Edith Marie Tessier Brunet
Edith was the 2nd child and oldest daughter of Moise Tessier and Vitaline Labrosse. She was born in Bourget, Canada. Her family came over to the States when she was about 8 yrs old. The family lived in a log cabin in the town of Fine, N.Y. There isn’t much information as to where these children were educated, or what their childhood was like. Edith lived at home until she married Joseph Brunet in St. James Church, in Gouverneur on Feb. 22, 1898.
After Joe and Edith were married, Joe Brunet worked in the woods with his father-in-law, Mose Thesier. Seven children were born to them while they lived in Fine. They moved from the woods after a forest fire forced them out. When they fled the fire, Edith took the older children and Joe carried the youngest and they ran down the railroad tracks. They moved later to a farm on the West Herman road. Joseph worked as a dairy farmer in the Hermon section much of his life.
Edith and Joe had 12 children. Seven of them were born in Fine and the rest of them were born in Hermon. There were 7 girls and 5 boys. By the time Joe died, they had 56 grandchildren.
Edith must have been a very busy young mother. Within 6 years of marriage she had 5 children under 6, then proceeded to have 7 more. I remember her very vaguely as we lived quite a distance from them and didn’t go see them very often. We did have a family reunion at their farm one year. Her youngest child Theresa is 2 years older than I am.
Edith was a very talented seamstress. Once one of her neighbors needed a new dress for a party and it is said that Edith made the dress that day. She sewed for all the family. Once she made a winter suit for her grandson out of an army blanket. It was a lined jacket and bib pants. Later she made quilts out of scraps of cloth from old clothes. She must have been a very frugal person.
When things got rough financially on the farm, she and Uncle Joe opened up a grocery store in their home. They had to go with horse & buggy to Bigelow, N.Y. for their groceries that came by train. Even though the store was in their house, Francis says that none of the kids ever took anything from the store. They knew better. Her granddaughter Geraldine, who used to spend time there, remembers that her grandmother had a dresser that she won for selling the most “Cloverine Salve”.
Edith loved flowers and had a lot of flowers growing on her farm. She also had a large vegetable garden. They had chickens and hogs on the farm as well as cows and horses. Edith was a great cook and also loved to bake. There were always cookies, cakes and pies.
Edith’s granddaughter Geraldine who was a daughter of Edith’s oldest child Marion, used to spend her summers with her Grandmother Edith and Grandfather Joe. She remembers her as a very jolly happy person but an awfully busy one. When she visited her, a lot of her kids were already married and gone but Theresa, Louise and Jenny were still home. Geraldine remembers that her grandmother was into making quilts at that time. She was a great cook. She also did a lot of canning. Her meals were mostly meat, potatoes, vegetable and dessert. This was so typical of the way farmers ate. She baked a lot and always had desserts after the meal.
Edith loved to hold Geraldine on her lap when she was small. She was a very loving grandmother and was a great hugger. So was her grandfather. They were a very loving family. They had their main supper before milking at night, so after the milking was done, they often had pop-corn and fudge. Geraldine remembers having to go to bed early but on any farm, it always was early to bed, early to rise. She enjoyed spending time with her grandparents very much.
In February of 1948, Edith and Joe celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. It was held at their home. A family breakfast and dinner were held at which all of their twelve children were present.
Edith had a ruptured appendix later and was sick for quite awhile following this. She eventually died at her home after being ill for several months. She died July 20, 1948 at the age of 69. This was only 5 months after their 50th wedding anniversary.
This story of Aunt Edith’s life was written by Marge Thesier Phillips