Depauville, Jefferson County, N. Y.

Births . Weddings . Anniversaries .
Graduations . Deaths .
Miscellaneous Community Happenings .

1930s and 1940s

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8


(From the Letters to the People column of the Watertown (NY) Daily Times:

Has New England Primer.
To the Times:
Among other old books belonging to J. F. Petrie of this place is a curious little New England Primer, given him when a small child, perhaps 65 years ago, and probably old at the time, but the date of printing and the first four leaves are gone. As a text book it is certainly a curiosity, in contrast to the first grade school readers of today. It measures three by four and one-half inches in size, and about one-fourth of an inch thick. On page 7 are words of one syllable as deaf, throat, ounce. On pages 8, 9 and 10, difficult words of two, three, four and five syllables; the Apostles Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments. Then several pages with small marginal pictures and two line couplets, some of which are:

“The idle Fool
Is whipped at school.”

“Time cuts down all
Both great and small.”

Uriah’s beauteous wife
Made David seek his life.”

Xerxes the Great did die,
And so must you and I.”

Then follows An Alphabet of Lessons for Children as "Lirs (sic) will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.” and “Quit you like men; be strong; stand fast in the faith.”

Morning and evening prayers fill page 17, and page 18 is ornamented with a picture of a (sic) women in flowing robes, bearing a large cross and leaning on a tombstone over hung by a weeping willow. Under the picture is a poem, the first verse of which is----

“I, in the burying place may see
Graves shorter there than I.
From death’s arrest no age is free,
Young children, too, may die.”

On page 24 is an interesting picture of an instructive article entitled, “The Beginning of Mr. John Rogers,” followed by eight pages of verse, being his advice to children and farewell to children and wife. The Shorter Catechism fills 20 pages. This highly instructive primer, or, at least what is left of it, closes with “A Dialogue between Christ, A Youth, and the Devil,” in eight pages of verse; then an admonition, “Of the Soul.”

The print is fine and small but still quite plain. It was evidently according to printing on back cover, published by the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society. Has any reader of the Times a complete volume like it?

Dell L. Petrie, Plessis, Aug. 2, 1927.


Photo: marked “Mrs. Clay Dick” 5-20-46 (no other information)

Item: Cpl. Clifford R. Armstrong, son of Mr. and Mrs. George H. Armstrong, 422 Lincoln street, arrived home Saturday from North China, after being discharged from the marine corps in Maryland. He served in Okinawa with the First Marine Division. (5-16-46)

ALTON-LIVINGSTON--In this city, June 12, 1946, to Gordon Alton, 922 Boyd street, salesman, and Miss Anne Livingston, 221 North Pearl avenue, key puncher.

PICKETT-SWANSON--In this city, May 19, 1946, at the Church of the Redeemer, by Rev. George D. Workman, Franklin L. Pickett, 314 Tilden street, and Miss Jean Swanson, 314 Tilden street.


The Seven Bridges.

Roy E. Fairman in “The Roaming Reporter”
in the Syracuse Herald-Journal for Jan. 13, 1946:

Every motorist who has had occasion to travel between Watertown and Clayton on the St. Lawrence river is familiar with the place known as Seven Bridges, at a point where the state highway crosses Perch river and its adjacent flat lands.

What some may not know, however, is that the name, Seven Bridges, is a misnomer. There never were seven bridge there. For many years there were eight. Now there are three.

Perch River rises in Perch Lake and flows into Lake Ontario below Limerick, about 14 miles from its source. During most of the year, it meanders along its narrow, crooked channel in many places little wider than a distance a man can jump. But in times of melting snows or heavy rains it carried a considerable volume of water, a volume such as the stream cannot carry away, partly because of the tortousness (sic) of its channel and partly because near its mouth, it flows through a narrow gorge which helps to back the water upstream.

Consequently, in times of freshets, it overflows its banks and its water spread out over adjacent flat land baring in width from one-half to three-fourths of a mile.

The Watertown-Clayton highway passes over one of the widest places in the so-called Perch River flats. So when that road was constructed in the early days of the 19th century the builders found that a bridge over the channel of the stream was not enough. When water was high much of the route across the flats would be inundated if there were only one bridge.

So, to minimize such danger, the highway engineers raised the roadbed a few feet above the level of the flats and besides the bridge crossing the river channel constructed seven other small bridges, which, in reality, were little more than sluices. It may be that the name, Seven Bridges, came from the fact that there were seven sluices.

When, nearly 30 years ago, the present concrete highway was constructed, the road across the flats was raised considerably higher than the old one had been. The eight bridges were taken away and in their places were built three concrete spans, one over the channel and two others between the viaduct and the southeastern side of the flats, but all having clearance to allow passage of large volumes of water. Since that time, there have been relatively few occasions when any water flowed over the highway.

Perch river took its name from its source, Perch Lake, which at one time was prolific with fish of that name. But the river itself was for many years a widely known bullhead hole and anglers traveled by horse and buggy from places as far distant as Watertown on fishing expeditions.

The road leading over the Perch River Flats passes within a mile and a half of what was once the largest barn in New York state. This barn, built by the late Tom Anthony, a pioneer farmer, was constructed between two hills and was more than 150 feet long. The greater part of the workland on the Anthony farm was on high land and the wagons loaded with hay were drawn onto a floor near the roof and the hay dumped down into deep mows on either side, effecting a great saving of labor at a time when virtually all farm work was done with hand tools.

Mr. Anthony also achieved considerable fame through the construction of a low, solid wood wheeled wagon with a big platform on which could be loaded a railway carload of baled hay. It was drawn by six or more horses. The only difficulty in the plan (incomplete)

Typist’s Note: Sadly, this clipping was not dated. If anyone has this article, an endeavor will be made to present (here) the completed article for the readers.


RANDALL--Funeral services for Mrs. Ethel Mould Randall, 55, wife of Charles M. Randall, 339 Arlington street, Friday afternoon at 2 from the home and at 2:30 in the First Methodist church, Rev. R. W. Anthony, pastor, officiating. Burial in Brookside cemetery. (date not legible)

VINCENT-GOSS--In this city, June 10, 1946, to Morris L. Vincent, 541 Water street, a helper at the Bagley & Sewall company, and Miss Mary L. Goss, 315 East Taylor street, Syracuse.

COOKE-MICHAELS--In this city, June 1, 1946, at St. Patrick’s church by Rev. Eugene A. Kelly, Kenneth G. Cooke, 624 Lansing street, and Miss Theresa A. Michaels, 507 West Mullin street.


Cape Vincent, Jan. 25. -- Mr. and Mrs. J. P.Dunlay of Cape Vincent are observing their 47th wedding anniversary today at their home five miles from the village on the Cape Vincent-Watertown highway. No celebration is being held as both Mr. and Mrs. Dunlay are only in fair health. Mr. Dunlay had pneumonia this winter and Mrs. Dunlay was ill last summer. They have recovered enough to be up and around the house.

Mrs. Dunlay is the former Miss Evalena Lucy Mance, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank Mance. The couple was married Jan. 25, 1899, in St. Vincent de Paul’s church of Rosiere by Rev. Father Kelley, then pastor of the parish. They have resided in the vicinity continuously and have resided on their present farm for over 30 years.

