Turning Back the Pages

Lady refuses food, expires

After a fast of 60 days, during which not a particle of food and only a small amount of water passed her lips, Mrs. Samuel B. Moses, 63, died the night of July 29, 1912 at 12:15 p.m. at her home on Alden Avenue where she lived quietly for many years with her husband, Capt. Samuel B. Moses, who survived her. The couple had two children in the early years of their married life, but they died in infancy.

Paulina Moses, born April 20, 1849, was the daughter of the late Asahel Bennett and the sister of Alice Gates who survives her. The deceased had been an invalid for a number of years and she had been attended by Dr. Griffin.

For several days in the latter part of May, Mrs. Moses abstained from food but broke her fast on May 30, 1912. Her stomach refused to perform its functions and rebelled against the food. Since that day she had persistently refused to take nourishment in any form. In spite of this, she retained her strength in a remarkable degree. During the early part of her abstinence she walked each day to her husband’s little shop near the house where she sat and watched him at his work. Later when she could no longer travel the short distance on her own, she insisted on being carried each day to her accustomed seat in the shop. This was kept up until three days before her death.

Capt. Moses did everything in his power to get her to eat but his efforts were in vain. There were suspicions that Paulina Moses, always eccentric, was mentally deranged. She was a spotless housekeeper before her illness, “as neat as wax,” and almost never ventured beyond the bounds of her street. Paulina Moses is buried in the Warrensburgh Cemetery. (Note: The Moses home is on the east corner of River St. and Alden Avenue. Years later, the late Jim and Florence Gallup lived there. Florence worked for several years in the Richards Library. Their son lives in the house today. Capt. Moses was a talented and unusual man with an outrageous sense of humor, who was famous for his wild and complex practical jokes. He was in charge of Warrensburgh parades and went to unheard of lengths to make them memorable. Because he had no live wild animals for his parades, he made his own reproductions in his workshop. Samuel Moses, 71, died Nov. 25, 1915 and lies beside his wife in the Warrensburgh Cemetery.)

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