Who is this amazing Ben Newcombe who sends Annie a check for $40 every month? (click here for an archive of all the entries in which Annie mentions this “kind providence”)
There are plenty of Newcombs on Annie’s side of the family, so it’s not hard to imagine he’s related somehow. But how, exactly? And why is he sending her money?!
The only hints we have are the references in the diaries, an article in Annie’s newspaper clipping scrapbook, and a handwritten note by her granddaughter years later.
The article in the scrapbook (see below) is about a Benjamin Newcombe getting married to a Lela Lockhart. With a simple search in Ancestry.com, it would seem that this couple is easy to find. There is a Cyrus Benjamin Newcomb, born in 1876, married to a Lela Madeline Lockhart, both from Hants, and immigrants to Grans Rapids, MI. However the connection with Annie is not any clearer.
Then on the right of that article, written in pencil (see below) it reads:
Ben Newcombe had some relationship with my grandmother, Annie Florence Morris Macdonald. He sent her 40.00 a month as long as she lived! Why?
Above that, the following was added:
He was “Aunt” Lucy Parker‘s friend.
I welcome any comments on your thoughts about this!
Transcription of article :
Newcombe – Lockhart.
The marriage ceremony (which was performed by the Rev Mr Quick) of Mr Benjamin Newcombe and Miss Lela Lockhart took place in the Baptist church at 3p.m. The church was very prettily decorated with flowers. The guests were ushered to their seats by Miss Mildred Lawrence, Miss Julia Shaw, Miss Mildred Balcom and Miss Grace Burgess. To the strains of the Wedding March, played by Miss Mary Davidson, the groom, accompanied by the groomsman (Mr Victor Cuittick) marched to the altar where he was joined by the bride, who looked lovely in a white silk dress and a wedding veil crowned with a wreath of orange blossoms. The bride was accompanied by her bridesmaid, Miss Adria Coalfleet, and a flower girl (little Miss Elmira Borden.) Both bridesmaid and flower girl looked charming in costumes of yellow nun’s veiling. The bride carried a handsome shower bouquet of cream roses and maiden-hair fern. The bridesmaid’s was of pink carnations and maiden-hair fern. The bride was preceded up the aisle by eight ribbon girls, four on each side, holding lines of white ribbon. The following were the ribbon girls – Hildred Houghton, Plaza Brownell, Valentine Churchill, Alice Davidson, Bessie Norman, Eunice McDonald, Gertrude Dorman.
The bride was given away by her mother. The groom’s present to the bride was a piano; to the bridesmaid and flower girl broaches set with pearls; to Miss Davidson a $10 gold piece, and to the ribbon girls stick pins set with pearls, and to the ushers gold pins. Mrs. Newcombe received many beautiful presents. The bride’s travelling dress was of fawn color. Mr and Mrs Newcombe left on the evening train. They carry with them the good wishes of many friends for their future happiness. They will go to Grand Rapids, Mich., where they will make their home — Hantsport Cor. Hants Journal.
(Both Mr and Mrs Newcombe are well known in Wolfville. The former was at one time on the staff of this paper, and the latter studied for a time at Acadia Seminary, and was later a teacher in violin at Acacia Villa school, Hortonville. The Acadian tenders congratulations.)
The handwriting on the side:
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