Sunday, November 18, 2012

George Studley and the 19th Maine at Gettysburg

The 19th Maine Infantry was known for its coolness under fire from its first skirmishes,  perhaps even when they got their nickname as the “Frying Pan Regiment” after an incident in which they tried to cook bacon in a frying pan supported over the fire with live artillery rounds.

Our story picks up in mid-June 1863 when the regiment finally broke camp from Falmouth where they had spent a miserable winter and in which they were based for the battles at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, losing men mostly to sickness.    They were headed for Gettysburg.   After his success at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, General Lee was taking the war to the North with the invasion of Pennsylvania, and the Union Army, including the 19th Maine, was in pursuit.   

The 19th Maine was commanded by Colonel Francis Heath.  General William Harrow had taken over command of the First Brigade and Major-General Hancock command of the Second Corps. While on the march, the North changed command of the Army of the Potomac from General Hooker to General Meade.

Their march took them through the Bull Run battle field where human skeletons were still sticking up through the ground, the 19th bringing up the rear of the Army.  Jeb Stuart’s Cavalry raided the rear at Haymarket and the 19th lost its first casualty to war.  The Army covered 200 miles between June 13 and arrival at Gettysburg on July 1st.  Lee’s 72,000 man army was well into Pennsylvania when they turned back to meet the 83,900 man Union Army, both sides racing to get the most favorable ground at Gettysburg.  Each side had about 10,000 cavalry.

The 19th was often covering 20 miles/day.  On June 29th they marched thirty two miles to reach Uniontown with a forced march on June 30 to arrive at the battlefield on the evening of July 1.  Here they took up position left of Taneytown Road, near the southeastern base of Round Top.  Fighting had been going on west of town during the day while Major General John Buford was trying to delay Confederate troops and to allow Meade’s army to arrive and settle into strategic positions. The Sixteenth Maine who had been fighting the first day returned to camp with the 19th Maine - about 25 men, all that was left of the 16th who were nearly annihilated the first day - and they recounted their story to the 19th.

George’s brigade moved to the battlefield in the morning of July 2nd, the second day of battle, and was stationed in reserve behind Webb’s Brigade and Hall’s Brigade on the left flank of the Union “fish hook”.  They were about 300 yards behind the Codori House and barn.

June 2011.  I walked the fields of the Codori farm, not knowing that a century and a half earlier my second great grandfather had fought on this ground
The Brigade remained all day in cannon range of the enemy.  Over the course of the day’s battle, front line brigades were withdrawn or reassigned, eventually leaving the 19th Maine alone on the field.  An officer of the 19th later wrote of that day,

“The Confederates knew we were there, would strike in our midst, killing or wounding a number of men.  All we could do was to lie there and guess where the next one would strike or who the next victim would be... Sickles’ Right Division (Third Corps) under General Humphreys, extended along the Emmittsburg road toward the Codori house...We watched with intense interest the progress of the battle and soon saw that it was a losing fight on part of the Third Corps.  Through the smoke we could see the approach of the coming storm.  Humphreys’ Division was breaking up and coming toward us, yet stubbornly holding on and contesting every foot of ground.  At last being overpowered by weight of numbers, Humphreys’ line came back in confusion, -- a broken, disorganized mass.  Colonel Heath walked rapidly along in front of the Regiment, cautioning the men to lie still and permit the retreating men to pass over us.  Our right extended well up the ridge, but there was no infantry connection on our left except the First Minnesota, some sixty rods away... Two batteries joined us on the left...We lay upon our faces, hugging the ground.  Nearer and nearer came the retreating soldiers of Humphrey’s Division.  Some of them were wounded and some of the wounded were being brought back by their comrades.  They were all of them in a hurry.  These men were not particular where they stepped in walking over us, they only seemed intent upon getting to the rear and out of the reach of their relentless pursuers.  Yet there were many brave spirits among these routed troops.  Some called out to us, ‘Hang on, boys, and we will form in your rear’.  Others informed us that we were whipped and all was lost.”

About this time General Hancock rode up, placed a man from the Regiment where he wanted the 19th to stay, saying “Will you stay here?” to which the soldier replied “I’ll stay here, General, until hell freezes over”, the usual attitude of the 19th, and the Regiment prepared to face the enemy head on.

“The enemy was about thirty-five yards from our lines when Colonel Heath gave the order to rise and fire.  The Nineteenth had about 400 men in line of battle when the Regiment rose and delivered its deadly fire into the faces of the Confederates.  They were staggered and halted...The Battery which joined up upon our left commenced firing the moment the front was clear of the Third Corps...The First Minnesota was stationed sixty-five rods to our left.  This Regiment (1st Minnesota) charged across the ravine, checking and driving back the Rebel brigade... this renowned charge of the First Minnesota in its great loss has never been equaled in modern warfare.

While the 59th New York and the 7th Michigan repulsed the charge of the Confederates, these regiments did not attempt to follow them as they retreated across the Emmittsburg road...The First Minnesota and the Nineteenth Maine were the only regiments in our Division that undertook to follow the Confederates across the Emmittsburg road. The Minnesota boys charged as far as our Regiment did, but owing to the fact that the Emmittsburg road did not run parallel with out line of battle, they did not reach that road.

During the progress of the battle, Colonel Heath received word that the enemy had made its appearance on our right flank.  He ordered the Regiment to fall back, and it did so in perfect order.  The distance the Regiment fell back did not exceed two or three rods, when they faced the enemy again and, in perfect alignment, began firing again...We heard the ringing order of Colonel Health to fix bayonets.  Then the order to charge was given and the Regiment started forward and down across the plain, like a tornado let loose.  The Rebels fell back rapidly and our Regiment advanced nearly to the Emmittsburg Road, capturing many prisoners, two stands of colors, three pieces of artillery and four caissons (recaptured) ... We had no infantry connection immediately upon our right or left.  Just as we were ordered back, our attention was attracted by loud cheering in the rear... When the Regiment reached the place from which we had charged with the three guns and the four caissons coming from the direction of the enemy, the whole line went wild with cheers over the brilliant charge and capture by the Nineteenth Maine.”

Colonel Nash would later write,

The Nineteenth Maine was placed beside a battery, to support it, and to hold its portion of the line, as the Third Corps had been driven back across the field, and was retiring in haste.  The enemy was completely frantic with victory, and advanced impetuously....our fire was deadly; every shot had apparently done its duty.  And when, with bayonets fixed, the command “Forward” was given, onward dashed all that was left of the Nineteenth, while cheer upon cheer rose far above the din, the enemy hiding behind rocks and bushes to escape the fury of the charge”.

A Regimental monument to the 19th Maine stands at the place of this charge.

19th Maine Inf'y Reg't.
1st Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Corps
In the Evening of July 2d this Regiment at a position on the left of Batt'y C, 5th U.S. helped to repel the enemy that had driven in Humphreys' Division, taking one battle flag and re-capturing four guns.
On July 3, after engaging the enemy's advance from this position, it moved to the right to the support of the 2d Brigade and joined in the final charge and repulse of Pickett's Command.
Effective strength. July 2d. 405;
Killed & mortally wounded 65;
Wounded not fatally, 137; Missing 4.

At roll call for the Regiment that night, however, “strong men sobbed as the heroic dead were named”.  The Regiment stayed the night on the same ground where they waited for battle most of the day, but slept little for the cries of the wounded men lying between the lines.

July 3, early morning.  Four companies of the Regiment were sent to a skirmish line, advancing some to the right toward the Union center, still near the Codori house on Emmittsburg Road.  They had not eaten for 24 hours and had no breakfast nor water on this hot day.  The remaining companies, including Company A with George, waited on the battle line, somewhat protected by ground works that had been constructed.  And wait they did, as all was quiet except for fighting over on Culp’s Hill.  By plan, about 1:00 PM the Confederates opened up with  “the most terrific cannonading ever witnessed on this continent”, 138 Confederate artillery guns turned on the Second Corps in Lee’s attempt to break through the Union line.  “The very earth seemed to tremble as if in the convulsions of a mighty earthquake.  It is impossible to describe the horror and suffering of this hour”.

About three o’clock, the guns silenced and 15,000 Confederates emerged from the tree line ahead to cover the three quarters mile to the Union line, a line of infantry about a mile long, Pickett’s Charge, “one of the most inspiring sights ever seen on a field of battle”, headed for the center of the Union line where our George and the 19th were waiting.  Given the distance and open terrain exposure to artillery fire, Confederates fell by the thousands but continued to advance, breaking the Union line at “The Angle”.  The 19th met Pickett’s Charge, and then moved on the double quick toward the captured angle of the wall, “massed, many deep, around the hapless Confederates who had penetrated our lines...the contending forces hopelessly mingled, fought with desperation”, brutally hand to hand and with rifle butts.

The Second Corps bore the brunt of casualties at Gettysburg, more than any of the other Corps.  Of the 405 officers and men of the 19th Maine, 65 died and 137 wounded, and 4 missing - 53% of the Regiment.

