Edward Lincoln Washer, Photographer, 1860-1943

Edward Lincoln Washer. Not only did this cousin of mine have a distinguished middle name, but he was a talented professional photographer in the Scranton area.

edward lincoln washer photo

This is a “cabinet card” photograph by Edward L. Washer. Cabinet cards were thin photographic prints mounted on cardboard. They peaked in popularity in the 1880s. (I found the above photo at this blog, but don’t know where the picture is from originally.)

A cousin on my Secor side sent me these three Edward Lincoln Washer photos:


These pictures are from his family collection. They weren’t labeled, so it’s anybody’s guess who the subjects are. Source: R. Harper

Up until 1896, Edward had a photo gallery at Dunmore Corners. Around that time, he moved to Olyphant and set up his business there. The week before the paper announced the move, he lost some equipment in a Dunmore barn fire:

edward washer fire
The Scranton Tribune, 13 Nov 1896, Fri, Page 7, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/18038025/edward_washer_fire_in_barn/

He eventually moved back to Dunmore.

Edward Washer of Dunmore passed through town with his photograph wagon a few days ago and wanted to take our quaint, old-fashioned town along with him in the shape of photos. (Hamlinton, PA) – The Scranton Republican,  07 Jun 1902, Sat,  Page 6

“Some early photographers would travel by wagon among rural villages and farms to get the business of customers who were too far away from the larger towns and cities where the fixed studios operated.” Source

I’ve also seen a homicide case where Edward Washer was called to testify regarding the crime scene photos he’d taken!

I only have time for a super quick post, so that’s all she wrote for now.

See also: Anything to Get the Shot: Itinerant Photographers 

Edward Lincoln Washer is my 1st cousin, 4x’s removed.

Per wikitree’s relationship calculator:

Edward Washer and Alison McClintock are both descendants of Abraham Washer.

1. Edward is the son of Amos Washer 
2. Amos is the son of Abraham Washer 
This makes Abraham the grandfather of Edward.

1. Alison is the daughter of [private father] 
2. [Private] is the son of Clarence McClintock 
3. Clarence is the son of Mary Louise Secor 
4. Mary is the daughter of Francis D. Secor 
5. Francis is the son of Dianna (Washer) Secor 
6. Dianna is the daughter of Abraham Washer 
This makes Abraham the fourth great grandfather of Alison.

“Saxey” Secor and the Gravity Railroad

1904 Reunion Gravity Railroad The_Scranton_Republican_Wed__Mar_6__1929_c

This is a great find for me because it features quotes from one of  my direct grandcestors —  quotes drawn from the author’s memory — no tape recorders circa 1860. 🙂

I was searching for info about the Gravity Railroad where my 3rd great grandfather Edward J. Secor worked, and I found an account of an A.C. Snyder’s first day working on the railroad in the early 1860s, under the tutelage of “Saxey” Secor.

There were two Secors nicknamed Saxey that I know of, father and son. It seems that Saxey was a not-uncommon nickname in the 1800s.

I think Mr. Snyder was writing about the senior Saxey, my 4th great grandfather Allen Secor, since he refers to his new boss as “the old man” throughout the article. Allen’s son Edward, who also went by the nickname Saxey, would have only been in his early 30s at the time of these events.

1904 Reunion Gravity Railroad The_Scranton_Republican_Wed__Mar_6__1929_c
1904 1st Reunion of Gravity Railroad Employees. Lead up articles to the reunion say that Great-great-great Granddad Edward J. Secor was expected to attend, so there’s a good chance he’s in this picture somewhere!

From The Citizen, (Honesdale, PA), 11 Sep 1912:

“Much has been printed about the coal cars and passenger cars that ran on the gravity railroads, but nothing has yet appeared regarding what were called “the trucks,” which were low flat cars for carrying logs.

A. C. Snyder, president of the Gravity Employees’ Association, left the lumber woods of New York state in the early [18]60’s, when he was a kid, and coming to Dunmore, our neighboring borough, obtained employment with “Saxey” Secor.

Mr. Secor, who lives near the foot of No. 6, was the contractor employed on the Pennsylvania gravity to load logs upon “the trucks” and bring them into this valley. Mr. Snyder, describing his first day on the road, as well as subsequent experiences as a Gravity hand, has written the following:

“We left the head of the No. 6 plane at 6 o’clock in the morning and went up the famous Moosic mountains. When we arrived at the head of No. 11, which was the last ascending plane on the mountain, the old man (Mr. Secor), said, ‘Now, my boy, we have 14 miles of a ride without the aid of wire ropes and steam engines.’

Away we went around short curves, and the first thing I knew we were in the No. 11 tunnel. When we came out in the daylight again, my hat settled down on my head and I felt great relief. That a train of cars could run through a hole like that was a stunner to me.

On we went, passing scrub oaks, huckleberry bushes and rattlesnake dens. In about an hour and a half we arrived at the foot of the No. 12 plane. There we found about half a mile of coal cars ahead of us.

While lying there, waiting for the coal to be hoisted up the plane, I said to the old man, “This is the way to railroad, for there is no stopping for wood and old ties along the road.’ He replied, ‘You have not seen it all yet.’

I wanted to hook on [I think he means hook one train car to another] but the old man said, ‘Boy, you get out of the way or you will lose your fingers, and then you won’t be good for anything.’

I climbed up on the little cars. One of the other boys hooked on and away we went up the hill.

On arriving at the top, we took another road, which was called the branch. This line ran to the foot of No. 19 on the light track, [at Lake Jones] now known as Lake Ariel.

An antique canthook
An antique canthook

When we were about half way over the branch, the train stopped along a big pile of logs and props.

The old man picked up a canthook, handed it to me, and said, ‘Now, boy, we don’t want any wood or old ties, but we want those logs and props rolled on those trucks in short order.’

I took the canthook and looked at it as if I had never seen one before, but I had used one ever since I was big enough. My father was a lumberman and I was at home with the canthook.

