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WISER NEWSLETTER

Volume 8 Issue 9                                                                                   September 2003

RESEARCH FINDINGS

Lot 55 of Cortland County (Cuyler Township) and Lot 45 (just north of Lot 55) of Onondaga County (Fabius Township) are where the Wisers, Babcocks, Crandalls, Schellingers and Albros lived in the early 1800s.  Please read about the wonderful road trip of Richard and Hilarie Albro and imagine what life might have been like for our ancestors living there without the conveniences of today. 

 

Date: Sunday, September 7, 2003

 

Richard and Hilarie Albro ventured up on Morgan Hill today to seek out the locations of the old homesteads of James Albro and his son, Joseph Albro [it may be that both homesteads belonged to James Albro.  In the 1855 map, one belonged to Jas. Albro and the other belonged to J. Albro.  Both pieces may have been involved in the 1865 lawsuit discussed in the March 2002 Wiser Newsletter against the heirs of James Albro].  The trek took 1 1/2 hours due to the conditions of the roads, but it was pure bliss!  It was as if we were in another world in thousands of acres of hardwoods, pines and sunlight that danced through the forests. 

 

We started from Tully, New York and headed east on Route 80 to Markham Hollow Road, then south until we arrived at Labrador Hollow, just north of Labrador Pond.  We turned left to cross the hollow and then south on Route 91 until we reached Shackham Road where we headed east up the hill.  Shackham Road is paved, but poorly paved.  After about 4 miles on Shackham, we turned right onto Hurley Road and this is where the real adventure began and the start of narrow, gravel roads that are domed in the middle and tough on the exhaust system of the car! 

 

About 2 miles down Hurley Road we turned south on to Morgan Hill Road and after about 4 miles, turned east on Eaton Hill Road.  After studying the 1855 Cortland County map hanging on the wall at the Cortland Historical Society for a number of years and researching current day roads, it is on Eaton Hill Road that we believe that James and his son, Joseph Albro lived and worked the land.  We believe Joseph’s property was on Eaton Hill Road right at the point where Eaton Hill Road turns directly south and heads into Tripoli Corners at the junction of West Keeney Road. James’ property is believed to be just about 300 feet SW of Joseph where Eaton Hill Road turns from the north to NE.   See an 1855 map just below showing where their property is located.

 

 

Unfortunately, we did not find any evidence of either James or Joseph's property or any evidence of James or Sabra (his wife) Albro's gravesites.  We have spent many years along with Ron Wiser trying to find the gravesites of James and Sabra and were hoping to find them on our journey up Morgan Hill.  James first wife, Lydia Corey, and their infant, Ezra, are buried in Cemetery #9 that is located in the parking lot of Labrador Ski Mt. on Route 91 approximately 5 miles north of Truxton, NY.  There are no stones for James and Sabra at Cemetery #9 and we had hoped that we could find their gravesites up by their home on the hill.  It is much closer (by way of the crow flying) to Keeney Settlement and Keeney Settlement Cemetery than it is to Route 91 and Cemetery #9, but we don't think there were any roads heading to Keeney Settlement from the location of James and Joseph's properties.  James and Sabra are not buried at Keeney Settlement Cemetery either or at least there is no indication that they were.

 

We did find a clearing where we believe that Joseph’s property was.  We walked the land and felt a strong connection thinking that is was possible that this is where our ancestors lived and worked.  There were three trails leading out of the north end of this clearing.  One headed east and if it continued to West Keeney Road, would have brought you out just south of Keeney Settlement.  It was only a path, however, and not big enough for a horse and buggy.

 

Another path led north and the other headed NW.  It is possible that our family members might have been buried back on one of the trails, but it's very dense in there and if the graves were only marked with smaller stones or a wooden cross, I doubt that we will ever find them.  It was truly an experience being there, however, and although absolutely beautiful in the warmth of this September day, it made us wonder how our ancestors ever survived up there in the winter months.  All of this land up to this point is NY State land. 

We then headed south on Eaton Hill Road towards Tripoli Corners.  The top 1/3 of this part of the mountain is still very dense with hardwoods and pines.  About 1/4 of the way down the mountain is a locked gate marked "Private Property" on the east side of the road.  We could see some sort of structure from the road, but no electric lines run to this place.  1/3 of the way down Eaton Hill Road there is a gravel road that runs NE and SW and now has high-powered electric lines.  Richard tells me that this gravel road runs just to the south of Labrador Ski Mountain on Route 91, so it's possible that this road was in existence when James took Lydia and Ezra off the hill and buried them at Cemetery #9. 

