Annie L. Grout

A Tribute in Memory of Annie L. Grout


A Tribute
in Memory of
Miss Annie L. Grout

Daughter of
The Rev. Lewis and Mrs. L. B. Grout,
of West Brattleboro,

From Her Father.

Printed for Her Friends.
Brattleboro, Vermont,

Press of
E. L. Hildreth & Co.
Brattleboro, Vt.



"The suddenest and the heaviest grief which can come to us in life is
not sent to crush us, but to be to us another, a more mandatory summons,
to the Lord Himself; another of

'the great World's altar-stones,
That slope through darkness up to God!'


A Tribute.

On the 13th of March, 1901, the Rev. Lewis Grout's only daughter, Miss Annie L. Grout, the only surviving member of his family, was taken ill with the grip, which resulted in pneumonia, and after a few days of much suffering, on the 18th of March, went peacefully, hopefully, joyfully hence.* The funeral services, held on the 21st, at the church and conducted by her pastor, the Rev. L. M. Keneston, witnessed a large attendance.

*Miss Grout's father being taken sick also, about the same hour as his daughter, was able to see but little of her during her illness.

Miss Grout was born July 28, 1847, at Umlazi Mission Station, in Natal, South Africa. Previous to leaving Natal, as she did, with her parents, March 12, 1862, for this country, she assisted her mother in her school for the natives. Soon after reaching this country she started on a course of study for a liberal education, entering Prof. Orcott's Glenwood Seminary in the autumn of 1862; after which, in 1864, she went to Mount Holyoke Seminary for two years; then returned to Glenwood for two years more; after which, in 1868, she went to Abbott Academy, Andover, Mass., where she graduated in 1870. In 1871 she established a select boarding school, Belair Institute, in her father's house in West Brattleboro. After four years of teaching here, being obliged by the state of her mother's health to give up this school, she taught a year in Philadelphia, and then, in September, 1875, went to teach in Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga. At the end of two years impaired health compelled her to return home and rest off. With health partially restored she eventually resumed teaching again for a time, and then took a position as clerk in Mr. George E. Crowell's Household printing and publishing office. When this work was transferred to Boston, she went there with it and continued there, still serving as clerk, till the enterprise was well established in its new quarters; after which she returned to her home in West Brattleboro, where in addition to social and domestic duties, she devoted herself in large measure, to those nature studies in which she had begun to take a deep interest before she left Natal. It was in the prosecution of these studies, on one of her botanical rambles, that she discovered a fern, the Asplenium trichomanes, var. incisum, not before known to have been found in this country. She was a member of the Vermont Botanical Club, and at its second annual meeting in Burlington, in February, 1897, she read an essay on "Some Ferns that grow in Brattleboro," which was reported in the papers at that time as "one of the most delightful, interesting and instructive of the many valuable papers presented at the meeting. * * * It was her work to show, as she did, that here in this corner we have some of the rarest of the rare plants of the State. Her paper was a revelation of the beauty that lies all about us for the eye trained to study nature in some of her sweetest tracings."

Among her house plants, her exotics, the charming South African Amaryllis and the magnificent Strelitzia Alba, were always much admired. Her rich, orderly arranged garden, its neat, unique, moss-covered walks, choice shrubs, the many early-appearing, modest, yet courageous crocuses and hyacinths, the seven hundred and fifty bright and lovely tulips and nearly three hundred freighted stems of the pure, fragrant lilium candidum, and other flowers, the fruit, all of them, of her own planting, putting in a most welcome appearance, each in its own time, the season after her departure, all testified to her love of the pure and beautiful, as well as to her skill and success in garden work; and, to her bereaved father, proved helpful to sacred conceptions and meditations on the beauty, bliss and bounty of that higher life she had gone to live in the heavenly paradise.