They have three children, Russel D. Dunlay, at home, Miss Margaret Dunlay of Watertown, and Mrs. Leonard J. Gillen of Chaumont, and five grandchildren. Mrs. Lawrence Constance of Rosiere is a sister of Mr. Dunaly, and Mrs. Caroline Knapp, 112 Ward street, Watertown and Mrs. Elizabeth Gokey of Sackets Harbor are sisters of Mrs. Dunlay. They have a brother, Frank J. Mance, of Rochester.



Body Found Mile West of Morristown By Woman in Bathing
--Clarkson Freshman was Drowned With Vernon Lawrence Last Nov. 15.

Ogdensburg, June 11. -- The body of Horace Truman Stoel, 17, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Stoel of Clayton, who was drowned with Vernon Lawrence, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Lawrence of Canton, in a canoe accident on the St. Lawrence river near Morristown Nov. 15 last, was found yesterday afternoon about 3.

It was seen floating about 100 yards off shore at a point one mile west of the village by Miss Catherine Wood, who was bathing near her camp. As the water was shallow she waded out and brought it ashore. She notified the state police patrol station at Morristown and Sergeant Woolsey of Canton and Troopers Ryan and Robinson went to the scene. The body was found about a half mile below the camp of R. B. Lawrence.

The troopers took charge of the body and summoned Coroner Frank D. Allen of Richville, who gave a verdict of accidental drowning. Identification was made by a watch and other articles in the clothing. The body was fully clothed.

The youth’s father came to Morristown with an undertaker and the body was taken back to Clayton after the coroner had completed his inquiry.

Stoel and Lawrence were freshman students at Clarkson college. They went to the Lawrence camp west of Morristown to spend the week-end but were not seen after departing from Morristown in the afternoon. The next day the Lawrence car with a dog locked inside was found at the camp and the overturned canoe came ashore near Dunn’s Point. There was a hole in the bow. The canoe had been taken from the Lawrence camp. Lawrence’s body was found eleven days later by Diver George Fisher of Ogdensburg. He continued the search for the other youth as long as weather and water conditions permitted.


The History of Depauville

To The Times:
Will you please publish the following history of Depauville which was compiled by the pupils in my school.
Miss Florence Jones, Teacher, District No. 5, Clayton

Depauville, situated in the vicinity of Catfish Falls in Chaumont river was named for a wealthy capitalist of New York, Francis Depauville (sic). Before receiving its present appellation it was called “Catfish Falls.”

The first improvement upon this wilderness section was begun by Simon and Jared White, who very early in the 18th (sic) century trespassed in these parts for the purpose of obtaining lumber. Being warned off by Depau’s agents, they left a quantity of hew lumber and moved to Three Mile Point on Chaumont Bay. In May 1817 they with their families set out westward on Lake Ontario in an open boat. They arrived safely at Henderson Harbor but as they were never seen nor heard from again it was suspected that they were besieged by robbers or wild animals.

Concomitant with this event, a merchant from Herkimer county, Nathaniel Norton arrived as an agent of C. H. & E. Wilkes, owners of 12,000 acres on Penet Square adjoining Depauville and built the first log house of this vicinity. Soon after his arrival David and Nathaniel Holbrook with their father erected a very rude saw and grist mill but on failure of land payment the mill was sold to Stephen Johnson in 1824. At this time there were but two or three log houses and the mills referred to, constituting the settlement of Depauville.

As the settlement slowly grew, the first store was erected and operated by Peter Beetle, an agent or clerk for Johnson. He carried a miscellaneous stock of goods and a few barrels of whiskey. Peter Martin was also an early merchant.

In the village and vicinity vast quantities of material for the manufacture of water lime was discovered. This discovery marked the first organized business enterprise of the county for in 1835 Stephen Johnson and a Mr. King of Oneida county, Joel Murray and Jared House of Lowville established the manufacturing of this article. Two mills were erected for grinding the material and during the two ensuing years a thousand barrels were made. These mills were destroyed by fire and the present mills were built by the husbands of Johnson’s two daughters.

The first tavern was kept by Winthrop in 1820. It stood within a few rods of the old “Grabbers” hotel which burned several years ago.

Ralph Page from New England built the present M. E. Parsonage. He also owned and operated a carding mill fulling and dyeing cloth for several years. The mill was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt by Mr. Johnson. Abel Colman came from Canada and operated it for a few years after which it was discontinued owing to the scarcity of raw material. It was located between the stone bridge and the grist mill probably on the present site of Vincent’s Ice Cream Parlor and barber shop.

Peter Hansburg came in the early thirties and bout a tract of land including the “Cave or Wolf’s Den” (now on the Horning place) and built and operated a saw mill for a number of years. It is reported he was very successful in his undertaking.

In the southern part of the town on a farm known as the Luther place now owned by Philip Leiterman, there was discovered a mineral spring. In the early thirties, Dr. Carlisle, had a house built near it and began a “water cure.” He had several invalid boarders but for want of capital and proper advertising it proved unsuccessful and was discontinued.

The first school was taught in 1820. The present school was not erected until the middle of the century however. Among some of the early school teachers of the village and vicinity were Bailey Ormsby, Pattie Wright, Amos Gould, Lucy A. Bailey, Andrew Bailey, A Wakefield, Adelia Bassit, George Gillette, Ella Fowler, Mary Everett, William Smith, Abner Smith, E. M. Winslow, Brainard Wright and W. Reynolds.

The religious history of the village is rather vague. However, the Methodist society was organized in the extreme southern part of the town in December, 1833. A church was erected but after several years’ service it was discontinued. The members divided, part going to Perch River; the other to Depauville. The building abandoned, stood on the main Depauville-Watertown highway near Gunns Corners. It is still standing now being used as a barn on a nearby farm.

The following year, the Depauville M. E. church was erected on the present site of Depauville Schoolhouse. This building was (sic) kept in repair so in 1851 the present edifice was erected.

The Baptist church (still standing) was erected as a result of several donations amounting to $2,200, $500 of which was provided by Francis Depau. For many years this church remained as a free Union church and then was joined to the Baptist society and has remained as such since.

One of the early business enterprises of the vicinity took form as a joint stock company known as the Depauville Steamboat company. Several crafts were launched and a fairly good business ensued with ports on the upper lakes. A great deal of timber was shipped to Montreal. W. W. Wright and S. Johnson each owned a large schooner. The creek was so shallow a temporary dam had to be built to raise the water level sufficient to launch one of them without scraping the creek bed.

Various legends and relics reveal that Depauville was preoccupied by an Indian tribe. Several bits of pottery, skeletons, etc. have been found in the vicinity. In all probability the “Whittier Garden” was their cemetery as many skeletons have been plowed up in previous years. The falls and creek in the valley protected by the surrounding forest-covered hills afforded an excellent environment for primitive livelihood.

Most of the early settlers were of good New England stock, “poor in pocket, stout of heart and strong of arm.” They cleared a trackless wilderness into farms and built log houses for homes for themselves and families. In about 1840 a strong German emigration took up the Yankee’s work. They bought land and goods from their newly adopted neighbors and in (a) general way they were prosperous good citizens.

