My Dad, James “Gene” Rier is standing in the center posing with his Lubec friends. He was about 16 yrs old. I am hoping that someone else will recognize the other boys in the photo!
Even though I don’t like talking about myself, here’s a story about me.
Tampa Tribune. June 20, 1994. Front page: “Illness Turns Life in New Direction.” It’s a story about a young mother with five children, who lived in Whitneyville, Maine, pursued a Biology degree at University of Maine at Machias, became very ill with a disease called endometriosis, and then found a career in medical research. To learn more about my career after 1994, click on the “Author” link above.
In my life, the worst of times, led to the best of times. And, I’m proud to be from Downeast Maine.
Note: There have been many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis since this article was written.
Endometriosis: Complete Reference for Taking Charge of Your Health by Mary Lou Ballweg
Endometriosis: A Key to Healing Through Nutrition by Dian Shepperson Mills
by Eleanor Roosevelt (who spells his name Bennett). Dr. Bennet began practicing medicine in Lubec and surrounding villages in 1876. He died in 1944 at the age of 96 when the First Lady wrote this tribute in her syndicated newspaper column “My Day.”
Dr. Bennet delivered Franklin and Eleanor’s son, Franklin Jr., on the island of Campobello in 1914. When Roosevelt was fell ill with poliomyelitis while on vacation at their Campobello cottage in 1921, Dr. Bennet accompanied Franklin and Eleanor back to New York City. His son Dr. DaCosta F. Bennet followed in his father’s footsteps and practiced medicine in Lubec almost until his death in 1975.
I was surprised to find that Dr. E. H. Bennet delivered my grandmother, Elizabeth Keegan Rier, in 1892!
A scientific reconstruction shows the stone age Briton had dark skin and blue eyes.
My grandfather Frank Rier was born in Lubec and lived there most of his life. My grandmother, Elizabeth Keegan Rier, was born in Trescott and moved to Lubec at age 13 to work in the sardine industry. Grammy married Frank Rier on October 12, 1911 in Leominster, MA. They lived in Leominster until around 1924 – 1926, when they returned to Lubec. Grandfather Frank had a garage in Lubec and was an auto mechanic. The family story told was that Grammy’s sister Mary lived in Leominster and her sister Teresa lived in Boston. I assumed that Mary married before Grammy did and lived in Leominster opening the door for my grandparents to re-locate there; Frank worked at the FA Whitney Baby Carriage Company in Leominster as a striper, a skill he learned while detailing cars, or perhaps it was the other way around.
Yesterday I found that Grammy’s sister Mary lived in Lubec in 1920 and worked in the sardine factory as a packer, as did Teresa (who I thought had moved to Boston by then). Mary and Teresa were single and in their 30s at the time.
Does anyone else have family from Lubec/Trescott area that re-located to Leominster, MA to work around 1911? I’m doing a little detective work to find out how my grandfather Frank found a job and married there. Just when one believes you have the family history coming together, something new turns up!
Featured photo: Frank and Elizabeth Rier circa 1940s.
Below: Circa 1920. L to R. Frank, Elizabeth holding their son, Paul, daughter Marion stands beside Grammy, and their son James “Gene” Rier, my Dad, is on the far right.