To my knowledge, this is the only photo we have of my Uncle Frank (1913-1914, son of Frank & Fannie Brodhead) who at 11 months of age died suddenly in the family’s Elizabeth, NJ, home. The photo, a recent discovery of mine, was mixed in with old newspaper clippings, and I was very grateful to come across it.
I’ve never been able to find the exact birth and death dates for Frank, and the little obit that was saved by my grandmother is undated. I think it probably appeared in the Elizabeth Daily Journal whose issues, I believe, are only available in certain libraries, on microfilm. The loss of Frank was sudden and the grief, perhaps, too deep to make note of dates. In any event, I will keep looking for them—the cemetery must have a record—but, more important, I want to get this little image posted so that Uncle Frank is not forgotten.
Frank was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in neighboring Hillside (Find a Grave). A second obituary appears below his. It is for James M. Hefley, son of Morris and Mabel Hefley. I think it’s likely that my grandparents knew this family and saved the two as one clipping. Update 10/8/20: I found a congratulatory card sent by Mabel to my parents in January 1958, from 14 Greaves Place, Cranford, NJ, so yes, they were family friends. The loss of these two children must have bonded them for life.
‘One morn I left him in his bed’
Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard (1823–1902)
One morn I left him in his bed;
A moment after some one said,
‘Your child is dying – he is dead.’
We made him ready for his rest,
Flowers in his hair, and on his breast
His little hands together prest.
We sailed by night across the sea;
So, floating from the world were we,
Apart from sympathy, we Three.
The wild sea moaned, the black clouds spread
Moving shadows on its bed,
But one of us lay midship dead.
I saw his coffin sliding down
The yellow sand in yonder town,
Where I put on my sorrow’s crown.
And we returned; in this drear place
Never to see him face to face,
I thrust aside the living race.
Mothers, who mourn with me today,
Oh, understand me, when I say,
I cannot weep, I cannot pray;
I gaze upon a hidden store,
His books, his toys, the clothes he wore,
And cry, ‘Once more, to me, once more!’
Then take, from me, this simple verse,
That you may know what I rehearse—
A grief – your and my Universe!