No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”
I have been crafting a post to document my g-g-grandmother, Kittie (Perry) Hughes Clough Shipman’s life. I had some holes, and found I needed to research a bit more, as I progressed through her life. I have started on her third husband, Franklin Morven Shipman, b.13 Jun 1862/3, in Brockville, Leeds, Ontario, Canada, son of Silas H. Shipman and Mary A. Nolan. Franklin died five years after Kittie, on 27 Jan 1927, and left an interesting last will and testament with a handwritten codicil.
This week, I am writing of Eva Myers, the young girl who was mentioned in Franklin’s will. She’s not related, but I am curious about her relationship with Mr. Shipman. I am writing with hopes that one of her many descendants is reading.
Excerpt of the will written 24 February 1923:
…First. I bequeath and devise to Augustine B. Tolman of said Lynn the sum of one thousand (1,000) dollars in trust nevertheless for the following purpose: to hold said money and invest and reinvest the same and use or expend the income or principle thereof or such amount of both the income and principle as he deems necessary thereof for the education or assisting in the education of Eva Myers, daughter of Fred Myers of said Lynn and the first payment not to be made until said Eva shall have arrived at the age of eighteen years of age. Any money not used for said purpose said money and any or annual ations [?] thereof shall be paid to her when she reaches the age of twenty-five years. In the event of the death of said beneficiary before said money is actually paid to or expended for her benefit said bequest and any remaining portion thereof shall become part of the residue of my estate…
In the codicil, dated 28 July 1926, he writes:
I bequeath and devise to Augustine B. Tolman the sum of eighteen hundred (1,800) dollars in lieu of one thousand (1,000) dollars given in the first paragraph of this will for the uses and purposes set forth in said paragraph for Eva Myers and especially for her musical education. I revoke so much of said paragraph as provides that the first payment shall not be made until said Eva Myers shall have arrived at the age of eighteen years and authorized said payments to be made and said money used commencing anytime after my deceased. [Note: $1,800 is equivalent to about $25,000 in 2014 buying power]
Eva Myers was born on 10 November 1915 in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts to Frederic A. Myers (b. Vermont) and Lucy Agnes Windsor (b. New York or England). She was therefore about eight years old when the will was written and eleven when the codicil was crafted.
She had four siblings, none listed in Shipman’s will:
(1) Leona “Mona” Myers b. 19 Nov. 1913, d. 29 July 1986 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts; married Peter Demetropoulos, known children Alexander, George and Paulette.
(2) Cecilia “Sally” Myers b. 01 Jul 1917, d. 3 April 2004 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts; married Robert Gentile, no known children.
(3) Forrest Myers b. 7 Jul 1919, d. 18 Mar 2008 in Silver Spring, Montgomery, Maryland; married Betty Boyer, at least one child named Daniel. He married second Verna Allen.
(4) Thelma Myers b. 31 Dec 1921 , d. 9 Feb 2007 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts; married (1) Kenneth Melanson, (2) Anthony Gentile; known children children, Lucille and Virginia, father unknown.
In 1920, 58 year old Franklin Shipman, my 60 year old g-g-grandmother Kittie and 4 year old Eva Myers were essentially neighbors in Lynn.
Kittie passed in 1922, Franklin in 1927.
In 1930, 14 year old Eva appeared to reside with her parents and siblings. They had relocated to Spruce Street, Lynn about 1.6 miles away from the 1920 residence on Burns Street:
One year later, on 4 May 1931, the court received the following letter from the General Secretary of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children regarding Eva Myers’ share of Franklin’s estate:
….Meanwhile, the sixteen year old girl, under the jurisdiction of the Lynn District Court as a neglected child, and by the order of the court is in custody of the Bethesda Society, is without any present benefit from this trust, and upon arriving at twenty five years of age, will come into full control of the principal and accumulated income with the possibility of not being able to handle it properly, that is, if the Bethesda Society should decide that it could not continue this burden without some help, say at the rate of $25 a month….With the possibility that the Bethesda Society may have to give up this girl, with the result that the child may have to be committed to the State Department of Public Welfare and be placed out in a good home as they can find, I feel that I ought to take some action….
In 1935, Eva graduated from Sudbury High School, in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
In 1937, Eva married Walter Clarence Stone, Jr., b. 11 November 1914, in Sudbury to Walter Clarence Stone and Harriet Louise Sawin.
