Monday, October 12, 2015

Sarah Jane Carey

Sarah Jane was one of the children of William Carey and his first wife, Mary. She outlived her mother but not her father.
Sarah Jane Carey who has been a helpless epileptic since childhood died last Saturday, Mch. 18, 1905, at the home of her father, Wm. Carey, near Wheeler, aged 31 years, 9 months and 9 days. Funeral services conducted by Rev. Jones were held at the M.E. church in Hobart 1 p.m. Tuesday. The burial occurred at the Hobart Cemetery.
I can find no evidence that her grave ever had a marker. Perhaps her father, with his remarkable memory, felt no need of a stone to find his daughter's grave … or perhaps there were darker reasons. From Minnie Rossow Harms, we get a story of trouble in the Carey family:
[W]hen Aunt Gusta [Augusta Rossow Carey] first came to the Carey farm she also assumed the care of a daughter of Pap's [William H. Carey] that wasn't altogether normal. Pap employed hired men on his farm and one cold rainy night in a thunderstorm this imbecile daughter gave birth to a little son all by herself. This made my aunt think fast and hard. Each morning the milk was driven by horses to the nearby R.R. station (Wheeler) so she got all her girls up and had them all ride to the station in the wagon. She couldn't and didn't hide the fact that her step-daughter Janie had a baby but she feared the out-side world would gossip and say one of her girls was blaming this birth on to the unnormal daughter. It stumped her as she kept her close to her both day and at night her bed-room adjoined downstairs while all the help and her girls had rooms upstairs. But Janie died shortly afterward, so my aunt and her husband, the baby's grandfather, found themselves with a tiny son to bring up.
Indeed, in the 1910 census, William Carey described Sarah Jane's six-year-old child, Lynn, as his son.

Incidentally, I do not know if the Gazette was correct in saying that Sarah Jane suffered from epilepsy. Minnie Harms records only her intellectual disability (using the terminology of the time). At any rate, it's clear that Augusta Rossow Carey felt the need to keep watch over Janie at all times to guard her against being taken advantage of by one of the hired men, or any other man, for that matter. Family stories don't include the exact identity of the alleged father, but I gather that a hired man was suspected.

… However, with regard to the marking of her grave — as we've noted, Mary Davis Carey has no individual marker either, and I do not suppose that William Carey had anything against his first wife, the mother of his children. It could just be William's general lack of enthusiasm for the marking of graves.

1910 Census.
♦ Harms, Minnie Rossow. As It Was Told to Me. 1952 – 1978. MS. Hobart Historical Society, Hobart, Indiana.
♦ "Mortuary Record." Hobart Gazette 24 Mar. 1905.

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