Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Samuel E. Clement & Emma M. Farnum

Samuel E. Clement was born 8 Sep 1881 in Croghan, Lewis Co., New York he was the son of a US Civil Union Soldier from New York and farmer Daniel L. Clement and Mary Jane Palmer. In 1894 Daniel Clement died suddenly of Heart and Bright’s disease, with an enlarged liver. This left Sam as the oldest surviving son at age 13; having two brothers Charles F. and George H. that died in 1872 and 1884 respectively. The family consisted of Mattie Clement Herzig the eldest sister who had left home to start her own family, Anna P. Clement, Ira Edwin the youngest; Mary Jane Clement his their mother and Sam.

The eldest daughter Mattie left New York State with her family and settled in the Colrain, Massachusetts area. At some point just before 1900 Mary Jane Clement who by this point was going by the name Jennie Clement, left New York State and moved to Colrain, Ma with her two son’s Sam and Ira Edwin. Jennie’s daughter Annie had married Lorenzo Ashcraft in 1895 she had one daughter and died in 1898. Interestingly enough Lorenzo Ashcraft was born in Brattleboro, Vermont about 45 miles from where Mattie and later Sam would settle to live out their lives.

Jennie did not like living in Massachusetts and wanted to return home to New York, however Sam did not he stayed behind and Ira Edwin return with their mother to the farm in New York.

While in Colrain, he met Emma M. Farnum who was a loom weaver in a textile mill, they married on 6 Aug 1905, and raised their family in the Halifax, VT, Whitingham, VT and ultimately settling permanently on a small farm on Cyrus Stage Road in Rowe, Franklin Co., Massachusetts.

Emma Martha Farnum was actually born Martha Emily Farnum 19 Jun 1873 to Cyrus Farnum and Miranda Gates, she was the second generation of women in her line to live an extremely long life. Her mother was 90 Year old when she passed and Emma was 104 when she died in 1977. Emma was the second of 5 children, and the only one to marry and start a family of her own. Her family's ancestry extended back to before the Revolutionary War and involved some of the founding member of the towns of Halifax and Whitingham, Vermont. The Whitney’s, Crosier’s, and Gates’ were part of her direct family line, many of the descendants of these families still live in both towns to this day.

Sam and Emma had 4 children, Elmer Farnum 1907-1977; Doris Emma 1909-1996; John Edwin 1913-2003; and Alfred Burton 1920-1990. They farmed or worked on farms in and around the towns we have already discussed until 27 July 1952 when Sam had a heart attack and died suddenly at the age of 70. Emma lived the remainder of her considerably long life on the farm in Rowe, Massachusetts with her eldest son Elmer, who after returning from World War II, Italy never really went much further than the area around home, for the remainder of his life. Elmer never married spending most of his time taking care or the few farm animals that were around the Rowe farm.

Jennie Clement made a final trip to Colrain around 1912, she had sold the farm in New York and travelled to Colrain, MA with her son Ira Edwin and his wife Merle Florence Lake. She initially had intended to stay, Ira and Merle return to New York, it is unclear whether Jennie had decided she wanted to go home or she became ill and wanted to return. Whichever the case money was raised to send her back to New York, when she suddenly died on June 13, 1912, she is buried alone in Christian Hill Cemetery in Colrain, MA, her grave sets just inside the gate marked with a field stone marker rough carved, "J. Clement" to this day no other family member has been buried in that Cemetery.

Sam, Emma and now all of their children are gone; John Edwin Clement Sr. was the last of his family to pass on at 89 years of age, my grandfather, left a rich family legacy to preserve, a history that is still incomplete but a history that he helped research, write and more importantly preserve.