Revised 8-3-99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STREVER

GENEALOGY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BY JOSEPH AND MARY STREVER

 

 

 

 

 

Esteemed Kin:

To make this genealogy as reliable as is possible, we are submitting a manuscript for your interest, approval and correction. If you enjoy delving into the past you may have discovered or learned through traditional sources, other valuable data. If you have, you will be honoring your ancestors and doing all history loving Strever lineage a service by reporting your discovery. It is for this reason we wish you to be generous with your criticism, for although much of the data and many of the episodes contained in this narrative has been carefully checked and confirmed, there still remains the element of human error, either typographical or otherwise, and too, this manuscript has not had the very important advantage of a proof-reading. Before it reaches the final publication stage, these errors will have been corrected, and a much more accurate and complete Chronology presented to posterity.

Some may be a little curious to know why two people whose pursuits in life have been hitherto very far removed from those of a writer for the public eye, should have undertaken a task for which precious practice and experience have so little qualified them; nevertheless, should there be one item of interest handed down to future generations, within these pages, and could the writer be assured that he was doing something for the benefit of those who are to come after, our aims will be accomplished, and our labors not wholly in vain. The compiler believes we have succeeded in collecting a vast amount of material that had never been printed; also established several lines of descent connecting with the progenitor, Johannes Streibel.

The present owes much to the past and if we have done those of our lineage a service in preserving a written record of a fabulous past, them memories of these "happy times" will be reward enough. In the preparation of this work the compilers of the Strever manuscript have been assisted by many families who are deeply interested in knowing this work is being done and will be rewarded for their aid, attention, and understanding, with a copy of the Strever history. Wealth has not been lavish of her favors toward us. Her smiles have never rested, particularly, upon any member of the family, yet we all managed to keep the wolf from the door, and at a respectful distance.

We will now conclude this short message with the earnest wish that the greater advantages bestowed on our children, will enable them to perform a more important part in the theater of life, and in a manner to reflect honor on the honest name of our ancestors.

Sincerely,

Joseph and Mary Strever

 

 

INTRODUCTION

When we were young we were looking toward the future; in the middle life we are too busy to give any attention to the present; but as years progress we begin to look backward to our ancestors.

More than four score years have passed since the Civil War, yet that terrible struggle abides in the memory of some now living; but nearly twice as many years have passed since the movement began which resulted in American Independence. As we look back still farther to the landing of our forefathers we catch but glimpses of our ancestry in all those decades which have passed in the Colonial and Revolutionary periods. So the distance widens that separates us from our ancestors. Yet we can better understand our own times if in youthful days we came in personal contact with those who, in those stirring events, were shaping our history and marching towards civilization in social, political, and religious liberty.

The people of the West whose family history was left behind them in old New York need to be reminded of the priceless heritage of their fathers and mothers, and restore the same to their descendants, so that the West may be indissolubly connected with the development of the East, and family contacts perpetuated.

The study of genealogy would convince most of us that our ancestors were every day sort of people, who were more familiar with blacksmithing, hewing timber, constructing houses and barns, and who knew more about raising cattle than buying and selling stocks. Their farms and stone walls are monuments still standing, reminding us of the strong hands and brawny arms that built them. Their long hours of toil are a legacy left to their children and children's children. Some who read these pages will remember in the latter part of the nineteenth century the homespun articles made in our New England homes. We of the present generation have witnessed this way of life only in Museums such as are to be found at Cooperstown, N.Y. or at some of the several reconstructed Colonial villages throughout New England; but this helps to make the scene of long ago the more realistic. It is a winter evening; in the fire place is built the huge fire; the family has gathered in a semicircle, and, by the light of it, the knitting goes on, while at the back of the circle the buzz of the spinning wheel is heard; the ponderous loom is there ready to weave the cloth for the everyday garments or for the wedding attire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lest these primeval days be forgotten by the children and the grandchildren, this genealogy is written, that the deeds of the fathers and mothers may be kept sacredly in remembrance.

Before laying down my pen, I want to extend sincere and hearty thanks to all who have contributed in furnishing data for this manuscript. Many will find under their own names my appreciation of their contributions.

1955 J.H.S.

 

 

HERALDRY

In ancient day, ambitious men were warriors armed with helmets, shield, spears, swords, and battle axes. By bravery and prowess they won titles and distinctive marks of heraldry. After demise of the first possessor, the title and Coat-of-Arms usually descended to the oldest son, but fell to the female side when there were no male heirs. If she married, such title and arms became extinct. While a Coat-of-Arms in a family is not a thing to boast of, neither is it something to scoff at. Heraldry has had its uses and still serves a useful purpose along certain lines. If for instance it creates a regard and pride of family, and conforms in detail in public and private life to the high standard of honor and conduct, it has then accomplished the purpose for which it was conferred; to establish the importance of human pedigree.

A Strever family Coat-of-Arms has been mentioned, but the writer can find no trace of an in-extinct and properly inherited Coat-of-Arms having ever been registered or recorded to the "Strever family of America". If such a one ever did exist it has long been extinct.

If any person, or collection of persons, with a distinctive emblem for any worthy purpose, they are free, in America, to work out and use any design not copyrighted, but such a figure should teach something good, like the symbols of some great lodge or order, standing for high ideals.

Lacking such a family crest, I have taken the liberty of substituting an appropriate poem as a Symbol of Strever name.

You got if from your father,

Twas the best he had to give,

And right gladly he bestowed it

It is yours while you shall live.

You may lose the watch he gave you,

And another you may claim,

But remember, when you're tempted,

To be careful of his name.

 

CONTENTS

Biographical Sketches, Letters, Reminiscenes, Poems, Records and Inscriptions from a Country Church Yard.

 

 

ABBREVIATIONS

B. - born, D. - died, M. - married, Bap. - baptized, Ch. - children, Dau. - daughter, Gen. - generation, NFR - no further record.

Shaking the Family Tree

This is the fabulous story of the STREIBEL, Dings, Hoysradt, and Millius families, who founded the Pine Plains area of Duchess County. Their civic, religious and business activities were such that their names and deeds are today recorded in Duchess County history. They always ranked well in good citizenship, having been mostly farmers, with a liberal sprinkling of tradesmen, doctors, educators, and mechanics, few of them were ever troubled by the voice of scandal.

One unfamiliar with genealogical research has little conception of the time, labor, expense, and patience necessary in compiling a work of this kind. This manuscript has cost several years labor, as time permitted; the writing of countless letters, journeys to all the towns where the main branches of the family started, and to many other places. The diligent search among and examination of town, church, probate, and family records, obliterated by time; copying the moss covered inscriptions in the burial places of the dead. I have been well repaid for it all in the large amount of interesting family history saved from certain destruction in a few years, which in its present form will be preserved for many generations to come, and is calculated to do good, and be of real benefit to the family.

What I hope to chronicle in this narrative is a fairly complete record of the STREVER'S in America, and to create a deep interest in our family history, and thus forever perpetuate their names, deeds and memories. Will it not stimulate every Strever boy to higher aspirations, to read of a goodly line of ancestors, who by an industrious, useful and Godly life, were prosperous and successful, respected and honored to the last, and died in the certain hope of a glorious immorality. The Strever's have had the rare good fortune of marrying into desirable families, who have added luster to the name and, when we say "Strever" we mean all the connections included.

While I do not believe that this manuscript is a clearing house for all the Strevers in America, we may hope that something is salvaged that otherwise may vanish from the minds of men. These men and women gone before have lived righteous lives of endeavor, usefulness and honor, and are worthy that their traditions be cherished, their virtues emulated, and their memories preserved.

"The man who has no sentiment of veneration

For the memory of his forefathers

Who has no natural regard for his ancestor, or his kindred

Is himself unworthy of kindred regard, or remembrance."

-----Danial Webster-----

"From When We Came"

In the foliage season of 1952, when we some to the Duchess County region, where America became hostess to our ancestors, I was a stranger, yet I seemed to have a strong at home feeling. It may have been an instinctive spirit of ancestral association or imagination, but it was more likely caused by the friendly, kindly interest and courtesies extended to us by the people whom we met, strangers as well as kin. From them we learned the immigrant story of the Streibel, Dings, Hoysradt, Knickerbocker, and Millius families who founded the Pine Plains area.

Other sources of data concerning the first few generations of the Colonial ancestry contained in this narrative, has been gleaned from church records of the early days. The pioneer Palatine settlers were religious people. They belonged to various Protestant faiths, but largely to either the German Reformed or Lutheran denominations. The first church services were held in camps until such time when meeting houses could be provided. They often traveled many miles to attend a church service and have their children baptized. The old church records of Kingston, Rhinebeck and other Hudson valley churches attest to this fact. Without doubt the churches in those early days accomplished a valuable and necessary work, and did much good for society, by cultivating a wholesome respect for law, order and things pertaining to morality and religion, besides, we must thank those church organizations for preserving the best, and about the only written records that we have touching vital statistics of those early days.

They originally came from the Palatine Province, one of the most fertile and delightful sections of western Germany. Traversed by the river Rhine its position has often made it a very precarious place in which to live. Being a border province, devastating French and Bavarian armies have fought and struggled back and forth across this fair land time and time again. During the Thirty Year War (1618-1648) seventy percent of the inhabitants were destroyed. The armies of Louis the XXV pillaged the country regularly until there was nothing left to steal. These ravagings were followed by periods of heavy taxation, tyranny and religious persecution. Then came crop failures, famine and bankruptcy. In desperation the distressed people fled from their country. The Exodus started in 1708 and continued for a number of years, until more than 30,000 of them found homes on American soil, mostly shipping from Amsterdam. The first large party of Palatines to arrive in America, under the patronage of Queen Anne, settled in the Hudson valley and spread into the Mohawk and Schoharie valleys. The oath of citizenship and naturalization was administered to the adults before they left England.

Historian Macauley speaks of these people as "Honest, laborious men who had once been thriving burghers of Manheim and Heidelburg, and who had cultivated the vine on the banks of the Kecher and Rhine. Their ingenuity and their diligence could not fail to enrich a land which could afford them an asylum." Like the Pilgrim Father of New England, they came here seeking refuge from the unbearable conditions which they had endured in Europe.

 

 

Johannes Streibel (1st)

From this violent past came our ancestors, who settled in the Pine Plains area of Duchess Co; about the year 1710, received grants of land, built homes, churches, then schools. According to Governor Hunters records, Johannes Streibel (1st) was listed as having sailed from England in the year 1708, and Isaac Hunting's history "Nine Little Partners" says this: Johannes Streibel from Palatine, Germany, came to America in 1708, and was apprenticed to pay his passage to a Mr. Couse of Milan, Duchess Co., N.Y. He was the founder of the Streibel, Strevel and now Strever family in America. In making register entries, Domines and Public officials often spelled names more phonetically than correct, according to the language spoken by the interested parties. Some of these old almost obliterated baptismal records are difficult to verify and only by checking parents, children and witnesses can their relationship be established. It was a time when almost everybody believed it was proper and important that children should be religiously christened or baptized and as ministers were not plentiful, and some not qualified, parents would take their children to some convenient church or a visiting riding pastor would baptize the child regardless of church affiliations, thus there was much denominational confusion brought into the records of the different churches.

Except for a few sketchy handed down stories little is known or can be learned of how Johannes (1st) managed his life. He married (wife unknown) had at least two sons, one of whom Johannes (2nd). He is the paternal ancestor of all the many groups of Strever name now scattered from ocean to ocean.

The early Strever generations had large families, mostly boys, and the name is still quite plentiful in certain localities; such as Columbia, Clay, Schanectady and Duchess Co. and Rochester, New York. Another group is located in the State of Washington. Recent generations however have few male children to perpetuate the Strever name, but there are many groups of Strever ancestry from the female side of the family living in Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Washington, California, and a few in several other states, under various other names.

The Strever's have been and are of a religious nature and a church going people. They are not given to drunkenness or other sinful revelings, and are industrious, law abiding, honest and sincere. Their names appear very frequently on Fraternal records and after two and one half centuries, their religious and Anglo Saxon heritage seems to remain for the most part unadulterated. The present generations have inherited an enviable ancestral background. Let us so live that the branches of this great Family Tree, do not seek the shelter of its roots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the days of old

Consider the years of many generations;

Ask thy father, and he will show thee;

Thine elders, and they will tell thee.

Deuet. 32:7

 

 

Second Generation

Johannes Streibel (2nd), son of Johannes (1st) was B. Jan. 24, 1732, D. Feb. 24, 1804. Married in 1756 to Maria, daughter of Adam Dings and Anna Eva (Detrich) Dings, B. Feb. 10, 1741. They lived out their years on the old Streibel homestead at Ancram, and in death lie side by side beneath time worn stones which mark their graves in the historical Dings cemetery, near what once was Silvernails station. The almost obliterated inscriptions on these aged stones are as follows: "In memory of Johannes Strevel, who departed this life Feb. 24, 1804, aged 72 years and 2 months."

"Let nature in her mourning suit be drest:

Since virtue's friend has soared beyond our view,

And seated in the mansions of the blest,

Bids this our painful world a long adieu."

"In memory of Maria, wife of John Strevel, who departed this life Feb. 10, 1808, aged 66 years and 10 months."

"By all creating power we draw our breath,

And disobedience sentences us to death;

By faith in Christ the whole shall be forgiven -

Follow my steps, my friends; meet me in Heaven."

 

The following children were born to them.

Johannes (2nd) and Maria (Dings) Streibel children:

1. Anna Eva Streibel Bap. Feb. 6, 1758: Veder church record.

2. Johan Adam Streibel Bap. June 14, 1760; M. Elizabeth Streibel (cousin) D. Dec. 20, 1854

3. Eva Streibel Bap. April 22, 1766 at Mount Ross church; M. Hendrich Hoysradt (1765-1829).

4. Johannes Streibel (3rd) B. Nov. 1768; M. Mary Hoysradt (1725) German Bible.

5. Anna Maria Streibel Bap. May 12, 1764 at Mount Ross church; M. Mathias Hoffman.

Their descendants are still quite numerous in the area. Henry Hoffman and brother Ira Hoffman live in adjourning houses on Hoffman road. Henry is the proud possessor of the sword owned and worn by Capt. Henry Strever and handed down through the generations. Ira Hoffman is an intellectual farmer and a local historian with whom the writer was permitted to compare notes on some interesting questions of traditional local history. He has in his possession an ancient jug which came down through many generations: this is the tale as he told it to me.

 

 

History of ----- "The Little Brown Jug".

As narrated to me by Ira Hoffman, son of Leonard Hoffman - Mary Strever, Adam Strever, John Strevle, Jacob Streble, Johannes Streibel (2nd), and Johannes Streibel (1st).

"The Little Brown Jug"

This antique jug came to Pine Plains, New York, December 17, 1894. An inheritance to Mary A. Strever, and was at that date two hundred years old. William Enos (1st) brought "the little brown jug" from Europe in the late 1600's. William Enos (2nd) and Mary North, his wife of Linsbury, Conn., gave it to their daughter Baborah who married Johan Westover of Egramont, Mass. They left it to their son, Johah, who married Asenath Loomis. It the passed to their daughter Amanda Westover, who married her second cousin Julius Enos of Richmondville, Schoharie Co., N.Y. It was then given to their daughter, Eliza Enos, who married Adam Strever of Pine Plains, Duchess Co., N.Y., where it was inherited by their daughter Mary Amanda Strever, who married Henry Hoffman. Their son Leonard next owned it. He married Eliza Jane Miller. It next passed to their son Ira Hoffman who married Edith Remsburger, and it is now (1955) in the possession of their son John Hoffman. This ancient jug is one of the few precious relics of our family, and is the oldest of its kind in America.

6. Benjamin B. November 1771, youngest son of Johannes (2nd) and my great great grandfather.

 

 

Third Generation

Benjamin Strevel, son of Johannes (2nd), Johannes (1st), was B. in the old Streibel homestead, Ancram, Duchess Co., N.Y. November 1771 D. Aug. 23, 1822. M. in 1794 to Mareah Righter. He inherited his father's farm near the Ancram lead mines; farmer, contractor, lumberman, and soldier; having fought in the war of 1812. He inherited a dominant nature but had great worth of character and was highly esteemed in his community and his church. The large German language Bible sent to his grandfather Johannes (1st) from Germany in the year 1725, has been the guide and inspiration by which eight generations of Strever lineage have managed their lives through two centuries of Christian living in the ancient Streibel homestead.

 

Benjamin and Mareah (Righter) Strevel children:

1. John B. Strevel B. Jan. 24, 1796 D. June 25, 1869 (our great grandfather), son of Benjamin Strevel, Johannes (2nd), Johannes (1st) Streibel, had his name changed from Strevel to Strever about the year 1817. Born in Ancram, Duchess Co., N.Y. on Jan. 24, 1796, Bap. at Gallatine Vedder Reformed Church. M. in 1817 to Morecca (B. Aug. 13, 1797 in Duchess Co. D. June 26, 1854), daughter of Adam Dings and Eve (Kilmer) Dings.

2. William Strevel B. March 8, 1798 D. April 20, 1859 Onondaga Co. group

3. Leah Strevel B. 1800 D. 1893

 

Lottie Strever, eighteen years of age when John B. died, in her recollections and evaluation of her grandfather, had this to say: "He was modest and quiet of manner, shrewd and honest in his dealings; his word was as good as his note, and said no word that was not decent. An excellent man who acted his part in life well and faithfully." Tales are handed down of his kindly and generous nature and of his love for children and how he annually observed County Fair week by collecting and hauling vicinity children less fortunate than his own, to the fair, and paying their expenses. Time cannot ever erase such memories.

