A Little More About Sister Besse

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, April 10, 1912:  Nothing to write about.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Usually I’m disappointed when Grandma doesn’t write much—but this time I’m relieved. It probably means that Grandma’s life was settling back into normal routines. She’s had a rough week with two deaths—a friend died  after a long illness and her sister Besse’s son died shortly after his birth.

I feel like I’ve been mourning the death of Besse’s baby all week—so I’ll tell you a little more about Besse.

Besse and her husband Curt Hester ran a butcher shop in nearby Watsontown for many years. They had one child who survived beyond infancy. Curt, Jr. was born in 1915.

Curt Jr. and his wife Mae never had any children.

Besse, Curt, Mae, and Curt, Jr. are buried next to each other in the Watsontown cemetery.

An aside– When I was young Curt,  Jr. and Mae lived on the farm that Grandma lived on when she wrote this diary. I remember that Mae had a beautiful yard which included a small pond with lily pads and large golden fish. (I’ve never known anyone else with a fish pond in their yard and was awed by it.)

2 Responses

  1. It is so sad when a newborn dies… Not only the parents, but the grandparents and aunts and uncles must feel a deep sense of loss… And to lose a friend at such a young age… People seem to have been more acquainted with premature deaths a hundred years ago. My father had three siblings that didn’t live to be adults – I can only imagine how difficult it was for everyone in the family…

    • It had to have been very, very difficult–but, maybe because they were more acquainted with premature death, they somehow seemed able to move on.

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