Grace Bourne Almy

Grace Bourne Almy

1877 – 1961

Grace Bourne Almy. Courtesy of Marcia Pratt.


Grace was born on October 6, 1877 in East Providence, RI to Baylais and Ella Bourne. Grace attended Normal School for 2 years. She began teaching in a one room school house with 8 grades on Neck Rd, Tiverton, RI until her marriage.


Grace married Philip W. Almy Sr. on December 13, 1898 and became a Little Compton resident for 63 years. Grace and Philip had three children; Philip W. Jr., Charles B., and Lois B. Almy.


When Grace and Philip were first married, they owned the Steamboat Company. The boat ran from Providence to Sakonnet Point. Grace did the cooking for the travelers taking the excursion. On December 12, 1933, Grace started to work at the Little Compton Post Office. It was her 35th wedding anniversary, but that did not stop her from reporting to work for the first day of which was to become 15 years on the job. She was the assistant postmaster until the sudden death of the postmaster. Grace passed the civil service exam and was then appointed postmaster. Helen Peckham was her assistant until she moved away and then Agatha Gomez became assistant.


The post office was a small room in a building north of Wilbur’s Store. She worked until she reached 70 years old and was forced to retire on December 31, 1948. This was the official government retirement age.


Grace was a member of the United Congregational Church. She served as the church clerk and was the chairman of the music committee. Grace sang in the church choir and also led a junior choir. She was a member of the Little Compton Grange, Newport County Pomona Grange and the National Association of Retired Civic Employees.


A few years after her retirement, Grace had a stroke with left her paralyzed and in a wheelchair for ten years. She never let the illness dampen her spirit. She enjoyed writing many stories and poems until another stroke took her life on August 15, 1961.

 

A Wheelchair Reverie

Sometimes, so lonely, I sit in my chair, –

Gloomy thoughts fill me with despair,

Morbid thoughts; and sometimes I cry,

(To hide from others, my tears I try.)

 

Yet, why should I feel so sad?

I have much to make me glad,

Many there are who could envy me;

My good husband, home and family.

 

If Jesus could come by my way,

And, taking my hand, should say

“Arise, Thy faith hath make thee whole.”

How that would delight my soul!

 

Then, joyfully, would I run

To seek some good deed, just waiting to be done.

Then my heart would gladly sing

At the wonder of this thing.

 

No words of mine could express

The thrill of my happiness.

“Restore me, O my Lord above

That again I may serve those I love.

 

This is my earnest plea: –

Lord grant this to me.

All my thanks to Thee I’ll give

As long as I shall live.”

Grace B. Almy
Grace in the foreground with some friends at Sakonnet. Courtesy of Marcia Pratt.

Marcia Pratt, Granddaughter

April 2020

 

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