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Goldie Rowan
(1897-1903)

 

Goldie Rowan

Goldie Lucinda Jane Rowan was born in 1903 in Fayette County, PA, the daughter of Allen H. and Anna (Linderman) Rowan.

Her untimely death at age six inspired her grieving brother to pen a moving poem which we have today. 

Her young life also gives us a window into sales techniques of the early 20th century.

Sometime around the turn of the century, the Laing's Toilet & Perfumery Company of Bridgeport, CT, wrote to Goldie, at her home in Nicolay, Fayette County, PA, asking if she would sell its gold-plated, heart-shaped perfumed amulets to her friends. 

The form letter, on light blue paper, opens:  "We are in need of a good reliable party in your neighborhood to act as our agent. Your name as been given to us and we believe you would be the right party to sell our goods."

 

Maple Summit Cemetery

Her response is not known.

In the spring of 1903, Goldie came down with a bad case of "membranous croup." Her young body was unable to fight the disease, and on May 29, 1903, she died of its effects.  Her obituary in a Uniontown newspaper said she was "a very bright and intelligent child and will be greatly missed by her schoolmates."

She was buried at the Maple Summit Church of God cemetery. 

Her brother Marshall was away at the time, attending a type of high school at Barkeyville (PA) Academy, affiliated with the Church of God. He thus was unable to get back home to say goodbye.

Grief-stricken, he later penned a poem in tribute to his sister.  It's written on the stationery of his employer, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company.

 

Letter to Goldie, early 1900s. Below: her brother Marshall's eulogy.

 

Just a humble cottage homestead
Is the scene of this sad tale.
There a little girl was dying,
With a lovely face, but pale.

She had lived but seven summers,
'Ere her Father called her home.
She had made home bright and happy
Where all now was drear' and lone.

Mamma dear won't you come with me,
Was the words that she had said.
For I'm going home to Heaven
Please lay me on my little bed.

Where I used to sleep so sweetly,
As the summer months flew by.
Let me rest there this the last time,
For I know I'm going to die.

Now I have one other Brother,
He's away at Barkeyville.
Tell him how I wished to see him,
But 'twas not my Master's will.

Tell him I said be a good Boy
That's the message that I write.
Tell him that I died last Friday,
And I said to him Good night.

Then I want to ask a favor,
Sing my favorite Hymns for me.
In Pentecostal book you'll find them,
Two fifty six and four eighty three.

Now I'm getting very weary,
And so awful short of breath.
Then our household's fairest jewel,
Closed her little eyes in -- Death.

Little Goldie's no more with us
She has gone with God to stay.
But by God's own grace and Mercy
We'll meet again, the last Great Day.

Now to those who chance to read this
Think of me we who in our grief.
Fondly vow to meet our loved one,
The love of God our great relief.

                            --M. Rowan

 

Republished with permission of the family of the late Marshall E. Rowan. 
Copyright 2000, 2007, 2020 Mark A. Miner