Happy Birthday Half-Shire!

The 1st meeting to found our historical society was held on this date in 1972 at the home of Floyd Kent in Sandy Creek. …

Posted by Mary White on Friday, November 15, 2019
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1940’s Blount Lumber Photo, Need Help Identifying!

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Lawrence Mark Lynch Jr

Lawrence Mark Lynch Jr., age 90, of Escondido, CA passed away on Monday December 11, 2017. Lawrence was born August 29, 1927 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Lawrence and Lucy Lynch.

Lawrence was an amazing man who had four careers in his life. He was exposed to the concepts of being unbiased and non-prejudicial at an early age. His Dad was Irish, Mother was a French Canadian, he was delivered by a Jewish Doctor, Nurse was Polish, Priest was Catholic, hospital was Protestant run and they lived in the German section of town.

He did not stay long in Wisconsin – took a train ride to upstate New York to Richland, a crossroad farm community and a watering stop for the north/south trains. He attend school in a little one room schoolhouse with a big pot bellied stove in the middle of the room. He met his first wife, Helen, in the sixth grade at St. Anthony’s; learned to square dance, play basketball, baseball, and joined the Boy Scouts. He then became an Eagle Scout and later in life a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, and Merit Badge Counselor.

Soon moved to Syracuse, New York and went on to graduate from a Catholic High School in 1944 at age 16. World War II was hot and heavy and as soon as he turned 17 he enlisted in the Navy, served 2 years, and 8 more in the Reserve. When he got home he married his grammar school gal, started college under the GI Bill at Syracuse University part time; looked for a job – worked in a department store, drove a cab, was a night watchman and finally landed a job – starting career #1 with RKO Keiths, a theater chain as a house manager. High pressure, low pay, wearing a tuxedo, seeing all the movies in town, top price admission on Saturday night was 65 cents – had Vaudeville acts, Dick Contina, Johnny Ray, Oklahoma, Alex Smith, and Victory Jory. It was great however TV came along and you know what happened to movies. While at the theatre he started a photography studio on the side, doing Theatre promotional pictures and the outside advertising, commercial, wedding, legal, and even divorce photography.

His career path continued with a move in 1954 to the police department where he was promoted through the ranks to retire as a Captain in 1974. He was on the Inspectors list, however politics intervened, the list was abolished by the department, the Mayor was indicted and went to a Federal “Rest Home” and Lawrence got out of there. He went on to do Police and College Consulting work, became a licensed Private Investigator in the state of New York, and ended up taking a job as Chief of Police with the DeWitt Police Department in a reorganization mode for the next 5 years, retiring again in 1988.

His second career actually had its start in 1962 when a new Police Chief PV Murphy from New York City took over the department; he later went back to NYC to become the Police Commission. The timing was such that the county was starting a Community College, and Lawrence was assigned as liaison from the Police Department to develop a Police Science 2 year Degree Program for Officers. This developed from a part-time to a fulltime 25 year job and Department Chairman, Instructor, to full Professor; with a law enforcement and civilian student body of over 400 when he resigned in 1988.

His third career was as a perpetual student, doing the usual grammar and even radio school in the Navy, part-time college business courses while at the theater; switching to science courses when he went to the Police Department and was assigned to the Crime Laboratory. After 16 years of night school, he earned a BA degree with a Chemistry major; Physics and Business minors. He took a year off and then went back for 4 more years part -time to get a Masters in Public Administration and then continued taking courses towards a Doctorate stopping short of the dissertation. By this time he was already an “old man”; a Chief of Police in one job and a Professor in another, he felt it did not make much sense to spend the time doing the dissertation.

His fourth and most important career was his family, which as he said “put up with an awful lot from him through all the years.” His wife gave him three beautiful kids – a son, and 2 daughters. However, in May 1984 after 38 years of marriage he lost his wife Helen from a heart attack while working part-time job as a switch board operator at the hospital.

For a few years after his wife’s untimely death, things were quite difficult. However, he had hired a young lady back in the 1960’s while at the Police Department, under some Federal Grant that he was supervising and she typed the manuscripts for a text book on PROACTIVE POLICE MANAGEMENT that he co-authored and had published through Prentice Hall. Marilyn ended up working with his daughter at an insurance company and was available, so they got together, wrote a revised edition of the text, and got married. Lawrence got 5 more step children and 4 more grandchildren and headed West in 1988.

Lawrence is survived by his wife, Marilyn Lynch, son, Lawrence Mark Lynch III, daughter, Lou Anne Palmer, step-son Thomas MacBain, step-daughters, Vicki MacBain and Kim Reed, 8 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and his brother Robert Lynch.

Lawrence was preceded in death by his first wife Helen, daughter Lorraine Rita Lynch-Enright, and step-daughters Christine Laughlin and Wendy Peterson.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.mcleodmortuary.com for the Lynch family.

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Half-Shire Historical Society February 22, 2018

Half-Shire Historical Society

February 22, 2018

    Winter weekends have found a full contingent of Half -Shire trustees and volunteers at the building working on projects.   On February 17, a good work day was conducted with seven officers present.  Through The following week President Monette has been working on inventories of newspapers and other collections.  Curator Erma Schroeder has been a regular at the building through the winter months working on the obituary collection.

      Work across Oswego County among town historians is focused on trying to better assess our World War I lists and records.  The recent release of NYS Historians office records to ancestry.com has allowed access to some very good files collected in the 1920s by area historians.  Dan Allen of Oswego has reached out and asked the current historians to provide information for the 100th anniversary of the Great War.  Half-Shire has downloaded the pertinent pages and records from online sources and we are working to build notebooks for each of our twelve towns.

