Category Archives: Maternal

The Oblong

It is fascinating when you come across something–in this case a place–that you had never heard of before. In a death notice, the father’s birthplace was listed as “Oblong,” Mass. — just like that, in quotation marks. And whether it was added at the same time or at some point down the line, it was clarified as the S.W. corner of state.


What the heck?

At first, Google was unhelpful as I searched for an Oblong, Massachusetts. But I started to massage my query, looking at a modern map and seeing Mount Washington as being the town in that corner of Massachusetts. Eventually, I came upon this link that was finally referencing something called the “Oblong.” Love how the blogger starts the post:

I love a good border dispute. (Not a fan of the bad ones of course.) And I really love when the combination of a 200+ year Connecticut border dispute, a great hike, some perambulation fun, multiple geographic extremes, absurdity, a great word like “oblong”, found money, blueberries and upsetting those weirdo genealogy freaks all come together in one CTMQ page…

A page about a 4 foot pillar in the woods.

The pillar he refers to was set in August 28, 1899, in the same location as a stone heap made by the New York-Connecticut Commission of 1731 to mark the northwest corner of the “Oblong.” It all comes down to a border war between New York and Connecticut that ended with Connecticut getting its panhandle, and New York getting the so-called “Oblong.” More from CTMQ and the Connecticut State Library:

So in 1683 the boundary between Connecticut and New York was generally recognized as a line parallel to and twenty miles from the Hudson River north to the Massachusetts line. However, New York, acknowledging most of Connecticut’s settlements in (now) Fairfield County, gave up a claims to a 61,660 acre rectangle east of the Byram River, which became the area sometimes referred to as Connecticut’s “panhandle” or the “handle of the cleaver”. In return, (This would be the Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan bit.)

Connecticut gave up its claims to Rye (no loss there) and ceded to New York a strip of land 580 rods (1.81 miles) wide “equivalent” to the area of the panhandle that extended north from Ridgefield along Dutchess, Putnam, and Westchester Counties, New York, to the Massachusetts line. This territory came to be known as “The Oblong”.

As you can imagine, genealogical research for this area is difficult to say the least. Some information may be in Connecticut records, other information may be in New York town or county records, and there are some people and families that either were simply missed or chose to be uncounted. “Lost to the Oblong,” so they say.

As far as Silvanus Jones being from the “Oblong,” that research continues, because I have always been under the assumption he was from the Cape or southeastern Massachusetts.

Obituary for Benjamin Alford

Died, in this city, on Saturday, the 17th, after a short but severe illness, Mr. BENJAMIN ALFORD, aged 46 years, a native of Westfield (Mass). During a short resident in this city, he was much respected by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. The warmth and sincerity of friendship, and the benevolent disposition of this gentleman, will endear his memory to his friends and distant relatives and leave them grounds to hope, that he is now enjoying felicity, in another and a better world.–Museum.

Savannah Republican and Evening Ledger
October 1, 1814
Page 3

Excerpt on Alfred Family History

The name is of English origin, and the first one to settle in this country was Benedictus Alford, as the name then appeared, who made his home at Windsor, Connecticut. He was a sergeant in the Pequot war in 1637, a juror in 1643, and constable of his town in 1666, when a day of special thanksgiving was observed throughout the colonies. He was a member of the Windsor church. When his will was offered for probate in 1683, his estate was valued at two hundred and twenty-nine pounds, three shillings and six pence. This was considered a large amount in those days, and Mr. Alford was looked upon as one of the most prominent and influential citizens. He was married to Miss Jane Newton on November 26, 1640, and the following named children were born to them: Jonathan, born June 1, 1645; Benedict, born July 11, 1647; Josias, born July 6, 1649, who inherited the form granted to his father for services in the Pequot war; Elizabeth, born September 21, 1651; and Jeremy, born December 24, 1655.

