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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday :: Robert E. Henry


This is my maternal grandpa in 1930 (age 25) on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. I created & framed this collage for my Aunt Susie. Notice the forget-me-nots on the frame. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1911 :: Burial of Lizzie J. Brackett


On this date in our family history . . . the 28th day of July . . . in the year 1911 . . . Elizabeth J. Brackett nee Merrill is laid to rest in the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco, York County, Maine . . . familiarly known as Lizzie, she is an older sister of Phoebe, who is a 2nd great-grandma of the Keeper of this family history blog, AND . . . this Lizzie is the woman who raised Phoebe's daughter (my great-grandma), Eva Mae, as her own child . . .

Biddeford Daily Journal
Friday, July 28, 1911

Service Largely Attended
Funeral of Mrs. Lizzie J. Brackett Was This Afternoon

Funeral services for Mrs. Lizzie J. Brackett were this afternoon at 2 o'clock in her late home on Beach Street, Saco, and were largely attended by relatives and friends. The service was conducted by Rev. H.R. Simonds, pastor of the Advent Christian church, this city, and the singing was by a quartette from the same society.

About the casket were many beautiful flowers, which bore silent testimony to the high esteem in which Mrs. Brackett was held. Among these was a cushion from Mr. and Mrs. T.W.A. Smith, this city, which bore the word "mother." There was also a spray of roses from Mrs. Brackett's little grandson, Thomas W.A. Smith. Besides these there were many other set pieces from the societies to which Mrs. Brackett belonged as well as from relatives and friends.

Interment was at Laurel Hill. The bearers were four members of the Advent church.


Biddeford Daily Journal
Wednesday Evening, July 26, 1911 Page Eight

DEATH OCCURS AT 70 YEARS
MRS. BRACKETT ILL BUT A FEW HOURS

The death of Mrs. Lizzie J. Brackett, wife of Peter Brackett of Saco, occurred at her home, 74 Beach street, about 5 o'clock Tuesday night at the age of 70 years and four months, after an illness of comparatively a few hours. Mrs. Brackett, who had been one of the most active and interested women in patriotic circles, was stricken with apoplexy Monday, since which time until her death Tuesday evening her condition was most critical.

She was born in Scarboro, and was the daughter of William T. and Olive J. (Goodwin) Merrill, and was the oldest of a family of 11 children. Mrs. Brackett had lived for many years in Biddeford and Saco, where she has been a prominent member of the Pythian Sisterhood, the Golden Cross. She was also a member of the Christian Advent church on Hill street. She was possessed of most generous characteristics and was a friend in time of need.

Besides her husband Mrs. Brackett leaves three brothers, Daniel H., George and Fred of Pine Point, and three sisters, Mrs. Phoebe Tripp of Gorham, Mrs. Nellie Sullivan and Emma Snow of Pine Point. The funeral will be Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the late residence. Relatives and friends invited without further notice.


The image of the lady in the collage (above) was shared by a cousin in Maine . . . this woman was identified as "Lizzie Merrill" but the cousin is not sure if it is the Lizzie who married Peter Brackett . . . please do contact benotforgot if you are able to positively identify this woman.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday :: Muston Graves

 
Marion Franklin (Frank) Muston (1886/8 - 1955) is a brother of my great-grandpa, Charlie Muston (1882-1915). Frank married Rosa Elizabeth Morrison (1887-1977) in 1907. Their graves are in the Hugh Wilson Cemetery in Tanglewood, Lee County, Texas.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Festival of Postcards :: Old Orchard Beach

This blogpost was prepared as an entry for the 3rd edition of A Festival of Postcards which is hosted by Evelyn Yvonne Theriault. The theme for this edition is Signs, for which we were asked to, "Publish one or more postcards that show actual signs (e.g. road, advertising, storefronts) OR interpret the theme in whatever way you want (e.g. signs of the times)."

My Mom has photos (from the early 1920s) of her mother, Elizabeth Marilla Henry nee Smith (1912-1932), enjoying outings at Old Orchard Beach, and Mom and I spent some time walking that beach ourselves, so I chose to use a postcard from my collection that relates to those family trips. The postcard is captioned, Old Orchard St. and Amusement Center, Old Orchard Beach, Maine, and is featured in the following collage. It was purchased during a trip my Mom and I made to Maine, the home of Mom's maternal ancestors. It was printed by Tichnor Bros., Inc. of Boston, Massachusetts, and is postmarked 1959 from Montreal, Canada. The postage stamp in the upper right corner is one the stamps from the actual postcard. Among the SIGNS on the storefronts facing Old Orchard Street in this image are . . . Hotel White-Hall . . . Bus Station / Boston & Maine . . . a diner advertising Coca Cola & Hamburgers & Frankfurts & Ice Cream . . . and in the far right background is visible the Casino sitting out over the water at the end of the Pier.

