06 12:38

Surname Saturday: Chapin

One of the surnames on my mother's side of the family is Chapin. One of my cousins was curious about whether I'd be able to connect us to Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the founders of Springfield, MA.




Photobucket

The photo above is of "The Puritan,"
and the model purportedly was Deacon Samuel Chapin.


The answer is yes. Chapin family history is very well documented, particularly for the family members and descendants who stayed in and around Springfield, Roxbury and other Massachusetts cities and towns.

Samuel Chapin was widely respected in early Massachusetts, as were his sons, daughters and their children afterward. The Chapins had their own version of a family empire in Springfield.

Here is how I descend from Samuel Chapin:
Samuel (1598-1675)
Japhat (1642-1712)
Samuel (1665-1729)
Caleb (1701-1755)
Joel (1732-1805)
Joel (1763-1803)
Joel (1800-?)
Nathaniel F (1827-1898)
Frederick (1858-1938)
Hattie Belle (Chapin) Balding (1887-1976)
Doris Geneva (Balding) Williams (1907-1998)
Judith Ann Williams (1937-2004)
Me

As luck would have it, my direct Chapin ancestors had the same pioneering spirit as Samuel, and were not content to stay in Massachusetts.

Nathaniel Foster, son of Joel, was really hard to chase down. He was born in Pennsylvania, and married Elizabeth Harris about 1853. They had 10 children that I have been able to document, including my g-g-granddad, Frederick.

Photobucket

Frederick and Eada Belle (Parrish) Chapin


Nathaniel and his sons were woodworkers - carpenters and furniture makers. The family lived in Olean, Cattaraugus, New York through the 1880 census, but by the 1 Mar 1885 Kansas census, they were living in Bourbon Co., KS.

Then Fred hopped on over to Vernon Co., MO to marry Eada Belle Parrish on Christmas Eve, 1885. Fred and Eada only had two children of which I am aware, Hattie Belle (my great-grandmother) and her older sister Ruth, who died before 1900.

Photobucket
Hattie Belle (Chapin) Balding,
probably around the time of her marriage


Hattie Belle Chapin married Victor Claude Balding on 25 Sep 1901 in Pulaski Co., AR. They raised seven children in Little Rock. Hattie's parents moved there, too and are buried in Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock.