1868

Chapter Two:
Emery B. Gardner and Julia (Hurley) Gardner – After the Civil War (1868)

Emery Bissel Gardner was born June 29, 1818 in Oneida County, New York. He was the youngest child of Caleb and Betsy Gardner and by the time Emery was just three years old, both of his parents had passed away.

It is not known who raised Emery, but his sister Mary was 14 years old when their father died and it’s likely the responsibility of caring for him fell to her. Emery’s schooling is not known either, but as a young man he went to Syracuse NY as an apprentice wheelwright for a carriage builder and remained in that city for several years.

Lydia MoreyAt some point, Emery lived in a boarding house for men, owned and operated by a young widow, Lydia Morey Hammond (left).

Lydia Morey’s mother, Susanna Hall Morey, was born in Arlington, VT on December 23, 1809. She was a grand-niece of Dr. Lyman Hall, one of a group of Congregational ministers who went to Georgia about 1760 to help the convicts sent there from England. Dr. Hall went on to become Governor of Georgia and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Lydia Morey Hammond was just 22 years old and already a widowed mother when she and Emery Gardner, 17 years older than his bride, were married on December 5, 1857.
A son, John Charles Gardner, was born January 11, 1859. Emery apparently was not happy with his life in Syracuse; he and Lydia were divorced in 1864.

Emery moved to Chicago, where his sister Eliza and her husband, Nelson B. Lloyd, ran The Lloyd House, a boarding hotel in the Loop in partnership with Michael Angelo Hurley.


Advertisement for Lloyd House                                       Eliza Gardner Lloyd       M.A.Hurley

Apparently, Emery worked for the Lloyds at their boarding house, and family lore has it that Mike Hurley made a match between his 30-year-old sister, Julia, and the considerably older Emery as a way to provide a home for their mother, Mary J. Hurley.

On August 6, 1867 Emery married Julia Hurley. Months later, Emery and his pregnant wife moved permanently to Hingham, following his sister Mary and her husband Hiram Gridley who had moved there from New York state three years earlier.

Emery Bissel Gardner (1818 - 1887)

Emery and Julia (Hurley) Gardner


 Mary (Gardner) Gridley

It is not known where the Gridleys lived when they first arrived in Hingham but they may have been renting a house there.

What is known is that on March 31, 1868, Hiram Gridley purchased Lots 9 and 10 in Block 1 of Hingham – the same property where the family home stands today. The house is on Lot 9 and the garage (once a barn) is located on Lot 10.

For many years, the family assumed that the house was expanded to accommodate the arrival of Emery and Julia Gardner when they came to Hingham and shared Hiram and Mary Gridley’s home. But today there is some doubt about when the first addition was made to the house.


Hiram Gridley

Hingham was first platted as a village in September 1850 by Edward Hobart after he acquired the land from Mrs. David Giddings of Sheboygan Falls, who had bought it from the U.S. government four years earlier. Lots 9 and 10 were transferred from Hobart to Thomas Tibbitts in 1854 and Tibbitts sold the land to Dennis Kennedy less than two years later. Five months after that, Kennedy sold the property to Charles Rogers, who held the deed until 1864.

Everyone seems to agree that Charles Rogers was the first merchant in Hingham, but no one has ever been able to find a record of the location of his store. The tax assessment on the Rogers home was higher than that of similar buildings elsewhere in Hingham, possibly indicating that his store was on the same property, or that the store was in the house.

The original house was quite small, much too small to accommodate a store. But there is an interior north wall built from lath and plaster over wood siding, indicating that this was an outside wall for some period of time. Then, at some point, an ell was added to the north side of the house, running west. It is unlikely that it was built at the same time as the house, because the framing materials and methods of construction are different than in the other part of the house.

Historians agree that Charles Rogers left the merchant business for the more lucrative business of farming, selling the house to Hiram Hobart in 1864. John H. Platt bought the house the following year and sold it to Hiram Gridley in 1868. If the ell was added to accommodate Rogers’ store, it is possible that Emery and Julia Gardner decided to move to Hingham because the Gridleys had excess room. Or, as was thought for many years, they went to Hingham because it was possible to make the Gridley house into a two family dwelling.

Either way, when Emery B. Gardner and his seven-months-pregnant wife Julia moved there in 1868, the Gardner family was settled on South Street in Hingham and has been ever since.


May and Ida Gardner 1873
It was a good move for Emery and Julia. Their daughter May was born in Hingham on May 31, 1868. Another daughter, Ida, arrived four years later on November 2, 1872. Both were born in the house, which was May's principal residence all her life while Ida lived elsewhere at several periods, returning in retirement.

Hingham in the 1870s grew to become a fairly sizeable community with a variety of businesses. In 1873, the Sheboygan Times listed a census of businesses including: a printing office, a hotel, a boarding house, two general stores, a drug, book and grocery store, a tailor shop, a barber shop, three shoe shops, a milliner and dressmaker, a blacksmith shop, a harness shop, two wagon shops, two paint shops, a cooper (barrel maker), a tin shop, a pump factory, a churn factory, a cheese factory, two grist mills, and a sawmill. Local institutions included a school house, the Post Office and the Methodist church.

Having learned the wheelwright trade as a young man in Syracuse, Emery opened a
“Wagon Manufactory” in Hingham, doing custom woodwork for carriages and sleighs and specializing in making wheels.

The exact location of Emery’s shop was not specified, but the Sheboygan County tax assessment rolls for 1869 through 1888 (the year after he died) show E. B. Gardner owning several lots in block 8 of the original plat of Hingham, encompassing a "wagon shop" on the current site of the Hingham Athletic Association hall, and an "orchard" that is today the vacant land just to the west of Hopeman’s and the Hingham Post Office. (The entire assessment was $245.)
The Sheboygan Times of Sept. 28, 1872 under the heading "Hingham Items"
carries the following story:

SOME HEAVY WHEELING is in prospect at Hingham. We are told that Hon. Major* Shaw of that village has agreed with Emery B. Gardner that if Horace Greeley is elected president, he will wheel Gardner in a hand barrow from Maine Street to the top of the hill west of the village, which hill is some little distance away and both very long and very steep. On the contrary, if U.S. Grant is elected, Gardner is to wheel Shaw over the same ground. Although Mr. Shaw is a lightweight, Gardner may make up his mind that he has got some heavy wheeling to do next November.                                                         *Mr. Shaw's given name, not a military rank.

On Dec.21, 1872, under “Hingham and Vicinity” the Times reported:

That wheeling match, advertised to come off after the election, between E. B. Gardner and M. Shaw, has failed to put in an appearance; from what cause I have not learned, but think that Mr. Gardner was ashamed to be seen out after the election, on the Liberal side; therefore the non-performance of his part of the contract between the handles of the wheelbarrow. Mr. Shaw looks up yet, notwithstanding, the sad disappointment in the ride anticipated. We have first rate wheeling now, and all are wishing for snow and good sleighing, and for the horses to fully get over the epizootic; and then, Christmas and New Years are almost here. "Oh, that will be jolly!"

Julia Gardner (1837 -1923)
Emery was elected town constable for Lima Township; his duties included transporting prisoners and serving summonses for the Justice of the Peace.

When the Gridleys died (1880 and 1882) the Gardners took over the entire house, for by that time, Julia's mother, Mary J. Hurley, a native of Dublin, Ireland, was living with them.

Emery died in 1887, leaving Julia Gardner a widow at age 50 with two daughters and her mother to care for and no income. Julia rented out half of the house and they survived with help from her brother, Michael Angelo Hurley, who was by then a prominent attorney and for whom the town of Hurley, WI was named. Julia died in 1923.
The Gardner Sisters May and Ida (1887)

 

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