Only minor skirmishing occurred the following day, July 4th, as Lee’s Army withdrew and began their retreat south. 

On the 5th, the 19th Maine and other regiments began the gruesome task of burying the dead on the battlefield.  Five hundred were buried on the Codori farm.  Twenty foot long ditches were dug and Confederates soldiers dragged into mass graves, piled one on top of another.  Union soldiers were buried in separate graves and each grave marked, if known.

About five o’clock on July 5th, the 19th left the battlefield.  On July 29th, Captain Charles Nash  of the 19th Maine wrote,

“Eleven months ago the Nineteenth Maine was one thousand strong.  Today its ranks number 258.  Some who were then with us are reposing on the banks of the Rappahannock; others are asleep on the stained and ever memorable field at Gettysburg.  Only a few are left.”

Our George Studley, perhaps a sergeant by now, was one of the surviving two hundred fifty eight.  He has nearly two years of fighting yet to go.

Next installment: The next two years

Source: The History of the Nineteenth Regiment of Maine Volunteer Infantry, 1862-1865, John Day Smith.

Recommended film:  Gettysburg gives an excellent account of the battle at Gettysburg

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lieutenant George Studley, 19th Maine Infantry

Sometimes, oftimes, in the search for family a story comes to light that raises an eyebrow.   Such is the story of First Lieutenant George Studley, grandfather to Alice and Nettie, Civil War veteran, combatant at the likes of Fredericksburg, battle of The Wilderness, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, and Appomatox with the Army of the Potomac.  Why didn’t we know this story? 
We already know the answer to our question - we didn't know because veterans who survive the tragedy of war and return to civilian life speak seldom to family of the trauma.  What could be worse than losing half your regiment in a battle?  Perhaps to lose your own boy to the war, in the same battle you are fighting.  This is the story of our second great-grandfather, George, and his son, Albert Studley.

George was the sixth of seven children born to John (1790-1826) and Pearn Lang Studley (1797-1882) in Lincolnville, Maine, in 1824.  George's father, too, was born Lincolnville and lived all his life in this settlement on the western side of Penobscot Bay, likely making a living in farming or lumbering.  He fought in the War of 1812 defending against British invasion of Maine and married George’s mother in 1813 when he was age 23 and she sixteen.  George’s father died when he was two years old; John was only 36 and Pairn a 30 year old widow with seven children under the age of 13.  George’s stepfather, farmer Robert Dodge, came into the picture when George was 7 years old and three more children were added to the family.

In 1845, twenty one year old George married Harriet A. Packard, an 18 year old from  Thomaston, several towns south of Lincolnville and in 1850 the couple was living in the coast town of Rockland, Lincoln County, Maine, with sons Albert, age 4, and George Leslie, age 2.  George’s brother, Benjamin, is living in the house.  Both George and Benjamin are carpenters, as are four other young men in the house, so this may well have been a boarding house for young men working at shipbuilding.

By 1860, George and Harriet have settled into a home in Camden, Maine, also along the Penobscot Bay, with only their family in the home, now comprised of Albert E, age 14, George L, age 11, Arrametta, age 6, Alice, age 4, and Lisetta, age 6 months.  George is working as a farmer.

While George’s life has likely not been easy to this point, it would soon be turned upside down.  Fort Sumter was fired upon in April, 1861,  and Lincoln called for 75,000 militia from the states.  By July 1861, 500,000 volunteers had signed for three years.  The war was not going well for the North and in July 1862 a call was made for another 300,000. Maine provided more soldiers for its population than any other state in the Union, and with this last call our George, now age 38, volunteered to go.  Harriet was left not only to care for the teenagers, Albert and young George, and three daughters under the age of 10, but she was newly pregnant with Sidney, our great-grandfather.  How did Harriet make do for the three years George was gone?  Did she stay on the farm with help from the two boys?  Did the grandparents help out?

George made his way to Bath, Maine, where he mustered in as a private with the 19th Maine Infantry, Company A, on August 25, 1862.  Two days later, they marched through the streets of Bath to the rail station, and from there by rail and boat to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and finally to Washington, DC.  What a trip this must have been for a man who had likely never been away from the coastline of Maine!

Washington at the time had no paved streets, most buildings other than government were wood, and the town was heavily armed and fortified.  Second Bull Run - with the Dillow 2nd great grnadfather and his two brothers - was going on at the time the nine hundred sixteen men of the 19th arrived, and the young recruits could hear the battle in the distance.  The regiment was assigned to forts around the city, and Company A went to Fort Greble, now Congress Heights.

