307. GUSTAVUS LEWIS WEST was born on 22 Jan 1826 in West Chop. He married DEBORAH R. ALLEN, daughter of BENJAMIN ALLEN JR. and DELIA ROBINSON, on 24 Feb 1848 in Tisbury. He died on 26 Jan 1906 in West Tisbury, at age 80, of "blood poison." (The Gazette reported that "Mr. West has been in feeble health for the last 3 years, but only during the last two weeks of his life has he been confined to his bed.") He was buried on 28 Jan 1906 in West Tisbury Village Cemetery.
Gustavus was described as being 5' 4" tall with a "dark" complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes. His obituary calls him "another one of the old standbys of West Tisbury. ... He was born at West Chop, Vineyard Haven, Jan. 22, 1826, where his father was the keeper of the lighthouse."
After the West Chop Light was moved and renovated in 1846, Gustavus' father gave him the old lightkeeper's dwelling. Following Gustavus' marriage, they lived for a short time in Chilmark and Vineyard Haven before moving this old lightkeeper's dwelling to Music Street in West Tisbury about 1850, on land paid for in part by money borrowed from his older brother Abner.
He appears in the 1850 census of Tisbury, aged 24, "painter." He had held this occupation since at least the time of his marriage, but left this trade briefly to sail as Seaman on the ship Isaac Howland of New Bedford, which left 22 May 1851 and returned 26 Apr 1854. Meanwhile, his Music Street home was sold in 1853 to Hannah Look, and he mortgaged a new house in West(?) Tisbury from Abner West (adjacent to the "district schoolhouse lot") on 28 Apr 1853.
After returning from sea, he returned to painting
and remained in this profession - and in West Tisbury - until
his death. He appeared on the 1855 (West) Tisbury census, aged
29, "painter," with his wife and children, and on the
census of 1860 in West Tisbury, aged 35, "painter,"
with his wife and four kids. He appeared on the census of 1865
in West Parish, Tisbury, aged 39, "painter," and on
the Tisbury census of 1870, aged 43, "painter," with
his wife and children. The 1870 census valued his real estate
at $500. He appeared on the Tisbury census of 1880, aged 53, "painter,"
(six months unemployed during the past year), with his wife and
children (For a description of the painting jobs he was working
on, see the article accompanying the profile of his son Gilbert.)
He and his wife were called West Tisbury residents in 1895, and
appeared on the census of 1900 in West Tisbury, age 74, "painter"
(6 months employed during the previous year), living with his
wife, daughter, son, and granddaughter.
Deborah R. Allen was born on 18 Dec 1828 in Chilmark. Her obituary states, "she learned tailoring as a young woman, and was one of several employed by Abram Anthony, Vineyard Haven." She appeared on the census of 1850 in Tisbury, aged 20, with her husband, and on the censuses of 1855, 1860, 1865, 1870, 1880, and 1900 with her husband and children in West Tisbury.
Following the death of her husband in 1906, she was called a resident of West Tisbury in 1907, and appeared on the census of 1910 in West Tisbury as an 81-year-old widow living on her "own income" with her son Charles and his family. She finally appeared on the census of 1920 on Edgartown Road, West Tisbury, aged 91, with her son Henry B. West.
She died on 7 Jan 1920 in West Tisbury, at age 91,
of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was buried on 10 Jan 1920 in West
Tisbury. (The Gazette reported, "Funeral services
were held in Saturday. Rev. Newton I. Jones, pastor of the West
Tisbury Congregational Church, of which Mrs. West was a member,
He appeared as a child on the censuses of 1855, 1860, 1865, and 1870 in West Tisbury with his parents, and on the census of 1880 in (West) Tisbury, aged 24, single "laborer" (3 months unemployed during the past year), with his parents. In his 1895 death record he was called an unmarried West Tisbury "fisherman."
She appeared as a child with her parents on the West Tisbury censuses of 1860, 1865, and 1870, and appeared as well on the census of 1880 in (West) Tisbury, aged 21, "at home" with her parents. By about 1892 she had moved to Brockton, MA, but was living in West Tisbury in January 1896. She appeared on the 1900 census in West Tisbury, aged 42, living with her parents and her brother. By February 1906 she was again in Brockton, and does not seem to be in 1910 Tisbury census. She resided "at home" in West Tisbury at the time of her second marriage in May 1917, and by January 1920 was living in Winthrop, MA. She resided in March 1930 in Boston, and I have no record of her after this date.
