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Cynthia Smead Prentice

Cynthia Smead Prentice
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Winter 2000 and Revised 12 Nov 2003

In our Summer 1999 we had an article about George Prentice of Newfane, NY. Mentioned in the article was his wife, Cynthia Smead. `Here is what we have so far about her:

1. Cynthia Smead. We have received additional information about Cynthia and George from one of their descendants, Carol Hollingsworth, which provides additional information about Cynthia. The source is an undated newspaper article captioned, "1797-1901, UTICAN'S LIFE SPANNED 3 CENTURIES, By Ed Krolak News-Tribune Reporter" The article reads as follows:

    UTICA (ILL.) A maker in Oak Hill cemetery commemorates one of the most remarkable persons ever to live in the locality.

    She was Cynthia Smead Emory Prentice, whose, life spanned parts of three centuries.

    Cynthia Prentice was born in 1797 when George Washington had just left the presidency, and she died in 1901, just after William McKinley won a second term and the usefulness of the Illinois-Michigan cannel was already coming to an end.

    Relatives in the area today say Mrs. Prentice was alert and sharp until the end of her life. A grand niece, Rose Dimmick of Utica, remarked that Mrs. Prentice never wore glasses nor used dentures.

    A photograph shows Mrs. Prentice at an Old Settlers reunion in Ottawa in 1901. A great-grandson, Harold Prentice of La Salle, recalled her on the dance floor them.

    Mrs. Prentice's family came to America and settle in Massachusetts in the 17th century. No record appeared of the family's trail to Utica.

    The exact site of her grave is a mystery. A relative put the marker in a family plot.

    Her family tree resembles that of some European royalty and is incredibly complicated by a series of second marriages.

    However, she was married to George Prentice in 1828, and they had a son, Prescott Smead Prentice. Prescott married Kathering Malvina Hadley, and two of their children were Horace and Mary.

    Horace Prentice was the father of Harold Prentice of La Salle and Hubert of Peru. Mary Prentice became the mother of Howard Garms of Utica. These three men, then, great-grandchildren of the centenarian!

    The tip on the presence of the marker was furnished by Mrs. Leonard Yepsen of Utica. It took a crack News-Tribune reporter and Great-great-grandson Jim Prentice only three trips to Oak Hill to find it. But it's there.

Additional biographical information about Cynthia (Smead) Prentice is also provided by Carole Hollingsworth's email of 20 Aug 2000.

Cynthia (Smead) Emory Prentice (1791 - 1901). Cynthia had a son:

  1. Prescott Smead Prentice. . . . . . . [2]

2. Prescott Smead Prentice. He married Katherins Malvina Hadley. The Hadleys were "Pennsylvania Dutch," or German. Family lore is that Prescott had Indian blood somewhere along that long line from 1797. He was tall and dark with an aquiline nose and he was happiest when he was out in the woods. During the Civil War, Prescott paid another man $50 to serve in his stead. Prescott may be buried in Oak Hill Cemetary (Illinois) but his grave has not yet been located. Prescott and Katherine had two children:

  1. Horace Greely Prentice(1876-1955). Horace Greeley married Estella LaRette (1877-1948). Both are buried in St. Mary's Cemetary. Horace and Estella had two sons:
    1. Harold Prentice.
    2. Hubert Prentice
  2. Mary Louise Prentice (1868-1953). . . . . . . . . [3]

3. Mary Louise Prentice (1868-1953). She m. John Sherman McGee (1866-1902). they had:

  1. Henry Prentice McGee. Henry left home early, the night before Mary Louise married her 2nd husband, Gus Garms. Apparently disapproving, Henry chopped the shirt he was to wear to the wedding into pieces with the ax, broke all Gus's cold frames and moved out. He joined the Marines but didn't approve of them either since shortly before he was to be discharged he threw a bottle of shoe polish at his commanding officer and jumped ship. He finally ended up living in Pennslyvania and married to a girl named Mable. They had 3 children:
    1. Elmer,
    2. Bernice and
    3. Dolores.

