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Zula Ley: Little-Known Fact #4


Ley Zula Robert Jr. 1918

A 1918 portrait shows my great-grandmother, Mary Zula Lucrece (Fisher) Ley, and her newborn son, my grandfather Robert Earl Ley Jr.

Tragic Death Tied to Flu Epidemic

When I started this blog, it was to share what’s most interesting to me about genealogy — the way the lives and personalities of our ancestors come to life in the stories we uncover.

At times those stories are tragic. Perhaps none more so than the story of my great-grandmother, Zula (Fisher) Ley.

Posts in the last weeks have shared snippets of her young life — acclaim for her acting in a senior play, notching a finalist finish in a national beauty contest, sneaking off to Wellsburg, W. Va. to marry Great-Grandpa Earl Ley.

These and other portraits show Zula as vital, intelligent, beautiful.

But her life is defined for her descendants by its tragic end, subject of the second post ever in this blog. It was front-page news in neighboring Dover: how the young wife, 24, of a prominent dentist passed away of influenza and pneumonia late on a Sunday night at home in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

An account in the hometown Daily Times, however, also ties Zula’s death to a sudden epidemic that winter.

The Feb. 2, 1920 edition, front page, broadcasts in bold headlines: FLU EPIDEMIC CLAIMS THREE; RED CROSS TAKES UP BATTLE. Whole Families are Reported Ill. Relief is Sought. Three Persons Die Over Weekend.

While influenza is fast enveloping New Philadelphia in a grip that claimed three fatalities Sunday and Monday the Red Cross is preparing to combat the epidemic with nurses.

Mayor E. N. Fair Monday as chairman of the influenza committee of the Red Cross was seeking a nurse for a family where help could not be obtained to take care of the ill.

Whole families are ill with the epidemic, and many patients were reported on the verge of death, Monday.

Young Wife Dies

Mrs. Mary Zula Ley, 24, wife of Dr. Robert E. Ley, Dover dentist, succumbed to influenza-pneumonia at 11:30 p.m. Sunday following ten days’ illness.

The death of Mrs Ley which occurred at the residence on West High street, caused widespread sorrow.

The husband and one son, Robert Earl, aged 16 months, survive.

Years later, with more information known about our family history, it is believed the hereditary presence of Factor V Leiden, which causes abnormal clotting of the blood, particularly in veins, may have contributed to Zula’s death.

Reported in neither paper was the stillborn death of her infant daughter, also named Mary on a separate death certificate.

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2011 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog. I know the posts have slowed to an ice floe lately, but stay tuned for more family discoveries and stories in 2012.

And have a HAPPY NEW YEAR, all!

 

— Colt

 

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,700 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Whispering Across the Campfire | 2010 Year in Review


The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 76 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 261 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 271mb. That’s about 5 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 27th with 86 views. The most popular post that day was Tornadoes Time Warp – Life After 1931.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, mail.yahoo.com, en.wordpress.com, md37.embarq.synacor.com, and tips-tools-tutorials.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for dover tornadoes football, dover ohio, high school football player trevor rees, charles ley, dover phila football score history, and taliaferro wooster.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Tornadoes Time Warp – Life After 1931 November 2010

2

Are You Ready for Some (Dover) Football? August 2010
20 comments

3

Tornadoes Time Warp #2 September 2010
1 comment

4

Ancestor of the Week 5/31/2010 May 2010
3 comments

5

Dover Vs. Phila 1931 – The Big Game October 2010

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