Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I mentioned in a previous post that I'd recently spent an afternoon with
my brother in law Pete looking through some old family albums. They
were full of beautiful greeting cards, calling cards, business cards and
postcards, and they were all addressed to Peter's granduncle Levi

Levi Newcomb, the younger son of George Henry Newcomb and
Agnes Isabelle Merritt, was born in Scituate, Plymouth, Ma, on 16Feb
1893. At some time in young life he developed a rheumatic heart which
limited his physical activities and left him housebound for most of his life.
And so his friends and family would send him postcards, some with
humorous pictures, others with paintings or photographs of various
places. The latter ranged from places as close as North Abington
Square to as far away as Guantanamo Bay where a former schoolmate
was stationed on a warship.

The messages on the back of most of the postcards are still legible.
There are comments about the weather, or snippets of family news, and
optimistic talk about what the sender and Levi might do when he was
well enough to come visit.

These messages hopefully helped keep Levi's spirits up. His mother
Agnes had passed away in 1895 just two years after Levi's birth. He,
his father George and brother Paul were living on West St in North 
Abington next to the railroad tracks near one of the factories in town
at that time.Except for occasional trips to visit with relatives in
Scituate or Lakeville Levi spent his entire life there in that house,

And it was there that he died on 3Jan 1911, a month shy of his
18th birthday. That night when I came home I put his name in over
at FamilySearch Record Search and found Levi's death certificate.
It lists cause of death as endocarditis with articular rheumatism as
the secondary cause. He was buried in Granland Cemetery in
North Scituate three days later on 6Jan 1911.

The postcards are now a century old, preserved in their albums,
a window into a past where thoughtful people took the time to
send  them to a young invalid living in a house next to the railroad
tracks in North Abington, Massachusetts.


lindalee said...

I love having those windows back into the time of my family. When I was cleaning out my husband's Mom's condo this summer, I was fortunate to find numerous post cards and greeting cards from his branches of the tree. WAHOO!

Carol said...

Nice post Bill. Thanks for sharing Levi.