 

From Columbia Co, history we learn some of John B.'s civic and political activities in the years before he came to Chatham. These include serving as supervisor, town of Ancram 1826-1830; followed by a term in office as Justice of the Peace 1831-1835. He moved to Columbia Co., in the year 1835, and settled on a farm near Chatham. In 1837 (the year Abe Lincoln came to Springfield) he began the construction of a spacious dwelling now known as the John B. Strever homestead; he was an expert wood-worker and had had the assistance of his seven sons some of whom were tradesmen; William H. being a stone mason. This honor built house is now nearly a century and a quarter old, is still in very good condition, and is liable to stand for as many years more. Harold Hansen of Nebraska bought the farmstead in the year 1940, it is well kept and has been somewhat modernized and improved, but much of the past still remains including the ancient trees which have shaded the summers of many generations. When we called at their home in the winter of 1955, we found a very friendly people, who welcomed our interview and escorted us from room to room explaining as much as possible of its interesting interior; the trundle cove, the birth-room, the antique fire places and the original wide board woodwork. Mrs. Hansen pointed out the flow of the rooms into each other, giving an effect of spaciousness.

John B. must have been a man of some worth and of thrifty habits, as he left an endowment of twenty-five hundred dollars to each of his sons and to each of his four daughters one thousand dollars.

Eva Kilmer Dings, our great, great grandmother, of Duchess Co., N.Y. became a welcome member of the Strever household sometime following the death of her husband Adam Dings. Tradition in the region says of her: She was well liked, respected in the community and a favorite of her son-in-law John B. Their home was a place of unusual compatibility and harmony. She was a woman of good mind and great vigor and was more than 88 years of age at her death. Shortly after her passing in 1860, John B. had an enlargement made of her picture, placed in an elaborate frame and hung on the wall of the spacious living room, in memory of her goodness. Now after the passage of nearly a century this highly prized and ancient portrait of an aged maternal ancestor is a precious and valued possession of her great, great grandson Joseph H. Strever (2nd). Her room situated at the front of the ancestral house and overlooking the spacious shady lawn, rolling down to the valley below, with its ancient colonial furnishings, was sentimentally preserved for nearly three quarters of a century. All of the above generations and another have long since passed to their great reward, and many of them sleep in the family burial place on the hill. Reverence for the old home, and for the graves of our forefathers, is a sentiment, common to the human race. The barbarians and the savage, tread gently over the mound which covers the ashes of their sires.

 

In our search for data in the widely scattered family burial places, it occurred to me that a copy of the inscriptions upon the tombstones, might interest the family bearing our name; especially the younger generation who are not aware of these almost vanished places of our dead ancestors. "Flavel said, if men should rise from the dead and read their epitaphs, some of them would think they were in the wrong grave." This will hardly apply to our forefathers who lived and died in a rural country town, where the contaminating influence of city life seldom reached them.

As I stood at the tombs of our fathers, and walked in the City of the dead, we could read upon the stones the names so familiar in days long gone by; silently they repose while we write off the inscriptions given in these few and imperfect pages, we can learn a lesson from these long buried men. With a heavy heart we turn from the sad scene and wend our way to other localities, all of which will be remembered with heartfelt interest. Their homesteads, tombstones, and monuments, and inscriptions thereon attest to their worth.

There is no death; the stars go down

To rise upon another shore

And bright in heavens jeweled crown

To shine forevermore.

 

 

Supplement

To tell the story of great, great grandmother Eva (Kilmer) Dings, we must of necessity revive vital statistics of the past, trace through the lives of certain colonial families who were living in the lower Hudson valley during the early 1700's, families who formed a friendly relationship as neighbors, that resulted in several marriages between the Strever family and the Dings, the Knickerbockers, the Hoysradts, the Miller, Hoffmans and others.

All of these names appear on the Roster of the American Army of the Revolution, and so, in all the other American wars, the names of the descendants of these men are to found in plentiful numbers among the names of those who fought for their country.

Johannes Dings, B.1721 D. 1809, Farmer, Livingston Manor, N.Y. member of Gallatine Reformed Church; prosperous for the time in which he lived, he was able to assist his children in establishing homes and loaned money to his neighbors; married Anna Maria Tons. One of their sons, Adam (Hans), B. 1742, served in the war of the revolution in the 10th Regiment under Captain Kline. He married Marike Knickerbocker, B. 1743, daughter of Petrus Knickerbocker and Margery (Bain).

Their son Adam (2nd), B. 1770 D. 1812, died just previous to the birth of the last two children (twins); occupation: playboy-farmer. History has eulogized his ancestors; much has been written by Washington Irving of these early Hudson valley folks. "The Knickerbocker Family", by Van Alstyne, has verified my findings, that all connecting families were of sterling quality but heredity doesn't always make the man, it is how you were born. Environment is what happens after. Adam was an easy to know fellow and like his Biblical namesake, tasted the fruit of the tree. I can find no eulogy to his memory, and history seems to have given him the silent treatment. Existing records do provide some very interest though pathetic data to the fate of his descendent. He married in 1795 to Eva Kilmer, B. 1772 in the town of Ancram.

 

 

Adam (2nd) and Eve (Kilmer) Dings children:

1. Morecca Dings B. 1797 D. 1854 M. in 1817 to John B. Strever. They had eleven children, two were blind; two had very poor eyesight; these four, and one more died before their time.

2. Maria Dings B. 1799 D. ___ M. a Mr. Koons. They had two children, one sickly, the other Ellinor (deformed), M. Michael Hemerick, a healthy well built German. They had nine children; five of them died in infancy or early childhood, another, Anna, was always an invalid and was bothered with poor eyesight; Eva, Maria, Almedia and Hiram all had deficient eyesight.

3. Adam Dings (3rd) Bap. Claverack, 11/3/1802. NFR

4. Peter Dings Bap. Gallatine Vedder Reformed Church; B. Nov. 13, 1804. M. in Columbia Co. to Polly Gifford, B. 1803, and settled near Syracuse, N.Y. They had five sons and three daughters. The sum total offspring from this group of Dings name was exactly one son.

5. John Adam Dings Bap. Claverack, N.Y. B. on May 25, 1808. NFR

6. Elizabeth (Betsy) Dings B. June 4, 1812, was sickly, M. William Patchion, a widower; they had one son, Charles, who also had poor eyesight.

7. Ellinor Dings Bap. Gallatine Vedder Reformed Church B. on June 4, 1812. NFR

Betsy and Ellinor were twins and were born two months after their father Adam Dings (2nd) died.

Their mother Eva (Kilmer) Dings, at some later date made her home with her eldest daughter Morecca and John B. Strever. Eva was a home loving woman, an immaculate housekeeper, and a faithful church member. She was not a large woman but enjoyed excellent health all of the eighty eight years of her life. These are the memories and recollections of her granddaughter Martha Strever Miller. About the total extent of her undesirable habits were confined to the occasional use of the traditional snuff box, and the frequent use of her old clay pipe.

This glance through the window the past may amuse those of this generation, and will I am sure convince others whose future is in the past, as well as present day moderns, that the passage of time has done little to prevent history from repeating itself. Each generation has consistently condemned their progeny for their glamorous way of life. Youth is and always has been on trial, but when analyzed fairly, there is only a difference of degree. Down through the many epochs of human history the degree of delinquency has varied but little. The Pompous Colonials, the Preening Gay Nineties, the Roaring Twenties, and the Nudist age Fifties. All have contributed to youth hysteria and delinquency in their time. As we hark back through all of these rollicking ages, we must concede that each has very capably solved its own problems, and may I point out how each generation has improved its stature, health, mind and longevity.

A reminiscence of the past

Of pleasure and of pain

Is to us mortals quite as real

As sunshine and the rain

It is the warp and woof of life

Donned by us every day

The very act of thought expressed

Yea, every word we say.

After thirty seven years of happy married living, and until her family were all arrived to manhood, and themselves settled in family state and connections, great grandmother Morecca sickened and died June 26, 1854, age 57. She rests in Strever Cemetery, near Chatham and the inscription of the century old tombstone reads:

Farewell husband in all thy sorrow

Mother, children one and all

Troubles do try not to borrow

Be also ready, God soon will call.

Her mother Eva Dings then became head of the household, this arrangement continued for a few years until John B. married for a second time, Annis Reynolds, a spinster of some years but not as old as was John B. Legend has it that she influenced him to dispose of the old farmstead; and early in the 1860's a deal was made with Ed Shinkle for a farm owned by him on Curtiss Hill. This was a swap with John B. receiving some money to boot. Clever Annis however persuaded John B. to have the deed to this farm made in her name and so passed forever from Strever lineage. These were happenings in the twilight of his years.

There is a quaint tale handed down through several generations which had its origin in the William H. Strever household, and was related to me by John B. Strever's great granddaughter Lenora Shufelt as told to her by her mother Lottie Strever Castle. It all happened a long time ago in the month of June 1869. At this season the women members of the William H. Strever family, Lottie, Martha, Sarah and mother Charlotte, were busy with the annual chore of picking geese, in the barn on their hillside farmstead. One can almost visualize the rural scene; the noisy honking of the disturbed geese about to be plucked of their fleecy down, the bursts of merry laughter at some witty remark or humorous story; and in more serious moments a discussion of every day problems confronting a large family during a post war period. Picture if you can, their amazement and hushed silence which followed when from the ether there suddenly came the resonant strains of, as Lottie put it, "heavenly" music. Unable to comprehend its source they all went out of doors to determine from where it came, but could hear nothing; upon re-entering the barn the vibrant notes were again to be heard. Nothing much took place to disturb the peaceful routine of the countryside those days except the noises produced by nature, such as birds, the animals, and the elements; there was nothing of a mechanical nature and canned music was still a generation or two in the future. To the reader this story may seen somewhat unrealistic, but you must remember theses were unsophisticated rural folks who lived nearly a century ago in a period when skeptics were not much tolerated and Bible reading was a daily habit; when believers did not question the power of their God to perform miracles; and reasoned these mystic melodies were as a message sent from heaven intended to convey an inspired communication of impeding trouble. Their implicit faith in a revealing power was confirmed some hours later when it was learned that at the exact hour this awe-inspiring manifestation was taking place, the soul of their grandfather, John B. Strever, was departing the earthly mortal to dwell in Heaven eternally. His death occurred at his Curtiss Hill Farm home near Chatham Center about five miles distance from the home of his son William H. Strever, June 20, 1869. They placed him by the side of his wife Morecca in the cemetery on the hill where also rest many of his children. A slab graying with age marks his grave. The following inscription is still dimly visible:

Dearest father thou has left us

More thy loss we deeply feel

But his God that hath bereft us

He can all our sorrows heal.

 

 

John B. & Morecca (Dings) Strever children:

1. Aaron Strever B. Ancram 4/15/1818 D. 5/15/1898 M. Emily Soule, B. 10/28/1819 D. 3/23/1894. Columbia College graduate, Civil engineer, Surveyor and Farmer. Buried Clay, age 80.

2. William H. Strever B. Ancram 2/26/1820 D. 3/27/1908 M. Charlotte Gillette, B. 2/25/1821 D. 1/9/1889. Civil War Veteran, Stone Mason, and Farmer. Buried Chatham, age 88. He lived long and liked it.

3. Tammy Strever B. Ancram 9/13/1821 D. 3/26/1858, age 37. Single. NFR

4. Benjamin Strever B. Ancram 2/21/1823 D. 5/9/1878 M. Ester Karns.

5. Lafayette Strever B. Ancram 10/9/1824 D. 10/27/1856 M. Marye Tyson, B. 8/5/1828 D. 1/10/1903. Operated hotel in Chatham. Buried in Chatham at age 32.

6. Hiram Strever B. 10/2/1826 D. 10/22/1856, age 30. M. Margaret Cooper, B. 11/22/1831 D. 1/18/1903.

7. Adam Strever B. 7/4/1828 D. 1/5/1893 M. Mrs. Maggie Whitney. High School Principal, Albany, Instructor in Teachers College and accountant in New York State Capitol.

8. Mary Strever B. 7/15/1830 D. 12/23/1861 M. Joseph Drew, B. 12/1826 D. 12/10/1906. (Also see #8 on page #67)

9. Almira Strever B. 6/5/1833 D. 12/23/1861 M. Mark Stewart

B. ___ D. 10/21/1913.

10. John W. Strever B. 9/6/1834 D. 12/30/1908 M. Sarah Wideman,

B. 3/4/1841 D. ___ . School teacher and carpenter. Age 74.

11. Phoebe Strever B. Chatham 5/13/1838 D. 1/4/1880 Unmarried, age 42. She was kind and lovable nor did she complain of a fate that deprived her of one of natures greatest gifts, the power to see, for she was blind. She died before her time and rests in the family Cemetery at Chatham.

They all had Christian ways, their faith unadulterated and were fraternally minded, some being Free Masons.

 

Reminiscences

The Strever boys were known as a jovial lot, playful and full of youthful capers. One of their favorite amusements down on the farm was sprinting, and as some of them had very poor eyesight, the manner in which their races were conducted made the sport very hazardous. On one such occasion a sprint was arranged the distance to be from the barn to the house, which was somewhat down grade. In this event the joke was to be on Hiram, who was nearly blind. An old plow had previously been placed on the path over which the race was to be run and Hiram given the position between them on the starting line and headed directly toward this rustic farm implement. The distance to be run was sufficient to permit them to hit top speed before reaching to plow and it was said Hiram was severely bruised and lacerated when he collided with the sharp plowshares. What would these long dead men of more than a century ago have thought could they have witnessed the advancement in inventions as far ahead as we have them today. Would the pranks of yesteryear seem any more cruel and inhuman that the unfeeling highway racing casualties of the atomic 1950's.

 

Onondaga County Group

Aaron (1st), son of John B., Benjamin, Johannes (2nd), Johannes (1st), was born in Ancram, Duchess Co., N.Y. on 4/15/1818. He received his early education in the public schools and was a graduate of Columbia College; a licensed Civil Engineer and Surveyor, he accepted the advice of his uncle William Strever, who had previously settled in the town of Clay, and came down from Chatham, N.Y. about the year 1845, and as records show purchased seven parcels of land in the Pine Plains section of Clay; among his varied talents he became a very successful farmer, surveyed most of northern Onondaga County, and a substantial portion of Oswego County. His farming activities were of the diversified colonist type, and in autumn he gave each of his three children, then residing in the area, a quarter of beef and sufficient wool to supply the families clothing requirements for a year. He also bought burial plots from the Clay Cemetery Association for each of his two sons John B. and Fremont, just inside and near the entrance of Clay Cemetery. Both John B. and Fremont owned productive farmstead in the Pine Plains section. Aaron was a man of uncommon intelligence and a wonderful memory. Once his brother, Adam, then principal of Albany High School, was taking an exam for renewal of his teaching license and found one of the math problems so difficult that he was unable to solve it. In those days it was permissable to take examination papers home for a period of five days for study purposes. This Adam did and immediately mailed the perplexing problem to his brother for his assistance in its solution. Aaron, who had mastered math through calculus, struggled with this troublesome example until midnight, then went to bed and as the story goes dreamed the solution, arose from bed, and to his wife's surprise left the house, went to the post office and mailed the exam papers to his brother in Albany who received it in time for its return to the State Board of examiners; needless to say, Adam passed the exams and in due time received his license.

Sometime before Aaron left Chatham he married Emily Soule, B. Oct. 23, 1819, who came from a highly placed family, active , devoted and faithful to their Christian duties; one member of the family, a brother Henry B., was a Universalist Minister. Emily was a well balanced woman, who kept family relations at a high level and passed along to her children and her children's children an enviable heritage of longevity and good minds. She passed away Aug. 23, 1895, age 75. Her husband survived her nearly four years, until May 15, 1898, when he too died at the good age of 80 years. They are together in death as they were in life. A towering monument marks their graves in the Pine Plains cemetery, as a well deserved remembrance of their worth.

We've found an ancestor

Of whom we are proud,

So let us salute him;

Salute him out loud.

 

 

Aaron and Emily (Soule) Strever children:

1. Henry B. Strever B. 11/28/1849 D. 2/9/1939, age 90. M. 10/18/1880 to Mary E., B. 5/26/1850 D. 5/9/1944, age 94, dau. of William H. & Charlotte (Gillette) Strever. Two children.

2. Mary Strever B. Clay 12/1/1850 D. 1931, age 81. M. _______ .

3. Benton Birge Strever B. ___ D. ___ No children.

4. John B. Strever B. Clay 8/3/1852 D. 6/12/1934, age 82. M. 9/5/1876 to Mary E. Lynn, B. Clay 2/13/1856 D. 6/10/1940, age 78. Two children.

5. Fremont Strever B. Clay 4/28/1862 D. 9/18/1922, age 60. M. 1/1/1888 to Elma J. Leonard, B. 12/12/1862 D. 10/28/1931, age 69.

6. Aaron Strever B. ___ D. ___

7. Carrie Strever B. ___ D. ___ Single.

 

Fremont Strever, son of Aaron Strever B. Clay, was B. 4/28/1862, M. 1/1/1888 to Elma Leonard, B. 12/12/1862. They established themselves on a farm in the Pine Plains section not far from the old homestead in which he was born. They were a thrifty folk who were content with their home and community life, lived by the Golden Rule, and raised their family in a Christian environment. Their descendants may well look backward to their ancestors with deep satisfaction and pride. The big house with its ample rooms and spacious lawns, shaded by lofty old trees, still preserves many characteristics of the Colonial period. It stands today as a monument to the past generation and a prized possession of sentimental value to another generation. Throughout this period, generations lived in the same house, its value being in its permanence. Home stood for security, for something that father could pass along to son. As a result of two world wars and their influence upon industrial expansion and upon further movements of population, the idea of home varied yet again. It is often no longer possible to live in the old family house, yet it remains central to the lives of everyone. I think of no other place like home or comparable to it, and I think well. It is pleasant in present enjoyment, and dear in after memory, the paradise of childhood, and the tenderest recollections of age. Sentiment must be kindlier and morality purer, fostered by such surroundings.

Fremont D. 9/18/1922, and his wife Elma passed away nine years later on 10/28/1931. Interment was made in Clay Cemetery; an imposing monument marks their last resting place.

