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Welcome to our news and history blog!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Back From a Long Automobile Trip (1909)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, August 28, 1909. Page 1.

A. Newton Mead and Everett Mead Had a Splendid Time and Were Royally Treated Enroute.

Everett and his brother A. Newton Mead arrived in  Greenwich Wednesday afternoon from their long automobile trip across the country and back.

They looked the picture of health and said that he had had the time of their lives. They would not have missed the experience although they encountered many hardships, the pleasurable incidents more than overbalancing any of the discomforts.

They left Greenwich May19th and the events of the journey to California were recorded in an article from the Los Angeles Times reprinted in the Graphic.

From Los Angeles they went to Seattle, and the start home was made July 26th, and the actual time consumed coming to Greenwich was 26 days.

They say they received the most generous and hospitable treatment all along the way, both going and coming and returning crossed all the mountain chains west of New York. They took the route now known as the northern one.

Great prosperity in every section visited by them is reported. The western farmers are not only making a good living but becoming wealthy.

The auto in which they made the excursion is an object of curiosity to all their Greenwich friends, not only because of the distance of 10,000 miles covered without a break or mishap, although in one instance the road was so bad that only 9 miles was made in 15 hours, and it was necessary to improvise a bridge in order to get the auto over a swollen stream.

Also because the names or autographs of enthusiastic admirers in various towns have almost obliterated the paint surface of the auto. They never objected to this friendly indication, as they discovered soon after reaching the a_ west that the motive was one of good will and kind wishes for the successful determination of the long jaunt.

It is of moment to mention that Mr. Mead's dog was the third member of the party and throughout the trip received much attention.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Mead Brothers Reach Los Angeles (1909)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, July 17, 1909. Page 1.

Their Packard Roadster Makes the Trip of 4,175 Miles in Forty-one days.

The Graphic noted at the time of starting the trip of the Mead Brothers to the Pacific Coast by auto. The Los Angeles Times of June 30th in noticing their arrival there has the following description of the trip. There are a number of Greenwich people now residents in Los Angeles, among whom it may be mentioned E. W. Reynolds and the Archers, and the Messrs. Mead found familiar faces to greet them after their long overhaul jaunt:

Covered with the dust of fourteen States, and with the names of several thousand enthusiastic admirers written over the body of their car, E. D. Mead [Everett Mead] and his brother, A.N. Mead [Abram Newton Mead]* of Greenwich Ct., reached Los Angeles yesterday afternoon and a Packard forty-horse-power roadster. They have driven 4,175 miles over the roughest roads in the United States in forty-one days. They will proceed to Seattle and back home, a distance of more than 10,000 miles, before the journey ends.

A 1909 Packard. 

Through the mud that was axle deep, across sandy wastes where there are no habitations for miles, the car and its plucky crew chugged on. The long motor journey is only well begun. They like the life in the open and would rather take their chances on at motor car than in a train.

This adventurous journey was started on May 19th. Soon after reaching New York the going was found to be excellent and through New Jersey and Pennsylvania the two made good time. In Ohio the Packard began to strike rough the roads. The hard part of the trip began after leaving Chicago.

Three days were spent in the Windy City by the autoists, where they were royally received. Mead was given enough information concerning roads and routes to take him around the world. He listened to everything and then did as he had first planned.

Instead of taking a direct route to Seattle the motorist chose a zig zag course. After leaving Chicago Mead drove to Milwaukee and then came southward again, taking up the route followed by the New York-Seattle racers.

On the day the two Fords and the Acme reached Kansas City the Packard and it's crew rolled into town. The Fords left first, but Mead and his brother started with the big Acme, the fourth car in the race. The New York – Seattle racer took the lead and kept it for sixty miles. Then it stuck fast in the mud. The Packard passed the racers stalled on the road with a broken axle.

The car left the regular route at Rawlins, Wyo., and turned southward into Utah, Nevada and California.

For 150 miles these two men fought their way through mud that was almost impassable. Gumbo soil that clung to the wheels and impeded the progress of the Packard had to be scraped away with shovels. It was a severe road battle which the Packard and the crew won after a supreme effort.

Night overtook the travelers in the wilderness of Wyoming after one of the hardest fights of the trip. Miles from any habitation, and with scarcely enough food for their evening meal the undaunted autoists had to take a cold bite and retire on their machine. It was impossible to sleep beneath the car. The country was flooded.

Wolves howled an accompaniment to their chugging motor the following night as they sought to reach a settlement 150 miles away. Again they were obliged to camp out. Wild animals abounded in the lonely region, and came quite close to the motor car during the night. The tracks of bear and mountain lion could be seen in the mud in the early morning.

The mud-begimed travelers were objects of great curiosity in the towns through which they passed. Crowds gathered around the car and curious persons insisted on writing their names on the machine.

