Paternal

Peckett’s on Sugar Hill

So if you get bored researching the same old ancestors, you should branch out and find out more about the siblings of the people in your direct line. Following another relative’s line can lead to some interesting stories, like the one I’m going to write about today.

Katharine Belknap was my 2nd cousin 3x removed (her grandfather, William, was the brother of my 3x great-grandfather, Thomas Belknap). Katharine was born August 13, 1874 in New Hampshire to George and Jennie (Ranlett) Belknap. George died in 1879. Katharine had a sister, Annie, that died in April 1874 at the age of 2. In 1880, Jennie and Katharine were living with Jennie’s parents in Littleton, Grafton County, New Hampshire. Katharine married Robert Plimpton Peckett, a hotelkeeper in Lisbon, New Hampshire, on March 30, 1895 in Littleton. Robert’s father, John Wesley Peckett, had been an attorney in New York.

John “had brought his family [to Sugar Hill] to spend healthful summers at John Goodnow’s boarding house. In 1876, together with Goodnow, John Peckett constructed the imposing Goodnow House… . When his son Robert was 21, he and his brother John took over the operation of the hotel, changing the name to Franconia Inn, but it was destroyed by fire in 1907.”

– Arthur F. March in his Arcadia publication “Franconia and Sugar Hill,” 1997, page 82
Goodnow House (Franconia Inn), c1876-1888
(from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/)

In 1893, a farmhouse which had been acquired from a Mr. Goodnow was moved across the road, in February 1900 they took in their first guests (from https://skihall.com/hall-of-famers/katharine-peckett-holman/). Depending on the time of the year the U.S. Federal Census was taken, there were varying numbers of people living at Sugar Hill. In the 1900 census (taken on 6-30-1900) of Lisbon, Grafton, N.H., Robert and Katharine were listed with their daughter Deborah (aged 4) and son Robert Jr. (aged 4 months), along with Jennie Belknap (Katharine’s mother), a cook, farm hand, gardener, kitchen girl, stable boy, table girl, and stable boss. Robert’s father, John Wesley Peckett, died in 1904. Their daughter Katharine was born July 8, 1906.

After the Franconia Inn burned in 1907, the farmhouse mentioned previously became the center of Peckett’s-on-Sugar-Hill Inn. In the 1910 census (taken 5-11-1910), Robert, Katherine, Jennie, and the three children, Deborah (aged 15), Robert Jr. (aged 10), and Katharine (4) were listed along with more employees: a farm manager, hotel housekeeper, waitress, pastry cook, kitchen girl, 2 farm laborers, and a gardener.

In the 1920 census (taken on January 21, 1920), Robert, Katharine, and Jennie were living at Sugar Hill. Deborah (aged 24) and her husband Joel Coffin were also living with them. Robert Jr. was 19 and Katharine was 13. Their employees included a “hotel man,” a maid, a nurse, a chauffer, 5 waitresses, 2 chambermaids, a dish washer, and 2 cooks.

The First Ski School

Katharine’s mother, Jennie Belknap, died in 1926. In 1928, 22-year-old Katharine Peckett spent a Christmas break skiing in Switzerland. She encouraged her parents to visit to show them how Peckett’s-on-Sugar-Hill could become a ski resort and school. In Spring 1929 at Sugar Hill, Katharine “supervised and worked at clearing the side hill, adjacent to the now many-winged farmhouse. This became the major slope for the first bona-fide ski school in America in the winter of 1929-30. The first two instructors were German, one being Herman Glatfelder” (from https://skihall.com/hall-of-famers/katharine-peckett-holman/).

N.H. Historical Marker Number 73

In the 1930 census of 4-30-1930, Robert, Katharine, and young Katharine (aged 23) had a chef, 2 farm laborers, office clerk, and chambermaid at the inn. In the 1940 census (taken on April 8), Robert and his wife Katharine were at the Ritz-Carlton on Madison Avenue in New York City. Katharine died on September 17, 1951 and Robert died in Manhattan on March 6, 1959. They are buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Franconia, NH. Peckett’s-on-Sugar-Hill closed in 1967. The original resort building is now gone, but the rest of Peckett’s on Sugar Hill is now a wedding venue. Cocktail hours take place on a patio made from the building’s foundation. There are also five “cottages” on the estate available to overnight guests, one of which is the “Iris Farm House,” on the original dairy farm.

