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Ruth Pickle (#47788138)
 member for 4 years, 10 days
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My husband and I have farmed near Spring Valley Cemetery in Monona County, Iowa for over 30 years. His Mom and Dad before us, also. His family is buried there and so we will be. I'm interested in farming, genealogy, gardening, history, local culture and tourism, photography and our family.
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A Beautiful Story!
A Beautiful Story

In the fall of 1889, disaster struck the little village of Fairhaven, MN; disaster in the form of diphtheria, the terrible severe form of diphtheria that used to be sometimes called “Black Death.” It struck in September just as school opened, and it spread throughout the community and raged all that fall. Hardly a home was left untouched, even the doctor’s home. In November, little Guy Munger, the beloved eight-year-old first son of the doctor was stricken.
The doctor was going almost day and night, fighting a losing battle, for although antitoxin was then known and beginning to be in use, there was none available in a little village as far off the beaten track as was Fairhaven. Without it, the disease was deadly. But there was no other doctor for miles around, and with so much sickness about, the doctor could hardly be at home at all. His mother came and kept house and took care of the younger children, Bethie and George, while his wife Kitty was quarantined upstairs with Guy.
The time came when they knew Guy could not get well. He was such a mature little fellow that his parents thought he should know, so the doctor sat down and talked it all over with him, telling him that Jesus wanted him to come and live with Him in heaven. At first, little Guy’s eyes filled with tears and he said “Oh, Papa, I don’t want to go away. Then you and mama won’t have your little boy and Bethie will be so lonely, and you’ll forget all about me!”
It was almost more than his papa and mama could bear, but they looked at each other and they said, “Oh, no, Guy dear, we’ll never forget you.” And then one of them said, “Well, suppose we do this. Suppose we promise you we’ll find another little child who hasn’t any father or mother, and bring this child home to take your place here with us and with Bethie. And then, every time we buy him a pair of shoes, or a book, or a toy, we’ll think of you, and think we’re really buying it for you.”
That satisfied the little fellow, and he was quite content then to go to live with Jesus. He told them who to give his little belongings to, and died content.
The doctor and his wife didn’t forget their promise. As soon as they could, they set things in motion to find a little eight-year-old child to take Guy’s place just as they said they would. They went or wrote to a Baptist Children’s Home in Minneapolis and laid their need before them and in due time the Home had a little girl for them. I think the sorrowing parents found it a little easier to take a little girl in Guy’s place than they would have a little boy. But so it was that they brought Christine home and legally adopted her and did everything for her that they would have done for Guy.
And Christine did fit into the family and fill a real need … for a companion for Bethie who was so lonely for her big brother, as well as for comfort for the doctor and Kitty. And as the years passed, she became an increasing comfort and a joy in her own right.

