Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
A Century Ago - Memorabilia from 1900
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A Century Ago - Reflections on 1900

1900 - Hala's Family, East Rome, PA

by Anne Trousdale Gardner

My great-grandmother, Hala Maynard Taylor, has never been one of my favorite ancestors. Most of her pictures show her as being rather aloof and austere. What I do find interesting about her, is that she is almost exactly 100 years older than I am. In 1900, she was at the same point in her life as I am, now, in mine. Unlike many other family members, she did not keep diaries to give me some clues about her thoughts and feelings. The only information I have about her, are her life events.

Martha Hala Maynard Taylor in front of 'The Maples circa 1900

In 1900, Hala was 57 years old. She was living at ‘The Maples' in East Rome. Her husband, MK, had built the house early in their marriage. His grandfather, Harmon Warner, a stonemason, had helped him lay the foundation. It was bordered on the north and east by sugar maples and on the south by an orchard. Her in-laws, Edwin and Harriet Warner Taylor, had lived across the narrow dirt road and had farmed the surrounding land. Later, her brother-in-law, Orville, and his wife, Olivia Lung, and their two children, Lillian and Harold, would live there. In 1900, Orville and Olivia lived across the road with the aging Harriet. Lillian, now 19, taught at the District 7 school house midway down the hill near Allis Hollow. Harold was 10.

Hala's daughter, Eva, on the front porch of The Maples circa 1900

Hala’s husband, MK (short for Mortimer Kryon), had died. In 1872 his work, as a salesman and later an office manager for the Willcox and Gibbs Sewing Machine Company, had taken his family from East Rome to Peekskill, Syracuse, and Scranton. In 1890 he went to Cleveland, OH. He died there three years later, just before Christmas. He was 55. Hala had not gone with him to Cleveland.

(Was his assignment to Cleveland supposed to be temporary? Was there marital discord? Had she refused to move? Had they both decided that she remain in Scranton until their youngest daughter graduated from high school? How had the economic Panic of 1893 affected his business? It is not listed in the 1894 City Directory. Was his death from septicema, an accident or a suicide?)

Both Hala and MK had been born in Rome Township. Both were grandchildren of pioneer settlers. They had attended Miss Harriet Gates’s Select School at the Rome Presbyterian Church. Hala and MK were married in 1861.

Nettie Viola, their first child, was born in Orwell in 1864. MK had been working there for S. N. Bronson at the Metropolitan Hardware Store.

Viola married George Whitfield Chase of Scranton in 1894. He was a chemist for the Pennsylvania Railroad. They lived in Bellwood, PA when Hala’s first grandchild, Leree, was born in 1898. A grandson, Rolland, was born the following year.

Minnie Evangeline, their second child, had been born in Rome at ‘The Maples’ in 1868. MK and his brother, Orville, had started a business together. They sold melodeons and organs.

Minnie married the Reverend Samuel Whitney Trousdale of Platteville, WI in 1897. He was a widower with two teenage children, Paul and Elizabeth. Their sons, Theodore, James and Whitney were born in 1898, 1900 and 1903 in Wisconsin.

Hala's nephew, Harold, and daughter, Minnie, at the Maples circa 1896

Both Vi and Minnie were trained in Philadelphia to teach lip reading and speech to the deaf. Vi had lived with her father in Cleveland and taught there. Minnie had worked as a tutor for the deaf child of a wealthy family in Chicago and then accepted a position as principal of a school for the deaf in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

Isabelle, their third child, was born in Peekskill in 1872. She died the following year.

Eva Louise, their last child, was also born in Peekskill in 1876.

Eva married Emery George Moore in 1898. He was preparing to be a lawyer. They lived in Syracuse, NY where their only child, Isabelle, was born and died in 1899. In 1904 they bought the farm to the north of ‘The Maples’. It had been owned by Great-Uncle Almerin Taylor. Emery enjoyed tinkering with farm machinery. Eva enjoyed music, painting and being near her family.

Hala died in 1929, at 86. She lived long enough to see all of her grandchildren graduate from college and begin their adult lives. At her death, she was "remembered for having so lavishly shared her fruit and flowers, which were her chief delight, with her friends near and far."

Hala's grandchildren Rolland & Lereee Chase, Theadore, James and Whitney Trousdale in front of 'The Maples' circa 1904

Anne Trousdale Gardner/Cleveland, OH <>