It is unknown to this writer why Ora's tombstone spells her last name as Music rather than the way her parents spelled the name - Musick. It is either a mistake, or she changed the spelling of her last name.
Ora was the daughter of John Roy Musick (1849-1901) and Augusta (Roszelle) Musick, both of whom are also buried at Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery in Kirksville, Missouri. Ora had one sister, Hazel (Musick) Hunt, born in 1884.
Ora was likely named after her maternal aunt Ora Belle (Roszelle) Goben (1849-1937), who married Dr. G. R. Goben, and also lived in Kirksville, Missouri.
In the 1880 census of Kirksville, Adair County, Missouri, Ora was 1 year old, the only child in the home with her parents John Musick 31 and Augusta 22. John Musick was a lawyer at that time. However, her father later became a well-known author. (Prior to becoming a lawyer, he was reportedly a school teachers. Later, he is listed as a physician, so he must have been a man of many talents.)
In 1900 Ora and her father were listed in two different census records, one in Kirksville, Adair County, Missouri on June 4, 1900, and another in Missouri Valley, Harrison County, Iowa, on June 14, 1900. In both of these records, Ora's parents appear to be apart as Augusta Musick is not in the home.
In the Kirksville census, Ora and her father were two of five boarders living in a boarding house on E. McPherson Street in Kirksville, Missouri, operated by Mr. and Mrs. J. O. Gooch. Ora's father was listed as "married" on this census and his occupation was author. Ora was 21 and her occupation was shown as musician.
In the 1900 Iowa census, John Musick 42, was shown as a physician, residing with daughters Ora 21 and Hazel 17, both of whom were listed as attending school. Augusta Musick was not listed in the home in this census either.
Augusta cannot be found by this writer in any 1900 census.
Ora's father died in Nebraska in 1901 but was returned to Kirksville for burial in the Forrest-Llewellyn Cemetery.
In the 1910 census, Ora was in Nebraska. She was listed as a 30-year-old boarder in the home of Eber and Ovelia Hilton on Oak Street in Plattsmouth, Cass County, Nebraska.
Also, in 1910, Ora's mother, Augusta P. Musick, re-appears. She is shown as a 51-year-old widow living in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, with her daughter Hazel M. (Musick) Hunt 26. Also in the home were Hazel's husband Asa Welling Hunt 35 (born 22 Apr 1875) a manager and buyer of carpet and rugs for a furniture store, and their son John Musick Hunt 4.
In the 1920 census of Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, Ora's mother is shown still living with her daughter Hazel (Musick) Hunt 36 and Hazel's husband A. W. Hunt 43 a furniture store owner, and their son John Musick Hunt 14.
In the 1920 census of Yankee Hill (near Lincoln), Lancaster County, Nebraska, there is an Ora Musick, age 39, listed as an inmate in the Nebraska Hospital for the Insane. The fact that Ora's father was living in Nebraska in 1901 when he died, that Ora was living in that state in 1910, and that her sister and mother in 1920 were living in Omaha, Nebraska, makes it suspect that this is the correct Ora Musick, but this writer does not know for sure.
After this, it is unknown what happened to Ora until she died in 1922. She may have died in this institution. She is buried in Forrest-Llewellyn Cemetery by her Roszelle grandparents, Rev. Edward Roszelle and Celia Ann (Jackson) Roszelle.
Ora's sister Hazel was in the 1930 census still living in Omaha, Nebraska. She was 45, husband Asa Hunt was 55, a retail carpet merchant, and their son John M. was 25. Ora and Hazel's mother Augusta was no longer with the Hunts in this census, and she is presumed to be deceased by this time. A family tree on Ancestry.com shows that Augusta died in 1921. She probably died in Nebraska. There is no Missouri death certificate for her.
There is a record of Augusta Musick being buried in Forrest-Llewellyn Cemetery in Kirksville, but there are no dates available, and so far, no tombstone can be found for either her or John Roy Musick. The cemetery listing shows they are buried by daughter Ora in Section B-18. This writer has photographed this section and found no stone for them.
Biography of Ora's father, John Roy Musick:
John Roy Musick was born February 28, 1849, in St. Louis County, Missouri. His parents were Ephraim and Mary Musick. His parents moved to Adair County, Missouri, where John was still a boy. He attended rural schools then earned a Bachelor of Scientific Didactics from the First District Normal School in Kirksville in 1874 then taught school before reading law with a Kirksville attorney. While studying law, he published a short-lived newspaper (Jan-July 1875) in Kirksville called The Tattler. He passed the Bar exam in 1876 and practiced law until 1882 when he decided to become a full-time author. He had been a successful author of newspaper articles, poetry and historical short stories since his teens.
By 1882 however he gave up his law career to devote full time to literature. Mr. Musick was also very active in Republican Party politics from his college days onward. It was his involvement in the successful 1896 presidential campaign of William McKinley that earned him the nomination to the post of Consul to Siam (present-day Thailand). However he declined the honor, choosing to continue his writing career.
While still a teenager, John Musick had several poems and short stories published, some under humorous pseudonyms such as Benjamine Broadaxe and Ebenezer Slypole. After devoting his full attention and livelihood to writing he became quite a prolific author with some 139 works in 277 publications. His best known work is the 14-volume Columbian Historical Novels published in 1892 by Funk & Wagnalls. This series was hailed by world literary critics at the time as a bold step forward in the field of historical fiction as they explored the discovery and growth of north America through the use of fictional characters while paying strict detail to historical accuracy.
John Musick's most personal work was without doubt In the Whirl of the Tornado published in Century Magazine (August 1899), a detailed account of a large deadly tornado that destroyed much of Kirksville in April 1899. Although his home was spared, Mr. Musick was badly injured while attempting to rescue neighbors from the debris. He never fully recovered from the injuries and died in Omaha, Nebraska on April 14, 1901. John Musick is buried in Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery in Kirksville.
Note: In John Roy Musick's account of the Kirksville tornado in 1899 called "In the Whirl of the Tornado, A Personal Experience," he mentions finding shelter for his wife and two daughters. He also speaks of his mother and sisters living across the street from him, and that one of his sisters was blind. He never mentions being injured himself in the rescue effort, of which he was one of the first on the scene. This story can be read on the internet at:
John Roy Musick was a contemporary of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, founder of Osteopathic medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. John wrote articles about Dr. Still, and perhaps Dr. Still taught him medicine as John Musick is listed as a physician in the 1900 census. The first graduating class of Dr. Still's American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville was in 1893.
- Information gathered by Blytha (Dennis) Ellis
Augusta Rozelle Musick
John Roy Musick (1849 - 1901)
Created by: Blytha & Donald Ellis
Record added: Aug 11, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 74760858