NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – It was 101 years ago today, the Machado family traveling was traveling by train from Ellis Island to California
The family was forced to stop in Newton due to a measles outbreak.
“Her name is Laurentina and her husband, and they had all of these children,” said Katherine Gulley, family member. “The next morning, she had her baby.”
A few days later, St. Mary’s Parish raised funds to baptize baby Manuel Jacinto Machado. Twenty-four hours later, he passed away.
“His short little life, it was all lived right here in Newton, Kansas. He’s a Newton citizen from the day he was born until the day he died,” Gulley said.
Katherine is a relative to baby Machado. She says his parent couldn’t bring themselves to talk about him.
“The older kids kind of knew something had happened, but it was just a story kind of lost to time,” Gulley said.
Kathy decided to try and unearth his story.
“I’ve searched for a long, long time. I’ve done family trees for more than 100 families,” Gulley said.
She says she almost gave up until she found a few articles online about the baby’s baptism and death from The Kansan a 100 years ago.
Kathy contacted St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
“Opened up our safe over there and had to get the older baptismal records from over 100 years ago. Sure enough, found a baptismal record, and actually a cemetery record of the death of baby Machado,” Marcia Matthews, St. Mary’s Catholic Church parish office assistant, said.
The mystery was solved.
“The family has been profoundly touched not only by the fact that we found him but the fact of what the people in this town did,” Gulley said.
Baby Machado died and was buried on Nov. 26, 1920.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church held a mass Thursday in his honor.
Gulley’s family has worked with the church to place a grave marker for him near the site of his burial.