John Greenleaf Whittier said that, "They seek for happier shores in vain, who leave the summer isles of Maine." While Old Orchard Beach is not one of the many "isles" of Maine's Casco Bay, it has long been considered an isle of escape for more than two century's worth of vacationers. It is said that many Canadians come down for summer vacations, and that it is common to hear conversations in French.

Old Orchard Beach has been promoted as a tourist destination since 1631, when its first settler established a Garden By the Sea. In 1829 the first Public House opened, and in 1837 tourists paid $1.50 each to stay at a local farm. Railroad service between Boston and Portland opened in 1842. Over the years Old Orchard developed into a major resort. Airplanes took off from the beach and auto races were held on the sand. Most of the large hotels were destroyed in the fire of 1907.

From Old Orchard Beach by Daniel E. Blaney . . .

From 1631 to the present, Old Orchard Beach has had a singularly rich history among New England's summer communities. Old Orchard was originally a small seacoast farming community nestled on the shore of Saco Bay. When the railroad came in 1873, the coast exploded into one of the grandest Victorian settings in Maine. It boasted famour religious camp meetings, transatlantic flights, big bands, big fires, harness racing, and automobile racing on the beach. The Kennedy family, Bette Davis, Fred Allen, Rosa and Carmen Ponsell, Pierre Trudeau, and Charles Lindbergh all rejuvenated themselves in this community. Old Orchard Beach is still a vacation mecca, and residents and visitors alike will find enjoyment and education within these pages. . . . The pier was built in 1898. On March 17 of that year, actual construction commenced. The original twin pavilion was short-lived. The grand opening was on July 2. On December 4, the end of the pier was swept away during a northeast gale, only 156 days after opening. The ballroom, at the end, featured every well-known East Coast band. The big band era ended in the 1960s with the advent of rock and roll and record hops. Louis Armstrong was among the last big bands to play on the pier. . . .


Thursday, July 16, 2009

1866 :: Death of little Josephine


Were it not for the words her father penned in his Civil War-era Journal, very little (if anything) would be known about the short life of Josephine Martha Hall, who died on this date . . . the 16th day of July . . . in the year 1866 . . . at the age of two years seven months and one day . . .

Little Josephine's Mommy is the sister of my 2nd great-grandpa, Samuel Houston Sharp (ca. 1839-1885), and Josephine's Daddy -- James Madison Hall -- is the stepson of my 3rd-great-grandma, Mahala Lee Sharp Hall nee Roberts (1816-1885). Beginning in January of 1860, J.M. Hall kept a daily journal -- until his own death less than two months following the death of his Josephine. Following are a few excerpts from that journal that pertain to Josephine. [FYI -- a short introduction -- throughout his 6+ years of journal-keeping (1860-1866), J.M. Hall always refers to his wife, Margaret Hall Stewart nee Sharp, as "the little woman" :: "Sam" and "Nellie" are my 2nd great-grandparents :: "Mrs. Beale" is Nellie's mother, and my 3rd-great-grandma :: "Mother" is Mahala . . .]