Among some of the prominent pioneers were Melzer Fowler whose daughter married Cyrus McCormick of Chicago of farm implement manufacturing fame; Hubbard and Alfred Fox; Alfred, a farmer and Hubbard a practicing physician and first supervisor of the town of Clayton; Anthony Atwood who operated the “Swamp Hill Place,” a farm then owned by Stephen Diefendorf; Adam Dry from Vermont who settled on the George Haas farm; Gaylord Enos who built the “Halliday Residence”; E. M. Winslow, an early school teacher; Amos and Martin Gould who operated a saw mill; Peter Lowe, a Revolutionary war veteran, whose son, Able bought a tract of land now owned by Esworth (sic) Swartout and whose two other sons, Isaac and John bought the William Lee place and part of the Stephen Smith place; Abraham Stafford, who settled the Nelson Lingenfelter farm, Nathaniel Norton who cleared the farm later owned by Fred Huchzermeir; James Griswold who settled the farm later owned by John Patch who sold it to Alfred Dorr; Thomas Thair who operated a farm now owned by Byron Hart; Dr. Aaron Summer an early physician and postmaster of the village; John Spencer from Washington Company who established the farm since owned by Thomas Dulmage; James Johnson who was supervisor, sheriff and assemblyman at different periods; Bernard Path from Germany who operated the John Howell place since occupied by Gerald Dodge and Sullivan Smith, who owned the stone house now owned by Mrs. A. Grabber.

The growth and progress of the village was steady. There are two general stores in operation today; one owned by E. G. Eckert and the other by William Huchzermeir; one hotel owned by L. A. Nims; a saw mill operated by Sternberg Brothers; two churches, M. E. and Free Will Baptist; a grist mill operated by Harry Fox; a three-room schoolhouse, a postoffice and two barber shops. Several fraternities are active: Grange, Masons, Odd Fellows, (incomplete)


LANHAM-BADOLATO -- In St. Anthony’s rectory, June 8, 1946, Frederick T. Lanham, 414 Seward street, and Miss Rose Badolato; 325 High street.


(Special to The Times.)

Clayton, April 4. -- Roy Clifford Dillenbeck, 19, a student at the Clayton High school, died at the home of his sister, Mrs. Perl Hyde, near here, at 10:30 Monday evening following an illness of about a month. The cause of his death could not immediately be learned.

The youth, known about Clayton as Clifford Dillenbeck was born at Depauville, June 19, 1913, a son of Clara George Dillenbeck and the late Ward Dillenbeck. His father died about a year ago at his farm home in Depauville.

He was a member of the Epworth League and of the Depauville Methodist Episcopal church. He had lived with his sister, Near Clayton, since he entered the Clayton High school.

Surviving besides his mother, who lives at Depauville and the sister at whose home he died, is a brother, Frederick of Depauville and a grandfather, Fred George, of Syracuse.

Funeral services will be held at 1 Thursday afternoon from the home of his sister and at 2 from the Depauville Methodist Episcopal church with Rev. C. A. Robinson, pastor of the church, officiating. Burial will be made in the family plot of the Depauville cemetery.


LAFARGEVILLE, July 6. -- The marriage of Ida L. Fulkerson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Fulkerson, and Ralph R. Ferguson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ferguson, all of Lafargeville, were married at 7:30 A. M. Saturday in the Methodist Protestant parsonage by the pastor, Rev. Ivan J. Howland in the presence of a few friends.

They will visit friends in Carthage and tour the Adirondacks, after which they will be at home to their friends about July 15.


WILLARD M, WOOD, CITY, GETS ARMY DISCHARGE (1-19-46) (photo included)
Willard M. Wood, 129 Bishop street, teacher of speech correction in Watertown schools before entering the armed forces, was discharged from the U. S. army at Fort Dix, N. J., Saturday after two years of service. It is believed that Mr. Wood will resume his work in the city school system.

Mr. Wood was inducted into the army in 1943 and received basic training at Camp Blanding, Fla. He was then assigned to a training cadre and trained three groups of trainees. He was stationed at southern camps for about 14 months and was then transferred to Camp Edwards, Mass., in the Second Service command until his discharge from the army.

Photo: Miss Helen F. Holland - date on photo: 1-19-1946 - no further information.


(Special to The Times)

Chaumont, Feb. 11. -- Mrs. Ida Dulmage VanNess, 38, wife of Lawrence VanNess of Pillar Point, died at 2:10 this morning in the House of the Good Samaritan, Watertown, where she had been a patient since Jan. 26. Death was caused by pneumonia. She was the mother of ten children.

Mrs. VanNess was born at Depauville, Nov. 21, 1898, a daughter of Henry and Ada VanAlstyne Dulmage. She was married to Lawrence VanNess of Point Peninsula in Watertown on May 26, 1920, the ceremony being performed by Rev. Mr. Pyle.

Mr. and Mrs. VanNess was a member of the Point Peninsula grange and the Three Mile Bay Baptist church.

Surviving her are her husband; her parents of Pillar Point; ten children, Dorothy, Marshall, Gladys, Thomas, Geraldine, Lincoln, Richard, Betty, Patricia and Beverly VanNess; four sisters, Mrs. Theodore Smith, Depauville; Mrs. Leon Failing, Point Peninsula; Gladys Dulmage, Syracuse, and Kathleen Dulmage, Dexter, and a brother, Thomas Dulmage, Pillar Point.

Funeral services will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the home of her parents at Pillar Point. Rev. Paul A. Roy, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church, Dexter, will officiate. Burial will be made at Depauville.


Chaumont, Jan. 31. -- Donald J. Grant, former lieutenant in the United States army in European operations, will be athletic coach at Dexter High school, beginning with the new semester.

Mr. Grant, a graduate of Springfield college, Springfield, Mass., class of 1941, played on the football team through his four years at Springfield and was captain of the team during the last year. He was on the wrestling team for four years and won the New England championship in the 145-pound class. Mr. Grant also played on the lacrosse team. His last year at college, Mr. Grant was a director on the board of athletics and listed in “Who’s Who in American Athletics.”

Mr. Grant was inducted in August, 1941, graduated from officers’ candidate school at Benning, Ga., and served overseas 25 months.

Mr. Grant and his wife, the former Miss Mary Bennett of Youngstown, O., are living at the home of Mr. Grant’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. P. H. Grant.


(Special to The Times.)
Clayton, Feb. 19. -- Mrs. Matilda A. Longway, 63, wife of John H. Longway, died at the family home, 745 James street, at 12:30 this afternoon.

She was born at Jones Falls, Ont., April 6, 1873, the daughter of the late Joseph and Levina Birch LaRose.

She was married to Mr. Longway Dec. 14(?), 1888, in a ceremony performed at Depauville. Her husband is an employe of the town of Clayton highway department in the capacity of patrolman.

Among the survivors besides her husband are: One daughter, Mrs. Alvah Dillenback; one son, Roy Longway, both of Clayton; four brothers, Herbert LaRose, Watertown; Edgar and George LaRose, Depauville; Ross LaRose, Kingston, Ont.; four sisters, Mrs. Abram Bertrand, Clayton; Mrs. Frank Reed, Chaumont; Mrs. George Ludlow and Mrs. Frank Daniels, both of Reynolds Corners; three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held from the home at 1:30 and at 2 from the Methodist Episcopal church. Rev. Royal Fishbeck, pastor of the church, officiated. Burial will be in the cemetery at Clayton.



Miss Betty Jane Huntley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Huntley, 641 Emerson street, and Henry John Misercola, 125 Scio street, were married Saturday evening at 6 in the parsonage of Bethany Methodist church. The marriage ceremony was performed by Rev. Lisle B. Caldwell. The couple was attended by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Busler, brother-in-law and sister of the bride. A reception was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dominick Misercola, following the ceremony. The newly married couple will reside at 644 Emerson street.

