Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Great-Aunt Mollie Cox

Mary (known as Mollie) Cox was born on the 20th of August 1869 in Colerain, Belmont, Ohio. Her parents were Thomas Cox and Ida Viola Connelly Cox, my paternal great-grandparents. Mollie was their first of six children and the only girl. She was listed as Mary in the census records of 1870 and 1880. In the 1888 City Directory of Wheeling, West Virginia, she became Miss Mollie Cox and would remain Mollie on most future records.

On June 9, 1889, Mollie married Richard Burnside Turner at the home of her parents. Her mother, Ida, gave permission for her daughter to marry, as by 1889, her father was confined to the National Soldier's Home. Three children were born to this union: Gretta in 1889, William Thomas in 1892, and Sarah Ann in 1904. Married women routinely had children at least every two years during this time period, so it is likely Mollie had other children who died in infancy or were lost to miscarriage or stillbirth.
Marriage Record

Mollie lived in Wheeling for the rest of her life and endured a number of losses; her baby brother Eddie died when she was 10, followed later by her father, brother Fred, and brother William.

In 1917, the United States entered World War I on the side of her allies. The following year, the world would have another deadly fight on its hands; The Great Pandemic. Popularly known as the Spanish Flu, influenza arrived in Europe with the American military troops who survived the Fort Riley, Kansas outbreak of 1918. It spread quickly and killed millions in the space of two years including an estimated 675,000 Americans. Exact numbers were hard to come by since there were many who died at home in rural areas far from a hospital or physician.
Pneumonia was a common, and usually fatal, complication. Another frightening aspect of the disease was that it killed mostly young, healthy adults rather than small children and the elderly as is the case today.
(Sources: and Meador, Michael M., "The Influenza Epidemic of 1918." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 27 August 2012).

Greenwood Cemetery

On November 21, 1918, Mollie's daughter Gretta died in Wheeling Hospital from complications of Spanish Flu. Her mother, Mollie, died of the same disease on March 17, 1919. Gretta was 29, Mollie 49. They were both buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Wheeling, West Virginia. RIP, Aunt Mollie.

Mollie's Death Certificate

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