Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Old Streets of Southampton

by Mrs. Edward P. White | circa 1932

OLD TOWN ROAD. When the first settlers came to Southampton in 1640, they followed an Indian trail from North Sea to that part of the Village called today Old Town. The site of their first homes in marked near the Southampton Hospital. These homes were probably cellars dug in the ground with rafters overhead covered with boughs or sod. Twenty men and their families with all “Their worldly goods” made their way through the forest, built their homes and their church, and lived there eight years.

Of these twenty only the names of Howell, Sayre, Walton, Halsey, and Terry are found in Southampton today. A little later came Bishops, Burnetts, Cooks, Fosters, Goldsmiths, Hands, Herricks, Hildreths, Jaggers, Moores, Piersons, Posts, Raynors, Rogers, Roses, Smythes, Wells, and Whites. These inhabitants outgrew the settlement around Old Town Pond, and in March, 1648, held a town meeting to consider “A town plot and home accommodations that shall be most suitable to the comfort, peace, and welfare of this plantation.”

MAIN STREET. The Main Street of Southampton retains to this day divisions made at that time, although many changes have been made in the ownership—home lots of three acres. Each house holder’s portion was: --his house lot, twelve acres of farm land, about thirty-four acres of meadow and upland, and a certain number of shares in undivided common land. These shares were given according to the amount of money a man had pad toward the expenses of the settlement. All this land except the Indian fields had to be cleared. The woodland north of the village was divided into The North and The South Division and each man was given his share.

MEETING HOUSE LANE. After the Main Street, or Town Street, as it was called then, Meeting House Land was opened. The oldest church Meeting House stood near the present rear entrance of the Southampton Hospital.

TOYLESOME LANE. The road from the old town to the new was “The Land called Toylesome,” and opposite its entrance on the Main Street was Horsemill Lane. Just when this was closed, we do not know. What fun it would be to be able to walk down Main Street to the beach and point out the houses where the first settlers lived. This is possible for old maps show who owned the land in those early days. Thomas Sayre lived north of the present library.

JOB’S LANE. Job’s Lane, “opened 1664,” was then the cow path down which young Job Sayre drove his cows every morning to pasture. Walking south, the Presbyterian parsonage stands on exactly the same plot of ground that was allotted for the house of “Ye Minister,” in 1648. The second church building stood just across the street from the minister’s house, and in the old graveyard we may still read the names of some of the earliest inhabitants. The old house called the Hollyhocks is the oldest of the original houses remaining and was built by Thomas Halsey about 1660. On the opposite side of the street, the house now owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution was built about 1790 by the Foster family. The old Mackie house, which is across the street from the Episcopal church, was built by John Mackie who came from Scotland and copied, in shingle, the stone house he had left in Dundee.

YE MILL PATH. Ye Mill Path (we call it Bridgehampton Road today) was the road to Edward Howell’s watermill. The mill was built in 1644, and is still standing, and from it Water Mill Village takes its name.

THE ROAD TO WICKAPOGUE. The Road to Wickapoque is one of the early ones. The name is first found in the division of land in 1688, “Thomas Goldsmith at the end of his home lot, the rest by Goodman Halsey’s a Weequapoug.” The name means “at the end of the pond or waterplace,” and the Ponds of Wickapogue are there still as they were in 1688.

LITTLE PLAINS ROAD. The Little Plains were fields where the settlers tilled their land. Always in the early days, one man stood watch while the others cultivated the fields, Each man took his turn. Little Plain was bounded on the east by Old Town Pond, on the west by Town Pond (Lake Agawam), on the north by Frog Pond, and on the south by the beach. This tract of land was originally three lots deep north and south. The ocean has encroached upon the land so much since the settlers came, that Frost Pond is now under the water. I can remember heading my grandfather say that the hitching posts that stood north of the beach banks when he was a boy are now in the breakers.

GREAT PLAINS ROAD. The Great Plain was farm land west of Town Pond (Agawam). It was called also the general field. First Neck, Cooper’s Neck, Halsey’s Neck, and Captain’s Neck were parts of it and are kept in our memories today by the road bearing their names.

OX PASTURE ROAD. The Ox Pasture was in two divisions—north and south, and its use is known today by its name. Ox Pasture Road was its southern boundary and the main highway to Shinnecock, its north.

Let us walk through the village to trace the old streets. It will not be hard. As we have seen Main Street follows the same course today that it did in 1648. When it was laid out, most of the people lived in the south end of the town. We can trace, if we will, in many places the three acre home lots, and if we look in Howell’s Early History of Southampton, we can find a map that will show us where Edward Howell, the leader of the little colony, lived. We can trace the path where Job Sayre drove his cows to the pasture by the Town Pond. We can find the place where the wife of Thomas Halsey was murdered by the Indians. We can walk with the people on Sunday morning to their Meeting House. We can go with the children on Monday morning to their schoolmaster, Richard Mills. We can see the settlers at work on the Little Plains, the watchman standing on guard to give the alarm if anything goes wrong. Perhaps we see a man riding down the mill path with his bags of grain to be ground into flour at the watermill or a man building his house from forest trees in the new part of the town called Jagger Lane. If we follow the trail to North Sea, we may meet an Indian. Fortunately, the Shinnecock Indians are friendly to the white settlers, for we must go to North Sea.

NORTH SEA ROAD. North Sea Road is the only way to reach the port where Captain Daniel Howe’s sloop lands, brining new settlers from the Mainland.

***from The Southampton Press

Southampton’s oldest thoroughfare is the North Sea Road, called in our earliest records “the North Sea Path.” This has been made forever sacred by the feet of those earliest colonists as they made their way through the dense forest to the ridge of land overlooking the ocean to the north of Old Town Pond, where they made their first settlement. The Indians living on fish and game, made their habitations around the creeks and bays of the north shore as we learn from the shell helps and the mounds which have been unearthed at various times in more recent years. When the settlers landed at North Sea they found it the camping ground of the Sachem of the Shinnecocks. The Indians knew the place where they could grown the best corn and had cleared land just north of the beach banks. The patch which the colonists trod on that eventful day in June, 1640, was without doubt the trail long made by the Indians to their planting land by the ocean. The vessel which brought the settlers from Lynn was to return, making three trips a year, brining inhabitants and goods, and for many years North Sea Harbor was the only outlet for the little colony in its isolation. The path hither soon became a well worn road. For 150 years North Sea was the port of entry for Southampton and fell into disuse only after Sag Harbor, (the harbor of Sagg) became a growing port. In 1726 we find a record when at a Town Meeting a complaint was brought that the road was too narrow, and a very definite description is given: “Beginning at Southampton Street one highway leading to ye harbor at North Sea, goes down by the house that was Heathcotes and is now the Townes.” This latter is the old North End Burying ground and the highway was laid out six poles wide all the way to John Rose’s at North Sea.

