(by Emma Arnold
Graves, as told to her daughter Nellie Graves Dewsnap who hand wrote it in
and typed by her g-granddaughter Suzi Dewsnap Terrell in 2006)
that the founding of the Arnold family in America was by three Arnold
brothers coming from England at an early date. One settled in
Massachusetts, one in Connecticut and one in Rhode Island. Ours was
the Rhode Island branch. Henry Dennis Arnold my grandfather was born
there, as also were his brothers and sisters. I have no knowledge of any
of them besides my grandfather except that I know he had a brother
William, who married and came to the eastern part of York state.
Left to Right Back row - Uncle Vern, Aunt Ida & Anna with Uncle
Frank, Aunt Hannah & Uncle Ed, and Alonzo Graves. Front row -
Aunt Mary (Vern's wife) with Gladys (left) and Adeltha (right), Drusilla,
Roy (Franks Son) Robert Arnold, Nellie, Emma
Arnold and his good wife Desire Ellis (also born in Rhode Island) were
married and had three children born them (Augustus Ellis, William Slocum
and Sally Alice). In 1824 they moved to York state, stopping first
in Chenango Co. where Robert Bell was born. After living there for three
years they removed to the adjoining county, Otsego. Morris was the village
and post office near there. It was called Lewisville then. Here the
parents spent the rest of their lives. Here also Henry Dennis Jr. was
born, also the twins (Celinda Miranda and Lucinda Matilda) and Charles
Edwin. Fourteen children were born to them, but only those whose names are
mentioned, lived to grow to maturity.
settled on a small farm where there was a sawmill beside a pond to furnish
power to run the mill. They eked out an existence on a small scale by
farming and running the mill with the boys helping as they became old
enough. Grandma developed quite an aptitude for nursing, and became quite
an expert midwife and was very useful in illness all about their
neighborhood. It got so she was sent for, for miles around. Every autumn
she made it her business to gather great quantities of "yarbs"
as she always called them - sage, hops, wormwood, catnip, pennyrile,
smartweed, boneset etc. She had a small room in their chamber, exclusive
to keep them all hung around in paper sacks. When sent for, she always
took along such "yarbs" as fitted the case. She was great on
"physic and sweating". There were those who still sent for
"Aunt Desire" after she was too old and feeble to go out. In
those early days she would be gone days at a time, her girls doing the
work for the family. Grandma was a fine housekeeper considering what they
had to do with, and her daughters were taught to be good workers too.
a hardworking law-abiding citizen. Strictly temperate in all things, a
quiet man, no talker. He was never of the sort to interest his children
with tales of his childhood and home or family, so I suppose that is the
reason why so little was known and handed down of his early days. It is
really too bad.
was a great talker (my folks said I should have been named 'Desire').
Grandma was a well-posted woman of the general news and topics of the day.
They took papers so she was well read. She was a strong
"spiritualist", and stuck to it till her death. She talked to me
so much of her people, of who they were, their traits of character, where
they lived etc., so that I know more about the Ellis family. And I knew so
many of them too. Two of grandma's family, a brother and sister and their
families came at an early day to Willett, Cortland Co. NY. The brother was
Augustus Ellis and wife Martha. His children were, Allen Charles, Martha,
Olive, Sarah and Mary. They settled about two and half miles east of
Willett Village, on a farm by the roadside that bordered on a pond of
several acres. The pond was named "Ellis" and has held to that
name to this day. Father bought his first farm across the road from his
Uncle and it bordered on "Ellis" pond. The house my folks lived
in is still standing, but Uncles house is gone.
she loved Aunt Martha like a mother. She was such a help to mother in many
of the little problems of a new housekeeper, was with mother at the advent
of the first three babies. There things all count. The Ellis’s finally
moved on over to Madison Co. near Dewyter Village. Sons and daughters all
married raised families. They were very bright excellent people. Grandma's
sister who came to Willett was Aunt Polly and her husband Altitions
Burlingame and all their sons and daughters; Altitious, Wescott, Pardon,
Augustus, Charles and Almira and some I have forgotten. They built a log
house first and all their children married right around there and settled
in and around Willett. I knew and visited them all. They were a good race,
some of the grandson's were exceptionally bright, taking high stands among
the men of the day - ministers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, merchants,
house builders, mill wrights etc. All gone from Willett now accept three
great grandchildren (John Wescott Jones and Mina Burlingame Pember and
Mary Burlingame Cole)
Ellis, the oldest son was a hard working boy, and a studious only
devouring everything along the educational line he could get a hold of in
that early day. He was a beautiful penman; I have some of his writing. He
would have taught school, but consumption developed when he had just
reached man hood, and his career was snuffed out ere it had begun. Father
always regretted his death very much. He always said, "Augustus was
'cut out' for a man who would have been heard from."
son William Slocum worked at home with his father longer than the rest
did, but finally he married Susan Swarthout of Morris, settled there for a
while, then pulled up stakes and journeyed to Davenport Clinton Co. Iowa,
farmed it there for a good many years, returning to York state to visit
his mother and other kindred at three different times. The first time was
in 1866, again in 1871 and again I think in 1878 or 79. Finally he
developed rheumatism in its worst form, thought a change of climate would
be a benefit to him. So he took a trip to Missouri to see the prospect
there. No Good! Went back to Iowa and took another start. This time to
Maryland, bought a small farm near Codova Talbot Co. Maryland. In all
these trips that I have recorded he couldn't walk a step and had to be
carried on and off of trains. Aunt Susan was with him of course. They went
back to Iowa, superintended the packing of their goods, sold the farm, bid
good-bye to Iowa forever, and went back to their new farm in Maryland. The
farm was a fruit and vegetable farm and they raised lots of sweet
potatoes. He hired a man, helped a good deal and their adopted daughter
Lettie, did all the rest. Father went down to visit them in 1883 and in
1884 brother Edwin went down. They reported Uncle William as being a most
pitiful object, for eighteen years before he died he couldn't walk a step.
