21 August 2008

The Problem With Pauline - Part 4

Before I go any further with Pauline, I need to introduce you to the cast of characters.

Pauline’s parents - John Philip Sheern/Sharon and Mary Brice
Pauline’s siblings - Thomas Eugene Sheern/Sharon
John J. Sheern/Sharon
Joseph Francis Sheern/Sharon
Ada Kathryn Sheern/Sharon
Winifred “Minnie” Sheern/Sharon

Ada is married to Rudolph Markgraf. He is an accomplished architect. They lived in Kansas City, Missouri. They have 4 daughters:
1. Frieda who marries Cyril A. Prouty
2. Helen who marries Gustave Wolf
3. Marie who marries Eugene Rainey
4. Kathryn who died at age 14

Minnie married 3 times and lived in Kansas City, Missouri:
1. Lyman C. Hughes
2. Frank Vestal
3. Werner Herhold

On the day before I received the death certificate of Helen Hunt, I found yet another article in the Idaho Statesman dated June 13, 1908. Well, not really an article. It was 1 sentence in the society gossip column:

“Mrs. Mary Sharon and Mrs. Minnie Vestal are guests of Helen Hunt.”

Well it looks like Helen Hunt knew Pauline’s mother and sister.

The next day the death certificate for Helen Hunt came in the mail. OMG! Helen is Pauline! On the certificate it states:

Name of Father: J. P. Sharon
Name of Mother: Mary Brice

Well I need to get more proof. The death certificate gave the name of the funeral home: Summer Funeral Home in Boise, Idaho. The nice lady in the office sent me a copy of the file via email. Hurray, no waiting! The file consisted of 1 sheet of paper, but oh what an important piece of paper. Here is some of what it told me:

Date: 13 September 1917
Name of Deceased: Helen Hunt
Charge to: John Sharon
Address: c/o Mrs. A. C. Prouty
Order given by: Dick Childs
Name of Father: J.P. Sharon
Name of Mother: Mary Brice
Total Cost: $58.00

Well, Well, Well. The plot thickens. The name Dick Childs should ring a bell. In the article about the death of Helen Hunt, it mentions that a neighbor had noticed the fire and called for help. Only a surname was given - Childs. The John Sharon who is responsible for paying the bill must be Pauline’s brother John because her father John had died 11 years previously. Mrs. C. A. Prouty? Well that is Pauline niece Frieda, the daughter of her sister Ada. Just a note : John Sharon had to make 3 payments to pay off the bill.

One more document I needed to convince me was the cemetery record. Oh and it was a good one too. The funeral home record told me that Helen/Pauline was buried at Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise, Idaho. Another phone call and another email later and I had all the proof I needed. It identifies the deceased exactly
like this:


OK, Now I have a thousand and one questions here are a couple for starters:
It appears that Pauline/Helen’s family knew that she used both names as well as her neighbor. Why? For what reason?

It appears that Pauline/Helen was financially well-off, extremely well-off. Why did her brother have to pay for the funeral? Poor man had to make 3 payments over a year’s time to pay it off. Why didn’t Pauline/Helen’s estate foot the bill?


  1. Perhaps her wealth was tied up in real estate?

  2. My, you were up early...or was it late?

    What a fascinating search you have with the perils of Pauline. I am geneasmacked by both your research skill and your good luck.

    How much of this did you know at Samford? All of it? Or did you just look for the obituary recently? Tell us more!

    Cheers -- Randy