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Lois Clarinda Twichell - Blackwell
1841 - 1925
Lois wrote a letter near the latter years of her life. The original is in my possession.
To read this letter, - Click Here See Letter No. 1
Lois died in Brandon, Manitoba on Friday, November 27th., 1925. Aged 84 years, 2 months, 19 days. She was laid to rest beside her husband on Sunday, November 29th., 1925.
View Lois Twichell as Mrs. George Blackwell (10.2.4) Click Here
View the Twichell (Twitchell) Pages Click Here
Lois Clarinda Twichell's Memoirs
12th Generation Twichell / Twitchell
Daughter of Royal Twichell -
Granddaughter of Lemuel Twichell -
Great Granddaughter of Enos Twitchell -
Great Great Granddaughter of Seth Twitchell
Great Great Granddaughter of Benoni Twitchell. etc. etc.
Her line takes her back to George Twitchell of 1460.
This family has been researched by the Twitchell researchers across the country over a number of years.
It is well documented and they deserve credit for the wonderful work they have done.
Lois Twichell married George Blackwell Jr. (10.2.4) in Anoka, MN. in 1863. The rest is history, but thanks to Lois,
that history is in print. See her Memoirs.
It was Lois who remembered and wrote of the many years of her life and left us with her memoirs she laid down in her own hand. It is her gift that has given us such details about our beginnings in respective countries. Much of the information on this page comes from the details that Lois provided in her memoirs. I simply put it into a summary with some minor additions of my own.
Lois was born on September 8th. 1841 in New Hudson, Allegany Co., New York. She is the only one of the seven children to be born there. All the other children were born in Concord, Erie Co., New York. Lois's birth mother was Ruth Field. Ruth and Royal Twichell were married on May 1st, 1825. Ruth died in Osian, NY in the year 1845. This date has been confirmed by the ages of her children as indicated by Lois in her memoirs. Services for Ruth were preformed by Rev. Hodgson.
Nominee Photo 183
This is the boat that Lois and her family came to Minnesota on.
It is the only known photograph of this vessel.
Read the story of her journey on the Nominee
The memoirs of Lois tell about the sights and sounds of her world and how she relates to the people around her and the experiences she and others go through. It gives an uplifting feeling to read about these remarkable people and what they had to do in order to survive. At no point in her memoirs do I detect a complaint of their lifestyle. Some of her family were taken by typhoid which was an epidemic at the time. Her mother was one of those lost in
1845 in Osian, New York.
After Lois's mother passed away, Royal Twichell, her father, remarried to a school teacher that Ruth knew. Ruth, was so impressed by Almina that she requested Royal to see if he could have her children taken care of by her. She made this request on her death bed. Royal did this by being married to Almina shortly after Ruth's death. This would have been about 1845. I learned to understand that people in those days were much more realistic about their situation then what we are today. There was no room for lingering remorse. Life went on and the children, the
life blood of any family, had to be considered. In those days, the life struggle of both parents was extremely difficult.
When Lois's family moved to Minnesota, (prior to 1850) she tells the story of their journey. They saw the location of Winona before its existence. They got to ride on a sternwheeler and they describe in great detail, the decor as well as the people on board. From the ship they continued on their way in covered wagons to their destination into the heartland of Minnesota.
In 1853, Lois's father, Royal Twichell had made a home on the edge of the Rum River where it meets the Mississippi. The family would provide meals for travelers and on one occasion, the family played host to the Governor along with a troop of Soldiers out of St. Paul. The Governor was working with the Indians at the time and upon the completion of his meetings, he called all the Chiefs together for one last speech. One of those Chiefs was Good Thunder and his wife. In Lois's memoirs, she goes into great detail about how Chief Good Thunder and his wife were dressed. It was quite different from the photo shown below, that was taken some years later.
Anoka, Minnesota was the site of much for Lois Twichell. Moving to Anoka in 1853 she came into her own in that tiny community. Indians, Soldiers, Teaching School, Lost Love and Marriage. See some history on Anoka through these links.
Meet a few of the people who Lois met during her time in Minnesota.