Miss Grout made several large and choice herbariums, which, in accord with a memorandum found among her effects after her decease, were all given to the Brattleboro High School, together with all her books and pamphlets relating to the subject of botany. This being done, the gift was afterward: spoken of in one of the local papers as "a collection containing many valuable specimens not often found in the possession or private individuals. Especially noticeable is a large portfolio of ferns, containing many rare varieties found only in Africa. The school is fortunate in coming into possession of the results of Miss Grout's lifetime of study and observation." The collection of minerals she made was, by her direction, given to a fellow student in that line of study; after which, a notice from the recipient, in a local paper, speaking of the gift, said, among other things: "This collection consists of about two hundred and fifty specimens, many of which are rare and very fine, having been collected in all parts of this country and in Africa."

Miss Grout, being among those in the vicinity of her home who had an early "desire for a broader basis for literary and social improvement," was naturally among the first to take an active part in efforts to organize a woman's club for that purpose. A letter of sympathy from a committee of the Club to her father, after her decease, spoke of her as "a faithful and able worker and charter member of the Club, and for a long time our efficient and painstaking secretary."

And yet, with all her interest in the social and literary club, in the mineral kingdom and in the floral world, Miss Grout could not forget the animal kingdom, least of all the birds. Nor did any of her associates in these departments of life and labor fail to appreciate her interest and services in these several departments. After her decease, "A Tribute to her Memory," which a committee of the Bird Club addressed to her father, said: "One of the first to propose the formation of a bird club in Brattleboro, and one of the most interested, active and efficient in carrying on its work, was Miss Annie L. Grout. Always a lover and student of nature, especially in plant life, and more recently in her observation of birds, which she tempted with food to frequent the shrubbery about her home, she was in sympathy with every movement to awaken and extend interest in these things, so closely related, as they are, to our own welfare and happiness." She was secretary and treasurer of the Club from the time it was organized till her departure. On the 4th of January, 1901, only a few months before her death, The Vermont Phoenix published an article from her pen which gave a list of more than one hundred and fifty Brattleboro birds.

In all of Miss Grout's various fields of activity and many sources of improvement and enjoyment, nothing was ever anticipated, experienced or remembered with more of satisfaction than her occasional spending of a few days or weeks in East Northfield during the summer meetings or conferences held at that place. While there, her great effort always was to make the most of every opportunity of getting Biblical, religious and spiritual instruction, inspiration and strength. In going to the meetings she took care never to forget her note book or pencil, and made it a rule to record every best thing she saw or heard, and many were the full pages, even booklets, of these records, found among her effects after her decease. To anyone intimately acquainted with her, it was very evident that in this way especially, as in others also, she was making a marked and healthy progress in the divine life, as she drew nearer and still nearer to the end of her pilgrimage.

As the writer opened her large depository of records of this kind after she had gone hence, the first thing that met his eye was her notes of an address by the Rev. G. C. Morgan, August 15, 1899, on "The Believer's Outlook Upon the Future," or "The Completeness of Believers in Christ;" of which notes the following is but a brief extract:

The hymn,

"On Jordan's stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wistful eye," etc.,

is all wrong. Believers have no business in the wilderness, but in Canaan already; should not be trembling on the brink, dreading the "swelling river." They should have crossed it long ago.

True Views of the End of Life in the New Testament.

John 11: 21. "Lord, if thou hadst been here," "I am the resurrection and the life," v. 25. "He that believeth in me though he were dead," v. 25. But he "shall never die," v. 26. Of course not, Lord, we can not die, for thou hast "abolished death." 2 Tim. 1: 10.

What have we in place of death? The Master himself. "Let not your heart be troubled." John 14: 1. The true attitude of the believer is to live, not looking at death, but always looking to Him that died. First Thessalonians, first three chapters show our relation to the coming of Christ. In 1: 9, 10, find threefold description of the believer: 1. Turned from idols; 2. To serve the living God; 3. Waiting for His Son-: past, present, future tenses. The believer's outlook is the coming of Christ. Whether it be in His second coming, or whether He takes us first to Himself, makes no difference; the end of life to us is Christ Himself, and we pass through the bed of the river emptied of its flood (of death), out into life. There is no death to the man who believes in Christ. We cannot die; we only make a change of residence; first, absent from the body; at once, second, at home with the Lord."

