Chris at the Genealogue wrote about this year’s White House Christmas Ornament in honor of former president Chester A. Arthur. In particular, he wrote about how Peter Hess, the head of Albany Rural Cemetery, was outraged by the biographical information about President Arthur that accompanied the ornament.
My Aunt Sophie Danko and her husband Clark Gibson are buried in Albany Rural Cemetery, as are my Step-Grandparents Samuel Bohok and Tekla Halaszyn, and I’ve visited their graves and the grave of Chester A. Arthur several times.
Chester A. Arthur’s monument is the focal point of the part of Albany Rural Cemetery where he is buried:
In a previous article, Chris wrote about the controversy about President Arthur’s birthplace. Officially, Chester A. Arthur was born in Fairfield, Vermont in 1830, but the New York Times issue of 22 December 1880 speculated that he may have been born in Canada. This suggestion may be rooted in the fact that the border between Vermont and Lower Canada (which became Canada East in 1841 and the Province of Quebec in 1867) was rather porous, and families tended to move back and forth without much concern that they were crossing a border.
Like Chester A. Arthur, my Aunt Sophie’s husband Clark was born in Fairfield, Vermont. I have not been able to locate a birth record for Clark to substantiate his date or place of birth, although the census records document that he lived in Fairfield when he was young. Clark’s grandparents were born in Lower Canada and their children were born alternately in New York and Canada East. The family finally moved to Fairfield, Vermont, where Clark was born.
Gibson Monument in Albany Rural Cemetery