Archive for the ‘Old Folks Friday’ Category

Two Hundred Years Aloft

December 7, 2012

Two Hundred Years Aloft - The Athens Messenger OH 14 Sep 1927

Two centuries are the aggregate ages of these flying oldsters, Mrs. Almatia Bennett, 101, of Chicopee Fallls, Mass., and Charles W. Bradley, 99. By way of celebrating Mrs. Bennett’s 101st anniversary, they flew from Boston to Old Orchard, Me. And after an hour in the air Grandma Bennett said she would fly again on her 102nd birthday.

The Athens Messenger (Athens, Ohio) Sep 14, 1927

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Teacher is Born in a Wagon Train

September 7, 2012

PACIFIC GROVE, Aug. 25. —  Mrs. Alice Ede Gamman, Former high school teacher in this state and in Nevada, and now a resident of this city, is another “covered wagon baby.” She was born near the Platte river in June, 1862, while her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Ede, were on their way west in a wagon train from Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Mrs. Gamman’s parents settled in Summit, now Chilkoot, Plumas county, where her brothers engaged in the cattle business. In 1875 the family moved to Reno, Nev. Mrs. Gamman was educated in the public schools of Nevada and California, and graduated from the old Napa college in 1883. Afterward she taught in grammar and high schools of Nevada and California for nearly 30 years.

In 1905 she married Robert W. Gamman, son of another pioneer family. He died in 1918.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Aug 25, 1925

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Feb 9, 1915

Image from Find-A-Grave

Mrs. Alice Gamman Dies in California

Mrs. Alice Ede Gamman, former resident of Nevada, died Friday at her home at Pacific Grove, Calif., friends in Reno were informed yesterday. She was the eldest daughter of the late Stephen Ede, old-time resident.

Mrs. Gamman left here several years ago to reside on the coast. She was an aunt of Mrs. Harry J. Frost of Reno and leaves other relatives in western Nevada and Sierra valley,

Funeral services will be held in Oakland Tuesday at 11 a.m. followed by cremation. The ashes will be accompanied to Reno for burial in Mountain View cemetery.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 21, 1935

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 30, 1935

Edmund Norman Leslie: Genealogical Maniac

August 24, 2012

Image from Skaneateles: History of its Earliest Settlement and Reminiscences of Later Times –  by Edmund Norman Leslie (HATHI TRUST Digital Library)

COMMITTEE FOR LESLIE

HAD A MANIA FOR LOOKING UP ANCESTRY OF HIS NEIGHBORS.

Skaneateles Man is 92 Years Old and Has an Estate Valued at $100,000 — Petition Filed to Have Him Declared Incompetent.

Edmund Norman Leslie, a well know Skaneateles nonagenarian, is said to have a mania for looking up the genealogical history of his acquaintances. Skaneateles people, as a rule, are proud of their ancestry, therefore, there is nothing significant in proceedings which have been started to have the aged man declared incompetent and a committee appointed to care for his property or person.

Of course, there are some people who send their family skeleton back into its hole the moment any effort is made to bring the bony creature from its closet. Not that it would make any difference, perhaps. A black sheep or two among a long line of ancestors is more the rule than the exception, but there are some who favor not some outsider delving into the family secrets.

Nothing like that in Skaneateles. No objection was made to Mr. Leslie’s publishing a book, which was a historical review of Skaneateles with a sketch of some length of some of the more prominent families. The book was well received and Mr. Leslie was encouraged to continue his research into family histories.

Whatever Mr. Leslie discovered will not reach the public, however, because proceedings have been started to have the aged Skaneateles historian declared incompetent and a petition for the appointment of a committee has been made to County Judge W M. Rose by Attorney Martin F. Dillon of Skaneateles.

Mr. Leslie is 92 years old and has an estate valued at $100,00. He is part owner of the Mansion House at Buffalo. The committee for him has not been named.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jul 4, 1908

Skaneateles, May 17. — The last chapter of the old Mansion House in the city of Buffalo was closed last Monday when Martin F. Dillon as executor and trustee under the last will [and testament of Edmund Norman Leslie] conveyed the same to the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad company. For nearly sixty years one half of the same was owned by Edmund Norman Leslie of the village of Skaneateles.

Edmund Norman Leslie was the son of Captain and Mrs. David Leslie. Captain Leslie was born in Scotland in September, 1780, in the parish of Monimail, Fishire. He became a noted ship captain and upon his retirement took up his residence at New Bedford, Mass. He had two children. Henry and Edmund Norman Leslie. Captain Leslie died in New York in 1835.

