TALMAN HOUSE & THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

(1)

One of the confirmed underground railroad sites in Perinton Township is the Isaac Talman house, 2187 East Whitney Road, it still stands.  John Talman Jr was a young boy at the time, his grandfather Isaac built there in the 1820’s.  John, whose career spanned the newspaper and magazine industry as a staff writer, telegraph editor and contributor writes that; “This farmhouse, my birthplace, tops a hill sloping gently to the west. owned by my father, John Talman, Sr., one of the ‘black Republicans (2)’ of his day, was as implacable and intolerant an enemy of human slavery as the North could boast, and as sturdy, fearless, and unfailing a defender of what he deemed as right as I ever knew.  He was one of the band of Abolitionists that conducted what was known as the ‘Underground Railroad’, whereby fugitive Negro slaves from the South were enabled to find asylum in the free air of Canada.  The runaways were passed along from station to station, and this Perinton farm was one of the stations.  We were not far from the port of Charlotte, where the fugitives in summer could cross Lake Ontario, and in winter, when navigation was suspended could land on British soil by way of Niagara Falls or Buffalo.”

He goes on to recount an event typical of activities on the Underground Railroad.  “In the township of Perinton, Monroe County, New York, twelve miles southeast of Rochester and two miles east of the village of Fairport, stands (or at any rate stood when last, I saw it (3)) a farmhouse that cuts a significant, if humble figure in the anti-slavery crusade that brought on the Civil War of 1861–1865.  I have a distinct recollection of the time when in the winter of 1859-60 a runaway slave from Georgia, his wife and half dozen little children were concealed in our house for a week or more on their way to Canada.  They were quartered in the kitchen and provided with food, not only for present needs, but sufficient for several days after leaving us.  I had never seen a negro child before, and no sooner had the dusky family found refuge with us than my childish curiosity aroused.  My fingers were exploring the thick crop of wool that thatched the wide-eyed pickaninnies [sic].  The family remained with us until the time agreed upon by the liberators, when my father, in the dead of night, packed them in a large lumber wagon under quilts and blankets and drove them to the next station.  A relative, a neighbor, afterwards told of his surprise when he called at our house and found himself in the midst of our Negro guests.  “It was a perilous business, this aiding slaves to escape.  The ‘Underground Railroaders’ were near-outlaws, operating in defiance of the United States government and being under the constant espionage of government agents, whose utmost vigilance, however, could not nullify the services of these devoted men of the sacred cause of liberty.”  [ca. 1930-1]

New York State had a vast network of churches, community sites and safe houses strongly involved with abolition.  Many in its western portion, two of its most infamous residents were African-American Frederick Douglass, abolitionist, orator and statesmen.  After gaining freedom, he eventually settled in Rochester in 1847, he’s buried there in Mount Hope Cemetery.  Abolitionist, humanitarian Harriet Tubman also born into slavery known as “The Moses of Her People” lived in nearby Auburn.  Because of its proximity to Lake Ontario and Canada, Rochester served as a terminus for the eastern branch of the Underground Railroad.  While northern states were ostensibly “free” the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850 allowed slave catchers to work in all states.  For all intents and purposes, it extended slavery everywhere, making passage to Canada necessary to guarantee freedom.  According to some sources, the first organized escape took place in 1804 and, by 1830, the organization of “stations” and “conductors” was developed and active with western, central, and eastern branches.  It was in this decade as well that various anti-slavery societies began to agitate for change.  Even though aiding slaves was an offense punishable by jail and/or a $1,000 fine, the railroad kept on operating.  Stations were spaced approximately one day’s walk apart and could be secret rooms, barns, caves, church belfries, root cellars and the like.  Lighted lamps or candles often served as signals.

When Frederick Douglass came to speak in the hamlet of Egypt in southeastern Perinton; he found the church doors locked, forcing him to address the crowd outdoors.  The same John Talman describes Douglass: “[he]…wore a long blue broadcloth coat with brass buttons.  He was tall, erect, a massive figure, his noble bronze countenance surmounted by an enormous halo of thick crinkly hair.  In speaking he had a habit of accentuating each decisive utterance by slightly bending his head, shutting his jaws like steel traps, and widening his mouth in a smile of sardonic grimness.”  Although there is no way to definitively number those who used the Underground Railroad, this loosely organized secret group of brave and dedicated individuals, a number of them Perinton citizens, clearly were a force in ending the scourge of slavery.

John Talman Sr. (1810-1885)                     John Jr. 1863

© Jon Tallman                                            © Jon Tallman

 

(1) Photograph from the archives of the Perinton Historical Society ca. 1945

(2) From 1854, when the Republican Party was founded, Democrats labeled it adherents “black Republicans” to identify them as proponents of black equality.

(3) John Jr. died 26 Mar 1936 at his daughters’ home in Gold Beach Oregon.

