Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Mary Elizabeth Clarke Newton

Dear Grandmother Newton,
A belated Happy Birthday, meant to get to this on your birthday yesterday but my husband and I were on grandson duty. My grandfather, your husband's name sake, Charles Newton Cone remembered you as being very stern with him. I imagine he was all over and into everything just as Cooper is.

I have many of the letters your brother Trit (Theodore W. Clarke) wrote home from laying telegraph wire in the Nebraska Territory and then from service in the Civil War with the First Nebraska Infantry. His tender concern for his little sister comes across clearly in many of his letters. He was so concerned that you find a suitable man for a husband.

From everything I've read in your notes and letters that have survived, I think Trit would have liked Charles Newton. Perhaps, he even knew him. They clearly express your love for Charlie. Faith and family seem to have been most important to you.

I imagine you were still active into your 80s as my grandmother carefully noted in my Dad's (Charles Newton Cone, Jr) baby book that you had given him a hand knit sweater. How wonderful that you knew many of your great grandchildren.

When I look at your photograph, I see a brave and determined woman whose life took her from Michigan, to the prairies of Minnesota, to the wilds of Utah and finally the orchards of the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

Mary Elizabeth Clarke Newton
24 Jan 1847 White Lake, Oakland County Michigan
29 Jan 1929 Salem, Marion County, Michigan
(photograph courtesy of Mary's 2nd Great Granddaughter Flora Dunlap Long)

You should know that you have left behind a large clan of brave and determine women (and men).
Happy Birthday!

Cecily Cone Kelly
One of your many 2nd great grand daughters

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