Mead came through Nevada by way of death Valley, passing through Goldfield and then crossing the desert to Mojave. The autoist reached this city by way of the San Francisquito Canyon, Saugus, Newhall grade and the San Fernando Road.

Mead will remain in Los Angeles several days. His car is housed at the Western Motor Car Company's Garage, and will be driven through town today, and Mead wants to add other signatures to the thousands which already at adorn the car.

The two will leave the latter part of this week for the Seattle fair, and, after spending several weeks in the north, will make the return journey by the northern route to their home in Greenwich.

* Both Everett Mead and Abram Newton Mead were sons of Solomon and Hannah Mead. They lived in what is known today as the Mead Parish House behind the Second Congregational Church in Greenwich. 

Sample Land Indexes of Mead Family Lands: Greenwich, Connecticut Town Hall

The Sage of New Lebanon: A Man of Public Spirit is Milo Mead (1911)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Friday, July 21, 1911. Page 1.

His Old House Stands a Reminder of the Past Amid Modern and Elegant Residences Where Once was a Farm is Now a Village

Up on a hill overlooking its more pretentious neighbors stands the home of Milo Mead, known as the sage of New Lebanon. The immediate locality is known as Byram and Byram Shore. Just over the river is Port Chester in New York State. This section of the town goes by a number of names, some it is called East Port Chester, by new residents Hawthorne, and Mr. Mead has given it the name New Lebanon. To the stranger all these names are puzzling and we doubt if there is a spot of the same size in the State of Connecticut that is burdened with so many appellations.

The post office is called Hawthorne but most people when they write to residents of this quarter of the town address their letters East Port Chester. Perhaps no other person has done so much for this locality as Milo Mead. Years ago in earlier times of his house they were but vacant fields and woods which belonged to farms. He could stand, when he was a boy, on the piazza of his house and his view was obstructed by dwellings; his house was far away from any other. To-day he can look from the  porch and an entirely different scene presents itself; houses have built all around his except to the westward. Beautiful and costly residences have been erected and there is a large growth in population and the summer homes of many wealthy men are located within a stone's throw of his house. And this growth is of a substantial nature representing all classes, as well as men of wealth, intelligence and prominent in the world of business.

Mr. Mead is a man of public spirit and has been deeply interested in this growth. Instead of turning the cold shoulder to newcomers and giving them the impression that he preferred to do so, far as he could, keep things in a primitive state, he has extended the hand of welcome to all who desired to buy property in that section and locate there. He has helped many men and times when help was needed in business ways. His advice has been sought for repeatedly and he has hand into his pocket in many cases where he was asked for aid, perhaps too much so for his own financial good. He called the place in New Lebanon because he thought that East Port Chester was too much associated with Port Chester which is in New York State and the name New Lebanon it was suggestive to him of a beautiful spot.

There is a New Lebanon Opera House, New Lebanon Drug Store, New Lebanon Market, New Lebanon Carpet Beating Factory, and other business enterprises named from the place. The improvements about the locality seem to be his hobby and he takes great pride and interest in the people of the place. He has erected several shops and offered their use at ridiculously low sums in order to bring trade to New Lebanon. He said to the GRAPHIC the other day, "I don't want the people to go to Port Chester and trade. The money should stay here if we can keep it here. This is Connecticut and not New York State, and we ought to patronize our own people." He is not a narrow man, but broad in his views, but he will not allow liquor to be sold in any of his buildings.

The Byram road leading to the shore was recently widened fifty feet at his expense, and other thoroughfares have also been improved and straightened him, and in some cases he has cut a street through land at considerable cost to himself. The people of New Lebanon and that locality all speak of him very highly. He lives in the old homestead where he was born and which commands a most beautiful view of the Sound, up-and-down.

The improvements he has made about New Lebanon and cannot fully enumerated and the value of what he has done it for the town and at locality is in estimable. He has seen the elegant residences which are in front of his house along the shore erected. They are owned by Mr. C. R. Mallory, Mrs. H. Mallory, Mr. Robert Mallory, Mr. W. J. Tingue, Mr. John McClave, Mr. James H. Hunt, Mr. Peter F. Meyer and others. Mr. Joseph Milbank is now building opposite Mr. Mead a very elegant mansion, which is said, it will be one of the handsomest along the Sound. It is on the property once owned by Mr. Starbuck.

The old house presents a quaint and picturesque appearance way up on the hill and suggests the past. It is so high up that the view from it can never be obstructed to any great extent. There were three of these charming location to Greenwich which were selected and built upon by the Mead's. One is what is known as Charles Mead's Point, the second, Field Point, where he lived Oliver Mead; the third is the home of Milo Mead. They afforded not only beautiful sites for homes, but were near the Sound, which gave them benefits to be derived from the nearness to the salt water. Then they had many acres of fertile field for farms.