  • 15 Dec 1863. Today Sam and the boys finished the floor in the mill forebay and let down the gates to catch a head of water. The little woman was taken sick and at 11½ o'clock a.m. was delivered of a female child. She may truthfully be said to be a woman of ready conception and easy delivery. there were present Mrs. Bird, Mother, Nellie and myself, assisted by Rachael a negro woman. I sent for Dr. Murchison, who came but as usual too late to be of any service in his profession. . . .
  • 17 Dec 1863. . . . Sam rode out hog hunting but had no success. The little woman is doing very well after her confinement. Mother is still here attending to the new responsibility, whom we have this day named Josephine Martha Hall. . . .
  • 18 Dec 1863. . . . Sam rode out with Mr. Keen and succeeded in killing 6 hogs which the boys cleaned in the evening. . . . Mr. Keen came up to see the little new responsibility. . . . Mother rode down home and returned with Father in the evening, who came up to see the little stranger. . . .
  • 19 Dec 1863. . . . Sam rode out hog hunting but was unsuccessful. he however killed two fine turkeys. Mother is still here. The little woman is improving. . . .
  • 20 Dec 1863. Today Father, Mr. & Mrs. Bird came to see the little woman and the little stranger. Mother is still here. . . .
  • 21 Dec 1863. . . . I drove my horse (Rob) and buggy to Crockett and back. . . . I purchased one gallon of whiskey for which I paid 80$. 1 oz. of the oil of Sassafras at 5$ per oz. 1 lb. of candy at 3$ I record these prices for the benefit of those that come after me, in order that they may see some of the benefits that war brings upon the Country and people. Sam ground 8½ bushels of corn. Mother went home leaving the little woman and babe all doing well. . . .
  • 31 Dec 1863. This morning the ground was covered over two inches deep with snow. Father, Mother and Mr. Thomas Sharp all left, the two former for home, and the latter for the wheat region. Sam & I ground 6 bushels of corn & 10 bushels of wheat. In the evening the boys commenced work after their Christmas holliday. Weather clear and bitter cold. the mill pond being frozen entirely over one inch thick, and it continued to freeze all day even in the sunshine. At night it froze all the little woman's eggs in my room although I kept a large fire in it throughout the entire night. It is decidedly the coldest spell of weather that I have ever experienced in the State of Texas after a residence of 28 years. Thus closes my notes for the month of December and also for the year 1863 just passed and gone and now numbered with the things that were. whether the Almighty will spare me to chronicle the daily events of the incoming year is more than I know but trusting in Him I shall enter upon the pleasing task, which is useful as a reference and may be profitable to those who have an interest in me.
  • 3 Jan 1864. . . . I weighed my daughter Josephine who weighed 9½ lbs., rather light compared with the other children.
  • 23 May 1864. . . . My daughter Josephine was taken very sick with Cholera Infantum. Mother came up and remained all night. . . .
  • 24 May 1864. . . . Mother is still here. Dr. Murchison came to see my daughter Josephine who is still very sick. . . .
  • 25 May 1864. . . . Dr. Murchison again came to see Josephine who is still very sick but I think she has a change for the better. Mother is still here. I made a spool frame for the little woman. . . .
  • 26 May 1864. . . . Mother left for home. Josephine is improving. I commenced making myself a lounge to sleep on throughout the summer, if permitted to live. Nellie rode down to Mother's. . . .
  • 27 May 1864. . . . I am still at work making the lounge. Josephine is still improving. . . .
  • 28 May 1864. . . . I finished my lounge. Josephine is still improving and out of danger. . . .
  • 29 May 1864. Today I drove down to Mother's in my buggy & carried Florence with me. we remained there for dinner. Josephine is now well. . . .
  • 10 Jul 1864. . . . Josephine was taken with fever. . . .
  • 12 Jul 1864. Today the boys are engaged hauling some things up to the King house, to which place I have this day moved my family for the residue of the summer on account of their ill health at the mill place. Jimmy is still improving a little, so are all the rest of the sick except Josephine who still has the fever. . . .
  • 19 Jul 1864. . . . I loaned Genl. Beavers 40 lbs. of flour and delivered it to his girl Fanny. Josephine has recovered from her illness. . . .
  • 25 Jul 1864. . . . I drove my buggy over to Mr. Keen's and got him to . . . put a wrought iron back in my cooking stove. Mother came up and spent the day & took Fanny home with her in the evening. Florence is still sick. Josephine was taken sick with fever.
  • 4 Aug 1864. . . . Mother & Mrs. Keen came up and spent the day. Mrs. Keen again drew the thread in the harness & sley of the loom, which the little woman had cut out. Florence & Josephine both had fevers.
  • 5 Aug 1864. . . . The little woman wove 2 yds. of cloth. Josephine is sick with fever. Nellie is still down at Mother's. . . .
  • 14 Sep 1864. . . . I am at work soldering some old tin vessels for the little woman. . . . a hard wind blowing which prostrated the garden fence in many places, it also blew one of the house doors too and in its passage struck little Josephine on the head, inflicting a severe bruise. . . .
  • 15 Dec 1864. . . . I am engaged in making little Major a pair of shoes. Toby came up and remained all night. My daughter Josephine attained the first anniversary of her birth day, being just one year old. . . .
  • 25 Dec 1864. Today Sam Sharp & I with the children in the little wagon, Nellie & the little woman in the buggy all drove down to Mother's, where we spent our Christmas. We had a fine dinner & a good egg nogg. We passed the day very pleasantly. Weather cloudy & rather warm.
