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Reminiscences of the Patterson Family
by Leon D. Palmer
Being an account of the happenings of an Irish family who
immigrated to the United States from about 1840 to 1900.
Spelling has not been corrected and left as Mr. Palmer wrote this work.
Pages 83 - 111
Chapter 24........... continuedPage 83
usually in the late fall. The first of January 1907 came. I husked some field corn for William that he had stored in the lower barn, and he and I commenced cutting wood down on the "wicks" lot as William called it. It was the piece of land he had purchased the year before. Along the last of January we all commenced to have out yearly sieges with colds and grippe, first one and then another of us folks would come down with it, and nearly every one in the neighborhood as well as us would have this disease or distemper. Dr. Skinner of Genoa was our family doctor but it got so he had so many calls to make he could not make them all so a young Dr. George Sincerbeaux was our Doctor when we were sick and not able to get out of the house. On Sunday Feb. 10, 1907, William and I cut wood on the wicks lot and William broke thru the ice on the creek and stepped in water above his knees. He walked home a distance of nearly a mile. He got a chill from the icey water and was put to bed by mother. On Monday Feb. 11, Dr. Sincerbeaux of Locke was called. The Doctor came every day untill Saturday when Dr. Skinner was called in for a consultation. William was growing steadily worse. He had pneumonia. On Tuesday Feb. 19, 1907 William passed away at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
Edward Strait and Carrie and Frank and Jessie Pelham and Leeander Low were all there when he died. His funeral was on Thursday Feb. 21st. Elder S. b. Whitney preached the funeral sermon, he had introduced mother and William and officiated at their marriage nine years before. The bearers were Down Robinson, Andrew Brink, Charlie Fitch and Andrew Durphy.
It seemed a little strange to have William gone. Shortly after William passed away I had the chicken pox and had to stay in doors for several days. James Fanning still lived in part of the house and he done the chores. Ed Strait and Carrie moved to Leeander Lowes place on March 1st and continued to work his place and cared for Leeander untill his death on Sunday Jan. 10, 1909.
William made a will the Sunday before he died. Grant Halsey drew it up. He left the farm, stock and tools to Mother and Edna and his daughter Jessie Pelham, 100 dollars in money and the wicks lot at the end of the new road. To Carrie Strait he left 12 acres of land down on the corner by Henry Howsers and no money. This made Carrie very much dissatisfied and she and Ed threatened to set aside or break the will. This worried mother and she finally did give Carrie 100 dollars the same as Jessie, very much to Grant Halsey's disgust who was the lawyer who drew up the will and who had it probated on April 24, 1907. Carrie and Ed's lawyer David Dean had appealed the date of probation twice. Mother sold off part of the cows and flock of sheep so as to pay funeral expenses and pay Jessie and Carrie their money. I worked the Patterson place that summer with the help of James Fanning who worked for me by the day when I wanted him. I continued to work the Patterson farm until 1913.
James Fanning moved to North Lansing the spring of 1908, then he had the whole house to ourselves again. We installed a telephone on July 25, 1908, and found it a great convenience and keept it in the house for years afterward.
Mother continued to care for Jane Jones after William died when ever she was sick and she finally died at our house on Thursday May 7, 1908.
The grim reaper took five members of the Patterson family in the three years from 1906 to 1909. William, Leeander and Lib Low, and Arthur and his mother Jane Jones. Also Uncle George Palmer died Nov. 13, 1907 and Grandfather John Bartholomew Dec. 10, 1906.
The Shilohites of Shiloh Maine, and Diana Patterson Osmun
appears as both a good and an evil angel.
About 1905 to 1909 there lived in Maine a Rev. Frank W. Sandford, whom people said was a wonderful preacher, he drew great crowds of people to hear his strange interpretations of the Scriptures.
His headquarters was at a place called Shiloh somewhere near to Portland Maine. Rev. Sandford claimed (I understand) to be none other than Elijah returned from heaven to the earth and many people believed his strange ideas and imaginations which he claimed to read out ot the Bible. He formed a sect of people who called themselves, "The Holy Ghost and Us Society", but were called "Shilohites" by outsiders.
Many wealthy and well to do people were impressed by Rev. Sandfords oratory and joined him in his Kingdom at Shiloh Maine. They gave him all their money to help on the work and gain new converts. Rev. Sandford purchases with the money he received two yachts one was named "Kingdom" the other "Coronet". These were docked at Portland Maine harbor. The yacht Kingdom was use in voyages to Jamaica and other West Indies ports in an effort to enlarge their following of converts and replenish the societies funds.
An Elder Jewell and a Charles F. Holland were the Societies leaders on this expedition to the West Indies. It was said that the West Indies offered far better opportunities for securing recruits and funds than the New England States. Many wealthy planters and Commercial men in and about Jamaica and St. Thomas and other West Indian ports became interested in the doctrines of Sandford and his Holy Ghosters and pledged themselves to assist financially in the work.
On June 1907 an actual famine threatened the Band of followers at Shiloh Maine. Sandfords idea was that the Lord would supply everything for his followers needs but when the supply of well do do converts begain to dwindle off and no new funds were available the Lord seemed to have ceased to supply their needs.
A rebellion broke out in their ranks led by one Frank Thompson and their action led to the sailing of their leader to Palestine on the yacht Coronet to intercede with the Almighty in the success of himself and his deciples in their missionary work.
They sent bands of evangalists through the New England States and even into New York State, and they had a certain degree of success in obtaining recruits and funds. Their ideas were something different and anew in the religious line and appealed to many people who liked the idea of having someone else do
their thinking and reasoning for them, or at least a certain amount of it. My meager description of the "Shilophites" is very crude and unconvinceing, as I do not know what their ideas were. All I know is what I have been told and a clipping from a newspaper of the doings of the "Holy Ghost" and Us Society.
One of their bands of evangalists came to Ithaca in New York State and of all people!, one lady they interested in their ideas was Diana Patterson Osmun! This was in the year 1906. Diana sold her nice house in Ithaca and prepared to go to Shiloh Maine and dwell in Rev. Sandfords "Kingdom", but before going she wrote a brief letter to her brother William Patterson. It read as follows: "I forgive you all as I hope to be forgiven." That was it said, and it was signed "Diana".
I remember when William Patterson received that letter and what a puzzled expression came over his face. I had just arrived back from my journey to Wisconsin. William said "She knows she treated me aful mean". The incident was forgotten. Aug., Sept, and October came. Lib Low, Diana sister died on Oct. 24, Arthur Jones passed away on the same day. No one notified Diana as no one really knew her street address in Ithaca and no one of the Pattersons that were left cared to find out. Diana was an outcast from her own family. No one cared to see her or wanted to see her or have anything to do with her what so ever.
On Sunday Nov. 18, 1906, William Patterson was drawing in some field corn on the barn floor. There was no snow on the ground, the ground was froze up hard.
I helped William unload the corn from the wagon and carry in the barn when he arrived with a load from the field. He did not seem to care for any help in loading it. Frank and Jessie and Raymond were there that Sunday and Jane Jones and Arthur Joneses widow, Mamie Jones and her four children, she was just getting ready to go back to her old home in Iowa. I played the Phonograph between loads of corn. Mother was busy getting ready for dinner.
