“Happiest when surrounded by little children”

1944 newspaper obituary clipping for Anna Mary (Hopkins) Carson of New Jersey and Kansas


[Transcription follows]



     Mrs. Andrew Carson, (Anna Mary Hopkins) was born December 25, 1857 in Trenton, N.J., and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs R. Knott in Abilene, Kansas, on Saturday, September 16, 1944, at the age of 86 years, 8 months and 19 days.

     On June 9, 1875 she was united in marriage to Andrew Carson of Trenton, N. J., in 1882 Mr. and Mrs. Carson moved to Skiddy, Kansas, later they moved to a farm near White City, where they lived until 1919 when they moved into town.

     She joined the Methodist church in White City on December 2nd, 1894, during the pastorate of Rev. J. S. Ford. She was a very faithful and active member until her health failed her. By such women of love and integrity are our churches and communities maintained. She was a good neighbor and loved by all who knew her. She was happiest when surrounded by little children.

     Mrs. Carson greatly loved her home and family, always kind and thoughtful as a wife and mother, she lived in her own gentle way.

     Her passing is a great loss, not only to her family but to all who knew her. A devout christian has gone to her God.

     Mr. Carson preceded her in death on April 18, 1937.

     She is survived by the following children: Mrs. Ralph Knott of Abilene, Mrs. George Tyson of Council Grove, Roy of White City, Elmer of Herington, Mrs. Amanda Carroll of Pittsburg, Frank and Raymond Carson and Mrs. Lillian Bailey of Wichita; thirty two grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren and one great, great, grandchild.

     Mrs. Carson had been an invalid for nearly three years, spending most of her time with her daughter Mrs. Knott, who employed Mrs. Cordelia Williams to care for her. About two years ago she fell and broke her hip, and spent some time in the hospital. When it had almost healed several months ago, she had another fall and the hip was rebroken.

     Funeral services were held at the Methodist church Wednesday at 2:30 with interment in White City cemetery. Frey funeral home had charge of arrangements; Rev. O. J. McCulloh preached the sermon.

     The pall bearers were: R. R. Adam, W. H. Ashe, Howard Shepherd, C. C. Miller, George Hauserman and F. F. Girtch.

     Music was furnished by Mrs. J. F. Bacon at the piano and C. C. Miller, Howard Shepherd, Mrs. E. G. Larson, and Mrs J E Bowert, who sang “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Sometime We’ll Understand,” and “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.”

     Supper was served by the Eastern Star at the Full Plate Cafe to relatives from a distance attending the funeral.

[End of transcription.]

I am a descendant of one of the eleven great-grandchildren mentioned in the above obituary. My grandmother would have been one of the unnamed 32 grandchildren, and would probably have attended the funeral of her grandmother, although I do not have any recollection of her telling me that. Our branch of the family has no photographs, letters or ephemera from the New Jersey Hopkins side of the family, and I am still working to prove her ancestry.

The clipping transcribed above is, just that, a clipping, so full publication data for a proper citation is lacking. Two facts suggest publication information: 1) the newspaper was published on a Thursday following the death and funeral of Anna Mary (Hopkins) Carson and, 2) the newspaper was published in Morris County, Kansas.

Consulting a perpetual calendar for 1944, I was able to determine that the likeliest publication date would have been Thursday, 21 Sep 1944, the first Thursday following her death on Saturday, 16 Sep 1944.

I was then able to narrow down the newspaper to one of two possibilities using the U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present online as part of the Chronicling America project of the Library of Congress, which I have blogged about previously.

Search of the U.S. Newspaper Directory using state of Kansas, and county of Morris, plus decade from 1940-1950, as shown in yellow, above.


Only the Council Grove Republican and White City Register (indicated in red, above) are likely candidates for this newspaper clipping based on the publication information. My belief is this obituary appeared in the 21 Sep 1944 edition of the White City Register, page unknown. Determining whether this is, in fact, true has been added to my “to do” list.

Notes: The formatting shown in this post is not true to the original; it was a very long, narrow column in the original newspaper, which I have chosen not to replicate. In the original, each new section is indented, and there is no spacing between the paragraphs. I was unable to get it properly formatted in this blog post but felt that sharing the information was more important than formatting of same.

