Here is a tribute written on May 11th, 1928, by Minnie M. (Fraser) Murray of Henniker, New Hampshire, to her parents. This piece of writing was given to me by Joanne Turner to share with our readers.
In the year 1863, my father and mother started on their life long journey. Their names were William Foster Fraser and his wife Mary Ann (Howard) Fraser. They purchased a tract of land from the Landlord Neal McCallum of Brackley Point.
The land was situated on the Linwood Road between Clyde River and Kingston, Lot 31, 81 acres of land covered with pine, spruce, white birch and maple. My father worked very hard and cleared the land, which took some time. He was a very good carpenter and he erected a very comfortable set of farm buildings, dwelling house, large barn and a number of smaller out buildings in the yard. He dug a well and the water was drawn with a windlass and the old oaken bucket.
He had a large fruit orchard, apples, plums and cherry trees. He also planted a lot of ornamental trees and shrubbery and an abundance of beautiful flowers. He had a market garden, small fruit, black currants, red currants, gooseberries and all kinds of vegetables.
The farm was almost square. He cleared it all except a three-acre spruce lumber lot in one corner of the farm. He reserved lumber to build fences. There were no wire fences in that day. He built a short piece of fence out of pine stumps (about 50 years ago). That fence is in quite good condition yet.
The farm is quite level with the exception of a small steep hill. It was called the Mount.
During father’s lifetime, he had two coats of fertilizer spread over his farm which consisted of mussel mud. The mud was taken from the river bed of North River. The work was done during the winter when the ice on the river was frozen hard. They cut holes in the ice, mud diggers placed in position, the mud taken up with large mud forks resembling scoops, put in sleds and drawn to the farm.
My father grew wonderful fine crops which consisted of wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat, potatoes, turnips and mangles.
His stock was what was generally kept on any up-to-date farm. He always kept good farm horses as he had to draw his produce to market in Charlottetown, eight miles away.
He paid for his farm with pounds, shillings and pence, that was the kind of money they used in his time. He made all his wheels as he was a wheelwright, also his wagons and carts. He kept a strict account of all raised on the farm, all he sold, and all he bought.
My father and mother had many privations and hardships that came to early settlers’ lives.
Of this union, there were born nine children, eight girls and one son. The son’s name was Charles Howard Fraser. When he was three years old, he took sick and passed away (1884). That was one of the great trials of their lives, the loss of their only son. One of his young sisters planted a peony rose on his grave. They tell me it has bloomed every year for 44 years.
My parents were very firm but also very kind to their family. The word “disobey” was never spoken in the home.
My father kept a beautiful-spirited driving horse named Jan. This horse was very kind and gentle. Any member of the family could drive it. This horse had all the kindness and affection bestowed on it that any animal deserved.
There was plenty of work for each member of the family and also plenty of time for pleasure and enjoyment.
My mother was very good to the poor and sick. Many are living today who have blessed her for she gave to the sick and destitute with a lavish hand. For a great number of years my mother would take children of deserving poor from the city and give them a home during the summer months, with fresh sunshine and good food. They returned to their home in the autumn with stronger bodies and rosy cheeks. Mother never received any pay. She enjoyed doing it for free. I think it meant something to mother with her one large growing family.
My father and mother entertained extensively in their home. Their hospitality was unbounded.
My father was a magistrate for a number of years and did a lot of legal business for several communities.
In the year 1908, my father and mother retired from active farming and made their home in the pretty little village of Clyde River. My father worked at the carpenter trade for a few years.
My parents did all in their power for the uplift and community betterment.
In the year 1912, my father passed away. A few years later, in 1920, my mother passed away. My father and mother being dead, yet they speak, all their family rose up to call them blessed.
My father is survived by two brothers, Daniel T. Fraser of Kingston and John Hamilton Grey Fraser, contractor and builder, Denver, Colorado.
Family genealogy notes:
- William Foster Fraser – February 1, 1941 in Seal River, PEI and died in Clyde River, April 1, 1912.
- Mary Ann (Howard) Fraser – born December 24th, 1841 and died May 20th, 1920
- Hannah Fraser – born May 31st, 1865 and died February 14th, 1951
- Mary (Minnie) Fraser – born November 26th, 1866 and died 1940 – married name Murray
- Sarah Bessie Fraser – born April 9th, 1868, married 1st to J.D. Millett and 2nd to (last name) Allen
- Edith Rebecca Fraser – born October 2nd, 1869 and died on May 14th, 1956. Married to Charles David McLean, 1868-1932
- Annie Tyler Fraser – born April 15th, 1871 and died October 6th, 1953
- Harriet Crawford Fraser – born October 28th, 1873
- Ida Jane Fraser – born March 1st, 1876 and died April 29th, 1940
- Ethel Blanche Fraser – born May 1879 and died June 4th, 1953. Married to Dan Jenkins.
- Charles Howard Fraser – born March 1881 and died May 1884, buried in Kingston.