Julia Beard “Juliette” Martin
Julia Beard Martin was the thirteenth of the fourteen children of Nathaniel Martin and Hannah Strader. She was born 23 July 1867 in Martintown, Green County, WI. In keeping with Nathaniel and Hannah’s baby-naming tendencies, she was named for a specific individual. In her case, it was Julia Beard, the young woman whom her parents assumed would before long become their first daughter-in-law. Had it not been for that choice of name, Julia Beard would now be a completely forgotten figure, because she never did marry Elias Martin, eldest of Nathaniel and Hannah’s offspring. In life, Julia Beard Martin was usually known as Juliette, and appears in many records under that variation. She was known to some of her nephews and nieces as “Aunt Jule,” and in her old age signed letters to them in just that way.
Juliette was one of only three of her parents’ brood to live a full life all the way to old age. The other two were Elias and Nellie, the eldest two of the whole fourteen, so Juliette would ultimately spend many years at the end of her life as the sole survivor of her birth family, and served as a key source of genealogical information during the 1940s when members of the younger generation needed to learn more about those who had passed on.
(Shown below right is Juliette at age two or three, with her older sister Mary Lincoln “Tinty” Martin. This was scanned from the original tintype, preserved within the hoard of family memorabilia of Juliette’s niece Mary Emma Warner Hastings. The sleeve of the tintype has “Aunt Tinta and Aunt Jule” written on the back in Emma’s handwriting. The photo is included on this webpage even though it is not a good view of Juliette, simply because it is the only available image of Juliette as a child. As you can see, her form is blurry. That’s because she was too young to hold still while the picture was being taken. Tintype photography required that the subject keep still for a substantial interval, even as long as forty-five seconds. Juliette, it seems, couldn’t manage it that day. Note the figure of the man hiding behind the chairs. You can make out his hat and part of his face if you look between the girls’ shoulders, and you can see his hand on Juliette’s elbow, part of his attempt to make her hold still. Alas, his effort was only partially successful. The tintype might not have been saved all those years had the rendering of Tinty not turned out superbly.)
Juliette came of age at a point in American history when females of good reputation could finally pursue careers simply because they wanted to, and not because they were forced to do so out of the exigencies of widowhood. This was especially true of younger daughters of well-to-do families. Juliette’s older sisters had all become wives while still in their teens, but she did not follow their example. She remained single until she was nearly twenty-seven years old. She spent the early years of her adulthood otherwise occupied, and probably was gone from Martintown for a number of years while doing whatever it was she did. Research has yet to reveal the particulars, but a big clue is that on the marriage record, the groom’s place of residence is Milwaukee, WI. This in turn suggests a scenario. More and more members of the Martin-Strader clan were heading off to places like Chicago or the small colleges of northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, or eastern Iowa as they turned eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years old. Juliette may have been specifically inspired by her first cousins David Patterson Frame and Jacob Strader Frame, the sons of her mother’s sister Katie Anne (aka Anna Catherine). Dave and Jake were older than Juliette by quite a margin -- Dave was sixteen years her senior, and Jake eleven -- so they were not cousins she had known as classmates or as playfellows, but she did know them as role models. That is to say, they were relatives who were part of her own generation and whose choices must have seemed relevant to her situation. They were also individuals she knew well, both having been raised during the 1870s next door in Martintown in the home Katie Anne shared with her second husband Henry Rush, who after Nathaniel Martin was the richest man in the village. Henry Rush’s wealth -- and probably his encouragement and blessing -- allowed Dave and then Jake to head off as young men to Milwaukee, where both completed the training that allowed them to become veterinary surgeons. (This was a profession of considerable status in the 1870s because farm households throughout the nation were heavily dependent on their horses and other draft animals, and needed those assets to remain healthy.) Being female, Julia did not have as many options as Dave and Jake had enjoyed, but she could point to how well things had worked out for them and convince her father to let her go to Milwaukee, supplied with enough funds to get a degree or certificate that would allow her to make a bit of a mark upon the world -- say in teaching, accounting, secretarial work, or nursing. As said, there is no reference material to indicate what she chose, but it absolutely makes sense that the reason she met the man she married was because they encountered one another in Milwaukee.
