Murders at Montville - Chapter 8 - Lunette Vose 1851-1899

Murders at Montville - Chapter 8

Lunette Vose 1851-1899

Vose Pedigree

William Vose 1819-1861 & Charlotte Pitcher 1822-1861

Ebenezer Vose 1774-1829 & Nancy Lermond 1781-1811

Seth Vose 1734-1814 & Rachel Copeland 1750-1812

Jonathan Vose 1704-1760 & Mary Field 1710-1775

Thomas Vose, Jr. 1667-1722 & Hannah Badcock 1675-1732

Thomas Vose 1641-1708 & Waitstill Wyatt 1644-1727

Robert Vose 1599-1683 & Jane Mossock 1602-1675

Thomas Vose 1565-1641 & Margery Burscoe 1565-1608


Pitcher Pedigree

Charlotte Pitcher 1822-1861 & William Vose 1819-1861

William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

William Pitcher 1747-1824 & Mary Metcalf 1752-1834

Samuel Pitcher 1722- & Mary Ellis 1728-1763

Edward Pitcher 1686-1773 & Jane Lyon 1688-1769

Samuel Pitcher 1641-1717 & Mary Blake 1654-1721


Lunette Vose[1] was born in Thomaston, Maine, the daughter of William Henry Vose[2] and Charlotte Pitcher[3], who were married on June 1, 1843 in Belfast, Maine.


William H. and Charlotte Vose had eight children. Their first child, Annette Vose[4], died the day she was born; Wyvil Vose[5], Estelle Vose[6], Alwilda Vose[7] (Chapter 9), Lunette Vose, Alton Vose[8], Marietta Vose[9] and the youngest child, William Charles Vose[10].


Lunette Vose was a direct descendant of John Alden[11] and Priscilla Mullens[12], who arrived in 1620, on the Mayflower.


William Henry Vose, was the son of Ebenezer Vose, Sr.[13] and his second wife, Sarah “Sally” Bridges[14], who were married on May 9, 1812 in Thomaston and had five children: George W. Vose[15], Nancy Lermond Vose[16], Hannah C. Vose[17], William Henry Vose and Alice Vose[18].


George W. Vose married his first cousin, Catherine Libby Vose[19]. George was a shipbuilder and ship owner in Thomaston. George W. and Catherine L. Vose had 8 children born between 1838 and 1851.

In 1860, George Vose 47, Catherine Vose 50, have 5 children, ages 9 to 18, living at home in Warren, Maine, where George is a Farmer. George W. Vose died at age 77 and his wife Catherine Vose at age 88.


Hannah C. Vose, married Daniel M. Rowell[20] and they are the parents of George Wilson Rowell[21] (Chapter 3), Hellen Maria Rowell[22] (Chapter 5) and Edward L. Rowell[23] (Chapter 7). In 1860, Daniel Rowell 48 and Hannah 43, have seven of their 10 children, still living at home. Hannah C. (Vose) Rowell died at 59 and Daniel M. Rowell at age 77.


Nancy Lermond Vose 24, married on October 13, 1838 in St. George, Maine to James H. Rivers[24] 40, a widower with 5 young children. Nancy L. and James H. Rivers had six children together, all born in Maine by 1850, before moving to Boston, Massachusetts.


In 1860, James H. Rivers 62 and Nancy L. Rivers 47, live in the 4th Ward in Boston, with 8 children of their blended brood, ages 10 to 35. Also, in the household are two very young grandchildren, ages 1 and 4.


James Rivers is a Ship Broker in 1860, with his real estate and personal property valued at $7,000. James’ son, from his first marriage, Henry T. Rivers[25] 35, a Commercial Merchant adds $2,000 to the family.


Although his family’s personal wealth of $9,000 seems substantial, James Rivers’ nearest neighbors were very wealthy, with recorded personal and real estate property values of $261,000 and $110,000.


James H. Rivers, a Merchant, died at home, on Washington Street in Boston at age 88, of Old Age. Nancy L. Vose Rivers died about 4 years later, at her home on 512 Washington Street, in Boston at age 75, of Heart Failure, after suffering from Pneumonia for 12 days.


Alice Vose married Ezekiel Prescott[26] in 1842 and they had six children, with 2 surviving to adulthood. In 1860, Ezakiel [sic] Prescott 41, a Farmer, Alice Prescott 37, their children Alvira L. Prescott[27] 12 and William Ezekiel Prescott[28] age 1, are in living Liberty, Maine.


Lunette’ father, William H. Vose is also the younger half-brother of Marcus Vose[29], who married Hannah Rowell[30]. They are the parents of Marcus Aurelius Vose[31] (Chapter 6), a first cousin of Lunette Vose.


William H. Vose, age 29, is a blacksmith during the 1850 Census in South Thomaston, Maine. He lives with his wife, Charlott [sic] Vose 28, their three oldest children, Wyvil Vose 5, Estell [sic] Vose 2, Alvilda [sic] Vose 11 months and a boarder, Warren Kenney 16.


William H. Vose 40, is a farmer in Sebec, Maine in 1860 and lives with wife, Charlotte 38 and their seven children: Wyvil 15, Estelle 12, Alwilda 10, Lunette 8, Allon [sic] 5, Mary E. Vose 3 and William C. Vose 1. William H. Vose’s older sister, Arathus [sic] Vose[32], age 52 and Charlotte’s mother, Betsey Pitcher 76, complete the household.


The year 1861 would prove to be the worst year imaginable for the seven young Vose children. Patriarch, William Henry Vose died in June, his wife, Charlotte (Pitcher) Vose, died in December and her mother, Betsey Pitcher, died only three days after Charlotte did.


“Jan 13, 1862 Sebec, Me., Charlotte Vose, wife of the late William H. Vose was accidently drowned by falling into a cistern in the cellar of her house. Age 39 years, she leaves 7 young children.” Three of those children would die before the census in 1870, another before 1880.


