Friday, May 24, 2013

Three Davis Brothers, Civil War Veterans

My paternal great-grandfather, Horace Davis, and his brothers James Wallace and Plymouth all served in the Civil War. They were the sons of Henry Wooden Davis and Eunice Fisk of Rockland, Sullivan, NY. Years ago, my uncle Alvin Davis had given me Horace's Civil War Certificate of Discharge but it wasn't until 2007 when I was writing an article for our Traces, Davis Genealogy Newsletter that I realized the photograph at the bottom of the document was the Davis brothers. This Memorial Day is the perfect time to pay tribute to them for their sacrifices; all three were discharged for disabilities.


This is the Certificate of Discharge with the photograph of the three brothers at the bottom. You can zoom in and read the actual certificate here.  


I'm still a little vague as to which is which but I believe my gr-grandfather, Horace, is the one in the middle, Plymouth, left ?, and James Wallace, right ? 

Their Civil War Service records:

Horace E. Davis, age 27 years, enlisted, December 30, 1863, at Rockland, mustered in as private, Co. G, 2nd Mounted Rifles on January 23, 1864, to serve three years. He was wounded at the Battle of Petersburg, VA, on June 17, 1864, received a Distinguished Service Award and was discharged from Finley Hospital in Washington, D.C. on February 10, 1865.   

Plymouth Davis, age 20 years. Enlisted at Liberty, to serve three years, and mustered in as private, Co. F, 56th Infantry Regiment, September 16, 1861; discharged for disability, March 22, 1863, at Hilton Head, SC. 

James W. Davis, age 18 years. Enlisted at Liberty, to serve three years, and mustered in as private, Co. F, 56th Infantry Regiment, October 15, 1861; discharged for disability, May 26, 1863, at Convalescent Camp, Alexandria, Va.

Both James W. and Plymouth Davis enlisted within a month of each other and served in the same regiment. In 1893 they attended the reunion of the 56th Regiment in Ellenville, NY. The Ellenville Times reported Soldiers in Reunion on October 20th

.  .  . The annual reunion of the 156th and 56th Regiments was held yesterday and the patriotism of Ellenville and that vicinity was aroused. Many houses and nearly all the business places were handsomely decorated. The firemen had trimmed their headquarters elaborately, and the town wore a gala appearance. The weather was most threatening. . .

….56th Regiment, Company F:
Daniel L. LeRoy, Jas. W. Davis, Plymouth Davis, DeWitt Belney, Wm. Broadhead, J.C. Fisk, Wm. Young, Samuel A. Hotchkiss, Ira Divine, Peter Faty, D.O. Whitmore, E.J. LeRoy, Thos. Gildersleeve, Frank Hotchkin, Jos. Johnson, Edgar Conklin, Edgar H. Munson, Harvey Farrington, Jas. Aldorf.


Horace Davis on the front porch of his home in Youngsville, NY. My guess is that this picture was taken after the death of his wife, Margaret Edwards, in 1917 and he was about to move to Palisades Park, NJ to live with his son, Ralph B. Davis.

Horace and Margaret are buried in the Methodist Cemetery in Livingston Manor, NY.  According to the Bryant Funeral Home, Horace's burial cost $35.00--$13 for the undertaker, $12 to open the grave, and $10 for a hearse. He died in 1924 but the year was never inscribed on the gravestone. Photograph by JDarbeeSmith. 

The Record (Hackensack, NJ), Nov. 3, 1924:
Horace E. Davis
Horace E. Davis, 87 years of age, died suddenly Monday at the home of his son, Ralph D. Davis, of Edsall Boulevard, Palisades Park, with whom he has made his home for the past eight years. He was a member of Company G, New York Mounted Rifles and was wounded in the battle of Petersburg June 17, 1864. He was discharged from service by a surgeon's certificate of disability in February, 1865.

A short service was held at the home on Edsall Boulevard Tuesday evening by Rev. John Gratton.

Early this morning his body was taken to the Presbyterian Church at Livingston Manor, where military services were held. Interment was at the Livingston Manor Cemetery.

