Died in 1878, Louisa was aged 89. Born in 1789. Where? I do not yet know. She is the earliest-born person I’ve found in the Sheridan Cemetery, and born before anyone I’ve found so far in Montana. Louisa was born in 1789– the year our new Constitution went into effect, the year George Washington was inaugurated as our first President in New York City, our first capital of our Federal Republic. My little Louisa! There are other names on the tall, 6-foot monument, that I’ll be studying, too. Often I have seen this gravestone, and read the name Louisa Halse, and noticed the date that she died; but her age did not break into consciousness. Louisa was born 100 years before Montana became a state (Montana statehood in 1889). I was told by a town elder, member of a well established family (with the oldest family owned grocery store in Montana) that there's a grave in Sheridan of someone born in 1795. That I have not found, but I did find the grave of one Blackwell Lawrence, born in 1805. But the Louisa takes the prize for the earliest-born person I’ve found in Montana. She lived to turn 89 years old, itself quite an achievement in the days of our national expansion and settlement. She lived through the entire terms of President Washington through the decades of the antebellum and the devastating Civil War, through the building of the first transcontinental railway, and the Montana gold rush, and died 11 years before our country’s Centennial (1889). Now I need to do a some research: Who was Louisa Halse?
Wm. Paul McKane
18 Mar 2020