April 10, 2009

Just when spring seemed here, another blast of cold and snow reminded Tug Hill/Eastern Lake Ontario residents of that “it’s not over yet”. On Saturday April 4 over a foot was reported in sections of Redfield while Florence residents coped without power for several hours.

During the outage I phoned Leo Seaton to discuss the growing list of Revolutionary War soldiers who lived in Florence at one time or another. Only a few have marked graves, and some have been found to be buried elsewhere. This list is a work in progress, and represents a culling of the census data from 1814-1850 and cross referencing names with US pensions and other data sources. Any additional information on these men is welcomed by Half-Shire, as well as Leo who will be working on this through the year with us “on location”. The state of origin for the veteran (if known) is given following the name:

Nathan Allen (Mass); Ebenezer Barlow, (Mass); Barnes, Jonathan, (CT); Thomas Burch, (Mass); Anthony Empey, (NY); Benoni Fleming, CT; Peter Humphrey, (NY); Eliakim Miller, (Mass); Abraham Morton, (Mass); Azariah Orton, (CT); Eber Rice, (VT); Joseph Woodcock, (Mass). There could very well be many others who came to Florence when it was a wilderness, and died unnoticed by history. In Richland we started out with a list of 17 men that now has grown to 49.

The topic of veteran research was expected to be raised at a meeting to be held in Sacket’s Harbor in anticipation of the War of 1812 commemorations. Margaret Kastler and George Widrig plan on representing the society, and will bring back a report at the April 18, meeting in Richland. Half-Shire has begun the process of gathering data on the men who served in that conflict for inclusion in a multi-town volume of research that may be later printed. Notebooks for each of our towns with the known lists of names and available data have been placed in our library.

As mentioned earlier, the Richland list of Revolutionary War soldiers has now hit 49. For a long time we have believed pioneer Gershom Hale (1756-1826) belonged on that list, but it was not until we were able to untangle the military and family records of his 1st cousin, also Gershom Hale, who died in Addison County, Vermont that we proved our belief. In fact, both Gershoms served in the same unit at one time in 1780 from Windham, CT. The company clerk noted that one Gershom was “#2” Our Gershom Hale was an early officer of the town of Richland, and is buried in Pulaski Cemetery. His son William was the 1st town clerk and served as Sheriff of Oswego County in the 1830s and as a Judge prior to that. Other children include a son Stephen (buried with an Aunt and other cousins in Scripture cemetery, Sandy Creek). We now are set upon the task of learning whom Gersham’s remaining family members were.

Lawn work at the Richland facility will again pick up when the last snow melts. Erma Schroeder has two willing workers in mind to assist us on school break. Our spring flowers were just poking through when old man winter returned, but should be coming up nice by the April 18, meeting. That first meeting of the year at Richland will be held Saturday April 18, beginning with a noon lunch. The meeting that follows at 1 pm will be of short duration. Please call if you are able to come to lunch 298-3620 and leave a message. We are looking at scalloped potatoes and ham dinner. We have begun the bid process to begin work on our 2nd floor classroom that is gutted. We are looking to get this room restored this year, beginning with a new floor.

Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144 or on the web at halfshire@hotmail.com. Our web site is www.halfshire.com

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