Location: Chemung County NY

Slave Narrative of Margaret E. Dickens

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Margaret E. Dickens Location: Raleigh, North Carolina (1115 E. Lenoir St.) Date of Birth: June 5th, 1861 My name is Margaret E. Dickens and I was born on the 5th of June 1861. My mother wuz free born; her name wuz Mary Ann Hews, but my mother wuz colored. I don’t remember anything about Marster and Missus. My father was named Henry Byrd. Here is some of father’s writing. My mother’s father was dark. He had no protection. If he did any work for a white man and the white man didn’t like it, he could take him up and whup him. My father was like a stray dog. My name was Margaret E. Byrd before I got married. Here is some of father’s writing–“Margaret Elvira Byrd the daughter of Henry and Mary Ann Byrd was born on the 5th June 1861.” My grandfather, my mother’s father was a cabinet maker. He made coffins and tables and furniture. If he made one, and it didn’t suit the man he would beat him and kick him around and let him go. Dis was told to me. My father was a carpenter. He built houses. I can read and write. My father could read and write. My mother could read, but couldn’t write very much. I have heerd my mother say when she heerd the...

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Biography of Arthur Bourne Smith Ph. B., B. L. S.

Arthur Bourne Smith, Ph. B., B. L. S. The degree following Mr. Smith’s name means Bachelor of Library Science. He is librarian for the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan. That position he has held since 1911 and is a librarian of wide experience and has done much to make the library at Manhattan accessible and useful not only to the students of the Agricultural College but to all who use it for reference purposes. Mr. Smith was born at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, August 2, 1873. He is a son of Charles Wesley Smith, now deceased, and Hester (Bourne) Smith, who now resides with her youngest son at Seattle, Washington. The father, who was born in Pennsylvania of German lineage, at the age of seventeen enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment in defense of the Union. He gave four of the best years of his early life to that cause. After the war he located at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and became head of a lumber and mercantile corporation which he had helped organize. It was a very successful business but ill health compelled him to resign his place there, and on leaving the South he removed to Elmira, New York, where he was a merchant until his death at the early age of thirty-five. He left a widow and four children. The children are Walter L.; Winnogene; Arthur...

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Biographical Sketch of Tracy W. Guthrie

Guthrie, Tracy W.; manufacturer; born, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 2, 1866; son of Julius C. and Emily A. Tracy Guthrie; educated in Chicago public schools, Chickering Institute, Cincinnati, public schools in Detroit, Mich., and Elmira, N. Y.; married, New Rochelle, N. Y., Feb. 8, 1910, Settal Horn; pres. Continental Coal Co., Columbus, O., 1903-1904; pres. Republic Iron & Steel Co., Pittsburgh, 1905-1911; sec’y and gen’l mgr. Standard Welding Co., Cleveland, to date; member Loyal Legion, Union and Country...

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Biography of Paul E. Havens

Paul E. Havens. The late Paul E. Havens, one of the pioneers of Leavenworth, and whose name is closely interwoven with the material growth and prosperity of the city, was a man of unusual force of character. He was born at Ephratah, Fulton County, New York, May 4, 1839, and was a son of C. D. P. and Eleanor (Frey) Havens, a grandson of Paul and Anne (Kennedy) Havens, and a great-grandson of Daniel and Elizabeth (Bostwick) Havens. The progenitor of this family in America was William Havens, a native of Wales, who located at Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in 1636. Daniel Havens was a sea captain and died at Sag Harbor, New York, when still a young man. Anne (Kennedy) Havens was a daughter of Robert Kennedy, who served the Colonies during their struggle for independence, and Eleanor (Frey) Havens was a daughter of Philip R. Frey, whose people came to this country from Switzerland during Colonial days. Paul E. Havens was left fatherless when eight years old, and when fourteen became a clerk in a store at Elmira, New York. He had an abundance of vitality and ambition, and with these as his chief assets started for the West in 1856, in which year he located at Davenport, Iowa. In 1858 Kansas was “away out west,” but it had become widely advertised by reason of the Lincoln-Douglas debates,...

