Saturday, January 31, 2009

List of Civil War Names for Scipio Center

These are alphabetical, so today we will start with you guessed it the letter "A!"

Ames, Bishop C.
Alpine (?), Edward
Adams, John Dempster
Atchley, Wesley

Baird, Wm. A.
Baker, George
Brown, Chas. A.
Blowers, John
Burlew, Alfred
Butterby, James
Bates, Wm. E.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Scipio in the Civil War

As promised, I have been busy getting started on Civil War information for our town. I have reviewed all the names listed in the 1865 Town Clerk's book of those who served. I believe it is pretty accurate, and our boys in blue numbered 156.
Next I will need to check the census data for Scipio in 1865. I believe we'll find about 10% of our residents served their country.
I will publish the names of those listed in the Town Clerk Book over the next few weeks, so check back to see if you recognize any names.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Civil War in Scipio

As you may have seen in the Auburn Citizen newspaper, I am doing some research in preparation for the 150th anniversary of our Civil War, which will begin in 2011. My visit to the NYS Archives provided a wonderful resource; the town clerk book that lists all soldiers from the town, and some facts such as what unit they fought in, when and where they were wounded, etc.
I thought it worth noting that Auburn, our county seat, has a Civil War memorial that was dedicated in 1921.
A friend and fellow history buff let me borrow and photograph a book about the memorial published in 1928. I will have to add this book to my E-Bay wish list!
This book describes the unveiling and dedication of the memorial, complete with the ceremony and public addresses given on May 30, Memorial Day, 1921. The foreword mentions that the horse trough at Richardson Square was cleared to make a place for the memorial, which you can find located beside Auburn's City Hall.
The quest to create a Civil War memorial was begun in April of 1903, but the committee disbanded for lack of interest in February of 1904. It was not until 16 years later in April of 1919 and with the personal efforts of General William A. Seward that a serious effort began. General Seward did not live to see its completion, but his son William Jr. was Chairman of the Dedication Committee. The Commander of the NY Department of the GAR or Grand Army of the Republic, presided over the dedication ceremonies.
The Cayuga County Board of Supervisors provided $15,000; checking that in today's dollars, it would be about $150,000. There were several smaller contributors. Among them was the Owasco Chapter, NSDAR who gave $100 ($1,000 in 2009). Mary S. V. Wait of the Owasco Chapter was a member of the Dedication and Unveiling Committee.
As you can tell from the size of the contributions and the list of those who participated, this Civil War memorial was a very big deal for Cayuga County. The next time you are in Auburn, stop by City Hall and take a look at it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NYS Library

It is hard not to find something interesting at the NYS Library website (see the link below). I decided to search for Scipio information at Heritage Quest, available through the Library, in the Congressional papers. Pensions were reviewed by a Congressional Committee and a report was made on December 22, 1836 on the petition of a John Bosworth.
John alleged that he was captain of a company of infantry in the town of Scipio in 1814 and was ordered by a General John Tiltason to march with his company to Buffalo and join with General Brown's army at Fort Erie.
John went on to say he did so, but wasn't provided with tents or camping equipment and for over a month was forced to endure "the peltings of severe storms, by night as well as by day, wholly unsheltered by a tent or any other covering - lying on the bare ground, and receiving directly on his body the wet and the cold as they were dispensed by the elements;" also he was 31 and a strong young man to start but the above exposure had caused him excruciating suffering. His joints misshapen by rheumatism, John became dependent on others for everything, and was destitute. Four witnesses also testified that he was a helpless cripple.
A soldier's lot has never been easy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Patents from Scipio

As I mentioned in my last entry, I read a copy of Jethro Wood's plow patent. Curious, I looked further and found a few more patents filed by Scipio residents.
Patented on July 19, 1881 was a road scraper, invented by John N. and Theodore Wallis. John was of Scipio; Theodore from Fleming.A labor-saving device, the declared purpose of the road scraper was to scrape up earth in such a manner that it also served as a dumping cart. The earth was taken up by the road scraper, transported to wherever it was needed, and deposited without a lot more labor. A timesaver as well as a back saver!
1970, 1974, 1979 and 1980 found patents by Bernard Tuft on behalf of General Electric Company. In 1978,Robert Duffany invented a radio frequency intereference suppresosor conductor for Gulf & Western.
In 1884, The Wallis men were at it again, this time inventing an improved horse hay rake that revolved with less vibration. I imagine that made parts last longer, don't you?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Year in Scipio

It seems hard to believe. I blinked, and December was gone! My son reminds me that the older I get the faster time passes. I hate to say he's right, but...
So here we are in a brand new year - 2009. Scipio has been Scipio for over 200 years, imagine that.
I took a look back and about 100 years ago, electricity first arrived. Empire Gas & Electric was started in 1911 by Edward H. Palmer of Geneva, according to the NYSEG/RGE Credit and Collections Department. Twenty-five years later, Empire served over 31,000 customers between the four counties of Ontario, Seneca, Cayuga and Yates.
Another hundred years in the wayback machine finds us in Scipio in 1809. It is a bustling little town. Earlier settlers had stayed and begun to carve a living out of the wilderness between Owasco and Cayuga Lakes. By 1809, families were arriving and setting up in the mercantile business; we had several farms and small business enterprises such as blacksmiths, harness making, a distillery, wagon makers and so on. In a few short years, schools and churches were built and incorporated and the area thrived.
In 1819, Jethro Wood's plow was patented, as filed and witnessed by Samuel L. Mitchell and I. G. Bogert on August 14 of 1819. Through the NYS Library, I was able to print a copy of the patent. Jethro explains in minute detail why he claimed an exclusive privilege in the invention and improvement of the plowshare or cutting edge.