1. The children of Anna Mary (Hopkins) Carson all lived in towns and cities in Kansas, although that may not be clear to those unfamiliar with the area.

2. “Mrs. Lillian Bailey of Wichita” was actually Mrs. Lillian Barley, wife of Christian Arthur Barley. They lived in at 850 Faulkner in Wichita in 1943, per Polk’s Wichita City Directory (Kansas City, Missouri: R. L. Polk & Co., 1943), p. 57, entry for Christian A. and Lillian Barley; digital image, “U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989”, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Mar 2014). The 1944 Wichita directory, if one exists, is not available on Ancestry currently.

Chronicling America Video Resources

I recently completed an article for publication in the Seattle Genealogical Society’s semi-annual Bulletin, introducing the Chronicling America historic newspaper website. Space constraints prevented the inclusion of additional resources which may be of use to genealogical researchers.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Ohio Historical Society (OHS), one of the participating state partners in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), have each released short videos about the Chronicling America project. Both groups have YouTube channels, but it may be easier to begin your search elsewhere.

In 2013, NEH released two brief videos, one an overview of Chronicling America, and one on how to clip and save content from the site. Both of these videos can be accessed via the EDSITEment! Chronicling America portal, aimed at educators and students. Additional content is promised. EDSITEment Chronicling America pagehttp://edsitement.neh.gov/what-chronicling-america

The Ohio Historical Society released a series of eleven video podcasts in early 2012, addressing a variety of topics on using the Chronicling America website. Basic search and navigation are included, of course, but other videos cover topics such as advanced searches, optical character recognition technology (OCR) and “controlled vocabulary”. I highly recommend watching all of them. The Chronicling America website was revised earlier this month so the images from the video series will differ somewhat from what you see on the Chronicling America website today.


Alternately, download a PDF file with links to video content on YouTube from the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) here.

In addition to the links to the OHS YouTube videos, a lot more content regarding the Ohio NDNP program can be accessed from the main page of their wiki. Don’t miss this if you are interested in historic Ohio newspapers!

Three Deaths in March 1881: A Dabler Family Tragedy

Perusing the Chronicling America historic newspaper database in preparation for my upcoming talk, I decided to do a search for my 3rd-great-grandfather, David Dabler. I received a grand total of 5 hits, all from The County Paper, a newspaper published in Holt County, Missouri. When reading through the search results, I realized the deaths of two of his daughters and his first grandchild were reported in two successive issues of that newspaper in March 1881. I cannot imagine how devastating the loss for the family would have been. Eliza Josephine Dabler Dreher was only 21 years of age at death, and her sister, Julia E. Dabler Oliver was 23 when she passed away. They were younger sisters of my ancestor, Anna Maria Dabler Fryman.

County Paper masthead

Newspaper: County Paper (Oregon, Mo.), 18 Mar 1881, p. 1, col. 2
–Mrs. Eliza Dreher, wife of William Dreher and daughter of David and Margaret Dablers [sic] of Seneca, Kansas, died on Saturday morning, March 12th, 1881, at her home near Nickell’s Grove, aged 21 years and 13 days. Her infant babe died just three days before. Her funeral was preached on Sunday, 13th, inst., at the German church at Nickell’s Grove and her remains immediately afterwards interred in the adjacent cemetery. She had been married but little more than a year. Hers was a sweet and lovely disposition, and, as remarked by the Minister who preached her funeral, “she had not an enemy in the world.” Her afflicted husband and relatives have the heartfelt sympathy of all her acquaintances. Seneca, Kansas, papers please copy.

Newspaper: County Paper (Oregon, Mo.), 25 Mar 1881, p. 1, col 4
–Died: Mrs. Julia Oliver, wife of James Oliver deceased, died, at the residence of her father, Mr. David Dabler, in Seneca, Nemaha county, Kansas, Thursday morning March 17th, at the hour of 7 o’clock, of consumption. The deceased was buried, Friday, March 18th at the Seneca grave yard, Rev. William Stewart officiating. The deceased was the second daughter of David and Margaret Dabler. She was born March 8, 1858 in Shelby County, Indiana, whence she, with her parents, in the 11th year of her age, moved to Holt county, Mo., where, at the age of 17, she became the wife of James Oliver. The death of her husband 18 months afterward, made her a widow, in which state she lived until her death.