Chief Good Thunder and Wife
The Chief visited the home of Lois when the Governor stayed at their home while dealing with the Indians.
Click to Enlarge
Chief Little Crow
Click to Enlarge
Leader of the 1862 Massacre
This would have been the Massacre of the Jones and Baker Family, good friends of the Blackwell's and the VanLoons. It was John Blackwell, brother-in-law to Lois, that led the posse to the devastation and only a little girl was found alive.
Lois never met this Chief, and that would have been a good thing.
Alexandria, MN. 1858
Click to Enlarge
Lois was excited to come to the larger center of Alexandria. It was the 'big city' to her.
The Little Red Bible
An excellent but sad story
In Minnesota, Lois grew into a young adult and commits herself to her studies and becomes a teacher. She takes on various schools and we see the lifestyles of different people in different parts of the country as she moves from school to school.
While teaching school in Anoka, MN. at the outbreak of the Civil War, and the Indian Uprising, she met a young soldier that was a good friend of hers. (Actually, he was trying to gain the favour of Lois) He and his friend are being sent West with his regiment to quell the Indian problems. It appears the Indians are fed up with the Government's empty promises and are now raiding the farms and ranches. A number of settlers are being massacred. Soon after, Lois greets her friend as the young soldier, and his buddy are marching west with their regiment. However, a few days later they are recalled to Anoka to regroup to head south. It seems the Civil War has erupted and things don't look good. On his return trip, Lois once again meets her friend, and has but a short time to wish him and his friend goodbyes. He asks Lois to join him later to wave goodbye to him as they file out; but she declines. (It would have been improper to do so in those days in the mind of Lois) It seemed a little formal to do so as she did not consider the relationship to be of that nature. Instead, she gives him a small, red Bible and wishes him a safe journey. With his little red Bible in hand, the young soldier and his friend make their way back to camp in order to form up for the departure to the south.
One day, a young lady that Lois is acquainted with, came to see her. She was the sister to Lois's friend, the young soldier. She handed Lois the little red Bible that Lois had given the young lady's brother . Lois was very surprised at this. She asked why it was being returned. The young lady told her that her brother (Lois's friend) was found dead on the battle field beside his friend that Lois had met earlier. The army then retrieved the body and the belongings and sent them back to the family. From the inscription in the bible, the sister of the dead brother knew to bring it to Lois. It seems the young soldier and his friend died side by side in a major battle. The little red Bible was in his backpack. Lois was shocked. She then asked the sister, "What Battle". The sister replied, it was called 'Bull Run'.
- After the Battle -
Click to Enlarge
It is these kinds of stories as well as other happier moments that allow us to see the life that Lois and the others of those days led. It was sometimes very difficult even to get enough to eat or to keep warm on a winter night. However, they endured all the hardships to survive and have families of their own.
Lois continues her life with a man by the name of George Blackwell. They were married in Anoka, Minnesota in 1863. They moved to Canada not long after and following much hardship, they finally settled in the Assiniboian Territory. This is what that part of the country was called before Manitoba and Saskatchewan became provinces. (1905) They built a home in Fleming (at that time in the Manitoba area) that ended up being in South East Saskatchewan town after that area became the Province of Saskatchewan in 1905.
In her final years, Lois traveled across Canada to see her family that had spread far and wide. She continued to gather her letters together and started her memoirs. She suffered a stroke near the end and lost the use of her arm and could not write any longer. However, her mind was sharp up to the day of her death in 1925.
I remember meeting my Grandfather (John of 1877) on a few occasions. He was the 8th child of Lois. I was afraid of him when I was very young. I remember his voice so well. Deep and extremely self-assured in sound. He had a handshake that could break an axe. I remember other details of him as well. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to interact, even in a small way, with that part of my history. Now that I am older and understand the past of my family, I can see why they seemed so tough and independent to me. That is because they where. They had to be. If they did not do it, it didn't get done. I, on the other hand, just had to ask.
I listened to my Grandfather as he spoke to my parents about one person, and then another, as after dinner conversation usually goes. I heard the names of people that were alive, well, and with their families back home. Today I input their names on this website. Life is so precious.
