Saturday, March 17, 2012

Francis S. Dane, Jr., Welcomed Home at Community Reception

This article about my grandfather is from the Lexington Minute-man, May 23, 1935:

"Francis S. Dane, Jr., Welcomed Home at Community Reception
Presented a Watch from Many Friends and Key to the Town.  More than 800 at Happy Meeting in Cary Memorial Hall.  Introduces His Dog and Speaks Most Entertainingly.

The town opened its arms last Friday evening welcome home from his two years in the Antarctic, its own representative, Francis S. Dane, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis S. Dane of Bennington road.

Some 800 men, women and children assembled in Cary Memorial Hall on that evening for one of the pleasantest community gatherings that the town has enjoyed for many a long day.  If there was any doubt but what the town was glad to see Dane back safe and sound, it was dissipated when a continued burst of applause greeted him upon his entrance on the platform, and the meeting was a decided success from the moment that infectious and friendly smile, that is always associated with Dane, greeted the audience. 

The stage was attractively decorated with apple blossoms, and at the back, the High School Band under Directory Withington was stationed.  These young musicians gave a splendid concert before the arrival of the guest of honor, and during the reception that followed the speeches.  They contributed heavily to the success off the occasion.

Boy Scouts under their Scoutmaster aided in seating the audience and keeping the lines at the reception.

Mr. Thomas S. Gringle, president of the Rotary Club, which initiated the whole idea, was a Master of Ceremonies and opened the program, explaining the pleasure it gave his friends to see Dane home again from his unusual exploit.

Chairman Charles E. Ferguson of the Board of Selectmen was the first speaker and gave the greetings of the officials of the town.  He spoke of the honor to the town of having a member on this epoch-making Byrd Expedition and told Dane that the town was his.  To prove it in concrete form he presented Dane with a huge wooden key to the town.  This he admitted unlocked nothing but that was because nothing was locked to him.  The key was made from wood from an historic elm tree that stood on the Battle Green.

Mr. Grindle then introduced Mr. Edwin B. Worthen who was most happy in his remarks.  He remarked upon the splendid background that Dane enjoyed and called attention to the warm place in the hearts of the townspeople that the whole family enjoyed.  He expressed regret that Dane had returned without a full grown beard for he said he always associated a beard with returning explorers.  Worthen then presented Dane with a beautiful gold watch, the gift of his many friends in the town.  This was given by no group or club but by old and young from all sections of the town.

Then Francis (for he is still Francis to most of us) spoke in a most ingraciating and simple manner.  He admitted the fuss that was being made over him was too much.  He wanted to go and he went and he had had a good time.  He paid tribute to Admiral Byrd in a heartfelt manner and spoke feelingly of the splendid comradeship of the entire personnel of the expedition.

He told of some of his own work with the dogs and the difficulties and pleasures of his experiences with them.  Of great interest to all present was his introduction of his own lead-dog "Pinoock" that had been with him from start to finish and was to remain with him.  It was a splendid specimen and seemed to enjoy the attention he was receiving. 

Dane introduced two of his companions on the expedition who were present, Mr. F. Alton Wade, one of the scientists and Mr. Stuart Paine, a dog driver and they were both given a hearty round of applause.

At the conclusion of the speeches, the entire audience greeted Dane personally, coming singly to the front of the hall and shaking his hand and receiving a personal word and that infectious smile.  In the receiving group also were Mr. and Mrs. Francis S. Dane and their two other children, Miss Marcia and Nathan.

It is too early to state Dane's plans, but for the present at least he will be busy with work for the expedition.  He has much work to do in the disposing of and settling the dogs brought back of which there were more than a hundred.

The whole affair was a high spot in the community life of the town, happily conceived and excellently carried out."

