Half-Shire Historical Society News – August 3, 2012

After weeks of drought some much needed rain has come back to us, resurrecting the old creeks and rivers that were nearly dried up in many places.  During these dry weeks some of us took advantage of the opportunity to search local graveyards for “lost stones” that are more readily found in dry periods when the sod above them brown first.

Trustee Margaret Kastler had the most significant discovery while poking around Noyes cemetery just north of Richland. Margaret found a long-lost stone that caused us quite a stir as we tried to figure it out.

The stone is a double connected stone, and marks the graves of two young children.   At first we thought they might be cousins as they bore the names Arthur Hibbard (1849-53) and Henry Stowell (1851-53) .

The mother of these children has been found to be Temperance Ann Smith, daughter of Salmon & Asseheh (Brewster) Smith.

Born in Unidilla, NY, Temperance came to Oswego County with her family and was married three times, dying in Orwell in 1897.   Temperance was a descendant of Mayflower Passenger William Brewster, and according to our records led a life of personal sorrow, burying  two husbands, five children and two grandchildren before she died at the age of 78,

From our records and research we learned that Temperance was first married to Abial Hibbard in 1840 and had the son Arthur who is the first child on the stone. Abial died shortly after the birth of his only child in 1849, his grave is not found yet. Temperance remarried Samuel Draper Stowell of Orwell and their own first child Henry Stowell is the other child on the found gravestone, he died at age 2.

According to our Stowell file Temperance and Samuel went on to have four other children: Nathaniel, Silas, Carrie and Frank. Only Nathaniel survived his youth and married, but his own two daughters died young.

Samuel Stowell died in 1875, and Temperance married lastly Jerome Hadley in 1884. At the time of her death in March 1897 he was still living it seems.

The growing library of family history at Half-Shire, as well as our subscription internet services and trained staff enabled us to identify the two children who this newly found stone memorialize in a matter of hours.

We are open to the public Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Come and check out our collection and see if we can assist you too with your family history.

A photo of the above gravestone is on our facebook page along with an abbreviated story

Half-Shire can be reached at [email protected]   Check out our website at www.halfshire.com, Our phone in Richland is 298-2986 and we are open Thursdays through Sundays each week 11 a.m. -3 p.m.