Tag Archives: Lulu Adams

Remembering Lulu, died 14 April 1918

Lulu has mostly been forgotten to history. I never knew her, as she died long before I was born. In fact, I wouldn’t even have known of her were it not for the wonderful family stories that cousin Charles Chadwick told me. No, he didn’t know her either, but Lulu was his mother’s half sister.

Martha Lulu Adams, late 1880s

Lulu was born on 8 July 1870 in Calais, Washington County, Maine, the daughter of Calvin Segee Adams and his first wife, Martha Maria Tillinghast. Calvin was a master boat builder and served an apprenticeship in Bristol, Rhode Island. There he met Martha and they were married on 12 December 1869 in Rhode Island. Soon after, they headed to Calais, which was Calvin’s home.

According to family lore, Martha died about 1872. It could be that she died giving birth to another child, as the timing would be right based on Lulu’s birth in 1870.

Calvin married (2) Nellie F. Tarbox in Calais on 1 February 1875 and she became the only mother that Lulu ever knew. Calvin and Nellie had two more children of their own, son Charles Edwin Adams, born in 1877 and daughter Vera Pearl Adams, born in 1887, who was the mother of cousin Charles Chadwick, who I mentioned at the start of this story.

Charles knew that Lulu married a man named Alton “Paine” and that she died years before he was born in 1921. However, he didn’t know too much else about her except that she and Alton had no children.

I have looked for Lulu off and on through the years. For a long time, I didn’t have much luck, but that changed recently. First, I found a marriage record and I learned a little more about Lulu:

Alton Lynwood Payne – Mattie Lurene Adams, 1900 Marriage

First, I learned that Lulu was her nickname. Her full given name would have been Martha Lurene Adams and she must have gone by “Mattie” for part of her life since that is the name on her marriage record. Mattie is a nickname for Martha.

Second, she married a bit older in life, given the time period, at the age of 28. Her husband wasn’t a “Paine,” but a “Payne,” although that wasn’t the reason for not finding records about them long ago.

Alton was a resident of Boston, was 32 years old, born in Paris, Maine and had been married once before, but is listed as a widower. Alton was the son of John and Flora Payne, who lived in Jay, Maine at the time of their son’s marriage.

Alton must have been the informant for information about their parents because Lulu’s mother is listed as “Mattie Tillingwood,” but it was, in fact, “Tillinghast,” which is a very old Rhode Island family.

Lastly, Alton and Lulu married on 25 April 1900, but they haven’t been found in that census. It easily could be that they were in Maine when the census taker came around in Massachusetts and they were elsewhere when the Calais census taker came aro

They are found in Boston in the 1910 census:

The couple was renting at 8 Fenton Street in Boston’s 20th Ward. Alton was a carpenter in a shop, while Lulu was at home. This census confirmed Charles’s information, as the Paynes had been married for ten years, but Lulu had not given birth to any children.

I haven’t ever found them in the 1920 census, either, but in 1930, Alton “Paine” was a widower, living in Marshfield, Plymouth, Massachusetts. His occupation was still listed as carpenter.

Somewhere between 1910 in Boston and 1930 in Marshfield, Lulu had died. Since cousin Charles never told me anything that I proved as wrong and he said Lulu died before he was born (in 1921), I was pretty such that she died between 1910 and 1921, but could never find a death certificate for the longest time. I thought perhaps she was a victim of the influenza pandemic in 1918, but that wasn’t the case.

Lulu Mattie Payne, age 47

Alton and Lulu were living in Medford, Massachusetts at 45 Wellington Road on 14 April 1918, the day she died from a dilated heart due to endocarditis and edema of the lungs. She had a history of heart problems according to the doctor who signed the death certificate. She was buried three days later on 17 April 1918 at Oak Grove Cemetery in Medford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, but I have not found a grave site for her yet.

Alton L. Payne was enumerated in the 1940 census of Polk County, Florida as an “inmate” at the retirement home for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. He died in 1944 and was buried there in the Carpenters Cemetery.

I have no photos of Alton, but here is the second one I own of Lulu. She was a beautiful young lady.

Mattie Lurene “Lulu” Adams Payne
8 July 1870 – 14 April 1918