In 1856, Mary Isabelle Riley was born to Isaac Riley and Mary Dewit Higgins in Red Cloud, Nebraska. Her family later moved to Wilson County, Kansas – where Mary Isabelle met and married Miles Mallet McVay in 1876. They were soon blessed with a baby boy named Willie. She was pregnant with her second child when 8-month-old Willie died.
Four short months after she buried her firstborn, she gave birth on the 15th of December, 1877 to Edward Isaac McVay (my husband’s grandfather). In 1881, she had a daughter – Lillian May known as “Lillie” and in 1896, Gladys Madeline was born.
Mary Isabelle followed her railroad-working-husband all over New Mexico. She lived at about every spot where a train station was built. She often took the trains to travel with her daughters and to visit family and friends in Kansas.
She lost her husband in 1914 and in 1922, Gladys died. Last year, I found more information in New Mexico Deaths. Mary Isabelle Riley McVay died the 15th of July, 1925 in in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
My husband, Ron, wanted to find the grave of his g-grandmother, so we took the information we had and headed on a road trip to Las Vegas, New Mexico.
We walked thru the weeds and graves at the Odd Fellows Cemetery for a long time before we found her marker. It simply said, “Mrs. McVay.”