In the summer of 1953 when as strangers we came to the Pine Plains area in our search for family information, we called at the Fremont Strever homestead where for the first time we met Grace Strever, daughter of Fremont, also Fred Graves, husband of Florence, younger sister of Grace. We found them to be quality folks, who gave us a friendly reception and were generous with their time and cooperation in our genealogy problems. Fred, a former government tax lawyer in Washington, D.C., is now retired after thirty five years of loyal service. They now divide their time, wintering in Washington residence, and enjoy the greener months on the family estate at Clay. Sentiment and pride in a way of life, have inspired them to improve the old mansion and also to acquire much of the adjoining acreage and make this one of the largest farms in the region. There is a second and more modern dwelling on the farmstead, in which Grace now lives. She too migrates to warmer climates when the snow season comes to our latitude.

 

 

Fremont and Elma Strever children:

1. Grace Strever B. Clay 6/27/1889 Single.

2. Edna Strever B. Clay 6/23/1892 NFR

3. Florence Strever B. Clay 4/27/1894 M. 1/1/1918 to Frederick O. Graves, B. 8/30/1893. No children.

4. Leonard Strever B. Clay 1896 D. 1927 NFR

 

John B. Strever, son of Aaron, was B. Clay, N.Y. 8/3/1852. Then known as Cigarville, and boasted eleven cigar shops. He received his education in the area schools, followed the occupation of farmer, and successfully filled the office of Town Clerk for ten years. In 1876 at the age of twenty four he married Mary E. Lynn, B. 2/13/1856. They were quiet, honest Methodists, with no other ambition than to be good farmers, attend loyally to civic duties, and raise their children in their own religious faith and practice. They owned a productive farmstead in the Pine Plains section near the forks of the road. The impressive dwelling still stands among towering trees planted by John B. before the gay nineties. Time and neglect have left their mark on the once handsome house. We tarry awhile and with a lingering sense of nostalgia, picture the old homestead as it was in the long ago years; when a more thrifty people roamed its spacious rooms and rolling acres.

The colonist ancestors of Mary E. Lynn were among the early founders of Lynn, Mass., her parents migrated to Clay in the early 1800's and settled on a six hundred acre tract of fertile land in Pine Plains. This homestead eventually came into possession of their grandson, Alfred J. Strever, who made it his home for many years. It too has passed from the family and appears today to be in a good state of repair. Those of Strever name, once so numerous in the Pine Plains section have completely vanished, and only a few of the name are to be found in Onondaga County. This is the biography of John B. and Mary E. (Lynn) Strever, who not only lived long but lived well, and passed away; John B. on June 12, 1934, age 82. Mary E. on June 10, 1940, age 84. Interment was made in Pine Plains Cemetery where rest so many of Strever name and connections.

To thee, O God, in humble trust,

Our hearts their cheerful incense burn

For this thy word, "Thou art dust"

And unto dust shalt thou return.

 

 

 

John B. and Mary E. Strever children:

1. Alfred J. Strever B. Clay 8/28/1877 M. 6/15/1902 to Jessie Young, B. 3/1/1887 D. 6/13/1924. Received his education in the public schools and Teachers College, and followed his chosen profession as Principal and teacher in the regional schools for forty years. Also was Justice of the Town of Clay for a term of two years. They resided in the John B. Strever homestead for a time and later acquired and moved to the Lynn farmstead; combining farming with his teaching duties. On Aug. 21, 1907, a son Rolland Manford, was born to make their house a home. Seventeen years later the wife and mother passed away, young in years and long before her time. She is buried in the Pine Plains Cemetery near Clay.

In the year 1928 he remarried Florence A. and moved to Brewerton, and has successfully filled the office of Justice in the Town of Cicero for a period of seventeen consecutive years and presently is Vice President of Onondaga County Justice Association. He has been generous of his time, patriotically sacrificing a five year period of time to draft board duties of World War II, being sole Judge for the towns of Clay and Cicero; and efficiently handled 9,000 registrants.

We met cousin Alfred and his wife Florence for the first time when we came to the Brewerton area in the summer season of 1953. We received a warm welcome and found them free and social and given to much hospitality. Both are deeply interested in church and fraternal affairs. They are of Methodist faith and highly regarded in the community. Among her various church and fraternal duties Florence has the official distinction of being Recording Secretary of the Syracuse District Methodist Conference. Alfred is Past Master of Centerville Lodge F.S.M.; North Syracuse and is proud possessor of a fifty year medal from Grand Lodge; was Past Grand Lecturer (1939), and Patron of O.E.S. in Brewerton fourteen years.

He has shown much interest in collecting family records, and in things past. In all his thrift and hurry he has found time to render the compiler, valuable assistance in furnishing data and records of the Onondaga County Group.

 

Alfred J. and Jessie (Young) Strever children:

A. Roland Manford Strever B. Clay 8/21/1907 M. 1/1/1933 to Edna Louise Gale, B. 7/22/1909. Resided at various times in Victory, N.Y., Rochester, N.Y., and Syracuse, N.Y. They both died long before their time. Edna died of a lingering malady on 8/19/1949. Rolland Manford met his death about one year later on December 10, 1950 as the result of an accident.

Survivors of Rolland M. and Edna L. (Gale) Strever:

1. John Eben Strever B. Victory, N.Y. 6/25/1934

2. Richard Manford Strever B. Rochester, N.Y. 7/22/1943

3. Alfred Benjamine Strever B. Syracuse, N.Y. 8/3/1948 (Twin)

4. Alfreda Jessie Strever B. Syracuse, N.Y. 8/3/1948 (Twin)

Alfred and Alfreda have been adopted and their names changed from Strever to that of Ward.

2. Rolland A. Strever B. Clay 12/9/1880 D. Clay 2/18/1986 M. 6/27/1918 to Ruth Black, B. 9/30/1887. He chose a career as a news reporter and has long been associated with a leading Syracuse daily. He later entered the field of politics and has continued with these diversified activities through the years. I found him an easy to know fellow of pleasing personality, and an honest pride in family background. He is much interested in church and fraternal affairs as is his wife. They are socially inclined and highly esteemed in Brewerton, where they reside in a large, attractive and homey dwelling, surrounded by stately old trees and spacious well kept lawns. Their long years of happy married companionship ended when on a day in September 1954, Ruth was called to her well earned reward. Her passing was a loss to the community and has left the home place full of grief and loneliness. She was laid to rest in North Syracuse cemetery. He was buried in North Syracuse Cemetery.

 

California Group

Henry B. Strever, son of Aaron, was B. Clay, N.Y. 11/28/1849. M. 10/18/1880 to Mary B., dau. of William H. & Charlotte (Gillette) Strever, B. Schoharie Co., N.Y. 5/26/1850. Both were active in religious affairs; she was a Lutheran, he a Universalist. He was a well educated civic minded farmer and gave much time to local school and government operations. Both died in Calif. Hot Springs, Ca. Buried in Porterville, Ca.

They eventually settled in the tall corn state of Iowa, here they lived and prospered until their two children had matured, married and settled in South Dakota. In the early 1920's they sold their Iowa home with its fertile acres and moved to California, stopping for a time in South Dakota. They then located permanently at California Hot Springs, where he became postmaster and merchant. He was greatly interested in genealogical studies, tracing out and collecting records and history of the Strever and other connecting families. He was generous with his discoveries, always striving to create and promote interest in family lore. Through his efforts he was successful in keeping interest alive by supplying a younger generation with a working knowledge of our early ancestry, always hoping we would add to the material he had collected and to some day complete a worthy work. In the year 1915 he came east in search of data which would definitely establish the time and place when America became hostess to the "Strever Clan". He also became interested in improving and perpetuating the old family cemetery at Chatham, N.Y. With the assistance of Charles and Leland Strever he cared for and fenced the cemetery of our ancestors. That was a longtime ago in the life of things material. The fence which once enclosed the burial place no longer stands to protect this hallowed spot; it is now unkept, uncared for and up-grown with trees and brush. Forty years has greatly changed the scene, the construction of a new state road, Rt. 66, has cut through cemetery hill and removed a portion of the burial ground. Inscriptions are almost obliterated from the time worn stones, and few ever come to place flowers on the almost forgotten tombs of our fathers, where cattle and horses now browse among the tombstones and trample over the graves of Strever dead.

Henry and Mary did much to preserve the past and create a family sentiment in all of Strever lineage. Following this account is a letter the compiler received from Henry more that thirty five year ago, giving the reader a glimpse into the past, also a realization of the many years it has required to collect the material and complete this narrative.

Their descendants have inherited a high degree of physical perfection, an unusual expectancy of life, good mentality and desirable blood lines from which to reproduce Strever traits and qualities. Their philosophy on the art of living, gave to them the unique distinction of surviving to become the oldest couple in recorded Strever history. He gave up the race of life on Feb. 9, 1939. She sprinted through another five years and then retired to join her husband in paradise. Both lived long and well and remained mentally keen to the last, Henry to the age of 90, Mary to the ripe age of 94. Both died Calif. Hot Springs & buried in Porterville,Ca.

Let us, in reminiscent mood revert to scenes of yore,

Back to the tall and aged Sire, with 90 at his score.

And to his Consort good and kind, who bettered him by four,

To the dwelling where they lived, and where their race was run,

Made hallowed by their presence beneath a western sun.

 

Henry B. and Mary B. (Strever) Strever children:

  1. Edith S. Strever B. 4/16/1882 D. 10/22/1963 Buried Porterville, Ca. M. 6/28/1917 to Elmer Benedict, B. 12/17/1888. She was educated in Iowa public schools; received a teacher's degree and for several years taught in the Cherokee and area schools. She then migrated to a remote section of South Dakota and close to a nearby Indian reservation, here she homesteaded, taught school and later was appointed Post-mistress at Hamill, South Dakota. She was a natural Public relations woman and soon became a favorite with the Indians of the region, who bestowed upon her the great honor of "Princess", with this title went the honor, respect and protection, each individual Indian was duty bound to look to her safety and protect her at all cost.

We met her for the first time when she came to the technicolor state in the autumn of 1953. She is an ardent genealogist, having carried on where her father left off. We had much of mutual interest in common and she having recently visited most of the western groups, I was privileged to compare notes which was of mutual interest and value to each.

Edith S. (Strever) and Elmer Benedict children:

    1. Robert Benedict B. 2/24/1921 M. on 2/13/1946 Lorraine M. Good, B.1/18/1924. He has chosen the military as a career

 

Robert and Lorraine (Good) Benedict children:

1. Marilyn Benedict B. 6/19/1947

2. Kenneth P. Benedict B. 1/11/1950

3. Terry Gene Benedict B. 9/3/1952

  1. Henry Ward Strever B. 5/25/1885 D. 7/21/1961 M. 2/5/1914 Clara Permilla Shoener, B.1/2/1897 D. 10/31/1914 at child birth Eagle Butte,S.D. M. 2nd Jennie S. Hall, B. 1880. His occupation was a garage owner, merchant and Postmaster at California, Hot Springs .

 

 

 

Henry and Clara Permilla (Shoener) Strever children:

    1. Henry Grant Strever B. 10/30/1914 in Eagle Butte, S.D. M. 10/23/1936 to Pauline May Vaskey, Grass Range, Mont. B. 5/28/1916. D. 9/13/1983 Red Bluff.Ca. Two children came to bless this union, Dixie Lee and Donna Rae.

Henry and Pauline (Vaskey) Strever children:

1. Dixie Lee Strever B.6/26/1937 D. Jan. 1940

2. Donna Rae Strever B. 10/25/1938 D. Jan. 1940

3. Richard Henry Strever B. 9/14/1942

4. Sherry Lane Strever B. 4/4/1944

5. Cary Grant Strever B. 8/3/1945

6. Sandra Jo Strever B. 3/10/1947

About one year after Donna Rae was born, horror and tragedy came to this little home in the mountains. The house where they lived was located in an isolated section of the "Black Hills" near Deadwood. Pauline alone, was caring for their two small children as Henry was in Arizona seeking employment; so was dependent on neighbors to grocery shop for her. On one such occasion, a day never to be forgotten, she had left the children and gone to fetch the week's supply of provisions, on returning a horrible and gruesome sight met her eyes for the peaceful home she had left so short a time before was now a blazing inferno. During her absence an overheated stove had exploded destroying not only the home and belongings, but cruelly roasting to death two helpless babies. This tragedy reunited this sorrowing couple, who now moved to another state far from the scene of horror and carnage that left them childless, to rebuild their lives and future. God has been kind to them. He now has a good position and the laughter of four more children fill their home with happiness.

 

 

C. B. Groves, Chairman Dr. C. B. Hall, Medical Examiner

W. P. Dawson, Secretary H. B. Strever, Chief Clerk

UNITED STATES SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM

Local Board for Cherokee County, Iowa

Cherokee, Iowa 1/13/20 (1920)

Mr. Joseph R. Strever

Dallas, Texas

Dear Cousin:

Yours of the twenty second received. We are both unusually well people and are now living in town, our daughter, Edith is married and living in Tripp County, S. D. Our son, Ward, is living in Eagle Butte, Dewey Co., S. D. He was married early in 1914 and lost his wife at childbirth in November of the same year; she left him a boy who was five last fall.

Prices are very high here and sugar hard to get at twenty one cents a pound. Enclosed is a photo of me in our cornfield, notice the corn is three times my height. I have been very busy for the past few years, having added duties on the school and draft boards.

Now Joseph, you are asking for something when you ask for all the facts of the Strever record. It will take a hundred or more pages when complete, and that is a long way off. I lack many statistics; do not have anything on the Benjamin Strever family. I did not get any data from Mrs. Lamasay, she probably feels aggrieved because we did not visit her when in the east. I wrote to her twice before to acquire some facts but have not heard from her. I sent a blank to Maryette some time ago but thus far it has not been returned. Bessie promised to send me her family records, but that was a long time ago, and so it goes, very discouraging. Willard never answers my questions or letters; maybe you can get some facts about his family. So many letters of inquiry remain unanswered; it is a shame so many have no regard or memory of those gone before, who struggled through poverty and war that we might live.

I will send you what records I have been able to get of our ancestors and maybe some day a long time from now, we may be able to piece together a complete story of the Strever family.

Resp. your cousin,

H. B. Strever

 

 

Biography of Henry Birdsell Strever

Henry B., son of Aaron and Emily (Soule) Strever, was B. Clay, Onondaga Co., N.Y., November 28, 1849. Eldest of seven children. Received his education in the rural schools, was of studious nature and began teaching when he became the required age. He also supplemented his teaching duties with census taking during the vacation period. As a young man his health was not too good and this made him decide on a change of climate. It seems uncle Dick Johnson (his mother's half brother), had migrated to Iowa about five years before and settled on government land in Cherokee County. At the expiration of the school term Henry accepted an invitation from his uncle and he too migrated to Iowa, 1873. He like the people and the country and as the climate agreed with him, he decided to remain in Iowa permanently and applied for a teacher's certificate, only to learn that two additional subjects were taught in Iowa schools which were not used or required in New York state. He was therefore compelled to take a course of study before taking the state examinations for teachers. Still living and working for his uncle, he studied diligently and in due time passed the examination and received a much coveted teacher license. This was only the beginning for he continued to study and four years later he was appointed County Supt. of Schools, a position he held for three terms. After about seven years of successful Iowa living, he made a vacation trip to New York state, and while visiting his uncle William at Chatham, became deeply in love with his cousin Mary B., daughter of William H. and Charlotte (Gillette) Strever. They were married Oct. 18, 1880 and made their home in the town of Cherokee, county seat of Cherokee County. While serving as Supt. of schools, he originated a course of study which he presented to the state convention at Des Moines. It was adopted and used in educational institutions throughout the state. At the expiration of three terms as county Supt. of schools, they moved to a one hundred and twenty acre farm he had previously purchased, located some distance north of Cherokee.

By this time there were two children, Edith B. born 1882, and Henry Ward, born 1885. Henry B. continued teaching for several years in conjunction with his farming activities. Henry Ward followed in his father's footsteps, became a teacher and taught for two terms, not being suited to this vocation he then learned the carpenter's trade. Edith also chose teaching as a career and having much natural public relations ability, was very successful in the profession.

In the summer of 1907, the government opened a large tract of land in S. Dakota for homesteading. Once again the Strever's were on the move. Henry B., Ward and Edith journeyed to the Registry office at O'Neil, Nebr. and registered. Only Edith was fortunate in getting a number when the drawing was made in the spring of 1908. However it was not until Feb. of the year 1909 that she was allotted a quarter section of land in the NE part of Tripp Co. Her father assisted her in getting established and then returned to his home in Iowa. Two years later another tract was opened to the public, Henry and Ward again registered, this time Henry drew a number and was allotted a quarter section of land in Dewey Co., South Dakota. In the spring of 1911 he rented his Iowa farm and the family moved the their S. Dakota homestead. Ward, who had not been fortunate in drawing a number, now squatted on land, in the same section, but not included in the drawing. Edith proved up on her homestead late in the year 1911, and in the autumn of 1912 accepted a teaching position in Hamill, Tripp Co., S. Dakota. At the end of the school term she took examination for post master, returns gave her the highest marks and Dec. 10, 1913, she was appointed post master at Hamill, S. Dakota, a position held until her marriage in 1917.

Henry and Mary returned to Iowa, during the summer of 1914, and in the fall of the same year made an extended trip lasting about twelve months to New York state, favoring each of their numerous relatives with a generous visit.

They returned to Larabee, Iowa late in the year 1915. Two years later they moved to Cherokee, bought a home and resided there until 1923. It was during these years he gave his services to the examining Draft Board. In 1923 Henry and Mary disposed of their properties in Iowa. Edith and Elmer have also sold their property earlier the same year, they now all migrated to California, arriving April 1923. Henry purchased several pieces of property in Lynwood, about 1924. Henry Ward sold his holdings in Dewey Co., S. Dakota and joined his parents in Lynwood, where he operated a gas station. In the fall of 1929 Henry traded some of his Lynwood holdings for a property in California Hot Springs. Henry and Mary made this their permanent home for the remainder of their lives. Ward operated a garage here for a time and later was appointed postmaster at California Hot Springs. 1932 to 1948 & a member of the Masonic Lodge.

