22 June 2010

Tribune Tuesday Followup: The Freeman Family

I decided to follow up on the family of Magnus Freeman, who was posted about last week. That article discussed how Magnus and his wife had seen three of their four children die in the matter of two weeks from virulent diphtheria.

An article printed in The Oakland Tribune the day before (the 7th of January) had made the initial report about the disaster affecting the family:
Two Deaths From the Same Disease

Mr. Freeman, a resident of 22 Maple street, has lost two children within nine days of diphtheria. The first a 3 year old boy, died on the 27th of December; the other one of 18 month twins, died on the 5th inst. of the same disease.

The article of the 8th reported the last child to be gravely ill. Sadly, on the 9th of January, The Oakland Tribune carried the following item:

The Last of the Family
A sad story is related briefly in the following record at the undertaking establishment of Hamilton & Brown: "Died: Edith Isabel Freeman, aged 1 year, 6 months and 13 days, a native of Oakland; place of death, 22 Myrtle street; time of death January 8th at 11 PM" The record notes the death of the last of the four children of Magnus Freeman, a tailor residing at 22 Myrtle street. All four have died since December 27th, of virulent diphtheria.

According to census records, Magnus and his wife Augusta continued to live in Oakland. The couple had at least two children after the diphtheria devastation of 1889, both of whom lived to maturity. The son, George, and daughter Blanche were both born ca. 1894.

Augusta died 20 March 1929, and had a death notice printed in The Oakland Tribune 21 March 1929. Her 1900 and 1900 census enumerations showed that she had had 7 children, 2 of whom were living.

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