Perpetual Care
A Sequel to the Beautiful Story
This is the story of a little green grave that had … well, care that was perpetual for a lifetime, anyway.
Long years after the Mungers had moved from Fairhaven, when little George was a grown man with a family of his own, he passed near to Fairhaven on business one day and decided to drive around that way to see what he could remember of the village he had left when he was six years old.
He found the old home gone, burned to the ground years before and nothing built in its place. But the old barn was there and the lilacs in the front yard, now overrun with tall grass weeds. And the elm tree that had stood near the back door was there, only much, much bigger and taller.
Then he went down the street and found the same little church where he had gone to Sunday School, and the pew where the Mungers had sat. Then he went out into the cemetery to see if he could find his brother Guy’s little grave.
It was August of a hot, dry summer and most of the little cemetery was quite burned and brown. There were a few green spots, however, where people had watered and kept things up. And to George’s surprise, he found the two little Munger graves, Guy’s and baby Lois’s, as green and fresh as could be. He wondered and wondered how this could be. And turned away still wondering.
Now in such a little village, any stranger is noticed. As he went down the street a woman came out from one of the houses and looking sharply at him, said, “Could you be the son of Dr. Munger?” (George looked very much like his father.)
George said, “Yes I am. I’m George Munger.”
The woman fairly fell on him, and said, “So you’re the little fellow with the big brown eyes who used to swing on the gate.”
Then she told him who she was, and he remembered hearing his folks speak about her but I do not recall her name. And George said, “Yes, I’ve been looking around at the old place and up at the cemetery. By the way, could you tell me who’s been taking care of our graves up there?
The woman smiled and her eyes filled with tears as she told George yes, she could tell him. It was she and her husband who did it. And then she explained why.
On the night Guy died, she told George, her baby came. They had called the doctor not knowing his little son was so near death; but what else could they have done anyway, with no other doctor within twenty five miles? The doctor had come, for he knew there was nothing more he could do for his little son, but he had had to leave his wife all alone with their dying child. Thanks to him, the new baby came safely, though there were some complications that made it touch and go for a while. And how grateful those parents were when they knew what the doctor had done for them. So they had always wanted to do something special for the doctor and his wife to show their gratitude. When the Mungers moved away, they saw their chance. They promised that as long as they lived they would take care of Guy’s grave and that of his little sister’s, with the same loving care as if it were their own children.
And that was how it happened that Guy’s grave had perpetual care.
Added by larry on Feb 13, 2016 3:46 PM
Dolores J. Rush
Arkansas Cemeteries
Abby Burnett is the person to see about northwest Arkansas cemeteries. She's written a book on Ozark funeral customs that is for sale on Amazon. There is a documentary and several interviews with her on Youtube, if you are interested. She used to be here on Findagrave, but she was swamped with too many requests. Just for your information. And thanks for photographing those tiny cemeteries. There are many of those little family cemeteries scattered abt.
Added by Dolores J. Rush on Nov 12, 2015 6:50 PM
Hello Ruth.....
Good to hear from you and that you are still working on Findagrave. I imagine your fall harvest is about complete and I hope the crops were good this year.

As for me, I still haven't gotten back to Monona County and it is six years now! My sisters are upset that I have not been back.. Marlene still lives in Onawa..

I have taken thousands of pictures this summer. It gives me something to do. Have run into some haunted cemeteries. Note my picture on my bio page. You can see them for yourself!

Holdiay season is approaching which means cold and snow. That will end my cemetery jaunts until next spring. Wishing you the best and hope to meet you sometime when I get back to the Onawa area.

Larry :-)
Added by larry on Nov 05, 2015 7:02 PM
Hello Ruth!
Added by larry on Nov 05, 2015 6:56 PM
susie ward
RE: Thomas Garvin 1765-1834
my x husband was Ricky Duane Garvin and all his Garvins are from the Dallas Texas area. Sorry, but good luck
susie ward
Added by susie ward on Oct 13, 2015 7:01 AM
RE: Laura Bothwell 1896-1993
Laura's maiden name: Squire.

She married Clyde Nuzum.

She was not married to a Bothwell.

William Bothwell was my uncle, married to Lovetta Nuzum.
Added by mkb on Oct 02, 2015 2:41 PM
William Wiggs
Hi Ruth
I am not sure right now as my computer has been down for almost 3 yes now as the computer is over 20 yrs old... Hold this info till I get new computer maybe around fall time I hope so ok Thanks for contact me abt C A Wiggs I will ck once I get a new one ok Have a nice day I am using my phone 6Plus
Added by Karen on Aug 07, 2015 4:28 PM
Myrna Tuning
RE: Obit. Earl Vay Plummer

I have a pdf report of the Plummer family tree I have, but will need an e-mail address to send it to you. I'm sure you won't want to print it all - it's over 42 pages, but I'm sure there are some parts that you will want to delete. If you prefer you can contact me at

Added by Myrna Tuning on Feb 06, 2015 2:13 AM
Myrna Tuning
RE: Obit. Earl Vay Plummer
Earl's grandmother was a cousin of my great grandmother, Rebecca Elizabeth Stephens Donelson. Let me know if you would like more information on the Stephens and Plummer families.

Myrna Rourke Tuning
Added by Myrna Tuning on Feb 05, 2015 6:17 PM
RE: Memorial #59683133
I can't delete it since I am no longer the manager. I would think you could delete it since you are the current manager. Once a person gives up management rights, they lose all control. (Kind of like the weather and farming!)

Added by larry on Nov 03, 2014 3:09 PM
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