So often our female ancestors get little or no personal mention in old newspapers or other documents. They are only referred to as "Mrs. husband's name" most of the time. So this is an interesting comparison between these two obituaries for my Great Great Grandparents, Charles & Henrietta Gaisford. This one for him is from the Beatrice Daily Express, he had only one paragraph in the Beatrice Daily Sun. Here he is referred to as a "pioneer resident", while her obit points out how well she endured the hardships of pioneer life.
"DEATH OF PIONEER OF ELLIS VICINITY
Chas. Gaisford, pioneer resident of southeastern Nebraska, died Sunday evening at 7:30 o'clock at his home in Ellis. He had been in ill health for some time.
The deceased was in his seventy eighth year. He located on a farm in the Ellis neighborhood over forty years ago, later removing across the line into Jefferson county. For the past few years he had made his home in Ellis.
Mr. Gaisford is survived by a widow and eight children, six daughters and two sons. He also leaves three brothers and a number of grandchildren. The brothers are G. Gaisford of Council Bluffs, Ia., Will, residing in Illinois, and Sam Gaisford of the Ellis vicinity." [Beatrice Daily Express, Jan. 26, 1920]
Henrietta A. S. Gaisford
Henrietta Abigal Smith was born in Bartleville, Conn., September 3, 1948, and departed this life at her home in Ellis, May 23, 1932, at the age of 83 years, 8 months and 20 days.
On May 23, 1866, she was united in marriage to Charles Gaisford at Worcester, Mass., and to this union were born eleven children. These were Ella who died in infancy, Carrie who became the wife of Mr. White and died in 1899, and Nellie who passed away in 1919. Those living are Charles of Oklahoma, Miss Mamie, Mrs. Annie Fielder, Mrs. Emma Carpenter, Mrs. Cora Mann, and Will, all of Ellis; Mrs. Gertrude Weaver of Harbine, and Mrs. Gladys Amos, also of Ellis.
After residing in Massachusetts for six years they moved to a log house north of Ellis, later homesteading in Jefferson county. In 1909 they retired from farm activities, moving to Ellis, where she has since resided, Mr. Gaisford having passed away on January 25, 1920.
"Grandma" as she was affectionately known by all who knew her, was one of the oldest pioneers of this community. Sod houses, Indians, prairie fires, are forgotten history to the present generation, but to grandma they were actualities. A trip to the nearest town, Beatrice, was made with a team and wagon over the open prairies. No fences barred their way, and no houses to break the monotony of the day's journey. Many hardships were endured but through it all grandma remained happy and contented. Her neighbors can well remember her kindly deeds in time of sickness and sorrow. One of grandma's outstanding characteristics was to always find something good in everyone.
Mrs. Gaisford was a member of the Methodist church and for many years was an active worker in the Ellis Ladies' Aid.
She leaves to mourn her loss, two sons and six daughters, 35 grandchildren, and 39 great-grandchildren. Making a trail of 82 direct descendants. Also a host of friends and neighbors.
Smooth the locks of silver hair,
On mother's brown with tender care,
Gather her robes in a final fold,
Around the form that we love so,
Lay on her bosom, pure as snow,
The sweetest flowers that ever grow,
Kiss her and leave her, your heart's delight,
In dreamless peace with Jesus tonight.
Put away her slippers and empty chair,
Fold up the garments she used to wear,
Let down the curtain, close the door,
Mother will need the old house no more.
God understands, his ways are right,
But mother, dear mother, we miss you tonight.
[* Beatrice Daily Sun, May 24, 1932]
* Reprinted by permission from the Beatrice Daily Sun