Charlotte (Pitcher) Vose is buried in Downs Cemetery in Sebec with her husband William Henry Vose, with four of their children: Wyvil Vose, Estelle (Vose) Morrill, Alton Vose and Marietta Vose. 


Seven children were orphaned, after their caretakers died in rapid succession. Father William, mother Charlotte and grandmother Betsey were gone. Betsey (Adams) Pitcher, had remained a widow for nearly 30 years, after her husband, William Pitcher[33], had died. With no one left to care for them, the Vose children were soon scattered about.


The Vose children’s paternal grandfather, Ebenezer Vose, Sr.[34] had died when William Henry Vose was only 9 years old. William Vose’s mother, Sarah (Bridges) Vose, was 81 years old and living in Montville in 1860, with her step-son, Ebenezar [sic] Vose[35] 50, a Church Deacon, his wife, Hannah Vose 44 and six of their children ages 2 through 22.


It is unlikely that Sarah Vose or her step-son, Deacon Ebenezer Vose, Jr.’s family, is able to care for the 7 orphaned Vose children. There was just no way that those kids could stay together for very long.


Lunette Vose and her siblings had a myriad of aunts and uncles, on both sides of the family, who lived in the area, but none of them was prepared to take in 7 children. Arethusa Vose 53, the children’s maiden aunt, who lived with them in 1860, never had an occupation and was supported by relatives her entire life. Maybe she did care for them.


Did Wyvil Vose, the oldest of the 7 children, at age 16, assume responsibility for operating the farm and providing for his 6 siblings, ages 2 to 15 and an aunt with no occupation? Maybe for a time.


If Wyvil Vose did try to keep the family together, it was for a very brief period, before he himself died in Sebec, just 3 years after his parents and grandmother did. Wyvil Vose’s cause of death is unknown.


Most of William H. Vose and Charlotte Pitcher’s brothers and sisters were older, so they were already past middle age and some were even elderly, by the time of William’s and Charlotte’s deaths.


Charlotte Pitcher, born in Belfast, Maine, was the youngest daughter of William Pitcher and Betsy Adams[36], who were married in Belfast on either October 14, 1804[37] or on February 17, 1805[38].


William Pitcher and Betsey Adams had nine children: Ephraim A. Pitcher[39], William P. Pitcher[40], Luther Pitcher[41], Calvin Pitcher[42], Betsey Pitcher[43], who died at age 18; Harriet Pitcher[44], Elvira Pitcher[45], Charles Pitcher[46], who died in infancy; Charlotte Pitcher and Daniel L. Pitcher[47].


Ephraim A. Pitcher married Mary Susan Houston[48] on January 16, 1831. Ephraim Pitcher was a teacher and farmer in Belfast. In 1850 Ephm A. Pitcher 44, Susan Pitcher 42, Sarah E. 18, Horace H. 13, Anne M. 8, Frederic Pitcher 1, live with Susan’s mother, Sarah Houston 83.


In 1860 in Belfast, Ephraim A. Pitcher is 54, Susan Pitcher 52, Ann M. Pitcher[49] 17 and Fred W. Pitcher 11. Ephraim is a Farmer and his daughter, Ann is a Schoolteacher. Quite the accomplishment at 17!


In 1870 Ephraim A. Pitcher 64, Susan H. Pitcher 61 and Fred W. Pitcher 21, remain in Belfast. Fred Pitcher is a Life Insurance Agent.


In Belfast, in 1880, Ephraim Pitcher 74, is widowed, living with his daughter, Ann M. Griffin 38, her husband, Fred A. Griffin[50] 39 and their only child, daughter, Louine M. Griffin[51] 10, who sadly, died at age 15.


From “History of the City of Belfast in the State of Maine, Volume II, 1875-1900, regarding Ephraim A. Pitcher:


“1899, March 31. An Old Folks’ Dance at the Opera House was largely attended. Ephraim A. Pitcher, aged nearly ninety-four and Charles Read[52] aged ninety, participated. Professor Jeremiah Whitten[53] furnished the music.”


“Ephraim A. Pitcher, the oldest citizen of Belfast, having been born 22 March 1806. He was for many years a schoolteacher and during the War, Collector of Internal Revenue. In March 1899, at age ninety-three, he led a march in the Old Folk’s Ball and his erect carriage and vigor were noticeable.”


Ephraim A. Pitcher died at 93, his wife, Susan, had predeceased him by 25 years, at the age of 67. They are buried in Pitcher Road Cemetery in Belfast, with their daughter, Annie M. (Pitcher) Griffin.


William P. Pitcher married Sarah Winslow[54] on February 5, 1832 in Belfast. They continued to live in Belfast and had six children.


In 1860, in Belfast, William Pitcher 52, is a Merchant, wife Sarah Pitcher 48, children, Oscar Pitcher 16 and Frank Pitcher 9, still at home, with the Domestic, Mary Brackett 20 and 26-year-old Hellen Winslow[55], a School Teacher, who is Sarah (Winslow) Pitcher’s, younger sister.


In 1880, in Belfast, Sarah W. Pitcher, the 67-year-old widow of William P. Pitcher (Charlotte Vose’s older brother), has a 22-year-old servant in her household, by the name of Leilla [sic] C. Rowell.


This servant is Luella “Ella” Caroline Rowell[56], the daughter of Daniel Rowell and Hannah C. Vose (William H. Vose’s older sister). Luella C. Rowell is the younger sister of George Wilson Rowell (Chapter 3), Hellen Maria Rowell (Chapter 5) and Edward L. Rowell (Chapter 7).


Sarah (Winslow) Pitcher, was born in Vassalboro, Maine, the daughter of Peter Winslow[57], who lives with his son-in-law, Calvin Pitcher [sic] and Lydia in 1880. Lydia (Winslow) Pitcher is the younger sister of Sarah (Winslow) Pitcher. Their step-mother was Fanny Joy[58].


Lydia Winslow[59] married on October 16, 1837 in Belfast to Calvin Pitcher, the son of William Pitcher and Betsey Adams. Calvin Pitcher and Lydia Winslow had 8 children. In Belfast, in 1860 Calvin Pitcher 48 and Lydia Pitcher 41, still have six children in the household.


