Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tula's Incomplete Story


Scotie Hickman and Tula Fawcett
Scott Anthony Heckman
and Tula Faucett
Thankfully grandma's little suitcase still held a few more treasures, and so with pictures of Tula, along with a few records that I have been able to find,  I will finish what I know of  Tula's story.

A little more than a year following the death of her first husband, Charles, Tula remarried on April 18, 1899 in Salida, Colorado.  Her new husband, Scott Anthony Heckman lived in Salida, which is in a mountain valley several hours north of Tula's home in Alamosa.  How they met, I am not sure, but I suspect it possibly had something to do with the railroad.   According to census records, Scott was a brakeman for the railways and with Salida originally being a railroad town, and Alamosa being a rail center for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, I suspect there was opportunity for Scott to have spent at least some time in Alamosa.   

Following their marriage, Tula and Scott settled down in Salida.  The 1900 US Federal Census shows Scott Heckman as head of household with his wife Tula and three year old Ola, Tula’s child from her first marriage.  It would seem that 1902 was the beginning of better things for Tula.  Married, and with a four year old daughter whom she clearly adored, Tula was expecting her and Scott's first child.   Dorothy Heckman was born May 25, 1902, and for a short time, the Heckman household was composed of Scott, Tula, Ola and new baby Dorothy.  But once again tragedy hit Tula's life and just six months after Dorothy's birth, sweet little Ola died.  Tula and Scott took Ola's body back to Alamosa to be buried next to her father, a story I shared in a previous post.

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Tula  Faucett Heckman
and daughter, Dorothy Heckman
Specific details surrounding the next few years of Scott and Tula's life are unknown, but according to the 1910 census, Scott continued to work as a brakeman while he, Tula and Dorothy lived in Salida.  The 1920 census shows Scott, who was then 55 still living in Salida  but only his mother is shown living with him. Despite determined efforts, I have not been able to locate Tula anywhere on the 1920 census.  Meanwhile, their daughter, eighteen year old Dorothy, was living in Denver  with her aunt, Mildred Hickman. 

In 1930, Scott, still a brakeman, was living in a boarding house along with other lodgers.  Once again, searches for Tula are not fruitful.  However I was able to find Tula on the 1940 census living as as a lodger in Denver, Colorado.

Scott  passed from this life on May 21, 1938 and A Findagrave entry includes both a picture of Scott’s headstone and a transcribed obituary.  The obituary indicated that Scott left behind his wife Tula, yet it does not appear that they had been living together for some time. I would love to know the full story.  A Findagrave entry for Tula includes a picture of her headstone and indicates that she died 30 August 1949,.  A transcribed obituary also included on that site indicted that Tula had been living in Denver and had died in a Denver hospital, however she was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Salida, where Scott was also buried.

While I know something about the beginning of Tula's life in Georgia and the end of her life in Colorado, there are woefully large gaps in her story. Why wasn't she living with her father when they first arrived in Colorado from Georgia?   Just how did she meet Scott? Where was Tula between the 1910 and 1940 census years? What happened in her life during those thirty years?

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Photo: taken and shared by
Trena Ganus 


Thanks to the bond between sisters, Tula and Sarah, my great grandmother, I have pictures that help tell Tula's story.  I have additional pictures that have not been shared on this blog and am willing to share them with others.  My hope is that similarly someone else has details that they are willing to share with me and that those details will help fill in the gaps of Tula's life and therefore complete her story.


Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014

6 comments:

  1. Looking back into family history, it never ceases to impress upon me the difficulty of everyday life for those living a century ago (and even less).

    How wonderful that you have some photos and are willing to share them! Michelle, I hope you are able to connect with some of the distant relatives who will be able to share the rest of Tula's melancholy story.

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    1. It is amazing isn't it Jacqi? They endured so much and their stories are such a great lesson to me that things happen in life and we need to just keep plugging along and doing the best that we can. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Interesting story! Especially where was Tula between 1910 and 1940? I'm sure you have tried many creative spellings of the name. I wonder what she was doing as a "lodger" in 1940? I agree with the above comment, that maybe you can connect with other relatives, who might know more of the family story.

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    1. Thanks John. There is no end to the things I've tried! I've tried many variations and tried her maiden name and her name from her first marriage. I've looked for her with her siblings, her daughter and on and on. I've looked through the lists of hospitals etc. etc.

      I kept waiting to write her story until I knew all of the details, but finally decided that maybe someone could shed some light on the situation. I will hope!

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  3. Gosh. What a story. When you find out more I hope you can share it. Poor Tula. Good job Michelle. Love reading your stuff.



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  4. Thanks so much. If and when I learn more, I will certainly share! Maybe someday a descendant will google her name and find my blog and just maybe they will send me an email. I can hope.

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