When the trucks were loaded, the chains were drawn over the top, the binders pulled down and fastened, and we proceeded on our trip.

On arriving at No. 19, we stopped for dinner in front of Potter’s Hotel. After dinner, we started out for home.

When we arrived at the head of 21, Mr. Secor said, ‘Boy, you will have 12 miles to sit down; watch me run the trucks and learn all you can about them.’

When we were about 5 miles from the head of 21, we came out of the woods at a little town called Dunnings, and I saw another another railroad across the creek. There was a train with three locomotives standing at the station.

One of the engines was at the wood pile, taking wood, and the pile appeared big enough to save the men the trouble of tearing down fences or picking up old ties. I asked Mr. Secor what road it was, and he said it was the Delware, Lackawanna and Hudson.

Before I could ask any more about the road with the big piles of wood, we were in the woods again, running over trestles, around the stumps and under hanging rock. When we reached Bunker Hill, Mr. Brady came out of his office to measure the logs.

He asked Mr. Secor where he got the ‘beecher’ (meaning me). Mr. Secor answered, ‘That boy is no ‘beecher.’

[What’s a ‘beecher’? I asked my Scranton-area raised cousin Ben if he had any idea, and his guess was: Beecher probably has something to do with Beeches Woods, the whole area that was Covington Township, that divided into Madison (Moscow) and some other townships. The area was known for its stands of beech trees. Another tip from Ben is that beech trees are considered “low value” wood, so maybe that has something to do with the apparently negative connotation of beecher? Just a guess!]

“I got a boarding-house place at the company boarding house at No. 6, which was kept by Alexander Stuart. At 6 o’clock the next morning we went to Bunker Hill.

Mr. Secor said to me, ‘You will go with me to Pittston with the props. The men will unload the trucks at the Darkey mill and then go to No. 12 and load them again.’

The old man took me on the head car so he could show me the country, but all I could see was woods until we arrived at Pittston. I unloaded the props at the mines and returned.

I worked on this train a year and then went on a coal train between Dunmore and Hawley with Edward Secor, son of Allan[sic] Secor.

I ran on this train until the fall of 1866, when I was compelled to leave on account of the cars riding so hard.

The track was nearly all strap iron, spiked on sleepers. After it was used a while it became rough, and it was impossible for me to stand the jarring any longer.”


A.C. Snyder, from “Ninth Reunion of Gravity Employees,” The Citizen, (Honesdale, PA), 11 Sep 1912, Wed, Page 8, digital image, Newspapers.com, accessed Feb 09, 2018, https://www.newspapers.com/image/?spot=17299083 [Public Domain]

Relationship chart – How I’m related to Allen “Saxey” Secor (1804-1882):

Allen is the fourth great grandfather of Alison

  1. Allen Secor is the father of Edward J. Secor
  2. Edward J. Secor is the father of Francis D. Secor
  3. Francis D. Secor is the father of Mary L. Secor
  4. Mary L. Secor is the mother of Clarence McClintock
  5. Clarence McClintock is the father of my dad
  6. Me


The Gentleman Vanishes: What Happened to Zalmon B. Seacord?

I have a hunch that these Seacords are cousins through our Secor line (on the McClintock side)…I haven’t proved the connection yet, but I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re getting there. Note: The name Secor is spelled as Secord, Seacord, Seacor, Sycard, and Sicard, which is said to be the original spelling.

zalmon seacord house
The Zalmon Seacord House – Westchester County Historical Society Zalman Seacord house, southeast corner of Huguenot and Anderson Street, New Rochelle, N.Y.

“Bet if you dug down, he wouldn’t be there.” – A Seacord descendent

Leave it to cousin Ben to send a lead that dropped me down a genealogy rabbit hole yesterday. 🙂 I’m trying to trace our Secor ancestry, but the trail gets murky after our Pennsylvania grandcestor John Secor.

Ben has a DNA match with a cousin whose family tree shows Louisa Seacord, born 1844. That’s a new-to-me name to explore with a possible DNA connection! A quick search around Ancestry for Seacords brought me to the Israel Seacord Cemetery in New Rochelle, N.Y. New Rochelle is a hotspot for Seacords/Secords, so that location isn’t a surprise.

But, Israel? I wondered if it’s a Jewish cemetery. Turns out the cemetery is named after a man, Israel Seacord, who sold that land to the Methodist church. Israel lived next door, where he had his own family burying ground, which eventually merged with the church’s.

israel seacord house
The Israel Seacord House is still standing! [Photo from Flickr]
Back to tracing Louisa Seacord’s family to find a connection to my Pennsylvania Secors– if there is one. On an 1880 census, I see Louisa Seacord living in New Rochelle with her husband, David F. Davids, and an older couple, Darius Seacor and his wife. The presumption would be that Darius is Louisa’s father, especially since that’s what the census says. But…

1880 census census louisa seacord davids
1880 Federal Census, New Rochelle, Westchester, New York; Roll: 946; Page: 19D; Enumeration District: 115

An obituary for Louisa A. Davids says that her father was Zalmon B. Seacord and her mother was Mary Ann Horton. Both of them died young, said the obituary, and Louisa went to live with her uncle Darius, who didn’t have  children of his own. So, Darius was Zalmon’s brother.

Louisa Seacord’s husband, David F. Davids, seems to have been well off; his family owned an ink manufacturing business in New York City. With David at age 40, and Louisa at age 32, there’s no obvious reason that they had to live with Louisa’s aunt and uncle/adoptive parents. They must have had a warm relationship that they all chose to live together in the same house at this stage in their lives.

Then I found this curious 1896 article:

Westchester County: Letters of administration were yesterday granted by Surrogate Silkman to Louisa A. Davids of New Rochelle, upon the estate of her father, Zalmon B. Seacord, who left New Rochelle in 1859 or 1860.

