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Betsy Chute

Female 1810 - 1856  (46 years)

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  • Name Betsy Chute 
    Born 7 Jul 1810  Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 27 Oct 1856 

      Richard Chute and Dorothy Pearson Chute:

      "Richard Chute, impelled by the Byfield spirit of enterprise and probably the needs of his family, went forth from the old Chute house by the church, somewhere between 1816 and 1820 with a brother, each with a load of shoes whose pegs had been toilsomely whittled out by hand. His brother went to Evansville, Ind., but he pushed on to St. Louis. He never came back but died in St. Louis, October 24, 1820, leaving a widow and five young children. The widow was of good Byfield stock - Dorothy Pearson, aunt of the late Benjamin Pearson, and she reared her family respectably and well, one, Ariel Parish, to become the well known preacher, another, Benjamin P., to be a teacher more than forty years, both college graduates." (Source: «i»The Story of Byfield«/i», John Louis Ewell. page 235.)

      «u»«b»"Dick and Dorothy":«/u»«/b»
      The Memoires of Benjamin Pearson Chute, as recorded and written by Helen Cleaveland Chute Lightner
      When we were small my brother «u»Charles «/u» and I used to go to our grandfather's house in Newburyport for short visits. One of the delights of these visits was our great Uncle «u»Benjamin Pearson Chute «/u». He had come in his old age to live with his brother, «u»Andrew Chute «/u», who was our grandfather. Uncle Ben had a little downstairs bedroom full of books and papers, for he had been a literary man, a teacher all his life. He was a great talker and a natural born story teller, very willing to be cajolled into entertaining us small fry by tales of his early life. He had lost much of his memory for the present, it kept slipping away, but Oh, how well he could remember the past! He loved to talk of it and we adored listening. We would both try to climb on his lap, pull his chin whiskers or his thick mop of white hair and tease for a story. Those bright blue eyes of his were very merry and jolly. Come to think of it, my brother, Charles, who often sat curled up contentedly in Uncle Ben's arms while he talked, had, in his maturer years, the same mop of silvery white hair and the same bright blue eyes.
      One day when we children had been pestering Uncle Ben for a story, he took Charles on his knee and had me sit on a hassock at his feet and told us a story - true story, he said - about his father «u»Richard «/u» called Dick and Dorothy, his wife. It went something like this:
      "I was only four years old, but I remember one morning running as fast as my legs would carry me, all the time waving my arms and shouting "goodbye" to my father. My brothers were way ahead of me, and behind me in the kitchen doorway of the farmhouse, my mother stood wiping her eyes. From her cot bed by the window, sister Betsy's little face peeped out (Betsy was crippled by a bad back and could not walk or run). All of us were watching a wagon moving slowly out of the drive and along the road. Father walked beside the oxen, turning back again and again to wave his hand and call "goodbye". But soon the team rounded a bend in the road and was lost to sight. We boys turned back and joined our mother, all of us very sober and tearful.
      This happened long ago, to be exact in the early spring of 1820. Richard, or Dick Chute, my father, who was leaving his family that sunny morning was starting on the long, hard trip from his farm in Newbury, Massachusetts to St. Louis, Missouri. His wagon held not only his bedroll and food for the trip but a big load of shoes, shoes he had made himself. He was a farmer, his land being near the Byfield meeting house in the township of Newbury on the Merrimac River in northeastern Massachusetts. To eke out his living on the small stony farm, he made shoes during the winter months. He had a little workshop in the corner of the barn and there cut and sewed his shoes. Most of them were big, heavy boots needed by frontiersmen for which there was a ready market in the West.
      He was leaving behind on the farm his wife, Dorothy, who was a very smart and energetic young woman. They had five children. Alex, the oldest, was 14, Betsy, the invalid, 10, and the three very active younger boys Ariel, Andy, and Benny were 12, 6, and 4 years old, respectively. Dick knew his wife would be quite capable with the boys' help of carrying on alone until time to plough and plant. He had arranged with a neighbor to do that heavy work, because he knew he could not possibly return until early autumn.
      The family needed money so badly. The year before, Father had sent his load of shoes by a wagon train and he had never heard from them or received his pay. This year he must have money for tax, installment on the mortgage, and other necessities. The farm supplied their food and fuel - that was about all. It was for this reason he felt he must go himself to St. Louis with his shoes. He would join a train of wagoners when he reached the main road West.
      At the time he left us he was only forty-two, just a young man in the prime of life. But he never came back to his home and family, for somewhere along the way West he caught typhoid fever and died. In those days pasteurized milk was unknown. The wells, from which came drinking water, were often contaminated. A drink of water from such a well along the roadside or milk bought from some dirty barn could quickly cause typhoid, and many people in those days died from this cause.
      For a long time my mother waited for Father's return. Summer passed, September, also October and still no word from him. She felt sure he must be nearly home. Every day she watched the road, hoping to see the ox team plodding toward her bringing home my dear father to his family. We boys talked constantly of things we had to tell him - what we had done during the summer. In November came a letter. It had been a long time on the road. It contained the sad news of Father's death. Enclosed in the letter were a few bills, all the money that was left from the sale of oxen, wagon and shoes after expenses of sickness and death were paid.
      Mother, stunned at first by the news, soon pulled herself together as was necessary because of the situation in which she found herself. She was a widow with five children, no money, no property except the farm. What should she do to keep them all alive and well? Besides, she must educate her boys. With characteristic strength she applied herself to her problem. Alex was old enough to fend for himself very soon. He could get a job, for he was a very big boy for his age, already a husky young man. But she must earn money herself to care for Betsey and the three small boys.
      At this time in 1820, factories were being built along the Merrimac River which supplied plenty of water power. A boarding house near a factory might be her answer, she thought. It would provide a home, food, and money, perhaps enough for the boys' education. She decided she would sell her farm and buy or rent a big house for boarders near a factory. Luckily, she did sell the farm right away and with the money bought a big house in Laurence, Massachusetts. Girls were coming in from farms eager to earn cash money by working in the mills instead of just earning board, room, and a few dollars a month on the farm. Dorothy had no trouble finding boarders. She filled her house with these farm girls out to get rich in the factories. Betsey from her cot in the kitchen helped accounts. The three boys went to public school and ran errands. Later Dorothy moved to Newburyport and for many years kept a large boarding house there.
      She prospered as time went on and was able to accomplish part of her ambition. She saw two of her boys, Ariel and Ben, graduate from Bowdoin College in Maine. But her wish to give to her country trained preachers was not entirely granted. «u»Ariel «/u» did go through Andover Theological Seminary after his graduation from college and for some years held a pastorate near Boston. But later he felt he could not subscribe any longer to the strict creeds of the church of his day. He gave up the ministry, moved his family to Sharon, Massachusetts, and he himself was Custom House manager of the Port of Boston for the rest of his life. Ariel had five children. His son, your father's cousin «u»Dick «/u», gave heed to the cry of those times, "Go West, young man", and became a prosperous lumber man in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
      Well, I never wanted to be a preacher. I had my heart set on being a teacher, and that's what I was all my long life. First I was teacher in several New England academies. When slavery became the burning question of the day, I took it up and became an ardent abolitionist speaking and writing in behalf of the oppressed black people. After the Civil War, my New England conscience could not endure thoughts of the deplorable condition of the mass of freed slaves in the South. I simply had to do something about it myself, so I gave up my comfortable job and went south to Alabama to gather a school full of black people and teach them. But of course feeling was running so high all over the South that one northerner should come down and start teaching "niggers" to read was intolerable. I was ostracized and ill treated to such an extent that my health was ruined. I had to give up. I went out west to some of my relatives, found a teaching job in Wichita, Kansas and other places till as an old man I came back here to Newburyport to live with my brother Andrew, your grandfather.
      Someday I'll tell you some stories about him because you should know about his early life. But don't forget this story of your great-grandfather, Dick. I was only four years old but I remember it perfectly. I watched my father go away with his ox team. I never saw him again.
      But Dorothy, my mother, lived to be a very old lady of eighty-six, always bright and active till the end of her life. The adjective which has always been applied to her is «i»indomitable«/i». And so she was, the indomitable Dorothy Pearson Chute, your great-grandmother.

