Annie Dykes Coggeshall Brownell
1840 – 1907
She was born in Yarmouth, MA, on November 28, 1840. Annie was the daughter of Reverend Samuel W. Coggeshall and Mary A. Dykes. Rev. Coggeshall was a Methodist minister in Little Compton and his daughter married Frederick R. Brownell (1837-1903) on Feb 1, 1866.
The family story is that when she came here with her family she introduced ice cream to Little Compton at a Methodist Church Social.
They had five children. Frank and Charlotte married brother and sister Josephine and Theron Noble and settled in Washington State, Marie Louise settled in Kentucky, Frederick stayed in Little Compton and Annie died at 11 months old.
Her first two letters from 1906 are from a visit to Providence. In May 1906 she started a trip to Washington state to visit her children. In many letters home she mentions her poor health. Her last letter is from December 1906. She died in Yakima, Washington, on January 31, 1906. One sad letter she received from her daughter Maria in Kentucky describes the death of her baby at just a few days old.
Highlights of the letters are below.
A letter postmarked St Paul, Minnesota, May 4, 1906, indicates she is traveling via the Northern Pacific railroad but I’m not sure who is with her.
June 11 1906. I am slowly regaining my strength …The doctor said “he was surprised so frail a woman dared to come across the continent without stopping off to rest in any way”
July 25, 1906. Just received your letter announcing the birth of a another baby (Winthrop)…I am not well..and I have lost my voice.
September 7,1906. I have not much strength and obliged to lie down several times during the time I am allowed to sit up.
September 17, 1906. This is a lovely day, I wish you could have such weather in Compton. The air is so dry and pure, everything keeps sweet, no mold or musty smell anywhere.
September 25, 1906. I am steadily improving and can walk around the house very well….I think of you all very often and dear little Frederick who has such a warm place in my heart…There is a bottle of whiskey in the wardrobe in the parlor chamber, a fancy sort of bottle that one of Brownell’s friends sent me. Louise said it was a very choice brand. Will you please it to Edith as a gift from me.
October 8,1906. …am so glad you have decided to sleep down stairs this winter. I am sure it will save Lydora’s back pain.
October 27, 1906. I suppose you have heard the good news from Louise, that she has a fine boy and is doing fine. …The weather is charming her, real Indian Summer, only it is so warm and dry, so different from Compton. We have just had bad news. Louise’s baby died on Friday as near as we can tell from the telegram.
Will you please look at the trunk that is to come by freight sometime and not let the mice or rats get into it.
December 13, 1906. This is a sad letter and includes a letter from her daughter about the death of her baby.
December 20, 1906. I have not been well lately, seem to have lost my strength and appetite.
The enclosed twenty dollars is for your Xmas time for my precious Frederick, ?? little Winthrop the rest is for you and your good wife.
The letter of December 20th is the last letter before she died on January 31, 1907. She has a stone in the Union Cemetery. Her body was presumably returned to Little Compton after her death.
Fred Bridge, Great-grandson
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