Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brewer Fire Engine Company of Monsey, New York

Abraham Lent Brewer was born around 1826 and died in 1901.  He was a grandson of Solomon Brewer of Massachusetts, a supposed actor of the Boston Tea Party.  Abraham married Frances "Fannie" M. Duryea, born about 1830 and died just after Abraham in 1901.  Her estate papers helped clarify most of her siblings and their children, as she died intestate with no husband and no children.

The only blip about this couple was that the Abraham L. Brewer, Jr., living with them in 1860 and 1870, was not their son, but rather Abraham's nephew.  Other than that, the couple was straight forward, living by his and her families in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 federal census years.  Abraham worked as a watchman or a warden, according to the census as well as city directories for New York City.  This was a common occupation in both the Brewer and Duryea families.

By 1880, Abraham and Fannie had completely left New York City and were settled in Ramapo, Rockland County, New York.

1880 federal census for Ramapo, Rockland County, New York; ED 59; page 263B; enumerated 28 June 1880.
Nettie L. Duryea, and George W. Duryea are the nephew and niece of both Abraham and Fannie.  James Duryea is of no relation, but just happened to be living next door to this Brewer/Duryea family, perhaps to add intrigue for people looking at this 130 years later.

I do not find Abraham and Fannie in the 1900 census.

When I received Fannie's death certificate, I found out that she was buried at Brick Church Cemetery in Spring Valley, Rockland County, New York.  I took a trip to the cemetery and found the stone.  It's difficult to read.

Abraham L. Brewer, 1826-1901.
His wife, Fannie M. Duryea, 1830-1901.
Jeanette L. and Charles H. Quackenbush are buried by Fannie and Abraham.

I figured that was pretty much it.  I found out what became of Fannie Duryea and Abraham Brewer, as well as Jeanette Duryea and Charles Quackenbush.  I posted the graves at findagrave.com.

A while back, someone added a photo of Abraham Brewer- and I'm not talking about another gravesite picture.  It was his actual image.  Unknown to me, Abraham Brewer had established the Brewer Fire Engine Company in Monsey, New York, and his picture hung at the station.  I have no photos of this group, so this was a first.

Yesterday, I took a trip to Monsey to see what I could see.

I had the correct place.  The Brewer Fire Engine Company of Monsey, New York- named for Abraham Lent Brewer.  Go figure.

My original contact was inside and showed me the picture on the wall.

Abram L. Brewer 1826-1901
Who, in February 1877, organized the Fire Engine Company
that bears his name, and who was its constant benefactor.
This photograph presented by the children of Mr. Brewer's daughter,
Mrs. C. H. Quackenbush.
Everyone at the station was great, listening to what I knew about Abraham, filling me in on what they knew; speculating to try to fill in the blanks.  There is nothing in the family stories that mentions Abraham and his founding of a fire engine company.  More research to be done.  More about the fire department's history may be found on their website.

Thank you to the members of the Brewer Fire Engine Company for their help with uncovering more about the life of Abraham Lent Brewer, as well as their dedication to serving the community.

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