For the Record | Rebecca Foutz, 1915 obit

Rebecca Jane (Caldwell) Foutz

Great-great Grandma Rebecca Foutz


Rebecca Jane (Caldwell) Foutz | 1847-1915


This blog series explores the lives of Foutz ancestors as revealed in their obituaries. Much of this information was gathered during a March 2011 research trip to Tuscarawas and Harrison counties in Ohio.

From the Dover Daily Reporter, Tuesday, May 25:

Foutz Rebecca obit 1915


What else was going on in the world on May 25, 1915? World War I is building to a full roar. This month, a German U-boat sinks the Lusitania, killing more than 1,100. In April, Ottomon Turks begin the Armenian genocide, in which 1.5 million will be murdered; and poison gas is deployed for the first time on the European front. In sunnier news, Babe Ruth hits his first major league home run on May 6.

And… The Missing Foutz Obituary

The Foutzes’ tragic spring of 1915 has been well documented in this blog.

First, Rebecca’s grandson Karl Coleman would die of tuberculosis while visiting my great-grandfather Vance Foutz’s home (where Rebecca, as noted above, lived).

Then oldest son Sherman Foutz would succumb to tuberculosis in April.

Finally came May and Rebecca’s passing.

What is frustrating about the obituary above is that though it may detail Rebecca’s ailments, and her suffering before death, it sheds no light on the early death of her husband, my great-great grandfather Jonathan Foutz.

I’ve written in this space before about this and other Foutz mysteries. I’ve found the answer to one — the untimely death of Rebecca and Jonathan’s second son, John, at age 21. But the same lack of documented evidence that once frustrated me when it came to John continues to taunt me in Jonathan’s case.

While in Ohio, I combed editions of the Cadiz Republican around Jonathan’s death in September 1900 and came up empty.

Online archives of the Twin City News suffer a one-month gap — the old version of the paper peters out in August; the new one doesn’t start up till October.

And the archive for the New Philadelphia Ohio Democrat doesn’t reach into the 1900s.

I’ve also spent time and money digging through the Washington Post, circa 1900, when the Foutzes where living there, and in which Sherman is mentioned frequently and in which one search for John Cephas Foutz’s obit struck gold. But to no avail.

So — how did my great-great grandfather die at age 55? And where? We don’t know yet. And that’s a reason to keep digging.

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