John J the Patriarch of my Family – Chronology

From the farm he was born on, – Chestnut Ridge, Dutchess Co, to the new family farm on the Webber Road at Prendergast Creek in Chautauqua Co., NY.   I believe the most probable route he took along with his 11 children in 1848 in a wagon driven by oxen to the homestead in Harmony, Chautauqua County to be the following.  Most likely they traveled the “Catskill/Susquehanna Turnpike” a direct route.  Even though the Erie Canal was completed by 1825 the turnpike had been finished by 1806 to Bath and extended to northeastern Pennsylvania prior to 1825.

1805-6/18:        John James Tallman only son of John & Ruth Tallman is born on a farm on Chestnut Ridge, Dutchess Co., NY.

1807-3:             Sarah Ann Newton “Sally” 5th of 11 children is born to David & Charlotte Newton in Dutchess Co.

1829-12/30:      John & Sally are married by George Hammond Esq.

1830 ca:           John James father John dies at his farm in the Town of Dover.  His will leaves everything to his loving wife Ruth and only surviving son John James.

1830-4/5:          John James and possibly pregnant wife purchase a 123 Ac farm in the Town of Washington, Dutchess Co. The property is next to his sister-in-law Jane Ann who is married to his cousin Solomon Tallman.

2/1/1831:          Birth of son Joseph B.

1832-3/19:        Birth of dau. Mary A.

1833-11/18:      Birth of dau. Charlotte

1835-5/20:        Birth of dau. Susan A. ‘Susie’

1837-7/5:          Birth of dau. Lois A. ‘Adie’

1838-8/3:          Birth of son John N.

1840-1/7:          Birth of dau. Ruth

1841-3/26:        Birth of son Solomon A.

1842-6/3:          Birth of dau. Maria Elizabeth

1844-2/1:          Birth of son Trustom C.

1845-6/6:          Birth of son James H.

1845-8/3:          John James mother dies on his farm.  She leaves family bibles to her grandchildren: John , Mary, Susie, Adie, and Ruth.

1847-6/14:        Birth of stillborn infant

1848-4/1:          John James purchases a 241 ac. Farm in the Town of Harmony for $3,100 from Simeon Vail, he and his 11 children move to Chautauqua County.

1851-1/14:        John sells his 123 ac. Farm in Dutchess County.

1851-2/6:          daughter Mary marries John Losee in the Village of Panama, Chautauqua Co.

1852-3/23:        John files a Judgment against Egburt Sheldon & John Penman for an unpaid $823.15 promissory note.

1852-7/5:          son Joseph graduates from Albany Normal School, Albany NY.

1854 ca.:          John suffers a debilitating leg injury.

1856 ca.:          daughter Charlotte graduates from Poughkeepsie Female Collegiate College and teaches in Poughkeepsie until about 1870 living with aunt Jane Ann Newton.

1856-11/29:      He purchases daughter Mary and John Losee’s farm to the south for $3150, they continue to farm there.  (It remains a mystery to why he purchased it and for such an exorbitant price?)

1857-6/15:        John’s wife Sarah “Sally” Ann age 50 dies at her sister Jane Ann’s home in Dutchess County.  She’s buried in Chestnut Ridge Friends Ground a cemetery abandoned before 1900.  39 others including a few of her of relatives are also buried there.

1858-9/1:          His son Joseph files papers declaring him a habitual drunkard and lunatic trying to gain control of his farm.

1858-9/15:        The Court appoints a commission of inquiry into it.

1858-9/22:        The Court rules in favor of John, throws the case out.

1859-11/29:      Alonzo Marsh files a Judgment against John for an unpaid $64.25 promissory note.

1861-4/12:        The Civil War breaks out with the attack of Fort Sumter.

1861-6:             son Joseph, his wife Julia from Ohio whom he married before 1860 and younger brother Solomon move to Austin, MN.

1861-6/27:        Henry VanVolkenburg files a Judgment against John for an unpaid $300 promissory note.

1861-10/21:      Solomon enlists in the Union Army at Ft. Snelling, MN.

1862 ca.:          John is taken in by his daughter Mary and relies on Trustom for board and living expenses.  The rest of life is spent shifting between his children’s homes.

1862-1/31:        William P. Whiteside files a Judgment against John and one VanVolkenburg for an unpaid $224.40 promissory note.

1862-1/31:        William Vorce files a Judgment against John for an unpaid $104.44 promissory note for $200 to purchase hay.

1862-8/30:        daughter Mary’s husband John Losee enlists into the Union Army in Harmony, NY

1862-11/17:      son John Newton marries 1st wife Mary A. Padden of the Town of Pomfret.

1863-4/11:        son-in-law, Pvt. John Losee age 39 dies from illness in a Field Hospital in Suffolk, VA, he’s buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1863-8/15:        John sells his farm to his son John Newton.