He died in 1899. Aunt Susan with Lettie's help cared for him faithfully
till the end. Aunt Susan died in 1903. Lettie died in 1931.
Aunt Alice married Charles Giles Burlingame Jr. who was a son of her own
cousin Rev. Charles Giles Burlingame Sr. They bought a farm built a house
and barn, called the place "Sunny Nook". It was a mile from
Willett, East across the creek off from the highway. They kept bees and
Uncle Giles built a long shelter for them, erected a flagpole where Aunt
Alice used to unfurl a good-sized flag in pleasant weather. A large
peacock strutted on the green lawn, a large white dog graced the place and
it looked very attractive. Aunt Alice was an excellent housekeeper. In my
little girlhood I went there many many times with my mother, but I'd
rather go anywhere else. Aunt Alice was a very stern severe woman when
children were around. Always telling how her children would obey if she
had any. I was always glad she didn't have, for they would have been
miserable. Uncle Giles died in 1862. I was too young to remember him. Aunt
Alice undertook to do the work on the farm with the help of a young boy
who went to school. She used herself up in spite of all my father or the
neighbors could say, she was so obstinate, and in 1864 she died, following
him in about two and half years. They united first with the Methodists,
and then with the Presbyterians, and then she became a spiritualist. Then
she denounced that bitterly and died an Episcopalian!
worked at home and went to school but little. He went to church every
Sunday after he was old enough, to pump the pipe organ in the old Zion’s
Church at Mossie; it took two boys to pump it. They got 25 cents apiece
every Sunday. When he was twenty-one years old he took his way on foot to
Pennsylvania to work at carpenters trade. He had his extra shirt and socks
tied in a red handkerchief. He found plenty of work in barns, bridges,
wood mills etc. He found a good carpenter to work for and was employed by
him for four years.
Mother there at Honesdale Wayne Co. Pa, became acquainted in 1851, were
married and went to Willett on the farm he had previously been up to and
bought. Here Edwin, Mary and Clemma were born. After 6 years they sold
out, rented rooms of a neighbor and father hired out to a hardware man to
peddle tin. He ran the cart for a year then rented a large farm near
Willett village. He had a good dairy and speculated in young stock and
horses. He made pretty well at it. But while they were there, diphtheria
came in that section and took the two little girls. They died in May and a
new little girl came to them in July. In 1863 they left the farm and
bought a house and lot down in Georgetown, a little settlement a mile
above Willett. While there Father engaged as a clerk in Binghamton NY for
a year. Then he was appointed Deputy Provost marshal to take care of the
drafting in our county in the Civil War.
early part of 1865 he had the estate of Aunt Alice to settle up, and after
that father, mother, Edwin and I went West to Michigan to visit mothers
people, and father went on to Iowa to visit his brothers William and
Dennis. We were gone from home 2 months. In the Spring of 1866 father
bought a farm of 30 acres in town of Triangle Broome Co. NY and the first
of April we moved there. Father worked the place with Edwin’s help and
worked at carpentry a great deal. In 1867 Devern was born and in 1872
Frank was born. Edwin went to Whitney Point to the Academy and graduated,
and was valedictorian of his class. I went to school in our district
summers and winter for 10 years, then to Whitney Point for a time. Edwin
taught a good many years.
father bought a large farm of 184 acres 2 1/4 miles farther up the road.
Father worked very hard and put the place in good shape. Edwin taught
school winters and worked at home between times. In 1885 Edwin married and
went down to live on the other place. I was married before that but lived
at home a great deal as mother needed me. In 1889 my husband rented a farm
in our neighborhood and we were working hard when my husband Salma, was
taken suddenly sick of appendicitis and died in one week. He was not
operated on as the disease was new then and operations for it were
unknown. Then I took my daughter Dessie and went back to my father’s
In 1892 I
married Alonzo C. Graves and went to his home on the Otselic River a mile
below Upper Lisle taking Dessie with me. In 1893 Nellie A. was born, and
in 1895 Edward Robert was born. In 1896 both the babies were taken deathly
sick of "cholera infantum" and Edward R. died. In 1897 Dessie
had measles that were followed by diphtheria and died. She is buried in
Lisle cemetery beside her father. In 1901 my husband Alonzo C. died of
cancer. Then I took Nellie and went back to my father’s house again.
What a refuge it was. In 1903 I was married to Lyman West of Binghamton
and went there to live. Nellie went there to school. In two years we were
induced to rent the large dairy farm of Mrs. Dye at Sanitaria Springs, 12
miles away. Here we lived 4 years working hard. Then the owner died, and
the farm was sold. Then a large farm was offered to us near Whiney Point,
so we went there in 1909. The owner of this farm died and the farm was for
sale. We bought it and here we are, but we are both done working - now
just "waiting". But we enjoy talking over the work we have done,
dairying, making butter, market, gardening, general farming, taking summer
boarders, also entertaining a great deal of company.
son who was only 4 years old when I came in the family, has always lived
at home and runs the farm and a hired girl is kept the year around. In
1908 brother Edwin's wife died and he lived alone for some time, finally
he boarded at his sister-in-law's where he died in 1919. He was brought to
my home where the funeral was held. How I missed him. He was a second
father to me. Devern H. was married in 1889 and rented a farm over East in
the next school district. After a few years he bought it. He had a large
dairy and did general farming till his wife was stricken with cancer and
died in 1901. She left two little girls. Brother Edwin and wife took the
youngest to their home to care for. Devern kept the other and hired a
woman to do his work.
