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Elmer Ellsworth Avery
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Birth: May 17, 1863
Barnstable County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Apr. 20, 1939
Barnstable County
Massachusetts, USA

Railroad Man for more than half-century was native of Cape Cod

Elmer E. Avery of Buzzards Bay, retired railroad conductor and a former resident of Woods Hole, died Thursday at 2 A.M. at Barnstable County Sanatorium after a long illness. He was 75. Mr. Avery had been critically ill at the sanatorium since February 25.

Last May Mr. Avery voluntarily ended 54 years of railroad service by retiring. He moved to Buzzards Bay after leasing Avery House, for 31 years his home on the corner of Depot avenue and Main Street, Woods Hole. He was born May 17, 1863, in Pocasset, then part of Sandwich. His parents were John and Levina (Taylor) Avery and he was one of a family of ten sons. He lived with them until he was eight and then went to Pawtucket, R.I. to live with an older brother, John Avery.

From Pawtucket he moved to West Falmouth. His first employment was with the Attleboro Jewelry company. Later he drove a bread cart and then a meat wagon on a West Falmouth route, clerked at the Falmouth House, and wheeled stones and sand for a contracting company on a Cataumet cranberry bog.

He was only 21 when he started work March 27, 1884, on the Buzzards Bay-Woods Hole branch of the Old Colony railroad. He started as a waterman and was subsequently baggage master, assistant conductor, and conductor. He saw wooden passenger and freight cars give way to all-steel with steam heat and air-conditioning . Automatic signal controls, plush seats, air brakes, stream-lining were all improvements made during his 50 years on the Woods Hole line.

His first run was from Woods Hole to Buzzards Bay and return. The train from Hyannis picked up the Woods Hole cars and continued to Boston where the terminal was on Kneeland street. When the New Haven took over the Old Colony shortly before 1900 the main line went to Provincetown. Down-Cape and Woods Hole trains met at Buzzards Bay and went to Middleboro over a single line track. Mr. Avery was road foreman in charge of laying another track to Middleboro from Buzzards Bay. The entire length of road was built by oxen and man power, yokes and shovels.

In 1907 Mr. Avery purchased the large house in Woods Hole where he lived for so many years. First built for use as a three-family house it was later run as a hotel by Henry Hanley of Naushon. Mr. Avery maintained Avery House as a rooming house until last spring. He was a member of DeWitt Clinton Lodge, A.F. and A.M. in Sandwich, Order of Railroad Conductors, and Order of Railroad Veterans.

On December 27, 1930, Mr. Avery married for a second time. His first wife had died many years before. His second wife was Miss Ruth E. Bowman, daughter of Fred N. Bowman and the late Mrs. Bowman of West Falmouth. They were divorced in 1936. He leaves a brother, Harry Avery of Buzzards Bay, and a nephew, Harry Avery, Jr. Funeral services will be held Sunday at 2 P.M. at the E.D. Nickerson funeral parlor in Buzzards Bay. Burial will be at Pocasset.

Family links: 
  John Avery (1825 - 1872)
  Levina Taylor Avery (1826 - 1910)
  Nellie Small Wright Avery (1867 - 1928)*
  Warren Benson Avery (1852 - 1920)*
  Abner T Avery (1855 - 1880)*
  Walter S Avery (1857 - 1883)*
  Herbert Lincoln Avery (1859 - 1897)*
  Elmer Ellsworth Avery (1863 - 1939)
  Harry Burnside Avery (1868 - 1941)*
*Calculated relationship
Pocasset Cemetery
Barnstable County
Massachusetts, USA
Created by: Bob Ottinger
Record added: Apr 11, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 108348193
Elmer Ellsworth Avery
Added by: Jan Harley
Elmer Ellsworth Avery
Added by: ditdit
Elmer Ellsworth Avery
Added by: ditdit
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- ditdit
 Added: Nov. 16, 2013

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