Edmund Norman Leslie also became a ship master and many time sailed around the  Horn. He retired from business and came to Skaneateles in 1851. He married Millicent A. Coe, who died March 15th, 1890. Mr. Leslie was a sturdy Scotchman and believed in doing right to all his fellowmen. He took a great deal of interest in village affairs and political battles were waged by him. He was president of the village of Skaneateles in 1895 and 1896. He prevented the Skaneateles Water Works company from forcing the sale of its property on the village and in the face of its opposition guided the village while it constructed a new system. During his term of office, he also granted the franchise to the Syracuse & Auburn Electric Railroad company, preparing the franchise himself. He was also identified with the establishing of the Lake View cemetery, the Skateateles Library association and other enterprises identified with the village. He was good to the poor and each year would call upon the coal dealers to ascertain whether or not there were any poor people on their list in need of fuel.

After the death of his wife, Millicent A. Leslie, he acquired an additional interest in the Mansion house in the city of Buffalo. Mr. Leslie died at his home in Genesee street in the village of Skaneateles November 30th, 1908, at the age of 94 years. His only relatives were distant cousins, one of whom married Lieutenant Edward F. Qualtrough; another married Lieutenant Harrison, U.S.A., who at the time of his death had charge of Forrtress Monroe, and another married Lieutenant Mann who was killed in the Indian war.

The history of the same is quite romantic.

Image from The History of Buffalo

History of Mansion House.

In the early “forties” Belah D. Coe owned and operated many mail and stage routes, which terminated in Buffalo. To accommodate his passengers, he built the Mansion house, which contained 285 rooms. It was a brick building and substantially fireproof, the partitions also brick, extending from the cellar to the garret. For many years, it was operated by W.E. Stafford, who became famous as a hotel man, and who went to the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

Belah D. Coe was a bachelor, and at his death in 1854, by his will, this property went to two nieces and a nephew, being Millicent A. Marshall of Buffalo, Millicent A. Leslie and Edward B. Coe of Skaneateles, and to the heirs of their body. In the event of the death of any of these people with out issue, the share was to be divided between the Buffalo Orphan asylum and the Auburn Theological seminary.

Edward B. Coe left home in 1840. He was declared judicially dead in 1857, and the share of his portion in the Mansion house went to the Buffalo Orphan asylum and to his sister, Millicent A. Leslie, as the Auburn Theological seminary could not, by its charter, take and hold real estate. After the disappearance of Edward B. Coe in 1849, he became a sailor and drifted into South Africa, where he was sold as a slave. His brother-in-law, Edmund Norman Leslie, never believed him dead. He obtained from the Department of State of Washington, the name and location of all the United States consuls and commercial agents in all parts of the world. He had a circular printed in red and black letters offering a reward of $200 for any information of Edward B. Coe, at the same time giving a minute description of his person, particularly that he had his name tatoed on his left arm. These circulars were mailed to every United States consul in all parts of the world.

Edward B. Coe Returns.

In 1891 Edward B. Coe returned and then began the fight to recover the property left him by his uncle’s will. During the argument in court, the presiding judge intimated that, having been declared judicially dead, he had no standing in court, to which his counsel, the late William H. Seward, replied: “If such a decision is to be law in this case, Edward B. Coe, who is sitting here in the presence of this court, can go into the street and commit murder and you cannot punish him, because he has been declared judicially dead.” This argument restored the property to Edward B. Coe. He lived here for several years, but meeting business reverses, he mortgaged his property to the late Charles Pardee, who afterward acquired the same by mortgage foreclosure. IN 1875 Charles Pardee committed suicide, and this property went by his will to his daughter, Mary E. Moses.

Edward B. Coe left Skaneateles for Philadelphia at which time the steamer “Queen of the Pacific” was about to leave for San Fransisco by the way of Cape Horn. After a voyage of about six weeks he reached San Francisco. The “Queen” then commenced regular trips from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon, carrying freight and passengers. He remained on this vessel until September 5th, 1883, at which time he became despondent and fastening a large heavy lantern to his arm jumped overboard and wen to the bottom of the Pacific ocean.

About that time the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad company acquired a portion of the property by condemnation, and the award was paid in court, upon the application to withdraw the same, by Millie Coe, the daughter of Edward B. Coe, then a girl 17 years of age. This indeed was a battle royal. The question raised was that she had an estate tail in this property, and her father, not having the title in fee simple, could not deprive her of it. The opposition contended that the statue of 1786 eliminated the estate tail in this country.

The legal giants of that time were employed on either side, Benoni Lee of Skaneateles, L.R. Morgan of Syracuse, P.R. Cox of Auburn, Spencer Clinton and Charles D. Marshall of Buffalo.

The court finally held that Miss Coe had no interest in the property. A short time after this decision, Edmund Norman Leslie acquired that interest and held the same at the time of his death in his ninety-fourth year. By his will, he devised the same in trust to Martin F. Dillon of Skaneateles, who has for two months been engaged in perfecting the title, and the deed was finally delivered last Monday.

