Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Charles Reilly

The Scranton Republican, 16MAR1900, pg8
Continuing on with the Reilly connection. Charles Reilly was the father of Nellie/Ellen Devers nee Reilly. I recently posted about Nellie's death. She died in 1903. In a short clipping about her death it mentioned that she was the niece of my Patrick Barrett and a Mrs. John Mulhearn. I don't know who the latter is, but I've been able to discover that her mother's maiden name was Barrett. Sadly, her mother isn't mentioned by name in either of these clippings.

"Mr. Charles Reilly, a highly respected resident of this town, died at 10:45 yesterday morning at his home on Spring street, after seven days' illness of pneumonia. The deceased was in excellent health (sic) until last Thursday morning, when he was stricken in the mine. The family physician was called and administered to his patient, who showed symptoms of pneumonia. Mr. Reilly grew worse rapidly and despite the skill of the physician, he succumbed. Mr. Reilly moved to Avoca with his family from Hazleton fourteen years ago. He filled up the measure of duty as a faithful husband and kind father. Beloved and respected by all his associates in the walks of life, his departure is sincerely mourned. He is survived by his widow and four children, Charles, Edward and Margaret Reilly, and Mrs. John Devers, all of this place. Funeral will be held tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 10 o'clock with a requiem high mass in St. Mary's church. Interment in St. Mary's cemetery."

I can only imagine how miserable working in the mines was as he came down with pneumonia. The 1918 flu pandemic did have many cases of pneumonia that came on suddenly with death following a few hours later, but I doubt this was the case. Charles hung on for about a week. What was the state of his lungs after working in the mines? Did it make him more susceptible to ailments of the lungs like bronchitis and pneumonia? I can only imagine. The second obituary is very similar to the first.

The Wilkes-Barre Record, 16MAR1900, pg9
"The death of Charles Reilley (sic), which occurred yesterday morning, was a great surprise to his acquaintances, as it was not generally known that he was ill.  Last week he returned from work complaining of a severe cold, but paid little attention to it previous to that time. It developed into pneumonia on both lungs and his symptoms were of such a character as to occasion alarm among the members of the family and they at once had him fortified with the rites of the Church. Mr. Reilley (sic) was a pleasant, agreeable citizen, always interested in the welfare of his associates and ever anxious to minister to the comforts and pleasures of his family. He removed his family to Avoca from Hazleton about twelve years ago and during that time he made many friends but few enemies. Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons - Charles, a member of the council, and Edward of the school board; also two daughters, Mrs John Devers and Miss Margaret, at home. The funeral will take place on Saturday morning at 9:30 o'clock. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery."

While the obituaries are similar the second one answers at least one of the questions I had. He had apparently been plagued by a cold which he ignored until it took a rather severe turn. Hardly surprising that he would feel the necessity to continue working when sick. Perhaps if he had taken it easy initially he may have never gotten pneumonia. Not really an option at that time. It was also a time without antibiotics.

No point in dwelling on what could have been. What is interesting to read were the bits about his sons. Charles Jr. is listed as a member of "the council"...whatever that was...government? Church? Apparently it was noteworthy. Edward was a member of the school board. With those bits of information I may be able to dig up some of information on them on Naturally, not much was said about his daughters. Disappointing, but not surprising.

While I do wish they had stated how old Charles Sr. was it isn't overly significant in my research. Perhaps I'll come across it in future research. Charles has a memorial on FindAGrave, but no tombstone picture yet.