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Mary Lula Briley Crump – Fairmount Cemetery, Hodgeman, Kansas

The headstone reads: Willard J. 1913-Age1 M. Lula Briley 1893-1913

Mary Lulu Briley was the daughter of Frank J. and Clara Bickel Briley. Mary was born and raised in Hodgeman County.

She became the bride of John Nelson Crump in 1912 and the couple settled in Ford County.

John Nelson Crump has his own remarkable story. He was born on Christmas Day 1893 in Oregon. His father, John Goodall Nelson enlisted in the 16th VA Confederate Infantry. He fought at Gettysburg and was there when General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

After the war, John G. married Mary Ann Hash and they were the parents of five children including the two youngest, Elizabeth and John Nelson. By the time of John’s birth, the Crump family was living in Oregon. Mary Anna died when John was 13 months old. John G. was crippled from his time in the war and did not expect to live much longer. Thus, he approached John R. Cook, a Union veteran, to take care of his 16-year-old daughter, Elizabeth and 4-year-old son, John Nelson.

Having no children themselves, John Cook and his wife, Alice accepted. Elizabeth married and remained in Oregon. The 1910 US Federal Census has John and his wife Alice, and adopted son, John N. Crump were living at Fort Dodge in Ford County. John R. was the cook and John N. was his assistant.

Mary Lulu Briley and John Nelson Crump were married in Hodgeman County in 1912. The following year, Mary died on June 20th. Their son, Willard, died on July 13th. They are both buried on the same stone in Fairmount Cemetery.

John Nelson remarried in 1916 and had four children. He died in 1960 and is buried in Missouri.

John’s adoptive father, John R. Cook died in 1917 and his buried at the Kansas Veterans Cemetery at Ford Dodge, Kansas.

Note: John Ross Cook wrote a book about his experience as a buffalo hunter in the book The Border and the Buffalo.

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