Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson
Showing posts with label Sherman CT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sherman CT. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A News Clipping -- Surprise!

Charles and Elizabeth Radford Evans in front of the home that Charles' parents
built about 1801 in Sherman, Connecticut.  This picture was taken before they "retired" to
Great Barrington, Massachusetts to be closer to their two sons.
In the late 1890s, Elizabeth and  her husband Charles moved a few miles north to Great Barrington to be closer to their sons who had moved their Evans Bros. construction company north to become the Barrington Builders.

Elizabeth Radford Evans is the woman who was corresponding with her cousin Louise (in the 1840s) who wrote the two letters that I shared in blog posts: Dear Cousins Elizabeth and Augusta and Dear Cousin ... 2 1/2 years later.  If  you recall in the first letter, Louise was talking about her "light reading" of novels by Sir Walter Scott, that her cousin would probably be criticizing her for not reading and keeping up with more important things -- then later in the same letter, she was discussing the evils of slavery and declaring herself an abolitionist.  Louise was keeping up with the world far beyond Madison County New York in the mid-1840s.  Fast forward a few decades, now Elizabeth is an 88  year-old widow, living in Great Barrington, and the local paper interviews her.


“The Berkshire Courier, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Thursday 20 March 1913, volume
LXXIX, no. 12, pages 1, 8

“REMINISCENCES.
One of Great Barrington’ Old
Ladies and Some of the Things
She Has Witnessed During Her
Long Life. ---Memory Excellent and
and Interest  Keen for Current
Events.

     Mrs Evans, mother of E. B. Evans
 of the Barrington Building Co., is
one of those ladies of an old school type
that is fast passing away.  In her
88th year she retains her mental fac-
ulties to a remarkable degree, and
her stories of the days when the na-
tion was young are wonderfully in-
teresting.  She has lived under the
administration of 22 presidents of
the United States, and in the dawn
of the administration of the 23d 
president, Woodrow Wilson.  She
was a young girl during the adminis-
tration of John Quincy Adams, and
witnessed some of the exciting inci-
dents attending the canvass of An-
drew Jackson.  On incident she re-
lates was of an ardent admirer of
Jackson crowing over a group of the
adherents of Henry Clay.  He was
riding along in the stage coach when
they stopped near a group of men
digging in the ditch.
     “Hurray for Jackson!”  souted the
stalwart Jackson supporter.  Each 
man in the ditch grabbed up a hand-
ful of sticky clay and hurled it at the
Jacksonian and shouted in unison:
     “Hurray for Clay!”
     She has witnessed the campaigns
of Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison,
Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Fillmore, PIerce,
Buchanan, Lincoln, Johnson, Grant,
Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland,
Harrison, McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft
and Wilson.
     Mrs. Evans graduated from Mt.
Holyoke college in the class of 1845,
and is one of the few members of 
that class alive today.  She entered
Mt. Holyoke eight years after its or-
ganization, and when the noted Mary
Lyon, was its president.















   She has seen 23 states admitted to
the union in the period of her long
and active life, namely:  Arkansas in
1836, Michigan, seven months later
in 1837, Florida in 1845, Iowa in 1846,
Wisconsin in 1847, California in 1850,
Minnesota in 1858, Oregon in 1859,
Kansas in 1861, West Virginia in 
1863, Nevada in 1864, Nebraska in 
1867, Colorado in 1876, North Dako-
ta in 1889, South Dakota has the same
year, Montana six days later of that
year, followed by Washington three
days after, Idaho in 1890, Wyoming
eight days later of the same year,
Utah in 1896, Oklahoma in 1907, and
more recently the territories of New
Mexico, organized in 1850 and Ari-
zona, organized in 1863, admitted fi-
nally into statehood, as well as the
organization of the district of Alas-
ka as a territory in 1868 and Hawaii
in 1900.  She has seen the acquisition
of the Phillippine Islands and of 
Porto Rico and the Isthmian Canal
zone pass into United States posses-
sions.
     Among the stories she tell was one
related to her by her mother, of an
oratoron the political platform who
made this prophecy:
     “We now have a confederation of
13 states, but, gentlemen there ex-
tends beyond us territory sufficient
for 13 additional states, even to the
far west, to the banks of the Missis-
sippi river.”
     Mrs. Evans has live the see that
oratorical prophecy, then so improb-
able, fully verified, and to see this
to the Pacific ocean, and extend its
power to the far islands of the sea.
She remembers well the early stage
coaches, which in their day were re-
garded as a wonderfully rapid means
of transportation.  She has seen
them superseded by the railway
trains and witnessed the advent of
the trolley cars, the aeroplane and 
wireless telegraphy, the telegraph
and telephone, and the era of talk-
in movie pictures.
     Through all these years time has
dealt leniently with her and her con-
versational powers are wonderfully
interesting, and her interest in cur-
rent event continues unabated.”

Clearly for decades, Elizabeth was not "just" a mother of four and a housewife busy with all her chores on a farm in rural Connecticut, she was continuing to keep up with current events as she had learned from her mother (Harriet Higgins Radford 1785-1846) who had also done that.

The big surprise, to me in the newspaper was
     Mrs. Evans graduated from Mt.
Holyoke college in the class of 1845,
and is one of the few members of 
that class alive today.  She entered
Mt. Holyoke eight years after its or-
ganization, and when the noted Mary
Lyon, was its president.

She attended college!!!  I never knew that anyone in my family had gone to Mt Holyoke Seminary, or that any woman in the family had been to college that early.  I contacted the school archives, and she never graduated, but she did attend college, 1844-1845.

