THE LIFE OF A PLODDER

FRED GORTON'S 95 YEARS





an account compiled from his memoirs and diaries

by his granddaughter

Kathy Lynn Gorton Emerson





CHAPTER FIVE: THE COMPANY MAN





Fred Gorton went to work for the Liberty Light and Power Company on October 16, 1917. He would work there for over twenty-nine years and at one point during that period both of his sons would be employed by the company too.

He started as a fireman, working six nights a week with Friday's off at $15 a week. The Plant was located up the tracks from the railroad station. It had four turbines run by steam produced by three huge soft coal furnaces. When the Plant was running full blast it kept the firemen, as Fred was for the first three years, busy throwing coal on. The Plant had a steam siren and a blast horn used to mark the noon hour and as a fire alarm. When he got a telephone call, Fred would pull the cord for the siren and then blow the call pinpointing the location of the fire on the blast horn.



Dick Pearson (d. Jan. 1958 @ 80) was Engineer at the time but a few weeks later he quit and went to Binghamton in a Power Plant. William Miller (Oct. 14, 1870-Dec. 30, 1961) was day Engineer on an eleven hour shift. Chief Engineer William Sunderland asked Miller and I if we wanted to take on the extra day and make $17.50 per week. We agreed, so I worked 13 hours a night for the next six years with Sunderland as Chief Engineer. We had two hours each to sleep when everything was smooth.



Sunderland started very soon to teach me how to run the plant as an Engineer. In two months I was changing the load from the engine to the turbine. To start the plant one would have to get the load on the engine first, then synchronize them on the switchboard, then phase in, slamming down the switch to the incoming unit. We also had a regulator to govern the load and we put on the street lights when it became dark, by hand, and took them off at daylight. We used buckwheat coal for fuel fired by hand. We banked one side of the furnace and pulled the red hot chunk of ashes out on the wheelbarrow. Then we pulled the banking over on the empty grate.



Later Fred took a correspondence course from I.C.S. in steam engineering.



While working for the NYS Electric and Gas Corporation I installed two Heiny boilers and a 500hp and 625 KVA turbine and a spraying system in the pond where we got our water supply for cooling two pumps at the pond as the raise was 50' up to the plant. In zero weather the coal got frozen solid two feet deep and I was asked to go back to the plant and help Miller the next day after working all night. So without asking Mr. M. R. Sloan (Morris R. Sloan, d. Aug. 18, 1924 @ 51), I bored a place through to let the steam hose into the coal pit and turned on the steam, sticking the nozzle into the frozen mass. Soon the coal ran like water. Mr. Sloan didn't say a word and I got a half day's pay for coming back that forenoon. We used the steam hose to blow the ashes off the water tubes of the boiler. Many times I came back to do extra work forenoons, such as clean the damper in the stack, help the men to repair the steam line, clean the combustion chamber. At 130 degrees one couldn't stay in over five minutes of it would roast his lungs. I also went in the boiler shell using a lamp so I could see and one time I touched the cord to the boiler side and got a shock. The boiler shell was 22 feet long and 3 ' in diameter with an oval opening 16'2".



One night we got low water in the boilers, and no water was showing in either glass water guage. We increased the pumps speed and put water in one boiler until a blubber showed, then the other one. I asked what we should do if no water showed and the boilers would blow up. Mr. Sutherland said "Run like Hell toward the Depot." One forenoon we had a scaffold up under the steam line (10 inches in diameter) to repair a leak. Mr. Applegate was in charge with Ernie Porter (d. Aug. 3, 1958 @ 81) for his helper. I asked Ernie to give me a stillson wrench. He was on the floor with nothing to do, but he refused and said he wasn't working for me. I felt after working all night he could wait on me. If I had had that stillson wrench at that moment, I'm sure Ernie's head wold have bled and maybe I would have killed him. In all my life I never was so mad.



The war was on and the Company used to sell the accumulated ashes for a dollar a load. Mell O'Meara used to come at 6:30 AM so as to get the ashes before other peopoe came but run the bill and paid nothing. The Village built a round building 30' from the Power Plant to hold tar for the road. Mr. M. R. Sloan sold hot steam from the boilers to thin it.



William Sunderland was the chief engineer. He had a dog which he used to bathe in the evenings, and there was also a black cat on the premises. The cat kept looking at the dog in the bath in a wash tub, so one night Sunderland grabbed the cat and put her in the tub. Always after that the cat quickly disappeared when the tub was brought out.



On January 22, 1921, Fred wrote in his diary: "We finished putting in concrete for the Power House stack. Its dimensions are 7'x7'x5' deep and 2" from the brick wall. The men were Wm. Sunderland, Claude Cogswell, Kenneth Miller, and Leslie Gorton and Fred Gorton. Leslie got 35 per hour." [Claude Cogswell d. June 15, 1959 @ 54; Kenneth Miller d. April 8, 1934 @ 29]

The new stack was 5' in diameter and 125' tall and it was set up in one piece by using an electric device and a gin pole 80' high. There were also a new turbine, called the "Turban," by Fred, two water pumps to pump water 50' up to the Plant, and a new exhaust water heater. In 1923 the company, now the Associated Gas & Electric Corp., began to get light from the 33,000 volt line from Mongaup Falls, thirty miles away.

1921 to 1924 I was the Night Engineer and I pulled the switch many times, even when it rained, standing on the wet ground. Later the company had a stool to stand on with four insulators the size of dinner plates for protection. In 1923 I was told the 2300 volts we carried was in the wall and the water leader at the corner was electrified. I took the back of my hand and slapped the leader. It seemed my knees turned the other way.



Fred shut down the Liberty Plant on December 18, 1924. The Turban was taken down, crated, and sent to Prince Edward Island. Fred, so briefly an engineer, was back to plodding from



The old stack and the Heine Boilder before being enclosed with brick



one job to another. He was working as a lineman when he witnessed a total eclipse of the sun on January 24, 1925. He was in a tree in front of Archie Ingraham's place (d. July 10, 1960 in Old

Greenwich, CT @ 70; clerk at Young, Messiter & Dodge c. 1912 at $9/week; later had his own store). Fred said in another account that he was trimming trees at B. F. Green's boardwalk. He recorded in his diary that although it was 9:13 in the morning the effect was that of "bright moonlight on the white snow" with "no need of streetlights at all." He saw many people with smoked glass peering at the sun. He could see three stars in the heavens near the sun. "Also when I cleaned the 5 foot diameter stack, 125' high, I could see 2 stars in broad daylight; also when I cleaned the Gulnac Well, it being dry at that time, I saw 3 stars. The well was only 11' deep."

One of Fred's jobs as lineman-climber was to rope the trees to pull them away from the Hi Line. This may have been a typical day:



July 20, 1925 We picked up two poles at Stevensville, took them to the DeGroot place and set them. We got four and six pen cross arms, took them to White Sulphur Springs behind Leona Hotel. Eronimous took Jay and I to the Plant. I washed Mr. Kramer's car and Jay went to Buckley Street to dig two holes. 11 hours.



On November 10, 1925, Fred had a fall from an ash tree that ended his days as a climber for the electric company.



Near the Delbert Sutherland (d. Dec. 8, 1944 @ 59) place next to Loomis the hooks of the climbers became filled with the bark, which let me go to the ground. I sat down on a coil of rope, a fall of about 15'. My ribs hit my hip bones and I got a stiff right wrist. I was laid up for two weeks. The boss sent me home. I arrived to find Daisy was calling on Mrs. George Upham (Adelaide Upham d. July 27, 1940 in Binghamton @ 70; George Upham d. July 27, 1930 @ 67; he was a brick mason and they lived in a house next to the railroad) and the doors locked. I got my 12' ladder and climbed on the back porch roof over the kitchen.



