Saturday, March 8, 2014

Great Grandmother Made Honor Roll

Great Grandmother
Flora Belle (McFall) Joseph

Scanned Image from Personal Collection

Great Grandmother Flora Bell McFall was a smart girl. The Staunton Spectator reported Wednesday, February 1, 1888 the Roll of Honor for the Mt. Solon School in Augusta County, Virginia.

Image from Library of Virginia, Virginia Chronicle

No absences, no tardies, well behaved and a 92% average! Flora’s siblings Kinzer, Clara and Paul also made the honor roll.

Her father, James Addison McFall, died a young man, age 39, in April of 1887.[1] She lost her mother, Rodie Maria Harman, in May 1890 who also died young at the age of 40.[2] Consumption was the cause of death for both parents. By the time Flora Belle was 15, she was an orphan. I’m hoping family took care of the McFall children.

Six years later Flora Belle, 19 years old, married John W. Bolen, 24 year old son of James E. Bolen and Sarah F. Hopewell at Mt. Solon, VA on July 18, 1894.[3] It was not a happy union. Flora Belle filed for divorce March 3, 1899 in the Circuit Court of Augusta Co., VA. She stated that John W. Bolen had deserted and abandoned her less than a month after her marriage. A daughter, Ruby Esther Bolen, was born from the marriage and John W. Bolen refused to provide any support for Flora Bell and Ruby Esther.

The divorce case was decided Nov. 23, 1899 when their marriage was officially dissolved. Custody of Ruby Esther was awarded to Flora Belle. Flora Belle accepted $260.00 (plus interest until paid) from John W. Bolen in lieu of support and maintenance. He was also required to pay Flora’s legal fees ($25.00).[4]

When the 1900 federal census was enumerated, Flora Belle and Ruby Esther Bolen were living in the North River Township--the place where she was born and raised. Flora’s younger brothers, Paul and Lacy McFall were part of her household. The census indicates Flora owned their home. [5]

Flora would soon meet and marry my great-grandfather, Daniel Franklin Joseph, on August 17, 1904.[6] Their marriage was reported in the Staunton Spectator and Vindicator which you can see in a previous blog post about Daniel at Well Known County Man Embarks on His Third Matrimonial Venture   

Together they had three children, James McFall (my grandfather), Lacy Daniel and Flora Belle. Lacy Daniel died when a baby. The Staunton Spectator and Vindicator, Friday, Oct. 1, 1909 issue reported his death:

Sudden Death of Child near Fishersville
   Lacy Daniel Joseph, the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Joseph, of the Fishersville neighborhood, died suddenly on Friday afternoon, the 17th ult., aged one year, nine months and ten days. The child was playing on the front porch when he suddenly fell, unconscious, to the floor. Medical aid was promptly summoned but the family physician, Dr. White, of Tinkling Spring, was absent from home and did not arrive for some hours.
   In the meantime, the fond mother, assisted by kind neighbors, resorted to such remedies as were at hand until the doctor's arrival. When Dr. White finally came he said that his presence earlier would have made no difference as the malady was beyond the power of medical skill. The little fellow remained unconscious from the first and late in the afternoon the gentle spirit passed to its eternal home on high. He was an unusually beautiful child and precocious to a marked degree.
   The father and mother have the sympathy of a wide circle of friends. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. H. A. Coffman, of the Methodist Episcopal church and the interment took place at Asbury Chapel.

Flora Belle (McFall) Joseph died April 9, 1910 about 3 weeks after the birth of her new baby daughter, also named Flora Belle, near Annex, Augusta Co, VA. She is buried in Annex Church Cemetery beside her 3-year old son Lacy Daniel.

[1] Augusta Co., VA Death Register, 1871-1892 North River District, Line 18.
[2] Augusta Co. VA Death Register, 1871-1892 North River District 1890 Line 32.
[3] Marriage Certificate of Flora Bell McFall and John W. Bolen
[4] Chancery Suit Flora Bell Bolen vs. John W. Bolen Index No. 1899-047, original case 600 online at Library of Virginia, Virginia Memory, Chancery Records digitized image collection
[5] 1900 Federal Census, North River, Augusta Co., VA, Series T623, Roll 1700, Page 150, Line 3, Flora B. Bolen Household.
6 Marriage Certificate of Flora B. Bolen and Daniel F. Joseph

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