The forest through which our colonists found their way so long ago has remained unbroken these nearly 300 years, except for the axe of the woodsman who felled the trees for firewood and left the wood to grow for another generation and more. William Henry and Joseph Kiah have perhaps without intention become the  pioneers of the home development with has so recently overtaken the North Sea Path.

The State of New York during this past year has added the crown to this new development with the building of the concrete [highway?] which can now speed our way so smoothly and joyously; and in another five years or less, will have disappeared ,except in memory, the shady oaks through which we drove so contentedly our farm teams to the beach at North Sea.


Southampton’s Main Street was laid out in 1648, eight years after the first settlement at Old Towne. This for many years is known in the records as “Ye Towne Street,” and it was on this street that a “home-lott” of three acres was apportioned to each settler, with farm land in out lying districts. On March 27th, 1648, “It is ordered that ye whole town shall be called together at ye settings of ye sunne to consider of a Town plot of such home accommodations as may be most suitable to ye comfort, peace and welfare of this plantation.” The “home-lotts” were laid out and taken up on both side of the street, beginning at the planting land at the Little Plains and extending north, “three acres to every 50 pound lot or share, to every man his proportion according to his taking up.”

The homes built along this street were no longer the rude cabins of the earlier settlement. Though of the utmost simplicity of design they were sturdy and substantial and a number of these have lasted on within the memory of the present generation.

“The Hollyhocks” built 1662, remains with its southern gable still unchanged, to remind us of the homes first built along “Ye Towne Street,”

In the hall of the Library entrance to the Colonial Room, may be seem a framed copy of the map of Southampton’s “Towne Street.” This map was compiled by Historian William S. Pelletreu and on it is indicated the home plots with the names of their successive owners, from the first laying out until very recent years. It is interesting to note that the surveys of today are still based on the boundaries established in that earliest laying out of the Towne Street.

HILL STREET OR SHINNECOCK ROAD. This street was laid out as early as 1650 and later became a part of the main highway running east and west down Long Island, which was known in Colonial days as “the King’s Highway.” Until very recent years, Hill Street, or “up the Hill,” as it was often called, was most appropriately named, for the road from the foot of Job’s Lane rose quite sharply and the grade was very much up-hill. The land on which stand the Irving Garage and the adjoining buildings was the hill where stood the windmill, which for 170 years ground the grist for the community, and was an outstanding landmark for miles around. With the moving of the mill (1888) and the disposal of the soil, a new level was created, and in 1906 the village so grade and improved the street that the name is now only a reminder of its earlier outlines. Hill Street fortunately has remained the wide thoroughfare so well suited to our modern needs.

WINDMILL LANE. Windmill Lane dates back to the earliest days of the settlement, and is known in the early records as “Ye Weste Street.” A t that time the Town Pond extended low and swampy as far north as the higher land, which in recent years we know as Bowden Square. To avoid the water which in times of freshet was close up to the higher land on the west, the road for some time lay along the ridge. The present name is derived from the windmills which at various times through the years have occupied this higher land. The most prominent of these, built in 1713, stood on the corner of the lane and Hill Street. This mill is now in the garden of the Summer home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur B. Clafflin on Shinnecock Hills.

Another mill which stood to the north of this is now the Summer home of ex-Congressman Lathrop D. Brown, on the cliff overlooking the ocean at Montauk Point. It was on “Ye Weste Street” that the first school house was built in 1664. This was a building 15 by 20 feet and stood a short distance south of the plot where 225 years later was built the Union School (1889). The first schoolmaster---Jonas Houldsworth—was to receive 30 pounds per annum with [?] 12 days in the year for his own “particular occasions.” Here for many years the county courts were held, and through the first little old school house has been several times replaced, each in a different location, children of the village have ever since been going to school on Windmill Lane.

JAGGAR LANE. The short street connecting Main Street and Windmill Lane is one of the very old streets of the Village. This was a lane through the home-lott granted to John Jaggar in 1651. The settlers whose farmland was to the west of the Town Pond very early felt the need of a nearer approach than to pass to the end of the swamp at Bowden Square. This lane across John Jaggar’s lot was established in 1653 and originally wound up over the hill crossing “ye West Street and coming out on Hill Street” before reaching the entrance to First Neck Lane, which was laid out in 1644.

This was very early in the history of the village, some years before the building of the mill and the lowering of “Ye Weste Street,” and Job’s Lane had not yet been opened.

During the years since, this little street has been known by various names, memories of those who have lived beside it-Hunting Lane, Captain George White’s Lane, Seymour’s Lane, and in the Village book (1908) we notice it is called School Street. When the Village Trustees, a few years since, renewed the street signs they returned quite appropriately to the name of the original owner through whose land the lane was first made.

NARROW LANE. We find a new sign along our highways, one we have not seen until recently, although the street it designates has been an open thoroughfare since the very early days of the village. Although connecting two important localities, yet is has remained so seemingly remote and so little used that it has escaped, until recently, the notice of the village fathers, who are seeing to tit that the streets of Southampton are so carefully and attractively marked. As we drive along our highways, the quaint old name are particularly in evidence and add a charm and distinction in keeping with its history, for Southampton will soon be celebrating it 300th birthday.

This little street, true to its name, is at present quite isolated but it is destined in the near future to become a much-used thoroughfare. In Vol. V., pp. 178, 232, of the Town Records, we find that in 1676 Richard Howell sells to Obadiah Rogers “one-half acre of my Close land at Wicapogue, bounded west by land of Thomas Jessup, north by Obadiah Rogers, south by highway, and is to run north and south quite through the length of my said Close.” Dated October 14, 1676.

The notes added by W.S. Pelletreau, to whose careful transcriptions we owe six volumes of Southampton Town Records, tell us that the strip of land above is the Narrow Lane on the north side of Wickapogue Street. The home of Thomas Jessup is the property long since occupied by Moses Phillips, and on which his family still reside. Richard Howell was a son of Edward Howell, the leader of the Southampton colony. Obadiah Rogers was a son of William Rogers, who in 1645 was granted as his “home-lott” the land on “Ye Towne Street” for a number of years occupied by the late Samuel L. Parrish.

