Rose Alice Updike
BORN: May 22, 1872, in Bloomfield Township, Polk County, Iowa
DIED: September 18, 1958, in Holstein, Ida County, Iowa
AGED: 86 years, 3 months, 27 days
BURIED: Dow City Cemetery, Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa
FATHER: Adin H. Updike, born March 29, 1833, in Indiana. Died June 23, 1895 in Iowa.
MOTHER: Jane Thurston, born July 26, 1832 in Indiana. Died July 11, 1884 in Iowa.
MARRIAGE: to Wallace Edwards on October 7,1893, in Bell Town, Crawford County, Iowa
1. Edna Myrtle Edwards born November 25, 1893, in Crawford County, Iowa
2. Cecil Francis Edwards born December 2, 1894, in Ute, Monona County, Iowa
3. Grace E. Edwards born May 8, 1898, in Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa
4. Donald Lyle Edwards born June 6, 1911, in Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa
5. Dorothy Lois Edwards born June 6, 1911, in Dow City, Crawford County, Iowa
My paternal grandmother, Rose Alice (Updike) Edwards, is the only grandparent that lived long enough for me to remember. She was born in Bloomfield Township, in Polk County, Iowa, on May 22, 1872. Sometime after that, the family moved to Charter Oak in Crawford County, Iowa. She first shows up in the census tables for 1880, as a daughter 8 years of age, but not going to school for some reason. She's also in the Iowa Census for 1885, but no new information is given, except that she's 12 years old. The family was then living on a farm west of Charter Oak.
The U.S. Census for 1890 was destroyed in a fire, so there's no accounting for the family at that time.
The next big event for Rose was her marriage to Wallace Edwards. They met while Rose was working in a box factory in Sioux City, Iowa. They were married in a small village called Bell Town, in Crawford County, Iowa. The happy event took place on October 7, 1893. Their first child was a girl, named Edna Myrtle Edwards. She eventually became my aunt, Myrtle McCollough.
In 1900, Wallace and Rose were living in Hurdland Township in Clay County, Iowa. By that time, two other children had been born: Cecil Francis Edwards on December 2, 1894, and Grace E. Edwards on May 8, 1898.
The census for 1910 shows Wallace and Rose and their three children living on Third Street in Dow City, Iowa. Their last two children, Donald and Dorothy weren't born until June 6, 1911.
You can find Rose in the 1920 census, too. She and Wallace were still in Dow City, but no street name is given. By the time of the 1930 census, the family was living in Arion, a small town just east of Dow City.
I do have a few memories of Grandma Rose, because I was in the 9th grade when she died. I must have been around 14 at the time. I know that after Wallace passed away in 1946, she moved to Holstein, Iowa, to live with her daughter, Myrtle McCollough. She stayed in Holstein until her death in September of 1958. My memories of her are from the early to mid-1950s. By that time she was old and in failing health.
Grandma Rose usually sat in a wicker rocker in the corner of the living room. The poor soul couldn’t get around very well, and she used a cane to move slowly around the house. Then, after she fell and broke her hip, she used a walker that my uncle, Tom McCollough, made for her.
She had a crackly sounding voice, just like her daughter, Myrtle. She had a nice sense of humor, and when she read the comics, she laughed so deeply that her whole body shook. Rose had a large vocabulary and liked to read western novels. When we went to Holstein to visit for a weekend, my mother always took along several Zane Grey books for Grandma to read. Rose also read aloud to Wallace when they were living in Dow City and Arion.
Grandma Rose came to the kitchen to eat, and she always sat beside Aunt Myrtle at the table. She had all sorts of medicines that she took each day. My brother and I liked seeing all the different colored pills. In the afternoons, she always went to her room to take a nap, and we had to be quiet or go outside to play. She frequently wore an apron, even though she was too old to help prepare any meals. I also remember that she always wore heavy brown stockings with black shoes.
Grandma Rose was always kind to my brother and me, and she always took time to talk to us. I was only a kid then and didn’t understand or appreciate the opportunity that I had to ask her questions about her early life back in the 1880s and 1890s. Now, all I can do is speculate about it. Rose Alice (Updike) Edwards died on September 18, 1958. She's buried beside Wallace in the Dow City Cemetery, in Dow City, Iowa.