Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Jichas' final resting places

I wrote a couple of years ago about George and Kate Jicha, Blanche Branch's grandparents, who emigrated from Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic) in about 1881 and took part in the Oklahoma Land Run in 1889. George died in December of that year, and Kate died in 1897.

I knew already that George was buried at Maguire-Fairview Cemetery, a secular cemetery east of Noble (see photo below). But I didn't know where Kate was buried until I saw online a photo (left, click to enlarge) of her grave marker, contributed by a third cousin. She is at St. Joseph's Catholic Church Cemetery in Norman, which is within the I.O.O.F. Cemetery north of the city. If you remember how she traveled five thousand miles, pioneered two prairie homesteads, and raised seven children, the words "At Rest" on her stone take on a little extra meaning.

George and Kate were Catholic, of course; their children, as far as I know, all became Protestants (though some of their descendants today are Catholic). At first I thought it was curious that Kate had chosen a Catholic cemetery for herself but not for her husband. But then I remembered when they died: I think it's entirely possible that a Catholic cemetery had not yet been established in their area when George died, just eight months after the Land Run.

Anyway, if you're ever in the area and want to give them a shout, here's how to get there:
Maguire-Fairview Cemetery
St. Joseph's Catholic Church Cemetery

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