Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Waldo Emerson Chamberlain

Waldo Emerson Chamberlain was born June 28, 1886 in Manhattan, NY.  His father, originally from West Brookfield,  was Daniel Henry Chamberlain who was governor of South Carolina from 1872 - 1877.  His mother was Alice Ingersol.  Waldo and his father came to live in West Brookfield when Waldo was about 10 years old, settling in at the family farm known as Elm Knoll. He died of rheumatic fever in West Brookfield on Sept. 12, 1902 and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery next to his mother and four of his brothers. 

I do have more information on the Chamberlain family which is available on request.

Blog entries this week may be few and far between while I am waiting for a new power supply for my computer.  I hope to resume more detailed entries as soon as the new power supply is installed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

John Philip Morgan and Helen Murray Fox - Married June 24, 1913

Vital Records in West Brookfield and Monson show that on 24 June 1913 John Philip Morgan, age 23, born West Brookfield, Foreman in Corset Shop, son of John and Helen (Harrington), married Helen Murray Fox, age 22, Corset Shop employee, born Fall River to John [sic], and Nora (Fox).   The marriage took place in Monson with Thomas O'Keefe, Catholic Priest Officiating. 

John continued to work in the corset industry in West Brookfield and later in Springfield.  Four daughters were born to this union.  John died in Springfield in 1973.  Helen died in Springfield in 1960.

John Morgan's mother, Ellen, was a daughter of Philip and Julia Harrington.  She was one of fourteen children.  Philip and Julia came from Ireland and had settled in West Brookfield by 1850.  I have several family obituaries in my possession, as well as some land records including a Quit Claim.

Helen Murray Fox had a sister Margaret who married Richard Dixon Olmstead.

Please click on the Information Request Tab at the top of the page, fill out, and submit the form for more information.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Clarence Eaton Hocum married Maude Mae Parker on June 23, 1919, his 24th birthday

Clarence Eaton Hocum was born June 23, 1895 in West Brookfield to George and Friendship (Allen) Hocum.  Clarence was working on his father's farm at the time of his World War I Draft Registration in June of 1917.  He married Maud Mae Parker on June 24, 1919 in West Brookfield and they lived with Maud's parents, George and Ida (Richards) Parker of North Main St. at the time of the 1920 census.  He listed his occupation in 1920 as Fireman in Toy Shop.  Clarence was warden of the Town Farm in 1923.  The 1930 census lists his occupation as truck driver and his residence as Long Hill Rd.   He became an active member of the Quaboag Sportsmen's Club which was organized in 1931. A 1942 World War II Draft Registration Card indicates that Clarence was living on Long Hill and working for the Cutler Company on Ware St.  He was the Commander of the American Legion Post in 1944. He served the town of West Brookfield in the appointed postion of caretaker of the soldiers' graves, and  like his father, was a police officer for  many years.  He died in November of 1969.  Maude died ealier that same year on January 30 in Quaboag Nursing Home.

Finding the birth and death dates for Maude Parker Hocum was a little bit of a challenge.  I did not find her listed in the Social Security Death index, nor did I find an obituary for her at genealogybank.com.  I knew that she was living in February of 1963 according to the obituary of her brother James.  I decided to look at land records for West Brookfield at http://www.masslandrecords.com/ The records are indexed beginning in 1966, but with a Deed Book and Page No. an unindexed property search can be performed.  I found deeds for a Milk St. Property which had belonged to Maude and Clarence, and one had a reference in the margin for Deed Book 8142, Pg. 68.  There on page 68 of Book 8142 was a copy of the death record of Maude Mae Hocum.  The death record gave me her date of death and also her age at death (79 y, 0 m, 23 days) which would have made her birthday Jan. 7, 1890.   The death record also listed her birthplace as Gilbertville, which I know to be a section of Hardwick.  Hardwick birth records had the birth recorded as an unamed male child of George and Ida Parker born Jan. 7, 1890.  The 1900 census gave Maud's birth month and year as May 1890.  It appears that Maud's gender was recorded incorrectly in the Vital Records, and that the month of her birth was reported incorrectly in the 1900 census.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Married on June 22, 1940 - Madeline Louise Balcom and Alfred R. Kretzschmar

Springfield  Daily Republican ; May 16, 1940; p.6
West Brookfield, May 15 - "Mr. and Mrs. Louis A. Balcom of the Boston Post road announce the approaching marriage of their daughter, Madeline Louise, to Alfred R. Kretzschmar of North Wilbraham, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Kretzschmar.  The wedding will take place June 22."

