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Hi again, Mr. Farwell. I was very glad to see my paternal grandparents as a subject of
your post. You covered my maternal great grandparents with John Thomas Bell. And I will
tell you that five years ago I could not have provided any of this information!
ROBERT ALBERT IRWIN was born August 18, 1869. From the write-up for my grandparents'
golden wedding, which occurred the year before I was born, I learned that Grandpa Bob
lived within a quarter mile of the same place all his life---about halfway between Tabor
and Sidney. He died January 1, 1954 at Hamburg Hospital. He married Eva Lena Shurtliff,
my grandmother. She was born March 3, 1871 in Ohio and died December 2, 1959.
Grandpa's parents were Hugh and Hannah Fisher Shober Irwin. Hugh Irwin Jr. had about
7 children with his first wife, a stepson with his second, Hannah was his third wife. She
was a widow with at least 6 children as well. Together they had 6 children, according to
Hugh Jr.'s Fremont County biography, but two must have died as babies.
Robert and Eva had 7 children.
1. Pearl Lulu---You have the dates for her. She died in March of 1920, about 10 days
after her Grandma Shurtliff. Both ladies died of the flu, which turned into pneumonia.
2. Susan Luella---b Feb 24, 1892-d. Dec. 24, 1964 at Faith Home in Tabor. Aunt Susan
never married. She taught sewing at the Glenwood school.
3. Winnferd Charles---and even I am not sure of the correct spelling of his first name!
It does have just two syllables. Uncle Winnie and Aunt Ethel had five children, two of
whom died as babies: Berdena, Verneta Ardelle, Veldyne, Leo, and Lisle. Berdena was the
last of the children and their spouses; she died in Omaha in September of 2009 at the age
4. Wilbur---b June 6, 1896- d. May 10, 1897. Grandma told me that he died of colic. His
death record at the Sidney courthouse gave his cause of death as pneumonia fever.
5. Belva Vivian---b. Jul. 21, 1898 - d. Sept. 22, 1945. Aunt Belva never married. She
broke her leg in a sledding accident at the age of 15 and wore a leg brace for the rest of
her life. She was critically injured in a car accident where the highway leading north
out of Tabor intersects with Highway 34, just a few miles from Glenwood. She lived a day
or two, but never regained consciousness.
6. Cyrenius William---You have the correct days for my dad, known as C. W. or Bill.
Mother---Eunice Esther Bell--b. Jan. 7, 1905 - d. May 11, 1948, died about 6 weeks before
my 8th birthday. She was paralyzed on one side from a stroke in 1946, went into a coma
from her second stroke in 1948. She died at home about 3 days after suffering the second
stroke, never regaining consciousness. My parents had 6 children: Robert Frank, Verlene
Ruth, Walter Wayne, Arlene, Velma LaVonne, and Glenn. Only Arlene and I are still living.
Dad married my wonderful stepmother, Ruth Naomi Ludington, when I was 15; the date was
Oct. 1, 1955.
7. Carroll Orville---the only child who was able to go on to high school. Grandma Irwin
had to battle with my grandpa to send him to Tabor High. After graduating, Uncle Carroll
worked his way through college at Iowa State, graduating in the spring of 1939 with a
degree in horticulture. He was working for the Department of Agriculture in Washington,
D. C., when he was drafted during World War II. In his final days, he served as a
military policeman in Florida. A fellow he had arrested for drunkenness shot him down a
few days later. Uncle Carroll was a bright young man, and a tragic loss to the family.
Pearl, Susan, Wilbur, Carroll, and Belva are buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery with Grandpa and
Grandma. Uncle Winnie is buried at Tabor Cemetery, and my dad is buried at Wyuka Cemetery
in Nebraska City.
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