Calvin Royce died 7 September 1936

Calvin Dexter Royce was born 27 November 1857, in New Hampshire, the fourth of at least seven children of Henry Royce and Emaline Picknell.  Calvin’s family was counted in the 1860 census in Cornish, NH.  Henry was a farmer, with a farm valued at $1000 and personal property at $100.  Siblings Oscar, John, and Mary were at school.  Calvin and Ella were too young.  David Royce was in the household – probably Henry’s younger brother. 

By 1870, Henry had moved the family to Lebanon.  He listed his occupation as farmer.  He had no real estate value listed, but did have personal property valued at $200.  Calvin had two more sisters – Lucy and Abbie. 

In 1880 Calvin’s family lived in Chelsea, VT.   Henry and Emeline were listed as farmers.  Calvin’s brother John “works on farm”.  Ella “works at home”.  I was surprised to see that Calvin was also listed as “works at home” rather than “on farm”.  Perhaps this meant that John worked on someone else’s farm as a laborer, while Calvin worked on the home place.

Clarence Royce was born on 22 Jun 1885, in Chelsea.  His father is listed as Calvin D Royce, mother Marietta (no last name given.)  His birth record (index card) lists the mother’s birthplace as Reading VT, residence is Chelsea.  This card also lists Calvin’s birthplace as Reading.  This record does not list the number of child (first, second, etc).  There is no indication of whether Calvin had married Marietta and I have not found a record for them.  She was the daughter of George Blood and Sarah Picknell.  Her mother and Calvin’s mother were sisters, so Calvin was first cousin.  Marietta had been married to George Hayes, but they divorced in 1883, based on George’s allegations that she had committed adultery with Calvin Royce. 

In 1886, a city directory lists Calvin D Royce as a laborer in Littleton, NH, but I don’t know for sure if this is the same person.  On 16 November 1895, Mariette married Dexter Walter Royce.  He was Calvin’s nephew (son of Oscar), and Mariette’s cousin once removed.  Mariette listed this marriage as her second. 

I could not find any more marriage records or birth records naming Calvin as the father.  Because he was no longer living with his parents, it became hard to confirm that the “Calvin Royce” I found in subsequent records was the same person.  I was not able to find Calvin in the 1900 census.  The 1909 Brattleboro city directory lists: Royce Calvin D, emp Crystal Springs Ice Co, bds 21 Canal.  Crystal Springs was mentioned in the “Cold Storage and Ice Trade Journal” in the February 1907 issue:  The Crystal Springs Ice Company of Brattleboro, Vt., began cutting its second crop of ice on Frost Pond on January 29, when the ice was between 11 and 12 inches thick.  On the previous Saturday some one tampered with the gate in the dam at Crystal Springs, and the water ran off, spoiling the company’s second crop there.”

The 1910 census in Putney lists a Calvin Royce, nephew of David Royce.  While the age is a bit off, Calvin did have an uncle David, so this is probably the right person.  He was listed as a farm laborer, and he could read and write. 

The 1915 Brattleboro directory lists: Royce Calvin, emp 46 Flat bds 36 Canal (with Larkin Amidon & Harry Holland).  The businesses at 46 Flat are Henry M Wheelock, painter, and Carpenter Organ Co.  I’m not sure which business was his employer.  Carpenter is known for building very high quality organs and melodeons.  Henry Wheelock was a carriage painter. 

The 1918 Brattleboro directory lists Calvin as employed by W R C Co, (White River Chair) boards with James Nash “On the Island”. 

I was not able to find Calvin in the 1920 census.  I did look up his landlord from two years earlier, James M Nash.  I found him in the census, divorced, Calvin wasn’t with him.   


The 1926, 1927, and 1928 Brattleboro city directory lists Calvin as emp WRC Co, boards at 182 Vernon.  It turns out that this is the same as Mrs. Mary A Nash.  I also looked for her in the 1920 census, and didn’t find her, but directories did list her as living “on the island” as well. I suspect she is James Nash’s ex wife.  I wonder if she and James were divorced before or after Calvin became their boarder. 

The 1930 census lists Calvin D Royce at 174 Vernon, with Mary A Nash.  He was a sawyer for a chair manufacturer.  He rented the home for $20 per month.  He is listed as single, but it looks like the S was written over something else.  Perhaps it was the start of an “M”.   There was no “age at first marriage”. 

The 1930 directory says Calvin D was employed by WRC Co, residing at 174 Vernon.  The 1931 and 1932 directory lists Dexter Royce as employed by Allen’s transfer, residence the same.  He was not in the 1933 or subsequent directories in Brattleboro.   Although I didn’t find a death record for her, Mary is not in the 1931 directory, so whether she died or moved, it appears that Calvin had to find a new place to stay. 

Calvin died 7 September 1936, in Tunbridge VT.  The death record does list his parents, so I know it is the same person.  This death record also included his birth date. The death index card says that Calvin had lived in Tunbridge for three years, which matches the time that he disappeared from the Brattleboro directories.  His occupation was listed as farmer, for 35 years, and last worked at that occupation in 1926.  The cause of death was give as “natural causes”, sudden death, with contributory cause of senility.  Doctor noted that the patient was a stranger and wrote, “My guess would be arteriosclerosis, blood vessels were very hard to find and beady and tortuous.” 

Calvin was listed as widowed, spouse of Mary Hayes.  By this time, Mariette (Mary E, Minnie) had also died, but at the time of death she was married to Dexter Walter Royce, not Calvin Dexter Royce. 

I do not have a burial location for Calvin – he is not listed on Find-A-Grave.   However, his nephew Dexter W Royce was just added to Find-A-Grave six weeks ago – it pays to check back!



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