A high toped buggy with a team of horses drove in the yard. A lady got out and came toard the house, nearly everyone stared out of the windows wondering who the lady was. Suddenly Frank Pelham much exited exclaimed! " I know who that is. It's Diana Patterson, It's her, What does she want here". The lady in question came up on the porch knocked and mother went to the door. She asked if Jane Jones and Arthur Joneses wife were there, that she wished to see them and that she was Jane's sister. Mamie Jones I believe never saw Diana her husband's aunt before. Jane Jones recognized her at once and did not look any to pleased at seeing her.
Mother invited her to take her coat off and have a chair. She was dressed well but plain. She looked very much like Lib Low, only a great deal younger, and slightly stoughter and a larger
women. Conversation laged. Frank Pelham and Jessie went out in the kitchen. Diana talked with Mamie asking her what she expected to do, and where she was liveing. I went out doors where the driver of the team was hitching and blanketing his team, and invited him to come in the house where it was warm. Mother whispered to me to go out and tell William that Diana was there, which I did. He was very much surprised and he looked at me in that solemn, serious, way of his as if he doubted I was telling the truth. He keept right on pitching corn however. I went back in the house and as mother was just getting dinner ready it was no more than an act of courtesy to invite Diana and her driver to stay for dinner which they did with some protest on their part. So we all set down and eat dinner except William, he refused to come in and eat, and meet his sister Diana.
After dinner was eaten Diana sat a few minutes and made the remark that they would have to be going. The driver and I went out doors and he took the blankets off of the team and unhitched the horses. This driver then asked me why Mrs. Osmuns brother did not come in and eat dinner with and see his sister? I replied that there had been trouble years ago in the Patterson family. He asked what sort of trouble? I said some trouble over their father's will. He seemed to me at the time to be better dressed than the average livery stable horse driver, and I wondered why he should be so interested in asking me the questions he did. Diana soon came out and they drove away. In the house before leaveing she had handed Jane and Mamie each a roll of money with the remark that she wished to make them a little present.
Upon counting the money it was found to be sixty dollars each. Mamie Jones was especially pleased with hers, as she was alone with four small children. 1906 and 1907 rolled bye. William had gone to his long rest. 1908 rolled around. One Jan. 15, 1908 Zeno Teeter drove in the yard toard night and a lady got out of the sleigh and came to the door, it was Diana Patterson Osmun. She asked mother if Jane her sister was there. She was at her own home an her own place. Zeno Teeter did not wait for Diana to tell him if she was going to stay at our place or not. He drove away. Diana stayed all night and mother took her up to Jane's and left her. Along the last of March, Jane was taken sick and was brought down to Mother's to be cared for and be doctored up. Jessie Pelham came up and helped care for her and the rest of us were down also with the same old yearly trouble, the grippe.
When Jane had slightly recovered and able to talk she told mother and Jessie that Diana had stayed with her for a time and she had caught Diana one night reaching under her pillow trying to steal her money she keept there. Jane said, she opened the door and told Diana to get out and she finally went. But Jane this time did not recover from her illness, as she had so many times before. She stayed and keept just about so all
through April. On April 23 Diana came to see her sister as before. It happened mother was all alone, Diana stayed all night. The next day Jessie came up and Leeander Low came over to call.
Jane was not glad to see her sister at all. Indeed she shook her fist at her. After Jessie came Mother told Diana that seeing Jane did not want her to stay and Jessie was there to help she need not stay. Diana flew into a rage and told mother she did not want her there. Jane shook her fist at her. She was to weak and sick to say much as she sat in her chair. Her heart was very weak. Diana tried to hug and kiss Jane and Jane dident want any such. Mother said diana you let Jane alone you will kill her, and Diana commenced to cuss and swear and she picked up Leeander Lows cane and threw it at him as he sat in the corner of the room. It did not hit him. Mother says "Diana you get out of this house or I will call the men folks and they will put you out". Long Hank Howser and I were building fence down below the barn. Mother held the door open and Diana left and went up the road presumably to Zene Teeters. Mrs. Emma Teeter was a friend of Diana's and she stayed there a good deal. This was on April 24, 1908 and was the last we ever saw of Diana Osmun. After Diana left, Jane seemed to be worried and as I remember she told mother and Leeander that she had left some money in a bureau drawer up at her house. She was afraid Diana would break in and find it. Leeander, and I think mother, went with him up to her place and they found it, about 200 dollars in bills that Jane had saved out of her pension money. She did not trust any bank and prehapps did not know about them. Up to this time we had not heard anything about the Shilohites. Am not certain but I believe Down Robinson was the first to tell us about Diana's joining up with them. He no doubt got his information from Emma Teeter who was a sister to Down Robinson wife. Isaac Robinson reported how he had over heard Diana as she was walking along the road muttering and cussing to herself what a big fool she was and something about giveing away her money. Isaac also told how two years before in 1906 he was up at Ithaca with his traction engine which he was haveing repaired at Langs machine shop on Green street. He stayed one night at the Tompkins hotel and took his meals there.
At one time he sat across the table from two men who appeared to be preachers from what they said in their conversation. Mr. Robinson paid no particular notice of them but when they commenced to talk about Diana Osmun he picked up his ears, as he used to go to school with her. One of the men asked the other, "What do you think of Diana Osmun? The other answered I think she's just an old fool". and is coming into the fold". He was curious to know who these two men were and upon inquiry found that they were from Shiloh in the state of Maine, and were holding meetings there in Ithaca, and also they were going out into the country around Ludlowville and Lansingville where they had interested some people. If I understand aright Mrs. Wilmer Stout of Lansingville was one of this number and she
reported hearing one of the Elders saying that he was surprised that Diana Osmun did not give her sister and nephews wife more money than 60 dollars. The driver that came with Diana that first visit in 1906 was one of the Elders or leaders in the Holy Ghost and Us Society of Shiloh Maine.
What ever became of Diana Osmun or when she died we do not know. We suppose she went back to Shiloh Maine.
Her actions correspond with what little we know of the Shilohites. In 1906 she went to Shiloh and we suppose stayed there in the kingdom until some time in 1907 when it broke up and part of its members left. Diana must have been one of this number for she came back and must have been without funds for Jane Jones declared she tried to steal her money.
Jane Jones keept about the same untill Thursday May 7th 1908, she suddenly died. Her heart just stopped beating. Her funeral was held Sunday May 10th. Chas. Fitch, Andrew Durphy, John Ralph and Isaac Robinson were the bearers. A Mr. Richardson from North Lansing preached the funeral sermon. Leeander Low passed away the next winter on Jan. 10, 1909. He left his farm to Carrie. Ed and Carrie lived on Lees Place for several years. Finally Ed Strait exchanged this place for a smaller place east of Locke and a 1,000 dollars in money. After a short time Ed seemed to get rid of the money and he and Carrie moved to Cortland where Ed, worked in the Wickwire works.
After Jane Joneses death her place and the little money she had was given to her nearest of kin, Arthur's children and mother Mamie Jones. She returned from Iowa and lived on Jane's place for many years.
I have not stated in this epistle the ages of the Pattersons when they died as I do not know and I doubt if many of them knew their selves. There were no records keept back in those days at least among the Patterson family. William Patterson for instance when he died in 1907 was said to be 65 years of age, but if he as eight or ten years old in 1840 when he came over from Ireland as he said himself he would have been over 70 when he died. I believe this is the time to end this narrative about the Patterson family. After the death of William, Jane, Diana, Lib and Leeander Low, all that were left were William Patterson's children, Jessie Pelham and Carrie Strait who died sometime about 1927 to 1930, and Jane Joneses grandchildren. There were five boys and all now live around Groton, West Groton and South Lansing. One boy was born after Art Jones died.
