06 May 2015

The Death of Miss Addie Dyer Plays Out in the Newspaper

Newspaper articles provide some of the richest information when it pertains to our ancestors.  This was certainly true when I was researching Adeline Lavina Dyer. Adeline, who never married, was the daughter of William B. Dyer and Susanna 'Anna' Wootten.  She was the niece of my second great grandmother, Adeline L. Dyer, who married Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr.  Was she named after her aunt, or was there another Adeline, in the family, that I have yet to discover?

Unfortunately, the articles I found were an accounting of events leading up to her death.  The first article found in the 7 January 1903 Adrian Daily Telegram, Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan was about a sojourn to Colorado for health reasons and its outcome: 

The friends of Miss Addie Dyer will be sorry to learn that her sojourn at Arvado, Col., is not proving a curative measure for her ailment, and that she will probably return home in a month's time.

Next, the 18 March 1903 article was informing readers of Addie's return to Adrian, Michigan:

Miss Alice Dyer and sister, Miss Addie Dyer, are expected to arrive in the morning. Miss Addie, it will be remembered, went to stay the ravages of tuberculosis, but the trip did not have the desired effect. She is now unable to walk. 

The next three articles dated the 9th, 11th and 15th of May, 1903 are about Adeline's death.  I imagine those who read of Adeline's illness started out with hope that her illness could be helped, but within four months they are reading of her death.

The death of Miss Addie Dyer, occurred this afternoon at 1:30 o'clock at the home of her father W.B. Dyer, in this city.  Miss Dyer had been a sufferer for some time past, with consumption and had but recently returned from Colorado, where she went with her sister in hopes of recovery.  Funeral notice will appear later. (9 May 1903)

The funeral services of Miss Addie Dyer will be conducted at her late home at 2 o'clock standard time Tuesday.  Miss Dyer will be greatly missed.  She was superintendent of the primary department of the Bible school until failing health required her to give up this work which she did so faithfully and zealously.  She was greatly beloved by those under her care. (11 May 1903)
On Saturday, May 9, occurred the death of Adeline, daughter of William B. Dyer and Susanna Dyer, deceased. Death was due to tuberculosis, from which she had been suffering the past year. The burial took place from the home Tuesday, May 13, with interment at Oakwood. Reverent C. W. Stephenson officiated.
Adeline Lavina Dyer was born in Adrian, December 15, 1878. She was a graduate of Adrian high school, having been a member of the graduating class of 1899. Teaching was her chosen profession, and she was engaged in that work until March 1902, when failing health forced her to resign her position. During the past year she has been sojourning in Arvada, Denver, and Montclair, Colorado hoping that the climate of that state might benefit her. A marked improvement was noted in her condition at first but during the latter part of the winter she failed so rapidly that her return to Michigan in March was necessary. The decline since the arrival home has been scarcely perceptible to her hopeful friends, and the news of her death comes as a shock to all.
Deceased was a member of the Methodist Protestant Church of this city and long and active worker in the Bible school of that church, in the primary department of which he acted as superintendent until ill health made her resignation obligatatory.
Together with her father, William B. Dyer, two sisters, Jesse Nina and Alice M. Dyer, survive her, with one brother, Edward L Dyer, of Walkerville, Ontario. Her loss will be keenly felt not only in this thrice bereaved home, but in this city and every other community where her exalted Christian life has exerted its influence.  (15 May 1903)

Adeline was only twenty-five years young when she died from tuberculosis.  The above articles provide a story of a young woman who was educated having graduated from Adrian High School in 1899.  She was a teacher, which I had written about here, until illness forced her to resign in March, 1902.  Following her resignation she spent the next year looking for relief from her illness.  Unfortunately, she didn't find one and died fourteen months after resigning her teaching position.

Although these articles have a sad ending, they provide details of her life.  Her obituary states, "thrice bereaved home".  Adeline's illness and death followed her brother's death, in December of 1901 and her mother's death in March of 1902. The Dyer family suffered three deaths of family members in a short seventeen month period.

Don't over look newspapers to fill in the details of an ancestor's life.  They are rich in information.

Source: All quoted articles are from

  • Adrian Daily Telegram, Adrian, Michigan (dates cited with article transcription), online images, Genealogy Bank (www.genealogybank.com : accessed 10 March 2015), Historical Newspapers.

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