Jervis McEntee Diaries

Friday March 6, 1874

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Friday, March 6, 1874, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Friday, March 6, 1874- Received a letter from Mr. James containing a check on N.Y. for $1003 - for my picture of November. He said nothing about the figure picture and so I concluded he does not want it. Gertrude went over to Mary's to a lunch party and as I had a dull feeling in my head which has troubled me not a little this winter I remained indoors as it was a raw threatening day. Answering a knock at my door about 3 o'clock Mr. Hiram Fisher Gertrudes uncle came in, whom I have not seen for many years. He told me he had just come down from home summoned by a telegram announcing the death of his brother Gertrudes Uncle Kenneth Fisher. He died last night at 12.30 of pleuresy. He was on his way down there and went over to Mr. Cranes in Madison Ave. to inform Mrs. Sawyer. It was of course very unexpected to her. I went with her down to 30 Broadway where Uncle Kenneth had his rooms and where we found Mr. Hiram Fisher and his son in law, Mathew's husband. Poor Uncle Kenneth lay in a sort of coffin which was all covered with cloths only revealing his face which was quite unchanged. He was in a little room encumbered with his effects of various kinds and his copies of the old masters hung all about. The old janitor and his wife were there. They have always been very kind and attentive to him and were with him when he died as well as a physician who came two hours before his end and was as they represented very efficient in doing all in his power, holding him in his arms and bathing his feet in mustard water. A post mortem examination and inquest by the coroner had been held before we got there and Mr. Fisher had made all the arrangements with the undetaker to have the body taken tomorrow at ten o'clock to Mount Auburn near Boston. He was only confined to his room yesterday and Mr. Fisher received a letter from him yesteday saying he would come up to his house today for a visit. I came on up town with Mrs. Sawyer and Gertrude and I am to go up to the station tomorrow to see her. Uncle Kenneth was a most eccentric man. His early life had been devoted to artistic pursuits and he passed many years in Europe studying art. Of late years he has been entirely interested in mechanics and has devoted the most of his time to the invention of a steam carriage for common roads. He lived a very simple and secluded life having a small competence sufficient for his needs and in his way apparently enjoyed life as well as most people. Occasionally during the winter he would spend an evening with us. I saw him last about two weeks ago at Mr. Cranes and asked him to come and see us. I am glad he did not linger on a sick bed for his surroundings although entirely comfortable to him in health would not have been so in sickness. It snowed furiously when we came up town but now (9'oclock) has ceased. Gertrude had a letter from Lucy and answered it this evening. Uncle Kenneth was about 67 years old.

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