      Detailed books on the lives of World War I vets have been published in the past for Osceola, Williamstown and Sandy Creek.  It is hoped that biographies can eventually be constructed on all of our other towns.  Richland historians Shawn Doyle and Kevin Stewart are working on the Richland and Redfield lists.   Florence Whitney of Pulaski compiled very credible records in 1922, while Agnes Duane Grant assembled records in Redfield, neither sets of records were ever compiled in a published format.

    The goal of the Richland historians is to have notebooks on the men named on the Pulaski World War I monument available by Memorial Day for public inspection.   Copies will be provided to the American Legion, VFW and the Pulaski Historical Society.  Over 175 men and one nurse, Golda E. Tryon, are credited with service from Richland and Pulaski.

    The society will be closing the building for a portion of March as we lay down our new laminate wood flooring in the main hall and hallways.  This project is a result of a successful Pulaski Community Fund Grant in 2017.  In order to do this we must disconnect our furnaces for a few days, and so this work will be delayed until the danger of a hard freeze has passed.

      Sharon Turo and Linda Remilard have completed their extensive editing and updating of the Pulaski Masons biography book.  This book was begun by two Pulaski students in 2006, Colin and Libbie Wansink.  The purpose of the project was to research the identities and biographies of 100 men whose photos have hung in two large frames at the Pulaski masonic Temple for over 125 years.  The two students split the work, 50/50, and as part of two Snow Scholarship projects, and during their time identified the basic vital records and life information on the men.    For the past two years Sharon and Linda have transformed this booklet into a detailed study on the lives of these men, and their contributions to the greater Pulaski community in the 1890s.   We plan to publish the book later this year and offer it for sale.  Sharon and Linda have done an amazing job, and the book presents not just a focus on these 100 men, but their families also.

    Editing of the newest book by Julie Litts Robst on the biographies of the people in Pulaski Cemetery continues.  This book has been nearly 10 years in research and production, and will be offered for sale later in the spring in a four-volume set due to the size.   The researching public will truly appreciate Julies efforts to locate all obituaries, or in the absence of them, provide basic information on those interned in the main cemetery in Pulaski.  Price of the set is yet to be determined.

    Half-Shire’s website contains many valuable links to publications, maps and photos, as well as inventories of items at the society.    www.halfshire.org.   Thanks to Kevin Stewart and Steve young who maintain this site.

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Half Shire Historical Society February 8, 2018

Half Shire Historical Society February 8, 2018
It has been a few months since we have updated everyone on our news by way of column and blog. The newsletter went out in late November and brought in nearly 350 renewals to membership, to add to our existing pool of Life members. We are indebted to all of our supporters! The next quarterly newsletter is in the works, and under the lead of Sharon Turo will go out on time before March 1.
In late October and early November, the long-planned roof replacement began. The lower half of the full upper roof was removed and new decking and weather sheeting applied before the new rolled roofing. The roof was done following a board accepted bid from Parla Construction of Mexico. The company also replaced the north and south roof drains, and augmented the middle drain. We will retain their services for completion of the upper portion of the roofing this spring. All work was done under the expert watch and inspection of our “in house engineer” Boylston Trustee Marcy Newman. Some touch ups will need to be done to parapet seems in the spring as the last work was done in cold weather.
Heat tape was applied to all roof drains and helped with the drainage through this difficult winter. One drain froze as tape was unplugged, and caused some serious leaks and damage in the northwest classroom used by the Pulaski Lions Club. On January 30, during the thaw the roofing company returned and replaced the cracked drain and all has been well since then. During heavy snow load Shawn Doyle shoveled a 20foot running swath across the low points around the three drains. During the thaw the snow all was gone from the roof.
The next great project to be undertaken is the installation of the new flooring in the main hall and hallways on the first floor. That is hopefully set to occur in the next couple weeks, with work to be done by the accepted bid of Bridge St. Carpets in Pulaski. This work will be mainly covered by a generous grant received from the Greater Pulaski Community Fund in 2017.
Some issues arose this fall and winter with our furnaces. The drain line for condensation froze in the north unit, while the central air in the south unit was discovered in late summer to be unconnected behind the new sheetrock. Both furnaces are planned to be moved and reconnected in 2018 as funds allow, and new connections and supply lines placed.
In research: We are conducting a full inventory of our genealogical holdings right now. We now expect to have surpassed 800 books or surname files. Many are not printed out, and some are being rebound and sorted by Librarian Sharon Turo. Six, five shelf units and a file cabinet currently hold our collection. The entire collection is expected to gain a room of its own later in the year as the Southwell Memorial room is full to capacity with these records, as well as the town and obituary collections.
Julie Litts Robst, Shawn Doyle and Kevin Stewart each maintain computer-based files in family tree maker format, most of which are not yet printed. These three researchers continue to edit and augment each file, printing fresh copies at intervals for the shelves.
During the winter months Sharon Turo and Shawn Doyle have continued to digitize photos and other material. Church record work was set aside as photo collections were caught up. We expect to resume New Haven Church records soon, and move on to other projects.
The Society has been working with two Facebook pages, Half Shire’s original page has been tagged “Mary White” after it was hacked in 2016. This page has a vast inventory of photos that we cannot seem to migrate over to our new page known as “Half-Shire” which is a page that we ask all to “like”. The website halfshire.org is updated regularly with inventories and new data. The obituary collection is indexed on the site, and copies of these can be obtained by contacting the society.
Our first meeting for 2018 will be on Saturday March 31. Regular meetings are set through the year on the web site and newsletter, as well as on our Facebook pages.

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