Chapter XII: Cyrus, Dora, and the last of the Packards

This is the 14th in a series of articles which serializes my family history, which I wrote in November 2017, titled “From Samuel to Cyrus: A fresh look at the History of the Packard Family.” There have been minor corrections since then. As Matthew Stowell noted below, he was glad how far my work on the Packards has progressed, noting how he “just found your site while searching for Caleb Packard, Jr. of Plainfield.” That is good! Without further adieu, here is the 12th chapter of that history:

In April 1878, the life of 26-year-old Plainfield-born man, Cyrus Winfield Packard, less than 10 years before his father, William H., would die, would change. Recently requested photocopies of Cyrus’s marriage records from the Massachusetts State Archives indicate that Cyrus was a farmer living in Cummington, Massachusetts, a town of Hampshire County, marrying a 15- or 16- year old woman named Nellie Mason. [265] Nellie, born in August 1861, was the daughter of Eurotas/Erastus Mason and his wife Jane, had lived in the town of Cummington for her whole life. The following year, the newlyweds were living in Easthampton, Massachusetts, within the same county. Cyrus as a farmhand and Nellie, taking the last name of Packard, as a servant for the Penderwood family. [266] At some point, Cyrus and Nellie decided to have a baby. Less than nine months later, on February 13, Nellie would die at the tender age of 19, from German measles and typhoid fever, while giving childbirth. [267] With the death of Nellie, Cyrus moved on, leaving her in the dust.

On November 21, two months after purchasing 112 acres in Plainfield from William L. Packard and gaining the farm in Plainfield with a stand of maple sugar trees, he married again, like many Packards before him. This was to a woman named Dorothy “Dora” (or Dory) Ann Mills in Glens Falls, New York, the town in which she was born.

Dora, who worked in a shirt factory (1880) and as a teacher (1870) in the past, had lived in Warren County, New York since June 1, 1849, when she was born, approximately. [268] While her gravestone says she was 38 years, 10 months old at the time of her death, the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Federal Censuses show a woman named “Dorothy A. Mills” or “Dory Mills” as born in 1849 or 1850. The reasons for why she would say she was younger than she actually was are not currently known. [269] Dora was the daughter of John Rand Mills and Margaret Bibby and had six living siblings by 1881, living in Chester, Bolton, Glens Falls, within Warren County, New York. [270] Dora’s parents are worth noting. John Rand Mills, born in Ireland, in Sept. 1804, immigrated to the United States by 1830, marrying Margaret Ann Bibby, born in the same part of Ireland.

Over the following years, Dora and Cyrus had seven children with the last name of Packard. They include John Henry (Oct. 15-1882-Oct. 28, 1950), Margaret Alice (Jan. 27, 1884-Aug. 4, 1976), Joseph Winfield (Jun. 17, 1885- Mar. 9, 1910), Charles Edward (May 5, 1887-Nov. 4, 1960) or “Uncle Charlie,” Marion Estelle (Feb. 12, 1889-Jun. 13, 1965), Robert Barnabas (Jan. 19, 1891-Apr. 11, 1956), later becoming Robert Byron Mills II, and Mabel Hattie (b. July 19, 1892) who died on Dec. 1, 1961. [271] John H. would never marry, and Margaret would marry a man named Kenneth Brown in 1913, having one daughter and two sons. As for Joseph, he was an unmarried man reportedly killed while working on the railroad. “Uncle Charlie” married to Bertha Churchill in 1919 with whom he had a child named Douglas M. Packard, and two daughters. In 1940, Charlie remarried to Pearl Gleason. Marion married Edward Dean in 1908, living in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and John Nocker in 1954, and may have had two children from her first marriage (as stated in 1930 and 1940 censuses). Mabel H., buried at West Hill Cemetery in Plainfield, Massachusetts, married first to Giles Whitley with whom she had four children (Giles, Margaret, Harold, and Frances), and second, in 1920, to Joseph T. Landstrom, having six children (Dorothy, Barbara, Phyllis, Joseph (died as an infant at one year old), Alice, and Joan).

