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 Mary Elizabeth <I>Stewart</I> Stivers

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Mary Elizabeth Stewart Stivers

Birth
Gardnersville, Schoharie County, New York, USA
Death 8 Apr 1915 (aged 80)
Middletown, Orange County, New York, USA
Burial Middletown, Orange County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 118820623 View Source
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MANY SADDENED BY DEATH OF
MRS. MARY ELIZABETH STIVERS
By Life Filled With Years of Honor and Service She Won the Affection of All Who Knew Her - Many Years a Resident


As already mentioned in the Times-Press, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Stivers, widow of Hon. Moses Dunning Stivers, died at her home, 62 Highland Avenue, Thursday morning at 3 o'clock. She suffered a stroke of apoplexy on the previous afternoon, April 2nd, when she was found unconscious sitting in a rocking-chair when her little granddaughter entered her room to give her a letter just delivered by the postman. She had eaten dinner with the family and had previously been in her usual good health. She partially regained consciousness and recognized members of the family at intervals, but the improvement was only seeming and she passed away as mentioned, quietly and peacefully as became her life.

Mrs. Stivers, who was Mary Elizabeth Stewart, was born in the homestead near Gardnerville in the town of Wawayanda, July 17, 1834, where, with the members of her family, she passed her seventy-ninth birthday in a picnic to commemorate the event. The farm now belongs to the estate of the late Nathan Smith.

Her father was Lewis Stewart, one of the prominent and sterling men of the town, whose attractive, well-kept buildings, neatly fenced, fertile fields and abundant crops, with the general air of thrift and prosperity which abounded within and without, showed the progressive and successful farmer of those days. He was the first man in this section of Orange County to use a mower and reaper for cutting his grass and grain and many in passing stopped to enjoy the novel sight of this most laborious of farm work being done by a machine while the driver comfortably rode instead of the old method of swinging a scythe or cradle. Mr. Stewart was next to the eldest of nine children of John Stewart and Ketura Davidson. He was born in 1798 and died in Middletown in his eighty-second year.

Mrs. Stivers' mother was Christina Johnston--or Johnson as it was later spelled--daughter of William Johnston and Rachael Millspaugh, and it was after her brother William, who was a large land owner in the vicinity, that the village of Johnson's in the town of Minisink was named. The parents on both sides were members of old and honored Orange County families. Mrs. Stivers was one of a family of three daughters. The eldest, Ketura Ann, became the wife of Zebulon Ashby of this city, and the youngest, Eleanor Jane, was married to Benjamin F. Bailey of Ridgebury. The mother who was born in 1807 and both sisters have been dead many years.

Moses Dunning Stivers and Mary Elizabeth Stewart were married at the Stewart homestead, September 26, 1855, Rev. Clifford S. Arms for many years pastor of the Ridgebury Presbyterian church, performing the ceremony. All their married life was spent in Orange County, chiefly in Middletown and Goshen. The sudden and lamented death of Mr. Stivers, the first break in the family circle, occurred February 2, 1895.

The children who survived are Hon. John D. Stivers, editor of the Times-Press in this city and the present State Senator from this district; Christina Stewart, wife of Dr. Theodore D. Mills of this city; and Dr. Moses Ashby Stivers, a practicing physician who recently removed to the family home on Highland Avenue. The eldest of the family, Ella, wife of Edwin T. Hanford, died in 1897 and the eldest son, Lewis Stewart Stivers, died in November 1905. The surviving grandchildren are Christina Mills Stivers, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis S. Stivers, who is instructor in French and Spanish in Adrian College, Michigan; Samuel W. Mills, a Senior at Yale and Elizabeth Stivers Mills, a Vassar undergraduate, son and daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Mills; Janet and Moses Dunning, children of Senator and Mrs. Stivers; Mary, Elizabeth and Lillian, children of Dr. and Mrs. Stivers. Two of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis S. Stivers died in infancy and two other daughters, Misses Ella and Gladys, died a few years ago.

In the happy ending of such a life as that of Mrs. Stivers, filled with years and honor and service; accorded the reverence of her family and the affection of all who knew her, there is great cause for tender gratitude and thanksgiving and none for regret. Much was given to her in the way of good health; a strong, vigorous mind controlled by a cheerful, just, generous, unsuspicious nature that made her see the best in everyone; a kind, sympathetic heart. These combined to make her the ideal such as the poet had in mind:
"None knew her but to love her;
None named her but to praise."

She was a rare woman indeed. Such a life is a rich heritage to her family and an uplift to the community where she was known.

In early life Mrs. Stivers united with the Ridgebury Presbyterian church in which her father was a Ruling Elder. Later her membership was transferred to the First Presbyterian church of this city. J.W.S.

Orange County Times Press
Tuesday, April 13, 1915, page 6

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The funeral of Mrs. Mary E. Stivers was held Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock, from the late residence of the deceased, 62 Highland avenue, conducted by the Rev. R. O. Kirkwood. There was a very large and beautiful collection of floral tributes.

The interment was in the family plot in Hillside Cemetery the following officiating as pall bearers: John W. Slauson, William F. Brown, John V. Demerest, George Hankins, Edwin L. Tichenor and H. H. Knickerbocker.

Orange County Times Press
Tuesday, April 13, 1915, page 6


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