On December 6th, 2011, I wrote Wednesday’s Child – 1, 2, 3, 4 (How Much Can the Heart Endure?) about four iron cross markers at Hillside Cemetery in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The first pair were a couple of sisters, the other pair, a couple of brothers. What made the four interesting and heart-breaking, were they were all from one family.
This post follows up those crosses. And I thank Leanne Balfour of Medicine Hat & District Branch AGS for all her assistance! She got very lucky with some background research for me; as their Branch meeting place is owned by Hillside Monumental, which has the old plot purchase registers!
I had estimated, based on data charts of medical epidemics and pandemics, that these children died from Influenza — sorry, not correct. The facts are:
- Roland died 27MAY1916 from diphtheria.
- Five days later, 01JUN1916, his brother Adolf died from the same disease.
- Two months later, 05JUL1916, sister Hilda died from the Measles
- And finally, 20FEB1919, sister Ida lost her life to pneumonia
During the time frame of the children’s deaths there appeared to be two newspapers in Medicine Hat competing with each other for readership, so locating obituaries would be a bit time-consuming (and I do not expect Leanne, or anyone else, to go digging into that).
Their mother, Maria died 20AUG1951 and was buried in Hillside Cemetery (6 16D 6N).
Not long after losing Maria, Christian re-married, to a Katherine; but this marriage did not last long as Christian died 20APR1959. He was buried in Hillside Cemetery (6 16D 6S), beside his first wife. (It is strongly believed since Katherine was previously married with children, when Christian died, she went and moved in with one of her married children.).
But, out of all this tragedy, one little ray of Hope was revealed in Christian’s obituary:
One child survived (out of five).
Curious thing though: there is no mention of Christian’s deceased first wife (Maria) in his obituary?
Were obits expensive in 1959?