Jeremy was the youngest son of Benedictus and Jane Alford, and the first name of his wife was Jane, who survived him and was administratrix of his estate in 1709. Her death occurred in 1715; nine children were born to them, namely: Benedict, Newton, Jonathan, Jeremy, Jane, Joanna, Elizabeth, Elizabeth (2) and Job Alford.

Job, the youngest son of Jeremy and Jane Alford, was born August 26, 1708, and about 1734 became one of the first settlers of Harwinton, Connecticut; his children were Job and John Alford.

John, youngest son of Job Alfred, was born September 4, 1738, and he was joined in marriage to Lydia Fellows; six children were born to them: Eunice, Polly, Joanna, Consider, William and Benjamin Alford. Benjamin, youngest son of John and Lydia Alford, was born March 26, 1769. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Chapin, and the following children were born to them: John B., who died in infancy; John B. (2); Samuel D., who also died in infancy; Samuel D. (2); and Elizabeth Alford. The father of these children was a resident of West Springfield, Massachusetts, subsequently removing to Westfield in the same state. He was engaged in the West Indies trade, and was a large dealer in ivory; on one of his return voyages he landed in Savannah, Georgia, to attend a sale of ivory, and contracted yellow fever, from which he died. His second son, John B., was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Hopkins, who bore him four children, namely: Elizabeth; Caroline; John B., who died in infancy; and John B. Alfred.

Samuel D. Alfred, youngest son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Alfred, was born June 14, 1804. He was eleven years of age when his father died; he remained at home with his mother and elder brother, assisting with the work on the homestead farm until he was sixteen years old, when he went to Hartford, Connecticut, and became an apprentice to a cabinet-maker. After acquiring a thorough knowledge of the business he worked as a journeyman in Batavia and Lansingburg, New York, and in the latter named city he was united in marriage to Miss Sally Willard, who was born September 30, 1805. Two children were born to them: Benjamin C. and Roxana, the latter of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Alfred died November 25, 1828, and mr. Alfred committed the care of Benjamin C. to the care of his grandmother, who resided in Westfield, Massachusetts. Mr. Alfred then engaged in the sale of clocks, traveling with his wagon as far north as Montreal, Canada. His business soon became so prosperous that he placed a number of traveling salesmen on the road, and he continued at this line of work until he formed a mercantile association with Almon Smith and Lucius Wheeler at Berkshire Center, Vermont. He retired from the firm in 1840, and removed to West Haven, Vermont, where he was in business for two years, subsequently removing to Fairfax, where he established himself in business, and continued to reside there until his decease. In 1865 Mr. Alfred retired, transferring his business to his son, John B. Alfred. Mr. Samuel D. Alfred was one of the prime movers in procuring the removal of the Newhampton Institution from Newhampton, New Hampshire, to Fairfax, Vermont. For many years after its removal he gave largely of his means and time to its support. It was one of the leading schools of that time. Mr. Alford gave all of his children a good and thorough education, and contributed liberally of his wealth to enable them to make a beginning in life. He was a man of the strictest integrity, and had the reputation of being the soul of honesty in all his transactions. Mr. Alfred, on November 25, 1832, married for his second wife Miss Polly Smith, who was born in Fairfield, Vermont, August 22, 1812. Ten children were born of this union, namely: Samuel D., Jr., who married Cerepta B. Freeman, and died at the age of forty-eight years; Pamelia Ann, who is still living; Mary Celinda L., wife of Charles E. Fisher; Sarah M., wife of Elbridge D. Richardson; Cromwell B., who married Jane Roberts, and died at the age of forty years; Elizabeth C., who died at the age of five years; John B., who married Susan A. Bradley; Almon S., who married Lucy A. Ives; Chauncey Chapin, who married Ann Chase Hunt; and Frank E. Alford.

This genealogical sketch is taken in its entirety from Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation by Hiram Carleton, published in 1903. (Source) The information is provided as written in the book with the disclaimer that the book has no source information or footnotes. I can vouch for most or all of the information after Benjamin Alfred and Elizabeth Chapin, while the information regarding prior generations up to Benedictus Alford has not be verified. 

