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Catherine Swanson
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Birth: Apr., 1903
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Death: Dec. 13, 1903
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Los Angeles Times – December 16, 1903:


Down on Channing street yesterday there was a quiet funeral at the Swedish church and the body of little six-months old Catherine Swanson was followed by a few mourners to a little plot in Rosedale Cemetery. The funeral was sad, as all funerals are, but there was a ray of sunshine that edged the poor mother's grief. Kind friends had rescued her little child from burial in the potter's field.

The world never heard of little Catherine Swanson or Mrs. Peter Swanson, her mother, for the world concerns itself but little with battles against poverty and death. Yes Mrs. Swanson has been making a gallant struggles (sic) against insidious foes.

A little over a year ago one of her four children died from consumption. The family was very poor, as Mr. Swanson was sick with the disease, and much of the time unable to work at his trade of stone cutting. In order to give the child decent burial the little home at No. 1424 Channing street was mortgaged.

Without complaint the mother took up the burden of caring for her sick husband and three small children, two of whom were also ailing. She took in washing, did mending, scrubbing and such other work as it was possible for her to do. In this way a bare subsistence was eked out for the family.

Not long ago the father became very sick. The wasting disease sapped his vitality until he became an additional burden upon the plucky woman. Then little Catherine fell ill, and her mother had to devote all her time to nursing the baby. Mr. Swanson grew worse, and was compelled to go to the County Hospital, where he is today, a very sick man.

The supplies in the cupboard gave out entirely, and the family had to appeal to the Board of Supervisors for assistance. A small stipend was granted, enough to provide the bare necessities. But nothing could be done to help the stricken child, and Sunday night she died of tubercular meningitis.

Without money, almost without hope, Mrs. Swanson pleaded against the burial of her child in the potter's field. Herself of good family, of a thrifty and energetic disposition, she shrank from placing the body of the little one in the uncared-for field reserved for the poor and friendless. But the place was mortgaged for all that it would carry, and there was no money except to provide food for the two remaining children. It seemed that Mrs. Swanson's pleading would be of no avail. One of the physicians from the County Hospital had been summoned just before the child died, but had refused to come. A physician from the City Health Office was finally secured and in this way the case came to the notice of one of the health inspectors.

Although inured to scenes of distress and poverty, the inspector's heart was touched. He laid the circumstances before Fred Pierce, manager of Pierce Bros. & Co., and arrangements were finally made for the funeral. The undertaker with the assurance of some of the city's employés, purchased a lot in Rosedale Cemetery, and the company sent out a coffin and their hearse without charge.

Such was the kindly act that dulled the edge of a mother's sorrow and threw a ray of light across the gloom of a funeral on Channing street yesterday.
Angelus Rosedale Cemetery
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Created by: Don Lynch
Record added: Sep 09, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 76238247
Catherine Swanson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: James Seidelman
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