Such are the first two out of the six sheets of notes on the address above referred to, a specimen, not only of the way in which Miss Grout listened to the teachers she found at Northfield; but also a picture of her prevailing "attitude" toward the future, and of the way in which she finally went hence.

An interesting obituary of Miss Grout, in The Phcenix of March 22, 1901, from the pen of her pastor, closed with saying:

She was devoted and faithful to her parents, one of whom, her father, survives her.

The Master's call to "come up higher," came suddenly, Monday noon, March 18, and found her prepared to go, her plans and wishes for the future, and memoranda for the guidance of her friends carefully made.

An extract from the Rev. Luther M. Keneston's address at the funeral of Miss Annie L. Grout.

As we stand again face to face with an awful mystery, made doubly mysterious, and to human thought, doubly sad, by the existing circumstances, we are almost dumb, and our minds were filled with consternation but for two facts, either of which in itself is paramount to all mystery and doubt, and even sorrow. The two, therefore, combine to fill our hearts with joy and peace, even in the midst of this great sorrow.

The first of these facts is, God is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth and faithfulness endure to all generations. Millions upon millions of mortals have proved His goodness and it has never failed. Therefore we will trust in Him though all the lights of earth go out in darkness, and though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.

O trust in Him, ye people, pour out your hearts before Him, for though all else fail, He is ever constant.

"His wisdom ever waketh,
His eye is never dim,
He knows the way he taketh,
And I will walk with Him."

The other fact is, Annie Grout was a Christian. For what else in earth or heaven would we exchange this fact? "Say to the righteous, it shall be well with him. They that seek me early shall find me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." From the tender age of twelve years, teaching the natives in the remotest corner of the dark continent about the Saviour she had always been taught to love, and, to the very close of her life, blessing those whom the world had passed by, the blacks in our southland, and the poor and friendless anywhere she found them, oh, what a company of earth's outcast will rise up to call her blessed. Then remember that it was of such as she that Jesus said: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto these, ye have done it unto me."

O joys of earth, farewell,
O praise of men, begone,
If, at the last, my Saviour's lips
But say to me "Well done."

L. M. K.

Mr. Keneston closed the address from which the above is taken, with the following poem:


Servant of God, well done.
Now haste thee to thy home.
A heavenly mansion waits for thee,
Thy Father bids thee "Come."

Enter into thy rest.
Thy labors all are o'er,
Safe folded in the Saviour's love,
And weary nevermore.

Who sow in faithful toil,
In rest the harvest reap;
After life's weary day, God gives
To his beloved sleep.

To loved ones, thou wast as
The Everlasting Friend,
Whose goodness never wanes,-so thine
Was constant to the end.

Thou livest evermore,
In loving hearts enshrined,-
Thy only thought, in life's last hour,
The dear ones left behind.

They'll miss thy tender care;
But He whose watchful eye
Sees sparrows fall, hath said, My God
Shall all their needs supply.

Loved ones beyond the tide
With their glad welcome wait.
Greet they with joy thy angel form,
At heaven's beauteous gate.

We miss thy voice and smile,
The parting gives us pain.
Thy benediction on us rest,
Until we meet again.

With joy we'll greet thee then
By God's unfailing grace,
And share in heaven's eternal peace
Before our Father's face.

What joy! as we shall come
From lands afar and near,
From every nation, tribe and tongue,
The welcome call to hear:

"Come, blessed of the Lord,
Come, ransomed sons of men,
Enter into, My people's rest."
Dear Lord, we come. Amen.

L. M. K.


Strelitzia Alba

Bird Of Paradise


Bird Life In Brattleboro.

Some Interesting Facts About Winter Birds---

Some Ladies who Find Sources of Happiness in their Care.

