Notes for Frank Peets:
- 1910 Massena, St. Lawrence, NY: Frank Peets 28 (farmer), wife of 7 years Elizabeth 29, 3 of 4 children still living: Lawrence 3, William 2, & Ernest 3 months; James Brown 18 (farmhand).
- 1920 Massena, St. Lawrence, NY: Frank Peets 38 (dairy farmer), wife Elizabeth 40, Lawrence 13, William 12, Ernest 10.
- 1930 Massena, St. Lawrence, NY: Frank A. Peets 48 (proprietor/general store), wife Elizabeth M. 48.
Massena Observer, Tuesday, 25 October 1966: Frank A. Peets, 83, former superintendent of highways for the town of Massena, was declared dead at the Potsdam hospital shortly after 9:30 Sunday morning, Oct. 23, 1966. Mr. Peets was stricken at his home on the Potsdam-Hopkinton road. Friends may call at the Phillips Memorial Home. Mr. Peets is survived by his wife; a son, Lawrence Peets, Helena; nine grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, and a sister, Mrs. Ernest Teb (Margaret) Tebo, Rome. He was born in the town of Massena Dec. 23, 1882. He attended local schools and operated a farm as a young man, then ran a store at Racket River. For eleven years he was superintendent of town highways. His wife is the former Mrs. Agnes Borthers Raymo. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m., at Sacred Heart Church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.
Notes for Elizabeth Hammill:
Massena Observer, Tuesday, 27 July 1937: Mrs. Elizabeth Hammill Peets: The last rites for Mrs. Elizabeth Hammill Peets were held at the Sacred Heart Church, Thursday morning at 10 o’clock. A solemn requiem high mass was celebrated by the Rev. T.P. Holland, assisted by the Rev. Gerald Kellogg and the Rev. P.S. Riley of Louisville. Mrs. Peets, who died at her home early Tuesday morning, had been in ill health during the past several years and had been confined to her bed most of the time. She is the wife of Frank Peets, town superintendent of highways. She was born May 12, 1881, at Helena, a daughter of Mr. And Mrs. James Hammill. She attended the Helena schools. In May, 1903, she married Frank Peets. Until they came to Massena, eight years ago, they made their home at Racket River. Since that time, they have lived at 104 East Orvis Street. Mrs. Peets is survived by her husband and two sons, Ernest and Lawrence, both of Racket River, and eight grandchildren. Pall bearers were: Henry McGillic, Allan P. Sill, Edward Lewis, Raymond LaCass, Frederick Fleckenstein and Samuel Demo. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery.
Massena Observer, Tuesday 20 July 1937: Dr. William C. Smith, Winthrop, coroner, was called … to Massena to hold… inquest…into the death of Mrs. Frank Peets, 104 East Orvis Street. Verdict…of death by hanging…Ill health was the contributing factor. Mrs. Peets has been an invalid for a number of years and confined to her bed the greater share of the time. She suffered considerably and this is given as the reason for her act. Her husband found her body this morning in the basement of the home. The deed was committed some time between midnight and 3 o’clock….Mrs. Elizabeth Hammill Peets was born May 12, 1881, at Helena, a daughter of James and Helen O’Neil Hammill. Her father and mother were pioneer residents of Helena. She went to school at Helena and in May, 1903, married Frank Peets. They lived at Racket River for a number of years and eight years ago purchased their present home at 104 East Orvis Street from Charles Williams. Mrs. Peets was a member of Sacred Heart Church. She is survived by her husband, Mr. Peets, town superintendent of highways; two sons, Lawrence and Ernest Peets, Racket River; eight grandchildren. She had seven brothers and sisters, all of whom are now dead. Funeral services for Mrs. Peets will be held from Sacred Heart Church at 10 o’clock Thursday morning. Burial will be made in Calvary Cemetery.
Notes for Agnes Brothers:
Massena Observer, Tuesday, 2 September 1969: Mrs. Agnes Brothers Peets, 82, widow of Frank Peets, died in Massena Memorial Hospital at 5:30 o’clock Saturday afternoon, Aug. 30, 1969. Mrs. Peets was a patient in the Massena Nursing Home from Oct. 23, 1966, until she was transferred to Massena Memorial Hospital Aug. 8. She entered the nursing home on the day of her husband’s funeral. They resided on the Potsdam-Hopkinton Rd. The body was at the Phillips Memorial Home. Funeral services were held at the Church of the Visitation in Norfolk at 10 o’clock Tuesday morning with burial in the parish cemetery. Surviving are one sister, Mrs. Mabel Jones, Norfolk; one stepson, Lawrence Peets, Helena, and a number of step-grandchildren. She was born in Norfolk. In early life she married Freeman Raymo and they lived in various places. Some time after his death, she married Frank Peets who was town superintendent of highways for Massena many years.
Obituaries for the children:
Lawrence Peets: Massena Observer, Thursday, 16 April 1970: LAWRENCE PEETS DIES SUDDENLY: Lawrence Peets, Helena, was dead on arrival at Massena Memorial Hospital at about 1 o'clock this morning, Apr. 16, 1970. He had been hospitalized last week and had returned home Monday. He was taken to the hospital by the rescue squad. Body will be at Phillips Memorial Home.
