Thursday, February 16, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: Death Certificate of James Franklin Lasiter

James Franklin Lasiter was my 2nd great-grandfather on my Mother’s Mother’s side. He was born April 16th 1876 in Ione, Arkansas. He married Rosalie Putman on June 27, 1906 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He died October 8, 1968 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was a barber and he lived with my great-grandparents in their family home on Park Avenue in Fort Smith, Arkansas until he died.

In July of 2011 I requested a copy of his death certificate from the Arkansas Department of Health. I had to fill out a form and include as much information that I knew. I knew when and where he died from his obituary.  It cost me $10.00. It arrived within 2 weeks. Here is the information I learned from this document:

[Click on the photo to make it bigger.]

James died at St. Edward's Hospital in Fort Smith, Sebastian Co., Arkansas. Fort Smith only has two hospitals, one on each side of town, either the North side or the South side. I believe this is on the South Side. Sparks Hospital, where I was born, is on the other side of town.

He resided at 3720 Park Ave, Fort Smith, Sebastian Co., AR at the time of death. He was living with his son, James Putman Lasiter and daughter-in-law, Thelma Benson Lasiter in the house where he himself grew up - A small two-bedroom on a corner lot. The enclosed porch acted as a third bedroom at times. My grandmother, the youngest child, had moved out a few years earlier.

He died at 5:30 pm, on October 8th, 1968. He was 92 years old. His wife, Rosalie, had preceded him in 1961.

He was born Apr 16, 1876 in Ione, AR.

He was a Barber in a barber shop.

His father was John R. Lasiter and mother was Emily Jones. – Bingo! This is my treasure. I had suspected his Father was John Riley Lasiter as that was written on the back of a photo; however his mother’s name – Emily Jones – is news to me.

The informant was J. P. Lasiter of 3720 Park Ave, Ft. Smith, AR, 72901. This was his son, my great-grandfather, James Putman Lasiter, Sr.

He died of Uremia due to Nephrosclerosis from generalized arterio sclerosis, colitis, acute with bleeding; no autopsy was performed. He was attended by physician from Mar 65 to Oct 68. I’d say not bad for 92 years old!

He was buried at Forest Park Cemetery, Fort Smith, AR, on October 10th, 1968 by Jesse G. Putman of 815 No. B Street, Fort Smith, AR, 72901. Jesse Putman owned the Putman Funeral Home. He was one of two big Funeral homes in the area. I do not believe there is any relation to James’ wife, Rosalie Putman, at least not that I ever heard from the family, but who knows.

Here is a photo of the Putman funeral home taken in 1977 at 815 No. B Street: 

Photo courtesy of Dr. Mo
And this is what it looks like today, converted to apartments:

Courtesy of Google Maps

The Putmans and Lasiters are all buried together in a huge family plot in Forest Park Cemetery. James Franklin Lasiter and his wife, Rosalie Putman Lasiter each have their own flat in-the-ground marker side by side next to Rosalie’s parents, Thomas and Martha (Ward) Putman.

Here is a photo of James Franklin Lasiter’s marker:

Forest Park Cemetery, Fort Smith, AR, taken by Ginger R Smith,
5 May 2006. "James F Lasiter, Apr 16, 1876 - Oct 8, 1968" 


  1. This is very informative. I'm glad you were able to locate his death certificate so easily.

    1. Thanks Julie! Yeah I was quite surprised considering I sent them 5 requests at the same time!