The old house was built by a Mr. Close sometime before the Revolutionary war, and is at least one hundred and fifty years old. Mr. Mead's father bought it of Mr. Close, and Mr. Milo Mead has always lived there. About seventy-five or eighty years ago an addition was made to it. It is better preserved than many of the old houses about Greenwich, for Mr. Mead keeps it in good repair.

To compare it with the modern house across the way would be like placing the old lumbering stagecoach alongside the Saratoga flyer. But yet with it quaintness and age there is a feeling of quietness and rest which comes over one when passing in its doorway that is refreshing after one has been through the modern and elegant dwellings which are its neighbors. It's the difference between the electric light and the tallow candle.

North Greenwich Farms; Silas E. Mead Sells Property (1910)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, January 22, 1910. Page 1.

It Is Said That a Syndicate Controlled by the N. Y., W. & B. Road is Buying Property in That Section.

It came somewhat as a surprise to the friends of Assessor Silas E. Mead other residents of Greenwich, when it was announced that he had signed a contract for the sale of his three hundred acre farm On Upper King Street, near Quaker Ridge. It is one of the most sightly sections of this locality of highlands, and one of the few farms remaining in a family who have held the title through half a dozen generations. Some years ago many of the Greenwich farms had come to their owners by descent through the family, the original purchase having been made of the Indians. There are not many left where they have remained in one family so long. The price, report says, is something over $100,000.

There is said to be a boom in farm lands all through this section, due to the proposed building of the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway, the survey which crosses the Mead farm, and as far up Westchester County as Bedford, thousands of acres of land have been sold, through a real estate firm of that section to a syndicate of young wealthy New York men, who see possibilities of making big returns from speculating in these lands, which they expect to sell in large tracts to city men of abundant means, who want to develop the same according to their own peculiar ideas and taste for their suburban homes.

It is expected that the real estate market throughout that entire section will be very active in the coming spring. And fact a like condition has never hitherto existed in Westchester county. Farm lands have brought good prices, but have chiefly been purchased by those intending to follow farming as a means of likelihood. But now and then a particularly attractive property has been taken over by some enterprising New Yorker, who has secured a fine estate. Yet in the present circumstance these lines are not sought for such home sites. And in the near future Westchester county and the adjoining town of Greenwich, will be notable as the finest residential section with the most costly suburban homes anywhere in the vicinity of the metropolis.

Another farm it recently sold by N. A. Knapp is the James Husted Farm at Round Hill, the view from which is the most extended thereabouts, to R. J. Walsh, probably purchased for speculative purposes.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Old Buttonball Tree Attracts Attention (1910) and a Letter from Caroline Mead of Cos Cob

Famous Tree is Doomed,
Source: Saturday. February 19, 1910. Page 1:

Is 150 Years old or More-The Last of Three That Were in Greenwich in Putnam's Day.

The old button ball tree which stands next to the Graphic office, on the Archer property, is doomed.

It's days are numbered, and its too bad-it is in the way, and a danger.

There is hardly anybody takes an interest in old trees and such things but has stood and it admired this one. We have seen strangers stop in front of it, walk around it, look up at its height and comment upon it in surprise and admiration.

It apparently looks strong and healthy, but it is not, and it has got to give way, like many of the old houses, bridges, mills and other such things associated with the Revolution to the march of progress.

There is a big hole in this old buttonball, large enough for a boy to stand up in. In fact we have seen small boys crawl into the hole near the ground and hide.

It's exact circumference is about twenty-one feet, four feet from the ground, and its height about one hundred feet.

How long has it stood there? We don't know. It has truly been there seventy-five years, and was then apparently as it is to-day, so we are told, by a resident now living who used to reside nearly across the way from it. Other old inhabitants say they don't know how old it is, but "Guess it must be one hundred and fifty years sure."

It is one of three remarkable trees that were in Greenwich during colonial days before the Revolutionary war. The other two are gone, blown down by unkind wind, decayed were they on the inside so badly that they became an easy prey to a strong northeastern.

One of them was located in front of the late Colonel Thomas A. Mead's property, and only a few years ago during a severe storm, it succumbed and fell to the earth. Fortunately it didn't blow over onto the old house, but on the lawn in front, leaving a stump which was afterward dug up and taken by the late A.A. Marks to his property at Sound Beach, where it was set up in the ground as a sort of relic and curiosity being about fifteen feet high.

The other old buttonball was at Cos Cob, and stood in front of Ebenezer Young's place, the old homestead as it is called. This toppled over one night ten or more years ago, when a northeast wind struck it, because it had been eaten away so on the inside that it could not withstand the force of the gale. It broke off about twelve to fifteen feet above the ground, and for a number of years that old stump stood there as a sort of landmark, people in Cos Cob who will tell you that in the one in that place two men were in hiding all night chased by cowboys. And some such story is linked to with the one that stood in front of the Mead homestead.

