HEAVEN GIVES ITS FAVORITES – EARLY DEATH”

 

When Stetson Carter wrote in February 2001 asking about an article on diseases and death, especially among children, it started the long process that precedes the publishing of any article in this newsletter, i.e. planning and research. First, I had to think about sources of information, what should be included, and where would I find the information. jd

Photograph taken by Robert Hyde about 1960 at the Alexander Cemetery

SOURCES OF INFORMATION: I have deaths listed in family histories. A quick sampling indicated that many children were listed as “dy”, i.e. died young, which seemed too vague. Also, going through several dozen notebooks page by page would be extremely time consuming. Next we looked at town records. These listed birth, but not many deaths. Stetson had been inspired to write because of a gravestone in Wesley, so I studied the gravestone inscription lists in our A-CHS files, which had half of what we needed.

WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED: I arbitrarily determined to define children as those over one and under twenty. This would eliminate infant deaths that were so common in the nineteenth century, and eliminate most young married women who sometimes died at the birth of their first child. By necessity I used only those deaths that had the child’s age and date of death. I used only the information presented on the stones.

INFORMATION FROM CEMETERY GRAVESTONE INSCRIPTIONS: Here is a breakdown of the records for children with date of death and with age on stone:

WESLEY – 63 children died between 1832 and 1899 (both cemeteries)

BARING – 35 children died between 1829 and 1892

ALEXANDER – 26 children died between 1842 and 1896

COOPER – 28 children died between 1842 and 1900 (all four cemeteries)

CRAWFORD – 17 children died between 1828 and 1885 (both cemeteries)

SOUTH PRINCETON – 12 children died between 1838 and 1890

That is a total of 181 children in our study who died between 1828 and 1900. The worst years were from 1848 to 1866. Twenty-one children died in 1864. Was there any relationship between that high number and the Civil War? Why did Wesley have and record on gravestones so many deaths relative to its population?

These children all had parents, had names, and were missed. They represent generations that never were to be. We have included the list of their names, and in some cases younger or older family members to illustrate how entire families moved to the graveyard.

CAUSES OF DEATH: Most gravestones did not state the cause of death. Vital records of the eighteenth century were equally non-descript as to the cause of death. Newspaper reports were completely silent about deaths of children in the rural communities. Newspapers did, however, report about death within the urban areas such as Eastport and Calais.

Some children die from tragic events. Four year old Wilfred Vining of Cooper became lost in the woods in April 1910 and died of exposure. A poem about this event was written by Willis Day and appeared in A-CHS issue 90, page 5. In 1965, Ben McArthur of Alexander lost in a house fire his wife Linda and three children, Benjamin III, Paul, and Joanne. On July 20, 2003, Sarah McLain of Springfield was killed by lightning while playing soccer at Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The cause of several Cooper deaths can be found by comparing records and gravestones.

Estelle Mary Leland died of LaGrippe at 16 months

Moses Henderson died of effusing of the brain at age 10

Susan Reynolds died at childbirth at age 18

Alfred Fitzimmons died of consumption at 14 months

Al Churchill reports in the St. Croix Historical Society Newsletter of November 2003 that Cholera was a concern in Eastport in June 1832, and that in Calais in 1872 smallpox had been carried to that port by one Enos Downes on a schooner. Downes was in the pest house within the most populated part of the city.

Albert Bailey reports in his Bailey book (page 72) that several of Jones Bohanon’s children died of diphtheria in the 1850s. Gravestones at the Annaniah Bohanon Family Cemetery in Alexander list Orrie died 1861, and Walter C. died 1863. They were children of Jones and Elizabeth Bohanon. Bailey also tells on page 75 that diphtheria was common in July 1845. Also likely buried at that cemetery are George Washington Brown (May 1, 1837 – September 1, 1845 and his sister Eliza (June 1, 1839 – August 31, 1845) They were children of Elijah and Amelia (Bohanon) Brown.

Alice Bacon told of her mother caring for her neighbors who had diphtheria. They were in the Azel Drew family of Lower Settlement, Wesley. The cemetery there confirms the deaths: Julian Drew (1909 – 1915) and his mother Minnie Gray Drew (1882 – 1915). Mrs. Bacon took off all her clothes and boiled them in a pot in the dooryard before returning to her family.

