Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A little more about little Leona and her guardian

Although small, Eva Leona Waynick's tombstone probably is one of those most frequently noticed in the Chariton Cemetery. The marble depiction of a small child seated on a rock at the head of her grave just north of the entrance driveway is distinctive --- as is the long-standing tradition of slipping a small spray of flowers into the crook of the little guardian's arm. These often change seasonally.

I wrote about Eva and her guardian here first 10 years ago, but knew very little about the little girl or her parents at the time. Now, because of the massive amounts of research material digitalized and uploaded during the last decade, it's a fairly simple matter to learn more.

I took the photo (top) a week or so ago --- and removed (then replaced) the flowers because they were obscuring the carved face. The photo at left was taken 10 years ago, with flowers in place.

The inscription at the guardian's base tells us that the little girl was born May 5, 1876, and died Feb. 11, 1880, in her fourth year, daughter of G.C. and M.A. Waynick. According to the mortality schedule attached to the 1880 federal census, she died in Chariton of scarlet fever, had been a resident of the city for one month and 11 days and was attended during her final illness by Dr. James Eddington Stanton.

I think her parents must have called her "Leona" rather than "Eva" because the former name is carved in relief on her grave's footstone, above the inscription, "Suffer the little children to come unto me."

As it turns out, the father, G.C. Waynick, was the Rev. McGrada Clay Waynick --- more often known as "Grada" --- and M.A. Waynick was Mary Ann (Kimball) Waynick, his wife. Grada was a Methodist preacher assigned to Dexter in Dallas County, Iowa, where he and Mary Ann were living during June of 1880, four months after their daughter --- their only child --- died in Chariton.

McGrada, born April 17, 1843, was the youngest child of Peter and Susannah (Broom) Waynick, natives of North Carolina who resettled their family near Greencastle in Putnam County, Indiana, just after 1830. His brothers, Wyatt W., Iverson D. and William D., arrived in Iowa with Lucas County's earliest settlers, during June of 1848. Peter and Susannah and their younger children, including McGrada, moved west to Warren Township, near the current site of Waynick Cemetery, during 1850.

The Waynick family connection with Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw) was a strong one, so during the early 1860s, McGrada was sent there to receive the equivalent of a high school education in its college prepatory program, having completed such schooling as was available in Lucas County at the time. 

During 1864, McGrada enlisted in Co. F, 133rd Regiment of Indiana Volunteer Infantry, for service during the Civil War, then returned to Indiana Asbury to earn his bachelor's degree in 1867 and master's degree during 1870. He married Mary Ann in Indiana on April 12, 1868.

Although he had studied law and qualified for the Indiana bar, McGrada chose the ministry as his career path and about 1870 returned to Iowa and the Des Moines Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

During the next 20 years, he and Mary Ann served congregations --- in addition to Dexter --- in Sidney, Shenandoah, Denison, Malvern, Stuart, Allerton, Freemont City, Afton and Woodbine.

In 1891, however, McGrada was assigned as a missionary to Utah, stationed in Salt Lake City, and he preached there until retirement ca. 1901. The couple continued to live in Salt Lake City until his death at age 74 on Aug. 14, 1917. He was buried four days later at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

The next year, on Aug. 27, 1918, Mary --- now age 70 --- married another retired Methodist preacher, the Rev. George E. Jayne, in Salt Lake City.  He died a few years later, on April 30, 1924, and also was buried at Mount Olivet.

After that, Mary Ann moved to California where her second husband's children --- who called her "Aunt Mollie" --- then were living. She died there during January of 1931 and her remains were returned to Salt Lake City for burial near her two husbands.

Through all of this, little Leona's guardian remained on duty in Chariton --- and remains on the job today.

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