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 Neflett “Mary” <I>Chouinard</I> Darby

Photo added by John Van Essen

Neflett “Mary” Chouinard Darby

  • Birth 1827 Quebec, Canada
  • Death 18 Mar 1902 Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
  • Burial Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
  • Plot Block 4, Lot 91, Frac.
  • Memorial ID 76087048

May have moved to Brainerd shortly after June 4, 1870. Living in Brainerd on May 1, 1875. Married Charles W. Darby on July 5, 1866 in Morrison County, Minnesota.

      After his marriage, Charles Darby probably took out a homestead with the idea of developing it into a farm. He made a Declaratory Statement on a tract of 160 acres, described as the E 1/2 of the SE, SW-SE and SE-SW of section 24, township 45, range 31. (16) This included all of what is known as "The Fill," as well as considerable land north of it and all of that part of Brainerd lying east of Fourth Street between Grove Street and a line about halfway between Kingwood and Juniper streets. His log home stood very near the southwest corner of Ninth and Juniper. (17) This would have been a very desirable location for a farm as "The Fill" was probably a hay meadow, a great asset to a farmer in a densely wooded country.
      The date of the Declaratory Statement made by Charles Darby has been lost. A certain number of years after a patent has been issued on government land, the declaratory statements are destroyed, but it seems certain that Darby was located on his homestead as early as 1869. Although this preliminary application for homestead rights had been made by Darby (18) the St. Cloud Land Office sold the property to Thomas Canfield 23 March 1871. (19) In an agreement made 15 November 1872 between Canfield and Darby, the latter exchanged his equity in his homestead for lots 20 and 21 of block 69, Original Plat of Brainerd. (20) These are the lots now occupied by Turcotte Brothers store on South Sixth Street.
      Charles Darby made a precarious living in Brainerd until 1882, when he was so badly frozen that he became a cripple. The following year he was sent to an asylum, where he died. His widow passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. James Pugh, in 1902, at the age of 75 years. (21) Mrs. Pugh is now a resident of Portland, Oregon, while James Darby, the only living child of Charles Darby, lives in British Columbia. Another of Mrs. Darby's daughters, Delia Chouinard, married Joseph Grondin in one of the first ceremonies performed or registered in Brainerd, and a number of her descendants are still living in the city. (22)
      There is no contemporaneous description of township 45, range 31 as it was in the early spring of 1870, but it seems reasonable to suppose that Charles Darby was the only inhabitant of the township, and besides his farm buildings, the only other structure was the abandoned trading post high up on the bank of the Mississippi. (Town of Brainerd, Township 45, Range 31, Anna Himrod, WPA Writer's Project; CWCHS, Brainerd, Minnesota: circa 1941-1946; pp. 11-12)

(16) U. S. General Land Office records
(17) Biography Joseph Kiebler, Crow Wing County, Historical Museum
(18) Letter U. S. General Land Office, 19 September 1941
(19) Deed A, p-273 [?Crow Wing County]
(20) Deed E, p-601 [?Crow Wing County]
(21) Brainerd Dispatch, 17 March 1902
(22) Mrs. Demas Forcier, Brainerd

      In December, 1870, Thomas Canfield of Chittenden county, Vermont, president of the Lake Superior & Puget Sound Company, and George Follett of Kings county, New York, one of the officers of the company, acquired all of the land in township 45, range 31, that had not already been claimed by Charles Darby or Hester Gilman. Thomas Canfield bought all of the land east of what is now Seventh Street, up to and including Fourteenth Street, and extending from halfway between Kingwood and Juniper Streets on the north to Willow Street on the south. George Follett bought all of the township that remained, being that area which extended between the north line of Charles Darby's property and the Mississippi river.
      The land company seemed determined to own all of the township, so on 23 March 1871, Thomas Canfield went to the St. Cloud land office and bought the property on which Charles Darby had made his declaratory statement. (8) In spite of Darby's lack of education or political influence, he still must have had some legal rights to the property, for it was 15 November 1872 before he settled with Canfield. At that time he agreed to accept lots 20 and 21 of block 69, original plat of Brainerd, in lieu of his equity in his 160 acre homestead. (9) (Town of Brainerd, Township 45, Range 31, Anna Himrod, WPA Writer's Project; CWCHS, Brainerd, Minnesota: circa 1941-1946; p. 16)

(8) Deed Record A, p-273 [?Crow Wing County]
(9) Deed Record E, p-601 [?Crow Wing County]

NOTE: Hester Cronk Gilman was the wife of Charles Andrew Gilman, who at the time she purchased the land in Brainerd sometime prior to 13 August 1870, was a prominent resident of St. Cloud and in charge of the U. S. Land Office in St. Cloud. Gilman was in a position to file on all available land as soon as its desirability became known, and was probably well posted on the Northern Pacific survey activities. Charles served as Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota from January 1880-January 1887, first under Governor J. S. Pillsbury, then under Governor Lucius Hubbard.

