As my first attempt at doing one of the daily blogging prompts, I thought I’d continue with the couple I highlighted the other day, Edward A. Hanson & Sarah J. Randall and use Sarah’s obituary as my Sunday Obituary.
Sarah has long intrigued me as despite having numerous documents regarding her (census records, birth, death, marriage). I have no known picture of her (although would love one!). For years all I had regarding her obituary was a few non-specific lines:
Hanson – In Lynn, March 4, Sarah J., wife of Edward E. [A] Hanson, 71 yrs. 6 mos. 2 days.
Funeral services will be held at her late residence. 38 Severance Street. on Saturday at 10:30 AM. Relatives and friends invited.
I had obtained that obituary from the Lynn Public Library way back in 1998, which was unfortunately before I became a stickler for always wanting to know the source of my information, so I did not know what paper it came from. In late 2010 on a whim to try again for a better obit for her, Edward and Edward’s mother Mary “Polly” Felton Walton Hanson, I contacted the Lynn Public Library again and received the following article:
Sarah Jane Hanson obituary, Lynn Daily Evening Item, Lynn, Massachusetts, 5 March 1914, page 3, column 5. (my scan cuts off the final sentence which should read: “bly due to apoplexy.”)
My first reaction was joy at finding out more information. However I was quickly saddened to learn Sarah apparently had a mental illness, perhaps dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease or something else. This hits close to home as my Mom is afflicted with Alzheimer’s and I can appreciate the anguish Sarah’s family must have felt.
I also find it very interesting that her husband Edward was still working at the age of 66 (perhaps a sign of the times) and apparently could only find work far away from his wife in Rowley, MA (approx. 25 miles to the north). Like any good piece of information, this obit provides lots of tantalizing tidbits and additional questions to continue to work on.