While reviewing my husband’s pedigree chart, I realized that although I had mentioned his great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Hollen, in several posts, I had never directly written her story. Then I noticed that the 117th anniversary of her death was just two days ago.
Mary Elizabeth Hollen was born on 24 February 1868, probably in the town of Pleasant Hill in Sullivan County, Missouri. She was the daughter, and youngest child, of James Hollen and Eramanthus Elizabeth Scott.
Hollen Family, 1870, Sullivan County, MO
Children of James and Eramanthus Hollen:
- John S. born c1849: died after 1870; married Clarissa A. Baskett, 25 Februrary 1869, Sullivan County, Missouri
- James Milton, born 17 February 1853, Sullivan County, Missouri; died 27 August 1939, Sullivan County, Missouri; married Nancy Melissa Baskett, 22 February 1874, Sullivan County, Missouri
- Eliza A., born c1856, Missouri; died after 1870; no further information
- George M., born c1858, Missouri; died after 1910, possibly Conewango, Caddo, Oklahoma; married (1) Charity Ann Stewart, 28 July 1878, Chariton County, Missouri (2) Alice Coffman, 19 February 1896, Sullivan County, Missouri (3) Mary Rodman, 10 June 1906, Livingston County, Missouri
- Columbus Marion, born September 1859 (9/12 in June 1860 census), Missouri; died after 1910; married Annie Zook, 21 May 1900, Ottawa, Franklin, Kansas. They had no children.
- William Edwin, born c1867, Missouri; died 20 June 1935, Winfield, Cowley, Kansas; married Mary Elizabeth Martin, 3 July 1894, Henry County, Missouri
- Mary Elizabeth – our subject
By 1880, the family circumstances had changed in a major way. During the intervening decade, Mary’s mother, Eramanthus, died. Her elder brothers John, James and George were married and out of their childhood home. Her only sister, Eliza, was gone – either married or had also died and brother Columbus was out making his way in the world.
Mary, her brother William, and her widowed father moved to Livingston County, Missouri, not far from where they had lived in Sullivan County and were living with her brother John and his family.
Hollon Family, Livingston County, MO in 1880
A few months after her 18th birthday, on 27 June 1886 in Linn County, Missouri, Mary Elizabeth married John Henry Peavler Stufflebean. John both farmed and owned a general store.
By 1900, they had a growing family with Ernest, Iva Myrtle, James, Owen Wayne, Earl, Henry and Nolan. However, by that time, they had also lost a child, their ten month old daughter, Lila Hazel, who they buried in January 1897.
The start of the 20th century was difficult for this family although one more child, John Kenneth, was born to them in March 1902. First, son Owen Wayne died in August 1902. Mary Elizabeth’s widowed father, James Hollen, who lived with them, died in December 1903. A short year later, on 2 Jan 1905, Mary Elizabeth herself passed away.
My father-in-law didn’t know how his grandmother died. She was only 36 and I thought it might have been in childbirth. The wealth of historical newspapers coming online has answered my question.
The Brookfield Gazette, of Linn County, Missouri, published two short announcements about Mary Elizabeth’s death. One stated that she died of pneumonia and left her husband and six children. The second noted that her funeral was held at the North Salem (Linn County) Church.
Due to copyright restrictions, there are no newspaper images to post, but my father-in-law was very thankful to have a chance to visit Linn County, Missouri. He never knew his grandmother, but he did visit Mary Elizabeth’s grave to pay his respects and photograph the stone.
If there were ever any photos of Mary Elizabeth Hollen Stufflebean, they have been lost to time. Ed, my father-in-law, kept in touch with all of his many Stufflebean relatives and said he had never seen a photograph of his grandmother.
He’d be pleased that she is being remembered today on the 115th anniversary of her death.