Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chapter 2: Parents and Family

Chapter 2
Parents and Family
Ruth Allis Fredrick and
Avery Henry Fredrick

Mother married the cream of the crop, Avery Henry Fredrick, September 20, 1906. Mother and Dad were quiet country folk. Dad worked hard wherever he could. He never had a credit card, checkbook, or debts.

My sister, Marion Electa Fredrick was born July 3, 1908, worked her way through high school, sometimes walking the six miles one way to finish, and to normal school. No buses in those days. She taught school one year during the depression. Jobs were scarce. She married Kenneth P. Hall, December 6, 1935. He was a mink farmer. They had three daughters; Ruth, Vivian and Brenda.

Clyde Avery (Bus) Fredrick

     Clyde Avery (Bus) Fredrick was born December 22, 1914. He spent time in CCC Camp, later went to California to work in sugar beet factory in season. He spent 4 and a half years in World War II; was in Alaska, then to Germany. After the war, he worked on construction at Kodak in Rochester. He fell thirty foot from a scaffold and was injured. He died March 27, 1958.

Herman Jay Fredrick
 Herman Jay, born April 8, 1922, died March 20, 1939 at age 16.  

Herman Jay Fredrick
April 8, 1922 - March 29, 1939
Herman has gone to be with June,
(His sister gone before)
We hope at last, life's sorrows past,
To meet them both once more.
And so within our humble home,
Where late our loved one trod
Again we bow in grief; and feel,
It was the hand of God.
                                                      By Father, Avery Henry Fredrick
Herman and Janet playing Bunco

Janet Ruth Fredrick

My sister, Janet Ruth Fredrick, born December 6, 1925, worked at the chocolate works in Fulton, and stayed with our sister Marion in Hannibal. She married LaVerne Chatfield August 3, 1946. LaVerne was in World War II. Later they both worked at Newark State School. They had one son, Raymond Arthur Chatfield. Janet was my "Little Sister" and I was her "Big Sister". I was fifteen years older. We loved each other dearly.  Janet died June 15, 1970.

Our youngest sister, June Rose Fredrick, born June 28, 1927, lived nine months. She died March 31, 1928

June Rose Fredrick
                To June Rose Fredrick
   Died March 31, 1928 - Age 9 months,3 days
She came in the Glory of summer;
Our June Rose bright and fair,
The blue of the skies was in her eyes,
The sunshine in her hair.
She lived nine months among us,
She filled our home with bliss;
She could not stay, her spirit fled,
To brighter world than this.
We’ll hear her in the murmuring stream,
Her body lies beside.
It’s waters flow hard by the home,
                 Where we do still reside.
                We’ll feel her in the gentle breeze.
                That blows o’er her grave.
                May-be. who doe'th all things well.
                Now help us to be brave.
               And now, farewell, O Fairy form
               Farewell to thy cold clay.
              May we hold you in our arms again,
             Beyond the judgment day.
                        By Father- Avery Henry Fredrick

