This is a transcription of a letter from Harvey James Dutton to his niece Effie (Ricketts) Kern, daughter of Harvey's sister Laura Ella (Dutton) Ricketts, on the occasion of the death of Harvey's sister, and Effie's aunt, Julia (Dutton) Owen.
We read yesterday that Julia's daughter Mabel considered bringing her body back to Metamora, IL to be buried in the Norman Dutton family plot, but the plot is full. So the decision was made to bury her in Harvey's family plot in Springfield, MO, where the remains of Harvey's wife Victoria already lays.
We also read that Harvey was taking the death of his sister hard.
Springfield, Mo Nov. 11th. 1920
My dear niece and family,
You have doubtless been informed of the sudden death of sister Julia. No doubt you were greatly shocked by that news. It was indeed a shock to us for while we knew she was very sick, were led to believe there was no special danger. Julia seemed to be enjoying her visit so much. Had visited with Elva several days and a week ago yesterday I went with her over to Gertrude's. She intending to stay a few days. That evening about 6 o'clock Gertrude telephoned Norma that Julia was awful sick and wanted her to come over. We went right over. Took Elva with us. Called a Dr. an osteopath, and that suited Julia although she objected to calling any Dr. Said she was sure she would be all right by morning. Thursday morning she seemed quite a little better. (I should have added it was a case of indigestion) As Gertrude's baby was quite unwell, Julia was brought back here to Norma's, and while all pain was relieved, her breathing became labored and pulse irregular Sunday. While she seemed no worse as she did not improve as we thought she should, called another Dr., an Allopath. He said the cause of her shortness of breath was the condition of her heart. Later on he said it was asthma. I cannot give all the particulars. Monday about 10 a.m. Rowan wired Mabel and Madge that their mother was very sick. She died 1:30 p.m. Monday. Ed and Mabel arrived Tuesday 7:00 a.m. Funeral Wednesday 10 a.m. Burial by the side of my wife in Hazelwood Cemetery here.
A great disappointment to me. Plansa all changed though I think I shall go to Zephyrhills, Fla. May go next week. Kindest regards to all. Shall be glad to hear from you.
Elva (Dutton) Mack, Nora (Dutton) Mack, Gertrude (Dutton) Cover are all daughters of Harvey Dutton. I finally figured out who "Madge" was, Margaret Owen, sister to Mabel Owen, both daughters to Julia. Rowan Mack was Nora's husband.
Here is a pic of the Dutton family plot. Lousy picture, only showing three of the eight graves and the memorial, but it is the best one I have. That middle grave belongs to Julia's husband James Owen. Remember you can click on pics to enlarge.
Here is a pic of the marker for Harvey Dutton and his wife --
And next to him the marker of his sister Julia --
Tomorrow we will continue with part four of our chronicles of the Dutton letters.
Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker