31 July 2010

Not So Fast!: The Newspaper Record of the Death and Burials of Norman J. Dutton (1810-1889)

Norman Dutton was the step-father of my great-great-grandmother Louisa Dutton (1833-1913), and was an early settler of Metamora, Woodford County in Illinois.  So we go to the Metamora Herald newspaper seeking his obituary and here is what we find in the March 22nd, 1889 issue --
Word has been received by Mrs. Theodore Barton that her uncle Norman Dutton, formerly a citizen and early settler of this locality, had died at his home near Great Bend, Kansas last Monday.
Well there I go!  The attention of my research, including to find his gravesite, switches to Kansas, right?  Not-so-fast!  Research provides us with a second entry.  In the October 4th, 1889 issue of the same publication we find --
The remains of Norman Dutton were brought here yesterday, from Great Bend, Kansas, for burial.  Mr. Dutton died last March and was buried in Kansas, and has now been removed to Oakwood Cemetery for final rest.
Usually the researcher hopes for a long obituary loaded with information.  Here we have a small entry, but it gives me a wealth of clues!  We now know where he is buried, is this a clue where to find his wife, especially since they went to the trouble of moving his remains here?  Louisa got remarried to her fourth husband, one James Easterling while in Kansas, which confused me.  Additionally, her son, my great-grandfather Henry M. Walker (1864-1952) married my great grandmother Lucy M. Chesley (1866-1940) while in Kansas.  Now this all makes sense -- the family, three generations, moved there together.  One final "long shot" to look into -- Great Bend, Kansas is in "Barton County."  The Bartons of Illinois were closely tied to the Duttons, including multiple intermarriages.

Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

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