June 3, 2011

Chester, Chester, and Chester Ordway

My great-grandfather, Lemuel Ordway, had eight siblings – four sisters and four brothers.  Two of Lem’s brothers, younger by three years, were twins : Chester and Sylvester.  Born October 1, 1880, both of the brothers had short lives.  Sylvester died before he was two of “brain fever.”  Brain fever would probably have been meningitis or encephalitis, in modern terms.  Sylvester is buried in Hoy Cemetery. 

Chester survived into young adulthood, but died in a most mysterious way.

Three different newspapers described the incident. 
First the Democrat Northwest,  November 1, 1900 –
From Bursting a Blood Vessel While Scuffling
A sad accident occurred in Malinta on Monday, by which a young man lost his life.  Early in the morning two young men, Chester Ordway, the 21 year old son of Richard Ordway, and Ollie Taylor got into a friendly tussle, and while scuffling, Ordway was thrown to the ground, Taylor falling on him.  In the fall, Ordway sustained a rupture of a blood vessel in the lungs and bled to death in a few minutes after the accident.  No blame attaches to Taylor, as it was purely accidental, but the sad event cast a gloom over the entire community.  We understand the unfortunate young man was subject to hemorrhages, as on several occasions before his life was despaired of from hemorrhages.
The funeral services were held in the Church of Christ, of which he was a member, yesterday morning at 10 o’clock, Rev. Cline, the pastor, conducting them.”

The Henry County Signal, Thursday, November 1, 1900, reported:
“Chester Ordway died Monday at Malinta from hemorrhage, aged about 20 years.  He had been wrestling with a companion and burst a blood vessel and died almost immediately after being taken to his home.  The funeral was held Wednesday from the Disciple church conducted by Rev. Cline.  The funeral was one of the most largely attended of any held in that vicinity.”

Finally,  the Deshler Flag, November 2, 1900, gave a short notice:
“Killed at Malinta
Two Boys Engaged in a Scuffle – Ruptured a Blood Vessel
Chester Ordway, aged about 17, of Malinta, while scuffling with a young man named Taylor, Monday forenoon, ruptured a blood vessel and bled to death in a few moments.”

Taken all together, I think we all can visualize what happened on October 29, 1900.  The truth is that Chester was 20 years old, but the mystery of the hemorrhaging that seemed to be a factor in his life before this, to the point that he might have been close to death previously is interesting.  I’m sure Lem, at 23, was devastated at this loss of his closest younger brother.  Chester was buried with his father, Richard, in Hoy Cemetery.

Lemuel’s older brother, Albert or “Bert”  named a son after his deceased brother, Chester.  This Chester Ordway was born January 29, 1901, about three months after the mortal incident described above.  Unfortunately, Bert’s son, Chester, died tragically in an automobile accident on August 29, 1937.  His wife, Cora, died in the same accident, leaving four young children parentless.

The third Chester Ordway was the first son of the Chester Ordway who died in the automobile accident in 1937.  Named after his father and born in 1922, this last Chester lived to age 69, married and had a family of four children, one, Melvin, who sacrificed his life in battle in World War II.

I don’t know if the name, Chester, was carried on after that- maybe you do?
Would love to have a picture of all of these Chesters! 

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