Apparently it seems unnecessary that this old tree at the side of the Graphic office should be cut down, for it is certainly a handsome tree. They tell of years ago, when the building that is now the Graphic office stood at the corner of Greenwich avenue, and was a sort of post office and general store combined, that bolts with rings were driven in the side of the tree, to which the horses of farmers and others or hitched who came here to trade. One man says he remembers seeing some four or five horses tied to this old tree at one time. It was sort of public hitching post so to speak.

It will be cut down in the course of a week or two, so if you want to see it before it goes, you'd better come take a look at it pretty soon. We took a picture of it a few days ago, and are glad we did. It's a pretty good picture and those acquainted with it will readily recognize the tree. The little girl standing by the side gives a suggestion as to the size.

To those of our readers who live away from Greenwich, and there are many get the Graphic in various parts of the world, it will recall Greenwich as they remember it years ago, but which is changing so rapidly from the old Colonial town, where the British cowboys and Tories brought the minutemen, to the rich suburb of the greatest city in the world. 

In another twenty-five years there will be hardly anything left of the "old Horseneck" as it was when "Old Put" was a terror to all who were not true and loyal to the colonies.

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, February 26, 1910. Page 1:

Graphic Readers Send Communications-One of the Historic Old Trees Was an Oak

In the gathering historical data more or less difficulty is involved. Memories are treacherous, the view of a circumstance by one individual is different from that of another, and with the lapse of time there are distortions and the misstatements that arise as a matter of course, and for which no personal blame can attach.

There was an instance in the Graphic story last week about the buttonball trees, in which three trees were spoken of as a buttonballs, when one was an oak instead, that at the Young place in Cos Cob. The writer had three buttonball trees in mind and confused the one that stood next to it on the plot of the present Presbyterian manse on Lafayette place, to which historical data also attached, with the Cos Cob oak inadvertently.

This has brought out some additional facts, as the following letters show, that will create still more interest in the records and the passing of these old landmarks, cherished as they have been, and the Graphic will be more than gratified to receive ever additional data about these as well as other trees, also old time buildings and localities, the observant among its readers may be pleased to send. Every recurring story adds to the already large accumulation that is gradually forming into synthetic order for use in the near future.

Editor Greenwich Graphic:

Having read the article on the old trees in the Graphic of February 19, I write to correct a mistake in regard to the tree in Cos Cob which stood in front of what you term the Everett Young place (and is now owned by a party of that name) but the tree in question found them before the place was occupied by Mr. Young. 

Moreover, it was not a buttonwood, but an oak. When it fell I was the owner of the place and had been for many years. It was the birthplace of my husband, William H. Mead. He told me that as long as he could remember the tree had looked to be the same old tree. Strangers traveling often stopped to walk around it and measure it. The cavity was very large. I have been one of twelve standing inside of it, and two or three more might have gotten in. Twice it was set on fire by mischievous boys, and nearly the whole neighborhood quickly assembled to extinguish the fire. 

I was away out of the state at the time it fell. It was at midnight, and the crash was heard more than a block away, but fortunately it fell away from the house, blocking the street, and costing me over thirty dollars to have it removed into the woodyard, about 200 feet away. It was a symmetrical tree in shape, much handsomer than the buttonwood pictured in the Graphic, and more dense in shade. I should be pleased to show you a picture of it. I think you like accurate statements, therefore I have taken the liberty of sending this.

Mrs. William H. Mead
Relay Place, Greenwich, Feb. 22nd. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you have been following this unique blog site you've come to realize what a pleasure it is to reflect on our history. 

The stories from and of our Mead ancestors reminds us how deeply rooted our history and traditions are. 

Whether they are gravestones, old homes, streets and byways, churches and their steeples, they all enrich out understanding. They define who we have been and who we are.

As the days have become shorter -and the air a bit cooler in Connecticut- I am reminded that The Historic Mead Family Burying Grounds Association has much to be grateful for -especially to committed family descendants. 

Thank you for continuing to celebrate the places, people and history that has meaning to you. 

Your dedication to our ancestral history and its on-going preservation means much to us. 

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you splendid 
and safe holidays this season,

Jeffrey Bingham Mead
The Historic Mead Family Burying Grounds Association

Monday, November 23, 2015

Brilliant Afternoon Tea Given by Mrs. S.C. Mead (1911)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, February 25, 1911. Page 1

One Hundred Fifty People Meet at Her Home and Are Entertained – House Charmingly Decorated.

One of the brilliant social events of the winter in Greenwich was the afternoon tea given by Mrs. S. Christy Mead at her residence on Washington avenue, last Saturday afternoon from 4 to 7 o'clock.

Mrs. Mead as an entertainer and hostess has that charm of manner which makes friends and her warmth of greeting is so cordial that you cannot but failed to be imbued with the same spirit and her-at-homes are delightful affairs.

