Tim’s great-grandfather, George Lincoln Rodgers, son of Elijah and Zipporah Ann (Horton) Rodgers, was born 1 January 1865 in Guysborough (Guysborough) Nova Scotia, and died 16 July 1939 in Fall River (Bristol) Massachusetts. He married (as his first wife) on 18 February 1891 in Provincetown (Barnstable) Massachusetts, his first cousin, Mary Jane “Jenny” Rodgers, who was born 7 June 1867 in Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts and died in 1917, daughter of Neadom and Hanorah (O’Brien) Rodgers.
George was a fisherman and Mary Jane was a homemaker. According to the 1910 census, he arrived in America in 1883, when he was 18 years old. His uncle Neadom had come in 1858 and his parents followed him in 1891.
Three years before their marriage, George & Mary Jane lived through The Great Blizzard of 1888 that killed more than 400 people along the eastern seaboard.
George & Mary Jane were married by Ezra J. Riggins, Clergyman. They resided at 4 West Vine St. in Provincetown. They were first cousins; their fathers were brothers.
George Lincoln Rodgers became an American citizen on 1 April 1897.
Sometime after Mary Jane’s death in 1917, George married (as his second wife and as her second husband) Mary Etta (Cushing) Simmons, who was born about 1867, and died 21 January 1938, daughter of John Walter and Deborah (Sampson) Cushing, and widow of Mark L. Simmons. In 1920 George and his second wife, Mary Etta, were residents of Somerville. George died soon after Mary Etta, of colon cancer. George lies buried with his second wife and her first husband in Mayflower Cemetery, Duxbury, Massachusetts. Mary Jane lies buried with her parents, brother and sister-in-law in Gifford Cemetery, in Provincetown.
George & Mary Jane were the parents of a son:
1. Karl Freeman Rodgers (Tim’s grandfather), born 22 October 1895 in Provincetown, died 27 March 1971 in Boston. He married (as her first husband) 18 September 1928 in Batavia (Genesee) New York, Allegra Estelle Hamilton, who was born 17 August 1900 in Newark (Wayne) New York, died 16 January 1992 in Keene (Cheshire) New Hampshire, daughter of Charles Amos and Gertrude Mabel (Hubbard) Hamilton. Karl & Allegra were the parents of two children.
Mary Jane (Rodgers) Rodgers lies buried with her parents, Neadom & Hanorah (O’Brien) Rodgers, and her brother and sister-in-law, Elijah & Clara (Bangs) Rodgers.
George Lincoln Rodgers lies buried with his second wife, Mary Etta (Cushing) (Simmons) Rodgers, and her first husband, Mark L. Simmons.
Tim’s 2nd-great-grandfather, Delorma Brown “DB” Hubbard, son of John and Lydia (Randolph) Hubbard, was born 8 May 1842 in Albion (Orleans) New York, and died there 21 March 1915. He married in 1866, Emma Pridmore, who was born 11 January 1844 in Great Dalby (Leicestershire) England, and died 7 April 1917 in Batavia (Genesee) New York, daughter of William and Ann (Sturgess) Pridmore.
The following is from the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, 22 March 1915, page 9:
Albion, March 21.—The death of Delorma B. Hubbard, a retired business man, occured this morning in his home, West Bank and Liberty streets, aged 72 years. He was born in Albion May 8, 1842, and had always lived here. Mr. Hubbard was an expert accountant. He was engaged for some time in the grocery business with Robert Wilkins. Later he engaged in the wholesale produce business with Charles Vandekar, and continued later with the late mayor, Eugene English.
Mr. Hubbard bore a striking likeness to the portraits of “Uncle Sam” and on several occasions participated in large parades representing that distinguished character. He has lived a retired life in recent years. He leaves his wife, Mrs. Emma Pridmore Hubbard, and one daughter, Mrs. Charles Hamilton, both of Batavia: also one sister, Mrs. Starkweather, who lives in the eastern part of the state. The funeral will be held from Mount Albion chapel Tuesday afternoon at 2 o’clock, Rev. W. J. Ford, pastor of the Albion Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will be in Mount Albion cemetery.
According to his son-in-law, Charles A. Hamilton:
The following is from Charles Amos Hamilton, An Autobiography, “The Memory of the Just is Blessed”, (Batavia, New York: Privately printed, 1941)
My father-in-law [Delorma] was a great believer in Luck. He would quote instance after instance of young men of his acquaintance who had gotten their start in a successful career through marriage with a rich man’s daughter, through inheritance of an established business, through association with some prominent man, etc.
According to his great-granddaughter and namesake, Delorma (Rodgers) Morton, Delorma disliked the feminine sound of his name, and so always went by his initials, DB.
DB & Emma married the year after the end of the American Civil War (1861-1865).