The bride was attired in a powder blue suit with black accessories and wore a corsage of red roses.

Mrs. Busler was dressed in a navy blue dress with black accessories and she had a corsage of yellow roses.

Mrs. Misercola received her education in the Watertown schools including the Watertown High school. She is employed as assistant cashier at the F. W. Woolworth company.

Mr. Misercola attended the local schools and served for 22 months in the Philippines and Japan. He has been discharged and is now employed by the Tilo Roofing company.


Item: Francis Mylo, Adams, R. D. 2, paid a $10 fine in city court today, where he pleaded guilty to a speeding charge. Mylo was apprehended in Washington street Friday afternoon by Patrolman Arnold VanBrocklin. The officer said Mylo was driving between 55 and 60 miles an hour. (6-7-1946)


Mrs. Mary Edith Nims, 51, wife of Livingston Nims, died Friday afternoon at about 5 at the family residence, 350 VanDuzee street, after an illness of about two years.

Mrs. Nims was born at Clayton Aug. 29, 1894, a daughter of William and Julia Howarth Denny. She had resided here for three years, coming to this city from Depauville, where she resided for about 30 years. Mr. Nims was engaged in the hotel business at Depauville.

Mrs. Nims was a member of the order of Eastern Star, the Rebekahs and the Order of Amaranth. She was a past noble grand of the Rebekahs.

Surviving her, besides her husband, are two children, Harriet and Dulston Nims, city; her mother, Mrs. Julia Denny, Depauville; three sisters, Mrs. Anthony DePaul, Rochester, Mrs. Charles Darou, Depauville, and Mrs. Walter Mackey, Detroit, Mich., and a brother, Moses Denny, Clayton.

The body was removed to the Cummings Funeral Place. Funeral services will beheld Monday morning at 10:30 from there and at 11 in the Church of the Redeemer. Rev. D. D. Douglas, rector of the church, will officiate. Burial will be made in Depauville.


Stricken Ill Friday, Had Operation Sunday

Death Follows Operation For Adhesions
--Native and Life Long Resident of the Town of Clayton.
(Special to The Times.)

Depauville, June 29. -- Miss Blanche Leona Edmonds, 31, of Clayton, Route 2, died at 8:40 last night in the House of the Good Samaritan, Watertown, where she had been a patient since 9:30 Sunday morning. Death followed an operation for adhesions. She was stricken ill at her home Friday.

Miss Edmonds was born in the town of Clayton, Sept. 19, 1904, a daughter of Mrs. Jessie Guernsey Edmonds Schnauber and the late John Edmonds. She had always resided in the town of Clayton.

For several years until the time of her death she was employed as clerk in Eckert’s general store at Depauville.

Miss Edmonds resided with her mother.

Surviving her, besides her mother, are her maternal grandmother, Mrs. Martha Guernsey, St. Lawrence; a sister, Mrs. Edith Baldwin; a brother, Perley Edmonds; a half-brother, William Schnauber; two step-brothers, Horace and Vernet Schnauber, and a step-sister, Mrs. Josephine Hartline, all of the town of Clayton.

Funeral services will be held from the home Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 (E. S. T.), and at 2 in the Methodist Episcopal church at Depauville, Rev. Frank J. Brown, Richland, assisted by Rev. Mr. Walker, pastor at Depauville, will officiate. Burial will be made in the St. Lawrence cemetery.


VAN DOREN--At Chaumont, June 6, 1946, Walter N. VanDoren, aged 81 years. Funeral services Saturday afternoon at 2 (EDT) from the family residence at Chaumont. Burial in Cedar Grove cemetery.


Past Matron of Depauville O. E. S. Was 64

Dies at Summer Home Near Massena
--Husband and Two Nephews, Robert Hatch, Waddington, and Herbert Hatch, Massena, Survive

Massena Bureau, Watertown Daily Times

Massena, Sept. 1. -- Mrs. Alice G. Hatch, 64, Clayton, died at 12:10 this morning at Louisville Landing after an illness of two weeks with heart trouble. She was the wife of Captain Arthur Hatch of Clayton. Captain and Mrs. Hatch bought a camp on the St. Lawrence just east of Louisville Landing, about six miles from Massena, last fall and this was the first season they had spent at Louisville Landing.

On Sunday, Aug. 16, Mrs. Hatch was taken sick. She apparently recovered within a few days but late last night was again stricken and died within a short time.

The body will be taken to Clayton Wednesday where funeral services will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 from the residence of Mrs. William Patch. Rev. George Dudley Barr, rector of Christ Episcopal church, will officiate. Burial will be made at Depauville.

Alice G. Hatch was born in Winooski, Vt., Sept. 9, 1871, a daughter of William and Juliet Montgomery Fulton. Her father was a millwright and she grew up in Waddington and Ogdensburg.

On Jan. 5, 1907, she was married to Prescott Patch of Depauville who died in February of 1924. They had one son, Wallace. After Mr. Patch’s death she and her son moved to Clayton where the son died in 1927 at the age of 20 years. In October of 1925 she was married to Captain Arthur Hatch of Clayton, and they had lived there until coming to Louisville Landing for the summer.

She was prominent in Eastern Star circles, was past matron of the Depauville chapter, O. E. S.; past royal matron of the Order of the Amaranth, Watertown, and was a member of the Watertown White Shrine and Watertown Daughters of the Nile.

Surviving are her husband, Captain Arthur Hatch, Clayton, and two nephews, Robert W. Hatch, Waddington, and Herbert H. Hatch, Massena.



An albino robin fledged with pure white feathers and having pink eyes was hatched last week at Weldon Manor, Scovil’s, on the Watertown-Clayton road, it was reported today by Joseph B. Weldon, city, owner of the property.

Mr. Weldon said he had never seen a bird like it before, nor had Mrs. James A. Common, city, authority on birds.

Already this robin has developed powers of flight and seems to possess the characteristics of the general robin family.


Item: Mrs. Lessie Hart, 320 William street, who is recovering from a broken back and other injuries suffered when she was struck by a taxi in State street, is spending a few days with her sister-in-law, Mrs. George L. Munson at Brownville.


Local Boy Honored In National Science Talent “Search” (1-31-46)

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- Honorable mention today was awarded 260 high school seniors who participated in the fifth annual Science Talent Search. Announced by Watson Davis, Director of Science Service, the awards followed the selection, last week, of 40 finalists in the nation-wide search.

Included in the 260 to receive honorable mention, is Donald James Eberly, 17, of 750 Davidson street, student of the Watertown High School. He is a son of Mrs. Donald Eberly and the late Rev. Donald Eberly, who was pastor of Bethany Methodist church in this city at the time of his death.

Also included in the list was Lloyd Franklin Elmer, 16, of Black River, route 1, a student at the Copenhagen Central High School.

The 260 students Mr. Davis cited as possessing “superior ability for scientific pursuits” were sifted from approximately 16,000 who entered in competition for $11,000 in Westinghouse Science Scholarships last fall. Their names will be brought to the attention of degree-granting colleges and universities thruout the country, Mr. Davis said, explaining that in previous searches entrants so honored have averaged as much as $240 apiece in scholarships toward their college educations. “This figure represents only the scholarships of which they took advantage, but doesn’t reflect those which they couldn’t accept” he declared. He added that, of course, not all honorable mention winners receive scholarships.