Frank was married and took his wife home and ran the farm. Father bought a
smaller farm of 55 acres a mile down the road, where he and mother went to
live. After working the little farm with some help from the boys who all
lived in easy distance from him, for seven years, his health gave out and
1901 in the Fall. Vern having let out his farm took his one girl and went
over to fathers to live. It was then that Nellie and I went too. We said
went home to have our parents finish bringing us up!! It was in 1903 after
I went away that father and mother both died within 11 days of each other.
A few weeks after this Vern was married to a schoolteacher. And what a
good mother she was to those little girls. They cannot remember their own
mother, but they will never forget the loss of one of the best stepmothers
that ever lived. Vern sold the small farm and went over on the large farm
to live. Here they lived working hard, the girls went to district school
till the oldest one graduated at the Whitney Point High School. Then on to
the Oneonta Normal School where she took up teaching for several years,
married in 1917 went to farming, and a little son was born in 1923.
In 1925 we
had shortage of teachers and the county superintendent urged Gladys to
take up teaching again. So she did teaching in their own district near
home, and she has taught every year since. They bought a new farm over in
Tompkins Co. She was teaching when they moved this Spring. They were just
out of a teacher where they went, so it was quickly arranged with the
superintendent to get another teacher where she was teaching, and she got
to the new school with only the loss of a week. The other girl married,
bought his mothers farm and are busy farming. No children. Frank and his
wife Ida were very successful farmers, raised their boy and girl, all
great workers. Then his wife went down in poor health and was sick all
summer. While she was sick the boy and girl both married. She wished it
so. Just as winter set in she died - 1915.
her husband stayed at home and helped his father till New Years of 1917
when he married Edith H. Burrows. Frank and Edith farmed it three years
more then sold the farm and went to live in a home he bought in the city.
Anna and her husband went to live on a farm of their own near by his
people in Triangle. Frank worked several years in a large supply house
where all kinds of farm machinery was sold. He had fun a good patron of
the grange both he and his first wife, and the second wife was a great
grange worker too. Then Frank was made a District Deputy of the county. In
July 1929 Edith died after a long long time of suffering. In Jan 6 1932 he
was married to Marian Chubbuck. He is in the real estate business at
present. Frank's son Roy was living on a beautiful farm in Groton,
Tompkins Co. In Jan 1932 their home burned and nearly everything in it. A
great loss to them. They are now living in rented quarters and he is
working at carpenters trade. They have on child, a girl born in 1926.
Frank's daughter and family are living on a beautiful farm they bought
over on the other river across the hill from us. They have three girls,
all in school.
Vern's second wife died he ran the farm with the help of the youngest girl
for one year, then in Nov 1917 he married Nellie Ballard a Whitney Point
girl. She has her own home, so Vern went there to live. He is Deputy
Sheriff and Assistant Mail Carrier, that covers 25 miles a day.
Dennis Arnold Jr. was born in the town of Morris, Otsego County, New York
state on March 12th, 1828. Mary S. Morse was born in Lawrence, Otsego
County, New York on Nov 5 1828. Henry Dennis Arnold and Mary S. Morse were
united in marriage at the house of Jesse B. Kenyon in New Lisbon, Otsego
Co. NY on June 12th 1851 by Rev. L.C. Pattengill, minister of the Baptist
Church. Witnesses were Jesse B. Kenyon and James L. Morse, brother of the
children were: Duillius Henry Arnold, born in Morris NY June 18th 1854;
Mary Emma Arnold, born on a farm near Malcom, Powshick Co., in Iowa on Nov
1st 1864. In the Spring of 1856 Henry Dennis Arnold went to the central
part of Iowa, bought land, built a saw mill, sawed lumber and built a
house and made other improvements, and in the Fall of 1857, moved his
wife, boy and household goods by lake and railroad to Davenport, Iowa -
then by wagon 125 miles to their home. The next year after arriving with
his family, he bought two acres of land and moved his house to what is
known locally as the "Yankee Settlement" on the state road over
which the Wells and Fargo Stage line run between Davenport on the
Mississippi River on the East, to Council Bluffs on the Missouri River on
the West. The settlement consisted of the "Cardells, Meigs, Raymonds,
Bates and Harveys - all down East Yankees and Yaples - Pennsylvania Dutch,
and the Arnolds were called NY State Yankees.
Arnold built a blacksmith shop on the state road, and did the work of the
farmers far and near. During the "Pikes Peak" gold rush in 1859,
he had all the work he could do working for the traveling public besides
attending to his farm work. About the time he moved to Iowa, the old M.
& M. R/R. was projected, and in 1866 it was built through Powshiek Co.
about 2 miles from the settlement, and the town of Malcom was started, and
is now the main line of the C.R.I.&P.R.R.
had all the experience of pioneers, hauling their supplies 120 miles, and
only just what they had to have, which would not be much in this day and
time. Pine lumber, windows, doors etc hauled more than 60 miles with ox
teams, for the first schoolhouse. Most of the work done for free, and
finished a little better than the common run, as it was used for a church
for many years. Doctors were few and far between, and many a soul was born
into the world just attended by loving and sympathizing neighbors, and
many of their dead were buried without the benefit of a clergyman.