The Dennys River Historical Society Newsletter in 1990 told that in December 1860 and January 1861 scarlet rash caused death, children died of diphtheria in September – October 1882, and from August 1889 through to May 1890 cholera, scarlet fever and diphtheria all were prevalent in that area.

In Old John Neptune, by Fannie Hardy Eckstrom, we learn that 160 died in Bangor of Asiatic cholera in August and September 1849.

The Eastport Sentinel in 1864 and 1865 states that Eastport paid $129.90 for support of paupers with small pox. Deaths from consumption (TB), diphtheria, and congestion were also reported.

Bruce Catton in Mr. Lincoln’s Army (pages 183-4) indicates that half of the deaths in the Civil War were from typhoid, diarrhea, and dysentery.

George Wheeler in History of Castine, Penobscot and Brooksville mentioned small pox epidemics in 1805, 1840, and 1859 and a cholera outbreak in 1832.

Marian Cousins told that Still Scribner (GSSS) lost two children, both died in his arms of croup. This was a disease of the throat and larynx, causing coughing, false membrane, and maybe death. Marian had the croup, but survived because of medicine from Percy Lord’s drug store. Floyd and Vira Frost’ son Norris Guy died on December 4, 1925, apparently of croup.

All these causes of death only give a picture of health problems that existed in our area during the time reported. We will never know the cause of death for each child listed. We can consider how lucky we are to be alive today. Even though our news is full of problems with our health care delivery system, all the diseases listed above are part of history.

Following we have a list of those children who were God’s favorites. Richard Crosby asked about old time cures. An article on these cures will follow, even a cure that would kill the patient. The title of this article is from English poet Lord Byron’s epic Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.

