The tombstone pictured today is that of Maria Friderick Phillipine Smith Hellmund and that of her children Joseph Frederick and Eliza. I have learned very little about Maria, other than the fact that she was either pregnant with or gave birth to her son, August, while on the sea voyage to the United States in September, 1860. I don't know where they landed or how they came to settle in Scales Mound, Jo Daviess County, Illinois. On one of my early ventures using a message board, I discovered a listing for Maria in the Citizens Cemetery, or the Scales Mound Cemetery as it is now called. Thanks to a wonderful volunteer, I was given several pictures of the tombstone and the surrounding cemetery. According to the stone and the cemetery record, Ernest and Maria's daughter, Eliza, died on August 29, 1872 at the age of only 3 months old. Maria soon followed her in death on September 12, 1872. The family must have been grieving terribly already and then Joseph Frederick died on November 28, 1872. I have been unable to discover the cause of any of their deaths, but it is possible there was some type of epidemic in the area at that time. Records for the Scales Mound area for this time period are difficult to come by.
I will share more about the Ernest Hellmund family story in my next post.