Little is known about the early life on the farm for these individuals. This is because the 1890 census was destroyed on January 10, 1921 when a fire swept the Commerce Department building, creating an “archivist’s nightmare, with ankle-deep water covering records in many areas” destroying many of the records. [272] There are land records which relate to Cyrus and Dora. In one agreement, he mortgages (or sells?) 112 acres to Henry L. Goodrich. [273] This is likely the Packard farm. Later that month, Henry C. Packard purchases for Cyrus, from Goodrich, the same land. [274]

In 1891, B. Winslow wrote a poem for the 10th anniversary of Dora and Cyrus’s marriage on November 21, 1881. [275] The full poem tells about Dora and Cyrus’s marriage although it is unsurprisingly upbeat, as should be expected at least for the mores of the time:

It was November twenty-first
In eighteen eighty one
When Love had long enough been nursed
Their married life begun.

The vows that then were made and sealed,
In eighteen eighty one,
From all that yet has been revealed
Show all was then well done.

Ten years have passed of married life,
And no talk of divorce;
Showing a true and faithful wife,
And husband, too, of course.

And children, well, there are a few,
From union such as thus
To bind them in affection true,
And crown their wedded bliss.

Four sons, two daughters, fair and sweet,
Have blessed this happy home;
A present source of pride and joy,
Their hope in years to come.

Labor and care have marked their lot,
But health hath lent its cheer;
So at their toil they’ve murmured not,
Showing their love sincere.

They’ve shared each scene of joy and woe,
And well redeemed the vow
They made and sealed ten years ago.
And which they honor now.

And their gathered in their home at night,
Are friends of youth and age;
And all is full of sweet delight,
To write on mem’ry’s page.

Fond mem’ry’s page, on which they stand,
Dear memories of the past;
Hopes we have had and joys we’ve planned,
That were too sweet to last;

Let us be thankful for them all,
Nor at their loss repine
And as God’s future mercies fall,
Hail those for us that shine;

And nobly bear each trial sent,
In heart and spirit true;
Thus may we have a calm content,
Our life’ brief journey through.

God bless the bride and bridegroom here,
As long as life shall last;
May they have memories fond and dear,
Such as they have market the past.

Among them all will not be least
The memories of this night,
When friends invited here were to feast
On memories fair and bright.

Despite this lack of records, there is one photograph shared by Dianne Blomquist on the “David Vallender family tree” on Ancestry, showing the family of Cyrus and Dora in Plainfield in 1892. The image shown on the next page shows the 7 children of both of them, providing a snapshot into their life  and customs. This shows that the family was at least partially proper, although this image does not hint at their occupations. Other images of Dora and the family cannot be found, but there are photographs of all of their children at later ages, the same being the case for Cyrus as well.

While Cyrus’s face is not totally clear in the photograph, another one taken around the same time at Camp 55, shows Cyrus (along with Joseph Beals Jr.), listed a member of the Plainfield chapter of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). The SUVCW are direct descendants from those “regularly mustered and served honorably in…honorably discharged from, or died in the service of…regiments called to active service…between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865.” [276] This means that Cyrus was wearing his father’s uniform, hat, & pants, with two medals already on the uniform or given as a part of his membership. Some context is necessary here. Joseph Beals, Jr., who lived with Hattie B. and Joseph Beals in 1900, would be dead by July 29, 1941 after living in Goshen for most of his life. Since Hattie was Dora’s sister, Joseph Beals Jr. would be his nephew. This would also explain why Cyrus was the informant for Joseph Beals, the husband of Hattie, who died in 1900.

Comparing three available photos, the rightmost one coming from another family history, shows that he was clean cut for this 1892 photograph:

