Tag Archives: obituaries

Stories matter

Yesterday was Friday. And like many Fridays, unless there is something pressing, work is more about just finishing up a few things and getting through to the end of the day. And, like most days, I need to take a break once in a while to focus on something different for a few minutes.

During those breaks, I’ll often open up Ancestry.com or FamilySearch to see what might be there. No real genealogy gets done – just a quick look. Yesterday, though, was a bit different.

It was about 4 p.m. Nothing pressing was going on with work, and I needed a quick break. I opened up the FamilySearch website to see what new databases had been added or updated. One of them, updated the day before, is called “Utah, Obituaries from Utah Newspapers, 1850-2005.” My father’s family goes back to 1847 in Utah. (According to LDS history, my great-great-great grandfather, William Snow, and his brother, Erastus, were the first Mormon settlers to lay eyes on the Great Salt Lake Valley, two days before Brigham Young arrived and declared, “This is the right place.”) So I decided to do a quick search to see what would come up.

I entered my last name, Rands, in the database search and hit the search button. The first entry to come up was for Joseph Rands, whose obituary was dated 12 October 1875. My great-great-great grandfather was named Joseph William Rands, and he died on 11 October 1875 in Salt Lake City. So, of course, I clicked on it.

I was directed to the Utah Digital Newspapers website where an image of the original obituary appeared:

Joseph Rands, the old gentleman who recently fell from the new coöp. store, died early Monday morning. He suffered considerably from the time of the accident until his death. He leaves a large family. (“Died”, Salt Lake Herald, 12 Oct 1875, page 3)

“FELL FROM THE NEW COOP STORE”??!!

I had never heard this story before, and had to know more. I did some searching on the Utah Newspaper Database site, and found an article reporting the accident, dated 25 Sep 1875.

Joseph Rands, of the Twentieth ward, while working on the new Coöp building yesterday morning, was precipitated from the third story to the floor of the first, breaking his thigh bone just above the knee, and otherwise injuring him. It appears that while Rands was unloading the elevator on the floor of the third story and the engineer was arranging the furnace, the signal bell was unaccountably rung, and the engineer supposing it had been purposely rung, immediately lowered the elevator, while Rands was in the act of lifting the hod, precipitating him as above stated. It is probably fortunate that in falling he struck on a beam on the second story, which broke the fall and saved his life. Doctor Richards is attending the patient. Although the injuries sustained are severe they are not necessary fatal. (“A Serious Accident”, Salt Lake Herald, 25 Sep 1875, page 3)

Of the many times I was at ZCMI in downtown Salt Lake City, I never knew that I had an ancestor who worked there, let alone one that died as a result of an accident there. The sad part of the story is that this “old gentlemen” was actually just a little older than I am – 48 years old. And he did leave a large family – his wife, six living children ranging in age from 24 to 5 years. (My great-great grandfather would have been 16 years old.) Five years later, his wife would die from cancer.

So many questions and feelings are going through me as I process this new information. How did this event affect the family? What sort of pain management and medical treatment existed at the time to deal with a broken femur? What ultimately killed him? Infection? Blood clot?

I often get obsessed with “information” and finding new connections in my family tree. But stories like this shock me back into what is most interesting about genealogy. They remind me that it’s not just about building a family tree. It’s about preserving the stories of our ancestors’ lives, and knowing them as real people – not just twigs on a distant branch.

Joseph James Clausse, Jr., 1919-1972

From The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Thursday, February 3, 1972:

Joseph James Clausse, Jr. obituary

Joseph James Clausse, Jr. obituary

Joseph J. Clausse Jr.

NORTH OGDEN — Joseph James Clausse Jr., 52, of 469 E. 3100 N., died this morning at the McKay Hospital of a heart ailment.

Mr. Clausse was born Feb. 11, 1919, in Ogden, a son of Joseph James Sr. and Maude Wiegel Clausse.

On Sept. 28, 1940, he was married to Helen Blackinton in Ogden.

