Biographies of the Children
Edwin Seldon Tewksbury
Extracted from Ninety Years of Sunshine and Shadows
Edwin Seldon Tewksbury was born May 16, 1867 in Little Breezy cottage in N. Wilmot, NH. He died May 19, 1963 in Burlington, VT and is buried in the Bethel Gilead Cemetery in Bethel, VT.
Seldon first attended the school house by the N. Wilmot Church where his mother was a teacher starting at age 4. He continued school in Potter Place and West Andover where the family moved next. His father was working as a section hand on the railroad.
On the farm oxen were used for the farm work. Seldon became quite adept because he was able to work two pair of oxen at the same time. Once back in N. Wilmot, Seldon attended the schoolhouse near the church once again. There were fall, winter and spring terms. When Seldon was 17 years old he entered the Kearsarge School of Practice. He boarded at the school one year.
Seldon married Martha Alberta Young Bliss of Watebury, VT on September 5, 1890. Rev. George B. Tewksbury presided. He met Mattie at the boarding house where his sister Gertrude boarded when working at a woolen mill in Tilton, NH. After they married Seldon and Mattie worked at hotels in The Weirs. When the hotels closed for the winter they worked in the stitch room for Crafts and Green Shoe factory in East Northwood, NH. The factory closed to move to Manchester so they were out of work and decided to go to Vermont to visit Mattie’s uncle Sydney Wallace. At Sydney’s suggestion Seldon looked into leasing a farm. They chose one in Morristown under Elmore Mountain with 200 acres, 20 cows and a pair of oxen. Mary Frances (1/15/1892) and Henry Seldon (9/10/1893) were both born there.
After three years they quit farming because prices were so low for their products and they moved to Pittsfield, NH where Mattie ran a boarding house and Seldon worked in a shoe factory. They next moved to Amoskeag, NH where both Pearle Amy (10/16/1895) and Hazel Lavinia (8/30/1898) were born. Work in the shoe factory was inconsistent due to piece work and Seldon hired out to a farmer to work on the farm and drive his retail milk route. After a year Seldon went back to the shoe factory when work was available and also found work at a nearby farm by the day.
In the fall of 1897 the Mutual Reserve Life Insurance Company opened in Manchester. Seldon obtained a job as an agent working in Newport, NH and then Bangor, ME. When the United States declared war with Spain Seldon tried to enlist in NH but was too late so he went to Vermont and got into Co. F, 1st Vermont Volunteer Infantry. He mustered on his birthday May 16, 1898 and was sent to Chickamauga Park, GA.
When Seldon returned from the war the family moved to South Royalton, VT where they rented a big house. Mattie had boarders and Seldon worked in a small shoe factory. Work was not too plentiful so the family rented a farm in Bethel Gilead for the next two years. They lumbered, grew potatoes and cut hay. A baby John was born and died on March 26, 1907.
The family next purchased a farm in Randolph, VT on Route 12. It was called Edgewood and came with 22 cows, 60 sheep and a pair of horses. They added a second floor to the house so they could also take in “city boarders”. Lee (5/12/1910) was born at Edgewood. Roy and Harry both married and lived on farms in Bethel Gilead and the families started to rotate Thanksgiving dinner between their homes. After they stopped taking summer boarders Seldon started selling fertilizer for Rogers & Hubbard. Eventually he rented the cows and farmland out. Unfortunately Mattie developed a goiter and refused surgery. She died February 20, 1923. She is buried in the Bethel Gilead cemetery. Seldon sold the farm and moved to Bethel, VT.
Seldon was still selling fertilizer and one day in 1924 while visiting one of his agents in Poultney, VT he met Emma Ward, a school teacher in Thiels, NY. He married Fannie Emma Ward on June 30, 1925. They moved to Brandon, VT where their daughter Jean was born May 19, 1929. Emma died May 22, 1935. She is buried in the Bethel Gilead Cemetery.
Seldon married Hazel Gladys McCormack Tatro on October 14, 1936. She was a widow and had a daughter Helene. They sold the Brandon property and moved to Bristol, VT. Seldon continued to sell fertilizer and lightning rods. After three years they moved to Burlington where they owned an apartment building and Hazel ran a boarding house. They next moved to Richmond, VT. Hazel died February 13, 1976 in Burlington, VT. She is buried in Bristol, VT.
