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.
Can you share what database you used to find this info?
Absolutely Carol. I found this in the Missouri Digital Heritage Death Certificate Index. Happy Digging! Stephanie
About Charles Oscar Porter and his death. My name is Parry Lomax and your grand Mother Ruby Irene Williams is/was my first cousin and all she was known by mostly was Irene and your Great Grand father was my uncle on my mothers side, he was married to my mothers sister Renee as a very young boy we visited their farm in Fort Scott Ks. and Belton Mo. many, many times and I remembering all the distant family getting together and spend the weekend butchering cattle and hogs and then they would split the meat. When your Great Grandfather was killed it was on an old iron wheeled Fordson tractor but it didn’t happen like I read about earlier in the post here. It is true that Irene was with him at the time of the accident she did see it happen and she did have to run home and tell your Great grandmother that the tractor in on Grandpa and I can tell you just what happened, your grandpa was plowing and the tractor got stuck so he went to the house where there was a set of old bed springs laying out in the yard and he took them back down to where the tractor was and took a chain and fastened them to the wheels of the tractor to get traction to get out of where he was stuck and that caused the tractor to rear up and go over backwards an pinned him between the tractor and the plow that he was pulling. I remember then of my mother Nellie Maud (Smith) Lomax going and staying for a while with your great grand mother when she was in the hospital and she passed away from cancer a short time later. Your grandfather DID NOT commit suicide it was a pure accident. If I can be of any help of any kind you can contact me at email@example.com I live at Warsaw Mo. still where your grandmother lived until she moved to Belton Mo. with Becky.
Hi Parry. I have been meaning to message you for awhile about this. First of all, I am glad to hear that it indeed was an accident (as the death certificate and my post says). My main question for you is when did my grandma Irene move to Belton? I was raised in Belton and grandma told me that she lived there during high school for awhile. I always assumed that this was during a time that she lived with extended family, mostly because I have not seen anything about her parents living there nor my grandpa. I also know that at times during her childhood and teen years, the family didn’t always live together (I am assuming due to hard times financially). She never mentioned living in Belton otherwise. Neither did my grandpa. She also lived there during her last days at my cousin’s house (one of my Aunt Becky’s children). If you can tell me anything you know about any times she lived there, approximate age (or years), and anything else… I would LOVE that! Thanks so much!
Hello. I am a somewhat distant relative of yours I suppose. Irene, who you cite as grandma, was my great-aunt. Charles Orville Porter was my grand father.
When I or anyone tried to ask Grandpa about his dad (Charles Oscar) he either said nothing or use every negative word known to man to discribe him. In short, my grandpa described his dad as lazy. He never wanted to work hard or be on-time for anything. He often lied on reports saying he had some job when really he was unemployed.
Another interesting tid-bit my grandpa gave was that his dad was “lazy to the end” then goes on to describe what seems to be missing from documents. On that day Charles Oscar Porter put on his “best sunday suit”, did his hair, got on his tractor and drove the tractor off a hill resulting in his death.
My grandpa was convinced it was a suicide.
Hello Cousin! I really do not know anything about this. I do know that they were really poor most of the time and that my grandma went and lived with someone else for a period of time while in high school presumably because of how poor they were.
Grandma didn’t really talk a lot about him other than he died when her first child was an infant and her mom died basically the next year when her second child (my mom) was an infant.
That truly makes it even worse if it was a suicide, because besides everything else that is wrong with this… his youngest daughter (who was a young mom at the time) had to witness this and be the one who took care of the aftermath (reporting, etc).
Also if it was suicide, that can definitely explain why someone who would tell me lots of details about family members…. did not even tell me how he died or that she was there.
Hello cousin! It all seems to add up to make sense, right? The only other thing I have that I have not seen around are some pictures of Charles Oscar and Mary Irene that I am still trying to locate. I didn’t know how rare these photos were when I first saw them. When I find them I can report back, if you would like?
I would very much like to share info with you! I descend from the HUBBARD line. My ancestor was William Alfred Hubbard. His sister, Nancy married Jacob Gilbert. Jacob and Nancy had three children: Lydia, Rhoda, Charles. Charles Gilbert married Lavina Adeline Hubbard….and they had three children: Caroline Adele, James, Alvin….All born in Iowa. Caroline married Daniel Marion Porter and their children were: Charles Oscar, Nellie L…and a baby girl who d. in 1880 and is buried in the Oxford, Kansas, cemetery.
