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 www.halfshire.com. Our facebook is “Half Shire” We are open by appointment until April 1, as we are conserving heat and doing some winter renovations.