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               February, 2013

  Contact the Editors:
      Charles Hansen, Editor & Contributor
      Jenna Mills, Associate Editor & Contributor

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  Sad January Newsletter - Grieving Parents
  — Charles Hansen

        Well, I am sitting here trying to figure out why someone would kill 20 elementary school children, and six more adults. I know we all grieve for the families of those children that died so young with so much to live for. I am glad to hear the stories of the heroic people that saved the lives of other children in that school. Today we have done a lot to insure nearly all our children will grow up and live a long life, but that was not always the case with our ancestors and their children.

        I have been working with a lot of old obits, indexing some and putting some online, and it is sad to see so many infants and young children in the obituaries. In the following paragraphs are a a couple of obituaries from the Spokesman Review newspaper, December 7, 1904.

        Baby Aumell:  The funeral services of Leonard Charles Aumell, the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. D.J. Aumell, will be held this morning at 10 o'clock from the residence, E1615 First avenue. Father Ferland will officiate. The interment will be at Fairmount.

        Leonard was the son of Daniel J. Aumell and Katie Class both born in Canada. Leonard was born in Spokane September 10, 1906 and he died of marasmus. [Marasmus is wasting away, and in an infant it is from the inability to assimilate food. Checking Fairmount Cemetery online you find 5 Aumell children oldest age 5 buried with their parents, At least one Aumell child lived long enough to get married, Luverne Aumell got married in 1921 at age 19.]

        Diptheria Claims Infant-The remains of Lotta Pearl Collins, aged 3, who died yesterday afternoon at Third avenue and Haven street from diphtheria, will be buried this morning from the residence.

        The Washington Digital Archives has her death [obituary] return online and the name is different on that return from the obit. It is Leota Bell Collins and it says she was the daughter of J.S. Collins born in Wisconsin and E.W. Boston or Barton born in Kentucky. The death return also says she was buried in Greenwood Cemetery by Smith's Funeral Home. Checking the Greenwood Cemetery online shows Leota Collins on the same stone with Lucy J. Collins wife of I.S. Collins, and they also have a L.S. Collins, MD, in the same area of the cemetery. J.S. Collins was a doctor. Lucy had died in 1905, and an Isaac S. Collins remarried in 1907 listing his mother as Elizabeth W. Boston born in Kentucky, but not J.S. Collins as his father. Confused yet? Are all these records of the correct family? Or are there a couple of families? Or were the people that gave the information mixed-up on the facts? Or maybe a combination of all the these questions?

        Just because it is written in an obituary or carved in stone at the cemetery does not make it correct, written records can be wrong also, so be sure to check your sources.

        I want to say the death a child by any means is always sad, and even though it was fairly common for our ancestors to lose children to disease and accidents, to lose a child because some nut wants to kill is the saddest of all. Lets hope all the parents and relatives of those killed will survive and be able to celebrated the lives of those children, and never forget them.

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