Tri-Counties Genealogy &
History by Joyce M. Tice
||Melissa MALLORY "Hummer" Interview
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
|Article: Interview with Melissa MALLORY "Hummer"
|Article Submitted by Sharron BRONSON Vossughi
|Postcard from Joyce's Collection
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I was going through some old clippings and thought this might be some
good background. Melissa "Litt" Hummer was the widow of Alexander
Hummer and dau of Daniel Mallory and Louise Rundle of Sullivanville.
Elmira Star Gazette Oct. 27, 1939
Melissa Hummer Retains Interest in World Events at Age of 89
I had the most interesting tete-a-tete yesterday afternoon with
Mrs. Melissa Hummer, 702 W. Water St., who lives with her daughter, Mrs.
Harry J. Elwood... This nice lady lacks only one year of becoming a nonogenarian
and what a hip, hip hurrah that occasion will be.. Tomorrow she will celebrate
her 89th birthday in itself no mean accomplishment.. There will be a little
family party in commemoration, attended by a second daughter, Mrs. Frances
Sutton of Horseheads, together with other relatives near and dear.... Mrs.
Hummer has lived hereabouts since childhood... her parents came from Conn
and her father, Daniel Mallory cleared the land and built in Veteran the
log cabin in which Mrs. Hummer was born... she spent most of her life there
and in Sullivanville, coming to Elmira 6 years ago to make her home.
Naturally Mrs. Hummer has seen many changes take place... Social
customs and conventions are altered... Present day beaux go home when they
do... Daughters carry a latch key... Former days, parents turned down the
oil wicks promptly at 10 and mother blew her breath through the top of
the glass chimney immediately after good-nights had been said in the front
parlor... Present day governmental decrees, issued the days of Mrs. Hummer's
youth, the populace would have thrown a fit... When a budding miss of 10,
Mrs. Hummer remembers seeing the "comet of 1860," it was called.. Elders
told her presence of the strange celestial body warned of approaching war,
and sure enough, next year the Civil War broke out. She recalls
the havoc and sadness caused when Lincoln fell victim to an assassin's
bullet in Washington... Now, when Mrs. Hummer leans back in her easy chair
and closes her eyes, there passes through her mind, with kaleidoscopic
precision, the events of a lifetime... She recalls clearly every worthwhile
crisis in the past, while keeping pace with the present.. Yesterday, she
wondered if the threatened world catastrophe would spread its tentacles
to America?... In her kindly way, she wondered, too, if Herr Adolf wasn't
being just a bit unreasonable?
Mrs. Hummer rode in the first horse car - horse car mind you-
that tore down the highway between Elmira and Horseheads at 6 miles an
hour... Later she witnessed the initial airplane flight out of Hammondsport...
With a party of friends she was camping in the shore of Keuka Lake... Suddenly,
hearing a peculiar whirl overhead, she glanced up to see the strangest
looking bird imaginable - The June Bug-Glenn Curtiss first contribution
to aviation with Mr. Curtiss himself at the controls... "See! See!" she
called to her friends and she was bold enough to point.... These times
an armada of airships streak overhead, and unless they drop a bomb no one
deigns to look... Mrs. Hummer recalls plainly the Civil War Elmira Prison
camp just off W. Water St., near Guinnip Ave., west of the city... A brother,
George William [Willis] Mallory, enlisted with the Union forces in Elmira...
He was bivouacked here with his company waiting to be called south for
the battle of Chancellorville, where on the turf in the front line, he
left one of his fingers... To her the Chemung Canal was a waterway, not
a thoroughfare, as it is today, since its bed (State St.) was filled in,
that an expanding city might have more room.. Freight handled by cumbersome
boats went to the railroad - the Erie - that had cut its way west to Elmira
between high mountains, through forests and marshes... The march of time,
we call today... To Mrs. Hummer, on the birthday occasion tomorrow, will
go the felicitations of warm friends throughout the city and county...
89 years of contentment is a large order and tomorrow's celebrant is among
the comparatively few who have lived to enjoy the happiness it brings.
||First Added to the Site on 15 JAN 2003
By Joyce M. Tice
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