On this day in 1952 . . .

Mary G. Riordan died in Helena, Montana, on this day in 1952. She was 74 years old.

Certificate of Death: Mary Riordan
Certificate of Death: Mary Riordan 1
Her death certificate shows that she had surgery six days prior to her death. The medical findings following the operation were stated as: “Metastases to the liver. Inoperable Carcinoma of Caecum.”

Dr. Hawkins “attended” Mary for several weeks, beginning on October 23rd – until her death on the 13th. She was a patient at St. John’s Hospital during that time.

Prior to her hospitalization, it appears Mary was living with her daughter, “Mrs. Cid Dalin” – aka Georgiana Frances Dalin.

Mary’s regular place of residence before she became ill was Marysville, about 23 miles northwest of Helena. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1878 and came to the Montana Territory with her mother in 1879.

With the exception of a short period of time when she lived in Kansas in 1945, Mary lived her entire life in Marysville.

Marysville, Mont., Mrs. Mary Schaffer Riordan's home. July-19-1949
Mary’s house in Marysville, Montana. July 19, 19492
  1. State of Montana, Certificate of Death no. 307 (1952), Mary Riordan; Office of Vital Statistics, Helena.
  2. Photograph of Mary Riordan’s house, 1949; privately held by Stella Dalin, Montana, who provided a copy to Lark M. Dalin Robart, New Mexico.

Mary Gertrude Rumping

My paternal great grandmother, Mary Gertrude Rumping, was born March 3, 1878 in St. Louis, Missouri – the daughter of Eva Frances Specht and John Henry Rumping.  One year later, in order to join her father who had earlier arrived in Montana Territory, Eva and one-year-old Mary made a 3-month boat trip from St. Louis, Missouri to Fort Benton, Montana Territory – followed by another 160-mile stage trip from Fort Benton to Belmont, near present-day Marysville.

The details of Mary’s life are more completely detailed in her journal entries, personal papers and photographs, but here is a short outline of the major events in her life:

  • 1891 (age 12 or 13)  – Mary made her First Holy Communion while visiting her mother’s hometown of North Vernon, Indiana
  • 1893 (age 14) – Mary’s mother Eva filed for divorce against her father, John
  • 1895 (age 17)  – Mary graduated from high school in May and by the fall, she had obtained a teacher’s certificate
  • August 1900 (age 22)  – Mary married George Schenk
  • 1901 to 1910 (age 23 to age 32) – Mary and George had four children
  • March 1909 (age 31)  – After a long drawn-out legal battle, Mary’s parents were finally divorced
  • July 1912 (age 34) – Mary’s mother Eva died
  • February 1914 (age 35) – Mary and George had a fifth child, Valentine
  • April 1915 (age 37) – Valentine died
  • October 1915 (age 37) – George Schenk died at age 38
  • November 1916 (age 38) – Mary married Albert Schaffer
  • January 1921 (age 42)  – Mary had a son who was either stillborn or died the same day
  • December 1921 (age 43) – Mary’s father John died in Bisby, Arizona
  • June 1934 (age 56) – Mary’s 2nd husband Albert died
  • February 1945 (age 67) – Mary married Eugene Riordan and moved to Kansas
  • July 1945 (age 68) – Eugene died in an auto accident and Mary moved back to Marysville, Montana
  • November 1952 (age 74) – Mary died in Helena, Montana

Mary’s children

                                                      Irene, Georgie, Pete and Evelyn Schenk

Mary and George Schenk had five children:

Georgiana “Georgie” Frances Schenk, born in 1901 (2nd from left).  Mary sometimes referred to her as “Fran” in her journal, especially when she became an adult.  Fran married Cid Dalin in 1921 and lived in Helena, Montana.  They had four children and she died in 1966.

Christopher “Pete” Schenk, born in 1903 (2nd from right).  Mary sometimes referred to him as “Chris”.  He married Helen Smigaj in 1934 and they lived for a time in Marysville.  Eventually they moved to Bonners Ferry, Idaho.  They had two children and Pete died in 1960.

Irene Mary Schenk, born in 1906 (far left).  Irene married John Weber and lived in Butte, Montana.  They had one daughter.  Irene died in 1985.

Evelyn Kate Schenk, born in 1910 (far right).  Evelyn was married for a short time to Fred Marks and then married William Butner.  As an adult, she lived in Missouri and then in California.  She died in 1997.


                                                           Valentine Dora Schenk circa 1914

Valentine Dora Schenk, born February 14, 1914.  She died a little over a year later on April 2, 1915.


Mary’s siblings

                                                    John and Willie Rumping circa 1898

John (on the left in this photo) was born in 1881.  William (“Willie”) (on the right) was born two years later in 1883.  The date on the back of this photo is stated to be 1898 so John would be  about 17 and Willie is about 15.

         Maud and Mary Rumping [date unknown, but probably about 1895]
Mary’s younger sister, Maud, was born in 1884.  She is on the left in this photo and Mary is on the right.  The date of this photo is unknown but Mary does refer to herself on the back as “Miss Mary Rumping” – so the date must be prior to her marriage to George, which was in 1899.