Ellen Eliza Firth was is great great and a grandmother. She was the fifth child of George Firth and Susan Elliott, born May 18, 1868 in Winnebago County, Illinois. When she was about a year old, her parents moved the family to Buchanan County, Iowa. There she grew to adulthood and married Oscar Torrence on March 2, 1892. In 1907, Oscar and Ellen moved their children to De Smet, Kingsbury County, South Dakota.
She and Oscar had nine children. She died Nov. 2, 1912 of ‘diabetic shock’ aged just 44, her youngest child less than a year old.
Transcript of their marriage record from Buchanan County, Iowa
Full name of groom: Oscar W. Torrence
Groom place of birth: Brandon
” place of Resided: Westburg
” fathers name: John O. Torrence
” mothers name: Mary Emogene Briggs
” occupation: Farmer
” age next birthday: 23
Full name of bride: E. E. Firth
Bride place of birth: Winnebago, Ill
” place of Resided: Westburg
” fathers name: George
” mothers name: Susan Elliott
” age next birthday: 24
Marriage date: March 2, 1892 – Place: Independence, Iowa
Marriage affidavit made by: John E. Firth
Witnesses: Elsie B. Firth and Mrs. M.H. Smith
Married by: M. H. Smith, Clergyman(9)
Thursday, Nov. 14, 1912, Brandon Journal, obituary:
Mrs. E. E. Torrence. Ellen Eliza Firth was one of several children born to George and Susan Firth, and was born in Winnebago county, Ill, May 18, 1868. When a child of a few months she removed with her parents to Iowa, settling on a farm in Westburg township, where she grew to womanhood. March 3, 1892, she was united in marriage to Oscar W. Torrence. They made their home in Iowa until 1907, when they removed to De Smet, SD, where she passed away, Saturday, Nov. 2, 1912. She leaves to mourn her death besides her husband, 9 children, Harold, Mabel, Willie, Johnnie, Mildred, Frances, Elsie and a nine month old baby girl. She leaves her aged father, 4 brothers and 4 sisters, John, Charles H., Frank T., and Sara A. Firth, all of Independence, and George J. Firth, of Medicine Hat, Canada; Mrs. Nettie E. Clark of Neosho, Miss [note – this is Missouri]; Emma E. Miller, of Clear Lake, SD, and Alice C. Neidy, of Winthrop.
Nov. 12, 1912, The Winthrop News Conservative, obituary, abstracted info…
Ellen Eliza Firth, one of several children of George and Susan Firth, was born May 18, 1868, in Winnebago County, Ill, …as a child of a few months she came with her parents to Iowa to a farm in Westburg township, where she grew up…married Oscar W. Torrence on March 2, 1892, and made her home in the Winthrop area for a number of years…in March 1906 she removed with her husband to De Smet, SD, where she died, Nov. 2, 1912,…survived by her husband and nine children, Harold, Mabel, Willie, Nellie, John, Mildred, Frances, Elsie and a 9 month old baby girl…leaves aged father, four sisters, and four brothers, John E., Charles H., Frank, J. and S.A. Firth, all of Independence; George J, of Medicine Hat, Canada; Nettie E. Clark of Nesho, Miss [note – this is Missouri], Emma E. Miller, Clear Lake, SD; Alice E. Neidy, Winthrop, …funeral at the Methodist Episcopal church with interment in the De Smet Cemetery.
(Note: there are nine children listed in this obit and only eight in the Brandon Journal version.)
1. “1870 Federal Census – Sumner, Buchanan County, Iowa – George Firth household,” 27 August 1870, Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003. Original data: 1870. .
2. “1880 Federal Census – Westburg Twp, Buchanan County, Iowa – John Elliott household,” Book.
Family History Library Film 1254329
NA Film Number T9-0329
Page Number 606B
3. “1895 Iowa State Census index,” Ancestry.com database, Ancestry.com Iowa State Census, 1895 [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2003. Original data: Iowa. 1895 Iowa State Census. State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa., Census.
4. “1900 Federal Census – Fremont Twp, Buchanan County, Iowa – Oscar Torrence household,” Heritagequestonline.com, Series: T623 Roll: 420 Page: 50, Census.
Census taken 1 June 1900
5. “1910 Federal Census – Hartland Twp, Kingsbury County, South Dakota – Oscar Torrence household,” Heritagequestonline.com, Series: T624 Roll: 1483 Page: 74, Census.
Census taken 2 May 1910
6. “Buchanan County Birth Records,” Buchanan County Genealogical Society, Book.
7. “1885 Iowa State Census – Sumner Twp, Buchanan County, Iowa – John O. Torrence household,” HeritageQuest microfilm, Page 137, Census.
8. “1880 Federal Census – Jefferson Township, Buchanan County, Iowa – John O. Torrence household,” Ancestry.com database, Family History Library Film 1254329 NA Film Number T9-0329 Page Number 515A, Census.
9. Marriage certificate (full citation available upon request)