Eldon Larabee’s History of the Larabee Family, Their Times and Surroundings in SW Ontario

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Eldon Larabee’s History of the Larabee Family, Their Times and Surroundings in SW Ontario

Contents Introduction- Notes and photographs on Eldon and his Larabee family ......................................................................................................... 3 Larabee family tree .................................................................................. 9 Eldon Larabee’s History of the Larabee Family, Their Times and Surroundings in SW Ontario ................................................................ 10 Bruner Family Tree .............................................................................. 142

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Introduction- Notes and photographs on Eldon and his Larabee family
William Eldon Larabee was born on 27 Aug 1897 in 13th Concession Raleigh Twp, Ontario, Canada. He died on 25 Oct 1986 in Tilbury, Ontario, Canada.

Walter and Eldon Larabee Eldon lived at the farm, near Merlin Ontario, where he had been raised. Great nephew Brian Mayne met him there in 1978 (when Eldon was 81). Eldon did not have telephone or electricity, and used a wood-burning and gas stove, and a kerosene lamp for light. The gas came from his own property. Eldon seemed to pretty much live in his good-sized kitchen, sleeping on a sofa, or settee, there. He showed Brian the living and dining room, which had not been dusted or cleaned for a long time, but which were full of Eldon's collections of bottles and things from the past, including butter churns and butter pat stamps, the workings of which he explained. Eldon seemed a genuine, but quite uncomplicated, person, quite happy to see a visitor and share his interests. He said he had planned to be rich when he was young and dreamed of seeing the world, but that had never come to pass. His sister Cecil had worried about him being able to look after himself. However, he seemed to have lots of relatives living nearby, especially cousin Leon who lived next door, who kept a friendly eye on him.
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Photograph showing Eldon’s father and paternal grandparents James Henry Larabee and Angeline (Lazzert) Larabee and family Back row (L to R): Alson, William Silas, Esram, Rachel (Dawson) and daughter Angeline, James Ekron, Barbara Allen (Marshall), ‘Kenny’ Abraham Alexander McKenzie, ‘Nell’ Alma Eliza (Guark); Front row (L to R): Angeline (Lazzert) Larabee, John Walter Cameron, Mary Ann (Russelo) and daughter Verlin Angeline, James Henry Eldon had always said he wanted to write a book, and his determination was such that he actually hand wrote (in painstaking printing) this marvellous anecdotal book on the Larabee family and their times, tracing them back to Seth Larabee, whom he reported was born in 1816 and immigrated to Canada.

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Eldon with his siblings and parents. Standing: Cecil, Eldon, Ina, Walter, Gertrude; Seated: Mary and William; Front: Hazel and Lila

Illustration of pre-fab house William and son Eldon built in the 1930s to replace the original farmhouse. (Later understood to have been razed after Eldon's death.)

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Eldon at the family Merlin family farm

Cecil (Larabee) Bruner, Eldon Larabee, Mary Ann Larabee, Carl Bruner, Verlin (Bruner) and Jack Mayne, Merlin Larabee farm
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One anecdote he tells about himself in his book speaks of what a kind and gentle character he was: "I am going to tell you a strange story of a meadowlark ... which built its nest on farming ground. I moved the nest onto fresh ground. The eggs hatched out and I forgot about the nest and birds for a number of days. When walking over the ground a little later, a meadowlark flew in front of me and made me understand that was to follow her. She led me to a baby bird which had two balls of mud on its feet, which had dried hard and the bird could not move. It was fastened to the ground. I removed the earth from its feet. I am sure the mother meadowlark thought I would save its baby."

Cecil (Larabee) Bruner, Eldon Larabee and Ina (Larabee) Dawson, Spring 1982 Eldon did marry once, rather late in life, but it turned out his bride had married him for his property. When he subsequently suffered frequent illness, it was discovered that his wife had been slowly trying to poison him. She hightailed out of the picture, and he was advised not to divorce her, so that she would be unable to marry someone else legally and try the same again. A local newspaper reported the wedding: "LARABEE - SWIFT The marriage was solemnized in the Cavalry United Church, Windsor, by the Rev. Hazelwood at two o'clock on Monday, April 15th, 1957, of Laura Evelyn Swift to Eldon William Larabee of Merlin. The attendants were Eileen Budding and Leon Larabee. The reception was held at Killarney Club,
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Windsor."

Eldon’s gravestone
(Source: Drouillard-Smalley tree on ancestry.com)

Some further details and photographs on this Larabee family can be seen at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/116064710/Larabee-Family-of-Southwest-Ontario

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Larabee family tree

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Eldon Larabee’s History of the Larabee Family, Their Times and Surroundings in SW Ontario

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Bruner Family Tree

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