Lydia Gilbert m. Isaac Neal and resided in Russell Co., KS; Rhoda Gilbert m. Oscar John Palmer and resided in Crowley and Sumner Cos., KS. Charles and Lavina do have an interesting story! Charles actually married his aunt as Lavina and Nancy are/were sisters. Lavina was approximately 4 years older than Charles. I have done a great deal of information on these families…..and have published a book on the HUBBARD Genealogy.
I would certainly enjoy sharing and comparing stories, facts, etc. I have not had success in locating Charles and Lavina after 1875/76. They had government land in Sumner Co. and farmed there for about 6 or 7 years……coming from Benton Co., MN. From bits and pieces I have found…it appears that Caroline d. about 1890….and Daniel and son, Charles Oscar lived together for some time. Nellie lived with two or three families before she married George Elmer Lucas. I do have much info on her and her family. She died at quite a young age (either in Sumner Co., KS or in Missouri? She left descendants…..girls.
Again I would like to compare/share family records and stories.
Eloyce Hubbard Kockler
I have accumulated much info on your great grandfather…Charles Oscar Porter.
Thank you so much for sharing and yes, I would like to compare and share with you as well. I would love to know more about Charles Oscar Porter.
Thank you for replying to my “comment”! As I’m not totally familiar with the various web sites….and wasn’t sure whether or not my message would reach you….I was truly happy to hear back from you!
As mentioned to you in my message…I do have so much information on the Hubbards and Gilberts. I’ve always wondered what happened to Charles and Lavina (Hubbard) Gilbert??? It is truly a fascinating story. Lavina was raised in a New York (Groveland) Shaker Colony along with a sister, Mary Jane. When Lavina was about 18 years of age her father, Alfred, got her release and returned with her to Winnebago Co., Wisconsin. About 4 years later she married her nephew Charles A. Gilbert (son of Nancy (Hubbard) Gilbert and Jacob Gilbert. They removed to Howard Co., Iowa about 1863-4….shortly after their marriage. (I have not been able to locate a marriage record for them to date). They purchased property there. Next I found them in 1870 in Benton Co., Minnesota where the census noted they had children: Cara, James, Alvin. (All children b. in Iowa according to that census). I next find them in Sumner Co., KS where it appears they moved to be near Jacob and Nancy. Also Charles’ sister, Rhoda and her husband, Oscar John Palmer, resided in nearby Cowley Co.,KS. Charles’s sister, Lydia and husband, Isaac Neal lived in Russell Co., KS. I do have much information on the families as they lived in Kansas. You are familiar, too, with Caroline Adele Gilbert, who married Daniel Marion Porter. They had three children: the oldest died in 1880 and is buried in Oxford, Sumner, KS cemetery. Nellie L., b. 1882; Charles Oscar, b. 1884. (I have researched both of these and followed them to their deaths…..I, too, have the death certificate for your great grandfather, Charles Oscar Porter, in Missouri.
Nellie d. between 1906 and 1910 (census info). She had married George Elmer Lucas and had children: Mildred, Helen, and a possible son, Raymond, b. 1906 in KS. *It seems that Nellie lived back and forth between Sumner Co., KS and various places in MO. James Gilbert was last located as a ranch hand/farm worker in Sumner Co., KS at age 18 (KS state census 1885). Worked for family: Hosington. I traced Alvin to Hot Springs, Garland Co., Arkansas. He died there in 1931. Had 2 or 3 marriages, but appears that he had no children. (In Hot Springs Cemetery Record for Caruth Funeral Home)….the record notes that his father’s name is Charles Gilbert.
I do have much, much more on these families….and as mentioned previously…I have written a large book….on the Hubbard Family. It has been microfilmed by various libraries. From the time that I concluded the book, however, I have learned so much more about the Gilberts, Palmers, Neals….and their descendants. I do a lot of searching on Ancestery.com, as well as Family Search…and many other sites. Also I have been fortunate to search extensively at the FHL in Salt Lake City. I lived for many years in Montana….until my husband and I retired to Lake Havasu City, AZ. I have studied your entries in the various internet sites, but wasn’t exactly sure how to reach you! Finally, I just left a message in the above item….and hoped that you would see it and contact me!! Thank you……
You have mentioned in various posts that Caroline Adele and family were from Wright Co. IA?? I might assume that the family left Howard Co., IA about 1866 and moved south to central Iowa, however, I have been unable to locate them there???
If I have followed you correctly your name is Stephanie Parker…..and you reside near or in Spanish Springs, NV? (My daughter-in-law lived in Winnemucca, NV at one time). I look so forward to sharing information with you…..and once again, thank you for responding to my query.
Eloyce Hubbard Kockler
43 El Dorado Ave. South
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403 (928) 302-1499