Union Cemented in Log Cabin in Lafayett Covers Long Span
Death, instead of a host of friends intent on celebrating the sixty-fifth anniversary of their hosts' wedding, invaded the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Fleming in High st., Lodi, Saturday.
Pneumonia, following a fall in which he had suffered broken bones, brought an end Saturday morning to the life of William Fleming, 93 years old, on the sixty-fifth anniversary of his marriage to Allora Kinney, Lafayette school teacher. The day of the shattering of their union of 65 years was the eighty-fifth anniversary of Mrs. Fleming's birth, for she was born just 20 years before her marriage.
Although a nurse had been in the Fleming home for some days - the first time the ages couple had required assistance in their care for each other - and Fleming's life had been despaired of earlier in the week, improvement in his condition Friday had led to preparations for a quiet celebration of the anniversary of that marriage which had given to the Flemings the distinction of a much longer wedded life than comes to most. But Fleming failed rapidly in the night and life fled as dawn broke Saturday. Funeral services were conducted in the Fleming home Monday afternoon and burial was made in Litchfield, former home of the Flemings. Rev. N. S. Ashton conducted the funeral rites.
Fleming was born in Elterwater, England, Aug. 20, 1834, and as a boy went to Ambleside, on Lake Windermere, where he served a seven-year apprenticeship at the painter's trade, which he followed for years after coming to this country. He became acquainted with the members of the literary colony about Lake Windermere, where lived William Wordsworth, Harriet Martineau and John Wilson, the Scotch author. He was visited frequently, while confined to his house with a broken leg, by Harriet Martineau, who brought him books to read in his enforced quiet.
Much of his seven years of apprenticeship was occupied in the painting of Wray Castle, across Lake Windermere from Ambleside. The castle required 20 years in the building and the painters, Fleming among them for much of seven years, rowed back and forth across the lake each working day. He also worked in Westminster Abbey, putting on gold leaf.
Crossed in 1856
In 1856, in March, Fleming sailed for America on the City of Baltimre and made his home until marriage in the Lowe home. There he taught the painter's trade to George Lowe, now of Cleveland and formerly of Medina, a painter who became noted for his decorative ability and of late years has won note by his horse shoe pitching in Florida, despite the handicap of more than four score years.
The Flemings made their home in Westfield, Chatham, Litchfield and, since 1886, in Lodi, except for three years when Fleming worked at his trade in Santa Barbara, Calif. Two children preceded the father to the grave, Minnie, born in 1869, dying in 1875, and William, born in 1877, meeting death in a bicycling accident when 17 years old.
Fleming's bride of Nov. 12, 1862, was born in a log house on the Sheldon farm in Lafayett, home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sanford E. Kinney, and it was in this log house that she became a bride, Elder Whitney, of the Baptist church, performing the ceremony. She was of a family of nine children - and the only one living. She taught in Chase school, Lafayette, and in Grangerburg before marriage. A sister was Mrs. Matilda Leach, widow of H.O. Leach, of Litchfield, and a brother, Orra Kinney, for years was with the Cleveland Stone Co., in Berea, dying in 1914.