An error in not assigning the 19th as a “new regiment” resulted in evacuating the Washington fort in late September, heading on foot for Fredericksburg, Virginia.  In late November, the Second Corps was encamped at Falmouth on the bluffs across the Rappahannock.  To move supplies by wagon, the 19th Regiment was put to work building “corduroy roads”, a process involved cutting down trees for logs:

“... the men from Maine knew how to handle an axe.  It was rich entertainment to watch the New Yorkers in our brigade trying to cut down a tree.  They would hack a circle about six inches wide around the tree and keep at it, hitting as near the center of the circle as they could, until the tree yielded.  It was still more entertaining to see some green, officious Lieutenant of our Regiment, from the city, instructing some lumberman soldier as to the proper way to do this work”.

As a result of delays building pontoons to cross the Rappahannock, the Union Army did not start across until Lee’s men had a chance to occupy the heights above Fredericksburg.  George’s Brigade had the high risk task to be second to cross the pontoon to take the town of Fredericksburg.  “It has been affirmed that this pontoon bridge crossed by our Regiment was laid in as hazardous a place as any position used for such crossing during the war”, reflected an officer of the 19th.   

The 19th was assigned the next two days to the extreme right flank while the slaughter of the Union Army attempting to take Marye’s Heights was toward the center and left flank.  The 19th escaped casualties.  The Union Army lost 12,500 men at Fredericksburg.

The Regiment retreated back across the river and wintered in miserable winter conditions,

 “... our Falmouth camp was our Valley Forge of the civil war...during the winter, the Regiment lost about one hundred men by sickness (10 of these from Company A), and the burial of the comrades was a pathetic sight.  The expiring comrade “wrapt the drapery of his couch about him, and that drape was the army blanket.  In this he was buried, and his only headstone was a piece of a hard bread box.  The signal of the burial was given by the muffled drum, the power pathos of which went through all the camp.”

The Chancellorsville campaign, another Union defeat, began in late April.  While Lee was diverted to Chancellorsville, the 19th crossed the Rappahannock in the second battle of Fredericksburg, and guarded the telegraph lines, all without casualty.  By late May, the Second Corps had a new commander, General Hancock, and the crew left behind their winter camp on June 14th, 1863 ... headed for Gettysburg.

Next installment:  Gettysburg

Source: The History of the Nineteenth Regiment of Maine Volunteer Infantry, 1862-1865, John Day Smith.

Recommended film:  Gods and Generals gives an excellent account of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and the Wilderness.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Young Alice Packard Studley: 1891-1921

When our Grandma Nute died in 1976, her obituary gave the standard information for a woman at the time - age, where she went to church,  how many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and where she was buried.  At the time she died, she was 84 years old, attended Perry Christian Church, had four children, 10 grand children and seven great-grand children, and was survived by her sister, Nettie.  She had been living with daughter, Jeannette, in Painesville, Ohio, and she was buried alongside Raymond, Sr., in Perry Cemetery.

Her unwritten history, though, is not revealed in an obituary, birth, marriage, death or census records.  With family photos, Alice’s scrapbook, and information about the times and people around her, perhaps we can stitch together her early life.

When Alice was born in 1891, Fall River was a thriving, prosperous city  with three daily newspapers, a host of textile mills, and daily steamboat trips to New York City.   The high school was a four story, towered, granite building that had its own astronomy observatory and telescope. BMC Durfee High School was built in 1886 in the upscale Highlands neighborhood, and is now designated as a historic building housing a probate and family courthouse.

BMC Durfee High School
Alice was descended from two Mayflower passengers, Richard Warren and William Bradford, from Revolutionaries, and two grandfathers who were Civil War Veterans.

Alice's father, Sidney Elmer Studley, was born in Maine months after his father went to the war, and lived in a blue collar, working class neighborhood in Boston most of his young life until marrying Martha Hathaway Borden in Fall River in 1887.  He had been a clerk in Boston, but the hard working young man worked his way up to owning his own grocery in Fall River.  The family lived in rentals but by 1910, Sidney had bought a home in a nicer neighborhood.

Sidney Elmer Studley (1863-1941)
Alice's mother, Martha, came from the Borden family who had been in the vicinity since the 1600's.   Her father, Stephen Bailey Borden, had also been away to the war when Martha was born.

Martha Hathaway Borden
Both photos appear to be around the time the young couple married.

Nettie was the firstborn child for the young couple in April 1889, and Alice followed in August 1891.  This is the earliest photo we have of the two girls, likely in 1892, the same year as the Lizzie Borden axe murders of her father and stepfather in Fall River.