The New York Central & Hudson River Railroad company will tear down the old structure and use the land for a new $10,000,000 terminal. This will be the end of an old landmark, which had stood for nearly three-quarters of a century, during which time guests from all nations of the world have been entertained.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) May 18, 1913

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Jun 18, 1913

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York)  Dec 28, 1914

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Apr 14, 1916

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An excerpt from a bio of the “genealogical maniac” posted on an Ancestry.com message board:

Upon his removal to Skaneateles the want of active employment induced him to take up the subject of the early history of the town and village. He obtained two ledgers which had been kept by early merchants of 1805 and 1815 respectively, and from them secured the names of nearly all the earliest settlers, especially those who made their purchases here. He collected and preserved some very valuable historical matter concerning the locality, which was first published in a series of papers in the Democrat, afterward copied in the Free Press, and later printed in book form by Charles P. Cornell, of Auburn, N. Y.

Mr. Leslie furnished entirely from his own collections the only complete list of the names of 364 union volunteers who enlisted from the town of Skaneateles, or enlisted elsewhere, but belonged to this town, giving rank, company, and regiment, in alphabetical order, which list was published in the Free Press. He has also collected some of the most valuable files of original local newspapers, had them bound in volumes, and presented them to the Skaneateles Library Association for preservation. He has erected a beautiful memorial tablet in St. Jame’s church in memory of the sons of that church who lost their lives in defense of the Union. He has also published several series of the lives of early prominent residents of the town, notably of Lydia P. Mott, a prominent promoter of female education, who established ‘The Friend’s Female Boarding School,” which was known as “The Hive.” Many of the ladies of Auburn and surrounding country were educated at this school, which was discontinued about seventy years ago. Mr. Leslie’s labor is of a character that will survive and perpetuate his memory to coming generations. All of his valuable historical work has been done gratuitously.

Reminiscences of an Old Northern New York Settler

August 17, 2012

REMINISCENCES OF AN OLD NORTHERN NEW YORK SETTLER

Gouverneur, Aug. 18. —  In the town of Fowler, about seven miles east of this village, there lives the son of an old pioneer, David H. Balmat, son of Joseph Bonaparte’s land servant in this section. Mr. Balmat is more than 80 years of age, but is still active and takes a prominent part in the affairs of his town.

He is one of the few representatives in this section at least, of the original French settlers, his father having come here in 1796, two years before Jean Baptiste Bossout established a ferry across the Black river. It was in the Reign of Terror in France that the pioneer came to this country to avoid the bloodshed there.

David Balmat was born in the town of Carthage in 1822, a little time before his father became land agent to Bonaparte. The Balmats were people of much consequence in France and the older Balmat was the owner of a large vineyard. His mother’s sister was the Duchess of Oldenburg and as he was a moderate revolutionist, fell under the ban of Robespierre. These facts were the cause partly for sending his son to the new country.

A Wonderful Memory.

Mr. Balmat has a wonderful memory and recalls many incidents which occurred early in his time.

“I do not remember Bonaparte, of course,” said the old man, when interviewed, “for he was gone before I was born. My father was his agent and used to often make trips to the southern part of the State to make his reports to him. My father was one of the first settlers of this country and I think there are three or four families now remaining to represent the early Frenchmen who came to this North country. Among them are the Bossouis, and the Devoises while others have passed away.

“My father purchased land of the French company near the mouth of Beaver river, and the land was wet; the settlement was abandoned and given up. At this time the whole of this northern part of the State was a wilderness with only a few log roads here and there. My father at one time with two Indians started out from Utica, which was then a small place, and went to Beaver river. They followed the Oswegatchie to its source, then down it again in search of beaver and sent as far as Heurelton now Is. They then passed through Black lake, up the Indian river, and made a portage into the Black river. They were gone for over three months and returned loaded with beaver skins, as this section abounded in beaver at that early period.

Stories of Bonaparte.

Mr. Balmat remembers distinctly many of the stories which his father told him of Bonaparte. One of these occurred on Bonaparte lake. The ex-King brought up a number of gentlemen and ladies from his home in New Jersey and wanted his agent to accompany them around the head of the lake. They were rounding the head of a point, when two deer were seen on the shore. They rowed near shore and Balmat took a shot. The two deer jumped into the woods, but one was wounded. Bonaparte in his eagerness to get to shore jumped overboard and walked to shore with the mud almost up to his neck. When they found the deer Bonaparte insisted upon Balmat’s putting it on his shoulder, and the ex-King carried it to the shore, with his fine clothes dripping with blood. At another time Bonaparte with a number of guides went up the lake for a day. An old sea captain was along. When they had gone half of their way a heavy south wind sprang up and Balmat said to the ex-King, “Emperor, it looks mighty like rain.” The old sea captain was equally as certain that it was not, but, relying on the agent’s experience the King sought shelter on the shore. Soon it began to rain in torrents, but they had made a shelter from the storm. While it was raining quite hard the ex-King spoke up and said, “Well, captain, you may be a good prophet on the sea, but you’re not worth a d_ _ n on land.”