A hundred and fifty people were greeted by Mrs. Mead during the afternoon and early evening, including society folks and men prominent in various walks of life, and not only were their guests from Greenwich but from New York and all along the shore.

The warmth and color and spirit of it all made it a social function of unusual enjoyment. Diamonds and beautiful gowns added their brilliancy to the ensemble.

The color scheme of the decorations of the entire lower floor of the house was yellow and white, a most beautiful combination. Coming in from the cold, bleak air and the snowy ground, it was a most exhilarating transformation. Daffodils, jonquils intertwined with the white flowers of early spring, pussy willow buds and others coming about this time of year, with smilax and...  without their blending colors giving delight.

The table in the dining room, on which were the delicacies which go with an afternoon tea, was most charmingly decorated. In the center study, on a beautiful lace centerpiece partly covering the table, was a golden basket of yellow and white flowers, the handle trimmed with yellow ribbon, an exquisite conception which was greatly admired. Adding grace to the effect were the silver and other receptacles, family heirlooms.

With Mrs. Mead to receive Mrs. Bliss of Erie, Pa, Mrs. Patterson of New York, and assisting at the table were Mrs. Bueb, Mrs. Bray, Miss Frances Rich, Miss Mildred Mead.

Mrs. Mead was attired and a yellow silk gown, just the color of the daffodils and jonquils, it was veiled with bordered chiffon. Mrs. Bliss wore green satin with jet tunic effect, Mrs. Bueb had a gown of soft rose satin, simply made. Mrs. Bray wore a white lace dress. Miss Ritch had on a pink satin gown veiled with white and trimmed in maraboua. Miss Mildred Mead wore white silk veiled with blue.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mrs. Caroline Mead Makes Many Bequests (1910)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. June 18, 1910. Page 4.

The last will and testament of the late Caroline M. Mead, with four codicils attached, has been filed in the Probate Court and the former is dated October 26th, 1905, the codicils November 22nd, 1907, March 4th, 1908, June 26th, 1909, and April 6th, 1910.

The following legacies are made:

Greenwich Hospital, located on Milbank avenue, $5000 to endow "The William H. Mead Memorial Bed," and Rev. M.  Geo. Thompson, of Christ Church, appointed to nominate the persons who shall use the bed; Greenwich General Hospital, on Parsonage Road, $1000; Benjamin and Sarah A. Smith husband and wife, of River road, Cos Cob, and their survivors, income of $3000 for life, at their death to Rhoda L. Peck and Lizzie P. Mead, both of Cos Cob, absolutely; to Caroline E. Smith, $3000; to Mary F. Peck, $3000; to Christ Church, Greenwich, $1000; to Clara Hoyt, Van Buren Hoyt, Harriet L. Finch, James H. Finch, Lancely Lockwood, Kenneth F. Lockwood, Paul L. Lockwood, Irving M. June, Lottie B. Marshall and Edward P. Holly, each $100; to Rhoda L. Peck, Lizzie P. Mead, and Elizabeth Selden, each $500; to Christ Church, Trustee, for care of burial ground and for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the will of William H. Mead, late husband of deceased, concerning the burial ground, $1000; to Rhoda L. Peck, a desk; to Lizzie P. Mead, a bureau; to Miriam F. Finch, a table; to Mary F. Peck and Carolyn E. Smith, her clothing; to Mary E. Peck, set of China silver spoons, silverware, all bedding, all other furniture, dishes, books and jewelry; the balance of the estate is divided as follows: One-third part to Mary F. Peck, of Cos Cob, absolutely; they use and income of one-third part to Benjamin P Smith, during his lifetime and on his death to pay over the following legacies: Rhoda L. Peck, $500; to Lizzie P. Mead, $500; to Lottie B. Marshall, $500; to Miriam F. Finch, $200; the balance to Mary F. Peck. 

The use and income of the remaining one third part is given to Carolyn F. Smith during her lifetime, and at her death one-half of said part to Christ Church, Greenwich, to be held as a trust fund, the income to be used toward the support of the church, and the other one-half to Mary F. Peck. H. Stanley Finch and Benjamin P. Smith are appointed as executors and trustees, and authority is given to them to sell the real estate; all inheritance taxes to be paid out of the estate, so that all the legacies, bequests, and devices should be free from such tax. According to the petition, the real estate is valued at $16,000 and the personalty at $34,000. The will and the were executed at Stanford; the other color Siles at Greenwich. Both will and codicils were admitted to Probate, on Wednesday.


Source: Greenwich Graphic. Friday, June 23, 1911. Page 1.


Source: Greenwich Graphic. Friday, July 14, 1911. Page 1

What is known as the William Mead homestead, on Old Church Road, was sold at auction last Saturday under order of court for a partition sale, by Auctioneer N. A. Knapp. The homestead consists of the residence and some twenty-eight acres of land, 24 on one side of the street and 4 directly opposite.