Fred stayed with the Line Gang as a groundman, digging holes and raising poles. Alva (Alvie) Eronimous (Jan. 29, 1884-Sept. 18, 1952; wife Delia Smith d. June 5, 1939 @ 60) was foreman and Charles Ray (Nellie J. Miller, Mrs. Charles Ray, b. May 23, 1882, d. Nov. 1948) used a team of small mules to draw the poles for them. Fred carried the "dead man" to put under the poles when raising them up. They cut trees in Youngsville, built line in Jeffersonville, spliced wires together when the need arose, and built the sub station at Livingston Manor.

At about this time [1925] there was a murder done with a sash weight that was in all the papers. [Fred calls it the "Snyder/Jud Grey Sash Weight Murder" elsewhere.] The Line Gang out of Liberty carried a sash weight on their truck and used to shake it at drivers in cars that came up behind them. Apparently everyone thought this was hilariously funny.

In 1927, Fred was driving an electric company Model T as street light maintenance man. His job was to replace burned out streetlights in Liberty, Stevensville, Hurleyville, and Woodridge. He narrowly escaped injury on one trip. That day he had Jay Stewart and Ernie Stewart with him and, to avoid a speeding car headed right at them, pulled off and came to a stop just four feet from a wall of rocks ten feet high. On that occasion he was praised for avoiding a collision but another time he was going down Bonnell Hill and two men came out from Neversink Road right in front of him. He was so close to them that the only way to keep from hitting them was to ram into an electric pole. The car had to be junked, and Fred was soon in another job, "walking the line," which involved considerable cross-country hiking to check for broken insulators.

One time Fred had to walk the line at night in the rain. The electric company did not furnish raincoats and the result was a case of pleurisy and lost time. Another time, after an ice storm, he spent over five hours walking from Monticello to Mongaup Falls.



In 1933 after an ice storm, I inspected the 33,000 volt line starting below Monticello, Cooperman's Corners, near the Monticello Power Plant, to Mongaup Falls hydro electric plant. It had 4 outlets to the engines. The Engineer took me all around the plant but on the way I had to cross a little stream. The water was high and 8' wide. I cut a small tree with my knife for a brace and stuck it in the middle of the stream and swung across without missing. When I was 3 miles from the electric plant I asked a woman how far it was to the Mongaup Falls Plant and she said 3 miles. My feet were sore in those rubber boots and I felt discouraged; before entering the plant was a very steep hill I had to go down. I was 5 hours and 9 minutes from Cooperman's Corners to the Plant. Mr. St. John came for me at 5:15 PM for home. I was 55 years old at the time.



The following year he walked nine miles of line through rattlesnake country in hunting season to Ten Mile River Camp. He'd been taken there earlier by Jesse Cox so he'd know where he'd end up, so he knew he was in the right place. He arrived about 3:30 PM and waited for Gus Knack (Augustus H. Knack, d. Sept. 18, 1958 @ 63), his ride, until 7 PM. Finally he phoned Daisy and asked her to call Alvie Eronimous to bring him home. Jesse Cox came and got him. Later he found out he'd been reported lost in the woods at Bill Tomkins' store. Both his sons had heard that rumor, but had kept it from their mother. Fred believed that the entire incident had been cooked up by the district manager, L. V. Rose, in order to make him mad enough to quit and forfeit his pension and he told Rose of his suspicions to his face. Rose just grinned and Jesse Cox and Gus Knack looked guilty. [Leslie V. Rose d. Jan 6, 1936 @ 42 of pneumonia; his wife, Ethel Kidder, d. Dec. 16, 1946 @ 53]

The old Plant was used to store cross arms and for the auto mechanics to repair the cars, and as a gathering place for the men when they reported in for work. Then the company rented a large building on School Street and used the second story for the auto mechanic workroom. Fred became "construction-maintenance-repair man" for the company and built a ramp leading up to it, laid a new floor, and helped install an auto lift. With Andy Smith he built a transformer bridge to load and unload the transformers. He laid the floor in Herman Berberich's (b.Aug. 1, 1910 in Brooklyn) office and put beaver board around the entire lower story and painted it.

Over the remaining years with the company, Fred worked from one to nine every afternoon, putting in four hours of janitorial work after everyone else had gone home. He built desks, cabinets, benches, a board to hang meters on, and stop signs. He put in stairs to the upper garage and built blinds of celotex for the windows during the war. In the past he had helped read meters and had sold company stock. Now he tended the furnace, laid linoleum, and did woodwork, even traveling to Walton and Monticello to improve the appearance of those offices. The job was not without its dangers.



February 12, 1935 We were moving some heavy steel bins using 1" iron pipe for rollers. One of them ran over my big toe on the left foot. It took the nail, busted off the top of my shoe. Eight men were pushing (no chance to stop them). It happened in the store room of the garage.



Later he added that he was too ashamed to report the accident to the boss because when he asked if he could move the bins without unloading them he had said yes. The nail did not grow for many years, but became thick. Then, on December 22, 1962, the nail came loose and he removed it and a new nail grew in.



Another time I was laying floor in one of the offices upstairs for the electric company and in passing the flooring to another man I got a sliver in my leg above the knee 7/8" long. I tried to remove it, without success, so I went to Dr. Payne. He put some alcohol on with some cotton and took his tweezers and got it out. The man responsible to report accidents thought I should pay the doctor, it being just a little sliver. I informed him I was on the job and it was customary for the company to pay the doctor. Mr. Big Mouth acted real hurt.



Finally, retirement came. At his party, Fred told everyone he had no complaints. The men joked a good deal and razzed him but he shot back and Don Westbrook told him that he had been "in the driver's seat most of the time."

During all his years with the electric company, Fred kept up his diary. A great number of the entries related to work. His family and his house and garden on Carrier Street account for most of the other entries. His reports of births, deaths, and marriages of people he knew take precedence over broader issues. The first world war is never mentioned, the second only briefly. The 1923 book is devoted entirely to affairs of the Plant. The following pages contain diary entries of particular interest and excerpts from Fred's memoirs to fill the gaps. Of these there are many, especially between 1918 and 1924. From 1939 on he wrote in Five Year Diaries, which limited his space and consequently the number of details he included in an entry.



April 12, 1918 I went over the RFD trip for Floyd Wright (RFD Carrier, Ferndale; he married Gertrude Earl). It snowed all day long, a wet snow.



May 10, 1918 Leslie got his Black Beauty bicycle today. Black frame, white head with red dove tails.



June 27, 1918 I took Leslie's wheels and went to Garcia's strawberry patch.



August 17, 1920 Liberty had its greatest flood.



A little stream which starts on West Street flows to the Power House dam, where the Liberty Light and Power had their two pumps which furnished water for the steam plant. The stream overflowed leading to Clements and Main Streets. The Pierson and Webber store now known as Sabloffs had a cement stoppage over the stream 4' high and 18' wide. Some stumps from the south side of Chestnut Street were washed out and formed a dam at the cement stopping point. Will Mauer, Armon McPhilmany and others got a cellar full of water and some on Church Street. Walter Randall used sand bags to keep the water out of the Presbyterian Church basement. Much damage was done to flour and sugar in the cellar on Main Street. The School garage was flooded later with a similar stoppage under the garage and the Liberty Gazette basement lost tons of bundled paper stored there. And still later, a little four year old girl was drowned and washed down to Mill Street. Briker Brothers Co bought this School Street garage and another flood covered their floor 8" deep and destroyed many dollars worth of pretzels stored on the ground floor.