He was manage of the Island Park Lodge in Island Park, Idaho.

During World War II he served in the Navy. He was a former member of BPO Elks 719 and a member of United Commercial Travelers.

Surviving are his widow of North Ogden; four daughters, Mrs. William (Sharon) Noice, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Mrs. Robert (Gayle) Jones, Ogden; Miss Susan Clausse and Miss Jill Clausse, both of North Ogden; one grandchild; his mother of Ogden.

Also surviving are four brothers and one sister, Lewis J. Clausse, Harold A. Clausse, both of Sacramento, Calif.; Gerald E. Clausse, Ogden; Kenneth L. Clausse, Orem; Mrs. John (Barbara) Silber, Silver Springs [sic], Md.

Funeral services will be announce by the Myers Mortuary.

Source: “The Ogden Standard-Examiner”, 3 Feb 1972, p. 7D; digital image online at Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com>.

(Joseph James Clausse, Jr., is my grandmother’s older brother.)

Maude Clara Weigel Clausse, 1888-1973

From The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Tuesday, April 17, 1973:

Maude Clara Weigel Clausse obituary

Maude Clara Weigel Clausse obituary

Maude W. Clausse

Mrs. Maude Weigel Clausse, 85, of 1603 Childs, died Monday evening at St. Benedict’s Hospital.

Mrs. Clausse was born Jan 14, 1888, in Adair County, Iowa, a daughter of Jacob and Rebecca Hendricks Weigel.

On Nov. 21, 1910, she was married to Joseph J. Clausse in Salt Lake City. He died in 1965.

She was a member of the Golden Hours Center and had been a resident of Weber County for 63 years.

Surviving are four sons and one daughter, Lewis Clausse, Harold Clausse, both of Sacramento, Calif.; Gerald Clausse, Ogden; Kenneth Clausse, Orem, Utah; Mrs. John (Barbara) Silver [sic], Silver Springs [sic], Md.; 22 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren; one brother, Harry Weigel, Oregon.

Funeral services will be conducted Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Myers Mortuary chapel in Ogden with Bishop Delbert Thompsen of the 3rd LDS Ward officiating.

Friends may call at the mortuary Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Thursday prior to services. Burial will be in the Ogden City Cemetery.

Source: “The Ogden Standard Examiner”, 17 Apr 1973, p. 9B; digital image online at Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com>.

One typo of note–my grandparents’ last name is Silber, not Silver (John and Barbara Silber of Silver Spring, MD.)

(Maude Clara Weigel Clausse is my great-grandmother.)

Leon Lucien Clausse, 1897-1949

From The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Monday evening, January 24, 1949:

Leon Lucien Clausse obituary

Leon Lucien Clausse obituary

Leon L. Clausse

Leon L. Clausse, 51, of 433 Second, died Sunday at five p. m. at the family home of a heart attack.

Mr. Clausse was born in Ogden, April 27, 1897, a son of Joseph E. and Pauline Mary Stern Clausse.

He had recently been employed at Ogden arsenal as superintendent of supplies. At one time he was a deputy sheriff, Weber county.

On June 30, 1920 he married Marie Childs.

He was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic church and affiliated with the American Legion. His civic activities included the promoting of polio fund campaigns.

Surviving are his widow, Ogden, and the following sons and daughters: John L., Roscoe E. and Orlon V. Clausse and Mrs. marian Chase, Ogden; a grandchild and the following brother and sisters: Joseph J. Clausse, Mrs. Edith Doyle and Mrs. Stella West, Ogden.

Funeral plans are being made by the mortuary, 3408 Washington.

Source: “The Ogden Standard-Examiner”, 24 Jan 1949, p. 12; digital image online at Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com>.

(Leon L. Clausse is my great-grandfather’s younger brother.)

Estella Clausse West, 1890-1967

From The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 1967:

Estella Clausse West obituary

Estella Clausse West obituary

Estella C. West

Mrs. Estella C. West, 77, of 2098 Harrison, died Monday at St. Benedict’s Hospital.

