Monday, July 27, 2015

1902 Letter from Gene ?, Cook at E. C. Joy's Logging Camp at Lily Bay, Moosehead Lake, Maine

December 28, 1902 letter sent from Gene, who was working as cook at E. C. Joy's logging camp at Lily Bay, on Moosehead Lake in Maine, to his mother.  Image and transcript at the end of this post.

Clues in the letter:
  • It is too bad about George Adell.  I am sorry for Mert and Lottie!  [Adell could be O'Dell or variant]
  • So Mrs. Messenger has come back to Maine and brought the bed wetter, has she.  They are a funny lot, shure.
  • I thought of you all Xmas and of Dan getting up and pulling the things out of his stocking. 
If you have a theory as to Gene's identity or information on the logging camp of E. C. Joy at Lily Bay on Moosehead Lake, near Greenville, Maine, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Click on an image to enlarge it.


Lily Bay, December 28, 1902
Dear Mother
I have got a half hour before bed time and I will write a little, I guess.  I don't have much time to write and when I do I am so tired that I don't feel like writing.  We have fifty men now and I have got a boy to help me so I don't have to work so hard as I did last week.  I had to work night and day and I told the boss that I had got to have a man to help me so this boy came in Sunday and he hired him.  He can only talk French so we don't fight much.  I can talk French some now, enough so I can tell him what I want hi to do.  He is a good little fellow and a good boy to work.  We have to carry lunch two miles now I carry for 22 men and he carries for 14 and the rest carry their own lunch.  They are dragging on to the landing now and in about a month they will be hauling up from the yards and then the crew will be smaller and I will not have to work so hard.
It has snowed every day since Xmas and we have about three feet now and it is snowing hard to night.  I have not heard from you since the 20th.  The toter comes in tomorrow and I am looking for a letter then.  It is too bad about George Adell.  I am sorry for Mert and Lottie!  So Mrs. Messenger has come back to Maine and brought the bed wetter, has she.  They are a funny lot, shure.  I thought of you all Xmas and of Dan getting up and pulling the things out of his stocking.  I would liked to have been there that day, but I could not very well.  Don't you worry about getting me Xmas presents.  I did not expect you to.
I am feeling fine, have not been sick a day yet, am getting fat every day with all the work and I know every night that I have got another dollar and that makes me grow fat and I will have about $180 dollars coming to me in the spring and I will put a $100 into a lens and if things work right I will have 200 more by next fall and I will quit the woods and go down south next winter where it is warmer.  It is bed time so will have to close.  Write soon and I will as often as I can.  With lots of love from Gene.
Lily Bay, Moosehead Lake, Maine, E. C. Joy's Camp

1847 Letter from Deacon Eliashib Adams of Bangor, Maine to his Son Rev. George Eliashib Adams at Brunswick, Maine

April 7, 1847 letter from Deacon Eliashib Adams of Bangor, Maine, to his oldest son, Rev. George Eliashib Adams at Brunswick, Maine.   The reverse contains a note from Deacon Adams' daughter Mary Ann Adams.  Transcript at the end of this post.

The letter contains news of the formation of a new Congregational parish in Bangor, Central Congregational Church, which existed from 1847 until 1911, when it and another church combined to form All Souls Church.

An issue of the Maine Historical Magazine, Volume 8, covering January 1893-December 1893, contains an article about the Adams family, including mention of the letter writer Deacon Eliashib Adams and his family.

A highly interesting account of Deacon Eliashib Adams, his son Rev. George Eliashib Adams and other family members is contained in the book Fanny & Joshua: The Enigmatic Lives of Frances Caroline Adams & Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, written by Diane Rowe Smith and published in 2013.  Frances Caroline Adams, "Fanny", and the much older Rev. George Eliashib Adams were cousins.  When "Fanny" was four, Rev. Adams and his then wife Sarah Ann (Folsom) Adams took Fanny into their Brunswick home as their adopted daughter.


