Mount Vernon Cemetery

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Reuel & Louisa Atwood

Mount Vernon Cemetery in Abington, Massachusetts, is where my great-grandparents, Samuel Minor & Emma Flora (Atwood) White, and my 2nd-great-grandparents, Reuel Gardner & Louisa Jane (Atwood) Atwood, lie buried. I have many Atwoods on my family tree, with a lot of cousin marriages crossing the branches. Reuel & Louisa were half second cousins, once removed, both descendants of Nathaniel Atwood (1693-1767).

My 2nd-great-grandfather, Reuel Gardner Atwood, son of Reuel and Abigail Savery (Tillson) Atwood, was born 5 February 1833 in Middleborough (Plymouth) Massachusetts, and died 19 August 1908 in Henniker (Merrimack) New Hampshire. He married 26 November 1860 at Middleborough, Louisa Jane Atwood, who was born 6 April 1840 in Carver (Plymouth) Massachusetts, and died 12 January 1928 in Abington (Plymouth) Massachusetts, daughter of Ebenezer and Waitstill (Lucas) Atwood.

During the American Civil War, Reuel, age 29, fisherman, enlisted for a one year term of general service in the Navy on 17 September 1862 in New London, Connecticut, on board the frigate USS Sabine, one of the first ships to see action during the war. He was 5’9 1/2″ tall, with blue eyes and dark brown hair.

Reuel worked as a box maker and a fisherman. Louisa was a homemaker. On 11 March 1888, Reuel & Louisa survived The Great Blizzard of 1888 that killed more than 400 people along the eastern seaboard.

After Reuel’s death Louisa was a widow for tewenty years. When the 1910 census was taken she was living in Henniker, New Hampshire with her son, Frederick, and his family. By 1920 she was living with her daughter, Emma Flora, and her family at 170 Linwood St. in Abington. Her grandson, John Everett White (my grandfather), fondly remembered the wonderful mittens she knitted for her three grandsons. They had a new pair every winter. Louisa died of tuberculosis at the age of 88.

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Louisa & Reuel were the parents of eight children, but only three survived to adulthood and the others are buried here with their parents:

i. Elsie Fremont Atwood, born 9 August 1862 in Middleborough, died there 25 October 1863, age 1.

ii. Elbridge Lincoln Atwood, born 10 August 1865 in Abington, died 20 December 1878 in Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts, age 13.

iii. Frederick Reuel Atwood, born 28 December 1867 in Abington, died 4 February 1963 in Hillsborough (Hillsborough) New Hampshire, age 96. He married Janie Mary Patterson, daughter of Thomas S. and Anna M. (Greives) Patterson. Frederick & Janie were the parents of four children.

iv. Eustace Lorenzo Atwood, born 2 November 1870 in Abington, died there 22 November 1880, age 10.

v. Emma Flora Atwood (my great-grandmother), born 5 January 1873 in Abington, and died 2 February 1955 in Foxborough, Massachusetts, age 82. She married Samuel Minor White, son of William Martin and Ellen C. (Hill) White. Flora & Samuel were the parents of three sons.

vi. Amy Grace Atwood, born 17 April 1875 in Abington, died there 23 August 1877, age 2.

vii. Samuel Ebenezer Atwood, born 10 March 1877 in Abington, died there 5 December 1880, age 3.

viii. Everett Mason Atwood, born 26 November 1880 in Abington, died there 26 October 1971, age 90. He married Alice Matula Merrill and they were the parents of five children. Everett’s nephew was my grandfather, John Everett White, who was named in honor of his uncle.

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Samuel Minor White (1873-1949)

Engraved on the back of the Atwood stone are the names of their daughter and her husband. My great-grandfather, Samuel Minor White, son of William Martin and Ellen C. (Hill) White, was born 7 July 1873 in Stonington (New London) Connecticut, very close to where I live now, and died 2 July 1949 in Abington (Plymouth) Massachusetts. He married 21 November 1902 at Rockland (Plymouth) Massachusetts, Emma Flora Atwood, who was born 5 January 1873 in Abington, and died 2 February 1955 in Foxborough (Norfolk) Massachusetts, daughter of Reuel Gardner and Louisa Jane (Atwood) Atwood.

