The Flat River Community Library in Greenville, Michigan in Montcalm County has their digitized collections available online. Kelly Worden, Local History and Reference Assistant at the library explains they include text-searchable newspapers of the Greenville/Montcalm County area from 1857-1923 and various vital record indexes from Montcalm County.

Convenient links to these resources are now available through the Common Corners website… www.commoncorners.com/montcalm/

Checking out the Newspapers link, I found a “death” notice in a spring 1896 issue of the Greenville Independent. It was apparently for my 2nd-great granduncle, Henry HOLBROOK who was from Carson City.

It reads:
“Henry Holbrook, formerly of Carson City, at the Soldiers’ Home in Los Angeles, Cal.”

Sawtelle Veterans Home

I reviewed my records… was this the right person? A few years ago I found Henry’s death recorded as 12 Jun 1911 in West Los Angeles at the Sawtelle Veterans Administration Hospital facility. I had to check again. I confirmed that this 1896 death notice was in error. No doubt it should have been reporting the good news of his recent discharge from the Soldiers’ Home on March 23, 1896.

Here are the facts:

Henry Holbrook was admitted to the Veterans Hospital 14 Sep 1894 and discharged 23 March 1896. He was readmitted 11 July 1898 and discharged 3 Aug 1909. Less than a year later he was again admitted 10 Jun 1911 and died two days later of Pulmonary Tuberculosis.

My other thought about this… the date of the newspaper was April 1st, 1896. Was this an April fool’s joke? Not funny. Imagine you were one of Henry’s relatives still living in the Carson City area just reading about his death in the newspaper!