Monday, September 4, 2017

Miss Catherine Todd of Mt. Solon, Augusta Co., VA

You’ve heard about the McFall’s often on this blog. Today I want to tell you about the lady who married 3rd Great Grandfather David McFall—Miss Catherine Todd.

Born in Augusta County, Virginia January 1823, Catherine was one of eight children born to James Todd and Catherine Siple. She married David McFall July 28, 1842. They would only have eleven years together; Grandfather died a young man (age 35) March 20, 1854.

Catherine became a 31 year old widowed mother of five children. She never remarried and no doubt faced her share of challenges raising her young brood.

The Widow McFall lived to be an old lady passing Feb. 1, 1908 when she was 85 years old.

The Staunton newspapers enjoyed Grandmother’s longevity and advised their readers of her ‘comings and goings’ during her last years.

The June 1, 1906 Staunton Spectator noted “Mrs. Cathrine McFall, the next oldest person of our village, who is quite active for one of her age, nearing her 84th birthday, is at this writing visiting her grand-daughter, Mrs. Howard Irvine, near Churchville.”

According to the July 6, 1906 Staunton Spectator issue, Grandmother created a buzz upon her arrival at the M. E. Church’s Children’s day service.

      An interesting feature of the occasion was, when Mrs. Catherine McFall entered the church on the arm of her son. She was observed by Dr. James T. Clarke, who arose with the gallantry of a youth and the politeness of a Chesterfield and tendered her a seat by his side remarking, “This is the old issue,” which caused a waive of laughter over the congregation. Both are considerably up in the eighties, yet they seemed to enjoy the evening as much as the young.”

July 6, 1906 Staunton Spectator, From Mt. Solon

 (By the way, Miss Mysee McFall, a granddaughter, participated in the ceremonies.)

A grandson makes the Mt. Solon news via the Staunton Spectator and Vindicator Friday, Dec. 6, 1907; “James D. McFall of Richmond, is visiting his grandmother, Mrs. Catherine McFall.

When Catherine died, the Staunton Spectator and Vindicator published a lengthy article Friday, February 7, 1908:

     This most estimable lady passed away Saturday night at Mt. Solon, her death being due to pnuemonia and the infirmities of old age. The deceased was the daughter of the late James and Catherine Todd, and was born in the Mt. Solon neighborhood, in the month of January, 1823, and she was in her 86th year. She was a sister of James and Preston Todd, who preceded her to the grave.
      Many years ago she married David McFall, and of this union four children are now living, namely Stuart B., of Washington; Hamilton B., and B. Chambers McFall, of Mt. Solon, and Miss Maggie McFall, of the same place. She is also survived by many grandchildren.
      Her whole life was passed in the village of Mt. Solon, her children grew to manhood and womanhood there. She was such a part and parcel of the neighborhood, and her good work was so intimately interwoven in all that transpired there that she will be greatly missed. In so far as she was able she assisted in charity and her Christian life was a model, her motherly virtues a source of pleasure, and her struggle with the cares of a family in her widowhood was brave and successful. She had long been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and her funeral took place from that church on Monday afternoon being conducted by her pastor, Rev. W. S. Marsh. The funeral being attended by many friends and relatives.
      Mrs. Catherine McFall of Mt. Solon, Va., after several weeks of illness, died at her residence in the village at 10 p.m. on the first day of February, 1908, aged 85 years. She was born in January 1823, and was a daughter of James and Catherine Todd, who settled on a small tributary of Mossy Creek about the middle of the 18th century. She lived all her long life on and near the place of her birth. She had three sisters and four brothers--none of whom survive her. Her remains were borne to the grave by six of her grandsons who acted as pall bearers. She was the widow of D. B. McFall, a former merchant of the village, and was a consistent member of the M. E. Church, South for many years. The funeral services were conducted by her pastor Rev. W. H. Marsh. The hymns sung during the services were "I would not live away", "Lead kindly light" and "From every stormy wind that blows"--the latter one of her favorite hymns. Although she suffered much during the latter part of her sickness, she never murmured; being perfectly rational to the last when she sank peacefully to sleep. Her last hours were cheered by her bright anticipation of joining the hosts of the redeemed who had gone before. Her death will be deeply regretted by her relatives and numerous friends who will never forget the cheerful smile which so frequently wreathed her handsome, youthful-appearing face; but they are comforted by the reflection that their loss is her eternal gain, and it will be their privilege to meet her again in the realms of everlasting bliss, "Far beyond the sunsets radiant glow, where sickness and sorrow, pain and woe, and the pangs of separation, are known no more forever."
             J. T. C.

The Staunton Daily Leader also printed an obituary in their Monday evening, Feb. 3, 1908 edition:

Staunton Daily Leader Feb 3 1908, Country Woman Dies in her 86th year

As you can tell from this post, I delight in finding my family in the papers. If you should see any of my McFall’s or Todd’s, please share the news.

My ancestry
4th Great Grandparents James Todd and Catherine Siple
3rd Great Grandparents Catherine Todd and David McFall
2nd Great Grandparents James Addison McFall and Radie Maria Harman
Great Grandparents Flora Belle McFall and Daniel Franklin Joseph
Grandparents James McFall Joseph and Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father

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