From the  record it is very plain that the narrow strip of land was purchased by Obadiah Rogers to afford a right-of-way to the land he owned just north of Richard Howell, and it was no doubt continued by him and adjacent owners out to the “King’s Highway,” or “the road to ye Watermill.” The lane may be as little used as in those early days when Obadiah Rogers drove his oxen hither to his farm land, and in driving through the lane one can easily imagine one’s self back in that early time, so isolated and shut away it seems from the present Southampton. We soon return to this however, as we approach the Frankenback gardens, and glad also of a swifter passage than that furnished by the equipment of an earlier day.

Let us cherish these ancient localities and keep alive the names given them so long ago, by those who laid for us such sure foundations.

POND LANE. In the year 1675, when the “Towne” purchased from John Cooper his house and lot for the use of the minister, an allotment of 30 acres of land in the ox-pasture was also made, these “to remain forever to the use of the ministry in this Towne.” The “Home-lott” is still the Presbyterian parsonage, and the land in the ox-pasture is known to us as the Summer home of the late Salem H. Wales.

This is one of several pieces of land which in the records is called “Parsonage land,” and it was expressly stated that cart-way should be left beside the Town Pond for passing to and fro and for the watering of cattle.

In 1701, “It is ordered James Cooper and Joseph Fordham shall take up fence from the old pound and carry it and set it up by Mr. Whiting’s cow-pasture, adjoining to the John Foster’s Close and Isaac Halsey’s, leaving a good highway between ye fence and ye Town Pond, for ye inhabitants of ye and Towne to cart, drive and water their creatures, and to find more fence so to finish and enclose said cow-pasture at ye said Towne’s charge.” The highway established at this time was to be 8’ poles in width between the fence and the pond. “Mr. Whiting” was the Rev. Joseph Whiting, sixth minister in the Church—1683-1723. John Foster’s Close is now the property of the Hon. Elihu H. Root. The narrow lane on the south and joining Ox-Pasture Road is first mentioned in 1676.

In the record of the Town survey of 1852, we find the road leading from the Country Road in Hill street to and along the Town Pond to First Neck Lane, near the house of John White, “laid out but not described of record.” The road by the pond was at this time narrowed to five rods. In 1888, after Mr. Wales had purchased the property, some changed were again made in the frontage on the pond. It was about this time that the Indian name Agawam was recalled for the Town Pond and it is interesting to be reminded that when Mr. Wales desired a name for his newly acquired property he used the name of “The Ox-Pasture.”

The name on the sign-posts of that highway as above described read “Pond Lane” and the date of its opening is coincident with that of the Parsonage allotment in 1675.

When the land on the pond ceased to be “parsonage land” we have still to discover, but until recent years the front along the pond has been common land used by the people for their pleasure and necessities. On the south hill of the “Parsonage land” were the big “try-kettles where the [whale blubber was boiled] in days of steamships, whales were much more numerous along the coast than now and the off-shore whaling was one of the earliest industries established by the settlers. It was an exciting time in the village when the rally sounded and everybody hastened to the beach to see the manning of the whale-boats and to watch the crews start off for the chase. It was a lively time also, when the crews returned and the monster lay on the beach (and sometimes more than one). The small boys as well as many others did not leave the beach until the whale was cut up and the blubber carted, and sometimes floated, down the pond to be tried out in the big kettles on the hill. Until recent years a point of land ran well out into the pond directly opposite this hill.

This was the swimming place for the boys in Summer and a harbor for the skaters in Winter. The Point was also convenient during the ice harvest and an ice house stood on the hill near the try-kettles, within the memory of several whom we have interviewed.

The pond north of the Point was thick with lily-pads and further north as far as Job’s Lane was a flaggy swamp. On this swampy land for a number of years was the little old shop where drinks were sold by one known as “Old John Ware.” Across the lane on the hill, which lately has been leveled to give place for the American Legion Community Building was a small liberty pole and an old cannon where the “boys” were wont to celebrate on patriotic occasions. One 4th of July morning, we were told, John Ware poured into the cannon such a charge of powder that it blew itself to pieces and the windows in the shop were shattered, as well as in neighboring places. As a pleasant contrast to the above we like to remember the well-kept cottage—still standing, but beyond recognition in its concrete covering—where lived Phyrrhus Concer and his wife Rachel. To the little dock just opposite on the pond was moored the sailboat in which every day in Summer—except Sundays—Phyrrhus made as many trips to the ocean as the wind would allow, ferrying the Summer boarders and others to the bathing beach—but the story of Phyrrhus is a narrative by itself.

After the Summer residents began to build their homes along the Pond the sailboats became numerous and many a half-holiday was spent in watching the boat races up and down the Pond. (Has anyone forgotten the Bennett Catamaran?) After motors were used there was trouble for the propellers were constantly mixed up with the grass, which the swans in recent years were imported to diminish.

Courtesy Lizbeth Halsey White Files, Southampton Historical Museum Archives and Research Center

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Last Will and Testament | Charles H. Halsey | 1906

Last Will and Testament | Charles H. Halsey

I, Charles H. Halsey, widower; a resident of the Town of Southampton, in the county of Suffolk and State of New York, being of sound mind and memory, do make, publish and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner following, that is to say:

First. I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid.

Second. I give, bequeath and devise to my son Jesse Halsey my Homestead, situate on the west side of Main Street, Village of Southampton, N.Y.; north of the property of the late Daniel Jagger, Decd., and the farm utensils, grain, stock and all the appliances of the place. Also various tracts of land, viz;

A lot situated on the west side of the North Sea Road, in this village south of the Railroad, of about twenty-five acres, more or less, two tracts of land on the northerly side of the Railroad, this village; One tract is bounded north by land of Samuel Bishop, east by land of Ira W. Skinner and south by land of Frank H. and Wm. Aldrich, containing about five and five sixth acres. The second tract is bounded north by land owned or occupied by Joseph Wood, east by estate of D. S. Havens, decd., and south by land of U.R. Havens (formerly Elizabeth Fowler’s land).

My Camp Pond Lot, in the North Woods, bounded north by land of Stephen Haynes, decd., east by land of Edward J. Halsey; south by land of A.M. Cook; and west by land formerly of Jesse Halsey, decd.

A wood lot adjoining the Twelve Acres, bounded north and south by land of the heirs of Stephen Sayre; east by land of Henry Post and George F. Edwards, west by land of J.W.F. Howell and heirs or legatees of Franklin Jagger decd.

