Sunday’s Obituary – Mary Swank

1927 Mary Swank obit

This article was on the front page of The Monessen Daily Independent on 20 September 1927.[1]  Mary Swank was my second great grandmother and had died three days earlier while visiting her daughter in Cape May, New Jersey. She was born in 1855 in Connecticut as Marian Burd, but also went by “Mary” and “Mary Ann”.

She married Charles Schwenk in 1871 and they had four children before Charles died in 1893. The surname Schwenk evolved over time to Schwank and finally to Swank. Mary has been a difficult person to research at times due to the variations of both her first and last names! As of now, I still cannot locate a death record for her in either New Jersey or Pennsylvania. It appears that her daughters did not file one after she died.

Mary was visiting her daughter Margaret Speedy, who was living in Cape May at the time. Margaret’s husband, William Arthur Speedy, had died at sea just over a year earlier. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for Margaret to be alone after losing both her husband and her mother in Cape May, while the rest of her family was in Pittsburgh and Monessen. Margaret eventually moved back to Monessen and lived with her sister Maine Cubbage and her family.

pit post-g sept 20,1927 p26 col 6

A death notice also appeared in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.[2] Marian “Mary Ann” Burd Schwenk was likely buried with or near her husband at Braddock Cemetery (also know as Russell Cemetery) in North Braddock, Pennsylvania. There is no tombstone for Mary but there are plots and headstones for her husband, sister, and other family members at Braddock.

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SOURCES:

[1] “Mother Dead,” The Monessen Daily Independent (Monessen, PA), 20 September 1927, p. 1, col. 1; digital images Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 August 2013).

[2] “Swank, Mrs. Mary,” death notice, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), 20 September 1927, p. 26, col. 6; digital images, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 18 September 2019).

© 2019 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.