I was totally surprised when I came across this death certificate for my maternal great-grandfather the other day in a new database I found.
I always assumed or maybe even believed that Charles Oscar PORTER died from a heart attack or something similar while working in the field. I always pictured it that way. Was I in a way led to believe that by being told that he died while working in the field, but omitting the details? Maybe. I can see why, though, now that I know at least a little bit of what happened. I am sure that if it was, it was to soften the subject.
It turns out that there was a farm accident that caused great-grandpa’s sudden death. My grandma, Ruby Irene PORTER WILLIAMS (his youngest child) was the one listed as the “informant”.
I always felt sorry for my grandma since she lost both of her parents just a little over a year apart and when both of her oldest children were each about three months old. I knew that this was a big reason why Grandma understood so well what I was going through in relation to losing my mom so young and suddenly. She had been there, too. Being a new mother of a three-month old baby and going through this accident must have been horribly difficult. Thinking about it, I am thankful that it did not happen just a few months later, because then she would have also been pregnant at the time. She was such a strong lady!
It is a bit eerie to me that Charles Oscar died suddenly just 17 days after he turned 62 and Irene’s second child (my mom) died suddenly just 16 days after she turned 40. Knowing my grandma, this did not escape her thinking at least a few times. I do know that Grandma loved it when happy occasions made formerly sad days something to look forward to again. This happened when one of her grand-daughters was born on the day her dad passed away, but obviously many years later.
We also find on this document that Charles Oscar died in Cedar County, Missouri, where he moved about a year earlier. I did not know either of those facts before. Nor did I have an address in Humansville where they lived when my mom was born. Of course, it is a R.R., so I probably will not be able to pin-point the location (at least easily), but it is nice to have.
Here is a map and current demographic information for Washington Township, Cedar Country, Missouri (the location of his death and likely his home).
(See below the certificate for transcribed information.)
The State Board of Health of Missouri – Standard Certificate of Death
Place of death: Cedar County
City or town: Rural – Wash. (Washington Township)
In this community: 1 year
Full name: Charles Oscar Porter
Color or race: White
Wife: Mary I. Porter
Birth of deceased: April 2, 1884
Age: 62 years 0 months 17 days
Birthplace: Oxford, Kansas
Usual occupation: Farming
Father’s name: Daniel M. Porter
Mother’s maiden name: Carrie
Informant: Mrs. Irene Williams
Informant’s address: R.R. #3, Humansville, Missouri
Place: Stockton Cemetery
Signature of funeral director: Church and Neale?
Address: Stockton, Missouri
Date received local registrar: 5-2-46?
Registrar’s signature: Geneva Garrison
Usual residence of deceased: State: Missouri
City or town: Rural
Citizen of foreign country? No
Date of death: April 19, 1946
Time: 1:30 PM
Immediate cause of death: Crushed chest; died instantly
Due to: Overturn tractor
Major findings of autopsy: No
If death was due to external causes, fill in the following: Accident
Date of occurrence: April 19, 1946
Where did injury occur? Cedar, Missouri
Did injury occur in or about home, on farm….? On farm
While at work? Yes
Signature: (Cannot read, but maybe W.D. Twi___), Coroner
Address: El Dorado Springs, Missouri
File received: May 9, 1946
Filed: May 10, 1946
Primary Registration District No.: 5240
State File No.: 12535
Registrar’s No.: 12
Charles Oscar PORTER was the father of Ruby Irene PORTER WILLIAMS, who was the mother of Carol Elizabeth WILLIAMS LAKEY, who was my mom.