Do not overlook your local resources. As I have posted I am in the final section of my book, Our Brown Roots. This section is about my paternal grandparents and their children, my father and his siblings. I am learning new things about the lives of those closest to me.
When Roy Jessie and Ivy (Mark) Brown left Ohio circa 1940 they moved to rural Columbia County, New York with their six children. (A seventh child would be born in NY.) Roy had worked in mills in Ohio and did the same in New York. They settled on Kinderhook Creek in Stockport. They lived there about 15 years, c 1940 – c 1955. That is a small window to work with but I have found a few things.
I have become a member of Columbia County Historical Society and last weekend I took a short drive to use the library there. The friendly environment led to discovering a couple helpful resources.
Book: Looking for Work: Industrial Archeology in Columbia
County, New York: The Emergence and Growth of Local
Industry as Revealed in Surviving Sites and Structures
by Peter H. Stott
This book includes several towns in Columbia Cunty and the employment opportunities that once existed in those towns. The town of Stockport in included and details are given about the mills where my grandfather worked. The information helped me to write this and more:
The Eureka Paper Mill on County Route 25 along the Claverack Creek. The mill had been constructed in 1862. In 1878 the mill had the largest daily production of any mill in the county.[i]
The mill had a capacity of three to four tons of paper every 24 hours and was equipped with three 400 – lb. engines and 62 – inch and 68 – inch cylinder machines.[ii]
The Eureka Mill was initially owned by Henry S. Van De Carr and later by Vincent Muesaman of Queens who formed the Stockport Paper Company.[iii] Roy Brown was a master mechanic in charge of repairs for the entire paper mill with a staff of eight men. Leo Brown said his father “did some blacksmithing things working at the mills.” He was the operational manager.[iv] Roy continued to work at that mill until it was destroyed by fire.
Website: Fulton History, fultonhistory.com
This website looks like it is all about historic postcards but look at the search box on the left. You can search over 51 million newspapers in USA & Canada.
I cannot find these newspapers on Newspapers.com. This website includes newspapers that are local for my family. I found several items that help to fill out our history. For example, a local newspaper listed those drafted during World War II. Roy J Brown was listed and classified as “4H” which means he did not serve because his family needed his support. With seven children at home he was certainly needed.
Do not overlook your local resources.
[i] Stott, Peter H. Looking for Work (Kinderhook, NY: Columbia County Historical Society, 2007) 291.
[ii] Stott, Peter H. Looking for Work (Kinderhook, NY: Columbia County Historical Society, 2007) 291.
[iii] Stott, Peter H. Looking for Work (Kinderhook, NY: Columbia County Historical Society, 2007) 291.
[iv] “Interview with Leo D. Brown,” August 2004; audio recording and transcript held by author.