Friday, June 24, 2011

The Stanton Vault Revisited: Part 3

This is the third and final post about the Chariton Cemetery’s Stanton Vault and the 16 people whose remains were interred in its footprint after demolition. The first post covered general history of the vault; the second, 10 members of the extended Stanton family buried in it; and this post, five adults and one stillborn infant who had little in common other than their final resting place and the fact no one claimed their remains for burial elsewhere when the vault was destroyed.

Andrew Swan was an immigrant from Sweden who farmed in Whitebrest Township; Henrietta and John Perry, a once-prominent and widely known couple; Henry Van Werden, a physician from Leon who, his obituary implies, may have insisted on interment some distance from home because the prospect of in-ground burial frightened him; Louise Mallory, an infant who would have enjoyed advantages the others could only imagine had she lived; and Minnie Kirk, a young woman cut down by tuberculosis, the great killer of that era.

East Row, Grave No. 1 (from the north)
The Chariton Herald, 3 December 1903

Mr. Andrew Swan died at his home in Whitebreast township on Saturday evening, November 21, 1903, at the age of seventy-seven years. Funeral services were held at the Swedish Mission church on Thursday afternoon at two o'clock, conducted by the pastor, Rev. A. J. Johnson, assisted by Rev. B. F. Miller of the M.E. Church, who spoke in English. At the close of the services a large concourse of sorrowing friends followed the remains to the Chariton cemetery where they were laid to rest in the vault by loving hands.

Andrew Swan was born in Jonshopings Lan, Sweden, in 1826. On June 23, 1853, he was married to Miss Mary Swan who survives him. On June 23 of this year they celebrated their golden wedding.

They came to America in 1861 and located in Henry county, Illinois, and in 1862 went from there to Paxton, Ford county, Illinois. In 1876 they moved to Lucas county where they have since resided. The death of Mr. Swan was a great shock to his family as he was not thought to be seriously ill until a few hours before he died, but he had been slightly ill for a week. Heart trouble was the immediate cause of his demise. He passed away at sunset and before some of his near relatives could be summoned to his bedside. Deceased was one of the most highly respected residents of this county. He was honest and upright in all his dealings and made warm friends of all with whom he came in contact.

He is survived by his wife and six children. They are Charles E. and Anna Swan of Whitebreast township; Mrs. Christena Lundgren, S. J. Swan and Mrs. Sophia Anderson of Wausu, Nebraska; and Rev. N. P. Swan of Fresno, California. These sorrowing relatives have the sympathy of the community in their sorrow.

East Row, Grave No. 2 (from the north)
The Chariton Patriot, 13 October 1898

Tuesday, October 11th, the sad news came by telegram, to her parents here, of the death of Mrs. J. W. Perry which occurred on the above date, at 11 o'clock a.m. at the home of her daughter, Mrs. G. W. Schwartz in St. Louis, Missouri.

The body arrived in Chariton at 4:30 p.m. and was met at the station by relatives and friends and taken direct to the cemetery for interment.

Henrietta Stewart Perry was born May 20, 1851, near Lattasburg, Wayne county, Ohio, and came to Lucas county in 1861, with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Funk.

She was married to J. W. Perry at Chariton in March, 1870, surviving her husband several years. Two children, both living in St. Louis, are left to mourn her loss.

Mrs. Perry had been an invalid for several years, having suffered from a stroke of paralysis some years before her death.

She was well known and highly esteemed in Chariton where she grew to womanhood and was married. The many friends in Lucas county will hear of her death with deep regret, remembering her worth and bright cheerful disposition.

The Chariton Democrat, 21 October 1898

Mrs. J. W. Perry, a former resident of this city, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. May Schwartz, in St. Louis, on Tuesday, October. 11, at eleven o'clock a.m. after an extended illness. A few years ago she suffered a stroke of paralysis and later was afflicted with dropsy. The remains were brought to this city Wednesday evening and placed in the vault at the cemetery. Henrietta Stewart Funk, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Funk of this city, was born near Lattasburg, Wayne County, Ohio, on May 20, 1851, and with her parents came to Chariton in 1861. Here she grew to womanhood and was married in March, 1870, to Mr. J. W. Perry. They were the parents of two children, Charles and May, both of whom are living. The family resided in Chariton until after Mr. Perry's death eleven years ago, when they moved to Des Moines, thence to St. Louis. Deceased was held in high esteem by a large circle of friends here who learned of her death with heartfelt sorrow.

Note: Henrietta apparently was born during 1851, rather than 1850 --- the date on her grave marker.

East Row, Grave No. 3 (from the north)
The Chariton Democrat, 22 September 1887

Professor John W. Perry died at his residence in this city about six o'clock last evening. For more than a year he had been suffering from a cancerous tumor of the stomach which defied all human skill. For several months his life has been a living death, the only question being how many weeks or months he could live.

The doctors will hold an autopsy of the remains this afternoon. The funeral will take place tomorrow at two o'clock under the auspices of the Masons and Odd Fellows. A more extended notice of his life and death will be given in our next.

The Chariton Democrat, 29 September 1887

In last week's issue we briefly noticed the death of John W. Perry, which occurred at his home in this city Wednesday evening, September 21st, 1887. His worth as a Christian gentleman entitled him to a more extended notice than we could give at that time.

Deceased was born Dec. 7, 1836, at Putnamville, Putnam County, Ind. His education was acquired at Asbury University, Greencastle, Ind., from which institution he graduated with the degree of A.M. About twenty-five years ago he was licensed to preach by the M.E. church, but followed the avocation of a teacher. He came to Chariton twenty-one years ago. March 6, 1870, he was married to Henrietta S. Funk, daughter of Mr. John Funk of this city.