Mary Ann Dean died about 1902. She and family lived in Dryden. She left two children, George Dean who died around 1920 and Cornelia Pugsley who passed on around 1932. So we will leave the Patterson family. Prehapps I shall try and continue this narrative from 1907 on, as there are many interesting things could be told about what happened while I was working the Patterson farm up to
[Note: Mary Cornelia Dean - Warren Pugsley died March 9, 1937]
the year 1913 when I made one more attempt to get away from the place and this time I succeeded, by getting into the Dairy Industry as creamery and milk station manager, working for Cornell University Dairy Department during the years 1914 to 1918. Then I was transferred to the Hires Condensed Milk Co., and Nestles Food Co. I resigned this position in 1919 and took a position with the Chestnut Farms Dairy Co. of Washington, D. C., as superintendent of one of their milk receiving stations at New Midway, Maryland which position I held untill 1924. All this would make a manuscript as large or larger than account of the Palmer and Patterson families.
Working the Patterson Farm in the year 1907
and the dedication of the New Agricultural Building at Cornell
After my stepfather, William Patterson died on Feb. 19, 1907 mother was left with a farm on her hands. This was eight years after she had come from Brookfield to Tompkins County. Her children had "grown up". Lila was a girl of fifteen and I was just comeing of age. Our half sister Edna was a girl of seven. James Fanning and wife who had worked for William the year before lived in part of the house. William and mother had had some talk with Ralph Hare and wife Ethel who lived in the next house east on the Dennis Kelley Farm about working the farm that year of 1907 but after I returned from Wisconsin the fall of 1906 they wanted me to work it, and I to pleased them had partly agreed. I was not very enthusiastic over the proposition but after William died I prehapps was more encouraged to undertake the task. James Fanning agreed to stay and work for me when ever I wanted him. I was a husky young man with seven years of farm experience on my shoulders, five years working for William, one year with John Buckley and part of one year spent in the State of Wisconsin. William said at the time I returned that my trip there was my time and money thrown away. Prehapps it was to him, but to me it was time and money well spent as the experience I aquired in getting out away from home amongst strangers was worth more to me than the money would have been in latter years. So I started in with Jim's and mothers help doing the work on the Patterson farm that year of 1907. I believe I done very well as I do not recall any incidents worthy of mention. When I did not need Jim to help me he worked by the day for John Buckley and others, and I know that John was dissapointed in not haveing me work for him, but he well understood that I was needed at home.
He did however cut the grain I sowed on the Patterson place with his binder, and I helped him in return for the favor. We exchanged work this way for several years after. John and I always got along fine. He helped me out of difficulties many times, and he was one of the best friends I had.
On May 24 of that year, Mother, Lila, Edna, myself, Paul Williams and Florence Robinson went up to Ithaca to a school picnic held on the campus at Cornell University. The occasion was the completion of the New Agricultural building. We ate our dinner in the old apple orchid back of and to the est of the new Agricultural building. A large crowd was there. All the schools in Tompkins County were invited.
Liberty Hyde Baley stood up on a box under an old apple tree and made a speech dedicating the new building to the boys and girls of New York State as a place where they might learn more about Agriculture or Agronomy as he called it.
I remember Liberty Hyde Baley as wearing a wide brimed hat like a western cattleman. We hitched our horses in the old wood colored Cornell University Barn just near to or back of the new Ag. Building some where about where Bailey Hall now stands. I do not recall seeing an automobile there. Just plain farm folks and their families who came in buggies and platform wagons like ourselves.
That autumn there was a large crop of apples but in other sections of the State they were scarce. A William Baldwin of Groton came around buying apples by the barrel and I sold them to him for $2.65 a barrell which was the highest price at which apples were ever sold off of the Patterson farm to my knowledge. Clarence Ames my cousin from Chenango County came out and helped me pick them. Jim Fanning was not a very swift apple picker. He did not like to climb and who could blame him as he was an old man. We had 67 barrells besides evaporator dry apples.
John Buckley and Down Robinson also had apples but they thought by the reports from around the state that apples were scarce and the they would be higher, and so they refused to sell storeing them in their cellars and asking $1.00 per bushel or $3.00 a barrell for them and telling me that I was foolish to sell mine.
There was a money panic that fall. The cause of which I do not understand and will not try to explain. Teddy Roosevelt was president. Apples took a big drop in price and it left John and Down with their apples on their hands. I had the laugh on them that time.
They hired a freight car at Locke, loaded their apples in it and shipped them to Syracuse and then they themselves took a horse and platform wagon and drove up to Syracuse themselves hireing a room and board and stable for their horse, staying there for the greater share of the winter peddling the apples around Syracuse and supplying the stores and markets as they wanted them. They got rid of the apples at some price but they could have gotten as much, or more in the fall at their own orchid.
I always thought John and Down had just a little better opinion of my business ability after that apple deal, at least John did, for he exclaimed afterward, " You lucky dog" and a lot of other exclamatory works added on and I couldent make out if he was cussing himself, me or both of us.
The Smith Family and John Ralph's adventure with the "Injun Pirates of 1909"
The year 1908 came. We found that it was a great inconvenience to not be able to use all of our house, so James Fanning and his wife obtained some rooms at North Lansing and they moved there on April 17th. We concluded that we could get help when we want it without having ot have some one live in part of the house. William Patterson the last few years of his life had not keept the fences in good repair on his place so that spring we hired our neighbor, Long Hank Howser to help me split posts and build fence and a Clayton Harris also worked helping at times when I wanted him.
The short line railroad was completed to Genoa in that year and commenced carrying passengers on its cars to Auburn from Genoa about Aug. 1st. I took my first ride on it from Genoa to Alburn on Aug. 18th. It was completed through to Ithaca I think the latter part of 1909.
Bert Swartwood and family moved on the Andrew Brink farm about Jan. 1st 1907 and stayed there six years or until about April 1st 1913 when they moved from the Brink farm to Dennis Kelley's farm. A family by the name of Smith moved on the Kelley farm in 1909. They came from somewhere in Newfield I understand, and were reported to be part Indian. There was Mrs. Smith and her children, two sons and four daughters. The sons names were Harry and Guy, the four daughters names I have forgotten except one whoes name was Maud and the older daughter who's second husband was named Frank Karlson. Mrs. Karlson had two young children by a former husband a boy and a girl by the name of Frankie and Alice Brin. Mrs. Karlson's former husband Mr. Brin and another brother besides Harry and Guy were steel workers on the St. Lawrence extension or suspension bridge, and when that bridge collapsed a few years before into the St. Lawrence river they lost their lives in the tragedy. This bridge was successfully built sometime in the 1930's and was dedicated at it's completion by Franklin Delane Roosevelt and is called the Peace bridge.
Harry and Guy Smith and their brother in law Frank Karlson loved to sit and smoke their big pipes and tell about how the horses they owned could do more work and were better than any one else's animals and everything they had and the things they done were so far ahead of everything else in the neighborhood that there was no comparison. They were the greatest fellows to tell tall stories and brag that I ever met. Any one else just couldent get a word in edgeways. It wounded as if they were saying, "Me heap big Unjun all the time". Just a short distance north on the road to Ike Robinson's from Down Robinson's place lived John Ralph and wife. They were older people of English descent. John Ralph was a quiet plain farmer, and a very likeable man. He in former years operated a saw mill near to Locke. Mr. Ralph learning that the Smith boys had a horse that they desired to sell, went over to the Dennis Kelley farm to see and observe what
they had in the line of horses, and he saw and "heard" a plenty. I was told that Mr. Ralph arrived at the Kelley place where the Smiths lived one morning and one of the Smith boys had just arrived back from the creamery where he had carried the milk. Now the Smith boys and their brother in law Frank were very loud gruff talkers especially so when they were around their horses, and some of their horse were nervious high strung animals that danced around and flew back in the harness in freight when they heard the Smiths holler in a loud voice, "whea there".
