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Achilles Brees (1825 - 1893)

Provided by Merlin Russell.  Thanks Merlin!


Achilles’s parents were Silas Brees (5 May 1784-5 Oct. 1855) and Mary Bennett (18 Mar. 1784-14 Mar. 1850) [1, 2]. 

Achilles was born in New York in 1825 [3, 8]. 

Achilles’s first wife was Amanda, also born in New York [8].  Achilles and Amanda are listed on page 277 of the 1850 New York census (Elmira, Chemung County).  He is listed as a farmer, age 25; Amanda was 23.  A 20-year old laborer born in Pennsylvania, Clark Bartlett resided with them.  At the time, his father Silas (age 62) and two of his children Mary (age 22) and William (age 13) lived next door.  Achilles’ mother, Mary Bennett died earlier in the year on 14 March 1850 [7] and was not in this census. 

On January 25, 1858, John S. died [3]. 

Amanda died young, and is buried next to Achilles at Hilltop Cemetery in Breesport, New York.  The inscription on her stone says: “MOTHER, AMANDA BREES 1828-1860 [3]. 

On January 10, 1862, Ira B. died [3]. 

Achilles’ second wife was Katherine Stocum (5 May 1838-20 October 1925 [11]).  She was the daughter of John Stocum and Mary Decker [11].  Katherine is buried next to Achilles at Hilltop Cemetery in Breesport, New York [3, 11].  The inscription on her stone states: “MOTHER, KATHERINE BREES, 1838-1925 [3]. 

In 1866, their son Ulysses B. Brees was born.  His wife was Minnie, and he died 27 December 1944 [13]. 

The Gazetteer and Business Directory of Chemung and Schuyler Counties, N.Y. for 1868-9, page 151, lists Achilles as a farmer in Breesport. 

In 1871, Harvey T. was born. 

In 1872 twins Nettie (died 26 February 1946) and Nellie were born.  Nettie married Frank Hilliker (1873-1932 [9]), then Henry Maricle [4].  Nellie married John Bryant [4]. 

In 1877, Florence E. Brees was born [9].  She married Roy Harrison Noble (1888-1949) [4] and died May 24, 1953 [10]. 

Orin (later of Columbus, Nebraska) and Ernest R. (later at 903 S. Main St., Horseheads [15]) were two other sons [12, 13]. Ernest married Jennie Lind Payne [14]. 

Achilles died October 4, 1893. 

The October 4, 1893 Elmira Star Gazette (page 8) states:  “Archillas (sic) Breese is very low, has the effects of apoplexy.”  Apoplexy is a sudden diminution or loss of consciousness, sensation, and voluntary motion caused by rupture or obstruction, as in a clot, of an artery of the brain. 

The October 7, 1893 Elmira Star Gazette (page 8) states:  “The funeral for Achillas (sic) Breese occurred Friday at 2 o’clock, at the house.  A wife and eight children mourn his loss.” 

He is buried at Hilltop Cemetery in a family plot.  There is a central obelisk, surrounded by eight stones.  The rear row, from left to right, are Katherine Brees, Harvey T. Brees, 1871-1931, Grandmother Mary Stocum, 1809-1885, and Grandfather John Stocum, 1804-1880.  Front row, left to right, Achilles, Ira B. Brees, John S. Brees and Amanda [3]. 

Achilles’s stone has three chain links on it with the letters FLT in each of the three links. Friendship, love, and truth, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  The IOOF is one of the oldest of fraternities, it's history dating back to earliest times when it becomes lost in the fogs of antiquity and legend. The American or Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded in Baltimore, Md., on April 26, 1819, when Washington Lodge No. 1 was organized with five members. It received its charter from the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England. Today, Odd Fellow Lodges may be found everywhere and the membership runs into millions. Odd Fellowship became the 1st national fraternity to include both men and women when it adopted the beautiful Rebekah Degree on September 20, 1851. This degree is based on the teachings found in the Holy Bible, and was written by the Honorable Schuyler Colfax who was Vice President of the United States during the period 1868-1873. Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were also the first fraternal organization to establish homes for our senior members and for orphaned children. Odd Fellows are also known as "The Three Link Fraternity" which stands for Friendship, Love and Truth [5].  Achilles is listed as the Vice Grand for I.O.O.F. Lodge, No. 419 in Breesport [6]. 


[1] The Michael Shoemaker Book

[2] The Breese Family, 20 Pages

[3] Visit to Hilltop Cemetery, Breesport, Chemung County, New York

[4] Discussions with Joann (Whitford) Russell, granddaughter of Florence E. Brees

[5] http://www.nauticom.net/users/kiwi/ioof.html This web page is maintained by a member of Hampton Lodge #1004. The information is believed to be true, and is intended for informational purposes only.

[6] Our County and Its People, a History of the Valley and County of Chemung from the Closing Years of the Eighteenth Century by Ausburn Towner, D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1892, page 491

[7] Mortality Schedule from the 1850 Federal Census of Chemung County.  Mary died from dropsy heart, a condition that had persisted for a year.

[8] 1850 Elmira census

[9] Visit to Maple Grove Cemetery, Horseheads, Chemung County, New York

[10] Obituary of Florence Brees Noble, Elmira Star Gazette, May 25, 1951, page 11.

[11] Death certificate of Catherine Breese

[12] Obituary of Mrs. Catherine Breese, Elmira Star Gazette, 25 October 1925

[13] Obituary of Ulysses B. Breese, Elmira Star Gazette, 28 October 1944, page 21

[14] Obituary of Jennie Lind Payne Breese, Elmira Star Gazette

[15] 1921 Horseheads Directory has Ernest living with Ulysses B. Breese at 903 S. Main Street


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