Mary Brewerton was born on October 4, 1832 in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. She never knew her parents as her mother died when she was just an infant. She then went to live with relatives including an aunt in Dixon, Illinois where as a result of malaria it was considered unsuitable. Then at the age of 6 years, she was sent to live with Reverend Samuel Fuller of Rensselaerville, NY.
Mary attended Rensselaerville Academy, where she was a member of the first class and graduated from at the age of 17 years. After she moved to the city of Albany, she attended art classes given by Mr. James Hart and specifically watercolor classes by the brothers Roudell.
Mary was a teacher, botanist, publisher and author. She taught first during a summer school held in the upper part of Mr. Tompkins' house in Chesterville. While living in Albany, she taught at an Episcopal Church school. After the death of her husband, she taught botany and art at Sr. Mary's School in Faribault, Minnesota in the late 1860s and early 1870s. While living in Minnesota, she made an important botanical discovery. She then returned to Rensselaerville, wher she purchased the local newspaper "The Rensselaerville Press". She appears to have been the owner and operator when it ceased publication in 1878. In the early 1880s she moved to Uticca where she taught English at the Utica Conservatory of Music. In 1892, with her daughter Harriet, she openned and ran a kindergarten school in Herkimer for ten years.
Marriage & Children
Mary married the Reverend Josiah Mulford Hedges and by him had four children of which only one Harriet Hedges survived passed infancy.
She died on January 22, 1920 in Norwich, Connecticut of pneumonia.
Additional Research Notes