A LINE OF THE BROCKETT FAMILY
Town of Manheim
Herkimer County, NY
This is the transcript of a family report purchased by the site coordinator at a flea market in early 2002. If anyone here is your direct ancestor, you're a descendant of one of their siblings, or you have information to share about them, please contact the site coordinator.
ABOUT THIS ITEM: This was lovingly put together as a family history project by persons unknown, time period unknown, sadly ending up several hundred miles to the south of the Mohawk Valley. I rescued it from a pile of unrelated paper junk. 7 page typewritten transcription of two letters written by Josephine Brockett, 3 original photos pasted down onto a construction paper cover, 1 ornate Christmas gift card addressed "To Cousins Kenneth & Beatrice from Zephi 1906," typescript profile of the family of James and Josephine Brockett pasted onto back of cover. As of 2013, I have no idea where this item is. Good thing I copied it!
What I found pertaining to persons mentioned, using our site search engine:
1892 Census St. Johnsville Montgomery County, NY 2nd ED 2/16/1892 Walrath, Martin, Jr. M 47 Insurance " Celista E. * F 46 (*Haskins) " Leonard G. M 13 " May E. F 10
The site coordinator is aware that the "action" here is happening on the eastern side of the village of Dolgeville, which is in Montgomery County. However, files pertaining to Dolgeville are filed on our site under the Town of Manheim.
Zephi, and Nellie were the children of Josephine and James Brockett of Brockett's Bridge. They lived on the east side of East Canada Creek just a few rods from the covered bridge which spanned the Creek.
Their old "Jinny" horse brought them often to the old farm in Oppenheim. Their arrival was often accompanied by a sigh from Electa who realized that the house would be topsy-turvy. Young Stella felt differently, however. These cousins were excellent playmates! So many things to do, too, in all those upstairs chambers.
Pillow fights, flying feathers, mixed up pillows were only the beginnings. Out came the mother's dresses. These were hastily donned, while the cats were clothed in Zephi's, Nellie's and Stella's things, --- chiefly the latter's dresses which had been "doneup" and neatly folded in dresser drawers. Often the fun continued into the next day, for the Brockett's frequently stayed over night.
Zephi never married. He took care of his mother until her death. His care of her, his tenderness with her, and his sympathetic understanding and unselfishness could seldom be equalled. His work took him to Dunkirk, Indiana where a Cleveland Company Plate Glass Works had opened a plant. He took his mother to Dunkirk with him. She died there on April 21, 1903 when she was nearly 74 years old.
Dunkirk, Sept. the 25th
I will try and write you a few lines. Have intended to for a long time. I am far away from you now in Dunkirk, Ind. with Zephi, have been here four weeks. He came home on his vacation and we went down to our home in Dolgeville from Cleveland. We were not there a week. I did not go anywhere. Zephi took me up to the cemetery and I stopped to see Mrs. _anner. The friends all came to see me. This is a beautiful place and I think the change is going to do me ever so much good. It did not agree with me in Cleveland. I want to be with Zephi. He has been away from me a long time. He is a good boy to me in every way.
Nellie did not want me to come but the doctor said I must have a change. Then she knew it was for the best. Stellie, it has been a long time since I saw you and some very sad changes in our family, - your dear father, sister Mary and Ophelia all at rest and went so near together. Sister Celestia and I are all that are left of such a large family. My heart aches for Celestia. I received a letter from her saying her eyes were worse and her writing shows it. I think it is terrible for her to piece silk quilts and do things to support herself in her 81 years. I think if Richard could know he would rise from the grave, of all they have had -- free and kind to everybody. Zephi's sent her money to come up to Dolgeville to see us when we were home. She would have stayed with Jenny for a while but their house was all torn up to be fixed over and they were at the lake. She went to John Cook's when sister Ophelia died in December and Nellie went after her there in February and she stayed with us until the last of May and could have stayed with us longer but the Cook girls wanted her to come back there. I asked her if she ever sees you. She said she took comfort to go and see you for you were all that was dear and near to her. You had two such smart lovely chldren and spoke of Frank. She liked him. She said he was always so good and kind to her. How I would like to see you all and give you a good kiss. Kiss each other for me and the children. We think of you and talk of you so you see you are not forgotten by your old aunt Josephine and Cousin Zephi. How often he speaks of how he and Nellie took such comfort going over to the home on the hill to play with you children. Those were happy days for you all and you must never forget it. Your dear mother was always so good. We all loved her.