Of course when Mr. Ralph arrived they were anxious to show their horses off and make a good impression as they realized they had a prospective buyer, so one of the boys I do not know which one I think it was Harry stepped up to take one of the horses by the bridal rein. The horse nervious and scared by the sudden action dodged backward backing the platform wagon into the side of the horse barn, breaking out the tongue and knocking over the milk cans and the shouts of the trio of men folk turned around heads toards the wagon and barn and getting twisted and tangled up in the traces and driveing reins they commenced to lunge and turn this way and that, getting further entangled in the harness in an effort to get away from their tormentors. Harry and Karlson commenced to cuss and shout and blame the driver for letting the horses back up that way and the driver trying to extract himself from the pile of milk cans, seat, dashboard, and twisted harness, commenced to cuss and blame the others for causeing the horses to back up that way. John Ralph stood and watched them for a few minutes in astonishment and then seeing that there was nothing he could do to help out in the fracas he beat a hasty retreat up the road toard Down Robinson's and home. He saw that there was no horses in that mess that he wanted and by the way the Smith boys cussed and shouted he begain to be afraid of his own safety.
Down Robinson was working in the field beside of the road near to his barn and John stopped and told Down all about the affair. Down Robinson was the one who latter told me about this fracas. John said "They cussed and swore untill the air must have been blue. They talked just like Injun Pirates". I was scared of my life and I left and Down Robinson was so tickled at John Ralph's account that he had to lean up against a fence post from laughter. "Down" was a great fellow to laugh when any thing tickled or pleased him. He laughed that hearty laugh of his when he told me the story. He would commence with a silly te-he-he-he, and end up with a hearty haw-haw-haw.
John Ralph and wife have passed on to the great beyond years age. Their daughter married Johnnie Demmonds at Locke and Johnnie Demmonds junior their son, in latter years married one of the younger Smith girls. John Ralph in the spring of 1907 purchased a horse off mother, a mare by the name of Lottie, a
horse that Leeander Low had when Lib Lowe was killed at Scukerport near Moravia on Oct. 24, 1906. On Sept. 26, 1908, Mame Jones and five young sons came from the State of Iowa to take up their residence on the Jane Jones place. Jane as I have recorded before had died on May 7th.
On Sept. 23, 1909 Ella Howser who was Long Hank Howsers wife moved the Harriet Butler house to her place and built it on to the back of her house. Charlie Williams, a neighbor who was a carpenter done the work the following autumn.
In the autumn of this year 1909 I had 33 barrells of apples which I sold to Leon Buck for $2.10 a barrell. These were the last apples sold by the barrel off of the Patterson farm that I have any record of. The apples from 1909 on were so infested with worms that they were not fit to be sold for barrelling. We did not understand about spraying fruit in 1909. On Aug. 24, mother went out to Chenango County to care for Grandmother Bartholomew who was in very poor health. She went on the train from Locke and returned on Sept. 10th.
On Nov. 18th she again was called out to Grandmother Bartholomew's and returned on Dec. 7, and Aunt Mary Palmer of Earlville came home with her. She stayed untill Dec. 16, when Lila went home with her to Earlville. I do not have any record as to the date Lila returned from Chenango County but think that Clarence Ames came back with her and stayed untill about Feb. 1st 1910.
On April 14, 1910, Mother again was called out to Chenango Co., to care for Grandmother Bartholomew. She took Edna my half sister with her. She was now a girl of 10 years. They took the Short Line railroad from North Lansing to Auburn thense to Syracuse and then down to Earlville and was little more convenient than the old way of going to Locke, Freeville, Cortland and Rippleton on the Lehigh Valley railroad. They returned on April 27. Lila and I got along alone while they were gone. On May 12, 1910 mother went again and she arrived just in time to see Grandmother Bartholomew alive once more as she died on Friday May 13, 1910. Her funeral was on Monday May 16th, mother returned on May 19th.
On Feb. 12, 1910 there was a very heavy fall of snow. The snow was up to the top of the fences and the roads when people got them shoveled out were tunnels. we did not have any motorized snow plows in those days. That year 1910 had a remarkably early spring. April was just like the month of May with the result that grass grew so fast that I turned the cows to pasture on April 26th.
Guy Smith worked for me by the day that spring for a number of days.
My old coon hunting friend Jacob Decamp died on Aug. 4, and his funeral was on Aug. 7th, 1910.
The year 1910 was the year that Halleys Comet appeared in the heavens and for some days and weeks was seen by all people who cared to look at this celestial visitor. Astronomers said that this comet appeared every 100 years.
The Smith family moved away from the Dennis farm the spring of 1911 after a stay of two years. Mrs. Smith received some money from the death of her son in the St. Lawrence river bridge mishap and she purchased a farm some where around West Groton.
A Will Roberts and wife moved on to the Dennis Kelley place after the Smith family left.
Some of our problems and how we solved them
and The Buckley-Palmer Dairy deal-1911
During the years 1908-1909 and 1910 and latter years we made a liveing off of the Patterson farm. Our income was not large but our wants were few. We had some problems and some discouragements. I lacked experience in manageing a farm but probably don as well as many others. William Patterson when he was alive knew nothing about portland cement and useing it in concrete floors and walls. In 1903 or 4 he had put in new elm plank floors in the cow and horse stables and in 1907 and 1908 they commenced to rot and break through so that in 1909 the stables were unfit to put cows and horses in, so we tore them out and cleaned out the basement. William P. had always had a pen of hogs in the basement and as there was no cement floor they undermined the wall and it was just ready to cave in and we were compelled to build a new wall as this wall was just under the big doors that went in on the barn floor. This wall had also pushed and carried the barn with it toard the east at least 18 inches so we had to get Charlie Williams, a carpenter who by the aid of jack screws and two heavy poles pushed and straightened the barn back where it belonged.
I with the help of Clayton Harris (who was Harriet Butler's grandson) drew several loads of sand from John Kieffs to furnish morter to rebuild this wall. We secured the services of Burdette Robinson and Ed Sabine to do this work. They were old time masons. They charged us $2.50 a day. The going wage for carpenters and mason was $2.00 per day at that time. However they done a good job relaying the wall under the doors at the upper barn. The wall under the lower barn was also tumbling in in some places and we set them at work relaying part of that. While they were working on this lower barn wall John Buckley called in to see what we doing and he advised me not to lay all the wall that we had commenced as it was too expensive. He had no fault to find with the upper barn wall, but the lower barn we did not need an expensive wall laid under it. Concrete would be quicker and cheaper, so we abandoned part of the wall the masons had commenced and finished that part under the corner where it was really needed and discharged the masons. I had never seen much concrete work done. In the last 30 years and more all walls and floors in basements are made out of concrete. The laying of stone walls is not done any more. The repairs we had made on the two barns that summer of 1909 cost us so much that we did not get the cement floor and stables in the upper barn by the house so I tinkered up some cow stanchelons and horse stalls down at the lower barn and keept the cows and horses down there that winter of 1909 and 10. In 1910 we secured the services of Quinton Boyles a carpenter who lived at North Lansing and he and I put in a cement floor and stables and stalls in the upper barn. He received $2.00 a day and I gained some experience in makeing concrete floors and doing some rough carpenter work.