Bette Davis at Sugar Hill

Arthur A. Farnsworth was an assistant manager at Peckett’s-on-Sugar-Hill. After finishing two movies in 1939, Bette Davis visited Peckett’s for a rest. She turned an old barn into Butternut Lodge and built Butternut Cottage. Davis met Farnsworth and, according to the story, got herself intentionally “lost” in the woods, knowing that he would be the one sent to search for her. They married in 1940.

Arthur died in Hollywood on August 25, 1943 of a skull fracture he suffered during a fall while walking on Hollywood Boulevard. He had fallen down the stairs 2 months before in New Hampshire while running to the phone. In the autopsy, it was discovered that he had a blood clot from that previous fall that caused him to become dizzy and to fall on the sidewalk (from the LA Times).

‘In memoriam to Arthur Farnsworth
“The Keeper of Stray Ladies”
Pecketts 1939
Presented by a Grateful One’

He was buried at Butternut. In 1945, his family requested that he be re-interred in the family cemetery in Pittsford, Vermont. After this, Bette’s visits to New Hampshire lessened. She sold Butternut about 20 years after she first came to the town. After that the plaque pictured above showed up on a boulder in Coppermine Brook.

Lots of good pictures here: https://moviesofcourse.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/the-man-bette-davis-married/

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#46 Henry Poorman

For this week, I actually found the surname Poorman in my tree! Below is the only information I have found on Mr. Poorman (first name possibly Henry). He married Mary Greenawalt, the sister of my 4th great-grandmother (Sarah Greenawalt Shatzer/Shartzer).

Greenawalt_Pennsylvania
Page 256 of Pennsylvania Genealogies: Scotch-Irish and German
by William Henry Egle, published 1886 – available in Google Books

Week 46 (Nov. 11-17): Poor Man

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#45 Viola Dilsaver Moneypenny

The theme for Week 45 is “Rich Man.” Amy’s suggestion of “Any Moneypennys or Banks in the family tree?” made me look for that surname in my tree. Surprisingly, I found some Moneypennys. My 2nd cousin 2x removed Viola Dilsaver married Charles Moneypenny in 1931 in Ohio. Viola was the daughter of Laura Belle Culver (1880-1940) and James Dilsaver. Laura was the daughter of Sarah Ellen Bost (1860-1939), my 3rd great-aunt, and Alfred Culver. Sarah Ellen was the sister of my great-great grandfather William S. Bost (1859-1932).

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Viola, 1930

Anyway, back to the Moneypennys. They lived in Summit County, Ohio, and divorced in August 1944. Viola and Charles had 2 sons, David and Jack. Viola married Henry Wilson on October 25, 1947. On their marriage license, they were both listed as rubberworkers. Viola died in 1992 at the age of 78. Her son David had died in 1964 in a plane crash at the age of 31. Charles Moneypenny died in 1998.

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August 1, 1992 Akron Beacon Journal

Week 45 (Nov. 4-10): Rich Man

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#37 Mary Clark Wells

The theme this week is Mistakes. My great-great grandmother Mary (Clark) Wells was listed in the 1900 census in Horsepasture, Virginia even though she died in 1894. Now this is either a spooky mistake or my great-great grandfather’s wishful thinking. He was in the middle of a strange second marriage to a much younger woman who was also his son-in-law’s sister, and his new wife and their newborn daughter were living with her parents.

Mary Ann Clark was born December 20, 1839 to William Clark and Ann Martin in Henry County, Virginia. She was 10 years old in the 1850 census, living with her family, and attending school. In the 1860 census, she was 20 years old and living with her parents, younger siblings, and her grandmother. On September 2, 1864, she married James H. Wells in Henry County. By the 1870 census, they were living in Horsepasture Township and had 3 children – Susan, Mary, and William. James’ sister Eliza was also living with them with her 2 young children. In 1880, James and Mary were living in the same township, with 4 more children – James, Sarah, Lucy, and Martha. In 1881, they had my great-grandfather, Robert Luke Wells. Mary Ann died on December 29, 1894 of fever (according to the Death Register of Henry County, Virginia, Volume 11, 1875-1896, p. 162-163).

