Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Charles Drumm (1917 - 1928)

Copyright 2015, The Hopelessly Hooked Genealogist (B. Harrison)

          Charles Drumm        
Born: 1 September 1917, St Louis, Missouri
Died: 3 July 1928. Cape Girardeau, Missouri
(photo by Andrew, Find A Grave volunteer)

This post is to memorialize a cousin I never met, who only made to age (almost) 11 years.  Some of the following information is from the Find A Grave Memorial page that I personally created for Charles. (Find A Grave Memorial #46995296).  His story is based on oral family history shared with me by my Dad, a newspaper obituary, and a Missouri death certificate.

Charles Drumm was the son of Edna Katherine Harrison Drumm Loraine (my paternal aunt) and her first husband, T. J. Drumm. He was the grandson of John P. Harrison and Susan Allen Harrison. He was the great-grandson of John Milton Harrison and Mary Jane Coppedge Harrison.

Charles was my dad Marvin's nephew, being the child of Marvin's older sister Edna.  Charles and Marvin were close to the same age and playmates. Charles was thus my first cousin, though he was born and died decades before I was born. 

Charles died tragically from accidental drowning shortly before his 11th birthday. He attended a family-community holiday picnic on July 3rd, 1928 at Apple Creek, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Some of his cousins and other children (including my own Dad) went to play at a pond of water by the dam at the mill. Charles was unable to swim, as were most of the other children in attendance that fateful day. Charles was either wading or fell in the deep water, and was pulled under by the currents. He struggled briefly, but there was no one within reach who could swim and rescue him in time. Someone threw him something to grab onto to try to float with, probably a piece of driftwood, but by then it was too late. My Dad was haunted his entire life by the memory of seeing only Charles' one hand grasping and thrashing above the water for something, anything....and then it slowly faded and the water was still.

Charles Drumm's obituary was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, page 23, July 5, 1928 . Stubbs Mortuary in Chaffee, MO handled final arrangements.  He is buried at Saint Ferdinand Cemetery in Hazelwood, St. Louis County, Missouri.  

Rest In Peace, young Charles.  Below is his death certificate:

Tragedy was to befall much of the rest of Charles' immediate family as well.  His step-father Joseph B. Loraine, Edna's 2nd husband, was electrocuted by lightning; his only sibling, a half-brother John B. Loraine was killed in WWII; and his mother Edna died of Leukemia. My research to date has been unable to determine what happened to his biological father, T. J. Drumm. That may be another line in the tree to pursue "some day" to solve yet another mystery.