In about 1920, Father lived on 9 Maple Street on the Wallace Kilbourne place which he bought. I used to work his garden on shares and they told me they would sell for $3800. I went over to Will Mauer's place and told of it and how one could sell it as the Telephone Company's offices were just across Father's driveway. George Mauer made haste to buy it, as he lived upstairs in the same building. He raised Father's rent from $15 per month to $30 or $35 so my parents moved to Fanny Lewis's (d. Mar. 3, 1940; she was the widow of John Lewis Sr. who d. in 1917 at age 80) home on Church Street, using Mrs. Lewis's cookstove as a partnership deal. They soon got tired of that and moved to Fanny Clark's (d. Aug. 6, 1953 @ 94) home, upstairs, in Hurleyville until Father died December 21, 1922. Mother, after a year, went to live with my sister Grace and her husband.



February 7, 1924 Leslie got spectacles today at noon.



May 16, 1924 Russell mowed the dooryard for the first time this season.



July 28, 1924 Cliff Edwards was electrocuted today near the Queen Mountain House. The first Liberty man lost from accident of the Light and Power Company. (He was on a pole, touched a hot wire (2300 volts) and his leg touched a grounded telephone wire. He fell to the ground dead and was taken to the undertaker by Ralph Quick. Ralph Quick was b. Neversink Nov. 16, 1897.)



August 28, 1924 Russell went with Milt Gabriel to the Monticello Fair.(Milton Gabriel b. Nov. 11, 1880; d. Feb. 14, 1942 of Bright's Disease; he was a tinsmith.)



September 8, 1924 Daisy and I went to a banquet at the Hall House given by the N.Y.State Gas & Electric Corporation. Supper was served in courses about 8 PM.



October 11, 1924 Russell and I went and gathered 1299 butternuts on Katy place near Ben Hasbrouck's and PM got a board 19 " wide to cover pipes in the front room and made provision for a side light. Russell & I and Daisy went to the movies. That finished my vacation.



October 24, 1924 Leslie and Uncle Ed came home on the 11:00 PM train after Leslie's vacation in N.Y. City.



October 28, 1924 Mrs. Rouze and Aunt Sat stopped here on their return trip and stayed all night. (They were coming from New York. They also stayed all night when they went to New York. They were complete strangers to us. I think they had little money. Fanny Stoddard refused them lodging but sent them to us. They claimed relation. Daisy took them in free.)



October 31, 1924 Went to the Republican caucus at the theater. Roosevelt for Governor. Coolidge for President. Miss Wilson spoke and two men.



November 3, 1924 Pa is 66 " tall. Ma 63 ". Russell 64" and Leslie 69" tall. All in shoes.



November 4, 1924 Voted straight Republican ticket. A KKK cross was burned on Hub's hill tonight as returns came in, 8:45. (Ralph Quick and another man burned the cross on Hub Linderman's hill; Hubbard Linderman d. Oct. 30, 1925; his wife d. Nov. 1, 1926).



November 9, 1924 Went to church with Daisy & Russell AM. Leslie also attended with a miss & in the evening alone. It snowed today. The gound was quite white.



November 27, 1924 Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by C. C. Farquhar and family, except Earl being busy couldn't come. Grandma was there, also Ed Steenrod. We had turkey and duck, roasted, mashed potatoes & gravy, fruit salad, pumpkin and mince pie, pickles, penuchi & fudge, grapes & English walnuts, cigars & chewing gum, coffee & cider. Helped Blade butcher two pigs.



December 25, 1924 Uncle Ed came about midnight before xmas and ate turkey and went home to New York. I stayed home all day and fussed with lamp cords and sockets. Took off both screen doors of the house. We couldn't get anything on the radio all day. (I heard a program with ear phones in 1914 for the first time at Lew Neeley's, but they had sound signals before 1917 at 9 o'clock every night. We used a wire antenna attached to our radio. Leslie bought one from Bill Mauer Jr. for $90 and we got fifteen stations the first night.)[Elda Neeley, who d. Aug. 8, 1948, sold her house on Carrier St. to the Prettymans; Bill Mauer Jr. was the son of Will Mauer, who d. Aug. 2, 1959 @ 80 and his wife Margaret, who d. Dec. 12, 1953. Will Mauer was a butcher at 60 S. Main St.. His other children were Marguerite, who taught French and Spanish in Liberty schools, and Butch.]



January 1, 1925 Went to Hurleyville, all four of us, to eat New Year's dinner--turkey, pickles, rolls, stuffing, two kinds of cake, ice cream, mashed potatoes, and the favors were chocolate made up like a liberty bell. Mother attended also. Jake Rexford (d. Sept. 19, 1952 @ 46) and Lucille (Grace and Charles Farquhar's daughter; she married Jake Rexford Oct. 10, 1926) and Leslie went to Monticello PM and Charles and I went to the Greenspan place to settle a dispute. One man broke in a window and threw the contents of a s- - - pot on a woman's stove hearth. We all came home on the Scoot at 7:30.



January 10, 1925 Leslie is of age today.



February 23, 1925 Went to Grace's on 10:03 train and returned on 4:18 train. Mother was to Westwood, New Jersey.



March 22, 1925 Went to church AM and PM. Leslie and Russell went to Middletown in his new Ford coupe.



April 5, 1925 Went to church. Leslie took us and also in the evening. The Methodists had no preacher so they made quite a churchfull. Leslie took Ma and Russell out for a twenty mile ride.



May 30, 1925 Decoration Day. I worked in the garden all day. Ed Steenrod came up last evening and stayed over Sunday. Leslie returned from his trip to NYC with Helen.



May 31, 1925 Went to church with Ed Steenrod AM and PM. I drove Leslie's car to Stevensville and returned and Russell took the car out and then Leslie took his mother to Woodbourne on the new state road. Leslie started to New York City on his vacation on the 5:25 train along with Ed.



July 6, 1925 Leslie and Russell went to New Rochelle.



August 7, 1925 Ai and Mother took supper with us and stayed until 9PM and Leslie came home today.



August 27, 1925 Stayed home and to bed until noon with another attack of pleurisy. Daisy is canning sweet corn this AM.



September 4, 1925 Returned home at 5:00 PM after a five day trip to New York. I went down to Westwood with Osmer and family on Sunday evening and stayed all night three nights and Tuesday AM left there and met Leslie at Osmer's office at noon. Went to Hippodrome and got back to New Rochelle at 1:00 AM. Thursday and Friday we went around New Rochelle. We went to the Museum of Art and got back to New Rochelle at 9:30PM and next morning, Friday, we came home, leaving New Rochelle at 10:20 AM and arriving at Liberty around 4:30 PM.



May 31, 1926 Leslie and wife went home with his car 3:00 PM (Editor's note: Edwin Leslie Gorton married Catherine McKennon on May 11, 1926.).



July 3, 1926 Daisy picked fourteen quarts of strawberries today. Leslie and Catherinee came home at 10:30 PM to spend the 4th and go back the 6th.



September 24, 1926 I had a tooth pulled whose filling had been out for eight years. Dr. Wright fished for it five times before he got the last root. $2.00.



October 19, 1926 Russell shot his first rabbit this afternoon and we had it for supper Wednesday, October 20, 1926.



November 27, 1926 Mother went back to Hurleyville after visiting us for two days. I went home with her and then went to Grace's home and changed the pump switch from the cellar to the cellarway and came home on the Scoot.



