Sepia Saturday 460. Third in a series on the early life of my paternal great-great grandmother Mary Elizabeth (Blakeslee) Bull, a Union Civil War widow.
Town of Conklin in Broome County, N.Y., was a predominantly rural area in 1850 when my great-great grandmother Mary Elizabeth (Blakeslee) Bull, 12, lived there with her parents Zebulon and Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee.
Although there were some small employers in Conklin Center and nearby hamlets (tanneries, acid works and the like), most of the population — including the Blakeslees — was still earning its primary income from farming.A couple of Conklin clues
In his Gazetteer of the State of New York (1860), J.H. French gives the following brief description of Conklin, N.Y. — which contains a couple of Blakeslee family history clues that I have highlighted below.1
CONKLIN—was formed from Chenango, March 29, 1824. A part of Windsor was taken off in 1831, and a part was annexed from Windsor in 1851. It lies upon the Susquehanna, s. of the center of the co. Its surface consists of the fine broad intervals of the river and high, broken uplands which rise upon each side…Little Snake Creek flows in an easterly direction through the s. w. part.
Kirkwood(p.v.) is situated on the E. bank of the Susquehanna, in the s. part of the town. It is a station on the Erie R. R. and contains 25 houses. Conklin Center and Corbettsville are p. offices, and Millburn and Conklin are hamlets. At Millburn are extensive pyroligneous acid works.
A post office connection
As I read French’s pastoral portrait of Conklin, I was struck by his mention of Conklin Center and Corbettsville as the town’s two post offices.
Wait. Hadn’t both hamlets shown up in past research on my great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth (Blakeslee) Bull? Yes, I think so…
So I dug into my files — and sure enough, I found some information about Mary’s dad and his various jobs that could help connect a few more dots on the Blakeslees’ time in Conklin.
Up next: Zebulon Blakeslee’s other occupations. Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.
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