Today is a genealogy Happy Dance day. I recently discovered the obituary of a grandaunt, Blanche Adamson - now I have access to the obituaries of her parents, my great grandparents, Enoch Reuben and Mary Elizabeth (Harmon) Adamson.
This is the situation. My mother divorced my birth father - she left him before I was age two. At age six, I was adopted by my stepfather and legally given his name. My birth family, the Adamsons, were effectively erased from my life - to be rediscovered when I began family research. I have had no traditions, no family stories, to further this research or give it depth. On the other side of the coin, each tidbit of information about the Adamsons is always fresh and new.
Enoch was a Union Army Civil War Pensioner, so I had a copy of his very large file, which included a date and place of death, but no particulars. He had not died at home in Benton County, Arkansas, but curiousily, in Oklahoma. I knew that after his death, Mary was counted twice in the 1910 census - once in Rogers, Benton County, Arkansas, and also in Chester, Crawford County, Arkansas, some fifty or so miles and two counties away. I had no more records about Mary after about 1912, so assumed she had also passed away. I knew that Blanche had died as a young woman because I found her listed in USGenWeb in the Rogers Cemetery, but knew absolutely nothing else about her.
The following obituaries are some of the richest in detail that I have seen - Enoch's even offers the explanation of why Mary was counted twice in the 1910 census. The obituaries can also be found on FindAGrave.com, Rogers Cemetery, Benton County, Arkansas. The contributor has given me permission to use them in this Blog. The Rogers Democrat was the local newspaper.
March 08, 1905
ADAMSON, Blanche – A telegram was received yesterday announcing the death that morning of Miss Blanche Adamson of Cherry Lynn, 8 miles from Denver. The body will be brought to Rogers for burial and while no word has yet been received from Mr. and Mrs. Adamson regarding the funeral arrangements it is thought they will reach here tomorrow night or Friday morning. Miss Adamson's death was the result of consumption and her condition had been such since Christmas that her death had been almost daily expected. It will be two years in April since Miss Adamson went to Colorado with the hope that the change of climate would cure her and it was thought at times she was on the road to recovery. It was too deep seated and death alone could give her relief. None of the young ladies of Rogers of recent years have been more deservedly popular than Miss Adamson and she had a wide acquaintance in this part of the state. Born in Kansas she came with her parents, E.R. Adamson and wife, to Rogers 16 years ago and resided here until she went to Colorado. She had always been prominent in local social circles, her pleasant manners and lovable traits of character making her a general favorite. During the years that her father had the control of the Commercial Hotel here the active management of the same was handled by Miss Blanche and she made a most capable landlady. The Democrat joins with the many Rogers friends in extending sympathy to the bereaved family.
March 15, 1905
Mr. and Mrs. E.R. Adamson, accompanying the body of their daughter, Miss Blanche, who died a week ago near Denver, arrived in Rogers Friday noon. Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at the Congregational church at two o'clock and were conducted by Rev. J.G. Bailey, assisted by Rev. Alling. The church was crowded with friends of the deceased and of the family and many were unable to gain admission; an eloquent tribute to the popularity of Miss Blanche. Interment was in the local cemetery. All of the funeral arrangements were carried out in accordance with the wishes of Miss Adamson, who planned them a short time before her death.