The 40 top finalists, whose names were previously announced, have been invited to attend the all-expense-paid five-day Science Talent Institute in Washington next March 1-5, at which time they will compete for the $11,000 offered annually in scholarships. The search is sponsored by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, with the scholarships provided by the Westinghouse Educational Foundation in the interests of the advancement of science in America.

Scholarships awarded to the finalists at the Institute will include two four-year Westinghouse Grand Science Scholarships worth $2,400 each to the top girl and boy, and eight four-year scholarships of $400 each. The judges may award $3,000 in additional scholarships at their discretion. Awards are based on the results of a series of final examinations and interviews with the judges held during the Institute.

Of the honorable mention recipients announced today, 68 are girls and 192 are boys. Forty-five per cent of the girls rank either first or second in their classes, while 50 per cent of the boys have achieved similar standings.

Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia are represented in this year’s group, with all the 48 states having scored during the five years the search has been conducted.


PRINGLE-FOWLER--In this city, June 8, 1946, to Charles E. Pringle, 120 South Meadow street, gas operator, Central New York Power corporation, and Miss Ruth A. Fowler, 754 Cleveland street, sewing machine operator.

Item: Dr. Delancey B. Armstrong, 68, one of the best known dentists of northern New York, former member of the board of public works and once a city councilman, died at 1:55 this afternoon at the home of his half-sister, Mrs. Ceylon E. Whiteford, with whom he lived. Death was due to heart disease. (1938)



Depauville Man Was State Highway Patrolman After Retiring From Farming
-- Funeral Wednesday.
(Special To The Times)

Depauville, Oct. 12 -- John W. Lingenfelter, 80, retired farmer, died at his home Saturday evening following an illness of 18 days. Death was caused by a cerebral hemorrhage.

He was born Feb. 12, 1856, in the town of Clayton, the son of Conrad and Elizabeth Padget Lingenfelter. He spent most of his life in the town of Clayton, although he had lived in the village of Depauville the past 29 years. He married Miss Lizzie Casselman of Three Mile Bay on Jan. 15, 1879, in the Methodist church at Three Mile Bay.

Mr. Lingenfelter was a farmer for a number of years. Upon his retirement from farming he became a state highway patrolman, a position he held until four years ago. He was also an active member of the Depauville grange No. 59.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Lizzie C. Lingenfelter; one son, Arthur L. Lingenfelter of Depauville; one daughter, Mrs. Melva A. Dintelman of Depauville; two grandchildren, M. Ferne Lingenfelter and Carl G. Dintelman, both of Depauville; one brother, Myron Lingenfelter, Watertown, and one sister, Mrs. Myron Daniels of Chaumont.

Funeral services will be held from the home Wednesday afternoon at . (sic) Rev. Mr. Walker, pastor of the Methodist church at Depauville, will officiate. Burial will be made in the family plot at Three Mile Bay.


Victor Dewey Tidd, 46, of 279 State street, died Tuesday evening in an Ogdensburg hospital after an illness of two years.

Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at 2 from the home of his sister, Mrs. William Palmer, 744 Bradley street, and at 2:30 in the St. Paul’s Episcopal church, Rev. John R. Bill, rector, officiating. Burial will be made in the Clayton cemetery.

Mr. Tidd is survived by a daughter, Miss Jean E. Tidd, this city; four brothers, Daniel A. Tidd, 912 Huntington street; C. Burton Tidd, Alexandria Bay; Floyd E. Tidd, Fishers Landing, and Sherman Tidd, Nutley, N. J., and two sisters, Mrs. William C. (Lena) Palmer, city, and Mrs. Clarence A. (Etta) Francis, Clayton>

Mr. Tidd was born May 13, 1899 at Thousand Island Park, a son of John and Estella Sherman Tidd. He was married to Miss Hazel A. Bennett of 721 Coffeen street, in June, 1927. The couple was divorced in September, 1941.

At one time, he was division manager of the old Colonial Motor Coach lines, this city. He was a graduate of Alexandria Bay High school. About two years ago, Mr. Tidd was mechanic at the Brockway Motor company. He had also been employed as a chauffeur.


The Depauville Gun club has applied for a Boy Scout troop charter through the Jefferson-Lewis council, Clayton S. Ingison, scout executive of the council, has announced.

Fourteen scouts are now registered in the troop, which will be known as Troop No. 21. Its scoutmaster is William L. Darue, and the assistant scoutmaster is Glyndon Denesha.

Members of the committee that applied for the charter are: Lewis M. Carr, Lyle R. Hartman, Jay Wrape, and Fred E. Gould.


Depauville, July 2. -- Miss Marian F. Haas of this village became the bride of Michael Schatz, jr., Watertown, at the regular Sunday evening service at Depauville Methodist Episcopal church.

The ceremony was performed by Rev. A. M. Walter, pastor of the church. The attendants were Miss Pauline Johndrow and Fred Flick. Those present at the wedding were relatives and friends of the bride and bridegroom and those who regularly attend services at the church.

After the ceremony the parents of the bride entertained the bridal party and Rev., and Mrs. Walter at a simple wedding supper.

The bride wore a long dress of light blue silk organdie. Her bouquet was of light pink snapdragons and light blue delphiniums. A tiara of small white blossoms encircled her hair. Mrs. Schatz is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl J. Haas of Depauville. She has been employed as a teacher of music in grades 3, 4, and 5 since her graduation from the special music teachers' course at Potsdam State Normal school in June, 1932.

Mr. Schatz is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Schatz, sr. of 624 East Main street, Watertown. He is employed as a coremaker in the New York Air Brake.


NIMS--In the House of the Good Samaritan, Jan. 29, 1938, Livingston A. Nims, 350 VanDuzee street, aged 70 years. Funeral services Monday at 1:30 p.m. from the Cummings Funeral home and at 2:30 in the Methodist Episcopal church at Depauville. Burial in Depauville cemetery.



The marriage of Miss Marion E. Schaber, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Schaber of Watertown R. D. 1, and Paul W. Barker, son of Mrs. Ada Barker of Cape Vincent, took place Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7:45 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal church at St. John’s Episcopal church at Cape Vincent. Rev. William Barnes, rector of the church, performed the ceremony.

The couple was attended by Miss Mildred Ullmann of Chaumont and Donald Borcey of Cape Vincent. Mr. Barker and his bride left on a short wedding trip and upon their return will make their home on the Dezermald farm near Rosiere.


(Special to The Times.)

Depauville, Feb. 1. -- Henry LaPatra, 79, died at his home in this village at 7 Sunday evening following an illness of about two weeks.

He was born in Brownville on Dec. 24, 1957, a son of the late Frank and Lucy LaPatra.

Mr. LaPatra operated a well drilling business for over 60 years. He was a member of the Depauville I. O. O. F. for many years.

He married Miss Ida Garner of Theresa on Feb. 13, 1883, in a ceremony performed at Plessis by Rev. D. T. White. There was born to the union one child who expired in infancy.

Surviving besides his wife are two sisters, Mrs. Addie Allen and Mrs. Ella Baker, both of Lowville.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 from the home. Rev. Albert Walker, pastor of the Depauville Methodist Episcopal church, will officiate. Burial will be made in the Depauville cemetery.