Samuel D. Alfred – Obituary – Vermont Watchman

ALFRED.–Samuel D. Alfred was born at Springfield, Mass., June 14, 1804, and died at Fairfax May 5, 1889. November 25, 1832, he married Miss Polly Smith, who survives him. His parents died when he was quite young. He learned the cabinet-maker’s trade, which he followed until his marriage, when he went into the mercantile business at Berkshire Center, and later at West Haven. In June, 1842, he moved to Fairfax, where he remained in active business until the spring of 1865, when he sold his business to his son John. He had ten children by his present wife and two by a former marriage. Seven are still living, with nineteen grandchildren, three of whom are married. Mr. Alfred was a very strict man. In business his goods were all marked, and he never varied from the price. The youngest child could be send to his store and was sure to get the goods as cheaply as the parents could. Said one who served a three years’ apprenticeship in the mercantile business with Mr. Alfred. “When boys we used to think that Mr. Alfred was an awful mean man to work for. But I now know that the three years I lived with him were worth more to me than all the rest of my schooling. I feel that to Mr. Alfred I am indebted for all I am.” Every apprentice who served with him has turned out a successful business man. Mr. Alfred knew the value of good credit. In 1857, when everybody was failing, his oldest son was in business in Illinois. In the fall he wrote that he would not come East, as he could not meet his bills. Mr. Alfred wrote his son to send on a list of goods that he wanted, with what money he could raise. He then went to his own creditors in New York, secured an extension, which was readily granted, after buying what goods he wanted. He then went to his sons creditors, paid his bills and ordered his goods, thus giving his son a high rating, which he always maintained. It was a great wonder to the New York merchants how a western man could meet his bills, and they never knew how it was done. The funeral services were held from his late home Thursday, May 9, Rev. Henry Crocker officiating, with remarks by Rev. J. G. Loramer, who said that he came not as a minister but out of respect to one to whom he owed a debt of gratitude for assistance in getting his education. Mr. Alfred will long be remember as a true friend to the right, not only by his family, but by a large circle of friends also.

The Vermont Watchman
22 May 1889, Wednesday
First Edition
Page 1

The_Vermont_Watchman_Wed__May_22__1889_ copy

Lighters Blown Ashore, 23 Men in Peril.

Lighters and Manomet LSS Crew

Lighters Blown Ashore, 23 Men in Peril.

Life-Savers Summoned When Gale Attacks Fleet Engaged in Construction of Entrance to Cape Cod Canal at Sandwich.

SANDWICH, Nov 9–Relying upon the weather report yesterday afternoon, according to Capt Gilbert, came near costing the lives of 23 men employed in building the big breakwater at the entrance to the Cape Cod canal today. Two big lighters were driven ashore and piled high on the beach. They will be a total loss.

The tug Sarah J. Weed, after a fearful experience in the bay, managed to work her way into Provincetown harbor, and the four schooners of the Gilbert company rode out the gale in safety.

One of the schooners, the Elizabeth Gilbert, dragged her anchor for more than a mile, and tonight is riding out the gale near the breakwater, with the revenue cutter Gresham standing by to render assistance should it be necessary.

Two life-saving crews, the Manomet and Wood End, came to the assistance of the men of the lighters, while hundreds of citizens and boatmen stood helpless on the shore watching the riotous seas tear the lighters to pieces.

Twenty-Three Men in Peril.

The two lighters, the Ben Franklin and the Potomac, came into the bay yesterday morning from Plymouth to unload granite from the schooners, and all day yesterday they worked taking stone out of the Elizabeth Gilbert.

Late yesterday afternoon Capt Gilbert, not liking the weather conditions, although the wind was blowing off shore, called up the weather bureau office in Boston and asked for today’s forecast. He received word that light westerly winds would prevail along the coast today and accordingly he kept the lighters at anchor alongside the breakwater with the tug Weed standing close by.

All hands turned in at an early hour, but before midnight the wind suddenly came in from the northeast. The men were called on deck before daylight and preparations were made to transfer the 18 men on the lighter Franklin to the Potomac, the stronger of the two.

