Jul 6, 2011

A Libby Mystery

Florence, Annette and Rossie Libby, sisters of Alvra, 1938

My latest research revolves around great grand uncle, Alvra C. Libby, son of Samuel Appleton and Angeline P. (Riley) Libby. Alvra was born in Delaware County, Iowa in 1866, the 5th child, and third son. A record for Cherokee County, Iowa listed at
shows Alvra married Eugenia Phelps on Christmas day, 1889. Eugenia Phelps, a daughter of Anson D. and Persis (McDougall) Phelps was born in Wisconsin but the family moved to Cherokee County, Iowa by 1880. Supposedly, this same Eugenia Phelps married Benjamin Kitter Burrill (also born in Delaware County, Iowa), in approximately 1900 in Ponca City, Oklahoma, where they lived until at least 1910. Afterwards, they joined Eugenia's parents who had moved to the Corning, California area.

My supposition is that it is unlikely there was another Eugenia Phelps in the same area, so Alvra and Eugenia's marriage must have gone through divorce or annulment between 1889 and 1900. Eugenia then married Benjamin Kitter Burrill and Alvra left the area. In two sibling obituaries, brother Alvra is listed as residing in South Dakota. I find no evidence of him there. In 1949, Alvra's obituary is found in Benson County, Arkansas follows:

1949 Jul 19, Northwest Arkansas Times, P2, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Alvra Libby

Rogers, July 19 (Special) - Alvra Libby, 83, an aged itinerant sent from Washington County to the Rogers Convalescent Home recently, died Sunday. No immediate relatives have been located. Funeral services and burial were to be conducted this morning in the Rogers cemetery by the Rev. James T. Handle.

Alvra's sister, Annette (my grandmother's aunt) received notification from the convalescent home of her brother's death on July 21, 1949. I have not yet found any indication at all of Alvra from the time of his marriage in 1889 to his death in 1949 at age 83. It's a mystery I'd sure like to solve!

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