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Two Obituaries for Mary Rice Jewett, Sister of Sarah Orne Jewett

Miss Mary Rice Jewett.

     On Sunday South Berwick grieved to learn of the passing of one of its most revered citizens, Miss Mary Rice Jewett, after a long illness.

     Miss Jewett was born in Exeter, June 18, 1847, the daughter of the late Dr. Theodore Herman Jewett, noted physician of South Berwick for many years. She was a sister of the late Sarah Orne Jewett, internationally known as a writer. Miss Mary Jewett's ancestral connections on both sides of her family were noted. She was directly descended from the first woman who stepped foot on Plymouth Rock, Mary Chilton, and was also a direct descendant of Deacon Jewett of Rowley, Mass., who landed here in 1632, and a granddaughter of Capt. Theodore and Sarah Orne Furber [Jewett?]** of Portsmouth, well known residents of that city.

     Her early education was received at Berwick Academy and to that institution she has been loyal and given much of her strength toward the betterment of her alma mater, besides many material benefits. Following her attendance at Berwick Academy, she traveled a great deal. Naturally through her delightful personality, she drew to herself many friends of the intellectual world of note and her home became the center of such in later years.

     Miss Jewett was kindly to all people in all classes, and probably many of her kindnesses have never been known, so quietly did she go about in the community doing good. Her life in town has rather been an institution, so closely was she identified with the many activities connected with church and society, having resided in town all of her life when not engaged in travel. When illness claimed her she has loved to be in the beautiful old home on the square where many have enjoyed calling to pay court to her.

     Miss Jewett was a member of St. John's Episcopal church in Portsmouth, but has always been closely allied with the First Congregational church in town and later with the First Parish Federated church after the union of that and the Methodist church took place. She was a member of the standing committee of the church and has always been a generous contributor.

     She was a charter member of the Woman's Club and did much in its early days towards its successful beginning. The District Nursing Association also claimed much of her attention and interest, also the Girl Reserves and other clubs for the help of young people in life. She was long active in the York County Children's Aid Society and her interest never lessened in the work after being confined to her home. The Historical Societies of New Hampshire and Maine also claimed much of her attention, and she was an enthusiastic member of each. She has always been interested in the work of the Maine Bible Society. The Fogg Memorial Library has been another of her interests. She made many and valuable gifts to that institution, besides giving much of her time and strength toward the selection and classifying of books when a member of the library committee.

     Dr. Theodore Jewett Eastman of Boston is Miss Jewett's only immediate relative.

     The funeral service took place Tuesday afternoon at Miss Jewett's late residence. Rev. Alexander Sloan of Newcastle, former pastor of the First Parish Congregational church of South Berwick and a close friend, was the officiating clergyman, assisted by Rev. J. G. P. Sherburne, pastor of the First Parish Federated church. The bearers were John Whitehead, A. S. Maddox, John Lyons and Jeremiah Cauley. Burial was in the family lot in the Portland Street cemetery.

     MARY R. JEWETT 1930

     SOUTH BERWICK--Funeral services for Miss Mary R. Jewett, 83, [and] sister of the late Sarah Orne Jewett, noted as an author of New England stories [was] held at the Jewett homestead Tuesday. The house was filled to capacity with representative persons from various parts of New England.

     Services were conducted by the Rev. Alexander Sloan, pastor of the Congregational Church of Newcastle, N.H., assisted by the Rev. J. G. P. Sherburne of the local Methodist Church.**

     Miss Jewett was born in Exeter, N. H., June 18, 1847, the daughter of Dr. Theodore H. and Caroline Perry Jewett. She was a direct descendant of Mary Chilton, the first woman to set foot on Plymouth Rock upon the landing of the Pilgrims and of Deacon Jewett of Rowley, Mass., who landed in America in 1632.

     Miss Jewett's only surviving relative is Dr. Theodore J. Eastman, resident of South Berwick with a Boston office.

     The bearers were Jeremiah Cauley, John Lyons, John Whitehead, and Albert S. Maddox.


This material is available courtesy of the Sarah Orne Jewett House of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, where it is in a collection of clippings. The sources are not identified, though the date of 1930 is written on the clipping. Jewett died on September 28, 1930. Assistance identifying these pieces is welcome.

The first piece seems incorrect in identifying Jewett's grandmother as Sarah Orne Furber. Captain Jewett's middle name was Furber; his wife's name was Sarah Orne. See Paula Blanchard, Sarah Orne Jewett, p. 8.

The second piece is in error in placing Rev. Sherburne in the Methodist Church; the first is correct in naming it the Federated Church.

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