Frank Baum 1856-1919 – Going Beyond the Obits

Lyman Frank Baum, the author of the many books about the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was born today – May 15, 1856 – in Chittenango, Madison County, New York.


When he died obituaries appeared in newspapers around the country like this obituary that appeared in the Duluth (MN) News Tribune (8 May 1919).

It was written from the perspective of his sister-in-law Helen Leslie Gage (1845-1933) who lived at the time in Duluth.

Over the years there were many articles about L. Frank Baum in the newspapers.

Less well known is that late in his life he began to serialize his books and short stories in newspapers across the country under the title the Wonderful Stories of Oz.

Here is an ad for this series that appeared in the Salt Lake (UT) Telegram (7 January 1919).

Remember that GenealogyBank goes beyond the obituaries and gives you the complete issues of the historical newspapers. That means you may search every article and every advertisement that appeared in the paper. A real gold mine of information about our ancestors.

Give it a try right now and see what you can find about your ancestors. Click here.

Private William Christman – first burial in Arlington Cemetery May 13, 1864

The first burial on the grounds of what would become Arlington National Cemetery was on May 13, 1864.

Private William Christman was buried in the rose garden in front of General Robert E. Lee’s home in Arlington, Virginia. He was serving with Company G, 67th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Click here to see his headstone.

In May 1863 Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton ordered the creation of the “Freedman’s Village for the protection of the Black man and his family, upon the Arlington estate, belonging to the Rebel General Lee.” The Liberator, 15 July 1864.

June 15, 1864 Secretary Stanton ordered that the grounds around the Lee home be used as a military cemetery – which would soon be known around the world as Arlington National Cemetery.

The newspapers of the day loved it that the Lee home and grounds were used to house and give the freedmen a new start and a military cemetery to honor the nation’s war dead.

“How appropriate that Lee’s lands should be dedicated to two such noble purposes – the free living Black man whom Lee would enslave and the bodies of the dead soldiers who Lee has killed in a wicked cause. Let this record stand to the everlasting credit of Secretary Stanton.”
The Liberator, 15 July 1864.

In GenealogyBank you may read many more articles about the creation of Arlington National Cemetery and the Freedman’s Village. Look for them in the Historical Newspapers and in the Historical Documents which includes the US Serial Set – where there are also numerous government reports detailing the progress of both operations.