Ernest Peets: Massena Observer, Tuesday, 11 April 1939: Ernest Peets and his Three Small Children Perish When Flames Destroy their Home this Morning; Worst Fire Tragedy in Years in Town of Massena: A father and his three small children were burned to death when fire destroyed their home on the South Racket River Road early this morning. The dead are: Ernest Peets, 29, an employee at the Massena plant of Aluminum Company of America. He is the son of Frank Peets, town superintendent of highways. Bobby 5, Lyle 3 and Hugh 1 ½ all children of Mr. And Mrs. Ernest Peets. Bodies Recovered: The charred bodies of the two older children were found in the arms of their father, who, burned beyond all recognition, was crouched in the smoldering ruins in a corner of the cement foundation. The body of the younger child lay on the ground. He may have fallen there when the two-story frame structure collapsed. Another theory is that the father might have carried the youngest child to a place he thought safe, then returned for the other two. The four persons were sleeping in the upstairs rooms. The house had two bedrooms on the second floor. The father slept in the rear room, the three boys in the frontroom. Mother Discovers Flames: Mrs. Peets discovered the flames and heard the frantic cries of her husband and children. She spent last night at the home of Mrs. Howard Malone, a neighbor, who is ill. She rose early this morning and was enroute to her home to get breakfast for her husband and children. It was about 6 o’clock. When she was only a few rods from the house she saw it was on fire. She dashed to the house. Throwing open the door, she found the inside all on fire. She screamed for help. Unable to Help: James Malone, living almost directly across the road, rushed over and his brother, Roy, went to the home of Howard Malone, next door to them. They heard the screams of Mr. Peets and the children but the flames were so intense it was impossible to rescue the victims. Howard Malone, looking through the window in the front door, said he thought he saw Mr. Peets on the stairway with flames shooting up on all sides. He saw him for only a few seconds, he said, and could not tell whether he was holding the children in his arms. Firemen Summoned: Realizing that they could do nothing to save the people in the house, Roy Malone rushed to the neighboring house of Roy Dignean and called the Massena fire department. The local firemen rushed to the scene and while it was impossible to rescue the victims they assisted troopers in recovering the bodies. Howard Malone took Mrs. Peets to the home of Lawrence Peets, brother of her late husband. She was overcome with grief and shock. She also suffered minor burns on her hands and face. Daughter Not at Home: A daughter, Betty, 8, fortunately was not at home. It just so happened that she stayed at the home of Mr. And Mrs. Lawrence Peets for the night. Aluminum Plant Employee: Mr. Peets returned home last night at about midnight after working on the 4 o’clock shift at the aluminum plant. He was informed by a neighbor who had been taking care of the children while he was at work that his wife had gone to the Malones to care for Mrs. Malone. As the children were accustomed to rising early, Mrs. Peets left the Malone home at about 6 o’clock. New Home: Mr. Peets built the house three years ago. It contained six rooms. One of the neighbors said that he worked past midnight Saturday laying a hardwood floor in the living room. A quantity of hardwood flooring was in the garage near the house. He had started to lay a hardwood floor in a downstairs bedroom. He was spending his spare time in completing the home. Cause of Fire Unknown: Although cause of the fire is unknown, many thought it might have been an explosion of the heating plant in the basement. An oil burner had been installed in a small stove in the cellar which appeared to be the type used in the living rooms of homes that have no furnaces. An oil drum had been placed about the stove. Troopers Investigate: Sergt. Edward Skowyra and Trooper R.R. Caffney, Massena Patrol, State Police, investigated the tragedy. They paid high praise to the work of the Massena fire department in recovering the bodies. R.H. Gelder, Winthrop, coroner, was summoned to the scene.
Ernest Peets, Fire Victim, Born Here: Ernest Peets, 29, who, with his three children, was found burned to death when fire destroyed his home at Racket River today, was born in Massena. His parents were Frank and Elizabeth Hammill Peets. His mother died several years ago. His father is superintendent of highways for the Town of Massena. He attended Massena schools. Ten years ago, he took as his bride Miss Evelyn LaBarge of Massena. The couple conducted a farm at Racket River during the first few years of their married life. For the past four years, Mr. Peets has been employed at the aluminum plant. The couple moved to the home on the South Racket River Road three years ago. The deceased leaves his wife and daughter, Betty, age 8, besides his father, Frank Peets, 104 East Orvis St., Massena, and brother, Lawrence Peets, Racket River. The three children who burned to death in the fire were Bobby 5, Lyle 3 and Hugh, age one and one half years.
Fire Victims’ Rites Set for Tomorrow: Funeral for Ernest Peets, 29, and his three children who died in the fire at Racket River this morning will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. The funeral procession will begin at the home of Lawrence Peets at Racket River. Services will be held at 10 o’clock at Sacred Heart Church in Massena. The remains of all four who died in the fire will be in one casket which will be placed in the vault at Calvary Cemetery.
No Insurance Carried on House: Neighbors report that Mr. Peets carried no insurance but had intended taking it out today. One neighbor reported that Mr. Peets said he was not going to do any more work on the house until he had it covered by insurance. His father gave him the lot several years ago.
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