He appeared as a child with his parents on the West Tisbury censuses of 1865 and 1870, and again on the census of 1880 in (West) Tisbury, aged 19, "laborer" (unemployed six of the last twelve months), with his parents. By October 1894 he was living in Vineyard Haven. His obituary notes that "as a young man he went to Vineyard Haven where he was employed in the harness factory. Later he engaged in gardening and the care of lawns and by reason of his occupation gained a wide acquaintance among summer and permanent residents."
He appeared on the census of 1900 on Main St., Vineyard Haven, age 37, "day laborer," boarding with Frank and Rebecca Vincent. The census also notes that he was unable to read and write and that he had been unemployed three months during the past year. In 1907 he was again listed as boarding on Main Street, on the corner of Woodlawn Ave. By about 1910 he was boarding at the Mansion House in Vineyard Haven, where he appeared on the census of 1910 as a 48-year-old "servant", a hotel dishwasher, living with a number of other servants and boarders in the hotel. He was listed again in April 1915 on Main St. as a 52-year-old "laborer." He appeared on the census of Jan 1920 on Edgartown Road, West Tisbury, aged 56, no occupation, single, living with his mother. He was called a single "laborer" at the time of his death.
325. JAMES PORTER WEST was born on 8 Oct 1849, probably in Chilmark. He married NETTIE B. MARCHANT, daughter of ALLEN MARCHANT and SUSAN B. COLEMAN, on 22 Nov 1883 in Tisbury. He died on 19 Apr 1917 in West Tisbury, at age 67, of "Chr. Interstitial Neph." (The Gazette wrote "His death came suddenly although he had not been well for more than a year, but had been able to go about his accustomed duties most of the time.") He was buried on 22 Apr 1917 in West Tisbury Village Cemetery.
His obituary states: "Much of his life was passed at Vineyard Haven. He was a painter and paperhanger of note and will be much missed in that capacity. He had a cheerful sunny disposition and was always glad to see his neighbors and friends and greeted them with marked cordiality. He was a very kind and indulgent father and a devoted son."
He appeared on the West Tisbury censuses of 1850, 1855, and 1860 as a child with his parents, again in 1865 as a 15-year-old "pupil," and again on the Tisbury census of 1870, aged 20 (no occupation) with his parents. He appeared on the Tisbury census of 1880, aged 31, single, with his parents. On 22 Apr 1881 the Gazette reported that "James P. West is at work for F. H. Jenkins."
He was called a Tisbury "painter" on his
1883 marriage record, and on both his children's birth records
(dating 1884 and 1889.)The 1897 directory of Tisbury contains
an entry for "West James P., painter, h[ouse on] Beech."
He appeared on the census of 1900 on Main St., Tisbury, aged 50,
"house painter" (nine months unemployed during the past
year), married, in his brother Gilbert's home. His wife and children
are absent. The 1907 Vineyard Haven directory lists him as "West,
James P., painter, emp[loyed by] F. H. Jenkins." He appeared
on the census of 1910 in West Tisbury, "Painter and Paper
Hanger / Contractor," aged 60, living with his children,
George and Genevieve. He was listed again in the 1910-11 Tisbury
directory, "painter, emp. E. T. Walker & Co." He
was listed in the April 1915 Tisbury Tax lists on Main St., aged
"56." His 1917 death record calls him a West Tisbury
"painter." At the time of his death his personal estate
was valued at $329 (two savings accounts and a bicycle) and he
owned no real estate.
Nettie B. Marchant was
born on 12 Jul 1864 in Hyannis, MA. Her obituary states that "Mrs.
West...by profession was a practical nurse, at which work she
was engaged for many years, both on the Island and elsewhere."
She does not appear in the 1870 Tisbury census, but she was called
a Tisbury resident, "at home" in her 1883 marriage record.
In May 1917, a month after her husband died, she was listed as
a resident of Mattapoisett. She died on 7 Jan 1928 in "a
Taunton hospital," aged 63, of "chronic myocarditis,"
"following a brief illness." She
was called a "housekeeper" in her death record. She
is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.