Bangor, April 7, 1847
Dear Son,
On the 19th March past I sent you a check on Boston of $60.50 on John's [possibly John Calvin Adams, Eliashib Adams' second son] account with a request for you to acknowledge the receipt, but have not heard from you since.  Will you say whether it has come to hand?
You will be pleased to learn that another Congregational Church has recently been formed in this City.  The organization took place the first day of this month as you may have seen by the papers.  The Church consists of twelve brethren only, of whom I am one.  We expect to receive to our communion about thirty more, male and female, as soon as we can have time to go through with an examination.  This course is thought important in order that those belonging to the same church may become acquainted with each other's Christian experience.  We have held meeting on the Sabbath in the new Market hall since March came in, and listened to the preaching of Prof. Shepard much to the edification of all present.  About three hundred have attended.  We have had a weekly prayer meeting at private homes, most of them of deep interest.  It is expected that for some time to come Prof. S. will preach half a day each sabbath when at home, and our parish committee informed me that they had agreed to invite John (who is still at Bucksport) to engage as a Colleague with Prof. Shepard, for the time being.  Have heard that you have rather an interesting time in your place; when you have time please write.  Mary will finish this sheet.  Your affectionate father, Love to you all, Eliashib Adams.
[Mary now writes]

James wishes me to say that he hopes you will come here soon.  His heath is somewhat improved.  Still he is far from well.  We went to meeting, last sabbath morning, for the first time for months.  He cannot read at all but he has a great faculty of furnishing himself amusement and his spirits are very good.  Prof. Shepard goes to New York after two sabbaths more, to stay several weeks.  He said he would go and see Aaron [presumably Aaron Chester Adams, third son of letter writer Deacon Eliashib Adams].  
We were very glad to hear through Mr. Crosby that you and Ann [presumably Sarah Ann Folsom,  first wife of letter recipient Rev. George Eliashib Adams] think of coming here this summer.  We hope you will not fail to come.   I expect to be somewhere about here, though there is no place particularly that I can consider a home.  Our love to the folks.  I am in a hurry as you can see.  Your affectionate Sister [Mary]

If you have more information on Deacon Eliashib Adams and his family, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

1846 Invoice, Eddington, Maine: Names of Samuel Davis and J. Muzzy

1846 invoice dated June 15, 1846 at Eddington, Maine.  The handwritten document contains two names, that of Samuel Davice, who was presumably Samuel Davis, and J. Muzzy.

There were several men named Samuel Davis living in the area of Eddington, Maine, and abutting Clifton, Maine, during this time frame.  See another post that features a promise to pay document, also dated in 1846 and at Eddington, Maine, between Samuel Davis and Bartholomew Davis Penney.  Whether this is the same Samuel Davis or one of the others, I don't know.

There were also several possibilities for a J. Muzzy, including Jacob Muzzy and Joel Muzzy.  The latter, however, was a cabinetmaker and carriage maker, so this bill for a pair of ox wagon wheels makes Joel Muzzy look very plausible as the maker of the invoice.

If you have information on either Samuel Davis or a J. Muzzy from the Eddington, Maine, area, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

1846 Promise to Pay, Eddington, Maine: Samuel Davis to Bartholomew Penney

November 29, 1846 document from Eddington, Maine, where Samuel Davis promised to pay Bartholomew Penney $49 and interest by December 1, 1847.

Note: See another post that features an invoice dated 1846 also at Eddington, Maine, for a pair of ox wagon wheels that J. Muzzy made for Samuel Davis.

There was more than one Samuel Davis living in the Eddington, Maine, and Clifton, Maine area at that time.

Bartholomew Davis Penney was born about 1820, the son of Joseph and Sarah Jane (Davis) Penney. Bartholomew apparently also went by the name Davis B. Penney, as he was recorded by that name on a Civil War Draft Registration list.

I don't believe Bartholomew married.  He died July 5, 1864 and is buried in the Pine Tree Cemetery at Eddington, Maine, together with his parents and other relatives.

I wonder if Samuel Davis was related to Bartholomew's mother's Sarah Jane (Davis) Penney.  If you have corrections and/or additions on Bartholomew Davis Penney, or a theory as to which Samuel Davis wrote the document, please leave a comment  or contact me directly.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

1865 Letter of Nancy (Cook) Davis of Washington, Iowa, to Hattie; re: Death of Nancy's Husband, Rev. Increase Sumner Davis, Massachusetts Native

Letter, dated February 3, 1865, to Hattie from Nancy (Cook) Davis, wife of Reverend Increase Sumner Davis.  The purpose of the letter was to thank Hattie for her expression of sympathy and to give her an account of Rev. Davis' last days; he had died in November of 1864.

