Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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as told to daugher-in-law Vanlora (Kimball) Aldrich

submitted by Vernon C. Aldrich (grandson of Adelbert Aldrich), August 30, 2006

(Census data and remarks in [ ] added by Vernon)

I was born in Sprucetown in Greene Co., a few miles from Roxbury, N.Y. (1 Oct 1882)

His (Adelbert Aldrich's) father died when he was a baby. They moved to Hobart, New York when he was about 4 years old.

"A house opposite the Howard Rich road in township, going into Hobart"

His mother died when he was small. There were 6 in the family. He was the youngest boy.

His older brothers worked hard to keep the family going, picked berries, etc.

After his mother died, he went to live on Rose's Brook with his brother George. He was about 7 years old and lived there most of his life, "Off and on," moved away then came back.

His brother couldn't keep him, so hired him out at 7! He went to work for a farmer in Bloomville when he was 11, 12, 13.

He was big and strong for his age - did a man's work.

A cattle dealer he was working for put him over the men.

The neighbors found fault because he wasn't being paid. The farmer said, "If I pay him, he will do a man's work."

He can point out places he worked. Told us he remembers going to sleep standing up by a barn he was so tired.

He pitched hay like a man and worked hard.

One sunday he and a friend went swimming at the South Kortright swimming pool.

Another boy dared his friend to swim. The boy drowned.

He says, he yelled, they heard him all over to South Kortright. Help came but it was too late. This embarrased him.

When he was 14, came back to Rose's Brook. Went to work on the Steven's place (by Horse Shoe)

One Sunday, he and a friend got on their wheels and went to the Methodist church 7 miles away in South Kortright and found it.

No one told him too, God led him.

He lived with rough people who didn't have good influence on him.

He had something special in his heart. He could be trusted, and always kept his word.

If he hired out for 1 year or 2, he stayed.

His brother George's wife had relatives in Roxbury, who wanted a good boy to be company for their son. So, they chose him. He lived there for 2 years. He was 16.

1900 census - George's wife was Myrtle Jump.

Craw, Winslow              1851 Sep    NY           48   20y                        14 
Craw, Linday A.            1846 Sep    NY           53   20y  1                     14 
Craw, Herman E.            1884 Apr    NY           16   S                          14
Bookhout, Bertha D.        1882 Aug    NY           17   S          Servant         14
Aldrich, Adelbert          1882 Oct    NY           17   S          Servant         14

He went to work for my brother in Roxbury worked farm by shares.

Those days, I would take the team and sled, cut down poles, take them to Roxsbury and sell them for $2.00 a load. That was good money in those days.

One thing I told them, no one could April fool me.

There was an old man that helped take care of, lifted him to his chair.

One day, I went up to the field, to get cows, I heard them hollar, "Delbert, Dan fell out of his chair."

So, I ran down to the house enough to break my neck. When I got to the house, they said, "April fool!"

My brother's wife's mother had a son going to college, he went insane. I helped take care of him because I was big and stronger than he was.

We missed him, I went upstairs and caught him going out the window, pulled him back. I was good to him and made him mine. He used to point to me and say I was his friend.

Finally, he went to the insane asylum. It meant a lot for us to have him go that way.

After a while, he came back all right in every way. He went to college and became a minister.

He joined the Methodist Church in Roxbury and went every Sunday and middle of the week.

He weighed 190, could handle anyone, large for his years.

He wasn't afraid of anyone.

People were worried that I would get hurt going to night meetings. I had to go through woods, he caught the cows breaking into the creamery one night and handled them.

His misses - wife to be [Hannah Preston], lived next door and worked in the creamery where he did.

1900 census 

Preston, William L.        1851 May    NY           49   Wd   277
Preston, Hannah F.         1882 Feb    NY           18   S    277
Preston, Mary H.           1883 Dec    NY           16   S    277

Appears to farther away than "next door", unless this is the other side of 
the street  and one side was done first.

He was popular, one night he was going to a dance with his horse and two seated wagon and a load of girls going to a dance.

I ran through a toll gate.

Believe me, coming back from the dance, every rig was stopped until they got me!

It cost me $5.00 - big money in those days.

My brother tried to get me to smoke. I did once and said, "No more."

He and misses went to a dance, together.

One night I got disgusted and said I would never go to another dance. She agreed; we never did.

I had kept company with two girls.

One sang in the Methodist church another lived with her father. [Hannah and sister Mary lived with their father, William Preston. Their mother had died in 1896.]

She was a lovely girl. God made his choice. She went away. I wrote and told her we would part company. This is where God had a hand. Still she was a lovely girl.

I hired out in the creamery (the other side of Roxbury, going to Margaretville)

My wife and I were married in Kingston. I was 19, she 21. [Both were 22. Married in Ulster County, Town of Esopus, Village of Sleightsburg, 2 Nov 1904, according to marriage certificate]

We hired a farm between Roxbury and Grand Gorge.

There I heard Mr. Mackenzie preach in the school.

I said, "He has got what I want."

They told me what I had to do, I was stubborn, and was through. But they came back in a week, a singer came with them. He sang, "I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord".

When they got through, I said, "I am ready for anything you want of me."

When I said that, that was a start toward making a place for O.S.

I had a big business. I ran a livery stable, hired horses out for weddings, road work, funerals, ets. A big business, 7 days a week.

Kenneth was born in Roxbury. We found our place had a mortgage on it, we didn't know about.

We liked it there, but moved to Rose's Brook (or Scotch Valley), a road that runs from Rose's Brook by the church to the Stone house (Rodriguez).

His brother, George, lived there, then came to live here. Edith born here.

I went to a gathering in Maine and saw O.S. 1st time.

One time, Kenneth was sick. Dr. gave me pills.

He said to his wife, "Shall we serve God or the Devil?" and threw them in the stove. He got well.

He still kept business in Roxbury and ran his farm.

He had 16 horses working on the road. Also ran a large farm, 4 head of cattle, had a hired man and girl.

He told misses he couldn't do both. God led him to give up the livery, 7 day job in Roxbury. He gave up hired help all before he knew O.S. was coming.

He had invited O.S. to come sometime.

(Grace told me that Grandpa was the only person who had asked him to come) I just remember her saying that.

When he was in this state, I got a call from Hobart Station, and went to get him.

When he got in the door and saw the children, he got worried for fear they would tell on him.

He never had to worry.

This is the end of what he told me. You may know the rest or a lot more.

We can see how God led him with out any person to guide him.

I often hear other stories, but don't ask. Almost as if the Shepherd life was still a secret.

I often thought of adding Mrs. Hannah's poem about her children. Kennath Sandford wrote it out for me once.

I waited to get someone to write this over because you seem so busy. I hope you can use this.

I still remember the meeting you had about the Holy at the gathering March but, it was wonderful.

He helped me see lots of things plainer.

Vanlora Aldrich

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