    After Henry's death, Mable lived for a while with one of the children, perhaps Elmer in New Orleans. She later returned to PA.

  2. Clarance Stuart McGee. Clarence married Marie Burch and they had no children. She still lives in Peru, Ill.
  3. Florence McGee. She m., 1st Marshall Johnston while they were both working at a T.B. hospital called the Tent Colony. They eloped, went to Chicago and were living there when their son, Marshall, was born. Marshall was going to the hospital to visit Florence and their new son when Marshall fell on a icey sidewalk and hit his head. He was a haemophiliac and they couldn't stop the bleeding in time.

    Florence moved back to Utica, Ill, and later married Cecil Alexander Gastineau. After Cecil retire, he and Florence moved to CA. He died while on a visit to IL, but was buried in Forest Lawn in Calif. Florence died in AZ and is buried with Cecil. They had two daughters:

    1. Ester Gastineau. Ester has been married several times. Her first husband was named Ralph Carlstrand. Shelives in California has a son named Tim and a daughter, Devon.
    2. Lois Gastineau. Lois was married to Floyd Katowski, they were divorced and she may have moved to CA.
  4. Ida McGee. She m. Sylvester Bauchle and they had two daughters:
    1. Charlotte Bauchle. She m. Clarence Entwistle. Children:
      1. Bonnie Claire Entwistle
      2. Craig Entwistle
    2. Doris Bauchle. She m. Charles Peterson. They had a son:
      1. Charles Peterson Jr. who was killed in a hit and run accident.
      2. Dione Peterson. Thought to be living in Phoenix.
  5. Edna Winifred McGee (1901-1983). She m. George Fuchs (1899-1981). Children:
    1. Donald George Fuchs, b. 3-28-1921
    2. Duane Shermen Fuchs, Aug. 11. 1923
    3. Arvis Marie Fuchs, Nov. 13, 1927
    4. Joan May Fuchs, May 1, 1931. She m. Richard Lee Gran (May 2, 1924 to Feb. 19, 1998) on June 14, 1949 in Aurora Ill. Daughter:
      1. Carole Lee Gran, b. 7 Nov 1952 in Aurora, IL. She m., 1st, Reuben Boyd in Colorado Springs, CO. She m., 2nd, James Douglas Hollingsworth Jr. Children of Carol and Reuben:
        • (daughter) Boyd. Living in 2003. She has 3 children.
      2. (daughter) Gran. Living in 2003. She has 4 children.

    5. Laurel Bernice, Fuchs Feb 13, 1935
    6. Lynn William Fuchs, May 19, 1937 to April 1982
    7. David John Fuchs, Nov. 6 1940 to Oct. 21 1962.
  6. Adeline McGee (died in infancy)
  7. Bruce McGee (died in infancy)

After John Sherman McGee's death in 1902, Mary Louise married Stephen Gustave "Gus" William Garms (1873-1948). Gus had been married before and had a son who he claimed belonged to the hired man, George Lee. (Carol Hollingsworth adds: As a matter of fact the little boy grew up to be the spitting image of Gus, but since his mother named him Lee and married George Lee as soon as she and Gus were divorced, I suppose there was room for doubt.)

Mary Louise's step-son, Lee Garms was rised by his grandmother who lived in Calif. He settled in Hollywood where he became a cameraman. His name appears from time to time on the late, late show and he did some of the work on the first part of "Gone With the Wind" filed by David O. Selznick.

In Utica Mary Louise Prentice and Gus Garms had one son:

  1. Howard "Jim" Lynn Garms. He m. Ruth Betz. Jim died several Years ago of a heart attack and is buried in the same plot as Mary Louise, Gus and John Sherman. Ruth still lives in Utica. "Son:
    1. Robert Garms. Was in charge of the LaSalle County Mental Health Dept.

Correspondence:   If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentice Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

Caution: If you don't use the above email link, your email to us may be deleted as spam by our email filter.

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