|The Quinlen's (my grandmother-far left)|
I never knew either of my mother's parents..he died when my mom was just seven years old of blood poisoning. The story has it that he had gotten a rose bush thorn embedded in his hand which became infected. The town where they lived was between the Mississippi and the Illinois rivers and in the spring of that year, the rivers were flooded. Now the town was far enough away from the rivers that flooding was not a concern but there was no doctor in town and no way to get to a doctor as the ferries were not able to operate because of the high water. So when the infection set in, it went into his blood stream and he died. That seems such an archaic way to die, but I guess it wasn't so unusual without the benefit of antibiotics. This would have been early twentieth century when penicillin was very new.
|My grandfather and my mom at age seven.|
After his death, my mom, her older sister and my grandmother lived alone...she ran a boarding house..she never remarried. My grandfather had been a conductor on a passenger train so after his death, my grandmother was given a life time pass to travel on the train with her minor children. By then my grandmother's brothers and sisters were scattered all over...some West to California, others North to Chicago. Mom told of traveling all over with her mother. She said from what she knew of her father, he had run away from home at a young age so she never really knew anything about his side of the family.
My mom and her mother were very close as her older sister was quite a bit older, got married very young and left home. So there was just the two of them together. My grandmother passed away about the same time I was born so I never knew her either.