Sarah (Winslow) Pitcher died in Camden, Maine at age 83. She is buried in Grove Cemetery, in Belfast, with her husband, William Pitcher and her parents, Peter and Sarah (Clark) Winslow[60].


“History of the City of Belfast in the State of Maine, 1875-1900:

“Hon. William Pitcher, son of William, was born in Belfast, 1807. He acquired an excellent education and was early successful as a teacher and farmer. In 1845, he entered the hay and produce business, having correspondents at all Atlantic and Gulf ports. An alert, keen business man, a wise counselor and an esteemed and skillful teacher, he was the third Mayor, 1857-59; Representative to the Legislature in 1861 and was chosen for 1876. He died 6 November, 1875.”


Luther Pitcher married Louisa Sawyer[61]  (or Louisa Dodge) on December 22, 1833 in Bangor, Maine. They had three children: Charlotte A. Pitcher[62], Franklin A. Pitcher[63] and Edwin E. Pitcher[64].  


In 1861, Luther M. Pitcher is listed as a resident of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. He died there, two years later, at age 52.


Luther M. Pitcher died in Nova Scotia and his widow, Louisa (Sawyer) Pitcher died many years later in Portland, Maine at 68, of Asthma. Luther M. Pitcher, Louisa M. Pitcher and their son, Edwin E. Pitcher, are all buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Bangor, Maine.


In 1860, Edwin Pitcher 20, an apprentice to a Machinist, lives with his grandmother, Rosanna Sawyer 67 and her daughter, Hellen A. Sawyer[65] 29, in the 5th Ward of Bangor, Maine. On April 25, 1861, at Bangor, Edwin Eugene Pitcher 21, enlisted for the Civil War.


On June 23, 1870, during the Census, Edwin E. Pitcher 30, is an Insane patient at the Augusta Asylum. In 1880, Edwin E. Pitcher 40, Single, Machinist lives in Portland, Maine in a Boarding House. From 1890 to 1910, Edwin E. Pitcher is a recorded as being a resident of Northport, Maine. Edwin E. Pitcher never married and died at 71.


Harriet Pitcher married James M. Neal[66] on January 23, 1838 and they would have nine children born in Belmont, Maine. In 1860, James Neal 46 and Harriet Neal 43, still have seven children in the household.


Harriet and James Neal were married for 65 years and both died at the age of 89, within 3 years of each other. They are buried in Morrill Village Cemetery in Morrill, Maine, with many of their children.


Elvira Pitcher married James Bicknell[67] on September 26, 1842. Elvira and James Bicknell had five children born in Belmont, including Edmund Bicknell[68], the subject of his own biography. The James Bicknell family moved to Massachusetts, where Elvira (Pitcher) Bicknell died in Methuen at 73 and James Bicknell died in Lawrence at age 84.


The younger brother of Charlotte (Pitcher) Vose, Daniel L. Pitcher married Prudence Dunbar[69] on April 9, 1848 and they had four children. Prudence C. Dunbar is later discussed at length.


Estelle Vose, age 17, married 23-year-old, Elbridge C. Morrill in Belfast, Maine on November 5, 1864. Elbridge C. Morrill, a Civil War Veteran and a resident of Sebec, Maine, was employed as a carpenter.


The New York Times, New York, NY

14 Oct 1865 - The Great Fire in Belfast, Me.---

One Hundred and Twenty-five Buildings Burned

Belfast, Me., Friday, Oct. 13. One hundred and twenty-five buildings were burned last night. The loss is nearly half a million of dollars, of which about one-quarter is insured. The injured parties are not despondent, and contracts for rebuilding a portion of the burnt district were made during the progress of the flames.


Estelle (Vose) Morrill died at the age of 19, in Sebec, only two years after her marriage to Elbridge Morrill. They had no children.


Elbridge Challis Morrill[70] was born in Sebec, the son of Joseph Morrill[71] and Hannah Cutter[72], who were married there on June 15, 1839 and had at least six children: Evans G. Morrill[73] aka G. E. Morrill, Elbridge C. Morrill, Alwilda Ann Morrill[74], Charles W. Morrill[75], Elnathan Davis Morrill[76] and Jeremiah Tilson Morrill[77].


Elbridge C. Morrill, age 20, born in Sebec, enlisted in the Union Army on April 29, 1861, mustered in at Portland, Maine on July 15, 1861, for the duration of 3 years. He served as a Private in Company A of the 6th Maine Infantry, until December 31, 1862, when he was ‘discharged for disease’. He is described as 5’ 9 ½” tall, Sandy hair and complexion, with Blue eyes. His civilian occupation is Carpenter.


The daughter of William and Charlotte Vose, Marietta Vose, died at the age of 12, about four years after her older brother, Wyvil Vose died and three years after her older sister, Estelle (Vose) Morrill.


There are no records for Lunette’s youngest brother, William C. Vose, who would be about 11 years old in 1870. It is presumed that William lived in Belfast, but with whom is not known. The next record for William Charles Vose would be in Belfast, at his marriage in 1881.


In 1870, in Belfast, Alton Vose 15, Attends School and is living in the household of Jesse Townsend[78] 63, a Farmer, Jennet Townsend[79] 63, with their three adult children, Sarah U. Townsend[80] 31, Joseph C. Townsend[81] 29, a Farmer and Josephine K. Townsend[82], age 24.


In 1870, Alwilda Vose 22, has the occupation of Coat-Maker, lives in Belfast in the household of John Alexander[83] 73, Retired Farmer, his wife Susan Alexander[84] 72 and their daughter, Ann S. Alexander[85] 41.


Alton and his sisters, Lunette and Alwilda Vose may have had the opportunity to enjoy each other’s companionship in Belfast, for a time, but that would be short-lived. Alton Vose’s death occurred before the next Census and Alwilda Vose would soon be married and move away.


