Lydia (16) Hubley Emmet


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, Genealogical ID:
Saturday, July 3, 1824
New York, NY
Wednesday, February 14, 1912
251 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

Lydia (16) Hubley Emmet, the only daughter born to Rosina (Hubley) and Judge Robert (2) Emmet, was named after Rosina's mother, Lydia (Field) Hubley.  She lived most of her adult life in New Rochelle, NY where her parents moved when she was quite young. Like most unmarried 19th century women, there is, alas, little known about the details of her life. Born in New York, she grew up and probably went to school in New York and New Rochelle where her father bought a house in the 1840s. She lived there, first with her parents and then with her brother, Richard (14) Stockton Emmet and his family.  When Dick died in 1902 and the family place was sold, Lydia moved in with her younger brother, William (17) Jenkins Emmet and his wife Julia - also in New Rochelle. Julia died in 1908 and Lydia then went back to the City to live with her niece, Julia and William's daughter Rosina and husband Arthur Sherwood.

In December of 1973, the family house in New Rochelle was robbed by four masked burglars who broke windows to gain entry; they also "committed an outrage upon members of the family," a newspaper article states. At least two of the perpetrators were convicted and sentenced to "twenty years imprisonment in the State Prison at hard labor."

Six months after the robbery, Lydia lost her purse in New Rochelle,  which contained two rings, a diamond and a pearl, "the sole jewelry of any value that remained."  The purse was found on the street "by William Bugle, a lad residing in New Rochelle." He kept the purse for almost a year and when no reward was offered for its return, took the rings to a local jeweler, Salomon Levison, who offered his best silver watch in exchange. William turned down the offer and Mr Levison agreed to take the rings into the city and have them appraised. Upon returning, the jeweler pronounced the pearl as valuable but said the diamond was worth only $50.  "The youth remarked that the ring did not sparkle as it formally did, and he became suspicious that he was the victim of some fraud."

After talking to various friends about the situation, Bugle learned that Mr Levison had sold the original diamond for a great deal of money to a jewelry store and had replaced it with "a worthless bit of paste."  When the jeweler refused an offer to negotiate, the young man sued. Lydia testified at the trial that the original cost of the diamond was $450.  Although numerous witnesses testified about the removal of the original stone, which was found at the store where Levison had sold it for $175, he was acquitted. Lydia did get her rings back but the newspaper doesn't tell us if young Bugle ever received a reward.

Lydia was a strong and loving part of a large and exuberant family, helping her mother run the house and corresponding with her numerous brothers, nieces and nephews. She was involved with charities in New Rochelle; the NY Times reported in her obituary that "she was greatly beloved by the poor and other classes."  In the late 1890s, while in her mid-seventies, she went to Paris to visit four of her nieces who were there to study painting, and writing. She may have also spent time in England with Ellen Temple Emmet, the widow of Lydia's older brother, Temple (15). Like others in the family, she was involved with all their lives, encouraging the young ones and taking care of her brothers as they aged. She was one of the last of Thomas Addis Emmet's grandchildren left alive when, at the age of 88, she died in Feb. 14th, 1912.  She is buried at the Beechwoods Cemetery in New Rochelle next to other family members.