Emma was a homemaker. She came to America in 1857 with her father, when she was about 16 years old, but it is not known if her mother died in England, or perhaps at sea, as no death record has been found for her thus far on either side of the Atlantic. According to her son-in-law, Charles A. Hamilton:
Mother [Emma] made her home with us, where she was supremely welcome. She was the only real mother that I ever had, and we loved each other devotedly.
The following is from The Buffalo Times, Buffalo, New York, 9 April 1917, page 6:
BATAVIA, April 9—Mrs. Emma P. Hubbard, aged 73 years, died at the New York State Institute for the Blind on Saturday, following a long illness. She is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Gertrude M. Hamilton, wife of the superintendent of the State school, and two brothers, Reuben Pridmore of Albion and George Pridmore of South Bend, Ind. Burial will take place at Mt. Albion cemetery, Albion.
Emma died of cancer and is buried with DB at Lot #955, Clematis Path, Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion, New York. [The stone in the center of this plot has four surnames: HUBBARD, HAMILTON, PRIDMORE, RODGERS. The adjoining plot has a center stone with one surname, STARKWEATHER, a family DB’s sister married into.]
Delorma & Emma were the parents of three children, all born in Albion. Sadly, the two older children predeceased their parents:
1. John Delorma Hubbard, born 16 July 1867, died 25 July 1883, age 16. John is buried with his parents at Lot #955, Clematis Path, Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion, New York.
2. Mary Estelle “Mamie” Hubbard, born 13 March 1869, died 22 May 1892 in Rochester (Monroe) New York, age 23, of Bright’s disease. Mamie was engaged to Charles Hamilton when she died, and he later married her younger sister. Mamie is buried with her parents at Lot #955, Clematis Path, Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion, New York. Mamie’s niece Allegra Estelle (Hamilton) (Rodgers) Lloyd, was named in her honor.
The following are from undated newspaper clippings:
Miss Mamie Estelle Hubbard, daughter of DB Hubbard, a popular teacher in the Grammar school, died in Rochester Sunday evening last, after an illness of several months, aged twenty-three years. The funeral services took place at the Baptist church, of which deceased was a member, yesterday afternoon. ?Animean may 26 1892?
A Loved One Gone: The hearts of very many in Albion were saddened when the news reached this village of the death of Mamie Estelle Hubbard, which occurred in Rochester Sunday last, May 22d.
For some time past Miss Hubbard had been in poor health, and was in Rochester undergoing medical treatment, but it was only a few days before her death that the seriousness of her case was realized. The tenderest care and highest medical skill could do naught to prolong her life, and she passed away surrounded by those who were dear and near to her.
She was the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. DB Hubbard, of this village, being twenty-three years of age. She graduated from the Albion High School in 1886, being the youngest member of the class, and she is the first one to pass away. For four years she has been engaged as a teacher in the schools of our village.
Since the early age of eleven years she has been a member of the Baptist church and has been faithful in attendance and participation in its services; also exemplifying in her daily life the teachings of Him whom she had chosen to follow.
The funeral services were held at the Baptist church Wednesday at 2 pm, conducted by Rev AC Barrell, assisted by Rev EH Rudd. The public schools were all closed and the teachers attended in a body. A large delegation of the members of the Albion Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen attended, and acted as escort, thus showing, in a marked manner, the high respect in which the daughter of an honored member of the Order was held. The high esteem in which the deceased was held was testified to by the profusion of flowers with which the casket and pulpit were decked, which had been presented by her former teachers, schoolmates, pupils and friends.
By the death of Miss Hubbard the community loses one of its loveliest and purest characters. All who knew her, even slightly, were impressed with her sunny disposition and equanimity of temperament, and those who, bound to her in the dearest relationships of life, have felt the inspiration and sympathy of her presence, and the grand wealth of her affection, while deeply mourning her loss, feel that, in respect to her, ”Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.’
Her influence for good will long be felt in the character and habits of those under her instruction, and all her companions will be elevated and purified by the remembrance and example of her upright Christian life.
Thrice blest whose lives are faithful prayer, Whose loves in Higher love endure, What souls possess themselves so pure, Or is there blessedness like theirs?
3. Gertrude Mabel Hubbard (Tim’s great-grandmother), born 9 December 1874, died 31 May 1965 in Marlboro (Monmouth) New Jersey. She married 30 June 1897 in Albion, Charles Amos Hamilton, who was born 19 March 1866 in Hinsdale (Cattaraugus) New York, and died 28 October 1943 in Batavia, son of Charles Munson and Eliza Ann (Devoe) Hamilton. Gertrude & Charles were the parents of a daughter.
