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Forest Hills Part 2

Over Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I visited Forest Hills Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri. During that visit, we located the Crider family plot and the Rigby family plot.

Like the Crider plot, the Rigby plot was on the South side of this historic cemetery in Block 23.

Buried in this plot were the following Rigby family members:

Since the FamilySearch site doesn’t have a death date for Robert, Jr., I decided to see what other sources I could find to verify the death. Thus, I searched Newspapers.com to look for an obituary, which I found in the Kansas City Star.

Death of Robert M. Rigby, Jr.
Robert M. Rigby, jr., 33 years old, died this morning at St. Mary’s Hospital. With his wife and a party of relatives, Mr. Rigby had spent last night at an amusement park. Returning home, 820 Charlotte Street, he suffered an attack of convulsions. He was taken to St. Mary’s, where he died soon after. Dr. Fritz Moennighoff, deputy coroner, said death was due to uraemic poisoning. Besides the widow a daughter, Myrtle Rigby, his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Rigby, sr., three sisters, Miss Helen Rigby, Miss Grace Rigby and Miss Dorothy Rigby, and a brother Glen Rigby, survive.

“Death of Robert M. Rigby, Jr.,” The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 1 June 1915, page 4; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 29 May 2021).

Then, in an attempt to figure out Robert Rigby Senior’s children, I looked for his obituary. This obituary only names two children: Helen and Grace.

Robert M. Rigby Dies
End to Printing Company Head is at 74
Robert M. Rigby, 74 years old, president of the R. M. Rigby Printing Company, 915 Wyandotte street, and a printer here since 1884, died last night of heart disease at his home, 3816 the Paseo.
Mr. Rigby was known widely in printing circles. He was born in Chicago and came to Kansas City when a young man. He had been in ill health several years. Mr. Rigby leaves his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Rigby, of the home, two daughters, Mrs. Helen Ranson, Detroit, and Mrs. Grace G. Bennett, Hollywood, Cal.
Funeral services will be at 2:30 o’clock Monday at the home. The Rev. Burris A. Jenkins will conduct the services.

“Robert M. Rigby Dies,” The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 14 February 1932, page 23; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 29 May 2021).

Robert M. Rigby was married twice. His first marriage was to Ellen Curtin by whom he had at least 4 children: Robert M. Rigby, Grace Rigby Bennett, Helen Rigby Pinkley and Francis Rigby. According to an obituary in the 28 Dec 1892 issue of the Kansas City Times, Ellen Rigby died 27 Dec 1892.

Mrs. Nellie Rigby, wife of R. M. Rigby, died at her home, 2012 Baltimore avenue, at 5 o’clock yesterday morning of pneumonia, aged about 32 ears. The funeral will occur tomorrow morning. Mrs. Rigby leaves five children.

“Tips from Tuesday,” The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), 28 December 1892, page 8; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 23 June 2021).

Even though Ellen’s obituary does not name the children, it does indicate that there were five children. I currently have only identified four of those children: Robert M. Rigby Jr, Grace Rigby Bennett, Helen Rigby Rason and Francis Rigby.

After the death of his first wife, Ellen, Robert M. Rigby married Elizabeth Jane Currey on 8 Feb 1894 in Jackson County, Missouri. Eight years later, Robert’s 12 year old daughter by his first wife, Francis, would take her life.

Girl of 12 a Suicide
Frances Rigby, Fearing a scolding for Being Tardy at School, Takes Carbolic Acid
Died at City Hospital
She wandered about in the Rain after Getting the Poison and took it in a Vacant Lot
Joined Church Week Ago
The child was the daughter of R. M. Rigby, President of the Rigby Printing Company

Frances Rigby, 12 years old, daughter of Robert M. Rigby, president of the Rigby Printing company, whose residence in Hyde Park is at 111 East thirty-Ninth street, ended her life yesterday afternoon by swallowing most of the contents of a two-ounce vial of carbolic acid. As far as can be learned the only reason for the child’s deed was that she was late at school yesterday morning and was afraid of a scolding either from her teacher or at home.

“Girl of 12 a Suicide,” The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 25 April 1902, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 23 June 2021).

Since Elizabeth Currey Rigby’s children (Glenn and Dorothy) preceded her in death, her obituary doesn’t provide any clues to the children of Robert M. Rigby by his first wife.

Mrs. Elizabeth Rigby Services
Services for Mrs. Elizabeth Rigby, 70, formerly of 3816 the Paseo, will be held at 3:30 o’clock friday at the Freeman chapel. Burial will be in Forest Hill cemetery. She was the widow of Robert M. Rigby, founder of the R.M. Rigby Printing Company, 816 Locust street.

“Deaths in Greater Kansas City,” The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), 7 June 1945, page 11; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 23 June 2021).

Even though I haven’t identified the fifth child of Robert M. Rigby and Ellen Curtin Rigby, I have found a clue in an article found while searching for Robert Rigby Jr’s obituary. Robert Rigby, Jr. was stabbed in a bar fight by his brother-in-law James W. Dix.

Robert Rigby, Jr., Stabbed
James W. Dix Wounded His Brother-In-Law in a Saloon Fight
Robert Rigby, jr., vice-president of the C.H.R. Bindery and a son of R. M. Rigby of the R. M. Rigby Printing Company, is at his father’s home, 27 Janssen Place, suffering from stab wounds inflicted by his brother-in-law, James W. Dix. The two fought Friday night in a saloon at Eighth and Main streets where Rigby had gone in response to a telephone call informing him that Dix was there and drinking heavily.
Dix was arrested after the fight, but was released. He is said to be in Texas now. Rigby’s wounds, cuts about the head and back, were treated at the emergency hospital and he was sent to his father’s home. Rigby told his parents that he found Dix at the saloon in a quarrelsome mood and when he tried to persuade him to go home Dix attacked him with a knife.
R. M. Rigby, the father, said today that Dix probably would not be prosecuted. He declared his son’s injuries were not dangerous.

“Robert Rigby, Jr. Stabbed,” The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 29 November 1910, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 23 June 2021).

Since none of the known daughters were married to James W. Dix, the missing child is likely the daughter married to James W. Dix. So far, she is still a mystery.

Without this trail of obituaries and other articles, I would not have been able to piece together much of Robert M. Rigby’s family.