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Tombstone of James H. and Mary A. Wells in Mount Hermon Church of the Brethren Cemetery, Bassett, Henry County, Virginia

Now is where things get a little strange. James and Mary’s daughter Martha married J. W. Koger on July 21, 1897. James re-married on February 22, 1898 – to J. W.’s sister Sallie. James was 57 and Sallie was 32. According to (spoiler alert!) divorce depositions, Sallie left James in July/August 1899. She gave birth to their daughter Maggie on February 13, 1900. On June 4, 1900, Sallie and Maggie were living with Sallie’s parents and her brother. Sallie was listed under her maiden name, Koger, while Maggie had the surname Wells. Meanwhile, on June 26, 1900, James and his (dead) wife Mary are listed with their sons Robert and Edward, and their daughter Martha, her husband, and her daughter.

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1900 Federal Census listing James Wells and his deceased first wife Mary, as well as his son-in-law/brother-in-law James W. Koger

On April 16, 1901, James filed for divorce from Sallie on the grounds of desertion. The divorce was granted in June 1903. James Wells died March 6, 1904. Sallie lived until 1947 and their daughter Maggie lived until 1985.

The Bassett Historical Center in Bassett, Virginia was incredibly helpful in researching James and Mary Wells, sending me copies of vital records and divorce papers.

Week 37 (Sept. 9-15): Mistake

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#32 Fye Sisters

Three of my Bost relatives married two Fye sisters. Clara Etta Fye and Minnie Belle Fye were the daughters of William Fye and Jane Nusbaum. Clara was born January 5, 1870, most likely in Liberty, Seneca County, Ohio. Minnie was born September 8, 1880. The Fye family eventually settled in Henry County Ohio, where the Bost families lived.

Clara Etta married Francis Leroy Bost (my 3rd great-uncle; brother of my great-great grandfather William Shepard Bost) on August 14, 1887 in Hamler, Ohio. He was also known as Leroy or Roy. In 1900, they were living in Hamler with four children: John Kenneth (born Feb. 11, 1889), Arthur Francis (born Oct. 30, 1890), Gladys Marie (born Apr. 27, 1896), and Fred, born (Feb. 21, 1899). In 1910, the family was living in Royalton, Fulton County, Ohio. Clara’s father and brother were living with them. In 1920, Roy, Clara, Fred, and Thelma, a daughter born in 1913, were living in Napoleon, Henry, Ohio. In 1930, Roy, Clara, and Thelma were still living in Napoleon. Gladys’ son Russell, aged 14, was also living with them. Gladys had married Henry J. Long in August 1914 and had Russell in 1916. I’m not sure what happened to Henry, but Gladys married Fred Fahrer in April 1917. In the 1920 census, Fred, Gladys, and Russell were living with Fred’s mother. Gladys died on March 18, 1924 in Napoleon. Her cause of death was burns over 3/4 of her body. I have been unable to find any newspaper articles about what happened to her. Fred died the next year of typhoid fever.

In 1940, Clara was living with her daughter Thelma and her husband in Napoleon. Clara is listed as married, but Roy is not living with her and I have been unable to find where he is in the 1940 census. Roy died April 4, 1949 in Henry County and Clara died March 23, 1950. They are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery.

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Stone of Clara Fye Bost and her daughter and son-in-law, Forest Hill Cemetery, Napoleon, Ohio (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/90168808/clara-etta-bost#view-photo=61081358)

Minnie Belle married Julian Sylvester Bost (my 1st cousin 4x removed) on September 6, 1899 in Henry County. Julian had been previously marred to Celia McKellips on Dec. 14, 1896. They had a son Charles on Feb. 14, 1897. Celia died the next day from childbirth complications. She was only 16 years old. In the 1900 census on June 7th, Julian, Minnie, and Charles were living in Hamler, and Julian was a teamster. Julian and Minnie had a son, John Perry, on October 4, 1900. I think that Julian and Minnie divorced sometime in 1906, since Minnie married another 1st cousin 4x removed of mine, Asa Wilford Bost, on January 19, 1907.

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Marriage Registration for Asa (or Aca) Bost and Minnie Fye Bost

Julian also remarried on July 15, 1907 to a woman named Cordelia. In 1910, Asa, Minnie, and John Perry were living in Napoleon, Ohio where Asa was a laborer on odd jobs. In the 1916 Farmers’ Directory, the family was living at 615 E. Washington St. in Napoleon and Asa was listed as a blacksmith. In 1920, Asa and Minnie were living on N. Perry St. in Napoleon and Asa was a blacksmith. In 1922, Minnie’s son John P. Bost married Gladys King and they had a son named John Wilfred Bost in August 1923. In the 1930 census on April 7th, John P., Gladys, and John W. were living in Toledo. In the 1930 census on April 8th, John W. was listed as living with his grandparents Asa and Minnie in Napoleon. In the 1940 census, Asa, Minnie, and John W. were still living in Napoleon where John W. was attending high school. Asa died May 21, 1941 in Toledo. John W. Bost, Minnie’s grandson, enlisted in WWII while still in high school on January 20, 1942. He became a corporal in Co. B. 1st Div. 7th Marines and was killed on New Britain in the South Pacific on January 7, 1944. He is buried with his parents in Forest Hill Cemetery. Minnie died September 7, 1945.

