WEST PARIS – Roger Jackson Brigham, formerly of Sumner, now of Ledgeview Living Center apartments, celebrated his 101st birthday on March 8. His daughter, Helen Brigham Holman of Litchfield, took him out to lunch. Brigham holds the Boston Post gold-headed cane as Sumner’s oldest resident.

Brigham was born March 8, 1905, in New York City, the son of Frederick and Helen (Jackson) Brigham. The family moved to Montclair, N.J., where Brigham graduated from Monclair High School in 1923.

He attended Worcester Academy followed by Princeton University, graduating in 1928. Brigham joined the dance troupe of Ruth St. Dennis and Ted Shawn, performing “modern dance” in New York City. Martha Graham was also a member of the troupe.

Brigham’s father presented him with an engraved gold watch upon graduation, which still works and he still wears.

Following his stint with the dance troupe, Brigham went to Rennes University in Rennes, France, in 1930 to study French. He graduated from the one-year course in 1931.

Upon his return to the USA, he taught French at the Hackley School for Boys in Tarrytown, N.Y. On Sept. 3, 1933, he married Yvonne Terrer. They had one daughter, Helen Jackson Holman.

Brigham went on to teach French in Clifford Scott High School, Montclair, N.J., and Miss Porter’s School for Girls in Farmington, Conn., retiring in 1968.

Upon his retirement, the family moved to a farm in Sumner where he lived until moving to the Ledgeview Apartments in the fall of 2005. He played organ at the Sumner church.


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