The city of Nome was founded on April 9, 1901. By the end of the decade, there were 20,000 residents, most of whom were starry-eyed optimists convinced they were going to strike gold on the beaches of Norton Sound.
Mamie Ball and her husband Harry were two of the gold-seekers. Harry died in 1927 but Mamie lived in Nome until she was committed to Morningside in 1941.
Her death certificate was among those posted on the Records Archive earlier this month. It’s interesting for a couple of reasons. First of all, there was a note written on the back of the Oregon Death certificate that detailed her death soon after her arrival in Portland.
The other interesting aspect is that there are two death certificates, one from Oregon and the other from Washington. It appears that the Oregon certificate, filled out soon after her death, was corrected by Eliza Scott, her sister. Mrs. Scott lived in Seattle and took Mamie’s body there for burial. Apparently, the Washington death certificate was needed to do that. The death certificates and note can be found here. Ball Death Certificates (301).