Tim’s great-grandfather, Charles Amos Hamilton, the son of Charles Munson and Eliza Ann (Devoe) Hamilton, was born 19 March 1866 in Hinsdale (Cattaraugus) New York, and died 28 October 1943 in Batavia (Genesee) New York. He married on 30 June 1897 at Albion (Orleans) New York, Gertrude Mabel Hubbard, who was born 9 December 1874 in Albion and died 31 May 1965 in Marlboro (Monmouth) New Jersey, the daughter of Delorma Brown and Emma (Pridmore) Hubbard.
Charles’ mother was 47 years old when she gave birth to him, and so he was born into a family with an 18-year-old sister and a 26-year-old brother. He was named after his father, Charles Munson Hamilton and his uncle, Amos Gardner Hamilton. Sadly, his mother died when he was only three weeks old and his father remarried two years later. His stepmother died when he was 9 years old. However, Charles adored his older sister Addie, who was like a mother to him. In 1885 Charles graduated from Cuba [NY] High School, and from the University of Rochester first on 19 June 1889, and again in 1892 with a Master of Arts.
From 1889-1907 he worked as a teacher and then a principal at the Albion High School, where he may have met his future fiancée, Mamie Estelle Hubbard. Mamie was a grammar school teacher who died tragically of a serious illness at age 23 on 22 May 1892. Charles spent much time grieving with Mamie’s mother, Emma (Pridmore) Hubbard, and eventually fell in love with Mamie’s younger sister, Gertrude.
Charles & Gertrude’s marriage was performed by Charles’ old college friend, Rev. Christian A. Clausen, in the presence of a few friends and nearest relatives. Charles was baptized, at the age of 37, on 26 April 1903 at the Newark Baptist Church. In 1923 he joined the Sons of the American Revolution through his ancestor, William Hamilton. In 1924 he sold the family farm in Hinsdale to Guy W. King for $9000. And in December of 1936, Charles retired and bought a house at 26 Richmond Ave. in Batavia, New York.
He was honored on 28 October 1939, when Hamilton Hall was opened and dedicated at the New York State School for the Blind, where he had served as superintendent for many years.
Gertrude graduated from Albion High School and Elmira College, where she had been a special music student. On 17 August 1900 she gave birth to her daughter, and only child, Allegra. It was a very difficult delivery, the baby weighed 11 lbs., and two subsequent perineal operations were required. Gertrude loved family history and gave her research notes to her daughter, Allegra, who passed them on to me, happy and relieved to find someone who cared about genealogy as much as her mother did. Gertrude & Charles did go to England and visited the graves of her Pridmore ancestors in Leicestershire. Gertrude was a member of the Deo-on-go-wa Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the First Baptist Church in Batavia. Charles & Gertrude are buried together, along with some of Gertrude’s Hubbard ancestors in Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion, New York. She was named after her great-grandmother, Mabel (Sutleif) Hubbard.
The following is from: Charles Amos Hamilton, An Autobiography, “The Memory of the Just is Blessed”, (Batavia, New York: Privately printed, 1941):
After a month’s honeymoon trip through Albany, New York, Boston, White Mountains and Canada, we returned to Albion and completed preparations for our new, more responsible and fuller life. I am going to add right here, that, after nearly half a century of wedded life, I can truthfully say that I have never regretted either the step or my choice. As soon as we began housekeeping, we adopted a tentative budget. I left to Gertrude the running of the house, purchase of supplies, etc. For this, we set aside a certain amount, which usually proved sufficient. In addition, I gave Gertrude every month one sixth of my salary for her own personal use. This plan and this ratio I continued until my retirement from active work. I never called this her allowance, but called it her share. I could never have been elected to the Newark position had I not been married, and I considered her services as wife and helpmate worthy of some compensation beyond mere support. This as a business proposition, entirely outside of considerations of sentiment or duty. The plan has worked out very satisfactorily with us, and we recommend it to other married couples. It must be rather humiliating for a wife to beg a few dollars, or even a dollar, from her husband every time she needs it.
The following is from Buffalo Courier Express, Sunday, July 31, 1932:
Men You Ought to Know by H. Katherine Smith: Charles A. Hamilton, superintendent of the New York State School for the Blind at Batavia, was elected in June to the presidency of the American Association of Instructors of the Blind. This honor was conferred upon him in recognition of his work in preparing young people without sight to cope with the problems of daily life and, in many cases, of earning a living.
For 25 years Mr. Hamilton has served in his present position; and during the entire period his aim for the school has been to achieve the mental, physical, social and spiritual development of its pupils, and to fit them to become useful and contented men and women.
Native of Cattaraugus County: Mr. Hamilton was born at Hinsdale, Cattaraugus County, in 1866. Following his graduation from the high school of Cuba, NY, where his boyhood was passed, he entered the University of Rochester. He earned all of the expenses of his college education, turning his hand to whatever job came his way. For a time he lighted and extinguished street lamps in Rochester, rising every morning at 4:30 o’clock to turn out the gas before the sun was up. Later he found work more congenial to his tastes on the college newspaper. He worked on farms of the vicinity during his summer vacations with one exception. That was the summer he toured the Middle West as a book agent, deciding, once for all, that salesmanship was not his forte.