July 5, 1927 Leslie, Catherine, Claire (their daughter), and Miss Margaret McKennon were here over the 4th and went home to Mt. Vernon 3:00 o'clock AM Monday July 5.



August 13, 1927 Leslie & Catherine & Claire came from Mt. Vernon to spend their vacation. Leslie went home Monday August 22 and Catherine & Claire will stay until Labor Day.



August 20, 1927 Leslie, Catherine & I went to Monticello to see the auto races. The gate fee was $1.10 each and 50 each for automobiles. We also saw the State Troopers perform on horses which was very good.



October 16, 1927 Daisy went home with Leslie and Catherine and Claire.



January 7, 1928 I wrote up stock, the debenture bonds, for Mrs. Celia Kortright (d. Aug. 5, 1932 @ 67) for $1000. She used one Liberty bond due 1938. I went to sell stock with Chas. Beams and at Ferndale Depot we came out on the main road and hit Comfort's car. We settled for $4. Our car was damaged a little--the bumper, one bolt broke, and fender dented.



On April 2, 1928, work began to convert the barn into a story and a half cottage. Fred had been improving his house right along, for example by tearing out ceiling partition in the Plant and using it for ceilings on his front and back porches. Now he hired Charles Hobart (d. Nov. 8, 1934 @ 61) to dig out under the barn for a cellar and run cement 7' high, leaving an 8' doorway for a garage under the house. It took eight-seven bags of cement. James E. Dice and his son Archie raised the barn up 15", braced all four sides, and rebuilt it into a cottage using plasterboard throughout and trimming the downstairs. The outside of the cottage was shingled by May 17. On the 24th George Upham laid the chimney. On May 31, Archie Dice set up the stairs. On September 18, Fred and his neighbor, Atkins, hooked up the new water line, each paying half. Fred's bill waas $22.37. On October 20th the garage door was hung. Sometime during the summer the Gortons moved in and rented the main house to Clem Zeiss and his new bride. During the ten months they were there Fred finished the inside of the cottage. Then, the same day Zeiss moved out, the Gortons reoccupied their house and Ralph and Olive Tremper moved into the cottage. He got stuck in the mud across from Nelson Krum's (d. July 19, 1961 @ 65; Clark Krum & Sons Feed Store) and they had to carry his furniture to the cottage from there. The vote to pave Carrier Street didn't come until March 19, 1929 and sidewalks didn't go in until 1931, when Charles Hobart and Bill Reed used Les Cooper's cement mixer and put them in in two days. The village paid 80% of the cost in five payments. Deducted from the village tax, Fred estimated they paid about $80.

To pay for the cottage, Fred borrowed $2500 more from Port Jervis Real Estate and Loan and $1000 from Mary Martha Hill. He paid $25 a month on his mortgage and rented the cottage for $26 a month. The first tenants stayed over two years to be followed by Jesse Hoslander for another two and a half years.[Mrs. Jessie Hoslander was Alta Kortright (June 2, 1905-May 21, 1952)] In April, 1933, Ralph Comfort (d. July 18, 1966 @ 65) moved in for seven years. Delmar Gillette lived there for five months in 1940. Then Leslie and Catherine came. In 1942, Fred bought a cottage in Neversink for $50 and brought home the pieces to put an addition on the cottage. He also made additions to his own house--a downstairs bathroom and an upstairs apartment. But this is getting ahead of his story.



July 21, 1928 Born to Leslie & Catherine a son named Eugene Frederick. Claire is fifteen months old now.



September 15, 1928 Daisy and I went to Oneonta to visit Floyd on 96 River Street and celebrate the twins' fiftieth anniversary of their birthday.



September 17, 1928 We went to Hartwick Seminary and visited George (his oldest brother) and Martha. Also saw Robert and Mildred. The depot at Hartwick Seminary was about the size of the railroad section tool shanty. One stove and seats on one side, the door without a lock, and no station agent. You have to flag the train yourself and the engineer stops and takes you on.



September 27, 1928 We received from Frankfort, Kentucky the living room suite from Spear & Company of Pittsburgh at $99.75. We paid $5 down. It was shipped out September 11. The O&W Railroad charged $12.73.



February 17, 1929 Daisy and I went to church and Ross Tomkins [Ross L. Ingraham Tompkins (d. Nov. 6, 1966 @ 84) had a farm near Neversink where he ran a boarding house when his first wife as alive; he retired there after separating from his second wife (Florence Alena Sparling, who d. Sept. 7, 1965 @ 78); built a house on Jordan Ave. and a store on Cooper Ave.] took us home. I went to Hurleyville today to see Mother. It was the first time I'd ridden on the train on Sunday in over thirty years. I also went to see Grace and Charles. The boys had band practice here today. About seven boys. [Editor's note: This was the band Russell and his friend Tony Raffa formed in high school. Russell played the piano. He met his future wife while playing at a dance she attended.]



March 2, 1929 Finished painting Russell's room with flat white and side walls light green.



August 25, 1929 Mr. and Mrs. Fred Gorton and son Russell and Marie Coburg went to Middletown. Called on Mrs. Mary Carpenter, Ira Clarence, also Mr. William Carpenter. From there we went to Port Jervis over the crow's nest into Barryville, Ulan, Black Lake, White Lake, and home about 9:30 PM.



September 1, 1929 Russell took Leslie, Ma and Pa to Hurleyville today. Quite a reunion at Grace's home. Those present were Mr. & Mrs. Fred Gorton, Leslie & Russell, Mr. and Mrs. George Gorton and Robert, Mr. and Mrs. George Gorton and Bruce, Mrs. C. C. Farquhar, Mrs. Lucille Rexford, Mr. & Mrs. Walter Stapleton and Jackey, our mother Mrs. Lucy M. Gorton, 85 years old. Charles Farquhar was out doing police duty. Also Ai Gorton was present with his camera and took pictures of the group.



October 3, 1929 I went out all day to sell convertable 6% debentures.



October 9, 1929 Russell came in our driveway from Cowell's side over the new road for the first time. He was the first one in. Mother came up for a few days to be with us.



October 29, 1929 Went to Hurleyville & Russell wrote up five shares of 6% converable debentures with Mary Ratcliff and Miss Fannie Clark promised ten shares. [Editor's note: October 29, 1929 was Black Thursday but Fred makes no mention of the stock market crash in his diary.]



October 30, 1929 Daisy & I went to Middletown with Russell, accompanied by Mother and Miss Clark, to get $1000 to invest in convertable 6% debentures which Russell wrote up. Mother bought our dinner and gave Russell $2 for gas.



November 17, 1929 Ma and Russell and Marie Coburg came from Leslie's and Catherine came back with them. Also Claire and Freddie. Freddie walks around by chain and has taken a few steps.



November 28, 1929 Mother spent Thanksgiving with us. We had turkey won in selling 6% debentures.



March 16, 1930 We just got back from Hurleyville to celebrate Mother's birthday. She is 86 years old. George and Martha came down from Oneonta & also Walter & Edna and the three boys came.



June 15, 1930 Russell took me to Farquhar's today. I saw Earl, Charles & Grace, also Mother. Mother broke her collar bone in attempting to lay in a hammock. My brother Leslie and Hazel came there. I haven't seen Leslie since Father & Mother's 50th wedding anniversary.



October 25, 1930 Russell and Marie went to Leslie's and to Brooklyn for his vacation. [Editor's note: Marie frequently visited Brooklyn where her Aunt Ida Hornbeck Crosby lived.]



