Tombstone Tuesday

Fittingly, Tombstone Tuesday falls on Halloween.

Adosha Isham Osgood Tombstone St George Cemetery, St George VT

Tombstones (Gravestones, Headstones, Grave Markers) are stones set in memory of a person on his/her/its (pet) gravesite.  They normally contain, at the minimum, the deceased’s name, birth date and date of death; and often a quote or poem .  Tombstones are useful in family research because of the information inscribed upon them.  But genealogy research is not their intended or sole purpose.  Set by family, community and governments, they memorialize the deceased’s life.

St George Cemetery, St George, VT

I had an opportunity to visit the St. George Cemetery in St George, VT this spring, the resting place of Jehiel and Sarah Isham, my 4th great grandparents on my mother’s father’s side.   What a genealogical research find and a tangible link to my colonial roots!  The cemetery is the original, colonial cemetery.  The earliest memorial stone is that of Loyre Higbe who died in 1793 at nine years of age.  Most of the gravesites appear to be family members.  I was able to add more names to my tree and research list.  The cemetery comprises about an acre of land, making it easy to locate my great, great, great, great grandparents’ tombstones.

My 4th Great Grandparents, Jehiel and Sarah Isham, and me at St George, VT, May 2017

The following excerpt from A Survey of the Ishams in England and America by Homer W. Brainard, published in 1938 provides valuable biographical information.

JEHIEL ISHAM, b. Jun 17, 1761, Colchester, New London, Connecticut; d. Sep 17, 1851, St. George, Vermont; m. SARAH MOBBS, Sep 16, 1783, East Haddam, Connecticut.

Connecticut records show no Revolutionary service for Jehiel Isham, but his application for a pension, dated Apr 14, 1818, is on file at Washington, D. C. This declares that he enlisted Apr 1782, as private in Capt Stillwell’s Company, Col. Grosvenor’s Regiment, Connecticut Line. This was probably the same company in which his brother William Isham was serving. The Pension was granted. He engaged in battle, and probably served only on guard duty. There is no indication of the places of service.

Jehiel Isham probably served his apprenticeship with some farmer in East Haddam, Conn., for it was there that he met Sarah Mobbs, his future wife. Soon after his marriage he joined his cousin, Joshua Isham, Jr., who began the settlement at St. George in the spring 1784. The little company, with their wives and families, rode to St. George on horseback from Connecticut, and took up land in the smallest town in Vermont, lying about four miles southeast of Burlington. 

The writer visited the place in 1908, walking down from Burlington. He was courteously received by Mr. Tilley and was given much information regarding the Ishams of that region. Nearby was the cemetery, where many of the names have found their last resting place. The town had at that time twelve voters. It is a quiet rural spot.

Jehiel Isham was a man of great activity and endurance and left behind him a numerous posterity. A newspaper of the time states that his age at death was ninety years, three months and six days. There were present at his funeral eight children, whose united ages were four hundred seventy years, sixty-eight grandchildren, and twenty-one great-grandchildren.

As you can see by that last paragraph, there are a lot of cousins out there!  Are you one of them?  Leave me a message below!  Many thanks to Mr. Brainard’s research and publication.

A trip to the cemetery is quite educational or simply a quiet walk in a peaceful setting.  It is also a time and place to remember and honor those who are no longer with us.  Have you been to visit your relatives lately?  Maybe Halloween isn’t the best choice of days!

Even Dallas likes to take a walk at the cemetery

More on Gravestones

Check out Daily Prompts at Geneabloggers Tribe

Learn more about St. George, VT

Organic Eggs 50¢ a dozen

My grandparents’ neighbors, the Footers, had a chicken farm.

They were not on a lot of acreage, just a long narrow lot in the middle of the city.  A wire fence separated the two properties, allowing us a view of the chicken happenings.

Chicken Happenings

Once over the initial shock, we marveled at how the chickens would run around and around with no heads when Mr. Footer butchered one for dinner.

I don’t know if they sold their butchered chickens, but they did sell “farm fresh” eggs.  My Grandma would give us 50¢ and send us next door for a dozen eggs. Mrs. Footer would lead us down into the cellar/basement that had a large walk-in refrigerator full of cartoons of eggs. We selected a dozen and took them back to my Grandma who was busy baking her famous bread or delicious fried chicken dinners.  We saved the cartons and returned them for the next batch of fresh eggs.

Often, Mr. Footer let us come over and tour the large chicken coop and visit a new litter of kittens.  They always had a dozen, it seemed, cats; it helped keep the mice down, I’m sure.

Costco Organic Eggs NOT 50¢ a dozen

Fixing breakfast this AM reminded me of fetching eggs at the Footers.  What childhood memories does this fall day bring to you?  Leave me a comment!



Brewer family residences 1887-1926

Here is a list of various addresses in Colorado Springs for the Brewer family from 1902 to 1926. It would be fun to see what structures are now there.

1902 – 222 Harrison Street  – CW & family

1904 – 414 S. St Vrain Street – CW & family

1905 – 814 Arcadia Place – CW & family

1907 – 1509 Grant Street – CW & family

1910 – 316 Institute (owned) – CW & family

1917 – 406 1/2 S. Tejon – Otis

1918-1919 – France/Germany – Otis

1919-1920 – 316 Institute – Otis & Lucy

1921 – 19 W Costilla – Otis & Sadie

1922-1923 – 217 E Las Animas – Otis & Sadie

1924 – 301 S. Cascade – Otis & Sadie

1925 – 114 S. Prospect – Otis & Sadie

1926 – 1928 E. Monument (owned) – Otis & Sadie



No kinder, gentler man

There is not a kinder, gentler man than my grandfather, Henry Otis Brewer.  My siblings, cousins and I called him Granddad, his friends and wife called him Otis or Pops.  He was known for his humility and quiet demeanor.