KLUGMAN--In the House of the Good Samaritan, June 7, 1946, Walter A. Klugman, aged 52 years. Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at 2 at the William R. Box funeral home, Rev. Frederick H. Vogt, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran church, officiating. Burial in the family plot in Riverside cemetery, Oswego.



Clayton, June 22. -- A reunion of the class of 1880 took place at the Burnt Rock school house Flag day, June 14.

An old time session of school was conducted by Miles Comins, a present-day teacher of the village school at St. Lawrence and a grandson of the late Olive Carey Miller, a member of the class of 1880.

The oldest pupil present was August Mussot, 80, and John Philip Granger the youngest, 59. A spelling bee was put on. Rose Crusot Reff carried off the honors and a present. All questions asked in history and geography were quickly answered by some of the pupils. All brought their dinner in the old tin pail style of 50 years ago. Games were played during the noon hour including the old “roll the ten” game. Songs were sung by all present with “School Days” for a chorus. Of the class of 34 invited 19 were able to be present. Those present were:

Frank Hubbard, Rosiere; Frances Perney Bryer, Great Bend; Brighton Northrup, Three Mile Bay; Fred Northrup, Watertown; Jennie Northrup Pennock, Three Mile Bay; Sylvester Halladay, Three Mile Bay; Mary Gosier Bigarel, Gouverneur; Amelia Mussot Reff, Gus Mussot, Lizzie Crusot Babcock, Fred Crusot, Rose Crusot Reff, John Phillip Granger, Julia Granger Cornaire, Rosiere; Florence Carey Donaldson, Watertown; Emma Carey Phillips, St. Lawrence; Lydia Carey Cornwell, St. Lawrence; George Knapp, Utica; Esther Gosier Branche, Mexico, N. Y.



Depauville, Aug. 29. -- Mrs. Ellen O. Grabber, 81, widow of A. D. Grabber of this village, died Friday night at about 8 after a six-weeks’ illness.

She was born in the house she died in, the daughter of the late Sulliva (sic) and Sara Wheeler Smith, Sept. 2, 1854. She spent her early girlhood in this village and married Mr. Grabber in her home Jan. 29, 1884.

She is survived by two daughters and one sister. Her daughters are Mrs. Arminda S. Fox, Depauville, and Mrs. Fanny L. Fuller, Buffalo. Her sister is Mrs. Fanny Seeber, Brownville. A brother and sister died several years ago.

Mr. Grabber was the proprietor of the Grabber hotel here, and she lived in the hotel with him for 30 years. They moved to the home where she died about 20 years ago.

Mrs. Grabber was a charter member of chapter No. 125, Order of the Eastern Star.

Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at 2 in the home with Rev. Mr. Albert Walker of the Methodist Episcopal church of this village officiating. Interment will be in the family plot in the Depauville cemetery. R. S. Clark, Chaumont undertaker, is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Her daughters have asked friends to call whenever convenient.



Depauville, Sept. 1. -- The funeral of Mrs. Ellen O. Grabber, which was held from her home Monday at 2 p.m. was largely attended. Rev. A. W. Walker officiated.

Leon Gillette, Pearl Lingenfelter, Fred Stienberg (sic), W. F. Huckzermeier, Ernest Eckert and H. G. Jones acted as bearers.

Interment was made in Depauville cemetery.


HASNER-PAUL -- In this city, June 27, 1946, to George H. Hasner, mechanic, Glen Park, and Miss Dorothy M. Paul, school teacher.

ROSE-ROOF -- Laurence H. Kissel of this city was elected president of the Jefferson County Syracuse University Alumni association at the annual meeting held Thursday at Cape Vincent.



He Represented First Assembly District of County From 1907-09
---Former Merchant of Depauville
(Special to The Times.)

Depauville, Aug. 25. -- Former Assemblyman Alfred D. Lowe, 85, died at 11:15 last night at his home here. He suffered a light stroke last Wednesday and since then had been confined to bed. Pneumonia developed over the week-end.

Mr. Lowe represented the first assembly district of the county in 1907, 1908 and 1909. He succeeded Albert Foster. Gary H. Wood represented the other Jefferson county district during his three terms in the assembly. Luther S. Pitkin succeeded him in the assembly in 1910.

After being nominated for the assembly in 1906 Mr. Lowe received 4,893 votes at the fall election to 2,626 for his Democratic opponent, Willis H. Green. When he ran the last time in 1908 against Frank S. Paddock, Democrat, he received 5,225 votes to Mr. Paddock’s 3,322.

During his service in the assembly Mr. Lowe was on the following committees: Agriculture, affairs of villages, public lands and forestry. He was chairman of the public lands committee during his last two years at Albany.

James W. Wadsworth, jr., Geneseo, later congressman and United States senator, was speaker of the assembly during Mr. Lowe’s legislative service.

Before entering the assembly he was active in politics and had served as justice of the peace twelve years, town clerk of the town of Clayton several terms and as postmaster here.

After his three terms at Albany Mr. Lowe accepted a position with the state conservation department and served as superintendent of forest fires for the second district, covering the counties of Fulton, Hamilton, Warren, Washington and Saratoga, until about 1912. During that time his headquarters were at Northville.

After retirement from state service he superintended the management of his 236 acre farm on the Clayton road, served for a period as justice of the peace and was active in the affairs of the Depauville Burial Ground association, in which he took a great interest.

The son of Isaac and Zillah Atwood Lowe, he was born September 26, 1850, in a log house located on land purchased by his grandfather in 1934 near the old well across the highway from the Francis Forbes farm on land now owned by Fred Sternberg. On his paternal side his ancestors were from The Netherlands and France while his maternal ancestors were English and Scotch-Irish.

His whole life was spent in this locality. He started a mercantile business with Martin Ranney here about 1874 and later when Mr. Ranney moved to Clayton went into partnership with Richard Terry under the firm name of Terry & Lowe. About 1885 he bought a store building from Charles A. Fox and rebuilt it. There he conducted a general store until the building was destroyed by fire in 1906. He did re-engage in the mercantile business. Then his political career started.

Mr. Lowe married Emma Smith of this place in 1875. She died in 1934. No children were born to the marriage.

He was never a member of a church, though all through the active years of his life Mr. Lowe was cooperative with the activities of the local Methodist and Baptist societies.

Mr. Lowe was initiated into the Depauville lodge, F. & A. M., No. 688, in December, 1866. He later became a member of the Clayton chapter, R. A. M., Watertown Commandery, K. T., and Media Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; also I. O O. F. and various other societies.

He is survived by one brother, Frank D. Lowe of Watertown, who is the last of the Isaac Lowe family. His sister, Mrs. Celia Lowe Herkimer, died here in 1930 at the age of 87 years.

He is also survived by two nephews, Frank W. Herkimer, Depauville, and Ross B. Lowe, Watertown; also many cousins in different sections of the country, amongst whom are W. W. Lowe, Charles Lowe and Nellie Lowe of this place.

The funeral will be at the home on Chaumont street Thursday at 2 p.m. (E. S. T.). Rev. Mr. Walker, pastor of the local Methodist Episcopal church, will officiate. The family requests that flowers be omitted.


N. O. EASTON, 83, DEPAUVILLE, DIES (8-4-1936 paper)

Was Born on Wolfe Island But Went to Depauville When He Was 13
--Four Years Later He Entered a Blacksmith Shop as an Apprentice
-- Two Daughters Survive.

