52ancestorsGenealogist Amy Johnson Crow, who blogs at No Story Too Small, has set a challenge to write about one ancestor each week. I’ve decided to take up that challenge to wake up my (somewhat) languishing blog, but to honor my ancestors. I plan to post every week on Sunday, and I encourage others to join the challenge with me.

A High Type of Gentleman

Sometimes it takes the death of a person—and his obituary—to tell you everything about his life. Assuming most of the information given is accurate, an obituary can paint a picture in a few paragraphs.

… a grand old man whose life was filled with good deeds… who had fought a good fight and won praises of his fellowmen

Loren B. Aldrich married my great-great aunt Ella Amanda Roberts in 1895 when she was 36 years old. He was 61. The wedding took place in the home of her parents, in Elmira, Chemung County, New York. Despite what must have been considered an age almost too old to have children, Ella gave birth to a son 2 years later. Loren also had a daughter from a previous marriage.

Loren came to Addison, in Steuben County, with his parents when he was about 10 years old. Once he arrived there, he never moved away; he and Ella remained in Addison until his death in 1919. His obituary mentions “… 60 years of continuous employment in the same position with successive firms, on the same ground, performing the same duties.” It went on to say that “his acquaintances knew him a grand old man whose life was filled with good deeds, a man who died as he had lived, an honest man, who had fought a good fights and won the praises of his fellowmen.”

He was a greatly respected contractor, and when he died, which happened at his home, it was across the street from the factory where he worked. He was 85. Loren was in the business of sash (window) manufacturing, with the Park, Winston & True company.

He also was a 32nd degree Mason, a prominent member of the M. E. Church and various lodges, and served on the first Board of Education for 20 years. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees (some years as president), and was a trustee of the Addison Public Library for 20 years. His obituary was titled “Death of a High Type of Gentleman and Citizen.” For someone who started out life in Steuben County on a farm on Hardscrabble Hill, it sounds like he really made something of himself.