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BIOGRAPHY OF ANGELINE BURLINGAME SMITH

Photograph of Angeline Burlingame SmithAngeline was born in Ulysses Township in what was then Cayuga County, New York, the daughter of Peter H. and Abigail Archer Smith. At the time of her birth, her parents had just made the long trek from Orange County, New York with Angie’s older sister, to settle the wilds of western New York. The family actually lived in a log cabin in the wilderness. 

Angie married Richard Middaugh in Ulysses, which was now in Tompkins County, on June 13, 1830. They lived in Tompkins County until 1852, and all their children were born there. In that year they moved to a farm in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. After a few years in Wisconsin, they moved to Steele County, Minnesota, where they had a large farm in Meridan Township, which they named “Farmer’s Home”. Many years later, when Richard’s eyesight began to fail, they sold the farm and moved to the county seat, Owatonna. As Richard became weaker, they moved back to Waupin, Wisconsin, where Richard died in 1884. The following article from the Waupin newspaper concerns a birthday party given for Angie several months before she died, on December 22, 1902. She is buried at Forest Mound Cemetery in Waupun.

Waupin, Wisc., newspaper, Feb. 11, 1902, Social report on the birthday party of Angeline Smith Middaugh.

Nearly fourscore of the friends of “Grandma” Middaugh joined in the celebration of her ninety-third birthday which occurred at the home of her daughter, Katherine Bixby, in this city on Saturday last. It was a most interesting occasion for all the participants.

The fragrance of choice hothouse carnations, hyacinths and roses filled the rooms until those present could easily fancy themselves transported to some tropical climb. Dainty refreshments were served at small tables, presided over by Mmes. Merty Herman and Jennie Murray.

Angeline B. Middaugh was born in Ulysses, Tompkins County, N. Y., February 8, 1809, this being her home until June 13, 1830, when she married Dr. R. W. Middaugh of Ithica, N. Y. In 1854 they removed to Wisconsin, settling on a farm near Waupin, where they lived until 1862, thence, westward again to Meridan, Steele County, Minn. In the spring of 1884 they returned to Waupin, where, on May 12 of the same year, she buried her companion of fifty-four years.

Since that time, her home has been with her two daughters, Angeline Wilcox and Katherine Bixby of Waupin. She is the mother of eight children, five of whom are living - John A., Waupin; Richard M., Waseca, Minn.; Elmer D., Owatonna, Minn.; and the daughters above named.

She retains all her faculties and manifests a keen interest in the questions of the day. She distinctly remembers when her father returned after having served through the War of 1812.

[compiliers notes: Angeline was probably 92 at the time of the party, not 93; all indications are that she was born in 1810, not 1809. She died in Waupin on December 22, 1902. The unnamed children who died before her were Valentine V. of West Concord, Dodge County, Minnesota; Jane Adeline Landon of Havana, Steele County, Minnesota; and Solomon of Petersburg, Jackson County, Minnesota. Her parents were Peter and Abigail Smith.]

This memorial was published in the Wapun newspaper in December, 1902. It is a memorial, but also a sort of obituary. 

Less than a year ago, on a sunny mid-winter afternoon, a joyous gathering of relatives and old-time friends assembled to congradulate Grandma Middaugh on her 93rd natal day---this afternoon, she lies peacefully sleeping; the once busy, restless fingers are quietly folded above the pulseless breast, and ere the day has closed, kindly hands will lay her, tenderly and reverently, away, amid falling tears, natures last tribute to a loved one.

The writer can add noting to words of commendation already written, on former less sorrowful occasions, regarding the beautiful life and character of her who has "gone away." As she has said, hitherto, she well remembers, as a young girl, seeing Grandma entering church in the "Empire State," a fair young wife, leaning upon the arm of her tall, stately husband, Dr. R. W. Middaugh. Soon after the removal of the writer, with her parents, to Waupun, the doctor, with his family, came to Fond du Lac Co., settling on a farm near Willow Creek, and thus, we were again neighbors, and many a bright, happy hour was enjoyed by the writer beneath the hospitable roof-tree on the old farm. Under the gentle, tender ministration of Grandma, then in the prime of her life, the home was made a shrine of domestic bliss.

"A charm from the skies seemed to hallow us there," and watching the busy feet flitting swiftly about, "upon household cares intent," and the never idle hands, listening to the loving words, and noting the gladsome, winning smile bestowed upon all, she seemed to us a veritable household fairy. Loving all that was pure and true, and shunning all that was base, she so molded the lives and characters of her children, that they grew up into manhood and womanhood, with principles strong and brave as her own.

Since the death of her husband, in 1884, she has lived, a welcome and honored guest, in the homes of her children in our city, and her life has been the personification of a serene, contented old age. Trustfully she has awaited all her appointed time, until two days ago, when her change came. At midday, surrounded by her surviving children, the golden sunbeams irradiating her countenance, like a glorious halo, she fell asleep. To the loving ones by her bedside she gave a last, fond message, and a cheery good-bye, in the unwavering faith of, one day, greeting them again, in one of the "many mansions" prepared by the Father.

Waupun, Dec. 20, 1902

Information for this biography was gathered from the records of the Clove Dutch Reformed Church in Wantage, New Jersey; the obituaries of Richard and Angeline; the probate record of Peter Smith; an article from the History of Schuyler County, New York; the 1850, 1860 and 1870 U. S. Census; various holdings of the Dewitt Historical Society in Ithica, N. Y. and Wisconsin Genealogical Index (death)

Thanks to Kenneth Smith for sending us this biography. If you have questions, please contact him.

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