The man she married was Edwin Eugene Savage, son of Emily J. Harvey and lumberman Edward Savage, born 29 November 1858 in Old Town, Penobscot County, ME. The Savage clan had pioneered the vicinity, and even today one can find a Savage Street in Bangor. Edwin arrived on the scene not long after the death in infancy of his brother Edward. Clearly his parents wanted to have a “little Ed” in the household, but did not feel it was appropriate to use the name Edward again. Edwin was the fifth of six children. The tally includes poor little Edward as well as Emma, who perished in the 1850s at less than three years of age. Edwin did not feel the impact of those two deaths because he had not been born yet, but he was not so lucky at age ten when his father died. From that point on, Edwin repeatedly sought out the support of his remaining siblings, his brothers Fred (aka James), George, and Elmer, particularly when he was “between jobs.” Edwin seems to have often been between jobs, perhaps a hint that he had a drinking problem or some other quality that made employers and business associates lose confidence in him.
In the late 1870s, George Savage established himself in Montana, where he would spend over forty years in the mining industry, often in the capacity of an owner, superintendent, and/or investor. Before devoting himself fully to his mining career, George was a carriage maker. His offspring later claimed he was the first man in the whole state of Montana to construct a hearse. (This may seem like a dubious bit of fame, but the fact that a hearse had been commissioned meant the territory had reached the level of civilization that an undertaker was willing and commercially able to purchase a conveyance meant entirely for funereal purposes. As pioneer benchmarks go, this had its significance.) Edwin came along to Montana, boarding with his brother and his sister-in-law Mary Catherine Dowling in Beaverhead County. The 1880 census reveals one of his jobs was to paint the carriages his brother built.
In the early 1880s, Edwin became involved in some sort of scheme to exploit a promising mining claim, and accepted money from investors. This is the sort of activity that George would later pursue repeatedly, generally with good results, but things did not go well for Edwin. He was accused of embezzlement. He fled back to LaGrange Township, Penobscot County, ME, where the family -- now including his stepfather Alonzo A. Hatch -- had been based since the 1869 death of Edward Savage. A denizen there turned him in for the reward offered by the office of the governor of Montana. A sheriff was sent all the way back to Maine to fetch Edwin, but his lawyer (J.W. Donigan, Esq.) succeeded in pointing out to the State of Maine that the writ of mandamus carried by the sheriff was “fatally flawed.” Edwin was released from jail in late December, 1882, having been confined there since the first of the month.
Whether Edwin succeeded in avoiding further time inside a jail cell has yet to be determined, but even if that is the case, he found it prudent not to show his face again in Montana for fifteen years or so. This was a bit of bad luck, because George went on to thrive there, winning the support of investors for increasingly ambitious projects involving larger and larger quantities of startup funds. By contrast, Edwin appears to have stayed in Maine for the rest of the 1880s, more or less cooling his heels. By the early 1890s, though, he ventured to Milwaukee, where his younger brother Elmer Savage was fast becoming a noted businessman. Edwin was the manager of Herenden Manufacturing Company, a builder of agricultural implements. He was also a heralded bicycle racer, having earlier in the decade set the national record in the 25-mile “ordinary championship” while living in Minneapolis, MN. Elmer’s name still turns up today for one of his finer moments as a human being; in 1893, he and the other members of the Milwaukee Wheelmen thwarted an attempt by local bigots to enact a Jim Crow law to ban blacks and Asians from the hugely popular July 4th bicycle race from Milwaukee to Waukesha. Elmer probably gave Edwin some sort of job at his firm. Edwin by now was a machinist, an occupation he would continue to pursue off and on for the rest of his life.
The wedding of Juliette and Edwin took place 17 March 1894 in Martintown. Her grown nieces Emma Warner, Blanche Martin, and Lena Brown served as witnesses. Her brother-in-law John Warner officiated in his capacity as a local justice of the peace. Juliette may have felt an urgency to marry when she did. Later in the year her niece Belle Warner would become a wife. Early the following year her nephew Nathaniel Hodge would become a husband. And before the end of 1895, Lena Brown would become Mrs. Frank Hastings. Juliette may not have wanted to find herself attending family events and be at risk of hearing gossips whisper the term “spinster aunt” behind her back.