  • 31 Dec 1864. . . . Thus I close my jottings for the month of December and for the year 1864 which has just passed & gone and now numbered with the things that were. Whether the Almighty will spare me to chronicle the daily events of the incoming year is more than poor mortal man can foresee or know but trusting in his goodness I shall enter upon the pleasing task which is meaningful as a book of reference and may hereafter be profitable to those who have an interest in my affairs after I shall have shuffled off this mortal soil and been reaped to the bosom of my ancestors.
  • 9 Feb 1865. . . . Hardeman's Brigade that has been camped on the Elkhart for the past 6 or 7 weeks left for Tennessee Colony in Anderson County. The guard stationed at the mill in consequence of the removal of the soldiers were relived from duty in the mill & ordered to join their commands. Pet is still down at her Grand Ma's. Little Josephine is sick and has been for a few days past. . . .
  • 24 Jun 1865. . . . The little woman with Fanny Fitzsimmons & Josephine in my buggy drawn by my horse Rob arrived safe and sound in Liberty. Frank Stewart with the little wagon & mules also arrived safe, bringing down in the little wagon Florence and Jimmy also Louisa, Jemima, Conny and Wolf with sundry provisions etc. We all upon the invitation of Col. Jim Wrigley stopped at is house, of course I left John Booth's. The little woman passed my wagon on the road, they having left on the 16th inst. Jemima was taken down at the residence of my old friend Dan Dailey & safely delivered of a female child on the 17th inst. both Mother & child are doing well. . . .
  • 30 Jul 1865. . . . The little woman still doing the house work, and has a very poor chance in consequence of the sickness of little Josephine, who still has a fever. . . .
  • 31 Dec 1865. . . . Mrs. Beale came over and spent the day. . . . Thus I close my notes for the month of December and for the year 1865 which has just passed and gone and now numbered with the things that were. Whether the almighty will spare me to record the daily events of things passing around me for the incoming year is more than mortal man can know but trusting his goodness and mercy I shall enter upon the pleasing task which to me is useful as a book of reference and may hereafter be profitable to those who have an interest in my affairs....
  • 16 Jul 1866. Today about dawn I arrived in Houston and immediately left in an omnibus for the depot of the Texas and New Orleans Rail Road. we left the depot on the train at 9 o'clock a.m. for Liberty. I arrived home at 4 o'clock P.M. just in time to witness the death throes of my sweet little daughter Josephine Martha, who departed this life at 5½ o'clock, and now reposes sweetly upon the bosom of her Savior. She died at the tender age of two years seven months and one day. The neighbours generally came in and bestowed upon my stricken family such consolation as they could under our heavy trial. . . .
  • 17 Jul 1866. Today my poor wife is indeed a sorrow stricken and almost heart broken woman for the loss of our sweet little angel Josephine Martha. I performed the last sad rite for her little remains and had them interred in the burial ground at Liberty there to remain until her God shall call her again to meet him in the great day of accounts. My sweet little babe may she rest peacefully in the bosom of her God, and may this sad bereavement be for our future good. . . .
  • 18 Jul 1866. Today I drove up town in my buggy and while there paid the funeral expenses of my sweet little angel Josephine Martha which amounted to 55$ in gold. . . . My little woman is still suffering great agony for our sad bereavement. . . . Mrs. Buckley came over and spent the evening with the little woman giving her all the consolation in her power. . . .
  • 19 Jul 1866. . . . I paid Dr. Coleman his medical bill for his attention to my sweet little babe. Mrs. Beale and Mrs. Buckley spent the day with the little woman. . . .
  • 24 Jul 1866. . . . moved our quarters to the residence of Capt. Peacock who agreed to board my family during their stay in the Island City. I hired a hack and went with the little woman and children down the beach. . . . The little woman purchased a nice little Italian marble monument to be placed over the grave of my sweet little babe Josephine. . . .
  • 6 Aug 1866. . . . I received from Galveston by the way of Houston the little monument purchased by the little woman, and to be erected over the grave of my sweet little babe Josephine Martha. . . .
  • 10 Aug 1866. . . . Ed. Jones and Grand Ma Gayle arrived on the cars from Houston & Galveston and report the cholera prevailing at the latter city. . .
  • 18 Aug 1866. Today I left Liberty on the cars for Houston. . . . I carried with me $4000. in gold. . . . I am sorry to state that I drank too much brandy as medicine to prevent the cholera which is now prevailing in Houston. . . .
  • 23 Aug 1866. . . . Roberta is staying over with Grand Ma Gayle as Company for her. . . . Mr. Beard commenced to make a railing to enclose the grave of my sweet little angel Josephine Martha. . . .
  • 24 Aug 1866. . . . Roberta is still staying with grand ma Gayle as Company. Mr. Beard is still at work on the railing for little Joe's grave. . . .
  • 10 Sep 1866. Today I remained at the warehouse during the forenoon. In the evening I drove up town and while there settled in full with J. D. Skinner up to this date. I also purchased a few articles for the little woman. Capt. Redman returned from his visit to the Country in a state of intoxication, and was rather quarrelsome & abusive. Hicks & Ned are at work getting fire wood. Weather cloudy and hot, with occasional showers of rain. . . . [FINAL entry . . . he dies of cholera on the 12th . . . ]

