Monday, July 16, 2012

The Fate of Another Martha

So we last found Martha J. GREGORY in the 1930 census …

This Martha appears to have been the youngest child of Ezra David (or David Ezra) GREGORY, son of Martha Catherine LYNN and Isaac GREGORY. Martha married George BUTCHER and it appears that this couple was quite busy: they had eight children!

On Dec. 17, 1957, a horrendous tornado blew through southern Illinois and several other states. About a dozen people were killed in Murphysboro. Martha (GREGORY) BUTCHER was among them. Because of the tragic circumstances, her death was part of national headlines. I found this information in the Tri City Herald:
"Four of the Murphysboro fatalities occurred in one family.  Mrs. Martha Butcher and three of her children were hurled from their home and tossed into a nearby field. All were killed."

Martha was only 30. In a different article, I found the children listed: Donald, 5, Mary Jane, 12, and Janet, 3. Wow. How incredibly sad.

George BUTCHER died in 2010. In addition to finding his obituary, I also found one for he and Martha's daughter, Glenna. Glenna, who was born in 1955, died in 2007. She was a few months shy of 3 when her mother and siblings were killed. (From what I have pieced together from obituaries, a brother and three sisters are still living from this line.)

Martha (GREGORY) BUTCHER was the first of her three siblings to die. Today, all three grandchildren of Martha (LYNN) GREGORY's listed in the 1930 census are gone. Billie (GREGORY) BRIMM died in 2009 at age 84 and Lorin GREGORY, the eldest, died earlier this year (in March); he was almost 90!


Michele Butcher said...

HI I came across this post while looking for a picture of the tornado. George was my grandfather. Three of the children (Alice, Barbra, and Georgia) were not the children of Martha. He remarried after the tornado. The now only living survivor is Gerald. Martha, Mary Jean, and Janet all perished at the home. Donald died later that evening at Doctor's Hospital in Carbondale.

NV said...

Thanks for the information, Michele! Is your parent a child of George and Martha or not?