Assuming Juliette had pursued some sort of career while single, she gave it up at once. She embraced the role of homemaker. Presumably this means she was also ready to embrace the role of mother as well, but year after year went by and no babies appeared. This does not seem likely to have been her preference. She and Edwin must have been thwarted by some sort of infertility issue. The lack of offspring does not appear to have weakened the couple’s union, though. It may have even made it stronger. One thing it did do was free up the pair to move around the country. They didn’t have to worry about uprooting a set of children from homes, schools, and groups of friends. Juliette and Edwin ended up pursuing a lifestyle that could be described as “coast to coast,” including intervals spent residing near the shore of the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Lake Michigan.
The first stop was almost surely Milwaukee, though direct evidence of this (such as Edwin’s name in a city directory) has yet to surface. Edwin probably worked at Herenden. Unfortunately in late 1896, his brother’s ability to keep him employed hit a huge snag. In December, 1896, Elmer’s boss, William L. Herenden, accused him of embezzlement, leading to his arrest, a scenario reminiscent of Edwin’s experience in 1882. Elmer appears to have managed in the long run to preserve his freedom and even save his reputation. He continued to reside in Milwaukee until the early 1920s, and is described in newspaper articles of the early Twentieth Century as a respected businessman of the city. However, his relationship with William L. Herenden was ruined. That, along with the declining health of Elmer’s first wife Ida Sanford Savage, must have persuaded Edwin that it was time to head off to other pastures and leave his little brother with the space to concentrate upon his own situation.
Juliette and Edwin are known to have been based in Martintown in 1897. A letter written by her nephew Nathaniel Hodge of Pasadena 23 August 1897 mentions that Nathaniel had just that day received a new photograph of his Martin grandparents sent by Juliette, who had apparently taken it upon herself to distribute copies of the images of the elderly couple to the far-flung members of the clan. Perhaps Juliette and Edwin had been in Martintown throughout the mid-1890s, but it seems likely they had retreated there after departing Milwaukee some time during the winter of 1896-97. Family connections would have ensured Edwin could find employment of some sort, the most likely possibility being to serve as a machinist at the Martin mills.
And here we may come to what may be a defining moment in the destiny of Edwin Savage. He and Juliette had come to Martintown at a transition point. Nathaniel Martin had maintained a habit throughout life of depending upon, and giving income-earning opportunities to, his sons-in-law. He had been well-served by John Warner and Cullen Penny Brown. While neither had been content to remain entirely in Nathaniel’s shadow, they had been there over the decades to add their maturity and support to the not-insignificant challenge of operating a successful sawmill. But both John and Cullen had had their hands in other ventures for quite some time. In 1898, Cullen chose to accept a contract to establish a sawmill in DeQueen, AR that would mean he and Emma would settle in Arkansas for good. John Warner, meanwhile, was becoming more and more heavily involved in his independent custom-hardwood business with former Martin-mills sawyer Dayton Tyler, and had less reason to maintain his relationship with his father-in-law’s business. If Edwin had shown himself to be ambitious, capable, and eager for the challenge, he might well have become an essential figure at Martintown. But that didn’t happen. Perhaps the opportunity wasn’t actually there. Perhaps it was there, but required more patience than Edwin was willing to devote to the process. What seems fairly clear is that he was disappointed by his prospects in Wisconsin, so he and Juliette packed their steamer trunks and caught a westbound train. It had been over a decade and a half since Ed’s calamitous episode as a fugitive. He decided it was by now safe to return to Montana. He went to see what his brother George could do for him.
George was by then the manager of the Bitter Mountain Mining Company, which was leasing the Snow Ball Mine near Butte. He gave Edwin a job as a machinist at Snow Ball Mine, but what Edwin wanted was to come in at a management or ownership level, as he had tried to do with his venture in 1882. Unfortunately what George needed was a brother who could either bring money to the table, or convince investors to buy into a project. He found both in the form of youngest brother Elmer, who having rescued his professional reputation and having settled into a stable domestic situation with new wife Helena Pauline Schmitz, teamed up with George in 1901 to form the Milwaukee Gold Extraction Company in order to obtain control of, and continue to exploit, the Hannah group of mines in Granite County, MT about twenty miles from Anaconda. Poor Edwin had no money, and no associates with money who would let him serve as their point man. This must have been a bitter pill for him to swallow. Rather than be forced to stick around as the “poor relation,” he and Juliette left Butte in the late winter or early spring of 1900. There is no further reference to him being associated in any sort of venture with either George or Elmer.
