9 - Edmund Joseph Pelkey (1883 - 1959)

Edmund Joseph Pelkey and his wife, Lillian May Boutwell
Photo courtesy of David A. Nims

Parents: Peter H. Pelkey (Pierre H. Pelletier) - Cordelia Roireau-dit-Laliberté

Born: June 1, 1883 - West Boylston, MA
Died: October 18, 1959 - Peterborough, NH

Married: June 29, 1904 - Peterborough, NH
Spouse: Lillian May Boutwell (1883 - 1970)

Mildred Cecelia (1908 - 1994)
Evelyn Frances (1913 - )

Evelyn and Mildred - 1982
Photo courtesy of David A. Nims

Notes: From David A. Nims:

“Edmund Joseph PELKEY was born on 1 Jun 1883 in West Boylston, MA.
He died on 18 Oct 1959 in Peterborough, NH.
Edmund Joseph Pelkey (birth certificate lists as Joseph Edward Pelkey) made his way to Peterborough, NH, to marry Lillian Boutwell in June of 1904.
The 1900 federal census shows Edmund as “at school”, and 17 years old. I have asked my mother-in-law about this marriage, and Evelyn indicated that her mother had left school at an early age to work in the Verney Mills in Peterborough. It is certain that Edmund came with his father to Peterborough and perhaps later met Lillian as a co-worker.
Witnesses at the wedding of Edmund and Lillian were Minnie Sanders and J. Napoleon Pelkey, the older brother.
We do know from his daughter that Edmund worked as a carpenter during much of his life, for some time as part of a firm known as Sanders and Pelkey. The partner was Thomas Sanders, who married Lillian's sister, Minnie Boutwell.
The loan of some Peterborough town reports from Norman Phelps showed that the Sanders and Pelkey partnership existed at least in the years from 1916 to perhaps 1921 or 1922. Entries are found showing monies received for “labor in town hail, $20.93; school signs on highway, $4.39; labor removing clock in town hail, $2.09”, indicating something of the level of pay for jobs at that time. Later, the two names are found separately beginning in 1923.
We know Edmund also worked for himself for a time with a helper named Charles Webb, and built many of the houses in the Peterborough area. Those town reports also show that the home of Lillian and Edmund Pelkey at 5 Winter St. was carried on the tax rolls under her name, perhaps for protection of his business.

Family members have indicated that sometime in the 1930's Edmund began work at Noone's Mill in South Peterborough as a maintenance man, being employed there for several years, My call to the Peterborough Historical Society discovered that none of the Noone Mill records are available at the Society. Thus, any information about dates of employment, wages earned and positions held remain unverified by personnel records.
Edmund's grandson, Norman Phelps indicates retirement came about the age of 68 for Edmund, or about 1951, eight years before his death on Oct 18, 1959. The last several years of his life were plagued by a battle against cancer, which finally took his life.
He was a frequent visitor at our apartment in Peterborough during my teaching years there, often taking sons Steve and Bob to see the ducks at a pond in Hancock near the Phelps home, or to the construction equipment at a road-building project just down the street from us.
I could locate no obituary in local papers for Edmund, who is buried next to his wife Lillian in the Catholic Cemetery behind St. Peter's church in Peterborough.

He was married to Lillian May BOUTWELL on 29 Jun 1904 in Peterborough, NH. Lillian May BOUTWELL was born on 14 May 1883. She died on 13 May 1970 in Manchester, NH. She was buried in Peterborough, NH. Children of Edmund Joseph PELKEY and Lillian May BOUT WELL were:

Mildred Cecelia PELKEY, and
Evelyn Frances PELKEY.”