We were bothered with a shortage of water in the midsummer time so in 1911 mother hired George Avery, a well driller who drilled us a well costing $108.60 so we had plenty of water on the place for the stock and use in the house from then on.
There was no wood on the Patterson farm except what there was in the swamp along the so called "new road" and William P. and I had cut nearly everything that was handy to get at, so I had to cut wood on shares every winter to supply fuel and in addition to this we purchased a lot of coal and keept a coal fire burning in one stove. John Buckley let me cut wood on shares on his place and the last two or three years I cleared up a lot of second groth pole buzz wood back of his woods and got up a big buzz pile. Clayton Harris and Joe Elser (Elsey ? ) helped me winters at his work.
While I was at home on the Patterson farm my neighbor and friend John Buckley was a great aid to me. As I look back into those years I realize more fully what a great help his advise was, and sometimes I made him mad and he would give me a bawling out. He was a fearfully rough talker but he was a most efficient business man. He had practical business sense. It made no difference what sort of a situation he found himself in, he always seemed to know the right way out. he was one of the most successful business men I ever knew, and I esteem it a priviledge to have lived and worked along by the side of him. He was a keen observer and a diplomat. If it had not been for John Buckley I do not believe I should have stayed on the Patterson farm as long as I did. He seemed to take a great interest in me and I know he seemed to understand me better than any body else, and he helped me out in every way he could. John was ambitious and ambition is contagious. He believed in doing something worth while in the world and doing something does not amount to anything unless it is backed up by endeavor, determination and grit.
John was a great man to study, and plan and figure. He and Dewitt Hewitt were quite chums, then they at times were at swords points with each other. "Jum" as he was familarly known was a pardner in the firm of Hewitt Brothers at Locke. He too was a keen shrewd business man. He had a motto in a frame tacked up on the wall of his office in Locke that said "Plan your work then work your plan." John seemed to like this motto that "Jum" had displayed on his office wall. It was a treat to me to hear John Buckley and "Jum" Hewitt argue, and they had many heated arguments over many things. Hewitt Bros. were produce dealers and usually purchased all of the produce off of John Buckleys farm and the Kelley place. "Jum" said it took ten to fifteen freight cars to hold all the produce as hay, grain, potatoes, cabbage, etc., that John raised each year off of his farm and the Kelley place.
"Jum" used to call me unto his office occasionally and ask me about how I was doing and various matters. He was one of the
fastest talkers I ever met especially if he was a bit excited. John did enjoy argueing with "Jum" just to get him to talking a blue streak. He wanted to hire me one time to work on one of his farms.
Of course John Buckleys interest in me had a string attached to it as I can see now. This was perfectly honest and above board in so far as the facts were that John wanted me to work his farm for him sometime as he had other ideas in his mind besides farming and I was a likely candidate for farm manager. I will explain presently what other ideas besides farming John had in his mind. During the spring of 1910 and summer I and mother had four cows that we milked and took the milk to the Cornell University milk skimming station at North Lansing. We had no stables at the upper barn by the house and so milked the cows down at the lower barn. I hitched up the horse and drove down to this lower barn the first thing in the morning milked the cows and took it on down to North Lansing to the station before breakfast. Of course this was an unhandy way to do this work and the main thing was we should have had eight or ten cows er enough cows to make milk enough so it would pay us for doing this work. Of course we got stables in the upper barn by the house in August and Sept. of that summer so things were handy again.
John Buckley observed our doings that summer as he always did and one time that fall he says to me "Why in thunder dont you get some more cows and milk, enough so as to make it pay." I would like to have a head of cows on my place but I do not want to milk them myself nor do I want to keep a hired man the year around. Now look it over and think about it if I furnish you with 12 cows wont you come down to my place and milk and take care of them for one half of what they bring in. You can hire Joe Elser to help you. It wont be any more than driveing down to your lower barn a little farther on". So we talked and discussed cows and the dairy business all that fall and I agreed to care for them beginning April 1st, 1911! That winter of 1910 and 1911 John and I attended every auction where there was cows for sale and by April 1st 1911 John had purchased ten cows for $390.00 average $39.00 apiece and John had two cows of his own, makeing 12 head. I found that John was an expert judge of a good cow and there were really good cows sold at auctions back in 1911. John had used to keep a dairy of cows when he was on the Dennis Kelley Farm seven or eight years before when milk and all dairy products were so low that he and many others sold all their cows off.
I hired Joe Elser (he was another of Harriet Butlers nephews) and had made his home at Bert Swartwoods who were then on the Andrew Brink farm. Joe was a pretty good reliable worker and stayed through the year with me.
I paid Joe Elser $112.00 for the years work. The twelve cows brought us $1,209.69 worth of milk, veil calves and hogs. We purchased pigs to feed the skim milk to that we received back from the creamery.
The expense that the cows cost us in feed purchased, etc., was $466.45 so Buckley and I together had $743.26 profit to be divided between us or $371.62 a piece. So ended the Buckley Palmer Dairy deal for that year.
John Buckleys new Ventures running a rooming and boarding
house in Groton in 1912 and 13
John Buckley was as I have said before a very successful farmer. His idea of farming was to sell large crops of hay, grain, potatoes and cabbage. However he knew very well the value of livestock on a farm as livestock keept the fertility of the land up. He dearly loved a good horse and he liked cows but he did not like to milk them. He sold every year somewhere around one hundred tons of hay and several hundred bushels of grain off of the Dan Lane farm which he aquired about 1904. Also he raised potatoes and cabbage. He used to say you would strike it right one year in three with potatoes and cabbage and potatoes were a great benefit to the land as you could grow so much better crops of spring grain as oats and barley on ground that had been planted to potatoes the year before. In 1910 John had if I remember ten acres in to potatoes. There was a hard freeze in October of that year that froze many of the potatoes that were near the surface of the ground and many of them were frost bitten. John stored his potatoes in the celler and in the spring of 1911 potatoes were ten and fifteen cents a bushel. John dident sell any but planted twenty five acres to potatoes and the rest of the potatoes he had left he spread on the land for fertilizer. That fall of 1917 potatoes were a light crop all over the country. However off of Johns large acreage he had about 1,000 bushel of saleable potatoes. About the 1st of February 12 he sold these potatoes for $1.00 per bushel and twenty ton of cabbage for $25.00 a ton. This crop of potatoes and cabbage and also a large hay crop, wheat and his 1/2 of income from the dairy which I and Joe cared for made one of the most prosperious years in the history of the Dan Lane farm. John was as tickeled as a boy with a new kite when he sold those potatoes and cabbages for $1,500.00. He finished paying up the mortgage on his farm that year. He told me many things about his affairs and I am of the opinion that I knew as much about his financial deals as anyone outside of his own family.
But John had other ideas besides farming and the raiseing of potatoes, cabbage and hay. I think it was at about this time 1910 or 1911 that over at Groton a thriveing village seven miles east of us the Corona typewriter manufacturing Company started up makeing typewriters in the old buildings formerly occupied by Groton Carriage Company.
Scores of new workers came to Groton to work in the new factory and rooming and boarding places were filled to capacity and it became difficult to get a place to stay and eat in Groton.
John Buckley who then liveing seven miles from Groton over in the country was watching the situation with an eagle eye and took advantage of these events.