After his graduation from the University in 1889, Mr. Hamilton became identified with the Albion High School. During the eight years of that connection, the subjects he taught ranged from classic Greek to bookkeeping, and included Latin, physical geography, geometry, ancient history and civics.
At Albion he met Gertrude M Hubbard, who became Mrs. Hamilton. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton are the parents of a daughter, Mrs. Karl Rodgers of New York City, a graduate of Vassar College. Her two-year-old son is the chief delight of his proud grandfather, who finds the number of miles between Batavia and New York no small trial. In 1897, Mr. Hamilton became principal of the high school of Newark, NY, in which capacity he continued for ten years. Twenty-five years ago, he assumed the superintendency of the State School for the Blind at Batavia. Two of his most prized possessions are the portable typewriter and loving cup presented to him in June by graduates of the school in gratitude for his years of service to the blind.
“I thoroughly enjoy the work because I realize the great benefit of a school of this kind to its pupils,” Mr. Hamilton declared. “Our educational standards are identical with those of high schools throughout the state; for our pupils are required to pass regents examinations. Physical exercise, so essential to growing children, is included in our curriculum. Some form of it is obligatory twice daily, and our students attend gymnasium classes nearly every day. Every boy above the third grade is taught to swim, and the girls most of whom swim and dive, clamor for their turn at the pool. There are weekly dances and parties at the school, for the faculty and I deem the social development of the blind an important factor in their education. Nor is their religious training neglected: Every Sunday, they receive instruction in accordance with their respective religious denominations, and the Christian Endeavor Society, which they themselves conduct, is well attended.”
On Obtaining Positions: Mr. Hamilton’s answer to the present difficult situation regarding the obtaining of positions for his graduates is, “Teach them to be useful in their own homes.” For this purpose, greater attention has been given recently to the girls’ instruction in home economics. They become proficient in such domestic arts as cooking, sewing, and cleaning. At Mr. Hamilton’s suggestion, a suite of rooms has been fitted up as a housekeeping apartment, in which two blind girls live alone for as long as two weeks. Although a teacher is always within calling distance, she is rarely summoned; and the students take pride in the fact that they can prepare their meals and keep their apartment in order entirely unassisted.
With regret, Mr. Hamilton mentioned that the scope of economic activities for his boys is not broadening rapidly. At present, an effort is being made to introduce poultry-raising into his school. Chair caning and mattress making are, in Mr. Hamilton’s opinion, the industrial occupations best adapted to the boys without sight.
Besides speaking on his work with the blind before many organizations of Western New York, Mr. Hamilton has written on it for magazines of national circulation. A born teacher, he never misses an opportunity to conduct a class. He readily assumes the duties of any absent teacher, whether of a primary or high school grade, and through the contact of the classroom gains an insight into the thoughts and hopes of his pupils.
Mr. Hamilton has traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast and has made two trips abroad. His knowledge of the French and German language is sufficient to make him understood in any foreign city. He reads the periodicals and newspapers that keep him abreast of current issues and problems and the numerous modern discoveries and inventions, and is familiar with the best of contemporary fiction.
Mr. Hamilton, who has been active in the Batavia Rotary for thirteen years, was the third president of the organization. He is also affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Holland Club of Batavia. He is a past chairman of the Batavia Boy Scout organization, and a former chairman of the board of trustees of the Baptist Church of that city.
On 21 June 2008, this undated, signed photograph of Helen Keller was found in the Webster house at 180 Bradford St. in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It was originally given to Gertrude & Charles. Their daughter Allegra must have brought it to the Provincetown house where a lot of family treasures were found. The inscription reads: “To Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton, With happy thoughts of their kindness and helpfulness in my work for the blind of America. Very sincerely, Helen Keller”
Charles & Gertrude were the parents of a daughter:
1. Allegra Estelle Hamilton (Tim’s grandmother), born 17 August 1900 in Newark (Wayne) New York, died 16 January 1992 in Keene (Cheshire) New Hampshire. She married (as her first husband) 18 September 1928 in Batavia (Genesee) New York, Karl Freeman Rodgers, who was born 22 October 1895 in Provincetown (Barnstable) Massachusetts, and died 27 March 1971 in Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts, son of George Lincoln and Mary Jane (Rodgers) Rodgers. Allegra & Karl were the parents of two children. Allegra married (as her second husband and as his second wife) 26 July 1975 in San Antonio (Bexar) Texas, Lester Dean Lloyd, who was born 5 October 1903 in Red Oak (Montgomery) Iowa, and died 23 September 1988 in Schertz (Guadalupe) Texas, son of Noah R. and Mary Alma (McGimpsey) Lloyd.
