Saturday, January 17, 2009

Theodore Roosevelt Montgomery and Helen Grace Lippincott

Theodore was the youngest of James & Carrie's boys. He was about 16 when he lost his mother in 1920. From the tales he told, I am inclined to assume he was something of a devil. He told one of the truant officer coming to find him one day when he skipped school. He was up on the shed roof, making repairs ( if his story is to be believed). "I'm looking for Theo Montgomery", the gentleman called up to him. "Nobody here by that name", he replied. "How about Theod. Montgomery?" the gentleman inquired. "Nope, nobody here by that name either." After several tries to make something of the abbreviated name in his records, the officer left, but somehow, I think he knew his quarry was right in plain sight.

Playing in the streets was commonplace during Ted's boyhood. One fall evening, when dusk was approaching, he and a bunch of his buddys were tossing matches (lit of course) down through the hole in a manhole cover. All of a sudden, the sewer gas in the pipe was afire, and flames were spurting up through the hole in the manhole cover. Fearing that the burning gas would somehow catch a passing hay wagon afire the boys tried to put out the fire by tossing dirt down he small hole in the manhole cover. Handful, after handful went down the hole. Suddenly, there was a horrible rumble and the manhole cover flew up, up, up into the air, followed by a rush of air that put out the fire.

Not waiting to see where the cover landed, the boys hightailed it home. Ted ran through backyards, ducking under clotheslines filled with clean white linens, and plodding through gardens with abandon. Upon his arrival, he was met by an irate father, who dragged him out behind the woodshed and proceeded to whale his nether regions. He thought one of the neighbors had complained about his mad rush under her clothesline, or through her garden. It wasn't until many years later, somewhere around 1935 that his brothers explained to him that the sudden rush of sewer gas from the exploding manhole had "Blown the old man off the toilet!" and somehow he knew that Teddy was involved.

Back row: Dan, James E. Front row: Ernest, Earl and Ted.


A buddy on the left Ted on the right

"The Alfred Sun, Wednesday, March 21, 1900, Alfred, NY


Last Sunday morning the inhabitants of this community received a shock, which,, while it excited the sensibilities, at the same time touched the inmost hearts and sympathetic natures of all, when it was learned the the home of Eugene Ferrin, who lives in a house belonging to Wm Ostrander, situated three miles from this village on the McHenry Valley road, was burned to the ground, together with the entire contents and two of the Ferrin's children had perished in the flames.

About twelve o'clock Saturday night Mrs. Ferrin arose and put a chunk of wood in the stove to keep the fire unti morning. She then retired again and her attention was soon attracted by a reflection of light which proved to be a fire which had started around the stove pipe hole down stairs. Mrs Ferrin gave her husband the alarm and went to the stair door and called the three older children who were sleeping overhead, two boys in one room and a little girl in another. They answered and the little girl came down. The fire was at first apparently not very serious and Mr. Ferrin endeavored to extinguish the flames with tow pails of water which were handy; but this amount being insufficient and the water privileges being very inconvenient, he was obliged to abandon the effort.

When it became apparent the house would be destroyed, Mrs. Ferrin rushed out of the house with her baby and little girl.

Seeing that the boys did not come down stairs in response to the call, Mr. Ferrin became alarmed for their safety and started up the stairs to rescue them but was met by a wall of seething flame which caused him to retreat. He then rushed out of the house and after procuring a ladder climbed to the chamber window which was located near the bed in which the boys had been sleeping. We are informed that when Mr. Ferrin broke through the window he found that the children had left their bed and were in the opposite corner of the room cut off from him by the flames so that it was impossible to effect their rescue. In his efforts to save the children he was very badly burned, the hair being burned from his head and his hands and one side of his face being entirely blistered. The two boys who were cremated were aged 9 and 3 years. Mr. and Mrs Ferrin and the other two children escaped with nothing save their night clothes and walked one third of a mile to Mr. Otrander's in their bare fee. The night was severely cold, the thermometer standing at eight below zero, and their feet were badly frozen from the exposure. They are at present at the home of Mrs. Ferrin's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry McIntosh, and it will be some time before they recover from the burns and effects of exposure. Mr. and Mrs Ferrin have the sincere sympathy of the entire community in their great calamity and bereavement, and several parties are busily engaged in collecting effects to aid them in their time of need. Surely this is a Christian duty, and we trust that all will join in bearing these heavy burdens that they may be made as light as possible for those on who they will fall with crushing weight. The remains of the little ones were placed in a casket together and interred in Woodlawn Cemetery Monday afternoon."

Helen was born four years after the fire. She was later adopted by the Lippincotts. Her older brother, the baby in the fire, came looking for her when she was 15 years old. Until then, she hadn't known she was adopted.