The letter is one sheet, folded into four panes.  [Click on an image to enlarge it.]  A transcription appears at the end of this post.

From brief online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions welcome!]

Nancy (Cook) Davis was born September 25, 1795 at Newton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Jonathan and Temperance (Whitney) Cook.  In 1818, I think on May 14, Nancy married Sumner Increase Davis, son of Ebenezer and Lucy (Aspinwall) Davis.  Sumner was born on May 6, 1797 at Brookline, Massachusetts, though I found another record having him born on the same day in 1796.  He was ordained a minister at Dorchester, New Hampshire, October 9, 1828.

Rev. Davis' occupation took him to several states, including, eventually, Iowa, where he died in November of 1864.  I found different dates of death in November of 1864 for him, and even records with a different year of death.  Unless Nancy misdated her letter, his death in November of 1864 seems plausible.  Hopefully a reader in the know will weigh in on these discrepancies.

I found an interesting description of Rev. Davis from The History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men, Volume III, compiled by D. Hamilton Hurd and published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1890 by J. W. Lewis & Co.

Rev. Davis and Nancy (Cook) Davis had, I believe, four children, two daughters and two sons:
  1. Mary Wright Davis, baptized September 5, 1819 at Brookline, Massachusetts
  2. Elizabeth Anspinwall Davis, born June 28, 1822 at Newton, Massachusetts
  3. Ebenezer Davis, born April 26, 1826 at Newton, Massachusetts
  4. Thomas Aspinwall Davis, born June 8, 1829 in New Hampshire
Nancy (Cook) Davis died November 25, 1884 at Washington, Iowa, and is buried with her husband and sons Ebenezer and Thomas at Witt Cemetery, Bridgewater, Iowa.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  I'd like to know more about the Luella referenced in the letter.


Washington, Adair Co., Iowa, February 3, 1865
My very dear Hattie
Yours of the 25 of December came safe to hand and I thank you for the warm affection and tender sympathy you express for one in this time of my deep affliction.
I think I can say with you, dear Hattie, that I never before so felt the blessedness of our holy religion to bring comfort in hours of sorrow.  How could I live had I no God to trust in and lean upon now my dear earthly friend and support is gone.  Had I known in the morning what was to take place at evening it seems as if I could hardly have lived through the day, but when the stroke came sustaining mercy came with it and I was enabled to realized that the Lord had give and had taken away and I could say "Blessed be the name of the Lord".  Now, dear Hattie, I will try to give you some account of his last days and his sudden departure.
His health seemed remarkably good during the Autumn, had a good appetite for his food, seemed to have strength to do all his traveling.  The last time he attended his meeting five miles from where we lived he came home very much exhausted, so much so that I felt somewhat alarmed, but in the morning he said he felt rested and went on as usual.  The next Sabbath he preached at Neven from there words, "For the love of Christ constraineth us because we thus judge that if one died for all then we were all dead".  In the forenoon for the love of Christ constraineth us, and in the afternoon the remainder of the verse and it was a solemn day but it did not enter our minds that it was the last time he was to preach to us.  I propose singing Come saints, let us join in the praise of the Lamb, thus ended the last sabbath services of my dear beloved husband here on earth.  The next Thursday was our National Thanksgiving.  Nearly all the settlement came to our house, brought their provisions.  We had a religious meeting in the forenoon.  My dear husband read Dr. Hitchcock's sermon.  He was very much pleased with it, thought it better than anything he could produce and the people were willing he should, he seemed considerably affected while reading it.  The meeting done, our dinner was prepared, we set together at the head of the table.  O how happy not thinking that in a few hours the Angel of death was coming to take him away from us, but so it was about six in the evening.  His soul took its flight and went to the mansions of Bliss, prepared to be forever with the Lord.  about sundown the people all left and he was in the habit of taking his saw and going out to his woodpile and exercising between daylight and dark.  It was quite darkish when he came in, said he had great distress in his stomach and he was covered with cold sweat.  Immediately prepared Camphor and hot water heat, flannel and applied to him.  He said he thought he felt better.  The last words that I heard him say was "I think I shall get over it".  He stretched himself upon his chair, his head dropt.  I raised his head, said to him, "What is the matter, do speak to me".  He took no notice of me, gasped twice and was gone.  We rubbed him, put his feet in hot water, we worked over him two hours till it was evident life was gone.  His friends and neighbors were around me and laid out his lifeless remains and paid every attention to me that I could have had in my Eastern Home.  His grave is in Washington, near Eben and Thomas __ I am now with them and expect to spend the remainder of my days with them.  I want  to be laid by the side of my dear beloved husband when my short future is ended.  Tell dear Luella that the news of her dear husband's death came to us not long before dear Grandsire as she used to call him, died.  Love to both, felt deeply for her but I know now by sad experience what she feels and I sympathize with her with all my heart.  Your affectionate friend, 
Nancy C. Davis