In 1870, in Belfast, Lunette Vose, is an 18-year-old Domestic Servant, living with 39-year-old Henry Dunbar[86] and his 30-year-old wife, Sarah.  Also, in the house are the children of Henry and Sarah Dunbar, who were Edward H. Dunbar[87] and Phebe Elizabeth Dunbar[88]


Henry Kingman Dunbar III, was the son of Henry Kingman Dunbar, Jr.[89] and Phebe G. Cottrell[90], who were married November 22, 1827. Henry Kingman Dunbar, Jr. is the son of Henry Kingman Dunbar[91] and Sarah Bridges, who were married on May 2, 1799 in Thomaston.


Sarah Bridges was the second wife of Ebenezer Vose, Lunette Vose’s grandfather. Lunette Vose and Henry Dunbar are step-cousins. Lunette and Henry share the same grandfather, but Lunette’s grandmother was Nancy Lermond[92], Ebenezer Vose’s first wife.


Nancy Lermond was the daughter of Alexander Lermond[93] and his first wife, Elizabeth Percy[94], who were married on October 25, 1770 in Warren, Maine and had ten children. Alexander Lermond had nine more children with his second wife, Elizabeth Melzar.


The daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth Lermond, Mary “Polly” Lermond[95], married Cyrus Eaton[96], on December 10, 1806. Cyrus Eaton was the author of “The Annals of the Town of Warren, Maine”[97], from which some of the information for “Murders at Montville” was derived.


Henry Dunbar and Sarah Bridges are parents of Samuel Dunbar[98] (Chapter 1) and grandparents of Henry Kingman Dunbar[99] (Chapter 2).


On April 9, 1848, in Belfast, Prudence Dunbar married Daniel L. Pitcher. Prudence was the daughter of Henry Dunbar and Phebe Cottrell. Daniel Pitcher was the brother of Charlotte (Pitcher) Vose.


During the 1850 Census, in Belfast, Danl L. Pitcher 24, is with his wife, Prudence Pitcher 21, his mother, Betsey Pitcher 66, Danl Perkins 18 and Catherine Dillingham 36, who completes the household.


Daniel and Prudence Pitcher had 2 children: Eudora Lunette Pitcher[100] and another daughter Charlotte “Lottie” Betsey Pitcher[101]. Prudence (Dunbar) Pitcher died of Autointoxication[102] at age 77.


Yes, there are at least four Henry Kingman Dunbars: 1774-1805, 1804-1884, 1824-1861 (Chapter 2) and 1831-1907. Confused yet?


Henry Dunbar (III), age 25, married 16-year-old, Sarah J. Pote on November 20, 1856 in Belfast. The first child of Henry Dunbar, Edward H. Dunbar[103] was born when Sarah J. (Pote) Dunbar, was 17 years old.


Sarah Jane Pote[104], was the daughter of Robert Pote[105] and Mary Elizabeth Pitcher[106], who was not directly related to Lunette’s mother, Charlotte (Pitcher) Vose or Charlotte’s father, William Pitcher.


Third child of William H. Vose and Charlotte Pitcher, Alwilda Vose (Chapter 9), married Frank L. Calderwood[107] on July 5, 1873 in Belfast.


Frank Calderwood was a 21-year-old harness-maker, born in Lincolnville, Maine. Frank and Alwilda Calderwood moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts after their marriage and lived there for many years.


Alton Vose, the fifth child of William and Charlotte Vose, died at the age of 23 of unknown causes. Three of the seven siblings remained in 1880: Alwilda, Lunette and their baby brother William Charles Vose.


It is not known where Lunette Vose was during the 1880 Census and no record for William C. Vose exists either, but their sister Alwilda is enumerated as Allnelder [sic] Caldewood [sic], age 30, in Lawrence with her husband L. Frank Caldewood [sic], age 27, harness-maker.


In 1880, in Belfast, Henry Dunbar 49, his wife Sarah J. Dunbar 40, live with their children Edward H. Dunbar 22, a Store Clerk and Phebe E. Dunbar 20, but Lunette Vose is no longer living with them. Henry Dunbar is the Proprietor of a Livery Stable during this Census.


On November 24, 1881, in Belfast, William Charles Vose married Fannie Elizabeth Perkins[108]. William and Fannie Vose had four children.


William C. Vose would name his first daughter Wilda Lunette Vose[109] and his youngest son, Wyville Calderwood Vose[110]. The oldest son of William and Fannie, Elmer Perkins Vose[111], died shortly after his first birthday. Walter Ralph Vose[112], a WWI Veteran, died at age 42. Walter R. Vose is buried with his parents and all of his siblings.


William Vose and Fannie Perkins would have no grandchildren, because their surviving children, Wilda, Wyville and Walter Vose never married. Wilda L. Vose, a former School Principle, died in Norwood, Massachusetts at 89 and Wyville Vose died in Miami, Florida at age 84. William Henry Vose and Charlotte Pitcher have no living descendants.


When Lunette Vose left Maine to move to Massachusetts, in 1899, the previous winter’s weather, had been particularly nasty:


The Great Arctic Outbreak and East Coast Blizzard of February 1899


NOOA[113] reported an east coast blizzard from the 10th-14th


“In February 1899, a two-week period of exceptionally cold weather culminated in what weather historians describe as “the greatest Arctic outbreak in history”. Temperatures fell to 0°F along the beaches of the Gulf Coast and ice flowed from the mouth of the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico. All-time record temperatures were established in 12 states spanning the central and southern Plains, the Ohio Valley, the southeastern United States and the District of Columbia.


The cold weather was associated with a series of surface anticyclones of Canadian or polar origin that affected the northwestern United States early in the month and then shifted to the central and eastern United States by the second week of February. The period of extreme cold climaxed in one final massive anticyclone[114] that propagated southward from central Canada to the Gulf Coast. Other cold waves have yielded lower temperatures but none have produced as many widespread low temperature records as were observed during the first half of February 1899. (Boston, MA on February 11, 1899 was -4° F)


The cold weather was associated with a series of snowstorms across the eastern United States. This succession of storms left behind a deepening blanket of snow which served to intensify the effects of the cold. As the final and most significant cold air mass spread over the central and eastern United States, a cyclone developed along the leading edge of the cold pool and evolved into one of the most intense blizzards ever to affect the Gulf and East Coasts. Near-blizzard conditions occurred in such unlikely sites as New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida. More than a foot of snow fell in a swath from the Carolinas to Maine, accompanied by high winds and temperatures close to 0°F.”


