Hutcheson Case Study

As reported by several sources, Oril is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Tucson, AZ. However, this finding confuses our data just a bit more.

Evergreen Cemetery
Tucson
Pima County
Arizona

HUTCHESON1
Oril O.
Aug. 21, 1879
Feb. 18, 1949
Etta Mae
Aug. 6, 1892
Feb. 19, 1991

Did anyone happen to catch Oril’s death of birth on the death certificate v. the one on the stone? And even more, did you check the age at death as reported on the death certificate and calculate his age?

The death certificate says: DOB 7 22 79 [22 Jul 1879].2
The certificate also says: AGE 69y 8m 22d. Therefore, his DOB should be 27 May 1879.
The headstone says: 21 Aug 1879.

In their defense: The informant at the death was not present at the time of Oril’s birth and could have misremembered the date. The death of a loved one is a stressful time. The person calculating his age could have carried an incorrect number. And because the headstone is a double stone and looks to have been carved all at one time, it was likely set in 1991 when Etta died.

The importance of the date of carving is notable because when one partner in a marriage dies, a stone for both persons may be erected. Depending on preference, anything from just a name to a name and DOB will be engraved for the person who will be buried in the future. Sometimes, one side will be left entirely blank. When the second person dies, their data is added to the stone. Many times, the engravers will bring equipment to the cemetery to add the date of death. And many times, you can tell which information was added later. It will look different. The depth will be different; the color will be different.

Other times, when the first person passes away, a stone will be erected just for that person. When the second dies, the family will have the original stone removed and have a second, larger, double stone set for the couple. The further in time one gets from an event, the more likely data could be incorrect.

So — when was Oril born?

1. Jim Tipton, Find A Grave, digital images (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 19 Sep 2010), photograph, Oril O. Hutcheson (1879-1949) and Etta Mae Hutcheson (1899-1991) gravemarker, Evergreen Cemetery, Tucson, Pima, Arizona.
2. See post dated 29 Aug 2010.

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Hutcheson Case Study

A quick Google search for Oril led me to an article about his wife and the decision that this research thread would only be a case study. (Why re-research what has already been done?)

This article was edited by the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives department staff and was published in the “Days Past” column of the local newspaper in Prescott, Arizona.

It turns out that Etta Mae Olmstead Dalton Hutcheson was a state legislator who served nine terms in the Arizona House of Representatives after her husband died.* The article says that she married Oril O. Hutcheson, a conductor for the Southern Pacific Railroad, in 1916, the year after her first husband was struck and killed by a train. They had a son, Frank, in 1928. In 1949, both Oril and Etta’s daughter from her first marriage died. She is buried next to Oril in Evergreen Cemetery in Tucson.

Research Plan:

  1. Check for gravestone photographs.
  2. Check marriage indexes.
  3. Check census records for Oril. Since I know Etta’s family, what can I discover about his family?

*Carol Powell, “Days Past: Etta Mae ‘Ma Hutch’ Hutcheson, Arizona Legislator, 1953-1972,” The Daily Courier, 27 Feb 2010, online archives (http://prescottdailycourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&subsectionID=1&articleID=78218 : accessed 5 Sep 2010).

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