Henry was six feet in height, rather slim and of good habits. Mary was five feet one inch in height and somewhat stout. She was a professional dressmaker, an occupation she practiced until her marriage. It has been said, "There is a story in every life." I believe the reader will agree that few lives were more eventful and exciting than were those of Henry and Mary.

 

Medusa Group

Benjamin Strever, a son of John B., Benjamin, Johannes (2nd), Johannes (1st), was B. Ancram, N.Y. 2/21/1823. M. Esther Ann Karns, B. 12/23/1832. He was a farmer and carpenter by occupation. Following their marriage in 1854, they settled on a farm near Guilderland and about five miles west of Schnectedy. They later moved to a farm near Medusa, N.Y. They were Methodists and practiced the Golden Rule in every day life. Benjamin wore a well kept beard and was of distinguished appearance. He passed away in the prime of life 5/9/1878, age 55. His wife survived him by thirty-two years, and died in the year 1910, age 79.

The leaves that fall to Mother Earth

And feel her warm caress

Are not the germ of life itself

But just the faded dress.

For tight unto the parent bough

The life buds closely cling

To sleep throughout the wintry night

And wake at Dawn of Spring.

So why bemoan the Fallen leaves

That rustle neath our feet?

They fall to live again transformed

Life's cycle to complete.

Edith B. Rover

 

Benjamin and Esther (Karns) Strever children:

1. Eliza Jane (Jennie) Strever, dau. of Benjamin, B. Guilderland 5/15/1856 D. Sept. 1888 M. 1st to _________ Hesner. M. 2nd to Emmet Rector.

Eliza (Strever) and __________ Hesner children:

A. Benjamin Hesner B. ___ D. ___ M. Mary Bird. NFR

B. Clarence Hesner B. ___ D. ___ M. Teressa Gates. No children NFR

Eliza (Strever) and Emmet Rector children:

C. Robert Rector B. ___ Single. NFR

D. Oscar Rector B. ___ M. Emma Smith. NFR

E. Emmet Rector B. ___ M. Ada Gage. NFR

2. Bessie Strever, dau. of Benjamin. B. 3/16/1865 D. 10/24/1950, age 85. M. Robert James Giffin, B. 10/28/1863 D. 12/3/1936, age 73. They operated a farm near Guilderland and following his death, Bessie made her home near Medusa until her death fourteen years later.

Bessie (Strever) and Robert Giffin children:

A. William Benjamin Giffin B. 3/14/1887 Single.

B. Alice Amelia Giffin B. 1/5/1890 M. Claud Warner, B. 4/2/1881.

Alice (Giffin) and Claud Warner children:

1. Elizabeth Warner B. 9/1/1908 Single

.

2. Eleanor Warner B. 5/11/1912 M. Leo Rachr. No children.

3. Florence Warner B. 3/7/1917 M. Herman Neidhammer, B. 6/17/1925.

Florence (Warner) and Herman Neidhammer children:

A. Grace Neidhammer B. ___ D. 11/27/1940 (adopted)

4. Pauline Warner B. 7/3/1927 M. Harold Raver.

Pauline (Warner) and Harold Raver children:

A. Michael Raver B. 4/20/1948

C. Lena Eva Giffin B. 3/20/1892 M. Leslie Mathias, B. 6/30/1890. No children.

D. Walter Eugene Giffin B. 4/4/1894 M. 1st to Idella Spawn. M. 2nd to Anna Hestach.

Walter and Idella (Spawn) Giffin children:

1. John Giffin B. 1918 D. 2/18/1944 in World War II.

2. Marion Giffin B. July 1916 M. Cyril George. One dau.

Walter and Anna (Hestach) Giffin children:

3. Eugene Giffin B. Dec. 1936

4. Nancy Giffin B. 10/10/1939

5. Jane Giffin B. April 1945

E. Jennie Eliza Giffin B. 3/21/1896 M. Raymound Schultz, B. 9/22/1888.

Jennie (Giffin) and Raymound Schultz children:

1. Ruth Schultz B. 9/17/1915 M. Arnold Weidhammer, B. 6/13/1913.

Ruth (Schultz) and Arnold Weidhammer children:

A. Arnold Weidhammer, Jr. B. 12/27/1936

B. Carrol Weidhammer B. 8/22/1938

2. Ethel Schultz B. 8/4/1917 M. Charles Johnson, B. 2/4/1914. NFR

3. James Schultz B. 8/11/1918 M. Elvira Volpe, B. 1/15/1919.

James and Elvira (Volpe) Schultz children:

A. Sherry Schultz B. 3/5/1952

4. Beth Schultz B. 12/13/1922 M. Donald Muttal, B. 1/30/1923.

Beth (Schultz) and Donald Muttal children:

A. Kathy Muttal B. 4/21/1947

B. Sandra Muttal B. 8/15/1950

5. Leslie Schultz B. 3/13/1927 M. Eleanor Padone, B. 1/16/1932.

Leslie and Eleanor (Padone) Schultz children:

A. Dean Shultz B. 2/23/1952

F. James Leon Giffin B. 4/19/1889 M. Viola Zarn, B. ___ D. 1936.

James and Viola (Zarn) Giffin children:

1. Sylvia Giffin B. 4/22/1929 M. Arthur Merret, B. 11/6/1929.

Sylvia (Giffin) and Arthur Merret children:

A. James Merret B. 6/10/1948

B. Sandra Merret B. 12/2/1949

C. Maureen Merret B. 7/24/1953

Sometime after the death of his first wife, Viola, James Leon married Emma Martin. No children.

2. Carolyn Giffin B. 3/19/1932 M. Samuel Rarhaus, B.11/9/1923. NFR

3. Emma May Strever, dau. of Benjamin. B. 12/13/1872 M. Michael Jamaseny. No children. NFR

 

 

Albany Group

Adam Strever, son of John B., (Benjamin, Johannes (2nd), Johannes (1st)), was B. Ancram 7/4/1823. M. 1858 to Mrs. Maggie Whitney, B. ___ D. ___. He came to Chatham with his parents about the year 1835, received his education in Chatham public schools and Albany Teachers College. Taught in the Albany Public Schools and advanced to Principal of Albany High, then to instructor at Albany Teacher's College. In the later years of his life he was an accountant at Albany State Capitol. He was a Free Mason, and active in church affairs, possessed some ability as an orator. He wore a full beard and had a pleasing expression; was fond of the wide open places, finding much enjoyment in most outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing. It was when he was on one of his frequent fishing trips that he was injured by a gaff penetrating his leg which resulted in a serious infection and eventually caused a gangrenous condition. A consultation of doctors was decided upon and ten doctors met to observe and diagnose his condition, and the advisability of operating; nine of them gave it as their opinion that a major operation of this nature would be more apt to cause his death than to save his life. The tenth doctor favored having the operation performed, and at once; giving him a fifty-fifty chance of surviving. The amputation took place a few hours later, the leg was removed by disjointing at the hip. He eventually recovered and lived to enjoy a long useful life. He was soon to resume his sports activities, and strange as it may seem, it is said he excelled in those of baseball and wrestling. Being a natural humorist and always the life of a party, made him a welcome guest at any gathering. He remained young all his life and passed away 1/15/1893, while on a visit to the west coast where his son Willard had established a home at Pendleton, Oregon. He is buried in Pendleton Cemetery. Was it a coincidence that of the ten doctors who once had decided on his fate, the nine who opposed the operation died young of age; while the lone doctor whose ability and decision to operate, saving Adams life, lived to a ripe old age.

Adam and Maggie (Whitney) Strever children:

1. Freddie Strever B. ___ D. ___ Died young. NFR

2. Willard Jerone Strever B. Albany, N.Y. 1861 D. 1947, age 86. 1st M. (Cora) Estelle, dau. of George and Caroline (Cal) Coon in 1882. One son. 2nd M. Florence, dau. of Henry and Susan (Coffman) Neil in 1892. Three children. 3rd M. Lydia, dau. of George and Caroline (Cal) Coon in 1903. One daughter.

Biography of Willard Jerone Strever

Willard Jerone Strever, son of Adam, was B. Albany 1861. Received his education in the Albany city schools, majoring in music and art; for which subjects he possessed a natural gift. He was very versatile and used his talents to financial advantage. He made stage his profession for a time, his act consisting of a banjo musical routine. In this gilded age of scroll-work and elaborate picture frame designing he was much in demand as some of his skills included the making and designing of period furniture, also the art of gold-leaf productions. He loved the sunny side of the road, was a genial nature, pleasing personality and well liked by everyone. The compiler remembers him, "way back when" as a debonair and charming gentleman. Now after the passage of nearly half a century my youthful appraisal of this unusual man has been fully confirmed by the wife of Elmer his first born, Mrs. Mae G. Strever Watson, now residing in Rochester, N.Y.

In the year 1882 Willard married Cora Estelle Coon, B. Waterford, N.Y. 6/13/1864, dau. of George and Caroline, "Cal", Coon, a highly placed and respected family. She died on 12/23/1917, age 53.

Willard and Estelle (Coon) Strever children:

A. Rev. Elmer J. Strever B. 9/10/1883 He was well educated, intellectual and inherited many of the good qualities and characteristics to be found in both the Strever and Coon families. M. at Waterford 1906 to Mae G. Williamson. Following their marriage they established a home a 23 Sixth Street, Waterford where their first child, Gertrude, was born. They later lived at Division Street where the second child Hewett was born. During the earlier years of his life Elmer was employed as a representative for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. He was deeply religious, sincere of nature, highly esteemed and loved by all, as was his wife. He was a man whom God had eminently fitted for the station he was to occupy, that of minister, for which he had prepared himself. In the year 1915, Rev. Elmer Strever was called, and accepted a pastorate at the Pottensville Methodist Church, located in the southern Adironack Conference, also as supply pastor for two other area churches. His ministry here as in all his fields of labor was marked with energy, ability and success. His pastorate and watchful care over his church, extended until the year 1916, when God in his wisdom recalled his loyal servant from an earthly home, to live in Paradise. Young in years he was stricken with acute appendicitis Feb. 12, 1916. An operation was performed at Albany Hospital, but he succumbed Feb. 17, 1916, the fifth day following his seizure, thus a useful and much needed life came to an early end, interrupting a promising and brilliant future of preaching the gospel. He was survived by a grief stricken wife and two small children, whom God in his goodness has watched over and protected through the years. The "Little Minister" was interred in Albany Rural Cemetery and rests by the side of his mother and father on the "Coon" plot.

One night his feet grew weary

He closed his earnest eyes;

and when morning walked the hilltops

He was singing in Paradise.

This story would not be complete without including some incidents in the lives of those who were left to mourn and walk alone. They now moved back to Mechanicville, where Mae "Bonnie" a courageous and proud woman prepared to meet her problems half way. The "lonely three", Mae, Gertrude and Hewett, pooled their meager earnings in a "Corn Cob Cup" to insure preserving of their, to them, precious home. These lean years continued on through 1918, when, as Gertrude so well put it "A wonderful thing happened". Out of the west (Winnipeg) came Raymond P. Watson, a former teen age sweetheart of Mae's, a chance meeting eventually culminated in their marriage, and gave to two lonely children a second "Dad". He must have been a fine and good man to have been so loved and idolized by the once again "happy three" who have lived to survive him when he too lost his life in a tragic traffic accident, about the year 1949.

Elmer and Mae G. (Williamson) Strever children:

1. Gertrude Strever B. Waterford 3/26/1907 M. 1926 to Richard A. Gilman, B. 10/11/1903. She was educated in the public schools, studied music and became a teacher of piano. She later developed a natural gift for art and entered the interesting field of Photography, now operates a Photographic Studio in Batavia, N.Y.

Gertrude (Strever) and Richard Gilman children:

A. David Irving Gilman B. 8/7/1927 D. 12/5/???? M. Catherine Demeco, B. 10/29/1925. Buried in Anchorage at Memorial Park. First wife was Darlene.

David and Catherine (Demeco) Gilman children:

1. Stephanie Gilman B. 10/12/1951

2. Stephen Gilman B. 6/29/1953

3. Gregory Gilman B. ____

4. April Gilman B. ____

B. Wilma Ruth Gilman B. 8/7/1929 M. Richard B. Van Gorder, B. 3/23/1926.

Wilma (Gilman) and Richard Van Gorder children:

1. Richard Van Gorder B. (2nd) B. 9/30/1948

2. Gerry Van Gorder B. 5/9/1951

2. Hewett W. Strever B. 3/17/1909 M. in 1934 to Marguerite Yowell, B. 12/23/1912. He received his education the area of schools and completed his Osteopathic studies, received his degree at Kirksville College, Missouri. He now practices his profession in Rochester, New York.

Hewett and Margureite (Yowell) Strever children:

A. Neva Eleanor Strever B. 10/13/1939

B. Sally Ann Strever B. 8/13/1943

 

 

About the year 1889, seven years after Willard's marriage to Cora Estelle they parted, he going to the west coast, leaving his wife and six year old son with her parents George and "Cal" Coon. Willard established a home in Pendleton, Oregon; obtained a decree of divorce from Estelle by publication, and married 1892 to Florence, dau. of Henry and Susan (Coffman) Neil, B. ___ .

 

Willard and Florence (Neil) Strever children:

B. Eva Strever B. 11/26/1892 D. 10/17/1942 M. 19 __ to Lee C. Bissinger, B. 10/19/1883 D. ____ .

Eva (Strever) and Lee Bissinger children:

1. Conrad Bissinger B. 11/17/1915 D. 12/10/1970 M. 6/23/1938 Dorothy Toomay. No children

2. Eugene Bissinger B. 12/26/1918 D. ____ M. 11/10/1945 Dorothy Mae Price B. 5/27/1925.

Eugene and Dorothy (Price) Bissinger children:

A. Janet Cornell Bissinger B. ___ D. ___

B. Ronald Gene Bissinger B. ___ D. ___

3. Royal N. Bissinger B. 2/7/1924 D. 8/31/1975 M. 9/14/1943 Ruth Ann Hartle B. 8/18/1924

4. Billy Lee (Twin) Bissinger B. 2/13/1926 D. 1987 M. 6/6/1947 Elf Eldris Lathrop

5. Berkley Omer (Twin) Bissinger B. 2/13/1926 D. ___ M. 11/18/1946 Virginia Marie Picanso B. 2/29/1928.

Berkley and Virginia (Picanso) Bissinger children:

A. Paula Rae Bissinger B. ___ D. ___

6. James Dudley Bissinger B. 7/24/1930 D. 1/8/1989 M. 8/30/1952 Marlene Joan Temple B. 5/7/1933

 

C. Elsa Morene Strever B. 3/1/1895 D. 2/9/1978 M. 1926 to Alex F. Reitzel, B. 10/21/1892 D. 4/?/1963. M. 2nd to Elza Van Schoiack, B. 8/10/1885 D. 12/30/1697. No children.

Elsa (Strever) and Alex Reitzel children:

1. Irvin A. Reitzel B. 8/13/1928 D. ___ M. 5/5/1958 Florence Rose Simmons B. 1/29/1929.

 

D. Willard Henry Strever B. ___ M. 19 to Christine Dagne Rued, B. ___ .

Willard and Christine (Rued) Strever children:

1. Eunice Strever B. ___ M. 19__ to Roy Ralph Fiedler, B. ___ .

Eunice (Strever) and Roy Fiedler children:

1. Sheran Kristi Fiedler

2. Warren Roy Fiedler

2. Carl Willard Strever B. 12/26/1924 D. 8/26/1992 M. 1943 to Barbara Thurmand, B. 1925 D. mid 1980ís .

Carl and Barbara (Thurmand) Strever children:

A. Adele Marilyn Strever B. 10/21/1947

(Carl M. 2nd to Jane Warner, B. 8/4/1918 D. 12/19/1992 .)

Carl and Jane (Warner) Strever children:

B. William Carl Strever B. 1/14/1954 .

3. Bernice Christina Strever B. 12/21/1930 D. ___ M. 1950 to Franklin Arthur Hanson, B. 9/11/1922.

Bernice (Strever) and Franklin Hanson children:

A. Sigmund Ray Hanson B. 12/27/1951 D. ___ M. ___ Sharon Kay Elkington B. 8/30/1959

B. Trygve Leif Hanson B. 11/14/1953 D. ___

C. Eric Lawrence Hanson B. 9/14/1955 D. ___

Florence divorced Willard Jerome in the early 1900's. NFR

Following the final decree he made some contacts with his family in the east and about the year 1907 returned to Waterford, N.Y. with good intentions of affecting a reconciliation with his first wife, Estelle, and live happily ever after. He was welcomed and came to live in the "Coon" home and for a time it appeared the contemplated re-marriage would become a reality; all hoped it would, for Willard was a kind and lovable man and a favorite with the family. Many years had passed since the day he married Estelle back in the year 1882. At that time Lydia, Estelle's younger sister, was a child of six and very fond of the charming Willard. The passage of time had transformed this little girl to a beautiful and mature woman. Willard must have been astonished and interested to note the transformation his absence of twenty five years had made in little sister, and apparently Lydia's fondness of him had not waned in the least. And so as humans they were drawn together, as humans are and always will be; in any event a secret romance mushroomed, thrived, and before anyone really suspected what was going on Willard and Lydia were married. Surprise, shock and sorrow followed the announcement and for a time the resulting strain on family relations seemed permanent. But the Christian spirit and the passage of time has healed all wounds. Nearly half a century has passed since that eventful day. The three branches of his many descendants are today united in thought and remembrance of Willard and Lydia and honor them for the exemplary way in which they managed their lives. His son Elmer and family, also mother Estelle, immediately removed from Waterford to Mechanicville to forget and forgive. Only they could know the suffering, heartbreak and humility such an incident can cause or the headlines it created. This union seems to have been very compatible, successful and lasted nearly thirty-five years or until 1947, when after a long and eventful life Willard passed away and was laid to rest by the side of his first wife Estelle, on the Coon plot in Albany Rural Cemetery. Modest and identical stones mark their graves.

