Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Photograph of Franklin Melvin Collester, by the Taylor & Preston Studio of Salem, Massachusetts

Photograph of a middle-aged man identified on the reverse as Frank M. Collester.  The photograph was taken at the Taylor & Preston studio of Salem, Massachusetts.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

Franklin Melvin Collester was born 21 September 1855 at Fitchburg or Gardiner, Massachusetts [I found records for each], the son of Thorley and Abigail Maria (Whitney) Collester, who were born at Dublin, New Hampshire, and Gardner, Massachusetts, respectively.

Frank graduated from Amherst College with the Class of 1877 and went on to receive graduate degrees there.  

On 5 August 1885 at Gardner, Massachusetts, Frank married Stella Augusta Hodgman, daughter of George and Mary Augusta (Derby) Hodgman.  She was born 14 September 1862 at Gardner. They would have, I believe, three children:

  • Merian Edith Collester, born 19 May 1888 at Winchendon, Massachusetts; d. 9 May 1889 at Winchendon, Massachusetts
  • Thorley Collester, born 12 April 1890 at Winchendon, Massachusetts
  • Mary Derby Collester, born 29 April 1893 at Winchendon, Massachusetts

City directories indicate that Frank was a high school principal at Salem, Massachusetts, around the time this photograph was taken.  At some point he moved to Minnesota.  I'm not sure of the situation, but in the 1910 and 1920 Census, Frank was not in the household, though Stella called herself married.  Frank may have been in an education position that required him to live on campus, or perhaps the couple were estranged.

In the 1930 Census, Frank, then at St. Paul, Minnesota, called himself widowed.  He died in 1936.

 This photograph was found with several others that appear to be graduation photographs from Salem High School.  See other posts for photographs of the students: Alfred Peabody; Helen Hanson Merrill; Florence Hurd.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Fitchburg and Gardiner, Massachusetts

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Salem, Massachusetts

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