November 22, 1930 Leslie and family came up to Liberty. Also Ma and Russell were down there and returned with Marie Coburg after three days at 26 Lafayette Street, New Rochelle.



In about 1930, one incident occurred which Fred did not record in his diary. With Daisy's permission he escorted Geraldine, a widowed friend of hers, to a dance at the Barkley Hotel. While there he learned that there was a lady with a room in that hotel who let it out to couples, perhaps seven or eight of them in an evening, who were given numbers and called when another couple came out. The same woman also took cloakroom checks but she didn't get any coats unless she got a tip. Fred gave her fifty cents and got the coats but the next day the same woman saw him on his way to work and gave him a look that Fred interpreted as meaning "you piker."



April 26, 1931 Leslie took Mamma and I to Hurleyville to see Mother. She gave us a book case which sits on a washstand and three books, including the old family Bible with records of marriages, births, and deaths of the immediate family.



May 24, 1931 Leslie, Catherine, Claire and Freddie came and took supper. Also Russell and Marie Coburg ate with us. They all went away before 9PM. Russell took Ma and I to the golf course to see the take off of Otto Hillig but he didn't go on account of rain.



June 11, 1931 Floyd was operated on for appendicitis today. He came through the operation okay and is doing well.



June 25, 1931 Otto Hillig got to Denmark at one o'clock today on the Liberty.



July 21, 1931 Otto Hillig came back to Liberty for a reception. Nine planes were here and firemen, boy scouts, and soldiers marched from the golf course to Main Street by the West Point Band. Freddie celebrated his birthday with his grandparents and Aunt Margaret and baby were also here. Three candles on his cake.



September 16, 1931 Floyd and Alice came to celebrate our birthday and stayed until Friday morning 9:30 AM and took train to Hurleyville. Lee Morton's (Leland C. Morton d. June 7, 1960 in Middletown @ 77) taxi took them to the depot from here.



October 31, 1931 Russell came home from his vacation in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Brooklyn, and New York. Marie Coburg went with him. He also called on Tony Raffa while in Philadelphia, fifteen miles from there. Leslie brought Claire and Freddie to celebrate Halloween. They had a pumpkin and two red hats with black cats on them. Claire had a tickler which she blew in and out.



November 2, 1931 Leslie started his second time around this territory selling Fuller brushes near Ferndale.



November 9, 1931 I've been painting the two big rooms in the cottage in the rear and got most done by 10:00 o'clock Monday when I was taken with a kink in the back. I laid down on the floor about five minutes and then went back to the other house. I saw Dr. Hampton and he gave me an adjustment. I couldn't walk home.



November 13, 1931 Mother came up today, Friday, and stayed until Monday 4:30 PM while Grace went on a visit to Long Island. She seemed quite well but much thinner than she used to be. We had a nice visit. [Editor's note: It was at this time that she told him about her ancestors and started his interest in genealogy. He wrote down the names of his aunts and uncles, grandparents, and great-grandparents on the next page in his diary.]



November 22, 1931 Leslie and family, also Russell and Marie and Margaret Beerman celebrated Catherine's birthday this evening. Freddie took the little calico kitten home which we found out in the moonlight.



April 7, 1932 Daisy had her last five underteeth out by Dick Hartman this AM.



August 9, 1932 Leslie took Daisy and I to see Mother tonight. Martha was met by Edna and Lucille at Hancock to be nurse for Mother.



September 10, 1932 Born to Mr. and Mrs. E. Leslie Gorton a third child. Her name is Mary Dolores. Eight pounds at 5:45 PM. Both mother and child are doing fine at our house, room over the kitchen.



December 24, 1932 I went to Hurleyville to see Mother. She has failed during the two or three weeks since I saw her before. Dora Gorton Mould is taking care of her. [Editor's note: Dora was the daughter of Fred's uncle, John G. Gorton]



January 1, 1933 All of our family were home to eat turkey New Year's Day. Also Miss Marie Coburg of Hurleyville. Russell done justice to the breast meat. All seemed to enjoy dinner. I went to see Aunt Doll at 4 o'clock. I was met at the door by Sherman Misner and his wife soon appeared. They had just finished dinner. Aunt Doll was called downstairs. She is 81 years old and quite deaf but I could make her hear quite well. Leonard Quinn (d. Feb. 4, 1965; he was a little boy at Mary Carrier's in 1904) and his wife and ten year old son called while I was there. The father expects too much of the boy and calls him dumb, but Leonard Jr. likes to read.



February 16, 1933 Mother was buried today after eight months sickness at Grace's house in Hurleyville. All of the children were at the funeral except Osmer. Osmer was in England doing business and will not be back until February 27. My brothers Floyd and Leslie came on the train to Liberty and stayed to supper; then Russell took us to Grace's home. They stayed all night there preceeding Mother's funeral.



March 4, 1933 Inauguration Day at noon. Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn into office and at noon all the banks were closed in New York State. He is a wet Preseident and it is predicted that the 18th Amendment will be repealed. We'll see.



March 5, 1933 I went to church in the forenoon and went to the before coming home. I first went to the soldier's monument, then to Mother's grave, and then across to the old to see the children's graves.



April 10, 1933 Leslie and family went with me to Monticello Surrogate's office today to hear Mother's will read.



April 25, 1933 Toughey had four kittens from an angora male.



June 11, 1933 Russell took me to Hurleyville to see Grace and Charles. Charles is very sick. Lucille and Edna came while I was there. Lucille and Jake Rexford took me home after supper and Daisy sent a bouquet of peonies to Grace, white and red ones.



July 11, 1933 Ma and I went to Charles Farquhar's funeral with Mell and Stell Blade. [Melvin Blade (Feb. 6, 1891-March 1, 1949) was an O& W foreman; he married Fred's cousin, Estelle Gorton (d. March 15, 1954 @ 81)] Floyd and Alice came and took coffee with us. Mr. Nichols and two daughters came with them also. Seven policemen and two state troopers attended the funeral and were at the grave all in uniform with their guns showing. Cecil and Leslie weren't present.



October 23, 1933 Claire went to the hospital for an operation for appendicitis. Dr. Burke operated assisted by Tompkins and Dr. Jacobs. She is doing well and promise of a speedy recovery.



November 10, 1933 Claire came home from the hospital this PM. Three other little girls, all from six to eight years old, have been operated on for appendicitis since Claire.



November 19, 1933 Russell took Daisy and I for a ride and I got off at Hurleyville and took supper with Grace and Ai. Leonard came to supper later after Ai came back to relieve him at the bar.



1933 assessed valuation of the house and lot at 100 Carrier Street: $6000.00; taxes: $48.00



March 1, 1934 I was taken with a pain in the back at 3PM and James Hutchinson brought me home. I laid on the couch 24 hours and then Phil Ruffle (Feb. 27, 1891-July 12, 1960; stores dept., elec. co.) sent three first aid men to carry me upstairs, Jas. Hutchinson, Freddie Wollmer and Bob Oestrich. We had Dr. Lee Tompkins. He strapped me up clear to my shoulder blades. I came downstairs six days later.



March 10, 1934 After ten days at home laid up with lumbago I went at 7:30 PM and mailed two letters and came back by the electric office. Ma has quite a fever and has been to bed for two days.



May 24, 1934 Dolores, 20 months old, said hello three times over telephone while her grandmother held her up.



June 25, 1934 Russell got a second set of glasses of Dr. Nemerson of Fallsburgh, NY.



July 9, 1934 Leslie came home from camp to stay. Was there, 1245th Co. CCC, Camp #65, Narrowsburgh, from December 8, 1933 to July 9, 1934, seven months.