On February 5, 1895, Dora died of tuberculosis (pulmonary phthisis) in Plainfield and was buried in Pottersville, part of New York’s Warren County, a town 35 miles north of her birth place, Glens Falls. This burial place was likely chosen to put in her grave in proximity with surviving family members. On May 11, 1895, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and Mountain Miller Women’s Relief Corps hosted a memorial service for Dora in West Cummington. There are religious messages, with some calling her a “devoted wife” and “earnest Christian woman” while those within the Relief Corps call her a “sister.” [277] At the memorial service, likely all of her children were attending. One individual, Joseph Beals, who was Dora’s brother-in-law since he had married Dora’s sister (and his wife), Hattie, described Dora as “kind to everybody” and said that he knew Dora through her “sickness.” This was further cemented by the fact that he visited with Hattie 2-3 times a week, possibly indicating she was sick from 1889 (when Hattie and Joseph married) to 1895. Also at the memorial service a “Poem by Dora M. Packard” which was written in July 1894 was read. Using the clues noted in this pamphlet, it is clear that Dora was a member of the National Women’s Relief Corps. Specifically she was part of Corps No. 158 (Mountain Miller Corps) which was organized on November 22, 1892 and was based in Plainfield, meeting the first Friday of every month. [278] The National Women’s Relief Corps, which still exists to this day, was an auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic (Civil War Veterans). It is a secret and “patriotic organization,” meetings held at least once a month, with applications (by those over 16 with “good moral character made in writing and vouched for with two members.” [279] More specifically it had (and has) the explicit purpose to perpetrate memory of the Grand Army of the Republic. As for the latter organization, it came about originally limited to “honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps or the Revenue Cutter Service who had served between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865” and departments within the organization generally consisted of the Posts within a state and at the national level, with the organization operated by an elected “Commandery-in-Chief” The rituals at the meetings and induction ceremonies were “similar to the Masonic rituals,” used currently by the SUVCW, along with multi-day encampments (meetings) with the final Encampment held in Indianapolis in 1949. [280]

With Dora’s death, the Packard family split apart. Some were adopted by others, like Robert by Dora’s brother, Mabel by the Cosgrove family in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and Marian and Charles E. by the Beal family in Goshen, Massachusetts. [281] While the 1900 census was issued on June 16, another document claimed he died on June 10. The only reason for this discrepancy in dates means that either the census information was collected before June 10 or that Joseph died on a date after June 16.

With the family going different ways, few stayed with Cyrus. About 6 months after Dora died, he married again to Clementina Cheney. Coming from a well-established New England family, she stayed at home, while Cyrus was a carpenter. He wasn’t done having children. With Clementina he had 5 more children with the last name of Packard, putting his number of offspring at 12. [282] These children would be Olive Martha (October 23, 1896-January 20, 1969), Herbert Miles (October 1898 – August 30, 1966), Rachel May (April 13, 1900 – September 22, 1933), Thomas “Tom” Theodore Packard (May 2, 1902 – 1975), and Harold “Harry” Cyrus Packard (Apr. 24, 1907 – 1975). None ever married.

By 1900, only one of Cyrus’s children from his marriage with Dora would be living with him: John H. Packard who was working as a farm hand. As the head of the household, Cyrus lived on a mortgaged farm and was a carpenter. [283] Later censuses show that none of the children he had with Dora would be living with him. By 1910, he would be mortgaging the farm, but would be a general farmer, living in the same neighborhood as Henry C. Packard’s family. [284] 10 years later, he would own the farm which he had mortgaged for so many years, and be classified as a farmer, just like his sons Herbert & Thomas. Cyrus would later be a cemetery commissioner in Plainfield (in 1907 and 1911). [285]

Ten years later, in 1910, Hattie B., Dora’s sister, was still living in Goshen. [286] She was widowed (evidencing Joseph Beals’s death in 1900) , living with her daughter Edith, from her marriage with Hannibal, and a boarder named George A. Andrews. Two years later, on August 3, 1912, Hattie B. died of chronic vascular heart disease. She was called “Hattie B. Beals” on her gravestone. This same gravestone gives her wrong year of birth, meaning it is off by 11 years! [287]

Before his death, Cyrus would engage in a land transaction with A. H. Allen & Co. involving the 112-acre Packard farm in 1900, mortgage 100 acres of land to a Plainfield resident named Alden L. Torrey in 1905, with the same 100 acres, involved in a mortgage transaction with the Haydensville Savings Bank in 1909, mortgage the property with the same bank (or a different one?) in 1920, four years before his death, and let a company put up powerlines on his property in 1922. [288] In 1924, Cyrus would die, reportedly on April 2, after suffering from a brain tumor, and his wife one year earlier, in 1923. Cyrus, and many of his children, and wives were buried in West Hill cemetery in Plainfield. After Cyrus’s death, Tom took over the “old” Plainfield farm or “home farm” of Cyrus in 1925, buying it for $1,000 from the administrator of his estate, William A. Packard. [289] Tom kept the farm running, although he wasn’t an “old type carpenter” like Cyrus, until December 1946, when a fire destroyed it, two months after the mortgage on the property was released. After that point, he bought property nearby, the Enoch Sanford homestead, operating it until his death. According to some of those at the Cummington Historical Museum, Tom was quite a character and a potato farmer (with Green Mountain potatoes) but he had a tendency to burn down his barns time and time again. Later he would be a selectman, head the Plainfield Republican Committee, and be a town historian (helping found the Plainfield Historical Society), take notes on local cemeteries. [290] Harold, on the other hand, helped out in the local community, in terms of carpentry and other tasks. The images after this paragraph, in this chapter, show Cyrus, Tom, Mabel, Rachel, Olive, and Marion in later life. In later years, Tom would run “Packard’s store” in Plainfield, still remembering his “late” father, Cyrus. [291]

