Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1884 - Died "Full of Years"

Union Springs Advertiser Union Springs, New York Thursday, November 13, 1884 Died "Full of Years." The oft repeated, familiar psalm of the Good Book says: "The days of our years are three-score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be four-score years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." In the death of Mrs. Phoebe Brockway, Wednesday of present week, our community has an instance where human life was prolonged a year more than five-score and ten. This woman, remarkable by reason of the accumulation of years, was laid at rest in Chestnut Hill cemetery this afternoon, all the local pastors being invited to take part in the burial services - held at the house of her daughter Abigail Menzie (in "Hamburg") at 2 o'clock and in the cemetery at 3 o'clock. Had it not been for the unfavorable weather the attendance would undoubtedly have proven very large. Much has been said and written of this wonderfully aged woman, familiarly known as "Granny Merritt." Her age is a matter of some doubt, but we have chosen the minimum calculation, which is regarded by the family as correct. Mrs. Brockway's maiden name was Collier and her birthplace the town of Galway, Saratoga county. She came to Cayuga county with her parents when fourteen years old, and settled in Scipio, about twelve miles from Springport. The Indians were in complete possession of the then wilderness. Gideon Brockway was her first and only husband, by whom she had four children, one died in his seventh year, the rest are living, namely: Mrs. Marshall Whipple, Mrs. Abigail Menzie, and William Brockway, all past the allotted years of mankind. Numerous descendants, covering five generations reside mostly in this vicinity. For the past three or four years, Mrs. Brockway has not ventured out much, but previously she was often seen in village, returning, at times carrying a sack of flour or other equally weighty burdens a mile to her home. The town has contributed to her support for many years. A sister, ninety-one years of age, died in the County house about two years ago. The funeral was under the direction of J. B. Pierson who conducted the affair with dignity and solemnity.

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