This is an examination of death certificate of Delia Watts, my great grandmother.
Block 1. Place of Death: Marshall Hospital, city of Marshall, Searcy County, Arkansas. Length of stay was two days, indicating she entered the hospital on Thursday, 22 February 1962. The date stamped in block 1a reads “MAR 12 1962” and could be when the state filed the death certificate.
I’m not certain of the exact location of Marshall Hospital. There doesn’t appear to be a medical facility by that name in Marshall now.
Block 2. Usual Residence: Route 1, Marshall, Searcy County, Arkansas. Blocks e and f indicate that her residence was on a farm outside the city limits.
Block 3. Name of deceased: Dellia May Watts.
Her given name was Cordelia, but it was often shortened on documents. The 1900 census, the first to enumerate her, flipped her names and called her May C. Kimbrell. 1910 census called her Cordelia, one of the few instances of her proper first name. At her marriage to William Marley Watts in 1910, she was called Delia. The 1920 census again used her proper name, Cordelia. The 1930 census called her Delie M. The 1940 census recorded her as Dealy. Her grave marker reads Delia M.
This death certificate and the 1900 census are the only documents I’ve seen that recorded her middle name, and both spelled it May. It is spelled Mae on her Find a Grave memorial. Given the lack of support for the Mae spelling, I’ve amended this blog and my family tree to reflect the May spelling.
Watts was her married name, obviously. Her maiden name was Kimbrell.
Block 4. Date of death: 24 February 1962. It was a Saturday.
Block 5. Sex: Female.
Block 6. Color or race: White.
Block 7. Married, Never Married, Widowed, or Divorced: Widowed.
Her husband William Marley Watts died ten months earlier, on Monday, 10 April 1961.
Block 8. Date of birth: 7 January 1893. It was a Saturday.
Looks like the typist slipped up, originally typing 1993 before correcting it.
Block 9. Age (In years at last birthday): 69 years.
That is consistent with her birth date in block 8.
Block 10a. Usual Occupation: Homemaker.
Block 10b. Kind of Business or Industry: Blank.
Block 11. Birthplace: Arkansas.
It’s likely that Cordelia was born in Wileys Cove Township, Searcy County. The 1900 census recorded her parents there.
Block 12. Citizen of what country? USA
Block 13. Father’s Name: John W. Kimbrell.
The W was for William.
Block 14. Mother’s Maiden Name: Mollie O,neal.
She was Mary M. O’Neal, but was often recorded as Molly or Mollie on documents. Notice that the typist placed a comma rather than an apostrophe in O’Neal.
Block 15. Was deceased ever in U. S. armed forces? No.
Block 16. Social Security No.: None.
Though Social Security numbers began issuance in 1936, some 26 years earlier, Cordelia apparently did not apply for one.
Block 17. Informant: Mrs. Millard Kelley, Rt. 1, Marshall, Ark.
Mrs. Kelley was Cordelia’s daughter, Erma Adena Watts.
Block 18. Cause of death: Congestive heart failure due to ASHD.
ASHD probably refers to arteriosclerotic heart disease. I’m no doctor, but I looked it up at the Mayo Clinic web site. “Arteriosclerosis occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body (arteries) become thick and stiff — sometimes restricting blood flow to your organs and tissues.”
420.0 is a cause of death code indicating “arteriosclerotic heart disease, including coronary disease,” confirming my diagnosis above.
The intervals between onset and death are given as 2 days for the congestive heart failure, and 3-4 years for the arteriosclerosis.
Block 19. Was autopsy performed? No.
Blocks 20a-f: All blank, to be filled only in the event of an unnatural death such as accident, suicide, or homicide.
Block 21. The doctor indicated he attended the deceased from 10 November 1962 to 24 February 1962, which makes absolutely no sense unless the doctor was also a time traveler. I believe he meant to write 10 November 1961. The time of death is blank.
Blocks 22a-c. I’m not certain about the doctor’s signature. To me it looks like Joel Hrulls, M.D., but I haven’t found any sources to corroborate that. Address appears to be Bx 46, Marshall, Ark. Date signed is 3/5/62, or 5 March 1962.
Blocks 23a-d. These blocks contain Cordelia’s internment details. She was buried Monday, 26 February 1962 at Rambo Cemetery. Marshall is given as the location of the cemetery, but it is merely the nearest city. The cemetery is up on the mountain above Marshall, in 1962 accessible via a dirt road.
Block 24. Funeral Director: Appears to say Russell Sisso, Marshall, Ark.
Block 25. Date Recd. by Local Reg: 5 March 1962, a Monday.
Block 26. Registrar’s Signature: Mary Hays, PHr. I don’t know what PHr indicates.
Ancestry.com, Arkansas, Death Certificates, 1914-1969 (Lehi, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2019), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Arkansas Department of Vital Records; Little Rock, Arkansas; Death Certificates; Year: 1962; Roll: 1. Record for Dellia May Watts. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=61777&h=802755&indiv=try.
Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/42275213/cordelia-mae-watts : accessed 9 May 2021), memorial page for Cordelia Mae “Delia” Kimbrell Watts (7 Jan 1893–24 Feb 1962), Find a Grave Memorial ID 42275213, citing Mainord Rambo Cemetery, Marshall, Searcy County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by nancy weaver (contributor 46992548) .
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Arteriosclerosis / Atherosclerosis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Mar. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arteriosclerosis-atherosclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350569.
Wolfbane Cybernetic Home Page. “International List of Causes of Death, Revision 7 (1955),” May 25, 2001. http://www.wolfbane.com/icd/icd7h.htm