Most, if not all, of these photos are courtesy of DGVallandar on Ancestry.

Most, if not all, of these photos are courtesy of DGVallandar on Ancestry


[265] The marriage of Cyrus W. Packard and Nellie J. Mason is documented in Vol. 299, p. 6 & 24, showing their marriage was registered in Cummington and in Plainfield, accounting for duplicate records, with the marriage notice two days before; Nellie J. Mason, Aug. 1, 1861, Massachusetts Births and Christenings, Family Search, citing Cummington, Hampshire, Massachusetts, FHL Microfilm 1,888,606; The Mason Household, Massachusetts State Census, 1865, Family Search, Cummington, Hampshire, Massachusetts, State Archives; Mason Household, US Federal Census, 1870, Cummington, Massachusetts, NARA M593. They were married by a Plainfield Justice of the Peace named Jason Richards.

[266] Packards in Easthampton, Tenth Census of the United States, US Federal Census of 1880, National Archives, NARA T9, Record Group 29, Roll 437, Page 347D, Enumeration District 344, Image 396.

[267] Nellie J. Mason Packard Find A Grave entry; Nellie J. Packard or Mason, 1881, Massachusetts Deaths and Burials; William W. Streeter and Daphne H. Morris, The Vital Records of Cummington, Massachusetts 1762-1900 (Cummington, MA: William W. Streeter, 1979), 140, 215.

[268] Mills Household, Glens Falls, Warren, New York, Census of 1850, NARA M432, Roll M432 609, Page 33A, Image 70; Mills Household, Chester, Warren, New York, Census of 1870, NARA M593, Roll M593 1109, Page 575A, Image 146817; Hammond Household, Glens Falls, Warren, New York, Census of 1880, Roll 941, Page 141A, Image 0437; Mills Household, Census of the state of New York, for 1855. Microfilm. New York State Archives, Albany, New York; Mills Household, Census of the state of New York, for 1865, Microfilm, New York State Archives, Albany, New York.

[269] Mills Household, US Census of 1850, Glens Falls, New York, Family Search, National Archives, NARA M432; Dorothy Ann “Dora, Dory” Mills Packard gravestone; 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Chester, New York.

[270] Mills Household, 1830, Wethersfield, Genesee, New York, NARA M19, Roll 90, Page 331, FHL 0017150; Mills Household, 1840, Chester, Warren, New York, Roll 349, Page 335, Image 685, FHL 0017209. John Rand Mills and Margaret Ann Bibby Mills are buried in Chester Cemetery, within Orange, New York.

[271] John Henry Packard, Margaret Alice Packard Brown, Charles Edward Packard, Marion Estelle Packard Nocker, and Robert Byron “Bert” Packard Mills II’s Find Grave entries. Kenneth’s son’s address was in Burbank, CA.

[272] National Archives, “1890 Census,” Feb. 17, 2005; Kellee Blake, ““First in the Path of the Firemen”: The Fate of the 1890 Population Census, Part 1,” Prologue, Spring 1996, Vol. 1; Kellee Blake, ““First in the Path of the Firemen”: The Fate of the 1890 Population Census Part 2,” Prologue, Spring 1996, Vol. 28, No. 21. W.B. Gay’s “Town of Cummington” within Part Second. Business Directory of Hampshire County, Mass., 1886-87 (Syracuse, NY: W.B. & Gay Co., 1886) lists on page 49, Mary Nash, Charles S. Packard, Cyrus W. Packard, Fordyce Packard, Frank L. Packard & Russell R. Packard. Even with the loss of records in 1890, other sources, like city directories, allow the Packard story to be found and pieced together. This is important for learning more of this family history.

