With one mighty strike, Chevis Davis Chitwood’s husband was felled from his position at the local railroad company. As quickly as he came into Chevis’ life, he went out.
the traumatic news—that Chevis was unable to provide information as basic as her husband’s parents’ names. Each line in the death certificate was filled in with the same word: “unknown.”
I had, from the Davis family Bible, a note that H. M. Chitwood was born in a place called Oakdale, Tennessee. Oakdale was quite a distance from the town of Erwin where the Davis family lived, making me wonder if it was solely on account of his railroad work that Harvey Chitwood was even in town at all.
The date of his birth—at least the version I’ve found in our family Bible—was May 3, 1875. Of course, there are documents out there disputing the record-keeping skills of my great-grandmother, so I’ll have to do some more work to confirm that.
I’d like to think the date of Harvey M. Chitwood's death was etched in stone, but apparently, his burial site at Jobe Cemetery has no headstone to mark it. Unlike the family of my husband’s relative who suddenly lost his life in a similar manner, Harvey Chitwood’s wife was not in any position to pursue redress from the as yet unnamed railroad company implicated in her husband’s violent end. With a baby due in a matter of months, the poor widow probably had too many other pressing financial needs to provide any type of permanent memorial for her deceased husband.
Life, of course, does go on, and for Chevis, either time healed all heartbreak, or financial desperation pressed her to seek a union more practical than romantic. Whatever the truth of the matter, on December 17,1916, the former Chevis Davis Chitwood became the new Mrs. F. L. Kite.