When I set out on the journey to discover family origins, I was thrilled by some of the information I found. My paternal grandmother had a sister? No one ever mentioned her before. Of course Gramma Amore had already passed away before I was born so there wasn’t any reason for me to ask if she had siblings. Not only did I learn that she had seven siblings but she had three half-siblings born of her father’s first marriage.
As I researched my grandmother’s parents and brothers and sisters, I learned that her older sister, Julia, had been named after my grandmother’s grandmother – Julia Ann Lewis House. And so it had been with her oldest brother – named after his grandfather – Florus Allen House.
So what became of Julia, I wondered. My first clue about her came from my aunt. She sent me some copies of Julia’s high school graduation program with a note that
Her name was on the program twice so she must have been smart. She died young in childbirth. I have never found out if the baby survived, but never hearing about it, I presume he didn’t . . . . I guess she was dead before I was born because I never remember seeing her.
I found Julia’s marriage information listed on page 375 of the Coshocton County Marriages, 1811-1930; compiled from marriage records, Probate Court, Coshocton County, Ohio by Miriam C. Hunter, and published by the Coshocton Public Library in 1967.
Percy J. Tuttle and Julia A. House were married on Christmas Day in 1906. Further searching led me to a newspaper article about their wedding. From the Coshocton Daily, printed on December 26, 1906:
Twenty-five friends and relatives were gathered at the home of James W. House on East Main street on Christmas night to witness the marriage of Miss Julia A., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James E. House, and Mr. Percy Tuttle of Cleveland, Ohio. The ceremony was performed by Elder B. S. House of the Adventists church at 8 o’clock, the wedding couple being attended by Miss Carrie Leach and Mr Herman Irons, marched to the strains if Mendelssohn’s wedding march played by Miss Inez Waite and took their places under a beautiful arch. After the ceremony a sumptious supper was served. The bride was tastefully dressed in white silk draped in chiffon and the groom in the customary black. This evening Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle leave on the W. & L. E. for Cleveland for a few days visit with the groom’s parents. They then go to Mt. Vernon to take charge as manager and matron of the Mt. Vernon Hospital and Sanitarium. Many beautiful wedding presents were received as the gifts of friends. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. James E. House, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Conger, Mr. and Mrs. Gray, Mr. and Mrs. John W. House, Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Randles, Mrs. Bertha Rogensparger, Messrs. Floris House, Lester House of this city, Mr. and Mrs. Loyd Amore of Roscoe, Mr. and Mrs. B. L. House of Trinway, and Mr. and Mrs. R. T. Ragsdale, manager and matron of the Newark Sanitarium; Misses Carrie Leach, Inez Waite, Gloria Franklin, Mr. Herman Irons also of the Newark Sanitarium and Miss Grace Kline of the Mt. Vernon Hospital and Sanitarium.
A few things popped out at me as I read that article. One – Julia wore a dress that seemed to be the equivalent of modern wedding attire as did her groom. That told me that either her mother, Frances, was able to procure material and sew the dress or it was purchased and probably at a price not many people paid for wedding clothes then. My great-grandfather had filed for a pension on his Civil War service as he had become infirm and wasn’t able to work or farm. Had the family been very frugal in their living that they were able to afford material or the dress? Had the dress been a hand me down from a previous relative? Or had Julia, herself, scrimped and saved in order to buy such a luxurious dress?
The other item that jumped out at me was it appeared that Julia had some sort of training in the medical profession since she and her new husband had been hired to run the Mt. Vernon Hospital and Sanitarium which was a tuberculosis hospital at the time. Again I wondered where the money had come from for her to have had training in this field. Or did she really have formal training or a series of “first aide” classes that qualified her?
More research led me to articles on her death. The following is from page 3 of the November 28th, 1907 edition of the Coshocton Weekly Times, Coshocton, Ohio.
Mrs. Julia Tuttle Dies At Defiance
The family of James House, living in the eastern part of the city received a message at two o’clock this afternoon from Defiance conveying the sad news that their daughter, Mrs. Julia Tuttle had just died in that city as the result of child birth. Mrs. Tuttle was formerly a trained nurse in this city and was conducting a sanitarium at Defiance. She was about 27 years of age. The brothers and sisters of the deceased left for Defiance at once to attend the funeral.
And on the same day, this was published in the Coshocton Age, Coshocton, Ohio:
Sad Death at Defiance
Coshocton relatives received the sad news Saturday of the death of Mrs. Julia House Tuttle at her late home in Defiance. Mrs. Tuttle was just past 27 years of age and was born in this county; she was graduated from the Roscoe high school and after that took a nurses’ training in hospitals in Cleveland and Newark. She was married last Christmas day to Mr. P.J. Tuttle and their only child died a few days ago after having lived but a few hours. Mrs. Tuttle’s death was caused by blood poisoning.
She is survived by her husband, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James E. House of North Eleventh street, the following brothers and sisters, John, James W., Floris, Mrs. Ella Amore, Lester and the following half-brothers and sisters Mrs. Lucinda Conger Mrs. Bell Ruby and E.F. House all living in this county. She was also a cousin of Elder House of the Seventh Day Adventists church.
The arrangements for the funeral have not been made.
Those articles answered my question on her training. Julia had taken nurses’ training in Cleveland – which is probably how she met her husband, Percy. Their child – neither article mentioned if it was a son or daughter – had died soon after birth. Julia, herself, had died as a result of the complications of child birth and had blood poisoning. That information leads me to wonder if she perhaps was Rh Negative and her child was Rh Positive. Or did she acquire an infection while in labor or giving birth that resulted in her untimely death. Was the infection passed on to the baby or was this a premature birth? All questions that may be forever unanswered.
I didn’t find anything about her funeral but I do know that she is buried at Prairie Chapel in Coshocton County. She shares a plot with her younger brother, Charles, who died in 1896 at the age of 12, and her parents who died years after her. No mention of her child is on her tombstone.
And a close up of her inscription.
So what became of Percy, I wondered. Did he remarry? Have other children? In the 1920 Census, he and his wife, Adeline, were living at 12317 Osceola Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio. There weren’t any children listed as living with them. Percy was a nurse in Private Practice. Then I found his death certificate that recorded his death as March 26, 1932 at the age of 51 years, 10 months, 6 days of interstitial acute nephritis brought on by uremia. He was listed as a Graduate Nurse who was self-employed.
Did Percy ever set out to become a Medical Doctor? Or did he choose to be a nurse when such things as male nurses weren’t something you saw all the time? Was he the equivalent of the modern day Nurse Practitioner? How much education had he received? How long had he and Adeline been married? Had they borne children? Did he ever get over the death of his first wife or that of his first born child?
Many questions will go unanswered but I feel as if I’ve learned more about my grand-aunt, Julia Ann House.