Sunday, 22 July, 2018 9:07 PM

Edith Cordelia Freethy, younging of four chidren

Edith Cornelia Freethey, younger of four children, born, December 13, 1891, in Stoughtton, MA.


Married, Chester & Edith, 1915, & honeymoon.

Married, Chester & Edith, 1915, & honeymoon, spent the railroad station to Philadelphia, PA, the finest hotel, Bellvue-Stratford, and splurging $7 a day!


The Eldridge Home! 1005 Oradell Ave; Oradell, NJ. 1951 - 1961.

The Eldridge Home, 1005 Oradell Ave; Oradell, NJ 1951to 1961.

And Dad, working, Medical Economics 1968 to 1971. me, bicycle, 1967-1970, twenty minute, Tenafly, NJ, north east.


Edith and Chest, winter, cat

Edith and Chester, winter, Christmas Card, outside, rounds wreath, and cat, Oradell Avenue, Oradell, NJ Inside: "Holiday Greetings Edith and Chester".


Grands parents, Chester & Edith, and family, summer, 1955, back yard.

Grand's parents, Chester & Edith, and family, summer, 1955, backyard. Oradell Avenue, Oradell, NJ, 1951 - 1961.


"Cup in Head" Russell Markert, Chester's nephew, in Oradell Avenue, Oradell, NJ.

"Cup in Head!" Russell Markert, Chester's nephew, in Oradell Avenue, Oradell, N.J.

See Russell Eldridge Markert.


Winter, 1005 Oradell Avenue!

Winter, 1005 Oradell Avenue!


Great grand parent, Sara and Sidney Freethey, mom's "Two-mommy" site. Sidney found work painting the elaborate frescoes.

Birth, October 16 1852, Blue Hill, ME; marriage, November 29, 1873; Death, March 9, 1917. Birth, Albert S Freethey(1883–1956). Daughter, Edith Cordelia Freethey (1891–1966), December 12 1891, Stoughton, MA.


Sarah Elizabeth Victoria Beeby, birth, March 15, 1855; death, Febuary, 1946, 91 years old!
Sarah Elizabeth Victoria Beeby, birth, March 15, 1855; death, February, 1946, 91 years old! Sarah circa, 1902!



3. Great Fortune: Rockefeller Center 

Chester Dwight Eldridge, birth, Feburary 17, 1966, July 15, 1892; death, Feburary 17, 1966.

Chester Dwight Eldridge, birth, February 17, 1966, July 15, 1892; death, February 17, 1966. This years death, Edith, December 13, 1966!


Chester Home

1923, Eldridge Home! 23 acres! Old Home, Clark, NJ


Chester, 3 years later, New Home!


Checter and daugher, Dorothy.

Horse power, Chester and daughter, Dorothy.


Bankruptcy, Sept., '11. Next year, new home. Cross a street, family farm market, 120 years! Inside, man & wife, 35*, 15 minute. Me, Jam, and Bill, two bread.


My family and, Two-mommy and Two-daddy, Chester and Edith, Tenafly, summer, 1963, living room.


Trip to DeBaey, FL, Easter, 1962, to visit Two-mommy and Two-daddy, 6 days.

Mother & 3 son's trip to Debary, FL, Easter, 1962, to visit two-mommy and two-daddy, 6 days.

Father working foe The Topic Publishing Co. But evening typewriter, "Dad and 3 cats!" front, 4 pages, #10 envelope to Mom, 3 boy's, and grant parents. Dad's Story!

Me and bird, Blue Jay!


Me and flag,"Dolphin," 3 boys, Dorothy, and grant parents.

Me and flag,"Dolphin!" 3 boys, Dorothy, and grant parents.


"Dolphin flipping in air" with my grand parent, Dorothy and 3 sons!

"Dolphin flipping in air" with my grand parent, Dorothy and 3 sons!


Debary, FL, Chester and Edith in clear table, 50 Anniversary!

Debary, FL, Chester and Edith in clear table, 50 Anniversary!


Grant mother, DeBary, FL, glasses in self, and two-mommy in kitchen.

Grant mother, DeBary, FL, glasses in self, and two-mommy in kitchen.



Great grandparents, Harriel & George Eldridge, Two-Daddy" site. George was a machinist by trade but he was also an artist.



Chester Dwight and Edith Eldridge

Oldest Bill E. Toffey, 3 years old: "Two-Mommy & Two-Daddy"

Chester and Edith in T grade

Chester and Edith both finished grade school in Jersey City. Memory the Fifty Golden Wedding Anniversary on October 29, 1965. But next years, they died just months apart from each other in 1966. Chester and Edith Eldridge died on two month. Chester on February 17 and Edith on December 13, same, 74 years!

History Chester and Edith: Passion!
History Born in Jersey City, New Jersey on July 15, 1892
History Born in Stoughtton, Massachusetts, December 13, 1891
History New smaller home in Oradell, New Jersey...
History Cowell and Eldridge
History "Went to Sea"
History Dorothy Eldridge's great-grandparents...