After he had his crops of potatoes and cabbage gathered in November 1911 he rented a large (I think three story brick building) in Groton called the Rhodes house and was a short distance from the typewriter works, and he moved into this house from his farm in Lansing. John Buckleys wife Belle was one of the best cooks that ever stepped into a kitchen and she and John started in takeing in roomers and boarders. They hired three hired girls to help do the work. It was a tremendious undertakeing but John was perfectly equal to the task of manageing the undertaking. He helped wait on tables himself. They took all the roomers they had accomadations for and if I remember they boarded 25 to thirty men every day. This called for a fast amount of cooking. John bought eatibles at wholesale. Potatoes he used from his own farm, meat he purchased by the quarter, and whole hogs and chickens he used to feed his boarders.
John and Belle keept his business up through 1912 and 1913 for two years. I believe about Jan. 1st 1914 - they quit taking boarders as Johns wife Belle and John himself were getting tired out from the continuous grind of cooking and all the rest of the work that had to be done in feeding 25 or 30 people. They had to stop as I remember hearing Belle Buckley say that she got so sick of smelling the odors of cooking that she couldent bear to go into the kitchen.
John rented this house for two or three months and finding out that he could purchase the place for $2,500.00 he bought the place from the 1st National Bank at Groton who had the handleing of the property. After 1913 they took roomers but no boarders, and this was a profitable enterprise and not so much work as taking boarders.
Another reason for their going to Groton and operateing a rooming house was that Hildred (or Mildred) their daughter attended High School in the village and they had to have a place for her to room and stay.
Sometime in 1913 or spring of 1914 John purchased another farm south of West Groton and near to where his sister in law and husband lived. He paid $2,5000.00 [believe this should be $2,500.00] for this farm. At the time, he thought it was a good investment and maybe it was but he was troubled to get tenants to work this farm and his own place in Lansing.
John Buckley died in 1933 and is buried in North Lansing cemetary. Born in 1867 he lived 66 years. Belle Conley his wife was born in 1884 and is still liveing.
John Buckley and his first tenant Jack Scott
In 1912 the first year John lived in Groton he had to have some one work his farm. My year as manager of the dairy of cows ended on April 1st. John did not say so but he was disapointed in me in one way, he was in hopes i would get married and live on his place and carry on the dairy and farm work but seeing I did not do as he expected he had to look elsewhere for some one to live on his place.
He would say, "Now if you would only get married" and he would talk strong sometimes "Why in gehenna dont you get married," You make me disgusted Id do so and so". etc. etc. All I can say in my own defense is that at that time, the girls, that I could get, I did not want, and those I wanted, I could not get.
So seeing that I could not fully fit into his plan John looked around and found Jack Scott a young fellow who had just married an Edith Teeter a few months before.
Jack Scott was a boy that a Metzcar family who lived around West Groton had brought up. If I was informed aright Jack was an orphan and came from the George Junior Republic at Freeville. He was a good industurious fellow and seemed to be endowed with the average amount of intelligence but he certainly made some of the most ridiculous financial deals with John Buckley and others that made the neighbors doubt about his amount of intelligence. If his wife and boy if they are now liveing could read these lines they no doubt would be seriously offended at what I write, but I doubt if they ever see these lines. Few people liveing around Lansing and on Mutton Street road remember Jack Scott except the oldsters.
Edith Teeter his wife lived with her mother and older sister Laura below North Lansing and for years operated the telephone central exchange on the old Doff Miller telephone line. Edith's sister Laura married Percy Harring I believe. Their fathers name was Alvin Teeter. Lila my sister worked for Lina Teeter, Edith and Laura's mother several days during the summer of 1911 dress making. Now this long explanation ever we will proceed to say something about Jack and John Buckley.
Jack and Edith started in on April 1st. Jack had one horse and open road wagon but no farm tools or farm team so John furnished the horses and all his tools to Jack to carry on the farm operations. John under these conditions gave Jack 1/3 of all income from the farm and dairy. There may have been some details that I did not know about. Jack was I believe to do all the work and furnish all the help. At that time this was a pretty good deal for Jack. He had
nothing invested in tools or horses and would have made him a very good salary at the end of the year even if he did have to pay out some to hired help. Jack was a good worker. He done all the springs work if I remember most all alone, milked the cows, put in six acres of potatoes, some cabbage, a field of corn and spring grain and started in haying. I think John helped him with the potatoes and cabbage, and I remember he told him he would have to get some ne to help get the hay. Sometime about July 1st Jack started in haying by mowing a piece of grass on a Monday. It was wonderful hay weather and the sun shone out hot. On Tuesday Jack mowed some more and also on Wednesday and John drove over Wednesday afternoon to see how he was getting along. I was doing some hoeing that afternoon below the house in the old peach orchid and I saw John come down the hill. Jack was still mowing over to the south in Johns field. John stopped his paceing horse "Star" at the sound of the mowing machine and gazed for a full minute in Jacks direction. Then he slapped his horse on the back with the lines and drove the rest of the way down the hill where it was level and hitched his horse to the fence and leaping the fence he went on a run over toard where Jack was mowing. I watched and listened for developments which were not long coming. John stood and looked around a few moments and then catching Jack and the mowing machine as he turned a corner, her talked load enough for me to hear away over on my side of the road in the peach orchid. "Stop! You unhitch them horses and hitch them on to that rake right now. What do you mean by mowing so much? Dont you know that hay you mowed on Monday is all burning up and getting brown in the sun? What do you mean by doing this way? And a lot of other talk that I could not make out as they moved farther away. John Buckley helped him do part of the haying and then Jack hired two men a Dan Dempsey and a Willie Stevenson, after Jack secured these two hired men he did not do much him self but let them do the work. The field of potato needed cultivating and spraying for potatoe bugs and John told Jack that they would not have any potatoes unless he took care of them and the cabbage and corn that was to be cut to fill the silo. After Dan and Willie were hired the potatoes, cabbage and corn and the rest of the haying was attended to in tip top shape. John had said so much to Jack about that field of potatoes to spur him on to give them the care they needed, that Jack along sometime in August asked John what he would take for his 2/3 share of the potatoe crop. John said he did not know what they would be worth and refused to sell. Jack insisted that he sell his share to him and offered 500 dollars for Johns 2/3 share of the potatoes on the 5 or six acres that were planted. John was surprised and told Jack that he would be a fool to buy them at that price. This made Jack all the more determined to buy the potatoes just to show John a "thing or two" as Jack said. John tried to advise Jack to forget about the potatoes and not buy them, but Jack says you have said so much about those potatoes that I dare you to sell them for 500 dollars! John put him off for some time as Jack continued to dare him to sell. John finally gave in and
says where is your money? Jack produced if I remember aright 300 dollors and the rest he would pay John when he sold the potatoes. John said O.K. to this but said you give me a chattel mortgage on the potatoes to secure me the other two hundred dollors. Potatoes turned out a large crop that fall. I suppose Jack thought that they would be worth a dollor a bushel. John had all kinds of potatoe machinery a sprayer and potato digger.
His potato digger was not in very good shape and Jack mad up his mind that he would have a potatoe digger of his own to did his own potatoes? So he purchased a bran new potato digger from someone in Moravia. I suppose paying some money down on it and the rest when he sold the potatoes!
