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Rachel Barbara (Billbe) Bushman
Submitted by: Margaret E. Haynes


Biography written © by: Margaret E. Haynes
Rachel Barbara Billbe was born on March 13, 1875 in Iola, Allen Co. Kansas. She was married on March 19, 1893 in Dexter, Cowley Co., Kansas to John Henry Bushman, he died March 24, 1933.
John Henry and Rachel Bushman had 12 children, Carrie Belle Bushman, Anna May Bushman, Frank Sandford Bushman, Henry Oliver Bushman, Herschel Charles Bushman, Daniel Webster Bushman, Nora Pearl Bushman, Robert Wallace Bushman, Ermine Louise Bushman, James Donald Bushman, Wilma Lea Bushman, and Unknown child Bushman. Rachel was either expecting a child or this is the child she was rocking the day of her accident and the baby died the next day, and was buried with Rachel.
Rachel died June 12, 1918 at her home at 1315 West Bridge, in Blackwell, Oklahoma. The news account that appeared on the front page of the Blackwell newspaper stated that she died after an accident while sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of her home, talking to others of the family. And the rocking chair moved too close to the edge of the porch and it fell off, taking Rachel with it. Family says she got up from the ground right after it happened, then fell back to the ground and died. The news account said cause of death was heart disease brought on by shock during the accident. However, I was told by her grandson that his grandmother was rocking one of her children in a rocking chair on the porch when it moved too close to the edge and fell off. Rachel fell with it and according to her grandson, her neck was broken and she died soon afterward.
What a sad time this was for the family. Rachel was forty-two years of age. When she died in 1918, she had several children under the age of eighteen. The older children raised the younger children. On the 1920 Blackwell, Oklahoma census, Carrie's father John Henry, and three of the Bushman children: Louis, James and Wilma, were living with their sister Carrie and husband Lewie Cheney and children. And Rachel and John Henry's son, Frank Bushman, had married and three of Frank's brothers were living with them, Henry, Daniel, and Robert Bushman.
Survivors were her husband, John Henry Bushman; and ten of her children, all living in Blackwell, Oklahoma. Mrs. Lewie V. (Carrie Belle) Cheney, Mrs. Earl Edward (Anna May) Collyar, Frank Sanford Bushman, Henry Oliver Bushman, Hershel Charles Bushman, Daniel Webster Bushman, Robert Wallace Bushman, Ermine Louise Bushman, James Donald Bushman and Wilma Lee Bushman. One child preceded her in death: Nora Pearl Bushman who died in 1907, and another child died in 1918.
Burial was at Blackwell IOOF Cemetery in Blackwell, Kay Co., Oklahoma.


The Death of Mrs. J. H. Bushman
While sitting on the front porch of the Bushman home at 1315 West Bridge about 9 o'clock Wednesday evening, June 12, 1918, chatting with other members of the family, Mrs. J.H. Bushman, wife of J.H. Bushman, fell off the porch to the ground, a distance of two or three feet and expired almost instantly. It is thought the rocking chair in which she was seated was placed too near the edge of the porch, and the movement of the rockers projected it over the edge of the porch floor to the ground.
Mrs. Bushman, it is said, arose to her feet almost as soon as the chair fell to the ground, but had hardly regained an upright position when she tumbled to the earth and died before medical assistance could by provided. A local physician was summoned and arrived within ten minutes after receiving the call, but life was extinct when he arrived. He pronounced the cause of death as heart disease, brought about by the excitement attending the fall from the porch. There were no marks on the body to indicate that death had been attended by physical violence. Mrs. Bushman is said to have enjoyed fairly good health and early in the evening ate a hearty supper and had been cheerful while conversing with the other members of her family. Arrangements for the funeral have not been announced.

Blackwell Newspaper June 13, 1918 Page One

Bushman--The funeral of Mrs. J.H. Bushman, 42 years old, who died at 9 o'clock Wednesday night, June 12, 1918, will be held at the family residence, 1315 West Bridge, at 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon, conducted by the Rev. F.J. Stowe, pastor of the Presbyterian Church. Burial at the Odd Fellows cemetery. Survivors were her husband John Henry, and ten children, all residents of Blackwell, Mrs. Carrie Chaney, Mrs. Anna May Collyar, Frank S. Bushman, Henry O. Bushman, Hershel C. Bushman, Daniel W. Bushman, Robert W. Bushman Ermine Louise Bushman, James Donald Bushman and Wilma Lee Bushman.


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