Friday, October 23, 2015

Alberta's Secret

          On Saturday, 8 April 1939, Earl Bagley of Macon County, Illinois, and Alberta Rankin of Perry County, Missouri, took out a marriage license. They were married the same day by Judge Homer J. Graff. There was a sense of urgency.

           Alberta was six months pregnant. 

          Just five days after their marriage, something terrible happened. Alberta went into labor. Her infant daughter was born three months early. 

          The baby did not survive.

          The death certificate names Alberta as the mother, but the father's name is shown as "unknown." The baby, Ann Marie, was buried in the Perry County Poor Farm Cemetery.

          The death record suggests that Earl was not the father of Ann Marie. Had he been, there would have been no reason to conceal the identity.  

          Earl appears to have been a good husband to Alberta. They soon left Missouri and moved to Decatur, Illinois, where Earl had grown up. They had no other children. Earl passed away in 1985. 

          Alberta died three years later, taking her secret to the grave.

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