Friday, December 6, 2013

Death and Life in the Graham Family

If the new year started out happy for the family of Ross and Ruby Graham, it soon turned disastrous. On January 8, 1921, their little daughter died.

Dorothy Graham death notice

About the same time, their six-year-old son, Louis, came down with pneumonia too, and for several days lay dangerously ill. It must have been difficult for his parents to choose between staying at their son's bedside and attending their daughter's funeral, especially for Ruby, who was about seven months' pregnant at the time. But as Dorothy was laid in her grave, Louis passed through the worst of his illness and began to recover.

On the morning of January 12, news came from Valparaiso that Ross's father was dead.

T.Graham obit

Ruby's parents, Thomas and Frances Roper, had traveled 50 miles from Donaldson, Indiana, to see their granddaughter buried; they remained for several days. They were not the only ones trying to help the stricken family.

Graham Card of Thanks

In the weeks that followed, the Grahams probably took the usual course in those days: what was too painful, you just didn't talk about. They tried to keep busy. They had four children to care for — the youngest a toddler of two, and Ruby, with her growing belly, trying to keep up with him — and Ross had his teaming business, though it may have been slow in the winter. Somehow, they managed. The weeks turned into a month, a month and a half.

On February 20, Ruby gave birth to a healthy little girl. They would name her Margaret. I wonder how old Margaret was when she learned about the sister she never met?

1920 Census.
1930 Census.
♦ "Births." Hobart Gazette 25 Feb. 1921.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 13 Jan. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 14 Jan. 1921.
♦ "Well Known Hobart Citizens Pass Away During the Week," Hobart News 13 Jan. 1921.

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