Otis and Eleanor 1971

Born in Rothville, MO January 12, 1887, he was the first son of Charles W. Brewer and Lucinda/Lucy J. (Gee)(Baise) Brewer.  In 1900 the family, consisting of Charles, Lucy, Lucy’s son William Baise, Otis, Lillian, and little Fred was in Marceline, MO about 10 miles NE of Rothville.

Charles W Brewer Family about 1893, Fred was not born until 1899

Being from Colorado, I had no idea where these towns were; turns out they are in north central Missouri.  I would love to know what prompted them to move to Colorado in the early part of the century.  What a trip it would have been!  Did they travel by wagon or rail, in a group or alone?  More research!!  Good thing winter is coming, it will keep me busy!  Today, the drive of 709 miles, is 11-12 hours, straight through.

Rothville, Chartiton County, MO

By 1902, the family lived in Colorado Springs.  At some point, as the story goes, William Baise, who was 19 in 1902, left to seek his fortune in Alaska and was never heard from again.  Otis, on the other hand, stayed with his family and worked as a clerk at JW Musick and as a millman at Gold Cycle Mill alongside his carpenter Dad.  His father died in 1915 from blood poisoning from a splinter that he had received.  That story makes more sense to me now that I know he was a carpenter at a mill.  His mother moved back to MO with his younger brother Fred and remarried in 1916.  His sister Lillian married sometime between 1911 and 1912 and remained in Colorado Springs.

In 1918, Otis enlisted in the US Army and deployed to France for the final battles of WWI, he served in Company F, 314 Engineers, 89th Division and earned the rank of Corporal.  Before being discharged in June of 1919, he served with the occupying army in Pelm, Germany.

Pressed into Otis’ pocket Bible: what is left after 99 years! “Received this flower bud on Friday the 13th day of December 1918 at Pelm, Germany.

When Otis was in France, his younger brother Charles F (Fred) Brewer, enlisted in the Army.  While at training camp, he contracted the Spanish flu that was epidemic at the time and passed away on November 4, 1918, he was 19 years old.

Corporal H.O. Brewer about 1919

Otis returned to Colorado Springs after the war, he married Sarah/Sadie (Murphy) (Deeter) on July 6, 1920.  A son born in February 1923 lived for 5 days, they named him Charles F. Brewer, burying him at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs.  My mother told me my grandparents suffered the loss of 4 other babies.  A son born July 6, 1927 did survive, my Dad, John Joseph Brewer.  And in 1931 they adopted an infant girl, my Aunt, Mary Katherine (Brewer) (Canfield) Meyer.

Shortly before the birth of John, Otis and Sadie bought the home they lived in for the rest of their lives at 1928 E Monument Drive in Colorado Springs, CO.  They struggled through the depression years, as did most Americans.  Otis worked as driver for various employers: El Paso County Highway/Roads, Mowry Creamery, Dern-Brady Company and as a chauffeur for Rainbow Contr. before retiring in about 1956.  Despite the struggles and hardships, Sadie and Otis were happy and raised a happy family.

H. Otis Brewer sometime in 1930’s

By the time my siblings and cousins came along, Otis spent his days working in the yard, maintaining a large vegetable garden, tinkering in his garage that had a pot belly stove and stacks and stacks of ‘treasures’ i.e., junk.  Buried in the junk was a midget racer of my Dad’s.  We loved to climb the stack to the racer, throw off the junk and sit in it.  He and his best friend, Bill Perkins, spent hours together, hanging out in that garage – an original ‘Man-Cave’.  The grandkids tried to hang out in there too; occasionally, we found the hidden stash of “girly magazines” when he was not around.  He kept Prince Albert tobacco cans full of nails, screws and other ‘guy’ things on his work bench.  The tobacco in those cans, he thoroughly enjoyed.

Granddad used Prince Albert tobacco – loved the way he smelled because of it.

Otis was an avid fisherman, passing that love and skill to his son and grandsons.  My cousins can out fish the best, and do!  Prospect Lake was his closest and most frequented spot, he walked to it from his house.  His passion for fishing was so great, he even braved going there alone with 3 or more grandchildren at a time.   He also fished 11 Mile Reservoir when he could get there, which, as I recall was often; ’11 Mile’ is part of our family vocabulary!

Prospect Lake with Pikes Peak in the back ground and fisherman, not Granddad, in the foreground!

Our family was fortunate to have many years with Otis before he died in 1976 at the age of 89.   We spent many many hours at his house as we were growing up.  We played cards and BIG checkers, watched Gunsmoke and Bonanza with him, wore his T-shirts as PJ’s, raided his garden and garage, climbed his trees and loved on him as much as we could.  He taught us unconditional acceptance and love, how to fish, play cards, checkers and garden.  His patience was remarkable, I can’t recall even once that he lost his temper or was short with us.

And so, my friends and family, your call to action is to cherish the memories of your granddad(s) and share their stories to keep them alive.   This blog is for that purpose….add your stories…..share the link with your kids and grandkids and count yourself blessed if H.O Brewer was your Granddad!