Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ann Elizabeth Brown Wiles

According to the dates on her beautiful gravestone, Ann Elizabeth Brown was born on January 12, 1839, was the wife of Thomas S. Wiles, and died on December 7, 1881.

Ann and Thomas were married in Albany on October 27, 1864.  She was only forty-two and the mother of an eight-year old girl named Bertha at the time of her death from consumption.  According to the Cemetery's records, her late residence was at 53 Dove Street in Albany (the house, built in 1860, still stands).

Her husband, Thomas Shire Wiles, was a native of Albany.  Described as one of the area's great inventors, he held a number of patents and his primary professional interest was in the washing and ironing machines used by laundries of the era.  He established the Wiles Laundry Company which was the largest of its kind in the area with some two-hundred and fifty employees.  He also had a great interest in photography, serving as secretary of the Albany Camera Club.  He married twice after Ann's death and later resided in Troy. Thomas Wiles died in Pennsylvania in 1916.

Because she passed away in the winter, Ann was not buried until the following June.  Her monument is a tall, rosy-beige stone cross decorated with finely carved lilies.  Her lovely bronze portrait was the work of Charles Caverley.  Around the medallion are the words, Blessed Are The Pure In Heart For They Shall See God.  It is located in one of the older sections of the South Ridge, just a few steps away from the Archibald McIntyre lot.

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