12 December 2009

Obituary—Mrs John Maynard

I especially love how this obit begins with an entirely different name that the one in the header of the obituary. At the end of the paragraph they let you know this is still the same person.

From the March 1 1913 Fremont Times Indicator.

Grace Stout was born in Denver township, September 10, 1896 and died February 25, 1913. She was married to John Maynard March 25 1903.

(I like a good obituary that gets right down to the facts.)

The death of this young wife and mother breaks a marriage tie that extended its happiness through almost 10 uninterrupted years and has cast a gloom of sadness over the community where she grew to womanhood and was honored and loved by all who knew her. But the greatest loss comes to the husband and two little daughters. “Death’s untimely frost” has nipped their flower in the bloom and beauty of wifehood and motherhood and left them bereft at the time she was needed most. Some day we shall know why these sorrows come upon us.

Grace was the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Stout. She grew up in our midst and always lived in Denver. She moved to the home where she died when she became a happy bride. She was a thrifty young house wife and loving help mate. She and her husband labored together and built them a beautiful farm home which she enjoyed only a little while.

In the early winter Mrs. Maynard began ailing, and her husband growing anxious concerning her condition, took her to Ann Arbor for treatment. She became a little better and came home, but she began to fail soon after and never rallied. All that love and tender care and money could do was done for her.

She leaves a sorrowing husband and two little daughters, Leta, aged eight and Lois, aged seven; a father and mother; two brothers Louis and George Stout, of Denver, two sisters Mrs. Fred Sanborn of Denver and Mrs. Cora Pike of Morley, and a wide circle of friends to mourn their loss.
The funeral was held at the home last Thursday at 11 a.m., Rev George Van Wingerden officiating. The internment was in the East cemetery.

The flowers were many and beautiful and told the sorrowing ones in their sweet way the love and sympathy that friends and neighbors fain would speak.

Given the location of her home, I feel certain that this obituary was written by one of my favorite newspaper correspondents of this era. She was clearly under the influence of Austen or Dickens or had dreams of being like them.


  1. Certainly this birth date must be incorrect. I calculate she married at age 7 if married in 1903?

  2. Well, it did say she was a young wife. Unfortunately, I double checked the original, and that is what the paper reported. I'm guessing the birthdate may have been 1886 which would have made her 17 at marriage, and 27 at death.
    I don't think these were professional reporters. Good catch.


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