Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cousin Who Died on a Train

An unexpected find showed me that she was young, a teacher, and died while traveling on a train. I came across this Cowden death while browsing an unindexed FamilySearch collection. The scanned page from "Record of deaths, 1893-1906" for Pennsylvania's Washington County showed that Mary Alma Cowden died on May 9, 1899. Since I didn't have her name in my husband's family tree, I took a closer look.

Mary's life began very soon after the 1880 census and ended a year before the 1900 census, so I had no record of her from those sources. Her 1899 death registration shows that her parents were John K. & Elizabeth Cowden and that she died of consumption (tuberculosis) while on a train, an illness she had battled for six months. Mary was 18 years old and, during her short life, had become a teacher. She is my husband's third cousin 2 times removed.

I searched and found this article about Mary Alma's death:

Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, May 10, 1899

I was glad to see that she hadn't been alone when she died. A photo on shows that Mary shares a headstone with her parents and brother Emil in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Hickory, Pennsylvania.

1 comment:

  1. What a sad story, but the it sounds like she had accomplished a big goal in h to short live - becoming a teacher! And, I also am glad to see she wasn't alone when she died.


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