Ida May (TREES) WILSON (1869-1898) – “She was not ready to die”

Ida May (TREES) WILSON was the daughter of John and Elizabeth (LARIMORE) TREES. At the age of  18, she married my great-grand-uncle Joseph Eddy WILSON. She had three little children, then suffered “lung trouble,” and died at the age of 29.

Her obituary describes her well.

The Hancock Democrat (Greenfield, Indiana), Thursday, December 1, 1898, page 5.


Ida May Wilson was born near Warrington, Ind., February 27, 1869. She was the youngest daughter of John and Elizabeth Trees. Her early life was passed at home and at school until September 10, 1887, when she was married to Joseph E. Wilson. For a time they made their home at Warrington, but soon moved near Eden. After moving back to Warrington and remaining for a few years, they again become [sic] residents of Green township, where they have resided until her death, which occurred November 23, 1898.

Among her friends and neighbors Ida was known for her kindness and upright character. She did not hesitate to condemn an action when she knew it to be wrong, nor did she fail to acknowledge a kindness when freely given.

She was not ready to die, but her reason was the thought of leaving her three little children without a mother’s care. To help them was her main purpose, and she used every possible means to save herself for them, but that she realized the presence of a higher power than herself is shown by fact of her going to the organ for the last time, and touchingly playing that grand hymn so dear to us all when we realize we are in His care, “Nearer My God to Thee.” She is indeed nearer to Him, and by her own testimony we feel that “all is well.” God’s plan is partly finished when he called [Ida] to the life above. The husband and three little children need not fear that He will forsake them.

Ida May and Joseph’s three children were as follows:

  • Opal Fern, b. January 1891
  • Merrill Leland, b. 24 May 1894
  • Gladys, b. September 1895

Joseph remarried in 1899 to Louella M. (RUSSELL) HANCOCK TREES with whom he had two children: Clyde Russel WILSON, b. 1900, and Carl Earl WILSON, b. 1901. Joseph married a final time to Hettie Luella (WILLIAMSON) JOHNSON in 1905. This couple had no children.

Ida May’s three little children grew to adulthood. Opal Fern married William H. REED, and it appears she had no children. She lived until 1976, dying at age 85. Merrill Leland married Serena Mae OUTLAND, and this couple had four children in the 1920s and 1930s. And, Gladys married Harry Milton MANIFOLD, dying in 1921 after having given birth to two daughters: Mary Elizabeth, b. 1918, and Rachael Fern, b. 1920.

Ida May (TREES) WILSON is buried at Eden Cemetery in Eden, Green Township, Hancock County, Indiana.

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4 Responses to Ida May (TREES) WILSON (1869-1898) – “She was not ready to die”

  1. Sheryl says:

    The rich detail in this obituary really provide a sense of what she was like. The wording is so poignant even more than a hundred years later. It is so sad where it says that she wasn’t ready to die because she didn’t want to leave her children without a mother’s care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a touching obituary. The part about her playing the hymn on the organ brought tears to my eyes. My great grandmother also died when her children (including my grandpa) were very young, and it affected them the rest of their lives. Though I of course never knew her, this post struck a chord with me.


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