Whooping Cough Claims A Child

Rebecca and Jack

Jack Samuel Parmer with his mother Rebecca Ruth. Photo courtesy of Robert E. Parmer Jr.


Tragedy hit in 1921 when son Jack Samuel died of whooping cough at age 1 yr 7 months 22 days.  Whooping cough has been around at least since the middle ages.  Vaccines were not developed until the 1930-1940s, so in 1921, vaccines were not available.  Whooping Cough outbreaks were not uncommon and the vaccine,  understandably, was welcomed.  What sorrow must have ensued for the whole family.  He is buried in Mellinger Mennonite Cemetery.


Jack S Parmer headstone

Memorial for Jack– Born 30 June 1919,   Died 22 Feb 1921





Marriage And Family

On October 10, 1897, Samuel E. and Rebecca Ruth were married.

Rebecca Ruth
Rebecca Ruth, date unknown.

Samuel had a sixth grade education and Rebecca had a fifth grade education.  We know this thanks to the 1940 Census.  I just love the census records!  Although their questions were determined for other purposes, they sure do help us get to know a little about the lives of our forefathers.

Samuel and Rebecca had four children–Robert Elwood, Mildred (Myrtle) R., Pearl I., and Jack.  There’s a 19 year gap between Robert and Jack.  Jack was born 11 years after Pearl.


samuel E and Robert Elwood

Samuel E. Parmer and son Robert Elwood Parmer