1866 Letter from Amos Smith at Norristown, Pennsylvania, to his Brother Timothy Smith at Turner, Maine

February 12, 1866 letter from Amos Smith at Norristown, Pennsylvania, to his brother Timothy Smith at Turner, Maine.  The letter consists of one sheet folded into four panes and contains family news.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

See a transcript of the letter at the end of this post.

From brief online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions requested]

Amos Smith was born December 16, 1797 in New Hampshire, the son of Caleb and Mary (Tuck) Smith.  His brother Timothy Smith was born January 27, 1801 in New Hampshire.  Mentioned in the letter is their oldest brother John Smith, who was born April 27, 1785.  Interestingly, there was a John Smith living at Norristown, Pennsylvania, at least at the time of the 1840 Census.

Amos married Eliza Young Littlefield in 1823; they had at least four children, I believe:
  1. Elizabeth, born about 1826 in New Hampshire
  2. George Littlefield Smith, born in New Hampshire on December 27, 1827
  3. Mary, born June 20, 1831
  4. Sarah, born about 1836 in New Hampshire
  5. Daniel Pratt Smith, born May 19, 1839 at Meredith, New Hampshire
Amos Smith died a few months shy of his 100th birthday, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 5, 1897 and is buried there in the Woodlands Cemetery.

In the letter, Amos mentioned his son George Littlefield Smith and family, then living at Prattsville, Alabama.  He revealed that George's wife, Abigail Flint (Holt) Smith, hadn't felt herself since the birth of her son Amos Littlefield Smith on November 2, 1865.  Fortunately, Abigail survived the ordeal and lived until 1914.

Timothy Smith married twice: 1) Olive (?); 2) Jane W. French.  With Olive, Timothy had at least one child, a son:
  1.  Aurelius Marcus Smith, born about December 1828.  
With Jane, Timothy had at least four children:
  1. Mary, born at Turner, Maine, on January 3, 1834
  2. John, born at Turner, Maine, on December 23, 1836
  3. Daniel French Smith, born at Turner, Maine, on October 4, 1839
  4. Olive H. Smith, born October 13, 1845, presumably at Turner, Maine
Timothy Smith died April 12, 1866 according to his gravestone and a partial recreation of a Maine death record, but many sources online have his death a year to the day later.  He's buried in the Turner Village Cemetery.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Pane 1:
Norristown, Pennsylvania
February 12 1866
My Dear Bro.
I wrote you the 5th of November but have not heard from you since, only by the way of Bro. John who wrote me you were better and able to be in the Shop.  I think mine must have miscarried or I should have heard from you before this.  I was glad to learn that you were better, hope you continue so and are still improving.  Let me hear from you on
[End of pane 1 with a sideways note in the margin:  Remember me kindly to Bro. John when you see him.  I hope I shall be able to make one more visit to New Hampshire, but I don't know when.  Love to all.  A.  who I hope you will be able to come here again soon.  A.]
Pane 2:  receipt of this how you are.  I hope you have entirely recovered from your difficulty.
I would not mind writing if I could get a good pen.  I have bought a good many lately but I am unable to write well with any of them.  They catch and spatter on the paper.  Perhaps half the fault may be in me.  I never could write very well and I am doing worse now than ever before, and that is one reason why I don't write often,  I did not make such a miserable out of it, but I hope you will excuse this specimen of writing and when I get a better pen will try again.
Pane 3:  We have been having very wet sloppy weather for a week back and today this forenoon we had a tremendous rain.  The ice is all broken up in the Schoolkill [Schuylkill River], and is floating down.  We have had a good deal of cold weather this winter but I think it is broken now.  We don't get but very little good sleighing but a good deal of muddy sloppy weather during the winter, although the weather is not so cold as in New England.  Still I think a New England winter is the most pleasant after all.
Pane 4:  My family are all well as usual and they all join in their kindest regards to you and yours.
I hope you will excuse my bad spotting for my pen is so bad.  It is almost impossible to spell correctly so you won't wonder at so much bad spelling.
We had a letter from George today.  They were all pretty well then but he has had a great deal of sickness in his family this fall and winter.  His wife had a young son born the first of November.  She has not been well since.  Her Breasts were so bad they had to raise the Child by the Bottle.  George says he takes to it very kindly.  Yours affectionately,
Bro. A

