Martha Ellen “Mattie” <I>Young</I> Truman

Martha Ellen “Mattie” Young Truman

Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Death 26 Jul 1947 (aged 94)
Grandview, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Burial Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 11602 View Source

Mother of U.S. President Harry S. Truman

Truman's Mother
Dies in Her Sleep

President Loses Race by Plane
To Her Bedside in Missouri

Grandview, Mo., July 26 (U.R) Mrs. Martha Ellen Truman, 94, mother of the President, died in her sleep today while the Chief Executive was flying to her bedside, hoping vainly to reach her before death did.

The old heart of the pioneer woman stopped beating at 11:05 a.m. (1 :05 p.m. Brooklyn time) and the Presidential plane, the Sacred Cow, did not set down at the local airport until four hours and 19 minutes later.

Mr. Truman had been notified by radio while the Sacred Cow was over Cincinnati that he had lost his race against death and sorrow was etched deeply in his face when he stepped out of the big transport at the local airport.

Funeral Monday.
He was engulfed at once in funeral arrangements for a mother to whom he was very close. He, his brother, Vivian, and their sister, Mary Jane, decided on a funeral service Monday in their mother's cottage.

The President asked friends and well-wishers to omit flowers. Mr. Truman recalled that his mother often had said flowers were for the living who could enjoy them and not for the dead.

Mother Truman's own pastor, the Rev. Welborn Bowman of the Grandview Baptist Church, will conduct the services. Her four grandsons and two nephews will be pallbearers. Burial will be in the family plot in Forest Hills Cemetery, Kansas City, where her husband and father are buried.

After the body is prepared for burial In the funeral home at Belton. five miles south of here, it will lie in state in her parlor until time for the service.

Hundreds Wait In Silence:
A crowd of several hundred, in sympathetic silence for a neighbor who had lost his mother, waited at the airport when the Sacred Cow set down. Mr. Truman had just stepped out when his daughter, Margaret, ran forward, threw her arms around him and kissed him. His wife, Bess, expressed her sympathy as warmly and with Vivian Truman and Mary Jane Truman the family drove first to Mother Truman's home, then to the funeral parlor.

Charley Ross, White House press secretary who was in the party that accompanied the President from Washington, said he had taken his bereavement "rather philosophically." The radio message was received by the plane's pilot and transmitted to Mr. Truman by his physician, Brig. Gen. Wallace Graham.

"Well," said the President after taking a moment to adjust himself, "she won't have to suffer anymore...She must have passed away just a little while after we took off." (Mrs. Truman died 35 minutes after Mr. Truman's plane took off from Washington.)

Ross commented; "Even though you know death is going to come, It is still quite a shock."

Dr. Joseph W. Greene of Independence, who had assisted several other physicians, including Mr. Truman's White House doctor, Brig. Gen. Wallace Graham, in caring for Mrs. Truman, visited the home this morning.

He advised the President that Mrs. Truman's heart was weakening steadily.

President Delayed:
That was at 6 a.m. when he paid the first of his visiting her daily since July 4 when she suffered a relapse and was put to bed, never to rise again.

Mr. Truman was notified at once and ordered the Sacred Cow to be ready for a take-off. The President was delayed by the necessity of signing the armed service unification and the veterans' bonus bill before leaving the Capital. The take-off was at 10:30 a.m. (12:30 Brooklyn time but had he taken off as originally scheduled he couldn't have gotten here in time to see his mother alive.

At her bedside when she died was her son, Vivian, and her daughter, Miss Mary Jane Truman.

Mrs. Truman fractured her right hip in a fall in her bedroom on Feb. 13. Most of the time since, her condition had been serious or critical.

Today was the second time within two months that the President had received an urgent summons from Grandview. On May 17 he came here for a 12-day vigil at her bedside. Doctors said the little, gray-haired woman -- who was never impressed by the honor that had come to her one-time farmer son -- could not live long. For days her condition was extremely critical and the president worried and fretted in her cottage from sunup to sundown.

Staged 'Amazing Comeback'
Then she rallied. Doctors said it was an amazing comeback."

Cheered by this show of fighting heart, Mr. Truman returned to the White House.
Early in July, Mrs. Truman climaxed her uphill battle by leaving her bed. But her respite was brief. On July 3 she went back to bed again and since then her condition deteriorated steadily.

Mrs. Truman was born Nov. 25, 1852 near the heart of what has grown to be the city of Kansas City. Mo.

Her father, Solomon Young, was freight wagon driver on the Overland trails which spun their way westward. It was on his farm about midway between those towns, that she was born.

As a young woman she showed marked musical ability but in 1882 she was married to John A. Truman, son of a farmer living about a mile from the Young home. Truman took his bride to Lamar, Mo., and there, in the modest home he established for her, she bore him a son on May 8, 1884.

They named him Harry S. Truman. The "S" they always maintained was nothing more than a letter. The names of both grandfathers began with S.

Lamar, 12 miles south of their native Jackson County, just wasn't home for John and Martha Truman. They moved to Belton, a few miles south of Grandview, and then, in 1890, to Independence.

In Independence their children attended high school. After Harry was graduated in 1901 the family moved to Kansas City but two years later moved back to the old farm in the southern part of the county.

Mother Truman lived through four great wars, beginning with the horror of the Civil War as it burned out the border counties of Missouri. Vividly even into her old age she recalled those days when Order No. 11 was issued.

The Little woman always was very high in President Truman's affection and thoughts. He made it a point to fly to Grandview to see her on her birthdays.

She always maintained a keen interest in events. After she was 90 she did her bit in an election or two for the Democratic Party and cast her vote in November 1946, just three weeks before she reached her 93d birthday.

And she was tremendously proud of her boy.

Brooklyn Eagle
Brooklyn, New York
Sunday, July 27, 1947, p.1 & 27

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Missouri Death Certificate #24515
Name: Martha Ellen Truman
Sex: Female
Color: White
Marital Status: Widowed
Name of husband or wife: John A. Truman
Date of Birth: Nov. 25, 1852
Age: 94 years, 8 months, 1 day
Place of Birth: Jackson County, MIssouri
Usual Occupation: Housewife
Date of Death: July 26, 1947
Place of Death: Grandview, Jackson County, Missouri
Cause of Death: Senility; Fractured right femur 2/13/1947.
Name of Father; Solomon Young (b. Shelby County, Ky.)
Name of Mother: Harriet L. Gregg (b. Shelby County, Ky.)I
Informant: Harry S. Truman, Washington D.C.
Burial: Forrest Hill Cemetery - K.C., Mo.

Contributor: .A (46575222)

See Missouri death certificate #24515. Died in Grandview, Cass County, Missouri. She may have died at the Truman Farm home. She was born 25 Nov 1852 in Jackson County, Missouri. Her father was Solomon Young and her mother was Harriet Louisa Gregg, both born in Kentucky. She was married to John A. Truman. The informant on the DC was Harry S. Truman, Washinton, DC, her son.
Contributor: Gerry Stanley (47287035)

Family Members


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  • Added: 8 Aug 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11602
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  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Martha Ellen “Mattie” Young Truman (25 Nov 1852–26 Jul 1947), Find a Grave Memorial ID 11602, citing Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Lisa (contributor 47155679) .