The first stop after Montana was Baker, Baker County, OR, where Juliette and Edwin happened to be staying when the 1900 census was taken. It is ironic they left such a long-lasting trace of themselves in Baker, because their presence there could not have lasted more than a season or so. Edwin is described in the census as a “stationary engineer.” This phrase is often equivalent to “machinist.” It means he was responsible for maintaining equipment at a given site (hence the “stationary” aspect). However, it is also a term that can refer to a position as lowly as a janitor, assuming the janitor does such things as turning radiators on and off and/or fixing the plumbing. It was not a career sort of circumstance, and it is not surprising the couple soon moved on to Seattle. The 1901 profile of Nathaniel Martin in the commemorative volume about Green County, WI pioneers mentions that Juliette and Edwin were in Seattle, and that he was a machinist there. Edwin is described in the 1904 Seattle directory as a pipefitter. He and Juliette were residing at 615 Union. (Today this address is found several blocks uphill from the famous Pike Place Market, in the eastern part of the Central Waterfront neighborhood.)
Upon the death of her father, Juliette rushed back home to help care for her mother. Edwin may have escorted her back so that he could attend the funeral, but if so he returned to Seattle and remained until the end of April before coming back to Martintown. He would not go west again -- except perhaps to go back in order to collect their belongings. Juliette would make Martintown her base until at least the latter part of 1910, and may have remained until as late as 1912.
Juliette persuaded her husband that his prospects in Wisconsin were better than any that awaited him back in the Pacific Northwest. She knew that in the aftermath of her father’s death, it was an open question as to who would run the Martin sawmill. Her brother Horatio was firmly ensconced as the boss of the flour mill, but did not have the same ownership stake in the sawmill. Hannah had now inherited the main ownership of the latter, and in order to get by as a widow, needed to either sell her interest or find a manager willing to step in without an ownership stake. If John Warner or Cullen Brown had still been living in Martintown in the summer of 1905, they might have been natural candidates to fill that need, but they were elsewhere. Juliette put her persuasive skills to work. She was her mother’s baby girl. Hannah agreed to let Edwin have a shot. A sentence in the news-of-Martintown column of the 12 May 1905 edition of the Freeport, IL Journal-Standard states, “Mr. E. Savage will run the sawmill here.”
Yet as it turned out, Edwin was thwarted once again. Though John Warner and Cullen Brown were not in a position to interfere, Juliette had one last brother-in-law, Elwood Bucher, the widower of her sister Tinty. No sooner had Edwin been announced as the incoming manager than Elwood made his move. The 2 June 1905 Journal-Standard says it succinctly: “E.B. Bucher has recently purchased the mill.”
Elwood had no intention of buying the mill only to install Edwin as his manager. Elwood took it over personally in a hands-on fashion -- and would do the same a year later with the flour mill after the untimely death of Horatio Martin from a suddenly-emergent case of tuberculosis. In the winter of 1908-09 Elwood would install an electric dynamo to take advantage of the mills’ power, bringing the legacy family business fully into the modern era and showing himself to be the true successor of Nathaniel Martin.
As one might expect, Edwin was massively frustrated. This time he did more than stew about it or slink away in defeat. It is hard to be sure whether his 1905 stumble was the lack of faith others had in him, or simply lack of investment money, or both or neither, but he was damned if he was going to be someone’s punching dummy. He was inspired to “show the world what he was made of.” He did have expertise. Both he and Juliette were from families whose breadwinners had done very well for themselves as businessmen. He found a way in which he might put that expertise and those real-life examples to good use: He obtained a contract as the western representative for the refrigeration unit manufactured by the Brunswick Refrigerating Company of New Brunwick, NJ.
This was an ideal gambit for Edwin to take at this juncture. Large refrigeration units were changing the landscape of American society. Common households did not yet have true refrigerators. The equipment was expensive, noisy, and took up a lot of space. But for commercial uses, the advantages of the devices made them well worth the investment. Butchershop owners added cold rooms and not only could keep their meat fresh for far longer, but could stock eggs, butter, milk, and other necessities of the everyday kitchen. The same was true of dairies and creameries and cheese factories. All over the country housewives ceased having to cope with maintaining their own poultry and dairy cow. They dispensed with the hassle and took up the custom of making frequent trips to the nearest village center to restock their perishables. Restaurants ceased having to throw away food that had spoiled in the heat of their back rooms. The key for all of these various and sundry commercial enterprises was being able to rely on their refrigeration capacity. That mean not only choosing the right brand of equipment, but hiring a competent and reliable installer to set it up. Edwin became one of those guys.