Soon after 7 o’clock it was seen that the lives of the men were in great peril and distress signals were run up in the rigging. The seas at this time were breaking over the lighters and sweeping them from stem to stern, while the men could be plainly seen from the shore holding on for their lives.

The repeated distress signals sounded by the siren whistle on one of the lighters soon brought hundreds to the beach, but all were powerless to render help.

Life-Savers Respond.

Word was at once sent to the Manomet life-saving station, nearly 16 miles distant, and the veteran surf fighter, Capt Rogers, and his crew started overland with their surf boat and beach cart. Two hours were consumed getting horses to cart the heavy apparatus, and it was nearly five hours from the time that the crew started before their boat reached here.

Fearing that the lighters would at once break up, automobiles were dispatched to bring the coast guards with their gun and breeches buoy apparatus. Capt Rogers, with Lyle gun and breeches buoy, reached the scene at noon.

Meantime Capt Bowley and Lieut Ridgely had been informed of the situation by the Globe correspondent, and they ordered Capt Bickers and his crew of the Wood End station at Provincetown, nearly 30 miles distant, to the scene The Gresham was also reached by wireless.

Lighters Drive Ashore.

Before the Manomet life savers reached here the big lighter Franklin parted her moorings and was driven ashore, but they arrived in time to help the men on the lighter Potomac that was piled up alongside the Franklin.

The Gresham arrived in the bay at 3 o’clock, soon after Capt Bickers and his crew made a record-breaking run across the bay. Capt Bickers ran his power life-saving boat alongside Elizabeth Gilbert that was dangerously near the shore and offered to take the crew off, but they said that the anchors were holding and that they would stand by their vessel.

Capt Bickers then went alongside the Gresham, reported the facts and started in the teeth of the gale back across the bay to his station. The Manomet life saver were on the beach when the Gresham steamed in close to the breakwater and surfman Joyce signaled for her to stand by the inshore vessel. The Gresham at once put a boat out and sent a crew alongside the Elizabeth Gilbert and later came to an anchor close by the schooner.

Capt George A. Dean of Boston, who has charge of the work of unloading the granite from the schooners, told the Globe correspondent that the men on the lighters had a fearful experience this forenoon.

They thought that help would never come and that every moment the lighters would swamp. While transferring the men from the Franklin she broke adrift and raced ashore and later when it was feared that the Potomac would go down she was cut adrift and was driven ashore along the Franklin.

Schooners Probably Safe.

Both lighters are being battered by the seas and will probably break up.

The schooner Elizabeth Gilbert has three anchors out, including a 12,000-point fisherman’s anchor that it is believed will hold her until the Gresham can tow her out into the bay tomorrow.

The small boats on the lighters were swamped while being launched. The lighters are valued at $12,000, with no insurance.

The crews are quartered in the village tonight and tomorrow they will trip the wrecked craft. All the men aboard the lighters excepting four belong in Boston.

The cook of the Franklin suffered minor injuries, as did the cook of the Potomac, as they were being pulled out of the surf. Capt Dean says he will have other lighters here in a few days and that the work will go on at once.

The pontoons used in the canal construction were cast ashore today, and the beach for a half mile is strewn with wreckage of all kinds.

Boston Daily Globe
Nov 10, 1909
pg. 3

Aged 92, Still Active Lobster Fisherman

Capt Comfort Dixon

Aged 92, Still Active Lobster Fisherman

Capt Comfort Dixon of Manomet Point Tends 150 Traps Every Day, Rain or Shine

MANOMET–Capt Raymond 78-year-old lobsterman, of White Horse Beach, Plymouth, near here, is a mere child; that is to say compared with Capt Comfort Dixon of Manomet Point. Capt Raymond seems like a real boy rather than a veteran lobsterman. The story of Capt Raymond was told a few weeks ago in the Sunday Globe. This is the story of Comfort Dixon, a real veteran lobsterman, aged 92.