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday :: Governor Hubbard

On the 13th day of July . . . in the year 1901 . . . Richard Bennett Hubbard, Jr. was laid to rest in the Oakwood Cemetery in Smith County, Texas. Hubbard is a 2nd great-grandson of Joseph Anthony (1713-1785) and Elizabeth Clark (1722-ca. 1825), who are also 2nd great-grandparents of Josephine Wingfield Henry nee Davis (1842-1899), who is a 2nd great-grandma of the Keeper of this family history blog.

Houston Daily Post, Saturday Morning, July 13, 1901 Tyler, Texas, July12.--This afternoon at 1:10 o'clock, at his residence in this city, Hon. Richard B. Hubbard, ex-governor of Texas, died after an illness of over a month. He had an attack of erysipelas last April which left his constitution in a weakened condition and about a month ago he was stricken with cystitis, which resulted in his death today. His son-in-law and daughter, Ernest H. Griffith and Rhena Hubbard Griffith; his unmarried daughter, Miss Searcy Hubbard, and grandchildren, Richard Hubbard Mansfield and Louis Mansfield, were at his bedside when he passed away. The funeral will take place from the residence of Mrs. and Mrs. Griffith tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 o'clock. While the death of Governor Hubbard was not unexpected, the fact came as a great shock to his home city and county where he had lived for half a century. It is not too much to say that, although Tyler has produced many prominent men at the bar and in politics, Governor Hubbard was the most widely known. He had been a distinguished figure in the State for nearly fifty years and his fame as an orator was not excelled by any Texan living or dead. The bar held a meeting this afternoon and adjourned until tomorrow, when suitable resolutions will be passed in regard to his death.

P.S. The Joseph Anthony and Elizabeth Clark mentioned above are my 6th great-grandparents (via their son James), and they are also 7th great-grandparents (via their son, Joseph) of Dana Swier Huff.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Night with Randy

It's Saturday Night, time for some Genealogy Fun (with Randy Seaver) after your frustrating week of finding phantom ancestors in online family trees and trying to keep up with everybody on Twitter, Facebook and Genealogy Wise. Here is your assignment for this Saturday Night (if you decide to accept it, of course - you can't have fun if you don't try): (1) Let's go time travelling: Decide what year and what place you would love to visit as a time traveller. Who would you like to see in their environment? If you could ask them one question, what would it be? (2) Tell us about it. Write a blog post, or make a comment to this post, or on Facebook, or in Genealogy Wise.

If I could travel . . . to somewhere else in time . . . I would like to go back . . . to 1843 in Texas . . . where General Sam Houston (President of the Republic of Texas) is said to oppose opening negotations on statehood at this time . . .

  • IF John M. Sharp is still alive, he and Mahala Lee Roberts have been married about 5 years, and have two children -- Samuel Houston Sharp (about 4 years of age), and 2-year-old Margaret Annot Sharp -- and they are presumably living in San Augustine County. I want to know John's birth information -- when and where was he born, and who were his parents. [He disappears before 1846 . . . ]
  • And meanwhile . . . in Liberty County . . . 4-year-old Sam's future wife, Nellie, is born on the 24th day of May. She is given the name Mary Alexandrien Lemaire. I want to know if her father is indeed the Alexander Lemaire who was the consular agent of France at Liberty in 1843, and who "embarked at Galveston on the brig Amanda for France to look after his affairs" . . . and who "sailed in the brig Amanda in March 1843, and with his vessel was never heard from" . . . and of whom it is written that . . .
    Upon the death of LEMAIRE, the French consul of the town of Liberty, Cramayel chose not to replace him, declaring: "Liberty is only a hamlet in the interior of a region that has no direct commerce with foreign countries. In the surrounding area there are only about thirty French residents, widely scattered, & living in a situation close to destitution." . . .

1861 :: Marriage of Sam & Nellie



On this date in our family history . . . the 11th day of July . . . in the year 1861 . . . Mary Alexandrien "Nellie" Lemaire becomes the bride of Samuel Houston Sharp in Liberty County, Texas . . . as recorded by James Madison Hall on that hot summer's Thursday . . .

Be it remembered & known that Samuel H. Sharp & Miss Mary Alexandrien Lamier, were united together in the bonds of wedlock, & I rather expect at night there was some very sharp shooting took place, this however is only a surmise. Capt. Wrigley & Ed. Jones came in from their camp to attend said wedding, where all passed off pleasantly & agreeably to all in attendance. Weather clear & warm . . .

