Melissa Jane Yates was the daughter of Etha Inda Williams and Benjamin Franklin Yates. She was born on January 13, 1867 in Eddyville, Pope County, Illinois.
In the 1870 and 1880 Census she is living with her family in Pope County, Illinois.
On July 8, 1889 she gave birth to a son, Milas G Grisham, in Eddyville, Pope County, Illinois. His father was Milo Green Grisham. They never married and Milas was later raised by his grandparents.
On April 19, 1891, Melissa married John Prince Goot in Eddyville, Pope County, Illinois. They had 7 children together.
Eulalia/ Mamie Eulalia
In the 1900 Census she is living with her husband and children in Eddyville, Pope County, Illinois.
Sometime in the next 10 years her and John moved the family to Missouri. ( Note: I need to find the interview that tells a little bit more about this time. I remember from the interview that John felt called to share the gospel. Melissa often times had to call him back to remind him that he had a family to provide for. )
In the 1910 Census she is living with her husband and children in Anna, Union County, Illinois.
Sometime in the next 10 years her husband John started wandering off in the middle of the night. He would be found preaching on the street corners without a care for his own safety. Even in winter he would be lacking a coat and shoes. Melissa had him admitted to the Anna State Hospital because she could not keep him at home. She took a job at the hospital as a cook to provide for her family and be able to see John.
In the 1920 Census she is living with her son Dewey, her daughter Ada Martin and grandson Max. It states that she was a widow who worked as a cook at the hospital. ( Note: John did not die until 1929.)
In the 1930 Census the info is the same as in 1920, except Dewey no longer lives with them.
Melissa died on July 3, 1963, in Anna, Union County, Illinois at the age of 96.
A Tribute published in the pages of The Southern Illinoisan, Murphysboro, Illinois July 5, 1963 reads:
Entered Eternal Rest
July 3, 1963
Melissa Goot Of Anna Dies
Mrs. Melissa Goot, 96, of Anna, died Wednesday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Helen Smith, Crowell Heights. She was a member of the Christian Church of Anna. She was born Jan. 13, 1867, in Pope County, the daughter of Mr and Mrs Benjamin Williams*. She leaves five daughters, Mrs. Ada Martin, Mrs Onna Yerkes, Mrs Eulalia Turner, all of Anna. Mrs Helen Smith, of Crowell Heights, Mrs Maye Harris of Hammond, Ind., one son, Dewey of Buncombe, one sister, Georgia Carr of Aurora and 14 grandchildren. Funeral services will be at 2p.m. Saturday at the Christian Church in Anna with Harold Miles officiating. Burial will be in Anna Cemetery. Crain- Norris Funeral Home, Anna, is in charge of arrangements.
* this is a misprint in the obit, the name should read Mr and Mrs Benjamin Yates
A services announcement reads:
Funeral Services for
Mrs. Melissa Goot
January 13, 1867
July 3, 1963
First Christian Church
Saturday, July 6, 1963
Friends will be received at the
Crain Norris Funeral Home
Resources: interview with granddaughter, marriage register, census records, obituary, death certificate, service announcement,