Caleb Horton, an uncle of the administratrix, was the last person she knows who saw her father. He saw him in Poughkeepsie, where Mr. Seacord worked for him as a mason on the Vassar College buildings in 1861. Mr. Horton says he went away from his work, leaving his clothing and tools just as though he intended to return. That was the last any of the family heard of him.

–From The New York Times, 21 Jan 1896, Tue, Page 8.

What on earth? If he really disappeared circa 1860, he would have been 52 years old. And he’d leave behind at least four motherless children, ranging in age from 12 to about 18. Louisa would have been 16 at the time of her father’s disappearance.

I ran some more newspaper searches for Zalmon and found just about nothing, besides a few brief mentions that repeated the basic facts: he disappeared from a work site without a word circa 1860 , and the family never saw or heard from him again.

A search for Darius Seacord turned up this 1907 article:

hugenots bones
Clipped from Buffalo Evening News, 06 Mar 1907, Wed, Page 5

HUGUENOT’S BONES FOUND IN IRON CASKET. Skeleton of Founder of New Rochelle Unearthed by Workmen– Casket Encased in Solid Stone.

While making some excavations in New Rochelle yesterday, workmen uncovered the skeleton of a man believed to have been Bartholomew Lispenard, one of the Huguenot founders of New Rochelle, who fled from La Rochelle in France after the revocation of the edict of Nantes.

The bones, which had been buried 160 years, were found in a mound known as Indian Hill and were encased In solid stone…The Lispenards formerly owned the entire site of New Rochelle lying between the sound and the section now traversed by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad tracks.


Darius Secor, a resident of New Rochelle, 86 years old, examined the bones after they had been removed to the New Rochelle police headquarters. Mr. Secor said he remembered his grandmother, who died at the age of 90, telling of Monsieur Lispenard, who, she said, often visited Indian Hill, which was on his estate, and sat there for hours, gazing out to sea. She said that the aged Huguenot refugee often expressed the wish to be buried between two huge boulders on the hill. Descendants of Lispenard in New York will be notified of the find.

If this were a mystery novel, the coroner would identify the bones as much younger than 160 years, the remains would show signs of foul play, they’d find masonry tools in the casket with “Z.B.S.” carved onto them, and Darius, the 86 year old sleuth, would set about solving the murder of Zalmon B. Seacord. But, nothing like that seems to have happened.

new rochelle
New Rochelle, above Manhattan, courtesy of Google Maps. There’s an Indian Hill Road where the marker is placed.

Anyone ever hear of Zalmon (or Zalamon) Bonnett Seacord of New Rochelle, NY. b. June 19, 1808 married to Mary A. Horton b. April 13, 1813? Word in my family is that he disappeared and went to South America. Curiously, his grave is in New Rochelle, but no dates are on the grave! Bet if you dug down, he wouldn’t be there. –Genealogy.com Forums

Zalmon’s gravestone is in the Israel Seacord Cemetery. From the same descendent:

My oral family history states that Zalmon disappeared shortly after his wife, Mary Ann Horton Seacord died. It seems as if Mary died shortly after the birth of their last child Nathaniel, who was born in December of 1850. There are no records of Nathaniel living beyond 1850, so it seems that he died as an infant or at childbirth.

The stories passed down about Zalmon say he disappeared about that time and went to South America. There is no more information about him. His headstone exists next to his wife, Mary’s grave in New Rochelle, New York. The headstone mysteriously has no dates at all for Zalmon. But Mary’s birth and date are listed on hers.

My personal theory about this is that a family plot was purchased and at the time of Mary’s death she was buried there, but Zalmon, surviving her, had a headstone next to hers for future use. Instead of actually being buried there, he disappeared, leaving the unused plot with an already existing and inscribed headstone. I am very curious to know if there is a way to check the plot for evidence of a coffin buried below the headstone. –  D. Cook

zalmon b seacord probate 1882
New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999 for Zalmon B Seacord, Probate date: 9 Jan 1882, Westchester, N.Y., Letters of Administration, accessed via Ancestry.com.

Regardless of what happened to Zalmon, it looks like his daughter, whose name inspired this search, did pretty well in life.

Special to The New York Times
New Rochelle, NY., March 30, 1915

Mrs. Louisa A. Davids, widow of David F. Davids, a manufacturer of inks in New York City, died suddenly today at her residence in East Main Street, aged seventy-one years. She gave away a fortune to the poor of New Rochelle.

During the civil war, she made clothing for the sick soldiers on Davids Island. She was a direct descendant of Ambrose Sicard, a Huguenot refugee, from La Rochelle, France, who was one of the founders of New Rochelle in 1688. Mrs. Davids was a member of the House Committee of the Huguenot Association and had a prominent part in the Huguenot celebration in New Rochelle in 1913.

From what I gather, Israel Seacord was the grandfather of Zalmon B. Seacord and the great grandfather of Louisa.

israel secord cemetery
A section of the Israel Seacord Cemetery in New Rochelle, New York. Photo from Findagrave.com


The 1920 Wedding of Ethel C. McClintock and Mark H. Berryman

Wow. You can tell that Ethel’s father, T.B., owned a greenhouse business– her 1920 wedding was drenched in flowers. Since news articles published before 1923 are in the public domain, I can share all the blooming details here:

“The bride was radiant in a quaint gown of duchess satin and veil of tulle arranged high in Russian effect and confined with a coronet of orange blossoms. “

From “Society Notes,” (24 Sep 1920), Scranton Republican, Scranton, Pennsylvania (full source at bottom):

“Of exceptional beauty was the wedding of Miss Ethel C. McClintock, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. B. McClintock of Electric street, and Mark H. Berryman, which took place last evening at 8 o’clock in the Green Ridge Baptist church.

The pulpit was completely hidden by a great bank of delicate bougainvillea, palms and cibotium fern, while gorgeous bronze baskets of gladioli in shades of flame and yellow, lavender, wild asters and fern obscured the choir loft. Southern smilax and satin and chiffon ribbons marked the aisles, which were crowded with friends of the bride and groom.