In Brunswick terms, “western” meant Chicago-based. Edwin set up a storefront in that city from which he operated. He was probably not on-site much. It was an address to use for advertisements and where a clerk would take orders and an accountant would mail out the invoices and collect the payments, but Edwin himself was more likely to be found at a delivery site, connecting pipes and valves and wiring and making sure the customer was acquainted with the daily maintenance of their new pride and joy. (One of his advertisements is shown at left. It comes from the February, 1906 issue of Popular Mechanics. Identical ads appeared in each issue of the magazine during the first six months of that year.)
One of Edwin’s very first customers was Juliette’s nephew John Martin Warner, who at that time owned and operated one of Martintown’s two general stores. John was a big fan of keeping up with technological innovation, particularly when he could do so in a way that would draw customers to the store. In 1905 he had put in a telephone and a gramophone. In January, 1906, he decided to become a purveyor of ice as well. Through individual households did not have refrigerators, many were acquiring iceboxes and many more were waiting to get them as soon as their community had a dealer of ice. John’s investment was a savvy maneuver. The addition of the icehouse may have been the final straw that caused the other Martintown general store owner, William Edwards, to sell out and retire later that year. From that point on, John had a monopoly situation.
Juliette did not go to Chicago to live. She was committed to keeping her elderly mother company in Martintown. So she and Edwin began living a split existence. He would return home to her on a regular basis whenever he had no units to install. She sometimes went with him on his journeys to meet with customers or suppliers when the pair knew they would have the opportunity to build some relaxation time into the trip. When Juliette was away, Hannah counted on an array of overnight guests to keep the house from becoming too empty, those individuals including her sister Rhoda and her daughter-in-law Lavina Watson Martin.
By 1908, Edwin had sold Brunswick units in many parts of the upper Midwest, particularly in Chicago and Milwaukee, and believed he had a handle on capturing a chunk of that market for himself. He came up with his own design for a refrigeration unit and patented it, setting the stage for the formation of his own company.
The Martin clan was no stranger to the advantages of patents. Juliette’s nephews Nathaniel M. Hodge and Arthur Judson Hodge had parlayed a number of inventions into successful means of making money. Juliette’s sister Emma Brown had even dipped her toes in the arena with her 1897 patent of an adjustable canning-jar holder. So Juliette surely actively encouraged Edwin’s creative venture. In a way, she emulated him -- not with a patent, but with a copyright. In 1908, working through a printer in Freeport, IL (the nearest city south of Martintown), she published the sheet music and lyrics of a song she had written called “The Sun Will Shine Brightly for You.” How widely it was distributed/sold is not known. Its existence is known today from a copy that turned up in 2008 -- a hundred years after its publication -- within the memorabilia of Emma Hastings, i.e. within the same hoard that yielded the tintype of Juliette as a three-year-old with her sister Tinty. The musical ability of the Martin family is noted in several references, and as the one grown daughter of the family whose time was not consumed with childrearing, chances are good Juliette pursued her talent regularly. She probably composed far more than just one song.
Edwin spent the latter part of 1908 getting his plans to the first major stage of fruition. He had the patent, the prototype, and the machinist skills. What he needed were investors willing to put up the capital to buy the raw metal, set up a foundry, and pay the laborers he would need to hire in order to turn out a sufficient number of units to meet the demand. He also preferred to operate from a base that would allow him to actually live with Juliette on more than an occasional basis. He decided to set himself up in Freeport, no doubt in part by being induced to do so by Wilbur Coons of the Citizens Commercial Association, a cooperative of Freeport businessmen and political leaders who had hired Coons in late 1907 as the paid secretary of the association in order to have someone around whose specific mandate (a part-time job, at $100 per month) was to convince manufacturers to base their factories in Freeport. (That effort, generally speaking, was a success. Freeport became home to a substantial number of factories over the course of the next twenty-five years.) Young newspaperman William G. Krape soon lent his contribution. Edwin, Koons, and Krape became the original principals of the company, ponying up a total of $2,500 to get things started. Their venture, the E.E. Savage Machine Company, was chartered in mid-November, 1908.
