Abigail Ruthena <I>Tilton</I> Wadleigh


Abigail Ruthena Tilton Wadleigh

Deerfield, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 20 Jul 1929 (aged 86)
Franklin, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA
Burial Franklin, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA
Plot section R; lot 69
Memorial ID 100244225 View Source
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Abigail Ruthena Tilton was born on November 22, 1842 in Deerfield, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. She died on July 20, 1929 in Franklin, Merrimack County, New Hampshire. She is buried in the Franklin Cemetery, Franklin, Merrimack County, New Hampshire.

Father: Jeremiah Dearborn Tilton
Mother: Abigail Stearns Freese

Abigail (sometimes called "Abbie") spent her earliest years in Deerfield, New Hampshire. She lived with her family in Limerick, Maine from 1850 to 1854. In 1854,

They moved to Sanbornton, New Hampshire, where they remained until Abbie reached adulthood. (Abigail probably lived in this house with her family from 1854 until 1864.)

It can be assumed that Abbie had a challenging childhood. Her father was a Baptist minister and with a family of 14 children and they probably did not have much money. Abbie lost her mother in June of 1858, when she was only 15 years old. Afterwards, the much of the burden of the household must have fallen upon Abbie's shoulders. Her father did not remarry for two more years and the role of "oldest woman in the household" would have gone to Abbie (who would have also had to help care for her nine younger siblings between the ages of infancy and 13 years).

Although the Tiltons probably lived under limited financial means, Jeremiah put much importance on the education of his children, including his daughters. Abbie was educated in the public schools in Sanbornton and afterwards attended the Seminary Schools at nearby Tilton, New Hampshire and New Hampton, New Hampshire.

Like several of her sisters (Mary, Ellen and Martha), Abbie worked as a school teacher although it is uknown exactly when or where she taught school. She was working as a teacher when she married at the age of 24 in 1866. As an unmarried woman she surely also helped with the Tilton household and was involved with the First Baptist Church in which her father was the minister.

In 1864, Abbie married John Wadleigh, a local farmer who she probably first met when she moved to Sanbornton in 1854. After the marriage, the young couple settled on the Wadleigh homestead in Sanbornton, where they began to raise a family. They lived in an old house on the Wadleigh land that was built between 1800 and 1820. They stayed there until the late 1870's, when the house was abandoned and they moved into a spacious home her husband had built a short distance away (this house is still standing to day and is at the beginning of Wadleigh Road in Sanbornton).

Abbie was a life-long member of the First Baptist Church in Sanbornton. She served as church clerk for many years and was also President of the Ladies' Circle of the church. Abbie seems to have been a kind-hearted woman. She was a good mother and appears to have remained close to her siblings, especially Hattie and William.

Abbie and John continued to live at their farmhouse, even as most of their children (except daughter Helen, who had some form of mental illness) moved out of the home.

In 1912, John died, leaving Abbie a widow at the age of 69. She continued to live in the Sanbornton house with her daughter Helen.

In early 1928, old age and bad health compelled her to move in with her daughter Inez, who lived in nearby Franklin, New Hampshire. She had a fall there in April 1929, which made her bedridden and signalled a downward spiral. She died on July 20, 1929, at the ripe age of 86 years.

Abigail married John Blake Wadleigh on October 9 or November 9, 1864 in Sanbornton, Belknap Co., New Hampshiire.


Obituary of Abigail R. (Tilton) Wadleigh, Unknown newspaper [Franklin, NH], c. Jul. 1929:
Mrs. Abbie Ruthena Wadleigh, widow of John B. Wadleigh, passed away Saturday evening at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Henry T. Blake on Oak street, where she had been making her home for a year and a half, coming here from Sanbornton. On April 2nd, she fell and she had been confined to her bed since that time.

Mrs. Wadleigh was born in Deerfield, November 22, 1842, a daughter of Rev. Jeremiah and Abigail (Freese) Tilton. It was while her father was pastor of the church in Sanbornton that she married Mr. Wadleigh, one of Sanbornton's most prominent farmers. Their marriage took place October 9, 1864. Mrs. Wadleigh was educated at New Hampton and at Tilton Seminary. She took a very active interest in the First Baptist church of Sanbornton of which she was for many years a member. She was church clerk for a long time and was also president of the Ladies' Circle of the church for years.

Mrs. Wadleigh leaves two sons, Oscar Wadleigh, superintendent of the J. J. Little and Ives Publishing Company of New York and Senator Fred T. Wadleigh of Milford, and two daughters, Mrs. Inez Wadleigh Blake of this city and Miss Helen A. Wadleigh of Andover. Senator Wadleigh was one of the New Hampshire men marooned on Mt. Washington Saturday and could not be reached until late Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Wadleigh also leaves two brothers, Will T. Tilton, vice president of the New York Underwriters Salvage Co., and Dr. Odlin F. Tilton of Lexington, Mass., and a half sister, Miss Martha Tilton of Elmira, N.Y., a member of the college faculty. Six grandchildren and five great grandchildren also survive. One grandchild, Miss Eleanor Wadleigh of Milford, a graduate of Wheaton College, has just returned from a year's study in France, being one of the 65 honor college students sent there for advanced study. The grandchildren include Winthrop Wadleigh, Esq., of Concord, Ruth Wadleigh a teacher in Westboro, Mass., Miss Eleanor Wadleigh, a senior at Wheaton College, children of Senator Wadleigh, Gerald of New York and Odlin of Indianapolis, sons of Oscar Wadleigh, and Robert Blake, son of Mr. and Mrs. Blake.

The funeral took place at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Blake on Oak street, Tuesday afternoon. Rev. Daniel S. Jenks of Manchester, formerly of Franklin, was the officiating clergyman, assisted by Rev. H. P. George of Sanbornton and Rev. Robert Swallow of Londonderry, a former Sanbornton pastor. There was a very handsome display of flowers. Fred W. French of Bedford, rendered baritone solos. The bearers were Oscar Wadleigh, the son-in-law, Henry T. Blake and Withrop Wadleigh, a grandson. Burial took place in the Franklin cemetery, Undertaker Arthur H. Sawyer having charge of the arrangements.

The children and grandchildren were all present except Odin Wadleigh of Indianapolis.


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