Tombstone Tuesday: George Nightingale

by Laurel | January 14th, 2014

18 June 1910

George Nightingale Tombstone

George Nightingale
May 19, 1846 – June 17, 1910

Death of George Nightingale
Veteran Paper Dealer Passes Away From Heart Disease

George Nightingale, 64, a veteran paper dealer, died at his home at the corner of Lincoln and Northampton streets [note: 175 Lincoln St.] yesterday morning, after an illness with heart disease. He was born in Boston, going to Holyoke about 1870, and was employed for a short time at the Riverside Paper Company as a clerk, and after was employed by the Whiting Paper Company. He was a member of the volunteer fire department and served at the time of the burning of the French Church in 1875. He was a member of the Edwin A. Whiting Veteran Firemen’s Association.In 1877 he went into the paper stock business as a member of the National Paper Company, which was located back of the present site of the post office. After a short time he opened business for himself on the other side of Main Street, and built the block adjoining the Whiting Street building on Main Street. He had continued in the paper stock business since that time. He built the house in which he lived in 1880. He leaves besides a widow, a brother, William P., and a sister, Miss Emma, of Arlington. The funeral will be held Monday afternoon at 2:30.

From The Springfield Republican.

Note: While it was not unusual for the widow to remain unnamed in an obituary during this time period, it inspired a search, especially because there is no inscription for a wife on this stone. George Nightingale married Katie J. Stines  on October 20, 1880  in Holyoke, a first marriage for each of them. George’s parents are recorded as George and Sarah Nightingale and no parent names are recorded for Katie J. Stines, though the records state she was born in New York, while George was born in Quincy.

Subsequent searching for more information on the widow of George Nightingale revealed some interesting facts, probably rather scandalous at the time:

09 December 1915

Woman of 57 Weds Man of 27
Widow Formerly of Holyoke
Mrs. Katherine J. Nightingale Left Large Estate by Husband, Marries Insurance Agent of Hartford, Ct.
Hartford, Ct., Tuesday, December 7.

Mrs. Katherine J. Nightingale, 57, widow of George Nightingale of Holyoke, and Harry L. Flentje, 27, an insurance agent of Hartford were married in Hartford November 27. The marriage was not known until today to any except a few close friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Flentje have known each other but a comparatively short time. Up to about a year ago he was an insurance clerk. Early in the year she offered him the position as her agent in caring for property in the West, but he refused the offer because the place was only temporary and because he wished to continue in the insurance business. A short time later he was made a special agent of a Hartford insurance company.

From that time they became intimate friends. Lately Mrs. Nightingale had placed an automobile at his disposal and at that of his parents, of whom he was the principle support. Mrs. Nightingale came to Hartford following the death of her husband in June 1910. he was a paper manufacturer and left an estate from $250,000 to $300,000.

And another article on the same topic:

12 December 1915

Holyoke friends and acquaintances were surprised to learn that Mrs. Katherine J. Nightingale, who lived in Holyoke a number of years before the death of her husband, George Nightingale, had married again, her new husband being Harry L. Fientje, an insurance agent 30 years her junior. The marriage was on November 27 at St. John’s Church in Hartford, Connecticut, and Mr. and Mrs. Flentje are now living at 435 Farmington Avenue.

Evidence indicates George Nightingale and Katie Stines possibly had a daughter, name unknown. A search for a record of her birth in Holyoke was unsuccessful. Based on the information in the following article, if accurate, she would have been born around 1894-1895. Again, odd that there is no mention of her in George Nightingale’s obituary.

19 February 1916
Marriage May Be Annulled

Providence, R.I., Feb. 19 — It is thought here today that the much married Miss Nightingale, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Nightingale is about to lose her third husband. Announcement was made yesterday of her marriage to Julian H. Preston, Jr., 17 years old and today the young man’s father is taking steps to have the marriage annulled.

Preston’s father is taking the lead in the annulment proceedings on the ground that his son has not yet attained the age of 21 years and therefore, has no right to receive a marriage certificate. The wedding of Miss Nightigale too place in New York January 31. The marriage license gives her age as 22 and his as 21, but he is known to be 17.

For now clues only to an intriguing mystery that requires more research.
Articles from The Springfield Republican

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