Saturday, October 20, 2012

From Cradle to Grave - Cora Bell Ozias Kuhn

Cora Bell Ozias was my 2nd-great-grandmother on my father's paternal side. She was born in Independence, Iowa in August 25, 1864 to John C. and Christine (Potterf) Ozias.
Independence was the county seat of Buchanan County and a thriving community on the banks of the Wapsipinicon River.
Photo of the Wapsipinicon Feed Mill, Independence, Iowa. Built in 1854, this was a sight that Cora Bell was sure to have seen during her life time. Photo by J. Stephen Conn, via Flickr.
In 1870, Cora is living with her parents in Byron, Iowa, just northeast of Independence. Cora lives with her parents, six siblings and her grandmother. The family appears to be financially comfortable and even has a domestic servant.

By 1875 the family has moved to Nemaha County, Kansas. They had also spent time in Missouri as Cora's newest sibling, Nanny, was born there. According to the census she was only 5 months old so the family's arrival in Kansas was in late 1874 or early 1875.
The next five years must have been very turbulent for young Cora. Her father dies in 1876 and her mother is left to care for her nine children on her own. Four of her siblings have moved out of the house and young Nanny has died. In 1880 the family still lives in Nemaha County, Kansas, and it appears that young William Ozias at age 18 is now the man of the house.
On December 31, 1882 Cora married Frank E. Kuhn in Nemaha County, Kansas. Frank was the first-born son of Philip and Bertha Kuhn. The couple's first child, Maurice Elmer Kuhn, was born August 29, 1884 and their second son, Frank Earl Kuhn, was born October 11, 1886, both in Nemaha County.
Tragedy struck poor Cora's life once again when Frank died of typhoid fever on October 16, 1887. She was now alone with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. According to a biography on her son, F.E. Kuhn, Cora chose to send her son (it is not clear whether both children went) to live with an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. J.K. Anderson, in Pleasant Hill, Missouri. He stayed with these relatives for eight years.
It's unclear what Cora did in the meantime. We'll pick up with Cora at her marriage in 1894 in our next installment.
Missing pieces: Where was Cora in 1888-1894?

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