A fad of the day, which has the merit not only of being a pleasant diversion, but something which may result in a permanent benefit, is to be found in the rapidly increasing number of people who are "feeding the wild bird." On one street, within a distance of about five minutes walk, no less than eight families have each their company of feathered friends, that come every day to receive their rations. Many people notice, as a natural consequence of this feeding, the increasing number of birds that spend the winters with us.

The bill of fare furnished the birds is very varied; rolled oats, hemp seed, squash and pumpkin seeds, cheese and salt pork rinds, bone pickings, sunflower seeds and pieces of suet are all acceptable. One lady says it takes a great many doughnuts to supply her birds, another nails the rind of an Edam cheese on her piazza post, and the bluejays come and peck it.

Nor are the children left out of the account in this matter of enjoying the winter birds. A boy delivering butter to one of his mother's customers a few days since, and noticing the birds at the window, reported with an exultant ring in his voice, "We have a bluejay up at our schoolhouse. He comes every day and picks up the crumbs. We are going to put up a box and give him some corn."

A company of pine grosbeaks from Canada, some 20 in number, has been tarrying in the village for a few days. Swinging and swaying in the tops of the trees on West Brattleboro common and in that part of the village, these large, ruby-coated birds have attracted the attention of many passers-by. They seem to form a sort of Mormon community, for in a flock of about a dozen studied one afternoon only one adult male could be distinguished with his brilliant plumage. Nellie Blanche in "Bird Neighbors" says: "The females and young males always seem to be in the majority, when these birds make their winter visits to the states." I notice by last week's Phoenix page 10, that these birds have lately visited Bellows Falls also.

A nest of crossbills has also been reported from West Brattleboro. A family living on the Brook Road has a flock of golfinches among its feathered boarders. One shrike has been seen in town, an unwelcome visitor.

The ways of individual birds are very interesting. One evening a red-breasted nuthatch came dashing around the corner of his boarding-house, just at "early candle-lighting," fully an hour after all the other birds had left for the night. In the greatest haste he reviewed the whole feeding ground: visited the seed-boxes on the window, and the bluejays' box of cracked corn in the tree, tasted the piece of suet, went down on the snow and looked everywhere to find, if possible, some stray crumbs to sustain him through the cold night. Finding at last one morsel to his liking, he ate it and left. In two or three minutes he dashed back again and made another frantic search, but it was fast growing dark, and the poor bird had to go hungry till next morning.

A junco, that one morning had been hard at work for more than an hour, cracking hemp seed, finally dropped to sleep, apparently, on the snow, in the midst of his repast. For half an hour he stayed just there, absolutely motionless. Birds came and went all around him, intent on their own breakfast, but he heeded them not. At last he roused, shook himself, looked about, and fell to eating again. The little brown creeper makes occasional calls, and zigzags his way up the trunk of the trees, never descending by the trunk but always flying from the upper part of one tree to the base of another, whence he repeats his curiously winding ascent.

The wonderful success of Mrs A C Davenport and Mrs Geo E Crowell in bringing the natrive birds about their homes, has long been known to their neighbors and friends. A line to Mrs Crowell a few days since, asking for a list of the birds visiting her this winter, brings the following response dated Feb 7: "If I can help in any way to increase the number of bird lovers and bird feeders I shall be only too glad to do so. I have a flock of 13 bluejays, three tree sparrows, six or eight chickadees, three or four woodpeckers, two white breasted nuthatches, one red breasted nuthatch, three juncos, two brown creepers,---and two weeks ago, had one white-throat sparrow, and a small flock of white-winged crossbills - to say nothing of a shrike that lighted on the piazza rail one night and glared at me for a full minute. The pine grosbeaks numbered 21 when I saw them, but I hear of a whole tree-full seen by my neighbors, and this morning a flock of at least a hundred siskins (I think they were) made us a call. I think this completes the list, unless you count a partridge who pays us frequent visits."