When Samuel was about 12, he ran away from home because he did not get along with his stepmother. He would not discuss with anyone his whereabouts between leaving home and marrying Emma Flora, although his sons speculated that he probably went to sea. He had been told that his mother was dead, but I discovered that his parents were actually divorced and that his mother was living in the poor house of Stonington with two illegitimate children who were born after the divorce. Samuel was named after his grand-uncle, Samuel Minor White (1808–1894).

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Emma Flora Atwood (1873-1955)

In 1901 Flora was working as a bookkeeper. She was working in Whitman, Massachusetts, where her cousin lived when she met Samuel. Samuel & Flora were married by Fred Hovey Allen, Clergyman. Samuel was a hard-working laborer and in 1905 was working in a box mill. Flora inherited the house at 170 Linwood St. in Abington, where the couple raised their three sons. She had a baby grand piano she loved to play.

In the summer of 1911, Flora & Samuel survived a deadly heatwave that killed more than 2,000 people in the northeastern states.

My grandfather, their son, remembered that the house had a huge elm tree with an oriole nest and a lawn swing. Flora treasured her bed of dark red peonies. The family always had one horse, one cow (sometimes up to three), sometimes pigs, chickens, ducks and rabbits. Samuel worked at a slaughtering house and at times slaughtered his own pigs. Each morning he left a list on the kitchen table of chores to be done by his sons, which weren’t always completed.

During the boys’ college vacations, a man came to cut firewood into stove lengths and all helped to stack the wood in the basement. Samuel also worked for a Mr. Dudley peddling ice. The ice was harvested from Mill Pond and the wagon served the city of Brockton. Sometimes the ice was harvested with horses. The horses pulled chisels which cut the ice, which then floated down the pond where machines pulled it up to the ice house. Sometimes a team of horses would slip into the water. Ladies would have to order the ice desired, and a meat cart came once every two weeks. My grandfather and his brothers would wait for the cart and a slice of bologna was often tossed out to them.

Flora & Samuel were known as Grammy & Grampy to their grandchildren. My mother spoke fondly of them, which is why I wanted to be called Grammy by my grandchildren. Tim didn’t want to be called Grampy, though, so he goes by Grandpa. Samuel died of colon cancer five days before his 76th birthday. Flora died of an ear infection and mastoiditis at the age of 82.

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Flora & Samuel were the parents of three sons:

i. Earl Martin “Bob” White, born 5 December 1902 in Rockland, died 9 October 1965, age 62. He married Ruth Lois Tilden, daughter of Henry Edward and Ruth Ann (Crocker) Tilden, who was born 20 October 1905 in Fairhaven (Bristol) Massachusetts, and died 7 July 1991 in Bourne (Barnstable) Massachusetts. Bob & Ruth were the parents of two daughters.

ii. John Everett White (my grandfather), born 8 June 1905 in Rockland, died 4 April 2001 in Dennis Port (Barnstable) Massachusetts, age 95. He married Emma Freeman Thompson, daughter of Martin Freeman and Amanda Eliza (Hamblin) Thompson. John & Emma were the parents of two children.

iii. Lincoln White, born 11 February 1909 in Abington, died 31 August 1993 in Monson (Hampden) Massachussets, age 84. He married Marjorie Elizabeth Cary, daughter of Herbert Francis and Elizabeth (Blagborough) Cary. Lincoln & Marjorie were the parents of two sons.

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Emma Flora (Atwood) White (1873-1955)
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Samuel Minor White (1873-1949)
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In recognition of Reuel’s service in the American Civil War.
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This tree’s branches reach over the Atwood plot.
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View of the Atwood plot. Reuel & Louisa and their children lie buried behind the large stone, with flat stones marking the individual graves. Other Atwoods, children mostly, lie buried in front of it with various kinds of stones. I’m not sure how these Atwoods are connected to Louisa & Reuel.

Tim and I revisited this cemetery on March 5, 2016. Our first visit was so many years ago, but now that I have a better camera I want to return and photograph as many family plots as I can, retracing our steps.

Last Revised: 4 March 2021

Blizzard Colbie ~ 1.27.15

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1.27.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Come, ye cold winds! at January’s call,
On whistling wings; and with white flakes bestrew
The earth.
~ John Ruskin
(The Poems of John Ruskin, Volume 1)

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1.27.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Blizzard Colbie gave us 22 24 inches of snow. I have been waiting for some decent snow this winter and it finally arrived. Zoë and I had a delightful afternoon watching the birds feeding in the snow on our balcony.