Gertrude Evelyn Tewksbury
Gertrude Evelyn Tewksbury was born November 5, 1868 in N. Wilmot, NH. She died of influenza January 15, 1932 in Manchester, NH. She is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery in Manchester, NH next to her sister Maud.
Gertrude married Charles M. Tewksbury on September 4, 1894 in Hartland, VT. They divorced. She married Bion Gale on February 4, 1915. He was a widower with two children, Gladys Gale (4/30/1875) and Dorothy Gale (1907). His first wife was Grace Adell Langley, Gertrude’s cousin. Grace was the daughter of Jonathan Langley, one of Mary Frances’ brothers.
Roy’s daughter Evelyn lived with Gertrude after her mother died.
Carl Henry Tewksbury
Carl Henry Tewksbury was born March 20, 1872 in N. Wilmot, NH. He died December 28, 1931 in Antrim, NH. He is buried in the Maplewood Cemetery in Antrim, NH.
Carl married Emily Cilley Durgin by Rev. C. F. Trussell in Wilmot, NH on November 8, 1890.
They lived for a time with Seldon and Mattie on the farm they rented in Morristown, VT where their son Kenneth Durgin (6/17/1891) was born. Their other children were Carl Harold (10/3/1896), Ray (12/23/1898-12/28/1898) and Esther Miriam (10/25/1908).
Roy Bertrand Tewksbury
Roy Bertrand Tewksbury was born September 30, 1873 in Potters Place, NH. He died August 2, 1953 in Pomfret, VT. He is buried in the Bethel Gilead cemetery in Bethel, VT. Roy married Ellen Ada Byam Granger on February 26, 1906. She was the widow of Ransom Granger and had two children, Ethel and Nina.
Roy’s children with Ellen were Earl Leroy (5/27/07), Olin Ralph (7/10/09), Winnifred Ellen (3/25/13) and Evelyn Ruth (10/17/16). Ellen died of puerperal septicemia after the birth of Evelyn.
DNA records indicate Roy had three additional children with his housekeeper Ersie Bent and they were placed for adoption. Mabel Edna Johnson (8/1/19), Annie Grace Farnham (5/21/22) and Harold Oliver Bowden (5/25/23).
Maud Winnifred Tewksbury
Maud Winnifred Tewksbury was born March 27, 1876 in W. Andover, NH. She died April 17, 1904 in Manchester, NH of uterine cancer. She is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery in Manchester, NH. She married Edward Vernon Spiller on July 9, 1892 in Wilmot, NH.
May Genevieve Tewksbury
May Genevieve Tewksbury was born May 7, 1878 in N. Wilmot, NH. She died of dysentery on September 26, 1881 in Wilmot, NH. She is buried in the Tewksbury Cemetery in N. Wilmot, NH.
Harry Elwyn Tewksbury
Harry Elwyn Tewksbury was born October 4, 1880 in N. Wilmot, NH. He died December 22, 1943 in Randolph, VT. He is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery in Randolph, VT. He married Ina Emeline Averill on October 3, 1906 in Bethel, VT.
According to Seldon’s book, they farmed in Bethel Gilead for a time before moving to Bethel and then to Randolph where Harry worked for Central Vermont Public Service.
Harry’s children were Roland Elwyn (7/6/1907), Reginald Arthur (12/17/1908), Eloise (10/30/1912), Richard Harry (8/19/15) and Ellsworth Burton (2/20/22).
Blanche Agnes Tewksbury
Blanche Agnes Tewksbury was born January 6, 1886 in N. Wilmot, NH. She was educated in the Wilmot schools and after graduating from Teacher’s School in Manchester, NH, Blanche returned to Wilmot to work. She taught at the Langley School in 1902, the Stearns School 1903-1904, Center School 1905-1906; Wilmot Flat School 1907-spring 1908. Fall 1908 she taught at the Wilmot Center School.