P.J. Bennett, of Pittston, gave a delightful program before the ceremony and played the wedding march from Lohengrin as the wedding party entered the church.

First came the ushers, the bridesmaids, the matron of honor, and then the bride and her father who gave her in marriage. They were met by the groom and the best man. Rev. C. M. Angle read the ceremony.

The bride was radiant in a quaint gown of duchess satin and veil of tulle arranged high in Russian effect and confined with a coronet of orange blossoms. The bodice of her gown was of satin, delicately embroidered In opalescent beads and veiled with Chantilly lace. The train, which hung gracefully from the girdle, was also beautifully embroidered, and the skirt had bouffant draperies of the lace. She carried an immense shower bouquet of bridal roses.

Mrs. David J. Day, a sister of the bride and the matron of honor, wore a splendid gown of shell-pink satin, elaborately embroidered and fashioned with Basque bodice and paneled skirt, and trimmed with narrow picot ribbons. She carried an arm-bouquet of pink roses.

The bridesmaids, Misses Bessie Berryman and Alice Palmer, were gowned alike in creations of silver-blue satin and silver lace. Their flowers were gorgeous bouquets of Ophelia roses.

The groom was attended by his brother Harry Berryman, and the ushers were Harry Dippre and Warren Davies.

A reception followed at the home of the bride. Assisting the bridal party in receiving were the mother of the bride. Mrs. T. B. McClintock. who wore a handsome gown of taupe georgette embroidered in jet with a corsage of bronze autumn flowers, and the mother of the groom, Mrs. Edith Berryman, who was attired in embroidered black satin. Mrs. Clarence McClintock wore a charming gown of blue charmeuse. Mrs. Lee McClintock was attired in black crepe de chene.

The living room and library were transformed into Autumn bowers by palms. ferns, and baskets of dahlias and asters in the Autumn hues. In the dining room, where the bride table was laid, cosmos and roses in white and shades of pink were used with maidenhair fern. Spencer catered.

Among the out-of-town guests were Mr. and Mrs. Bert Thomson, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Thompson, Mrs. Manley Bennett, all of Bath. N. Y.: Charles A. Goudy of Philadelphia and Ralph Bancroft of Plattsburgh, N.Y.

The bride, who is an attractive young woman and an accomplished musician, has among her many wedding gifts a wealth of silver, glass and exquisite china. Mr. Berryman is connected with the Heinz company. Mr. and Mrs. Berryman left for New York and a boat trip along the Jersey coast. Upon their return, they will reside on Electric street.”

View Ethel’s Family Tree

“Society Notes,” (24 Sep 1920), Scranton Republican, Scranton, Pennsylvania, page 7, digital image, accessed Jan 20, 2018, Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/16718197/ethel_c_mcclintock_wedding_description/

“Society Notes,” (24 Sep 1920), Scranton Republican, Scranton, Pennsylvania, page 7, digital image, accessed Jan 20, 2018, Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/16718157/ethel_c_mcclintock_wedding_photo/


“It’s Stone Avenue or nothing!” (But now it’s South Webster.)

1898 Sanborn Map Stone Ave
Sanborn Map Company, “Insurance maps of Scranton, Pennsylvania, including Dunmore. Vol. 2,” (1898), sheet 1595

Did you know that Scranton’s South Webster used to be called Stone Avenue?
My great-great grandparents John and Barbara Pallien lived on that street. I was looking up their address on newspapers.com, and it turns out there was some entertaining drama surrounding the avenue’s name change.

The first assault on “Stone” appears to have occurred circa 1900, when a name change to South Webster was suggested at a city council meeting1 by a Mr. Vaughan. By 1903, the avenue had undergone a few name changes. It went from Stone to South Webster to Jermyn (reported in some newspapers as “German” Avenue — coincidentally, my great grandparents were German immigrants). And then, it reverted back to Stone.

All this change was not without a little confusion. From The Scranton Republican, April 1903:

“For a time the people of this side [the South Side] will be somewhat confused over the names of the avenues from Prospect to Crown on account of a change. Stone avenue, which has been changed to South Webster, is again changed to Jermyn avenue, not “German,” being called after the late John Jermyn.”2

Stone Avenue or nothing!

A few months later, in July 1903, there was a shouting match over the name of Stone Avenue at a city council meeting. The chairman, Mr. Merriman, was reading from a list of proposed street-name changes that were up for vote. When he read out “Stone Avenue or South Webster Avenue to Jermyn Avenue,” Mr. Vaughan declared that the people preferred South Webster, and he made a motion for calling the street by that name.

But then, Councilman John McHale, whom the reporter described earlier as leaping to his feet with “eyes blazing,” informed the committee:

It must be Stone avenue or nothing! It was Stone avenue before we were born, the people want it Stone avenue, and it will be Stone avenue when we’re dead!

“He begged the chairman to immediately call it Stone avenue regardless of anything Mr. Vaughan might say.

Mr. Vaughan explained that the name had been changed from Stone to South Webster avenue by ordinance two years ago because it was a continuation of North Webster avenue and because the residents wanted it so.

“What is Webster? Give me a definition for Webster?” said Mr. McHale excitedly, while at the same time Mr. Griffiths was on his feet asking for information.


The article continues:

“It was some time before order was restored and when it had been, Mr. McHale was instantly on his feet asking for a vote on his motion. It was seconded by Mr. Barrett, and the question was put. The responses appeared to be evenly divided.

“I’m in doubt,” said Chairman Merriman.

“No doubt about it,” said Mr. McHale, “We win. Let’s have the ayes and nays.”

Instead, a rising vote was taken and it resulted in a tie of 5-5. Mr. Merriman declared the motion lost.

“Hurrah,” said Mr. McHale. “You lose, you lose; we win,” and he very politely begged Mr. Griffiths’ pardon when the latter suggested that the matter be left for the councils to decide.

