Columbus Sells

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Brumley Family -Columbus Sells my great-grandfather. He was born on October 30, 1869, to Marion Sells and Samaria Alice Thompson-Traister in Kahoka, Clark, Missouri. Columbus had a nickname and it was Lum. His other siblings were Sarah Maria 1863,  Marion Emanuel 1865, Darcus Anna 1867, Elijah Marion1873, Samaria Alice 1874,  Amos 1876, Edith Lucretia 1878, Dollie 1881, Lottie 1882, Grover Cleveland 1884, and John Wesley Sells 1889.

The Missouri Census says his family remained in Clark County for many years from 1869 until 1896 in different small towns within the county. Kahoka, Jefferson, and Chambersburg are where the family lived.

On November 14, 1894, in Kahoka, Missouri he married my great-grandmother, Gertrude Wilburn Nichols. He was over the age of twenty-one but she was under eighteen so her mother had to give her consent for this marriage. Once married they began to start their family. Gertrude gave birth to Wilburn in 1894, soon after came John Wesley in 1896. The family suffered the tragic death of their first born son on August 4, 1899. The cause of death is not known. Wilburn was only five years old. My grandmother Nellie Opal was born in 1900 and her sister Sylvia Pearl Sells was born in 1902.

On the 1900 Missouri Census, Columbus and Gertrude were living in Farmington, Van Buren, Iowa. In 1905 they were living in Fort Madison, Lee, Iowa, and by 1910 they were living Union, Laclede, Missouri.

Gertrude developed pneumonia and did not recover from it and died on November 19, 1919, and they were living in Springfield, Greene, Missouri at the time of her death. She was buried Hazelwood Cemetery in Springfield. They were a poor family and could not afford a headstone for her. Years later, my aunt, Shirley Ann Brumley Stevens bought a headstone for her.

After his wife’s death, he remained in Springfield and became distraught over his wife’s death.  On the Kansas State Census Columbus was working as a laborer living alone in 1925. The 1930 Census finds him as an inmate in the Jackson County, Missouri Home for the Aged and Infirmed (Homeless Poor Farm), the census was taken April 15, 1930.

It was later that year in October that his brother Grover and his wife came to visit from Fort Madison. They found him in a confused state and not in a healthy. It was at that time they removed him from the Poor Farm and took him to the St. Joseph Psychiatric Rehab Hospital for treatment, better known as the State Hospital #2 in St. Joseph, Buchanan, Missouri.  He remained in the hospital until his death on May 16, 1932. He died of Cerebral Arteriosclerosis and Bronchial Pneumonia. He was buried in the hospital cemetery.

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