Mary Ellen Fountain

Female 1854 - 1928  (74 years)


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  • Name Mary Ellen Fountain 
    Born 1854  Thorah, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 22 May 1928  Readlyn Cemetery, Saskatchewan, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan, Canada by Jo-Anne Christensen The Silent Organ

      Some time ago the Assiniboia and District Historical Society came into possession of an antique pump organ. It had been poorly stored over the years, and came laden with dust, leaves and bird droppings. It also came with a fascinating story.

      Today, the organ has been beautifully cleaned and restored, and is on display in the Society's museum. As for the story, Lila Martinson was kind enough to share it.

      The Trivetts were among many families of British descent that settled first in Ontario, Canada, then migrated west. In 1908, with their five children in tow, Mr. and Mrs. Trivett came to a new life on a new homestead, near the now-extinct town of Readlyn, Saskatchewan, Canada.

      Mary Trivett must have been the embodiment of the unflappable constitution her forefathers made famous. Surely, as the mother of five and a busy farm wife, her days were filled with hard work and worries. Still, she was always able to help a neighbour or take on a new challenge, and her ability to "be British" in the face of adversity made her a valued member of the community.

      All her life, Mary had been a devoted member of the Salvation Army. In Readlyn there was no branch of her beloved organization, but such a trivial detail could never have kept the determined Mrs. Trivett from carrying out their charitable doctrine. Her home was always open to the poor and outcast, her kindnesses were known to friends and strangers alike, and throughout World War I, all of Readlyn benefited from her strenuous wartime efforts.

      Much of Mary's good work was accomplished through her affiliation with the United Church. She enjoyed the church and its people immensely, but confessed once to the organist, Walter Eaglestone, that she dearly missed the energizing drums and tambourines associated with the Salvation Army.

      "When I go," she confided to him, "I don't want the organ played at my funeral. " Apparently, Mary felt that the traditional sombre music would not be appropriately indicative of her upbeat life.
      Walter Eaglestone may have dismissed the comment as casual conversation, or he may have simply forgotten it with time. Whatever the reason, when Mary Trivett passed away in the spring of 1928, her request was overlooked. Walter, still being the United Church's most accomplished organist, prepared a number of moving hymns for Mary's funeral.

      The day of the service came, and mourners began filing into the church. At this cue, Walter selected his first hymn and began to play.

      Strangely, the organ didn't make a sound.

      Confused, Walter tried playing the notes again. The only thing to be heard was the shuffling of Mary's many friends, as they took places in the pews.

      Walter gave the organ a discreet examination and found nothing apparently wrong with it. Indeed, it had played beautifully just hours before, as Walter diligently practiced the hymns. But now, no matter how he pumped the pedals or what keys he played, the instrument remained mysteriously mute. Finally, the frustrated man gave up, and Mary Trivett's funeral service continued without musical accompaniment.

      Following the interment, Walter returned to the church, hoping to solve the puzzle. With the first note he struck, however, music filled the room. Amazingly, the organ played just as it had up to the moment when Mary's funeral began.

      And suddenly, it made sense.

      Everything became clear to Walter, as he remembered the woman's words of long ago. Mary had not wanted the organ played at her funeral and so, it had not played. Somehow, this determined lady had seen to it that her one last wish was fulfilled.

      Today, as this beautiful instrument sits on display in Assiniboia, we are reminded of one woman's staunch spirit. The silent organ honoured Mary Trivett as no hymn ever could.
    Person ID I01594  Lee,Harrington,Clarke,Doherty & Extended Family Trees
    Last Modified 16 Jun 2014 

    Father John William Fountain,   b. 31 Jul 1827, Gwillimbury, York County Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Mar 1912  (Age 84 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Sarah Ann Lepard,   b. 28 Feb 1826, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Dec 1906  (Age 80 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married 1851  East Gwillimbury, York County Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F00554  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family John Henry Trivett,   b. 22 Apr 1851, Kilmington, Axminster, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 02 Apr 1931, SK, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 12 Jan 1874  Beaverton, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Marriage witnesses:
      Joseph Triorth, and Hannah E. Fountain
    Children 
     1. Franklin Trivett,   b. 2 Jan 1875, East Gwillimbury, York Co. Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Sep 1938, Newmarket, York, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years)
     2. Fred Trivett,   b. 9 Apr 1874, Gwillimbury Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 May 1930, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
    +3. John Henry Trivett,   b. 18 May 1878, Beaverton, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Jul 1968, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years)
     4. Thurza May Trivett,   b. 02 May 1880, Thorah Twp. Ontario Co. Find all individuals with events at this location
    +5. Hazel Agnes Trivett,   b. 13 Jan 1897, Newmarket, York, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Sep 1944  (Age 47 years)
    Family ID F00568  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • *excerpts from the granddaughter of Harry and Mary Trivett (nee Fountain)