January 13, 1910
ADAMSON, E.R. - E.R. Adamson died Friday, January 7th in the hospital at McAlester, Okla. the result of pneumonia and complications. The body was brought to Rogers and funeral services were held Monday afternoon at two o'clock at the Presbyterian church and were conducted by the pastor, Rev. Arnett. Interment was in the Rogers cemetery. Mr. Adamson had been in charge of a Rock Island bridge gang the past three months with headquarters at Haileyville, Okla. Christmas Day he was sent to Shawnee to assist in clearing away the wrecked machine shops where a number of men were killed by the explosion of a locomotive boiler. He caught a severe cold and was ordered to the hospital January 1st. He rapidly grew worse and died before any of the family could reach him. "Col" Adamson, as he was familiarly known, was born February 19, 1854 at Kokomo, Howard county, Indiana. He grew to manhood there served four years in the Civil War in an Indiana regiment. After the war he went to Missouri and October 12, 1870 was married to Miss Mary E. Harmon of Oregon, Mo. To them were born seven children, four of whom with their mother survive him. They are Mrs. E.E. Musselman of Rogers and Lee, Ray, and Clarie, who have been the past year at Quanah Texas. Two children died at Peirce City, Mo. and Miss Blanche died here several years ago. Mr. Adamson had been a Frisco employee for twenty-seven years, commencing about the time the Frisco company began work on the line south from Monett. He had always been in the bridge and carpenter department and in charge of a regular crew. The family moved to Rogers from Peirce City in 1890. In 1897 Mr. Adamson took charge of the Commercial Hotel of Rogers and owned it for about three years, although he was himself in charge and off the road for only one year. He was elected mayor of Rogers that spring and served with credit to himself and the town. For a number of years Mr. Adamson had owned a large fruit farm near Chester and a little over two years ago they moved down there to give it their personal supervision. Mrs. Adamson and the boys will retain the farm this year at least. Mr. Adamson was one of the most popular men that ever lived in Rogers and his list of friends was only limited by the number of his acquaintances. Big, jolly and with a hearty welcome for everyone, he was known from one end of the division to the other and the news of his sudden death will be learned with much regret by all. Mrs. Adamson and children request us to thank the friends who so kindly assisted her in preparing and conducting the funeral and for other kindnesses shown.
September 19, 1912
ADAMSON, Mary Elizabeth HARMON - Mrs. E.R. Adamson died Saturday morning [September 13th - the 19th was a Thursday in 1912] at Dr. Love's sanitarium after a prolonged and painful illness. There had been but little hope for her recovery for several months and death came as a welcome relief from her sufferings. Funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church Sunday afternoon at three o'clock and were conducted by the officers of the Eastern Star, under the direction of District Deputy Worthy Matron Addie L. Bartlett. A large number of friends gathered at the church and cemetery to pay their last sad tribute to the memory of the deceased. Mary Elizabeth Harmon was born in Indiana July 14th, 1850 and was married to Enoch R. Adamson on October 19, 1868. They moved from Indiana to Bremer county, Iowa in 1869 and lived also in Kansas and Missouri before coming to Rogers twenty years ago from Pierce City, Mo. Mr. Adamson died Jan. 7, 1910 and Mrs. Adamson is survived by four children, Mrs. E.E. Muesselman, Lee H. Adamson, and Ray and Clair Adamson, all of this city. A daughter, Miss Blanche, died a number of years ago. The deceased also leaves two brothers and a sister. Mrs. Adamson had been a member of the Presbyterian church of Rogers for twenty years and was always one of its most conscientious and faithful workers. She was one of the best beloved Christian women of the city and none stood higher in the esteem of our people. She was a member of the Woman's Study Club and took an active interest in all matters that pertained to the welfare of her town and her neighbors. Her death is a loss not only to her own immediate family but to the entire community.
There is one very interesting fact from the above obituary - Mary seemed to always maintain she was born in July of 1850 - also indicated in the obit. However, in the 1850 census, she was listed with her parents as being 11/12. The census enumerator was there on 19 Sep 1850. Perhaps he intended to list her as 1/12. In 1860, the informant declared Mary to be age 12 - so that didn't help solve the problem. Other dates related by Mary or by Enoch, such as in the various pension applications and forms, have been quite accurate. I can only conclude that she certainly understood her birth year to have been 1850.
I was curious, too, about Love's Sanitarium. Ah, the Internet is truly a wonderful place. It was a small private hospital run by Dr. George M. Love in Rogers, Arkansas. There is even a picture!