Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Martha L. (Warren) Maynard

    Martha Lyman Warren was born May 29, 1828 in Westborough, Massachusetts.  Three months before Martha was born, her father, Lyman Warren, died at the age of thirty-two, leaving his widow, Sally (Claffin) Warren, to raise their four young daughters.
    I have no information about Martha's life from the time of her birth until 1850, when she was enumerated in the US Census with the family of boot manufacturer, George Daniel, in Holliston, MA.  Also living in Holliston at that time, in the household of Josephus Cutler, was a young boot maker named Onslow Maynard.  Onslow was also originally from Westborough. Martha Warren and Onslow Maynard married in Springfield, MA, by Clergyman S. G. Buckingham, on October 16, 1850.  By the time of the 1855 Massachusetts Census, the Maynards had settled in West Brookfield where Onslow worked as a shoemaker.  They shared a dwelling with Martha's sister Jane, and her husband Lyman H. Chamberlain.   Martha's mother, Sally Warren, lived in the Chamberlain household.
   In 1861, Onslow took over the management of the refreshment concession, including a large dining room, at the Boston and Western Railroad depot in town.  Martha, who assisted him, quickly developed a reputation as a wonderful cook. Every train passing through town stopped in order for passengers and crew to eat. Onslow died in 1873, and Martha continued the business as long as the facility remained.  When a new train station was built in 1885, Martha opened a small eatery not far away.  Later she opened a small business at the corner of Central and Front Sts., just across the road from the new depot.  This business, which included a restaurant, and a store where newspapers, candy, and tobacco were sold, was operated by Martha until her retirement.
   Martha was a member of the Congregational church choir for many years, and while Onslow was still living, she helped him with old fashioned singing schools according to her obituary.  She died at home in West Brookfield on February 2, 1919, at the age of ninety, and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.  She never had children, and no close relatives survived her. 
   A short Biography of Onslow Maynard found on page 179 in Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Volume 3, by Ellery Bicknell Crane, says that Onslow studied music, and was proficient in playing the guitar, harp, base viol and piano.  It further states that he "travelled extensively throughout the United States concertizing, and was widely known as a musician of ability."  I have not found evidence of his travels or performances, but as the biography later stated, he did teach music in West Brookfield as evidenced by his stated occupation of "Music Teacher" on the 1860 US Census.

 1. A History of West Brookfield: 1675-1990; Jeffrey H. Fiske; West Brookfield Historical Commission; 2009
 2.  Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of   Worcester County, Massachusetts, Volume 3; Ellery Bicknell Crane; http://www.googlebooks.com
 3.  MA Vital Records, http://www.americanancestors.org
  Worcester County Land Records; http://www.masslandrecords.com
 4. 1855 MA Census, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900 US Census,          http://www.ancestry.com
  5. Obituary of Martha L. Maynard; Springfield Daily Republican, 2/14/1919, p. 17; http://www.genealogybank.com