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Seneca County, NY

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Seneca Falls
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph M. GIFFORD of 60 Troy St. today celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. They are the oldest married couple living together in Seneca County and so far as is known in Central N.Y.

Arrangements for a small anniversary celebration were made by their daughter-in-law, Mrs. Fred Gifford. Only the family attended. Mr. & Mrs. Gifford were married in Medon (sic), near Rochester, and for 54 years have made their home in Seneca Falls. Mrs. Gifford said that there is not a person living who attended their wedding. Mr. Gifford is in his 90th year, being born in Bern, Albany County April 12, 1836. Mrs. Gifford is in her 87th year. She was born in Medon (sic; Mendon), Monroe County July 17, 1839.

Mr. Gifford for more than 30 years was employed in the old Ovid St. plant of the Goulds Manufacturing Co., and is retired on a pension by that company. Mrs. Gifford was formerly Miss Mary IRVING.

Despite their advanced age, both are in good health and both have retained all their faculties with the exception of hearing. When the weather permits Mrs. Gifford makes one to two trips downtown each day. Mr. Gifford walked to work more than a mile away, he walked that trip Friday. Mrs. and Mrs. Gifford are both members of the First Presbyterian Church of which Mr. Gifford was Sexton for many years after leaving the plant of the Goulds Co.

They have one son, Fred Gifford of Seneca Falls, two grandchildren, Vernon Wheat of Seneca Falls and Milton Wheat of Buffalo and one grandson Ellsworth Wheat of this place. [Note from transcriber: Am not sure perhaps this meant a great grandson of Seneca Falls or does it mean Auburn?]

From The Auburn Citizen, Monday, January 11, 1926, page 8
Submitted by Mary Gilmore, History Room of Seymour Library, Auburn, NY.


"Old accounts describe the cold year, 1816. January was very mild, many people allowed their fires to go out. February was also mild. March from the first to the sixth, was windy, but the rest of the month was lamb-like. April came in warm, but became colder, and by the first of May, the temperature was like that of winter, with plenty of snow and ice. In May the young buds were frozen dead; it formed an inch thick on ponds and streams, and it became too late to raise crops.

June was a very cold month. Frost and ice were common. Almost every green thing was killed, all fruit destroyed. Snow fell 10 inches deep in Vermont, with a three inch fall in the interior of NEW YORK STATE. All summer long the wind blew steadily from the North in blasts laden with ice.

July came in with ice and snow. On July fourth ice as thick as window glass formed throughout New England, NEW YORK, and some parts of Pennsylvania.

August proved the worst of all. There was great privation, and thousands of persons would have perished in this country had it not been for the abundance of fish and game.

In this vicinity, provisions could not be bought. Even that which had been intended for seed was used. Potatoes were peeled so as to leave the eyes in the peeling to save for planting. Many families had no wheat flour for months. Molasses was made from pumpkins , and every known substitute for food was used.

People could not get money, and they dared not fall in debt. The person of a debtor at that time, could be taken and confined in jail, according to a law repealed in 1821."

Note: What was the reason for this change? A volcano in Indonesia, (Tambora) erupted in 1815 sending spews of ash into the air for three months. It created a band of dust that circled the globe for one year, closing off the ultraviolet rays of the sun, so necessary for plant growth. The people did not know...or for that matter understand wind, weather or volcanic action can cause global disturbances. Now we know better. 80,000 people died of starvation as the result of the Tambora eruption. It is the WORST RECORDED eruption to cause death in history.

From A History of the Village of Waterloo, New York: and thesaurus of related facts. Waterloo, NY: Waterloo Library and Historical Society, 1949. Page 72.
Contributed by Laurel Auchampaugh, Owasco Town Historian.

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