Even after one of the coldest winters in Maine history, the airless summer in an industrial city of tightly packed tenements, like Lawrence, was unlikely to have been appreciated by Lunette Vose.


In July of 1899, the high temperature in Lawrence, Massachusetts reached a sweltering 93°. That was 10 degrees warmer than the high temperature of 83°, experienced in Belfast, Maine, that summer, according to the Report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau that year.


Compared to the cool, sweet ocean air of the Belfast coastline, Lawrence, on the cramped, sooty banks of the Merrimack River, must have seemed like a special kind of hell to Lunette Vose.


Lunette Vose never married and her only occupation was as Domestic Servant, in 1870. Lunette only lived with her sister Alwilda Calderwood, for a few months before she committed suicide in the summer of 1899, at age 48. Both newspaper articles, describing the accounts of her death, erroneously reported that she was 37 years old.


August 28, 1899

The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts – 10


“LUNETTE VOSE’S BODY FOUND – She Had Been Missing from Sister’s Home in Lawrence Since Friday



The body of Lunette Vose, 37, was found in the Merrimack river at a point near the Lawrence ice company’s houses this morning. She had been in ill-health for a long period and was at times despondent. It is thought that in a state of melancholia she committed suicide. She had been missing since Friday night, when she left the home of her sister, with whom she had been residing since she came here from Belfast, Me, last spring. Boys discovered the body and notified two men who were at work at the pumping station.”


"Drowned in the Merrimack"


Transcribed from the Andover Townsman Newspaper, Massachusetts;

September 1, 1899 Issue, Page 6.


"The body of Lunette Vose was found in the Merrimack River near the Lawrence Ice Co's houses on Monday morning. Boys discovered the body a short distance from the bank and informed Matthew Daly and Martin Ashe of the force employed on the filter bed. The men responded and Mr. Daly drew the lifeless form to shore. The police were communicated with and in turn Assistant Medical Examiner Dow was notified.  The latter visited the scene and ordered the body turned over to Undertaker Colby.


Miss Vose had been missing since Friday night. She came to this city from Belfast, Me., last spring and had made her home with her sister Mrs. Frank L. Calderwood, 57 Butler Street. She had been in ill health for a long period and had at times seemed much depressed in spirit.  She had frequently expressed doubt that she would ever regain her health. It is believed that in a state of despondency she ended her life.  She was last seen by Mr. and Mrs. Calderwood early Friday evening, when the two latter left the house to be away for a few hours. She was invited to accompany them but complained that she did not feel able.  When they returned she was missing. A futile search was made Saturday and yesterday for some clew [sic] to her whereabouts. It was feared that she had made way with herself which proved only too true.  She was aged 37 years."


It is almost a mile from Butler Street in Lawrence to the banks of the Merrimack River and it would have taken less than a half hour, even for a frail person, to walk that far. What was she thinking about on that short walk that made her take her own life? Was it all planned out?


There were no reports of a person being seen entering the water at the time of her disappearance, so she was probably very discreet and didn’t draw any attention to herself. The Lawrence Ice House, where her body was found, was located on Water Street, a short distance from the river and it appears that she was drawn in near an intake.


The exact location is unknown, because in 1912: “An 8-room ice house of Lawrence Ice Co., Lawrence, Mass., was destroyed by fire July 8th, fire supposed to have been caused by boys throwing cigarette or cigar stumps into the ice run. Loss about $30,000.” Never rebuilt.


Lunette Vose is buried in Bellevue Cemetery in Lawrence. The eighth confirmed victim of the family curse. Alwilda (Vose) Calderwood and her husband, Frank L. Calderwood, are also buried there.


Lunette’s father, William H. Vose, died at age 41 of unknown causes, but the death of Lunette’s mother, Charlotte, does beg the question: Was it really an accidental drowning? Who discovered the body of Charlotte Vose in the basement cistern? One of the children?


How exactly, did Lunette’s four siblings die, all before the age of 25? Consumption[115], Pneumonia and Scarlet Fever were all common causes of death or was it something else? Estelle (Vose) Morrill may have died after complications from childbirth, but there is no record.


I will not suggest that 12-year-old Marietta Vose committed suicide, but what about the others? Except for Betsey Pitcher, who probably died from the shock of losing her daughter, Charlotte Vose. 


Five unknown deaths in the same family: William Henry Vose, Wyvil Vose, Estelle (Vose) Morrill, Alton Vose and Marietta Vose. With one questionable death, Charlotte (Pitcher) Vose.


Orphaned at age 2, William Charles Vose, the youngest child of William Henry Vose and Charlotte Pitcher, would be the only one of his siblings to marry, have children and die at 74, of old age. An anomaly.


William Henry Vose – 41, Charlotte Pitcher Vose – 39, Wyvil Vose – 19,

Estelle Vose Morrill – 19, Alwilda Vose Calderwood – 54, Lunette Vose – 48, Alton Vose – 23, Marietta Vose – 12 and William Charles Vose – 74


The deaths of James Bicknell[116] and Edmund Bicknell[117], sons of Charlotte Pitcher’s sister, Elvira, also draws attention to the Pitcher side of the family. James Bicknell died at age 62 of Apoplexy[118] and younger brother, Edmund Bicknell, committed suicide by drowning at his home, in Lawrence. Edmund Bicknell was 66 years old. Two more casualties.


How about Edwin Eugene Pitcher, who spent time in the asylum in Augusta in 1870? Edwin E. Pitcher was the son of Luther Pitcher, the brother of Charlotte Vose. Edwin E. Pitcher, like James Bicknell and Edmund Bicknell were all the nephews of Charlotte (Pitcher) Vose.