This photo accompanied the article with the caption below:
Admiral Byrd Antarctic Expedition II 1933-1935, Dog Driver Team, including Francis S. Duke Dane
Group of Byrd Expedition Dog Drivers.  Dane on Extreme Left

Friday, March 16, 2012

Francis S Dane Succumbs Here

Francis Smith Dane I
Francis S Dane I

Obituary for my great grandfather, Francis S Dane (the first) from the Lexington Minute-Man, December 24, 1964:
"Francis S Dane Succumbs here

The community was saddened to learn of the death at his home, Monday, of Francis Smith Dane, 90, of 43 Highland Avenue, active in the community affairs here for the past half century.

Mr. Dane was well known for his many activities which included among other things active participation in the Boy Scouts and the Red Cross. Prior to his retirement 20 years ago, he was assistant treasurer of the Hood Rubber Co., now B. F. Goodrich Co in Watertown.

He was born in Kennebunk, Maine, and came to Lexington in 1903. He immediately immersed himself in civic affairs. He served as a member of the town's finance committee prior to the 1920s. Long active with the Boy Scouts, he served as troop committee man for troop 22 and was the examiner for the entire Scout Council on bird lore. Much of his interest centered around birding. He was curator and an honorary member of the Lexington Historical Society, and served for ten years as treasurer of the Lexington Chapter of the Red Cross.

He was graduate of Bowdoin College, class of 1896. He had been a Senior Warden of the Church of Our Redeemer. Years ago he was tennis champion with Lester T. Redman of the Old Belfry Club.

He leaves his wife, Mrs. Annie L. (Edmands) Dane; a daughter Miss. Marcia W. A. Dane of Lexington and two sons, Frans S. Jr. of Pasadena, Calif., and Prof. Nathan Dane II of Brunswick, Me., and seven grandchildren.

Private funeral services were to be held Tuesday in Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Interment will be in Kennebunk, Maine."

Francis Smith Dane I in the 1880's
Francis Smith Dane I as a Boy, 1880's

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Power of the Internet: Mystery Portrait Identified

So, as some of you know, I have this unbelievable family tree book from the Dane, Edmands and related families that is in my possession. How I received this book and where it comes from is a subject for another story, but I wanted to discuss here one individual portrait from the book.

Mystery Woman Now Identified as Anne Hichborn (or Hitchborn, Hichborne)
Mystery Woman?

Fortunately, almost all the pictures in the book are either labeled with a name, or are placed right next to someone's record and thus also labeled. Unfortunately, this one wasn't, perhaps because it was so large. Anyway, in my attempt to identify her, there were three possible candidates. One was the person whose name was right next to the picture, albeit poking through a "window" onto a previous page, Marcia Winter. The second was one of the Hichborn (alternately spelled Hichborne and Hitchborn) women, since the picture was pasted at the bottom of the Hichborn page. The third was Dolly Dutch, since I had a photo on a previous page of Dolly in an almost identical costume.

I posted a copy of this photo in my Flickr archive for the genealogy book, and I also uploaded a copy to, but under the name Marcia Winter. In the description of the photo at Ancestry, I clearly stated that I was unsure who the person was and that it was a mystery I'd like to solve.

Several months went by and then recently, I received a message posted through that automatically came to my email inbox, too (I'm going to leave the woman's name out in case she doesn't want it posted here). The message said, "I think I can help you with the identification of the portrait you think is possibly Marcia Winter. We have the original portrait, and it's one of a pair." In her next email, she sent me this photo, which she'd taken of the portrait that sits in her home:
Anne Hichborn - in Color
Anne Hichborn (Jameson) - in Color!

Clearly, they are one and the same and just as clearly my pasted black and white photo was actually a photo of this painted portrait. Fantastic! But not only that, the portrait had a pair, and using the pair, we were able to convince ourselves that in fact the woman in the picture must be Anne Hichborn, because of the pairing with Captain Samuel Jameson. Both our histories matched that the two were married. I had no photos or other pictures of Captain Sam, but she did, and here it is:
Captain Samuel Jameson
Captain Samuel Jameson

So not only did I find a photo of an ancestor I'd never seen before, I have a new destination on my family history tour. I hope to some day go and visit these portraits in person!