Alice and Ruth were sisters. Fun loving, close and family oriented. Their parents were Carrie Woodworth and Henry Beamer Milmine

My grandmother Alice Milmine Beggs died shortly after my parents were married. None of us had the opportunity to know her. And, while my father was still alive none of us thought to ask about Alice…..fortunatley I have “found” Ruth’s family! Ruth’s son Donald is alive and well and sharing stories and photographs! Later this month I look forward to having Donald’s daughter, my second cousin(?) come to Ithaca for a visit!

The grandmother of Alice and Ruth, Marietta Chamberlain Woodworth:

Marietta married Jonathan Scott Woodworth and together they had a daughter Carrie Ann Woodworth:

Carrie married Henry Beamer Milmine. Carrie and Henry:

Carrie was born in Michigan and Henry was born in Canada. The Beamer farm is still up and running in Ontario near the New York border! Henry immigrated between 1860 and 1870 and became involved in the iron business in Michigan along with his brothers.

Carrie and Henry had two daughters, Ruth and Alice. Ruth was born is 1880 and Alice came along  five years later. Ruth was born in Grand Rapids MI and Alice was born  in Toledo Ohio.

Ruth (with mother Carrie) and Alice Milmine:


Over the years I have searched for relatives of Ruth Milmine Applegate, hoping, just hoping I would someday find someone. As a child I had vague memories of a cottage in Grand Haven MI, summer retreat of the Applegates. My memories were fleeting and not very detailed, except for one: my father walking to the door of the cottage and being greeted very warmly by another man…his cousin Donald.  Not too may months ago, I searched again, and there it was: The Applegate Tree. At the cyber end of the tree was my second cousin Martha and the emails and pictures began flying! I am so grateful!!

More pictures of my grandmother Alice Mimine Beggs, on her wedding day.  Alice married David W. Beggs of Columbus Ohio.

The picture below is my favorite: Alice, my dad (in his little sailor shirt!) and his brother David.

I asked Donald Applegate (son of Ruth) if he had any memories of Ruth and Alice. He did!

“Alice VanTuyl Milmine was my mother Ruth’s younger sister.  Alice was born
in 1885.  My Mother was born in Grand Rapids MI to Henry Beamer and Carrie
Woodworth Milmine. I think Alice was born in Mi or in Toledo, Ohio where her
dad founded a company call the HB Milmine Co., a foundry that made iron
works.

Alice, your grandmother was attractive, witty, very musical- played the
piano and sang and went to a finishing school in Gambier Ohio called
Harcourt Seminary. She was fun loving, for example, she taught me to say at
age 5, “Your gargantuan propensities are Lilliputians” which I repeated
incessantly and drove every one within earshot crazy. Gambier is also the
home of Kenyon College, an Episcopal liberal arts school noted for its
emphasis on English lit and Poetry. It was there that she met her husband
David Wendell Beggs who was very active in Kenyon college affairs.  There
was also a divinity school attached to Kenyon College and I believe that
your father Robert Woodworth Beggs attended this school.  Bob was a very
engaging young man who was especially skilled in magic and allusions.  He
had an audience with Howard Thurston who at that time along with Houdini
were the two leading practitioners of magic. Thurston specialized in
illusions and Houdini specialized in escape artistry.  Bob excelled in
football at Bexley High School.  Bexley was a well to do suburb of Columbus
Ohio.
Bob’s older brother David was a classic example of the era- coon skin coat
and Rah Rah college.  He went to Williams College where after a short
interlude he eloped with Jane Midgeley the only daughter of Thomas Midgeley.
Thomas was an arch enemy of environmental movement in that he invented Ethyl
gasoline as an additive to eliminate knocking in automobile engines. It
became widely popular to the determent of future generations due to lead
poisoning.
I am happy to say that Bob had nothing to do with all of this but continued
on with his career as a Minister.  I believe he was Chaplin at Cornell
University and also assistant to the Bishop of Ohio.”

And later he reminisced about both Ruth and Alice:

“Alice and Ruth on a trip to Quebec, Ontario. The year about 1904- prior to their marriages- both in their early 20’s- young and adventurous – in the words of a contemporary writer, Cornelia Otis Skinner, “Their heart’s were young and gay”.

While sight seeing (big hair, big hats), possibly horse drawn tram, through the old streets of Quebec, they were put off a bit by the babble of French coming from their fellow tourists. So in response, they devised a conversational ploy based on nonsense of that time- Ruth would lead off as follows:’

“Mares eat oats,

And does eat oats

And lambs and rams eat ivy,

And a kid will eat ivy too.”

Alice would respond, somewhat ungrammatically:

“In pine tar is, In oak none is

In mud eels are

In clay, none is”.

All of this, to be effective, must be rattled off in rapid-fire sequence.

Interestingly more than 50 years after, there was a spate of nonsense songs that became popular.  Among these was one called “Merzidotes” that more or less followed Ruth’s opener, above.”

How lucky I am to have found Donald and Martha. How lucky we are as a family to have these pictures and stories!

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