The long arduous march of summer space camps is behind me. The season started the first week of June and ended on July 29th. I’ve averaged 100 hours per week and today find myself enjoying nearly three restful, peaceful weeks of vacation before the start of the 2010-2011 school year.
Perhaps with extra time on my hands I’ll be able to write a bit more and continue sleuthing our family history.
Today I’d like to share the obituary of our Great Great Great Grandmother, Almira McCrillis taken from The Hot Springs Star on April 3, 1903. She was born Almira Swift on January 6, 1809 in Corinth, Vermont, the daughter of Phinas Swift and Deborah Dearborn.
Peacefully on the morning of March 16, 1903, Grandma McCrillis sank into her last sleep - asleep in Jesus with the bright hope of a part in the first resurrection. Words of comfort were spoken at the home by Mr. Fassett from Psalms 91.
Ninety-five long years had she lived and weary with age she welcomed the rest that awaits us all.
Grandma was born in Corrinth, Vermont, January 6, 1809. Her father, Captain Phineas Swift, fought in the War of 1812. Grandma remembered quite distinctly seeing the British soldiers as they endeavoured to drive cattle across the line and our soldiers standing ready to turn them back.
Grandma was one of the passengers on board the first railroad train making its first trip between Boston and Providence RI. The train consisted of an engine and three crude coaches made after the fashion of our stage coaches of today.
I have listened many times to the interesting remembrances of those days which Grandma could remember and relate so well.
In 1837 she was married in Providence, R.I. to Joseph E. McCrillis. To them were born two sons and three daughters. When the youngest child was three years of age, the father decided to try the west, and they moved from old New England to the wilds of Wisconsin. One by one the children grew to manhood and womanhood and were scattered to homes of their own.
In 1888 the two daughters, Mrs. J.M. Dennis and Mrs. H.E. Whaley of Hot Springs, S.D. were rejoiced to have the dear father and mother with them again to feel the old home ties renewed.
In 1890 the dear old father died, leaving Grandma to silently mourn his going and long for the time when the Master would permit her to join the companion with whom she had spent over fifty happy years.
For the last several years, Grandma has resided in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Whaley, of Cascade Springs, where she received loving care and gave in return only smiles and cheery words leavened with manifest acts of kindness.
She leaves two sons and two daughters to mourn her departure, also many grand children, great grandchildren and a host of friends.
Phinas Swift and Deborah Dearborn
3rd Great Grandparents, Almira Swift and Joseph E. McCrillis
Isabel Deanora Helgerson McCrilles and John Mayberry Dennis
Vesta Althea Dennis and Walter Edwin Pierce
Violet Mae Pierce and Walter Albert Mattson
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin
Phineas Swift, our 4th Great Grandfather and father of Almira, was a captain in the Vermont Militia in the war of 1812. His wife, Deborah Dearborn, was a niece of the Secretary of War, Henry Dearborn.
Vermonters reluctantly supported the War of 1812. The federal trade embargoes stopped all legal trade with Canada, stunting Vermont’s commerce. War with Great Britain made Vermont a battle zone, with the Champlain Valley a familiar battlefield. Political parties again were split, with Jeffersonian Republicans in favor of war, and Federalists in opposition.
Vermont’s governor, Federalist Martin Chittenden, Thomas’s son, caused a stir when he recalled the Vermont militia from New York in 1813, where it was supporting federal troops. He believed the militia was needed in Vermont. The militia officers refused Chittenden’s order to return immediately, stating that they were needed to defend the Union, and criticized Chittenden for playing politics. The Vermont militia returned to New York in 1814 and played a key role in America’s victory at the Battle of Plattsburgh. Chittenden lost his bid for reelection.