At first, E.E. Savage Machine Co. occupied quarters in the Lamb Building, but soon outgrew the square footage. In January, 1909, the firm took over a portion of the Dorman warehouse on Douglas Avenue. The operation grew rapidly -- as it had to do in order to build up inventory and be able to fulfill initial orders. That required more funding. Now that the scheme was looking like the real deal, more investors weighed in, and the total capitalization increased from $2,500 to $25,000. In the summer of 1909, a full slate of officers was elected, including Edwin as superintendent and M.A. Scott as manager. Krape became the secretary-treasurer. George Ennenga was named president, and V.T.F. Runner the vice-president.
Sad to say, within a year or so the E.E. Savage Machine Company folded. The additional investment had been both welcome and necessary, but it had come at a price. Edwin was concentrating on getting the foundry up and running and upon training the installers, i.e. he supervised the working-man, skilled-labor side of the business. Scott was the manager, i.e. he handled employee matters and kept the plant logistics organized. Krape was the on-site, day-to-day administrator of the “gentlemanly” aspects -- marketing, customer-relations, the suit-and-tie stuff. They would surely have stuck it out for the long haul. But the shots were now being called by the other guys, the money guys, the ones with other investments in their portfolio. They wanted a quick return on their funds, or at least the guarantee that profits would eventually roll in and that they would be substantial. They appear to have given Edwin a short leash, and when orders fell below expectations in the latter part of 1909 and early part of 1910, they pulled the plug.
Juliette is the young woman on the far right in this family photo taken on a snowy day in Martintown in the late 1880s or early 1890s. It was a “women of the family” pose featuring Hannah Strader Martin and her daughters and some of her young granddaughters. From left to right the adult women are Eleanor Amelia “Nellie” Martin Warner, Hannah Strader Martin, Emma Ann Martin Brown, Mary Lincoln “Tinty” Martin Bucher, and Julia Beard Martin (not yet Savage). This is not an ideal impression of Juliette, but aside from the other photos shown on this page, there are no other surviving images of her to choose from.
For Edwin, the setback could only have been discouraging. However, it must be said that objectively speaking, an early shutdown was the likely outcome. Edwin must have indeed come up with a superior refrigeration unit or he would never have made his move, but his design is unlikely to have been more than just a bit better than what Brunswick had to offer, and Brunswick already had an established footprint in the marketplace and a solid reputation. Brunswick would still be a viable concern long after Edwin was in his grave. Not that Brunswick was the only competition. The industry was becoming mature and there were plenty of other companies fighting for a slice of the pie. What Edwin and his partners needed was a whole fleet of able salesmen to go out and convince a slew of customers that E.E. Savage Machine Company could deliver the best product at the best price at the earliest delivery date. They apparently did not succeed in recruiting enough of that horde of smooth-talkers.
Edwin wasn’t ready to give up so easily. He decided to try again. However, as far as the Upper Midwest was concerned, he’d had his chance and now customers and investors were prepared to view him as a known failure. He had to concentrate his efforts on a wholly different region. He chose the Gulf Coast. What better place to go after customers for his refrigeration device? The heat and humidity were fierce in the summers. In the winters, it wasn’t like the north, where natural ice could be obtained simply by placing some water outside in metal troughs overnight. Down to Houston went Edwin. And this time, Juliette went with him. She must have hated to leave Martintown, but Edwin was going to be based too far away to commute back on weekends. She took the attitude that she had to do what she had to do. Her sister Emma, despite her Wisconsin roots, had successfully made the transition to being a Southern lady. Juliette figured she could do no less.
In the second half of 1912, Edwin formed the Lincoln Machine Company, chartering it with two partners, attorney Warren F. Carothers of Houston and investor George S. Rumbaugh of Greensburg, PA. Edwin -- and the factory -- were based in South Houston. Inasmuch as Edwin had learned that insufficient capitalization was a recipe for disappointment, the company began with $50,000. This time things got up and running. An article about the increasing popularity of large-scale iceless refrigeration equipment published in an early 1914 issue of the trade journal American Warehouseman describes Lincoln Machine Company of South Houston, TX as employing fifty men at its factory.
Despite giving it a good shot, Edwin and his partners did not make it. The Friday, 24 April 1914 edition of the Galveston Daily News has a column on recent activity at the local district court, and among the items listed is the dissolution of Lincoln Machine Company. The term used to describe the case is “settled and dissolved.” This at least has a decent sound to it. The action would appear not to have been a bankruptcy and not to have involved lawsuits. Instead, the partners decided they weren’t going to make money, but by closing the doors early, they wouldn’t lose all of the original $50,000.