Friday, January 16, 2009

James Edson Montgomery

Handsome fellow, don't you think? He was born November 22, 1869. He was a conductor on the Erie Railroad, Hornell to Port Jervis run. That is his caboose in the header. He was almost 21 when he married Carrie Alison Nolton

She was born 1/1/1867, so she was 23 when they married 9/6/1890. Together they raised a family of seven boys, including one set of twins born from 1892 to 1904.

The youngest was Theodore Roosevelt Montgomery, born on the day TR was elected.

It has been a lot of fun researching this family. We have met a lot of nice people in our travels. We met a very nice town clerk in Afton, where they were married. She made us a copy of their marriage certificate. We have not been able to find out much about Carrie. According to the certificate, she was born in Courtland, and lived in Windsor. He was born in Harpursville, and lived in Holmesville...all NY locations.

We have been able to trace James' family, on the Edson side, all the way back to the Mayflower. His mother was Adelia Edson, and he was given her maiden name for his middle name.

Adelia's parents were Jacob Edson, and Sophoria Bowen. Jacob traces on the female side to James Chilton, who arrived on the Mayflower with his daughter Mary.

This quest was a lot of fun. We keep hoping to make connections on the Montgomery side, but so far Elias, found in Otsego Co NY previous to 1800 is as far back as we can go there. If you have any clues, we would be glad to hear them.

Three of James and Carrie's sons, and four of their grandsons. This was taken in the early 50's. Back Row: Left to right Lowell, Roger, Ernest. Lawrence, Front row, James, Paul, and Ted Montgomery. Paul, Ted, and Ernest are brothers. Roger, Lawrence and Lowell are brothers, sons of Ted. James is son of Ernest. Nice looking crew! I think this picture was taken in Hornell, or Arkport, NY

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Beautiful Rocky Mountains

In late August we drove to Estes Park, CO for the Clan Montgomery Society International Annual Meeting 2008. As part of the glories of that meeting we took a van trip up into Rocky Mountain National Park. The views were breathtaking! I was a bit short on the breath anyway because of the altitude. We live in the foothills of the Adirondacks, a very old, old mountain chain. They are very worn and aged. The Rockies are fresh and new, and while both are beautiful, the Rockies are a lot more of mountain than I am used to seeing.

This year they are suffering an asault by the Pine Bark Beetle so many of the trees were dried out and losing their needles. Our guide told us this is a cyclacle thing and the beetles only attack mature trees, so the young ones will grow to fill in the spaces left by the loss of the older trees. This problem is facing both Wyoming and Colorado.

Somehow the forest isn't the same with the mature trees dying.

We saw elk and deer and chipmunks. There are a couple of new bird species marked in our birdbook. We both had a wonderful time.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The New Year

We didn't have a Christmas tree this year (2008) so I am showing you the last Christmas Tree we put up. It was a little bit Charlie Brown, but the aroma was wonderful. Since we are now heating with wood, it was somewhat not a good idea to put a live tree in the same room with a wood fire. Especially since our rooms are small and chock full of stuff. I missed it a little bit, but we shared the kids' tree so that filled up the gap.

We spent New Years Day traveling to Stamford CT. for the Greenwich Fine Arts Gun Show. We set up our booth at the show on Friday, and that evening there was a nice coctail party for the exhibitors and special ticket holders. It was a nice evening and we got to see all the wonderful things the dealers transported from the four corners of the country for exhibit. There were several engravers, all who do beautiful work, a very artistic taxidermist, and Indian artist with prints etc. and lots of tables with very fine guns, swords, whole room of Indian regalia, some plains Indians, and some Iraqouis. I was very tempted by two dome top, hide covered boxes that some fellows from Alaska showed. There was also another dealer with Indian things, and she had some Noone photographs which were hand colored, enlarged and framed in beautiful gold leaf frames. One of a little girl was especially appealing. George Neuman was there of course. He is such a knowledgeable man on early firearms, and other early things. I stopped at a table displaying Japaneese swords and learned a little about them and the very collectable little decorative pieces that go between the blade and the hilt. There were several beautiful Civil War Swords with documentation. There was also jewelry, photographs, busts, and of course books. We took three tables this year, and selling was acceptable. One has to know a lot about history to truly enjoy a show like this. The more you see and ask questions, the more you learn. The dealers seem to be very helpful, and willing to talk about their goods with you.

We stayed over an extra day, as the years are beginning to weigh on us, and drove home via the Taconic Parkway on Monday. It was a bit gloomy, but a nice ride as opposed to the NYS Thruway madhouse. Next show will be the 24th and 25th at the Convention Center in Albany New York. Look for us there!