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Jennie Benjamin and Minnie Hoagland
By Karen Cuccinello 2-2019

This photo, housed in the Stamford Village Library history room photo collection, caught my eye because it was different from the norm. It is the first time that I have seen two women together with a scarf wrapped around them. Both women grew up in Gilboa and were often in the newspaper visiting family and friends but I never saw their two names together. When I discovered that their mom's had the same maiden name and were sisters, that made Minnie and Jennie cousins.

Jennie Benjamin was born December 10, 1868 in South Gilboa to John Henry and Adaline (Perry) Benjamin. She had one older sister Katharine/Kate/Mrs. Ulysses Grant Clark who she often lived next door to or with. Jennie married John P. Conrow November 3, 1892 in South Gilboa. In 1905 they are living in Gilboa on the Catskill Turnpike with his parents Stephen and Elizabeth Conrow. John was a rabbit breeder, dairy farmer and Gilboa town supervisor.

Jennie was probably involved in the suffrage movement because in 1919 (one year after women got the right to vote in NYS) she was appointed to the Republican committee. She was also a member of the Utsayantha Chapter Order of the Eastern Star and the Methodist Church.

Her mother died in 1917 and her father lived with them for a time until his death in 1921. Jennie becomes a childless widow in 1936 when her husband dies. In 1939 she and her sister, of South Gilboa, sold their Conrow-Clark farm to Irving Mondore and purchased the Arthur Blizzard property in Grand Gorge and in 1946 they move into the former Harvey Houck house, also in Grand Gorge.

Jennie's sister Katharine (Benjamin) Clark died January 19, 1950 eight years after her husband died and three years after her only child, a son, died. Four months later Jennie died at the home of her nephew, Fred Houck, April 18,1950 after several months of ill health. All are buried in the Stamford Cemetery.

Minnie Hoagland was born in Fergusonville April 4, 1872, the daughter of James and Candace (Perry) Hoagland. She was the oldest of five children living with her family in the 1875 and 1880 Gilboa census then in Stamford in 1892. At some point after the 1892 census (enumerators usually went around in the summer) she married Frederick G. Hartwell, a printer. They had one child, Lena, in 1893 and were living in Manhattan for the 1900 and 1910 census. Lena married Louis C. Beers of Prattsville in 1912. In 1915 Minnie is living (minus Fred) with her mother in Stamford one house away from her daughter on River St. Later she had a home on East Main St.

At the age of 49 Minnie, now divorced, marries Merton Maynard, a merchant age 53, (his first wife had died) on October 21, 1921 in Stamford. The next year Merton sold his residence on Prospect street in Stamford, known as the “Cotton House ". Merton died in 1932 and left his estate of $5,500 to Minnie. In 1940 she is living with her daughter and son-in-law, the caretaker of Mt. Utsayantha observation tower, in Stamford. Minnie died April 14, 1947 after a 12 year illness at home in Stamford. She was a member of the Grace Episcopal Church. Burial in Stamford Cemetery with Merton.

So, the girls came together again in the end, section E & F in the cemetery.

More articles by Karen Cuccinello

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