March 10, 2017

Half-Shire Historical Society
March 10, 2017

The winter work schedule at our Richland headquarters is in full swing, delayed for a time due to the excessive snow in January.

During the weekend of February 25-26 we were able to remove some sheet rock on our back wall that we have long desired to replace, adding some new electrical in the process.

We also worked that weekend to catch up on files and correspondence, as well as to sell many of the Richard Brennan autobiographies that we took on consignment.

As this goes to press, another work weekend March 4 and 5 continues the same degree of work with some additional preparation for the carpenter to begin work replacing sheet rock the following week.

Thanks to Debbie Butler for answering our call for information on the Greenfield family.

Debbie had several years back brought in a small file with names and dates, she has now added to this with some high-resolution scans of old photos of people and places tied with that family in the Orwell area.

We continue to update our database as the information comes in!

Another member, Debbie Pollic of Richland, brought in many items of interest that belonged to her mother in laws family the Mattisons of Albion and Richland.

Some great images of old logging operations in Redfield and clippings from Pulaski made this a nice donation we can use in research!

On February 27, Trustee Margret Kastler and I met with an area church council to discuss digitizing their records.

More on that as we hear.

The church we were at has detailed records that span 200 years.

Our IT specialist and deputy Richland historian Kevin Stewart has been working with Trustee Erma Schroeder and secretary Fay Colvin through the winter in indexing the George Widrig obituary collection, as well as more recent deaths.

Kevin also took the smaller birth and marriage collections and has compiled databases of each.

These tables, along with the obituaries are all available in index format at our website.

There are errors in exact dates for birth and marriages due to some occasions when the local newspaper announced a birth as “last week” or “recently.”

In his role as deputy town of Richland Historian, Kevin Stewart continues to lead the Pulaski Alumni biography project.

This project seeks to prepare biographical sketches of all Pulaski school graduates from 1854 forward.

This will assist researchers as well as the Pulaski Alumni Association.

Librarian Sharon Turo continues to scan from her home, and to assemble proper family books for the shelves.

When we have seen Sharon this winter, it has been to exchange half dozen boxes or more of work, for new material that needs her special touch and expertise.

Our other trustees all have similar projects ongoing, and we look forward to gathering everyone together for our first meeting of the season on March 25 at noon.

We continue to review and identify images from the Pulaski area Chauffer license photos scanned form original negatives.

Among the collection of 290 images is a little boy who was quickly identified as Fred Potter by his sisters.

In reviewing the negative strip, we found the photo immediately before it was of Fred’s father, Harry I. Potter (1912-67).

Erma Schroeder went home and located the original chauffer’s license photo that matched the image we had.

All 290 images are on our facebook page, and also printed out in an album at Half-Shire.

We still have a small number of Oswego County Bicentennial books for sale. $10.80 soft cover, $21.60 hard cover.

Add $3.50 for shipping.

It is expected these will all be gone in six months; there is no plan to reprint these.

Dick Brennan’s autobiography is also still available, $16.20 with also $3.50 book rate shipping.

All prices include sales tax.

Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. 73, Richland NY 13144.

Our building is at 1100 County Route 48 and out website is

*Picture: Harry Isaac Potter, 1912-67 of Richland, one of the 290 images from the chauffeur license collection we have identified.*

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March 3, 2017

Half-Shire Historical Society
March 3, 2017
The Society is saddened by the loss of two long-time members and solid supporters recently, Roy Weldon of Dugway and Richard Brennan of Boylston and Pulaski.

Roy Meacham Weldon was born in Howardville on November 7, 1921 the son of Rex and Jessie (Meacham) Weldon. Roy spent most of his 95 years in the same Howardville-Dugway community of his ancestors, and was literally the “Sage of South Albion”. Roy had a photographic memory and knew the bloodlines of all his neighbors and of particular interest “the back stories” also. Roy was an essential contact for anyone to meet when researching the region. His grandfather Martin Meacham had the distinction of being the last village Clerk of Sandy Bank (later rechristened Altmar) and many years ago Roy bequeathed the Sand Bank Village Board minute book to Half-Shire. Roy was a longtime member of the Maplelawn cemetery in Dugway, and was invaluable in assisting Jack Steinfeld in the definitive mapping of the graves several years ago. Roy and his wife Muriel had gone to Pennsylvania a few years back to live with their son and daughter in law, and last fall Murial passed away. They are now together again, and we will miss them here.

Richard Thomas Brennan was born October 20, 1934 in the East Boylston neighborhood known as “Catholic Church Corners” where Redfield’s County Rte. 17 meets County Rte 15. His father was John J. Brennan, a 2nd generation Irish American and his wife the former Elsie Ingersoll, who had left Pulaski to teach in Boylston. “Dick” recently penned his autobiography, and relates many colorful stories of childhood on Tug Hill. Brennan went on to college and a career with the New York State DOT. During his years with the transportation department Brennan became aware of an undeveloped section of eastern Lake Ontario leased by a Syracuse company. Brennan envisioned a waterfront development, and over several years with persistence was able to obtain title to lands that are now known as Brennan’s Beach. The Brennan family developed the Beach into the largest east coast RV resort of its kind.

Brennan had a keen interest and knowledge of history and in recent years has spent time during the summers culling the files at Half-Shire and adding to our databases and collection. We have been selling his autobiography this winter, and we very much looking forward to having him at a book signing this summer. Our sincere condolences go out to his family in this time of loss.

Recent work which we have featured on our facebook site includes the scanning of 260 negatives that we have long had in a small box. Initial identities of these images have indicated that were drivers license or Chauffer’s license photos from the 1930s and 40s. We have had several of the people in the images identified, and encourage our facebook friends to look at the site and offer help.

On the genealogy front, we have resumed work started last year on the Greenfield and West families of Orwell. Richard Greenfield came to Orwell in the Early 1800s from Saratoga County, New York. There are three West families connected with Orwell: The family of Revolutionary War Soldier Aaron West, Ira West and the West Monroe Wests that many of the Potters come down from. Anyone who would like to contribute and share data get in touch with us. We are looking to scan photos and bible records where they are available.

Ephraim Jerome Greenfield (1866-1942) was a grandson of Richard Greenfield and a great grandson of Ira West. Born in Orwell, Ephraim was married first to Edith Crouse who died very young, and secondly to Grace Barnes of Ricard. Ephraim and Grace lived in Ricard, Albion, Richland hamlet and finally most of their married life on Maple Avenue in Pulaski in a house still occupied by their granddaughter Rosalie Walter Zufelt. Grace had eight children, five of whom lived to adulthood. Besides their large family, the Greenfields were always open to taking in relations, and the old house on Maple Ave. has been home to scores of nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren and great grandchildren over the years. Grace’s mother Fannie Allen Barnes, and Ephraim’s grandfather David West also lived with the family in their declining years, From David West down through the Zufelt, Pflueger and Seyer G-G-grandchildren that makes six generations spanning over one hundred years that have lived for a time in Rosie’s home.

Every older home in our region has a story, it is fascinating to be able to trace out one hundred years of residency and learn the stories. Pulaski historical Society has been collecting house histories for many years, and encourage donations of stories such as this.

Half-Shire Historical Society can be reached at P.O. Box 73, Richland 13144, or online at Our facebook is “Half Shire” We are open by appointment until April 1, as we are conserving heat and doing some winter renovations.

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