Week 32 (Aug. 5-11): Sister

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#30 Ezekiel Worthen

This week’s theme was “Easy.” But I chose to go a different way with it: I search my tree for people with “E-Z” in their names. I came up with Ezekiel Worthen (1636-1716), my 8th great-grandfather. He was the great-grandfather of Martha Worthen (1745-1826), who married Thomas Locke (1751-1816). They had a daughter Abigail (1778-1861) that married Obadiah Belknap (1774-1834). Obadiah and Abigail were the grandparents of my great-great grandfather Arthur Belknap (1869-1955).

Week 30 (July 22-28): Easy

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#28 Belknap Reunions

My grandmother’s family, the Belknaps, used to hold a family reunion every year in Ohio. At first, it was for the descendants of the Belknaps and the Clarks (the descendants of my great-great grandfather Arthur Belknap, and those of his sister Lucina and her husband John Q. Clark). My grandmother (and her mother before her) used to keep track of names, birth and death dates in booklets she handed out to every family represented at the reunion.

In the Sept. 11, 1942 issue of the Adrian (MI) Daily Telegram, there is a short article titled “Clark-Belknap Families,” which states:

The 15th annual reunion of the Clark-Belknap families was held Sept. 6 at The Island in Adrian with 68 members present from Montpelier, Ohio, Bay City, Detroit, Royal Oak, Adrian, Ogden Center, Ypsilanti, Belleville, and Clayton. Officers were elected as follows: president, John Q. Clark; secretary, Mrs. Earl Belknap; treasurer, Mrs. Jesse Clark. The 1943 reunion will be held at the same place.

In the 1985 booklet, she wrote, “Our reunions have been going on since 1950, your Historian has attended reunions since they first were organized in 1925, under the title of ‘Belknap-Clark Reunions’ which were disbanded in 1955, after the death of Arthur Belknap.” I think she was saying the Belknap-only reunions started in 1950.

In the 1974 booklet, she wrote, “In the year of 1949, Arthur F. Belknap decided a record of his ancestry would be nice to have to hand down to his descendants. He contacted a lawyer friend of his and eventually the following record of ancestry was give to him.” Arthur was in contact with Glen W. Evans of Lansing (a genealogist, not sure if he is the lawyer friend mentioned above), who wrote a book titled “The Belknap Family” in 1949. In a letter to Arthur dated October 5, 1949, Mr. Evans listed Arthur’s ancestry from Abraham Belknap to his father Thomas Belknap. He ended the letter by saying, “Keep well and take care of yourself and I will try to make the Belknap Reunion next year at Adrian, Mich. where I may be able to tell you more about this branch of the Belknap Family.”

In 1980, the reunion celebrated it’s 30th anniversary. Here are my grandmother (back row, second from left), her one brother, and her seven surviving sisters (one had died in 1977).

reunion

Week 28 (July 8-14): Reunion

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#29 Polly Ann Farr

The thing about family history that is challenging is the overwhelming focus on the male side of things – surnames, lines of descent, etc. This means (at least for me) that I know very little about even some pretty recent female ancestors.

thomas_polly

One example is Polly Ann Farr, my third great-grandmother. She was the 3rd wife of Thomas Belknap (born in 1803), and the mother of Arthur Belknap. She was born in about 1832. The earliest record I have found for her is an application for a marriage license, dated September 18, 1848 to Thomas Belknap in Lorain County, Ohio. I’m not sure if this means they were married on that date or not. The application states that “she is of eighteen years.” I don’t think that’s true though.

