The grave marker simply said “Mrs. McVay”

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.”

My Boone Family

My great-grandmother was Maude Eppa Blanche Boone (1891-1973).  My memories of her are of an old lady who played hide-and-seek and would wander out of the house to collect flowers along the roadside. Yet, she had a lineage that is written of in history books. The George Boone III family were Quakers who left England in the early 1700s to escape religious persecution. They settled in Pennsylvania, worked for William Penn, attended church with the grandparents of Abraham Lincoln (and married into the Lincoln family), and begat generations of scholars, soldiers, and pioneers. The most famous family member is the frontiersmen Daniel Boone. Maude’s father – Samuel Simon Boone (1835-1916) – was a farmer from Indiana who fought in the Civil War and then settled in the Ozarks of Missouri to live out his days.


Samuel Simon Boone is burried at Hilo Cemetery in Missouri.


His family line is listed on his grave marker.

Samuel Simon Boone Civil War

Samuel Simon Boone during the Civil War. The letter he wrote to Col. Elmer Ellsworth is part of the Rosenbach collection. *Samuel would later name his son Elmer.





Samuel Simon Boone and his wife Isabelle Collins Keith (1847-1922) in front of their cabin in Missouri.

Samuel Simon Boone

Samuel in his later years.

Samuel Simon Boone & Isabelle Collins Keith

Samuel Simon Boone and his wife, Isabelle Collins Keith

Maude Boone, Elmer & Elmo

My great-grandmother Maude with her brother Elmer Kenady Boone. Photograph says the baby is Elmo- but I’m not sure whose he was.

Maude Eppa Blanche Boone Prock

Maude Eppa Blanche Boone

Ewing Prock & Maude Boone

Maude on her wedding day to Ewing Prock.

Maude Eppa Blanche Boone 1967

Maude in her later years.

Maude Boone Prock Grave 1891-1973

Maude’s Grave Marker


The Mortal Part


I took this photo in Philadelphia at the grave of Col. Benjamin flower (1748-1781) it reads: “Here Layeth the mortal part of … “ it reminds me of the Biblical text, Genesis 3:19 “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”