Nellie's little boy was five years old last Sunday, the 22nd. He is full of mischief but likes to work. He looks like Zephi. We think a good deal of him. Nellie often speaks of you and wants to see you and often speaks of the time she went down to Gloversville with Chester that time in the stage all alone.
Stellie, go and see your Aunt Celestia whenever you can. It will do her so much good. We are all the aunts you have left on your father's side. Don't forget us for we love you and how I have wanted to see all the relatives. Ophelia Haskins and Lessie Walrath came to see me last fall a year ago when I was home. Carrie came to see me this last time I was home. Your Aunt Mary used to say to me so much,"How I wish Carrie would come to see us when she is in the place."
Stellie, I hope you can read this. I cannot write very good but will do the best I can. Write and tell me how you all are and if you receive this tell me if I direct right. Direct to me in Dunkirk, Ind., or to Zephi, American Glass Co. Factory No. 30. We both send lots of love to you all.
Write me soon
From your loving
Dunkirk, Feb. 11, 1902
It is a long time since I received your letter and intended to have written you long before this time but I have not been very well. My heart troubles me quite a little sometimes, but I am much better in a good many ways than I was when I came here and I am glad to be with Zephi. I was with Nellie a long time. It did not agree with me in Cleveland. She did not want me to come, but she knew a change would do me good and I was not able to go on and work any more as I had done for I was about through. Zephi wanted me to have my picture taken to give the friends. I have not had any taken for years and probably would not now if it had not been for Zephi.
I have sent them all one by George Heath. I don't know where Clark and Nathan Brown are. I asked Carrie when I wrote her. I guess she forgot to tell me. I hope you got the one I sent you all right.
Stellie, I suppose you got word of Lessie Walrath's death. It was very sad and sudden. She had a terrible fall last summer sometime and hurt her head. One of her eyes was almost out of her head, and she put her right thumb out of place, but she got better and went to Newport. Ophelia and George Haskins were not very well. She stayed there with them a while and has been to Utica to see the Cook girls. Mr. Walrath had bought a very nice place in St. Johnsville on the other side of the street from where Doctor Small lived. You remember where that is. You and I called there once, don't you know, when the doctor was sick. You lived at Little Falls. We went to St. Johnsville and came back the same night. I was visiting you. Lessie wanted us to stay with her all night and we did not want to for she had to be with May. Zephi came in one day last week and told me he saw in the Little Falls times in the St. Johnsville items that Lessie was very sick. He takes that paper. She was dead then and Mr. Walrath had written him. She died the 5th and was buried the 8th. Zephi never told me until Monday. The doctor told him he must not tell me for I had been having a terrible time with my heart. I feel very bad about her death. She has left a dear kind husband to care for the children. Lennie is 21 years, May is 18 years old but they need their dear mother. I had a letter from her the 13th of January. She wrote me that her fall had left her in a bad shape, but she was thankful she came out as well as she did. She said she was afraid her head never would be right as there was a noise all the time roaring in her ear but she hoped it would wear off in time.
She wrote me what a pleasant home they had if they only kept well to enjoy it. Now she has gone and left them. I do think it is hard to part with our friends and on our side they are going fast to that beautiful home where they will all be together.
