Friday, October 1, 2010

John Calvin Trowbridge: What Ida May's Bible Didn't Tell Us

February 7, 1843 - May 1, 1909

John Calvin Trowbridge, my maternal great, great grandfather

John Calvin Trowbridge was the second John Trowbridge to marry my great, great grandmother Phoebe Cook. The two Johns were distantly related. The first was a son of Silas Trowbridge and the second was a grandson of Silas but each descended from a different one of Silas's two wives. The first John was older than Phoebe and the second, John Calvin, was younger. After Phoebe died in 1900, John Calvin married Cinderella "Rilla" Whitaker, widow of Isaac N. Ridlen. They were married just a little over 4 years before John Calvin offed himself. Yeah, you read that right!

John C. and Phoebe's daughter, Ida May Trowbridge Newby, was my maternal great grandmother. It is on the Memorandum page of Ida May's Bible that we learn: 

"John C. Trobridge got his back broke April 7, 1908" 

Then, we read on the Deaths page that: 

"John C. Trobridge got hurt April 29, 1909 and died May 1, 1909"  

Looks like for two years in a row April turned out to be a bad month for old J. C.! 

Well, turns out the second time he got "hurt" it was self-inflicted. When I received John Calvin's death certificate from Hancock Co., Indiana I was surprised to find the cause of death: 


Got hurt? Yeah, I guess he did! Maybe he never recovered from the broken back. Maybe he was in a lot of pain for a whole year and decided to end it all. That's what happened to my mother's uncle Jesse Claude Runyan who fell off a hay wagon and hurt his back and felt he was not much use to anyone and went out in the woods and shot himself with a shotgun. I guess that's what you did in those days. 

And I guess my family had a "thing" about not divulging the unpleasant. Just wait 'til I tell you about my Aunt Lela! Talk about a cat in a bag! But that's probably a story for Madness Monday......


1 comment:

  1. It had to be hard for his family to admit (even to themselves) that he killed himself - maybe he tried to kill himself in 1908 also.