14 January 2010

Obituary—Mrs. Albert Beckman

This notice, probably from the neighborhood column had the poem directly below it. Signed as from the husband, I am not sure if he wrote and contributed it, or perhaps just picked it out.

4 January 1911 Fremont Times Indicator

Anna Helander was born April 29, 1882, in Sweden and died Friday morning, December 22.
She came to this country in August 1900 and resided in Chicago Ill., until August 1903, when she came to Michigan and became a resident of Newaygo county, where she married Mr. Albert Beckman, of Reeman, March 8 1905. This union was blessed with three children, John age 6, Harvey, born December 3 1911, and a baby girl who passed away a year ago last June.
She is mourned by a loving husband, a father and two brothers in Sweden, a brother in Waukegon Ill. , a brother in Los Angeles, California, relatives and many friends.
Burial took place last Tuesday in the Clark Cemetery.

I cannot think of you as dead
Who woak with me no more
Along the path of life I tread;
You have but gone before.
The Father’s house is mansioned fair,
Beyond my vision dim
All souls are His and here or there
Are living unto Him.
Our knowledge of that life is small,
The eyes of faith are dim.
But I’m content, that Christ knows all
And we will be with Him.
From loving Husband,
Albert Beckman.

I am struck with a few things: First--a baby daughter, unnamed who died about 18 months previously, and an apparently surviving son born less than 3 weeks before her death. I am going to hazard a guess that death was due to child birth complications. Second--so many of our pioneers in this area, particularly in Fremont, were immigrants, although mostly from the Netherlands. And Third—I have been amazed to find how mobile people were around the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries. Families scattered not only between Michigan and the “mother country”, but also across the country. And while not exhibited here, I was astounded to find family members who went cross country, then turned around and moved back! I never realized how mobile people were, above and beyond mere migration.

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