Despite his age, Capt Dixon, day after day, in storm or good weather, tends 150 lobster traps, work that takes the strength of a young and hard man, as well as one who can endure and take no account of numerous plunges into the raging sea after a heavy-laden trap has pulled him overboard.

Who is there in New England that beat the record of Capt Comfort Dixon, 92 years old, and still an active and alert lobsterman?

“I have been a lobsterman for over 30 years,” say Capt Dixon, as he removed his century-old pipe and spat on the greensward in front of his trim little house just back from the Point. “I have 150 traps that are worked by my boy and myself. The boy, who is at home, I mean. My other boy, for I have two of them, is in the Regular Army; has been for 25 years, and is about to retire. He will live in Plymouth, so I will have him practically home again.

“The boy at home now is a member of the life-saving crew at the Point and during his spare time he helps me pull the traps. He comes out in the Fall on a pension, as he has worked his allotted time as a lifesaver in a most hazardous position.

“When I was a boy I worked in a cotton mill in the Western part of the State and knew nothing at all about the sea. I took up a sea-faring life because I loved it and do now. I was on coasters for 15 or 20 years before and after the Civil War.

“I took up lobster catching about 30 years ago and have had many exciting times capturing these pets. I have been thrown overboard by huge lobster catches many times, but these small things don’t count for much in a seafaring life. The lobster catch has fallen off much since I went into the business. At that time they were plenty and the traps were most always full when we pulled them, which was liable to be every day.

“The prices, too, have increased very much. Why, in olden days we used to get six cents apiece for each lobster, large or small. Now they sell for 30 to 35 cents a pound. There used to be no limit by law as to the size, and a little lobster, which we are now obliged to throw back, was worth as much then as a big one.

“The biggest lobster I ever caught weighed 13 pounds. It measured about three feet long with claws outstretched and was nearly 10 inches in width. You don’t see such monsters now. They run much smaller on an average and are not nearly as plenty. On this coast the lobster fishing is running out and many thousands will have to be put here to bring the fishing up to what it was years ago.

Loves the Sea

“How did I come to take up a seafaring life? I don’t know. I often thought of that myself and I guess I was the first of the family to follow that life. My father was a hatter by trade and I guess never was in a row boat in his life. My only happiness is to be near the water. It is life and health to me. If I lived in the city I would surely miss the sea and sand, and wind and the smell of the salt water. It is not pleasant weather all the time, of course, but I love the squalls and gales and the lashing of the waves as much as I do a smooth sea.

“When I was at sea on coasters, I would come home from a voyage and make up my mind never to go to sea again. That feeling would last a few weeks and then I would be off to sea again. I never could keep away from it. I guess I should have to give up my work soon, however, as my legs are getting a little weak and I guess I have earned a rest, after so long a time.

“You know there is one thing I have noticed for several years. Our Summers are getting shorter and our Winter longer. Sometime, I expect, this climate of New England will resolve itself into about a month of Summer and the rest of snow and storms and cold weather. Then I guess our New England people will have to move further South. This will not come in my day, of course, but some of our young people will surely see that time.”

Capt Dixon is the youngest old man in the world. He has a ruddy face, perfect hearing, is a good talker and simply loves now to rover over the sand dunes and gaze for hours on the sea, which he loves. His strength is shown by the fact that when the Globe man’s motor car got stuck in the sand, Capt Dixon was the first to suggest that he get out and push. He did, too, and half the reason for this story being printed in the Globe instead of in China, as it seems the car must go at one time, is the great strength still possessed by 92-year-old Capt Comfort Dixon, the oldest lobsterman in New England.

Boston Daily Globe
June 24, 1923
pg. 48

Cape Cod Lobsterman, Aged 91, Still Lays His Traps Daily

Comfort Hunt Dixon - Boston Globe

Cape Cod Lobsterman, Aged 91, Still Lays His Traps Daily
Boston Daily Globe
September 10, 1922

“In the downhill of life, when I find I’m declining
May my fate no less fortunate be
Than a snug elbow chair can afford for reclining,
And a cot that o’erlooks the wide sea.
John Collins.