“It’s all settled now,” [McHale] said, notwithstanding that his own motion was lost.

Mr. Vaughan afterwards moved that the name be changed to South Webster avenue and the same tie vote resulted. The matter was then left for councils to decide.”3

As of 1936, a street in Scranton named Stone Avenue still appeared in newspaper articles, although South Webster Avenue is what’s listed on the 1920 census.4 Go figure! But, as all Scrantonians know, this street is known as South Webster Avenue today. Sorry, Mr. McHale!


[1] “Hard to Find a Customer: Difficulty in Selling the Sewer Bonds,”(07 Dec 1900), The Scranton Tribune, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 2, digital image, Newspapers.com, accessed Jan 17, 2018, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/16629237/stone_avenue_south_webster_ordinance/

[2] “Change in Names,” (06 Apr 1903), Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), page 6, digital image, Newspapers.com, accessed 17 Jan 2018, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/15041373/stone_avenue/

[3] “Mr. M’Hale’s Humor: City Father Convulsed Committee on Public Works with His Wit at Last Night’s Meeting,” (31 Jul 1903), Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), page 7, digital image, Newspapers.com, accessed 17 Jan 2018, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1767876/stone_av_to_s_webster_av_scranton/

[4] “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFYQ-Y7V : accessed 17 January 2018), John Pallion, Scranton Ward 20, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania, United States; citing ED 187, sheet 7A, line 8, family 116, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1581; FHL microfilm 1,821,581.

[5] Sanborn Map Company, “Insurance maps of Scranton, Pennsylvania, including Dunmore. Vol. 2,” (1898), sheet159, New York: Sanborn-Perry Map Co., digital image, accessed Jan 18, 2018.

Updates – January 06, 2018 – McClintock and Pallien

Just an update to let you know that I added more information to two posts:

  1. TB McClintock: Additional information about the history of the Wanoka Cottage at Falls. You can see the updated post here:


2. John Pallien: Added a “Family Stories” section with some of my Great Aunt’s memories about her grandfather John Pallien. At this link:


The Census Says the Darndest Things – Plus Scranton Boy Battles Snake Circa 1904

When I’m researching my family line, I always spot news articles that I think are worth sharing, even if they aren’t directly related to my ancestors. For instance, check out this blurb from an 1870 Tunkhannock, PA, newspaper:

Fooled the census taker
Clipped from Wyoming Democrat, Tunkhannock, PA, 10 Aug 1870
“There is a lady in our town, whose age is about 31 years, (more or less,) boasts that she fooled the census marshal by telling him she was sweet sixteen. Somebody else (former lover we presume) told him better.”

I think I’m speaking for all family historians when I say: Thanks a lot, lady!

That’s proof that mistakes in the census records aren’t strictly the fault of lazy, drunk, inept or hard-of-hearing census takers.

And speaking of census mistakes, one ancestor of mine appears to have been a vampire, judging by the Federal census. Over the course of 30 years, her age remained completely unchanged on the censuses.

The first time I found her on the Federal census, she was nearly 50 years old, which was 10 years older than her husband. But a decade later, she was the same age as her husband (and still the exact same age she’d been listed as 10 years before). Ten years after that, her husband had died, but there she is on the census, still listed as the exact same age she’d been both 10 and 20 years before.

Her death certificate, however, appears to list an accurate age for her. And the cause of death was not “stake through the heart.” It also turns out she wasn’t 10 years older than her husband– they’d been roughly the same age– if the death certificate is right.

I guess I’ll never know why her age was consistently noted on the census as “48 years” over the course of three decades. She was a native English speaker, so the mistake wasn’t from a language barrier. Go figure!

Shifting gears:

I found this exciting tale from 1904 Scranton, PA, when I was researching the German branch of my tree. I don’t think I’m directly related to this kid, but the story is worth sharing:



Boy’s Rest Disturbed on East Mountain in Rude Manner – After Fierce Fight Boy Escaped by Running

It is not a pleasant sensation to lay one’s wearied bones to rest on Nature’s couch and, after a refreshing sleep, to wake up and find a blacksnake coiled around one’s chest. It is, indeed, horrifying to wake up under such adverse circumstances, but If Edward Bohr, of 528 Irving avenue, had not wakened when he did yesterday, it is extremely doubtful if he would have had the privilege of opening his eyes at all.

Bohr was strolling through the East Mountain yesterday afternoon, when he espied an inclined and shady spot under a tree, made for all the world like a sofa. He sat down and was soon stretched out in sleep. He had been asleep but a few minutes when he felt a terrible pain under his right arm, and upon awakening, looked down to see a large blacksnake tightly coiled around him. He seized a heavy stick and commenced to beat the snake until gradually and reluctantly it began to uncoil. It finally fell to the ground, and then, as if realizing its defeat, it turned upon him again.

Discretion was the better part of valor in this case, and so the boy started home on the run, pursued for a short distance by the snake. By the time he reached home, his arm was swollen about three times its natural size. A surgeon was hurriedly summoned, who found that young Bohr had been severely bitten by the snake on the arm, between the shoulder and the elbow. His condition is serious, but it is said that he will recover. – From The Scranton Truth, Scranton, Pennsylvania, 19 Aug 1904, Fri • Page 5

I had a nightmare the night after reading this article about lying down to sleep in the woods but then seeing an alligator approach. When I told my foreign-born husband about the dream, and how it was obviously inspired by this story about the boy and the snake, he replied, “But there aren’t any big black snakes in Pennsylvania!”

Think again, Sweetheart!

“Dozens of serpents have been collected as a part of Noxen’s annual Rattlesnake Roundup in northeastern Pennsylvania.” View Full Article

Florence “Foddie” Dolph – My 1st Cousin 5x Removed – An inspirational ancestor at 101 years old

I’ve only recently become acquainted with the Dolph branch of my tree. They married into the Secor Family who then married into the McClintocks. This branch is on my grandpa Clank’s mother’s side.

