Cora Valera Madison (1908 - 1998)

Cora was born on 21 July 1908 to J Rallah Madison and Rhoda Belle (Spaulding) in Battle Township, Ida County, Iowa near the town of Cushing. She was the second child and the oldest girl of nine children. Her family valued education highly, and Cora was Valedictorian of her high school class. Her older brother Austin was 1-½ years older but they were in the same small High School graduating class. He was the Salutatorian. Cora attended Mankato State Teacher’s College (now Minnesota State University, Mankato) where she earned her teaching degree. She taught at a country school near Adrian, Minnesota (and near her parents home) before marrying Carl Eckstrom and becoming a farmwife and mother.

It was at college where she met her good friend Lilly Johnson. Cora was the Maid-of-Honor in Lilly’s wedding where Carl was the Best-Man for his younger brother Hjalmar. This is how Carl and Cora met - a true wedding romance between Best-Man and Maid-of-Honor. Cora and Carl were married two years later.

The Madison families are traced to the 1840's in Bird Township, Macoupin County, Illinois. The family is on the 1840 and 1850 census but in the early 1850’s the parents died. The children were taken in by their newly married older sister and raised in her family. Apparantly the trace of the family beginnings was lost with the parent’s deaths. There was an outbreak of sickness and the cemetery where they are buried was started by the need to bury the victims. Stephen Madison’s grave is unmarked but his wife Margaret (Wolf) has a tombstone feturing a tree. If anyone knows of further family history please let me know!

The Spaulding families are rich in American history and can be traced back to the Jamestown Settlement before 1622 - that’s before the Mayflower set sail in 1624 for you history buffs! The family soon relocated to the Massachusetts Colony after the Indian Massacre of 1622. This was the massacre made infamous by the story of Pochahontas. There is a lot of doubt about the veracity of romanticized tale of John Smith and Pochohantas, but the massacre is fact. Fact also is the record of the family in the 1623 “Liste of Living and Dead” - the first “census" in the New World. The spelling of Spaulding is also Spalding, Spalden, Spaldene and others in the historical record. The name originated in Scotland in the 11th century.

The following family tree opens with Cora’s parents and her siblings.

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© Eric Eckstrom 2017, 2018