Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dixon and Rebecca - Sunday's Obituaries

Dixon and Rebecca (Smith) Bartley are my great-great-grandparents.  Their daughter, Elvira, was my father's maternal grandmother.  Both died at their home in Bruin, Parker Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania.

Obituary of Rebecca (Smith) Bartley
The Butler Citizen, January 4, 1900
BARTLEY---At her home near Bruin,
    Friday, Dec. 29, 1899.  Mrs. Dixon
    Bartley, aged about 85 years.
    The interment was at Bear Creek
cemetery.  Her death makes the first
break in a trio of old couples living at
Bruin.  Harvey Gibson and wife, John
Daubenspeck and wife, and the Bartleys
lived on adjoining places, were all over
80 years of age and all had been married
over sixty years.

Obituary of Dixon Bartley
The Butler Citizen, April 26, 1900
BARTLEY---At his home in Parker
    twp.  April 22, 1900, Dixon Bartley,
    aged 95  years.

It's unfortunate that Rebecca's death notice does not state her first name or her maiden name.  If I were searching for her and knew only her maiden name and not her husband's name, this obituary would be of no use to me.  Thank goodness I found other sources that give her maiden name and information about hers and Dixon's marriage.

From other sources I know that Rebecca died of cancer.  Less than four months later, Dixon died of pneumonia.  It could be just me but I have to think that Dixon and Rebecca were really close.  My romantic self imagines that after his beloved wife Rebecca died, Dixon had little reason to keep going, to carry on. 


Copyright © 2014 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. What strikes me in this news clipping is the "trivia" aspect in noting the "trio of old couples" of similar age and long years of marriage.

    1. You're right, Wendy. It is an unusual bit of information to include in an obituary. It seems to me to emphasize the long term relationship among the three couples. I'm pleased for that bit of information but I would have been happier to learn more about Rebecca's family (as opposed to learning about her neighbors).


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