Depauville, Aug. 4.--Nelson O. Easton, 83, died at 12:15 this morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. W. Fred Sternberg.

Funeral services will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 at the Sternberg home. By request flowers are to be omitted.

Mr. Easton was born on Wolfe island Nov. 22, 1852, one of a family of six boys and one girl, born to Wilbur and Lois Easton. His death leaves only one survivor of this family group, a brother, Hollis Easton, this place.

His early life to the age of 13 was spent with his parents on Wolfe Island. In 1865 he came to Depauville and worked on a farm for four years. In 1869 he went into a blacksmith shop as an apprentice with George Wilson, proved apt and developed into an expert horseshoer, forger of iron and general repair man, meeting the demands of a farming community at that time. He was the village blacksmith for over 60 years.

Mr. Easton was married to Ella Lingenfelter April 18, 1876. Her death occurred Dec. 21, 1925.

The following children were born of this union: Mrs. W. Fred Sternberg, Depauville; Mrs. Clarence Argersinger, Johnstown, and Glenn W. Easton, who died in 1925. Nine grandchildren survive.


North Country Visits


Ashland, Near Three Mile Bay, Was Once a Farm of the Manor Type
Land Was Reclaimed by Drainageby Timothy and William Dewey, Pioneers
Late John P. Douglas Included It in His Holdings



If one drives out of Three Mile Bay on Wells street to the railroad station, which is nearly a mile from the business section of the village, since the railroad run is a straight line from Chaumont towards Cape Vincent, and bear left they soon come to a modern farm of large size, if one is to judge by the buildings. Down through the years this farm has been known as Ashland and the story of how this vast farm was reclaimed from a swamp to a productive piece of land is well worth recalling. The road from Three Mile Bay takes one in the Wells Settlement section, an early section of the town that was rather thickly populated by many of the same family.

Back in 1830 this place, later known as Ashland, was just swamp land and about that time the attention of Timothy and William Dewey, father and son, was directed to the place. It was just a large section of land, flooded a portion of the year, upon which was growing a thick growth of ash timber. Timothy Dewey was a builder and was the first engineer of the Manhattan Gas company of New York city. He was regarded by that company as an engineer of the first rank and it presented him with a silver snuff box when he retired from its service. He resided for a time in Watertown and when his son, William, also educated as an engineer, had taken such an interest in the proposed Rome & Watertown railroad, and had gone out to help run the first proposed lines of the road, they saw this section of land. The Dewey family were all for the building of the railroad and spoke many times for its building.

This swamp land in Lyme was owned by Vincent LeRay and of course quite unsaleable. In prospecting about the country William Dewey was quite convinced that this section of land could be drained and made one of the best producing farms in the north. The father looked over the land and considered the plans for drainage and the two agreed that the work could be done but at rather heavy expense.

In 1933 the bargain was made whereby the Dewey family purchased 1,400 acres of land of Vincent LeRay, and they set about getting the place drained. After the timber was cut off, in fact before the place was cleared, a central ditch of large size was run through the place with the outlet towards Three Mile Bay. It took time to accomplish this work and the expense was somewhat higher than expected, but the results were much greater. Soon there developed a great, level expanse of land, rich in humus and capable of growing large crops.

The Dewey family for a time established their home at Ashland, the name came naturally, for it was just a land of ash timber at the beginning and there they had their books for they owned a large library. William Dewey, the son, was a bachelor and given much to the study of English verse and often was called upon to give readings. It is told that one night when he gave a reading from Shakespeare in the old Washington Hall, Watertown, he so held the audience’s attention that the next day all copies of Shakespeare in the Watertown book stores were sold out.

In time the late John P. Douglas, who had been a banker in New York city and had helped to establish the street railroad system there, came north to reside, feeling that the life of a country squire was ideal. He purchased in Theresa several farms, where he established his country home. He added to his land holdings by buying the Ashland farms. This made him one of the largest land owners in the county.

Upon the Ashland farm Mr. Douglas established two farms, deeming it good business to put the work under two men and permit a little competition in regard to crops and income between the two. At one farm was built a cheese factory and great barns were built, the farms producing the timber for these. The barn at the upper farm was of the type that prevailed in the early 1880’s, in that it had a basement stable and a barn floor that ran the entire length of the long barn. Threshing machines had many days work each year at Ashland, for it was a good grain farm. Likewise, the hay press found much work at the place and at one time Mr. Douglas purchased his own haypress, of the kind that operated without jumpers. Fifty years ago this month* lightning struck this great barn and it was burned to the ground.

Back in the early days a store was conducted upon the farm, as there were many workmen employed at the place and neighbors came to patronize it. Such were the early days of Ashland. Today it is a well kept, modern farm but no longer of the manor type that it was in its early days.

Note: The date this article appeared in the unknown newspaper was not apparent on this clipping. Therefore, the date the Ashland barn burned is unknown.



Miss Loretta Cooper was elected president of the Y. W. C. A. Business Girls club to succeed Mrs. Robert Hale at a dinner meeting Monday evening. Miss Barbara Jenkins was chosen vice president; Miss Doris Hevland, secretary; and Miss Elsie Dickson, treasurer. The slate of officers elected unanimously was presented by Miss Barbara Strough who gave the report of the nominating committee.

Mrs. Clark S. Shuman of Black River, a Red Cross social service worker, who has been engaged in Red Cross at New Haven, Conn., described her experiences meeting the war brides on the first trip of the Queen Mary to this country.


Father’s Search for LaRue Money Recalled by Haskin
Dr. Byron Haskin, Theresa, Tells of Search With Divining Rod

By Ernest G. Cook

Some of the newspapers in Ontario, Canada, just recently have revived the story of “Billa” LaRue,” the pioneer on the banks of the St. Lawrence river, across and down the river a little from Alexandria Bay, and his buried treasures which were never found. The Canadian historian, T. W. H. Leavitt, in his histories of Leeds and Greenville counties, gives much space in his book to this man and the hunt for the treasure. He tells that a man was once employed with a divining-rod to locate the buried gold and the papers of late speak also of that incident.

“If you read anything about this man with the divining-rod searching for the gold, you may be certain it is correct,” said Dr. Byron Haskin of Theresa. “The reason why I know is that man with the rod was my father, Sidney Haskin, and I was with him when he made the search. I was only nine years old at that time, which would be 55 years ago, but I remember it as if it were but yesterday.”

“My father was considered an expert with the witching-rod and many a farmer would secure his services when a new well was to be put down. Father would walk back and forth across the yard and hold the forked cherry-sprout upright and when he came to where water was flowing underground, the forked-stick would surely turn and point down. I have seen it work many a time and I don’t pretend to explain it. But father said it needed a man to carry the stick who had plenty of electricity in his body, for electricity and water always worked well together. The neighbors would come for father to do this work and usually gave him $5. They would dig the well where he said and always find water.”

“Now about this William LaRue, or ‘Billa,’ as he was mostly called. Some said he was of French descent, and maybe was, but the records show he came from the New England states at the time of the American Revolution and, being a United Empire loyalist, he went to Canada and was given a grant of land--the records show that---on the banks of the St. Lawrence at what became the town of Escott. He was given nearly 1,000 acres on May 17, 1802. There was a deep ravine running down to the St. Lawrence river in which flowed a stream of water. LaRue conceived the idea of putting a dam across the ravine and planting a sawmill there. His plan worked. It is told that he selected the finest pine tree on the place and had it cut into choice planks and from these he made his coffin. He planted apple trees, chestnut and walnut trees and turned his mill over to the British at the time of the war of 1812 to get lumber for the forts. He planted riflepits on the place for defending that point. They tell that he walked barefoot to Cornwall to buy leather for boots, Cornwall being the nearest point to obtain leather. He became rich.