There were twelve undivided interest in the estate, about two-thirds of which were purchased some time ago by John W. Masury and Laurence Timmons, on a basis of $40,000.

Several interests they were unable to purchase, and these were joined with George L. Slawson to make up a syndicate to purchase, Mr. Slawson bidding the property in at $47,000.

What the syndicate will do with the property is not disclosed, but presumably it will be disposed of either as a whole or in parcels.

Death of W.J. Mead; Well Known Resident (1910)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, May 7, 1910. Page 1.

At White Plains-Had Many Friends-Had Held a Number of Prominent Public Positions

The announcement of the death of William J. Mead, at his home in White Plains, last week Friday, came as a shock to his numerous Greenwich friends this week.

He had been painfully injured in an auto accident not long ago, and had nearly recovered from the injuries when he was taken ill of pneumonia, last Thursday, and owing to his weakened condition, due to this accident, he was in able to withstand the disease and passed away the following day.

He was 75 years of age, and had spent with the exception of the few last years of his life, all his days in Greenwich, where he was born, at the ancestral home on North Street, now owned by his brother Cornelius.

He acquired the adjoining farm of 200 acres, which belonged to his great uncle, and the two brothers, William J. and Cornelius, lived side by side nearly their entire lives. Owing to the care of so large a property, and inability to secure assistance, he sold the property to A. Newton and S. Cristy Mead, some years ago, and removed to White Plains, where he has resided with his two daughters.

He comes from a large family connection remaining unbroken and maintaining the family traditions of his pioneer ancestry. His family is one of the oldest in the country, and much of the land occupied by different branches, has been held by the members more than two centuries.

His own farm was an example of high-class farming and his able management entitled him to high rank among scientific agriculturalists.

He was one of the most genial and generous of men, and his warm hearted dispositions was proverbial, and he was ever ready to extend a helping hand to those in necessity, and sympathetic consideration for any distress or trouble. His friends in Greenwich were legion, and his home life here was ideal, contentment and happiness being always observable among the numerous members.

His education was begun in the schools near his home, with Miss Worcester as his first teacher. When ten years old he entered Greenwich Academy, where his studies were continued about five years. He afterword attended Irving Institute at Tarrytown, also another school at Yonkers. At the age of seventeen he returned to the old farm, where he remained for several years,. After the age of twenty-four he was married to Miss Catherine Carroll, and they began housekeeping on the farm, where he lived so long.

In 1870 and 1871 he was a member of the legislature and was a selectmen from 1871 to 1875. He was identified with Christ Church, and was a member of the Acacia Masonic Lodge. 

His first wife died in 1869 and subsequently he married her sister, Miss Sarah Carroll. 

The internment will be held in Greenwich on the family plot. 

Obituary: Elizabeth Stillson Mead (1911)

'Union Cemetery First Used in 1851' (1909)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, September 25, 1909. Page 1.

A Statistical Work Just Completed by Spencer P. Mead, Gives Data of Interest and Value.

Spencer P. Mead, who is the author of the "Genealogy of the Mead Family," has recently compiled of work that will be very valuable to every lawyer in the town, as well as to everyone interested in statistical work of subjects concerning the town, and is in general character a history of the Town of Greenwich.

Mr. Mead has spent some time preparing this work, and expects to publish it early the coming year.

The book contains a list of the town officers from the incorporation of the town in1665 to 1910; representatives and senators from 1665 to 1905; and grant and titles prior to 1752; births, marriages and deaths from the earliest records to June, 1847, and an abstract of every known tombstone in the town, also the cemetery at Middle Patent, where many residents of the town have been buried.

Frequent we have had inquiries as to the Union Cemetery, when it was first used. We find in the book just the information that is wanted, as follows:

"Union Cemetery, at the corner of Milbank and Davis avenue, in the borough of Greenwich. The cemetery was originally called 'Burying Hill, and it was an old family plot. On the second day of November, 1851, Robert W. Mead, owner of the adjoining property, east and south of the old plot, deeded to the Second Congregational Society, now Second Congregational Church, three acres of land, and trust, nevertheless, as a burial ground, and for no other purpose, to be under the charge and superintendence of the committee of three persons, to be appointed by said society from among those of its members who are members of the church.

"1st, Lot 23 is to be free ground for the internment of people of said town, and strangers who may die in the town, who by reason of poverty were unable to purchase a burial lot.

"2d, The southerly part of said lot 23 is to be set apart for the internment of people of color, and such portion as it is deemed advisable to be sold in burial plots to people of color, at a rate not exceeding one cent per square foot.

"3rd, Lots 12 and 13 are to be reserved for free ground, if required.

"4th, The remaining 21 lots are to be sold from time to time, to any person or persons belonging to said town, at the rate of one cent per square foot, provided it does not exceed 1,800 square feet, said lots so sold not to be reconveyed without the consent of said committee.

