Very personal correspondence

In the past I have written about mourning covers. They are a black-bordered envelope announcing someone close had died. Below are two mourning notecards I found interesting. Ira Colby was an attorney in Claremont.


Dec. 29, 1926 postmark


“372 Memorial Drive, Cambridge

December 25th, 1926



My dear Mr. Colby,

Emma Moore mourning notecard. Notice black borders. Photo provided by Ron Patch

The health of my dear husband had not been good for a long time previous to his death, but we never spoke of what was to be done when the end came. Sometimes in the evening when we were sitting quietly together, he talked a good deal about all the dear ones he used to live with at Claremont, + it made me wonder if he wished to rest with them, – but he said not a word about that.

I remember that you wrote (before the death of Mrs. Kelsey) that there were still places for three in the Claremont lot.

Everything was so sudden at the end, + I was greatly distressed, + in great doubt as to what I ought to do. I bought a lot at Mount Auburn Cemetery where Jewett now rests, + there were plans to make final preparations in the ground, after the frost goes away.

Jewett had three desks, and in one of them, I found today, a little paper in his own hand-writing, rather conspicuously placed in a drawer which perhaps he thought I would open it at once, but I did not.

It just says: – Claremont, N.H. George D. Stiles Supt. Of Cemetery, George H. Stoughton, Undertaker and Funeral Director.

The finding of this little paper has caused me some anxiety, as I would do anything in the world to carry out Jewett’s every wish. I now write to ask you if he ever said or wrote anything about it to you.

Please tell me very frankly what you think about it, – and might I have the third place in the family-lot, if Jewett were taken there – as I would wish to rest with my dearly loved husband.

All in good time, you will hear about Jewett’s addition to the Way Memorial Fund. He was so interested in getting this done, + it is just a matter of time now. His affairs are in the hands of The Old Colony Trust Company + they move cautiously, slowly but wisely, + in the end, I assure you, all will be well.

With kindest messages to you and Mrs. Colby,

Yours very sincerely, Emma B. Moore.”


The second mourning cover postmarked Feb. 3, 1927


“February 3rd, 1927


My dear Mr. Colby, I send you my sincere thanks for your kind letter of the 2nd inst., and also for the three notes from Dr. Smith, Mr. Stoughton and Mr. Stiles, which touched me very deeply, and I am grateful to you for letting me have them.

Jewett and I were great believers in the happiness of the married life, and one of our chief pleasures was in sending wedding-gifts to the dear young people in whom we were interested. I love to think of Carolyn + and her happy plans for her marriage to Mr. Chellis. I am glad for you and Mrs. Colby that they are to be so near you.

With kindest messages to all, Yours very sincerely, Emma B. Moore.”


Danny Clemons found Forris Jewett and Emma Baker Tod Moore are buried in Pleasant Street Cemetery in Claremont. When it cools down, Danny and I will go to Claremont to say hello. They don’t get many visitors.

Forris Jewett Moore was born in 1867, in Pittsfield, Mass. Emma Baker Tod was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1860. Emma and Jewett were married in 1892.

Moore began his career as an assistant at Amherst College in 1889. In 1893, he took a position of an instructor in chemistry at Cornell. In 1894, he was appointed an assistant in chemistry, and instructor in 1895 at Cornell. By 1902 he was assistant professor, and made associate professor in 1910 at Cornell.

I wonder what Jewett’s connection to Claremont was.


This week’s old saying would apply to Jewett: “He has more degrees than a thermometer.”

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