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Biography of Belden D. Burt

The subject of this sketch is one of the pioneer merchants of Riverside, and is the senior member of the firm of B. D. Burt & Brother. This is now the oldest mercantile firm in the city, having been established in 1875, and been continuously in business since that time. The first brick block erected in Riverside was that occupied by Mr. Burt, on the corner of Main and Eighth streets. For many years he conducted a general mercantile business, but in the later years, has confined his business to dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, etc. Mr. Burt’s partner in his business is his brother, Benjamin Franklin Burt, and it is safe to say that there is no business firm whose standing is higher in the community than B. D. Burt & Brother, nor is there one that has inspired more confidence or gained a heartier support than this firm. The brothers are well known, and their years of dealing has been characterized by honest, straightforward business principles. Their word has ever been as good as the strongest bond; their name is synonymous with integrity and stability for years before the advent of banking institutions in Riverside. They were made the custodians of the funds of their customers, and even now their books show a large list of depositors. The subject of this sketch was born in Orange...

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Biography of Ebenezer Griffin Brown

Ebenezer Griffin Brown (“Judge Brown,” as he is familiarly known) is one of Riverside’s well-known pioneers. He was one of the original members of the Southern California Colony Association, and with the late Dr. Greves visited the lands now occupied by the city June, 1870, the first members of the association on the grounds. From the very first he was the strongest advocate in demanding the purchase by the association of these lands. His persistency was of little avail at first, but he was in earnest, and when Judge North, the president of the company, refused to act in accordance with his wishes, the judge returned to his home in Iowa and set about forming another colony association, with the express view of purchasing the Riverside lands. This move hastened the actions of the old association, and in September, 1870, the purchase was made and the colony established. That being the result desired by the Judge, he abandoned all further proceedings, never intending or desiring a rival to Riverside. He then settled his affairs in Iowa, and in May 1871, established himself and family in the new colony. He located upon Government land in sections 13 and 24, securing 104 acres lying one-half mile north and east of the Riverside town site on Colton Avenue. His means were limited, but he commenced his new life and pursuits with that...

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Biographical Sketch of George L. Hisom

George L. Hisom, County Clerk of San Bernardino County, came into the office in January. 1883, as a deputy under W. F. Holcomb, and in the fall of 1886 was elected on the Republican ticket, as Mr. Holcomb’s successor, and assumed the duties of office in January 1887. His obliging and affable nature and his previous training made Mr. Hisom a very popular and efficient officer, and in the fall of 1888 he was re-elected as his own successor by 600 votes majority; consequently he is serving his second term, since January 1889. Mr. Hisom is a Pennsylvanian by birth, but passed his childhood and school days in Elmira, New York. In 1875 he came to California, a youth of seventeen years; since that time he has made his home in San Bernardino County. He was employed from 1880 to 1883, as a member of the engineering corps which was surveying and locating the California Southern Railroad from Barstow to San Diego, under Fred T. Perris, as assistant engineer. Few men in San Bernardino County are as well informed upon the county, its resources and people as Mr. Hisom, who is one of its intelligent and progressive...

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Biography of John J. Whitney

John J. Whitney, proprietor of the City Planning Mill and lumberyard, and one of the principal manufacturers in San Bernardino County, was a native of Elmira, New York, and was born in 1843. He inherited a talent for mechanics from his father, and being a contractor and practical builder and the owner and operator of a large planning mill in Elmira, afforded him ample means of exercising and developing his innate tendencies. In 1862, in his nineteenth year, he enlisted in the army as a member of the Fifth New York Heavy Artillery; served till the close of the war, and, participated in many a hotly contested battle, and received three slight gunshot wounds. After returning home he turned his attention to lumber milling and building, and during the ten years he conducted it did one of the largest contracting and building businesses in Elmira. Late in 1881 he came to California, partly for his health and partly on account of the superior business inducements offered him. Reaching Riverside the last of December, he worked a few days for wages, then took the contract to build the large Riverside Pavilion. Subsequently he located in San Bernardino and was connected with W. J. Linville, on D Street, in a planning mill. In July 1886, he and another gentleman leased the City Mill, situated on F street between Fourth and Fifth...