The Sunday Union and Republican of June 23 published an account of the wedding on page 2, dated June 22 which states that the couple was married by Rev. John Engstrom at St. Mary's Rectory at 11:00 that morning.  Attendants were Thomas Ruddeford, a friend of the groom and Claire Leamy, a cousin of the bride, both from Springfield.

The article, which may be found at genealogybank.com, contains a detailed description of the bride's attire; as well as, that of her maid of honor. It also mentions Mary and Annie Murphy of Palmer, cousins of the bride, who played at the reception.

Alfred was employed by American Bosch Company in Springfield and he and Madeline were to live in Hampden after their marriage.

A son Barry was born in Springfield in 1941. 

Sadly, Madeline died December 18, 1943 in Ludlow hospital as she was preparing to go to her home in Wilbraham where the family lived at the time.  Her obituary dated Dec. 20, was published Dec. 21, 1943 on page 2 of the Springfield Daily Republican.

Alfred died in Springfield on May 11, 1995.

I have more information about Alfred and Madeline and their families.  Click on the information request tab above to request copies of the articles mentioned, or visit http://westbrookfieldgenealogy.org/Genealogy/ to find more family information.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Eugene Alonzo Gilbert and Charlotte Elizabeth Wilbur married June 21, 1899

Massachusetts Marriage Records for 1899 in West Brookfield, Worcester County, Vol. 490, Page 95 indicate that Eugene Alonzo Gilbert, age 26, Engineer, born Dover, NH, son of Alonzo E. Gilbert and Annie Mae Handy,  married Charlotte E. Wilbur, age 26, Librarian, born West Brookfield, daughter of Edwin Wilbur and Mary Duell on June 21, in West Brookfield.  Alliston Gifford, Clergyman, of West Brookfield performed the marriage.

The following year a daughter, Nathalie Wilbur Gilbert was born in West Brookfield.  A son, Alonzo E. followed in 1903.

Eugene and Charlotte stayed in West Brookfield for a time while Eugene worked for the local corset company.  The family moved to Wilbraham sometime between 1910 and 1920, and by 1930 they were living in Springfield. 

Eugene died in the Bondsville section of Palmer on June 20, 1939 and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in West Brookfield.  Charlotte lived until Oct. 25, 1964 when she died in a Massachusetts nursing home.  She was buried close to her husband.

[I have obituaries of Eugene and Charlotte and their daughter Nathalie.  Please contact me if you would like a copy.]

Friday, June 17, 2011

June 17 was a special Day for Ruby Eliza Bliss

Ruby Eliza Bliss was born on June 17, 1888 in West Brookfield, MA.  Her father was Albert Warren Bliss, a blacksmith by trade, who was active in the affairs of the town and the Congregational Church.  Ruby's mother was Melinda N. Hooker.

Ruby was married on her 21st birthday (June 17, 1909) to Alfred J. Fletcher and went to live in Portland, Maine where their son Robert Bliss Fletcher was born.  The family moved back to Massachusetts, settling in Worcester by 1917. A second son was born abt. 1924.

Ruby and Alfred went to live in Florida sometime after 1944.  Ruby died in St. John's County, Florida in November of 1968.  Alfred died in St. John's County on July 26, 1979.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Emily Augusta Allen and Windsor Reed Smith were born in West Brookfield on June 11

Emily Augusta Allen was born to Amos Crosby Allen and his wife Almira on June 11, 1860.  Sadly,  Emma died of Diptheria on Nov. 3, 1864.

Windsor Reed Smith was born June 11, 1872 to Augustus Windsor Smith and his wife Ruth Tyler.  Windsor was a veterinarian.  He married Mary E. Watson, daughter of Charles and Jane (Crambury) Watson in West Brookfield on Feb. 15, 1910.   A daughter Jeanette Watson Smith was born on March 26, 1911, in a Springfield hospital.  The couple moved to North Brookfield between 1911 and 1920.  Windsor died about 1959 and Mary died in January of 1967.  They are buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in West Brookfield.

I would welcome more information about this couple.