Alice and Nettie,1892
Alice about a year later, very likely on her second birthday,

Alice, probably 1893
and both girls in matching dresses in the following year.

Alice and Nettie, 1894

The girls and Martha seem to be warmly and fashionably dressed while traveling about the city in the mid-1890's.

Alice, Mother Martha, and Nettie

We have little photographic record of the girls until the following family photo which appears to be turn of the century.

 Aunt Nettie Borden Howland, Martha H Studley, Uncle Harry Howland, Cousin Ida Borden
Nettie Borden Studley, Alice Packard Studley
Nettie Borden Howland is Sidney's sister, young Alice's paternal aunt. She was married to Harry Howland.  Ida Borden is a second cousin, niece to Stephen Bailey Borden.

We have a photo of Alice dated December 1905, and labeled age "14 years, 4 months",

Alice, December 2005
and another dated 1907, age 16, likely 10th grade at BMC Durfee, that wonderful high school with the observatory pictured above.
Alice in 1907
This full length photo appears to be around the same time as the portrait above, but may have been a year earlier.  She is wearing, as always, those beautiful embroidered dresses and the same gold locket.  I know it is gold as she and Raymond gave this writer a similar engraved gold locket.  I have wondered what happened to Alice's locket.

Alice in high school
A photo with Nettie on the left and three girlfriends is undated, and leaves to imagination what was the occasion.  A wedding, a graduation, or just going to church.  How ever did they keep these white dresses clean, what with all the horse poop there must have been in the streets, and that is the subject of a future post.

Nettie on far left, Alice on far right
The following two photos are a mystery, as they are labeled by someone else.  The labels refer to visiting someone in Tilton, New Hampshire.  She would have been old enough to travel on her own to New Hampshire after high school, but who did she know there?  Tilton is home to a private preparatory school which also gave degrees to women for a period.  She may have been visiting a girlfriend who went away to school.

"Alice P Studley, after Nute, as she visited me in Tilton, NH. Cross Road"
"Alice Studley as she looked when visiting Tilton"
Would she have had two portraits done in New Hampshire?  Or, made in Fall River and sent later to her girlfriend.  She is clearly maturing and beginning to wear hats.

She graduated in 1911, at age 20 from BMC Durfee and worked in the office at Fall River Gas Company where Raymond's father, Joseph, was manager.   

A 1914 photo shows a lovely young woman, perhaps her engagement portrait,

Alice in 1914
and the same year a photo with both Nute and Studley families, indicating Alice and Raymond had likely started their relationship by this time.  Very possibly, they knew each other at BMC Durfee High School as they were about the same age, or from Alice working for Raymond's father, Joseph, at the Gas Works.

From right: Aunt Jennie Borden, in back Susan Simmons (Harriett's servant), Mother Nute (Harriett), Aunt Annie Wilkins, Alice's mother Martha Borden Studley, and Alice in 1914
Raymond went off to school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a year latter changed to Massachusetts Agricultural College, now University of Massachusetts, and graduated in 1914.  We first have a photo of Raymond and Alice together dated November 3, 1915.  

Alice and Raymond, Nov 3, 1915
Alice and Raymond were married on November 8, 1915 in Fall River and the occasion was reported in two newspapers.  A Fall River newspaper described a wedding held at the home of the bride in the presence of immediate family, followed by a reception for friends and relatives.

Home Wedding of Well Known Young People Last Evening

... The house was most artistically decorated for the occasion.  Southern smilax screened the walls and was entwined about the stair case and chandeliers.  The fireplace of the room where the ceremony was performed was banked with autumn leaves through which shone red electric lights.  Pink and white chrysanthemums were also used in clusters to good advantage in the decorative scheme.

As the bridal party left the upper rooms and proceeded down the stairs, Lohengrin’s Wedding March was played by Edmund Bottomly, piano, and Miss Helen Borden, violinist.  The bride was accompanied by her sister, Nettie Borden Studley, and by the sister of the groom, Helen Nute.  They were met under the nuptial arch by the groom and his attendant, Murray Lincoln of North Easton, a classmate at Amherst.  The ushers were Alden and Warren Nute, brothers of the groom.  The double ring service was used and during the ceremony, the musicians rendered “Perfect Love”, “O Promise Me’, and for the recessional, Mendelssohn’s Bridal Chorus.

There were about 150 present at the reception at 7 o’clock.