He is survived by three sons: Edmund F. of Middletown, NY, Osmer P. Davis of Liberty, NY and Ralph D. Davis of Palisades Park. 

James Wallace Davis and his wife, Hannah Jane LeRoy, are also buried in the Methodist Cemetery. Photograph by JDarbeeSmith. You can read more about James Wallace Davis and the Davis Hotel here.

Livingston Manor Times, (Livingston Manor, NY) February 15, 1912:
James W. Davis, a lifelong resident of Livingston Manor, dropped dead on the street Tuesday afternoon from heart failure, aged 74 years. Mr. Davis had returned from a ride to Parksville just before noon, during which he was thoroughly chilled and could not seem to warm up. About 3 p.m. he was met at the O&W crossing by several persons whom he greeted in his usual pleasant manner, but one hundred feet further down the street he fell. Mr. Davis was quickly carried to the office of Dr. G H Lathrop who administered restoratives but without avail.

Mr. Davis was born near Livingston Manor on the A Mussman farm, October 1837, the son of Henry W. Davis and Unice Fisk. In 1865 he was united in marriage at Liberty to Miss Hannah J Leroy.

He enlisted in Sullivan County's regiment, the 143d, and served his country faithfully. He was a member of the Livingston Masonic Lodge and a member of the Presbyterian Church. His early life was spent on a farm near the village. He became proprietor of the Manor House and later owner of the Davis House, now Hotel Sherwood. After selling the latter hotel, he retired from active business. He was held in high esteem by the entire community, his uniformally happy disposition and cheery greeting winning him many friends.

Surviving are his wife and son, Dr. J. William Davis, an adopted daughter, Mrs. W. R. Woolsey, two brothers, Horace and Plymouth Davis, all of Livingston Manor and one sister, Mrs. Eunice Conine of Binghamton. The funeral services will be held in the Presbyterian Church Friday at 10:30 a.m. conducted by the Rev. A Mason Brown. The services at the grave will be in charge of the Masonic order, Purvis Post, GAR, of which the deceased was the commander, will attend in a body. 


Plymouth Davis (1839-1912) and his wife, Harriet DeWitt (1844-1927), are buried across the street in the Orchard Street Cemetery. Another great photo by JDarbeeSmith.

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer

Saturday, May 11, 2013

In My Mother's Footsteps

My dear mother, Etta Bower Davis (1910-1964), taught me how to applique when I was 20 years old. In the early 1960s when she was battling breast cancer she was also making applique pictures that depicted our immediate family. I started following in her footsteps by trying to recreate some of those same images and eventually went on to incorporate figures in several of my quilts in the early 80s.


This is mom's picture of me (in pink) and my sister-in-law replacing the toys in my hope chest with quilts. I was about to be married.

And this is my version of her picture. When mom taught me how to applique she said to think about sewing in layers. If I was working on a figure then I should applique the neck before the head, the hand before the sleeve, the feet before the pants, the blouse before the skirt, and the dress before the jacket. I added my canopy bed, my gr-grandmother's rocking chair and a window with curtains made from my wedding gown lace. The plate on the shelf is embroidered with the date I became engaged.


Mom and dad with their names embroidered on the front of the farm stand along with their engagement and wedding dates. Mom's pictures were done on purple ground while mine were done on an old linen tablecloth that once belonged to my gr-grandmother.

My husband and I standing under an arbor of embroidered vines and flowers. My second applique picture. 

Mom's picture of my husband, our son, and me on the Appalachian Trail traveling from Georgia to NJ. Our son was born at Fort Benning, GA, when my husband was in the service. Two months before Mom died in 1964 she wrote us a letter to go along with this picture:

Dearest Children,

Most people spend their lives searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. To many, this means money and to others, adulation and prestige. Neither of those ever interested me too much. . . 

Be happy, content, and, cultivate peace of mind and 'Life' will prove to be a wonderful adventure. Since I have used symbolism in all my pictures, Dad has become the strong pine tree and I have become Princess White Cloud hovering over you! Which just means that our love is always with you and you are always in our thoughts.

This picture was made with a great deal of special love just for you.