My Sandy Hollow Lot, bounded north by the estate of E.E. Hubbard, east by the highway, south by the Sebonac Road, and west by land of the estate of Geo. Woldman.

A lot of about ten acres, in the north woods, that I bought of E. Post, bounded north by H. H. Post, east by the Parsonage land, south by Wm. R. Penny and west by F. W. Cook.

A lot near Millstone Brook, in lot #51, bounded north, east, and west by Valentine Schenck, west by the road.

Two tracts of land near the Methodist Camp; one is bounded north by Edward J. Halsey and Everett Halsey, east and west by D. H. Rose. The other tract is bounded north by the heirs of Samuel Halsey, east by Edward J. Halsey, south by D. H. Rose and west by James Pierson.

I also give to my son, Jesse Halsey, the box that was my father’s and the small boxes containing paper, all that is in the bureau in my bedroom and the contents of the boxes therein, the bedstead and bedding and all that is in my room that belongs to me at my death.

I make my son Jesse my sold residuary legatee of any and all remainder of my property or effects of any kind or character, after all the gifts and legacies named in this instrument are paid and disposed of.

Third. I give to my daughter, Elizabeth M. White, the bureau that was my mother’s, the Organ and Stand, one half of my silver and one half of what remains of her mother’s not otherwise disposed of (she dividing equally with her sister Abigail), and the sum of Seven Hundred dollars.

Fourth. I give to my daughter, Abigail F. Halsey, the furniture in the east champer of my present dwelling house, also a home in said house as long as she remains unmarried, and the large looking glass, and equally with her sister Elizabeth, one half of my silver and one half of the undivided property that was her mother’s, and the sum of Seven Hundred Dollars.

Fifth. I give to my sister in law, Mrs. J. Augusta Halsey, the sum of one hundred dollars, to be paid out of my personal estate.

Sixth. I give to my niece, Edna A. Halsey and Mary Cross, the sum of twenty-five dollars each.

North End Graveyard, Southampton, Graves of Henry and Eliza Halsey and their children Amanda, Mary Rose, and Jesse
Seventh. I give the Southampton Cemetery Association of the village of Southampton, the sum of fifty dollars, the income from the same to be used for the care of my lot in said Cemetery, viz: Lot 1, Block 22 at the discretion of and under the direction of the Trustees of said Cemetery Association. I also give a further sum of fifty dollar to said Association, to be used, or as much thereof as may be needed for the removal of the remains of my father, mother, brother, and two sisters from the old ground onto my before mentioned lot in the new cemetery of said association, or the interest thereof to be used for the care of the plot in the old cemetery as my children may deem advisable: i.e., my children at my decease are to say whether the remains named shall be removed or cared for where they are.

Lastly, I hereby appoint my son Jesse Halsey and my friend Edward H. Foster executor of this, my last Will and Testament; hereby revoking all former wills by me made.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name the 19th day of April, in the year One thousand nine hundred and six (1906).


Attestation Clause
Albert J. Post
Hubert A. White

Probated Sept. 19, 1906.

The Last Will and Testament of Harry T. Halsey | October 31, 1903

On this 7th day of October in the year 1903 . . .

The Petition of Ida P. Halsey of the town of Southampton in the County of Suffolk, N.Y., respectfully showeth that Harry T. Halsey of the town of Southampton in said County departed this life at his residence in said town of Southampton on or about the 30ths day of September 1903 leaving a last Will And Testament dated July 25, 1902, and a codicil there dated September 5, 1903, relating to both real and personal property and in which your petition is named as Executrix. That the said deceased left his surviving a widow your petitioner. Your petitioner further states the widow, all the heirs, all the next of kin of said deceased, testator, together with their residence and degree of relationship are as follows, to with:

Your petitioner: Ida P. Halsey, widow
Charles H. Halsey, father
Jesse Halsey, brother
Elizabeth White, sister
Abigail Halsey, sister

We Jesse Halsey, Charles H. Halsey, Elizabeth White, [Abigail F. Halsey in separate document from State of Pennsylvania, County of Montgomery] the undersigned, being full age, and heir and next of kin of Harry T. Halsey deceased, named in the petition herein do hereby appear in person and waive the issuance and service of a citation in the above entitled matter and consent that the last Will and Testament and codicil thereby of said Harry D. Halsey deceased bearing date July 24, 1902 and September 3, 1903 respectively be admitted to probate forthwith.
Be it Remembered, That on this 7th day of November in the year one thousand nine hundred and three before Nathan O. Petty, Clerk of the Surrogate’s Court of said County, personally appeared Edward P. White who being by the said Clerk duly sworn and examined, says: I was well acquainted with Harry T. Halsey, deceased, bearing date the 25th day of July in the year one thousand nine hundred and two; that such subscription was made by the said Testator in my presence and in the presence of Edward H. Foster and William R. Halsey the other subscribing witnesses that the said Testator at the same time declared the instrument so subscribed by him to be his Last Will and Testament—whereupon at the same time I and said Edward H. Foster and William R. Halsey signed our names at the end thereof, at the request of the said Testator and that the said Testator at the time of executing and publishing the said Last Will and Testament, was of full age, of sound mind and memory, and not under any restraint. ---Edward P. White
Money in Southold Savings Bank with int. to Sept. 30, 1903.      751.22
Note                                                                                                    150.00
In. on note                                                                                          12.95
(Possibly int.. will not be paid.)

One third interest in business of Halsey, White & Halsey
Real Estate                                                                                         4,000
Wagon                                                                                                            12
Stock on hand                                                                                    487.25
Money “ “                                                                                           21.00
Bills Receivable                                                                                  39.00

One half interest in business of Halsey & White
Business estimated at $5,000 about

--Ida P. Halsey, Executrix

Note: Included in business estimate of Halsey & White:
Stock on hand belonging to Halsey & White
Contents of business bldgs 745
Scales                                      50.00
½ int. in Water Mill Scales   50.00

Buildings for storing             200
Farming implements                        $135
Live Stock                               90

S.B. Livingston Bowden
S.W. W. Seymour White

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Last Will and Testament of Abigail Fithian Halsey

Sept. 27, 1946
Suffolk County

I, Abigail Fithian Halsey, of the Village and Town of Southampton, County of Suffolk and State of New York, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do hereby make, publish, and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills or Codicils by me at any time heretofore made.

