Sunday, March 24, 2013

Obituary : Olive Jane (Smith) Wehrly (1846-1913)

Portland Commercial-Review, Portland, Indiana, December  7, 1913

Fellow research Judy Myers sent me a copy of the obituary of my paternal 2x-great grandmother, Olive Jane (Smith) Wehrly (1846-1913) from the Portland, Indiana Commercial Review.

11 Children Survive Her

Mrs. Olive Wehrly Dies Monday From Inroads of Lingering Illness

Husband A Few Years Dead

Many Descendants Left By Well Known Resident of South Shanks Street

Mrs. Olive Smith Wehrly, widow of the late William P. Wehrly, died at the home of her son-in-law L.D. Jackson, South Shanks street about 7:30 o'clock Monday evening after a lingering illness.  Mrs. Wehrly has been in failing health for the past year or more and for a number of weeks has been confined to her bed.

She was born at Lisbon June 17 1846 and was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Smith, both deceased.  Mrs. Wehrly is survived by the following children, her husband having died about three years ago: Prudence, wife of L.D. Jackson at whose home she died, Martin Wehrly, J.W. Wehrly, and Blaine Wehrly, all of this city; Belle, wife of Clifford LeMasters and Alva Wehrly, both of Salamonia, Mrs. Ethel Shreeves of Van Wert, Ohio, Henry Wehrly of Garrett, Mrs. Oda Scholer and Harvey Wehrly of New Castle, Mrs. Kate Andrews of Hamilton, Ohio.  One brother also remains, John Smith of Humboldt, Nebraska.

Judy notes some issues with the obituary:


I found my paper copy of her obit, not the greatest, but look at the date!  The paper is the Commercial Review in Portland.

1) This implies that she died 6 DEC 1913.  She was born at Lisbon 17 Jun 1846.  I have seen issues of the paper where they had a mistake in the date, but I haven't seen one where the month was wrong.  So. . .  Using a day of the week calculator I found that 7 Dec 1913 was a Sunday, but 7 Jan 1913 was a Tuesday. 

2) Here is the abstract of her death certificate from Jay Co.

Wehrly, Olive
Jan 6 1913
Jan 26 1846
Green Park, Portland, IN

She died in Portland on 6 Jan 1913.  She was born 26 Jan 1846.  Next two entries are volume and page references.  She was buried in Green Park.

3) And then there is her tombstone:  born 23 Jun 1846, died 6 Jan 1913

I am going to assume she died 6 Jan 1913!

It is easy to see how Jan and Jun may have been interchanged someplace along the line, but what to do with 17, 26, and 23.  (My husband suggested averaging them!)

If you get a copy of her death certificate, please let me know what it says.  They are not engraved in stone!  And I'm sure they were mistakes in transcribing them.

One of my relatives died in her teens, her death certificate has her mother's name on it instead of hers, and the last name is mutilated.


A mystery for me to have to go to the library and solve.  It would appear that the masthead of the newspaper might be wrong, as January 7, 1913 would be a Tuesday, and not December 7th.  The obit does state Olive died on a Monday.

Other errors include daughter Belle being married to the wrong LeMaster, she was married to Luman Cooper LeMaster, not Clifford.

The birthplace of Lisbon is interesting, it could be referring to New Lisbon over the county line in Henry County, Indiana.  In his biography, Olive's father William was listed as a resident of Henry County.  All census records indicate a Michigan birthplace, however.

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