[273] Purchase of land by Merritt Torrey and Stillman Ford, June 13, 1866, Massachusetts Land Records, Hampshire, Deeds 1866 vol 234-237, p. 19, image 466 of 837, Family Search; Mortgage or sale of land to Henry Goodrich by Cyrus W. Packard, Massachusetts Land Records, Hampshire, Deeds 1896-1897 vol 491-494, p. 321-322, images 697 and 698 of 757,courtesy of Family Search. The latter agreement is the only one I could find which mentions “Dora A. Packard.”

[274] Purchase of land by Henry Packard for Cyrus W. Packard from Henry L. Goodrich, Sept. 12, 1890, unindexed documents, book 436 page 43-44 via, click on “unindexed property search”; Purchase of land by Henry L. Goodrich from Richard A. Lyman, Jan. 13, 1887, unindexed documents, book 410 page 475 via, click on “unindexed property search.” Next page gives the date and more specifics. Nothing more about this agreement is known. Dora would, in 1893, greenlight the selling of Cyrus’s land.

[275] In Packard Genealogy assembled in 2017. Given to the Plainfield Historical Society. Examined on August 5, 2017; Mercer V. Tilson, The Tilson genealogy (Plymouth: The Memorial Press, 1908), 370.

[276] The picture referred can be found here. Membership, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, accessed July 14, 201. 1900 U.S. Federal Census, courtesy of Family Search; 1910 U.S. Federal Census, courtesy of Family Search; 1920 U.S. Federal Census, courtesy of Family Search; 1930 U.S. Federal Census, courtesy of Family Search; 1940 U.S. Federal Census, courtesy of Family Search. Find A Grave for Joseph Beals. On April 27, 1898, Joseph Beals, Jr. had married Florence Lena Hall Pratt in Cummington but the marriage was also recorded in Goshen and Plainfield.

[277] This sentence and the one before it cite the Packard family file at the Cummington Historical Museum has one pamphlet titled “In memoriam Dora M. Packard 1895.” Her death record claims both of her parents were born in Britain.

[278] Journal of the Seventeenth Annual Convention of the Department of Massachusetts, Women’s Relief Corps, Auxillary to the Grand Army of the Republic. Lowell, Mass. February 12 and 13, 1896 Vol. 17 (Boston: E.B. Stillings & Co., 1896), pp 37, 100, 187; Other Packards, like Eliza J. of Brockton and C.M. Packard of Avon were members (Journal of the Seventeenth Annual Convention of the Department of Massachusetts, Women’s Relief Corps, Auxillary to the Grand Army of the Republic. Lowell, Mass. February 12 and 13, 1896 (Boston: E.B. Stillings & Co., 1896), 30, 100, 190, 247. Not a member in 1889 or 1890, at least not a major member (Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Convention of the Department of Massachusetts, Woman’s Relief Corps, Auxillary to the Grand Army of the Republic, Boston Mass. Feb. 12 and 13 1889 (Boston: E.B. Stillings & Co., 1889), 5; Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Convention of the Department of Massachusetts, Woman’s Relief Corps, Auxillary to the Grand Army of the Republic, Boston Mass. Feb. 5 and 6, 1890(Boston: E.B. Stillings & Co., 1889), 45-46, 96; Journal of the Fourteenth Annual Convention of the Department of Massachusetts, Women’s Relief Corps, Auxillary to the Grand Army of the Republic. Boston, Mass. February 8 and 9, 1893 (Boston: E.B. Stillings & Co., 1893), 32, 89, 187, 210. Dora’s chapter not around in 1901. “all loyal ladies” who are “interested in the good work” can be part of the relief corps (History of the Department of Massachusetts, Woman’s Relief Corps, Auxillary to the Grand Army of the Republic (Boston: E.B. Stillings & Co., 1895), 16; “The Relief Corps,” The National tribune. (Washington, D.C.), 22 Dec. 1892.