Willard and Lydia (Coon) Strever children:

E. Eleanor Marie Strever B. Waterford 1916 She has been described as a lovely talented girl, who inherited much of her father's musical aptitude and gave piano recitals at the early age of nine. With the years she matured into a beautiful stately girl and graduated from Lansingburg High School Class of 1934. She accepted a position as member of the office staff of Montgomery Ward and Co., Albany, N.Y. June 20, 1936. She M. Ralph J. Qua, son of Mr. and Mrs. Volney J. Qua, the ceremony taking place at St. Marks Church. It is said she has remained loyal and helpful to her parents in their ageing years.

 

 

 

The Mystery of the Hotel Skeletons

The happenings I am about to relate took place more than a century ago. Few now remain who can recall the spooky story of the ill fated Inn. Some there are who were born and lived in the area all their lives, are of good memory of things past, and recollect as of yesterday the ghostly stories of a past generation. To appreciate this traditional yearn you must visualize conditions as they were in New England during the candlelight years. News, like transportation, traveled slow in those days and excitement was mostly limited to a local level. Investigations by the law were delayed, infrequent and not too thorough.

Grandfather Lafayette Strever's hostelry was located on the old Albany Boston turnpike near Chatham Center. In early days main Stage Coach turnpikes boasted about as many hostelries as today's automobile routes do gas stations. It was an epoch too, when people as well as the country in which they lived were rough and rugged. There was little entertainment and this was mostly confined to community life and at the numerous tavers throughout the area.

After several years of continuous operation it became necessary to repair and improve the old hotel and as one wing had no cellar it was decided to excavate and continue the cellar beneath the entire building. The floor was removed for this purpose, revealing several human skeletons. The amazed workmen immediately reported this find and were ordered to cease operations at once and replace the floor. An overworked Sheriff's office soon dropped a routine investigation and nothing further was ever done to solve the mystery of the tavern deaths. Business continued as usual for a time but news of the skeleton

discoveries gradually leaked out and the old hotel soon became a place to be avoided, especially after nightfall. It was pointed out to a superstitious public as the "haunted inn". On dark nights when violent storms raged and lightning flashed, it was rumored one could see ghostly figures roaming the vacant rooms and hear what sounded like the rattling of bones and the moans of troubled souls.

By now business was at at standstill, the property disposed of and the family moved out. No more would the doors swing in and the doors swing out, for shortly thereafter the building was demolished, closing the book on an interesting landmark of a Stage Coach era, and locking forever a secret to the mystery of the tavern skeletons.

 

Chatham Group

Lafayette Strever, 1st son of John B., Benjamin, Johannes (2nd), Johannes (1st), was B. Ancram, N.Y. 10/9/1824 D. 10/26/1856 M. 9/9/1845 to Mary E., dau of Joseph Tyson and Sarah Tyson, Ghent, Columbia County, N.Y., B. 8/5/1828 D. Round Lake, Minn. 1/10/1903. He was brought up on a farm and learned the building trade from his father. At the time of this death he was operating a hotel. He was absolute and conservative in his thinking, and honorable in his dealings. His marriage to Mary E. Tyson, daughter of a prominent area family, was looked on with favor by his relatives. Her mild gentle manners, a voice quiet and well modulated captivated all with whom she came in contact. She inherited great grandfather Joseph Tysons Bible which she studied well, and had a rich store of Biblical knowledge. The Tyson family Bible is now in the compilers possession of which he is a careful custodian. She came of hardy and intelligent stock, asked but little here below, but gave an abundant measure of heredity to her descendants.

Grandfather Lafayette finished his life's duties on earth in young manhood October 26, 1856, age 32. Grandmother Mary E. lived on for another forty seven years; forty five of these years were lived on the Minnesota prairies. She departed this world January 10, 1903, age 75. They are buried half a continent apart, he in Chatham cemetery, New York State. She in Round Lake cemetery, near her old prairie homestead in Minnesota.

I am sitting tonight in my prairie home

And the purple twilight flings

Its dusky folds around the saddn'd soul

Where memory sits, and sings

Of the days of my sunny-hearted youth,

That passed on downy wings.

Lafayette and Mary E. (Tyson) Strever children:

1. Sarah Maritta Strever B. Glass Lake 9/4/1846 D. 1/3/1889, age 43 She affiliated herself with the New Lebanon Shakers early in life and remained with this organization all her life and is buried in the Shaker cemetery at Lebanon.

2. Maryette "Etta" Strever B. Glass Lake, Chatham Co. 3/1/1848 D. 2/1/1937, age 85. M. 10/12/1868 to Merritt L. Cummings, B. 3/31/1848 D. 10/28/1892. The wedding ceremony taking place at her grandfather's big farm house near Chatham Center and he also provided a lavish reception for the wedding party. It was headlined as the social event of the season. Following the wedding they settled on a farm in the Lebanon valley. Merritt was a farmer, also a musician of some ability and much in demand at the countryside dance parties, also at Columbia Hall, a renowned hostelry of the stage coach era, located near the famous hot spring at Lebanon Springs, N.Y. He died 10/28/1892, when still a young man, age 44 years. His wife was now faced with the problem of maintaining a home, rearing and educating two young boys, and without the aid of pension benefits. But she was a resourceful woman of good judgment, great energy, and a wise counselor, who managed well and as the years passed Devine and LeRoy grew to manhood with a degree of education which resulted in their advancing to high positions in theSinger Sewing Machine Co. As a woman of rare Christian character she also guided and endowed her family with the faith of their fathers. Her duties accomplished, she now made an extended vacation trip to the middle west, there to visit her mother whom she had not seen for half a lifetime, whose home was in Minnesota as were many of the kinfolk. She also visited Henry and Mary Strever both being blood cousins. Some time after returning to New York State she married Merriman Turner, a Hoags Corners farmer. He D. ___, Maryette then came to live with her daughter Addie and Ed Pinkle, Troy, N.Y. Here she lived to enjoy a happy old age, in the bosom of her family where she was greatly beloved by an affectionate household. She passed away Feb. 1, 1937 and was interred in the family lot at Lebanon Valley Cemetery. Her son-in- law Ed Pinkle once said of her, "She was a wonderful woman, and easy to live with".

Merritt L. and Maryette (Strever) Cummings children:

A. Lillis Cummings B. 7/25/1869 M. 1st 3/21/1891 to William D. Ried, B. 1868. Factory Worker M. 2nd Mr. James.

Lillis (Cummings) and William Reid children:

1. Pearl Ette Reid B. 4/20/1892 M. Alfred Boomhower. No children.

2. Merritt Reid B. 10/8/1893 M. _______ . NFR

3. Marion Ruby Reid B. 7/26/1895 M. Chester Pixley.

Marion (Reid) and Chester Pixley children:

A. Dorothy Marion Pixley B. 4/27/1914 Married and divorced. No children.

B. Evelena Pearl Pixley B. 4/24/1916 M. Donald Van Wie. Six children.

C. Leroy Merret Pixley B. 11/16/1918 D. 1/22/1925

D. Marjorie Pixley B. 12/20/1920 M. Ricey Duiss. Four boys.

E. Alan Edward Pixley B. 3/24/1924 M. Gean Crine.

Alan and Gean (Crine) Pixley children:

1. Alan Pixley Jr.

F. Robert Lee Pixley B. 12/30/1927 M. Dorothy _______ . No children.

G. Irene June Pixley B. 6/10/1929 M. Julian Leathers. Three children

.

H. Edith Alida Pixley B. 7/20/1931 M. 12/9/1952 to Henry Hart

.

I. Oliver James Pixley B. 6/29/1934 D. 7/19/1934 (Twin)

J. Alice Joyce Pixley B. 6/29/1934 D. 7/7/1934 (Twin)

K. Shirley Pixley B. 7/26/1938

4. Allan M. Reid B. 5/31/1904 M. 10/15/1930 to Lydia Hamm. No children.

B. Adaline Cummings B. 8/26/1871 M. 3/15/1891 to Henry "Ed" Finkle, B. 1871 D. 3/25/1954, buried in Glass Lake cemetery. Occupation - night foreman at Kelly Clothes Mfg. Co.

Adaline (Cummings) and Henry Finkle children:

1. Bertha Emma Finkle B. 12/7/1892 M. Harry M. Grober.

Bertha (Finkle) and Harry Grober children:

A. Harry L. Grober Jr. B. 2/13/1921 M. Grace Leivenburger.

Harry and Grace (Leivenburger) Grober children:

1. Robert Charles Grober B. 1948

2. Paul Ed Finkle (2nd) B. 3/26/1894 D. 12/9/1895

3. Leon Archer Finkle B. 12/25/1896 M. 3/14/1919 to Mattie J. Barth.

Leon and Mattie (Barth) Finkle children:

A. Leon Finkle Jr. B. 2/13/1921 M. _______ . Three children.

B. Harold Finkle B. 5/9/1922 M. Patrecia ________ . Three children.

C. Sophronia Cummings B. 2/27/1873 D. 8/26/1875

D. Mary Cummings B. 9/21/1874 D. 9/10/1875

E. Silas T. Cummings B. 12/14/1875 D. 2/21/1880

F. Devine Cummings B. 7/13/1877 M. 3/6/1901 to Addie L. Dillingham.

Devine and Addie (Dillingham) Cummings children:

1. Devine Cummings Jr. B. 9/23/1903

2. Evelyn Cummings B. 6/26/1905

3. Frank R. Cummings B. 2/8/1907

G. Hebert LeRoy Cummings B. 7/14/1880 M. 8/8/1911 to Georgia Snyder, B. ___ .

Herbert and Georgia (Snyder) Cummings children:

1. Thomas Benson Cummings

2. Edna May Cummings

3. Herbert Leroy Cummings Jr

.

4. Gretchen Virginia Cummings

3. Lafayette Strever Jr. (2nd) B. Chatham 6/4/1849 D. 6/30/1923, age 74.

(See Page 49 for Details on Lafayette (2nd.))

 

4. Joseph B. Strever B. Chatham 4/6/1851 D. 3/11/1930, age 79 yrs, 8 mo., 19 days.

5. John B. Strever B. Chatham 9/20/1853 D. 9/10/1855, age 2 yrs.

6. Oscar B. Strever B. Chatham 1/20/1856 D. 3/15/1857, age 1 yr., 1 mo., 10 days.

 

 

Western Group

3. Lafayette (2nd) B. 6/4/1849 M. 10/30/1882 to Mrs. Sarah Jennie Berlow, B. 4/24/1858. They always lived in the west and his chief pursuits were farmer and carpenter, a trade he followed through several states; just to mention a few, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, and then Washington, where their home was to become permanent. Only once did the writer have the privilege of meeting them, when back in the spring of 1912 a Texas to New York trip made it possible for me to enjoy the hospitality of their St. Joe, Missouri home. This was a surprise visit and several hours of uncertainty elapsed before they were to know my true identity. I shall never forget the scene that followed this disclosure, for Uncle Lafe was chock full of fine sentiment. I still remember him as an exceedingly affable, and entertaining gentleman. Aunt Jennie made a most delightful impression. She was generous with her hospitality, jovial of nature, and could entertain with a very commendable wrestling exhibition, all of which made for a home atmosphere both exciting and interesting. Time cannot erase memories of those pleasant, eventful days spent in the home of these good and sincere people; for you see, this was the first, also the last time I ever saw Uncle Lafe and Aunt Jennie. The day of parting was a sad one, for he must have known that I was the last and only one of his many Eastern relatives he would ever see. He passed away at 78 years of age, June 30, 1928. She survived him nine years or until February 7, 1932. They finished long and eventful lives in the pleasant surroundings of the compatible home of their daughter Bessie and Oscar Grubb; much honored and loved by their numerous descendants.

Here to thy bosom mother earth

Take back in peace that thou hath given

And all that is of heavenly birth

O God, in peace recall to Heaven.

Lafayette and Sarah J. (Berlow) Strever children:

A. Laura Eva Strever B. 6/3/1879 (Adopted) M. John Hubbard, B. 1859 D. 1951.

Laura (Strever) and John Hubbard children:

1. Pearl Hazel Hubbard

B. Bessie Strever B. 9/10/1883 M. 3/2/1904 to Oscar Grubb, B. 3/23/1884. They were born in the middle west and by degrees drifted further and farther west and eventually made a permanent settlement in the state of Washington, here their children grew to maturity, most of them establishing homes in the area and greatly multiplying. Four children, a dozen grandchildren, and a baker's dozen great grandchildren. The compiler and cousin Bessie have never met; a dozen states separates one from the other, this however has proved to be no problem as family interest and the U.S. mails have combined to keep sentiment alive through the years and over the miles. After fifty years of happy living the sands in the hourglass of time ran out for Oscar, and they laid him to rest April 3, 1954, leaving a multitude of survivors to mourn his loss.

Oscar and Bessie (Strever) Grubb children:

1. Benjamin Lafayette Grubb B. 12/1/1904 M. 3/6/1928 to Lorainne Van Fleet, B. 8/2/1910.

Benjamin and Lorainne (Van Fleet) Grubb children:

A. Nellie Mae Grubb B. 2/9/1929 M. 7/5/1944 to Ralph Ginger.

Nellie (Grubb) and Ralph Giner children:

1. Leroy Ginger B. 1/28/1945

2. Patty Ginger B. 1/8/1948

3. Billie Ginger B. 10/7/1949

B. Mary Eliza Grubb B. 2/17/1932 M. Nov. 1948 to Wesley White.

Mary (Grubb) and Wesley White children:

1. John White B. 4/18/1940

2. Daniel White B. 7/3/1951

3. Ida May White B. 6/15/1953

C. Betty Ann Grubb B. 11/25/1935 M. 11/25/1951 to William Ware.

Betty (Grubb) and William Ware children:

1. Edward Ware B. 8/12/1952

D. Opal Marie Grubb B. 9/4/1937

E. Doris Bernice Grubb B. 11/7/1938

F. Benjamin Grubb Jr. B. 9/15/1940

2. Louise Jane Grubb B. 6/2/1906 M. 1st 10/1/1926 to Stanley Van Horebake, B. 3/28/1908. M. 2nd 11/10/1945 to Mike Weber, B. 11/10/1902.

Louise (Grubb) and Stanley Van Horebake children:

A. Bessie Loraine Van Horebake B. 2/26/1927 M. 1944 to Eugene Schabenland.

Bessie (Van Horebake) and Eugene Schabenland children:

1. Cathy Louise Schabenland

2. Jeanne Lynne Schabenland

3. Fred Mitchell Schabenland

B. Berna Dean Van Horebake B. 11/28/1928 M. Nov. 1946 to Bonnie Weber.

Berna and Bonnie (Weber) Van Horebake children:

1. Stanley Wayne Van Horebake

2. Vickie Lynn Van Horebake

3. Michael Van Horebake

C. Robert LeRoy Van Horebake B. 11/2/1929 NFR

3. Joseph L. Grubb B. 12/1/1907 M. 10/5/1928 to Bernice Mann, B. 8/5/1908. No children.

4. Ernest Oscar Grubb B. 10/13/1919 M. 11/6/1942 to Donna Dee Delano, B. 5/19/1922.

Ernest and Donna (Delano) Grubb children:

A. Earnest Gordon Grubb B. 12/20/1942

B. Sandra Kay Grubb B. 12/24/1945

Home and Hearts That Are Gone

 

The STREVER'S have been a wandering race, always seeking the pot of gold at the rainbows end. Their most common dream was not so much the house in which generations had lived as it was the picture of a peaceful farmhouse shaded by trees and surrounded by green lawns and beds of flowers. Although home could not be relied on as permanent, it did not lose its value because of the brief durationís of the family's life in it. Home after all, is where the family gathers, where character is developed, where life is shared, a center of affections. Home was where mamma fed us, clothed us, put bread poultices on the stone bruises of our feet, kneeled with us by our bed-side as we prayed, "now I lay me down to sleep", and was never too tired to give us comfort in our childhood difficulties. The Bible stories learned at mother's knee made a lasting impression on me. We think of "Little Mother", with her many and varied natural talents and numerous tasks so common to farm wives half a century ago. Those were rugged years before the advent of the washing machine, sewing machine or electricity. Dairy products were then processed on the farm without the aid of Cream Separators or Creameries. She fitted her environment perfectly and is entitled to grateful remembrance.

There is something to be said for the Nomadic life. If I think back to the places I've called home, the small compact house at Huntersland where as a small child I snuggled on mother's lap as she rocked back and forth, singing, "Father, dear Father, come home to me now, the clock in the steeple strikes ten."

How sweet the silent backward tracings

The wanderings as in dreams

The meditations of old times resumed

Their loves, joys, persons, voyages.

Walt Whitman

The more spacious house at Berne became our next home and at the near by "LITTLE RED SCHOOL HOUSE", I obtained my first "R.R.R.'s" plus frequent "HICKORY STICK" applications, a very common corrective in my greener years when parent-teacher cooperation kept youth fault problems to a minimum; then about the total extent of adolescent delinquency consisted of tying tin cans to a dog's tail.

We removed to South Bethlehem early in the 1900's and although roots never grew very deep, we did enjoy a rural sociability of family and community life, that makes thinkin' back a joy. I can see that each added its special zest to life, and at least I saw places.

Home too was where papa walked up and down when it rained, listening to the great grass-maker pelt the metal roof, and smelling the fresh air. It was where the big Owls hooted in the Locust Trees at night, and father told us what they said. He was gifted with a remarkable memory and many were the vivid personal stories he told of his exciting youthful experiences in the Columbia Co. area where he was born, and of his frontier life in the far west.

