Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another Fire?

     I was on Ancestry.com the other day and did a search for Anna Devine, my 2nd great-grandmother, Teresa's cousin.  I have Anna's birth and death dates but didn't know much about her other than what a dedicated schoolteacher she was.  Anna taught in a one room schoolhouse for almost fifty years then a few more years in the school that built on the same grounds and named in her honor.  During those fifty years, Anna started a 4-H Club and made a book with her students about the local history of Rifton, NY.  I did not know how involved Anna was with the community until I started reading old newspaper articles.  I read about Anna as a treasurer of this club, vice-president of that club, she directed school plays, and there was the 4-H club, victory gardens, and the list goes on.  She was invited to weddings and baby showers yet never married or had a child of her own.  There were many, many newspapers which had her name mentioned for one reason or another.  They were interesting to read.  Then I read about the fire.
     Last year I had written about fires claiming the lives of a few ancestors.  My maternal great-grandmother, Josephine Duper Davis was a deaf-mute and attended a school for the deaf in Manhattan.  In 1911, a fire broke out in the school.  I don't know if she was still in the school at the time because she was already 17 years old.  By 1927, Josie was married with four children.  My grandmother< Eleanor was the eldest at 9 and Dorothy was the youngest at 3, with the boys Daniel and Samuel somewhere in the middle.  One day, little Dorothy had gotten too close to the gas hot water heater causing her dress to catch on fire.  Her mother, being deaf, never heard her screams.  She died on the 28th of January in 1927.  Tragedy struck again in 1955 when Josie's mother and youngest brother lost their lives to a fire on New Year's Eve.

     and now back to Josie's cousin, Anna Devine...

     Anna was the only child of John Devine and Mary Jane Corby.  John was my 3rd great-grandfather, Patrick's brother.  I have absolutely no information at all on John and have not found him in any censuses.  All I know is that he was born in Ireland.  Mary Jane was born in NY in 1860 to Barney Corby and Anna.
     It was the September 27, 1943 issue of the Kingston Daily Freeman newspaper that had the article about the fire.  The article stated that "Mrs Mary Devine who was taken to Kingston Hospital Thursday suffering from third degree burns about the upper part of her body is reported to be in very serious condition.  Mrs Devine was preparing lunch when her apron caught fire from the kerosene stove on which she was boiling potatoes.  Her cousin, James Devany was home that day and was outside the house when he saw the flames."
     Two days later, the September 29, 1943 issue of the Kingston Daily Freeman had the obituary.

                                            ♥ R.I.P. Mary Jane ♥
                                               born 1860
                                               died 28 Sep 1943

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