326. GILBERT ROY WEST was born on 3 Sep 1852 in Vineyard Haven. He married MARY EAGLESTON NORTON, daughter of ALFRED NORTON JR. and HARRIET F. NORTON, on 3 Sep 1895 at the bride's home in Tisbury. He died on 17 Aug 1931 in at his home in Vineyard Haven, at age 78, of "Angina Pectoris," and was buried in Oak Grove.
His obituary states that "as a young man he moved to Vineyard Haven and had spent most of his life there, never moving away. He became a carpenter and painter, working in late years as a painter most of the time. Some years ago he was employed by Horace Tilton, but for more than thirty years he had been employed by the William G. Manter company. Mr. West was associated with the Methodist church."
He appeared as a child with his parents on the West Tisbury censuses of 1855, 1860, and 1865, on the Tisbury census of 1870, aged 17, "attending school," with his parents, and on the Tisbury census of 1880, aged 27, "laborer" (6 months of the past year unemployed), living with his parents. On 23 Dec 1881 the Gazette reported that "Mr. G. R. West, who has been in the employ of F. H. Jenkins for some time, has returned to West Tisbury" and on 7 Mar 1892 that "Gilbert R. West and E. Frank Adams went to Vineyard Haven Monday to enter the employ of contractor Horace Tilton." He was called a West Tisbury "carpenter" in his 1895 marriage records.
The 1897 directory of Tisbury listed "West Gilbert R., painter, h[ouse on] Beech." On 19 May 1898 the Gazette reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert West, who have been stopping in Edgartown for some time, have returned to their home in Vineyard Haven." He appeared on the Tisbury census of 1900 on Main St., age 46, "house carpenter" (unemployed nine months of the last year) living with his wife, brother, and step-daughter. The 1907 and 1910-11 directories of Vineyard Haven list "West Gilbert R., carpenter, h[ouse on] So. Main, n[ear] Beech." He appeared on the Tisbury census of 1910 on Main St., "house carpenter," aged 57, with his wife and daughter. He was listed as a 61-year-old "painter" living on Main Street in April 1915. He appeared on the Tisbury census of 1920 on Main Street, "house carpenter," aged 67, with his wife and daughter. The Gazette mentioned his residence as Vineyard Haven in March 1930. He was called a Tisbury "painter" on his August 1931 death record.
An "Interesting Vineyarders" article appeared
in the 13 Mar 1930 issue of the Vineyard Gazette which
profiles 78-year-old Vineyard Haven painter Gilbert R. West. It
reads in part:
Mr. West is a slender man, still actively engaged in the trade that he has followed for over half a century and, blessed with a natural appreciation of humor in all situations, his stories are well-tinctured with jokes and anecdotes. Incidentally, he is one of the very few persons who worked in the Satinette Mill, on Old Mill River in West Tisbury.
Mr. West was born in Vineyard Haven, long before West Tisbury was separated from the town of Tisbury, and removed to the latter village with his parents when a very small boy. His boyhood memories of West Tisbury include the operating of the Mill, the early controversies over fishing, and Moses Mitchell's school for boys, where he received his education.
In common with the general practice in West Tisbury at the time, he attended school until he was 17 or 18 years of age, but he had begun to work at various things long before that, for there were always jobs that an ambitious boy could obtain when out of school. There was employment for every boy and man in the place when the pond seining was in progress, either in handling the great nets that completely covered the coves, or barreling or loading the fish after they were taken.
[The article continues, describing the herring fishery
and Gilbert's stories of fishing for smelts with his childhood
When Mr. West was about 18 years of age he went into the mill to work. For some time the plant had been closed, but the accumulation of a large supply of wool on the Island and a low mainland market brought about the resumption of work at the mill. Only four hands were employed in this little mill, which boasted of but two looms. But small as it was, it was complete from the pickers to the dye-room, and the finished product was of excellent quality.
Mr. West operated a picker, and at times operated the spinning-mules. The hours of labor were very long, extending throughout the daylight period, and the wages were about fifteen cents an hour. The mill ran for about a year at this time, and Mr. West remained there until the supply of wool had been woven. Then he went to work for the late professor Whiting, on the present Whiting Farm, where he remained for eight years.
