HENRY E. HOLDEN – in 1891 Abandoned Farms listing for Wendell

  • Henry E[lhenan] Holden (Orange)
    • b. Sept. 2, 1865 (or maybe 1866) in Northfield
    • parents Lewis Whiting Holden and Idelia “Julia” Alphreda Britt Holden – Idelia seems to have d. 1882 and Lewis remarried a Sarah E. Patrick, according to the Stillman family tree on Ancestry
    • in 1870 US Census he and his parents are living in Montague where Lewis is working as a carpenter – he has a very modest amount of personal property, low even in a neighborhood of mechanics and other workers
    • in the 1880 US Census the family has moved to Orange, where it looks as though Lewis is working in construction and Henry, 14, has no occupation (presumably in school)
    • m. Annie C. Blair of Wendell in front of a JP in Wendell on March 25, 1885 when he was 19 and she was 15 (or maybe even younger?) – marriage record notes “consent given by L.W. Holden and Benjamin R. Blair” – his parents are listed as Lewis W. and Idelia Holden, hers as Benj. R. and Charlotte E. Blair – Henry is listed as a mechanic, residing in Orange at the time of his marriage
    • in the 1896 Orange street directory Henry is listed as a motorman at New Home Sewing Machine Co, living at 51 W Main St
    • in the 1900 US Census Henry and Annie are living in a house they own at 91 [should be 51? did the numbers perhaps change?] West Main St – he’s a “car motor man” – and! they’re right next door to Nicholas Laux and his family, the former Wendell Poor Farm superintendent
    • I’m guessing the Wendell property he was listed as a contact for might have been his in-laws – so let’s track them a bit:
    • in the 1870 US Census there are several families of Blairs in Wendell:
      • in one dwelling are two households of Blairs plus some Marbles (possible connection with John Moore’s great-grandfather??): Benjamin R. (61) and Olive (64), and then a separate household in the same dwelling with Eugene (23) and Elizabeth (31), plus a man who works in a sawmill – Benjamin R. and Eugene are farm laborers (Thomas Marble is a teamster)
      • Hiram (74), wife (?) Susan (54), Benjamin (18), Mercy (14), and Lela (8) – these seem to be Charlotte’s parents, as she was née Blair
      • right next to the above (dwellings 38 and 39) are Benjamin [R.] (36), Charlotte (32), Mary E. (14), William O. (13), George F. (11), Carrie S. (8), and Ellsworth J. (6) – Annie was born Nov. 20, 1871 – so she was very young when she married! like, 13?? surely this was a shotgun marriage?
      • both Hiram and Benjamin are listed as “Farm Laborers” rather than farmers – neither seems to own property
      • then farther away (dwelling 103) is another household headed by Hiram Blair (35) with Jane H. Blair (30) – this Hiram is also a farm laborer – they seem to be living/boarding with the household of Isaac Ladook (I’m guessing LaDuke or Ladouc), a sawmill worker from VT with a Canadian wife
    • in the 1880 US Census, Annie C. Blair’s family is listed as follows:
      • farmer Benjamin (52), Charlotte (41), Cora Taylor (daughter-in-law, I think, aged 18), and Anna C. (8 and at school)
      • a second household in the same dwelling is headed by farmer Hiram (82) with Susan (63) and Lillie (18)
      • and two doors away is the Poor Farm! superintendent at that point is William Wheelock (22) with his wife Ida (21) – there are four “paupers,” Mary Mahan (93), Elizabeth Stone (79), Elizabeth Rice (74), and Susan Austin (66)
    • the 1885 Wendell town directory lists Benjamin Blair living in Wendell Centre

tracking Benjamin R. Blair in more detail:

  • he seems to have served in the Civil War (like three of his relatives, two of whom died in Andersonville) but in Vermont – his draft registration is in Putney, where he’s listed as being a farmer – according to VT CW records, he “Enlisted in Company G, Vermont 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment on 01 Sep 1862.Mustered out on 24 Jun 1865” – he had an invalid pension as of 1877 and Charlotte got widow’s benefits after he died in 1899
  • m. Charlotte Taylor, also of Wendell, in 1866 – their marriage record lists him as having been born in Warren and her in Barre – his parents are Benjamin and Olive, and hers are Hiram and Susan Blair! this is her second marriage – so is she a young (29) widow who married a cousin?
  • in the 1870 US Census Benjamin and his wife Charlotte and their five children seem to be living next door to [her father?] Hiram + Hiram’s much younger wife and new young family of three
  • Benjamin died in Wendell in May 1899 at 67, of pneumonia and heart disease