On February 10, 1909, there passed on a woman, well known and greatly beloved in Medford, in whose memory we pause to pay our respect. Abby Drew was a native of our old town, born January 2, 1844, and in our Medford schools she received her education, and here she spent her life. For several years she was teacher in the Osgood School, resigning her trust in October, 1874. The school committee of that time witnessed to her ‘energy, tact and conscientious devotion to duty’ that won high place in their regard. Soon after her resignation as teacher she became the [p. 46] wife of Jacob W. Saxe, and for nine years filled the difficult task of mother to another's children, as well as to those her own. Mr. Saxe was a commercial traveller, necessarily much absent, but almost daily by correspondence was the home bond kept. The burden of the care and education of their little ones fell heavily upon the mother when, with a shock, came the sudden death of the fond husband and father, but the same energy, tact and conscientious devotion, with a firm trust in the God of the widow and fatherless, carried her through. Hers were twenty-six years of widowhood, and those years were replete with earnest labor for others. Mrs. Saxe was a woman of many activities. Taken to the Sabbath School by her parents, even before her recollection, her name has been on its roll for sixty-three years. Early taught, and interested in the truths of religion, she of own choice and conviction of duty united with the First Methodist Episcopal Church in 1867. In its Sabbath School she led others in the way she herself had early learned. She was a leader among women, and the responsible and difficult position of president of the ‘Ladies' Society’ she successfully filled for many years. Secretary and also president of the Methodist ‘Ladies' Union’ of Greater Boston, she served as each one year with signal success. When the Methodist Episcopal Church, by its action in General Conference, admitted women to its councils and officiary, the Medford Church, in 1890, honored her (and itself as well) by choosing her one of its stewards. In 1890 she was chosen recording steward, ably fulfilling the many duties, which were in no degree lessened when the church building was burned and a new one built. She was the incumbent when called to the church above. Though burdened with work, she willingly undertook the preparation of the excellent historical article upon her church which she read before this Society. [p. 47] Of its excellence nothing need be said, but when she placed the same in the hands of the editor of the Register she expressed a hope that she might see the same in print. Its final revision was almost her latest work. Her wish was gratified. After the Register's publication in January, a copy was placed in her hands, to her satisfaction, before her going from us. Her activities were not limited to her home and church. The temperance reform enlisted her sympathies; for many years she labored in the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and for twenty years was its president. In this, as in the other, her influence was felt in the broader work of the County Union. The Visiting Nurse Association appealed not in vain to her; for six years she was its president. The ministry of suffering was hers, and sorrows came to her also, but her Christian fortitude and hope never failed. The great company that gathered for the last rites of respect witnessed to the esteem in which she was held, and will long remember hers as a useful, a helpful life. ‘She hath done what she could.’ ‘Her children rise up and call her blessed.’
-M. W. M.