So, was Lunette’s illness inevitable, having been inherited from both parents or was her depression caused by a life that was filled with loss and hardship? Draw your own conclusions after reading Chapter 9.



[1] Lunette Vose b Jul 20, 1851 d Aug 25, 1899; dau of William Vose 1819-1861 & Charlotte Pitcher 1822-1861

[2] William H. Vose b Sep 1, 1819 d Jun 12, 1861; son of Ebenezer Vose 1774-1829 & Sarah Bridges 1779-1864

[3] Charlotte Pitcher b Dec 26, 1821 d Dec 10, 1861; dau of William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

[4] Annette Vose b Apr 3, 1844 d Apr 3, 1844; dau of William Vose 1819-1861 & Charlotte Pitcher 1822-1861

[5] Wyvil Vose b May 18, 1845 d Mar 6, 1865; son of William Vose 1819-1861 & Charlotte Pitcher 1822-1861

[6] Estelle Vose b Sep 17, 1847 d Sep 25, 1866; dau of William Vose 1819-1861 & Charlotte Pitcher 1822-1861

[7] Alwilda Vose b Jul 4, 1849 d Jul 12, 1904; dau of William Vose 1819-1861 & Charlotte Pitcher 1822-1861

[8] Alton Vose b Jan 11, 1855 d Oct 21, 1878; son of William Vose 1819-1861 & Charlotte Pitcher 1822-1861

[9] Marietta Vose b Mar 3, 1857 d Jun 25, 1869; dau of William Vose 1819-1861 & Charlotte Pitcher 1822-1861

[10] William C. Vose b Apr 21, 1859 d 1933; son of William Vose 1819-1861 & Charlotte Pitcher 1822-1861

[11] John Alden, Sr. b 1598 d Sep 12, 1687; born at Harwich, Tending Dist., Essex, England; died at S. Duxbury, MA

[12] Priscilla Mullins b 1602 d 1685; dau of William Mullins 1572-1621 & Alice Atwood 1575-1621

[13] Ebenezer Vose, Sr. b 1774 d May 14, 1829; son of Seth Vose 1734-1814 & Rachel Copeland 1750-1812

[14] Sarah Bridges b May 20, 1779 d Nov 10, 1864; dau of Deacon John Bridges 1751- & Sarah Eastman 1752-

[15] George W. Vose b 1812 d 1889; son of Ebenezer Vose 1774-1829 & Sarah Bridges 1779-1864

[16] Nancy L. Vose b Sep 12, 1814 d Jan 16, 1890; dau of Ebenezer Vose 1774-1829 & Sarah Bridges 1779-1864

[17] Hannah C. Vose b Jul 24, 1817 d Mar 13, 1877; dau of Ebenezer Vose 1774-1829 & Sarah Bridges 1779-1864

[18] Alice Vose b Jun 10, 1822 d Oct 15, 1891; dau of Ebenezer Vose 1774-1829 & Sarah Bridges 1779-1864

[19] Catherine Libby Vose b Dec 24, 1806 d Jan 28, 1895; dau of Elijah Vose 1766-1840 & Sarah Andrews 1767-1840

[20] Daniel M. Rowell b Jun 28, 1811 d Sep 14, 1888; son of John Rowell 1771-1860+ & Cloddy Shaw 1779-1850+

[21] George W. Rowell b Jun 15, 1836 d Jan 25, 1879; son of Daniel Rowell 1811-1888 & Hannah Vose 1817-1877

[22] Hellen M. Rowell b Jul 26, 1844 d Apr 12, 1894; dau of Daniel Rowell 1811-1888 & Hannah Vose 1817-1877

[23] Edward L. Rowell b Dec 27, 1848 d Jan 16, 1899; son of Daniel Rowell 1811-1888 & Hannah Vose 1817-1877

[24] James Hart Rivers b Dec 14, 1797 d Apr 3, 1886; son of Dennis Rivers 1769-1835 & Elizabeth Howard 1773-1867

[25] Henry T. Rivers b Feb 24, 1825 d Jul 24, 1884; son of James H. Rivers 1797-1886 & Elizabeth A. Lemon 1804-1838

[26] Ezekiel Prescott b Oct 15, 1818 d Mar 26, 1878; son of Sevell Prescott 1785- & Abigail Cargill 1800-

[27] Elvira L. Prescott b Jan 26, 1847 d Apr 27, 1891; dau of Ezekiel Prescott 1818-1878 & Alice Vose 1822-1891

[28] William E. Prescott b Dec 27, 1853 d Mar 1935; son of Ezekiel Prescott 1818-1878 & Alice Vose 1822-1891

[29] Marcus Vose b Nov 11, 1803 d Dec 2, 1878; son of Ebenezer Vose 1774-1829 & Nancy Lermond 1781-1811

[30] Hannah Rowell b Oct 27, 1807 d Feb 9, 1849; dau of Jacob Rowell 1773-1831 & Unknown

[31] Marcus A. Vose b Feb 23, 1841 d Mar 15, 1895; son of Marcus Vose 1803-1878 & Hannah Rowell 1807-1849

[32] Arethusa Vose b 1806/8 d 1870+; dau of Ebenezer Vose 1774-1829 & Nancy Lermond 1781-1811

[33] William Pitcher b Aug 20, 1775 d Jan 1832 son of William Pitcher 1747-1824 & Mary Metcalf 1752-1834

[34] Ebenezer Vose b 1774 d May 14, 1829; son of Seth Vose 1734-1814 & Rachel Copeland 1750-1812

[35] Ebenezer Vose, Jr. b Feb 21, 1810 d Mar 25, 1874; son of Ebenezer Vose 1774-1829 & Nancy Lermond 1781-1811 

[36] Betsey Adams b Feb 13, 1784 d Dec 13, 1861; dau of Dea Ephraim Adams 1751-1823 & Betty Pierce 1751-1804

[37] According to Latter Day Saints website; marriage in Belfast of William Pitcher & Betsy Adams

