(1) Ella (Duryee) Guion, (2) Alfred Duryee Guion, (3) Alfred Peabody Guion, (4) Judith Anne Guion
Ella Duryee was born on July 2, 1850, the second daughter of Joseph Woodward Duryee and Eliza Pell (Beadel) Duryee. She had three younger sisters, Florence, born in 1855, Lillian, born in 1860 and Elizabeth (Lizzie) born in 1863. Her father was a prominent lumber merchant in New York City.
On September 16, 1882, at the age of 32, she married Alfred Beck Guion in Manhattan, New York. Alfred was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and moved to New York to become a stockbroker.
Their first child, Alfred Duryee Guion (my Grandpa) was born on September 11, 1884 in New York City.
Alfred Duryee Guion (my Grandpa) circa 1885.
Three years later, their daughter, Elsie May, was born in Mount Vernon, New York.
Ella (Duryee) Guion and Elsie May Guion on the front porch of the Lincoln Avenue House in Chester Hill.
A quote from Alfred Duryee Guion’s Reminiscences:
Soon thereafter we moved into a brand-new house which my father had built in a newer part of town known as Chester Hill. My father, who insisted on having the best, regardless of expense, was quite proud of this house. He had an architect design it. My grandfatherJoseph Woodward Duryee), being in the lumber business, was able to procure exceptional lumber for its construction so that each of the rooms was finished differently, one in Cherry, one in Black Walnut, one in Quartered Oak, one in Circassian Walnut, etc., all selected for their beautiful graining. On the ground floor was what we called the “Round Room” in which even the windowpanes were curved glass. The maid’s room on the top floor was necessary because in those days it was customary to hire a maid.
One year as our vacation had ended at a farmhouse in upper New York State, the morning had come when we were to leave for home. My mother had saved out my best bib and tucker for the homeward journey, the big trunk holding all our clothes had been carefully packed, the huge leather strap that went around it had been tightened and buckled, and the husky, hired man had come to take it down the stairs to the buckboard en route to the railroad station. Breakfast was not quite ready and I was told I might go out and play in the yard near the house but NOT TO GET MY NICE, CLEAN, CLOTHES DIRTY. Right in front of the house was a little brook spanned by a foot-bridge. I avoided the bridge itself but stood at one side of the muddy bank to watch little chips of wood I threw float downstream. I slipped and fell into the brook, got up all wet and muddy and went back to my mother. This time it was she and not my father who told me a few things.
Alfred Duryee Guion in a self-portrait in the Lincoln Avenue House.
Ella (Duryee) Guion
Ella (Duryee) Guion was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, her lineage tracing back to her great-great-grandfather, Joseph Woodward who served in the Light Horse under Mandajor Ebenezer Backus at Harlem Heights. He was captured and died in the person ship “Jersey”.
Alfred Duryee Guion, their dog and Elsie May Guion in front of the Lincoln Avenue house.
Alfred Beck Guion and Ella Duryee Guion (far right) and 3 unidentified women, possibly Ella’s sisters, Florence, Lillian and Elizabeth (Lizzie)) on the porch of the Lincoln Avenue house.
He (my Father) worked for a brokerage firm on Wall Street and was quite conscientious, so much so that in years of panic (today we would call it depression), losses of his clients, as well, I suspect, as of his own, worried him to the extent of bringing on heart trouble. He died in his 40s from angina pectoris, leaving a heavily mortgaged home and comparatively little life insurance. A Masonic friend of my father’s kindly stepped in and negotiated the sale of the Lincoln Avenue house for a smaller house on Dell Avenue, with a small cash surplus. It entailed a considerably lower standard of living. My mother, who had a sunny, even-tempered disposition, made the best of things. After my grandfather died, my aunts, Mary, Lillian and Lizzie (who preferred to be called Aunt Betty) came to live with us and helped share in living expenses.In the 1900 Census, recorded on June 6, 1900, Ella Guion (49) is listed as living on Dell Avenue in Mount Vernon, New York. Living with her is her son, Alfred (15), her daughter, Elsie May (12), and her sisters, Lillian ((40) and Lizzie (36).
fr: Ella Duryee Guion, Elsie May Guion; back: Alfred Duryee Guion, and possibly Aunt Lillian and Aunt Betty (Lizzie).
Alfred Duryee Guion in front of the Dell Avenue house in Mt. Vernon, NY, circa 1902.
(Possibly Lizzie and Lillian) with Alfred Duryee Guion (standing), Spot at his feet and Ella (Duryee) Guion on the far right.
Ella (Duryee) Guion passed away 5 September, 1919, in Mount Vernon, New York.
Tomorrow, I will begin posting letters written in 1944. all five sons are no serving Uncle Sam, with the youngest, Dave, in the midst of his early training.