Mrs. West was born Dec. 1, 1890, in Galveston, Tex., a daughter of Joseph and Pauline Stern Clausse.

She lived in St. Louis, Mo., as a child and came to Ogden in 1897.

On March 26, 1913, she was married to James Alva West in Ogden. Mr. West died March 12, 1946, in Ogden.

She was  a member of BPO Does, Ladies of Woodcraft and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Surviving are the following sons and daughters: John A. West, Joseph E. West, William H. West, Paul B. West, Mrs. Samuel (Pauline) Attison, all of Ogden; Mrs. Ernest (Betty) Yanni, Murray; 16 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren.

Requiem Mass will be celebrated Thursday at 10 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Holy Rosary will be recited Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Lindquist and Sons Colonial Chapel where friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m.

Burial will be in the Ogden City Cemetery.

Source: “The Ogden Standard-Examiner”, 26 Dec 1967, p. 5B; digital image online at Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com>.

(Estella Clausse West is my great-grandfather’s younger sister.)

Joseph James Clausse, 1886-1965

From The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Monday, August 16, 1965:

Joseph J. Clausse

Joseph James Clausse obituary

Joseph James Clausse, 79, of 1603 Childs, died Sunday night in a local rest home.

Mr. Clausse was born May 19, 1886, in Ogden, a son of Joseph E. and Pauline Stern Clausse. On Nov. 21, 1910, he was married to Maude Weigel in Salt Lake City.

He was an iron worker in construction. He was a member of the international Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers, Local 27. He had lived in Idaho six years.

Surviving are his widow, six sons and one daughter, J. Lewis Clausse, Harold A. Clausse, both of Sacramento, Calif.; Gerald E. Clausse, Ogden; Kenneth L. Clausse, Orem; Joseph J. Clausse Jr., North Ogden; Mrs. John J. (Barbara) Silber, Silver Springs [sic], Md.; 23 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, one sister, Mrs. Estella West, Ogden.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the Myers Mortuary with former Bishop Delbert Thompson officiating. Friends may call at the mortuary Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Wednesday prior to services. Burial in Ogden City Cemetery.

Source: “The Ogden Standard-Examiner”, 16 Aug 1965, page 7B; digital image online at Ancestry.com <http://www.ancestry.com>.

(Joseph J. Clausse is my great-grandfather. His one daughter, Barbara Clausse Silber, is my grandmother.)

Edith Mary Clausse Doyle, 1883-1956

From The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Thursday evening, November 15, 1956, page 13B:

Edith Mary Clausse Doyle obituary

Edith Mary Clausse Doyle obituary

Edith Doyle

Mrs. Edith Mary Clausse Doyle, 73, of 3225 Ogden Ave., widow of William Doyle, died this morning at the home of her son, D. James Doyle, in Farr West.

Mrs. Doyle was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

She was born April 22, 1883, in Hannibal, Mo., a daughter of Joseph Edward and Pauline M. Stern Clausse.

On Oct. 12, 1904, she was married to Mr. Doyle in Ogden. He died Feb. 24, 1954.

Surviving are three sons, D. James Doyle, Farr West; Francis A. Doyle, Las Vegas; Conan A. Doyle, Ogden; seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, one brother and sister, Joseph J. Doyle and Mrs. Stella West, both of Ogden.

Requiem mass will be celebrated Tuesday at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Holy rosary will be recited Monday at 8 p.m. at Lindquist and Sons Colonial Funeral Chapel, 3408 Washington Blvd.

Friends may call at the mortuary Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Tuesday prior to services. Interment will be in Ogden City Cemetery.

Source: “The Ogden Standard-Examiner”, 15 Nov 1956, p. 13B; digital image online at Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com>.

One type that I noticed–the mention of her surviving brother as Joseph J. Doyle should actually be Joseph J. Clausse, my great-grandfather.