[38] According to “The Genealogy of The Henry Adams Family”, Pages 4, 5 & 7; published privately

[39] Ephraim Adams Pitcher b Mar 22, 1806 d Feb 21, 1900; son of William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

[40] William P. Pitcher b Dec 11, 1807 d Nov 6, 1875; son of William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

[41] Luther W. or M. Pitcher b Feb 10, 1810 d Jan 28, 1863; son of William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

[42] Calvin Pitcher b May 5, 1812 d May 1, 1888; son of William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

[43] Betsey Pitcher b 1814 d 1832; dau of William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

[44] Harriet Pitcher b Jul 21, 1816 d Sep 30, 1905; dau of William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

[45] Elvira Pitcher b Apr 1, 1818 d Jan 14, 1892; dau of William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

[46] Charles Pitcher b 1820 d in infancy; son of William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

[47] Daniel Lewis Pitcher b Feb 18, 1826 d Feb 22, 1905; son of William Pitcher 1775-1832 & Betsey Adams 1784-1861

[48] Susan Houston b 1808 d Nov 24 or Dec 4, 1875; dau of Thomas Houston 1771-1841 & Sarah 1767-1856

[49] Annie Maria Pitcher b Dec 1841 d May 1, 1912; dau of Ephraim Pitcher 1806-1900 & Susan Houston 1808-1875

[50] Frederic A. Griffin b May 20, 1841 d Dec 11, 1910; son of Alexander N. Griffin 1810-1881 & Sarah R. Tarbell 1813-1889

[51] Louine Marian Griffin b 1870 d Oct 26, 1886; dau of Frederic A. Griffin 1841-1910 & Ann Maria Pitcher 1842-1912

[52] Charles Read b Oct 10, 1809 d Aug 9, 1901; son of Nathan Read 1759-1849 & Elizabeth Jeffrey 1772-1855

[53] Jeremiah Curtis Whitten b Oct 26, 1823 d Mar 8, 1903; son of Ivory Whitten 1800-1885 & Sally Maddocks 1807-1895

[54] Sarah “Sally” Winslow b Oct 20, 1811 d Feb 27, 1895; dau of Peter Winslow 1783-1881 & Sarah Clark 1784-1837

[55] Helen F. Winslow Woodside b May 10, 1830 d Mar 16, 1870; dau of Peter Winslow 1783-1881 & Sarah Clark 1784-1837

[56] Luella C. Rowell b Mar 31, 1858 d Jul 9, 1923; dau of Daniel M. Rowell 1811-1878 & Hannah Vose 1817-1877

[57] Peter Winslow b Sep 30, 1783 d Jun 13, 1881; son of Winslow & Unknown

[58] Fannie (Ransom) Joy b 1784/6 d Feb 28, 1875; born CT, dau of Unknown; 1st m Benjamin Joy -1824/8

[59] Lydia Winslow b Mar 12, 1819 d Aug 11, 1881; dau of Peter Winslow 1783-1881 & Sally Clark 1785-1837

[60] Sarah “Sally” Clark b Jan 8, 1785 d Jan 31, 1837; dau of Clark & Unknown

[61] Louisa M. Sawyer b 1810 d Feb 1, 1878; dau of Rosanna Dodge 1792-1869 & Aaron Sawyer 1780/5-1849

[62] Charlotte A. Pitcher b Dec 2, 1837 d unknown; dau of Luther Pitcher 1810-1863 & Louisa Sawyer 1810-1878

[63] Franklin A. Pitcher b Apr 2, 1838 d Jun 11, 1894; son of Luther Pitcher 1810-1863 & Louisa Sawyer 1810-1878

[64] Edwin E. Pitcher b Jun 7, 1840 d Mar 8, 1912; son of Luther Pitcher 1810-1863 & Louisa Sawyer 1810-1878

[65] Helen A. Sawyer b Sep 1831/4 d Jul 4, 1915; dau of Rosanna Dodge 1792-1869 & Aaron Sawyer 1780/5-1849

[66] James M. Neal b Dec 28, 1813 d 1902; son of John Neal 1779-1835 & Mary Furbish 1778-1855

[67] James Bicknell b Jun 16, 1810 d Jan 3, 1895; son of James Bicknell 1775-1838 & Hannah Marshall 1779-1859

[68] Edmund Bicknell b Jul 23, 1846 d May 15, 1913; son of James Bicknell 1810-1895 & Elvira Pitcher 1818-1892

[69] Prudence C. Dunbar b Jun 1, 1829 d Dec 22, 1906; dau of Henry Dunbar 1804-1884 & Phebe G. Cottrell 1806-1899

[70] Elbridge C. Morrill b Aug 11, 1841 d Feb 6, 1911; son of Joseph Morrill 1812-1882 & Hannah Cutter 1819-1902

[71] Joseph Morrill b Nov 4, 1812 d Jul 18, 1882; son of John Morrill 1785-1853 & Liberty Lyford 1783-1860+

[72] Hannah Cutter Tabor b 1819 d Oct 23, 1902; dau of Jeremiah Cutter 1791-1861 & Mary Brown 1799-1871

[73] Evans G. Morrill b Dec 1839 d 1930+; son of Joseph Morrill 1812-1882 & Hannah Cutter 1819-1902

[74] Alwilda Ann Morrill b May 1843 d Sep 16, 1865; dau of Joseph Morrill 1812-1882 & Hannah Cutter 1819-1902

[75] Charles W. Morrill b 1843/46 d 1862+; son of Joseph Morrill 1812-1882 & Hannah Cutter 1819-1902

[76] Elnathan Davis Morrill b Jun 18, 1851 d Jun 5, 1908; son of Joseph Morrill 1812-1882 & Hannah Cutter 1819-1902

[77] Jeremiah Tilson Morrill b 1855 d 1920; son of Joseph Morrill 1812-1882 & Hannah Cutter 1819-1902

