Aug. 15th, 2011

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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.
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While I was at the Arkansas History Commission, I looked up the Deceased Pensioner's Widow's Application for Robert Hudson Hoshall's widow, Ann.

(The Hoshalls are the maternal great great grandparents of my brother-in-law. Nancy Ann Elizabeth Hogg was the daughter of Eli McKnight Hogg and Nancy Ann Elizabeth Bates, and was born in Tennessee on 16 Feb 1840. She married Robert Hudson Hoshall in Dallas Co., AR on 20 Apr 1859, and died in Dallas County on 21 Apr 1922.)

I think this was the first time I have seen a complete widow's application for an Arkansas Civil War veteran - at least I think I've seen it.

It was very brief - four pages, because she still had some of his old friends alive to vouch for who he was and what he did, that he was dead, and she was his widow.

Four *very* badly microfilmed pages that I had to transcribe while I was still sitting at the viewer, mumbling under my breath about why Arkansas will not digitize its historic documents. The chick working for the History Commission was sitting a couple of viewers over from me, and since we were the only two there, she started the schtick about how Arkansans don't want to pay more in taxes to pay for things like digitizing old records.

She shut up after I started mumbling about...puhlease, do not come at me about tax increases in a state that still taxes food, forgawdssake...
So anyway, I was stunned to see the criteria for getting a lousy $50 widow's pension in 1908.

You had to be worse off than dirt poor.

I, Mrs. Ann E Hoshall, do solemnly swear that I am the widow of Robert Hudson Hoshall, who served as a soldier of the Confederate States, that I am now, and for the past twelve months have been a bona fide resident of this State; that I do not own property, real or personal, or both, or money or choses in action, in excess of the value of $400.00 (exclusive of household goods and wearing apparel), nor have I conveyed title to any property to enable me to draw a pension, and that I am not in receipt of any income, annuity, pension or wages for any services, the emoluments of an office, in excess of $150.00 per year; that my said husband died on the 4th day of July 1876, leaving me a widow with (8) eight girl children who I have raised and educated, am now unable to work, will be 69 soon, and I have not remarried, so help me God.

Signature Mrs. Ann E. Hoshall
Winessed by Thomas Green, Sr.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 6 day of July 1908...Clerk [illegible]

And I see from this that I am missing two of her girl children...


Aug. 15th, 2011 09:35 pm
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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...



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Dee Burris Blakley

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