Another one of Tim’s grandmother’s lines goes back to Scotland. A perfect excuse to spend a lovely autumn afternoon with Tim’s aunt in New Hampshire, locating the gravestones of their ancestors, while enjoying the gorgeous fall colors en route.
Allegra Estelle Hamilton 1900-1992 Gertrude Mabel “Gertie” Hubbard 1874-1965 Delorma Brown “DB” Hubbard 1842-1915 Lydia P. Randolph 1807-1901 Jane Koyl 1779-1870 Ephraim Koyl 1753-1838 Dea. John Kyle c. 1722-1769 Dea. John Kyle c. 1682-1762
Fortunately the Find A Grave website provided some older and much clearer photographs of these tombstones and I was able to identify them by matching up the markings that could be made out. And thankfully, the original epitaphs were recorded there, as well.
HERE LYES THE BODY OF MR. JOHN KYLE HE DIED MAY 12th 1762 AGED 80 YEARS
Here lies the Body of Mrs. Mary Kyle, Wife of Deacon John Kyle Who Died January ye 8th 1778 Aged – 84 years –
The following is from The History of Windham in New Hampshire by Leonard Allison Morrison, (Boston, Massachusetts: Cupples, Upham & Co., 1883), 68, 615, 616
John Kyle, of Scotch race, was a settler here previous to 1740, and lived near J.-L. Cottle’s. He m. Mary —, who d. Jan. 8, 1778, æ. 84 yrs.; he d. May 12, 1762, æ. 80 yrs. Child:—
Dea. John, who succeeded him on the farm; m. Agnes —; made an elder during the pastorate of Rev. William Johnston; date of death not known; was taxed as late as 1780.
Children, b. Windham: — Ephraim2, b. July 1, 1753. (See Revolutionary history, p. 68.) William2, b. Aug. 8, 1755. Mary2, insane, and provided for by the town. Janet2, insane, and provided for by the town.
WINDHAM MEN IN THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
Capt. Elisha Woodbury’s company, Colonel Stark’s regiment CASUALTIES AND LOSSES Ephraim Kyle, 1 gun and bayonet, £2, 2s.
Tim’s 7th-great-grandfather, John Kyle was born about 1682 in the small village of Lochgilphead, Scotland and was an original settler of Windham, New Hampshire.
John Kyle’s grandson, Tim’s 5th-great-grandfather, Ephraim Koyl, son of John and Agnes (—) Kyle, was born 1 July 1753 in Windham (Rockingham) New Hampshire, and died 25 August 1838 in Kitley, Johnson District, Upper Canada [now Elizabethtown-Kitley Twp. (Leeds) Ontario]. He married in Londonderry (Rockingham) New Hampshire (as his first wife and as her second husband), Abigail (Reading) Kincaid, who was born 17 February 1753 in Portsmouth (Rockingham) New Hampshire, and died 11 April 1810 in Kitley, daughter of John and Mary (—) Redding.
Abigail had married (as her first husband) John M. Kincaid, who died in the 16 August 1777 (Revolutionary War) Battle of Bennington while serving with Ephraim. The Americans successfully defended colonial military stores against a British raiding party. After Abigail married Ephraim they moved to Canada about 1792, and had settled on Irish Creek, near a place called Koyl’s Bridge, in Kitley by 1803. After Abigail died, Ephraim married a second, unidentified wife, who died in Kitley, 6 September 1844.
Private Ephraim fought in the Battle of Bunker’s Hill near the beginning of the Revolutionary War. He was wounded by a musket ball which entered his jaw and lodged in his neck, and was later removed, leaving a scar. As he was being carried off the battlefield his gun and bayonet were taken from him, for which he was later given some monetary compensation. Promoted to sergeant, Ephraim went on to fight in the Battle of Bennington two years later.
Apparently the name Kyle was used in the United States, but changed to Koyl when the family moved to Canada. Ephraim is listed under both spellings in his Revolutionary War pension files. It’s puzzling why Ephraim decided to move to Canada after fighting on the American side of the Revolution.