 

Continuing down Eaton Hill Road the land started to clear to the east at this point and there were two men in their pickup trucks firing shotguns for target practice.  Just south of this the land is being farmed by Martin Young of Tripoli Corners.  We were told by 4 young men who were hiking north on Eaton Hill Road that Martin Young lives on the old Job Whitmarsh farm on West Keeney Road just north of Tripoli Corners.  The young men also told us that they were no current homes on the mountain and that they knew of no gravesites, but had seen many wells over the mountains while hiking up there.  After about 1 mile of hayfields, the eastern side of the road turned into cornfields and about 1 mile north of Tripoli Corners the view opens up to see the entire Cuyler Valley and it was a most magnificent site! 

 

If you ever venture up on Morgan Hill Road to find James and Joseph's land, it is much closer to start from Tripoli Corners and head north on Eaton Hill Road than it is to head west on Shackham Road from Route 91.  However, you will miss some magnificent, untouched country if you don't start from Route 91! 

 

Just before reaching Tripoli Corners while still on Eaton Hill Road, there's a farm on the east side with an historic marker out front that reads 'Griswold Farm'.  Almost directly across from this farm is a road called Bennett Road. 

 

Once we reached Tripoli Corners, we headed north on West Keeney Road towards Keeney and Keeney Settlement Cemetery.  We found another gravel road just north of Keeney Settlement Cemetery that is marked 'Access by written permission only'.  We did not venture up this road, but surmise that it's possible that if this road continues up the hill that it could lead just north of James Albro's property. 

 

So, the mystery of James and Sabra and their burial sites continue.  Even though we found nothing up on the hill this day, we came down from the hill feeling a sense of connection with our ancestors and a better understanding of what their lives were like.  We also enjoyed some of the most beautiful country that one can find anywhere!  -Written by Hilarie Albro

 

 

OBITUARIES

Please accept our condolences to the families who recently lost family members.

Syracuse NY Post-Standard, 11 Sep 2003; Blanche E. Bryan September 10, 2003 Blanche E. Bryan (Anna Bell Murdent Davis, John Scott Murdent, Melissa Ann Albro Murdent, Sabra S. Morse Albro, Aletha Wiser Morse, Benjamin Wiser Sr.) of Fabius, past away with her family at her side at Van Duyn Nursing Home September 10, 2003. Mrs. Bryan was a member of the Fabius Baptist Church, was a lifelong resident of Fabius, worked at Fabius Central School several years as a Bus driver, also in the library, in the last years lived with her daughter, Janet Christoffel in Jamesville. Graduated Fabius High, Cortland Normal, attended CCBI. Survived by a son, James A. (Ruth) Bryan of Manlius; two daughters: Janet B. (Walter) Christoffel of Jamesville, Jane B. (George) Oney of Apalachin, eight Grandchildren, 16 Great-grandchildren, one Great-Great-Grandchild, and several nieces and nephews. Services: 11 a.m. Saturday, September 13, 2003 at the Fabius Baptist Church Fabius. Burial Fabius Evergreen Cemetery Fabius. Friends may call Friday 4 to 8 p.m. at the Hall Funeral Home, 6033 Cherry Valley Rd., LaFayette.

 

Deseret News, Salt Lake City, UT, Monday, 26 May 2003; Vonda Hannah Stott Bogh, 87, Centerfield, UT passed away May 24, 2003, in Mayfield, Utah. She was born June 9, 1915, in Ashton, ID to James William and Della Alberta Cunningham (Mary Olive Wiser Cunningham, John McCormick Wiser, Samuel Wiser, Benjamin Wiser) Stott. She married Cleo Lyman Bogh Oct 7, 1936, in the Manti LDS Temple. He preceded her in death June 21, 1985. She was an active member of the LDS Church, serving in various church callings. She worked in the school lunch program more than 20 years. She is survived by children, Diane (Eugene) Funk, Gunnison, Sharon (Bryce) Christensen, Levan, Pauline (Paul) Christensen, Redmond, Barbara (Robert) Jones, Moapa, NV; 13 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; four great great-grandchildren; brothers, Don (LaNiece) Stott, Manti, Gail (Beth) Stott, Richfield; and sisters-in-law, Thelma Stott, Jean Stott, Thora Stott, Lillian Stott, Amy Gregerson, Lajune Leishman, Clara Powell, Vera Bogh. She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Cleo; son, Keith Roy; granddaughter, Amanda Peterson; and brothers, Leon, Eldon, Girven, Ben, Laurel Stott. Services will be Tues. May 27, 2003, 12 noon, Centerfield LDS Ward Chapel. Burial, Mayfield Cemetery. Directors, Magleby-Jensen Mortuary, Salina and Gunnison. Our family would like to thank the staff and nurses of the Mayfield Community Care Center for the kind and loving care of our mother.

 

 

POSTSCRIPT

Once again, thanks for any suggestions in regards to our family newsletter.  Please contact me at or at 6 Baton Rouge, Roswell, NM  88201, or at (505) 623-2534.