Civil War Soldiers Index, United States:
Darby Charles W., Private, Union, Minnesota, 9th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, Company G

1860 Federal Census, State of Minnesota, Crow Wing Village, Crow Wing County:
Darby Charles, age 22 [sic], born circa 1838 [sic], England

1865 Minnesota State Census, Little Falls, Morrison County:
Darby Charles

1860 Federal Census, State of Minnesota, Belle Prairie, Morrison County, June, household #137:
Chouinard Lucien, age 28, born circa 1832, Lower Canada, laborer
Naflet [sic], age 26, born circa 1834, Lower Canada
Louis, age 10, born circa 1850, Minnesota
Mathilda, age 9, born circa 1851, Minnesota
J. B., age 7, born circa 1853, Minnesota
Julia, age 5, born circa 1855, Minnesota
Melila [sic] [Delia], age 3, born circa 1857, Minnesota
Pierre, age 0/12, born circa 1860, Minnesota

Living in the same household:
Chouinard Pierre, age 50, born circa 1810, blacksmith, [Father of Lucien?]

1865 Minnesota State Census, Little Falls, Morrison County:
Chuinard [sic] Laflet [sic]
Lewis
Matilda
John
Julia
Delia
Peter
Narciss [sic]

1870 Federal Census, State of Minnesota, Little Falls Township, P. O. Little Falls, Morrison County, 04 June 1870:
Darby Charles W., age 40, born circa 1830, England; husband; laborer
Anaflate [sic], age 37, born circa 1833, Canada; wife
James, age 2, born circa 1868, Minnesota

Living in the same household:
Shouninard [sic] Lewis, age 21, born circa 1849, Minnesota
John, age 16, born circa 1854, Minnesota
Julia, age 15, born circa 1855, Minnesota
Dilaman [sic] [Delia], age 13, born circa 1857, Minnesota
Peter, age 10, born circa 1860, Minnesota

1875 Minnesota State Census,City of Brainerd, Crow Wing County Household #89:
Darby Charles W., age 47, born circa 1828, England; husband
Mary, age 42, born circa 1833, Canada; wife
James, age 6, born circa 1869, Minnesota; son
Mary, age 4, born circa 1871, Minnesota; daughter

Household #88:
Grondin Joseph, age 27, born circa 1848, Canada; husband
D. [Delia] S., age 18, born circa 1857, Minnesota; wife
Joseph, age 2, born circa 1873, Minnesota; son
Unknown, age 0, born circa May, 1875, Minnesota; daughter

1880 Federal Census, State of Minnesota, City of Brainerd, Crow Wing County:
Darby Charles, age 53; born circa 1827, England; husband; teamster
Mary, age 46, born circa 1834, Canada; wife

1880 Federal Census, State of Minnesota, City of Brainerd, Crow Wing County:
In the household of Edward R. French:

Darby Mary, age 9, born circa 1871, Minnesota; relationship to head of household, daughter [sic]

1885 Minnesota State Census, City of Brainerd, Crow Wing County:

In the household of B. F. Palmer:
Darby Mary, age 15, born circa 1870, Minnesota
James, age 18, born circa 1867, Minnesota
Illegible, age 48, born circa 1837, Canada

      Information has been received by J. B. Douglas, Probate Judge, that Charles Darby, committed to the St. Peter insane asylum from this county died on June 19th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 June 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

        SOME OTHER OBITUARY NOTES.
                                  _____

          Funeral of Late Mrs. Darbey Held
               This Morning From Catholic
                                 Church.

                           _____

      This morning at 9 o'clock the funeral services over the remains of the late Mrs. Laflette [sic] Darbey [sic] were held at St. Francis Catholic church, Rev. Father D. W. Lynch officiating. Deceased was the widow of the late Charles Darbey [sic] and she was one of the oldest residents in the city, having settled here in the early seventies with her husband. She has but two children living in this city, Jas. Darbey [sic] and Mrs. J. M. Pugh. She was a very respected old lady and had a large circle of friends in the city. Interment took place in Evergreen cemetery. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 March 1902, p. 3, c. 1) [Contributed by John Van Essen]


Family Members

Gravesite Details No Marker.

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  • Created by: A. Nelson
  • Added: 6 Sep 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 76087048
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Neflett “Mary” Chouinard Darby (1827–18 Mar 1902), Find A Grave Memorial no. 76087048, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by A. Nelson (contributor 47143984) .