The farm was the professor's hobby, and was not operated for profit. Nevertheless, crops of considerable size were raised and numerous horses and cattle were kept there. A government surveyor, Professor Whiting was engaged in surveying the Island during the times that Mr. West was in his employ, and although he did considerable driving, when at work he invariably walked. Mr. West retains vivid memories of this practice, as he accompanied the professor on many of his trips, and states that the two covered practically the entire Island on foot.
Mr. West's father was a painter, and when his son entered the trade, it was with his father, and at the time that the town of Oak Bluffs was being built. Very few houses were standing there when Mr. West entered upon his first job of house-painting. The summer colony was housed in tents for the most part, and all religious services in the campground were housed in the canvas shelters. But once the town started to build, in continued, house after house being built, supplying work for many men. This was over fifty years ago and Mr. West has painted ever since. When he had finished his work in Oak Bluffs he went to Vineyard Haven, and for years he lived in West Tisbury, driving back and forth to work each day. Fast driving horses were the rule in those times, but the roads were sandy and even a good horse could not cover the distance in much less than an hour.
He was living in West Tisbury when Vineyard Haven burned, and receiving word that his employer's place of business was on fire, drove to Vineyard Haven with other young men, to find that the flames had destroyed half of the town's business section while he had been on the road. He has worked for all of the older contractors and those who actually built up the down-Island towns, always plying his brushes either inside or outside the houses and store buildings. Having learned his trade in the old-fashioned manner, there is little about paint and painting that he does not know, his services are valued wherever exceptional skill is required, and his characteristic humor and fund of stories preserve his popularity with all with whom he associates.
Mary Eagleston Norton was born on 4 Nov 1858 at "the Norton Home" in Makonikey, West Tisbury. She appeared on the 1860 census of Holmes Hole, aged 1, with her parents, and again on the Tisbury census of 1870, aged 11, "attending school." She married (1st) William Vincent sometime before March 1883. In her second marriage in 1895 to Gilbert she was listed "at home" in Tisbury. She appeared on the Tisbury census of 1900 on Main St., aged 41, with her husband, daughter, and brother-in-law, on the Tisbury census of 1910 on Main St., aged 51, with her husband and daughter and on the Tisbury census of 1920 on Main Street, aged 60, with her husband and daughter).
Her obituary mentions that "although she had lived the greater part of her life in the town of her birth, Tisbury, she had made her home in New Bedford for several years [with her daughter Mrs. Edmund Ellis.] For years she had made her home in Vineyard Haven and only left when advancing age made it impractical for her to live alone."
She died on 6 Feb 1953 in St. Luke's Hospital, New
Bedford, at age 94 ("she had been a patient for a week following
a fall in which she broke a hip") and was buried on 8 Feb
1953 in Oak Grove.
327. CHARLES HARDENBURG WEST was born on 29 May 1864 in West Tisbury. He married LAVINIA F. BRUSH, daughter of SAMUEL N. BRUSH and MELVINA W.(?) LUCE, on 6 Jan 1910 in Chilmark. He died on 24 Oct 1916 at his home in West Tisbury, aged 52 of "tuberculosis of peritoneum." (The Gazette reported that "He had been ill for some months and, although a great sufferer at times, bore his sickness patiently, and always had a smile and cordial greeting for his friends...") He was buried on 27 Oct 1916 in West Tisbury Village Cemetery.
His obituary states that he "had lived in West Tisbury all of his life. ... He was a kind neighbor, and had the esteem of many. He was a devoted husband and father, and was a member of the West Tisbury Grange."
He appeared on the West Tisbury census of July 1865, aged 11 months, with his parents, on the Tisbury census of 1870, aged 6, "attending school," and again on the Tisbury census of 1880, aged 14, with his parents. He was listed in the 1897 Tisbury directory as "West Chas. H., painter, h. West Tisbury," and appeared on the West Tisbury census of 1900, aged 36, single, "painter," living with his parents and sister. He was listed in the 1907 West Tisbury directory as "West Charles H., painter and ice dealer." (a nearby advertisement reads "Charles H. West / Ice Dealer / Also Painter and Paper Hanger / West Tisbury."
His January 1910 marriage record calls him a West
Tisbury "painter." He appeared on the West Tisbury census
of 1910, aged 44(?), "house painter," with his wife,
mother, and daughter (but no wife?) He was called a West Tisbury
"painter" in his 1916 death record.