Thanks to my 2nd cousin once removed who mailed me a copy of this newspaper and made this discovery and blog post possible.  Thanks Craig!

©Erica Dakin Voolich, 2014
The link to this blog post is http://genea-adventures.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-news-clipping-surprise.html

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ruth Kirby: Who are you? and A Big Opps!

For years I have been trying to figure out who was my GGG'grandmother, Ruth Kirby Evans.  According to church records, she died on 21 March 1844 in Sherman Connecticut at age 63.   My grandmother, Marion Evans Dakin's notes on her family tree says her great grandmother was Ruth Kirby, born either in "Dover, New York or Canada" and married Jonathan Evans.

According to the Beekman Patent book (vol. 1, page 817), Jonathan was the son of John Evans of Dover, Dutchess County, NY.  By 1800, Jonathan and Ruth are married (probably in Dover) and have a baby, Lydia.  Soon they move over the border to Sherman, Connecticut to a house they built on Evans Hill Rd, and lived in the rest of their lives [Sherman SENTINEL, 16 October 1868 story on the oldest houses in town], and raised their nine children. This old house, even after over 213 years, has been owned by only two families: first Evans and now Mosenthal.

The EVANS family house on Evans Hill Road in Sherman CT
with Charles Evans and Elizabeth Radford Evans
(son and and daughter-in-law of Jonathan Evans and Ruth Kirby Evans).


Born "in Canada" is a bit broad for searching.  So, for years,  I've been looking in the Dover NY neighborhood for a KIRBY family for my Ruth.  There were two KIRBY families in Pawling NY in the 1790 census, George and William.  She died in 1844 at age 63, so in 1790 she would have been about age 9.  Each had white females and so are possible families.  BUT, then I found the Beekman Patent Book (VII, 575-579) has no mention of any Kirby family with a daughter named Ruth born about 1781, including George's and William's families.  This doesn't seem too promising.

So I got to searching recently, wondered if maybe she had been born over the border in Connecticut.  I found a Mrs. Ruth Kirby who died in Litchfield CT, maybe that was my Ruth Kirby's mother and she was named for her mother?  Worth a look.  I was looking a bit closer on GenealogyBank -- a source of old newspapers.

I found widow Ruth Kirby, with neighbors concerned about her and holding a "woodspell" -- a term I had not heard before but clearly a "wood supply" help-your-neighbors-event:
Wednesday 23 January 1805, Republican Watch-Tower (NY, NY), vol 5, issue 333, page 4:
    “Faith, Hope and Charity -- the greatest
of these is charity.”
    Monday the 7th inst, was proposed as a day 
to have a woodspell for Mrs. Ruth Kirby,
widow of Col. Ephraim Kirby, late of Litch-
field, deceased.  On which day received, by way
of presents, upwards of one hundred loads of
wood, excellent both for quantity and qua-
lity.
    Such acts of benevolence, display an hono-
rable trait of goodness in human nature.--
They also demonstrate more than words can
do is what regard the character of Col. Kir-
by and his family are estimated in the town
of Litchfield, where their merits are best
known.
    The greatest order and even solemnity was
visible on the occasion.
Let gratitude in acts of goodness show
  Our love to God, in love to man below.
Be this our joy--to calm the troubl’d breast.
  Support the weak and succour the distress’d
Direct the wanderer, dry the widow’s tear,
  The orphan guard, the sinking spirits cheer.
Tho’ small our power to act, tho’ weak our
  skill,
God see the heart--He judges by the will. 
                      A. Mer.”

Sadly, I found the first death notice for Ruth Kirby, widow of Col. Ephraim Kirby just a month after her delivery of fuel for the winter:
Friday, 22 February 1805, Albany Register  (Albany, NY), vol. XVII, issue 1370, page 2:
“DIED,
At Litchfield, Conn. Mrs RUTH KIRBY, wid-
ow of the late Col. Ephraim Kirby, deceased.”

Followed over a month later by:
Friday, 29 March 1805, Albany Register (Albany NY), vol. XVII, issue 1380, page 2
    “In the account published in our paper sev-
eral weeks since, of the death of Mrs. RUTH
KIRBY, consort of the late EPHRAIM KIR-
BY, Esq. deceased, and which we copied
from the Pittsfield Sun, we are happy in
being able to inform our readers is amply 
contradicted.”

Opps!

I guess Ruth Kirby, upon reading the newspaper could sympathize with a future Mark Twain who sent an 1897 note to London reporter Frank Marshall White, "The report of my illness grew of his [cousin's] illness; the report of my death was an exaggeration." [en.wikiquote/wiki/Mark_Twain]

She did live another 12 years:
“Monday, 3 November 1817, Connecticut Mirror (Hartford CT), vol. IX, issue 19, page 2
“DIED...
--At Litchfield, on the 17th ult. 
Mrs Ruth Kirby, aged 64, relict of the late E. Kirby, Esq.”

The Ephraim Kirby family was in the 1800 census in Litchfield CT but Ephraim had died by the 1810 census.  Searching for any evidence of their children on Ancestry.com, I did find a few people who have put up trees for this KIRBY family, they have no daughter Ruth born any time near 1781.  More recently on Americanancestors.com, I did find the marriage of Ephraim Kirby and Ruth Marvin on 17 March 1784 in Litchfield, CT -- unfortunately that is 4 years after MY Ruth Kirby was supposedly born.

Anyone in Canada have a KIRBY family with a daughter named Ruth born about 1781?

EVANS/MOSENTHAL family house in September 2012
(various additions over the years)


The link to this post is: http://genea-adventures.blogspot.com/2014/03/ruth-kirby-who-are-you-and-big-opps.html

©2014 Erica Dakin Voolich