Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Buried In a Wooden Cracker Box In South Dakota

My great-great-great aunt Ethel was pregnant and expecting her child to be born around October 1, 1910. In August of that year, she started out with her father (4G grandfather) and her two children for the railroad terminal at Sturgis, South Dakota, which was 85 miles away. Ethel and her husband John had moved to South Dakota for the health of the daughter Susan who was suffering from "lung fever" and Ethel was intending to return to Iowa where her husband had moved back to their family home earlier. When the group was about half way to Sturgis, traveling in a spring wagon, they stopped to camp for the night near a settlement of sorts. Ethel went into premature labor and was delivered of twins by her father and a nurse who happened to be caring for a smallpox patient at the home near where Ethel and her little party were stopped. Even though it was August, it was cold and Ethel was lying on a bed of straw in a tent when both of the baby girls were born on August 4, 1910. One was named Zelena Evelyn and the other Evelyn Zelena but in spite of much effort on the part of the nurse and the family whose home Ethel took refuge in, one of the twins (Evelyn Zelena) died. Her little body was placed in a wooden cracker box filled with cotton and tied with ribbon and buried on a hill in Haakon county, South Dakota.

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