Monday, January 19, 2015

Francis E. Cornwell

This weathered little stone on the Middle Ridge records that Francis E. Cornwell died in Buffalo on November 2, 1869 at the age of forty-seven.  The Biographical Record of Yale University's Class of 1842 gives a detail account of his life and death.

Born in New Britain, Connecticut to Deacon Chauncey Cornwell and Mary Cosslett Cornwell, he came to Albany as a teacher shortly after graduating from Yale.  He relocated to Lyons in Wayne County where he studied law.  He was admitted to the bar in 1847, the same year in which he married Albany resident Catharine Livingstone Howe.  The couple resided in Buffalo where he possessed "an excellent reputation" as a lawyer and, in 1869, was nominated for Judge of the New York State Supreme Court.  Sadly, just two weeks before Election Day, Cornwell took ill.  The local newspapers described his sickness as "typhoid fever, complicated by a dangerous carbuncle on his head."  He left behind his widow, Catharine, and six children.

He was buried in a lot belonging to his wife's family.  Catharine passed away in 1906 at the age eighty-two.  Her headstone lies next to his.

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