David Balmat’s grandfather was Major Goodar, who came from France during the Revolutionary war here with Lafayette with aid for the patriots.

“My father used to say,” said Mr. Balmat, “that Bonaparte was one of the commonest and plainest men that he ever met, although he dressed in fine clothes. At one time he met Bonaparte in the woods after burning off a large tract of land. Balmat was black with the ashes. When the ex-King met him he immediately extended his hand and compelled his agent to shake hands. He then sat down on a blackened and charred log and talked, saying that he cared nothing about these clothes, as there were others.”

Mr. Balmat lives on a large farm and is much respected in his old age. He is an unassuming old gentleman and is gifted in his speech. He is rather proud of his physical powers at 84 years, but says that he is not so strong as his cousin, David Hewitt. David is 94.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Aug 19, 1906

SPECIAL TO THE POST-STANDARD.

GOUVERNEUR, March 1. — David H. Balmat, one of the early pioneers of St. Lawrence County, died yesterday at his house in Talcville, aged 85 years. Around his family hangs the romance of the time of the first Napoleon and of Joseph Bonaparte, who traversed this part of the state during the early part of the nineteenth century.

David H. Balmat was the son of John D. Balmat, born in Paris, France, in 1875 [? 1775] and of Nancy, daughter of Major Goodar, born near Utica. John D. Balmat died in Fowler in 1862 and Major Goodar, the father of his wife, came over from France with Lafayette and was wounded at the battle of Brandywine. To this couple was born the subject of this sketch in 1822.

When Joseph Bonaparte came to this country and sought asylum in the vicinity of the lake, which he afterwards called Lake Bonaparte, he  carried with him letters from the great Napoleon to John D. Balmat, and for a number of years Mr. Balmat was his constant companion and guide, and the son often spoke about his father telling of the grandeur of the surroundings of Bonaparte.

David H. Balmat was the owner of extensive farm lands which are undermined with extensive talc deposits, some of  which are considered the richest in the world, and which are operated by the Union Talc Company. His is survived by four children. The funeral will be held at the family home in Fowler to-morrow.

The Post Standard (Syracuse, New York) Mar 2, 1907

Grave Quotes – What Do You Know?

June 15, 2012

Image from Live Journal

What Do You Know?

By DR. SABINA H. CONNOLLY

Here are QUOTES about GRAVES and the DEAD. Fill each blank. Allow 6 points for each correct answer. 48 is fair, 60 is good, 72 or better is excellent.

1. “The paths of ___ lead but to the grave” — Gray

2. “How sleep the brave who sink to rest
By all their country’s wishes ___” — Collins

3. “The low green ___
Whose curtain never outward swings” — Whittier

4. “I would rather sleep in the southern corner of a little country churchyard, than in the ___ of the Capulets” — Edmund Burke.

5. “Our hearts though stout and brave
Still like muffled drums are beating
___ marches to the grave” — Longfellow.

6. “Not a ___ was heard, not a funeral note
As he corpse to the rampart we hurried” — Wolfe.

7. “And I looked, and behold a pale ___, and his name that sat on him was Death” — Bible.

8. We have come to ___ a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that the nation might live” — Lincoln.

9. “He’d make a lovely ___” — Dickens.

10. “Love and tears for the Blue
Tears and love for the ___” — Finch.

11. “Let the ___ bury their dead” — Bible.

12. “Gilded tombs do ___ infold” — Shakespeare.

13. “I sometimes think that never blows so red
The rose as where some buried Caesar ___” –Omar Khayyam.

14. “When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no ___ songs for me” — C. Rossetti

15. “Golden lads and ___ all must
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust” — Shakespeare.

(Answers on Classified Page)

The Blizzard (Oil City, Pennsylvania) Jun 18, 1948

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Images from COGITZ – Daily Oddities

The Blizzard (Oil City, Pennsylvania) Jun 18, 1948

Let Them Come Here and Dig Up My Garden

March 23, 2012

WOMAN DEFIES HEALTH BOARD

Mrs. Selden S. Wright Moves Into Home on Cliff and Issues Proclamation

With her fighting southern blood thoroughly aroused Mrs. Selden S. Wright, widow of the late Superior Judge Wright, president of the Albert Sidney Johnston chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and mother of Attorneys George T. and S.S. Wright, is defying the board of health, which attempted to restrain her from moving into her beautiful new residence on Russian Hill by determinedly taking up her home in the dwelling and inviting the shaking health board to dispossess her.

And the board has neglected to pick up the gage of defiance hurled at them from the cliff upon which the house perches. The members are trying to forget all about it.

