Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Stories from Bovina Cemeteries - Little Arthur Taggart

In scanning photos from the late Celia Coulter, I came across this interesting and rather heartbreaking photograph taken just over 100 years ago. It's the flower covered grave of Arthur Leon Taggart, the three year old son of Professor and Mrs. Leon Taggart, likely just after his burial in the Bovina cemetery.  

Arthur Taggart died on September 7, 1913 when he was age 3 years, 8 months and 24 days.  Death was the result of an attack of whooping cough.  Arthur’s mother was Jennie Strangeway. His aunt was Helena Strangeway Hilson, so Arthur was a first cousin to people like Jack and Alex Hilson, Jane Hilson Hoy and Louise Hilson Mole. 

His death was reported in local papers, including the Catskill Mt News, quoting from the Delaware Gazette: “Arthur L. the young son of Prof. and Mrs. Leon Taggart, died Sunday evening, Sept. 7th, at the home of his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. T.C. Strangeway, near Bovina Center, aged three years and six months. The child had whooping cough and recently had been ill of cholera infantum, which had reduced his strength so that he was unable to combat the paroxysm of coughing and died as stated….The parents have two other children, one a boy less than a year old.” The CMN noted that Prof. and Mrs. Taggart are well known in the Margaretville area "he having been Principal of the local High School."
From photos of Celia Coulter, courtesy of Jean Merenberg. Arthur Taggart grave, 1913

Same location in 2016. Arthur's headstone is in the lower right of this image.
The Taggarts had another son, William in 1917. In 1929, Leon and Jennie Taggart moved to New Mexico because of Professor Taggart's health. They both died in Albuquerque - Leon in 1953 and Jennie in 1968. Jennie would also be predeceased by her son Thomas, who died in 1965 at the age of 52. Leon and Jennie are buried in Bovina next to their son Arthur. 

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