Friday, December 3, 2010

Funeral Card Friday ~ Mary Jane ACHESON - Life of a Pioneer Woman

Mary Jane Acheson
Beloved Wife of Christopher Johnson
died August 10th 1901

In Proton, on Thursday, Aug 10, 1901
Beloved wife of Christopher Johnson age
45 years.

The funeral will take place from her late residence
to Flesherton Cemetery on Monday,
at 1 o'clock p.m.
Friends and acquaintances will please
 accept this intimation.

This very pretty flowered funeral card is for my maternal great grandmother. I find it interesting that they have used her maiden name rather than her married surname.
This was in a suitcase of memorabilia that belonged to my maternal grandfather, George JOHNSON. George was the first child of  Mary Jane and Christopher. This card was nibbled by some little critter. I filled in her name "Mary" by hand.

 A tragedy for George and his wife, Emma CLARK, who where being nursed by Mary Jane when she contracted Typhoid Fever from them, and subsequently died 40 days later. Also, their first born son (seven months old) was ill at the same time too.  (See biography below.)

Born 12th October 1856
Died 10th October 1901
Buried Flesherton Cemertery
Flesherton, Grey County, Ontario

The Life of a Pioneer Woman ~ Biography:
(Excerpt - pages 11 and 12)
Born on October 12th, 1856, Mary Jane was the first daughter of William and Christina Acheson.
Being the eldest girl in a large family of pioneers, she early learned to accept responsibility, thus sharing with her mother love's tasks of caring for the younger children in the home.

"I was only nine years old when she was married," remarks her sister Rachael ( now in her 86th year) "yet I well remember what a dear, thoughtful sister she was. Always kind and unselfish, she served In her own quiet way, with never any fuss or talk about her good turns."

"Words seem but a poor expression of my regard for her, for she was a model girl and a model woman. I think of her as next to my saintly Mother. Although I was only a child when she was grown to womanhood, I can remember her getting up at five o'clock in the morning to spin rolls of wool from which the material was made, not only for stockings and socks, but for shirts, dresses, and blankets as well - just an example of her devoted and loving service in the home." - Sister Rachel

She was only eighteen years old when, on December 23rd, 1874, she married Christopher Johnston, the marriage ceremony being performed before daylight in order that they might leave for their honeymoon on the early morning train. "Christie" was a widower with five small children, and the care of these little ones was no small task for one so young to accept. Besides, there were born ten more children, one of whom died in infancy. So, what with caring for her large family and the extra work which falls to the lot of a woman in the building of a fine new barn and house, hers was no easy life. Yet she found time for hospitality, and, in those early years, her home and Christie's was always a home for the Minister when he needed one.

"This kind and affectionate sister  -  this devoted wife and mother has gone to her reward. Her decease was caused by Typhoid Fever contracted while nursing her son, George, and his wife, who were ill in Sault Ste. Marie. She went to Sault Ste. Marie on August 29th, came home on September 29th, and went to Heaven, October 10th, 1901, one day before her 45th birthday.

Her funeral, sermon was preached at Inistioge, October 20th, by Rev. Thomas Campbell, from the words:
"She hath done what she could."

"I used to wonder who would be the first to go, now I wonder who will be next." - Sister Christina (Chan). NOTE: Christina was, herself, the next of the brothers and sisters to answer the summons to the Life Beyond.

Mary Jane was survived by her husband by twenty-four years, he passing away on February 3rd, 1925.
A high tribute was paid by her step-son, William Johnston, who spoke of her as "the best woman that ever lived."

Funeral Card - lent to me by a first cousin in the JOHNSON (JOHNSTON) family.
THE ACHESON HISTORY 1850-1890 - a copy was mailed to me by a first cousin in the ACHESON family. Photograph of Mary Jane - mailed to me by the same ACHESON cousin.
All provided in 2003 while I was researching for my Mother's 90th birthday, March 2003.

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