Ephraim & Abigail were the parents of seven children:
i. Jane Koyl (Tim’s 4th-great-grandmother), born 4 April 1779 in Manchester (Bennington) Vermont, died 19 October 1870 in Albion (Orleans) New York. She married (as her first husband), 15 January 1797, Abram Randolph, who was born 24 October 1767 in Vermont, and died 18 November 1824 in Albion, son of Benjamin and Jane (Long) Randolph. Jane & Abram were the parents of eleven children. Jane married (as her second husband), 25 February 1847, David Coombs. Jane & David had no children.
ii. Ephraim Koyl, born 9 November 1781 in Manchester, died 26 October 1864 in Kitley. He married July 1805 in (Leeds) Ontario, Elizabeth “Betsey” Lillie.
iii. William Peter Koyl, born 11 March 1783 in Manchester, died 15 December 1870 in Springfield (Elgin) Ontario. He married Mary “Polly” Lyman, who was born in 15 June 1788, and died 24 December 1860 in Springfield, daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Temple) Lyman.
iv. Peter Koyl, born 26 March 1785 in Manchester, died 25 August 1871 in South Dorchester (Elgin) Ontario. He married Julia (—).
v. Anna Koyl, born 10 December 1786.
vi. Sarah “Sally” Koyl, born 10 December 1788 in New York. She married Peter Wells, who was born 16 August 1787, and died 18 July 1854, son of Peter and Laura (Louis) Wells. Sarah & Peter were the parents of four children.
vii. Abigail Koyl, born 1789 in Manchester, died in 1882. She married Rhodes Streeter, who was born in 1788, and died in 1842. Abigail & Rhodes were the parents of a son.
Back in March, when I was sorting through the boxes of family stuff, I found the following undated, typewritten account of a lovely October day Tim’s great-grandparents spent together many years ago. Charles Amos Hamilton (1866-1943) wrote it for his wife, Gertrude Mabel Hubbard (1874-1965). They lived in Batavia, New York.
AN OCTOBER DAY
Written for the delectation of my good wife, Gertrude, who delights in reading descriptions of commonplace things, written in rather grandiloquent language.
The poet wrote, “What is so rare as a day in June, Then, if ever, come perfect days.”
Without questioning the judgment or belittling the taste of the writer of this couplet, I make the assertion that, with equal or even greater veracity, it might have been written with the substitution of “October” for “June.” For, in old October, Nature gives us examples of a brilliance of coloring, and a tang of ozone, which June, for meteorological reasons, cannot duplicate.
I arise on a bright October morning and raise the shades of my bedroom window. What a riot of all the hues of the rainbow meet my eyes. From the pale green of maple leaves not yet touched by autumn’s frosty fingers, up through the entire gamut of the spectrum, to the vivid scarlet of maples of a different species. As the leaves rustle in the light breeze, they seem to be whispering “Goodbye” to their companions of the departed summer. The dark green limbs of the evergreens nearer the house, stand out like sentinels, bravely daring the blasts of the coming winter. The sunlight lies in little pools in the verdancy of the lawn, dotted here and there by vagrant leaves which have thus early abandoned the protection of their parent branch. The clump of spireas, which last June resembled a snow-bank, now has the appearance of a cluster of shrubs, which in the serene consciousness of a duty well done, are now nestling quietly and unobtrusively together. A belated hollyhock, and a few sturdy petunias, render an additional dash of color. Glancing from the the rear window, I behold the majestic line of cedars, bowing gently before the breeze, but standing with all the dignity of a line of knights in full armor. The row of sweet alyssum shows the same white purity it has maintained for several months. Two scarlet rose-buds, with youthful optimism, raise their heads fearlessly to the autumnal skies, disregarding the improbability of their ever being able to attain maturity.
Later in the day, we take a drive in our Buick, through the farm lands of the vicinity. The same magnificent coloring marks the foliage everywhere, outdoing the most artistic efforts of the painter’s brush. Huge stacks of golden straw stand beside the farmer’s barns, testifying to the repleteness of the barns with fodder for the stock. We know without inspection, that the cellars are well filled with fruits and vegetables, destined to adorn many a well-filled table, and to furnish apples and pop-corn for groups of merry young people. In the fields, the sheep are quietly nibbling, already comfortably clad in their winter woolens. The cows are lying placidly chewing the rumen of contentment. Everything denotes peace, harmony and plenty. Occasionally, a vagrant leaf flutters down momentarily upon the hood of the car, then, as if disdaining its warmth, flutters away to joining its companions by the roadside.
In the evening, fortified by an excellent dinner, maybe washed down by a flagon of “Old October ale,” we sit by the bright flame of our fireplace, and as we listen to the occasional snap of the apple-tree wood, and watch the sparks seek freedom via the chimney, we feel that “God’s in His heaven, all’s right with the world.” Yes, what is so rare as a day in October?
Tim’s 2nd-great-grandfather, Charles Munson Hamilton, son of Benjamin J. and Rachel (Gardner) Hamilton, was born 16 August 1815 in New Jersey, and died 12 June 1891 in Cuba (Allegany) New York. He married (as his first wife) 31 December 1840, Eliza Ann Devoe, who was born 26 January 1819 in New York, and died 6 April 1866 in Hinsdale (Cattaraugus) New York.
