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Maryetta Kent Dewey


Etta Kent Maryetta Kent was born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania on 4 February 1861 to Abel Kent and Maryette Snedeker Kent. She never used her full name Maryetta, instead she used the second half of her name Etta. When Etta was just 7 years old she suffered the loss of her beloved mother who died on 8 October 1868 at the age of 42. Her father died 11 years later when Etta was 18 years old. In 1880 Etta was working as a house maid in the household of Almon H. Leet who lived on Hawley Avenue in Binghamton in Broome County, New York. In Binghamton she met her future husband Charles Marion Dewey . On New Year's Day 1884 Etta married Charles Dewey in Binghamton. By 1885 the young couple was living in the household of the father of Charles, Milton Dewey in Jersey City, New Jersey. Charles had patented several puzzles that year. In October that same year Etta gave birth to their first son whom they named Duane Dee Dewey. In 1886 the young family moved into their own home at 203 Summit Avenue in Jersey City. Etta cared for their baby boy while Charles worked as a Foreman. Later in the year Etta would have discovered she was expecting her second child. On Christmas Eve, however, tragedy struck the young family when baby Duane died. He was buried with the mother of Charles in the Dewey family cemetery plot at Bayview New York Bay Cemetery in Jersey City. Four months later Etta gave birth to another son they named Don Durand Dewey and the following year she had their last child, a son named Darius Dix. According to The Dewey Genealogy published in 1899, Charles, Etta and their two young sons moved to Ames, Iowa in 1899. This is corroborated by notes on the only known photograph taken of Charles that same year. By 1900 the family had moved to St. Louis, Missouri.

Saint Louis, Missouri

What brought the Dewey family to St. Louis is unknown. It was far from friends and family. Regardless, Charles and Etta packed up their two sons and moved into 3046 Thomas Street in St. Louis. Charles had obtained a position there as a foreman of a clothing house. Charles had struggled with melancholia (a word used during this time for depression). By 1904 Charles could no longer cope with his depression. In May 1904 Charles did not return home from work. Etta grew concerned and sent her teenaged sons to look for their father. She sent them out again the next day and the next. Their son Dix found his father's body in an empty field several days after his death on 25 May 1904. He had committed suicide by ingesting carbolic acid. On 1 June 1904 his funeral was held. The Tuscan Lodge number 260 met at his home where the proceedings continued from his home to the Westleyan Cemetery where his remains were laid to rest. Etta was now a widow. She remained in St. Louis where her sons attended school. In 1910 Etta was enumerated on the census with her brother in law James Guernsey and her sister in law Francis (Dewey) Guernsey in Binghamton, New York. I do not believe she was living with them at the time. I believe she happened to be staying with them while visiting family in the area when the census taker arrived. My reasons for believing this are entries made in the St. Louis City Directories of 1913 and 1914 that showed she was still living in St. Louis. By 1910 her son Don had moved to Spokane, Washington. By 1914 her son Dix had moved to Chicago leaving Etta alone in St. Louis, however, by 1918 she had moved in with her son Dix and his new wife Myrtle in Chicago. She would live with her son and his growing family until her death.

Elgin, Illinois 1921-1948

Dix and Myrtle Dewey moved their family to Elgin, Illinois shortly after the birth of their second child Dorothy in 1919. The large Victorian style homes with their sprawling lawns was a better place for the growing family. Etta always had her own room in the house of her son. She spent her golden years with her son and his children. She was particularly fond of her first born grandson Dix, Jr. and she doted on him. Etta was very proper and taught her grand daughters Dorothy and Sue how to set a proper table, sewing, crochet and needlepoint. During this time photographs show that Etta made trips back to Binghamton and even went to Florida.

Etta Kent Dewey died 8 November 1947 in Elgin (Kane County), Illinois at the age of 86 years old. Her remains were brought to Acacia Cemetery in Chicago for cremation and her ashes were buried in the Dewey family cemetery plot in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is buried with her baby son Duane, her grandson Dix Dewey, Jr. and her mother and father in law.


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