HER 80TH BIRTHDAY.
Mrs Maria Stockbridge of Norwood Comes of a Celebrated Family— She Carries a Lantern at Night.
NORWOOD. July 21 – Mrs Marla Stockbridge. Vernon st. widow of Augustus P. Stockbridge and one of the best known old residents of the town, recently celebrated her 80th birthday, and the celebration was practically extended the whole of this week, great numbers of relatives and friends In Norwood and Westwood and representatives of the Norwood Baptist church and congregation calling upon her every day and bringing presents and tokens of remembrance.
Mrs Stockbridge was bom in West Dedham, New Norwood, and is related to one of the oldest and most prominent families in the two towns, the Bakers, her mother was Mrs Betsey Metcalf Baker, who made the first straw bonnet ever produced in America and was also the founder of the First Baptist Sunday school ever established in West Dedham.
The late Metcalf Baker was her brother, as were also Timothy and Dexter, all well-known West Dedham people. Metcalf Baker’s descendants still live in Norwood and are among leading people of the town, one of Mrs Stockbridge’s near relatives once walked from Boston to Chicago and afterward went to Japan and settled there. The family has been noted for originality and pronounced intellectual gifts. Mrs Stockbridge, at 80 years of age retains all her physical and mental faculties to a remarkable degree. She came to Norwood 47 years ago from Waltham and soon after became associated by letter with the Norwood Baptist church. She has been a faithful devout and enthusiastic member of that church.
On every occasion when she goes out in the evening she carries a lighted lantern. She enjoys better health at 80 than she did some years ago. She is a woman of benevolence and kindly feeling and has the respect and good will of everyone in town. She makes her home with her son, Arthur Stockbridge. Her son is her only living descendant, a little daughter, Emma, having died in childhood.
Among Mrs Stockbridge’s visitors this week have been many old friends and neighbors from Westwood and Norwood and relatives from both places as well as the members of the choir of the First Baptist church, who visited her in a body and entertained her with hymns and religious exercises.