The Endless Forest Page 216

We are delighted to announce that Curiosity Bonner, better known to us here in Paradise as Birdie, is newly married to Henry Savard of New Orleans, and further that the young couple, both certified physicians, will be coming to Paradise to take up residence. They will join Hannah Savard\s practice, which has long been stretched to its limits.

Henry Savard is the nephew of our own Ben and Hannah Savard of Downhill House.

Please join us in welcoming Birdie and Henry home.

It is our understanding that Becca LeBlanc, widow and innkeeper, intends to sell the Red Dog to her daughter Anje and Anje\s husband Jeremy Reed. We wish Mrs. LeBlanc well in her hard-earned retirement, and Anje and Jeremy on their new business venture.

Light for All

Friday, October 22, 1841

Mrs. Lily Ballentyne is returned from Boston where a selection of her drawings and watercolors were on display at the establishment of Messers Johnstone, Purveyors of Fine Art. The event was mentioned in both Boston and Manhattan newspapers, as Mrs. Ballentyne\s work is in great demand.

Mrs. Ballentyne, who was widowed last year, was accompanied by her mother and father, Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner. The Ballentynes\ four daughters joined the family party in Boston. During this trip Mrs. Elizabeth Bonner\s second collection of essays was first offered for sale at Boston bookstores. Copies are available for sale in the Paradise Sun office.

Light for All

Wednesday September 27, 1843


At sunset on Thursday, June 15 of this year, after a particularly beautiful autumn day, the town of Paradise lost one of its leading, most respected and admired citizens.

Nathaniel Bonner died at Downhill House, the home he shared with his wife Elizabeth and his daughter Dr. Hannah Savard, son-in-law Ben Savard, and their family. All the Bonner children and many of the grandchildren (all of whom he still referred to as Little People) were with him. His mind remained clear until the very end. He was eighty-five years old.

The son and only surviving child of Daniel (Hawkeye) Bonner and Cora Munro Bonner, two of the town\s founders, he was born and raised at the family home at Lake in the Clouds. Later in life he moved in to the home known as Uphill House, originally owned by his father-in-law, Judge Alfred Middleton. For the past ten years he and Elizabeth have been living with their daughter Hannah and her family at Downhill House.

Nathaniel fought in two wars and returned home to take up trapping and hunting, skills he learned from his father and grandfather. Like his father before him, Nathaniel was a marksman of astounding skill.

His first wife, Sarah, bore him three children, of whom only Hannah survived. Some eight years after Sarah\s death he married Elizabeth Middleton, with whom he lived in harmony for the rest of his life.

Nathaniel is survived by Elizabeth, by his children Luke, Hannah, Lily, Daniel, Gabriel, and Birdie, and their spouses, by twelve grandsons and eleven granddaughters, and eight great-grandchildren, and by many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his infant sister Alice, his first wife Sarah, his infant children James, Robert, Michael, and Emmanuel, his daughter-in-law Jennet Scott Bonner, son-in-law Simon Ballentyne, and his granddaughters Mairead Ballentyne and Fiona Scott Bonner.

On the last day of his life, Nathaniel rose at dawn and spent a full day helping his grandsons make repairs to the meetinghouse. In the evening he ate alone with his wife, a simple meal of soup, cornbread, and cobbler made with the first apples of the season.

Light for All

January 1, 1844

As all of Paradise\s citizens are aware by now, Mrs. Elizabeth Middleton Bonner passed away yesterday after a short illness. She was eighty-one.

Mrs. Bonner left explicit instructions that she wanted no obituary, and requested instead that we print this statement written by her own hand on the day before her death. As a lifelong author of hundreds of editorials, articles, and essays on politics, education, abolition, and the rights of women that appeared in newspapers all over England and the United States, we at the Paradise Sun the only newspaper she founded are honored to comply.

30th December in the Year 1843

To my dear family and friends,

The facts of my life are well known to those who have reason to be interested in such things and need not be recorded again here.

My life, as extraordinarily full and happy as it has been, did not truly begin until December of 1792, when I arrived in Paradise and met Nathaniel. Neither of us will ever leave you as long as you remember our stories and pass them on. I relegate this right and responsibility to our children and grandchildren, who brought both of us great joy and fulfillment.

I trust you will miss me, but I hope you will not mourn me for long. Each day is unique and precious, a coin to be spent thoughtfully. Waste nothing and your regrets will be few.

The young cannot imagine death and for that reason they fear it. I am not afraid of death. I greet it as anyone who has a long and satisfying day\s work behind them greets sleep.

I have loved the stars too well to fear the night.

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