I.               I give, devise and bequeath unto my beloved brother, Jesse Halsey, my land and dwelling situate on North Main Street in the Village and Town of Southampton, County of Suffolk and State of New York and adjoining premises now owned by him.
II.             I also give and bequeath unto my said brother, Jesse Halsey, my fiddleback chair now in the Colonial Collection in the Rogers House at Southampton, N.Y. , and also the oil painting of Montauk Lighthouse now hanging in my room.
III.           I give and bequeath unto my niece, Elizabeth White Adams, the sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00) and also all my books except as herein otherwise bequeathed. It is my purpose, also, that the family genealogy complied by her mother which really belongs to her shall pass to my said niece, Elizabeth White Adams, upon my death.
IV.            I give and bequeath unto my nephew, Edward Post White, my set of Kipling and also the historical books fro his father’s library which really belong to him.
V.              I give, devise, and bequeath unto my nephew, Harry Halsey White, two acres of land at Whalebone Landing, more or less as my Executor or Executrix shall determine and select, his or her selection and determination of quantity to be final, and also the sum of one thousand ($1,000) dollars and my Spool Bed and Bedding.
VI.            I give and bequeath unto Louise Burke White, wife of Harry Halsey White aforesaid, my Cambridge Edition of Poets (which includes Browning, Longfellow, Whittier, Burns, Mrs. Browning, etc).
VII.          I give and bequeath unto Helen Isham Halsey, my sister-in-law, the sum of fifty ($50.00) dollars and also my green and red bed quilt and my Sheraton chair and silver Florentine chain.
VIII.        I give and bequeath unto my nephew, Charles Henry Halsey, the sum of one hundred ($100.00) dollars and also the chest of drawers and mirror in my room.
IX.            I give and bequeath unto my cousin, Edna H. Ruland, the sum of one hundred ($100.00) dollars.
X.              I give and bequeath unto my niece and namesake, Abigail Fithian Van Allen, my mahogany stand with drawers and mirror, the blue and white bed quilt, my Fithian spoons and two (2) linen sheets.
XI.            I give and bequeath unto my niece, Helen Halsey Haroutunian, the blue woven bedspread which belonged to Grandmother Halsey.
XII.          I give and bequeath unto Joanna Ruland Honnett, the sum of twenty-fie ($25.00) dollars and also the dropleaf table in my room and my silver teaspoons which are like her mother’s.
XIII.        I give and bequeath unto Amanda Ruland Talmadge three (3) homespun towels and the old mug which belonged to Grandmother Halsey.
XIV.        I give and bequeath unto Jean Elizabeth Adams the sum of fifty ($50.00) dollars and my string of pearl beads.
XV.          I give and bequeath unto Gerald Adams, Jr., the desk which is now in my room.
XVI.        I give and bequeath unto Sarah White Adams my set of books called “My Book House.”
XVII.      I give and bequeath unto each of the following the sum of ten ($10.00) dollars: Harry Halsey White, Jr., Merritt Burke White, Sophie Haroutunian, Joseph H. Haroutunian, Charles H. Halsey, Jr., Wilmun Jesse Halsey.
XVIII.    I give and bequeath unto Edward Pearson White the sum of fifty ($50.00) dollars.
XIX.        I give and bequeath unto Helena Elizabeth White the sum of fifty ($50.00) dollars.
XX.          I give unto Nancy Herrick Hartwell my amethyst brooch which was given to me by her Grandmother.
XXI.        All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, real, personal and mixed, of whatsoever nature and wheresoever situate, of which I shall die seized or possessed or to which I may be in any size entitled at the time of my death, I give, devise and bequest unto my niece, Elizabeth White Adams.

I direct, however, that all inheritance, legacy, succession and similar or other duties or taxes which shall be or become payable in respect to any property or interest passing hereunder or pursuant to any Codicil hereto, shall be paid out of the capital of my residuary estate as part of the expense chargeable against same.

Lastly: I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my brother, Jesse Halsey, Executor of this my Last Will and Testament. In the event that my said brother should predecease me, I nominate, constitute and appoint my niece, Elizabeth White Adams, Executrix hereunder. I direct that my Executor or Executrix shall serve, whether in the State of new York or elsewhere, without being required to give any bond or security for the faithful performance of his or her duties as such, any law to the contrary notwithstanding.

In witness whereof I, Abigail Fithian Halsey, have to this my Last Will and Testament, subscribed my name this 23rd day of July, 1946.

"my heartfelt sympathy"

October 7, 1903
Elmira, N. Y.
Dear Cousin Charles,
The sad news of your son’s death reached us a day or two ago and I immediately recalled his kindness to me on the only occasion I remember having seen him.

It was on the occasion of my visit to Long Island three years ago and he at once impressed me with his kindness, cordiality, and almost brotherly interest.

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy and especially extend this to his wife. I wish that we lived nearer each other so that we might be with you at this time.

Our love to all of you.

S. Edward Roer

Fathers & Brothers

"In the fullness of time the old gentleman slept with his fathers and the little boy grew up, as little boys will."  --Reverend Jesse Halsey

from The Quick and the Dead c 1931

Then through the hills of the T.B. country, many couples, who are taking the cure, are out walking at the close of the day (I know something about the process, a brother and a sister having gone through it, one successfully).

from One Extra Curriculum or Adventures in Overalls c 1934

I am now, and have been for twenty years, the minister of a God fearing congregation that quite often wears dinner jackets. Needless to say, I don’t wear overalls in the pulpit. But they are, I rather think, thanks to my father, a symbol of my philosophy of life. My ancestors were sea-faring men, chasing whales from Kamchatka to Palmer Land. They sailed the seven seas. I have had to make my adventure nearer home, and these are a sample of some of the interesting things that have happened.


All but ready for college; hard work on the farm, day after day, through a long, hot summer. Father was often sick and my older brother an almost chronic invalid. I was working nights to get off a college entrance exam in German. Then came the uncertainty as to the possibility of going—one day going, the next, staying. Finally, a week before school was to open, everyone was better and college seemed assured. [1899?] Saturday, September 16, “going.” Sunday, the 17th, “going tomorrow at 7:15 A. M.” “Monday, the 18th.” Up at four in the morning and into overalls to milk for the last time and drive the cows to pasture. Then, a bath, a new suit, breakfast, the train, two ferries, another train, Princeton! All set to go! But came 6 A.M., there were no family prayers. “Father’s sick.” My older brother called me to his bed. “I don’t see how we can spare you. Go, if you think you ought (hard word to a New England conscience). We’ll find the money and get on somehow.