The year following her death, I made this picture of my mother as I wanted to remember her--sitting in a chair embroidering flowers with a quilt draped over a trunk that symbolized the quilts she made. Her yellow wicker sewing basket is on the floor and a grandmother's clock is in the background because she was a new grandma. 


In 1968 I made this picture of our daughter in the carriage and our son skipping down the driveway to our house--well, not exactly OUR house. We had four rooms in this 16-room house in Suffern, NY, that was once owned by Van Alan Clark of Avon fame. It came with my husband's job. :) I also included a pine tree and a cloud--symbols for my dad and mom.

Moving on . . .

In the early 1980s my appliqued figures focused on sporting events. Olympics won an honorable mention in McCall's Needlework & Crafts 1980 Olympics contest.

And, Skier's Mountain represented our ski trips to Quebec when our kids were in high school. It was featured in Lady's Circle Patchwork & Quilts in 1983. The ski outfits are ones we wore at the time. 

My husband--

I'm on the chairlift with our St. Bernard, Puzzle

Our daughter--

Our son. 

In 1984 I made Summer Serenity after seeing an Amish family at the Jersey shore. I will never forget that day. This quilt was juried into the first American Quilters Society show in Paducah, KY, and was published in their Quilt Art Calender in 1987.

Here is a detail.

When my son became engaged to a Swedish girl on her birthday in 1996, I made this picture based on "Aunt Brown's Party" in the book, Old Swedish Quilts. 

My mother and her appliqued pictures have inspired me more than she will ever know. Thank you, Mom!

You can see more of her pictures here.  

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Quilts in the Blanket Chest

While I was looking for something in our blanket chest, I decided it was time to photograph the quilts I keep in there. Mostly they are a handful of my older quilts including some of the Garden State Quilters challenge projects that I made years ago.

But first here is my latest . . .

I just finished this small quilt which I'm calling Falling Leaves. I had so-o-o many triangles leftover from the Autumn in the High Peaks quilt I made for my brother that I thought a 9-block quilt would be a good way to showcase them. It's only 27" square and the blocks are 6".  It's machine pieced and hand quilted in diagonal rows and cable border.

I did straight line quilting in the sashing. I really liked working on a quilt this size and have plans to do more.

In 1986 I made Amish Bars as part of Garden State Quilters batting samples test. I have no idea which batting I used where but this is what was offered: Polyfil Extra Loft by Fairfield, Staple Stuf & Fluf, Mountain Mist Cotton, Mountain Mist Polyester, Hobbs Cloud Light (?) and Putnam Soft Shapes.

I started Bowtie in 1983 and finished it in 1990! It's 24" x 24" with Prairie Points along the outer edges.

A Garden State Quilters challenge project, I made Woven Arrow from December 1988 to February 1989. I don't know how I came up with this odd shape! I actually put two hanging sleeves on the back--one near  the top and the other in the middle. I think GSQ provided two of the fabrics with the option of adding one or more.

The GSQ challenge project in 1996 was to make a quilt and incorporate the sun, moon, and stars. Based on an antique game board, Townley Lodge was made in memory of my mason grandfather, Stanton M. Bower. Thank goodness I wrote on the label what I actually quilted in those small squares or else you'd never know. One 1" letter fit perfectly in each square of the checkerboard:

Stanton M. Bower
Grand Organist
Townley Lodge
Pal Pk NJ

My maternal grandfather, Stanton M. Bower (1888-1965), was the Worshipful Master of Townley Lodge in Palisades Park, NJ, in 1938 and Grand Organist in 1942. He was the son of Samuel Bower and Irene McCord. See my post about Sam. 

Shoofly, date unknown--early 80s, probably. This started out to be a larger quilt which I displayed in a hoop on a stand in our living room. I recall the sun faded a good portion of it so I took it apart and made two small quilts. One is hanging in my friend's house at the shore and this one stays in the blanket chest. 

I finished Starlight in 1992 and exhibited it in the non-judged category at the GSQ show that year. It's 42" x 42" and has two print and three solid fabrics. Note the print fabric in the stars is the same one that I used in that odd-shaped piece above. I quilted it with black thread.

Lastly, you might enjoy this online exhibit of The Quilts at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, NY.

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer