Tag Archives: Milo Bull

Milo Bull: The tannery foreman & the schoolteacher

First in a series on my ancestor Arthur Bull’s parents and siblings at the end of the U.S. Civil War (1865).

Sometimes discovering only a few documents pertaining to an ancestor is enough to begin shaping their story. Such was the case with Milo Bull, the younger brother of my great, great grandfather Arthur Bull.

In recent blog posts, I have examined the civilian lives of my Bull ancestors prior to the U.S. Civil War. Now I wondered where Arthur’s extended family members living and working in 1865 — the year he mustered out of the Union Army at war’s end.

Killawog in Town of Triangle, Broome County, N.Y. (early 1900s). Milo Bull, my ancestor Arthur Bull’s younger brother, lived here in 1860. The hamlet is located about 25 miles north of Binghamton, N.Y. Photo by W.J. Chorley/Syracuse

So back I went to my genealogy files, and state/federal census reports online, to see what I could find about Arthur’s parents, siblings and their families.

The elusive Milo Bull

I decided to start with Arthur’s brother Milo, who I’d lost track of after the 1855 New York State census when he was still living with his parents. What did I have on him in my paper files? I pulled out his folder, and tucked away in my notes I found my transcription on Milo’s marriage.

Milo Bull [BR 1 April 1863] Milo Bull married at the home of bride’s father in Marathon [Cortland County], N.Y. 16 ult by Rev. R.O. Williams: Milo Bull of Triangle to Catherine P. Hinman

It was created from an abstract of Milo’s Broome Republican wedding announcement in a book titled Genealogical gleanings from early Broome County, New York newspapers (1812-1880) abstracted and compiled by Maurice R. Hitt, Jr. — which I discovered years ago during a library research day with my dad.

I continued shuffling through Milo’s genealogy folder and — wait a minute — I actually had a printout of his enumeration in the 1860 U.S. Census for Town of Triangle, Broome County, N.Y.

Good thing, too, because I initially couldn’t find his census entry online (his name was indexed as “Mile Bull”). And when I finally did locate the HeritageQuest digital image, it was too faded to read!

Thanks to the clear printout, I now knew that on 11 July 1860 Milo was living in what appeared to be a rooming house operated by Lawrence B. and Eliza Elliot with 10 other boarders — and working as a tannery foreman. Not bad for a 23-year-old young man.

The tannery foreman marries a school teacher

Milo’s post office in 1860 was Killawog, N.Y. — a tiny hamlet located about 5 miles south of Marathon, N.Y. His future bride lived right nearby. Catherine Hinman, 19, was enumerated with her parents in the 1860 U.S. Census for Town of Marathon, Cortland County, N.Y. — and she was working as a schoolteacher.

Alas, the documents don’t tell us. But wouldn’t it be interesting to know how they met — the tannery foreman and the schoolteacher — and eventually decided to marry? Whatever the details, marry they did — on 16 March 1863.

And on 28 June 1865, the New York State census taker found Milo and Catherine (Hinman) Bull living with their 15-month-old daughter Mary A. Bull in the northern portion of the Town of Triangle, Broome County, N.Y. — about 25 miles north of Binghamton.

There will be more on Arthur’s brother Milo Bull in future posts. But up next will be Arthur’s sister Mary E. Bull and her 1865 story.

To be continued.

© 2015 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Life on Jeremiah’s farm

Third and last in a series on the occupations of my paternal great, great great grandfather Jeremiah Bull in the 1800s

BULL, Jeremiah NYSA-An 1860 Non-Pop Agric Census Conklin, Broome, NY 31520_B00466438B-00269_2
Jeremiah Bull’s farm facts. Searching through the digital census holdings of the New York State Archives, I was pleased to find that my great, great, great grandfather Jeremiah Bull was enumerated in the 1860 U.S. Census Non-Population Schedule for Conklin, Broome County, N.Y. (Kirkwood post office). Screen shot: Molly Charboneau

Searching through the digital census holdings of the New York State Archives recently, I was pleased to find the name of my great, great, great grandfather Jeremiah Bull in the 1860 U.S. Census Non-Population Schedule for Conklin, Broome County, N.Y. (Kirkwood post office).

The census taker called on 3 Nov. 1860 and — in addition to filling out the population portion of the census — completed Schedule 4 – Products of Agriculture listing my ancestor Jeremiah’s farm details on Line 25 (shown at right).

According to the 1860 agricultural census, Jeremiah had a good amount of land and some farm animals:

  • Acres of Land – 40 Improved and 73 unimproved [113 total]
  • Cash Value of Farm – $1,200 [about $26,400 today]
  • Value of Farming Implements and Machinery – $100 [about $2,200 today]
  • Working Oxen – 2
  • Swine – 2
  • Value of Live Stock – $114 [about $2,500 today]

On a second page, under the broad category of “Produce during the year ending June 1, 1860,” the agricultural census indicates that the Bull family farm produced the following:

  • Irish Potatoes – 40 bushels
  • Buckwheat – 140 bushels
  • Hay – 4 tons
  • Value of Animals Slaughtered – $10 [about $220 today]

How was life on the farm for my ancestor Jeremiah and his family? Hard to know exactly without any inherited evidence — but an analysis of Jeremiah’s census entries offers some clues. For one thing, the Bull family had a live-in farm hand.

In the 1860 U.S. Population Census for Town of Conklin, Broome County, N.Y., Howard Traver, age 26, is enumerated in the same dwelling as Jeremiah Bull and his family. Next to his name — in the column for “Profession, Occupation , Trade of each person, male and female, over 15 years of age” — Traver’s occupation is given as “farm labour.”

Even if wife Mary Elizabeth and daughter Mary pitched in, Traver’s labor was likely also needed for certain jobs because Jeremiah — who also worked in the tannery business — was not fully available for work on the farm. Jeremiah, 57, may also have been hired Traver because his sons, who might have assisted, had left the household.

One son — my great, great grandfather Arthur Bull — had married and was living with his family in Town of Hancock, Delaware County, N.Y., in 1860. So he was not available to help on the farm.

Arthur’s older brother, Norris C. Bull, also lived too far away to lend a hand. He and his family resided in Town of Colchester, Delaware County, N.Y., at the time of the 1860 U.S. census. And his younger brother, Milo, was also apparently out of the house, since he is not enumerated with Jeremiah — though I have not yet found records that indicate his whereabouts in 1860.

So there you have it. My great, great, great grandfather Jeremiah Bull of Corbettsville, in Town of Conklin, Broome County, N.Y., was a “Merchant” in 1860 — possibly a tannery owner — and also lived on a working farm substantial enough to require a live-in farm laborer.

What to make of this newfound information? More on that in the next post.

© 2015 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Some Leatherstocking locales

The part of New York State popularly known as the Central-Leatherstocking Region encompasses several counties — Schoharie, Broome and Oneida — where my great, great grandfather Arthur Bull and my other Bull ancestors worked as leather tanners during the 19th century.

Open air tannery (1860-1920). My great, great grandfather Arthur Bull worked as a leather tanner before joining the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War. He resumed this work at war’s end, and his family’s frequent moves appear to have been work-related. Photo: New York Public Library Digital Collections

This made me curious: What was the tanning industry like back then? And were there work-related reasons why Arthur Bull and his family relocated so frequently, both before and after the U.S. Civil War?

In the 1800s, the tanning trade required a location with adequate water power, good transportation to bring in animal hides, and enough hemlock and oak trees for the requisite tannin to process those hides into leather.

The Catskills area bordering New York’s Hudson River — where Arthur Bull learned the tanning trade — had all of these in abundance in the early 19th century, as outlined in Augustus Ostow’s excellent environmental blog post The Catskill Tanning Industry.

The work itself was a physically demanding, grisly business, with open vats of fermenting hides — as depicted in the photo above — sending up quite a stench. Yet the need for domestically produced leather kept most Catskills tanneries active until the mid 1800s.

Eventually, however, forests became depleted through overuse by the tanning industry. That and an economic recession from 1833-1840 — which caused leather prices to plummet — likely prompted some Catskills tanners to pick up and relocate.

Moving for work

Among those who moved was the family of origin of my great, great grandfather Arthur Bull.  By 1855 they had left the Catskills area and settled in the Town of Conklin, Broome County, N.Y. — in the state’s Central-Leatherstocking Region — where Arthur, his father Jeremiah and brother Milo were listed as tanners in the 1855 New York State census.

This move was the first of many for Bull family members as they followed the booms and busts of the leather tanning trade to start over again and again in new, forested locations.

Judging by the birth locations and ages given for Arthur’s children in the 1865 New York State census for Town of Conklin, Broome County, N.Y, he and his wife Mary Elizbeth (Blakeslee) Bull lived in three different locations during the nine years between their 1856 marriage and the end of the U.S. Civil War:

  • Pennsylvania in 1858 [most likely in Susquehanna County just south of Broome County, N.Y.],
  • Delaware County, N.Y., in 1860, and then back to
  • Broome County, N.Y., until at least 1865.

Nor was that the end of their moves around the Empire State. More in the next post as I continue on the trail of my great, great grandfather Arthur Bull’s civilian life before and after the U.S. Civil War.

© 2015 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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