I have always wondered how my great-great grandparents Aaron Treadwell (1828-1896) and Lois Mead (1830-1888) happened to meet. Aaron was born and grew up in Redding, Connecticut. Lois grew up in Cadiz, New York, a rural upstate community some 350 miles (a long journey by horse and carriage) from Redding. Back in the mid-19th century, people didn’t go far from their homes, unless to visit family.
While reading old letters from Aaron’s and Lois’s daughter (my great grandmother), Lina Treadwell (1852-1934), in my mother’s dining room this month, I discovered letters between Lina and Sophia Mead, granddaughter of Rufus Mead, who was the brother of Lois’s father, Merlin Mead. Rufus and Merlin Mead were both born in South Salem New York, where their father was a Presbyterian minister. As adults, Merlin headed north to Cadiz and Rufus went north to Redding. In Redding, a small farming and industrial town, Rufus may have become acquainted with the Treadwells, an established Redding family. Could Lois have visited her uncle in Redding and run into Aaron Treadwell? It seems, at least, a possibility. Sophia Mead wound up as a teacher in Orange NJ, near Bayonnne, where Lina lived after she married George Gould.