No Heed for Notice

A notice was boldly served on Mrs. Wright January 30 by the health department at her home 910 Lombard street, telling her that her house had been built on sand or something approaching that sort of soil, and that she could not move into the new dwelling until she had, in accordance with the provisions of an act of the supervisors, cemented over the ground upon which the house stands.

Mrs. Wright answered this notice by promptly moving into the forbidden residence, and then, safely ensconsed there, she turned to the health inspectors, who by its maneuver were placed on the outside looking in, and pointed out that there was a clause in the city ordinance which allows a house to be constructed on a solid rock foundation without the necessity of putting down the cement.

Invites Board to Dig

“And if the board of health does not believe that this house is built on solid rock,” Mrs. Wright said yesterday in a decided way, “then let them come here and dig up my garden for me. I must have that done, anyhow. Why, in placing the foundation for this house the workmen were compelled to use drills and sledge hammers to worry out a trench for the bricks to lie in. and in planting our garden we were compelled to have earth brought up and strewn over the bare rocks. This house is built on rock, and according to the saying in regard to such houses, is going to stand firmly. So am I.”

Willis Polk, who designed the dwelling, may be called into the discussion before it finally is settled, and already he has signified that he stands with Mrs. Wright, whatever occurs.

The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) Feb 11, 1909

Lucy Blackinton of New Salem

March 9, 2012

Image from Forgotten Franklin County Town

A Notable Woman of New Salem Dead.

Mrs. Lucy Blackinton of New Salem died, Saturday, aged 93 years, 2 months and 22 days.

She is the Lucy Blackinton of New Salem, who got lost the 23d of July, 1883, and was found in a swamp on the west side of Eagleville pond in Orange the 31st, having been gone and without food nearly eight days. She went out alone to pick berries near the house and wandered off into the woods. At one time, about a week after she was lost, about 300 people were searching for her, and although they went near her and she heard their voices, she could not make herself heard and she lay down to die.

She had to experience a rain and a cold, frosty night, while in the swamp, and was a frightful looking object when found, her clothes being nearly all torn off. She soon after regained her usual health and strength, although then over 87 years old. She had been comparatively well till within a short time, but died eventually of heart failure.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) May 28, 1889

James A. Addis – New Castle Nonagenarian

February 17, 2012

Note: This same photo of Mr. Addis ran in the newspaper several times with various articles.

JAMES A. ADDIS IS PIONEER MERCHANT, OLDEST MASON

James A. Addis enjoys the distinction of being the oldest Mason in Lawrence county and also of being the only man in New Castle who was engaged in business on Washington street an even 60 years ago.

Mr. Addis opened a confectionery and baking establishment in New Castle in April, 1847. His stand was located where the store of Jacob Cosel now stands.

He was the first man who ever packed and sold ice in New Castle and his methods were strikingly different from the ice monopoly-trust combination methods of the present day.

He was the first to open an ice cream parlor in this city and was the first to manufacture candy. His store was not as elaborate as those of the Greeks of the present day, but he didn’t lie awake endeavoring to defeat the purpose of the laws and withal he was better satisfied with his business than are the present day money seekers.

Mr. Addis remembers when Poland was the largest town across the state line and when Youngstown was proud of the number of people who stopped every day at the watering trough on what is now Federal street.

Mr. Addis is only three years short of being in the nonagenarian ranks, having been born in December of 1820.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jul 10, 1907

With two such hale and hearty 90-year-old youngsters as Joseph S. White and James A. Addis, New Castle would appear to be a health resort of no mean reputation.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Dec 30, 1910

 

JAMES A. ADDIS PASSES AWAY IN HIS 91ST YEAR
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Oldest Mason in City Ends Busy Life Begun When Republic Was Young.
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PIONEER IN CANDY AND BAKERY TRADE
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He Opened First Store of Kind in New Castle and Distinctly Remembers Visit of Marquis de La Fayette to Pittsburg in 1825.
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James A. Addis, one of the city’s most venerable men, died at the family home, 5 Franklin avenue, very suddenly Monday evening. He was in his 91st year, and was one of the best known men in the city. He was also New Castle’s oldest merchant, as, although he had led a retired life for some years, there was not another man living who was in business in this city at the same time that Mr. Addis was a merchant.

His death was most unexpected. Despite his advanced age, Mr. Addis had been in good health until just the last few days, when he complained of feeling not so well as usual. Monday evening, about 6:30 o’clock, shortly after he had finished his evening meal, he was taken suddenly ill, and expired within a few minutes.

Born on what is now Second avenue, Pittsburg, December 23, 1820, Mr. Addis was able to tell many interesting tales of the early days of that city, and at the time of the sesqui-centennial celebration, he was interviewed by representatives of a number of Pittsburg newspapers, giving many items of interest, and telling of seeing Lafayette enter the city in 1825. When he was in a reminiscent mood, he often told of his boyhood, and retaining his faculties to the last, was a most pleasing conversationalist.

