PITTSBURG — As part of his father’s last wishes John Nichols has traveled state to state, searching for his grandmother’s grave.

He is not certain what her last name is, but his research lead him to the grave of Tillie Gene McCool, which is located at Highland Park Cemetery.

“It all took me to Crawford County,” Nichols said.

His grandparents divorced when his father was very young, and after that, no one was certain what happened to his grandmother.
A newspaper in Haileyville, Oklahoma read that in 1921 his grandparents divorced and Tillie went “home to Kansas to live with her sister.”

Tillie was born in 1897 and the grave in Highland Park Cemetery reads she died at 1923.

His father, John Nichols Senior, left final wishes to take his ashes to his mother’s grave.

Nichols said there are no records pointing to whether or not this particular Tillie is his grandmother. Before he leaves ashes behind, he would like to see if any family recognizes the grave or even her name.

Other information he has collected through his journey include Tillie’s sister’s name, Edith, and she was married to a David McCaw in Oklahoma.

He also found information on Tillie’s first born son, Albert Leo Nichols, who he said was a prisoner of war for three and half years in Japan.

People with information about Tillie Gene McCool or Nichols’ family may contact John Nichols through email at slohcinnhoj3@aol.com.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.