Civil War began, H.D. Arnold joined the first call, but was taken sick
with inflammatory rheumatism. He was brought up the river to the
government hospital at Keokuk, Iowa, and laid for more than 60 days unable
to turn over. He finally recovered enough to be sent to Mt. Pleasant,
Iowa, where he was discharged and sent home in a wagon after 16 months
In a few
months he was able to do some work, sold his farm he first bought, and
bought 160 acres adjoining his home, and kept the Post Office for several
years, and was busy in his shop when he was able to work until he died -
September 20th 1866. He was buried in the orchard near his home. About 10
years later was removed to the cemetery near Malcom. He died a consistent
member of the Presbyterian Church. The funeral sermon was preached by the
Rev. A.D. Chapman, Pastor in the schoolhouse that he had taken so much
interest in building in the earlier years.
He was a
fine singer and led the song service in all of the meetings and social
gatherings of a social kind.
(Morse) Arnold, his wife had a full ;art in all these experiences common
to frontier life. After the death of her husband, she was left with
a boy 12 and a baby girl two years old. She still lived in the old
home. By good management she paid the debts still due and
lived a good Christian life, raised her children in the fear of God as
best she could, and was helpful to everyone she came in contact with, did
her full part in caring for the sick, helping to prepare the loved ones
for burial, washing, dressing and making clothes, act the part of the good
Samaritan in all things. When she passed out of this life many there
were who called her "mother" and "auntie" and other
loving terms. Perhaps her outstanding characteristic, was her honest
in all things. Many the time when they were undecided as to the
propriety of something in regard to the church or its method of raising
money, that she would ask; "Is it right"? and if assured that -
all was right, it met her approval, and if not right, was condemned and
other ways provided. She passed away July 5th 1896, and was buried
beside her husband in the cemetery near Malcom.
Henry Arnold, the only son was three years old when he went with his
parents to the farm in Powshick Co. Iowa. He was a frail sickly
child unable to attend school until his tenth year. When he was 12
years old his father died. He was not old enough to work the farm,
but raised some feed, worked some for the neighbors, and helped his Mother
as best he could until he was sixteen years old, when with the assistance
of a hired man about 8 months of the year, he worked the farm until he was
26 years old.
In 1880 he
was married to Miss Mary Gertrude Hilliker in Davenport, Iowa where Miss
Hilliker was born and raised. Duillius brought his bride to the
farm, and the Mother and sister moved to Malcom so sister could have
better school opportunities. On June 25, 1881 a son, Austin Duillius
Arnold was born. January 1, 1882 they moved to Malcom where he
worked for the C.R.I. & P.R.R. Co. After that he engaged in the
butcher business, also buying selling and shipping hogs and cattle on the
markets in Chicago and other places. Here four more children were
born; Lillian M. 1853, Hanson V.1885, Clara E. 1887 and Flora G. 1889.
On Sept 11,
1888 being attracted by the cheap land in the Pan Handle of Texas,
Duillius went hither, arriving in Hall Co, Texas, September 14,
1888. His first stop was at Salisbury, Hall Co. which place
consisted of two small box houses of two rooms each, and a small depot,
which the agent a single man,
occupied as R.R. and express agent. Many
pages could be filled with the experiences of living in a new country, and
this country was different from any other country, as the state of Texas
retained her public domain when she was admitted into the union, and had
had many laws passed in order to get people to settle the land.
fort worth and Denver city R.R. had completed the road from Fort Worth,
Texas, to Denver Colorado, about 850 miles, and most of the way unsettled.
The cowman was the principal business man of the country.
Many parts of the country had freighted their goods from
. Every thing was high, and no
money to buy with. The land at
this time was selling for $2.00 per acre, 1 forth cash and the balance on
40 years time, and 5 per cent interest.
selected a section about a mile from the switch on R.R. which was called
Newlin, built him a cabin and as he had a desirable piece of land, he
thought he was doing pretty well, but there was no neighbors nearer than
four miles. The only thing to
do was to work as a cowboy, which he did until the spring of 1892.
Soon settlers began to come in around the little place called
Salisbury, and in 1889 a town was started on the R.R. 4 miles north of
Salisbury, and became a rival candidate for county site, when the
county should be organized, and about the same time in 1889, a
store was built in Newlin, and settlers came in there.
The county was organized in June 1890, and
was selected, 4 miles north of
. In the spring of 1892, he
q2uit cowboy life, built him a pretty good house, and his family arrived
with a car of household goods and moved in the new home on September 3,
1892. On September 3, 1898 the
whole thing, house and most of the furniture burned to the ground.
Those who remember the financial condition of that time, can
imagine the result. In June
1894, they moved to Estelline just across the river south, a town which
had been started about a year. They
were the third family in town. He
worked on ranch most of the time until 1900, when he moved to the county
seat, Memphis, where he was Deputy Sheriff and tax collector for tow years
then bought drag line and water wagon which he run for sometime, and in
connection with other work, was County Treasurer for 4 years, then he
engaged in butcher business, trading in cattle, shipping them to Kansas
City, Oklahoma City, Fort wroth and various places.
He finally drifted into a market which he conducted for about 20
years. In November 1924 he
went to hospital in
, where he had a serious operation. After
three months was sent home just skin and bones, with but little hopes of
ever having any health again. But
to the surprise and gratification of his many friends, he regained a
portion of his health and strength, but had to sell his business, and his
friends elected him in 1926 to the office of District Clerk, which office
he stills holds.
