Friday, August 19, 2011

A Mother's Anguish

Reeve Cemetery, Reeve, Barron County, WI

Charlotte Mae “Lottie” Huntsinger Newville and her husband, Asa Newville, had 18 children; only six survived.

My great-grandmother was a Huntsinger, and Charlotte is my second cousin two times removed:  a distant relationship.  However, the birth and death of her children made me curious about her.

Charlotte was born October 13, 1880, in Tenhassen, Martin County, Minnesota, to James and Catherine Huntsinger.  In 1885, she and her parents were living in Wadena, Minnesota.  Sometime between 1885 and 1900, the family moved to Estherville, Iowa.

She married Asa Newville on September 8, 1898, at her parents’ home in Estherville, Emmet County, Iowa.  Asa Newville was born August 10, 1872, in Steele County, Minnesota, to John and Myra Newville.  At the time of the marriage, Asa was from Martin County, Minnesota.  The couple settled in Estherville, Iowa.

Asa and Charlotte are listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census and the 1905 Iowa Census as living in Estherville, Iowa.  Before 1910, they moved to Barron County, Wisconsin.  In Wisconsin, Asa was a farmer; in Iowa he was a day laborer.  I have speculated with my husband as to why the move from northern Iowa to northwestern (almost northern) Wisconsin.  If there was to be a move, why not move to Minnesota where he already had family engaged in farming and where Charlotte had relatives in farm-rich areas.  Perhaps the land was cheaper in Barron County, Wisconsin, for someone wanting to become a farmer.  It certainly is not the flat and/or rolling farm land that one envisions in Iowa and Minnesota. 

While still in Estherville, Charlotte and Asa had the following children:

  • Clara Francis Newville (2/4/1899-4/21/1977) married Henry H. Clark and had 13 children. 
  • Hazel Newville (9/19/1902-6/5/1903) and Asa Charles Newville (9/19/1902-6/5/1903) are twins.  They only lived to be eight months old—both dying on the same day.  They are buried in Estherville, Iowa. 
  • Another set of twins, an unnamed boy and an unnamed girl, were born on January 26, 1904.  They only lived to be five months old—both dying on the same day:  June 29, 1904.  They, too, are buried in Estherville, Iowa. 
  • Archie James Newville (3/26/1905-10/8/1991) married Ellen J. Skar and had six children. 
  • Nellie Maria Newville (1908-before 2007) married Jack Johnson and had at least one child. 
  • Katherine Minerva Newville (1909-before 2008) married Edgar Rosen and had two children.
Of the eight children born in Iowa, only four survived.

Once in Wisconsin, Charlotte and Asa had the following children:

  • Gladys Marie Newville (6/21/1911-11/1/1934) lived to be 23 years old. 
  • Vernon Edwin Newville (6/2/1914-3/2/1915) lived to be only nine months old.  The time period during which Vernon lived was the time of the most devastating flu epidemic in the United States.  Vernon was probably one of those victims. 
  • Jenna Edna Newville, Vernon’s twin (6/2/1914-6/23/1914), only lived 21 days.  Again, I suspect Jenna was a victim of the flu epidemic. 
  • Doris Beatrice Newville (12/13/1915-12/19/1915) only lived six days.  Another flu victim? 
  • A baby girl was stillborn on June 6, 1917. 
  • Dorothy Ione Newville (6/19/1918-1996) married Donald Langton. 
  • A baby girl was stillborn on June 6, 1917. 
  • An unnamed baby girl lived only one day (1/29/1922-1/30/1922). 
  •  Marjory Lorraine Newville (10/21/1924-1/26/1926) lived to be only 15 months old. 
  •  Merle Maxine Newville is Marjory’s twin (10/21/1924-10/16/2008) married Emil W. Strenke and had ten children.
Of the ten children born in Wisconsin, seven died while a baby (two being stillborn), one died as a young adult, and two survived to be adults.

When I think of Charlotte, I can only imagine the despair and anguish she must have suffered as one child after another died.  It’s like the commercial on television for  We do not know how well off we are until we start looking (for our ancestors).

Charlotte and Asa  are both buried in the Reeve Cemetery.

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