Alvie Lavine 1886 – 1975

Alvie Lavine was born 12 July 1886, the last of five children of Edward Lavine (Lavigne) and Anne M Laclair.  She and her siblings were all born in Barton, VT.  Edward was a farmer, probably born in Burlington.  When Alvie was born, her birth record stated that her father was living “in hospital, insane.”  I recently found out that Edward had applied for a Civil War pension, and I am interested in researching that in more detail to see if his pension application might explain his need to be hospitalized. 

When Alvie was two, her father died in Brattleboro, which was the home of the state hospital.  Anne applied for a widow’s pension, and also applied on behalf of her children.  After Edward died, Anne was not able to keep the family together, and they went to live with other people.  These were probably informal arrangements – two of the children, Vinnie and Edward junior, eventually took the last names of the people who raised them, and some subsequent records for them named their adoptive parents, while other records for the same children named Edward and Anne. 

Although Anne remarried in 1892, to James Albert Hyland, the 1900 census shows none of the children were living with her, not even the unmarried children.  The family apparently stayed connected to some degree, as Anne’s obituary names all her children, with their married (or in Edward junior’s case, adoptive) names.

In 1900, age 13, Alvia was living in Jay, New York, working as a servant in the household of John and Ellen Ryan.  Jay is on the west side of Lake Champlain, 150 miles from Barton on modern roads.  I do not know how she ended up at that location.  John and Ellen were from Ireland, and the two children still in the household were born in New York, so I didn’t find a Vermont connection in that record. 

In 1905, the New York state census shows that Alvia T Lavigne is still living in Jay, working as a servant for Ellen Ryan.

In 1908, Alvie married John Edder Dennett, son of Albert Dennett and Saraphine Houle.  Their first son, John Edward, was born in November, 1908.  In 1910, they lived on Black Brook Road, in the township of Black Brook.  John was a laborer, doing “general work.” 

By 1920, the family had grown to include four daughters, Patricia, Alvia Anne, Ilene, and Alberta.  The family lived on Mill Street in Jay, and John was a laborer in an industrial plant. It is hard to read the type of plant, but it might something like “Glutrin”.  In researching the Robeson Process Company (listed in John’s obituary), I found that at a paper mill in Virginia, a company of that same name was used for a liquor disposal plant. This plant used the sulphite liquor left over after pulping to make glutrin. Glutrin was a product used as a binder for sand cores in foundries, as a disinfectant and as a priquetting agent for fine coat and iron pyrites.

In 1930, the family lived on Intervale, in AuSable Forks, which was an unincorporated area of Jay.  Sons Donald and Paul had arrived.  John worked as a fireman in a quarry.  Alvie had no occupation listed, but with seven children from  21 down to 4, it can be assumed she worked. Edward was a chauffeur at a truck construction business.  Patricia (19) and Anna (17) worked as finishers in the paper mill. 

In 1934, the youngest child, Paul, died at age 9 but the death notice in the paper did not give a cause of death.

In 1940, the Dennett family lived on Mill Road in AuSable Forks.  Married daughters Anna (Mrs. Delbert Savage) and Patricia (Mrs. Ross Snow) lived adjacent to them.  All three men worked in the paper or pulp mill.  Alvia ran a laundry from her home.  Eileen was a secretary in an insurance office.  Donald lived at home but didn’t have an occupation listed.  Son Edward and family lived nearby, and also worked at the paper mill. 

Alvie’s husband died 18 June 1956. They had been married about 48 years.  John was 74, and his obit says that he had been employed by the Robeson Process Company and J.J. Rogers Company, an  iron company that had been in business since 1832.

Alvie’s son Edward died 19 May 1972 in a car wreck. 

Old newspapers from northern New York are available on line, for free, and contain lots of social items from AuSable Forks.  Newspapers of the time reported who had come or gone to visit, who was sick and who was recovering from being sick.  An item from the Plattsburgh Press dated 23 July 1973 reports:  Mrs. Alvia Dennett of West Church Street observed her 87th birthday on July 12 at her home.  She was the lucky recipient of a birthday cake from Angelo’s Bakery in Plattsburgh.  Various members of her family gathered at her home that day to observe properly the happy occasion.  Mrs. Dennett has 41 great-grandchildren, 20 grandchildren, and a son, Donald, and four daughters, Mrs. Alberta Gray, Mrs. Pat Snow, Mrs. Eileen Cassevaugh, and Mrs. Anna Savage, all of whom live in town.

Alvia died 5 September 1975, at age 89.  Her family was affiliated with Holy Name Church, as most funerals were held there, with most burials in the family plot in Holy Name Cemetery at AuSable.  Alvia also seems to be the one child of Edward and Anne who reverted to the Lavigne rather than Lavine spelling of her last name, in records where her maiden name was listed.