Charles bought the farm on Keller Hill in Hinsdale, New York on 16 April 1857, when he was 41 years old. Before then Charles & Eliza and their oldest three children lived in Prattsburgh (Steuben) New York. Eliza’s parents remain unknown, but her son was told that she was descended from a French nobleman, a cousin to Louis XVI, and that her ancestry was French, Dutch and Pennsylvania Quaker. I have found many French and Dutch Devoes (with many spelling variations) in New York and Pennsylvania, but cannot thus far establish any connections. [Curiously, Charles’ niece, Eliza Ann VanDeventer married one Elias DeVoe Bryant, who is a great-grandson of a Dutch woman named Lucy Davoe, and Charles and Eliza did name a daughter Lucy.]
Charles & Eliza lived during the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865).
Eliza’s obituary in The Cuba True Patriot, Vol IV, No 41, 13, April 1866, was sad and brief:
Sudden death. – A lady named Hamilton, who resided a short distance south of this village, died very suddenly on Friday morning last. She was taken by a fainting fit while sitting at the tea table and died in a short time. She leaves a child three weeks old.
After Eliza died, Charles married (as his second wife) a school teacher, Rachel A. Ferris, 11 March 1868 in Cuba (Allegany) New York, daughter of Cyrus and Miriam (—) Ferris. Rev. William O. Learned performed the ceremony, at the residence of the bride’s father. Rachel was born January 1836 in New York and died 1 April 1875 in Hinsdale.
According to the Cuba Evening Review, twice a widower, Charles and his daughter, Addie, made a trip by train to Chicago in June, 1882. Since 1879 he had been living with Addie and her husband, Joseph D. Witter, who died shortly thereafter. His time spent with Addie must have been a great comfort to him after so many losses in a row. (His 6-year-old daughter Lucy died in 1850, wife Eliza died in 1866, 28-year-old son Elmer died in 1870, newborn daughter Myra died in 1871, wife Rachel died in 1875, and his mother in 1877 and father in 1880.) Charles was a Baptist and a Republican. He died of cystitis and catarrh of the bladder. He and both his wives are buried in Lot #11, Cuba Cemetery, Cuba, New York.
According to his son, Charles A. Hamilton:
The following is from Charles Amos Hamilton, An Autobiography, “The Memory of the Just is Blessed”, (Batavia, New York: Privately printed, 1941)
My father [Charles Munson] was always kind to me, gave me spending money, took me to the circus, etc., but he was of the stern type, quite hard of hearing, and so much older than I that we were never pals. My memories of father are, on the whole, pleasant. He was stern, puritanical in faith and honest to the half cent. He hated anything low or crooked. I never heard him tell a risqué story, and he never used profanity. His cuss words were limited to “I swanny,” and “By George,” with, on extreme provocation, the expletive reported to have been used by General Cambronne at the Battle of Waterloo. He was hard-working, thrifty and a good manager. While not painfully pious, he was regular in church attendance, always asking the blessing at meals, and conducting family worship during the winter season. Sister Addie and I had a memorial window installed in his memory in the rebuilt Baptist Church at Cuba, which bears this quotation, “The Memory of the Just is Blessed.” His justice and honesty seemed to us his outstanding characteristic. He was afflicted with partial deafness, an affliction which seems hereditary among the descendants of Benjamin Hamilton. We were never close to each other until I became a college student, when he evidently considered me a man, and we discussed at length all sorts of questions. I deeply revere his memory.
The following is from The Patriot, Cuba New York, Thursday, June 18, 1891:
Death of Chas. M. Hamilton
On Friday, June 12, Mr. Charles M. Hamilton, residing south west of the village, departed this life, aged 75 years and 10 months. Mr. Hamilton had been ill for nearly three years, but death, when it came, seemed sudden, as it does under any circumstances.
Deceased was born in New Jersey and came to New York state when a boy, his home being in Chemung county. All his life he followed farming, his highest ambition when young, being to possess a farm of his own. Thirty-eight years ago he located on the place where he died, living there a happy and contented life and bringing into cultivation as fine a farm as can be found in this vicinity. He was twice married, both his companions in life crossing the river before him. Two children mourn the loss of a loved parent, Mrs. C. B. Conklin and Mr. Chas. A. Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton possessed the entire confidence of his neighbors and friends, and his life was one of honest work, uprightness and integrity. The funeral services were held Sunday at the home of his daughter, Rev. Cherryman of Scott’s Corners officiating.
Charles & Eliza were the parents of five children:
1. Elmer Alonzo Hamilton, a farmer, born 12 October 1841 in New York, died 20 July 1870 in Hinsdale, when struck by lightning. He is buried in Lot #11 in Cuba Cemetery. The following account of Elmer’s death was written many years later by his little brother, Charles, who was 4 years old at the time:
One of my most vivid recollections of this period is the death by a stroke of lightning on July 20th, 1870, of my only brother, Elmer Alonzo. He was my father’s first born, and had grown up into a strong, lusty farmer. He and father were more like brothers than like father and son. He was very fond of his little brother, and used to romp with me and at times good naturedly teased me. To me, there was no one in the world like Elmer. After dinner, on the day of his death, as he was starting for the hay field, I begged him to take me with him, but, as a thunder storm was looming in the west, he told me I couldn’t go. He went alone to the hay field, cocked hay until the storm came up, and a bolt of lightning ended his activities forever. His body was not discovered until the next forenoon, all covered with hay. His untimely death was a terrible blow to the entire family.
