When Did They Die? 85 Years Plus

Obituaries are interesting reading when read as a source of information on industries and events of earlier days. It would seem that women are the hardier of the sexes as their numbers reaching the 85-plus outnumber males.

These entries, taken at random from .Scrapbook 21 of the late Arthur Gordon, point out the information, or lack of it, that can be entered in an obituary.

Mrs. Elmira Latour Bebo, 94, was the widow of Dennis Bebo, a Civil War veteran. Born in Sorel, Canada, she came to Whitehall in 1862. She and her husband conducted a business on Canal Street between the old Gaylord Building which stood on the south corner of Clinton Avenue and Canal Street in the present roadway north of Stiles Meeting Place and owned a secondhand store on North Main streets.

Mrs. J. Sanford Potter, 88, was Miss Ann Webster who came to Whitehall from Pittsburgh. She attended Fort Edward Collegiate Institute at a time after the demise of the second Whitehall Academy on Williams Street. She lived at the Terrace on Skene Mountain where were located the Potter brother mansions.

Mrs. Ann O’Brien Walsh, 89, came from Ireland via Granville. Her first husband was John Barrett. They were the parents of Mrs. Henry Neddo. Her second husband was Peter Walsh.

Mrs. Mary Mulholland Duncan, 89, was a Whitehall girl. She was the mother of nine children. She and husband James lived near the southern end of Cliff Street.

Mrs. Celestia Mitchell DeKalb, 86, was a Whitehall girl. She attended Whitehall Academy. She became a charter member of the Whitehall Grange, the Civic Improvement League and the Rural Charity Club. She was a correspondent of The Whitehall Times under editors Franklin Fishier, Milo C. Reynolds and Edward F. Roche. Her daughter, Mary DeKalb, taught in Whitehall High School.

Joseph Brown, 94, came to Whitehall from Ireland via, Granville. He followed his father in farming, living on his own farm on the Whitehall-Poultney road for 67 years. His wife was Anna Powers.

Mrs. Rebecca Ferguson Bates, 87, was a resident of Whitehall for 70 years. She was the widow of Charles Bates, a prominent Episcopalian worker and an operator of hotels in and around Whitehall.

Mrs. Rose Raino Hurtubis, 87, came to Whitehall from Essex, N.Y., at seven years of age. She attended the old Bell School at corner of Blount and Lamb streets.

Mrs. Mary Aiken Ryon, 86, was the widow of Franklin C. Ryon. They lived on Canal Street near his coal yard, which was north of the firehouse before that building was moved to its present site in 1933.

Mrs. Margaret Mooney McCarthy, 87, was the widow of John McCarthy. She came from St. Antonie, Canada. She was a charter member of the Whitehall Democratic club. Her son, Edward McCarthy, was one of Whitehall’s postmasters.

Francis M. Bartholomew was called the Youngest Vet as he entered service, in the Civil War at the age of 13. Born in Howard, Steuben County, he came to Dresden at six years of age. He drove on the canal in summer and did chores in the winter. He was a member of the American Legion post in Whitehall.

Mrs. Adline LaVia Doty, 88, came from Sorel, Canada, as a young woman.

Walter D. Travis, 98, was one of the oldest Masons when he died in 1934. He was a member of Phoenix Lodge, 96, F. and A.M. He was in the hardware and ice business.

Mrs. Marion Pratt, 91, died on New Year’s Day in North Whitehall.

Doris B. Morton, Town Historian – Whitehall Independent – April 24, 1980

How Not and How to Choose a Mate

A woman with a sudden nervous gait – whose feet turn in – when on a trot she interferes with both feet, as well as interferes with everybody’s bizziness — whose countenance looks as if she washes it every morning with vinegar or ile of vitrol – her nose looks as if mortification had sot in from too much snuff taking; who looks on the beast man as a dog does on a piece of meat, only good to be torn to pieces and then devoured. Boys, if in the course of human events such a conglomerate human mass gets after you, your goose is cooked. If you get wedded to a female of this sort you want to hunt up the most approved method of washing dishes, tending baby and doing a general assortment of household duties, for such a woman will be off attending women’s nite conventions, and kicking up a mess generally until Lucifer arrives with his ferry boots to tow her across the river Styxz.

Boys, having told you the wrong gait, let me tell you the right one. If the promenader steps off with a gentle movement with the lower extremities, her toes turned out just sufficiently to fit between her feet, when standing still, a five inch piece of pie, as she steps off redolent with smiles, as if she thought the world was made for all human beings and it was a duty we owe each other to shed as much sunshine about us as the maker of nature had endowed us with word for all the afflicted and needy, a proper respect for the aged; with a heart so tender she would rather step into the gutter than tread upon a worm that was crawling in her path; with her habiliments neat but not gaudy; the roses on her cheeks sparkling as if they were color and warranted to wash bowing as polite to the thread-bare passer-by as to the queen in silks. Boys, when you see such a treasure, mark my words, her price is above roobies and fine gold. My advice is get her if you can, with such a woman your house will be paradise. Every button will be in its place; your pudding free from nite cap strings and waste hair. Instead of your wife being off attending conventions and others; she will settle down to her legitiment bizziness in building a hearthstone that will make the mouth of all henpeck husbands water like a thunderstorm in Jewly.