[279] History of the Department of Massachusetts, Woman’s Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic (Boston: E.B. Stillings & Co., 1895), v, viii, 10-14, 16-17, 20, 23, 29, 33, 37, 45, 48-59, 61-64, 71-76, 86, 123, 191. Emily L. Clark initiated the Mountain Miller Corps No. 158 in Plainfield on Nov. 22, 1892 with the charter membership as 12 individuals and has 23 by the present date, forwarded supplies to soldier’s home in Chelsea and has relief fund (History of the Department of Massachusetts, Woman’s Relief Corps, Auxillary to the Grand Army of the Republic (Boston: E.B. Stillings & Co., 1895), 276). Corps officers were elected annually at the last regular meeting in December and each corps could have a relief fund for those in need. They did special work at a soldier’s home and Clara Barton supported the organization.

[280] SUVCW, “About the Grand Army of the Republic,” accessed August 13, 2017. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War goes as far back as 1881, there is an entry for William H. Packard in the SUVCW database, C.M. Packard of Avon, in Norfolk was a member but his identity is not known. Dora’s chapter was mentioned in The National Tribune from Washington, District of Columbia, Dec. 1, 1892, p. 10, within The National Tribune from Washington, District of Columbia, Dec. 22, 1892, p. 10 and Greenfield Gazette And Courier Newspaper, August 31, 1901, p. 8.

[281] DGVallender, “Mabel Adoption,” courtesy of; Massachusetts Death Records, 1841-1915 notes that she died in Plainfield; Mills Household, Bolton, Warren, New York, Census of 1860, NARA M653, Roll M653_403, Page 304, Image 308. Courtesy of; Mills Household, Chester, Warren, New York, Census of 1870, NARA M593, Roll M593 1109, Page 575A, Image 146817. Courtesy of; Cosgrove Household, Pawtucket Ward 4, Providence, Rhode Island, Census of 1900, Roll 1511, Page 13A, Enumeration District 156, FHL microfilm 1241511. Courtesy of; Mixed Family Household, Pawtucket Ward 1, Providence, Rhode Island, Roll T624_1440, Page 16A, Enumeration District 120, FHL Microfilm 1375453.; Thomas Dunne, “Margaret Mills Cosgrove,” Find A Grave Entry, Jun. 9, 2008; Mills Household, Census of the state of New York, for 1855. Microfilm. New York State Archives, Albany, New York; Mills Household, Census of the state of New York, for 1865, Microfilm, New York State Archives, Albany, New York; 1900 U.S. Federal Census; Headstone Application for U.S. Military Veterans in February 1948. This shows that Cyrus clearly moved off ALL of his children to Dora’s relatives, not his own, which is utterly selfish by any standards of decency. This is an opinion, but a well-grounded one.

[282] A Find A Grave entry for Clementina; Marriage of Cyrus Winfield Packard and Clementina Cheeney, 1895, Vol. 452, p. 19 (and transcription of this page); Cyrus W. Packard & Clementine Cheney, 1895, Vol. 452, p. 47 (and transcription of this page); Herbert Miles Packard, Olive Martha Packard, Rachel May Packard, Harold Cyrus Packard, and “Tom” Theodore Packard memorials; Birth of Harold Cyrus Packard, Births Registered in the Town of Plainfield for 1907, Aug. 24, 1907, Vol. 567, p. 281; DGVallender, “Tom Packard Telegram,” date unknown, relating to Plainfield Republican Committee. This shows his political leanings.

[283] Packard Household, US Census of 1900, Plainfield Town Northampton city, Hampshire, Massachusetts, enumeration district 644, sheet 2A, National Archives, NARA T623.

[284] Packard Household, US Census of 1910, Plainfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, enumeration district 712, sheet 1A, National Archives, NARA T624, roll 594; Packard Household, US Census of 1920, Plainfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, enumeration district 180, sheet 3A, National Archives, NARA T625, roll 705.

[285] Massachusetts Year Book for 1907, No. 9 (Worchester, MA: F.S. Blanchard & Company, 1906), 172; Massachusetts Year Book for 1911, No. 13 (Boston: Geo. E. Damon Company, 1911), 176.

[286] 1910 U.S. Federal Census; Joseph Beals died in Cummington on June 11, 1900 at age 67, 9 months and 9 days, he died of diabetes and something else; his parents were Dexter Beals (of Plainfield) and Julia Packard (of Goshen); he was a farmer, living in Goshen in his last days as noted in “Deaths Registered in the Town of Goshen for the Year nineteen hundred,” vol. 505, p. 259 which was taken from photocopied vital record requested from the Massachusetts Archives in July 2017.

