Sarah Elizabeth Cheek Yow was my great grandmother on my father, Raymond Yow’s side. She was said to be full blooded Cherokee, which I have tried unsuccessfully to document. She was born in Marble Hill MO. She had 10 siblings that I know about. Of course, in those days birth certificates were not legally required.
She was a tiny woman compared to her husband, Louis Calvin Yow.
She outlived ‘Cal’ by over 15 yrs. At some point in time she went to live with her son Fred Yow, pictured on the right in the above photo holding a child, probably his daughter. Fred had moved to Arkansas and that is where Sarah lived until her death in Clay County, Arkansas in 1931. (Cal had died in 1915)
According to her death certificate, her body was brought to Cape by train and buried in the City Cemetery (now known as Fairmount). However, the sexton of Fairmount had no record of her burial location. This was quite puzzling and it took me on a search to find out the truth of the matter. For months I followed every lead I could come up with but to no avail. The sexton had shown me where Louis Calvin Yow was buried (even though there was no marker, he had old records showing the location). He also told me that there was someone buried on each side of him, but neither of them was his wife, Sarah. *
Older family members told me that she was buried with Louis Calvin. So, somebody is wrong I thought.
But, finally, the truth was discovered. There was a family member still living who remembered that Sarah was buried with Louis Calvin, but not beside him. She was buried at his feet. Mystery solved.
One of the family members said that she may have been buried at his feet in death but that she definitely WAS NOT AT HIS FEET in life. 🙂 (I knew I liked that woman)
Thanks to my brothers, there is now a tombstone at the grave with both Louis Calvin & Sarah listed on it. I know I have a photo of it somewhere but I can’t find it. If I do find it, I will update this post with the photo.
*Legend has it that Indians were not allowed to be buried in white cemeteries, so some members of the family went in to the cemetery at night and buried Sarah there. I don’t know if this is in fact true but I do know that I was told in Marble Hill (when I was still searching for Sarah) that I would not find any tombstones for anyone of Indian heritage because it was not allowed. Others have said that Indians did not want to be buried in white cemeteries. They preferred to just walk off and die somewhere.
Whatever the reason(s) were, the only tombstones I found for Indians in the Marble Hill area were for Indian women who had married prominent white men.