Kinsearching November 11, 2012




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     This week we continue with more selected excerpts that can be found on page 8 of the 27 April 1906 issue of the Texas newspaper, Dallas Semi-Weekly Farm News. The obituaries and death notices below provide good examples of how writing styles have changed through the years. The “Pioneer” article also furnishes some information about the publishing history of several small Texas newspapers in the nineteenth century. (In the items, surnames are capitalized for emphasis; sometimes spelling may be changed or punctuation may be added for clarity.)

     Mrs. C. A. WOOLDRIDGE of Buffalo Gap, Taylor Co., Tex., submitted “Death of a Pioneer,” an obituary for her husband, for publication in The Farm News. “Charles A. WOOLDRIDGE died at his home in Buffalo Gap, Taylor County, Tex., March 24, aged 72. He was born Jan. 22, 1834, at Matagorda, Tex. In the fall of 1860 he began the publication of a newspaper in the town of Lampasas, called the Enterprise. The war coming on shortly afterward, the Enterprise passed from earth into (newspaper) eternity. Mr. Wooldridge previously commenced the publication of a sprightly little semi-weekly paper called the Local Reporter, which suspended at the close of the watering season of 1872. Mr. MELTON and Mr. Wooldridge published the Lampasas Dispatch until January, 1873, when Mr. Melton withdrew and Mr. Wooldridge leased the office until January, 1874. In December, 1880, he moved to Taylor County and engaged in business. In 1890 his health began to fail and he had to retire from business and remain at home.

     He had been a constant sufferer for more than twelve years. He leaves a widow and three children—C. A. WOOLDRIDGE, who resides at Roswell, N. M.; Mrs. W. L. CHRISTIAN of Abilene, and J. R. WOOLDRIDGE of Abilene, Tex., to mourn his loss.”
     (Editor’s note: “The war” mentioned in the obituary above refers to the Civil War, which occurred during the years 1861-1865.)

     Another death notice is titled, “Farmer Drops Dead,” and has the date line, Weatherford, Tex., April 24. – “John H. SHICK, aged about 55 years, dropped dead very suddenly at his home on South Waco Street today, caused by heart failure. Mr. Shick had resided in this county for many years and was a prominent farmer of the Bear Creek community.”

     The item about the death of a pastor in Waco has a straightforward headline: “Rev. G. B. Rogers Dead.” Dated April 23, it provides the following details. “Rev. G. B. ROGERS, a Baptist minister, former representative of the Southern Baptist Publication Society for the Southwest, died this morning, aged 49 years, after a protracted illness. He leaves a widow and eight children. He filled pulpits at Lake Charles, Beaumont, San Angelo and other places, and for some time had charge of the chapel car Good Will. The interment will take place at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. Rev. B. H. DEMENT officiating.”

     Another item with a straightforward headline, “An Old Resident Dead,” has the dateline, Dallas, April 25: “Charles R. HAUCK, aged 66 years, for about thirty years a resident of Dallas, died yesterday afternoon at his home, 160 Live Oak Street. The deceased is survived by a wife and one daughter, Mrs. Nelson GAVIN. Interment will be made Thursday morning in Calvary Cemetery.”


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