Death of a Remarkable Woman.
As briefly chronicled in the MIRROR last week, Miss Lucy Read closed her earthly existence on Wednesday night of last week, in her seventy-seventh year.
Although deprived of the senses of seeing, hearing and speaking since a small child, Miss Read had performed work of various kinds all of her lifetime that seems impossible for one in her condition to accomplish unaided. When five years of age an attack of scarlet fever left her totally deaf, and inflammation in her eyes, as a result of the fever, soon impaired her eyesight, and she became totally blind at the age of eleven. Being so young when she lost her hearing, she soon lost the power of articulation and became unable to form sounds into intelligible words. It is possible, too, that the disease which deprived her of her hearing and eyesight also impaired the organs of speech; but be that as it may, she has been unable to utter an intelligible word nearly all her life.
Without much of any special instruction, Lucy acquired the art of sewing and knitting, and during her lifetime has made hundreds of socks and other pieces of knit work, pieced many beautiful bed quilts and made the various garments of wearing apparel with a neatness and deftness that is unexcelled by people possessed of all the faculties that she is deprived of.
In former years examples of her bed quilts have been exhibited at county fairs, and have almost invariably taken first premium in competition with those that were made by expert needle-workers that were possessed of all the faculties that seem so necessary to perform work of that nature. In making her patterns, Lucy trimmed them to the required shape by her lips, and had no assistance whatever. People who have seen her at work have always marveled at the blind woman’s ability to distinguish and match colors. She distinguished colors by the sense of taste or smell—it having been unable to determine which, as she places the goods to her nose and lips.
In earlier years she threaded her needle upon her tongue, in some un-accountable manner; afterwards she used the self-threading species of needles that came into use, but of late years her sister has threaded her needle for her much of the time, on account of her wastefulness of the thread if left to do it herself.
Green was Miss Read’s favorite color, but she preferred all bright colors to the darker and duller ones, and was very fond of flowers. She was also as fond of pictures as if she could see them, and delighted in possessing and examining jewelry with her fingers. She loved children, and the little ones seemed to be as fond of her as she of them. She also formed a great attachment for those of her neighbors whom she came in contract with frequently, and de, lighted in “going visiting.”
The picture which we show of Miss Read is the only one that has been made of her since she was nineteen years old, a very good one of the daguerreotype species having been taken at that time. The photograph from which our picture was made was taken about two years ago.
Mrs. Eunice Fish, at whose home she died, has had the care of her afflicted sister for many years, and it has been indeed a most arduous labor of love. Previous to the death of her mother and the scattering of the other brothers and sister, she lived most of the time on the home farm, in the vicinity of Danby Four Corners. She was the daughter of Timothy Read, who came to Danby from New Hampshire in 1826, and who died from heart disease in 1849, aged 52 years. Her mother lived to be 86 years old, and was of a remarkably frugal and industrious nature. Besides her sister Eunice, she left two brothers, Edward J., post-master of this village, and Charles T., who resides in Manchester.
The funeral was held at the residence of Mrs. Fish Friday afternoon and was largely attended by relatives and friends of the deceased. The interment took place in the Read Cemetery, near the old homestead in the center of the town. Rev. H. C. Searles delivered the discourse and Mr. W. F. Otis had charge of the funeral arrangements. The bearers were Messrs. E. G. Wight, James Fullum, Joseph Oakes and M. H. Maxham. A large quantity of hand-some flowers surrounded the casket.
Among those from out of town in attendance at the funeral were Mr. Charles T. Read of Manchester Centre, Mrs. Abbie McGonigal and daughter, Miss Maude Bancroft, of Troy, N. Y., Mrs. Sarah Fish and daughter, Laura, and Mrs. Rachael Kelley and daughter, Mrs. W. B. Edgerton, of Manchester and Miss Louisa Herrick and sister of Hoosick Falls, N. Y.
Card of Thanks.
We, the undersigned, wish to thank our kind friends and neighbors for their many favors bestowed and assistance rendered, during the illness of our beloved sister, Lucy Read, and at her death and during the intervening time till the burial of her remains; also to those who contributed the beautiful flowers. which Lucy loved so much, though deprived of the pleasure of beholding their beauty.
MRS, EUNICE FISH.
EDWARD J. READ.
CHARLES T. READ.