The poet who thus anticipated the crowning of “a youth of labor with an age of ease” sang of his three score years and ten. Older by more than a score of years is Comfort Hunt Dixon of Manomet, Cape Cod, but he steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the existence of a downhill of life. No snug elbow chair is sought by this vigorous youth of 91; as for the cot overlooking the sea, the mere idea he would laugh to scorn. No less than the sea itself contents his adventurous spirit, and daily he sets forth in his dory to his lobster pots. He is probably the oldest lobsterman on Cape Cod.

Mr. Dixon was born in Belchertown, Mass, in February, 1831, one of a family of 12 children. He went to sea at the age of 20 and had many thrilling adventures in those colorful years when sailormen were “made of iron.” He was shipwrecked off the Louisiana coast and subsisted for many days with his fellows on the wild hogs and other animals shot by the marooned seamen. Later he witnessed the chase of a runaway slave in fever-infected swamps. The slave was pursued by bloodhounds, which sniffed of Mr Dixon and his companions before they were convinced that they were not the desired prey. When the negro was sighted the infuriated master aimed his shotgun at Him. Like Mr. Winkle, the immortal Pickwickian, he erred in his sense of direction, and a fellow seaman of Mr. Dixon was the recipient of a copious charge of buckshot.

Mr Dixon’s life story is a veritable romance of the sea. He has retired from the active career of the mariner, though he still tends his lobster-pots as told above, and is usually rewarded by a good catch. He is remarkably robust, and reads without glasses. He goes frequently to Plymouth to enjoy the moving pictures, and is a familiar and welcome figure on this daily walks about Manomet.

Mr. Dixon has two sons, One, Edward Dixon, served for many years in the regular army, and is a veteran of the Spanish War and of the recent Mexican expedition. The other, Charles A. Dixon, is a member of the coast guard and has been stationed at Manomet Point for 29 years. With the latter and his wife, Mr. Dixon makes his home.

Clustering for more on PEI’s William G. Wright

When William George Wright married Sarah Dennis on 28 December 1848, there were two witnesses to the marriage listed on the marriage record: Isaac Smith, Jr. and James Douglas.

William G Wright Sarah Dennis

As I have written before (and here and here), William Wright was a carpenter or builder in Charlottetown, and there are several historic houses that can be tied directly to him. Proving that the house builder and the ancestor are the same person isn’t at a 100% “fact” yet, but using some cluster research on one of the names of the marriage witnesses moves it that much closer.

Isaac SmithIsaac Smith, Jr. was born in Charlottetown in 1822 to Isaac Smith and Jane Smith. Isaac, the senior, was one of the most prominent builders, contractors and architects for the capitol region of PEI:

Wherever the future Fathers of Confederation looked in the Charlottetown of 1864, they would have been confronted with the work of builder/architect Isaac Smith. They conferred in a legislative building designed by Isaac Smith. On the same square, coming and going from the sessions which conceived the Dominion of Canada, they could observe an Episcopal church designed and built by Isaac Smith, and a round market house constructed by him. They were feted in a Lieutenant Governor’s residence designed and built by Isaac Smith. The very ship carrying the Canadian delegates had been guided into Charlottetown harbour by a lighthouse designed by—Isaac Smith. (Source)

It would only be appropriate to think that Isaac the son would follow in his father’s footsteps, and the fact that William Wright was is the same business also lends itself to the same conclusion that the witness to my ancestor’s wedding was in fact the son of the famous Isaac Smith. Taking it another step, the same magazine article the above quotation was taken from notes that Isaac Smith worked on several of his projects with one Nathan Wright. Finally, both William Wright and Isaac Smith were lay pastors in the Methodist Church. Could this Nathan Wright be my ancestor William’s father? Did the business (and religious and potentially personal) relationship between Isaac and Nathan directly resulted in the friendship of William and Isaac, Jr.? I, for one, would have to answer yes to both questions.