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Biography of Edwin Chidsey Seymour

Edwin Chidsey Seymour, Sheriff of San Bernardino County, was born in Otsego County, New York, in 1845. His father, also a native of the Empire State, was a cabinet-maker by trade, and moved to northern Pennsylvania when Edwin was a lad of seven years. Here he grew up to manhood and learned the trade of cabinet-maker with his father. Upon the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion he responded to his country’s call, entering the army as a member of the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry, and remained four years and nearly three months, chiefly in the Army of the James, closing his service with the campaign of North Carolina and the surrender of the Johnston army. Returning home, he engaged in the lumber and milling business in western New York, which, together with contracting and building, has been his principal occupation ever since. Since 1881 Mr. Seymour was elected a member of the Board of Supervisors of Chemung County, New York, and resigned the office the following year and came to California, chiefly on account of his wife’s health. Settling first in Riverside, he erected a large number of buildings that year in that charming place. In March 1883, he removed to San Bernardino and has been a resident of the city since that time. He served as deputy sheriff under Captain Gill in 1884-’85, and in the...

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Biographical Sketch of John Rowlee Fausey

JOHN ROWLEE FAUSEY – To the general advancement of the interests of the public schools of Massachusetts, and particularly of Springfield and West Springfield, Mr. Fausey has devoted the larger part of his career as a teacher and superintendent, and with results that are recorded as having enlarged the bounds and increased the value of the educational institutions in those communities where he has taught and held official position. John Rowlee Fausey, son of James Seldon and Caroline Helen (Blauvelt) Fausey, was born March 19, 1870, in Elmira, New York, where he attended the public school, and he afterwards graduated at Genessee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, New York, in the class of 1893, In 1893-1895 and 1896-1897, he was a student at Syracuse University, where he later received his degree of Bachelor of Arts. Mr. Fausey at once entered upon his career as an educator, and during 1898-1899 he was both teacher and principal at Galeton, Pennsylvania; at Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1899-1902; and at Norwich, Connecticut, in 1902-1905. Mr. Fausey went to Springfield as principal of the Howard Street School of that city in 1906, and he continued in that position until 1912, when he went to West Springfield as superintendent, so continuing to 1918. From 1918 to 1923, he served as superintendent at Winchester, Massachusetts. In 1923 he was recalled to the West Springfield superintendency, which he has...

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Biographical Sketch of Myron D. Short

Myron D. Short, district attorney, is an excellent example of what may be accomplished by energy and untiring industry united with determination and executive ability of a high order. Myron D. Short was horn in Richmond, Ontario county, New York, August 23, 1973. He attended the district schools and then the Cook Academy at Havana, New York, from which at the age of seventeen years he entered the service of the Elmira, Cortland & Northern railway, at Elmira, and two years later went to Canandaigua, New York, where he was employed by the New York Central and Northern Central railroad, and subsequently by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. While holding a position with the last mentioned company he commenced the study of law with Mark T. Powell, continuing his studies under the preceptorship of John Gillette, and was admitted to the bar in 1899. He commenced his legal practice in the office of John Gillette and in 1902, associated himself in a partnership with W. Smith O’Brien, at Geneva, New York. At the expiration of one year William H. Hamlin was admitted to membership in this firm, and they opened offices also in Canandaigua. For a number of years Mr. Short has taken an active interest in political matters and in 1905 was elected district attorney, an office he is still administering with great benefit to the...