The 1880 United States Census was taken in June of that year.  The enumerator in West Brookfield was Miss Grace C. White.  More about this in future posts.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Howard's Drive -In Memories, Death of Mabel Disney Kendrick

West Brookfield is home to a popular drive-in restaurant which serves the best the area has to offer in fried clams and scallops, onion rings, and rotisserie chicken.  Howard's Drive-In was opened by brothers Howard and Billy Brodeur on Route 9 in 1947.  Howard sold the restaurant in 1973, and today it is still open, to the delight of local residents and visitors.  Friday evenings, especially in hot weather, business is booming as customers stop by for dinner and/or ice cream.

Working there as a teenager, I sliced many, many pounds of onions on the slicer, made lots of frappes, and ate lots of scallops and onion rings.  I make it a point to go there at least once when visiting in town.

June 10 Died
Mabel (Disney) Kendrick, daughter of Frank and Eleanor (Winslow) Disney was born in Worcester, MA on 02 Nov. 1881. She graduated from English High School and Worcester State Normal School and taught school in Westminster Depot, West Brookfield and New Braintree. She married Webster Lawrence Kendrick in Worcester on Sept. 6, 1913 and moved to his home in West Brookfield.

Mabel was a news correspondent for The Springfield Republican and very active in civic and church affairs in West Brookfield. A member of the First Congregational Church, she belonged to the Martha Guild, and taught Sunday School there for many years. Mabel also was a member of the Worcester Chapter of the Red Cross, the West Brookfield Grange, and the Stella Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. She was a
member of the board of Trustees of the Merriam Public Library, and also served a three year term on the town school committee.

Mabel died on June 10, 1937 after a long illness, leaving her husband and one son, Webster Lawrence Kendrick, Jr. She was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.

I do have more information about the Kendrick and Disney families.  Please use the Request for Information tab, fill out the form, and scroll down to click on Submit if you would like to receive copies of family obituaries or other family information.

Quaboag Current
I always make it a point to read the Quaboag Current online edition on Fridays.  This local publication helps me to stay in the know about the interesting people and events in town.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9 in West Brookfield Genealogy

June 9 was the date of the birth of James Campion, the death of Ephraim Chamberlain, and the marriage of Burnham Smith and Mabel Cutler.

BornJames Campion was born in West Brookfield on June 9,  1869 to Daniel and Honora (Lawler) Campion.  Daniel, a shoemaker in 1869, and Honora, or Anna as she was sometimes called, were born in Ireland.  Their oldest known son, Daniel was born in Ohio in May of 1868. Seven younger childen, including James, were born in West Brookfield.
James Campion died of Consumption in 1898 as is buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery.

DiedEphraim Forbes Chamberlain, son of Eli Chamberlain and Achsah Forbes, was born in Brookfield about 1822 and died in Worcester on June 9, 1892. He was a brother of South Carolina Governor Daniel Henry Chamberlain, and Rev. Dr. Leander Trowbridge Chamberlain.
Ephraim,  a farmer, was a member of the Worcester County Horticultural Society; as well as, the Worcester, and New England Agricultural Societies.  He also served as President of the Tatnuck Benevolent and Literary Association.  He and his wife, the former Maria McFarland, were parents of five children including Fred H. Chamberlain, who became a lawyer and later a judge.

MarriedMabel Bartlett Cutler and Burnham Perry  Smith were married 9 Jun 1910 in West Brookfield, MA. Mabel was born in West Brookfield on 28 Sept. 1884, the daughter of Alonzo Cutler and his wife Sarah (Richards).  Burnham was born 22 Feb. 1882 in Brandon,Vermont to Albert Smith and his wife Emma (Newell.)
Burnham, had worked as a Trade School Supervisor in Connecticut and was also employed by Smith & Wesson in Springfield for a time.  Later he managed Buddy Lunch for several years.  He was serving the town of West Brookfield as Tax Collector at the time of his sudden death on Jan. 28, 1938.  He was a Mason, an Odd Fellow, and a member of the local Grange.
Mabel was an inspector for Gavitt Wire & Cable until her retirement.  She belonged to the Whitefield United Methodist Church.  She died in West Brookfield on Feb. 18, 1976.
Their daughter Barbara served in the U. S. Marine Corps and married Fred Ivy.

For further information about any of these people, click on the Information Request Form tab at the top of the page, fill in the form and click  Submit.