"Mother and Daughter Die"

"Mother and Daughter Die"


Bethene Blanche Johnson Harris died of the Spanish flu shortly after her mother Alice Margaret Gregg Johnson did in 1919. Two newspaper articles of the time outline the story.

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Mother and Daugter Die

  • Ord, Valley Co., NE, USA

We have been called upon to chronicle many deaths in the past few months. In some cases the circumstances seemed more sad than in others but the death of Mrs. N. E. Johnson and her daughter Mrs. Ralph Harris at almost the same time seems more terible [sic] than any of the other cases because of the continued trouble this good family has had. It was but a few months ago that Mrs. Johnson has a terrible sickness and Ralph Harris got kicked and for weeks his life was almost despaired of and he has barely recovered his normal health. Mr. Johnson has been far from well since having the flu a few weeks ago and both Mr. Harris and the son Wallace Johnson have been critically ill in recent days.

Alice Margaret Gregg was born near East Nodaway, Iowa, April 29, 1870, and died at the home north of Ord Saturday morning, March 29, aged 48 years and 11 months. She was married to N. E. Johnson on the 26th of September, 1888. They made their home at Genoa until 1891 when they came to Valley county and this has been their home since, on the farm all the time except a few months that they lived in Ord. Three children were born to them, Bethene, Helen and Wallace. Mr. Johnson and Helen and Wallace are now left of the immediate family. The aged mother, Mrs. Helen Gregg, of Danvin [Danville], Iowa, is also here. There are two brothers, William Gregg of Ord and Archie Gregg of Lincoln, Illinois, and three sisters, Mrs. Blanche Walker of La Porte, Iowa, Mrs. John Atkins of Genoa, and Mrs. Esther Ballard if [sic] New London, Iowa. The last two ladies are here for the funeral and the other brother and sister were unable to come.

Bethene Johnson was born at Genoa, Nebraska, November 6, 1892, and died at the home of her father Tuesday, April 1, 1919, aged 26 years, 4 months and 25 days. She became the wife of Ralph Harris on September 30, 1913. One child, a little girl [boy] two years old, is left with the father to mourn the going of the young mother.

Both Mrs. Johnson and her daughter Mrs. Harris, were loved by all who knew them for they both had especially pleasing personalities. Mrs. Johnson belonged to the P. E. O. and also belonged to the Laurel Kensington club. Both ladies were members of the Presbeterian church and were active in church work. Rev. Davies, formerly their pastor, was called here to conduct the funeral and didn't know until he arrived that he was to have a double funeral, he supposing that Mrs. Johnson was the only one. He was of course greatly shocked. He performed the ceremony that made Bethene and Ralph Harris man and wife.

The funeral was held yesterday afternoon from the country home, with a short prayer at the house and the main service at the cemetery. Interment being made in the Ord cemetery.

During the illness at the Johnson home the neighbors and friends could [sic] that good neighbors and friends could do to lighten the burden of the family and they feel deeply grateful for the kindnesses rendered and for the beautiful floral offerings.

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