|Butler Citizen, February 23, 1899|
And yet experienced Elvira may have been the person called upon in February, 1899, to prepare Christian for burial. In fact, compassionate Elvira may have been the person at Christian's side as he struggled through and succumbed to pneumonia.
Christian was 79 when he died on February 18, 1899. Death certificates had yet to be created so there's no way of knowing when the pneumonia began or how long a doctor had attended him. Sacramento's The Daily Union of July 19, 1899, page 4, gives this information about congestive pneumonia. "It is very apt to occur as the culminating difficulty of some long sickness, carrying off a great many old people and feeble people who have been invalids for some time. In this disease the lungs seem to fill up and the weak vital forces are unable to throw off the accumulations." Considering his age it is possible Christian could have had congestive pneumonia, but it's only conjecture.
As the oldest male in the family, Fred may have been the executor of Christian's estate but no will has surfaced to give indication of how Christian chose to govern his affairs after his death. Neither do we know who notified the rest of the family and how if they weren't already at Christian's side. To my knowledge, no details survive.
We have no way of knowing how long it was before the estate was settled and life returned to some semblance of normal for 46-year-old Elvira and her family: there were 11 children living at home during this time. Their ages ranged from 2 years to 25 years. She and Fred were living in Parker Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, no doubt close to the home where Christian died.
|Butler Citizen, January 4, 1900|
|Butler Citizen, February 8, 1900|
For Elvira? To lose two close family members in two months must have been heartbreaking. Though she had a young family who needed her care and attention she surely mourned the losses. As for Dixon? Just four days after his daughter's death, on February 10, 1900, he wrote, or possibly rewrote, his will.
Death was not finished with the Bartley household.
|Butler Citizen, April 26, 1900|
Even when we know death is imminent due to advanced age or illness; no matter how firm one's foundation of faith, we grieve the loss of loved-ones. Losing three immediate family members in four months must certainly have filled Elvira with deep sorrow. But from what we know she had a strong faith. She also had a family with young children who needed her. Elvira carried on.
My sympathies to Elvira.
Copyright © 2014 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.