Arnold was raised by a Christian mother and under the influence of the
church, joined the Presbyterian Church early in life.
There being no Presbyterian Church in his Texas home, joined the
Methodist church, when the family came, all went there until after the
Union of the U.S.A. when a Presbyterian Church was built, then all joined
there except Lillian, who had married into a good Methodist family.
Arnold was superintendent of the S.S. at Newlin near where he first
settled, was later first S.S. supt (?) in Estelline, also one of the
Stewards. Served in the same
, and then when united with Presbyterian Church, was elect one of the
trustees and elder. He is also
an F. and A.M. having joined that fraternity years ago in
. He has gone up step by step
until he became a 33'd degree Mason. And a very true devoted member he is
too, attending all the different lodges for miles around when ever he can,
even now in his advanced age he keeps in touch with everything that
pertains to Masonry or church.
family are all musical. As
mentioned before his father was a fine singer, a ready reader of music.
He taught singing school thus helping the young people of that
early day to learn to sing. Dewey’s
dear old mother was a singer too, so it was but natural that their
children were singers too. Mary
was an excellent singer and piano player for the chance she had.
Dewey’s good wife Mary was a musician too, so music continued on
down the line to their children. The
eldest daughter Lillian and her family are all good musicians, singers as
well as playing various instruments, a band of themselves.
Harry D. Delaney is an especially fine singer, and the youngest son
Thomas C. plays in the famous "Cow Boy" band.
This band has become quite famous as they were in Washington D.C.
playing at the inauguration of President Hoover.
Later they went to Europe where they spent some little time playing
as well as sight seeing.
Kate (commonly called Kate) is exceedingly well versed in music, having
charge of the church music, playing the pipe organ, and society depending
on her so much in their social affairs, weddings, funerals ect.
She has been doing a great work in a musically way in the city of
Memphis for several years, but this summer 1932, owing to a change in
business affairs, Kate and her family have removed to Dalhart Texas, where
her husband Elmer S. Shelly is employed.
They have two young sons in school, John shelly and Arnold Shelly.
Ruth Margarette who married L.D. Pierce Jr.(?)live in Memphis near
her father. They have no
children. In 1909 Austin D.
the eldest son of D.H. and Mary Arnold died leaving a widow and daughter
Mary. They live in Memphis.
In 1910 a daughter Flora Gertrude died.
She was married to Carroll L. McDavitt.
She left a little son, Austin Carroll.
In 1913 Hanson V. Arnold died.
Never married. Clara E.
Arnold lives in Amarillo Texan. She
married Robert A. Boston who died in 1925, leaving two children, Lillian
M. and Jack H. who live with their mother.
One child, Robert A. died in infancy in 1913.
Sorrows surely come in plenty to the Arnold family.
record of this is made from Robert B. Arnold's recollections and given to
me from time to time. The work
is very faulty. My only excuse
is that I undertook the work too late in life.
Too feeble, to do it well.
25, 1933. Age 78
Emma Arnold West
looking over the work in this book, I do not feel that it is complete
without a little history of my mother's family. For the benefit of
the decedents of Robert & Drusilla
, I append the following:
M. Sirrine was born in
1788. He was married to Elizabeth Ross, who was also born in
in 1798. Married in 1821.
Their first daughter was Roseanna, born 1823.
A son Alfred born 1825. James
born 1827. Mary born 1829.
Drusilla born July 31, 1830. Lucy,
born 1833. My mother, and most
of the other children were born at Coshocton on the East side of Delaware
. The work in that early day
was mostly clearing forests, piece by piece, burning over the land,
plowing it up as best they could with ox teams, planting it to potatoes,
corn and wheat to feed the family. A
few sheep were grown and flax raised to clothe the family and make
bedding. Most everybody had a
few geese or ducks which they live picked two or three times a year to
make their feather beds and pillows. The
flax and wool were spun in the homes and woven in the homes, and made up
houses were all made of logs. There
were no stoves, but fireplaces were used for cooking and for warmth.
Always a bed in the one room, a trundle bed for the small children.
The older ones slept in the chamber which was neither lathed or
plastered. No stairs but was
reached by a ladder. Home made
candles were their light. But
they were warm and comfortable, plenty of wood everywhere, plenty of good
ax men to cut it, and pile it in the fire place to roar up the chimney,
great feather beds and plenty of woolen blankets.
Their dishes were mostly wooden or pewter, steel knives and fork
with tow tines. All leaf
tables were used and cleared off and leaves let down and set back against
the wall after each meal. Many
people had no table cloth for everyday, ate on bar table, but Grandma said
“She never set her table without a table cloth, and it was pure linen
too” for linen was plentier than cotton.
lived along the bank of the
, and in open weather it was the thing to do to take the washing to the
river to do. They had a
place to hang a big brass kettle fill it with water, build a fire under it
to heat, wash their clothes in home made wooden tubs, rub them on wash
board, wring them out by hand, boil them up in the kettle, dip up more
water from the river to rinse them, and hang them on the bushes to dry.
How hard this sounds to us who have power washers and wringers!
But they had good times too.
& grandma had several brothers & sisters who married and settled
around them in Wayne County, Pa. All
raised large families; the children played together building their play
houses and were more contented than the children are today.
One exciting time of their lives every Spring, when the ice had
gone out of the river, and water was high, was to watch to see the famous
big rafts of lumber go down through to
. One day, I have heard my
Mother tell, the relatives were all out watching for a certain raft to
sail down though. My Mother's
Uncle was Captain of the raft, and when it came in sight, they all waved
and cheered. His wife who was
a sister of grandmas, was there with her children too, and just as it was
about going out of sight, something happened that swept Uncle off into the
river, and he was drown in sight of them all.