Carothers and Rumbaugh probably took the closure in stride. They had other money. Edwin -- and Juliette -- are likely to have counted on the venture succeeding, and had no financial wherewithal to fall back upon. Judging by all available signs, they remained on the edge of poverty for the remainder of their lives, getting by for the next eleven years on Edwin’s wage-earning positions as a machinist, and then when he couldn’t work anymore, depending upon charity.
Where Juliette and Edwin spent the period from 1914 to 1925 is not clear, except that they did not go back to Martintown nor did Edwin seek out his brothers. It could be he had made such a big deal how rich he was going to be, that he couldn’t bear to have anyone know he was barely getting by. If in fact he was a drinker -- a possibility that would explain the whole pattern of his life -- then he may have hit the bottle hard. The 1920 census provides the only window upon Juliette and Edwin’s lives during this period. They are enumerated in Worcester, MA as lodgers in a large boarding house. Edwin is shown as a machinist employed at a machine shop. Perhaps they arrived in Worcester as early as 1914. Perhaps they stayed as late as 1925. But aside from the census, no record places them there, so it is quite possible they spent the whole period drifting from place to place, just one step ahead of the bill collectors.
By the mid-1920s, Edwin had reached retirement age. His health appears to have taken a turn for the worse and in the summer of 1925, he yielded to the urge to “come home to die” -- that is to say, he came back to Penobscot County, ME. His brother Fred was still around, though Fred was just a laborer on a farm by that point and so Edwin did not take shelter with kinfolk, but simply parked himself in some sort of situation within the city of Bangor. His obituary dates his return to Penobscot County with peculiar precision -- 22 June 1925. Perhaps the date was recalled because it was the summer solstice. The obit does not say Juliette came with him, and this may be a significant omission. That said, the pair were still a couple. They’d managed to stay married for thirty years through thick and thin -- perhaps a much larger helping of thin than they had anticipated when they were newlyweds -- and though they did not have much material wealth to show for those years, they still had their bond of affection.
Ed perished of pneumonia 14 February 1926. The curious thing is, Juliette stayed in Bangor for the rest of her life, a period of twenty-two more years. It is curious because Bangor was a place she had never called home prior to 1925. The natural question to ask is, why didn’t she retreat to some haven where she still had loved ones? Her niece Lena Brown Hastings was still based in Martintown. Her sister Nellie Warner was alive and was blessed with secure circumstances in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Perhaps Juliette didn’t want to impose. But another scenario suggests itself -- she may not have been entirely free to leave. The 1930 census shows her as an inmate at Bangor State Hospital. Assuming she was inside as a mental patient, which is not a far-fetched prospect considering her family history, she may have been required to stay. Certainly she would not have had a local relative advocating for her release. It could be she had entered the facility before Edwin died, i.e. he had committed her, and with his death, there was no one around to accept responsibility for her even if the staff agreed she could be released.
In the 1930s, Juliette moved into -- which probably means, was transferred into -- the county poor farm at 629 Main Street in Bangor. This facility doubled as the city almshouse. A person did not have to be crazy or a convict to be placed there, even though many of its residents were in fact there for purposes of incarceration. There is not enough known about Juliette to know for sure what reason she was housed there. We can be sure she was not suffering from dementia. Her final surviving letter, written in 1947 at age eighty to her niece Mary Emma Warner Hastings, does not come off as the work of a mentally unstable person. Her words are witty, affectionate, good-humored, observant, articulate, and display a sense of flair and style. Even at that age, she was clear-headed and capable of recalling fine details. A few paragraphs make it apparent she must have been a joy to converse with. Nevertheless she remained at the almshouse until at least 1942. The 1945 city directory finally shows her elsewhere -- namely at 24 Spring Street, the same address that appears on the 1947 letter.
Juliette passed away of breast cancer 19 January 1948 at a hospital in Bangor. Her body was interred two days later in Lot #SG538ED at Bangor’s Mt. Hope Cemetery. It is not clear where Edwin was buried. Perhaps his grave is also at Mt. Hope, but no record of that has been found. No headstones for either spouse were commissioned; in Edwin's case this fact may have made it overly easy for evidence of his interment there to have vanished. His obituary unfortunately does not mention the burial site.
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