This Sam & Nellie are the parents of Berta Mary Henry nee Sharp (1873-1955) . . . who is a great-grandma to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .

  • Washington, DC. 11 July 1861. The Senate expells the Senators from Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Texas, plus one from Tennessee. This was a mere formality, since they had already departed for home.
  • Manassas, Virginia. 21 July 1861. "Look, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall."
  • Washington, DC. 22 July 1861. The House passes the Crittenden Resolution. The same resolution passes the US Senate on the 25th.
  • The US Navy begins a blockade of Galveston Harbor in July 1861, but the town remains in Confederate hands for the next 14 months.
  • Washington, D.C. July 1861. Mathew Brady and team of 20 aides begin photographic record of Civil War.
  • FREE 1861 news from the New York Times


While we have no idea as to whether or not our Sam & Nellie had a wedding cake, the following recipe from an 1841 cookbook is mayhaps similar to one that might have been used if they did indeed have a cake . . .

The American Frugal Housewife
Dedicated to Those who are Not Ashamed of Economy
By Lydia Maria Francis Child
:

"WEDDING CAKE Good common wedding cake may be made thus Foui pounds of flour three pounds of butter three pounds of sugar four pounds of currants two pounds of raisins twenty four eggs half a pint of brandy or lemon brandy one ounce of mace and three nutmegs A little molasses makes it dark colored which is desirable Half a pound of citron improves it but it is not necessary To be baked two hours and a half or three hours After the oven is cleared it is well to shut the door for eight or ten minutes to let the violence of the heat subside before cake or bread is put in To make icing for your wedding cake beat the whites of eggs to an entire froth and to each egg add five tea spoonfuls of sifted loaf sugar gradually beat it a great while Put it on when"


Friday, July 10, 2009

1907 :: They worked hard for the family . . .


Atwood F. Smith, and his son and daughter-in-law, Thomas Warren Alonzo & Eva Mae Smith

The man in the lower left is my 2nd great-grandpa, Atwood F. Smith (1837-1907), who died of blood poisoning following an injury at work. In the upper right is his son, and my great-grandpa, Thomas Warren Alonzo Smith (1866-1920), who ran a landscaping & florist business in Biddeford, Maine. The woman is Eva Mae Smith, wife of T.W.A. Smith (& my great-grandma), who carried on for a while with the florist business following the death (by his own hand) of her husband of 25 years.


The word prompt for the 15th Edition of Smile For The Camera is "they WORKED hard for the family." The professions of our ancestors are almost as interesting as the people themselves. Some of our ancestors worked very hard; they took in laundry, worked the land, raised many children, or went to school and became professionals. . . .


Atwood F. Smith, Pepperell, & Trull Hospital

Biddeford Daily Journal. Saturday Evening. June 8, 1907. End Came Suddenly. Death of Atwood Smith at Hospital.

Atwood F. Smith, one of Biddeford's best known & highly respected residents & also a veteran of the Civil war, died Friday night a little after 6 o'clock at the Trull hospital. His age was 69 years & ten days.

Mr. Smith was taken to the Trull hospital a week ago last Wednesday suffering from blood poisoning in his right hand. He cut his thumb while doing repair work in the Pepperell carpenter shop where he was employed for many years. He went to the shellac pot & stuck his thumb in it, which is often done, & covered the cut with the shellac & hiso [sic] put on a piece of leather to keep the dirt out. The shellac, it seems, had been "cut" with wood alcohol.

Mr. Smith took no more notice of it until a week ago Sunday. He attended the G.A.R. services at the Advent church on that day & was enjoying good health. On his return to his home he complained of being sick & said his thumb was bothering him. Monday morning he was in a bad condition & Dr. Randall was sent for. He found the thumb badly swollen & colored & after learning the facts the physician saw it was a case of blood poisoning. He treated Mr. Smith at his home up to a week ago Wednesday & noticing that his condition was growing worse, the doctor had him removed to the Trull hospital. Mr. Smith made a decided improvement at once, & everything looked favorable for his recovery. The hand appeared to be getting better & Mr. Smith told his son, T.W.A. Smith, the florist, he hoped to be able to return home in a few days.

Friday morning between 6 & 7 o'clock Mr. Smith had a bad attack of heart failure & his son was sent for. The patient rallied, however, & up to 3 o'clock he appeared to be gaining from the morning attack. He had another spell of heart failure at 3 o'clock, from which he did not recover. At the time of his death the private nurse was changing his clothes, which was done at his request. The lady had not finished her work when Mr. Smith suddenly expired.

