I am reminded of the importance of looking closely at all of the family members and their actions and activities. Rufus Holton Darling was born about 1816 and died in 1857. He had several children including a spinster daughter, Miss Emma (Emily) Darling (1852-1918). The Kalamazoo Gazette, dated July 9, 1916, mentions that,
“These were the early days in the history of Kalamazoo and it is only a few who now remember that the first store built in Kalamazoo was that of Goss and Darling on Main and Burdick street, built by Rufus H. Darling and David Swayze. This corner was only at that time a wooded spot.”
I had known that Rufus operated the Goss and Darling general store, but didn’t know that it was the first store built in Kalamazoo and that Rufus and his father-in-law, David Swayze built it.
Later in the article, Miss Emma reflects,
“My father had the contract for building the Michigan Central railway from Michigan City through to Grass Lake and on its completion a banquet was given for which [she had] the original invitations sent to [her] parents.”
I knew that shortly after the Michigan Central railway came through Kalamazoo, Rufus worked for them. However, I didn’t know that he actually built the railroad through Kalamazoo.
The article goes on to describe the excitement of the first train that arrived in Kalamazoo on a Sunday morning and how its arrival emptied the churches that day. It is a great article and a great find that fills in more of the detail regarding Rufus and family.
Thanks to Genealogy Bank for having the Kalamazoo Gazette in its records.
Just when you think you know a fact, something comes up to make you question what you think you know. Generally, I’ve always considered the death date on a death certificate to be factual. However, in the case of Emily Swayze Darling I’m questioning. The death certificate is legible and clearly indicates that Emily died on April 5, 1918. The certificate was signed by the doctor on 4-6-1918 and the date and place of the burial are entered as April 8, 1918 and the document was filed on April 8, 1918. Everything on it looks proper, it is the right name, right birthdate, parents, home address, all is good and I accepted it completely. Until….
On Genealogy Bank I found a copy of the obituary. Much to my surprise it was in the March 7th newspaper. It too has the right name, right age, right home address, all is good except that it says she died on March 5th. So, the question arises, did the newspaper prematurely report her death exactly a month early or is the death certificate wrong? I comments or opinions? If so, I’d love to hear them.