Leslie came from Mount Vernon with his family to live with Mamma and I as he was out of a job. Claire, Fred, and Dolores were with them. Donald wasn't even through of. He came after Dolores was nine years old. It was late fall and unemployment was at its height. Byron Grant (d. July 25, 1957 @ 75; pres. of Nat'l Bank; m. Louise Carpenter Nov. 4, 1914) said Leslie could go to the CC Camp at $25 a month. That made one less to board. Leslie gave me $18 per month all that winter. The County offered a sack of flour (50 lbs) for the needy and we accepted. I was working at the power plant for $18 a week for 13 hours a night, 7 nights a week. The next spring I guaranteed his relief from the Camp. He took a job at Ambers Store for $12 a week and he did some painting at the Lenape and also worked for Paul Beck (d. Feb. 4, 1955 @ 66). Then an opening came as a meter reader at the Electric Company. My son Russell was also a meter reader at the time. Andrew Ewing (d. Aug. 2, 1963 @ 65) was District Manager, and Ken Sprague claimed two brothers couldn't work the same job in our company so Ewing overruled Sprague's opinion and hired Leslie full time as a meter reader.



August 3, 1934 I got two front teeth filled by Dr. Harry Ordin at 5:00 PM.



September 12, 1934 Fireman's Field Day today. The largest crowd we've had in Liberty since Otto Hillig came back from Denmark. Fireworks in the evening, the best we ever had.



November 29, 1934 Thanksgiving Day. I took care of the fires in the boiler of the School Street garage today. I also put in some concrete in floor and walls. We had turkey and all the children and grandchildren were present. Also Miss Marie Coburg.



December 25, 1934 The entire family was here for Christmas, including our grandchildren. We had a hemlock tree and plenty of presents for all and nuts and candies, a duck dinner and dressing. All of us seemed to be very happy. The three children have just got over the whooping cough. The older ones have been out of school about a month.



February 5, 1935 The telephone company and electric company were changing their lines and couldn't get by the tree I transplanted forty-four years ago the second of May, Arbor Day, whose name was Benjamin Franklin. Eugene Emmerson (d. March 1968; when he married Mabel Young on Oct. 4, 1930, the electric company office force gave them a skimmelton) and John Havey (b. Liberty Aug. 13, 1897; m. Louisa G. Zieman, who d. April 14, 1932) broke the news to me at our employee meeting. I could have cried. I swore a curse on the whole batch of them, that one would pass out every ten years as did Cliff Edwards and Clyde Joyner. This tree was a tall spruce towering some forty feet high. Once before they cut the branches on one side for 6' to let two wires pass in the line. [Editor's note: Skimmelton seems to be a local word for the reception given for the bride and groom after their wedding. It probably derives from skimmington, the public ridicule of a henpecked husband or a shrewish wife but has taken on characteristics of a shivaree, a noisy mock-serenade to newlyweds, instead.]



June 23, 1935 Mrs. Peck and Mrs. Hahn [Frank Hahn d. Feb. 27, 1956 @ 84; his wife, Susan Pierce, d. Oct. 26, 1952 @ 71; he was in real estate) took us and Leslie's family to Sackett Lake. Russell took his new car and Ma rode with him. We saw Earl Krum's bungalow, also Ernie Hoos (Mrs. Ernie J. Hoos was Henrietta Dohrman who d. Jan 10, 1936 @ 48) and Fred Hoos's place and the Heidt brothers' bungalow. [Charles Heidt d. May 3, 1940 @ about 50; Mrs. Melvin Heidt, a teacher for 26 years, d. Dec. 18, 1947 @ 54] We came back by way of Roscoe. This outing was in honor of Daisy and Fred's thirty-fourth wedding anniversary.



July 8, 1935 Leslie took a job with the electric company as a meter reader. He has Chester Phillips's territory. (Chester L. Phillips was b. Ferndale Aug. 28, 1904 and was appointed postmaster of Ferndale in 1962; he married Lois Hutchinson)



September 20, 1935 Russell and Freddie went up in Holger Horus's plane today.



October 5, 1935 Alva Eronimous and wife, Fred Gorton and Daisy started for Oneonta and Mt. Vision. Saturday morning to Friday night we made 910 miles in Alva Eronimous's Buick without a single mishap. Our expense was about $35.



Fred later wrote: I never done much travelling as I worked for small wages but my foreman asked my wife and I to go to Niagara Falls. We started for Oneonta and to Mount Vision on Route 233 at Lowville. We left Clayton at 8:45 AM for Niagara Falls and arrived in Oswego at 11:10 AM Monday. We saw the lights shining at night on the cascade of the Falls, stayed all night at Niagara Village, started down the river 278' by steps viewing the bridge, and returned back to the street and went to the ledge and looked down 300' to the Devil's Cave. There were 375 stone steps and 357 from the water to Devil's Cave. I ran up those 375 steps without stopping. Alvie or my wife took my picture from the ledge. I looked about the size of an ant. We returned through Ithaca where Uncle David Misner used to live. By chance we met Carl Osen in Child's Restaurant and at Geneva met Eddie Light and Harold P. Allen at the Electric Company office. Perhaps two years later Alive and Delia took us again. He always paid for transportation with his car and I paid only our expenses.



November 16, 1935 Leslie moved out after three years, three and a half months stay here on 100 Carrier Street to St. John Street, Grace Lynch's house back of the theater. Russell married Marie Coburg today at 2:30.



January 1, 1936 Daisy and I were alone for the New Year's dinner for the first time since our marriage.



June 24, 1936 Celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary at Leslie's home.



July 27, 1936 Cecil and Florence and the twins, Alberta and Virginia, also the mother of Florence, stayed overnight. The girls are thirteen years old.



September 17, 1936 Floyd and Alice came here to visit us in honor of our birthday.



October 10, 1936 Dolores, four years old, stayed all night away from her parents for the first time.



October 21, 1936 Aunt Doll died today, aged eighty-three years, ten months, ten days. Walt Misner is her last surviving son.



November 28, 1936 Russell fell down half the steps in front of our house and broke a pint of raspberries and a plate containing a piece of mince pie. Pa Gorton took a library book over to Nelson Krum's and snow covered the ice. He fell on the driveway and hurt a rib on the left side with feet in the air.



December 7, 1936 I came downstairs December 6 at 5PM for the first time since Monday night November 30. I had Dr. Dem Payne. He said one rib cracked.



May 10, 1937 Daisy and I went to church, taking Dolores with us, and then went to Leslie's, took dinner, and then Catherine and Ma and I went to the .



July 7, 1937 I took Leslie's bicycle to Harold Weyrauch (d. Feb. 15, 1958 @ 71; m. Cleva Tanner) to fix the crank next to the pedal and then to 15 St. John Street. Freddie took it out and gave Danny Harley a ride only to break his arm, both bones an inch and a half below the elbow.



July 11, 1937 Leonard Farquhar took Grace, his mother, and Daisy and I to Mt. Vision to attend the funeral of Alice's daughter Hazel Fields. I saw Bert Gorton while there. He was only a small boy when he left Liberty. We also met Mr. and Mrs. Robins, friends of Floyd's, at the funeral. We went by way of Deposit but came back by way of Beaver Brook. Floyd has lost fifteen pounds and looks quite miserable. Alice looks quite good but complains of poor health. They have a nice field of potatoes and oats. We took dinner in Deposit.



July 12, 1937 Claire was operated on for tonsils and Dolores has the measles. She is very sad. Mamma stayed with Dolores all afternoon and we took supper with them.



