Ora Lee Settle was the first wife of my great grand uncle, William Thaddeus Meek. She was the daughter of Willis Franklin Settle and Betsey A White, born on 6 May 1866 in Barren Co., KY.
Lee, as she was called, married William Thaddeus Meek on 18 Nov 1885 in Russellville, Pope Co., AR, where Thaddeus was living after his mother, Mary Emily Conner
divorced his father and remarried a man named Samuel Webb, all in the space of 16 days in October 1871.
The Webbs moved to Russellville with Mary's children, Maxie and Thaddeus.
I knew Lee died young, but until I found her death notice in the Russellville Democrat
while I was at the Arkansas History Commission today, I had no idea of the circumstances surrounding her death - which was very sudden.
The Russellville Democrat,
18 May 1893:The death of Mrs. W. T. Meek which took place last Saturday afternoon was one of the saddest that ever occurred in this city. She died at home alone, from cause unknown, but supposed to be some heart trouble, between one and two o'clock and the discovery of the fact was not made until 6 o'clock when Mrs. Patrick, a neighbor, happened to call and found her lifeless body on the floor of her dressing apartment. Her husband left her at the dinner hour apparently in good health and excellent spirits. She spoke to him of feeling better than [illegible] intention to visit the homes of her friends during the afternoon. From the surroundings of the death chamber it is evident that she was preparing to make those calls when the dread summons came. That her death was sudden and painless is evidenced by the fact that her eyes were closed and her face wore a calm expression as if in gentle slumber.
Heartrending, always, is a death like this. But there is this consolation to the stricken husband and two little children, relatives and friends, the memory of a life so noble, so self-sacrificing, so worthy of emulation in every way will remain forever an inspiration and a benediction.
Services were held Sunday afternoon at the family residence by Eld. G W Harkey, who preached a touching funeral sermon. Afterward the remains were taken to the city cemetery for interment followed by a large number of friends and relatives.
To the husband and family who are heart-broken the most profound and sincere sympathy of the entire community is tendered.
Ora Lee (Settle) Meek died 13 May 1893, and was buried at Oakland Cemetery, in Russellville, Pope Co., AR.