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Martha Jane (Knight) Webb
(1875-1975)

 

Martha Jane (Knight) Webb was born on Sept. 12, 1875 at Scott, Van Wert County, OH, the daughter of Daniel Harry and Caroline Elizabeth (Llewelyn) Knight. She lived to the age of 100.

"Mattie" married Reason Palmer "Reas" Webb (1871-1935), a native of Mercer, OH, and the son of David and Ellen Webb. 

They had two daughters, Murial Winifred Webb and Thelma Merrick Clark.

Sadly, their daughter Winifred, born on July 31, 1897, lived just a little more than a year. She died at the age of 13 months in the late summer, on Aug. 26, 1898. The cause of her passing is not known. Her tender remains were laid to rest at the Ridge Cemetery near Gladwin. The epitaph on her grave marker reads: “Sleep on, sweet babe and take thy rest. We loved thee here but Jesus loved thee best.”

Reas was a well known Gladwin resident and considered a "public spirited man." He was a member of the Masons lodge and active in many other community initiatives.

Reas died in Saginaw, MI on Oct. 15, 1935, at the untimely age of 64. His passing generated headlines in the local newspaper, which in an obituary reported that he:

... operated a harness shop, dray business and was for 21 years connected with The Standard Oil Company. During the past year, he has been a member of the Gladwin County Road Commission, being elected in November.... In respect to the memory of Mr. Webb all Gladwin business stores closed during the hours of his funeral. The Board of Supervisors also adjourned their session during the afternoon.

 

Gladwin's Secord Bridge, one of the roads and structures Reas Webb would have helped administer as a member of the county road commission

 

His wife outlived him by some four decades.

On her 100th birthday, in September 1975, Mattie received a congratulatory letter from President Gerald R. Ford.

Mattie died on Nov. 25, 1975 at Gladwin, MI. She is buried with her husband at Highland Cemetery near Gladwin.

 

~ Daughter Thelma (Webb) Merrick Clark ~

Daughter Thelma Webb (1900- ? ) was born on Nov. 14, 1900 in Gladwin. As a girl, she and her cousin Eve (Knight) Bender were best of friends. In a story related by Eva's daughter Dorothy (Bender) Krieg, the two girls attended Sunday School together at a little church in the town of Riley. One of Thelma's favorite songs began with the phrase "I am so glad that my Father in Heav'n tells of His love in The Book He has giv'n,..." and concludes with the phrase "I am so glad that Jesus loves me -- Jesus loves even me."  The impressionable Thelma believed that this hymn had been written especially for her and Eva, because of the lyric, "Jesus loves Eva 'n me."

At the age of 22, she married Leonard J. Merrick (1901-1938) on May 3, 1922. He was the son of George and Elmira (Carbeno) Merrick.

They had two children --Leonard James Merrick and Patricia Merrick. The family lived in Saginaw, Midland and Gladwin, where Leonard found employment as a mail carrier and deputy sheriff.

Sadly, Leonard passed away in Gladwin at the age of 36, on Jan. 28, 1938. He was laid to rest in the Highland Cemetery. The cause of his death is unknown. On his grave marker, the letters "F L T" were inscribed within the oval links of a chain, signifying his membership in the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF). The letter "F" stood for friendship, the letter "L" for love and "T" for truth.

Later, Thelma wed Herb Clark. They resided in Michigan, but later in life spent most of the year in Florida, with summers spent in Michigan. 

Her fate is unknown. 

Son Leonard James Merrick (1923- ? ) was born in 1923 in Gladwin. He was age 14 when his father died.

Daughter Patricia Merrick (1930- ? ) was born in 1930 in Gladwin.

 

Copyright © 2001, 2006, 2011 Mark A. Miner