The deceased has been a resident of Biddeford many years. He was born in Hollis, & was the son of Hiram B., & Betsey T. (Ford) Smith. He received a public school education & during the Civil war enlisted with Company F., 27th Me. Regiment. He was of a quiet disposition & a rugged constitution. He possessed all the qualifications for a good citizen. He was a member of Sheridan Post, G.A.R. & Laconia lodge, I.O.O.F. Mr. Smith was a regular attendant at the Jefferson street Free Will Baptist church. In politics he was a staunch Republican.

Besides his son, T.W.A. Smith, he is survived by two brothers, Josiah H., of Biddeford & Sylvanus Smith of Concord, N.H. The funeral will take place Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock at the late residence 43 Prospect street. The G.A.R. service will be performed at the funeral by members of Sheridan post.


Eva Mae Smith & Thomas Warren Alonzo Smith, & their daughter (in the middle), Elizabeth Marilla Henry nee Smith

My maternal great-grandparents -- T.W.A. & Eva Smith -- were in the landscaping & florist business in Biddeford, Maine. The Smiths had one daughter -- Elizabeth Marilla Henry nee Smith (1912-1932) -- who is my maternal grandma. A childhood friend, Diantha, wrote that, "The whole block from Foss St to Prospect street was filled with gardens & greenhouses I remember from a little girl – walking by to my aunts & grandmothers."

Biddeford Saco. Kennebunk & Kennebunkport. Souvenir. 1907.

T.W.A. SMITH.

York County has many efficient florists & fine conservatories, & among them is T. W. A. Smith whose finely equipped hot houses are at 43 Prospect street & also at 163 Pool street. Mr. Smith is an experienced & practical horticulturist & landscape gardener, & has an unexcelled reputation for the excellence of his work. Palms, ferns, lilies & potted plants are extensively dealt in, & a specialty made of cut flowers for funerals & social functions. Artistic & handsome floral designs are also supplied with prices always reasonable. Orders are taken & delivered for 15 miles around. Capable & experienced help to the number of four are employed, three acres of land & 10,000 square feet of glass occupied.

Mr. Smith was born in Lewiston, & educated in the public schools of Biddeford. He established his present business in 1895, & has built up a large & lucrative business. Mr. Smith is a member of the Masons, I.O.O.F., Encampment & Rebekahs, K. of P. & Red Men & is a past officer in the I.O.O.F. & K. of P. Mr. Smith is highly esteemed as a business man & citizen. Mr. Smith is most ably assisted by his wife who has had 12 years experience, which has made her an expert at her chosen vocation.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

1929 :: Marriage of Bob and Betty


On this date in our family history . . . the 8th day of July . . . in the year 1929 . . . 16-year-old Elizabeth Marilla Smith becomes the bride of 24-year-old Robert E. Henry . . . the ceremony is performed by Rev. Milford R. Foshay, pastor of East Church (Baptist) . . . at 27 Breed Street in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts . . . Elizabeth and Robert are the maternal grandparents of the Keeper of this family history blog . . .

Saturday, July 04, 2009

1986 :: Texas Sesquicentennial Wagon Train


On this date in my fairly recent family history . . . the 4th of July in 1986 . . . my husband and I were spending the day at the Fort Worth Stockyards after riding horseback off and on for six months . . . including the entire month of June . . . on the trail with the Texas Sesquicentennial Wagon Train. That's me and my dear Hubbie in the lower right photo of the collage. The image in the upper right of this collage is from Fort Worth Stockyards by J'Nell L. Pate (2009). The caption reads as follows . . .

During the statewide sesquicentennial celebration, the 150th birthday of Texas, a wagon train traveled slowly around the Lone Star State. It began in early spring, traveling within 100 miles of each town so citizens could see the train and its participants. The train ended its travels on July 4, 1986, in the Fort Worth Stockyards, as seen in this photograph. (Courtesy Tarrant County College District, Northeast Campus, Heritage Room, Fort Worth, Texas.)

1836 :: 4th of July in the Republic of Texas


Original Texas flag art by www.breedenart.com

On this date in our family history . . . the 4th day of July . . . in the year 1836 . . . while Texas is at the beginning of her decade of existence as an official country (owing to the Texas Declaration of Independence which was signed 02 March 1836) . . . my 4th great-grandpa, Elisha Roberts, and many members of his family are living in San Augustine County, Texas . . . so it is likely that they are attending a gathering being held in honor of an old family friend . . . recent events in Texas in 1836 include the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, where General Sam Houston is wounded in the ankle . . . thankful we are that John Salmon Ford decided to record the following about this event . . .