WESLEY HILL CEMETERY

100791 John W. Allen 10

052864 Deborah Averill 2

061832 George Averill 1

061835 John Averill 10

012866 Mary Blake 9

010842 Philenia Blake 17

041061 Ellery Chase 6

012765 Eva Coffron 1

1864 Charles Cushing 12

1848 Almira Day 6 weeks

082464 Charles Day 14

050849 David Day 4

021052 Emily Day 4

072064 Euphemia Day 18

072864 Dorindia Day 13

080164 Albert Day 7

073164 Lillie Day 5

073064 Flora Day 1

072964 Wm Day 2 mo

children of Joel & Catherine

1906 Almon Day 1

1907 Horace Day 0

030941 John A. Day 9

033179 Josie Day 3

121664 Thomas Day 11 mo

102947 Stephen Ellsmore 15

040542 Maria Ellsmore 5

040339 Maria Ellsmore 3, sisters, dau of Ephraim & Maria Ellsmore

080554 Abbie Gray 10

040166 Annie Gray 3

072789 Harold Gray 2

091583 Lyman Gray 19

052669 Stephen Gray 9

1912 Chester Hawkins 11

1915 Edna M. Hawkins 16

031557 Arabella Haywood 1

030644 Christopher Hayward 1

101351 Georgianna Haywood 1

121564 Helen Hayward 25

120164 Andrew Hayward 17

121064 Charlotte Hayward 12

091164 Lenora Hayward 5

090499 Winifred Hayward 1

012139 Vianna Hayward 8

100738 Sewall Higgins 2

100544 Lorenzo (Marion?) 4

032765 Azubah Miller 13

030465 Adra Miller 11

031665 Willie Miller 5

033065 Mary Miller 43*

wife of Wm and mother of 6

042552 Rachel Miller 11

122548 John H. Miller 2

011863 John W. Miller 1

07 1878 Wm Miller 63*

02 1888 Wm Miller 23*

062253 Francis Rackliff 4

071595 Ethel Robinson 6

051061 Mary Rollins 7

111265 John Rollins 9

042549 Davis Rollins 1

051443 John Rollins 1

073172 Johnny Rollins 3

082448 Charles Smith 1

082437 Elizabeth Stinchfield 3


WESLEY - GUPTILL CEMETERY

013152 John Foster 7

021561 Arnold Guptill 9

102061 Harriet Guptill

082870 Mary Ellen Hollinsworth 19

050652 Daniel Munson 7

111372 Francis Munson 16

112764 Augusta Munson 6

010765 Ellis Munson 3

122764 Mary Munson 1

060753 John Munson 14


ALEXANDER CEMETERY

122280 Annie Abbott 9

092364 Mamie Abbott 6

062066 Eliza Bailey 19

021082 Harry Bailey 3

031784 Manly Berry 1

071191 Ralph Brown 13

120848 Franses Crafts 7

111148 Augusta Crafts 1

042549 Rebecca Crafts 12

101050 Sarah Crafts 17

072042 Mahala Crafts 5

092045 Sarah J. Crafts 5

030546 Alonzo Crafts 14

04101931 Elaine Dwelley 14

05281989 Sara Frost 5*

121361 Dresden Frost 18

020367 Frank Frost 3

021396 Millie Henderson 15

052949 Amelia Libby 15

041564 Ella Spearin 2

091665 BABY Macklin 1

092372 Frank Perkins 2

100358 George W. Perkins 2

122466 Ida Pierce 7

052559 Ella Stephenson 8

052665 Phebe Townsend 18

070991 Louise Townsend 8

101176 George Tyler 6


BARING CEMETERY

010787 Charles Bailey 5

100852 Charles Casey 1

080860 Velona Clark 2

090863 Elmira Clements 7

102551 Sarah Clements 2

080290 Carrie Creamer 7

103050 Laura Day 5

082389 Vesta Hayward 9

101358 Stella Heath 1

111054 Effie Lydic 1

020971 Lindsay Magoon 1

102258 Elmira Magoon 12

112460 Thomas McCann 14

110358 Henrietta McCann 14

082965 Minerva McCann 1

081955 Marks McCann

110154 Olive McDougald 1

090552 James McGlauflin 1

050752 Mary Noddin 19

082851 George Oliver 1

021557 Emma Palmer 4

092548 Mary Pierce 1

121450 Ada Polley 1

011692 Albert Polleys 3

060355 Charles Albert Rand 8 drowned

082039 Edwin Russell 2

012765 John Russell 12

091549 Amos Simpson 2

081855 Louise Simpson 1

073158 Horatio Smith 2

083171 Albion Smith 18

050954 Abner Trott 4

012229 Dan Trott 4

012591 Bessie Wilson 18

031053 Agnes Wilson 15


COOPER

041559 Ruth Black 2

083155 Horace C. Howe 1

051159 Horace D. Howe 17

120769 Horton Howe 10

032061 Hannah Leland 2

101848 Charles Palmeter 4

110948 Nathan Palmeter 6

020549 David Palmeter 2

091559 Amasa Smith 13

081572 Almeda Henderson 2

081572 Manley Henderson 24*

111296 Moses Henderson 11

110800 Laura Watson 17

101261 Winslow Creamer 17

100664 Phinehas Creamer 6

101242 Phebe Averill 1

091948 John Bamford 4

050551 Veranus Cary 1

101075 Waity Cary 18

092275 Eveline Cary 16

051482 Laura Foster 5

080355 Charles McPheters 2

051553 Amelia McPheters 1

112663 Nellie McPheters 5

120763 Oscar McPheters 8

081642 John Smith 4

030350 Joseph Smith 8

120776 Eva Tuell 19


CRAWFORD

111912 Earl Hatte 2

091664 Lenora Doke 1

030479 Flora Durling 1

042563 Franklin Ford 7

101455 Leroy Ford 1

110959 Elmira Grover 5

042969 Charles Grover 12

112751 Frances Hanscom 18

080828 Maria Hanscom 19

102564 Angeline Seavey 19

111764 Laura Seavey 16

101977 George Seavey 3

122360 Hannah Seavey 5

012361 George Seavey 1

071366 Orin Seavey 13

031879 Orrin Seavey 3

040751 Rosemma Wright 3

090485 Hamden Noddin 2


SOUTH PRINCETON CEMETERY

122555 Emma Anderson 1

092862 Clarrissa Calligan 19

091759 Louisa Cowell 2

062038 Hiram Cowell 1

021960 Sarah Cowell 18

062869 Giles Crosby 5

091764 Isabell Libby 12

042090 Albert Noddin 2

092174 Sampson Sprague 19

111861 Charles Sprague 18

111670 William Sprague 2

080471 Maria Sprague 1



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