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2013 Cemetery Walk - Sarah A. Jordan (1846-1919) - portrayed by April Tennyson.




Sarah Ann (Romine) Jordan
Portrayed by April Tennyson

Hello everyone. My name is Sarah Ann Jordan. I was born on October 25th, 1846, to my parents, James and Sarah Romine. I was the 8th of 10 children and was their 2nd girl. My parents' first 6 children were boys, but the last four of us were girls. I was born in Galia County, Ohio, but moved to Hamilton County with my family in the 1850's.

Shortly after the Civil War, I married James Jordan. James was born Sept. 14th, 1840, just down the road here, in White County. His parents were Elias and Lucinda Jordan. James served in the Civil War in the 14th Illinois US Cavalry and he earned the rank of First Sergeant by the time he was mustered out in 1865.

James and I were blessed with five daughters during our marriage. The girls were a big help to me. We did everything together, cooking, canning, the laundry. I sure missed the girls when they married and moved out.

Our oldest moved all the way out to Newport, Arkansas, when she married, and our second oldest moved to Evansville, Indiana, when she married. Our third married Charles R. Snyder on July 17th, 1901, when she was 20 years old. They were able to enjoy several years together, but in 1915, Charles died and the next year, our daughter died of tuberculosis. She was just 35.

Our fourth daughter was Flora Louise and she was born Sept. 23rd, 1885. She married William E. Matsel on August 21st, 1907. She died on May 12th, 1924 in Evansville and was buried two days later in Maple Ridge Cemetery in White County. She was 39.

Our youngest was Ida. She was born in 1888 in White County. She married Charles Dinkle, but they got a divorce. In 1919, she was living here in McLeansboro.

When James & I got married, he already had two boys, Sam and Walter. They lived in Enfield their whole lives.

In 1892, my husband James died. He was buried the next day in Enfield. Most of the girls were still at home when he died, and they pitched in and were an even bigger help to me than before. Ida was just four years old when her father died.

Earlier in my life, I became a Christian and joined Mary's Methodist Church. Mary's Chapel was located about four miles south of McLeansboro. It was organized in 1852. It was named for Mary Carey, one of the first six members of the church. Her son gave the church the land to build on, and she was the first person to be buried in the cemetery there.

When she died, the church didn't have a building. It was still meeting in the home of Thomas and Margaret Edwards, two more of the original six members. They are buried in this cemetery, too. When I joined, we were meeting in the first church building, a simple frame building that had two aisles with one row of long pews in the center and shorter pews on the sides.

A few years after I joined, that church was burned or torn down, I forget which now. It was replaced with a beautiful church with a tall steeple. That church was the pride and joy of all of us at Mary's Chapel. I loved going to services there; it was such a beautiful church. We were all saddened when the church with the tall steeple was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1913.

They replaced it with a new church and were holding services there in less than a year after the church with the tall steeple burned. I never got to go to services in this church though. It was about this time that my health really started going downhill.

For the last twenty years of my life, I was afflicted with a tumor. This tumor was very large. The doctors tried to help me the best they could, but there wasn't much they could do for me. My tumor was of such a nature as to make an operation very dangerous. It began to make it difficult for me to get about and for the last few years of my life, I wasn't able to leave my home, not even for church services.

I died on April 29th, 1919, at the age of 72. When I had died, they removed the water from my tumor. It weighed 80 pounds and filled a No. 2 wash tub. The doctors were puzzled as to how I could have lived for so long under such conditions. I was buried here the next day after a short service at my home.

I hear now that Mary's Chapel doesn't have a church building any more, but the bell is set up and there is a plaque with a brief history where the church used to stand.

Thank you all for coming.