Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: FOUND: Death Dates and Locations for Mark's Great-Grandparents

Searching around in some Oklahoma resources yesterday, I found what I believe are references to Mark's great-grandparents, John L. Gresham and Lucinda Vina "Lula" Self Gresham Young.

The reference to John was in a (new to me) database in, the Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Indian and Pioneer Historical Collection, 1937.  It is described as "transcripts of oral histories about pioneer life in Oklahoma in the early twentieth century. The project was funded by the WPA (Works Progress Administration project S-149) in 1937...The collection also includes lists of many old cemeteries, some of which no longer exist."

It was in the latter that I found John.  A gentleman named Marvin G. Rowley did an inventory of 56 graves in Vaughn Cemetery in the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory (now Le Flore County, Oklahoma).  J. L. Gresham was on page 6.  I'm pretty sure this is the right J. L. Gresham, because he was born about 1855, based on the 1880 Census and his Arkansas marriage license from the same year (another Ancestry tree said on February 1, but provided no proof), and his youngest son Luther Elton was born the previous April in the nearby town of Gilmore.  John's in-laws Vincent Garner Self and Mary Malissa Hallmark Self were living in the area by 1900, if not earlier.

Then I did some searching to try to find exactly when his wife Lula died. By the 1900 Census, Lula had remarried to a Robert Granville Young and was living in Dallas County, Texas, with her two youngest sons (Mark/Marvin Ellis, my Mark's grandfather, and Luther Elton) and Robert's four sons from a previous marriage.  Luther Elton's grandson Clell tells me that Young was rather abusive, so it would not surprise me if she left him.  I was searching in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, all places that she had lived in during her adult life, and tried out The Gateway to Oklahoma History, a companion to the Portal to Texas History (both hosted by the University of North Texas Libraries, my library school alma mater).  On a search for "Lula Young," I found this front-page article in the April 13, 1906, Kiowa Sentinel:

The age is off a bit (according to the 1900 Census, she was born in April 1856, which would make her 49 or 50 at her death).  However, she did have four children, all still living at that point, the youngest being Luther Elton at 15.  Kiowa, Indian Territory is in today's Pittsburg County, Oklahoma.  A little more searching turned up the following article from the same date in another Kiowa newspaper:

This second front-page article from the Kiowa Breeze indicates that Mrs. Young was a daughter of Mr. Self.  The Kiowa Breeze had another front-page article almost a year earlier, on April 7, 1905, that mentioned the farm of V. G. Self, so I'm pretty sure this is the right one.  Lula Young died on the Sunday prior to Friday, April 13, which would have been April 8, and this matches up to an unsourced date of death for her in some family trees on  According to the articles, Lula is buried in the Kiowa City Cemetery, also known as the Oak Hill Cemetery.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

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