Get such a wife, and after business hours go home to her and not pass your time hanging about corners and making a confounded beast of yourself generally.

Doris B. Morton, Town Historian – Whitehall Independent – July 20, 1988

Anniversary Dates

A collector of some years ago wrote down Whitehall events in day by day entries. Here are some anniversaries:

In April, 1803, the congregational rector, Rev. Cornelius Jones, died, he was the pastor of the White Church and was buried in the old Bartholomew cemetery, the one the local DAR has had cleaned.

In May, 1803, Daniel Lyon was born. He became a noted captain on Lake Champlain steamers.

In December, 1823, William Hannas and Charity Benjamin, daughter of Joseph Drake Benjamin, were married. Their home is the1827 building of the Barkleys on Broadway.

In December, 1823, there was a public meeting to express sympathy and raise funds for the Greeks in their struggle for Independence.

In the same month a Thanksgiving service was held in the school house, the Academy on Division Street. A service for the next Sabbath was planned for the same place.

The first burial in Boardman Cemetery took place with that of Nancy Boardman. The cemetery was formally opened four months later in June, 1853.

In June, 1853, an act was passed by the village authorizing a sum not to exceed $20,000 for the purpose of improving the water system.

Many of our local leaders were immigrants. In April, 1853, William B. Inglee came to Whitehall from Machias, Maine. In July, Dr. A. J. Long settled here and opened his office.

The George Brett Hose Company No. 2 was organized in January, 1878, and Robert H. Cook was appointed Receiver of the Whitehall Transportation in July.

In November, 1878, the new fire .alarm bell in the village building was dedicated with a great celebration.

In December, 1878, a village ordinance forbade the pitching of quoits in the streets.

Doris B. Morton, Town Historian – Whitehall Independent – August 31, 1978

Weddings in the “Old Times”

Home weddings were different from the usual stylized church ones. This was the case when Florence S. Dale of Poultney Street was married to Edward Clark of Poultney. Florence was the daughter of Frederick S. Dale who brought the silk industry to Whitehall. She had lived in Meyers Castle on West Hill when her father operated the silk mill and was used to ostentation.

Like the Terrytown boys and their social club, the young ladies of the community formed such a club called the Theta Delta Club. Unlike the “Boys”, however, their aim was to assist the first member to “embark on the sea of matrimony with every aid in their power.”

Miss Dale was the first to marry. It followed that the group attended the bride on the eve of her wedding and for several days before in decorating the large parlors of her parents with festoons of evergreen, palms, potted plants, ferns and flowers.

At the end of the south parlor they erected an enclosure to be used for the ceremony. At the top was placed a large white bell of white flowers and on the back a ground of evergreens with the initials “D. C.” also in white flowers. A white cord and tassel marked the entrance. From the gas fixtures in the center of the room to its corners were ropes of evergreen, as well as along the stair railing. Plants and flowers around the room added to the festive look.

A different musical during the ceremony was the singing of the entire musical score of the “Bridal Chorus” from Wagner’s “Lohengrin”. This was followed by the music of the Episcopal Church boys’ choir under the direction of L. D. Tefft and Herman Sullivan the accompanist. The era in which this wedding took place can be recognized by the names of the boys in the choir: Harry Dalton, Kenneth Newcomb, Timothy Inglee, Buell Ames, William Kelly, and David Inglee.

Fifty guests attended the wedding. The bridesmaids were four in number besides the maid of honor: Clara Bascom, Alena Manville, Katherine Burdett and Libbie Carr. The maid of honor was Lulu Dale. The bride carried a large bouquet of white roses which was made up of five separate bouquets containing emblems that were to show the fortunes of the bridesmaids. (Were all married next?) Master Dalton then sang DeKoven’s “O! Promise Me” and after congratulations a well prepared and well served collation was served in the dining room decorated with white and gold ribbons and flowers.

Usually the account of a wedding ended with a long list of the wedding gifts to the couple with the names of the donors. They were omitted in this account or perhaps the scrapbook maker ran out of space or time.

Doris B. Morton, Town Historian – Whitehall Times – August 8, 1984

Benedict Arnold’s Fleet

Have you looked at the framed piece of wood in the National Commercial Bank? The plaque reads “Part of oak rib of one of the last three vessels of Benedict Arnold’s war fleet, which were scuttled in Skenesborough Harbor (Whitehall) July 7, 1777. Parts of these wooden vessels, together with several cannon and other munitions of warfare, were removed by the Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company during the summer of 1910 while dredging the Barge Canal entrance to Lake Champlain.”

Five ships of Arnold’s fleet took part in this battle of Skenesborough. The three destroyed there at that time were sloop Enterprise which was burned, and the schooner Revenge and galley Gates which were blown up and burned. The other two were captured and were in the service of the British for some time. These were galley Trumbull and schooner Liberty, the latter the first armed vessel in the United States Navy.

Doris B. Morton, Town Historian – Whitehall Times – January 11, 1973