19 March 2011

Obituary--Mrs. Wm. Robertson

Fremont Area District Library's Local History Room was shocked and reeling at the word that Mrs Robertson's obituary had been found.  (Sorry, I think she influenced me more than I realized.)
I suppose I knew this day would come.  I must admit that I was surprised to feel such a sense of loss when I turned the page in our 1916-1919 obituary book and came across this one.  I have come to love Mrs. Robertson's writings in the gossip columns of the paper, and especially the unforgettable obituaries written by her.  She has seemed like a friend, someone I would like to swap articles with, to have her critique me.
Even though she has been gone for over 90 years, she touched me.  I'm going to miss her writing.

From the 9 May 1918 Fremont TimesIndicator:

Death Came Last Wednesday After Months of Illness From Cancer--Funeral Held Saturday.
Mrs. Wm. Robertson, one of Newaygo county's best known and most beloved women, passed away at her home, eight miles north and one mile west of this city, last Wednesday night, May 1, after an illness of several months.  She was 59 years, 5 months and 12 days old.
Mrs. Robertson entered Hackley hospital last fall and underwent an operation for cancer but relief was only temporary.  About four weeks ago she was again taken to the hospital but her condition continued to grow worse and she was brought home last week Tuesday.  She expired the following day.
Mrs. Robertson was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel McKay and was born in Cambletown, Scotland, Nov. 20, 1858.  At the age of 13 she came with her parents to the United States and located in Montague, Michigan, where they remained for about a year.  They then moved to their farm in Greenwood township, Oceana county, where they lived for many hears.  At the age of seventeen she began to teach school and taught for eleven years.
In November, 1886, she was united in marriage to Mr. Wm. Robertson and passed away on the farm to which she went as a bride.  To Mr. and Mrs. Robertson were born three children, Minnie, Donald McKay and Marjorie Isabel.  The former died in infancy.
Mrs Robertson was well known to the readers of the Times-Indicator through her letters which appeared almost weekly in this paper under a Hesperia heading.  For more than twenty years she covered the Hesperia district, and her column was sought with eagerness by many who found in her original and resourceful comment an interest and an inspiration.  Toward the last when too weak to write she dictated the letters which appeared in the paper.
Mrs. Robertson was a woman of boundless energy and unflagging activity.  She was a tireless worker in church, Grange and Literary club and in spite of her multifarious duties she never shirked a responsibility.  She loved her home and delighted in entertaining relative and friend at "Bunker Hill."  The welcome was always cordial and sincere.
Mrs. Robertson was proud of her Scotch ancestry and loved the land of her nativity.  She never tired of telling Scotch stories or singing Scotch songs.  Many of her choicest writings were in the language of the Scot.  She was a member of the Clan McCallum.
The funeral services were held Saturday afternoon at the home conducted by Rev. M. Klerekoper, pastor of the Hesperia Presbyterian church of which Mrs. Robertson was a member.  A large number of relatives, friends, and neighbors came to pay their last tribute of respect to the one whom they held in affectionate regard.  The floral offerings were many and beautiful.  The body was laid to rest in East cemetery, Hesperia.

I have definitely lost a friend.  But both Sandy and I were delighted to find so many of the things we suspected about her were true.  She was Scotch, Presbyterian, a former teacher, acquainted with the McCallum family and familiar with Hesperia as well as the Denver and Dayton township areas.  The only surprise was when I reviewed the obituaries we had labeled with her name.  Only one was dated after this date.  But that was one for Etta Seymour.  Although I hadn't seen any other Mrs Robertson obits around this time, this one (dated Feb 1925) sure seemed to have the Mrs. Robertson style. (My favorite line: Etta is not dead. Etta sleepeth,)  But whether we saw her name or were guessing on her style, all the other obituaries attributed to Mrs. Robertson were during the time she wrote. 
So long, Mrs. Robertson.  I am going to miss you.  But I do wish I knew your first name.

1 comment:

  1. I easily found Mrs. William Robertson on the 1900 census for Denver, Newaygo, Michigan. Born in Scotland, she was 41, wife of William Robertson, married for 14 years, mother of 2. Enumerated at the address: Donald Robertson, age 1,(son of head of household) and George Bird, (border) age 18. Oh yes, you wondered what her name was: Mary C.


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