“When he was on his death bed his room was where he could look from his window to a certain spot, where people thought his wealth was buried for it was known he had his money hidden. He died without telling a soul where his treasures were.

“In after years people searched and searched for the money. I know I heard much about it when I was a boy, but as he died in 1832, the stories had become about as much legend as actual history. Well, there was a woman (line missing)............tell of mysteries and they went to her for advice. She told them that they had been digging on the wrong side of the ravine, and to go to the opposite side. I don’t know how much digging they did under her directions, but I do know that in 1881 a man came to our home in Lyn (spell that word with one ‘n’) and made arrangements for father to go to Escott, which is above Mallorytown on the St. Lawrence, to ‘witch’ for that money.

“I might add that father was very good at that. I have seen him at evening parties permit people to blindfold him and he would take his rod and folks would put a silver dollar on the floor in some spot and let father start out, and, sure enough, he would locate it. That gave him a reputation for finding money. It was quite a drive to Escott with a horse and buggy and we knew it would be late before we got there. It was rather late but father said we would start in. I, as a boy of nine, was greatly excited. I can see the place now---the little family cemetery, unkept, the solid house that LaRue built, and all. Father took a hint, I think, from the Witch of Plum Hollow and started walking on that side of the ravine.

“Suddenly the forked-stick turned down. Father went over the place several times and each time it turned down. ‘Dig right there,’ father said, and started to leave the place. But they asked him to remain and some men from that section began to dig hurriedly I think.

“I know the hole they dug was rather small across and when they got down rather deep, I, being small, was let down in the hole to dig the ground loose with a crowbar. Suddenly, it was about nightfall, I struck something I thought was a large flat stone and I actually thought I could hear the chink of the coins as my bar shook the stone. I called up that I thought we were getting near it, when suddenly one of the men looked frightened.

“ ‘It is the hour of witches,’ he said, ‘and they will be coming from that cemetery there and other places, so we had best stop for the night. In fact I wouldn’t stay here another minute, no matter what we got.’

“That settled it. All wanted to quit, except my father, but it was not his party; he was only getting pay for locating the treasure. I recall that they helped me out of the pit, as it was getting dusk, and we went to a family nearby to spend the night.

“The next morning the men went back but things seemed to have been changed in the night. The bar did not (sic) longer strike the stone. Some of the men said that the witches had come from the LaRue cemetery and rehidden the money. Anyway, it was not there and we went home in deep wonder---or at least I did some hard thinking, for it was I who certainly struck that stone at night and could not locate it in the morning.

“I have sometimes wondered if one or more of those helpers did not come back to that place in the night and, if there was a box there, make way with it and keep their deed a secret. Anyway, they have never found the money that ‘Billa’ LaRue was supposed to have hidden about the place. A man by the name of Cherry Buell owns the place today and resides there. The tipping tombstone on the LaRue grave reads, ‘Sacred to the memory of William LaRue, who departed this life November 15, 1832, aged 72 years, 9 months, 9 day.’ His wife, Abigal (sic), died April 30, 1834, but she was younger, being but 59 at the time of her death.

“I have often thought of that (line missing) ....................riches of ‘Billa’ LaRue, pioneer and important citizen of that entire section before and during the war of 1812.”



Mr. and Mrs. John T. Shannon, Route 2, Middle Road, Watertown, announce the engagement of their daughter, Dorothy Jean, to Floyd James Flansburg, son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd R. Flansburg, 226 Stuart street.

Miss Shannon is a graduate of the Watertown High school and of the Watertown School of Commerce. She was listed as an honor student in her graduating class in high school, and elected a member of the National Honor society. For the past five and a half years she has been employed as cashier for the Personal Finance Company of New York, in the Watertown office.

Mr. Flansburg also was graduated from the Watertown High school, and was employed by the Ryan Plumbing & Heating company until February, 1942, when he enlisted in the U. S. Navy. After serving his enlistment of four years including ten months of duty in the Asiatic-Pacific theater, he was honorably discharged on Jan. 12, 1946, and has since returned to his job with the Ryan Plumbing & Heating company.

The date for the wedding has not been announced.

Photos: Photos of Miss Shannon and Mr. Flansburg were placed above the preceding write-up.


Bertrand Brothers Buy It at Foreclosure Sale and Will Operate It.

Clayton, Feb. 18. --- Two brothers, Alvah A. Bertrand and Carl L. Bertrand, purchased the Clayton Golf club at the foreclosure sale held Saturday morning in the office of Attorney Ellsworth J. Carter and plan to operate the club as usual in the spring. The purchased was made from the First National Exchange bank of Clayton with the consent of the club directors.

The club was organized in 1925 with Arthur L. Williams as the first president of the group. He served for four years and resigned to go on an Alaska cruise in 1929. Crouse M. Klock then served as president. J. Leslie Cummings served as president before his death and Floyd A. Tifft has been president for the past three years.

The late Mae Irwin aided in the earlier organization of the club and sponsored parties and dances for the club’s benefit. Mr. Williams, as the first president, was overseer of the building of the course and the club house. During the war years when gasoline for pleasure driving was forbidden and visitors could not patronize the golf course as formerly, local members kept the club going, many of them assisting with generous contributions of money and of their time in caring for the course when labor could not be secure.

Alvah Bertrand was in charge of the club ten years as professional golfer and greens keeper with Mrs. Bertrand hostess at the club house.

Carl Bertrand was honorably discharged from the service last month and three and one-half year sin the army and now resides with his wife on State street.


Miss Emma Grant Was Graduate of Potsdam Normal School
--Funeral Services Tuesday.

(Special to The Times)

Potsdam, Feb. 18. -- Funeral services for Miss Emma Grant, 78, retired New Rochelle school teacher, will be held at her home, 19 Cedar street at 2 Tuesday afternoon. Rev. Charles B. Hanna, pastor of the Presbyterian church, will officiate. Burial will be made in the spring in the Grant cemetery.

Miss Grant, who had been in poor health the past two years, died at her home about 1 Sunday morning.

She was born on Oct. 29, 1867, daughter of Neil and Ellen Wheeler Grant on the Grant homestead, several miles from this village on the Potsdam-Canton road. Her early education was received in the local schools and she graduated from Potsdam Normal school in 1888. After teaching in Baldwin, L. I., for two years, she went to Chester and remained there for five years, until 1896. Miss Grant then joined the school system of New Rochelle and taught in the second grade there for 30 years.

About 1926 she retired and came to Potsdam where she had since made her home. Until several years ago Miss Grant had gone to Florida for the winters.

She is survived by a brother, William Grant, who occupies the...................(sentence and article incomplete).........

Return to Jefferson County Tidbits

Copyright 2016 Jefferson County NYGenWeb — a member of the NYGenWeb Project

If you have any questions or comments about this page, please contact,
County Co-Coordinator Nancy Dixon or
Co-Coordinator Bruce Coyne.

Return to Jefferson County Genweb Page