      John Henry "Harry" Trivett came out west in about 1909. He picked as his homestead a quarter section near Readlyn that had a spring on it as well as a very poor coal seam in the hillside. Being a non-farmer to him these were very important items to have on your property. The land itself was very poor, very hilly and light soil. The lower part was mostly alkali; to this he added another quarter section right beside it. He then built a small 2-room building for a house (which I saw when I was a very small child) and another building for the horses. The total acreage for growing grain on the 2 quarters was about 85 acres out of 320. The next year he sent for Mary Ellen and my mom Haze Trivett, who was about 1 or 2 at the time, as well, Fred may have come out at this time. Harry met the women at the train station in Moose Jaw and drove them to the homestead in a wagon and a team of oxen. It took them 2 days to get there. They stayed at a roadside house in the village of Expanse, which is no longer there. Mom talked about every time the oxen started up with a jerk the women would go over backwards and there was nothing but petticoats and feet up in the air.
      Grandpa and Grandma would come up to visit Mom and Dad every Sunday for dinner. They drove two nice grey carriage horses that loved to run (Lorne just loved to get behind them and let them go). They never did own a car or a vehicle of any kind. This used to bother Mom somewhat as she wanted to entertain other people in the community but could not for her Mom and Dad would show up for Sunday dinner. Dad ended up doing most of their farming as they had neither the means or the know how.
      When Mary Ellen came out west she became very religious and was of the faith of Salvation Army (how or why I have no idea). She has said that when she died she did not want any music at her funeral. When she died and the service was about to start the organ at the church would not play even though it was playing during practice just before the service. The funeral service continued without music and after the service the organ worked just fine. This story is written up in the Assinibia Museum where the organ is on display today, as well as this story is written in a collection of Sask. Ghost Stories on sale in book stores. This same Museum in Assinboia has Grandpa Trivett's Wedding suit on display. Mom donated the suit to the museum. It must be 125 years old. I have a chair that was in Grandma's kitchen that was passed on to my mom then on to me. I hope to someday get it restored. A gravestone that has both their names on it as well as Fred's name marks the graves. I have a picture of it and will send it to you when I can find it.
      Written by Jerry Dennison, 2002
      Mary Ellen Trivett, Plot #141 was ordered on May 22, 1928 and cost $10. She was female, married, and a housewife. Place of birth-Ontario, place of death-Assiniboia. She died on the 22nd of May, 1928 at the age of 70 years. Cause of death was Myocardial (second word unreadable, but obviously heart attack) Her doctor's name was J. Gemmell or Gennell. She was a protestant and her death was registered in Assiniboia.

      GHOST STORIES OF SASKATCHEWAN BY JO-ANNE CHRISTENSEN-THE SILENT ORGAN

      Some time ago the Assiniboia and District Historical Society came into possession of an antique pump organ. It had been poorly stored over the years, and came laden with dust, leaves and bird droppings. It also came with a fascinating story.
      Today, the organ has been beautifully cleaned and restored, and is on display in the Society's museum. As for the story, Lila Martinson was kind enough to share it.
      The Trivetts were amoung many families of British descent that settled first in Ontario, the migrated west. In 1908, with their five children in tow, Mr. and Mrs. Trivett came to a new life on a new homestead, near the now-extinct town of Readlyn, Saskatchewan.
      Mary Trivett must have been the embodiment of the unflappable constitution her forefathers made famous. Surely, as the mother of five and a busy farm wife, her days were filled with hard work and worried. Still, she was always able to help a neighbor or take on a new challenge, and her ability to "be British" in the face of adversity made her a valued member of the community.
      All her life, Mary had been a devoted member of the Salvation Army. In Readlyn there was no branch of her beloved organization, but such a trivial detail could never have kept the determined Mrs. Trivett from carrying out their charitable doctrine. Her home was always open to the poor and outcast, her kindnesses were known to friends and strangers alike, and throughout World War I, all of Readlyn benefitted from her strenuous wartime efforts.
      Much of Mary's good work was accomplished through her affiliation with the United Church. She enjoyed the church and its people immensely, but confessed once to the organist, Walter Eaglestone, that she dearly missed the energizing drums and tambourines associated with the Salvation Army.
      "When I go," she confided to him, "I don't want the organ played at my funeral." Apparently, Mary felt that the traditional sombre music would not be appropriately indicative of her upbeat life.
      Walter Eaglestone may have dismissed the comment as casual conversation, or he may have simply forgotten it with time. Whatever the reason, when Mary Trivett passed away in the spring of 1928, her request was overlooked. Walter, still being the United Church's most accomplished organist, prepared a number of moving hymns for Mary's funeral.
      The day of the service came, and mourners began filling into the church. At this cue, Walter selected his first hymn and began to play.
      Stangely, the organ didn't make a sound.
      Confused, Walter tried playing the notes again. The only thing to be heard was the shuffling of Mary's many friends, as they took places in the pews.
      Walter gave the organ a discreet examination and found nothing apparently wrong with it. Indeed, it had played beautifully just hours before, as Walter diligently practised the hymns. But now, no matter how he pumped the pedals or what keys he played, the instrument remained mysteriously mute. Finally, the frustrated man gave up, and Mary Trivett's funeral service continued without musical accompaniment. Following the interment, Walter returned to the church, hoping to solve the puzzle. With the first note he struck, however, music filled the room. Amazingly, the organ played just as it had up to the moment when Mary's funeral began.
      And suddenly, it made sense.
      Everything became clear to Walter, as he remembered the woman's words of long ago. Mary had not wanted the organ played at her funeral and so, it had not played. Somehow, this determined lady had seen to it that her one last wish was fulfilled.
      Today, as this beautiful instrument sits on display in Assiniboia, we are reminded of one woman's staunch spirit. The silent organ honoured Mary Trivett's as no hymn ever
      could.


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