In 1940 the couple was living in a rented home at 733 Hyde Park Avenue, Boston with their infant son Norman. Eva spoke with the census enumerator and claimed that she lived in Belmont, Massachusetts in 1935, while her husband resided in Sudbury, Massachusetts that year. Rent was $35 a month. Walter was a manager at a milk company. Both had completed 4 years of high school.
On 2 November 1935, Eva’s mother died.
By 1940 Eva’s siblings Leona and Forrest had also married and were still living in Lynn. Thelma was living with Leona’s family (she married shortly after the census was taken). The three reported a Lynn residence in 1935. Cecilia wasn’t found in the 1940 census, but her obituary reports that she also resided in Lynn during that time period.
On 19 December 1940, soon after Eva’s 25th birthday, the estate was settled. It appears that Eva used $500 for education, Tolman took $150 for “services” [hate to speculate, but seems sleazy!], the state of Massachusetts took $152.25 in taxes and Eva got another $77.48.
So where is the remaining $920 of the $1,800 bequest to Eva? Was it given to her or did Tolman invest poorly and lose the remainder (1929-1939 was the period of the Great Depression)? Why did she have to pay and additional inheritance tax?, wasn’t it already taken out of the estate in schedule B below? Schedule B shows that Tolman received $1,800 on Eva’s behalf as per the codicil (note that Tolman took another $650 aside from the $1,800 for “services”?) – I thought I photographed every page, but perhaps I missed something:
[Side note: In the original will, my grandfather Charles G. Hall was named as one of three residuary legatee’s with the share going to his mother, Georgianna, should he pass before Shipman. The share would have been about $2,000, however the codicil, “revoked the bequest” to both. Another mystery…]
Eva passed away on 9 December 2005. Her obituary reads:
Eva Stone, 90 Domestic coordinator, restaurant co-owner [interesting – Shipman also owned/ran a restaurant at the same address as his residence – coincidence or was Eva influenced by her childhood experience living next door?]
SOUTH DENNIS, MASSACHUSETTS – Eva (Myers) Stone, 90, died yesterday. She was the wife of Walter C. Stone Jr. They were married in 1937. Mrs. Stone was born in Lynn, raised in Sudbury graduated from Sudbury High School and Northfield Seminary. She was a domestic coordinator for families in Malden before marrying. She and her husband owned and operated Stone’s Restaurant in Cambridge. They lived in Arlington before retiring to South Dennis in 1973. She was an accomplished quilter and enjoyed knitting. She loved spending time with her family was a caretaker for her grandchildren. Besides her husband, survivors include three sons, Norman L. Stone of Chester, Walter C. Stone III of Hull and David W. Stone of Winchester a daughter, Debra S. (Stone) Nodelman of West Yarmouth a brother, Forrest A. Myers of Maryland a sister, Thelma Gentile of Lynn 15 grandchildren 19 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.Visitation is 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Hallett Funeral Home, 273 Station Ave., South Yarmouth. A funeral will be at 11 a.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Burial is private.Memorial donations may be made to Salvation Army, P.O. Box 369, Hyannis, MA 02601.
So many questions!
It seems that Eva was the only child removed from her household… Or were they all removed and the others placed in Lynn homes? What was the reason? Who abused her/them?
What happened to Eva’s father “Frederic A. Myers”? [spelling as listed in the city directories]. He was listed in the 1935 Lynn city directory but not in 1937? He was not found in Massachusetts death indexes or in the 1940 census in Massachusetts or elsewhere. Eva’s mother’s 1935 death was reported in the 1938 city directory – why the delay?
Why was only Eva a beneficiary to Franklin’s will and not her siblings or parents? Was Shipman perhaps Eva’s godfather? Or were they purely neighbors? Shipman was born in Canada, Eva’s parents were born in Vermont/New York. Eva’s father was a painter and later employed by GE; Shipman owned/operated a restaurant – I found no evidence that they were related or had a business relationship.
The obituary mentions Eva was “born in Lynn, raised in Sudbury graduated from Sudbury High School and Northfield Seminary”….She was a domestic coordinator for families in Malden before marrying [in 1937].
The census places her in Lynn in 1920 & 1930, she self reported to the census enumerator that she was living in Belmont in 1935, yet she is at the 50th reunion of the Sudbury High School, class of 1935 , she is in Malden [at least for work] in 1936 and Boston in 1940….
and the 1931 letter places her with the Bethesda Society (which in 1930 seems to be some type of children’s charity affiliated with the Orchard Home School in Belmont – http://www.watertownlib.org/sites/default/files/1930.pdf. ).
