In short, death certificates issued by the state of Missouri that are fifty years old or older (since 1910) are made available to the public due to a collaboration between the Missouri State Archives, the Missouri State Library, and the State Historical Society of Missouri.
I had just started to become more interested in genealogy when this occured. At that time, the death certificates were not all online and it required ordering them via snail mail for $1. You could only order 5 at one time.
Why am I telling you this? It brings me to how I became acquainted with Isaac William Jackson Stapp, the older brother of my great-grandmother, Daniel Greene Stapp.
This Isaac was the older brother of Daniel Greene Stapp, Eunice's husband. There's an old saying that my mother taught me and I'm not sure how true it is but it works in this situation. "The first one can come at any time, it's the second one that takes nine months." Why do I say this?
According to Isaac's parent's marriage license, they were married on March 27, 1898. As you can see on Isaac's death certificate, he was born just under five months later on August 16, 1898.
He died on December 2, 1916 from gangrene of the legs and buttocks at the age of 17.
What happened for him to get gangrene? Was he injured? Was it an infection? Was it both? I asked my grandmother, since this was her uncle, and she didn't know anything about it.
untreated or poorly treated wound due to:
farm equipment accident
poor circulation due to:
tobacco use (unlikely due to location)
What have I done to uncover the cause? I've done newspaper research from 1916 to find any news articles on an accident which may have occurred in Christian County, Missouri. I have ruled out military service due to the statement on the death certificate which said that the accident/illness happened at place of death. No other family member in the household died around the same time which leads me back to some type of wound or infection.
How do YOU think Isaac William Jackson Stapp contracted gangrene of the legs and buttocks? Place your speculation in the comments!
"Missouri Death Certificates, 1910 – 1963." Missouri Digital Heritage : Death Records Certificates. Missouri Office of the Secretary of State, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. <http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/deathcertificates/Results.asp?&tLName=Stapp&tFName=Isaac&sCounty=Christian&tYear=1916#searchdeat>.