We went to a one-room schoolhouse about a half mile away and walked home for lunch, except when the weather was bad--then we took our lunch. When there was deep snow, Dad would go ahead of us and make a path. No snow plows in those days.
I was interested in drawing. One teacher let me have a blackboard to use and I put drawings on it, changing it when I wanted to. Another teacher had me make eight pictures to send to Rochester Exposition. I won 2nd prize of $2.00 and only "happened" to find out. I also learned it went to the school. This discouraged me as $2.00 was a fortune to me at the age of eleven.
We went to the only church in town and after I was born, Dad said he'd stay home and care for my sister Marion and me. He never went back. Mother and the children continued to attend.
When I was 9 & 10, I remember one teacher who was my Dad's first and last teacher. She trained us to memorize poems, the presidents, states & capitals, counties, towns, etc. She trained the children for the Christmas program, and put it on in the church. We had some very nice programs. We were well instructed. Marion and I would get to bed at night and repeat every word of every song, exercise, and piece and in order, as she never read a program. We never had a program. We knew our place.
I rode Billy, our horse, allover the creek, etc. Sometimes when we drove to the lake resort, Troutburg, I rode Billy into the lake. Sometimes I rode standing up, and always bareback. Except one year I borrowed a saddle. I never jumped fences.
We earned what we could picking up apples, weeding carrots, picked  tomatoes, cukes, cherries and walked a mile and a half to wash dishes for a teacher for 15 cents an hour. We did well to earn $1.50 a day. Sometimes I went barefoot, until I was twelve. Bus and I liked to wade in the puddles after a rain and make mud pies. The old henhouse became our playhouse.
Mother and Dad worked very hard. Mother was small-98 lbs., but made all our clothes, kept us clean (six children), worked outdoors picking berries and helping in harvesting of fruits and vegetables. Mother also canned a lot. Dad worked where he could. In the Fall, he worked in the dry-house in Kendall Mills, then later in the Morton Canning Factory two miles away. He probably walked down, and we went after him with the horse and buggy. My Dad loved poetry and would read or recite poems all evening. Also, I love poems, so you'll find some in this book.
My folks never told me they loved me, but I knew they did. Dad would buy us 5 cent ice cream cones or a penny all-day sucker and go without himself. He wrestled with us and sometimes rocked us, especially if we did not feel well. We went for rides as a family; sometimes visiting cousins. The buggy got a little crowded after all the children came. We carried three on the seat, one on Mother's lap, and two on little stools in front.
Mother and we children peddled the berries with the horse and buggy, and often drove out to the lake where the campers were. I was so young and shy I could not speak, so Mother would get their orders from the buggy, as she often had a baby on her lap. Mother taught us many things. Some of her proverbs were: "A stitch in time saves nine", "Take care of your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves", "A patch is no disgrace but a hole is", "Good character is more important than wealth", "It's better to be poor than dishonest". We were taught to take good care of our things, and better care of someone else's. "No matter how bad you feel or how hard times are, there is always someone worse off than you." We had some unpleasant jobs like taking a pan and stick and shaking potato bugs off from the vines. No spray in those days, at least, not for us.
Dad was very strict. One day I went down cellar to get an apple. I always wanted the biggest one (and still do). After I had mine picked out, Marion called down to bring her one. I found the next biggest, and came up holding mine behind me. Dad sent me back to find two the same size. I didn’t think it was fair.
We wore our hair long and in braids, long black cotton stocking and high top shoes.
Dad took us for walks across lots and through the woods. I often walked to my Aunt Carrie's & Uncle Elmer's a mile away, sometimes stopping to call on an older man who had one leg and lived alone in an old house. Sometimes I took cookies or fruit and we talked. We walked to the town of Morton, two miles away, not so much to shop, but more just to look, and for something to do. We played with bladder balloons at hog butchering time. We did not have hogs but knew people that did. I used to climb up a straight ladder that my sister Marion held up straight to pick apples out on the limbs. While Dad worked at the factory, we had the fruit to gather at home.
Dad’s brother, our Uncle George, and Aunt Lill, lived next door. We would go over Sunday afternoon to get the funnies and store them. When we wanted to read them, we'd draw from the bottom of the pile. My Uncle George had the first radio we'd ever heard of. What a thrill to put on the earphones and hear music or talking over a machine like that. He also had an old fashioned talking machine with round records and a big horn-shaped speaker.
Some of our fun was dangerous. The creek flooded, breaking the ice up in huge blocks. Sometimes it would pile up in all kinds of shapes. We kids would go down and climb on them. Dad came while we were doing this one time and measured the water under us. It was 14 ft. So he said we'd better go to the flats in front of our Uncle George's. The ice had piled up at flood stage and went down, leaving the ice cake there on the land. At one time a 14-year old boy with his dog and sled and I were playing "Follow the leader" on Lake Ontario. My Dad came down as he often took pictures of the ice cones, some with water spouting up in the center. He told us we were out a quarter of a mile and down there alone. So we came in closer to shore. Not sure I was brave or just foolish with no fear.
Just let me reminisce a bit
Marion Fredrick
Holley, NY 1929
As round this festive board we sit.
Kerosene lamps to light the page
As we read good books, or in games engage.
Coal and wood to keep us warm,
Food in the cellar from the farm.
To the rural school for our education,
To the country church for indoctrination.
No swimming pool, but a creek inviting
When hot summer days cause much perspiring.
In winter, oh what fun to slide
Down the steep, snowy bank. What a ride!
No electric lights or running water
Did those privations really matter?
The horse furnishes transportation
And also the farm cultivation.
The good old days we leave behind
And press onward. new ways to find
We must not forget our God
As in this life we onward plod.
-Marion F. Hall

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chapter 1 Early Life

Section I - Chapter 1

Early Life

Carrie Jane Fredrick, the second child of Avery Henry Fredrick and Ruth E. Allis Fredrick, was born July 29, 1910, in a farm house in the small community of Kendall Mills, Monroe County, New York State. (

