The answer lay in a brief mention in Silas's obituary, an 1873 land ownership map of Auburn, and two names on the gravestone.
|Obituary of Silas Kirk, Lewiston Daily Sun, 10 May 1909|
I located an 1873 land ownership map2 of Auburn, Maine, and sure enough, there in Ward 2 is the house labeled "S. Kirk", and it appears there was already a cemetery there, just around the corner from the homestead. (Click on the image to see a larger view.)
|Excerpt from 1873 land ownership map of Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine|
|Land ownership map overlaid on present-day Google map|
|Silas Kirke family gravestone, Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Auburn, Maine|
Five-and-a-half-year-old Abbie died in 1867; two-year-old Mabel in 1874. Noting that the land ownership map dates to 1873, it would seem likely that these children died while the Kirks were living in Auburn. And in fact, a little more research revealed that both children did die in Auburn, and Mabel was born there (Abbie was born in Washington, Maine).4 Almost certainly they were buried in the original old cemetery on the farm property; it would be logical for Silas to retain the rights to the cemetery plot when he sold the farm. And now it makes perfect sense that Silas and Sarah were buried in Mt. Auburn Cemetery with their two little girls, and that Chester and his family later joined them there.
(Note: This post is in response to Amy Johnson Crow's "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" challenge at No Story Too Small.)
- “Silas Kirk” obituary, Lewiston (Maine) Daily Sun, 10 May 1909, p. 8; digital images, Google News Archive (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=IT5EXw6i2GUC : accessed 7 Jan 2014).
- "U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918", database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://search.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Oct 2012), database entry for S. Kirk, image of map of City of Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine (1873); citing Library of Congress Collection Number G&M_1, Roll Number 1.
- Mount Auburn Cemetery, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine, Kirke monument, read and photographed by the author, 10 Nov 2007.
- Greenleaf Cilley and Jonathan P. Cilley, The Mount Desert Widow: Genealogy of the Maine Gamble Family (Rockland, Maine: Knox County Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 1895), p. 170; digital images, Internet Archive, (http://archive.org/details/mountdesertwidow00cill : accessed 5 Mar 2012).