August 7, 1937 Osmer and Grace spent the afternnon and took supper here. Osmer is very thin and hasn't been working for some time.



September 15, 1937 We started at 2:30 from our home, heading for my twin brother's home at Mt. Vision [Editor's note: this was the second vacation trip with Alva and Delia Eronimous. When they arrived there they picked raspberries and had cream on them.]



September 16,1937 We stayed around Floyd's all day expecting to go to the Morris Fair but backed out.



September 17, 1937 Was our birthday, fifty-nine years. We took a hooker of rye whiskey before eating breakfast.(Alvie also hooked up one.) Arrived at Clayton at 8:00 PM. (Since it rained that evening, I went out and got some post cards.)



September 18, 1937 We took a large pleasure boat ride from Clayton to Kingston, Canada (at the noon hour). We got back at 5:30. (The boat had a capacity of 120 persons and 26 others took the trip with us. We ate turkey dinner at the American Hotel in Canada. We hired a bus and driver and went sight seeing. We saw many gray stone buildings and the prison. On the return trip we had 36 passengers aboard and went on the 85 mile trip thru the Islands back by way of Alexandria Bay. We stopped at Heart Island Bolt Castle landing. We went along a board walk and slat fence. When we got back from the trip) after supper we went to the theater. The play was "Oh, Doctor," the race of a railroad against a fleet of trucks taking aero-planes to the Pacific Coast. The trucks won.



September 19, 1937 Arrived at Plattsburgh at supper time. Spent the evening with Mr. Leuder, a former employee. We had a highball at Leuder's place and he brought us back at midnight. (At 10 AM we started toward Alexandria Bay and passed the St. Lawrence State Hospital and saw a large elevator across the river. We saw the dock at Alexandria Bay and next Ogdensburg at Hammond. We arrived at Plattsburg at supper time, stayed at Mrs. Wilson Tourists.)



September 20, 1937 (Leuder took Alva and I around the gas plant and electric steam plant it using both 40 and 60 cycles.) Leaving Plattsburgh we went through Ausable Chasm at Elizabethtown to Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. Stayed all night at Tupper Lake. (Here we got some branches off the fir trees with seeds on them. We passed Long Lake before we came to Newcomb.)



September 22, 1937 We went through Lake George to Albany. At Albany we went through the first floor of Montgomery Ward's eight story building. Liberty at 2:30 PM Wednesday. Went to work at 4:00 the same night. 842 miles and 85 miles on water=927 miles. Fifty-one gallons of gas at 21 a gallon=$10.71. (Alvie paid for all the gas on the trip as he furnished the car and Daisy and I paid half the expenses of food and lodging.)



November 10, 1937 Russell took us to Albany today on business of his own to see the Burrows Co. about a position. Daisy and I went around the Capitol building and then around to the car parked two blocks down.



November 25, 1937 Leslie, Catherine, Claire, Freddie, Dolores, Russell, and Marie took Thanksgiving dinner with their parents.



January 1, 1938 Daisy and I are alone all day this New Year's Day.



January 3, 1938 Ma and I took supper with Marie this evening.



April 18, 1938 Floyd and Alice took us to Middletown and we saw Leslie [his brother Leslie, not his son]. He seems to have his own home. We took dinner at a lunchwagon. [Editor's Note: Leslie had the hardest luck of any of the siblings except perhaps Janette. He had a railroad accident and was laid up three years. He had a cataract and one eye removed. He went into a home at Slate Hill later in life but ran away to Warwick to a friend's house.]



November 11, 1938 Russell moved into our apartment.



November 13, 1938 Marie brought home a little yellow kitten.



Fred was called to serve on the Grand Jury in Monticello for the first time on January 3, 1939. The first women ever to serve on a Grand Jury in Sullivan County were on that one, Mabel Richmond and Ruth Williams. Russell drove Fred back and forth several times during the eight days of jury duty. Fred was paid $31.20. In the course of the next ten years, after which he was too old to be called, Fred served seven more times as a grand juror.



April 1, 1939 Coaching in Liberty. Davis [electric company employee Kenneth H. Davis (Sept. 22, 1899-July 24, 1959); he died at the electric company office on Wierk Ave.] and I rode a float designed by him to represent electric appliances.



April 30, 1939 Ma and I went to church and then to Leslie's home for dinner and supper. Russell came and took us home to find Snook the cat had a broken hind leg. Russ took to him to Dr. Freer's.



June 14, 1939 Daisy and Russell went to Fallsburgh this evening, each to get a new pair of glasses.



August 25, 1939 Russell and Marie went to their camp to stay over Sunday.



September 1, 1939 The Germans shelled Poland. I picked the pears and finished the fence around the Red Astican tree, 35' square, and made a gate.



September 17, 1939 Ma and I celebrated my sixty-first birthday at Leslie's home on Winthrop Avenue.



September 22, 1939 Russell took Leslie and the three children, Ma and I to his camp at White Lake. We stayed all day and went boating.



In October, Fred went to the World's Fair in New York. He went alone, by train, and stayed in a rooming house.



I spent three days away. Had a ride on the new Ford. Had to go up thirty steps for the ride. I hit an Italian man's foot in going up. He threatened to slug me. I also went up someother stairs and bumped against an old maid. She accused me of getting a little close to her. In coming home I asked a man what I should have said to her. He said I should have said, "Are you one of those women I poisoned and still alive?" I also saw all the old engines of years ago. I had a ride on the little string of cars that took us all around the Fair Grounds. On Sunday I attended the First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica. I left the Roepke residence October 16th. The son directed me where to get off the train for Hotel Dixie. I arrived home 1:20PM. Cost of trip, $19.06.



January 1, 1940 Russell and Stan McChesney and I went to Hurleyville to fish with tip-ups on the Hornbeck farm. No luck.



January 30, 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt's birthday. Also Hitler in power in Germany and Janet Comfort's fourth birthday.



February 5, 1940 Dr. Payne came to see Ma. She suffered all night from gallstones.



February 26, 1940 I hung out clothes for Mamma today and she went to a party at E. L. Cooper's in the evening. Got home 12:30 AM.



April 14, 1940 Installation of trustees at Presbyterian Church: George Garvin Birmingham, Albert Theodore Decker, Fred Gorton, William Harry Tompkins. Also Deacon Walter Bennett Lancashire (Walter Lancashire d. Mar. 15, 1943 @ 37) and Elder Paul Herbert Allen (Paul Allen m. Anna Gerow).



April 22, 1940 I went to the movies, title "Rebecca," and Ma went to a party given by Mrs. Chester Price.



August 29, 1940 Mr. Sinowitz from the Sullivan County Plumbing and Supply Company came her to measure up the five room cottage preparatory to putting in heat.



October 5, 1940 Leslie's family and Daisy went to the World's Fair. Left here 6:20 AM. Got home ten of 3 AM.



October 17, 1940 Mr. Haas and the elders and deacons and trustees had a banquet turkey supper at the Lenape to discuss one day a week for a religious service for the public school.



October 19, 1940 Ai Gorton broke his wrist at Grace's home after the grand opening of the Silver Dollar Hotel of Jake Rexford and Leonard Farquhar.



October 28, 1940 Daisy received an air mail letter from Russell today from Lansing, Michigan.



November 21, 1940 Celebrated Roosevelt Thanksgiving today. Russell and Marie and Leslie, Catherine, Claire, Freddie, and Dolores.



December 23,1940 I took dinner with Leslie and we went to the xmas program in the Catholic Church and Candlelight service at 5PM in our church.



