Marion Hilary Grantham – You Died When?!

03 Apr

Marion Hilary Grantham was the fourth son born to Hillard Cisero Grantham and Margaret Dickson, and one of my husband’s first great grand uncles in the Grantham line.

Cropped from his brother's wedding photograph

According to his World War I Draft Registration Card, which he filled out in his own hand, he was born on 22 Apr 1885 – in Meridian, Bosque County, Texas – and a majority of the census records seem to confirm this. His Texas Death Certificate, however, conflicts listing a birth date of 22 Apr 1884. The location is according to the Texas Death Certificate.

World War I Draft Registration Card

When the 1900 census record was enumerated on 4 July, the family is present in Precinct 4 of Callahan County, Texas. Marian is 15 years old and is indexed as a “farm laborer.” He is living with his parents, Hillard and Margaret, along with his brothers – George, Jesse, Orlando and Ira.

According to the Marriage Books of Callahan County, Texas, on 21 Sept 1904 Marion Grantham married Mary Maroney Lawler.  They were both 19 years old at the time of their marriage. Mary was born 1 May 1885 in Alabama, the daughter of “Unknown” Lawler and Amanda C. Dillon. In the 1900 census Mary is with her mother (in De Kalb County, Alabama) who has remarried to William Smith. Mary Lawler Grantham died in Lubbock, Texas on 4 Oct 1973.

The 1910 census finds the Marion Grantham family living two doors down from his parents in Precinct 4 of Callahan County, Texas. He is 25 years old and indexed as a “farmer.” He is living with his wife Mary who has given birth three times: Myrtie, age 5; J. K., age 3; and Elmo, an infant.

On 17 Sept 1918 Marion Grantham filled out his World War I Draft Registration Card. He confirms that he is a resident of Oplin, Callahan County, Texas. He is a 33-year-old self-employed farmer. He lists his wife, Mary Grantham, as his next of kin. He describes himself as being of tall/medium height, medium build with blue eyes and dark hair. He confirms his birth date as 22 Apr 1885.

In the 1920 census the family is still in Precinct 4 of Callahan County. They are renting a farm. Marion is 35, and with him is his wife Mary M. and children Myrtie E., 15; Joe, 13; and Elmo 12.

I was just about ready to stop my research on Marion Grantham because a majority of the trees on list his date of death as 8 Feb 1927 – he would have been 41 years old at the time of his death. I was bothered by the fact that I had been unable to locate a Texas Death Certificate for him; nor have I had any luck in locating his burial location. By 1927, most Texas Counties were keeping fairly good records – so there should have been a death certificate on file. At this point I decided to figure out if I could find his widow and children in the 1930 census. Low and behold – Marion was alive and well in 1930! He was found in Callahan County, Texas living in Precinct No. 2. He is misindexed as “Morie H.,” age 43 born 1887 in Texas; he rents; has been married 20 years; and is a farmer. He is living with his wife Mary, age 43 and their sons Joe (who is misindexed as “Jae”), age 21 and Elmo, age 19; both of the boys are farmers.

This is a classic case of not copying or believing everything you see on  DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK!!

Texas Death Certificate

Once I took out the incorrect date of death for Marion, I was able to locate him in the Texas Death Index and the Social Security Death Index. Marion Hilary Grantham was 81 at the time of his death – not 41! He passed away on 16 Dec 1966 in St. Mary’s Hospital in Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas. He is laid to rest in Resthaven Memorial Park in Lubbock.

Marion and Mary had the following children:

  • Myrtie Verlia Grantham (1905-1995) – She married Norman Othello Magill
  • Joe K. Grantham (1907 – ?) – Nothing more is known about him by me.
  • Elmo Leonard Grantham (1909 – 1980) – He married Lillian Shoemaker
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Posted by on April 3, 2011 in Grantham


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