Friday, July 24, 2015

1890s Autograph Album of Helen Brooks of Schodack, New York; Presumably Ellen C. Brooks

1890s autograph album of Helen Brooks of Schodack, New York.  She may have been Ellen C. Brooks.  Several of her siblings and other relatives inscribed pages in the album.

The album measures approximately 6-3/4" by 4-1/2" and contains the sentiments of 44 of Helen's relatives, friends and schoolmates.  An alphabetical surname list and an alphabetical list of the inscribers, together with any personal information they offered, appear at the end of this post.

On a bittersweet page a note was added, presumably by Helen herself, to indicate that the inscriber, Fannie Barringer of South Schodack, had died.  Fannie inscribed her page on September 15, 1891.  The note indicates that she died on May 21, 1893.

From brief online research, hopefully correct, and hopefully with the correct person as the album owner [corrections and additions requested]

Ellen C. Brooks, or "Helen", was born June 24, 1879 at Schodack, New York, the daughter of Jacob H. Brooks and Laura M. (Collins) Brooks.

Helen's father, Jacob H. Brooks, the son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Hogeboom) Brooks, may have had a first marriage to Rosa Craigin, daughter of Andrew F. and Margaret (Cleary) Craigin; they possibly had two children together.  Rosa died April 30, 1871.  Hopefully a reader will weigh in with definitive information.

On November 2, 1872, Jacob married Laura M. Collins, daughter of Joseph and Mary B. (Worth) Collins.  I believe Jacob and Laura had seven children together, but, again, I'd be interested in hearing from a reader.  Several people from the Collins family inscribed pages in Helen's album.

Helen's sister Suke of East Schodack, New York, inscribed a page on June 24, 1893.

Helen's brother Charles J. Brooks inscribed a page on May 15, 1892.

Helen's brother Junius Fallon Brooks inscribed a page.

Helen's brother Burton Brooks of South Schodack, New York, inscribed a page.

Helen's sister Abbie Amelia Brooks inscribed a page on February 19, 1892.

Helen's sister Mary E. Brooks, "Mamie", inscribed a page in July 1891.

Many other inscribers indicated a family relationship with Helen, as you can see from the list of inscribers below.  Among them were Helen's great aunt Abbie M. White of Muitzesville, New York, and great uncle George B. Worth.