The bride wore a beautiful gown of white gros de londris, made en train and trimmed with pearls and Duchess lace.  Her tulle veil was caught in cap effect with lilies of the valley and she carried a bouquet of the same flower.  The bridesmaids wore watermelon pink crepe de chine trimmed with silver embroidered silk net and rosebuds.  They carried arm bouquets of Killarney roses.  Mrs. Studley wore a handsome dress of grey crepe de meteor with old rose vestee and silver trimmings.  Mrs. Nute wore the gown which she wore at her own wedding.  It was white faille silk trimmed with duchess lace.  The gift of the bride to her maids were gold brooches of filigree work set with pearls.  The gift of the groom to his attendant was a tie pin.

There was a handsome display of wedding gifts, including mahogany, silver, linen, china, heirlooms of both families and money in checks and gold.  The bride is a graduate of the Durfee high school and has been employed for some time in the office of the Fall River Gas Company.  Mr. Nute was a student at Durfee High School and M.I.T., and graduated from Amherst agricultural college in 1914.  He is at present manager of a farm in Lakeville, Mass.

Alice and Raymond made their home at the Lakeville farm, outside of Fall River, for the next 5 years and started their family with the birth of their first two children, Ray Jr. in 1916 and Jeannette in 1920.  Alice matured into a young farm wife and mother, but still elegant as shown at the 1917 wedding of Raymond's sister, Helen, held at the home of Joseph and Harriett Nute, yes in the fashionable Highland neighborhood of Fall River.

Raymond Jr. Alice, Raymond Sr, Joseph Nute and Harriet Gove Wilkins Nute, July 2, 1917

In 1920 Alice was 29 years old. The young woman used to her finery, the lace, the silver and chandeliers, along with Raymond, young Ray Jr. and infant Jeannette, took the bold step to migrate west to Kentucky, the first in their lines to move out of New England in 300 years.  The rest we know in Mr. Nute's Peach Fed Free Range Turkeys.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lost Hikers: Sound familiar?

This article ran in the Fall River Herald in about 1915-6.  Helen is a great aunt to my generation, sister to Raymond Sr.   The article is undated but at the time of this experience she is teaching at a high school in Orleans, MA, a town just at the elbow of Cape Cod.    She graduated from Mt. Holyoke College and was a teacher until her marriage in 1917 at age 28.

Miss Helen E Nute of This City and Companion found in an exhausted state
Will suffer no serious effects from their way walking from Brewster to Orleans

Miss Helen E Nute of this city, daughter of J.E. Nute, manager of the Fall River Gas Works Co., and Miss Bertha Wilson of Thomasville, Me., assistant principals of the Orleans High School, had an extremely unpleasant experience Sunday night in the Brewster woods, in which they were wandering about from dark until after midnight.

Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Nute drove down from this city in their automobile Sunday morning to spend the day and started on their return about 3 PM.  Their daughter and Miss Wilson accompanied them as far as Brewster, intending to walk back to Orleans.

Not having arrived home after dark, Mr. and Mrs. Higgins, with whom the teachers board, became worried, and soon afterward made inquiries by telephone of Brewster residents, and ascertained that two young women had been seen entering the woods about 4 o’clock.  Fearing that the two teachers had become lost in the woods, Mr. Higgins notified the selectmen who also notified Deputy Sheriff Boland.

A general alarm was sent out about 9 o’clock by ringing the church bells, and searching parties were organized under the direction of Sheriff Boland, Dr. Lemuel Pope, Elnathan Eldredge, George Steel and others from different sections, who started out to search the various cross-roads and wooded paths.

Mr. Nute, who had arrived at home in this city, was notified by telephone about 9 o’clock, and he said the girls had spoken of taking a cross cut through the woods from Brewster to Orleans.  About midnight, one of the automobile searching parties penetrated the road leading through Roland Nickerson’s deer preserve near Cliff Pond in East Brewster woods, and learned that the young women had been there just before dark and inquired the way to the village.

The caretaker had directed them toward the Brewster road, but they had evidently become undecided again and had got lost before getting out of the woods.  This was the first clue to the young women since the search began.  The party took different paths, and Mrs. Higgins and his searchers soon found footprints.

On reaching a point about half way between Cliff pond and Baker’s pond they were overjoyed at meeting the two exhausted and frightened girls coming toward them, hardly able to speak from hoarseness, after shouting at their utmost for hours.  They reported having lost they way, owing to the density of the woods and the intense darkness which came on very early, owing to fog and cloudiness, when they left the Nickerson bungalow.

They were considerably worn out from their long tramp and the prospect of spending the entire night in the dark woods.  They had heard the bells and the tooting of automobile horns and whistles of every description, and could at times see the rays of the automobile headlights turned upward when climbing steep hills but, of course, were absolutely unable to make themselves heard by the searchers by screaming or shouting.

