Thursday, October 6, 2016

The House Past Hackett Road

      Heading towards Palmyra on the old Plank Road, now called Route 21 in Manchester, just past Hackett Road and on the left, sits an old wood framed house fronted by pillars.  In the photograph above is Mary Lyons Ryan, a native of County Roscommon Ireland, standing on the front porch of that house, probably around 1910 given the style of her clothing.

Thomas Ryan c. 1915
     Mary was the wife of Thomas Ryan who was born in Walworth, New York in April of 1861 to Andrew Ryan and Bridget Hogan, both immigrants from Tipperary.  As a small boy, Thomas had actually lived for a few years in Manchester until his father Andrew purchased a farm in Perinton, New York.  That farm home still stands today, at the end of Ryan Road in that town.

     Thomas was a farmer by trade and worked the Plank Road farm for years, selling it in 1919.  In the1920 census of Manchester Village, Thomas can be found living at 29 North Main Street with Mary and their eighteen year old daughter Mildred who would be killed in a car accident just two years later.  Also in the household was Mary's fifty year old brother Edward Lyons.

     In his later years, Thomas worked as a janitor in the Lehigh Valley RR bunkhouse.  Mary passed away in 1936, and Thomas spent his final years living with his widowed daughter Marie
Mildred Ryan
Galbraith and her son John at the North Main house. Thomas died in October of 1940 and is buried in St. Rose's Catholic Cemetery in Shortsville next to Mary and Mildred.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Manchester and Mormonism


Jones Mill on Canandaigua Outlet, Shortsville, Town of Manchester
     One has to wonder how Mormonism became so identified with Palmyra?  To be sure Mormonism never caught on in Manchester-- in fact in 1833 my 5th great-grandfather Sylvester Worden along with Pardon Butts, Warden Reed, Hiram Smith, Alfred Stafford, James Gee, Abel Chase, A.H. Wentworth, Moses C. Smith, Joseph Fish and Horace Barnes signed the following statement:

     "We the undersigned being personally acquainted with the family of Joseph Smith, jun., with whom the celebrated 'golden bible' so called, originated state: 
That they were not only a lazy, indolent set of men, but also intemperate, and their word was not to be depended upon, and we are truly glad to dispense with their society"

      But although Joseph and his followers were not popular in Manchester, Mormonism had many ties here.  Hill Cumorah, where Joseph Smith claimed to have dug up the golden plates, was in fact located within the Town of Manchester; as was the residence of Joseph Smith himself.  He could often be found on the streets and shops of Manchester and Shortsville, even attending an occasional revival meeting at the Manchester Baptist church.

     Oliver Cowdrey, who assisted Smith in composing the Book of Mormon, taught in the Manchester schools at one time and the paper upon which the first edition of the book was published came from the Jones Mill located on Water Street in Shortsville, Town of Manchester.  The main connection to Palmyra was the bookstore of E. Grandin, who printed the Book of Mormon in 1830.  

     Wouldn't Grandfather and his contemporaries be surprised at how the Mormon religion thrived and grew?