[78] Capt Jesse Townsend b 1807 d Apr 26, 1881; son of Townsend & Unknown

[79] Jeanette L. Hinds b May 24, 1807 d 1898; dau of Hinds & Unknown

[80] Sarah Hepsebeth Townsend b Dec 15, 1838 d Feb 10, 1877; dau of Jesse Townsend 1807-1881 & Jeanette Hinds 1807-1898

[81] Joseph Curtis Townsend b Nov 3, 1840 d 1914; son of Jesse Townsend 1807-1881 & Jeanette Hinds 1807-1898

[82] Josephine Townsend b Mar 10, 1845 d Apr 16, 1875; dau of Jesse Townsend 1807-1881 & Jeanette Hinds 1807-1898

[83] John Alexander b Feb 19, 1797 d May 31, 1874; son of John Alexander 1753-1813 & Margaret 1754-1846

[84] Susan Dyer b Mar 28, 1798 d Feb 7, 1884; dau of Dyer & Unknown

[85] Sarah Ann Alexander b Aug 28, 1826 d Oct 14, 1897; dau of John Alexander 1797-1874 & Susan Dyer 1798-1884

[86] Henry K. Dunbar III b Mar 2, 1831 d Dec 28, 1907; son of Henry Dunbar 1804-1884 & Phebe G. Cottrell 1806-1899

[87] Edward H. Dunbar b Oct 7, 1857 d 1940; son of Henry K. Dunbar 1831-1907 & Sarah J. Pote 1840-1920

[88] Phebe E. Dunbar Crawford b Aug 29, 1859 d 1941; dau of Henry K. Dunbar 1831-1907 & Sarah J. Pote 1840-1920

[89] Henry K. Dunbar, Jr. b Nov 24, 1804 d Feb 16, 1884; son of Henry K. Dunbar 1774-1805 & Sarah Bridges 1779-1864

[90] Phebe G. Cottrell b Mar 14, 1806 d 1899; dau? of Shubel Cottrell 1782-1852 & Mary Young 1786-1831

[91] Henry Kingman Dunbar b 1774 d Jul 9, 1805; son of Daniel Dunbar 1748-1824 & Abigail Kingman 1749-1830

[92] Nancy Lermond b Jan 28, 1781 d Apr 17, 1811; dau of Alexander Lermond 1748-1826 & Elizabeth Percy 1750-1794

[93] Alexander Lermond b 1748 d Jul 31, 1826; son of Alexander Lermond 1707-1790 & Mary Harkness 1723-1790

[94] Elizabeth Percy b 1750 d Jul 3, 1794; dau of Francis Percy 1725- & Phoebe James 1726-1824

[95] Mary Lermond b Aug 15, 1773 d Feb 19, 1853; dau of Alexander Lermond 1748-1826 & Elizabeth Percy 1750-1794

[96] Cyrus Eaton b Feb 11, 1784 d Jan 21, 1875; son of Benjamin Eaton 1754-1800 & Mary Stacey 1764-1848

[97] The Annals of the Town of Warren, Maine, with the Early History of St. George’s, Broad Bay…published 1851

[98] Samuel Dunbar b Feb 1800 d Mar 9, 1853; son of Henry K. Dunbar 1774-1805 & Sarah Bridges 1779-1864

[99] Henry K. Dunbar b 1824 d Nov 14, 1861; son of Samuel Dunbar 1800-1853 & Mary Howard 1800-1850+

[100] Eudora L. Pitcher b Jul 1, 1850 d Mar 2, 1914; dau of Daniel Pitcher 1826-1905 & Prudence Dunbar 1829-1906

[101] Charlotte B. Pitcher Ellis b Jan 23, 1863 d Jun 26, 1930; dau of Daniel Pitcher 1826-1905 & Prudence Dunbar 1829-1906

[102] Autointoxication: poisoning by a toxin formed within the body itself, usually in the digestive tract

[103] Edward H. Dunbar b Oct 7, 1857 d 1940; son of Henry Dunbar 1831-1907 & Sarah J. Pote 1840-1920

[104] Sarah Jane Pote b Mar 15, 1840 d Aug 30, 1920; dau of Robert Pote 1814-1867 & Mary Elizabeth Pitcher 1817-1880

[105] Robert Pote b Apr 12, 1814 d Sep 26, 1867; born in Belfast, son of Robert P. Pote & Unknown

[106] Mary E. Pitcher b Feb 13, 1817 d Nov 6, 1880; dau of Calvin Pitcher 1789-1871 & Joanna Prescott 1796-1888

[107] Frank L. Calderwood b 1852 d Sep 8, 1926; son of Jonas Calderwood 1816-1901 & Sarah Drake 1820-1896

[108] Fannie E. Perkins b Apr 9, 1859 d 1935; dau of Daniel Perkins 1831-1878 & Harriet Eastman Stevens 1838-1917

[109] Wilda L. Vose b Feb 13, 1883 d May 12, 1972; dau of William C. Vose 1859-1933 & Fannie E. Perkins 1859-1935

[110] Wyville C. Vose b Jul 3, 1902 d Apr 17, 1987; son of William C. Vose 1859-1933 & Fannie E. Perkins 1859-1935

[111] Elmer P. Vose b Jun 10, 1885 d Sep 11, 1886; son of William C. Vose 1859-1933 & Fannie E. Perkins 1859-1935

[112] Walter R. Vose b Feb 14, 1888 d Apr 17, 1930; son of William C. Vose 1859-1933 & Fannie E. Perkins 1859-1935

[113] NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States Department of Commerce

[114] Anticyclone: weather system with high atmospheric pressure at the center and slow clockwise, circulating air

[115] Consumption: Tuberculosis or Phthisis; contagious, bacterial infection affecting the lungs

[116] James Bicknell b Dec 4, 1843 d May 18, 1906; son of James Bicknell 1810-1895 & Elvira Pitcher 1818-1892

[117] Edmund Bicknell b Jul 23, 1846 d May 15, 1913; son of James Bicknell 1810-1895 & Elvira Pitcher 1818-1892

[118] Apoplexy: physical incapacity resulting from a cerebral hemorrhage or stroke

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