On February 16, 1848 William S. Woodard and Amasa Simpson, both of Ocracoke, made the following deposition after the death of Simon H. Garrish which occurred the day before:
"...being in attendance during that day [February 15, 1848] a few hours previous to the death of said Garrish, he appeared to manifest much anxiety relating to some worldly matters which seemed to bear heavily on his mind, which his extreme weakness prevailed his expressing, although he undoubtedly retained his perfect since [sense] to the last. Yet, he was sufficiently understood as wanting paper and pen and ink, which induced a belief that he wished to make a will. Consequently, as he was unable to write, we concluded to question him in the following manner, and having reason to believe that his wish was in regards to his property, JOHN PIKE, Esq. (who was present) asked him to signify to the same by raising his hand if it is his wish that his daughter EUPHEMIA CURTIS should possess the whole of his estate at his death. He did raise his hand in reply and we distinctly heard him say, yes. After which, he became quite reconciled and resigned up to the time of his death."
Euphemia Garrish Curtis (1819-1882) inherited the property where Village Craftsmen is now located. Her father, Simon Henry Garrish, appears to never have married Euphemia's mother, Jane Simpson Harvey, although they lived together as man and wife for many years. Simon was the son of Henry Garrish and Elizabeth Howard. Elizabeth was the granddaughter of William Howard, Sr., one-time owner of Ocracoke Island.
Euphemia is my 2nd cousin, 3 times removed.
She is buried behind the Village Craftsmen. When I acquired that land in the mid-1970s I had no idea who Euphemia Curtis was.There are no other known graves nearby. Her gravestone, now 130 years old, is weathered badly, and very difficult to read. Euphemia's epitaph reads:
"Religion filled her soul with peace
Upon a dying bed.
Let faith look up,
Let striving cease,
She lives with Christ our head."
I think of Euphemia every time I pass her grave. May she rest in peace.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the "Joe Bell" flower. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012112.htm.