“If you ought?”= “If you can?” A long moment of terrific struggle, then up the stairs, back into overalls, down the lane behind the white horses (or their successors) and as the long, brown furrow turned ‘ere the train goes by, and I waved to the fellow who was supposed to be my roommate.

Then, for four years it was overalls all day and books at night; work, hard work, that made a boy into a man. Sickness at home, long painful days, tedious, painful nights, watching and crude nursing; learning, learning things not found in books, learning, so that, automatically, as one says 6 x 6, duty stands before pleasure and the days of work and nights of broken sleep, reading, study snatched here and there, with correspondence courses and a few weeks now and then in the winter, at the college, result in a body hard as nails, needing little sleep, splendid health and happy heart withal—work had become joy. The inoculation had become successful.

My brother died. I assumed the farm responsibility. Some crops failed, others succeeded (more of the former), and gradually I worked out my own schemes, sometimes with my father’s approbation and sometimes without. (But he always paid the bills.) I was handy with tools, so plumbing found its way into the old farmhouse, also steam heat and electric lights. Winter days laying hardwood floors. (Now I wish the old wide pine and oak floorboards worn by the feet of many grandmothers, were back.) New roofs, better stables, sheds, etc., were made possible by an overall ability inherited from my grandfather. My father, until the last years of his life, never had five hundred dollars in cash in any one year, but we lived well on what we raised, and traded produce for groceries and dry goods—of actual cash there was very little.

from Memoir: Section One, p. 14 c 1952

After mother died (when I was five) father took on the heavy responsibility of doing all that he could to take her place. He spent his evenings reading to me and telling me stories. I was with him constantly as he drove to the farm about half a mile removed from our barn and farm house. I followed him about his work and I imagined furnished him some small measure of companionship that he missed in mother's going. He was devoted to her memory and twenty years afterward I have come upon him at night kneeling at his bedside looking at her picture and pouring out his heart.

Harry T. Halsey | Obituary

Sea-Side Times | Southampton, N. Y.
Thursday, October 1, 1903
A Man of Sterling Character and Christian Fortitude

Harry T. Halsey died at his home in this village at six o’clock yesterday morning after a long and wasting illness from which he has suffered for many years.

Harry Thomas Halsey was born in Southampton November 12, 1864. He was the eldest son of Charles Henry and Melvina Terry Halsey. He was named for his two grandfathers, Captain Harry Halsey, of Southampton, and Mr. Thomas Terry, of Terryville, near Port Jefferson.

Mr. Halsey was a young man of broad intelligence and sterling character. He was educated at the old Southampton Academy. At an early age he united with the Presbyterian Church and was later made a ruling elder being one of the youngest men ever chose to set in that capacity.

A dozen years ago he entered into a partnership with W. Seymour White under the firm name of Halsey and White to deal in farm produce, farmers’ supplies, and coal. The business is still in a flourishing condition.

Very soon after embarking in business Mr. Halsey was seized with an alarming affection of the lungs and went to Colorado in quest of health. He returned the following year but little benefited, but through the skill of physicians and extreme care on his part the progress of the disease was arrested.

He has spent several winters in the South, in Virginia, Georgia, or the Carolinas, daring to remain at home only during the summer. For more than ten years he has made a hard battle for life and for the last year or two has been in very terrible condition.

Last winter he lived near Thomasville, GA, and when he returned home his friends finally realized that it was his last winter S[?]. He was sick most of the time and confined to the house during the past summer and [?] past summers but was [?] when the expected end actually came.

The funeral service will be held his home tomorrow after at half past 1 o’clock.

On October 19, 1899, Mr. Halsey married Miss Ida D. Pettet, a favorite teacher at the new Southampton Union School. No children were born to them.

Besides a widow and his father, Mr. Halsey leaves [behind a brother, Jesse Halsey, and two sisters,] Miss Abigail Halsey [and Mrs. Edward P. White.]

Letter from Ida P. Halsey* | 1904

Dear Brother Jess,

When Harry and I were talking about the little gifts, he asked what I thought of them and I said that yours seemed rather small. You will remember that Harry left me the balance remaining after paying the little sums mentioned, and I told him that you ought to have it. He said, “Do you think so, I’m glad to hear you say that,” and he smiled so contentedly.

I have reserved $400 for expenses, the stone will probably cost from $225 to $250—the expenses, you know, were $184.60. The amount in bank including interest on September 30th was $751.22. The legacies amount to $275, including your own $50, so that leaves you $126.22.

For your Christmas gift, I have wanted to give you Harry’s desk and desk chairs. I can hardly bring myself to part with them—so I give you the use of them until sometime when I might wish them—it is more than likely that they will always be yours.

With our best wishes for today and every day,


Ida P.H.

*Ida Pettet Halsey was the widow of Jesse Halsey's older brother Harry. She later married Eli H. Fordham.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

(Quasi-Auto-Biographical. Written for one’s children.)

from Old Sea Chest / In the East Riding of Yorkshire
By Jesse Halsey

Beside my fireplace sits an old sea chest, battered from long hard use by successive generations of whalers. Substantial tar dipped smelly rope handles at either end of it.

Beside my fireplace sits a sea chest used by successive generations of whalers. It has tossed on all the seven seas, is battered and bruised, has substantial tar dipped smelly rope handles on either end, but when opened gives forth a subtle fragrance of far Cathay and the Moluccas and other islands of spice. No wonder; it is lined with cedar and San Domingo mahogany and sandal wood. In it now repose for appropriate safe-keeping some treasures of sentiment garnered from the now distant days of my youth.

I turn its rusted iron lock with a sizable brass key and push back the oak battened cover, on its hand hammered strap hang hinges. Inside is a big Bible, most of one, a copy of Pilgrim’s Progress illustrated with a dozen steel engravings and numerous cuts, an old log book or two, some mariner’s charts, some pages from a diary of my father’s, some account books of grandfather’s dated early in the nineteenth century. The chest with its meager and miscellaneous contents and an old fouling piece that stands on guard in the corner by the stairs—these bring back my boyhood which might in many respects have been that of a son of the house one or two or even three generations earlier.


