Wednesday’s Child: Mary Emma Beerbower

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Mary Emma Beerbower's birth announcement in the Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, 26 Apr 1880.
Mary Emma Beerbower’s birth announcement in the Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, 26 Apr 1880. Posted with kind permission of the newspaper for non-profit use only.
 What a joyous news note- the birth of a daughter to Edgar “Ed” Peter Beerbower and Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower!

This cherished daughter was born 22 April 1880. She was named Mary Emma Beerbower, likely after her paternal aunt, Mary Emma (Beerbower) Ligenfelter, who was 3 years younger than her brother Ed.

A Marion, Ohio newspaper printed this story, since Ed and his father, Eleazer John Beerbower, his mother, Matilda Louise McElvey Beerbower, and their other children, were former residents of Marion. (It was also a way to increase newspaper sales in another city- a common ploy by savvy newspapers.) Ed’s brother Samuel T. Beerbower still lived in Marion, and was the postmaster, so the news would be of interest to many in the town.

Ed and Anna Beerbower had already had 2 sons, Robert Warson Beerbower, born 1874, and Edgar Springsteen Beerbower, born 1876. There was then a gap of about three and a half years before dear Mary Emma was born. Two more children would later be born to Ed and Anna: Anna May Beerbower, b. 1881, and Willie Beerbower, b. 1889, but Willie only lived one day.

Samuel T. Beerbower and his wife, Irene L. Peters, had only two known children, both sons: Cornell R. Beerbower (b. 1870) and Wilson Beerbower, birthdate unknown but probably in the 1870s; he only lived one year and a few days.

Little Mary Emma’s grandparents, Eleazer and Matilda Beerbower, were still alive and living in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1880, and must have been thrilled to finally have a granddaughter. Other children of Eleazer and Matilda would give them more grandchildren in later years.

Note the play on words: “Brightwooder be the smiles…” instead of “Bright would be the smiles.” The writer refers to Brightwood, where the daughter was born, a residential area then northeast of Indianapolis, Indiana.

We have real privacy concerns today, but it’s really not that new, except the scope- the newspapers of old could print pretty much what they wanted and usually filled their columns with all sorts of goings on in the town, along with editorial content in the news pages. The birth of a niece was probably a happy event for Samuel and his wife Irene, especially with the 3+ year gap in children for Anna and Ed Beerbower, when they may have lost another child not known. Sadly, the newspaper sort of rubs in the fact that Samuel and Irene do not have a daughter of their own- that probably hurt deeply, as anyone who has lost a child or been unable to have as many as they wish would know.

The sadness continues though… despite being a healthy 8- 1/2 pounds at birth, baby Mary Emma Beerbower only lived just over two months. The Beerbower family bible states

“Died

Mary Emma Beerbower

June 29th 1880 Aged

9 weeks, 5 days

Brightwood, Ind.”

Telgram re: death of Mary Emma Beerbower, in the March 30th, 1880 issue of the Marion [Ohio] Daily Star.
Newspaper article about telgram re: death of Mary Emma Beerbower, in the March 30th, 1880 issue of the Marion [Ohio] Daily Star. Posted with kind permission of the newspaper for non-profit use only.
The telegram was dated 29 June,, but states that the infant died “yesterday, at 4 p.m.” making her actual death date 28 Jun 1880. The paper notes her burial is to be July 1st, but the Find A Grave record for Mary Emma in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana, notes that she was buried 29 Aug 1880, quite a long time from the bible and telegram death date.

Mary Emma is buried in Section 22, Lot 894, which is not by the remaining family’s lots.

Even though the news is first happy but ultimately sad here, one bright spot to an intrepid family historian is that the first article tells where  Ed Beerbower worked- the CCC & IRR office, so we may be able to find some railroad worker records for him now that we know the line and a date.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Birth announcement in Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, April 26, 1880, Volume III, No. 170, Page 4, Column 2. Posted with kind permission of the newspaper for personal, non-profit use only.

2) 1880 US Federal Census for Eleazer and Matilda (McElvey) Beerbower: Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana; Roll: 295; Family History Film: 1254295; Page: 227B; Enumeration District: 113; Image: 0156.

3) Death telegram news story in Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, April 26, 1880, Volume III, No. 225, Page 4, Column 2. Posted with kind permission of the newspaper for personal, non-profit use only.

4) Mary Emma Beerbower’s Find A Grave Memorial #45869800: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=45869800&ref=acom

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