Before 1910, Helen married Fred Higgins, son of David and Sophia Higgins.  Fred was born about October 1881 in New York.  I believe Helen and Fred had at least three children.  Fred died in 1958, but I haven't found a death record for Helen.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the inscribers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Surnames in the Album

AAckerman [3]EEdwardsKKingman [3]TTobias
BBarringerEvans [2]KingstonTownsend
Brooks [9]FFeatherleyLLeavenworth [2]Tremble
CC ?GGoewey ?Lobdell [3]WWhite
Collins [5]HHallSSimms ?Wilcox
Coons [2]HamWorth

List of Inscribers - given names within a specific surname might not be in alphabetical order

  • Letta R. Ackerman of Nassau, inscribed on August 12, 1891; Helen's cousin
  • Martha A. Ackerman of Nassau, New York, inscribed on August 12, 1891; Helen's cousin
  • Lansing I. Ackerman, inscribed on November 20, 1892
  • Fannie Barringer, inscribed at South Schodack, New York, on September 15, 1891; Helen's schoolmate. Sadly, someone, presumably Helen, added a note: "My schoolmate died May 21, 1893"
  • Helen Brooks, album owner.  She may have been Ellen C. Brooks.
  • Suke, inscribed at East Schodack, New York, on June 24 1893; Helen's sister
  • Charles J. Brooks, inscribed on May 15, 1892. Helen's brother
  • Junius Brooks; Helen's brother Junius Fallon Brooks
  • Eva R. Brooks of Poughkeepsie, New York; Helen's niece
  • Burton Brooks of South Schodack, New York; Helen's brother Burton Jacob Brooks
  • Abbie A. Brooks of New York, inscribed on February 19, 1892; Helen's sister Abigail Amelia Brooks
  • Mamie E. Brooks, inscribed in July 1891; Helen's sister Mary E. Brooks
  • Eva R. Brooks of Poughkeepsie, New York, inscribed on November 19, 1894; Helen's niece
  • K. E. C., inscribed at August 3, [no year written] at Castleton, New York
  • Carrie E. Collins of Muitzeskill, New York, inscribed on November 26, 1893; Helen's aunt. She was Caroline E. Collins, a sister to Helen's mother Laura M. (Collins) Brooks
  • Gussie Collins, inscribed on February 19, 1892 at Nassau, New York
  • Kittie I. Collins of Nassau, New York, inscribed on February 21, 1892
  • Anna Collins of New York, inscribed on February 21, 1892
  • Maggie M. Collins, inscribed on February 19, 1892
  • Charles W. Coons, inscribed at South Schodack, New York
  • Mrs. L. G. Coons, inscribed at South Schodack, New York, on June 15, 1891. Not sure of surname
  • Jennie Edwards, inscribed on March 1, 1895
  • Mrs. George Evans of Albany, New York; called herself Helen's sister
  • George W. Evans of Green Island, New York, inscribed on March 15, 1893 [spelled Iseland]
  • Edith M. Featherley, inscribed on October 6, 1893
  • Bertha C. Goewey of East Schodack, New York, inscribed on October 6, 1893. Not sure of surname
  • E. W. Hall of Hudson, New York, inscribed on February 2, 1892
  • Estella Ham of Nassau, New York, inscribed on September 15, 1891
  • Annie Huss of Muitzeskill, New York, inscribed on February 17, 1882
  • Alice V. Kingman
  • Urania M. Kingman
  • Hattie K. Kingman, inscribed on July 11, 1891; Helen's schoolmate
  • E. A. H. of Kingston, New York, inscribed on April 18, 1894
  • Elias W. Leavenworth of North Chatham, New York, inscribed on March 26, 1893
  • Maude M. Leavenworth, inscribed on March 27, 1893
  • Albertha Lobdell, inscribed in 1894
  • Celia Lobdell of Nassau, New York, inscribed on February 26, 1894
  • Florence Lobdell of Nassau, New York, inscribed on February 28, 1894
  • Etta C. Simms; inscribed on November 18, 1893. Not sure of surname
  • Mrs. George Tobias of Mellenville, New York; Helen's cousin
  • Miss Lottie Townsend, inscribed at West Berne, New York, on July 9, 1892 [or 1893]
  • ? Hattie Tremble of Stephentown, New York, inscribed on August 3, 1891
  • Abbie M. White of Muitzeskill, New York, inscribed on February 2, 1892; Helen's Great Aunt
  • Effie Wilcox of Albany, New York, inscribed on July 6 [no year written]; not sure of surname
  • G. B. Worth, inscribed on May 10, 1892. Helen's great uncle George B. Worth, brother of Helen's maternal grandmother Mary B. (Worth) Collins