It seems like you could easily write several books about the Dolph family. But I think a happy place to get started is with Miss Florence Dolph who attracted worldwide attention for the unique way she celebrated her birthdays.

Florence Dolph Celebrates her 101th birthday.
Florence Dolph Celebrates her 101th birthday. “Whoosh! She’s 101!” (May 19, 1948) Des Moines Tribune, (Des Moines, Iowa), page 5, digital images,
Newspapers.com, accessed Jan 10, 2018.

The picture above was taken on her 101th birthday, but the article below describes her 100th-birthday slide from the year before. Transcribed from The Wilkes-Barre Record, Tue, May 20, 1947:

Centenarian on Banister Ride

Miss Florence Dolph Hopes to Attend Bucknell Reunion

Miss Florence E. Dolph shed her 364-day-per-year dignity yesterday to slide down the banister at her home in Dunmore on her 100th birthday.

Miss Dolph facetiously referred to the banister as, “My horse, Pete, after a wonderful ride.”

Miss Dolph completed her once-a-year ride decked out in an orchid sent her from California.

Ordinarily, as testified by her niece, Miss Florence E. Robertson, who resides with her, Miss Dolph is a dainty little woman not given to gymnastics. But Miss Dolph, who has a delightful sense of humor, departed from her sedate ways just to prove her point that life can start at 100.

“She’s the life of any party and I’ll be the tired one when we go to bed,” said Miss Robertson, who has been Miss Dolph’s companion since she went to California to be with Miss Dolph 12 years ago, and who returned to Dunmore with her several months ago.

Miss Dolph lived for 44 years in Los Angeles before returning. The family home is now owned by her nephew, Charles S. Robertson.

While no formal celebration was planned, it was a real visiting day at the Dolph home. Scores of well wishers stopped and extended their congratulations.

As to the banister slide, it really isn’t anything new in the centenarian’s life–she’s been doing it for years and years. It’s her favorite way of twitting her friends about how “young” she is.

“Not satisfied with birthdays alone, she ushers in all holidays the same way,” explained her niece.

In addition to well wishes, five birthday cakes, many boxes and bouquets of flowers and more than 100 birthday cards, plus gifts from relatives, flooded her home.

Attired in earrings, a gold necklace and pin, and two diamond rings which combine the pure white diamonds with canary, or yellow, diamonds, Miss Dolph still possesses a keen sense of humor and an intense love for music and art.

With many miles of travel to her credit in this country and abroad, Miss Dolph has at least one more trip on her mind for the immediate future.

“If she is as well then as she is now, Aunt Florence will attend her class reunion at Bucknell University on June 7,” Miss Robertson promised.

Miss Dolph graduated from the Bucknell Female Institute, now the university, in 1868. With one exception, she is the school’s oldest alumnus.”

— “Centenarian on Banister Ride,” (May 20, 1947), Wilkes-Barre Record, (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), Page 4, digital images, Newspapers.com, accessed Jan 10, 2018.

And by the way, she DID attend that Bucknell reunion!

Relationship Chart: To sum it up, Florence’s grandfather, Alexander Dolph (1782-1860), is my 5th great grandfather.

-Florence E Dolph (1847 – 1949)
1st cousin 5x removed
-Edward Dolph (1814 – 1890)
father of Florence E Dolph
-Alexander Dolph (1782 – 1860)
father of Edward Dolph
-Eliza Dolph (1804 – 1845)
daughter of Alexander Dolph
-Edward J Secor (1830 – 1912)
son of Eliza Dolph
-Frank D Secor (1860 – 1929)
son of Edward J Secor
-Mary Louise Secor (1881 – 1970)<–My great, great grandmother
daughter of Frank D Secor
-My grandfather Clarence Secor McClintock
son of Mary Louise Secor
-My Father

Goodwife “Goody” Knapp – My 10th Great Grandmother: Victim of the Witchcraft Delusion

Forget the DAR, I’m joining the ADEAW. 😉

connecticut goody knapp goodwife knapp witch hunt

While researching the McClintock/Secor branch of my tree, I found out that I have a 10th great grandmother who was accused, convicted and executed for witchcraft in 1653 Fairfield, Connecticut. That’s almost 40 years before the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692.

This case is one of the most painful in the entire Connecticut list, for she impresses one as the best woman; how the just and high minded old lady had excited hate or suspicion, we cannot know.  Connecticut as a Colony, (1:212) Morgan.1

Goodwife Knapp was the wife of my 10th great grandad Roger Knapp.  “Goodwife” was apparently the 1600s equivalent of the title “Mrs.” Her actual first name isn’t known and neither is her maiden name.

Her case is noted as the first well-documented witchcraft case in early Connecticut. She was described as “a woman of good repute,” and a “just and high-minded old lady.” (Old lady? According to the records I can find, she gave birth to my 9th great-grandad Josiah one or two years before this happened, so she couldn’t have been much more than 40).

From what I’ve read, there’s no record that tells exactly what Goodwife Knapp was accused of besides witchcraft in general.  She’d been hounded and probably tortured in attempts to get her to confess and name other witches. She did neither. Well, that is until…

Goody Knapp was brought to a place called Fry’s field where they’d set up a gallows. They leaned a ladder up against a scaffold or a tree, and the condemned Goodwife Knapp climbed up. According to the records of the event, once there, she indicated that she had something to say afterall and was allowed to climb back down. From what I gather, she didn’t confess to witchcraft, but she whispered that Goodwife Staples was indeed a witch.

Goodwife Staples had been party to accusing Goody Knapp of witchcraft. It’s surmised that Grandma Knapp made this last-minute accusation in an attempt to save her life– it seems that the townspeople generally wanted to get rid of Goodwife Staples too, and they’d been pressing for Grandma Knapp to implicate her as a witch all along. But of course, it didn’t save Grandmother’s life. After this confession, Goodwife Knapp was hung without delay. Sad, sad tale.