Kendall Mills is not on the map. Located four and a half miles from Lake Ontario on the Monroe-Orleans County line, it used to have two churches, one two-room schoolhouse, two stores, a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, a saw mill, and a hotel. I remember walking to school on the opposite side of the street for fear of drunks staggering in and out of the hotel and laying around on the ground. In my memory, we used one church; a Methodist Protestant. The other, a Free Methodist, stood empty for years and later was sold for a dance hall. The 2-room school accommodated all eight grades in one room. I remember when one store burned and the hotel became a dwelling. Our home and barn were set back from the road with an “in” and “out” driveway and a big garden in between, on a 7-acre plot of land. A large creek flowed through the property on the other side of the road, which was dirt or mud. In the winter, we children slid down the creek bank and out onto the ice on our sleds; we skated, and drew the younger children on their sleds. We fished and played in the water in the summer. Our workable land was about five acres. We raised strawberries, raspberries, and popcorn to sell, and mostly for our use: apples, pears, quinces, grapes, vegetables and lovely melons. We had about 50 bushel of popcorn all picked by hand and husked by hand. What a job!

Our home had four bedrooms, living room, kitchen, back room, woodshed and a little house farther away called the back house. We had no piped in water, but carried water in from a cistern pump and a pump at the well. What we used, we had to carry out and dump. We had no electricity or telephone. We had a wood kitchen stove and a kerosene oil stove to use in summer, and oil lamps; a coal heater in living room with pipe going up through my sister Marion's and my room and it was always cold before morning. Before bedtime, we would heat soap-stones and put them in the bed to make it warm. We had one horse and one cat. The horse, "Billy", helped eat the sweet corn, stalk and all, and carrots.

      My Dad, born December 12, 1884, had always lived there. His father, Henry Fredrick, died when my Dad was twelve, so he had very little schooling because he had to work hard. Dad's father, Henry, born in 1860, came from Germany and got his citizenship papers October 4, 1880. Dad's grandparents, Margaret and George Fredrick, were in Germany.  

When Mother and Dad were married, they lived on the homestead. Dad's mother was Eliza Jane Mowers and lived on a dead end lane, and we used to call on her cross lots.
My mother, Ruth E. Allis, was born in Gaylord, Michigan December 3, 1885, in a log cabin which burned when she was young, but she never forgot it.

Mother's mother was E1ecta Irene Morse Allis, died 1894; her father was Thomas Wells Allis, born October 4, 1849, died February 25, 1911. When Mother was nine years old, her mother died, so she came to West Kendall in New York State to live with her grandmother, Eunice Barton Morse (Potter), born May 2, 1831

Grandma Potter's first husband was Benjamin Bartlet  Morse, born Nov. 23, 1816 was the first white man born in the town of Kendall. He married Eunice Barton Morse in 1846, and died in 1890. Sometime later, she married Grandpa Potter. She was left a widow. Grandma Potter died in 1915 when I was five. I have my mother's family record that goes back to 1613 when William Allis was born. Mary Bronson, widow of John Graves, came to America July 1, 1630 on the third trip of the Mayflower.

Friday, March 30, 2012


My mom and I were inspired to start this "family history" blog because of my dad's Aunt Carrie.

Carrie Fredrick Phillips ("Aunt Grandma"), early 1990's
  She wrote an autobiography of her life when she was 75, which we wish to document on this blog, along with family photos.  Aunt Carrie's father was an amateur photographer, so we have a lot more family photos than most people have from that era. Not many people have the kind of information on family history that we have for my dad's mother's side of the family...(at least without resorting to!).  We plan to share them here periodically as well as chapters of her book.

Aunt Grandma reading "Go Dog Go" to me when I was little.
Aunt Carrie, who I affectionately named "Aunt Grandma" when I was a child, was a remarkable woman.  It's a strange combination of either words failing me, or having way too many words to describe how much she meant to me, even though I only knew her for 11 years of my life.  But I am fortunate enough to have her book that she wrote about her life.  Like I have said, she was a remarkable woman and she went through a lot in her life that I never knew about until I read that book as a teenager.  I feel that, as a child, I was not able to fully appreciate how amazing she was, and I wish she were still alive for me to go visit and have lunch or a cup of tea with, talk with, and glean wisdom I am blessedly still able to with my grandma (my mother's mother).  Of course, she was born in 1910, so she would be 102 if she were alive today.  Even so, I have often saddened that she did not live long enough to watch me graduate from high school, or get married...or grow into the woman I am today...a woman I'm convinced that she helped to shape.  But on the other hand, I know she has watched me with heavenly eyes and is happier to be with the Lord than she would be here on a flawed earth in a frail body.'s to family, legacy, and memory.