Roseanna learned the trade of dressmaking, and a good one she proved to
be. Went to work in Honesdale,
hired a room and boarded herself and for many years had all the work she
could do. She married John
Hawker, a widower with one daughter Mary.
Two daughters were born to them - Della who married and went to
to live and Ida, who remained at home along with Uncle John who was a shoe
maker. He died about 1878,
Aunt Roseanna about 1880, and Ida sometime later.
Uncle James Sirrine died when he was 21 years old.
Uncle Alfred married Lucritia, lost the oldest child when a babe of
& father were married in 1851 and went to Willett, Cortland Co. Ny to
live on a little farm he bought. Here
Edwin was born. The rest of
their record is written elsewhere in this book.
In 1854 Uncle Alfred and wife concluded they would go to Michigan.
When it was settled that they were going, Grandpa and Grandma
Sirrine decided they would go too, and Aunt Mary and Aunt Lucy went also.
So they all went together, except Aunt Rosanna who said
was good enough for her. The
Sirrine's bought homes about 20 miles west of
. Uncle Alfred’s home was
near the Alegan
River. Steamboats plied back
and forth on the river several times a day.
Uncle Alfred was engaged as captain on one boat, a position he held
for several years, when he resigned, as he had plenty of work at home.
The company regretted his leaving them, and ever after, as long as
Uncle lived, any time he had occasion to go up or down the river, he had
free passage, and always given command of the boat.
He was a very industrious man, and a man of the best of habits.
He had two daughters and three sons, DeEtte, Elizabeth, and James,
Charles and Fred. Aunt Mary
married William Bassett, a widower with one son - Herman, and three
children were born to them, Willie, Frank and Ella.
Aunt Lucy married Earl Frayer a widower, with one son; four
children were born to them, Evelyn, Joseph, Earl and Frank.
Uncle Earl was a "boss" carpenter by trade and one day in
raising a large barn a rope broke, a big timber fell on him and he was
killed instantly. The raising
being not far from his home, his wife and children were all there to see
the raising, and so they were witnesses to the sad event.
1865 my father and mother went to
taking my brother Edwin and me with them.
It was my first right on the cars.
We left the train at
and went 20 miles on a stage to the Frayer's the first night.
Next day we walked 4 miles to grandpa Sirrine's.
We were eating supper just at night fall, when James Sirrine came
up across the field to tell the sad news that his brother Charlie had
gotten dreadfully scalded, a few minutes before.
Charlie was lying on the floor in front of the kitchen stove
fooling with the dog. The
hired girl went to the stove to get the coffee pot to put on the supper
table, as she lifted it from the stove; she was carrying it right over the
boy when the pot fell off leaving the handle in her hand.
The coffee was spilled across his bowels and down his legs below
his knees. We went down the
next day, and I will never forget how those great blisters looked.
He was 9 years old.
stayed 2 months among the relatives and Charlie had got so he could get
around on crutches. Father
only stayed a week with us, when he went on to
to visit his two brothers, William and Dennis and families.
Grandpa was a cripple having broken his hip the year before we were
there. It probably wasn't set
right. He could get around the
house on crutches a little and passed the time mostly, paring peaches to
dry for to sell. They had
quite a crop of their own. It
was right in peach time and melon time too, when we were.
How we did enjoy them! Father
returned from Iowa about a week before the time set to go home, and one
day he took Uncle Bassett’s team and we took a ride out about 20 miles
to see some land that was for sale, with the an idea of purchasing a home
and locating there. Didn't find just what suited so didn't buy.
As I had taken my doll - (named Dolly Dutton) to
, I like wise took her everywhere I went.
In the trip home from this ride out in the country, I was tied, got
to sleep, and when we arrived at Uncles house, Dolly Dutton was missing.
Next a.m. we searched the wagon, the ground where we gout, but no
sign of it anywhere. I felt
pretty badly but mother consoled me by telling me that "probably some
little girl would find it that had no dolly, and how happy she would
be." So I always thought
that was just what happened and tried to be glad for the little girl, well
soon the "good byes" were all said, and we returned to
state the 1st of November, after an absence of two months.
The next year grandpa died and grandma went to Aunt Lucy's to live.
After Uncle Earl was killed, grandma went to Uncle Alfred's to
live. In 1874 Uncle Alfred
injured his knee while sawing. It
was only a little cut about half an inch long, blood poison set in and he
died in a few days. Then my
father went to
and brought grandma home with him. She
came to us in October and the next February 1875, she died of pneumonia.
She was buried in the little cemetery on John Greens' corner, on
Upper Lisle and
road. She was 77 years old.
The aunts and uncles all died one after another and some of the
cousins. Frank Frayer one of
Aunt Lucy’s boys was out here to visit us in the winter of 1888-9.
Mother never saw any of the
relatives again after his visit there, except her Mother and the cousin
coming to our house the once. It
was considered a great journey to
. Trains were slow in those
days and it was a tedious journey. One
vivid remembrance I have ever in mind of that western trip, is the Ague I
suffered, and the quinine I took. I
will finish this history with a story I have heard my Mother tell several
July 31, 1830 a little baby girl was born to Grandpa and Grandma Sirrine.
The little log cabin was getting somewhat over crowded, the new
baby being the fifth child, and fourth one being only a year old.
Great Grandfather Sirrine and his good wife drove over to
"Johns'" as soon as they heard the news, and while there, as
they wished to help them in someway, they proposed to take one of the
children home with them to keep a while.