The next record is the 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Russia Township in Lorain County. Polly Ann was listed as age 18 and birthplace of Ohio. Thomas’ 11-year-old son Francis is also living with them. In 1860, the family was living in Clinton, Fulton County, Ohio. Polly was listed as 29 and born in Ohio. They had 4 children in addition to Francis by 1860. In 1870, they were living in York Township, Fulton, Ohio and Polly was listed as 38. Now they had 6 children in addition to Francis. In 1880, the last census she is found in, the family was living in Dover Township, Fulton, Ohio. She was listed as 49, born in Ohio. Polly’s father was listed as born in Vermont, while her mother was born in Kentucky. Only three of their children were living with them in 1880.

thomasbelknap
Thomas and Polly Ann’s tombstone in Tedrow Cemetery

After all this, she ended up dying at the age of 52 years 3 months in 1887 (according to her pretty unreadable tombstone – I know: the dates don’t add up!), before her husband Thomas, who died in 1889 at the age of 85!

Through DNA, I think Polly Ann’s father may have been Kimball Farr, but I have to do a lot more research to prove it!

Week 29 (July 15-21): Challenging

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#27 Philip Lorenz Greenawalt

My 6th great-grandfather Philipß Lorentz Grünenwald (Americanized to Philip Lorenz Greenawalt) was born in Haßloch, Bad Durkheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany (or Hassloch) on June 10, 1725. He left Germany for Philadelphia in 1749. In 1754, he married Maria Margaret Fuesser in Lancaster, Penn. They had at least 10 children, including my 5th great-grandfather John (1760-1823, not to be confused with John Philip).

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Find-a-Grave, added by Ernie Steele on Aug. 30, 2016

In 1777, Greenawalt was appointed colonel of the 1st battalion, Lancaster County militia in the Jersey campaign.  William Henry Egle has this to say about Philip Greenawalt:

 

He was with Washington, during the Jersey campaign of 1776, at Trenton and Princeton. His battalion was at Brandy wine and Germantown, and the conduct of Colonel Greenawalt during the former engagement received the commendation of the commander-in-chief for efficiency and gallantry, especially in the protection of the Continental supplies. He was appointed, May 6, 1778, one of the agents for forfeited estates. … The Assembly of the State appointed him one of the commissioners to take subscriptions for the Continental loan, December 16, 1777, and, during the darkest hour of the struggle, he did effective service in collecting blankets, food, and forage for the half-starved and half-clad army at Valley Forge, and for most of which he was never recompensed.

In 1788, he was on the tax rolls in Lebanon, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. He died in 1802 and is buried in the First Reformed Church cemetery (aka Tabor Reformed Church Cemetery)in Lebanon.

Sources:

Week 27 (July 1-7): Independent

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#26 William Worth Belknap

I’m not so sure about this relative’s legendary status, but he is somewhat infamous. William Worth Belknap is my 6th cousin 4x removed. We are both descended from Abraham Belknap, my 9th great-grandfather. My Belknap line comes from Abraham’s son Samuel, while William’s Belknap line comes from Abraham’s son Joseph.

06120r
Major General William W. Belknap, about 1865 (https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2018666395/)

William was born in New York in 1829 and graduated from Princeton University in 1848. He moved to Keokuk, Iowa and joined the Democratic party. He was elected to office and served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1857 to 1858. He joined the Union army in 1861 and was commissioned as a major, recruiting the 15th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He served at Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, and Atlanta. By the end of the war, he was made a Brevet Major General. After serving as the Iowa Collector of Internal Revenue, having been appointed by President Andrew Johnson (and during which time he became a Republican), William was appointed Secretary of War by President Grant in 1869.

Due to the Trader Post Scandal and all that went along with it (including involvement by 2 of his wives), William resigned as Secretary of War on March 2, 1876, but was still impeached by the House on March 3. He was acquitted by the Senate on May 29, 1876.

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Illustration from the cover of “The days’ doings”, v. 16 (March 1876), showing wife (Amanda Tomlinson Belknap) of Secretary William Belknap at the home of Mr. Blackburn pleading on her knees to save her husband’s honor. https://lccn.loc.gov/89711264

William moved back to Iowa and practiced law. He maintained an office and a residence in Washington, D.C. He died there in October 1890. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

One of the good things William can be remembered for is purchasing thousands of negatives from the Civil War photographer Mathew Brady when he was going bankrupt in the early 1870s. According to the National Archives, where the photos are stored, “After the Civil War, business for Brady’s studios gradually declined, until in July 1874 Secretary of War William Belknap purchased part of Brady’s collection of negatives (ca. 2,250 plates) at public auction for $2,500 because of Brady’s bankruptcy. In April 1875, the War Department purchased 3,735 plates directly from Brady under express Congressional authorization… .”

Lots more information about William Worth Belknap can be found in his Wikipedia article.

Week 26 (June 24-30): Legend