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Davis, Myra J.

MILITARY SERVICE

Age: 0, credited to Danville, VT
Unit(s): Teacher
Service: Fitch Home for Soldiers' Orphans

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VITALS

Birth: 1832, Danville, VT
Death: 10/20/1909

Burial: Spring Grove Cemetery, Darien, CT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Heidi McColgan
Findagrave Memorial #: 71643761

MORE INFORMATION

Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Unknown
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: More information about Fitch's Home for Soldiers and their Orphans, Darien, CT

DESCENDANTS

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BURIAL:

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Tombstone

Tombstone
Spring Grove Cemetery, Darien, CT

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Miss M. J. Davis Dead

Once in Charge of Home for Soldiers' Orphans.

CONDUCTED SCHOOL IN DARIEN

Self-Sacrificing Labor for Others the Story of Her Life - Pensioned by the State as Reward for Her Services During the Years of the Civil War.

The funeral service of Miss Myra J. Davis is to be held tomorrow, at 2 p.m. in the Noroton Presbyterian Church, and will be conducted by the pastor, Rev. Carlos Martyn, D. D. Miss Davis died Wednesday night, at Dr. Barne's sanitarium, where she had been under treatment for about three months. She was seventy-seven years old, and there had been for some time a noticeable failing in her condition, both mental and physical. She was given every care, and was always the subject of solicitude on the part of many friends who knew her in her days of great usefulness.

Miss Davis was a native of Vermont, and it is believed some of her relatives there are living yet, though she had not visited her home town in years. She received training for the vocation of a teacher, and when the Fitch Home for Soldiers' Orphans was established, during the Civil War, she was its principal and matron. This institution did splendid work for some years, and there was no greater contribution to its success than the influence of this woman, of high intelligence and sound sense, with a willingness to make any sacrifice for those entrusted to her care. During a period when funds for the support of the Home were slow in coming, or not available, she used her own means, amounting to several thousand dollars, to keep it going. Long afterwards, some twelve or fourteen years ago, through the efforts of Hon. Edwin L. Scofield of this town, the State formally recognized her service and her sacrifice, by granting her a small pension that was sufficient to supply her simple needs when she could no longer earn an income.

Conducted a Private School.

After the school for soldiers' orphans was discontinued, the need for it having passed, Miss Davis conducted a private school for some time in the same buildings, which later became the nucleus for the present Soldiers' Home. Among the pupils of Miss Davis were many girls of Darien and Noroton, and the boarding pupils were from all parts of the country. One of the great satisfactions of the old age of the teacher were frequent letters she received, and occasional meetings with women who had been her pupils, and had remained her friends. It is recalled that Miss Davis supported and educated, at her own expense, several girls who had been orphaned, or who were left without means. All her life was filled with kind deeds.

Romance of Her Youth.

There was a romance in the girlhood days of Miss Davis. She was engaged to Marry Ira Hill, one of the playmates of her childhood in Vermont. He died shortly before the time appointed for the wedding. Her affection for his memory was shown in many ways. She often expressed the belief that they would be united in heaven. Years ago, she caused a monument bearing his name to be erected in a cemetery at Darien. It was her intention to have the two names upon the same gravestone after she died. The affairs of Miss Davis had been managed by a conservator, appointed by the Stamford Probate Court, for the last few years. She had very little property, and would have been destitute had not the State granted her a well-deserved pension, as a recompense for giving her fortune to the cause of philanthropy, and devoting the work of the best years of her life to the care of dependent children who were wards of the State.

Influence of Her Life

A friend of Miss Davis, writing about her some years ago said: "Her young womanhood was devoted to the care and the education of the children of the soldiers whose lives were given for freedom during the Civil War. Later she conducted Elmwood, the well-known school in Darien, where so many boys and girls now well-known men and women received their school training. At least six little children, taken in their infancy, were brought up by Miss Davis as her own, and from her care they have gone forth to their own distant homes, honorable men and women, several being today the possessors of all that 'wealth can buy or art can build.' The romance of the early life of Miss Davis was sad, and to earthly vision cruel, for upon the threshold of her marriage, with their home in readiness, her lover met with a sudden and tragic death. Age and care have left their trace, yet Miss Davis is still the Myra of old, and during the past week has proved that she loves her liberty even as the immortal Patrick loved it, for when friends engaged rooms for her recently in one of the 'perfectly lovely' insane asylums she appealed to other friends saying with pathos, 'I would rather die.'"

Daily Advocate, October 22, 1909, Stamford, CT

Submitted by Heidi McColgan

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