Diary of a Yankee Engineer: The Civil War Story of John H. Westervelt, Engineer, 1st New York Volunteer Engineer Corps

By John H. Westervelt; Anita Palladino | Go to book overview

History of the Diary
and Drawings of
John H. Westervelt

John Westervelt sent 68 installments of his life in the engineer corps home to his son Frazee. Following John’s death in 1868, John’s widow and children continued to live in New York City at 436 W. 36th Street until 1876, when Anna and family moved to 406 West 55th Street. They remained there throughout the 1870s, moving in late 1879 or early 1880 to Railroad Avenue, near 166th Street. Per census records, Anna’s household contained sons Henry, Frank B., and Edward as well as Frazee, his wife Elizabeth, and their sons Schulyer, Theodore, and Frank. Presumably, the journal and drawings moved along with the rest of the family belongings.

According to the 1892 through 1895 New York City Directories, Anna is shown as having relocated to the West Farms area of the Bronx, giving her address as 1735 West Farms Road. (Frazee and family are not listed in the directory, but were most likely also living there.) By the time of the 1900 census, dated June 4th, Anna is noted as “Head of Household” in a rented house at 1601 West Farms Road, and Frazee is living with her. The same census page lists John’s younger son, Edward (a “foreman”), living a few houses away at 1581 West Farms Road with his wife Minnie and their ten-year-old son Clinton.1 Anna continued to live at 1601 until her death in 1904.

On September 18, 1927, the journal was found by George

1. Frazee’s wife and children are not listed as household members-, however, as they would have been in their 20s they may well have been on their own by this date. His wife may have been away at the date of the census, or deceased, or her omission may have been an error. Edward’s household included his widowed sister-in-law, Eva Pawson, and her daughter Emma. Per the census, Edward owned this home free of mortgage.

-xix-

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