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an odd couple ~ 1.27.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

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1.27.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Tim sets up a webcam when it snows up here, so our kids in Georgia and North Carolina can watch the storm as it progresses. Nate, who has loved the color red since he was a baby, pinged me to let me know I had a cardinal out there. I already knew that, but it warmed my heart to know that he is still partial to all things red.

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an angry looking jay, perhaps because I didn’t put out peanuts in the shells for him ~ 1.27.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

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this cardinal seemed to be eating snow all afternoon ~ 1.27.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

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Tim liked this picture a lot so I included it here ~ 1.27.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

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oh how I love my friendly, inquisitive mourning doves ~ 1.27.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

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a sweet little junco, he captivated Zoë’s attention for quite a while ~ 1.27.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

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1.27.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

They still have not come to plow the parking lot of our complex and I’m wondering what the hold up is. Tim returned from doing some volunteer work at the Red Cross shelter and got stuck in the entrance to the driveway. Fortunately our very kind neighbors dug him out and created a parking space for him, too. All the neighbors’ cars are still buried.

Edit – the morning after – the final snow total for Groton was 24 inches! The town of Thompson got 33.5 inches!

Blizzard Larry ~ 2.6.78

2.6.78 ~ Ledyard, Connecticut
Nat’s first encounter with the aftermath of a blizzard ~ 2.6.78 ~ Ledyard, Connecticut

Snow memories… Blizzard Charlotte keeps reminding us of Blizzard Larry, which stormed through Connecticut thirty-five years ago on February 6, 1978, when we also got 21 inches of snow. Our son was two years old at the time, and was already showing signs of the outdoor-loving guy he was to become.

2.6.78 ~ Ledyard, Connecticut
2.6.78 ~ Ledyard, Connecticut

Yesterday I kept thinking about these pictures and so decided to learn how to use the scanner today. Nate (we used to call him Nat, but his friends changed his nickname to Nate) moved to Georgia in 2011 and he very much misses New England and snow. Tim set up a webcam for him so he could watch the blizzard outside our kitchen window on his computer as the storm was in progress.

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Tim and Nat taking a walk to see what they could see ~ 2.6.78 ~ Ledyard, Connecticut

While flipping through the photo album I came across this picture of my sister Beverly and the swan she sculpted from a snowfall the year before, in the winter of 1977.

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Beverly and her lovely swan ~ 1977 ~ Storrs, Connecticut

Blizzard Charlotte ~ 2.8.13

Connecticut averaged about 30 inches of snow, down here by the coast in southeastern Connecticut we got 21 inches. Below is the first peek out the door the morning after!

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Blizzard Charlotte ~ 2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

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2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Our governor has banned all use of roads today – we won’t be going anywhere any time soon. Our neighbor’s son has been digging out his mom’s car and thankfully he will be doing ours, too! It’s heavy wet snow. The workers with the snow-blowers to clean off the sidewalks have not even arrived yet.

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2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Relieved of shoveling responsibilities we decided to take a short walk. The wind is still blowing and biting. That’s me in the next picture, bundled up and ready to proceed.

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2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

We heard many limbs snapping off trees during the peak of the storm. These evergreens (below) behind our unit normally stand tall and straight. They are terribly bent over now by the weight of the snow…

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2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

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2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

After we finished checking out the back we decided to take a walk up the road, which is normally very busy with traffic. It would seem everyone is in compliance with the travel ban.

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2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Returning home through the other end of the parking lot we found another evergreen between three other buildings weighed down by the snow.

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2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Sadly, there was a terrible incident at our condo complex this morning. I heard a woman screaming and quickly went to look out the window. A small group of people had gathered around the woman but I couldn’t see what was happening because of the snow drifts. Soon a policeman arrived and our neighbor later informed us that someone’s dog had attacked and killed someone else’s dog. I was stunned. Tim later saw the policeman taking away a little body in a black plastic bag. Rest in peace, little dog…

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2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

There’s our neighbor (above) still working away at his massive shoveling job! We went back inside and had some hot cocoa, feeling a little guilty that we had not done any shoveling to earn such a delicious reward!