Every sound in the deep darkness, even after the rising moon had lightened it slightly, and every big tree seemed an object of terror, owing to their failing strength.  The searching parties had covered every road where automobiles could penetrate in that entire section between Brewster, East Harwich, and Orleans.

Meantime, Mr. Nute had become so alarmed that he and Mrs Nute started again from this city for the Cape about 11 PM, reaching Orleans about 3 o’clock Monday morning.  They were rejoiced to learn that their daughter and her companion had been found and that neither of the young ladies was in serious condition.  It is believed that they will suffer lasting effects from their experience.

Newspaper reporting is just not the same as a hundred years ago.

I think I may have inherited some of Helen’s genes.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nettie: The Other Studley

Every child needs a doting aunt, and ours was Nettie Borden Studley (1889-1990), older sister to our grandmother, Alice Packard Studley (1891-1976).  They came from working class backgrounds whose New England customs meant you had a family name passed down at birth.  

Our Nettie was named for a maternal aunt, Nettie H. Borden (1869-1923),

and Alice received her middle name from a maternal grandmother, Harriet A. Packard (1827-1893).

Nettie's and Alice's father, Sidney Elmer Studley (1863-1941), grew up in the ethnic, working class neighborhoods of Chelsea and Hyde Park, Boston, and likely did not finish high school as he was already working as an express clerk at the age of 17.  

Their mother, Martha Hathaway Borden (1863-1936), also grew up in a working class family in Fall River, Massachusetts.  Martha's father, a Civil War veteran, was a laborer, machinist, and meat salesman at various times in his life.

The couple married in Fall River in June 1887 - both were 24 years old - and  settled into a neighborhood on the hill overlooking Taunton River as it empties into Mount Hope Bay.  Sidney got into the grocery business, perhaps with help from Martha’s father, Stephen Bailey Borden, and worked his way up over the years until he was manager, then owner, of a grocery on Linden Street in Fall River.  Martha must have been a good mother as pictures of the girls indicate they were well cared for, perhaps even indulged.

The little girls' photo was likely taken in 1893, the same year Lizzie Borden was accused of the axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River.  Both Grandma Alice and Aunt Nettie vehemently denied any blood relation to Lizzie.   Uh, seems unlikely as Bordens in that area descend from two Borden brothers.  

A mid-to late 1890's photo shows a well-dressed family on a sleigh ride outing.

Alice, Martha, and Nettie

In 1900, the family was living in a rented duplex at 594 Bradford Avenue, a nicer neighborhood, and Sidney was working as a grocery clerk.

This photo of Nettie may well be around the 8th grade, but perhaps taken when she graduated from BMC Durfee High School in 1908.

By 1910, the family owned a house at 972 Maple Street, indeed a nice neighborhood.  Sidney is a grocery store manager, Alice is 18, still attending BMC Durfee, and Nettie is 21 years old, working as a bookkeeper at Small Brothers, one of the textile mills for which Fall River was known.  Nettie remained with this company for her entire career, finally retiring at age 72.  Sidney became the owner of the grocery store on Linden Street.

In 1915, Nettie's sister married a young man from Massachusetts Agricultural College, now University of Massachusetts, and left the family home to be a farmer's wife - and we have seen what an amazing farmer he was.  When I was growing up I had heard Nettie had a fiance or young man she liked very much who was killed in World War I.  For this or whatever reason, she never married and lived with her parents for the rest of their lives.

In 1921, Sidney, Martha, and Nettie moved down the street to 724 Maple Street where they remained until just before Martha died in 1936.  In 1935, the parents and Nettie moved into a house at 172 Hanover, just behind the 724 Maple Street address, and Sidney lived with Nettie until he died in 1941.

Nettie's house at 172 Hanover Street
I believe 724 Maple is the house in far left of photo
Nettie had a way of making everyone her family, and likely her co-workers at the thread factory filled in for the absence of her parents and sister.  Alice's family, children and grandchildren became the focus of her travels, and often she of theirs.  As a youngster growing up on the farm in Lewis County, we looked forward to the Christmas gift we always knew we would get from Aunt Nettie.  I can still remember the visit when she bought me a pair of red boots.  She visited there by train,

Vanceburg Station in 1940's
Alice, Nettie, and perhaps Helen Plummer
and followed us to northern Ohio.

Jeannette, Aunt Nettie, George
Ray & Kathie
Joellen, Janie, young George
No trip to New England was complete without stopping off "to see Aunt Nettie".