As Roseanna was the eldest, seven years old, not old enough to be
of any material aid to the family, they decided to take her, and send her
to school in their district. She
was soon made ready, and wore a new pair of shoes that had recently been
made for her, of which she felt very proud.
They arrived at her Grandfathers just at night.
There summer schools and winter schools in those days.
The next morning she was made ready for school, with new shoes, and
dinner pail, her Grandfather walking over with her.
Near their home was a heavy piece of woods, with a beaten path
through which to go for quite a long distance, before coming to the
clearing where stood the log school house.
As they walked along he kept impressing it on her mind that she
must keep right on the path every step, never leave it to pick a flower or
anything, else she would get lost. He
went over after her at close of school and went with her again in the
morning. He did this for three
days, then the fourth day her Grandma went with her, telling her she must
come home alone that night. And
again telling here to keep to the path and hurry right along.
She came home that night all safe, and next morning, she went
alone. She had gotten quite a
distance on the path when she spied a nice patch of winter greens, so she
stopped by the path to pick them, soon she noticed nicer ones, and still
more nicer ones yet. There
were so many she thought it would be nice to take a bunch of them to the
teacher. So she picked and
picked, till it occurred to her that it was time she was getting on to
school. So she snatched up her
dinner pail and with her hands full of winter greens, she started back to
the path, but there was no path there.
She hurried this way and that, but no path could she find.
She traveled in all directions till she was so tired and hungry she
sat down to rest and eat. But
being convinced that she was lost, she thought best to save her lunch as
long as she could, so she ate her wintergreens.
Then she took off her new shoes to save them for the new baby and
started on carrying her shoes and pail.
She found some patches of raspberries of which she ate, and she
also ate a little of her lunch. Then
sun down came and she looked around for a place to sleep.
She found a clump of low hemlock trees growing close together, so
she crawled in there and a mossy mound was her bed.
She spread her handkerchief on it to keep the bugs from crawling
into her ears, spread her apron over her shoulders, and laid down,
expecting to be eaten up before morning, as she could hear wolves yelping
in the distance, but she hoped they wouldn’t eat her new shoes!
Owls were hooting in the trees above her, but she was so tired she
soon fell asleep. When she
awoke the sun was shinning brightly and after finishing her lunch, she
started on her weary march, surprised that she wasn’t eaten up.
She traveled on and on, and came to a place where she had been
yesterday, because she found a scrap of her dress caught on a briar bush.
All day she traveled, eating wintergreens, berries and birch as she
found them. Her feet were sore
and bleeding from scratches and bruises, yet she must save her shoes for
second night fell, and again she found a bed on mossy knoll under
sheltering bushes. And again
the wolves howled and the owls hooted, but she slept soundly through the
second night, and the third morning she set out on her weary journey.
But she didn’t go far before she came to the edge of the wood,
what a welcome sight she saw! A
clearing! A meadow and pasture
where sheep were grazing and down at a distance in the hollow, she saw a
house and smoke was curling up from a chimney.
She could also see some persons outside near the house.
She soon was on the way there.
It seemed that the man and his sons were waiting their turn at the
wash basin before breakfast, and one of them spied the little girl coming
down across the field. Soon
they were all gazing in wonder to see anyone coming from that way as no
one lived in the direction. As
she came up to them, she made it known that she was lost and had been in
woods two nights, they were astounded.
They asked her whose little girl she was, and she told them she was
staying for a while at her Grandfather, Mr. Sirrine’s.
Then they ask her how she got across the lake?
She said she had seen no lake.
Again they were astonished, as she could not have come there from
Mr. Sirrine’s without crossing a lake.
So it was decided that she must have come many miles to not have
seen the lake. Then she was
hustled into the house where a good breakfast was waiting, then undressed
and put into a good bed, where she soon fell asleep.
of the boys was sent on a horse to Mr. Sirrine’s to tell him where
Roseanna was. The
Grandfather drove over and got her, much rejoiced as everybody around
had been out hunting for her and supposed wolves had dragged her off.
But the shoes were saved for the baby!!
And that baby was my Mother, Drusilla.
Suffice it to say, that that terrible experience ended Roseanna’s
schooling for that summer. It
was indeed a miracle that the child was not killed, as wolves were
numerous, and bears were not uncommon, and even wild cats were seen
quite often. This story
always made a deep impression on Mother’s mind and she always wept as
she told it, and I (Nellie
) cried too when Grandma told me the story.
you remember, Grandmother Sirrine was a ‘Ross’.
Her Father died and her Mother married a man by the name of
Owens. After that, she was
always called “Granny Owens” by everyone who knew her.
I have heard my mother speak of her by that name many times,
but it seemed odd enough to hear Grandma Sirrine speak of her own
Mother as “Granny Owens”. She
was a widow the second time, living to a ripe old age.
She was a great spinner and weaver of lax and wool.
have some pieces of linen of her work.
There is a center piece on Nellie's table today that is some of
“Granny Owens’ work. It
must be nearly 200 years old. Will
any of our work live like that?
N.Y. by Emma
bit of early history along the Southern tier of New York
to the Revolution, Broome and Tioga Co’s were dense forests, and as
yet untrodden by the foot of white man.