Blanche married Irving George Allen on April 8, 1908 in Wilmot, NH by Rev. George B. Tewksbury. They lived in Pomfret, VT and had three daughters Irva, Mary and Daisy. Blanche taught at the Gamble School and the Turkey Hollow School in Barnard, VT and the Broad Brook School in So. Royalton, VT.
Her obituary states she lived life with a gallant spirit. Her whole life was one of service to others. She was a faithful and enthusiastic teacher for many years with an individual interest in every pupil.
She died April 26, 1957 in Hartland, VT. She is buried in E. Barnard, VT.
Bertha Eloise Tewksbury
As told by Jack Turner
Bertha was born September 16, 1889 in North Wilmot, NH. She was born in Windhaven and grew up there. She attended the school house by the church. Before her marriage she taught school near Stearns Pond. She was married to Edward Harrison Turner on November 23, 1910 by Rev. D. M. Cleveland. Harrison lived in Reading, MA but his family’s summer home was Willowview in North Wilmot. After their marriage they lived in Colebrook, NH where Harrison taught at Colebrook Academy. Their oldest child Jack was born at Windhaven on September 3, 1911 over summer break. A second child, David, was born and died on January 19, 1913.
The family moved to Randolph, VT where Harrison taught at Randolph Academy. Anna Frances (Jill) was born during this time on January 6, 1914. They next moved to Pommeria, just down the hill from Windhaven, where Harrison ran an experimental sheep farm and orchard for Ed Kimball. (Ed Kimball’s wife was a Thompson cousin to Harrison’s mother). Bertha made applesauce and sold it under the name Pommeria. Thorley Everard was born during this time on August 24, 1915.
By the time Jack entered the first grade the family was living in Bedford, MA and Harrison was running the farm at Llewsac Lodge, a retirement home for women. Philip Edward was born May 18, 1917. Two years later the family was in Medford, MA and Harrison was working for Turner Center Dairy (no relation) in Lechmere Square, Somerville, MA. This was his first exposure to the ice cream business. Paul Rupert was born April 11, 1919.
The family then moved to Dover, NH and Harrison made ice cream for M&M Ice Cream Company. Jack finished fifth grade in Everett, MA where Harrison made ice cream for Frank E. Boyd’s Ice Cream. Around 1926 the family moved to East Bridgewater, MA where Harrison worked for A. R. Parker making ice cream. There was a brief move to Waltham, MA and a return to East Bridgewater.
In 1947 Bertha and Harrison moved their family to Centerville, MA on Cape Cod and E. H. Turner & Sons Ice Cream business was founded with sons Paul and Phil. Phil left after the first year but Paul stayed on until the business was sold years later. Jack’s son Dave joined the firm in 1948 at the age of 13 living with his grandparents in West Barnstable and working summers through 1950. During the school year Dave lived with his parents in Reading, MA.
Bertha was very devoted to her family of four boys and one girl. She was generous with gifts at Christmas to her children and grandchildren. Jack remembers her as an avid reader and letter writer. She studied the Bible. She was meticulous in tagging her memorabilia with the dates received or purchased and enjoyed revisiting each item. She enjoyed interior painting of the West Barnstable home and often opted to work in the nude (to preserve her clothes). She was known to have traumatized the milkman one day while engaged in one of her projects.
Bertha was a good cook and legendary for her heavy use of cream and butter. Dave recalls his summertime ham sandwiches having more butter than ham some days. He had to beg her to ease up on the butter. She was a stubborn woman and did not change her ways readily. Jack recalls suppers featuring Whitewash #1, #2 or #3. 1=chipped beef, 2=chicken and 3=tuna, all in cream sauce.
Bertha had a very distinctive laugh and her normal conversation was punctuated with frequent bursts of laughter. Cleanliness was important to both she and Harrison. Dave remembers vacations spent in East Bridgewater with his brother John when they would be summoned at 1 or 2 pm for a bath over their violent objections.
Towards the end of their lives Bertha and Harrison moved from West Barnstable to a small ranch house behind the ice cream stand and then briefly to an apartment on Beacon Hill in Boston. Harrison died October 5, 1964 and Bertha on October 27, 1965. They are both buried in the Tewksbury Cemetery in N. Wilmot, NH.