I’ve been doing some genealogy this week. I move back and forth between recent, ancient, mine and my husband’s. Find a Grave on the internet and County histories are quite valuable.
The Elwood Indiana paper reported on my husband’s great grandfather’s death this way.
“Pioneer Resident of City Fell a Victim of Heart Trouble Sunday Afternoon and Died Before Assistance Could Reach Him. Had Attended Meeting Earlier in the Day.”
And it goes on to talk about Lewis Heffner’s contributions to the city, but particularly speculated on his wealth (based on inflation it would be about $3.5 million today) in sawmills and in farms and that he had two surviving daughters, one being Mrs. C.L. (Abbie) Bruce, my husband’s grandmother.
However, in my genealogy notes, I have the memories of C.L.’s daughter, Roberta, about her grandfather’s death, and she said:
“Grandfather Heffner was not a religious man, but after his wife died he went to a revival and confessed and joined. He walked home in a blizzard, and collapsed and died (turned to stone, she said). He was a Mason. He had no will, and his assets were divided between Abbie and Vinnie.”
Roberta said he owned 2 sawmills, one in Elwood, IN and one in Arkansas, and 3 farms and some buildings in Elwood. Each daughter got about $50,000 each. Roberta's parents (Abbie and Casselman) owned the sawmill/coal business in Elwood, to which her father added automobiles (Nash, Chevrolet). Aunt Vinnie owned the Arkansas Mill and 2 farms and some of the buildings. Her husband (Uncle Lew Whipple) quit working after they married. He was so bad with the customers, that Roberta's grandfather paid him $50/week to stay away from the office.