There are Moments that Words Don't Reach...

North of the center of New Canaan is a small, quiet cemetery. Within it is a simple headstone reading:  “In memory of Sally, wife of Joseph Mather, Jr., died April 1, 1812, AE 19 yrs.” Joseph Mather Jr. was the second oldest son of Deacon Joseph Mather and set his own farm up just across what is now Brookside Rd. from the homestead.


Joseph Mather Jr. married Sally Jarvis on January 1, 1812.   Within three months he was widowed.   


Four years thereafter, on October 6, 1816, Joseph married Happy Osborn Wakeman.   Two years later, they named their first daughter Sarah Jarvis Mather. Sarah was born September 16, 1818.   On December 18, 1839, the twenty-one year old Sarah married Silas J. Vail.


On January 21, 1841, Sarah gave birth to a daughter, Sarah Vail. Twenty-five days later, at the age of 23, Sarah Mather Vail passed away.  She is buried in Mather Cemetery.


In a space of less than thirty years, Joseph Mather Jr. had lost his wife and the daughter for whom she was named.


According the US Census, in 1850 the nine-year-old Sarah Vail, was living with her grandparents, Joseph and Happy.   In 1868, she married Edward Osborn Wakeman, Happy Osborn Wakeman Mather’s nephew.  She lived until 1915.   She and Edward are buried in the Greens Farm Church Upper Cemetery in Westport.


As for Silas J. Vail?  He returned to New York City, married Julia Ophelia Hill in 1844 and had three children.

Joseph Mather, Jr.

Headstones for Sarah Mather Vail (left), daughter of Josep Mather Jr. and Sally Mather (right), first wife ofJoseph Mather, Jr.

© 2017 by The Mather Homestead Foundation. 

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19 Stephen Mather Road, Darien, CT  06820

Mailing address:  PO Box 1054, Darien, CT  06820, 203-202-7602

"He laid the foundation of the National Park Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be

developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done."            

-Louis C. Cramton, referring to Stephen T. Mather (1867-1930)