Goodwife Staples was later accused, tried and acquitted of witchcraft.

Possible reparations?

A prominent Fairfield-area family, the Pells, who were central to the witchcraft accusations against Goody Knapp, later assumed the debts of her husband, Roger Knapp, per the 1669 will of Thomas Pell– if I’m interpreting this antiquated grammar correctly:

[Roger Knapp] removed to Fairfield, and was one of four “poor men” to whom the will of Dr. Pell, 1669, gave their debts to him. History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, Volume 12

I think it’s very possible that Thomas Pell assumed Grandpa Knapp’s debts due to “pangs of remorse,” like he seems to also have done in this instance. Thomas Pell went on to found Pelham, in what is now the Bronx, New York City. He left two other witchcraft-hysteria victims some land in his will. Sigh. If only.

Much has already been written about Goody Knapp; a quick google search brings up troves of info.

The Hanging of Goody Knapp
“Hanging of Goody Knapp” – Artwork by Don Almquist – Hartford Courant, (Hartford, Connecticut), 27 Apr 1986, Sun. Page 15

How I’m Related to Goodwife Knapp: Relationship chart (it’s a long one!)
13. “Goodwife” Knapp (Abt. 1618 – 1653)
10th great-grandmother
12. Josiah Knapp (1652 – 1690)
son of Goodwife Knapp
11. Moses Knapp (1683 – 1755)
son of Josiah Knapp
10. Rebecca Knapp (1717 – 1770)
daughter of Moses Knapp
9. Moses DeWolf Dolph (1756 – 1827)
son of Rebecca Knapp
8. Alexander Dolph (1783 – 1860)
son of Moses DeWolf Dolph
7. Eliza Dolph (1804 – 1845)
daughter of Alexander Dolph
6. Edward J Secor (1830 – 1912)
son of Eliza Dolph
5. Frank D Secor (1860 – 1940)
son of Edward J Secor
4. Mary Louise Secor (1881 – 1970)
daughter of Frank D Secor
3. Clarence Secor McClintock (1915 – 1992)
son of Mary Louise Secor
2. My father (1951 – 2009)
son of Clarence Secor McClintock
1. Me


(1) John Metcalf Taylor, The Witchcraft Delusion in Colonial Connecticut (1647-1697), (Connecticut, Grafton Press, 1908), page 122.

(2) Donald Lines Jacobus, History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, Volume 1 (Genealogical Publishing Com, 1930), Page 364, Ebook, Google Books, accessed Jan 10, 2018.
URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=5xYVpaBmRnEC&lpg=RA1-PA562&dq=History%20and%20Genealogy%20of%20the%20Families%20of%20Old%20Fairfield%2C%20Volume%201%20roger%20knapp&pg=PA364#v=onepage&q=roger%20knapp&f=false

(The sources that demonstrate my genealogical connection to Goody Knapp are too numerous to list here.)

T.B. McClintock – My 2nd Great Grandfather: Green Thumb + Tireless Networking

Thomas Barnett McClintock (1861-1927) – My 2nd Great Grandfather

(Last updated Jan 04, 2018: added more information about the Wanoka Cottage at Falls.)

Among the successful businessman of Lackawanna County must be numbered Thomas B. McClintock, the leading florist of Scranton. He comes of old and honored Pennsylvania stock.
Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania, 1906

McClintockThomasBThomas Barnett McClintock was the first of our McClintock-surname ancestors– that I know of– to arrive in Scranton, PA. He moved there from the Harrisburg area in 1882, when he was about 22 years old. The information in this post is taken from the book credited above[1], plus various public records and newspaper articles.


Parents and Grandparents

Benjamin McClintock, father of Thomas B. McClintock was born at Cove, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a son of John and Sarah (Jones) McClintock who resided on a farm in that section of the state for many years.

Benjamin McClintock was a contractor and builder, and he also owned and operated a large farm. He married Matilda Barnett, also a native of Cove, and the following children were born to them:

Anna McClintock 1857–1932
Logan McClintock 1857–1895
John McClintock 1859–1873
Thomas Barnett McClintock 1861–1927
Maria (Myra?) McClintock 1865–1914
Sarah (Sallie) Ada McClintock 1867–1918

Thomas was born in Shermans Dale, PA, March 5, 1861. He completed his schooling there, and in 1878, at age 17, he entered the employ of John Kepple, the well-known Harrisburg florist, and for a short period of time served there in the capacity of foreman.

Move to Scranton

In 1882, Grandpa Tom went to Scranton and entered into business for himself, renting property on Monroe Avenue between Vine and Olive Streets. He stayed there until 1888, when he purchased land on Jefferson Avenue and Electric Street. Per the book, “There, he erected a commodious conservatory.”

1888 Sanborn Map Showing T.B. McClintock Florist at Monroe Street between Vine and Olive. (The buildings in the back with Xs on them are stables).

Marriage and children

Thomas Barnett McClintock married Idell Miller on February 15, 1886. She was born in Prattsburgh, Steuben County, New York, the daughter of Lee and Ellen Marion Winnie Miller. Her father, Lee Miller, was a machinist. He died in September 1904 at Scranton, “whither he moved from Steuben county New York where he was much esteemed.”

The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. McClintock:

Lee Ellsworth McClintock 1888–1933
Clarence Earl McClintock 1890–1960
Marian M McClintock 1893–1910
Hazel McClintock 1895–1897
Ruth McClintock 1898–1953
Ethel C Mcclintock 1900–1937

n 1897, daughter Hazel died.

“Died: M’Clintock,” (Apr 17, 1897), The Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 6, digital image, Newspapers.com, accessed Jan 10, 2018

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1900 Census: Thomas is 39 years old and living on Jefferson Ave in Dunmore, PA, with his wife, Idell, and five children: Lee, Clarence, Marien, Ruth and Ethel.

Thomas’ occupation is listed as “Go; Florist.” Could that mean grocer/florist? If so, that would explain why he had that gigantic tub of butter in his fridge! (See news clipping below.)

