Note: Mary Murphy Jarvis 1994-It was my understanding that her mother died shortly after giving birth or when she was a very young girl. She was raised by her mother`s sisters in Brattleboro, Vt. However I discovered on a trip to the Vermont records center in Jan 1997 that her mother died after a long illness in 1895 when Mary was about 14. so as usual, family traditions are not always accurate. I recall visiting those Aunts while a very young boy. After spying a bird in a cage, tradition has it I asked, " Is that the bird on Nelly`s hat?" A popular song in the early 1930`s. So I am assuming that perhaps one of the sisters was named Nelly.
She spoke very little of her father during her lifetime, perhaps this was because she was raised in a different household as a teenager and felt abandoned by him. She remained, however, closely in touch with her half - siblings and their families. I can recall a good looking dark haired fellow named "Chick" Murphy who used to imitate Fred Astair and sing "Hand me down my walking cane, I`ve got to catch the midnight train", I think this must have been her nephew and a brother of Owen Murphy of Boston Collage athletic fame. Owen won, I believe 12 varsity letters at B.C. and is in their Athletic Hall of Fame. Two of his daughters live in Claremont.
I visited the John Maley farm in East Putney when very young and know that we are somehow related as are the Monahans who lived in Greenfield, Ma. I have tried to get information about the Murphy family from the Barrett sisters in Agawam, Ma. They were daughters of Mary`s half sister ---and were still alive in 1995. They seemed to think that their grandfather, Owen, was sometimes mean to his family and sited an instance when their grandmother was afraid to ask him for money for a new pair of shoes for the girls. Another cousin that I`m acquainted with is Dorthy (O`Connor) Fontaine of Bellows Falls. She and the Barrett girls have been to Owen`s birthplace in Youghal, county Cork, Ireland.
In spite of the lack of information about her background, I shall attempt to record some of my memories about this loving kindly women: My first mental picture of my grandmother, whom I always called "Nanny", is her chasing after a beach ball that I had managed to throw past her waiting arms in our yard at the "Tucker" house on Lowell St in Windsor. That street has a grade approaching 15%. Understandably she didn`t catch up with the ball until it had crossed intersecting South Main St (route US # 5). Shortly after that Mom, Dad and I moved into her home, then "The Jarvis Inn", on Main St (later Blondin Funeral Home and now - 2000- the Elks Club). She had been recently widowed and aided by Francis Kingsley (who had lived with us while attending high school - as her family lived way back in the Jennyville section of Hartland) was operating an Inn in the 17 room family homestead. It was the height of the depression and uncle Clayton had about 3000 chickens out back in what had been my grandfather`s race-horse stables and after that, garages for the cars of the guests of the Inn. I believe the Inn may have commenced business slightly before the death of her husband, Peter, owner of a very successful meat market-grocery.
My folks and I had moved to the "Cooper" house on West State St by late 1935 or early 36, Clayton married Gabrielle Turcotte of Lowell, Ma. around 1937-38 (she had been my first grade school teacher). In 1939-40 Nanny suffered her first stroke, Francis married Charles Bettis of Hartford and the Jarvis Inn was soon sold to a fellow named Blondin to be used as a funeral home. By then we were renting a 3 story home, since burned and replaced by a single story dwelling, behind the Taylor-Carter homes close to the State Street Grade School. It was there that Nanny slowly recovered from her second stroke. Soon Dad bought the "Magnussen" house and so we moved to the corner of Cherry and Crystal Streets on Halls Terrace. Clayton soon purchased the Cote` house diagonally across Cherry St from us. Nanny spent time in both households until the Jarvises moved to Nashville, Tenn. in 1949-50, where Clayton became Goodyear`s sole and heel representative to the shoe industry throughout most of the South. Nanny died in a nursing home in that area having gone down sometime after they were settled in. I think she fell and fractured her hip while at Clayton`s home.
Often, in my preteens, I would spend weekends with her at the Inn. She always had a dog, at first, while Gramp was alive, a Boston Bull Terrier that I would take naps with on the slate tile plant ledge which ran along the south side of the dinning room. Later Irish setters. On these visits I was allowed to take Tags, the setter, to bed with me and there we both would be in the morning under the covers together. I loved those visits and I must admit I was allowed to do about anything that did not endanger my life or limbs. I played in an old (c1920`s) delivery truck that had been used by Bianchi fruit store before the lack of gasoline (because of WW II) prompted them to store the relic in one of the empty garages. The Battison brothers kept their Stanley Steamers there also and I remember the hissing sound when I was given a ride on one of them. I explored the river bank of Mill Brook, likewise the attic and the cellar. They had a large furnace that burned "pea coal" in an auto-feeding hopper that was a "scientific wonder" to me. I would pound away on the piano that no one in the family, to my knowledge, seemed to know how to play. I would lie in the evening in front of the burning fireplace and wrestle with the bear skin rug making believe I was Tarzan. this usually got the dog pretty excited so sometimes she would suggest that I try some other activity. She always would make fresh donuts and cookies. I also recall one time over-indulging with home made sausage so that it was only after I was in the Service that I could again eat the stuff without feeling sick. To this day I dont like ripe olives, another of the foods that I had been allowed to have more of than my share .
She was a tough old gal. The plastered ceiling in her bed room at the Inn came down on her one time as she lay in bed. I recall her face being cut and scratched and her eyes red from the plaster dust. I was told that her appendix had been removed years before during an operation performed on the kitchen table. There was a family joke that she at one time smoked a pipe, but this I never saw. Her health, after her many strokes, didnt allow her to go to Mass on a regular basis and when she did I can still see the tears shed when she would meet old friends. This is typical of us Irish and of stroke victims (tears). Her manners were gracious and we would accuse her of trying to pass as "lace curtain Irish"; in fact I recall one time when she was saying good bye to Mrs Conlin, Ned`s mother, and they were as Usual thanking each other for everything under the sun, one of them even said, " and I thank you for thanking me !"
She hated to be a bother to anyone in fact she sometimes became a problem by not asking or waiting for help and attempted to do things of which she was no longer physically capable. She never complained! Once when we were about to leave for a visit to the LeMieux family in N.Y. she must have felt one of her mini-strokes coming on. When it was time for her to go across the street to Clayton`s she was nowhere to be found. Finally she was located upstairs in the "spare' room sitting in a rocking chair with her rosary, her eyes cloudy, she was verbally stuck on the ending of The Hail Mary, repeating over and over: "now and at the hour of our death, amen - now and at the hour of our death, amen ..." Doctor Krause assured us that she would probably live to have many more of these spells before she died; so after she was safely in bed at the Jarvises` we left on our trip.
Then there was the night that finally taught me not to leave the toilet seat up. By then I was in my senior year of High School or in College and had come in rather late. Went to bed after the usual trip to the toilet only to be wakened by Nanny`s cry for help coming from the bathroom. There she was with her feet up around her ears stuck in the bottom of the toilet. Not wanting to disturb anyone she had not turned on the light so had not discovered that her loving grandson had again left the seat up. Luckily she was not hurt and typically kept apologizing for waking everyone.
Although family pictures show her to have been a buxom women in mid life, she was thin and frail after her strokes. The strokes had caused a partial paralysis on one side of her body and as a result she was unsteady on her feet; but she charged on nevertheless, seldom asking or waiting for help.
She died in Tenn. while I was in the Air Force and is buried with husband Peter and daughter Thelma in St Francis Cemetery, Windsor. A grandmother to be proud of !!
RootsWeb.com is NOT responsible for the content of the GEDCOMs uploaded through the WorldConnect Program. The creator of each GEDCOM is solely responsible for its content.