We had a letter from Lettie Cook. She and your Aunt Celestia went to the funeral. There was a terrible storm all over. Jennie and Edna were there with George and Ophelia. She said so few of our relatives were there. She was a lovely woman and everyone loved her that knew her. She was always pleasant and so happy. Lettie wrote Mr. Walrath told her she got up in the morning at half past 5 before the rest as she had done to make herself a cup of coffee and at half past 6 she called them and said she felt terribly. They got to her soon. Mr. Walrath took her in his arms and lay her on the couch and she vomited dreadfully. Then they thought she would be better but she asked him to lift her up again. He did so and that was the last. It was as sudden as that. May said she complained of having a dreadful pain in her neck. The doctor said it was from her fall and that she died with a broken neck. He had expected this at the time of her fall. How little we know what may come to us. It is not for us to say but we must make the best of anything that comes to us. It is very hard sometimes. I have Lessie's letter by me where I read it so often. She wrote me your Aunt Celestia had been there but had gone to Uncle John Cook's. She felt so sorry for her and was so lonesome without her. She wanted her to stay there with them a long time but Mary and Lettie had written for her to come on there. She said when she went home she wanted her to stop there and stay with them for when she was home there was no one that would talk to her or try to make it pleasant for her. Dear Lessie she is gone and can do no more for any one. Your Aunt Celestia wrote to me from New Hartford. We could hardly make it out. She said she had been to see you again and liked to go to see you for you were the only one that seemed near to her. All the other relatives are so far away from her. How I should like to see you all. How much I would talk to you. Celestia talks so much about your children. How smart they are. How I do want to see them. I saw Carrie's youngest girl when I was home. She is a little darling and looks like your Aunt Jennette. I wish Ophelia Heath could see her.
We hear from Nellie every week but have not heard from her in over a week. I worry for fear they are sick and will not let us know. James is a large boy, was 5 years old the 22nd last September. He does not go to school but is trying to learn to write. Zephi got him a nice blackboard for Christmas so he could learn to draw. Zephi gets him so much of everything he sees. He goes to church and Sunday school. When he is in his class he will look around at his mother and throw kisses at her. He sings in church with the rest and when they stop he keeps right on. When Zephi was there he would let him go right on and sing. Nellie doesn't like to have him. I will send you where he has made his father's and Zephi's pictures and written their names, the picture of the girl who works there and her name.
Winter is almost gone and we don't know much about winter here in Dunkirk. There has been but very little snow. They use wagons all the time but have had some pretty cold weather. They burn gas and it is so nice and warm. We have a pleasant room and are with good kind folks. Zephi helps me undress at night and dress in the morning. I have good care, sick or well. We have two nice beds in our room. After we are in bed we throw good night kisses to each other like little children.
I must tell you what a time I had with my teeth and face. They began to ache before Christmas. They did everything they could for me but I got no relief. Zephi had a dentist come to the house to see what could be done. I could not have them out, my face had swollen so bad but he put something on and stopped the pain and in two weeks I had 13 teeth taken out at one time. Zephi stayed with me and had the doctor come for he could tell how much I could stand with my poor heart. It doesn't seem as though I could have it done again, but I am so thankful they are out. I have 9 good front under teeth. Zephi feels so proud because they are out he wants me to go on the stage when I get my new ones.
Stellie, I have written you a long letter about ourselves and everything. I do not get homesick but I would like to see all of my relatives. Zephi is well and very busy. We often talk of you and what comfort you all used to take together. I will close to have it mailed. You will get tired of reading it. We both send lots of love to you all and kiss the children for us. When you have their pictures taken send us one please. Write, when you can. Good-bye. From your loving
9/25/03 A research tip from Clay Feeter!
James Plant Brockett was born 3 Aug 1807 in Salisbury, Herkimer County, New York. He was the son of Zephi Brockett and Sally Plant. Zephi was the son of Deacon Amos Brockett and Lucy Dutton. James married Josephine (Brown) Snell, as his second wife, on 28 Apr 1862. He had two children by his second wife:
Zephi G. Brockett born 19 Feb 1863 never married Nellie Borckett born Dec 11, 1866 m. Ezra Beecher Roberts
I am also a relative and I have a copy of the Brockett Genealogy. Zoe
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