Jack took Willie Stevenson along down to Moravia one evening to help him get the new digger. The new cement road was being built that year of 1912 between Moravia and Locke and they had to detour along the side of the new cement road. Willie Stevenson told me that it was almost dusk when they started home with the new digger and it soon grew dark and difficult to see the rough winding detour road ahead, so Jack pulled over on the newly constructed cement road with his team and potato digger and light platform wagon following. The drive wheels of the digger had big lug irons on them and these cut into the new cement and so they went chuging along to the end of the new cement road toards Locke. They arrived home at the Buckley farm late that night but they left their marks behind them on the new cement. Its a wonder some one did not see him, but I never heard of any one making Jack any trouble about this matter. Jack harvested seven or eight hundred bushels of potatoes off of this five or six acres that year. If they had been worth one dollor a bushel like they were the year before Jack would have come out of the deal all right but alas it is not every year that potatoes are a dollor a bushel!
If I remember right Hewitts at Locke started in buying potatoes at 40 cents a bushel and they soon went down to 35 and 30 and in the spring 20 cents.
On the evening of Nov. 9th, 1912 John drove in and called me out and asked me if I would help him. He told me of what a time he was haveing with Scott and the cows. Jack and (just to be contrary) insisted on turning the cows out in the field along the apple orchid where they were reaching through the fence and getting all the apples they could eat that were on the ground. One cow was near dead and two or three others were ailing. There was another pasture back of the barn along by the Israel Robinson place where they could be turned away from the apples and John had told Jack to turn them in here, but he would not do so. He did not seem to know or care if the cows were injured or died or not.
I went with John and helped him drive the cows away from the apples and into the stable where we could look them over and see what condition they were in. John had called Dr. Stevens
veternary from Groton and he was there looking over the sick cow in a box stall. Jacking seeing the cows being drove in the barn came out to see what was going on. John says, "Scott I told you to not turn those cows in that field by the orchid any more. What do you mean by doing this way? and Scott replied None of your business I want you to keep your nose out of my business" and he picked up a pitch fork and started toard John and threatened to hit him over his head with it. Dr. Stevens and I made a jump to collor Jack and the fork, and Jack seeing we seemed to mean business backed up and set the fork down in the corner. Dr. Stevens says "you, lay off we ain't going to have any head pounding around here." After a few minutes chewing match Jack went off to the house. The sick cow the Veterinary said was simply drunk on apples. John decided the cows were the safest left in the barn for that night and told Jack so, and John drove me home. He says, " I want you to take those cows over and milk and care for them just as you did last winter." Providing I can get them away from Scott," I'll see a lawyer tomorrow. I replied that I would and John drove off as it was after 9 o'clock I went to bed. I had just got into bed and resting comfortably when some one shouted from the yard Leon! get up, come on I want you to go with me over to Dana Tarbells. I am going to have that Scott arrested. He turned those cows out in those apples again." It was John and he had drove back down to take another look at his cows and found that Jack had turned them all out into the forbidden pasture again! I got into my clothes in a hurry and we drove over to Dana Tabells who was a Justice of the piece, and lived about two miles south of John Buckleys farm. The house was dark as it was nearly 11 o'clock. John pounded on the door and after a few minutes Dana Tarbell arose and with a kersene oil lamp appeared at the door in his night shirt. "Whats the trouble" he asked. John says I want you to make out a warrant. Dana Tarbell asked us to come in the house and he says "Whats this all about? What do you want a warrant for? and on what charge? Who do you want to have arrested? and he asked all sorts of questions. John told him all about the cows and his deal with Scott and agreement, of Scotts refusal to turn the cows in the right pasture, of the apples, and the sick cow and of Jacks threat to hit John over the head. Dana listened to all this asked all sorts of questions and finally said I cant see any charge against him that we can make out a warrant on. He hasent actually done anything criminal that we can get out a warrant for. He is foolish, contrary, stubborn, and unreasonable. I dont blame you for wanting to do something. Hes doing your property damage by his neglect. You had better see a lawyer and make him give up the cows and farm. John tried to get a lawyer over at Groton on the phone but he could get no answer. So we came away after a long conference with Justice Tarbell. John brought me back home and the next day John brought a lawyer along with him from Groton. They had a long confab down at Scotts house. I was not there to hear what did take place, but Scott agreed to give up the cows and I took them over
that night and cared for them untill March 1st 1913. Jack drew some of his potatoes down to Myers and around Ludlowville at the salt block and peddeled some of them out for 50 cents a bushel, also drawing some of them to Locke. John Buckley who had a mortgage on them told Jack that he had no right to sell any of them and asked about where the 200 dollors he owed was comeing from? Jack said "Buckley you meet me in Ithaca tomorrow on Rothchilds corner and Ill have the 200 dollors for you." So Buckley went up to Ithaca the next day as agreed on, and sure enough Jack was there. He told John he was borrowing the money from (if I remember aright) a Jew who was a broker by the name of Julius Liberman. Jack told John to come with him as the broker wished to see him, as John knew this broker. He asked John how many potatoes there were in the celler on his place and other questions. The result of this conference was that Jack gave another chattel mortgage on the potatoes for the loan of 200 dollors which John got. Jack or John either of them said nothing about the mortgage that was already on the potatoes! John told me all about the affair a short time latter and he done some chuckling to himself. He said " I dident think Scott could put one over on that Jew that way. He beats anything that I ever saw". I feel sorry for him and his women folks. Jack is the biggest fool in some ways I ever saw he wont take any advice, I shall be glad when he moves off the place and I am rid of him".
Jack ( so John said) had spent all the money his mother in law had saved up as well as his own savings on this potato deal, and to pay his hired men potato digger and on Jan 27, 1913 he purchased a team of horses from a horse dealer in Dryden. One of these was so balky it would not straiten the trades but he took it back and got another.
Jack and Edith finally moved out in February going I believe to Ithaca where Jack done some work with his team and the report was that for a time at least he secured a job for himself and team on a road construction job. It was reported that his horses gave out and Jack tried to make the dealer in Dryden take them back but he refused, where upon Jack took the horses in the night and hitched them in front of the dealers house. I have been told that Jack was placed in jail for a time as a result of this episode.
Poor foolish boy! After getting himself clear from this horse deal I was told he secured a job as clerk in some grocery store in Ithaca. On Sept. 27, 1913 while rideing a bicycle down one of the steep hills in Ithaca (I believe it was Buffalo hill street) he lost control of it and fell stricking his head against a cement curb, fracturing his skull and killing him almost instantly. Thus ended Jack Scott.
My last years on the Patterson Farm 1913 - 1914
The year of 1912 when Jack Scott was on John Buckleys farm Lewis Sellen and wife, Gertie moved on the Dennis Kelley farm. He was Jum Hewitts nephew and a very good neighbor and a very pleasant likeable chap, chuck full of fun and business. I still had Joe Elser working for me and haveing in mind John Buckleys success the year before raiseing potatoes and cabbage. I put in the celler and basement and sold it toards spring of 1913 for $1.50 a load to people around West Groton to feed to their cows. I had one of the finest crops of cabbage ever raised but it was not worth much. The market price in the fall was $3.00 a ton.
On Feb. 29, 1912 Lila and George Hanna Stout were married at Ludlowville. I was not at home at the time haveing an appointment to have some dential work done at Syracuse. Lila and George for their honeymoon trip went out to Chenango and Madison counties and visited our relatives of the Palmer and Bartholomew families that were left.
On April 26 of that year occured the Locke fire. About one half of the village residenses burned up. Joe and I drove down in the afternoon to see the catastrophie. On Tuesday Aug. 27, 1912 Frank and Jessie Pelhams house in Locke was struck by lightening and toatoaly destroyed. They purchased the house where their son Raymond now lives a few days latter. On Aug. 21, while engaged in helping thrash at Lewis Sellens on the Dennis Kelley place Frank Moravia got his leg broken while wrestling with Fred Robinson.
