Monday, October 22, 2007

Billy and Jim

Fulton Journal: May 8, 1885

William Fields and James McCloskey have fitted up the first floor of Abbott’s brick building in good shape for a saloon and are ready for business. The walls and ceilings of the room are decorated, the bar, mirror and fixtures are first-class, and everything will be done to make the place first class in every way. They invite all their friends to come and see them.

The city council has granted four saloon licenses. The license fee is $500, making a total of $2,000 and as it is payable in advance it is collected and safely deposited by the City Treasurer. Three of these saloons are located on three of the corners at the intersection of Cherry (10th A.) and River (3rd) streets. The other saloon will be kept at the King’s House.

Wednesday, Ed. Vervarin, a wandering, working, periodical drunkard sixty years old, came to town, got drunk, talked loud and bad, was arrested, taken before a justice and fined $4.50 which he paid. The same old party was arrested on a like charge a year ago.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Irish in Fulton: 1860

The 1860 census shows that although most of the people who were part of Fulton’s very early years had been born in the United States, a large ethnic portion came from Ireland. At least 250 people are listed as having been born in Ireland. Most of the occupations for men were either laborer or daylaborer but other occupations were drayman, blacksmith, newsboy (age 25), woodsawyer, mason, miller, and farmer. For females it was servant, seamstress, housekeeper, or domestic.
There were three Pat Hurley’s: Pat Hurley and his wife, Mary, Pat Hurley and his wife, Bridgett, and Pat Hurley and his wife Lutetia.
First names for females showed twenty women named Mary with the next most popular being Catherine. Bridgett, Ann, and Margrett were next in popularity. Two women were named Honora, one married to John Crowley and the other to James Cotter. The most unusual name for a female born in Ireland but living in Fulton was Saboyla. A wife was usually listed without an occupation but there were two Irish families with two incomes: Pat Collins laborer and his wife, Mary, housekeeper and Pat Cusic and his wife Sarah, housekeeper.
Most Irish attended the Immaculate Conception Church formed at an early point in Fulton’s history. A building was erected in 1862. Bent’s History of Whiteside County states, “More teams can be seen standing at this church on Sunday, than at all the other churches in the city combined.”
Last names in 1860 match some current names in Fulton. In 1860, there were the Bennett’s: William Bennett and his wife, Ellen, John Bennett and his wife, Eliza, and Pat Bennett and his wife, Jane. Daly’s lived here: John Daly and his wife, Catherine, John Daly and his wife, Mary, Thomas Daly and his wife, Ellen, John Daley and his wife, Mary. John Considine and his wife Hannah have relatives with connections in Fulton. Was Bridgett Fields related to Gene Fields or John Loftis to Don Loftus? Was Bridgett Cain related to the Blys?
And I am most interested in knowing about those Irish people, John Flack, miller, and his wife Nancy.

Asylum Children

“Asylum children” are detailed as a social practice in two issues of the Fulton Journal in May of 1878.
Mr. E. Wright was an agent for the New York Juvenile Asylum and he arrived in Fulton on a Friday morning with six boys for whom homes were wanted. With little difficulty he found homes for the boys. They were taken by the following people: J.E. Jordan, Albany, one; Mr. Huffman, Garden Plain, one; Ira S. Burch, Garden Plain, two, one for himself and one for his mother; Hiram Parker, one; and one by a gentleman living in Albany whose name remains unidentified. The next Journal issue said that Mr. Wright was in Fulton again and Ira S. Burch of Garden Plain returned his boy to him because he was subject to fits. This time Mr. Wright brought with him a brother and sister who were taken by a Mr. Jordan living a few miles from Albany. Mr. Jordan kept the girl and was looking for a home for the boy.
The conditions upon which the children were apprenticed were:
1. Each child may be taken upon trial for a period of two weeks.
2. At the end of the trial period, both employer and child must meet the agent and if all parties were suited, the child was then to be apprenticed until of age, boys (21) and girls (18). If any of the parties should not be suited, the child must be returned to the agent, but all cases must be kept through the trial period.
3. The amount required to be paid towards the passage expenses of each child was $12.
4. The articles of indenture provide:
a) that the child be cared for in sickness and in health with proper medical treatment, food and clothing. b) instructed in some business, c) sent to school four months in each year until it can read and write and cipher through compound interest; d) trained in moral and religious precepts and habits; e) paid in money at the end of the term of apprenticeship, boys $100 and girls $50.
5. Each employer must make a written report concerning his apprentice semi-annually to the agent in reference to its health, conduct, attendance at school and advancement in the several branches of study and also to notify the agent in case of desertion.
The children from New York were generally under 12 years of age and had been put in the asylum upon the complaint of a parent or guardian. They were children on the “orphan trains” who were sent to the west to work on farms in hopes that their lives would be better. Since they were paid for their work, they were not considered indentured.
Some social scientists label this as the beginning of foster care.
Oh, the stories to be told…

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Tea Party

Fulton Journal: Oct. 3, 1879

The Presbyterian Church in Fulton in the 1870’s was a hub of social activity. This Fulton Journal article highlighted a gathering with children.

“The Baby’s Tea Party in the basement of the Presbyterian church last Friday afternoon and evening was a pleasing entertainment. Thirty children under three years of age were present. Their names and ages were as follows:
Jimmie Bennett, 6 mo; Louis H. Bally, 5 mo. Pearl Bryning, 17 mo; Ulah M. Chapman 3 yrs; Nora Almira Conly, 2 mo; Ruth Dutcher 4 mo; Helen Downy, 3 years; Florence E. Fay, 3 yrs. Hettie Filkins, 9 mo; Charlie Herrold, 3 yrs; Roy Herrold, 1 yr; Baby Hardin, 6 mo; Jane Kirk, 7 mo; Laura Loomis, 9 mo; Helen Lachmund, 1 yr; Baby Larue, 2 mo; U.S. Grant Morgan, 3 yrs; Louis Ehrich Morgan, 7 mo; Ivan Mitchell, 6 mo; Mary Mitchell, 3 yrs; Irene Mitchell, 9 mo; Ruth Parker, 7 mo; Baby Reed, 5 mo; Ruby Summers, 13 mo; Ruby Smith, 2 yrs and 6 mo; Harry Smith, 2 yrs; Spencer Williams, 20 mo; Nellie Curtiss Kinney, 3 yrs; George Rogers Kinney, 5 mo; Maud Edith Kitel, 7 mo.
A very pleasing feature of the “tea party” was the arrangement of fifteen of these children around one low table fitted up for them.
A large company of parents and friends of the children participated in the social features of the occasion. Oysters, peaches, ice cream and cake were served. Jennie and Arthur Griffith gave recitations in their usual happy style, for the entertainment of those present.”