Martha Dodson (1844-1907)

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Martha Dodson McCandless
Born: 13 May 1844 Wayne Co., Kentucky
Died: 6 Jul 1907 South Haven, Kansas
Siblings: Martha Dodson
Spouse: Charles Robert McCandless
Married: 21 December 1868
Children: Frances Ann McCandless
Magdala Margaret McCandless
Helen Forrest McCandless
Mary Elizabeth McCandless
Malinda Thomasina McCandless
Thomas M. McCandless
Nena Patsy McCandless
Charles Franklin McCandless
Catherine Berriman McCandless
“The Life Story of Charles Robert McCandless”
By his daughter, Malinda Thomasina McCandless
With notes [in brackets] added by her Grandson, Gerald H Curtis


"The last time Mother came to see us [in Wichita] she could only stay a short time. Aunt Malinda packed her bags and went home [to the farm near South Haven] to take care of Mother. We had a cousin who called us every day to tell us how mother was. Mother kept falling all the time. Then one evening the call was ‘to come home as your Mother is failing fast.”’

"All the girls went home that evening but Fan and I. We could not go because we had just begun to serve supper [to the boarders]. We finished supper and put everything away so we could leave early the next morning. The next day [a Saturday] we closed the kitchen to the boarders and took the early morning train to South Haven. As we got off the train we were told our Mother had passed on just as the other girls got there the [Friday] evening before. She gave them a smile and passed on. [This was 6 July 1907, at the age of sixty-three.]

"This was on a Saturday and Mother was buried on Sunday, after the funeral, which was the largest ever known [in their small community] at that time. Father and Mother were the first settlers in southern Kansas and were known for miles around. Her funeral procession stretched for more than two miles from the church to the graveyard. Only the immediate family and close friends watched the burial. Her Pastor wrote a beautiful poem about her. I would include it, but it is too long.

“Fan, Helen and I came home [to the boarding house in Wichita] early the next Monday morning, Fannie and I to cook for the boarders, and Helen to clerk. The other children stayed a few days longer."

Martha Dodson McCandless was born 13 May 1844, in Wayne County, Kentucky and died at her home, three miles Southeast of this city [South Haven, Kansas] 6 July 1907.
She leaves a husband, eight children, three sisters and one brother, with many other relatives and a host of friends to mourn for her. Indeed she could number her friends by the people of her acquaintance.
The funeral services were held at the Baptist church in this city at 2:30 o’clock p.m. Sunday, July 7, 1907, conducted by her pastor, this writer, in the presence of a large gathering of neighbors and friends.
The body was laid to rest in Rose Hill cemetery to await the resurrection morn.
She was married to C. R. McCandless [Charles Robert] December 21, 1868, and to this union was born eight children, seven girls and one boy, all of whom were present at her funeral, though some of them were too late to be recognized at her bedside.
Seldom do we see a family so large all raised to be of age without a death in the family.
In 1870 they came west, settled in Ottawa County, Kansas, and the following year settled in Sumner County, where they have since resided.
Her life here, though unwritten, is well known. Sister McCandless was converted and united with the Polar Springs Baptist church in Barren County, Kentucky, at the early age of 11 years.
A life well spent in the service of her Lord and Master, she lived a consistent Christian life, was a faithful and true member of the South Haven Baptist church, a patient and faithful wife, a devoted and self-sacrificing mother. How we shall all miss her. We thank God for her unselfish and beautiful life.
The following piece of Poetry was found in her handkerchief box, as if to be discovered:
“When I am dead, My dearest.”
When I am dead, my dearest, sing no sad song for me:
Plant thou no rose at my head, no shady Cypress tree;
Be the green grass above me, with showers and dew drops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget
I shall not see the shadow, I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale sing on, as if in pain.
And dreaming through the twilight that doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember, and haply may forget.
Christiana G. Rossetti


  • 1880 Federal Census, South Haven, Sumner, Kansas:
McCandless, Charles
, Martha, wife, married, female, white, 34, KY, Keeping House, NC, NC