And now that I am thinking about it, how would have my ancestor Stephen H. Lewis–a much accomplished homebuilder in Somerville, Massachusetts, after emigrating from Nova Scotia–have met William’s daughter Laura when he was born and schooled in Five Islands, N.S.? Well, look at this line from his biography:

Mr. Lewis was employed for two years by an uncle at Prince Edward Island


Though proving Nathan and William to be father and son is still on the docket, there is little doubt in my mind that the Wrights who built many of the great structures of 19th century Charlottetown with the more accomplished Smiths are in fact relatives, if not my direct ancestors.

William S Hammersley – Obituary

Found in The Stevens Point Journal (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) on 3 March 1888 (Page 4):


HAMMERSLEY–In Stevens Point, February 28th, 1888. William S. Hammersley, in the 83rd years of his age.

Deceased was born at Staffordshire Potteries, England, August 23, 1805, and when a young man, succeeded his father in the manufacture of crockery at that place. In 1843, together with his wife and four children, he came to New York, where he was engaged in the importation of crockery until 1856. In the latter year he closed out his business and removed to Flint, Michigan, in which city he owned a homestead at the time of his death. His wife died at Flint in 1870. Four children survive him, the oldest, Mrs. H. C. Walker, residing at Ann Arbor, Mich., the second, Mr. Wm H. Hammersley, at Lake Geneva, Wis., the third, Mrs. E. M. Mason, at Girard, Kansas, and the youngest, Mrs. W. B. Buckingham, in this city. Late last summer Mr. H. was reduced very low by an attack of inflammation of the bowels, and Mrs. Mason was called from her home to be with him. He rallied from this sickness and as soon as able to travel was prevailed upon to come to Stevens Point to spend the winter. Before the severe weather came on he walked down town nearly every day, but after the cold weather set in was not outside the yard. He had been gradually failing all winter, until the vital forces refused to do their work, and he calmly sunk into the last sleep last Tuesday at about noon. He was about the house the day before, and retired about the usual hour, but did not get up Tuesday morning. He had been a member of the Congregational or Presbyterian church since boyhood.

The remains were taken to Flint, Mich., Wednesday evening, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Buckingham.

Samuel Dwight Alfred – Obituary

The obituary for my 3rd great grandfather–Samuel Dwight Alfred–in the St. Albans Messenger, May 15, 1889 (page 3):

Samuel D. Alfred was born in Springfield, Mass., June 14, 1804. When he was quite young his parents removed to Westfield. At the age of eleven years he lost his father, who was engaged in trading between New York and the West Indies. At 10 he went to Hartford, Conn., where he served an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker, at which trade he worked in Connecticut and New York till 1832, when he returned to Berkshire Centre, where he engaged in the mercantile business and remained for several years. From there he went to West Haven, where he remained only two years. He moved to Fairfax in June, 1842. He remained active is business until the spring of 1865, when he sold out to his son, John B., since which time he has given his time in looking after his farming interest and visiting his children settled in different parts of the West.

Mr. A. was a man very positive in his convictions, whether in regard  to his own or public interests. In business transactions he dealt with the rich and poor alike. A child sent to his store was treated with the same consideration as the most honored citizen. He was interested in education , not only in the common school, but in higher education, as was shown in his efforts combined with so many others to establish and maintain the new Hampton Institute. He always manifested great interest in the welfare of his children, giving them every opportunity for improvement and aiding them in every way by his counsel and advice so long as he lived, and by them will be greatly missed. He was twice married; in 1825 to Miss Sally Willard of Lansingburg, N. Y., who died 1828; in 1932 he married Miss Polly Smith, who, with 7 of their children, still survives him, and with the exception of one all were present at his funeral, which was attended from his late home (which he had occupied for 46 years) Thursday, May 9th, Rev. Henry Crocker officiating, assisted by Rev. J. G. Lorimer, an old friend of the family.

Continue reading Samuel Dwight Alfred – Obituary