Monday, October 12, 2009

History of the ownership (PROVENANCE) of Mr. Meeker ...& lovely Edith, and a bit more of my own story

Edith (sister of my grandfather Ben Cory) moved back into the old Victorian in Fresno after my gt grandparents both were passed away, and she then by default was in possesion of Mr. Meeker. My first memory of the portrait was when it was with Edith but by then, unfortunately, the old Victorian which had taken up a block in downtown Fresno had been torn down and Edith was living on a farm in the nearby countryside, in Clovis. In her older age she was taken care of by two "Oakies." My mom told me that yes Edith did get married, but she had fallen out of a carriage and could not have children. (For the story of my first memory of the portrait click here.)

PROVENANCE with notes

•Given by the sitter Samuel Meeker to his twin Phebe Meeker (1763-1815) Phebe married 1) Cochran (merchant, first business partner of Samuel) and a second marriage to 2) Job Brookfield. [It can be presumed that the portrait was gifted, and not inherited, as Samuel lived many years longer than Phebe. At Phebe's death the portrait was in her posession and passed to...

•Daughter Mary Brookfield (1807-after 1856) m. John Ludlum Martin a physician in Rahway, NJ

•Son Thomas Mulford Martin (1831-1917) of Rahway NJ [a bookbinder, see his photo here]

•Oldest daughter Emma Martin of Princeton, NJ (lends portrait to Philadelphia Museum of Art, see sticker on back of painting regarding this) presumably upon her death the portrait goes to sister Carrie Martin Cory (1862-1938) & portrait is taken to California. Carrie is married to Lewis L. Cory of San Jose, Ca. Lewis Cory (Princeton and Columbia Law) was a prominent corporate litigation attorney in the city of Fresno, Ca. He argued cases before the US Supreme Court. [for a family photo of Carrie and her husband Lewis Lincoln Cory click here] Lewis was second son of Benjamin Cory, who traversed the plains (click here for his story and an original letter) in 1847 and was the first doctor in San Jose, Ca.

•Daughter of Carrie and Lewis (pictured at the top of the post), Edith Cory (1884-1976) (no issue)

•Niece Carolyn Elizabeth Cory (1928-) [daughter of Edith's brother Benjamin Hyde Cory (1896-1983) my grandfather]-Carolyn is my mother, {click here to see marriage photo} , who met my dad John Ahrens at Stanford University. They were married in the spring of '49 in Carmel, Ca.

•Daughter Elizabeth Ahrens-Kley (me); Santa Cruz, Ca. I married a German Willy Kley, now a professor of astrophysics at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. Our daughter Lily lives with me here in Santa Cruz. She is now applying to different Universities, Princeton will be one as that is where Pops (Benjamin Cory) and his dad (Lewis Cory) both graduated.
I have two brothers John and Paul, but neither were interested in the old portrait. Too bad for them, but lucky for me! ...and lucky for Samuel, for who knows where he could have ended up, without my research!! To discover an unknown Gilbert Stuart at this late date, how cool is that!
For graphic of the family tree from Carrie to Samuel Meeker click here (note that the father is also a Samuel Meeker.)

1 comment:

Rouchswalwe said...

That's very cool, Beth!

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