The Obituary of Mrs. L. A. Culver

The Obituary of
Mrs. L. A. Culver
and How it Pertains to the
Cayutaville Quilt


Don Krüger
May 2016

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It was quite fortunate for me that had preserved the obituary of my 3rd great-grandmother, Lucy Ann (Beebe) (Sherwood) Culver (1822-1901). This is one of those perfect obituaries that provided me with five generations of family history and relationships. I was able to base a large percentage of my family tree on this clipping.

When I began researching the Cayutaville Quilt I referred again to the time-line information of Lucy Culver’s life to help establish that she was most likely one of the people behind the making of the quilt in 1872.

1822 – Lucy Ann Beebe born to John and Lydia Beebe in Salem, CT became a pioneer family settling in Cayutaville, NY in 1828.

1840 – Married Dr. A. C. Sherwood (1815-1860) and lived in Enfield and Newfield until his death.

1860 – Removed as a widow with 4 children to the Cayutaville home of her father, John Beebe – next door to the Charles and Adelaide (Evans) Culver (1812-1865) home that included their niece Irene Sharpe.

1867 – Lucy Ann (Beebe) Sherwood married Charles Culver. (1814-1879)

1870 – The U.S. Census for the Town of Catharine in Schuyler County showed a household that included: Charles Culver (55); Lucy A. Culver (49); Irene Sharp (20) Hattie A. Sherwood (20); Florrence Sherwood (13) – which helped me to understand that there was an adoptive mother/daughter relationship of some sort between Lucy Culver and a young adult, Rene Sharpe.

When I searched for archived newspaper articles on many of the 42 names on the quilt, I found that I was able to link the Cayutaville Quilt to many of the Ithaca, NY area social news items that appeared under the sub-headlines of “Cayutaville” and “Mecklenberg” from the years 1840 to 1920. This clipping is an example of that. While the obituary itself is quite important, the preceding bits of information seem to tell quite a story.

Montour Falls Free Press
Thursday, June 27, 1901

Charlie Sawyer returns to his business in Elmira this week.

DK – Charlie Sawyer (1880- ) was the son of Bezzie Sawyer (1854-1923) and Florence May Sherwood (1856-1911). He was the grandson of Lucy Ann (Beebe) (Sherwood) Culver. Presumably he traveled for the funeral and stayed a few days.

Dr. and Mrs. Sherwood, and Harry Sherwood and wife, visited the Pan-American Exposition last week.

DK – Dr. Orlando Beebe Sherwood (1840-1908) was the son of Dr. A. C. Sherwood (1815-1860) and Lucy Ann (Beebe) Sherwood (1822-1901). His sisters, Maria, Harriet and Florence May, all have tiles on the quilt. Harriet and Florence are shown living with Irene Sharpe in the Charles Culver household in the 1870 U.S. Census for the Town of Catharine in Schuyler County, NY.

Mrs. Sherwood was Aline E Brown (1841- ) one of three daughters of Tilinghast Brown (1810-1898) who lived their entire lives in Cayutaville. Her niece, Susan C. Brink (1854-1945) married Elvin T. Strang who has a tile on the quilt.

Harry Sherwood (1872- ) was the son of Dr. and Mrs. Sherwood. His wife, Edith Coddington (1875-1962) was the daughter of John L. Coddington (1824-1865) and Lucinda Case ( – 1947)

Both couples lived their lives and raised their families in Cayutaville very nearby Lucy Ann (Beebe) (Sherwood) Culver.

The Pan-American Exposition was a World’s Fair held in Buffalo, NY, from May 1st through the 2nd of November, 1901. Primarily it is remembered for being the location of the assassination of President William McKinley on September 4, 1901.

Miss Lucy Jones goes to Buffalo Saturday of this week.

DK – probably going to Buffalo for the Pan-American Exhibition – 150 miles WNW of Cayutaville.

Miss Blanche Pendorf of Alpine, is the guest of her aunt, Mrs. Dwight Sherwood.

DK – Dwight Sherwood was a son of Dr. O.B. Sherwood and Aline (Brown) Sherwood and brother to Harry Sherwood. Dwight Sherwood (1874-1929) married Pauline A. States (1877-1974). Elizabeth (States) Pendorf, and her sister Pauline (States) Sherwood were two daughters of Warren States (1845-1914) and Rosanna (Snyder) States (1847-1932) of Cayutaville. Elizabeth (States) Pendorf (1868-1959) was the mother of Miss Blanche Pendorf of Alpine. The road that the Charles Culver house was located on in 1850 when Irene Sharpe was born is now known as States Road.