"5th, The proceeds thereof to be used in keeping said burial ground properly enclosed, and in decent order. The remainder of such proceeds should be paid by said committee to the treasurer of the American Home Missionary Fund.

"6th, A right of way, 16 feet in width, is reserved in the westerly side thereof.

"7th, The grass on the said ground is to be for the use of the pastor for the time being of said Second Congregational Society, at all times, to mow, but not to pasture, unless by consent of said committee."

Obituary: Death of Mrs. J.G. Mead (1909)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, October 2, 1909. Page 2.

Silver Wedding Mr. and Mrs. S. Warren Mead (1910)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, February 26, 1910. Page 1.

The silver wedding of Mr. and Mrs. S. Warren Mead was celebrated at their Round Hill home, Tuesday afternoon, and was attended by forty or more guests, including relatives and friends.

Had the roads of been in condition the attendance would have been noticeably greater, as was indicated by numerous telephone calls. 

The various rooms were tastefully decorated, carnations and roses being dominant, and a large number of beautiful presents added their brightness in the general effect.

Mrs. Mead was assisted by Miss Lucy A. Mead, also by her daughters, Misses Abigail and Esther, in serving a choice and bountiful supper, and the evening as well as the afternoon were most pleasantly spent in social games and entertaining converse, making the occasion one long to be held in happy remembrance.


Source: Greenwich Graphic. Friday, July 21, 1911. Page 1.

Doesn’t Believe Would Be Good Plan to Crowd Children in One Building-His Ideas on the Subject

Saturday morning the telephone bell rang. “This is I.L. Mead, of Lafayette Place,” was the response to our “Hello.” 

“I want to say to you that I have just had read to me your article on the schools question, and I assure you I am fully in accord with your views. I do not believe that it is a good thing to have all the children of the borough all assembled in one building. I don’t think it would be good policy, and for more reasons than one.

“In case of disease, such as measles and others of epidemic nature, it would mean that you would have to close the entire building in case of quarantine, and then it would mean more to spread among.

“In case of fire or panic it s not a good plan to have so many children congregated. And then Havemeyer building is on a very busy street and have so many children going to and from it across the street is dangerous. 

“Your idea of having school buildings in different sections of the borough is to me the proper thing to carry out the points of which I have spoken. So far as the town being parsimonious in the matter of furnishing money for educational purposes, it isn’t so. I don't believe for a moment that there would be any hesitancy on the part of the town in providing all the money necessary to educate the children and provide proper accommodations for them. But it isn’t a matter to be rushed into, but should be gone into in a careful way and not to be decided by a few people but by the majority of the taxpayers of the town. The money will be forthcoming from the town if the people are satisfied that the conditions demand it and that the plan is a proper one.

“I was very glad that you took the stand that you have in this matter, for I think it will appeal to the public in general. Let Havemeyer building remain as it is and build other buildings elsewhere to accommodate increasing demand for larger quarters for the school children of the borough.”

No one is better acquainted with the school situation in Greenwich then I. L. Mead. He has made a study of it. He was for years a member of the board of school visitors of the town, and he spent much time in this work. He often visited every schoolhouse in the town, using his own horse and carriage for the purpose, covering many miles in the course of the year, going through the winter storms as well as the summer heat. He did it because personally he was interested in it and he liked it. He did it from a public spirit and not from any mercenary motive. He gave his services and that of his horse and carriage free. And all the time that he was a school visitor he never sent in a bill to the town for any work that he did as school visitor, and he had a right to do it, and we believe it is the only instance on record in Greenwich where a man who held public office and had a right to draw money for his services refused to do it. As we have said there is nobody in Greenwich that is more capable of passing upon the school question in the light of experience than Mr. I. L. Mead.

Isaac Lewis Mead Building, at the top of Greenwich Avenue. 

And it is for this reason what he says will have that weight which experience, public spiritedness and standing of a man of the character of Mr. Mead can give. What he says on the subject has force, character and weight with the people of Greenwich, who know him and the work that he is done for our schools.

Friday, November 20, 2015

That Box 100 Years Old At Edward Mead Homestead (1909)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, July 17, 1909. Page 1.

The White Front Door and the Big Brass Knocker Pictured as "A New England Doorstep."

Travelers over the Post Road in trolley auto, vehicle, on foot or otherwise have observed an enormous specimen of that handsome hedge known as box. It stands so high and is so perfect in proportions that it attracts general attention and considerable curiosity is evinced as to the age and length of time it has been growing in the old fashioned garden as the west side of the handsome and hospitable looking old farm house of the late Edward Mead.

It was once one hundred years old on June 22nd, and the date of its planting is fixed from the fact that its deceased owner was born on that date and the two circumstances were chronicled in the family history.

Miss Amelia Mead, who lives in the old homestead with her sister Catherine and brother Augustus, had planned for a family gathering on the date of the centenary of the birth of her father and the planting of the box.

