Lola's pencil box

Lola Salome Dabler's pencil box
Lola Salome Dabler's pencil box

John Dabler, a ship builder, was born in 1805 in Pennsylvania.  In 1836, he moved to Illinois via covered wagon with his wife, Salome and 13 children. For a time, they lived in a one-room log cabin.  They eventually farmed 676 acres. 

Lola Salome Dabler was born in Illinois in 1841 and died of scarlet fever in 1850. Many years later, among my great-grandfather’s belongings, I came across a small, wooden pencil box complete with stubs of very old pencils.  Written on the bottom of the pencil box in childish handwriting were the words “Lola Dabler.”  Our family went on a quest to gather information about this little girl, Lola.  Along with my children, then 12, 9, and 7, we found her grave in the family cemetery.  We later discovered how little Lola had died. How ironic it was to find out that she had died of scarlet fever when our own son had recently and quickly recovered from a case of scarlet fever.  In 1850, nine year olds were not so lucky.  One day, a little girl came home from school not feeling well never to return to her classroom again.  The little box contained more than pencils.  How precious this little box must have been to Lola’s parents.  It holds memories, hopes, and dreams of what might have been.

A fourth child joined our family about a year after the discovery of Lola’s pencil box.  It was a unanimous decision to name our baby girl Lola.  She is 13-years old now, and she cherishes the legacy of the little wooden pencil box.    

Year: 1836

– Pam Owens

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more