The Blackwell Family of Los Twichell - Blackwell
Fleming, Sask., 1908
"I wonder if we will deal with our future as graciously as our ancestors did our past"
Lois, even near her final days, loved to travel and visit her old friends and family. As an example of how close they all were, even in the days that travel was much more difficult, I have reprinted a section from near the end of her Memoirs. Lois kept in touch all through the years with all sides of the family... Lois's words
Returned home for a time and George (her son) was here on a Mission for the Government as a Crop Inspector for this part of the Province. We arranged, George and I, to go to Minnesota and went in august. We visited at Alexandria and Holmes City on the families made up of the children of Henry Blackwell, my husbandís brother, and we went then to Anoka and were entertained by a Mrs. Ella Magson, the daughter of my old friend Mrs. Kelsy. We spent a very pleasant day and night there and met Mrs. Candy and Mrs. Quincy, old schoolmates, and called at my old prairie home, then a young girl, and the trees in the yard that my mother and I had planted when I was teaching in the Quaker settlement, and old Mrs. Price dug the trees out of the swamp and brought them down to my fatherís farm one day when he was going to Anoka. The trees were fine tall trees and at least 60 years old. The house is still good. Some additions have been made to it but in the main it is the same as when I left for Canada in the fall of 1864. From Anoka, we went to Zimmerman where a granddaughter of Uncle Henry Blackwellís lived, (Ruth McKenzie), now Mrs. Charles Cohoes. We had a pleasant visit there overnight and then went to Minneapolis where Stella Chase lived. She was the daughter of my niece, Mrs. Chase. She took us to her brothers and we spent the night there
with Stella in her room."
"The next day, Steve Chase told us to see another of Mrs. Chaseís granddaughters, Mrs. Clara Drum. There we spent the night. Her husband is a railroad man and arrives home early in the morning. We had a pleasant visit there until Sunday afternoon when Mr. Chase came for us and took us about the city and out to a park by Lake Como and Lake Harriet. Before we went to Mrs. Drumís, Mrs. Chase had gone with George to see the Capitol in St. Paul. We had been to the Parliament Buildings in Winnipeg before we went to Minnesota"
"Early Monday morning we took the train for Grantsburg, Wisconsin, to visit a nephew of mine, Ernest Howard Smith., arriving there about noon. My nephew met us and, after having dinner at the house of a friend, took us behind a pair of his nice horses and light spring wagon to his home ten miles into the country, where we met his wife. We also met a Miss Telford from Winona, a teacher. She was spending her holidays there, far removed from the din and bustle of the city and free from the cares of the schoolroom." (Ernest Howard Smith is from the Twichell side by marriage) (REB)
Up to two years before her death, Mrs. Lois Clarinda Blackwell enjoyed good health and continued to travel and visit her many friends and loved ones. She settled finally in Kirkella with her daughter, Norma Wilkinson, and later took two serious strokes which deprived her of the use of her right hand and her power of speech, although her other faculties remained normal. But her strength gradually declined until she finally passed away on Friday, November 27th, 1925
She was laid to rest beside her husband in Brandon Cemetery on Sunday, November 29th, 1925, and was survived by five sons and three daughters:
Deceased Registration Number: 1925-048026 for Lois Clarinda Blackwell nee Twichell
Deceased Registration Number: 1916-072053 for George Blackwell
George H. Blackwell, who was Principal of Darlington School, Manitoba;
Alvin W. Blackwell of Brandon;
Milton F. Blackwell of Kamloops, B.C.;
John Ernest Blackwell of Killarney, Manitoba;
Seraph Blackwell of Brandon;
Laura (Mrs. B. H. McNeil) of Canim Lake, B.C.;
Norma (Mrs. C. Wilkinson) of Brandon.
Click to enlarge
Ronald Ernest Blackwell (10.2.4.8.4.1)
Great Grandson of Lois Clarinda Twichell - Blackwell
Grandson of John Blackwell of 1877 (10.2.4.8) Extreme left - Back row in Family photo above.
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