Mary Josephine Updike (Wilson)

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Mary Josephine Updike (Wilson)

Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: IN, USA
Death: August 1, 1938 (80)
Decatur, Indiana, United States
Place of Burial: Westport, IN, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Wilson and Rebecca Wilson (Hawkins)
Wife of Aaron M. Updike
Mother of Ora R. E. Cooper (Updike) and Cecile Updike
Sister of Jane Williams

Managed by: Terry Teford Cooper
Last Updated:

About Mary Josephine Updike (Wilson)

News flash: Mary J. Updike's full name was Mary Josephine Updike (Wilson). Source: family bible. It also confirmed my strong BELIEF that Aaron Updke (rather than Peter Updike) was my great grandfather.

Prior to FINDING my family bible, the only source of information I had was Mary's tombstone, and a bit of at first annoying information that popped up repeatedly on the internet. It said that Aaron had a daughter named Orare Updike, and I used to reject Aaron as my great grandfather because my grandmother's first name was Ora, NOT Orare. Suddenly I had a flash of insight: "No. Not Orare Updike. The child's name was Ora R. E. Updike.". She married a Cooper, and I have seen PLENTY of references to "Ora E. Cooper (Updike)". But I still didn't know my great grandmother's middle name or her last name.

I used to think Mary J. Updike's maiden name was Stephenson--else why would she and Aaron have chose to be buried among the Stephensons? But I revised that opinion after having visited Wesley Cemetery myself. Aaron M. Updike and Mary J. Updike may be where they are at because Peter T. Updike ran out of space.

There are TWO regions in this cemetery where Updikes are buried. Peter T. Updike died first, and he got the best spot. He is very easy to find, once you find the cemetery. Its south border is the one that faces the highway, and the steps that form its entrance are on the west side. Peter's grave is at the southwest corner of the cemetery. In my opinion, Peter's family plot is the best in the cemetery, and his own grave is the best spot in the family plot. He must have purchased the plot VERY early in the cemetery's history.

Despite Peter's best efforts, the family plot ran out of space due to the tragic deaths of not just one but two teenagers before their time. In addition there is a stone that says "Brother" for another of Peter's brothers besides Aaron. Finally there are two illegible stones for additional family members. In short, Peter had a pretty full plate before Aaron and Mary needed additional space. So they had to settle for two spots near the middle of the cemetery.

Turning now to any relation (or non-relation) between the Updikes and Stephensons, the Find-A-Grave photograph tells the truth--but not the whole truth. Aaron and Mary are wedged in between TWO stones. The one behind their graves says "Stephenson". The one in FRONT of their graves says "Updike".

Unless you know what you are doing, the cemetery can be a forbidding place to find. It is not labeled "Wesley Cemetery", and it has no parking space besides a small amount of space by the side of the road that you can use to get out of the way of traffic. Be sure to look at the Find-A-Grave photograph of Wesley Cemetery, so you will know what to expect.

To go there get on the part of IN-3 that goes through Greenburg and then runs through Letts, Westport, and Sardenia. Within Westport you will be looking for "Main Street", which also goes by the names "W. County Road 1100 S." and then (as one gets closer to Columbus) E. County Road 200 S.

Pavey Grocery will be on the east side of the road. The place sells gas as well as groceries. A sign that says "Main" will be on the west side of the road. Fill up with gas if you need to, and then go west. In fairly short order you will pass Westport Cemetery. Keep on going, and you will reach Wesley Cemetery.

After having paid your respects, you can either backtrack, or you can keep on going if you have business in Columbus, Indiana (e.g., Garland Brook Cemetery or Columbus City Cemetery). If you want to go to Columbus, keep on going, and W. Co. Rd. 1100 S. will turn into E. Co. Rd. 200 S. This will simply mean that you are getting closer to Columbus, and no action will be required.

At the end of E. Co. Rd 200 S. it will curve north and intersect US-46. TURN LEFT!!! If you do this, US-46 will curve to the right and once again you will be going due west. Continue on US-46 until you reach US-31 and go north; this will get you to Columbus.

--Terry Teford Cooper

P.S.: The two teenagers are Isom Perry Updike (b. Jan 17,1885, d. Oct 31, 1903) and Elmer C. Updike (b. Aug 1, 1893, d. Jan 21, 1910).

P.P.S. Wesley Cemetery is one of the most desolate places on the planet. Prior to my visit there, I used to reserve that honor for Westport Cemetery, since it had only a tool shed--and there wasn't any sexton to talk to.

A crow kept me company.

Wesley Cemetery has no tool shed--or sign to identify it as Wesly Cemetery. As,mentioned, it also has no place to park. You have to park by the side of the road.

And while I was there, there weren't any crows.

--Terry Teford Cooper

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Mary Josephine Updike (Wilson)'s Timeline

December 19, 1857
May 23, 1886
Age 28
October 30, 1888
Age 30
August 1, 1938
Age 80
Decatur, Indiana, United States
Westport, IN, USA