My own list of feathered visitors during one day, Feb 8, was one bluejay, three downy woodpeckers, several white breasted and two red breasted nuthatches, six juncos, or "twinkle-tails," several pine grosbeaks and some 20 or more of the irrepressible chickadees; seven kinds.

If now some plan could be devised to keep the "pestiferous" English sparrow in check, or better still, to exterminate him, it would be a blessing to the rest of the bird world, as well as to the people. H E Parkhurst in "The Birds' Calendar," describes him as the "Dirty and detestable English sparrow," clumsy, pugnacious, coarse-looking and coarser-voiced, ever washing and never clean; discredited alike on economic and aesthetic grounds, the vilest of the race." This bird rears two or three broods each season, with five or six to a brood and not only drives away for a time, but seems to permanently banish our native birds from his own haunts, and is fast appropriating all place for his own. Not many days since, a gentleman of this town speaking of some evergreen trees opposite his home, said that while two or three years ago these trees were the homes and nesting places of robins without number,--- last summer scarcely a robin was to be seen there, but the trees were full of English sparrows. Truly it would seem that something more than the winter feeding of our own birds should be undertaken, if we do not wish to lose them all through the instrumentality of this pest.

A certain writer makes the statement that were all the birds to be destroyed, the whole human race would perish in three months; so dependent are we on the help of the birds in keeping weeds and injurious insects in check. While this seems an exaggerated statement, yet the truth which underlies it cannot be too strongly emphasized. Our native birds are among our best friends. Florence Merriam in the "Birds of Village and Field" says: "The relation of birds to insects is only just becoming known. * * nor is it realized how much good they do by eating seed seeds."

To reverse in closing, the thought expressed at the beginning-- aside from the good results which we may expect from encouaging the native birds to stay with us, a rich pleasure is to be found in feeding and watching them.

To quote from Mrs Davenport, "However much one may do for the birds, that which comes in doing is a revelation of sources of happiness not before suspected."

A L G.

West Brattleboro.

Windham County Daily Reformer, Friday, February 16, 1900.


State Audubon Society.

Organization of Brattleboro Bird Club

Changed to Widen Its Scope of Usefulness.

At the regular meeting of the Brattleboro Bird club held at Lindenhurst last Monday evening the club voted to disband and reorganize as a State Audubon society. They have had this object in view since last winter when one of the members attended the joint session of the Audubon societies and the American Ornithologists' Union which convened at Cambridge, Mass., and returned delegated to form a state society in Vermont. W. C. Horton was elected as chairman to organize the new society. The following officers were elected: Mrs. Frances B. Horton, president; Mrs. Elizabeth B. Davenport, 1st vice president; Mrs Stella E. Barrows, secretary; Miss Emma Gregg, assistant secretary; Miss Kate Selleck, treasurer; executive board, William C. Horton, Charles H. Thompson, Mrs. Sadie L. Stockwell of West Brattleboro, and the first four officers.

A few words relative to the work of the Audubon Societies may be of special interest at this time, as the Brattleboro Bird club has reorganized as the Vermont State Audubon society. In 22 of the states such societies have been organized, whose general purpose is to create or encourage a popular sentiment and atmosphere favorable to educational work in nature study, also to hold themselves in readiness to fall into line when necessary to further the enactment of such laws as may seem advisable for the protection of birds, both from the plume hunter and the market vender. These societies are reorganized by our general government, a list of them appearing in the Year Book of the United States, agricultural department for 1900.

The first conference of the societies was held in Cambridge Nov. 15, 1900, delegates from many states being present. This time was selected as the congress of the American Ornithologists' Union was then in session, and the work of the Audubon societies had engaged the hearty support and cooperation of the leading ornithologists of the country. In November of the current year a second conference is arranged to meet in New York at which time the committee will report on plans looking toward a closer federation of state societies and fuller cooperation with the American Ornithologists Union.

As cooperation is the key note of the spirit of our century's work; it has seemed desirable to the members of the Brattleboro Bird club to join the movement, that a wider field of usefulness may be opened to them. It is their hope to see branches of the state society organized in many places, each to prove a centre from which the influence may radiate, all working with unity of purpose. Correspondence with the secretary of the society, Mrs. Fletcher Barrows, Brattleboro, will be cordially welcomed.

