Edward’s wife, Ida Black Frasier, was the youngest child of Benjamin F. Black and Louisa Matthews. Her mother died in childbirth when Ida was two years old. Ida had an older sister, Elinor (“Ellen”), who married John Dirom Gilchrist. John and Ellen had five children.
John and Ellen died within a year of each other. They were living in Saunders County at the time of their deaths. The children, ranging in age from 6 to 15, were left orphans. Ed and Ida helped the children to the extent they were able, helping them to find good homes and providing a central location for reunions and celebrations through the years. One of the Gilchrist daughters, Bertha, married Margarette Frasier Pierce’s son – this was Winfield William Pierce, Ed’s nephew. (One of those confusing double-relations in the family tree).
Although Ellen died in 1895, her estate was still not settled as of 1908. There was still an 80-acre farm that was being leased out, with the rent proceeds split five ways to each of the children. Bertha sent out letters to her siblings in May 1908 to let them know of a purchase offer for the farm. Each of the siblings responded back to her, and those response letters are part of the letter archive in my possession. Because these letters do not pertain to the Frasier family directly, I am not including them on this blog. In general, however, each of the siblings authorized Bertha and Edward to settle the matter as they saw fit.
I do not know how the estate was eventually settled, but by 1910 it was all taken care of. The five Gilchrist children signed this touching letter of thanks to their Uncle Ed.
To: Edward A. Frasier
Our Dear Uncle,
We want you to know how deeply grateful we all feel to you for your countless deeds of kindness for us. We can never forget or repay you for your unceasing care for our parents during the years of their sickness and death. When we were left without father or mother you found us good homes and, have ever since watched over us and worked for our best welfare; you have always made your home a happy meeting place for us. The kindly welcome which you and yours have always shown us will make the memory of the many happy days spent in your home the Brightest and Sweetest spots in our lives, and our heartfelt thanks for your many kind acts toward us will never be forgotten.
We all want to thank you for all you have done for us in taking care of our business and carrying it out so successfully, and we fully realize that you have done more than anybody else could or would have done for us, and far more than we had any right to expect.
As you refuse to take any pay for all the years of hard work which you have so faithfully devoted to our interests, we want you to know, Dear Uncle Ed, that we feel that we are very very fortunate in having, for our Uncle, a man who prizes the finer and nobler things of life above money – may God bless you and keep you.
As a slight token of our gratitude to you, we all join in sending you an easy chair and hope you will enjoy resting yourself in it.
Again thanking you with deepest love and gratitude. We are your ever grateful
Nieces and Nephews,
Bertha (Gilchrist) Pierce
Mar 15, 1910
The letter has a ribbon attached to it – I suppose it was tied onto the chair.
I don’t have a photo of Edward from this time period. I think this one is pre-1900 but will have to do.