It is as it were, a sprightly evening in early winter and a fire is burning on the hearth. It seldom snaps; it never smokes for grandfather was a skilled mason and knew his trade. Supper is over and the dishes cleared away, from the kitchen come the sounds of cleaning up and the stirring of buckwheat cakes being “set to rise” for breakfast. A Kerosene lamp burns on the erstwhile dining table now covered with a turkey-red damask cloth. In a Boston rocker by the fire sits an old man and on a foot-stool, toasting his shins, stretches a little boy. Whether he is six or eight or ten I cannot quite tell—no it is not the smoke, grandfather was a capable mason—it must be my eyes. Against the wall, so near that the boy can lean on it, is a seaman’s chest. The old man is reading, the boy listening, when he gets drowsy he leans his head on the chest and dozes off, waking with a start as Napoleon leaves Moscow, or Alexander reaches Babylon.

We must open that chest. Its stout rope handle smell of oakum, its battered exterior betrays its history knocking ‘round the seven seas in more than one forecastle. We should like to see what’s inside. The hand-hammered strap hinges gently protest but the boy turns back the lid. I’ve read in William James that smells quicken sure remembrance—well, they are here in urgent suggestions of far Cathay, the Moluccas, of the Celebes and other spice islands. The old people call it “cassia,” though we say cinnamon; this chest must have brought home cassia on occasion: at any rate its lined with strips of red cedar and San Domingo mahogany and sandal wood. It has fragrance when opened that to me is pleasant, though pungent and pervasive.

The boy explores the contents while his father holds the lamp. A broken backed leather bound Bible, with s’s that look like f’s, an old log book, some maps and charts, a volume of town records, a bunch of yellow letters tied with a faded blue linen rag, a copy of Pilgrim’s Progress, a Bodwich’s Navigator and a box that used to hold a sextant. These and some sea shells from the south seas, (the boy holds one to his ear to hear the throbbing ocean), a few small nuggets of gold from California, more books—a lot of junk, so the boy thought—then. Now—with reverence he closes the lid realizing that the chest is empty—except for memories.


Our ancestor, Thomas Sr. stayed on, as the old records show, was often fined for formulating “violent utterance,” and was elected to offices of trust in the town. A house that he built in 1660 still stands, older than any in Plymouth, humble but respectful. From that day to this his descendents have held such positions as were in the gift of their fellow citizens of the citizens of the township assembled in that pure democracy known as the “town meeting,” an institution which persisted until a couple of decades ago and was, next to Thanksgiving, the great high day of my young life. (The year I left the village for a somewhat belated college training, I was nominated for town clerk. Such things were in the family tradition.)

It’s time to get back to Pilgrim’s Progress. I was taught by precept and by example to love books. My first love was Pilgrim’s Progress. I remember it first as the book, the only one except the Bible, that was available for Sunday use. It had in it a few pictures—one of the Holy City that I often looked at after our mother died. (I was five then.) Another picture, a steel engraving, showed Christians passing through the Valley of the Shadow. The very word hobgoblin will chill my spine, to this hour. That valley was beset with them—hobgoblins. I was afraid to look yet could not forbear.

Father would read by the hour. After mother died his loneliness made him my companion. Night after night he would read me to sleep. Weeknights it was history, some poetry like Milton, stories from the Youth’s Companion, but chiefly history. That and stories that he had heard his grandfather tell, Indians, the ‘Red Coats,’ whaling—no end of that from Father and all his cronies (friends, I should say they were a dignified lot, mostly).


The Sabbath was a long and weary day. Red socks that scratched like nettles, a Scotch kilt, a stiff collar, in these one went to Sunday school (after the one leisurely breakfast of the week, when we always had muffins—all I could eat—instead of the pancakes of week day, of which I tired—“nothin’ but buckwheat.”) After nine thirty Sunday school came eleven o’clock Church that lasted always an hour and a half. I sat, or squirmed through it, beside my father. Almost always when I got home there was a lickin’ for not sitting still. (One Sunday I happened to sit where I could see the minister’s daughter and thought that I could do what she did. I followed my exemplar; when we got home I was whipped with unusual severity. After that I made my own behavior patterns.)


--> I learned the Bible not only from Sunday reading and Sunday school and long passages read in Church but chiefly, I surmise, from morning prayers which came immediately after breakfast every day of the year, rain or shine, sickness or health, feast or famine. Breakfast over, father got the big Bible and read a short passage; the family, the hired man, the kitchen servant (an old Indian), all knelt down and father prayed; some of his phrases come back to me, often “using the Lord’s mercies and not abusing them.” I know something about the great liturgies of the saints; his phrases thrill me still. He knew the diction of the Bible; it dignified his speech. My older brother who was the support of father’s old age died one morning just before breakfast time, after the meal (such as it was) father called the family together and read the forty-sixth Psalm—“God is our refuge and strength . . . therefore we will not fear” clear to the end. . . “The God of hosts is with us,” knelt down and without a quaver in his voice commended us to “God’s gracious mercy and protection.” Since then, and more than once, I have heard that benediction on the lips of the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury in his vast cathedral. Lord Davidson, like the present Archbishop, was born in a Scottish manse and had “the liturgical gift” but the accents of that Puritan father whose unwavering faith found Holy Scripture its ready vehicle of expression are the ones that echo through the temple of my spirit.

Charles Henry Halsey | Obituary

The Southampton Press,
Wednesday, August 15, 1906

Charles Henry Halsey

Last Thursday, at five o’clock in the morning, another of our oldest inhabitants passed away at the ripe age of 73 years and 10 months, 72 of which were spent in this village. Mr. Halsey was born in New York city, where his father, Captain Harry Halsey, pursued his trade of mason.

Although not taking an active part in village and church affairs officially, Mr. Halsey maintained an interest in both and was always interested in the ways and means looking to success in all undertakings affecting each. A life-long member of the Presbyterian church, Mr. Halsey was consistent in his belief and led the life of a true christian. Genial and kindly in his associations with his fellow men, he was universally respected and leaves to his family and friend an honorable memory.

Mr. Halsey was descended from one of the Colonial families and was eight in line from Thomas Halsey, 1640: Daniel, Daniel, Henry, Jesse, Charles Fithian, Captain Harry, Charles Henry.

The deceased was the son of Captain Harry and Eliza Halsey, and was born October 10th, 1830. He married Melvina D., daughter of Thomas Terry, December 24th, 1863. She died June 2, 1887, of pneumonia, aged 43 years. Four children were born to them: Harry Thomas, deceased; Lizzie May, wife of Edward P. White; Abigail Fithian, and Jesse, who survive.