San Augustine, a town in the county of the same name, stands in the "Redlands" -- so called from the color of the soil. Around San Augustine many former residents of the state of Tennessee had settled. They were men of respectability and influence, and had taken an active part in the war against Mexico. . . .

General Sam Houston stopped on the "Redlands." His home had been at San Augustine. Houston was on his way from New Orleans whither he had gone to have the wound received at San Jacinto treated. His wound was on the ankle. It was still unhealed. . . .

Houston was then a splendid specimen of manhood. A form and features which would have adorned the walks of royalty, a fund of conversational powers almost unequalled, the matchless gift of oratory, a vast grasp of intellect -- all marked him a great man.

General Houston accepted the hospitality of ELISHA ROBERTS and of his son-in-law, Colonel Philip Sublett. The latter commanded the Texians at the "Grass Fight," which came off near San Antonio in 1835 and was one of the hardest contested affairs of the war.

It was arranged to have General Houston meet his friends at San Augustine on the FOURTH OF JULY, 1836. It was a joyous reunion. The fearless pioneers, who had left home and kindred and all their attendant attractions to aid in reclaiming a vast and fertile empire from the predominance of Indians, came together to salute their friend, the successful leader of a revolution, with the laurels of San Jacinto fresh upon his brow. Honest and stout hands were clasped, and true hearts thrilled in response to the promptings of sincere friendship. It was a scene one could never forget. . . .

In this assembly which greeted General Houston were men of note. Colonel James Bullock who commanded the Texians in 1832, when they expelled the Mexican troops under Colonel [Jose de las] Piedras from Nacogdoches, and Colonel Alexander Horton, one of General Houston's aides at San Jacinto, were there. One splendid old soldier must not be omitted: Donald McDonald was captain of a company, on the British side, at the battle of Lundy's Lane [during the War of 1812]. He went into the fight with eighty odd men and came out with fifteen. Colonel S.W. Blount, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was also present, if memory is not at fault.

These gentlemen of eastern Texas are mentioned to show the kind of men constituting the class since called "Old Texians." A more candid, friendly, and hospitable population never occupied any country. A stranger was not allowed to pass a house without being invited to stop. No difference how long a guest remained, provided he minded his own business, he was entertained free of cost. If he asked for his bill, he was told a repetition of the inquiry would be taken as an insult. The coffee pot was on the fire at nearly every house in the country from daylight till bedtime. A visitor was invited to take a cup -- a refusal was not taken in good part.

Energy, bravery, a practical view of all matters, self-reliance, moderation, and a disposition to act in concert with their fellow citizens were the characteristics of the early settlers. Danger menaced them unceasingly, rendered them cautious, and molded them into soldiers. Having to take care of themselves gave them an idea of what their far-off neighbors needed to make them comfortable and to protect them. Thus they acquired correct ideas of what was necessary to preserve order and give adequate protection to person and property. Many of those commonsense men rose to the full height of soldiers, legislators, and statesmen. . . .

Friday, July 03, 2009

1884 :: Death of Britton Valentine


Background Design by Lauren

On this date in our extended family history . . . the 3rd day of July . . . in the year 1884 . . . Britton Valentine dies in Lee County, Texas. Mr. Valentine was married to Matilda, who was a sister of my 3rd great-grandpa, Richard C. West, Jr., of Mississippi. The Valentines were a part of a group of people who came to Lee County, Texas from Oktibbeha County, Mississippi shortly following the end of the war between the states.

From A History of Lee County, Texas (1974) as remembered by Mrs. R. L. Vance . . .

The Republic of Texas had granted to Daniel Walker a league of land in north-central Lee County on 10 February 1846 and out of this in a few years developed the small community of Cole Springs. Records show that Britton Valentine, who had purchased a tract of land from Caroline Hill in 1877, deeded two and one-half acres of it for the use of a Baptist Church in 1879. . . . A small private cemetery near the church contains three markers that have survived the years. They bear the names of Britton Valentine, Matilda Valentine (his wife), and Siobbell, wife of M. G. Welch. . . .

From A History of Lee County, Vol. II (2000) -- Some Memories of Old Cole Springs as remembered by Hallie Mundine McCoy of Rockdale 1978, just after her 80th birthday . . .

Cole Springs was a community in Lee County located about four miles west, and slightly north, of Tanglewood. One building that served as both a church and a school was there. . . . An elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Britton Valentine, are buried in the tiny cemetery there, near where the church used to stand. Mr. Valentine had markers made for their graves before either of them died. On his marker he had the inscription, "Saved by Grace," and on Mrs. Valentine's marker the inscription was, "If ever saved, saved by Grace." . . .

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

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