      «b»Record Type:«/b» Chute Family History/Book
      «b»Title:«/b» «i»A Genealogy and History of the Chute Family in America: With Some Account of the Family in Great Britain and Ireland, with an Account of Forty Allied Families Gathered from the Most Authentic Sources«/i»
      «b»Author:«/b» William Edward Chute
      «b»Published:«/b» Salem, Massachusetts, 1894
      «b»Comments:«/b» Copy originally owned by George Maynard Chute, nephew of William Edward Chute with his signature on the flyleaf; handwritten notes in margins; passed to George Maynard Chute, Jr. who published an updated addendum to this work in 1968; passed to George Maynard Chute, III; passed to Jacqueline Irene Chute.
      «b»Location:«/b» Privately held

      «b»Type:«/b» Family History
      «b»Type:«/b» "Dick & Dorothy"
      «b»Author:«/b» Helen Cleaveland Chute Lightner
      «b»Comments:«/b» Recollections of Benjamin Pearson Chute, in short story format
      «b»Date:«/b» 25 JUN 2001
      «b»LOCA:«/b» Chute Family Records/GP205-0
    Person ID I56817  Glenn Cook Family
    Last Modified 7 May 2008 

    Father Richard Chute,   b. 3 Sep 1778, Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Oct 1820, St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years) 
    Mother Dorothy Pearson,   b. 1784, Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Oct 1820, St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years) 
    Married 1805 
    Family ID F551615078  Group Sheet