Mr. Addis was the son of Isaac Shea and Susanna Patterson Addis, and was the eldest of six children. His father moved to Pittsburg to take up his permanent residence in 1812, and resided there for many years. He had been born in Philadelphia, and first came to Pittsburg in 1809, returning to Philadelphia in 1811. He and Susanna Patterson were married in 1817. The Addis home was located on Second avenue about an eighth of a mile above Smithfield street.

James Addis’ first recollection of affairs in the early years of Pittsburg occurred when he witnessed the arrival of General Lafayette in that city in June, 1825. Mr. Addis saw the triumphal procession on Wood street, between Second and Third avenues, and stated that each feature of the event was idelibly impressed on his mind.

According to Mr. Addis there was but one iron plant, known as the Douglas mill, in active operation in Pittsburg about 1825. The locality of the plant was then called Pipetown, and was near what is now Second avenue.

Image from Wikipedia entry: Great Fire of Pittsburgh

An interesting tale of the great fire, which wiped out a portion of the business section of Pittsburg in 1846, was told by Mr. Addis. The burned territory embraced more than 50 acres and covered what is now the district bounded by Second, Ferry, Smithfiled and Diamond streets. The only building left standing in that entire territory was the one owned by George Weyman.

Mr. Addis did not retain an active impression of the government of the early days of Pittsburg, as he left the city shortly after he became of age. He remembered clearly when the famous canal was opened in 1829 between Johnstown and Pittsburg. It was an extension of the famous Juniata canal and greatly stimulated commerce in the Pittsburg district. It was in constant use until its absorption by the Pennsylvania railroad about 1855. An interesting story of a stage coach ride over the Alleghenies in 1850 as far east as Altoona was recalled. He took the stage at the old St. Charles hotel at 7 o’clock in the morning and was at Altoona at 8 the next morning, a distance of considerably more than 100 miles.

Mr. Addis was apprenticed to Robert Knox, a candymaker on Fourth street, when but a boy, and worked at that trade for some time. He attended night school in the old First ward building on the present site of the big Wabash depot. Here he obtained the rudiments of his education.

Mr. Addis stated that the coal business about 1830 was but in its infancy. Nearly all Pittsburgers burned wood. He distinctly remembered being on an Ohio river steamboat when but a child and states that there were many other passenger packets in operation at that time.

Mr. Addis came to New Castle in the year 1846, and had been a resident here much of the time since that date. He established the first confectionery store and bakery ever in the city, his place of business being located on the south side of what is now Washington street, near the Knox block. Later, he moved to the north side of the street, about the location of Mathers’ store. He was the first man in this city to open and ice cream parlor and also the first to sell oysters cooked. In those days, the supply was brought overland from Enon Valley, in the winter time, when the boats were not running.

Mr. Addis was thrice married. His first wife was Sarah Reed, a daughter of John Reed. Their children, who survive to mourn the father’s death, are Mrs. David Osborne of Buckeye, Tex.; Mrs. Sue Johnson of Covington, Ind., and Mrs. Jean A. Jones of St. Louis, Mo.

1850 census shows James A. Addis with wife, Sarah, a small child, and perhaps a sister (Reed). Occupation: Confectioner

1860 Census shows Mr. Addis, wife, Sarah, several children and his father, Isaac Addis. Occupation: Confectioner

 

During the Civil war, the family moved to Kansas, and there Mrs. Addis died. Some time later, Mr. Addis married again, his second wife’s death occurring in this city, after he had again taken up his residence here. His third wife was Mrs. Eliza McCandless, who survives him.

1870 census shows wife Jane (2nd wife?) and some children. Occupation: Clerk in Store

1880 census show wife Jane. Mr. Addis is working as a clerk in a hardware store.

1900 census. Mr. Addis is now married to 3rd wife, Eliza and working as a tax collector.

Mr. Addis voted for Abraham Lincoln, both times in this city. He had always retained an active interest in current happenings, and was able to give a valued opinion on many subjects.

For many years, he was a tax collector in the city, but was compelled to give up active work on account of his advancing years.

He was one of the oldest Masons in this part of the state, having been initiated into Mahoning lodge 243, F.&A.M., in 1859. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his initiation into the lodge, he was honored by fellow members in being presented with a handsome gift. He had always been greatly interested in Masonry, and was highly esteemed by his fellow members.

Image from Ballou’s Pictorial — More on the church at Wood St. on the City of Pittsburg website

In Pittsburg, Mr. Addis was a member of the old First Presbyterian church on Wood street. For many years, he had been a member of the First Christian church of this city. He was a man of many splendid traits of character, and his passing from the scenes of his long life brings sorrow to many.

The funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock at the residence in Franklin avenue, and will be in charge of Mahoning lodge, No. 243, F.&A.M. Interment will be made in Greenwood cemetery.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jul 12, 1911

Mrs. Sarah Inman Roberts, A Pioneer

February 3, 2012

OUR NONAGENARIANS
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Short Sketch of Adams County Citizens of Advanced Age.
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MRS. SARAH ROBERTS, A PIONEER
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A Resident of Adams County for Fifty Years, This Good Woman Has Seen Many Changes.
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Mrs. Sarah Roberts, whose picture we give below, was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, August 3, 1819, and is therefore a trifle under 90 years of age. She was the daughter of Pamela J. and Arnold Inman, and at the age of 12 years moved with her parents to Washington county, near the town of Marietta, on the Ohio river. Here she grew to womanhood, amid the privations of pioneers in a timber country. On September 20, 1839, she was married to Daniel Roberts, in Muskingham county, Ohio, where they resided until 1850, when they removed to Henry county, Illinois, locating on the prairie near where the town of Kewanee now stands.

1850 Census - Muskingham Co., Ohio

Here they resided for two years, and then returned to Ohio, remaining in Muskingham county until August, 1959, when in company with Messrs. Alfred and John White, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts started overland in covered wagons for Adams county, Iowa, arriving in Quincy the latter part of October. Mr. Roberts rented a log cabin of Zachariah Lawrence and moved into it for the winter. This cabin stood on the prairie north of Carbon, near where the Houck school house now stands, and was twelve by fourteen feet in size. The Roberts family, being acquainted with the Lawrences and the Registers, old settlers in this county who had preceded them from Ohio to Iowa, enjoyed the winter very much, notwithstanding the hardships of a new country. In the spring of 1860 the Roberts family moved to the Sprague farm, now owned by C.A. Foote, and here they had a log cabin with a fire place and a sod chimney to do cooking. Mrs. Roberts remembers that they went with one of their neighbors to Des Moines to secure a plow to till Iowa soil, Des Moines being about the nearest point where a plow might be secured in those days. In the spring of 1861 Mr. Roberts moved to Mt. Etna, at that time a thriving metropolis with three frame buildings and two cabins. In the same year, he purchased some Adams county soil of Morgan Warren, the purchase price being $5 per acre, and in part payment Mr. Roberts traded a land warrant issued soldiers of the Mexican war. There are many other interesting incidents that have occurred in the life of this good woman that would be very entertaining to our readers, if we but had space to tell of them.

1860 Census - Adams Co., Iowa

Of the Inman family, to which Mrs. Roberts belonged, there are now living beside the subject of this sketch, Mrs. Marguerite Thompson, of Corning, aged 83 years; Hamilton Inman, Bigelow, Kansas, aged 78; Felix R. Inman, Antler, North Dakota, aged 73. Mrs. Polly Carlow, of Gross, Nebraska, died only a short time ago and her remains were brought to this city for interment, as our readers will remember. Of the immediate family of Mrs. Roberts, two sons are living, W.W., of Gove county, Kansas, and L.D. Roberts, residing near Mt. Etna, with whom Grandma Roberts makes her home. Her husband died about 20 years ago.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Apr 14, 1909

Thomas Chase: Last of Paul Jones’ Men

January 13, 2012

Image from the Revolutionary War and Beyond

The Last of Paul Jones’ Men.

To the Editor of the Whig & Courier:

During a recent visit to the County of Oxford, I found time to call on the venerable THOMAS CHASE, of Livermore, the last, probably, of Paul Jones’ men. Mr. Chase is now 88 years old, and, though the old hull is pretty much battered and decayed, his mind is clear, and his recollection of the stirring events of his youth, is distinct and vivid. He was born at Martha’s Vineyard; from which place he removed to L some fifty years ago, where he has since lived. He has ever enjoyed, and deservedly, the reputation of an industrious, intelligent, and thoroughly honest man. In fact, the name of “Uncle Chase” is the synonym of “honesty,” in the neighborhood where he lives.

He delights to tell the history of his early life — to relate the story of his numerous adventures and sufferings; but it is when he comes to speak of Paul Jones and his daring exploits — when he is describing, it may be, the engagement between the Richard and the Serapis, that his eye kindles and sparkles with unwonted brightness, and his voice, broken and almost inaudible before, becomes strong and clear, and he is ready to shoulder his crutch and show how ships were taken seventy years ago.

