152 – Greensburg Days 1910s

In 1910, Anna Mounts’ friends had a surprise 40th birthday party for her, with baskets of a delicious supper and an afternoon of music. The ensuing years hold some big life changes. Let’s continue…

Let’s review the family status in 1910.

Anna’s married to Harrison Mounts. They’re both age 39. Anna and Harrison’s three sons are Lillard, 8, Alva, 4, and Robert 2.

Anna’s sons from her marriage to Newton Jarvis are Ralph, 15, Elmer, 20, and Tom, 18. Ralph is living at home. Elmer’s working in Illinois, Tom in Michigan City, Indiana.

Census – Anna and Harrison Mounts – 1910


Greensburg news – November 17, 1911

Anna’s mother Eliza Burton celebrated her 71st birthday on November 10, 1911. She was born in 1839. Eliza is our 3rd great-grandmother.

Eliza Burton (3G) – c 1915

Elmer died

Urbana Courier-Herald – January 20, 1911

Elmer Jarvis, Anna’s eldest son, died January 20, 1911. He was age 21.

Elmer was Ralph Jarvis’ older brother. His sister Opal had died in 1902. So his only remaining sibling was Tom, two years his elder. Tom was working in Michigan City, Indiana.


Harrison Mounts died unexpectedly at 6 pm December27, 1912.

Anna had suffered the loss of a second husband. They had married in 1901, just eleven years earlier.

She would have to start a new chapter as a single mother with her three children – Lillard, 10, Alva, 6, and Robert, 4. Ralph Jarvis was living at home, but at age 17 was self-sufficient.


Greensburg News – November 26, 1915

It’s always something. In November 1915, Anna had to deal with son Lillard and nephew Clyde hopping a freight train to run away from home. Oh, those teenagers!

Lillard was a bit of a wild child.

Eliza got pneumonia

Greensburg Weekly – December 24, 1915

No more does Anna deal with worries of her son Lillard, than the next month her mother Eliza suffers a severe bout of pneumonia.

That’s dangerous for someone who’s in her 70s. But Eliza’s resilient, and she pulls through.


And Anna got appendicitis

In March 1916, Anna had a bad bout of appendicitis.

Greensburg Weekly – March 3, 1916
Greensburg Standard – March 10, 1916

They stole my gas meter?

When it rains, it pours. Just as Anna was recovering from her appendectomy, she learned that her gas meter was stolen.

Tom got married

And that her son Tom had married in New York City, where he was a street car conductor. Tom married Charlotte “Lottie” Valentine, who had grown up in New York.

Greensburg Standard – April 7, 1916

Ralph Jarvis in Kansas

As if she hadn’t had enough news… In late April 1916, Anna received a letter that son Ralph was hospitalized for pneumonia in Larned, Kansas. What? We didn’t know he’d gone to Kansas. When? Why?

Greensburg News – April 28, 1916

Why not Chicago, or New York, or ??? Why go to Kansas? I’ve often wondered why Ralph came to Kansas. He could as easily found work around Indiana.

A tantalizing clue

Greensburg New Era – January 1, 1903

Here’s a flashback to a news article that had intrigued me. In 1903, Anna’s mother Eliza Burton had spent six months in Kansas.

Hmmmm. Six months? You might stay with one of your family for six months, and I couldn’t think of other plausible reasons. Sure enough, Eliza’s daughter, Mary Ellen, lived in Harvey County, near Newton, Kansas.

Mary Ellen “Mollie” Burton was Anna’s older sister by four years. She had married William A. Monroe in 1888 in Rising Sun, a year before Anna married Newton Jarvis there.

William and Mollie Monroe moved to Kansas just after they married. Their first child Bertha was born in Kansas in 1890. They had a farm a few miles northwest of Newton, Kansas. So Eliza had gone to Kansas to stay with her daughter.

Perhaps when Ralph was ready to go out into the world, his mother suggested, “Ralph, why don’t you go stay with Aunt Mollie in Kansas. You’ll have a place to stay while you look for work.”

We don’t know whether our guess is correct, but Ralph had made his way to Larned, Kansas by April 1916, where he was hospitalized for pneumonia.


Anna Burton Jarvis Mounts – c 1918

By 1918, Anna will move from Greensburg to Anderson, Indiana for work. She’ll find a job as a railroad car cleaner. There, in 1920, she will marry again, this time to Samuel H. Stafford.

In 1919, Eliza will celebrate her 80th birthday. But she has continuing bouts of poor health.

What about Ralph?

Ralph Jarvis – c 1918

We’re getting ahead of our story. We want to find out about Ralph in Kansas.

So we’ll leave Indiana for a while, and Anna and Eliza. We’ll see them again soon.


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