Friday, August 26, 2011

Sports Center Saturday - Harold Nunn and the Boston Shamrocks

As comfortable on the ski slope as the football field
Harold "Bus" Nunn

I was contacted through my blog for information on my father’s brother, Harold “Bus” Nunn.  The person requesting the information manages a website that lists 1,000 living pro football players. The site also provides birth and death dates for over 5,700 deceased players.  The request was for the birth and death date of my Uncle Harold “Bus” Nunn.

Bus played football for Cornell University in the early 1930s.  On November 3, 1935, the New York Times headline read: “Cornell in Draw with Columbia, 7-7. Long pass to Nunn in Final Quarter and Stofer’s Kick Gain the Deadlock.”

Upon graduation, in 1936, Bus played pro football for the AFL team the Boston Shamrocks. His son tells me that players were paid $800 per game, but only if they played; those on the injury list or otherwise sidelined received no pay.

This inquiry prompted me to think about Bus. I wanted to know more about his life, and with the help of his son, I have sketched out Bus’s professional career, which includes his involvement with the Manhattan Project through his employment with DuPont. But that is a story for another day. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Angie May Starr

Angie May Starr resides in my hubby’s family line; consequently Angie’s funeral card was in his mother’s possession.  Information on Angie’s life is sketchy and my husband would love to have more information.  We do know that Angie was the third child of John and Harriett McDaniels Harker. She had a brother Fred and a sister Ella Maude.  She married William Miller and in 1902 had a daughter Harriett.  In 1900 William Miller taught school in Newfield, New York.  Angie then married Edwin Wallace Starr on 20 October 1914; it was his third marriage.  Edwin was 65 years old when he married Angie; she was twenty-six years younger. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - 1940 Spencer, New York Co-Op

Spencer Co-Op 1940

Back Row:  Ed Plykas, John Neimi, Elmer Maki, Arne Louko, Bill Koski
Middle Row:  ___, Ensio Koski, Kauppinen, Frank Kippola, Hans Maunula, Arne Aho, ___, Wayne Alve, Reino Hannula, Ray Maata
Front Row: John Maata, Lydia Maata, Ida Walding, Carl Walding

The Spencer Co-Op served its members by bulk purchasing feed, fertilizer, gasoline and fuel oil. On premises was a grain mill. Later the co-op offered limited clothing and grocery options.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Joseph Charles Nunn

One of my grandfather’s brothers was Joseph Charles Nunn. Joseph was born 23 August 1895 in Manhattan, New York. On June 12, 1900, just short of his 5th birthday, officials from the Department of Public Charities Outdoor Poor placed him along with his other siblings in St. Joseph’s Home in Peekskill, NY where payment for his care was $2.00 per week. His physical condition was “good,” though he had “something” on the back of his head. His mental condition was “good.”  Joseph was discharged on August 25, 1910 and placed with Mr. C. Finnerty of Peekskill, NY.

 Joseph Charles Nunn’s Draft card (1917) states he is 21 years, living at Gallows Hill, RD #2 Peekskill, NY. He was a farm hand at Gallows Hill in Cortlandt. He reported poor eyesight.  In 1920 Joseph worked for Theodore Shaw, manager of a private estate. Joseph worked as a laborer on this dairy farm in Philipstown, Putnam County, New York.  By 1930, Joseph was a farm laborer on a farm on Logans Hill Road, Harding, Town of Morris, New Jersey.  I have had no luck tracing Joseph any further.  I am not sure if he stayed in New Jersey or returned to work on farms in New York.  I would love to hear from anyone having further information on Joseph Charles Nunn.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Taughanic House and Edward Meany TB Sanatorium

Brochure from Taughanic House
Donated to the Ulysses Historical Society

Although I spent my growing up years along Taughannock gorge, I never knew about this hotel that once sat across the gorge about where the falls lookout parking lot is today.  Oral histories given by Trumansburg residents state they remembered the restaurant, and that prizefighters were trained there – Carmen Basillio and Joey Johns were mentioned.  According to the Trumansburg Free Press this building burned down in 1922.

Photo from Ulysses Historical Society newsletter
January 2009
Nor did I ever know that just a mile up the road from our restaurant was a large building, once called the “Cataract Hotel.” The Trumansburg Free Press reported that over the July 4th weekend of 1875, the Cataract House served 962 meals!

Later this building would serve as the Edward Meany TB Sanatorium.  An article in the Ulysses Historical Society January 2009 newsletter provides a concise history of the sanatorium. Dr. Keith Sears, a highly regarded local physician was put in charge of the sanatorium. In 1936 patients were transferred to the newly built Biggs Memorial Hospital near Ithaca, and no one seems to know when the Meany Sanatorium building was demolished after the property came under state control. 

The folks at the Ulysses Historical Society would love any further information on either of these two buildings. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rite of Passage - Swimming the Lake

Stu Cogan helps me dry off from my swim across Cayuga Lake

For those of us growing up in Willow Creek, i.e. near the shores of Cayuga Lake, it was a rite of passage to “swim the lake.”  This was usually done in small groups and the age for this activity was anywhere from twelve to sixteen.  Everyone kept track of the time it took to swim across, though no notice was given to the exact distance, since the lake’s width varied.

