Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for Elizabeth Ooley "Bettie" PURVIS

Elizabeth was probably named for her Grandmother Elizabeth Berry Ooley.

Her half-sister, Clara, said Elizabeth had a beautiful and strong soprano voice and sang with her father's musical group.

It seems Elizabeth was counted twice in the 1860 census, living with the James Powell family as a housekeeper's assistant and at home with her parents.

Quoting from "Our Family at Woodmanse," the author said Elizabeth was "somewhat of a character. She never called him (her husband) by his first name, but always Mr. Powell." Continuing with a story told by Henry Brown, who worked for them: "His bedroom was next to theirs, and since Nelson was rather deaf, Henry could hear her talking to him.
Even in private she still called him Mr. Powell. She always got up before daybreak and set the pattern for the rest of the household. One morning Henry heard her say, 'Mr. Powell, Mr. Powell, get up! get up! Daylight's shining in the window just like the moon.' There was some muttering from Nelson, then he said, "Aw, it is the moon." His bed creaked, and soon he was snoring again." He added "She was an excellent cook, and had quite a reputation for it in the neighborhood."

Elizabeth acquired several pieces of property in her own name shortly before and after Nelson died:

6/3/1901 Cadwell, IL, where she paid $750 to Gilbert and Jerusha Baker for property. She may have originally intended to live there with Nelson during his postmaster tenure but never did.

1904 Following Nelson's death she applied for and received a widow's pension based on Nelson't service in the Civil War. She got $12/month beginning in March and received her last check on 9/4/1915.

5/17/1904 Sullivan, IL. She bought more lots in the Lewis subdivision, this time from her step-daughter and husband, Lizzie and Levi Seass, paying $500.

11/1/1904 By quit claim deed she bought a lot from Samuel and Edith Davis for $125.

11/1/1909 Again by quit claim deed she paid $125 for the lot of T.E. and Hattie Lewis.

On 4/19/1910 when the census taker came around, she was a 73 year old widow and living with daughter Mary and Ed Dunkin in Sullivan.

Elizabeth died of carcinoma of the stomach and liver, requiring constant nursing attention from 9/17/1915 until her death. She had been living with only daughter, Mary Dunkin, at the time of her death and Mary, with the help of sister-in-law, Mary Powell, wife of Wm Moses, nursed Elizabeth through her last illness.

Her obituary said she was well known all over Sullivan and other townships in the county, having spent a great part of her life in and near the city.

Mary Dunkin applied for reimbursement for bills of O M Williamson, physician, for $29.50 and C A Corgin, undertaker, for $134.25.

The funeral was held at the Christian church on Saturday afternoon at 2 PM with Rev W.B. Hopper officiating.

Copyright 2010 by BJ Van Gundy

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