For years, I have been searching for information about the death of my great-great grandmother Mary Elizabeth (McFarland) Epperson. A family Bible entry, apparently written by her daughter, stated that she died July 26, 1897 in Joplin, Missouri. However, her husband's military pension application gave her death date as July 28, 1898. I wanted to know which, if either, of these two dates was correct. I also wondered what caused her death, particularly since she was only inher late 40s at the time. Finally, I wanted to know if she was buried near Joplin or elsewhere.
Last night, I found a short notice in an old Wellington, Kansas newspaper that answered all of these questions! The newspaper date of August 4, 1898 makes it clear that the year listed on the pension application is correct. Unfortunately the newspaper doesn't mention the exact date of her death. It also incorrectly reports her husband's initials as W. A. rather than W. N. However, the other details contained in the short paragraph make up for those shortcomings. I learned that she died of malarial fever (a surprisingly common illness in 19th century America), that her remains were transported to Wellington (presumably by train) and then on to her former residence of Rome (Kansas not Italy!). Perhaps the most meaningful piece of information to me is her burial place. Jordan Cemetery is a few miles south of Wellington, Kansas, about 30 miles from where I grew up. After consulting Google Maps, I know that the cemetery is right beside I-35 and I have unknowingly sped past great-great Grandma Epperson's grave many times as I traveled that stretch of highway. The listing of burials in Jordan Cemetery on findagrave.com doesn't include any Eppersons, so it's possible that her grave is unmarked. Regardless, I'm very happy to know her final resting place and I'll be planning a visit soon.
Found on Newspapers.com
Teresa is the the owner of KinSeeker Genealogy Services. She has a Ph.D. in Biology and a lifelong fascination with genealogy. She been researching her own family history for over 20 years and loves helping others "find their stories."
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