Likely the inheritance funded her education at Northfield Seminary. What was Eva’s musical talent mentioned in the codicil? Did she pursue her musical interests at Northfield? The 1932 school bulletin indicates that the boarding school caters to those qualified girls who can not afford the “ordinary boarding school”. The educational expense of $500 mentioned in the court documents would have covered Eva’s expenses for about two years.
The full bulletin can be seen HERE. It is worth a look! Great photos and other historical information – The school, founded by Dwight L. Moody, seemed to be quite progressive in an era when woman were expected to be housewives. In 1932 enrollment was close to 600 students. Another interesting article discussing Moody’s reasoning behind his school can be found HERE “…As someone with only a rudimentary education, Moody quickly learned the value of practical learning. He was not interested in educational theory or systems. He was interested in equipping people who did not ordinarily have access to education—women, the poor, ethnic minorities. And with his passion for evangelism, he saw that with a little education, they could reach others with the gospel that the seminary-trained preachers never could…”
In 1936 the following was published in the Boston Globe:
If you are reading and related to Eva, or can piece together more of the story, I would love to hear from you, she sounds like an amazing woman!
Eva’s family found my blog! Turns out that Eva suspected that Shipman was perhaps her biological father. Her mother, Lucy, was an alcoholic who worked for Shipman cleaning his shop/restaurant. Her father, Fred, was an abusive, absentee father who had another family across town. Shipman never admitted to fathering Eva, he only said that “she had a special place in his heart”.
Hopefully we can track down some of Shipman’s brothers’ descendants and DNA test against Eva’s descendants to prove/disprove the theory!
Hi Linda – I am Eva’s eldest child . I’ve read all the info you present and it is quite accurate. Let me add some things !! Frederick Myers Eva’s father (?) used two names–Mears and Myers. He had two families at the same time. One in Vermont, one in Lynn. I’ve been told that we have several Mears cousins. My mother played the violin during her youth. In the 1970’s I had her violin case at my house, but no violin was ever found. She was very quiet about that for some unknown reason. The picture posted about my father’s baseball team in Sudbury is incorrect. My father is front row far right. I was always the one that took my mother to her mother’s grave in Lynn cemetery. My mother always claimed that her mother’s mother came to this country (USA) as an indentured servant. She came here from England.
On Walter’s 101st birthday, his granddaughter writes:
Not only is this amazing man a veteran but he is also celebrating his 101st birthday today!! On 11/11- a very peaceful time where many of us take a moment to “make a wish”, he was born. It is very fitting as his nature is calm & healing and positive. I think he passed that on to me. As a child we first visited my grandparents in Boston where they ran a restaurant called Stone’s restaurant. I loved going there because I could always order anything I wanted- it was always a cheeseburger or two! I would go downstairs and hang out with Gus the dish washer- a very nice man. They worked so hard that they retired early and moved to the Cape. So many great memories…. grandma’s cookies, chocolate cake and homemade pizza. I did tell her I did not like her lumpy potatoes so I do feel bad about that. Trips/days to the beach where grandpa could float on his back forever! They had/have a cute house- he made a beautiful garden and had bird feeders everywhere and the yard was beautiful. Another thing I think he passed on to me. Imagine for a moment all the things/changes/good & bad you could see in 101 years! He is history. To sit and listen to his stories is a gift…. I will be doing that on Sunday. I remember on his 99th Birthday I asked him the secret to a long life…. he said “be happy”. I am so lucky to be his granddaughter and to be part of the Stone family. We are as gentle as a summer breeze but when need be as tough as a stone!
Cecilia “Sally”‘s obituary:
Sally (Myers) Gentile, age 86, of Lynn, died Saturday in her home after a brief illness. She was the Wife of the late Robert Gentile, and the daughter of the late Fred A. & Lucy A. (Windsor) Myers. Born and raised in Lynn, she lived for thirty years in New Haven, CT, before moving back to Lynn in 1989. Educated in Lynn schools, she was a homemaker, and enjoyed cooking.
She is survived by a brother, Forrest Myers of Hialeah, FL, two sisters, Eva Stone of Cape Cod and Thelma Gentile of Lynn. She also leaves several nieces & nephews. She was the sister of the late Leona Demitropoulos.
