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Mrs. Ellen M. Gill.

On January 29, 1919, after three years of waiting, Mother Gill passed on to the future life. Tracing her Pilgrim ancestry to John and Priscilla Alden, she was born, daughter of Atherton Thayer Bowditch, in Boston, June 28, 1830. Married in 1849 to John Gill of Watertown, she came with him to Medford in 1854, living on Ashland Street for more than sixty years.

The love of flowers was inherent in her father's family, one of his relatives being a founder of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. In her earlier years, under such influence, she was a frequent exhibitor at the county fairs, and in 1865 she joined that society, and is said to be the first woman to attain its membership. The occasions were very rare when she did not receive award of prizes. In 1871 she erected her first greenhouse beside her home, and the florist business she established grew, under her fostering care, to large extent.

She was a woman of kindly sympathies and many activities, notably, in the days of the Civil War, in the Union Relief Association, and later in the formation of the Woman's Relief Corps. Always interested in the Boys in Blue, she was specially active and was honored by the National Encampments of the Grand Army of the Republic, held (in 1890 and 1904) in Boston.

One of the earliest as well as oldest members of the Medford Historical Society, she was rarely absent from its meetings, always interested, and ever helpful. Her kindly face and presence was always a benediction. She [p. 20] was for many years a worshipper at the Mystic Congregational Church, a member since 1901. Of her it was said, by one of her associates there, ‘Of a strong personality, positive temperament, and a frankness in criticism, she was yet ever loyal to friend and cause, large hearted, and responsive to every call that interested her, and her going away leaves a void in a large circle of friends.’ As we looked on the quiet figure surrounded by a wealth of magnificent blooms, it was with confidence that we left her in the keeping of Him in whose worship she would find an added charm because He is the ‘Rose of Sharon’ and the ‘Lily of the Valley.’

To our ‘Mother Gill,’ with most kindly remembrance, we say ‘Good-night.’

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