THE GEE FAMILY IN HAMILTON IN THE SEVENTIES
Narrator: Mrs. Chas. Anderson of Hamilton, Missouri
The Gee Homes
Congregational Church History
The Tuthill Family
Mrs. Anderson is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Tuthill and the grand daughter of Israel Gee and Deborah Covert. Mr. and Mrs. Gee came west 1868 on account of the health of his son. Their former home was Cincinnatus New York. The family first stayed at the old Hamilton House till he found a lot for sale. They used to tell how the negro servants at this Hotel came into the dining room to see how the Yankees ate (for Yankees were still a strange set to Missourians). Mr. Gee bought a lot on south Broadway and built the house on it, where now Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Anderson live. So great was the boom here and the scarcity of homes that for a while three families lived in that house (then much smaller). There was the family of Mrs. Julia Holmes (his daughter) the Gee family and the R.D. Dwight family consisting of Mr. Dwight the first Mrs. Dwight and their son Kenny. In 1868 Mr. Gee planted the hard maples in front of the home which still are there. He also owned the Gee (now Cahill) farm north west of town, where he intended to live but his wife died soon after they came here, so he turned the farm over to his son Henry Gee - a teacher - farmer of the eighties and nineties.
It was fitting that this dignified New Yorker be elected to the board of trustees in the village of Hamilton 1870 before the place was really a town. He was Chairman of the Board, equivalent to the later title of Mayor. He served several times as Justice of the Peace and his decisions were never reversed in a higher court.
He loved music, played a flute (still in the Gee family) and for twenty years led a choir of sixty voices back in New York by this flute. He was a smooth shaven man in an era of beards and mustaches.
At the time of the arrival of the Gee family in Hamilton, the Congregationalists were trying to organize a church. The Gees were of that faith in New York and helped in the new move. Ten out of thirteen Charter members were Gees or related to them in some way. Meetings were held in a room called the Chapel in the Rev. Wilmot house, standing on Kingston street south of the park. This room was built with Missionary funds and Mr. Wilmot was termed a Missionary much to the dismay of some people who did not think Hamiltonians were Missionary material. Moreover some people used to say that during the week this "Chapel" was the Wilmot kitchen and so they said they attended church in the Wilmot kitchen.
Mr. Gee's daughter Mrs. Theodore Tuthill and her husband came here 1868 stayed a year then went back. They returned 1879 to spend their lives here.
Mrs. Tuthill was quite a musician and in 1868 was one of the early music teachers, having as her piano pupils Mrs. James Collins (then Miss Goodman). Mrs. Tuthill was among the first here to possess a square piano.
Mrs. and Mrs. Gee and son are buried in the old (Rohrbough) cemetery on the west end of town.
Interviewed February 1934.
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