Mr. Perry had occupied the position of principal in several of the leading educational institutions of Indiana, and since coming to Iowa has been elected superintendent of schools in this county, and clerk of courts.

His life was one of rigid integrity and unsullied honor. His death was calm, peaceful and confiding, a fitting close to an honorable career.

His remains were laid to rest in the Stanton vault, newly erected in our beautiful Chariton cemetery, last Friday afternoon. Rev. M.D. Collins, of Des Moines, preached the funeral sermon. The funeral was under the direction of the Masons and Odd Fellows, and was largely attended by the general public.

East Row, Grave No. 4 (from the north)
The Chariton Herald, 8 August 1895

The remains of Dr. Henry C. Van Werden, of Leon, who died Monday evening after a short illness, were brought to Chariton Wednesday and laid to rest in the vault at the Chariton cemetery. Deceased was a brother-in-law of Mrs. W. H. Hemphill of this city. A large concourse of our people met the funeral party at the train and joined in the journey to the city of the dead. The members of the A.F. and A.M. and K. of P. lodges of Leon and members from Chariton attended in a body. Dr. Van Werden has lived at Leon about sixteen years."

The Leon Reporter, August 8, l895

Dr. H.C. Van Werden was born in Lee County, Iowa, Sept. 29, l854, and died at his home in this city Monday evening, Aug. 5, l895, aged 40 years, l0 months and 6 days.

Monday morning the news was flashed to friends in this city and out of town that Dr. Van Werden was in a critical condition and could not live many hours. The news came like a thunder bolt, for it had only been a week since he was taken sick, and few knew that he was dangerous. He had been a sufferer from a complication of diseases for several years, but was thought to be getting better and was arranging to go to the lakes to spend the summer with his family when he was taken down. The end came peacefully and quietly Monday evening, and at twenty minutes past seven he passed away surrounded by his family.

Few men were better known and had more friends in Decatur County than Dr. Van Werden. He studied medicine under Dr. J.C. Hughes at Keokuk and graduated from the Keokuk Medical College in l878. He located in High Point, where he practiced for two years, and then resided at Garden Grove for a short time. In l879 he came to Leon, where he had since resided, and built up a large practice. No one knew him but to like him. Whole-souled and generous, a person in need never appealed to him in vain. As a citizen he was always ready and anxious to do anything he could for the benefit of the town and its people.

He was married to Jennie L. Rush in this city December 6, l880, and she with one daughter, Marie, is left to mourn his loss, which can never be replaced. He was a most kind and affectionate husband and father and was completely wrapped up in his home and family.

The deceased was a prominent member of the Masonic, Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows Lodges. The funeral services were held at the residence yesterday at l o'clock, conducted by Rev. Hughes and the remains taken to Chariton on the afternoon train for interment in the vault there, Dr. Van Werden having exacted a promise before his death that he should be interred there.

The bereaved family and relatives have the deepest sympathy of every citizen of Leon in their dark hour of affliction.

East Row, Grave No. 4 (from the north)

Louise Mallory Thayer, stillborn at the Ilion on 3 February 1888, was the only child of Deming J. and Jessie O. (Mallory) Thayer and the only grandchild of Smith H. and Annie Louise (Ogden) Mallory, at that time Chariton's most prominent and wealthiest citizens. The stillbirth was not recorded, as Iowa law required. However, Chariton Cemetery record-keepers carefully noted the date and circumstances. The year of stillbirth on the grave marker is wrong.

Louise was stillborn two years after her parents' marriage, which occurred on June 9, 1886. There were no other children. Deming killed himself on June 21, 1898, and was buried on a lot that was intended to contain the Mallorys' final monument to themselves at the far west end of the Chariton Cemetery, where his body remains. Jessie died Nov. 16, 1923, in Orlando, Florida, where she is buried.

East Row, Grave No. 6 (from the north)
The Chariton Herald, 7 May 1896

Died, at Las Vegas, New Mexico, Saturday, May 2, 1896, Mrs. Minnie Gray Kirk, aged 29 years, 8 months and 15 days.

Seldom does an event take place that causes more sympathy and sorrow than did the "passing away" of this esteemed woman. Several months ago Mrs. Kirk became afflicted with a bronchial trouble which became more aggravated and painful as the time advanced until last October she went to New Mexico in the hope of being benefitted. She apparently became better and was about returning to Chariton when with a little fresh cold the grim reaper seemed to fasten his grasp upon her. Her husband was telegraphed for, and two days after his arrival, her journey of life drew to a close, and the husband, sister and cousin could scarcely realize that her lips were forever silenced. She remained conscious until a short time before death and the end came peacefully as of a "blessed sleep."

Minnie, the name by which she was known by nearly all her friends, was the eldest daughter of our estimable and old time citizens, A.D. Gray and wife, and was born in Liberty township this county. She had passed her life, except that portion of time spent in traveling, (she had seen considerable of the United States and Europe) in Chariton and was a graduate of the High school in 1884, being one of a class of eight.

Mrs. Kirk became the wife of Chas. R. Kirk December 20, 1886, and during the years that succeeded he probably enjoyed as much happiness and sunshine as it is given man to enjoy in this life, and with the hearbroken parents, sister and brother, is left to grieve her departure.

The funeral was held from the home of her father, A.D. Gray, Tuesday afternoon, Rev. A. H. Collins being assisted by Rev. W.V. Whitten in conducting the services, and the remains deposited in the vault at the Chariton cemetery.

The respect shown to the remains of the deceased, the bountiful tributes paid to her memory and the vast concourse of friends and neighbors who attended the funeral attest the high esteem in which Mrs.Kirk was held.

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