James (1839-1904) and Zilphia Williams (1841-1919) Howard had twelve children, eight of whom (Annie, Cordelia, Elsie, Florence, William, Edith, Stacy, & Thomas) died very young. The eight unfortunate children are buried along Howard Street. Each of the four headstones has one child's name on one side, and another child's name on the other side. Eight footstones, with initials, lie between the dual graves.
Lorena (1866-1897), Homer (1868-1947), Sabra (1870-1951), and Wheeler (1874-1940) survived to maturity. In 1940 Homer sent a postcard to his son, Lawton (who was living off the island), explaining that his brother Wheeler had just died.
The postcard reads, "Dear Son With a Sad heart I Pen you this note. Brother Wheeler died Saturday eve, Father Homer Nov. 2, 1940"
Before Ocracoke had a modern Health Clinic with a resident doctor, and before islanders had easy access to professional undertakers, death was a frequent companion that Ocracoke residents dealt with regularly. They coped as best they could.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Ellen Marie Cloud's first-person
account of the Great Ocracoke Lighthouse Window Heist. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012117.htm.