Built large greenhouse

“In 1904, in order to keep pace with the rapid growth of his business, he was obliged to erect additional buildings. His first property consisted of one and a half acres, upon which he had 20,000 ft.² of glass, and which was devoted to the growing of hardy herbs, pansies and roses. He also cultivated a tract of 4 acres in the 19th Ward on Throop Street where he grew carnations and nursery stock.”

From a 1919 Sanborn Map

“Later, he purchased a 1/2 acre plot opposite his green houses on Electric Street, upon which he erected his residence [that home address was 1410 Electric Street].

He carried a large stock of palms, ferns, roses, carnations and decorative material for supplying all sorts of functions, and one special cause of the constant increase of his business was his widespread reputation for artistic designs.

His sales rooms, offices, etc., were furnished with the latest appliances peculiar to the business and were heated by steam. He employed five men regularly and many more during the busy season.”

Military service and social club memberships

After five years of service in the Company B 13th regiment, Great-great-grandpa McClintock was honorably discharged. He was a member of:

-Green Ridge Lodge No. 597
-Free and Accepted Masons
-The Heptasophs
-Modern Woodmen of America
-Knights of Malta
-Anthracite Commandery No. 211
-United American Mechanics

“In all of which he was extremely popular, and this wide and favorable acquaintance aided him greatly in his business. He was a Republican in politics. He was a man of genial nature an agreeable personality, and as a citizen was progressive and public-spirited.”

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1910 Census: Thomas is 49 years old and listed as living at 1410 Electric Street in Dunmore, PA. In addition to his wife and children, Frank E. Cole, an employee, age 56, and Ellen Brennan, listed as a servant, age 29, also live in the home. Fancy! 😉

Photo of TB McClintock circa 1906
Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Volume 2, 1906. (1) See end of this post for the full source citation.

Wanoka Cottage at Falls

Grandpa Thomas owned half of the cottage at Falls as early as 1911, but there’s evidence that he also rented or owned a cottage there in 1910. Sadly, one daughter, Marion, died there that year. The cause of death was given as multiple sarcomas.

Marion McClintock Obituary
“Marion McClintock, Obituary,” (Jul 23, 1910), The Scranton Truth, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 2, digital images, Newspapers.com, accessed Jan 10, 2018

The other half of the cottage was owned by close friend and fellow florist, William MacDonald. The cottage originally had two separate living spaces downstairs (kind of like a “doubleblock”) with a large, shared upstairs area.

I’ve seen newspaper mentions of Mr. MacDonald camping with his family out at Falls as early as 1905. According to my uncle, his grandpa Clarence Earl McClintock used to talk about the long trips he’d take as a child to go out to Falls when they were building the cottage way back when.

The Father of West Falls

The land where the cottage is today was owned by a farmer named Henry Sax, known as “the father of West Falls.” According to a 1909 newspaper article,[2] Mr. Sax had owned a farm on the site of what is now West Falls since 1892. Starting in about 1905, West Falls attracted attention as “a delightful spot for summer homes,” and between 1905 and 1909, Mr. Sax sold about 76 building lots, “30 of which are held by Pittstonians.”

Satellite image showing Falls and West Falls, PA. via Google Maps, accessed Jan 10, 2018

Until the bridge was built across the river sometime after 1910, you could only reach West Falls by boat if you were coming from Falls proper. It could be very difficult to get across during wintertime when there was ice on the river.

“The project on the part of influential residents of Wyoming county to have the State erect a bridge across the river at Falls has the support of everybody interested in these summer settlements.”[2]

T.B. McClintock also owned land in Waverly, PA, where he had a farm. It’s possible that he co-owned this farm with William MacDonald, but I’m not sure.
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1913: This year saw three cars destroyed in a fire, plus the infamous butter heist. However, there finally was some good news in unlucky year #1913 when Tweety came home!

McClintock Florist's Hard Luck, Thieves Get His Butter
“Florist’s Hard Luck, Thieves Get His Butter,” (Nov 21, 1913) The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 4, digital images, Newspapers.com, accessed Jan 10, 2018
Stroller's Notebook 1913 Tom. B. McClintock Family
“Stroller’s Notebook,” (Jun 30, 1913), The Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 6, digital images, Newspapers.com, accessed Jan 10, 2018

1920: Thomas is 58 years old and lives at 1410 Electric St., in Dunmore, PA. Lee, Clarence and Ethel are still living at home. Occupation is listed as florist. Lee and Clarence both work as florists, too.

Death and Burial

Thomas Barnett McClintock died December 3, 1927, age 66, from cancer. He’d been battling the disease for approximately two years. He is interred at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Dunmore, PA.

“M’Clintock Funeral Will Be Held Today: Well Known Florist is Claimed By Death” (Dec 06, 1927), The Scranton Republican, (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Page 20, digital images, Newspapers.com, accessed Jan 10, 2018

Relationship chart

5. Thomas Barnett McClintock, b.1861 married Idell Miller, b.1862
My 2nd great-grandfather
4. Clarence Earl McClintock, b. 1890 married Mary Louise Secor, b.1881
son of Thomas Barnett McClintock
3. Clarence Secor McClintock, b. 1915
son of Clarence Earl McClintock
2. My father, b. 1951
son of Clarence Secor McClintock
1. Me
View Thomas’ family tree here.

[1] Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Volume 2, edited by Horace Edwin Hayden, Alfred Hand, John Woolf Jordan, (Lewis Publishing Company, New York, Chicago, 1906): Page 227. Ebook, Google Books, https://books.google.com/books?id=gdAwAQAAMAAJ&pg=PP10#v=onepage&q&f=false

[2] “Getting Popular: West Falls and Forest Glen are Assuming Importance,” (Jan 21, 1909) Tunkhannock New Age (Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania), Page 1, digital images, Newspapers.com,accessed Dec 23, 2017.

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