Her funeral will be held in the Solimine, Landergan & Richardson Funeral Home 426 Broadway (Rt129) Lynn on Tuesday at 10AM. Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery. Visiting hours will be on Monday from 4-7PM. Memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army PO Box 847 Lynn, MA 01903 or the American Cancer Society 30 Speen St. Framingham, MA 01701.
Thelma L. (Myers) Gentile, 85 years, of Lynn died Friday in Union Hospital after a brief illness. She was the wife of the late Anthony Gentile.
She was born in Lynn, the daughter of the late Fred A. and Lucy Agnes (Windsor) Myers. She was raised in Lynn and attended Lynn schools. She lived in Lynn most of her life and lived in New Haven, CT for 15 years, returning to Lynn in 1984. She enjoyed knitting, sewing and crocheting.
She is survived by two daughters, Lucille McCarthy of Lynn and Virginia Martin of Whippany, NJ; one brother, Forrest Myers of Silver Springs, MD. She also leaves 13 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
She is the sister of the late Eva Stone, Sally Gentile, and Leona Demitropoulos.
Service information: Her funeral will be on Monday, February 12, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. in the SOLIMINE, LANDERGAN and RICHARDSON Funeral Home, 426 Broadway (Rte 129) Lynn. Burial in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting Hours on Sunday 4 to 7 p.m. Donations may be made to All Care VNA, 16 City Hall Square, Lynn, MA 01901. Directions and guestbook at www.solimine.com
Shipman’s nieces obituaries:
WESTBOROUGH Barbara A. (Shipman) Rebakas, 78, of Brentwood, NH passed away Saturday, April 9, in the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington after a short illness.
Her husband, George A Rebakas died in 2001. She leaves a son, George A. Rebakas Jr. of FL, two daughters, Paula A. Rhodes and her husband, George H. of Brentwood, NH and Constance A. Fisher and her husband, Thomas M. of Leicester, A sister, Patricia Recio of TX, four grandchildren, George Paul Rhodes and his wife Julie , Ashley M. Rhodes, all of NH, and Kasey S. Marks and Holly L. Marks of MA, one great-granddaughter, Kathleen Barbara Rhodes of NH, nieces and nephews. A life long friend Beverly F. Sciarro of Westborough. She was born in Lynn, MA, daughter of the late Roy S. and Lillian R. (Cresswell) Shipman and lived in Westborough and Grafton for 50 years before moving to NH in 1990.
Mrs. Rebakas was a medical records administrator at Westborough State Hospital and U/Mass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester both for many years, a volunteer at Epping Elementary School in NH for many years, she enjoyed sewing and crafts and loved animals. A former member of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Grafton. Her funeral will be held at 10 A.M. on Thursday, April 14, in the Britton-Summers Funeral Home, 4 Church Street, WESTBOROUGH. Burial will be private in Pine Grove Cemetery. Calling hours will be at the funeral home on Wednesday from 4-7 P.M.
Sadly Eva’s husband Walter passed away 14 July 2016 at 101.8 years old:
WEST YARMOUTH – Walter C. Stone Jr., 101, of West Yarmouth, formerly of South Dennis, passed away Thursday, July 14, 2016.
He was the husband of the late Eva (Myers) Stone.
Born in Sudbury on Veteran’s Day 1914, Walter was the fifth of Harriet (Sawin) and Walter Stone Sr.’s seven children. He married his high school sweetheart, Eva, in 1937 and together they raised three sons and a daughter, enjoying 68 years of marriage.
Walter was manager of H.P. Hood Co. for over 20 years, interrupted only when he served in the Naval Air Corps during World War II. When he returned from the Philippines, he became lead manager overseeing five “Colstone” restaurants in the Boston area, and in 1957 he purchased the Cambridge location, renaming it “Stone’s Restaurant.”
He and Eva retired to South Dennis in 1973, where they enjoyed the next 32 years traveling, gardening and enjoying family until his Eva passed in 2005. Walter brought love to all he met and at 101.8 years old, he leaves us with a lifetime of stories and wonderful memories.
Walter is survived by sons Norman, Walter III and David, and daughter Debra. His entire family, including 15 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, along with many nieces and nephews, are sure to smile as they recall the stories of his life.
A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, July 19, at the Northside United Methodist Church, 701 Airline Road, Brewster, with a visitation at 11:30 a.m. immediately followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m. Interment will be held in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Route 134, South Dennis.