Lavinia F. Brush was born
on 1 Nov 1886 in West Tisbury. The 1907 Vineyard Haven directory
lists "Brush Lavinia F., clerk [for] L. L. Aldrich, bds.
Look." (Legrand L. Aldrich sold graphophones, phonograph
records, cigars, post cards, etc. - and also had billiard tables
- on the corner of Main and Spring streets.) She appeared on the
West Tisbury census of 1910, and was called a West Tisbury "housemaid"
in her 1910 marriage record. She appeared in the 1920 census of
West Tisbury with her two daughters and her late husband's niece,
Genevieve Smith's family. She died on 13 Jan 1958 in Tisbury,
at age 71, of "coronary thrombosis / arteriosclerosis"
and is buried in West Tisbury Village Cemetery.
349. GEORGE ALLEN WEST was born on 9 Sep 1884 in Tisbury. He married RAMONA MAY CLEVELAND, daughter of arctic fur trader GEORGE W. G. CLEVELAND and his wife HATTIE WALKER CHASE, on 4 Nov 1905 in Tisbury.
He appeared on the West Tisbury census of 1900, aged 15, "at school," living with his grandparents (where are his parents?) and was called a Tisbury resident in his 1905 marriage record. He does not appear in the 1907 directory of Martha's Vineyard, but he is listed in the West Tisbury census of 1910, aged 25, "house carpenter," with his wife and children.
Sometime between 1910 and May 1917 George and his
wife disappeared, and his family listed him as "residence
unknown" in May 1917 and he was not mentioned
in his father's 1917 obituary. His mother's 1928 obituary mentions
him as a surviving son, but doesn't give his residence. Her 1928
probate also calls his "residence unknown."
Ramona May "Mona" Cleveland
was born on 6 Jan 1890 in Tisbury, and was called a Tisbury resident
in her 1905 marriage record. Cousin Judy Swan noted that "Ramona
left Martha's Vineyard about 1915, leaving her two daughters in
the care of her grandmother. She was never heard from again."
Children of GEORGE ALLEN WEST and RAMONA MAY CLEVELAND both born in MA were as follows:
[omitted to protect the privacy of living persons]
350. GENEVIEVE ROBINSON WEST was born on 21 Nov 1889 in Vineyard Haven. She married EDWARD T. SMITH, son of WILLIAM G. SMITH and EMMA MELLEN, on 22 Nov 1911 in West Tisbury. She died on 12 Jul 1962 in Tisbury, at age 72.
She appeared on the census of 1910 in West Tisbury,
aged 20, single, living with her father and her brother George's
family. She was listed as a West Tisbury resident, "at home"
in her 1911 marriage record. She and her husband were listed as
West Tisbury residents in 1917. She appeared on the census of
Jan 1920 on Edgartown Road, West Tisbury, aged 30, with her husband
and children, in the same house as Deborah R. West's family. She
was called a Vineyard Haven resident in 1928.
Edward T. Smith was born
about 1891 in New Bedford. He was listed as a West Tisbury "clerk"
in his 1911 marriage record. He appeared on the census of 1920
on Edgartown Road, West Tisbury, "estate night watchman,"
aged 28, with his wife and children. He was living in 1950.
Children of GENEVIEVE ROBINSON WEST and EDWARD T. SMITH were as follows:
[omitted to protect the privacy of living persons]
351. DRUSILLA FLETCHER WEST was born on 17 Dec 1912 in West Tisbury, and appeared with her sister and widowed mother in the 1920 census. She married ALBERT TAVAS SILVA, son of ANTONE TAVAS SILVA and MARIA JOSEPH SANTOS, on 4 Aug 1934 in North Tisbury. She died on 29 Jun 1960 in Tisbury, at age 47.
Drusilla graduated from Tisbury High School in 1932, and was called a Tisbury resident, "at home" in her 1934 marriage record.
Albert Tavas Silva was
born on 25 Apr 1904 in West Tisbury. He was called a West Tisbury
"garage man" in his 1934 marriage record.
Children of DRUSILLA FLETCHER WEST and ALBERT TAVAS SILVA were as follows:
[omitted to protect the privacy of living persons]
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