Saturday evening the big tent will be erected on the lawn at E.T. Strang’s, and ice cream will be served for the benefit of the M.E. Church of this place. All are cordially invited.

elmira-star-gazette-october-8-1907DK – Elvin T. Strang (1847-1913) has a tile on the quilt { E. Strang }. He married Susan C. Brink (1854-1945) the daughter of Richard Brink (1830- ) and Ruth Ann (Brown) Brink (1834-1935). Ruth Ann was a sister of Aline (Brown) Sherwood, the wife of Dwight Sherwood. Elvin’s sister, Keziah (Strang) Culver (1843-1915) married John Edgar Culver, (1842-1900) the only child of Charles and Adelaide (Evans) Culver.

E.T. Strang was well known in the area for drilling water wells near Ellis Hollow in Dryden, NY that supplied a large portion of Ithaca, NY with drinking water from a gravity fed source. He was a staunch member of the Prohibition Party and ran for Schuyler County Sheriff in 1897.

The remainder of the news for this place and date from the clipping is the obituary of Lucy Ann (Beebe) (Sherwood) Culver. Almost 30 years prior Lucy Culver had been instrumental in weaving a snapshot of the hamlet by helping to create the intricate layout of relationships on the Cayutaville Quilt. The 9 names that are hi-lighted in the obituary portion of the news clipping are of people whose names appear on the Cayutaville Quilt.


After a long period of suffering Mrs. L. A. Culver entered into rest Thursday, June 20 aged 79 years. She is survived by a brother, Albert Beebe, of Kayutah lake, one sister, Mrs. James Tracy of Birdsall, N.Y., and four children – Dr. O. B. Sherwood and Mrs. Bezzie Sawyer of this place, Mrs. Maria Davenport of Etna, and Mrs. L. L. Soule of Moreland. She was born in Salem, Conn., and came with her parents, Mr and Mrs. John Beebe, (who were among the pioneers in this section), when six years of age, to Connecticut Hill. Subsequently her life had been spent in this locality. She united with the Presbyterian Church at Newfield, in her youth. Was married to Dr. Sherwood at the age of 18, and resided with him at Enfield Center and Trumbull’s Corners. After his death she returned to Cayutaville, where she has since lived. She was married to Charles Culver, who she survived 20 years. The funeral was held from her late home Sunday, June 23d, Rev. C. L’V. Haynes officiating; burial at McIntyre cemetery. As the remains were laid away to the long rest by six grandsons – Elmer, Dwight and Harry Sherwood, Dwight and Charlie Sawyer and Fred Davenport – the youngest grand-child, Aline Sawyer, and a great grand child, Seward Davenport, covered the casket with beautiful flowers. Mrs. Sawyer, who so tenderly cared for her mother in her declining years, wishes to tender her thanks to the neighbors and friends who assisted in any way during the illness, and in the trying days after the death of the beloved mother.


DK –

Mrs. L. A. Culver – { Lucy Culver } – Lucy Ann Beebe Sherwood Culver (1822-1901)
Mrs. James Tracy – { Harriet Tracy } – sister
James Tracy – { J. Tracy } – brother-in-law
Mrs. Bezzie Sawyer – { May Sherwood } – daughter
Mrs. Maria Davenport – { Marie Devenport } – daughter
Mrs. L. L. Soule – { H. Sherwood } – daughter
John Beebe  – { J Bebee } – father
Charles Culver – { Charles Culver } – late 2nd husband – Irene Sharpe’s uncle
Fred Davenport – { F. Devenport } – grandson

Mrs. Sawyer, who so tenderly cared for her mother in her declining years, wishes to tender her thanks to the neighbors and friends who assisted in any way during the illness, and in the trying days after the death of the beloved mother.

DK – The final line of the obituary ties together the entire news clipping. The date of the paper was June 27, 1901. The date of Mrs. L. A. Culver’s passing is reported to be one week earlier, June 20th. The second item in the clipping indicated that “Dr. and Mrs. Sherwood and Harry Sherwood and wife, visited the Pan-American Exposition last week.” That means that Lucy Ann Culver’s son and wife, and grandson and wife, were 150 miles away in Buffalo at the time of her death. There certainly must have been some “trying days after the death of the beloved mother.” One can only imagine a story of a 1901 telephone system in a rural community and attempting to track down a few individuals in far-away Buffalo – with an ironic twist that Dwight Sherwood owned the Cayutaville telephone company and his wife, Pauline, and his mother, Mrs. Dr. Sherwood (who was in Buffalo) operated the switchboard from their home.

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