150 – Martha and Joseph (3G) 1900s

We last encountered Joseph and Martha Jarvis when they moved to Rising Sun in 1883. They had bought a lot and house on Walnut Street. Joseph made a living as a mason; he no longer farmed.

Rising Sun was an over-the-hill river port town, but it was a nice town to live in. Big enough for amenities, but not too big.

Their family

Martha and Joseph had suffered the death of their son Newton in April 1899. It was their first loss of a child.

Newton had lived close to them, as Sugar Branch was only fifteen miles from Rising Sun. They had visited often, and were in Sugar Branch during Newton’s last days. Their son Charles also lived in Sugar Branch with his family.

Joseph and Martha’s eldest son William and his family were living in Rising Sun. Son John and family were living in Rising Sun. And their youngest son George was living with them.

Their daughter Lillian was single and living in Cincinnati, as was their married daughter Luella. Lavina Miranda was married and living in Fairfield, Ohio, fifteen miles north of Cincinnati. They visited often.

Their home

Joseph and Martha were living in their house on Walnut Street in Rising Sun. They had lived in their house for 17 years. Joseph was 69, Martha 64. Joseph’s occupation was stone mason.

West Walnut Street – Rising Sun, Indiana – 2015

1900 Census

The 1900 census shows who is living in the household.

Census – Joseph and Martha Jarvis – Rising Sun, Indiana – 1900

Joseph and Martha’s granddaughter Myrtle, 16, was living with them. Myrtle was one of Newton’s two daughters with his first wife, Sarah Beaty Jarvis. Sarah had died in 1887, and Newton died in 1899. At age 16, Myrtle didn’t have any living parents. She was living with her grandparents. Sadly, Myrtle would die of tuberculosis in 1904, at age 20.

Obituary – George Jarvis – The Ohio County News – August 20, 1931

Joseph and Martha’s youngest son George, 22, was still at home. George’s occupation was plasterer. George was Newton’s youngest brother, born in 1877.

George would become a popular citizen around Rising Sun, serving as the county sheriff for several years. George died in 1931.

Martha died in 1905

Death Register – Martha A Jarvis – 1905

Martha Ann Buchanan Jarvis died on November 23, 1905 at Rising Sun, Indiana. She was a few weeks short of her 70th birthday.

Death Certificate – Martha A Jarvis – 1905

The cause of death was recorded as gall stone, peritonitis.

Joseph sold the house

Martha had died in 1905. Joseph remained in the house in Rising Sun, living with his son William and William’s son Melvin. William’s wife Nancy had died in 1902. Unfortunately, William died in 1907. And Melvin died a year later in 1908, age 22. And Joseph’s granddaughter Myrtle had died in 1904. It must have been difficult years for Joseph.

After William died, Joseph sold the house and lot in Rising Sun in December 1907. Joseph and Martha had lived in their house in Rising Sun for over 20 years, since 1883.

He sold to Thomas Richardson for $650 and carried the mortgage for a year. The deed says, “Joseph R Jarvis, widower, has hereunto set his hand and seal this second day of December A.D. 1907.” The reference to “widower” may be because a person can’t sell property without spousal consent.

Deed – Joseph Jarvis to Thomas Richardson – lot and house in Rising Sun – 1907

Everything worked out, and the mortgage was paid at the end of the next year.

A move to Cincinnati

After Joseph sold his place in Rising Sun, he moved to Cincinnati into the household of his daughter Luella in 1908.

Luella Florence Jarvis had married at age 34 to William H Thomson, a widower. William and Luella lived at 3528 Hudson, not far from Fire Co. No. 39 where William was the captain.

In 1912, Joseph Jarvis had an apartment at Montgomery Road and Clarion Avenue, across the street from Fire Co. No. 39. In 1913, he moved to another apartment a few blocks south.

Fire Co. No. 39

William Thomson

William Thomson was the fire department captain of Cincinnati Fire Co. No. 39.

Cincinnati Fire Co. No. 39 station – Montgomery Road and Clarion Ave – c. 1914 and today

In the early 1910s, the company still relied on horse-drawn steamer wagons. Here’s an interesting story:

Firemen at Engine Company 39 were looking forward to lunch. The bells rang above the joker stand as an alarm of fire was taken. The horses, Bull and Roxie, rushed forward to their harnesses and the doors of the house flung open. Snaps were fastened and the men jumped aboard. In seconds, the engine was off, tearing across Montgomery Road and down Clarion Avenue. Rain had been falling steadily making the roads treacherous.

Suddenly, as the engine swerved to the right turning onto Winding Way, Bull slipped and fell causing Roxie to be tossed to the ground as well.  The animals let out a terrible cry.  The weight of the engine tossed the horses into the curb with the engine coming to rest on Bull whose neck was broken.  He was killed instantly.  

A mounted police officer arrived and euthanized Roxie with his pistol.  Chief Bunker notified a police detective that two boys had been witnessed running from the college just as smoke was seen.  

Hills & Winding Roads Prove Deadly in Steamer Accident – Cincinnati Fire Department History

Here’s Captain William Thomson’s official report of the accident:

Joseph died in 1913

Joseph R Jarvis died on May 14, 1913 in Cincinnati. He was age 82. I don’t know the cause of death.

Buried together in Rising Sun

Joseph and Martha are buried in Cedar Hedge Cemetery in Rising Sun, Indiana.

I assume that Joseph arranged for their headstone when Martha died in 1905, because his birth date is included but not his death date. There’s a small ground marker next to the headstone that reads “Father” that was added when Joseph died.

There are a few more markers of interest…

I’m intrigued by Melvin Jarvis. After all, that’s my father’s name. Melvin was Ralph Jarvis’ cousin, eight years his senior. Do you suppose that when Ralph Jarvis was choosing a name for his son that he honored his cousin Melvin, who had died at a young age? We’ll never know, but it’s tempting to think it’s true. I’ve found no other Jarvis named Melvin.


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