Vermont Phoenix, September 6, 1901.


Asplenium Trichomanes, var. Incisum.jpg

Asplenium Trichomanes, Var. Incisum

Some Ferns That Grow In Brattleboro

The Botanical Order Filices, or Ferns, as we all know, is very large, both in number of species and in geographical extent. A list of South African ferns, published as long ago as 1857, enumerates 160 species already found within the limits of Cape Colony. Among these we notice four found also in our own Vermont and Brattleboro fields and woods, namely, Polypodium vulgare, Aspleniums ebeneum and Tricohmanes, and Osmunda regalis.

(Ferns vary greatly in size, Prof. John Robinson of Salem, Mass., author of the interesting book, "Ferns in Their Home and Ours", says with regard to this point in size: "A fruited plant of Trichomanes Petersil, of Alabama, may be covered, roots and all, with a silver dime; while the Tree Ferns sometimes reach the enormous height of eighty feet, and bear fronds twenty-five feet in length." And we might add that in a swampy ravine near our South African home, a species of climbing fern abounded; running straight up the trunks of trees to the height of forty or fifty feet, and throwing off, at every foot or two, a frond five or six feet long.)

Prof. Robinson, in his Introductions, in speaking of the cultivation of ferns says that in America it still has the characteristics of novelty, though ferns have long been favorites in other lands. He states that John Tradescant introduced into Europe for cultivation, in 1628, the Cystopteris bulbifera and the Maiden-hair (Adiatum pedatum); while other species, including the Walking Leaf Fern (Camp-tosorus), and the Senstive Fern (Onoclea), soon followed.

(Prof. G. H. Perkins, so well known to you all, in his Catalogue of Vermont Flora, published in the Agricultural Report of 1887 & 8, enumerated forty-two species and varieties of ferns, found in Vermont. Of these forty-two, thirty-four have been found growing within the limits of the town of Brattleboro), near the southern boundary of the state, and it is with these that we have to deal at the present time. We follow Prof. Perkins' arrangement and nomenclature.

(While collecting materials for these pages, two friends kindly furnished copies of their own lists of Brattleboro ferns and localities, that we might compare them with ours. One list was made out by a genrtleman residing in the western part of town, who has had a life-long interest in botanical reseaches, and who enjoyed a valuable acquaintance with Mr. Chas. Frost. The other list is from a lady, a native of East Brattleboro, and a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, who during the last season has made a special study of ferns.

Only one species was mentioned on these lists, which we had not ourselves found growing, and this will be noted in its place.

No paper on Brattleboro ferns would be complete, nor indeed ought it to be fairly entered upon without pausing for a moment to pay tribute to the memory of Mr. Chas. C. Frost, named a moment ago, and often called "the learned shoemaker of Brattleboro". (It was once said by the late Rev. Dr. Deems, then of New York, and pastor of the "Church of Strangers", himself a man by no means lacking in scientific attainments, that Mr. Frost was doubtless better known on the continent of Europe than he was in his own town. Quiet, unassuming, self-taught in three languages that he might be able to read scientific works written in those languages.) Mr. Frost said of himself that science was not his business, shoe-making was. Whatever he knew of science came, he said, in the way of search for health and mental entertainment. (His library of scientific works numbered over 1000 volumes, many of them expensive and rare. His scientific knowldge was such that he was a recognized authority in Europe, on botany, entomolgoy and mineralogy. Besides these, he was a profound student in astronomy, chemistry and several other branches of Natural Science.)


Annie L. Grout's paper was read before the Vermont Botanical Club in Burlington by Tracy E. Hazen, and was subsequently published almost in its entirety in the Brattleboro Reformer for February x, 1897. This is the original paper as finally drafted by Miss Grout and dated by her, West Brattleboro, January 1897.


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