Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Life Too Short


It seems sad to me to see a mother die at a young age with small children.  It doesn’t matter if it happened several decades ago or several weeks ago.  My great great grandmother was one of those young mothers who died too young.  Buena Vista lived only 21 years which is far too short a life!

Buena Vista Bailey was born sometime after April 1872 probably in North Fork Twp., Ashe Co., NC.  Her father was Jasper L. Bailey and her mother’s name was Margaret.  Her father was recorded in the census in 1870 in Ashe Co., NC and in 1880 he was in Johnson Co., TN.  Margaret was only listed in the 1870 census and dies before the 1880 census.  Her last name is unknown but I think it might be Dozier. 

Buena Vista married John Dooley Dollar on 21 Apr 1889 when she was about 16 years old.  I would imagine that she was very small in stature.  My great grandmother and her siblings were all very small people.  Mom Friddle, Buena Vista’s youngest child, never quite got to 5 feet tall and never weighed over 95 pounds…so I imagine that Buena Vista was also very small.  Buena Vista had the following children:

  • ·         Claude Elmer Dollar b. 7 Oct 189 Johnson Co., TN d. 9 Nov 1972 Arvada, Jefferson Co., CO m. Carrie Landus m2. Erna Louise Stede
  • ·         Bessie Dozier Margaret Elizabeth Dollar b. 7 Aug 1892 Johnson Co., TN d. 20 Jan 1983 Jefferson, Ashe Co., NC m. Reece Barker
  • ·         Sophie Vestelle Dollar b. 28 Jan 1894 Shingletown, Johnson Co., TN d. 8 Feb 1979 Lewiston, Nez Perce Co., ID. m. David Carl Friddle


John Dooley Dollar holding Sophia, Claude on the left and Bessie on the right - Taken about 1895
Buena Vista died on 14 April 1894 probably in Shingletown, Johnson Co., TN.  Beyond when she died and the general location – I know very little about the circumstances.  I imagine she might have died of the effects of childbirth as she had had my great grandmother in late January or perhaps she died of quick consumption which was common during that time period.  I can only guess at the circumstances but it seems rather sad that her husband was left with three children all under the age of 4.  Like any young father, he relied on family.  John Dooley Dollar’s father, Alexander Monroe Dollar and step mother, Lulu took the children in so John Dooley Dollar go work.  Eventually John Dooley Dollar remarried to Cleopatra Gentry and had several more children.  The older two children went to live with their father and new stepmother – but my great grandmother stayed with her grandfather and stepmother, Lulu.  Lulu was the only mother that she had ever known.  I suspect that Buena Vista might be buried in an unmarked grave in the Wesley Methodist Chapel Cemetery in Shingletown or she could be buried somewhere behind the home place where my great grandmother grew up.

When I went back to North Carolina in 2001, I met the granddaughter of Bessie Dollar Barker.  Betty had inherited a memorial frame from her grandmother which noted the birth and death dates of Buena Vista Bailey and included a picture.  I suppose that this was the only way that the young children that she left behind would ever be able to remember her. 
Photo from the Memorial frame.  Buena Vista Bailey - taken about 1890 or so.