But instead of a happy gathering of the descendants of Mr. Mead on that date, the sad duty of attendance at the funeral ceremony of one of the daughters, Mrs. Seaman Mead, probated what might otherwise have been a joyous occasion. It is notable that Mrs. Mead's death was the first among the five daughters of the family all of whom had lived to be over 60 years of age.

The commodious white house, whose symmetrical lines have suggested more than passing comment of admiration, was built by Mr. Mead in 1832, upon the ancestral farmlands, which had been in the family for upwards of 200 years. And a feature of the house which has become notable through its beauty of carving and antique design, with its big brass knocker of Revolutionary days, is the white front door.

This door is not only famous hereabouts, but its fame has spread all over the country, so much so that Wallace Nutting has incorporated it in one of his beautifully colored pictures under the title of "A Visit to the Parson." The scene includes two young ladies in colonial costume, who are the daughters of Vice President Rudle of the Greenwich Trust Company. This picture is for sale in art shops all over the country. 

Of the centennial of the birth of Mr. Mead and planting of the box Miss Amelia Mead has written a history, and it was the intent to have it read at the family gathering. 

It includes much data that has come to her in direct conversation, has never been in print and is of added interest. Miss Mead means to issue it in a book form for exclusive family distribution. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Patriotic Society: Meets in Colonial Home (1911)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Friday, October 6, 1911. Page 1.

Daughters of American Revolution Have Bridge Party in Old Mead Homestead on Putnam Ave To Raise Money.

The stately old colonial house on Putnam avenue, thought by some people to be the most attractive house in Greenwich, opened its hospitable doors for patriotic charity on Monday. And it is not the first time in the one hundred years and more, that it has stood there that society has met within its portals. 

'Dearfields' illustration from Other Days in Greenwich, by Judge Frederick Hubbard.

The quaint old knocker on the door, which came from Holland, when the house was built, on which is inscribed the name Richard Mead and the date 1797, the little brass door knob that came also from Holland, and which is as aged as the knocker, have responded many, many times to the hands that have asked admission to a welcome to the famous old house. 

These reminders and associates of colonial days could tell many a tale of the passing in and out over that threshold of sad and serious faces, as well as of gay and happy ones, in one hundred and fifteen years. 

It was a fitting place indeed for the patriotic Daughters of the American Revolution to meet. 

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Webb, Mrs. Webb being a great granddaughter of Richard Mead, gave the house over to the society for a bridge party to help raise a fund of which Putnam Cottage, the home of the Daughters, is in need. 

It was one of a number of meetings to be held this winter in various homes for the same purpose. 

About eighty ladies accepted the hospitality of the house. They were charmed by its beauty as they wandered about the spacious rooms, admired the old colonial furnishings, and looked with awe at the flint-lock muskets and swords of the Revolutionary war, with other relics of a by gone time.

The dining room, where the refreshments were served, was attractive indeed, and patriotic as well -it was really beautiful in all that appeals to the eye and a refined taste. Everything was in harmony with the old building, the old fashioned chairs and mahogany furniture of years ago adding their effectiveness.

Delicate and extremely appropriate was the color scheme of the room-red, white and blue. Brilliant red dahlias profusely were scattered about it, and in vases on the tables over the snow white linen, the blue of the walls completing the delicate effect.

“How beautiful! How charming! How exquisite!” were the general comments among the ladies.

It was something unusual, far out of the ordinary, really new, the setting of it all, to be long remembered.

Miss Mead, the regent of the Putnam Hill Chapter, and Mrs. Robert Wilcox did the honors of the table -“poured,” as it is called. 

There were seventeen card tables, four to a table. There were seventeen prizes.

Among those who graced the house with their presence were:

Mrs. Henry Webb, Mrs. Augustus Knapp, Mrs. C. T. Pierce, The Misses. Schneck (Rye), Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Norman McCutcheon, Mrs. Morton, Mrs. Herring, Miss Allen, Mrs. Duane Cooper, Mrs. S.W.C. Jones, Miss Louisa Mead, Miss Susan Mead, Miss Emily Mead, Miss Sarah T. Mead, Mrs. S. Christy Mead, Mrs. R. J. Walsh, Mrs. Weir, Mrs. E. H. Abrams, Mrs. Hitchcock, Mrs. Bray, Mrs. N. Webb, Mrs. St. Clair Hitchcock, Mrs. W. T. Ritch, Mrs. Seaman M. Mead, Mrs. Robert Wilcox, Mrs. James F. Walsh, Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. S. E. Minor, Mrs. Rungee, Mrs. Howard, Mrs. N. T. Reynolds, Mrs. H. H. Adams, Miss Kent, Miss Kent (Charlestown), Mrs. Whitson, Mrs. Nott, Mrs. F. G. C. Smith, Mrs. W. A. Stevens, Miss Raymond, Mrs. E. C. Ray.