Dad's Story: "My grandmother, Edith told Bill"

voteMy Edith, told my Bill (William Toffey III), that she received five proposals of marriage before Chester's, and the first came from a Spanish landowner when she was only twelve. Edith's father, Sidney Freethey, had brought the family to Fernandina Beach in Florida at the end of the Nineteenth Century, when his skills as a carpenter, no longer prized in building ships in Maine, could be used to create Victorian style scroll work on the mansions in the this boom town community. Edith went through high school in Fernandino, and was petit and playful enough, judging from the early photos of beach parties, to attract many suitors. Making money in real estate had brought George Eldridge to the same region, and his younger brother Chester, a commercial artist, came to scout the opportunities. He returned to Jersey City, NJ, "in love!" The pair communicated for three years by letter, and on his next trip down he brought a ring and made a proposal of marriage that was accepted.

I came upon love letters between Edith and Chester after both had passed away, not the ones from their courtship, but afterwards, when Chester was in Chicago trying to start his own art studio, and Edith was back in New Jersey, pregnant with my Mom. I was astonished at the frank sexuality and passion of their correspondence, and I placed them carefully back in their hiding place in my family home. My astonishment was in part because Mom had on several occasions opined that her parents' relationship was curious, two daddy was cerebral and intellectual, whereas two mommy held no deep opinions and was a social butterfly. As Mom began the job of clearing away our family home, I said I would appreciate taking the old Eldridge letters up in the attic. "Oh, they're already gone." What? "Yes, I read them and tossed them. They are of no lasting interest to anyone." At that moment I wondered whether Mom had harbored some jealousy.

Back to Top

Mom's Story: "Chester Dwight Eldridge"

Chester Dwight Eldridge was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on July 15, 1892, the youngest of four children born to Harriet and George Eldridge. When he was a boy, the family often had difficulty making ends meet. His mother Harriet loved to bake and, at one time, went into the business of "Baking Pies, Cakes and Bread" to sell to area families. Chester, his brother George and his nephew, Russell Markert, often helped out by delivering the baked goods throughout their community in a horse-drawn wagon.

His mother, unfortunately, found out that baking for her family as she would, using only the freshest ingredients, did not net her sufficient profits. The operation continued for perhaps a year or so, before Harriet closed the business."

Chester and Edith both finished grade school

Chester and Edith both finished grade school, but did not go on to high school. Twelve years of schooling was not required, at that time. So after the eighth grade graduation, Chester went to work. He worked at the Aeolian Piano Factory for a period of time, as did his father, but he was bright and ambitious and his real talent was in art!

Learning more…"Chester Dwight Eldridge"

Back to Top

Mom's Story: "Edith Cornelia Freethey"

"Edith Cornelia, was born in Stoughtton, Massachusetts, December 13, 1891, the youngest of five children born of Sydney Drinkwater and Sarah Victoria Beeby Freethey.

" In 1909, at the age of 17, Edith Freethey made a trip north, via coastal steamship, to visit her sister Olla, who was then living in New York City.  During the trip, she made friends with the ship's engineer, Harry M. Herman, who invited her to visit his family in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  She did so, and among those she met there was a cousin of Harry's, Chester D. Eldridge of Westfield, New Jersey.  When Edith returned to Fernandina, she began to correspond with Chester.  It was the beginning of the four-year courtship by mail.

"Edith did not see Chester again until 1913.  In that year, she made again a trip north – to visit her sister (at least it was a good excuse).  The trip at this time was made a board a six-mated schooner, the George W. Wells. The captain of the ship was Joseph York, a friend of the Freethey's.  Mrs. York was also making the trip, so Sydney Freethey allowed his daughter to go along. Edith was having a good time visiting with her sister and seeing Chester again, but she decided to stay on longer than originally planned and did not sail on the Wells when it made its return trip. That was fortunate, because on its return voyage, the Wells was wrecked during a hurricane off Cape Hatteras (Ocracoke Island) on September 3, 1913.  All hands were saved, but the ship was a total loss. 

"When Edith returned home later in the fall of 1913, she and Chester continued their romance by mail, until the summer of 1914, when Chester visited Fernandina to see her again and meet her family for the first time.  It was then they began to make their wedding plans.  And the spring of 1915, Edith returned to New York City to stay with her sister, and October 29, 1915, she and Chester were married at St. Paul's EpiscoPAl church [Bill & I, 2011] in Westfield.  It was a small, informal wedding, with a reception at the Eldridge's home. The time and expense involved in traveling so far prevented Sydney and Sarah Freethey from attending their daughter's wedding."

Back to Top

After the Farm

After their daughter Dorothy married William Toffey - my mother and father - and settled into Bergen County, New Jersey, Chester and Edith sold the farmstead in 1951 and moved to a brand new smaller home in Oradell, New Jersey.

After retiring from Pagano's Chester worked for Sears, Roebuck & Co. where he sold women's apparel and undergarments for 10 years until 1961. It was then they decided to finally retire and move to DeBary, Florida.