The whole southern tier of
were inhabited by the most powerful tribes of Indians in the
. No tribe could boast a
warrior who equaled Brandt, and none of an orator superior to Red
Jacket. It was not until
1779, three years after the signing of the Declaration of
Independence, that General John Sullivan came with a detachment of the
American army, and was joined on the way by General James Clinton with
another detachment to make war on the Indians.
encamped one or two nights on the site of
. They destroyed their
wigwams as fast as they came to them, and depleted a whole Indian
village up the
. But the heaviest
fighting and bloodiest seems took place down the Susquehanna River,
. But of this we will pass
quickly over as being too terrible to dwell on.
But suffice it to say, that in that battle the Indians soon
found their superiors.
years later, in 1787, Cap. Joseph Leonard, who is believed to have
been the first white man to make a permanent settlement in the town,
came with a young wife and two little children and located on the
Chenango in the vicinity of Port
. His wife and children
came in a canoe with the household stuff they brought, a hired man
rowing the boat, while he came by land, with two horses, keeping to
the shore, and regulating his speed by that of the family.
Leonard came from
where he owned a farm and lived for several years.
He was there at the time of the Great
Massacre, though not in the field of action.
Soon after that, came the great ice freshet in the Susquehanna
carrying away his dwelling, and many others also.
This calamity induced him to seek more peaceable possessions.
He received information from Amos Draper, an Indian trader in
this locality, which lead him to select this section for his home.
Two or three weeks later, came Col. Wm Rose and his brother
Solomon Rose. They came
on foot to Wattles ferry, where they procured a canoe, and brought
with them supplies to this place.
Rose or Dr. Rose as he was usually called, was a great great
grandfather of Nellie Graves Dewsnap, on her grandmother
side. Dr. Rose settled a
little farther up the Chenango than Capt. Leonard did.
Soon after this, quite a colony of whites came, and one Daniel
Hudson, settled between Capt. Leonard and Dr. Rose.
Solomon Rose came on further, settling in the town of
. Their relations with the
Indians were very friendly. They
were never molested. The
Indians raised corn and potatoes, and gave some to the white men for
seed. But other seeds and
flour they brought with them. Getting
their grain ground was a great problem, the nearest grist mill being
, at what is now called
, forty miles away. It
took a week and sometimes two to make the journey.
The trip was usually made on horse back.
they had to resort to a hollow stump and stone pestle to crack up the
corn into sump to cook as the Indians did.
The white families begin to come in faster now, and the Indians
began to move off a little to give more room to them.
Finally the settlers came in so fast, that the Indians had to
pick up their “dolls” and get out.
Some went away on “West” but some twenty families of one
tribe came north to the mouth of Castle Creek, and settled on a farm
half a mile square, which farms became known as ‘The Castle’ where
they were assured they would never be molested.
Chief of these twenty families was very fair and friendly in all his
dealings with the settlers. He
was deemed smart in intellect, above the average red man.
His name was Antonio. The
white settlers gave him the name of “Squire Antonio” on account of
his just decisions and his correct judgments and sober habits.
He was very much esteemed by the white people, as well as
revered and loved by his own. He
undoubtedly contributed very materially toward maintaining friendly
and peaceful relations toward the settlers.
there were sharper, even in those days.
A man named Patterson appeared on the scene about 1792 and soon
made himself very agreeable to the Indians, visiting the reservation
often on the “castle” farm, but his eye was more on the farm, than
on the Indians. On one of
his visits he carried a beautiful silver mounted rifle, which he knew
would excite their admiration. Abraham
Antonio, the son of the Chief, wished very much to buy it, but
Patterson put a price on it beyond anything they could pay.
After he had sufficiently paved the way, he proposed to the
young Chief is he would engage to get him a certain number of bear
shins, he would let him have his rifle.
This was gladly agreed to.
So Patterson drew up a note that the skins were to be delivered
by such a specified time, and told the boy that he and his father must
both sign it. Abraham
hesitated to do this as he did not understand such a mode of business.
So he went to his father for advice and was told that it was
the proper way of doing business with the whites.
So the squire and his son both signed it.
left the rifle and rode away. A
few days later some men came to the “Castle” farm and demanded
possession, showing them the paper they had signed was a deed for
their farm. It is needless
to say that the Indians felt very badly at this treatment, but they
quickly withdrew away on west to Ohio, leaving their favorite hunting
grounds forever. But
Squire Antonio carried with him a vow to even up with Patterson some
day. Several years after
this, Patterson drifted off west and happened to cross the old chief’s
path. He hadn’t
forgotten his vow, and he dealt with him as only Indians can deal, and
who could blame him?
to go back to the settlers, General Sullivan on his return to
civilization gave such glowing accounts of the wonders of this section
of the state, such timber, beautiful streams of water – that soon
settlers came thick and fast. Saw
mills were built, also comfortable houses, and then schools were
started. My great great
grandfather Dr. Rose, previously mentioned, taught the first school in
Binghamton in 1794. When I
stop to consider, that only seven generations back from my children,
my ancestor built the second log cabin in that little clearing on the
old Chenango River and his only available assets were brain and brawn,
and a determination to do and dare.
more thought in conclusion; when we take thought and consider what has
been done along down the ages, we will have to agree with the Indians,
that the white man is indeed a superior being.
But tell me pray, what would man and all of his inventions ever
have amounted to had there not been a woman around with a broom to
sweep up the whittlings!!?
arranged, and written by Emma D. West for her daughter Nellie Graves
Dewsnap, Owego N.Y. Cot 22, 1933.
Rose my great great grandfather taught the first school in Binghamton
N.Y. in 1794. A log school
house at the foot of Mt. Prospect.
Edward Graves had a large part of the New England states given him by
the King of England.
do not Snatch at Flies”
Graves family Crest