Talking with a distant cousin, he tells me that some of his Rowland family (descendants of Bejmamin Sheldon, Sheldon Family Association S6161, who settled in Lorain County in the 1840's) moved to Midland, Michigan in the early 1940's.
Resarching USGenWeb.net for Midland County, Michigan I find an obituary index where it is noted that MABEL ROWLAND d. January 12, 1947 with notation "Airplane Crash," and in the notation her date of birth was given about 1882 and the big "hint" "Galax, VA."
I'm seeking more information about this crash and would like to find a copy of the obituary.
The name is the same as Mabel E. (Manning) Rowland (daughter of Jessie Emma Sheldon and Elvin Alexis Manning), and she was b. November 22, 1881 and d. January 1947, source Greenwood Cemetery transcription, Wellington, Lorain County, Ohio, and photo of her headstone, which I visited this past August (2006).
She married Ray L. Rowland of Cleveland, Ohio in about March 1907. We was b. November 1879, and d. in about April 1935. They had a saon Kenton M. (1907 - 1932) and Daniel, and possibly others. He is interred in the Greenwood Cemetery (location above).
I have found information on the airplane crash, which was on its way from Detroit, MI, to Miami, FL, in two newspaper articles in the Pottstown Mercury out of Pottstown PA, January 13th and 14th 1947, both articles being front page news. Another article is found in the Traverse City Record - Eagle (of Northern Michigan) dated January 13th. Although names of some of the deceased are listed in the Traverse City Record - Eagle, her name is listed as "Miss. N. Rowland," (in conflict with the obituary reference "Mabel Rowland" out of a Midland, Michigan index.
The subject DC3 craft was a two-engine prop Eastern Airlines plane, and it was due for a stop in Winston Salem, and it was some 60 miles off course when it crashed at an early 1:40 am hour, just 10 miles out of Galax, Virginia. Eighteen people died and there was one survivor, the pilot.
The obituary index information and dates given are identical to the cemetery informaton in Wellington, Ohio. Although sevaral places are mentioned, the migration of this family who are from Wellington, Lorain County, Ohio, makes sense. One family moved to Midland, Michigan (step-daughter of Charles H. Sheldon), one family moved to Florida (Sheldon Rowland, son of Cassie (Howk) Rowland -- grand nephew of Charles H. Sheldon) and are all originally from the Wellington, Ohio area.
I'm wondering if anyone in the Galax area has any further information about this crash that would confirm the connection of the Mabel (Manning) Rowland, as I have a very strong hunch that this is our Mabel.
Thank you for your interest.
Jack Sheldon, Jr., CPA Mesa, Arizona (Formerly of Owosso, Michigan) Sheldon Family Association Life Member