The outlines of his story, as near as I can recollect, are as follows: —

A Privateer came to the Vineyard in the early part of the Revolution, for the purpose of engaging a number of men to go out cruising on the coast. Chase, and about a dozen other young men joined them. After they had sailed they were, for the first time, informed that their destination was the coast of England. At this intelligence, they were a “good deal struck up,” though there were a few that were not displeased at the idea of going abroad, and among this number was Chase, who had a love of adulation and a strong desire to see foreign countries. —

They had not been long on the British coast before they discovered a British man-of-war, much too strong and powerful for them. As they were not noticed for sometime they had hopes of being able to escape, and tried to do so, — they were, however, seen, before they could get away, and were finally taken. In a few days the prisoners were put into another ship, and were shifted not less than three times in about four months. In one of the ships they suffered exceedingly — there were over 1400 souls, men, women, and children, Americans, French, &c. on board. The ship was dirty, the prisoners were dirty, sick and dying — large numbers died. At length the American prisoners were landed at Plymouth, and carried before two justices and a clerk and arraigned for treason. Witnesses were examined, and they were told that they would be committed to “Mill Prison,” on “suspicion of treason against his most Gracious Majesty, George the Third, and would there await their trial or His Majesty’s most Gracious pardon.” They were committed to this famous [or infamous] prison, and kept there twenty three months, during which time they underwent almost incredible privations and sufferings. At the end of twenty three months, (two years and a quarter after they were made prisoners) they were exchanged for British sea men and sent to France. They landed at a small town about ten miles below Nantes. Here they found a recruiting ship and were persuaded to enlist for the purpose of filling the crews required for the squadron, then fitting out at Le Orient, for John Paul Jones.

While at this place Mr. Chase very well recollects seeing John Adams on board the ship where he was. He was in his morning gown, walking the quarter deck when he saw him, and accompanied by his son, John Quincy Adams, then a boy some ten or twelve years old. Mr. Chase was one of the crew of the Alliance, Capt. Landais. His account of the celebrated engagement between the Bon Homme Richard, &c., the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough agrees in the main with that given by Mr. Cooper, though he differs with him in some respects. — He will not allow that the Alliance deserves all the left handed compliments paid to her by Mr. C. According to his account, it was the Alliance and not the Pallas, that disabled the Countess of Scarborough — that it was in consequence of the broadsides from the former that she struck — that the Pallas, coming up, rendered them valuable assistance, and was left in charge of the prize, while the Alliance went to the aid of Jones. And here, Mr. Chase says the Alliance also did good service — not to the enemy, as Mr. Cooper would have it, but to Jones.

When Jones sailed alongside of the Serapis, her commander hailed him — “who are you?’ Jones made no answer. The questions was repeated, “Who are you?” Tell me, or I’ll fire into you” “I will tell you when I get a little nearer!” roared Jones, in a voice that almost drowned the thunder of a simultaneous discharge of broadsides from the Richard and Serapis, which took place at that moment.

Chase was afterwards under Jones several months while he was in command of the Alliance, and became considerably acquainted with him. He was a man of great mechanical ingenuity, and an excellent worker of wood, and while at the Mill prison had beguiled many weary hours in whittling out some very curious wooden ladles, one of which he happened to have with him when Jones came to command the Alliance, and which so pleased Jones, that he gave him half a guinea for it for a punch ladle. He then employed him as a cabin joiner, and while in this capacity he saw a good deal of Jones, and had the vanity to believe he was quite a favorite.

Mr. Chase represents that Jones was liked by his own crew, but not generally by the crew of the Alliance. The crew of the Alliance were much attached to one of their Lieutenants, a Mr. Barkley of Boston, with whom Jones had a falling out, and who was sent below by Jones as the crew thought without sufficient cause. Jones tried to get him back, but he resolutely refused to stir without a Court Martial, Jones would not give him one and he did not go upon deck until Landais was reinstated.

He says Jones was a stern man — brave impetuous — a good man when the crew did well, but the devil if they did otherwise. He wanted everything done in its proper time and way, and everything in its place, and would have it. If his men did well, and took hold right he was kind and pleasant. He had a voice like a cannon, but which in ordinary conversation was rather thick and grum. He was of light complexion, and something, perhaps, below the medium stature. Chase speaks highly of his talents as a naval Commander, and says he always “liked Jones.”

En passant,]our friend is one of six revolutionary veterans (they are all Whigs,) now living in the fine old Whig town of Livermore. A year ago his son endeavored to persuade him to vote the anti-slavery ticket. “No, said he, “I was a Whig of ’76 — I am a Whig now — I have always been a Whig — I believe I shall die a Whig.”

X.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Sep 19, 1843

The Expedition:

Richard “Dick” Swete’s goal was to find, and preserve, all of John Paul Jones’ ships. A historian and underwater archaeologist, he spent years researching Jones and the American Revolutionary naval battle between the HMS Serapis and the HMS Bon Homme Richard. Gathering a group of volunteers, his own modest income and a great deal of perseverance, Swete laid plans to find Serapis.

Find out more HERE