Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Almira King Holsclaw


  Mrs. Almira Holsclaw, eighty-nine years old, died Thursday, October 8th (1931), at the home of her granddaughter Mrs. Homer Bullard west of this city.  Funeral services were held at the First Baptist Church in this city Saturday, conducted by the Rev. W. H. Dillard.  The burial took place in the Vawter Cemetery.      Mrs. Holsclaw was the daughter of George and Frances king and was born in Jennings County April 10, 1842.  She was married to William T. Holsclaw and all of their married life was spent in the Deer Creek neighborhood in Jennings County.  Mr. Holsclaw died about a year ago and since that time Mrs. Holsclaw has made her home with relatives.  She is survived by five children: Mrs. Bertha Searles, Spokane, Wash. Harry Holsclaw, Auburn, California; Esra Holsclaw of near Franklin, Mrs. Edwin Carson, of near Seymour; and Mrs. Oscar Beeman, North Vernon Route 5.  She is also survived by twenty-nine grandchildren, nineteen Great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren and by one brother, Elvin King of Lincoln, Nebraska.  She was a faithful member of the Baptist Church and was a woman of sterling qualities of character, respected by all who knew her.

I'd have to say Almira is my favorite ancestor, if you can have such a thing. She is my great-great-great grandmother. She wrote a short memoir of growing up in southern Indiana, of which I have a copy (you can read an excerpt here: My grandmother, Mary Holsclaw Andrews, remembers visiting her when very young, she writes: “William and Almira Holsclaw lived in a ‘little house on the prairie’ type house in North Vernon, Indiana. They had no electricity. They had a pedal organ. The bedroom was very small; it was off the living room. It had a built in featherbed bunk bed. She had a pillow filled with pine needles in the parlor; it had a very strong smell that made me sick! The dining room was the biggest room in the house. Outside the back door, several feet to the right was a little hill with a chicken coop.”

My favorite line from Almira's memoir is in my book:

"I can see my life like a pattern woven in with the lives of so many others. It seems, as I look at it from here, now that it is so nearly finished, that there is plenty of brightness to offset the dark, gloomy part of my weaving."

I can feel her impact even today- her optimistic outlook on life, the impact she made on her descendants, and "the sterling qualities of her character" have been passed down. She concludes her memoir with this, "And so my prayer is, may war be outlawed from the land. May peace and joy and gladness come to take its place."

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