Great Grandmother Maria McCullon Whitehead

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Great Grandmother Maria McCullon Whitehead (1854-1944)---wife of William Wilson Whitehead (married in 1878 in Allegheny, PA) and mother of Della Whitehead (1882), Ellen Susan Whitehead (1885), Alice Whitehead (1887),  Robert Whitehead (1889), and an unnamed infant boy who died at birth.

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Remembering Grandmother Maria McCullon her granddaughter, Marilyn Whitehead Blew

I remember my Grandmother Maria (pronounced 'Mariah' with a long "i" )  very well.  Of course, Bruce, she was your Great-Grandmother.  We went to visit her at Dunning at least 5 or 6 times every summer and when she was able she would come to visit us in Blue Island.  She was so sweet, a little thing probably no taller than 5 ft.  I often wondered where I got my height (5' 7") because my parents were not very tall.  That must have come from my awful Grandfather, William Wilson (who was over 6 ft.) who really was the black sheep of the family.  Yes, I do believe he was a genius, at least that is what everyone said...However, he was also a terrible man as you know from the story about his deserting his family, carrying on a torrid affair with Lil Humble who lived a few doors down the street.  She was married and had children when all this started.  Eventually, she gave birth to my Aunt Bertha.  There was talk in the family that Bill Humble was also fathered by my grandfather.  Grandmother had a total nervous breakdown when all this was going on in the neighborhood.  She was in Dunning, the mental institution until she died, never recovering enough to live with my parents.  She had times when she was very lucid and other times when she would was completely crazy.  It was so sad, but I loved her a lot and when she died I was about 13 and I remember crying into my pillow at night and being very sad.  Not so with my Grandfather.  He lived with us for a while and I stayed away from him because he would always criticize what I was wearing.  Every skirt was too short, my hair was not right and he would accuse me of wearing lipstick when I didn't at that time.  He would evangelize every chance he had...probably out of guilt.  I did not like him and he was a trial for any family member that tried to help him.  What a relief when he left.  He died not too long after that.  He was hit on the head and robbed in Toledo one evening when he was returning to his room.  A sad ending to a sad life.  His brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh were all educated and successful and they said he was always a problem to the family.  One of his sister's always wrote to Aunt Ellen.  They felt sorry for his family and tried to stay in touch.  The Grandma Schultz you mention was a wonderful woman and you are correct, he met her at the cemetery, eventually married her just long enough to dump the children on her and leave.  She was a wonderful mother to my father and Aunt Bertha.  They both loved her very much.  The other chihldren were older and on their own, and had gone their way.  The Uncle Walter mentioned was her son and my father always considered him as a brother.  I was never told that he was adopted and have always been under the impression he was her natural son.  He walked with a limp, a congenital deformity that could probably be fixed today.  He too was a wonderful man.  Both he and my father supported Grandma Schultz until she died.  My Mother was very fond of her too.
...Marilyn Whitehead Blew, September, 2003

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"Swinging Sevenths" as found in Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Book, Level II and performed here by Maria McCullon Whitehead's Great Grandson, H. Bruce Downey

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Great Grandmother Maria McCullon Whitehead (1854-1944)---wife of William Wilson Whitehead (married in 1878 in Allegheny, PA) and mother of Della Whitehead (1882), Ellen Susan Whitehead (1885), Alice Whitehead (1887),  Robert Whitehead (1889), and an unnamed infant boy who died at birth.