Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Stories from Bovina Cemeteries - Death Severs Ties of Sixty Years

One hundred years ago today, Mrs. Michael Miller passed away at the age of 83. Sarah Ann McCune, better known as Sally, was born in Bovina on March 29, 1832, the daughter of John McCune (1794-1850) and Catherine McNaught McCune (1796-1874). She married Michael Miller in 1853 and lived to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in 1913 - reported by the Andes Recorder at the time as a 'rare event.' The Recorder went on to note that "a remarkable thing in connection with this union is the fact that during these 60 years there has not been a death in the family. Four children were born to them and there are also eight grandchildren in the family circle." For many years, Sally and Michael farmed on what was her family farm at Pink Street and Scutt Mountain Road. The farm was turned over to their son late in life and they moved to the house next to the Bovina United Presbyterian Church now owned by Amy Burns.

This picture may have been taken around the time of Michael and Sally's 60th wedding anniversary. They are behind the house they moved into when they retired from the farm. The building to the right is the Bovina United Presbyterian Church. 
Here is the obituary of Sally McCune Miller, published in the Andes Recorder's March 26, 1915 issue.

Transcript of this clipping is below


Mrs. Michael Miller of Bovina, died March 24, First Break in the Family Circle.  

Mrs. Michael Miller, who had been in poor health for some time, died at her home in Bovina Center, Wednesday morning March 24. The Funeral will be held at on o’clock Saturday.

Deceased was born in Bovina 83 years ago, her maiden name being Sally McCune. Her entire life had been spent in the town. On September 14, 1853, she married Michael Miller who survives. She is the last of the McCune family of her generation.

Rarely indeed can it be chronicled that for nearly 62 years husband and wife walked life's pathways together, sharing its joys and its sorrows, as been done in this case. But still more wonderful is the fact that during the more than six decades the busy reaper had not entered within the family circle and cut down any of its members. The mother is the first to be summoned. Besides the aged husband there are two sons and two dauters, viz: John M., William T., Mrs. J. T. Barnhart and Belle, all residing in Bovina. The last named lived at home and cared for the aged parents, and the other three live on adjoining farms. There are also eight grandchildren.

The Andes Recorder in the following week's issue reported briefly that the funeral had been held on March 27 at the Bovina United Presbyterian Church. The paper noted that the "aged husband was unable to leave the home to attend the funeral." Michael would follow his wife to the grave four months later in July 1915.

Sally and Michael are buried in the Bovina Cemetery, not too far from Michael's parents.
Photograph taken by Ed and Dick Davidson. And in case anyone thinks that there was an ill advised attempt to clean this stone, I can report that ever since I can remember, it has always looked like this. 
And in the interest of full disclosure, I should note that Michael and Sally are my great-great grandparents and were well remembered by my grandmother, Anna Bell LaFever and her siblings.

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