My turn to swim the lake came when I was twelve. The lifeguards at the Park told me I had to swim back and forth from shore to the furthest raft twenty times before they would consider me a lake swim candidate. Since I love the water, this training was not a burden. I was in the water from mid-June through the first part of September. 

The date for my swim was set at August 15.  That morning I was up early and was too excited to eat breakfast.  My mother and I drove to the Park for our 6:00 a.m. meeting with Stu Cogan, the lifeguard who was going to accompany me in a rowboat.  We set the time early so that the Park officials would not realize that one of their boats was missing for this unauthorized activity [smile].  Stu rowed us across the lake from Taughannock Point. I slipped into the water at the opposite shore and started to swim.  One hour three minutes later I walked out of the water onto the shore of Taughannock Falls State Park having accomplished the 1.25 mile swim across the lake.

Happy Anniversary to me!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Dr. David Abisch

Dr. Abisch poses with school school nursing staff
Agnes Piscopo, Susan Mosher, Sylvia Kent, Mrs. Barnstone
Photo from 1962 Newfield High School yearbook

Dr. Abisch is warmly remembered as Newfield’s town physician.  He understood the complexities of the small farming community and he served that community by fitting into their schedule and not forcing them to fit into his. He made house calls, he had nighttime office hours, and he was always accessible to the community. He served as the school physician, making sure the students were healthy and fit to participate in sports.  His obituary gives the rest of his story:

Dr. David Abisch, 85 of 28 Pearl Street, died Friday, December 21, 1990 at Tompkins Community Hospital. Funeral services were held Sunday, December 23, 1990 at Temple Beth-El with Rabbi Scott Glass officiating. Dr. Abisch was born on January 1, 1905 in Austria. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Berlin in 1930 and practiced medicine in Germany until 1939 at which time he fled from Nazi Germany to Shanghai, China. During his twelve years in China, Dr. Abisch was active as chief resident of the Isolation Hospital for Infectious Diseases and as a private practitioner. Upon arrival in the United States in 1951 and completion of residency at the Cumberland Hospital in Brooklyn, Dr. Abisch established himself as family physician in Newfield where he served the community for over thirty years. Dr. Abisch was a member of the Tompkins County Medical Society, the Medical Society of the State of New York, the American Medical Association and was a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Abisch is survived by his wife, Martha Abisch of Newfield, a daughter of Ithaca, a son-in-law and two granddaughters, several nephews and nieces. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shopping Saturday - L.S. Shepard Grocery Wagon 1897-1900

Residence of W.B. Garatt, East Spencer, NY
L.S. Shepard's Grocery Wagon
Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Garatt and a visitor

Thursday evening I received a call from a woman who has worked on the Tioga State Bank (NY) calendar since 1980. She had seen the above photograph I had shared with the Spencer NY town historian and asked if they could use it for the 2012 bank calendar. She then asked if I had any other photos, particularly any of women “working.”  I did find a few that might fit that requirement. 

I don’t suspect that during the late 1800s, early 1900s there were a lot of photos taken of women “working.” Most of these photos were professionally done and formal. But I did find one woman in a nurse’s uniform, and a couple of women with children.  We all know that raising children was more important than anything a man could do! So I am hoping they accept the photo of Myra Shepard pushing Howard in the perambulator when he was a few months old.

If anyone has old photos taken of people in the Southern Tier of NY, especially within the reaches of the Tioga State Bank, please let me know and I will put you in touch with the folks who are searching for photos that would be of enough interest that people want to look at them for a month.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Marilda J. Wortman

Marilda J. Wortman, first child of Lewis Halsey and Phoebe Ann Wortman, was born abt. 1837. Marilda married Burr Mitchell in 1860 and they had one daughter, Mary Frances Mitchell, born in 1868. Mary Frances married John Haswell in 1893, and they resided in East Troy, New York.

Marilda and Burr resided in the Town of Catherine near Odessa, NY. Burr was a grocer, “Dealer in full line of groceries, teas, coffee, spices etc., hair oils, perfumeries, fancy goods, Yankee Notions, confectionery and stationery, collars and neck ties, soaps of all kinds. Lamps, globes and wooden ware, tobacco and cigars of the best brands and other general merchandise.”  The value of his property was $500.

In 1870 Burr Mitchell valued his property at $1,000, and they continued to live in Catherine, New York.  In 1900, Mitchell and Marilda had moved to Sixth Street in Dix Township, Village of Watkins Glen, NY.

The Elmira Morning Telegram of 1 Nov 1905 stated about Burr Mitchell, “…well known resident of this village, passed away from heart trouble on October 31, 1905 at his home in Wafted, near Watkins Glen, New York. He was eighty years old and survived by his wife and daughter, Mrs. Frances Haswell of Watervliet, New York. Upon Burr’s death, Marilda then moved in with her daughter.