Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Frederique ROPP - The wait is over

A BIG Thank you to the Boylston Historical Society and Museum (http://www.boylstonhistory.org/) for the information they recently sent me for a small research fee, which was, in my opinion worth every penny!

Here's some information about the ROPP family of Boylston folks may or may not have known:

1) records of the historical society indicate Frederique owned property on Maine Street Cricle from 1893-1929  In 1901/31 the property is listed as "heirs of F. Ropp"  In 1934 the owner is listed as Marcellus Ropp (or Ropper?) of Worcester.

2) Frederique died at 75 yrs, 10 mths, 20 days of pneumonia on May 4, 1928.  The historical society says she is the daughter of John Ropp and Sophia Roux of France, but I'm not sure about the ROPP, since I assume that is a married name (although I understand its possible to marry someone of the same surname)

3) Frederique's daughter, Alice, was married September 5, 1898 in Boylston to Frank M. Knight (Source: Town clerks' report, 1899)

4) A very interesting article was sent to me about the ROPP family that waspublished in the "Boyston Historical Series" Vol 13. I won't reproduce the whole article here for copyright worries, but here's the gist of the story...

In 1898 a French Canadian man, Anthony Newell, came to Boylston looking for a job. He ended up joining the army and was sent to the Phillipines. (Presumably as part of the Phillipine-American war, though that is conjecture on my part)  In 1902 Mr. Newell came back to Boylston (after apparently having contracted malaria while ooverseas) and was hired by Frederique.  He apparently had a fancy for Frederique's daughter, Marie.  At some point, Frederique took in another hired hand, John Burke.  Newell grew jealous of Marie and Burke and eventually left his job.  He left for Worcester, but eventually jumped back on the trolley headed back to Boylston.  He confided in someone on the trolley that he was planning on killing 2 people and then killing himself...  Needless to say the authorities were notified when the trolley came to a stop, and there was a standoff outside the Ropp home.  Eventually Newell took off, but the Ropps were protected in their home overnight. In the morning, when the police decided to go out and start searching the area for Newell, they noticed a a calf was shot in the head, and Newell's body was found near the edge of the forest with a bullet wound through his chest.

The story ends by saying attempts were made to contact Newel's only known living relative, but were unable.  He was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Boylston with only a few town officials at the burial.

How sad?  I wonder if someone in the NEWELL family is trying to figure out what happened to Anthony?  I wonder if there was anything really going on with Marie and John Burke... I wonder when Alice came to America, since she wasn't listed on the ship manifest with Frederique, Fran├žois, Eugene, Marie and Ernest...

As always.... a few more answers.... a few more questions...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

More Information on Frederique's life in Boylston, MA

I thought the family members watching the blog would like to know I got an email from the Boylston Historical Society earlier this week indicating they are sending me some information pertaining to Frederique and family, including "an interesting story" that appeared in the local paper.

I'm looking forward to seeing what that may be, and I'll definitely share with you whatever I may learn...