Monday, December 5, 2011

Pansy: Daughter of Strother and Flora A. (Lindamood) Newby

Strother Newby was my maternal great, great granduncle. Just recently I received two articles from the The Knightstown Banner concerning his death and I learned more about Strother from those two articles than I ever would have dreamed. (See the articles and transcriptions at this link: The Gruesome Demise of Strother E. Newby - 1915.)

Pansy Newby circa 1913
The second, very short article, held a real surprise for me. Strother had a daughter, and her name was Pansy. In 17 years of research I had not found documented evidence that Strother had any offspring, other than his son Everett by his first wife. Pansy eluded detection probably due to the fact that Strother and Pansy's mother Flora divorced and, for whatever reason, Flora's older sister Mary and her husband Truman Goldsbarry took over Pansy's upbringing. Pansy had been born in 1889 and her mother remarried in 1891. No amount of research has turned up anything on Flora or her second husband after their marriage, at least not yet.

Corporal Truman Goldsbary
Pansy lived with her aunt and uncle until they died. It is hard to tell how much interaction she may have had with her father or her Newby aunts and uncles during those years. She lost her closest family within a period of four years. Aunt Mary died in 1913, her father Strother died in 1915, and her uncle Truman died in 1917. Mary J. (Lindamood) Goldsbarry had given birth to three children but apparently they all died young. Pansy is listed living in the Goldsbarry household in 1900 and 1910 as their niece and the only child. Truman and Mary Goldsbarry are buried in the Lewisville Cemetery in Lewisville, Henry Co., Indiana where they resided all their married lives. Truman was a civil war veteran and his photo appears in my very own antiquated and quite rare copy of "Hazzard's history of Henry County, Indiana 1822 - 1906".

Oddly, Truman's youngest brother died a similar death to that of Pansy's Father. Alexander Goldsbary was crushed under the wheels of a train in 1902.

The Goldsbarrys saw to it that Pansy received a good education. She is found in the yearbooks of Spiceland Academy and Normal School as early as 1900. Pansy is later found listed many times in the 1913 "Arbutus", a yearbook of Indiana University. Pansy was quite involved in all aspects of school life. Listed under her photo in the Arbutus - Latin; Y.W.C.A. Cabinet, '12-13; Women's League Board, '13; Student Council; Strut and Fret; Student Staff; Secretary English Club; Socialist Club; Franchise League; and Class Prophet. Pansy graduated from Indiana University in 1913 with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin. The photos of Pansy are all taken from this issue of the Arbutus.

In the Indiana University Bulletin, Vol. 15, issue 5, pg. 179 - Pansy is listed as a 1913 graduate, teaching English and Latin at a high school in Pennville, Jay Co., Indiana.

In the school year 1918-1919 Pansy took over the Journalism class and supervised the publishing of "The Register", the school newspaper, at Morton High School in Richmond, Indiana. This information was found in the school memory book "The Pierian", June 1921, pg. 64.

On September 1, 1919 Pansy married Clinton A. Stevens, also a teacher, and shortly afterwards they moved to Springfield, Illinois where they both taught school. On his death record (1946), Clinton was listed as Principal of Douglas school.

Pansy is mentioned in the Indiana University Alumni Quarterly, Vol. 1, pg. 192 as a graduate and again in Vol. 7, pg. 128 as "Mrs. Clinton A. Stevens" who was teaching English at the high school in Springfield, Illinois.

Strother's son Everett by his first wife, Rhoda Ellen Musselman, was born in 1875. Like Pansy, it seems that Everett may also have been raised by someone other than his parents. Strother and Rhoda were divorced by 1880 and Everett was living with a Kemper family at that time.  Everett married Maude A. Crose in New Castle, Indiana in 1908 and they had two children, Raymond Virgil and Viola May. Everett moved his family to California and died there in 1941.  He was divorced from Maude at the time of his death.

Note: Truman's surname Goldsbary is spelled with two rs on his tombstone and is often spelled with an e instead of an a in other documents.



  1. Can't help it, have to ask, did she have any children?? Have you found a death record, burial record?? OOOO, love a good mystery.

  2. Yes Carol...she had at least two children. The post that I linked to this one tells their names and how I hope to hear from any descendants. If you missed that other post, and you are not squeamish, you really should read it. When I received the article, Mike was standing behind me and heard me saying over and over..."Oh my! OH my! OH MY!!" Then he started reading it over my shoulder and he was just as horrified as I was I think.

    I found a death record for her husband but have not found one for Pansy yet. Still looking.

  3. I originally did skip that post after reading your warning, I was dealing with upset tummy and out of sorts, figured, I best not irritate things! Eh?? I have a few articles on Man's great grandparents that I found last summer, not quite sure what to do with them, they were pretty explicit and graphic.

  4. I read that post and article on this girl's father's death and thought, wow! Newspapers 'back then' really were into gruesome details. Can you imagine a newspaper of today printing such graphic descriptions? They'd probably get sued!

    In my own family, I found such a horrific article. Involved a long-ago relative's young boy (about 12) who went to buy a loaf of bread for dinner. He had to cross a railroad track, didn't hear the train ... I think you can see where that went. Thank heavens newspapers of today don't go into such detail!

  5. Wow, Lisa, what a very sad and awful story. I can see why you would be reading the article and all you can say is "OH my, OH my!" I did the same!

    I do love the name "Pansy" ~ she seemed like a very sweet lady with many tragedies in her life but persevered.