||Laura Ann Sylvester was born March 25, 1858, in Adams Co., Ill. Her mother Elvira Prather died when Laura was just an infant and her father, who was not able to take care of so many children, sent Laura to live with another couple. Laura grew up and married John Richard Begley and moved to Palmyra, Marion Co., Mo., where they worked a small farm. She was the beloved mother of nine children: Maggie, Daniel, Zella, Bessie, John, Austin, Grace, Annie, and Richard. Laura was remembered as saying to her grandchildren, "Everytime your grandpa shook his shirt-tail at me, I became pregnant." When Laura was about 50 years old she required a right-leg amputation, which was performed on her kitchen table. She probably had diabetes and eventually died of gangrene and a blood clot on August 6, 1911. She is buried next to her husband, and son-in-law John William Malone in the Little Union Cemetery just outside of Palmyra, Mo.
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