March 29, 1941 Leslie Gorton and family moved in our cottage today.



September 9, 1941 Born to Leslie and Catherine Gorton their fourth child, a son, Donald Richard Gorton.



September 14,1941 I went to the hospital to see Catherine and our new grandson. Dolores fell off Berna Deinhart's bicycle and got a black eye and knee.



October 25, 1941 Leslie took Russell's car and took Ma, Catherine, Freddie and Dolores to Middletown. Ma bought a desk for me.



December 2, 1941 Dick Todd and wife went to Boston today with Russell and Marie.



December 7, 1941 Japan declared war on U.S. Bombed the Hawaiian Islands.



January 2, 1942 Bought Defense Savings Bond.



January 26, 1942 Russell starts for Walden this AM with a new Chevrolet truck.



January 30, 1942 Russell took physical.



April 4, 1942 Bought another Defense Bond. $18.95.



April 27, 1942 Jackey Stapleton was killed as the Sturtevant was torpedoed off the coast of Florida Monday. 1900 ton destroyer.



Editor's note: In the summer of 1942, Russell reported to Camp Upham, then to Atlantic City for officer's training. Fred, Leslie and Freddie kept busy at home fixing up the cottage.



September 11, 1942 Our first air raid alarm in Liberty.



January 14, 1943 Bill Keller took me to Hurleyville to see Grace and Ai. She met me at the door. Grace had an operation some weeks ago, her fourth. Ai has his forefinger on the left hand off. It looks bad.



January 19, 1943 Russell started from Tampa, Florida to Meridian, Mississippi,



February 19, 1943 Les Coburg and Katie were here today. Also Dick Todd and wife. [Editor's note: Les Coburg was Marie's father. Katie Hornbeck Coburg was his second wife but also the sister of his first wife, Marie's mother, who died in childbirth. Katie and her parents, M.G. and Ella Hornbeck, raised Marie on the Hornbeck farm in Hurleyville. Because of Ella's refusal to approve of Katie marrying her sister's widower, Katie and Les waited until after Ella's death to marry. Dick and Anna Mauer Todd were close friends of Russ and Marie's. Anna Todd was the daughter of Frank (d. Mar. 22, 1941 @ 59; brother of Will Mauer) and Bertha Mauer.]



February 20, 1943 Marie started for the city this AM to go Monday for Meridian, Mississippi to be with Russell. We shipped her new trunk today.



March 1, 1943 Les and Katie Coburg called on us this evening. We had a nice visit. Marie and Russell are at Meridian.



March 28, 1943 Dolores and I went to see the railroad train wreck. Fourteen cars down the bank halfway between Ferndale Depot and Bull's Cut.



April 4, 1943 Russell and Marie came back from Meridian at 3PM today. It is also his thirty-htird birthday. We all were pleased. In the evening fifteen people were here: Bill Keller and wife, Les and Katie and M.H. Hornbeck, Aunt Ida, Dick Todd, Leslie, Catherine, Claire and Dolores, Russ and Marie and Ma and Pa. {M.H.Hornbeck was Marie's uncle; Aunt Ida was probably Ida Hornbeck Crosby, her aunt.]



We had a blackout both May 4 and May 10, each for one hour.



August 6, 1943 W. R. Gorton from 2nd to 1st Lieutenant.



August 24, 1943 I started to wear my new bifocal glasses today. $25.00.



Septemer 1, 1943 The Germans have issued military law in Denmark and killed 2000 people. King Christian is under arrest.



October 6, 1943 Russell and Marie drove home from Columbia, South Carolina, arrived here 2 AM and got us out of bed.



October 10, 1943 We had our Thanksgiving dinner today as Russell and Marie are home for eight days.



February 16, 1944 Russell and Marie came home from South Carolina today and left their car with Les Coburg. Quite a surprise.



March 21, 1944 Last letter written by Russell before he went across.



May 17, 1944 I went to Jeffersonville to Mrs. Lucky's auction with Frederick Wollmer and Don Westbrook. I bought 29 worthless records and a nice sugar bowl. I trimmed Mrs. Atkins' little trees in the evening, also my two apple trees.



June 4, 1944 Marie came home Friday evening June 2nd and returned to NYC Sunday PM. Agnes Slaver took her to the bus station. [Editor's note: Marie took a job demonstrating cosmetics while Russ was stationed in Europe during World War II. She traveled all over the country. Agnes Slaver was the daughter of John (d. April 21, 1958 @ 75) and Agnes Prothero Slaver (d. Nov. 24, 1958 @ 74); she later married Donald Baker.]



August 10, 1944 Marie came home from Binghamton this afternoon and the Coburgs came up to spend the evening.



August 16, 1944 Leslie got through with the electric company today.



September 3, 1944 Les Coburg and Katie came up today and took Marie to Middletown to catch the train back to New York.



September 17, 1944 I stayed home this forenoon to help Leslie and family put their furniture on the truck. They departed at 12 noon for Stratford, Connecticut. [Editor's note: This marked the beginning of the migration of Fred's branch of the Gortons out of Liberty. Claire and Fred married and had twelve children each, many of whom still live in the Stratford/Bridgeport/Trumbull area. At this writing, in February 2005, Catherine Gorton is over 100 years old and still going strong in her own home in Trumbull, Connecticut.]



November 27, 1944 The past grands club met at Daisy's home and thirteen members came. We washed the dishes and retired at 1:30 AM.



December 11,1944 Mrs. Cooper had her party this evening. Seventeen ladies were present. Jimmie and I had to walk our wives home on acocunt of ice coming on in the evening.



December 23,1944 Leslie and entire family came on the train from Stratford, Connecticut to Liberty.



January 12, 1945 I got a raise in pay from 88 to 93 per hour and we got retroactive back to April 1, 1944.



May 13,1945 Claire came home from Bridgeport after the prom was over. She has a fiery red evening gown. Brought Grandma a box of candy.



August 15, 1945 President Truman declared a two day holiday on account of close of war with the Japs.



November 5, 1945 Marie came home after more than a year.



November 13, 1945 Russell phoned from Camp Shanks this PM. He arrived there this morning and will go to Fort Dix soon.



November 18, 1945 Russell came home from overseas this evening on the bus. 7:05 PM. I met him there.



December 25, 1945 Ma and I went to Les Coburg's home [the Hornbeck farm in Hurleyville] for turkey dinner. Russell drove Les's car from here.We caught two pickerel and returned before dark. Anson Bates and wife and Doris from Bridgeport were there, also the Crosbys. [Anson Bates's wife was Luella Hornbeck, another of Marie's aunts and Doris was their daughter.]



April 9, 1946 Took bus for Middletown. Bus got on fire at Harris. Got to Middletown 10:15 AM. Took dinner with Mrs. Carpenter and supper with Leslie and stayed all night with the Carpenters. Elizabeth Ann Smith took me back to Middletown and I went to NYC to Barnum & Bailey's show Thursday, April 11. I took the 7:00 train from Grand Central Station to Bridgeport to see Leslie and came back with Anson Bates to Liberty. Arrived home 10:20 PM April 12.



September 17, 1946 Daisy gave me a Bulova watch, fifteen jewels, for my sixty-eighth birthday. Very sweet of her.



October 26, 1946 Les and Katie called this evening to get three suits to send to Marie in Binghamton. She and Russ are there for a month.



October 31, 1946 Retired. At 8 PM tonight the employees of the electric corp. gave me a little party in the Lineman's Room. About forty were present. They gave me an electric drill and asked for a speech. The twenty-nine years service ended October 16, 1946.

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