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Biography of Charles C. Davison

Charles C. Davison. who has been prominently connected with the milling industry in the state of New York for many years, is a son of Ozmer L. Davison, who came to New York from New England and spent the greater part of his life engaged in agricultural pursuits. He died at Odessa, New York, in 1900, and his wife died in 1896. Charles C., son of Ozmer L. Davison, was born in Odessa, Schuyler county, New York, June 22, 1868. He was graduated from the Odessa high school, then studied and was prepared for college at Cook’s Academy, and matriculated at Cornell University. After a few days’ attendance of the lectures at the university, finding that a life of study did not appeal to him, he accepted a position in a flour mill at Ithaca, New York, and at the end of one year returned to Odessa, where he also found employment in a flour mill and finished learning the trade of milling. He then went to Elmira, New York, remaining there for one year, and after a year and a half spent in traveling as an expert miller, he went to Trumansburg, Tompkins county, New York, where he remained one year. He again returned to Odessa, where he purchased a mill which he operated for a period of three years, then sold and went to Geneva, New York,...

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Biography of Hon. Orlando Curtis Bidwell

In the exacting and wide-reaching profession of the law, Hon. Orlando Curtis Bidwell, of Great Barrington, stands among the leaders in Berkshire County. His large natural ability was supplemented by careful preparation and his entire career has been guided by a lofty idealism, which marks his every step of progress. As a servant of the people, as well as in his professional capacity, Mr. Bidwell has made an honorable and admirable record, while his affiliations with organized movements bear definite and constructive results. He is a son of Marshall S. and Sophia L. (Bidwell) Bidwell, his father a merchant and farmer throughout his active lifetime, died in 1902, and the mother also died in 1902. Orlando Curtis Bidwell was born in Monterey, Massachusetts, March 17, 1862. He attended the public schools and is a graduate of Lee High School, class of 1882, and his graduation from Williams College occurred in 1886, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Taking up the study of law under capable preceptors, Mr. Bidwell began his professional career in Elmira, New York, in 1889. About one year later he was admitted to the bar of Massachusetts, as well as the New York State and Federal courts, and locating in Great Barrington in 189o, he has practiced here ever since. Mr. Bidwell has gone forward along general lines of activity from the beginning and large...

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Biography of David Bennett Hill

DAVID BENNETT HILL A PROMINENT figure in our political annals is David B. Hill, governor of the state of New York. His ancestors were of New England origin, and he was born in the beautiful and romantic village of Havana, Schuyler, then Chemung county, N. Y., on the 29th of August, 1843. His father, Caleb Hill, was a native of Windham county, Conn, but while a young man, removed to Havana, where he carried on the business of a carpenter and joiner. His mother’s maiden name was Eunice Durfey. She was a woman richly endowed with the gifts and graces of a true life. Both parents were strongly devoted to the welfare of their children and strove hard, with their very limited pecuniary means, to give them a good common-school education. These intelligent, industrious and affectionate parents, so pleasant in their lives, were not long divided in their death – Mrs. Hill died in Elmira, August, 1882. and Mr. Hill – after living to see his son elected lieutenant-governor of the empire state – followed her to the grave in December of the same year. David, the youngest son, and the subject of this sketch, was naturally fond of books and made an excellent use of the limited educational advantages afforded him by his parents. At the Havana academy, beautifully located in the open fields a short distance from...

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Biography of George Washington Crum

George Washington Crum, now retired, had been a resident of Kansas since 1879. He is an old soldier, having fought gallantly for the preservation of the Union and had proved his capacity and fidelity in many other relations to the busy world. His home is in Strong City, and he had been identified with Chase County from section hand to county official. He was born in Chemung County, New York, October 16, 1842, son of Le Roy and Polly (Watkins) Crum. His parents were born in the same section of New York State and his father was a flour miller. The son grew up on his father’s farm and also in the mill and when not otherwise employed was attending the public schools. He was not yet nineteen years of age when the war broke out and his father being opposed to military service he ran away in order to enlist. He was first with the Eighty-fifth New York Infantry Company D, and in that service was wounded and soon discharged. He went to Pennsylvania, organized a new company, Company A, One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, was promoted to lieutenant, and fought in many of the historic engagements of the war, and was captured in front of Petersburg. About the close of the war he returned home, receiving his discharge June 12, 1865, and for a number...

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