There is family yarn that I well remember about dad and his older brother Uncle Lafe, whenever he had occasion to ride any distance in cold weather, always kept a piece of board about a foot square which he would heat in the kitchen oven and then place on the seat under the cushion where he was to sit in the sleigh or wagon that was to be used. Dad who was much of a practical joker, secretly kept a similar piece of board which he did not heat and whenever the two were going on a cold day together, to town or elsewhere, he would stealthily switch places with the two pieces of board. Thus one rode with comfort, knowing that the warm board was beneath him, the other also rode in comfort because he thought there was a warm board beneath him.

The family removed to Minnesota after Dad's mother was married to Alonzo Burton in the year 1858. Dad's father having died in 1856, leaving to mourn his loss a grief stricken wife and five small children. Their sad plight makes a pathetic story. She having previously lost a two year old son John B. in 1855, gave birth to another son Oscar, Jan. 1856. The husband and father passed away Oct. 1856, and son Oscar died March 1857. Thrice in less than three years tragic events came to plague this home. These too were war-talk years, lean years of scarcity and inflation. Such was my father's boyhood background. Those of this modern generation who knew him best must surely marvel that one who came up through such unfavorable circumstances of family misfortune and the tragedies of war, could retain his jovial ways. He loved the sunny side of the road, and had a jocular story for every occasion, his tales of long, long ago were varied and humorous, and the always hearty laugh at the recital of some harmless youthful escapade, an oft repeated story of wrestling prowess, sometimes a shivery tale of Indian treachery, maybe a thriller of raids by the Night riders, or a Bank holdup by the James boys; which by the way were not always conducive to sound sleep.

One of dad oft repeated tales, went something like this; it seems he was out on the Prairie one day, and came upon a rabbit fighting some coyotes, he decided he wanted that Wolf fighter, so just ran him down, captured, and tamed it. Soon this rabbit became a great rat hunter, so much so, that all the cats on the farm soon starved to death, as they were unable to compete with this rodent eater. Then one day bunnie came up missing, after an intensive search dad's long eared rat hunter was found very much dead and surrounded by twenty two rat skeletons, which he had just killed and devoured before dying of old age.

Grandma, Mary B. (Tyson) Strever, after a two year period of mourning, married Alonzo Burton, and embarked as pioneers to begin life anew in the far west. With part of Minnesota, there they homesteaded on a 640 acre section of Government land. You must remember these were perilous and insecure years in the history of our then young country, for all too soon we were to engage in four long years of mortal combat, when brother would fight brother, and father would battle against son in the most bloody and cruel war of all time.

We who have lived now, in taken-for-granted safety for nearly a century, must never forget that for them actual peril darkened the horizon of ever days life.

How sad the thought that another day

Will bring again the battle fray

And ere the close of the morrows light

I too, may sleep like these tonight.

This reminiscence of "Home", is dedicated to my parents, who transmitted to me a healthy physique, a sound mind, and a natural belief in God.

4. Joseph B. Strever, son of Lafayette Strever (1st). He was Born Chatham, N.Y. Apr. 22, 1851. When seven years of age the family migrated to the west where he grew to manhood. He returned to New York state about 1885 and married Lucy A., dau. of Jesse Horton and Cyntha (Campbell) Starr. They settled on a homestead in Minnesota as wheat farmers, and some years later returned to New York state and established periodic homes in Schoharie, Albany, Montgomery, Saratoga and Schenectady counties. He engaged in farming, carpentry and was a keeper of bees. Was devout in his Christian duties. A life long member of the Methodist church, and was known for his honesty, integrity and industry as was his wife, who was always cheerful and possessed a rare quality of unselfish devotion to the happiness of others, and had an abiding faith in the will of God. They lived to an advanced age of life, until their progeny were all arrived to maturity and settled in family estate and connections. God granted dad's life-time wish and he passed away with his boots on, stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage Jan. 11, 1930, age 78 years, 8 months., 19 days.

From sin and sorrow, pain and death

He ever now is free

For in those realms of bliss above

He lives in purity.

Following the loss of her life's companion mamma became a welcome member of the "Herring" household. This was at the insistence of her son-in-law "Bert" who esteemed her highly. In this pleasant environment she enjoyed seven peaceful contented years, receiving much love and attention from her family, and rejoined her maker May, 1937, age 80.

Her saintly face shines on me still

Through the twilight calm and clear;

I bend my ear to the sighing wind,

Her voice I seem to hear.

Joseph B. and Lucy Ann (Horton) Strever children:

A. Joseph Berton Strever B. Rennselserville, N.Y. 5/8/1888. Bap. Methodist, 1889 at Huntersland, N.Y. dismissed and confirmed 1923 in the Dutch Reform Church, Schenectady, N.Y. Occupation farmer, barber, hotel clerk, and merchant. M. 4/23/1927 to Mary Irene, dau. of John and Anna B. (Church) Fitzgerald, B. Greenfield, Mass. 11/26/1902. Bap. in the Dutch Reformed Church, Schenectady, N.Y. Educated in Schenectady public schools and Business College. Employed as secretary at General Electric Company.

Joseph and Mary (Fitzgerald) Strever children:

1. Montcalm B. Strever B. Schenectady, N.Y. 2/5/1929. Bap. Dutch Reformed Church, dismissed to the Baptist Church, Hoosick, N.Y. 1943. Educated in the town of Hoosick public schools, St. Joseph's College and the Bentley College of Accounting in Boston, Mass. Employed by "Anderson Public Accountants Inc." Boston, Mass.

 

B. Leon Strever B. Huntersland, N.Y. 10/29/1892. Methodist M. Ida Mae, dau. of William and Manie Pivenburg, B. New Baltimore Sta. 8/9/1896. Methodist. Previous to the 1929 depression he was a builder of houses, assisted by his wife, who is very efficient and has much business and planning ability. He retired 1954 from General Electric Co., after nearly thirty seven years of loyal service. His retirement hobbies will be landscaping the lawn of their newly build home and fishing at his Eagle Lake Camp.

Leon and Ida Mae (Pivenburg) Strever children:

1. Eugene L.Strever B. Johnstown, N.Y. 1/18/1922. Methodist. Educated in the Schenectady Public Schools, a veteran of World War II and an employee of the General Electric Co., is also self employed as a grading contractor. M. 1941 to Marion Sturn, B. Cedar Hill 5/27/1922. Educated in the area Central School. They are industrious, social and ideal parents.

Eugene and Marion (Sturn) Strever children:

A. Eugene Strever (2nd) B. 2/9/1946

B. Donald C. Strever B. 8/29/1947

C. Shirley Ann Strever B. 8/14/1948

D. Betty Lula Strever B. 9/13/1950

 

C. Lula Elizabeth Strever B. Berne, N.Y. 3/29/1900. Methodist. Educated in Johnstown public schools and Albany Business College. Employed in Schenectady as office manager, and mimeograph operator. She is affiliated with the Eastern Star Acaccia Court, order of the Amaranth, Iue. M. 9/6/1925 to Charles A. Herring, son of Albert and Jenny Davidson (Peters) Herring, B. Schenectady, N.Y. 1/16/1901. Educated in the public and General Electric schools. Employed as Supervisor of Electronics Park General Electric Plant, at Syracuse, N.Y. He is a Thirty Second Degree Mason. Central City Bodies A.A.B. Rite. St. Georges Chapter. Christopher Yates Lodge F. and A.M. Schenectady Masonic Club. Keder Khan Grotto and Universal Craftsman of Engineers. They are very social and have the rare talent of dispensing pleasure.

 

 

 

"Way Back When"

I have many choice recollections of long, long ago and far away. I am completely happy with my memories, just the way they are. How often some simple homey story of youthful recollections brings back scenes of Way Back When, stirs old memories, starts the heart beating young again, and makes sociability a joy. In the great struggle of life there is little room for sentiment; it is only after one goes to bed, in the musing pause before going to sleep, that we find time to dreamily reflect on happenings of yesteryear. Whenever I recall the days of my boyhood, there comes to mind a panorama of home, which is unique only in the sense that it is peculiarly my own. I remember the house with its spacious rooms, the barn, big, old, beautiful, smelling of horses, cows, and well cured hay. In autumn, golden corn filled the barn to its rafters, and many a gay party gathered for the traditional husking bees, when the lucky finder of a red colored ear of corn, was privileged to kiss any person in the party of the opposite sex. One can easily fancy the joviality and fun at such gatherings. These and other parties usually included refreshments, such as old farm kitchens could produce, doughnuts, pumpkin pie, old fashion cookies and sweet cider, invariable ending with a barn dance, and then the pleasant duty of bashful beaus escorting the damsels home. Often in the light of breaking day; a time in our lives that never can be found again. Someone wisely said, "The man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest."

Ours was a beloved community, in which cooperation and competition made for the character of each individual participant, and home was a center of family tradition. I wouldn't take anything for that country background. Maybe you too can remember way back when, "The Ten Commandments" were a family's standard of living, and "I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier" was the country's most popular song hit. When modesty was considered a virtue, and a young lady could still blush, remember?

The house does not seem quite so big now, nor the stairway so long and steep. Time shortens the perspective. Some things remain, the idea of community life, the values of truth and loyalty, the notion that character without discipline is impossible. The smiling passage of history has not changed this analysis in the least, these human values which have withstood the test of several centuries of Bible law, and are as much a basis for Christian living today as they were twenty centuries ago. The present owes much to the past, and we value tradition as well as progress, old experience as well as new fangled theory. Yes, I am proud of my heritage, it is far more desirable to have been born to an honorable laboring class and to have advanced in the scale of life than to have been born to royalty and relapsed to mediocrity. When men and women come to know their own identity as they should they will be glad to recognize themselves for whom and what they are. My parents were the "salt" of the earth kind of people, who lived in the post civil war days and on thru the glamorous "Gay Nineties", worried through the carnage and horror of World War I, and to witness the devastating results of the tragic 1929 depression. They were of good sound country stock, the grass roots of the nation, and endowed us with a stern right is right philosophy of up-bringing. Father had a dominant personality, was God fearing and hard working, but knew how to live and raise children. Mother possessed the quiet ability to set people at their ease and guided her family diplomatically and well to live by the Golden Rule. They did not conform to the pattern of cocktail drinking, cigarette smoking sophisticates. As I hark back, it seems a sort of heritage, a temptation to live in the shade of the Family tree. These after all were the more truly solid things that stay with a man through life. No man ever had a more dependable background, and the passage of time increases ones feeling for home, the place where roots grow deepest.

Parents thou have gone to rest

Thy toils and cares are o'er

And sorrow, pain, and suffering now

Shall ne'er distress thee more.

 

Biography

William H. Strever, son of John B., Benjamin, Johannes (2nd), Johannes (1st), B. Duchess Co., N.Y. 2/26/1829. He was a farmer, stone mason, soldier and historian; having been associated with the compilation of, and contributing with material data and statistics toward the publication of the History of Columbia Co. in which his natural studiousness found gratification. He was a Free Mason, lived by the faith of his fathers, highly esteemed in the community and possessed the confidence of all who knew him.

Married Feb. 1841 to Charlotte Gillette, Born 2/25/1821. Settled in Gallupville, Schoharie Co. where five of their children were born. In the year 1852 he returned to the town of his youth, and purchased a farm near Chatham, N.Y. They story of life in this homestead, its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows, during the tragic war years 1861-1864 is explained in detail on a separate page. His wife having died Jan. 9, 1889, William H. continued to live on in the old home for more than a decade. Being full of years and mentally keen to the last, he rested from his labors March 27, 1908. They sleep in peace in Chatham cemetery. A flag placed on his grave by the D.A.R. waves gently in the breeze that we may not forget those past generations and all they sacrificed that we might survive.

 

William H. and Charlotte (Gillette) Strever children:

1. Alfred G. Strever B. Schoharie Co., N.Y. 6/23/1843 D. 1/29/1899 Moved to Chatham with his parents 1852. His education was interrupted when in 1861 he marched away to war, and was with the First New York Rifles for the duration 1861-1864. On his return he resumed his studies and graduated from College in 1869. M. Julia Elizabeth Dean, B. East Windsor, 5/11/1849 D. 12/26/1912. They were of Baptist faith, were married in Binghampton and lived there all their lives.

 

Alfred and Julia (Dean) Strever children:

A. Lura Minerva Strever B. Chatham 1/1/1870 D. 6/29/1936 1st M. George M. Church, B. 7/4/1870 D. 3/1/1895. 2nd M. William Stratton, B. Vestal Center, N.Y.

Lura (Strever) and George Church children:

1. Alfred Kenneth Church B. 4/4/1890 1st M. Maud Kenedy, B. 12/12/1898. 2nd M. Louise Scott. Now resides in Chicago.

Alfred and Maud (Kenedy) Church children:

A. Margery Church

B. Dorothy Church

2. Gerald Max Church B. Binghamton, N.Y. 7/5/1894. Resides in Chicago.

3. Clinton Church B. 1889 D. 1889 Lived three months.

B. Maud Julia Strever, B. Binghamton 3/31/1880 1st M. Andrew H. Archibald, B.Treadwell, N.Y. 4/29/1882 D. 10/24/1932. 2nd M. 6/6/1950 to William J. Ryon, B. Black Hills, S. Dak. 8/29/1883.

Maud (Strever) and Andrew Archibald children:

1. Cleone Isabell Archibald B. Binghamton 4/25/1908 D. 10/24/1905

2. James Paul Archibald B. Johnson City Heights 8/30/1911. Now resides in Seattle, Wash.

C. Lena Charlotte Strever B. Binghamton, N.Y. 1/13/1884 M. 3/14/1900 to Lewis Benton-Marselis, B. Rush, Pa. 7/24/1874 D. 12/27/1940. No children.

2. Mary Strever B. Schoharie Co. 5/26/1850 D. 5/9/1944 M. 10/18/1880 to Henry B. Strever, B. 11/26/1849 D. 2/9/1939.

Mary (Strever) and Henry Strever children:

A. Edith S. Strever B. 4/16/1882

B. Henry Ward Strever B. 5/25/1885

 

3. Lottie Strever B. Schoharie Co. 10/2/1851 D. 2/7/1928 1st M. Sylvester Castle. 2nd M. John Hulbert.

Lottie (Strever) and Sylvester Castle children:

A. Lenora "Lena" Castle B. 12/18/1878 M. Clarence Shufelt.

Lenora (Castle) and Clarence Shufelt children:

1. Ethel L Shufelt B. ___ M. Floyd Kern, B. ___ . Separated.

4. Martha Strever B. Schoharie Co. 1853 D. 1926 M. Daniel Miller, B. ___ D. 1918. They owned a farm in Lebanon and lived there sixty-five years and are buried in the Cemetery of Evergreens, Lebanon Springs, N.Y.

Martha (Strever) and Daniel Miller children:

A. Sophia Miller B. 6/8/1880 M. 4/4/1921 to Harry Perkins, B. ___ . Her remembrance of names, dates and things is remarkable and the "Tree Detective" had a reporters holiday memorizing the many traditional tales she told of past generations.

B. Lizzie Miller B. ___ D. 1933 M. June 1921 H. C. Carey, B. ___. D. ___

 

5. Sarah Strever B. Chatham 5/31/1855 D. 5/16/1877 M. 1871 John Norman, B. 7/4/1844 D. 10/8/1933. John Norman 2nd M._____ .

.

Sarah (Strever) and John Norman children:

A. Laura Strever Norman B. 10/25/1872 M. 1870 to H. Edson Birge.

Laura (Norman) and Edson Birge children:

1. Mildred Birge B. 6/29/1895 1st M. M. H. Calhoun. 2nd M. Walter Madsen.

Mildred (Birge) and M. H. Calhoun children:

A. Margaret Calhoun B. ___ M. Nick Teresi. Four children.

B. William Calhoun B. ___ M. Betty Vantassle. One child.

2. Allen Birge B. 7/22/1897 M. Maud Worth. No children.

3. Vivian Birge B. 9/13/1905 M. Daniel Clark. No children.

 

6. William E. Strever Jr. B. Chatham 6/26/1857 D. 7/1930 M. Jenny Kern, B. 2/2/1874.

William and Jenny (Kern) Strever children:

A. Stanley Strever B. 3/16/1896 M. Emma Iola Smith B. ___ .

Stanley and Emma (Smith) Strever children:

1. Charles W. Strever B. 2/17/1918 M. __________ . Separated.

2. Henry Arthur Strever B. 11/2/1920 M. 4/20/1943 to Nancy Hill Alway, B. 6/29/1923.

Henry and Nancy (Alway) Strever children:

A. Wayne Strever B. 2/16/1948

B. Shela Irene Strever B. 8/14/?

3. Edna I. Strever B. 8/20/1925 M. 9/23/1950 to Harry Talamage .

Edna (Strever) and Harry Talamage children:

A. Gwen Sloan Talamage B. 12/17/1951

B. Nelly J. Strever B. 6/26/1898 M. David Brisie, B. 7/25/1900.

Nelly (Strever) and David Brisie children:

1. Eugene Brisie B. ___ Single.

2. Elting Brisie B. ___ M. Betty ________ .

3. Mary Ann Brisie B. ___ M. _________ .

4. Alice Brisie B. ___ M. ___________ .

C. Clyde Strever B. 6/11/1901 D. Jan. 1953 M. Virginia Donsis. No children.

7. Charles E. Strever B. 9/29/1858 D. 12/15/1925 M. Alice Shufelt, B. ___ D. ___

Charles and Alice (Shufelt) Strever children:

A. Roy B. Strever 12/27/1886 Accountant, New York City. Single

.

B. Leland Strever B. 9/27/1891 Made railroading his life's work, now a conductor on N.Y. division. Owns a farm on the outskirts of Chatham which is his hobby. M. 1911 to Adella Steuerwald, B . 5/26/1893. They are social and active in Fraternal and organizational affairs. The spacious farm house is the scene of frequent family and social gatherings. Some months ago we were privileged to enjoy the hospitality of their home. Having lived in the Chatham area all his life Leland generously provided us with much data and family information.

Leland and Adella (Steuerwald) Strever children:

1. Edna Strever B. 11/26/1912 M. Ray Jenkins.

Edna (Strever) and Ray Jenkins children:

A. Robert Jenkins B. 3/23/1944

B. Carol Jenkins B. 7/12/1946

2. Dorothy B. Nov. 1915 M. Louis Bassalle.

Dorothy (Strever) and Louis Bassalle children:

A. Dorothy Bassalle B. 4/2/1941

B. Elaine Catherine Bassalle B. 12/18/1942

C. Louise Marie Bassalle B. 9/1/1945 D. 9/20/1945

D. Nancy Ann Bassalle B. 4/8/1947

3. Helen B. 3/21/1918 M. James Mooney.

Helen (Strever) and James Mooney children:

A. Catherine Dianne Mooney B. 10/15/1940

B. James Mooney B. 12/10/1941

C. Elaine P. Mooney B. 12/1/1948

D. Edward John Mooney B. 2/26/1945

 

 

C. Delmer Strever B. 2/12/1891 M. Helen Sipperley, B. 10/1/1905. Railroading is his occupation, is now a conductor living in Chatham, and operating out of White Plains. He was on duty when we called at their attractive and interesting home. On each of these occasions we did meet his wife, a charming and friendly woman, who made every effort to arrange a Sunday dinner party when we could meet the family group.

Delmer and Helen (Sipperley) Strever children:

1. Louise B. 6/13/1922

2. Roy B. 10/31/1924

3. Catherine B. 8/20/1927

 

ON GUARD AT NIGHT

On guard tonight, tis a lonely place

And for two long hours must I wearily pace

To and fro, mid the tall old pines

Fringed with moss and clinging vines.

Scarce smiles a Star through the clouds aloft

And the ocean breeze is damp and soft

That fans my fevered cheek and brow

While I think of home and the loved ones now.

Oh, yesterday morn how lightly throbbed

Full many a heart that death hath robbed

Of its pulses warm, and in the casket lie

As cold as the winters starlit sky.

On guard tonight, tis a lonely beat

And with heavy heart and weary feet

Amid the gloom and dark I tread,

For I am watching over the unburied dead.

How sad the thought that another day

Will bring again the battle fray.

And ere the close of the morrow's light

I too, may sleep like these tonight.

Past Midnight hour and I long to hear

The step, to the soldiers heart most dear,

A sound that banishes all of his grief

The welcome tread of the next relief.

Oh, here they come and now I can keep,

My next four hours in the land of sleep,

And dream of home and the loved ones there,

Who may never know a soldiers care.

Written during the Civil War by William H. Strever at Fredericksburg, Virginia.

 

 

History of William H. and Charlotte (Gillette) Strever Homestead

The first known record of this farm located about one mile northeast of Chatham, N.Y. was in the late 1700's. Records show it was owned and lived in by Josiah Richmond and wife Mary Hall. They were married Nov. 7, 1782 and it can be assumed they lived there from that time on; at least their children, Simeon, George, Elizabeth, George (2nd), Tessie, Mary, and Matilda were born there.

There was a basement under the whole house. The two women slaves who did the work of the house and cooked the meals for the family lived in this basement and also cooked all the meals there; carried them upstairs and served them in the large dining room. Besides this dining room there was also a large parlor (as called in those days), between these two rooms is a medium sized hall with stairs going up to the three bedrooms above. Back of each two main rooms below were small bedrooms. A pantry opened from the dining room in one side of an open porch and a storage closet beside the other bedroom.

A few hundred feet north from the house, in the direction of a wooded area, was located a spring of cool clear fine tasting water, near it were two small cabins where the men slaves lived. Mrs. Richmond was quite a lady as were many women of that time who had slaves to do the work for them. Time went on and the youngest daughter married a man named Lamphere. Her father built a house for her just over the yard fence to the southwest and gave here sixty acres of land with it. There they lived for sometime, but later they bought a farm further north and sold their dowry home to a man by the name of George Shufelt who married and lived there for some years. Then Josiah and Mary's next youngest daughter Mary married Elijah Birge Nov. 15, 1815. Since Josiah did not feel able to run the farm longer he requested Mary and Elijah to stay on in the old home. This they did and here in this house their eleven children were born and mostly grew up there. Josiah and his wife in the meantime having passed away, the farmstead came in possession of Mary and Elijah. About this time Elijah's father being somewhat feeble and advanced of age prevailed upon Mary and Elijah to move in with him and operate the farm which was only a short distance in a northerly direction. They then sold the old homestead to a Mr. and Mrs. Parker.

It seems Mr. and Mrs. Parker were not exactly compatible and had frequent domestic difficulties. He compelled her to do most of the wood chopping and farm chores, a way of life she resented and disliked very much. By this time the first cumbersome cook stoves were replacing the fireplace cooking. Then one day unable to contain her pent up wrath any longer she used the ax, not to chop wood but to smash the stove into many pieces and threw them into the well; this act just about concluded their farm operations and the place was sold to William H. Strever, April 1852. After the deal had been closed Mr. Parker confided to William H. the little episode of the wrecked stove and of its grave deep in the well of the farms water supply. Since the well was rather deep and not very large around, it was difficult if not impossible to get to the bottom, so he hauled sand and gravel from a near by creek and filled in the well, until the stove was entirely covered and continued to use the water thereafter.

William H. was a stone mason by trade so he began to improve (?) this home, (as he thought) by tearing out the fine stone fireplace in the dining room and closing the opening and the beautiful marble slab which was a part of it is still used as a step outside the door leading from the dining room. He also removed the huge triple fireplace in the parlor, the fireplace directly above which provided heat for the bedrooms and the fireplace underneath in the basement where the slaves prepared and cooked the meals for the Richmonds and Birges. Thus was sentiment and ancient fireplaces sacrificed to progress, and stoves became the heating and cooking units of the period. Here they lived and prospered until the beginning of the Civil War, April 1861. Then both William H. and his eldest son Alfred were drafted, and marched off to war. This left his wife and four daughters to carry on, as the two younger sons were still quite small. Naturally not much farming was done, the cows were cared for, milked, taken to the pasture during the day, and with evening came chore time on the farm, when the stock were rounded up and herded in the barn yard, the horses curried, watered and fed and poultry duties performed. To this lonely family group, isolated as they were, these must have been dreary anxious days and lonely nights for while fathers and sons fight and bleed on the field of battle the mothers, wives, and families weep, toil and pray at home. All are equal casualties of the God's of War. The long years passed and fortunately both father and son returned to their home. William H. in two and one half years, and Alfred in three years. Time went on, the children married and established homes of their own. His wife Charlotte passed away early in 1889. Then John Norman, his son-in-law, rented the place. John's first wife, Sarah Strever Norman had passed away in 1887 and when he came to live on the Strever farm, he had just married his second wife, Florence Richard. William H. continued to live with the Normans for about eight years, then William H. Jr. rented the farm for a period of two years and his father still remained at the old home. About the year 1899 and after residing on the farm since 1852, it was sold to John Norman who lived there until he sold it about 1927. The present owner is a Mr. Fink.

For the story of William H. Strever Farmstead including much of the data, I am indebted to the pen of Edith Strever Benedict, and to the excellent memory of things past of Laura Norman Birge.

 

(From page #21 item #8)

8. Mary Strever, dau. of John B., B. 7/15/1830 D. 6/13/1907 M. 9/4/1850 to Joseph Drew, B. 12/10/1826 D. 12/19/1906.

Mary (Strever) and Joseph Drew children:

A. Martin Drew

B. James B. Drew

C. Phoebe Drew

D. Mary Drew

E. Mattie Drew

F. Emily Drew

9. Almira Strever, dau of John B., B. 6/15/1833 D. 12/23/1861 M. 6/22/1852 to Mark B. Stewart, B. Ancram 11/13/1827. His was a life of varied activity as soldier-mail clerk in Vermont. Known in the town of Chatham and vicinity as the "Prince of Bridge Builders". He was the son of Soloman Wallace Stewart and Hannah Barker, removed with his parents to Chatham Feb. 29, 1832. At an early age he married Almira Strever, who bore him three children, Fredrick Leroy, Ethel, and John Benjamin, and died while still a young woman. Just before enlisting in the Rebellion he married Kate Lattemore. On Aug. 28, 1862 he enlisted in the 15th New York Volunteer Engineers. He reported for duty in Washington Sept. 8, 1862, participated in all the movements of the Army of the Potomac until the surrender of Lee at Appomattox on April 9, 1864. His knowledge of engineering during that period proved of great benefit to the country. He was mustered out July 3, 1865.

In June 1873 he went into partnership with Louis F. Payn in the manufacture of paper. At one time he was mail agent running from Rutland to Hoosick Junction. During that time he resided in Rutland with his family. Later he removed to New York and was employed in the arsenal for many years. Nov. 1, 1908 he retired from active duty and resided in Rensselaer until Aug. 1909, when he was called back to Chatham to superintend the building of a dam for Louis F. Payn. Since then he has lived at the old home. He was remarkable both in his appearance and his mind was a storehouse of knowledge never forgetting the date of any important event and retaining his wit and good nature until the last. He was a Spiritualist and derived great comfort in his belief. Death held no fears for him. Almira passed away Dec. 23, 1861. The death of Mark occurred at his residence in Paynville Oct. 21, 1913. The funeral was conducted by the Masons of which he was one of the oldest members of Chatham Lodge, having joined in 1856.

Mark and Almira (Strever) Stewart children:

A. Frederick LeRoy Stewart B. ___ D. ___ M. _______ . Two daughters. Lived in Rensselaer, N.Y.

B. Ethel Stewart B. ___ D. ____ M. ____________ .

C. John Benjamin Stewart B. ___ D. ___ M. ____________ .

10. John W. Strever, son of John B., B. Ancram 9/6/1834 D. 12/30/1908 M. 1/24/1863 to Sarah Wideman, B. 3/4/1841. He had a varied career as farmer, school teacher and bridge builder. He was born in Ancram and removed with his parents to Chatham when very young, was educated in area schools and after receiving his teacher's degree returned to teach in the Ancram school. Later he came back to Chatham and settled in Kline Hill, and practiced the trade of carpenter (his father having taught all of his sons a trade " a German trait"). He was also a bridge builder of some account having learned this particular skill from Mark Stewart his brother-in-law. Many bridges about Chatham still stand as monuments to their memory.

John and Sarah (Wideman) Strever children:

A. Eddie Strever B. ___ D. ___ NFR

B. Vinnie Strever B. Chatham 1854. Her girlhood days were passed on the John W. Strever homestead in Kline Hill where she lived until her marriage to Henry Backus who was a representative of the Babcock Printing Press Company of New London, Connecticut. She was a woman of remarkable pleasing personality and had a very large circle of friends in the village and surrounding section. Shortly after her marriage to Mr. Backus, they moved to Syracuse where they made their home until death came to her May 14, 1927. At that time she was survived by her husband and a daughter Mrs. Irene Backus Parker and two grandchildren -- Miss Harriet Backus Parker and Miss Eleanor Franklin Parker.

The following is copied from a Syracuse newspaper:

Mrs. Harry Backus, prominent Club woman, died at her home 225 West Bordon Ave. Saturday afternoon after a long illness. She was a resident of Syracuse for many years and was a member of the South Presbyterian Church and many clubs. She served as director of the Kanatenah Club and Morning Musicals and belonged to the Home Literary and Tourists Clubs. She was a generous contributor to the Ononaga Orphans Home and work of Active Circle of South Presbyterian church. Burial was made in Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse.

 

APPENDIX of remote Strever Branches

Fourth Generation Onondago Co. Group

1. William Strever, son of Benjamin, Johannes (2nd), Johannes (1st), was B. Ancram N.Y. 3/8/1798 D. 4/20/1859. He inherited or came into possession of the ancestral farm at Ancarm following the death of his father Benjamin 8/8/1822. He was married 7/4/1819 to Sarah Rockerfeller, B. Ancram 2/22/1802 D. 2/22/1823. She died at the exact age of twenty-one and was the mother of Warden, Sally Jane, and one infant son. Two years later, 7/8/1825, William married Elizabeth Niver, daughter of John Niver whose ancestor was the founder of Niverville, N.Y. Elizabeth was B. 10/9/1808. They settled in Stuyvestant Township 1826 and in the year 1849 moved to Clay, N.Y. where they lived the remainder of their lives. They and most of their family are buried in Clay cemetery where impressive monuments mark their last resting place. He was farmer, sportsman and breeder of fine horses and was rated very successful.

William and Sarah (Rockerfeller) Strever children:

A. Warden Strever B. Ancram 5/20/1820 D. 5/7/1856 M. 12/31/1844 to Ester Hoyendradt, B. 1821 D. 10/11/1873. Ester M. 2nd to Jerimiah Diefendorf. M. 3/7/1844. Warden is the great grandfather of Strever Benham, present owner of Raberle's Brewery, Syracuse, N.Y.

Warden and Ester (Hoysrodt) Strever children:

1. Elizabeth Strever

2. Sarah Strever

3. Andrew Strever

B. Sally Jane Strever B. Ancram 6/24/1822 M. Reneselaer Stoneham, B. 1817 D. 1888. Sally Jane died young and R. Stoneham M. 2nd to Betsy Jocobia.

C. Infant Son B. ___ D. ___

William and Elizabeth (Niver) Strever children:

D. Worthy Strever B. 4/3/1826 D. ___ Single.

E. Franklin Strever B. 7/11/1830 D. 3/4/1898 in Dawson County, Nebraska M. Sarah Ann Warner, B. Clay 10/21/1834 in Green co. N. Y.

He settled in Dawson County, Nebraska where he died June 30, 1906 in Cozad, Nebraska.

Franklin and Sarah (Warner) Strever children:

1. William Ward Strever B. 12/23/1859 D. 6/23/1941 Single.

2. John Warner Strever B. Dawson County 10/27/1861 D. 9/28/1943 M. 12/28/1894 to May Miller.

John Warner and May (Miller) Strever children:

A. Benjamin Strever B. 5/28/1895 D. 8/22/1904

B. Bertha Alice Strever B. 12/19/1896 D. 7/19/1990 M. 8/18/1918 to William Henry Allen, B. 9/4/1881 D. 4/16/1935 Dawson County. No children.

C. Edith Letitia Strever B. 1/24/1900 D. 3/28/1984 M. 6/20/1923 to Harm Junker, B. 9/28/1887 D. 1/22/1973.

Edith (Strever) and Harm Junker children:

1. Harold Wayne Junker B. 3/30/1924 D.___ M. 2/26/1966 Ruth Thomas B. 4/7/1927

2. Betty May Junker B. 12/31/1925 D. 8/30/1989 M. 5/6/1950 to Bruce Gardner Thornton, B. 8/13/1919 D. 8/30/1989

Betty (Junker) and Bruce Thornton children:

A. Linda Thornton B. 9/16/1951 D. ___ M. 8/29/1982 Steve Broiles B. 8/13/1940

Linda (Thornton) and Steve Broiles children:

1. David Thornton Broiles B. 11/12/1987 D. ___

B. Anthony B. Thornton B. 5/26/1954

C. Matthew Jay Thornton B. 4/20/1958

D. Laurie Thornton B. 12/31/1962

3. Marvin Glenn Junker B. 1/4/1927 D. 5/10/1990 M. 7/6/1973 Nell McCuistian B. 7/2/1933

4. Donald Dean Junker B. 4/22/1931 M. 8/10/1956 to Patricia Prilliman, B. 4/28/1938. Divorced

Donald Junker and Patricia (Prilliman) Junker children:

A. Jonathan Niles Junker B. 9/26/1958

B. Joan Louise Junker B. 8/27/1961

C. Joyce Ann Junker B. 8/27/1961

 

5. Bonnie Ann Junker B. 5/17/1932 M. 8/10/1952 to Eugene Boulton, B. 1/19/1930.

Bonnie (Junker) and Eugene Boulton children:

A. Miles Boulton B. 7/27/1954

B. Brian Boulton B. 4/11/1956

C. Craig Boulton B. ___

D. Cheryl Boulton B. ___

6. Alice Letitia Junker B. 12/23/1936 M. 4/29/1957 to Roy Strong, B. 3/10/1926. Divorced. M. 2nd to Rollin Crump. Divorced

Alice (Junker) and Roy Strong children:

A. Rhonda Faye Strong B. 8/2/1957

B. Bobbie Sue Strong

C. Gina Delle Strong

 

7. Violet Delle Junker B. 11/12/1939 D.___ M. 9/11/1960 Jerry Dorlin Robinson B. 2/12/??

Violet and Jerry (Robinson) Junker children:

A. Robin Rochelle Robinson B. 9/17/1963 D. 4/?/1989.

D. Lester Warner Strever B. 9/15/1901 D. 7/25/1945 M. 2/7/1925 to Edith Miller, B. 7/28/1903.

Lester Warner and Edith (Miller) Strever children:

1. Wilma June Strever B. 6/2/1926 D. ___ M. 6/5/1949 Henry J. Sears M. 2nd 9/28/1952 to Millard Cody Self, B. 3/16/1916 M. 3rd 8/4/1969 Bill Callier.

2. Merle Alfred Strever B. 6/4/1928 M. 6/27/1953 to Donna Jo. Richie, B. 11/30/1933.

E. Raymond John Strever B. 6/1/1904 M. 9/10/1928 to Thelma Miller, B. 6/17/1909.

Raymond Strever and Thelma (Miller) Strever children:

1. Robert Keith Strever B. 6/29/1929 D. Dawson County 11/18/1930.

2. Wesley Raymond Strever B. 8/14/1930 M. 8/12/1952 to Hazel Naomi Edwards, B. 1/24/1932 Appanoose County, Iowa . Adopted twins.