In his retirement Chester returned to his love of art where he emerged himself in watercolor and oil painting landscapes, photography and making home movies. He Painted many scenes from the bay area in Maine.

Summertime was a national holiday for me a boy. I got to sleep over my grandparents' house two or three times in the summer of 1959 and three or four more times in 1960. I had my grandparents all to myself.

One day my grandparents drove me in their Ford to a children's store where they bought me a giant riding yellow police car that was about 4 inches wide, 2 1/2 inches tall and 6 inches. I wanted this forever - as urgently as any small boy wants a new toy. I played with it all summer long.

Once home I wrote my grandmother several letters. It took me 15 minutes to walk from my house to the postbox on the corner.

My brothers Bill and Kyle had their own summer vacations with my grandparents and received their own special gifts. The weeks we spent with them in Oradell during those last few summers was cherished time before they moved to Florida in 1961.

In 1961, move to Debary, Florida

My mother and three boys spent six days at Easter time in 1962 visiting my grandparents in DeBary where we took day trips to the Marine Silver Spring and the Citrus Tower, which is a 226-foot tall structure built in 1956 that allows visitors to observe miles of orange groves surrounding it. At that time, it was the most famous landmark in the Orlando area. But, dad, after working, home, dad's typewriter, 3, fronds and back paper (and envelop, DeBary, mom, 3 boys & two-mommy and two-daddy): "3 cats, dad's basements, etc!

I am so glad we made the trip. It's a memory the Golden Wedding Anniversary on October 29, 1965. but next years, they died just months apart from each other in 1966: Chester on February 17 and Edith on December. 13.

Back to Top

Mom's Story: "George & Harriet Eldridge"

Harriet (Hattie) Cowell and George Alvah Eldridge. Aside from loving memories of them both, I know little of their backgrounds at this writing, not even their birth dates or marriage dates.  George died on September 28, 1933, and Harriet on January 13, 1934, in Rahway, New Jersey. They lived in Jersey City while their children were growing up and then move to Westfield, New Jersey. George was a machinist by trade– an artist and musician by avocation.  Their four children: Bertha (1877 to 1959) married George Markert, mother of Russell and Gladys; Ada, who died in childbirth at age 20; George Alva, junior, (1890 to 1945); Chester Dwight, born July 15, 1892 died February 17, 1966.

Back to Top

Mom's Story: "Sidney Drinkwater Freethey"

Sidney Drinkwater and Sarah Freethey. Sidney was born October 16, 1852 in Blue Hill, Maine.  In his mid-teens he "went to sea."  During his stay in Boston, Massachusetts, he met and married Sarah Beeby, and that marked the end of his sea-going days.  They returned reader to the state of Maine, settling in Brooklin, not far from Blue Hill.  They also lived in North Sedgwick for a time.  Sidney made his living at any job he could find, princiPAlly in the building trades.  Life was apparently rugged in those days and the winters long and hard.  It was a long walk to the village, and after dark Sidney carried a shotgun as protection against the bobcats and other wildlife. On July 19, 1881, their home was demolished by a bolt of lightning literally out of the blue, since there were no thunderstorms at the time.  Members of the family were knocked down and suffered shock, but were otherwise unharmed. Sometime after Albert's birth in 1883, they moved to the Boston area.

Sidney and Sarah's youngest child, Edith Cordelia, was born in Stoughton, Massachusetts, December 13, 1891.  A few years later Sidney decided to try his luck in Florida, having heard the job opportunities were good there.  Furthermore, the doctor had told Sarah that she had a "bad heart" and a warmer climate might help her survive a few more years.  Sidney found work for a time painting the elaborate frescoed walls and ceilings of the mansion's being built in Florida by wealthy industrialists, and he sent for his family.  They lived for a time in St. Mary's, Georgia, and then moved to Fernandina, Florida, an island north of Jacksonville.  They remained there until shortly after Edith left in 1915 to be married to Chester Eldridge in New Jersey.  Subsequently, they went to Saint Augustine, where Sidney died of a heart attack March 9, 1917, at the age of 64 after racing his son Albert to work on bicycles.  He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery there.  Sarah then went to Saint Petersburg, where she lived until her death in February 1946, shortly before the 91st birthday. About 1930, she married and with the war, Mr. R. E. Wilson, who died about five years later.  Since she never called him anything but Mr. Wilson, I never knew his first name. 

Back to Top

"Mom's Story: Sarah Victoria Starling & John Beeby"

This is the Dorothy Edith Eldridge's' great grand parents John Beeby and Sarah Victoria Starling, as told to her in 1936 by her grandmother, Sarah E. V. Freethey

Sarah V. Starling was born in England, May 25, 1835, to William Starling and Sarah Victoria Smith, a prosperous family of the merchant class.  William Starling operated his own coal distribution business. 

Sarah Starling was brought up in an atmosphere of some luxury and culture—exposed to the world of art and music as well as to the more fundamental aspects of education. 

Learn more.."Sarah Victoria  Starling and John Beeby"

Back to Top

"Toffey the Coffee" while you read about Toffey... Life, History & Future!