Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mystery Monday: Frances Lavona Blevins Death in 1904 - Mystery Solved

In October, I found among the documents in the Dawes Packet of my step-grandfather's family, testimony relating to the death of his mother, Frances L. Blevins.  Frances had always been a mystery to me; she was never spoken of and my mother and grandmother sometimes said that she had died a suicide at a young age, but we were never able to pinpoint a date or cause of death.  I wrote about partially solving the mystery through the Dawes testimony.  Frances did indeed die young - only 23 years old.  She had divorced her first husband, Robert Berry, and taken their youngest child, a baby girl named Maud, while Robert kept the two boys, Wes and Lee.  Frances then remarried to William Maberry.  Little Maud died the day before her first birthday, in August 1903.  Frances apparently made a request to Robert after that to see her two sons, which he denied.  She must have been despondent about her children (and possibly about her marriage; Mr. Maberry had twin girls with her sister three months after Frances's death).  In April of 1904, she took her own life, which I confirmed through this newspaper clipping from The Weekly Examiner in Bartlesville, Indian Territory.  (The article reads as if she was separated from Mr. Maberry, however, her first husband was the father of her children.)  I don't know the means by which she died, and Oklahoma didn't issue death certificates routinely until several years later.  POSTSCRIPT:  I found another article in The Weekly Examiner dated April 9, 1904 regarding Frances's death (unable to get a clear picture, unfortunately). Frances died of poisoning, having drunk carbolic acid.

Frances is buried at Dewey Cemetery in Dewey, Washington County, Oklahoma, not far from the graves of her husband and sister. 

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