Margaret Caroline Stanley Rouse was my 3rd great-grandmother. I would love to find some more cousins and I truly hope this helps someone else’s research. This typed obituary was passed down to me. It does not state the paper name or date.
O B I T U A R Y.
Mrs. Margaret Caroline Rouse, better known as Grandma Rouse, passed away at the home of her son, H.J. Rouse, at 10 o’clock P.M., Oct. 22. Grandma, as she was affectionately called by the people of Sierra County, had an interesting life, crowded by experiences such as seldom fall to the lot of mortals. Her life’s history would read like the creation of some master fiction writer.
Born at Sugar Hill near Milton, Florida, she spent her childhood days on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, where the far-flung shore line melting into the distant horizon, creates an ardent longing for the unknown regions beyond.
Upon the early death of her mother, she became a member of her grandfather’s household. Joseph Owens, her mother’s father, was employed at the U.S. Navy Yard of Pensacola, the ancient port, one of the first settlements of the Spaniards on the North American Continent; taken from the Castilians by the British, captured by Andrew Jackson and finally ceded by Spain to the United States. The country breathed the romance and adventure of by-gone ages, its people inured to hardships, a race of conquerors, men and women who blazed the trail through the great American wilderness.
Just when Grandma was born is not known, but it is safe to assume that she was approaching her centenarian birthday.
In 1848 Joseph Owens, lured by the tales of California’s famous gold discoveries, started in company with his son Buck for the Pacific coast state. When they reached the southeastern part of Texas and saw the vast stretches of virgin land, they became imbued with the desire to make this their future home.
Returning to Florida, the Owenses chartered the sailing vessel “Gov. Bennet” and took their families and belongings to the newly-found Eden. Landing at Port Lavaca in the bay of Matagorda, they cleared the land, felled trees and constructed their homes at approximately the site where now stands the town of Victoria. Fear of the Comanches in their frequent raids on the settlement required constant watchfulness and preparedness. Their sojourn in Texas in what is now the state’s garden spot, in itself is an interesting chapter in the history of Texas. Being among the first settlers they received a headright or land grant of some twelve-thousand acres. Unfortunately for Grandma and her descendants, the document was lost or misplaced.
It was here in Texas that Grandma met her future husband, Harvey J. Rouse; born in 1835, he was of about the same age as his bride. Eleven children were born to this union of whom eight survive their mother.
At the beginning of the eighties the great silver strikes of the Kingston region had been told and retold in the remotest corners of the land. The Rouse family with their characteristic spirit of adventure which was their heritage, heard the call. They abandoned their home and with an ox team started in search of the new Eldorado. We of today, traveling at the rate of 200 to 300 miles per day in an auto, have no conception of the hardships, delays by rains, swollen rivers, muddy roads, if you can term the then existing cattle trails as such. An ox team travels from six to seven miles daily, and what we consider a day’s journey became a trek of a month or more.
In September, 1886, the family arrived at Kingston; the now practically abandoned mining town was then at the zenith of it’s glory. The male population of voting age was more that 1700. It is easy to calculate from this that Kingston in those days was a more populous town than Hot Springs is today. Misfortune here overtook the family; two years after their arrival Harvey J. Rouse, Grandma’s husband, died.
In 1908 Grandma and her family moved on the old Julian Chaves farm in Las Animas Canyon where they resided for several years.
The building of the great Elephant Butte Dam in the second decade of our present century, focused the attention of the entire state on the healing springs of our town; and it was perhaps quite natural that Grandma Rouse and her family were attracted by the prospects of the coming city of Hot Springs.
A host of friends accompanied the body to its last resting place, evidence of the great esteem in which she was held by the community. Highly respected and loved by all, her circle of acquaintances reached to the remotest hamlets of our state.
I need not dwell on the exemplary life she lived; on the helping hand she so often extended, the many deeds of kindness she performed; the memory of these things are too vivid in our minds. But this we must confess as we bid her farewell; she has left a niche in our lives which it will be hard for us to fill.
Signed by Otto Goetz.
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