And from the Cuba True Patriot, 22 July 1870, Vol 9, No 4:
Killed by Lightning. On Wednesday last, Mr. Elmer Hamilton, son of Charles Hamilton, residing on Keller Hill, in this town was killed by lightning. The particulars as near as we have been able to learn them, are as follows. Just before the terrible thunder-storm of Wednesday Mr. Hamilton went over to his father’s farm, adjoining his own, and just across the Hinsdale town line, to grind his machine knives and repair his mower. Towards night as he did not return his relatives began to wonder at his long absence, and a search was instituted. They looked in every place where it might be possible he might be found, but failed to find him. A large number of neighbors were informed, who searched diligently for the missing man till about 2 o’clock A. M., when the hunt was given up till morning. Thursday morning the body of Mr. Hamilton was found, partly screened by a haycock. By his side, and protruding from the cock of hay was his pitchfork, with the tine end sticking out. Close by was his hat, which led to his discovery. One side of the head was scorched almost to a crisp, plainly indicating the cause of his death. It is supposed that Mr. Hamilton crept under the hay-cock to protect himself from the severe storm, and that the lightning struck the fork which he held in his hand. Mr. Hamilton was about 21 years of age, and a young man generally esteemed by all who knew him.
2. Lucy D. Hamilton, born 20 January 1844 in New York, died there 11 November 1850, age 6. Lucy lies buried in the Prattsburgh Old Cemetery, Prattsburgh, New York.
3. Freelove Adelaide “Addie” Hamilton, born in October 1848 in New York, died 9 April 1912 in Cuba. She married (as her first husband) 16 September 1868 in Hinsdale, Joseph D. Witter, who was born 18 April 1843 in Pennsylvania, and died 6 June 1879 in Cuba. Addie & Joseph were the parents of four children. Addie married (as her second husband and as his first wife) 7 February 1883, Clarence B. Conklin, who was born in October 1855 in Pennsylvania and died 30 November 1925 in New York. In the 1880 census Clarence was listed as a boarder in Addie’s household. Addie & Clarence had one daughter. Addie died of cancer when she was about 64. She had played quite an important part in her younger brother Charles’ childhood and adolescent period, being both sister and mother to him. Following are Charles’ thoughts about her two husbands:
Joseph Witter was one of the finest men I ever knew. Honest, industrious, a devout Christian, a fine husband and father. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and saw something funny in nearly all situations. My sister told me that, in their eleven years of married life, he never spoke crossly to her but once. He treated me as I had never been treated before. Joe, treated me as a man, made me drive the team, draw the milk to the cheese-factory, and work alone in the fields dragging. He gave me kindly advice and correction when needed.
Clarence was honest and upright, but painfully ‘close’ in money matters. Two months after their marriage, he lost his mind, and was incarcerated for several months in the Buffalo asylum for the insane. His mind was not very clear during his last years.
4. Elizabeth Hamilton, born 28 March 1864 in New York, died there 1 August 1864, age 4 months.
5. Charles Amos Hamilton (Tim’s great-grandfather), born 19 March 1866 in Hinsdale, died 28 October 1943 in Batavia (Genesee) New York. He married 30 June 1897 in Albion (Orleans) New York, Gertrude Mabel Hubbard, who was born 9 December 1874 in Albion, and died 31 May 1965 in Marlboro (Monmouth) New Jersey, daughter of Delorma Brown and Emma (Pridmore) Hubbard. Charles & Gertrude were the parents of one daughter.
Charles Munson & Rachel were the parents of a daughter:
1. Myra Eliza Hamilton, who lived for only three days in March 1871.
Years ago we made a research trip to western New York with Tim’s aunt Delorma and were able to see the farm on Keller Hill Road in Hinsdale, and perhaps the cheese factory where their milk was brought. My memory has gotten pretty hazy, we saw so much too fast. We met the Hinsdale town historian and some distant cousins. I’ve never been able to find parents for Eliza, but after this trip was taken I learned that Charles & Eliza buried their 6 year old daughter, Lucy, in Prattsburg, about 75 miles to the east. Lucy died there in 1850 and after that her parents bought the farm in Hinsdale in 1857. So I’m hoping to make a trip to Prattsburg one of these days – perhaps Charles & Eliza were married there and perhaps I can find evidence of Eliza’s parents there.