In the spring of 1913 Lew Sellen moved from the Dennis Kelley farm to Genoa on the Herb Gay farm, and Bert Swartwood moved from the Andrew Brink farm to the Dennis Kelley farm.
On Feb. 14, 1913 John Buckley had an auction and sold off his horses and all his farm tools and Glenn Hoagland moved on the Buckley place and he had his own horses and tools.
The year 1913 was the last year that I worked the Patterson farm. I did not have any hired man but got along alone with some day help and exchangeing work with Bert Swartwood and Glenn Hoagland.
The summer of 1913 was a very dry summer. The 20th of June we had a good rain but did not get another untill Sept. 17th. Corn was a short crop. There were many things to discourage one that year of 1913, and I done some very serious thinking.
Lila was married and gone from our home on the Patterson farm. John Henry Miller and his wife Mira our neighbor on the other side of the valley across the swamp were no more.
John Buckley was gone from the Dan Lane farm and I missed him. He did not come over from Groton as often as he did the year before when Jack Scott was there. Glenn Hoagland was I believe a very good tenant and I felt that he was taking my rightful place. John Buckley had given me so much helpful advice that I had grown to look upon him as a sort of a staff on which to lean. He was a good friend of mine and he seemed to understand me the best of any one I knew. I had carried on the work on the Patterson farm for six years. I was not satisfied, I realized I was not doing much to benefit myself. I longed for new scenes and new work, and like a young colt I longed for fresh pastures. I wanted another chance to try my luck out in the world as I had one once before six years ago. I had no idea of making money and getting rich. I had no such intention. I needed a change, I wanted to rub elbos with people. The old Patterson farm I was sick and tired of, and I begain to plan a course of action that would get me free from the place. frank Moravia who lived up on the Abe Robinson place opposite Dennis Kelleys agreed to work the Patterson farm the coming year, 1914 and so I had an auction on Dec. 2, 1913. I had purchased several cows and owned three horses. I sold all these except one horse I keept and left on the place. Also the most of the farm tools we sold which belonged to Mother. The sale was a success. I felt that I had served my time on the old place and that mother would be as well off if some one else worked the farm besides myself. I figured I could help her more if she needed help than I could by staying on the place. After the auction I felt as elated as I had the day in 1906 when I took the train for Wisconsin, but I started to think that I was only a farm laborer, and hd never had the opportunity to even finish the studies that ere available at the common district school. If I had only finished up to the eighth grade it would have been of great benefit to me at that time. So I enrolled in a correspondence course in the common branches just to brush up my "reading, writing and arithmetic. They called it a Civil Service Course. It was my intention to try and get a job in the U. S. mail service as post office clerk, mail carrier or railroad mail clerk. I filled out two Civil Service Application blanks, one for the position of mail carrier in Auburn, and another for the position of railroad mail clerk. This application was accepted and I was directed to report for examination in Feb. at Auburn post office which I did, but alas, I only aquired the rateing of 75 and that was two low to get me any where with the Post Office Department. My reading and writing and arithmetic were not good enough!
The application fro the mail carrier position in Alburn was returned to me, rejected because I did not know enough put the proper amount of postage on the letter!" So I was dissapointed all around in my idea of securing a post office job. Nothing like trying!
On Jan. 19, 1914 Frank Moravia's barn burnt up one morning caused by an over turned lantern, and we let him bring his
cows and horses down to the Patterson barn. Frank Pelham rebuilt the barn that summer.
The spring and summer of 1914 I worked quite a considerable for John Buckley building fence on his new farm south of West Groton, and trimming the apple orchid on the Dan Lane farm, also helping shingle the barns. John was pleased to have me work for him again and I was glad to be able to do so. It was a vacation for me and we had a great time working together. After 1914 I lost tract of John Buckley. In 1915 I think he purchased a new automobile a Willis Knight touring car. In 1917 or 18 he came back on his farm and worked it him self untill his death sometime about 1934. Tenants were not satisfactory and he had a great attachment for his Dan Lane farm. He was a born farmer and tho he had a rought exterior he was the most practical and understanding of men, to those few who really learned to know him.
Along in May of that year Jay Woodruff the milk station operator at North Lansing was looking for some one as helper to work in the station each fore noon, and I got the job, and liked it. Soon I could operate and run the station as well as Jay could. The superintendent for Cornell University a Mr. Harry Middaugh made the remark that if I would come up to the University that coming winter and take a Short Course in the Dairy Industry he would see that I secured a position the following spring which I was only to glad to do. What happened to me from 1915 on is to long a story to record here.
On Sept. 15, 1914 Edna Patterson my 14 yr old half sister started in going to school at Quaker Bridge near Salomanca in Cattaragus County. Mother went with her there and came back on Sept. 18th.
On Oct. 2, 1914 Our Cousins from Chenango County Fred and Jennie Vail and Jay Risendorph and wife came in their new automobile and made us a two day visit.
Many years have past sence John Henrys voice has been heard singing, "I'm old but Im afully tough" across the valley at the Patterson farm or sence William Patterson shouted, "Haw Gee", to his oxen as he guided them on the hills above the swamp.
The blackbirds still chatter and Oka Lee in the spring and summer time in the swamp along the new road. The sound of tractors is heard instead of the "Haw Gee" to the oxen or the "Git ap" to the horses. The drone and whir of airplanes is occasionally heard high up in the air as they cross over the valley and the sound of high powered cars and trucks is heard on the new road now a rebuilt highway of stone. The hub deep mud of spring and the dust of summer is gone.
All this would astonish William Patterson and John Henry Miller if they were alive today.
In conclusion I have a few more words to say. I once heard a college proffessor say, (It was proff. Herbert E. Ross) that the purpose of going to college was to show a person what there was to learn, and to get him to think for himself. The younger people growing up today in this motorized age do not do much thinking for them selves, and neither do they know much about a hard days work. They refuse to use their minds to do any thinking of a serious nature and are more interested in childish and foolish things. How many younger people are there today who are capable of manageing their own affairs and carring on business for them selves or any one else?
Watch them at the radio and see how quickly they turn off anything of a practical or educational nature, and they turn the dial untill they find some moron moaning and groaning about love and the moon!
I feel that many of us farmers who live out in the country are as a whole, far wiser than many of our city cousins, and much clearer thinkers too, and I know that a group of old farmers sitting around a country store could give some of our so called statesmen some pointers, and all this would make our stateman smile if they could read these lines!
(The reader does not have to agree to this comment at the end of this narrative ?? Read Jack Scott.)
The End of Reminiscences of the Patterson Family
by Leon D. Palmer
If you would like to see more on the Patterson family continue on to the Family sheets below.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this work, I know that it was a very enjoyable story for me to read while I was transcribing this project for the Tompkins County site. - Janet M. Nash
TABLE OF CONTENTS INDEX PAGES 1 - 21 PAGES 22 - 43 PAGES 43 A PAGES 44 - 62 PAGES 63 - 82 PAGES 83 -111 PATTERSON FAMILY SHEETS
The Reminiscences of the Patterson Family by Leon D. Palmer was transcribed by Carlsa King.
Carlsa kindly donated this material to the Tompkins County NYGenWeb Site for all to view. This material belongs to Carlsa King and is not to be copied or used in anyway without the permission of the owner of this material. Any questions you can email Carlsa.
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