Wesley and Hazel (Edwards) Strever children:

A. Gregory Edward Strever B. 8/6/1964 D. ___ M. 7/29/1989. M. 2nd 1993 Tiffiny Mill.

B. Craig Wesley Strever B. 8/6/1964 D. ___ M. 7/12/1986 Olga Nelson B. 11/17/1961.

Craig andOlga (Nelson) Strever children:

1. Jaylene Marie Strever B. 2/12/1993

D. ___

2. Kaylene Hazel (Twin) Strever B. 2/16/1995 D. ___

3. Collene Hannah (Twin) Strever B. 2/16/1995 D. ___

3. Lucile May Strever B. 7/6/1931 M. 10/24/1952 to Robert LeRoy Conz, B. 7/24/1925 Missouri D. 10/4/1975

Lucile (Strever) and Robert Conz children:

A. Debra Jon Conz B. 11/13/1953

Debra (Conz) and _______ children:

1. Lucinda ? B. ___ D. ___

2. Tony ? B. ___ D. ___

B. Cynthia May Conz B. 5/5/1956 D. ___ M. Walter Paul Mills.

Cynthia (Conz) andWalter Mills children:

1. Amanda Lucile Mills B. ___ D. ___

2. Jeremy Paul Mills B. ___ D. ___

3. Christopher Mills B. ___ D. ___

4. Johnathin Mills B. ___ D. ___

C. Mark Conz B. ___ D. ___ Single

D. Larry Ray Conz B. ___ D. ___ Single

 

4. Clifford Wayne Strever B. 7/28/1932 D. 2/3/1990 M. 11/22/1956 to Mary Lou Osborn, B. 9/13/1939 Oklahoma.

Clifford and Mary (Osborn) Strever children:

A. Lanay Camille Strever B. 9/25/1957

B. Sharmaine K. Strever B. 11/20/1958

C. Teri Joann Strever B. ___

D. Jamie Lee Strever B. ___

 

5. Kenneth Laverne Strever B. 1/14/1935 M. 7/19/1956 to Norita Camille Johnson, B. 5/28/1938.

Lives in Enid Oklahoma.

Kenneth and Norita (Johnson) Strever children:

A. Tammera Camille Strever B. 7/12/1957

B. Niles Strever B. ___

C. Christina Strever B. ___

 

F. Hazel May Strever B. 12/17/1905 D. 10/15/1933

M. Leland McInturf.

Hazel (Strever) and Leland McInturf children:

1. Doris Jean McInturf B. 1/17/1931 D. ___ M. Gardner Parks.

 

G. Niles Alfred Strever B. 10/22/1907 D. 10/25/1927 Single.

H. Earl LeRoy Strever B. 3/9/1910 D. 4/8/1981 Single.

3. James Baldwin Strever B. 12/13/1863 D. 11/1/1930 M. 2/9/1890 in Dawson County, Nebraska to Loella Delap, B. Marshalltown, Iowa 3/20/1869 D. Dawson County 9/1/1942.

James Baldwin and Loella (Delap) Strever children:

A. Albert D. Strever B. 2/1/1891 in Dawson County M. 10/12/1913 in Dawson County to Dorothy Watt, B. 5/15/1893.

Albert and Dorothy (Watt) Strever children:

1. Eloise Margaret Strever B. 12/10/1914 D. ___ M. Art Hajek B. ___ Date of death unknown. No children.

 

B. Leland Stanford Strever B. 6/28/1893 M. in Hall County, Nebraska to Bonnie Marie Claypool, B. LaPort, Texas 5/8/1895.

Leland Baldwin and Bonnie (Claypool) Strever children:

1. Marjorie Lucille Strever B. 1/3/1930 M. Allen Clair Adams, B. 9/7/1931.

Marjorie (Strever) and Allen Adams children:

A. Steven Clair Adams B. 11/28/1951

B. Gregory Lee Adams B. Dawson County 6/18/1954

C. Laura Ethyle Strever B. 5/17/1895 M. in Hall County, Nebraska 12/9/1919 to Eugene L. Wisda, B. Valley Co., Nebraska. No children.

4. Regina Genola Strever B. 5/17/1867 D. 3/4/1914 M. in Dawson Co., Nebraska to Howard Frederick Koch, B. 6/22/1863 D. May 1960.

Regina (Strever) and Howard Koch children:

A. Franklin Howard Koch B. Dawson Co., Nebraska 4/6/1889 D. 11/6/1960 M. 1/31/1909 in Dawson Co. to Cecile Hines, B.3/21/1889 in Custer Co D. 4/27/1973

Franklin and Cecile (Hines) Koch children:

1. Merle Eugene Koch B. 10/6/1911 D. 10/29/1911

2. Willis Howard Koch B. 4/20/1913 M. 1st October 24, 1936 at Long Beach to Marie Knauss. M. 2nd 1/4/1946 in Los Angeles to Margaret Bedelio Ryan.

Willis and Marie (Knauss) Koch children:

A. Diane Kay Koch B. 3/10/1937 M. 5/5/1955 at Cassville, Mo. to Denton Dean McDaniels.

3. Helen Joyce Koch B. 5/25/1915 M. 1/31/1936 to Russell Coleman Lichtenwalter.

Joyce (Koch) and Russell Lichtenwalter children:

A. Russell Kent Lichtenwalter B. 11/4/1936 D. ___ M. 7/14/1957 to Carolyn Colleen Anderson, B. Dawson County 3/2/1939.

B. Wayne Eugene Lichenwalter B. ___ D. ___

4. Wayne Everett Koch B. 4/13/1918

B. Sarah Ann Koch B. Dawson Co., Nebraska 2/3/1896 M. 7/13/1918 to Milo Blaine Taylor, B. Dawson Co 4/5/1893.

Sarah (Koch) and Milo Taylor children:

1. Barbara Dawn Taylor B. 3/23/1922 D. ___M. 6/22/1945 to Robert A. Simpson, B. Long Beach, California 6/4/1922 Deceased.

C. Lewis Alfred Koch B. Dawson Co., Nebraska 1/29/1900 M. 1/6/1924 at Glenwood, Iowa to Gladys Mae Daggett, B. Lexington, Nebraska 5/7/1901.

Lewis and Gladys (Daggett) Koch children:

1. Dr. Howard Frederick Koch B. 1/24/1935 Brooklyn, N.Y. D. ___ M. 1st ___________ M. 2nd. ___________. 1 child by each marriage.

 

F. Niles Strever B. 11/23/1832 D 1897 at Sandy Creek N. Y. 1897 M. Melvina Young, B. Clay May 1, 1833. D. 5/18/1861. Two children Niles Jr. & LeRoy NFR Niles Sr. M. 2nd. Lucy Rice M. 3rd Elmira ___. NFR

Niles and Melvina (Young) Strever children:

1. Niles Strever Jr. NFR

2. LeRoy Strever NFR

G. Homer Strever B. 5/4/1836 D. 8/4/1859 Died young, single, buried in Pine Plains Cemetery, Onondago County.

H. Infant Son B. 10/1838 D. ___

 

2. Leah Strever, dau. of Benjamin, Johannes (2nd), Johannes (1st), was B. Ancram 1800 D. 1893 M. Archilaus Tupper.

Archilaus and Leah (Strever) Tupper children:

A. Phoebe Tupper B. 1820 M. Simeon Field.

Phoebe (Tupper) and Simeon Field children:

1. Milton Straight (Reid) Field

2. Mary (Reid) Field

B. Virgil Tupper B. 6/1822 D. 9/25/1859 M. Juliette Parcel. No children.

C. Laura Tupper B. 1823 D. 1880 M. Joseph G. Wormely.

Laura (Tupper) and Joseph Wormely children:

1. George J. Wormely

 

D. Thomas Tupper B. 1/1834 M. Ester Brenan.

E. Homer Tupper B. 1830 M. Elizabeth Trinde.

Homer and Elizabeth (Trinde) Tupper children:

1. Horace T. Tupper

 

F. John Tupper B. 10/1836 D. 10/1872 M. ____________ .

John and _____________ Tupper children:

1. Emma Tupper B. ___ M. Robert F. Park. Three children.

2. Ida Tupper M. George Walsh. One son.

3. Ella Tupper M. Charles F. Scholliber. No children.

4. Nelson W. Tupper Single.

5. Benjamin S. Tupper M. Kate Rose.

Benjamin and Kate (Rose) Tupper children:

A. Hazel Tupper

B. Virgil Tupper

 

 

FINALE

This is a home book, produced by a home man, for home people. We hope your personal enjoyment of "The Strever History" will be such that you will like to share it with others, and that it makes a lasting impression on all its readers. It is a simple narrative of family life, covers nearly two hundred and fifty years of American past, and will be of lasting value to future generations. The story of many a Hudson River Valley family inheriting its characteristics from an old German ancestry. There is nothing very sensational, no striking incidents or brilliant successes, neither is there anything for which the present or future generations need blush. The fruit from the Strever family tree herein assembled might not win first prize at a genealogy fair, but it does not appear inferior to the average middle class American family. The smiling passage of history has exposed not only this generation, but a long line of forebears back of them, who passed on the standards by which they lived. This narrative may be likened as a window to the past, and makes us realize how thin a line separates us from our loved ones; the influence of their lives through the ups and downs of nearly two and one half centuries, on the development of a communities personality.

Victor Hugo once said "ancestors contribute inescapably to making us what we are, to reform a man you must begin with his grandparents." True it is that you can't hope to change basic traits; nature herself has fixed those so firmly that you must accept any individual "As Is" however noble your intentions or even zealous his will to change, he is limited by his own genes; he can change only so far. As humans we have forty-eight possible genes, an independently inheritable element, by the presence of which some particular character in the organism is made possible. Dr. George A. Dorsey says that all Anglo-Saxons are at least thirtieth cousins. On such basis of calculation, if we could trace all lineages back for enough, we would come to a period in history not so tremendously remote, when there could not have been standing room upon the earth for all the ancestors we would thus be entitled to. Surely there must have been many intermarriages of relatives during the time of human history. Even now there are only a few, if any who would take the chance, if such a chance were possible of trading their own consciousness of being for that of any other person.

"A heritage of the past is a challenge of tomorrow."

Few genealogies would be written without the aid, suggestions, and friendly encouragement of other people; this manuscript is no exception. I should like to acknowledge my debt to at least a few of those who were courteous, kind and gave so generously of their time, data and traditional stories to make this compilation so accurate and complete. The late Henry Strever and Edith Benedict of California, Bessie Grubb and Bernice Strever Hanson of the State of Washington. Ella Johansen of Minnesota, Alfred J. Strever, Laura Birge, Mae Strever Watson, Ethel Strever Miller, Leland Strever and Henry Hoysradt of New York state, also Town Clerks, Ministers, Librarians and local historians have given us their cordial cooperation either through personal contacts or by correspondence. In the procurement of the material for this pedigree of Strever lineage, I have had the constant and able assistance of my always compatible wife, who enthusiastically shares with me in my genealogical problems and the pleasant and social hobby of family research.

There is now a large progeny from our first American ancestor with other names than Strever, names characteristic of almost every nationality of northern and central Europe; in fact they outnumber the family name proper many times. The lineage of several thousand persons of various other names if correctly traced, would lead back through the female kindred of the different generations, to our old patriarchal forefather Johannes Streibel. These groups of Strever lineage are divided now, as all human groups are and always will be. The miles of a vast continent separate immediate families of the various branches from their kinsfolk, who never again shall meet.

I am mindful of the past, conscious of the future, and live enthusiastically in the present; I can remember when cars and telephones had to be cranked, I also have visions of long, long ago when a pie was cut in only four pieces, but until the sands in the hour glass of time shall run out I will steadfastly refuse to concede that my future is in the past. We think of history as belonging to the past, when in reality it is also very much in the future, it is constantly being made, is never completed. Thus the search goes on and one day, perhaps we shall know the complete story.

If tomorrow shall be sad

Or never come at all

I've had at least today and yesterday.

 

The tale of "Streibel Dings" Ancient Landmarks

About two miles westerly from the ancestral Dings farm at Silvernails, there stands a modest country church known as the Galatine Reformed Church. An earlier church was built 1748. A log structure located on the south side of the road, almost opposite the present edifice and was established and built by Strevel, Dings and other area pioneers. It was in this church that many of the Dings family of several of the earlier generation, came to worship their God, listen to the gospel, be married, and have their children baptized and christened. Among the records of baptisms in this church, the name Strevel and Dings appears more than 150 times. John I. Dings was the last occupant of the ancestral farm. The original house was torn down early in the 1800's and another built directly opposite, which is still in a state of good repair and is about one hundred and fifty years old.

The present dwelling was completed about the year 1786 and is located high on the banks of the Roeliff Jansen Hill. One has a feeling as he stands and gazes down at the peaceful scene below that a ghost of a fabulous and legendary past hovers over this ancient house. Johan (Hans) Jacob Dings was the first white inhabitant in the town of Gallatine, and was an army volunteer in the fight against an English invasion in the year 1711.

The old Dings cemetery located on this farm is still in evidence, unkept, uncared for and upgrown with trees and brush. The fence which once enclosed the burial lot is now gone, and most of the markers and grave stones, having succumbed to time and the action of rain and frost, have disappeared as do all material monuments sooner or later. Less than six stones remain standing and a few are flat on the ground. There is no evidence that the DAR have decorated the graves of the five Dings soldiers, who fought in the war of 1776. Among the names on the headstones still legible, are those of Dings, Strevel, Dennies, Colepaugh, Hoysradt, Millius.

The Johannes Streibel homestead, located near the Ancram lead mines, was purchased 1756, the year he married Marie Dings. The original main section of the building is said to have been built in the year 1731. The old colonial entrance has been replaced, an addition made, and other exterior and interior improvements have given a new look to this ancient dwelling. Underneath its modern dress is a frame of huge timbers. Excellent construction by the conscientious builders of colonial days has helped this ancient house to endure. Nearby, the old cemetery, that shelters the bones of perhaps a full hundred of Strever name, now stands out vividly in the rows of age-greyed, cracked and toppled stones of a century or two ago. The wall that surrounds the half-acre plot was built in the year 1760, by our pioneer ancestor Johannes Streibel.

 

 Memoranda to Establish Membership in D.A.R.

Wm. Warner of Boxted, Essex Co. England came to America on the ship "Increase" in 1637. Landed at Ipswitch, Mass.

With him came his son John, who married Priscilla Symonds, daughter of Mark Symonds. Their son John Jr. married Lydia Boltwood.

Their son Eleseser Warner married Hannah Bliss. Their son Samual married Mary Gillings and lived in Springfield, Mass. Their son, Seth, born Dec. 2, 1760 married Polly Painter.

All this was in the colonies under English rule. They came from Mass. To Freehold in Green Co. N.Y. where he lived and died on a farm.

Their son John Painter Warner married Eliza Griffen. John, born in 1809, kept the old home in Green Co. N.Y. where he lived until he died in 1879 in the town of Cairo in Green Co. N.Y.

Children are as follows

Samual Edward Warner

*Jesse Wood Warner

Seth Orrin Warner

Eliza Lovina Warner

Oliver Lorenzo Warner

Edward Andrew Warner

George Washington Warner

Born Died

Jesse Wood Warner June 25, 1802 June 11, 1851

Emeline J. Slosson July 10, 1810 Sept 27, 1900

 

Children of Jesse and Emeline (Slossen) Warner

Eliza Almira Warner Feb. 27, 1833 May 31, 1915

*Sarah Ann (Strever)Warner Oct. 21, 1834 June 30, 1906

Cordelia June Warner (unmarried) Nov. 5, 1836 Nov. 24, 1856

John Wesley Warner May 23, 1839 Aug. 29, 1867

Charles W. Warner Apr. 14, 1841 July 25, 1906

Martha Maria (Wedge) Warner Mar. 17, 1843 Sept 17, 1895

Edward Lorenzo Warner Mar. 23, 1845 Feb. 19, 1928

Myron Winslow Warner Mar. 14, 1847 Dec. 4, 1910

Squire Judson Warner Mar. 10, 1849 June 5, 1927

Jesse Wood Warner June 10, 1851 July 18, 1897

 

Children of Frank and Sarah (Warner) Strever

William Ward Strever Dec. 23, 1859 June 23, 1941

*John Strever Oct. 27, 1861 Sept 28, 1943

James Baldwin Strever Dec. 13, 1863 Nov. 1, 1930

Regina Geneva (Warner-Koch)

Strever May 17, 1867 Mar. 4, 1914

 

Children of John and May (Miller) Strever (D. Aug. 21, 1945)

Benjamin Ralph Strever May 28, 1895 Aug. 22, 1904

Bertha Alice Strever Dec. 19, 1896 July 19, 1990

Edith Letitia Strever Jan. 24, 1900 Mar. 28,1984

Lester Strever Sept 15, 1901 July 25, 1945

*Raymond John Strever June 1, 1904 Dec. 23, 1994

Hazel May Strever Dec. 17, 1905 Oct. 15, 1933

Niles Alfred Strever Oct. 22, 1907 Oct. 25, 1927

Earl LeRoy Strever Mar. 9, 1910 Apr. 8, 1981

 

Children of Raymond and Thelma (Miller) Strever

Robert Keith Strever June 29, 1929 Nov. 18, 1930

*Wesley Raymond Strever Aug. 14, 1930

Lucile May Strever July 6, 1931 Oct. 4, 1975

Clifford Wayne Strever July 28, 1932 Feb. 3,1990

Kenneth Laverne Strever Jan. 14, 1935

 

Children of Wesley and Hazel (Edwards) Strever

Gregory Edward Strever Aug. 6, 1964

*Craig Wesley Strever Aug. 6, 1964

 

Children of Craig and Olga (Nelson) Strever

Jaylene Marie Strever Feb. 12, 1993

Collene Hannah Strever Feb. 16, 1995

Kaylene Hazel Strever Feb. 16, 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This last page is not in any way a part of the preceding manuscript. It is intended for informational purposes only. This Manuscript, by Joseph and Mary Strever, is reproduced on an IBM compatible PC, using Micro Soft Word software version 6.0 in a Windows environment. It is not amended in any way except for the expansion of genealogical data which was expanded to make it somewhat more readable. If, in your review of this document, you find typographical or other errors please advise and the corrections will be made and a reprinted page sent. If any one wishes a copy of the data disk on which this is stored, a 3 1/2" High Density , please advise.

 

Robert Strever

5/21/95