Aunt Nettie, Jeannette
Donald, Joellen, George "Clif"
Fall River Herald News ran an article in 1960 on her retirement at age 72,

Bookkeeper Feted by Firm after Fifty Years' Service

Small Brothers Mfg. Co. last night honored a woman who has been with the organization for 50 years.  She is Miss Nettie B. Studley, the thread-manufacturingfirm's head bookkeeper.
When Miss Studley joined Small Brothers in 1910 to begin her first job, the firm was only 25 years old and still operated by its founders, Elisha H. and Reuben C. Small. The bookkeeping department was small; in fact, she was it. 

As a retirement gift, they gave her a TransCanadian Rail trip which she took by herself - age 72 no less.

In 1968, Nettie  gave up her residence and moved into senior living at the Fall River Home for the Aged at 1172 Highland Avenue.  She loved to show off her room and the elegant setting, pointing out they took every meal with linen tablecloths, silver, and crystal glassware.  She continued to be a prolific letter writer.  She was mentally sharp and  at age 87 amazed my Ohio Republican Chairman then-husband with her command of politics over lunch.

Throughout her life, she had a hobby of needlepoint and some of the family are lucky to have beautiful pieces she gifted.    She continued to crochet and knit afghans through her later years.

Nettie at the Fall River Home for the Aged
Fall River News in November 1980 covered a ceremony with Nettie as the guest of honor in which a tree planted by Sidney in 1940 needed to be moved and replanted.

"I remember when poppa planted the tree", she said, reflecting a remarkable memory that can summon people and dates that have long since passed.  "He wanted to brighten the area around the Haffenreffer House on Hanover Street (then owned by the hospital).  So he donated a garden that he planted himself."

The article went on to say,

The nonagenarian observes the local scene with a keen eye from her present domicile.  She marveled at the prospect of a new five story patient care facility that will consolidate Union and Truesdale services at the Union site.  

"Change is welcome", she noted, "when the old is accommodated to make way for the new".

The Fall River Herald News covered her 100th birthday party, noting she supervised all the arrangements herself.  

100th Birthday Party
Nettie died in 1990 at age 101.   Her obituary noted she was acknowledged as one of the first women in the area to hold a major corporate position in the city.

Alice died in 1976 at age 84, seventeen years younger than Nettie.  Alice had a more active lifestyle on the farm, and I have long thought the longevity difference was related in part to Nettie's positive outlook, evident even in that 1893 photo.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Wednesday, 8/17/11: Glenbeigh to Cahersiveen – The Trail Starts

After a lovely breakfast (how does Anne make such fluffy eggs?), we took off for Cahersiveen, pronounced like cursive with an ine at the end, only car for the first syllable.  Here’s Kathie at the head of the trail.

We could not have asked for more beautiful weather or scenery. 
Of course, there were sheep and cattle to ogle along the way.  They ogled us; we ogled them.  No herding was necessary this time, however. 

Walking along, noticing the flora, I couldn’t help but think of leprechauns and trolls.

Pretty but treacherous – see the rocks in the trail? 
In some places, we couldn’t sidestep the rocks but rather had to plow right through them.  In others, the rocks were mixed with boot-sucking mud.  I mean, literally, in a couple of places, one or the other of my boots was sucked clean off my foot.  I took to making up haikus in my head:

Rocky flat good for legs.
Rocky up good for heart.
Rocky down good for naught.


The walkers are walking
The buzzards are circling
They say, “Look!  Tasty treats!”

As usual, I was dillydallying way behind Kathie and Kathleen.  Can you see the tiny figures way up ahead?  If you’re anything like me, you’re more focused on the spectacular view in the background…and also on the horsie moseying up to see if I have a treat to offer. 
What was supposed to be a twelve mile hike turned out to be an eighteen mile walk, due to a lack of clear directions where we left the trail.  Between the three of us, along with Mary (a Catholic University nursing major), and Bree (a Harvard pre-law student), we simply could not figure out which way we were to go to get to the Southern Sun, our B&B for the night.  After several false starts and asking directions of a couple of people, we did however arrive safely.  (That last stretch along the busy 2-laner was a little scary, eh girls?) 

Our hostess referred us to Frank’s Pub for dinner, where I had homemade vegetable soup, soda bread, and salad.  Yum!  The young waiter/bartender was very sweet.  I loved his accent!  He recommended the apple pie, so we took a slice to go and stopped by the Daniel O’Connell Catholic Church on our way out.  Supposedly, this is the only Catholic church in the world named after a person who is not a saint.  Huh.

Back in the room, I noticed blisters starting on my right heel and both big toes.  Not good.

(If you want to see a description of the hike we took, go to the Macs Adventure site here)