There’s a plain white headstone resting at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, NS. It records the deaths of three young children during an epidemic in 1888. This memorial would not have taken up residence in the museum if not for another tragic event: the Halifax Explosion.
The nearby plague tells the tragic tale of a family first struck by deaths of wee ones then 29 years later by the demises of several remaining family members.
The inscription on the plague reads:
A Melancholy Tale
In 1917, Richard Moxon worked on the Halifax waterfront as a teamster. That year, he ordered a tombstone for three of his children who had died in an epidemic 29 years earlier. For some reason, Moxon asked the Robertson marine hardware store if he could store it in their warehouse.
On December 6, fate intervened. Among the deaths were Richard Moxon and all members of his immediate family. Their home, on Roome Street, was in the direct path of the explosion. After the explosion, the Robertsons tried to determine where Moxon’s children were buried but only discovered that the graves were “somewhere in Hants County”. The tombstone remained unclaimed in the warehouse until 1973 when William Robertson & Son were closing out their business. When the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic moved into the old Robertson store and warehouse in 1982, they stone was given to the Museum where it remains as a memorial to a double tragedy.
The inscription on the headstone reads:
George W. died Feb. 9, 1888, aged 5 yrs. & 4 mos.
Harry J. died Feb. 9, 1888, aged 3 yrs. & 4 mos.
Ettie May. died Feb. 19, 1888, aged 1 year & 5 mos.
Children of Richard and Elley Moxon.
Save in the arms of Jesus
Searching the Nova Scotia Genealogy website, I found the death records for Richard Moxon and his wife, Ellie.
Death Records: Halifax: Year: 1917; Page 21; Number 129
Richard Benjamin Moxon, male, December 6, 1917, age 64, reside 17 Roome Street, Halifax, Occupation: Truckman, married, born Rawdon, Hants County, NS. Cause of Death: Shock due to injuries in explosion, Methodist, white, Physician: Dr. W. D. Frieee?, Snow & Co., Buried Fairview Cemetery, Halifax. Person making return: Charles Moxon, son, December 21, 1917.
Death Records: Halifax: Year: 1917; Page 245; Number 1469
Ellie E. Moxon, female, December 6, 1917, age 58, 17 Roome St., Halifax, Housewife, Husband: Richard C.(I’m certain it says C. but his middle name was Benjamin) Moxon, Cause of Death: Shock due to injuries in explosion, Methodist, white, Body not identified. Date of Returns: March 16, 1918.
I believe the Moxon family lived at Rawdon when the three youngsters died. The Four Nova Scotia Families: Hennigar, Elliott, Harvey, Chipman website has Richard Benjamin Moxon (1855-1917) born in Rawdon, Hants County, NS. Richard married Ellie Cann (born 1857-1917).
This site has only five children listed, but I believe the ones recorded on the stone at the museum are missing from the data. There is a gap in the years of birth of Ellie and Richard’s children, between 1881 and 1888, where George, Harry and Ettie would fit in.
The children listed on the site are Charles (1881), Alexander (1888), Fred (1889, Halifax), Roy (1893, Halifax) and Lillie (1897).
It appears the Moxon family moved to Halifax shortly after the death of the children, or shortly before Fred was born.
If anyone knows the resting place of George, Harry and Ettie Moxon, I’d be interested in adding the information to this blog. My guess is they rest either in the backyard of the Rawdon homestead or in the Methodist cemetery nearest to that home.