The funeral with was held at his late residence at two o’clock Saturday afternoon was largely attended. Rev. R. S. Campbell, D.D. conducting the services. Internment in new cemetery.


by Jesse Halsey

“They heard not the voice of Him that spake to me.”

{Jack Gardner [is a] soldier who joins church on return because of sunset experience; boy at the wood-pile.}

Hash—Popui; Webster in one of his definitions of hash, frankly says “A mess.”

Not to tarry over definition—a best this is, but popui—with sauce or without, a hash of experience. No horse meat, we trust—though we can testify it’s not so bad when you don’t know it. We had a sausage factory improvised in Siberia during the War, supposedly and actually we used reindeer meat, but I have a suspicion that ex cavalry equines go in at times, rabbits (arctic hares that is), and when one is skun a mongrel Eskimo dog looks just the same and if you don’t know it—tastes the same or similar. (I have eaten snakes in Japan, didn’t know the difference, thinking they were eels—which I catch thru the ice on Long Island, skin and fry—a delectable morsel.)

Why this dietetic metaphor—I can’t say; we started with hash. And this is just a sample here and there out of an oldster’s reminiscences of things grave and gay; res sacra and res secularia, unrelated likely to any logic, but tied into the stream of life for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, till death doth part soul and body and memory fades out of fructifies into heavenly harvest—or hellish (most hells of any gripping reality to men since Dante are constructed of memories).

But to get on; or rather to go back. Some one asked Duncan Spaeth, coach of the Princeton Crew why it was that rowing was his favorite sport—“Only thing I know where by looking back you can get ahead.” (Parenthesis, no two. The very time that Henry Ford called all history “bunk” he, nonetheless, was putting little concave mirrors on the front of the drivers [side] so he could see the road behind; that’s the only way to drive safely to at least glance on the road behind.)

With this recurring justification or alibi or reminiscence, we start again. A new England kitchen, big fireplace, brick oven, Saturday night and baked beans and brown bread. A red damask spic and span table cloth on a square walnut table; four persons seated. Kerosene lamp, flickers from the smoldering fireplace; the lazy hum of the tea kettle, now that the tea is brewed. A boy maybe twelve, and his older sister back to the wall, facing the fire; bewildered father at one end of the table, elderly aunt at the other.

Melvina Terry Halsey, 1842-1887
Father seemed old to the boy whose mother was dead, he himself as one born out of due time; father seemed old, he was old, looked old, felt old (rheumatism; its antidote a jug of hard cider with whittlings of barberry in it; the boy often went a mile down the lane to Uncle Harvey's barberry for twigs and bark for the decoction). Mother had died, quite young, when boy was five or less; father lived ever under its shadow; older sisters always thought that if father had been less stubborn (loyal) and had the new doctor who had come fresh from Ann Arbor and never lost a case of pneumonia, likely mother would have lived--who knows.

Aunt Gussie’s (her husband father's brother, she was mother's sister) husband, Uncle Will, our favorite out of a baker's dozen, at least, of uncles, had taken the boy, od six, his adult brother (and a neighbor's boy of fiveLewis Hildrethon a clamming expedition. One horse box wagon, two wash tubs with ropes attached and down to Sebonac "gut" where the tide cuts in and out between the big bay and the cold spring, scallop bondRam Island and other ramifying creeks. (They say cricks down east, our way.) . . .

The men go out on the flats and beyond, the crop is plentiful and the tubs soon filled—a long hour or so—the boys play on the shore, shells and stones in many shapes and colors collected and arranged, and houses built and paddling in the lapping wash of the tiny waves; swimming lessons will come later when the men get back. Uncle Will is nearing the shore, crossing the channel, when he throws up his hands and flounders in the tide rip. The boys think he is playing a trick to amuse them. (He was always up to making them laugh—our favorite uncle.) He goes down “for the third time” as the saying goes and Lewis says (I can hear his lisp now), “I guess he’s gone down to look for his hat.” Alarmed, they begin to run up and down the beach wafting their coats like the old folks do when they sight a whale, shouting till finally Harry comes slowly thru the teeming water but fast he can, reaching the flat he kicks off the tub handle half of it, thus free from the rope and tub he plunges in the deep water of the gut and though the tide has carried tub and body far into the inlet he reaches the tub, now empty, tied to uncle Will and brings the body to the shore; the boys following the shoreline come to the place and stand helpless by while Harry rolls the body on the tub trying to extract the water from the lungs. (No Red Cross training in those days; only sailor’s methods.) Some furtive clam diggers from another township across the bay whose sloop is hidden behind Ram Island, hearing the boys’ shouts finally come and they and Harry work on half an hour without avail. The boy hears his brother now, across the intervening half century plus, as Harry lifts our uncle’s lifeless body into the one horse farm wagon, carefully bedded with dry seaweed from the shore—a fitting coach for an old whaler, but still (brothers sob) it seems inappropriate for a man just entering middle life. The long slow drive home, Harry and the boys on the seat, the body in the wagon shrouded in the horse blanket. The boys eat the lunch—wondering why Harry doesn’t. (They were six and five.) We stop at the first house from the shore and tell Cap’n ‘Lias (White), he saddles his horse and rides to the village to find Father, who like the elder brother of the parable only in this one regard was “in the field,” after going to tell his sister-in-law and her daughter, joins us at the foot of the lane as we come up to the house.

No professional morticians in those days—not there at least—and old Aunt Libbie who had ushered us all into the world and our parents before us—Aunt Libbie takes over. The boy at her direction goes across the street to Father’s barn to show the men where to find the rough pine plank 48’’ x 6’ on which his mother had been “laid out” some months before; stored up there in the hay mow (the east end where a great round shiny ships spar tied the hand hewn oak rafters together. What a job for a boy—or boys, for “Little Lewis” went along, too. (He died the next year.) But that’s another story; we wander too far; let’s get back to the kitchen table. There are shadows in the room you see; not of westerning sun’s making for the flicker of the fireplace logs—Father at one end of the table, Aunt Gussie at the other, going their best for the others’ sake to be cheerful.

. . . No levity; but much wisdom in the meagre conversation. Meagre is the gossip ("Gossip" says father, who studies the dictionary and knew his Latin from Academy days, "'Gossip' was once a good word akin to Gospel"--let's make it that and when some really unpleasant sure enough bit of unsavory morsel of truth filtered in, Father would say, "As Biney (his wife, my mother) used to say, 'Maye, for we all have a crook in the elbow.'" Then he would add as was his Scriptural custom, "Charity covereth a multitude of sins."