Sophia Pottgen was my 4th great grandmother. She was born Sophia Ross in Prussia, to Frederick Ross and Sophia Ketterhoff. I found her sad obituary in the 18 Jan 1877 issue of the Alton Telegraph, (Alton, Illinois).
Death of Mrs. Sophia Poettgen.
Mrs. Poettgen, an old resident of this city, living on Tenth street, near Langdon, was found dead in her bed, last Thursday morning, by Freddy Rudershausen, who went to her house at that hour, on an errand. Deceased had resided alone, refusing to have company. Her health had been poor for several years and her death was not entirely unexpected by her neighors. She was found lying on her bed, with her clothing on, and from indications had probably been up and down all night, fire still being alive in the stove in the room. Deceased appeared very much attenuated, as though she had suffered from long continued illness. She was a native of Prussia, born in 1809, and has been a resident of Alton almost 42 1/2 years.
From the evidence offered we learned that she had not been seen alive since Tuesday afternoon.
Mrs. Louisa Thornton, daughter of deceased, Fred Rudershausen, aged 11, and Bridget Powers, aged 14, were examined, after which the Coroner’s jury, empaneled by Jon Quarton J.P., with Dr. Hardy as foreman, found the following verdict:
“We, the jury find the deceased, Mrs. Sophia Poettgen, came to her death at her home in Alton, on the 11th day of January, 1877, from congestion of the lungs consequent upon chronic catarrh.” It is supposed that deceased was possessed of considerable means. Her will was left in the care of her son-in-law, Mr. Thornton. She leaves three children, two daughters and one son, all arrived at the age of maturity. She was about 68 years of age.