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My great great grandparents, Thomas and Lovina Record Carson, married at a young age. They traveled together from Illinois to Kansas and made a home in Cowley County. At age 37 my great great grandfather died of typhoid fever. Lovina never married again, living thirty seven years as a widow. She raised their two children by working as a milliner and she also gave piano lessons.
Six years before his death, Thomas R. Carson wrote the following in his wife's autograph book:
"Vina, Looking back over the years gone by, just when they went, we cannot tell. Certain: one thing, they have gone and soon in the dust we'll lie.
Then let us make the best of our situation, resolving within ourselves that we will endeavor, come what will, to lighten the burden of each other.
T. R. Carson
Rock, Cowley County, Kansas
January 31, 1881"
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I like that: "to lighten the burden of each other." No flowery language or over the top dramatics, just talk of lightening each other's burdens.
This design incorporates both Thomas's and Lovina's pages from that autograph book, Lovina signing next to her husband's entry on the day of his death.