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.

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