[287] Gravestone of Hetabella Belle “Hattie” Mills Beals; Death certificate of Hattie B. Beals. It is not known why the gravestone is so wrong. Perhaps the people informing the person giving the gravestone had incorrect information

[288] Cyrus and A. H. Allen & Co. agreement, Nov. 29, 1900, Massachusetts Land Records, Hampshire, Deeds vol 540-541, p. 317-318, images 484 and 485 of 545. Charles N. Dyer is a witness for Clementina; Agreement between Cyrus W. Packard and Alden L. Torrey, Jan. 3, 1905, unindexed documents, book 591, p. 71-72 via click on “unindexed property search”; Agreement between Cyrus W. Packard and Huntington Savings Bank, June 1, 1909, unindexed documents, book 643 page 51-52 via, click on “unindexed property search”; Agreement between Cyrus W. Packard and Federal Land Bank of Springfield, Mar. 2, 1920, unindexed documents, book 755, page 47-48 via, click on “unindexed property search”; Clarifies his right to 112 acres in Plainfield, Sept. 8, 1922, unindexed documents, book 799, page 94 via, click on “unindexed property search”; Agrees for company to put up powerlines on his property, Aug. 5, 1922, unindexed documents, book 783, page 504 via, click on “unindexed property search”; Find A Grave entries of Clementina and Cyrus Winfield Packard. A photograph of Cyrus taken around his death in 1924, shows him looking very old with white hair and a slight mustache, possibly pale, with a suite and tie on, looking all dressed up for some occasion.

[289] Memoirs of Howard N. Hathaway, Dec. 23, 1970, transcript of original within Shaw Memorial Library, corrected for Plainfield Historical Society on July 7, 2007, p. 64, 68-69; Prescilla C. Alden and Arvilla L. Dyer, Plainfield, ed. Nancy C. Alden, 2006, Plainfield Historical Society, p. 5, 9, 11; Thomas buys the farm for $1,000 from William A. Packard, administering Cyrus’s estate, June 16, 1925, unindexed documents, book 824 page 111-112 via, click on “unindexed property search”; Mortgage to Federal Land Bank of Springfield Discharged, Oct. 25, 1946, book 1009, p. 486 via

[290] H. Elmer Muller, Sketches and directory of the town of Cummington (West Cummington, MA: Published by Author, 1881), pp 11, 18, 20, 26, 30, 39, 41; Plainfield Historical Society, Maps, accessed July 14, 2017; Plainfield Historical Society, “Notes by Thomas T. Packard on Plainfield Cemeteries,” date not known; Plainfield Historical Society, “Cemeteries of Plainfield,” accessed July 14, 2017; Plainfield Historical Society, “Plainfield Massachusetts Historical Society 1961 Charter,” accessed July 14, 2017; Plainfield Historical Society, “About Hidden Walls Hidden Mills,” accessed July 14, 2017. The Packards had allied with the Shaw family and clashed with other families within the town. By 1979, with the death of Tom Packard, his estate of over $84,000 had been divided up. The previous year, an attorney from Springfield, Massaschusetts, Doris F. Alden, Tom’s half-sister, meaning that some were given certain shares, specifically receiving a portion of $5,610.69 from the estate, while other nieces and nephews received a 2.5% share ($2,104.01) rather than 6.2/3% share, while Winfield H. Brown, administrator, Doris F. Alden Administrix (female), and Douglas M. Packard received a 20% share ($16,832.08). One relative offered $35,000 to buy the Packard house and 10 acres of land, but this was not accepted ultimately by the owners.

[291] North Adams Transcript, North Adams Massachusetts, Dec. 13, 1951, Page 15. Courtesy of

5 thoughts on “Chapter XII: Cyrus, Dora, and the last of the Packards

  1. Pingback: The story Tom Packard told and the reality – Milling 'round Ireland: A Mills family story

  2. Pingback: Looking at Dora and Cyrus’s marriage record – Milling 'round Ireland: A Mills family story

  3. Pingback: Wasting away in Massachusetts: Dora Mills and the scourge of tuberculosis – Milling 'round Ireland: A Mills family story

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