1863-9:             son Joseph is appointed the Superintendent of Mower County Schools, MN.

1864-4/9:          daughter Susie marries Abraham Stotenbur in Havana, NY his 2nd marriage.

1864-12/23:      John Newton trades farms with Charles Tarbox and moves with his wife Mary to the Tarbox farm in the Fredonia area; later he goes to work for the Dunkirk Allegheny Valley & Pittsburgh Railroad as a watchman.

1864-9/3:          son Trustom enlists in the 90th NY Infantry at Portland, NY.

1864-10/19:      Trustom is shot in the arm at the Battle of Cedar Creek, VA and taken to Satterlee Hospital, E. Philadelphia.

1864-5:              Nov 27 – Jan 8, Trustom is home on leave to recuperate.

1865-1/18:        daughter Lois Ann “Adie” age 25 dies, she’s buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1865-5/27:        son Trustom age 21 dies from pneumonia at his Army camp in VA, he’s buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1865-7/19:        Solomon is mustered out of the Army in Louisville, KY.

1866-10/1:        Joseph resigns from his Superintendent position; they sell their farm in Lyle Township, MN and leave for Lake Village, Chicot Co, Arkansas.

1867-11/7:        daughter Maria marries Henry Merritt Tallman in the First Methodist Church in Rochester, NY, graduates of Genesee College Rochester they both teach in Port Byron, NY.

1867 & 9:         John N. sells parts of his property near Fredonia.

1868-12/1:        Mary feels her father no longer requires her care.  John spends the rest of his years living between Ruth, Charlotte and James.

1870:                Maria and Henry Tallman move to St. Louis where Henry becomes a school principal.

1871-1875:       daughter Ruth also moves to St. Louis and both teaches and is a principal until returning to Jamestown ca. 1875.

1872-1/2:          son James marries Martha Vastbinder at the Jefferson House Hotel in Watkins Glen, NY.

1873-3/31:        granddaughter Nora A. Tallman is born, daughter of James H. & Martha Tallman.

1873-3/20:        son Solomon marries 1st wife Harriet A. Skinner in the Town of Arkwright.

1874:                grandson Leon Tallman is born back in Mayville, NY, son of Henry M. & Maria E. Tallman.

1874-11:           granddaughter Alice Ruth Tallman is born, daughter of James H. & Martha Tallman.

1876:                daughter Ruth marries James Robinson Fenner II in Jamestown, his 2nd marriage.

1876-1/8           Joseph & Julia become guardians of William Duane Dano by Joseph being appointed executor of Duane M. Dano’s estate.  As a boy he’s called “Willie Dano”.

1877:                granddaughter Eva F. Tallman is born, daughter of James H & Martha Tallman.

1877-7/20:        granddaughter Mary Ruth Fenner is born, daughter of James R. & Ruth Fenner.

1879:                John leaves his wife Mary, moves to Detroit buying hides for Lyvenus Ellis & Son Tannery back in Leona, NY.

1880-3/9:          Mary Tallman Losee marries Seeley Peck of Junius at her sister Ruth’s in Jamestown and moves to his farm there. However, short-lived, Seeley committes suicide on June 6, 1881 in the barn.  She remained in West Junius, Seneca Co., NY until 1885 the Newton family had also relocated there from Dutchess Co.

1880-7/22:        Joseph files for marriage dissolution and the divorce is granted in Lake Village.

1881:                both John’s wife and Solomon’s file for divorce.

1881-2/2:          grandson Henry William Tallman is born, son of Solomon Tallman & Laura Case.

1882:                St. Louis divorce decreed plaintiff Maria E. Tallman from Henry M.

1882-9/29:        John N. marries Emma Patten Riley in Corktown, Detroit.

1883-8:             John James age 78 dies and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1883:                granddaughter Nina Bell Tallman is born, daughter of John Newton Tallman & Emma Riley.

1883-12/24:      Solomon & Harriet Skinner’s divorce absolute granted.

1884:                that summer Solomon marries his 2nd wife Laura Case.

1884-1:             Divorce proceedings against John N. for adultery and bigamy begin in Chautauqua Co.

1884-8/11:        Willie Dano Tallman’s uncle files a petition in Lake Village court to have Joseph removed as guardian its granted.  Young Willie & Julia have been living in Sparta, Wis. for over 4 years.

1884-8/16:        John Newton & Mary Padden’s divorce absolute granted.

1885-7:             granddaughter Helen Alta Belle “Bessie” Tallman is born, daughter of Solomon & Laura Case Tallman.

1886-4/12:        Twins of James & Martha Tallman are born, one is still born.

1887-6/20:        son Joseph dies in Charleston, TX. (see note below)

1889:                John, Emma & Nina move to Alpena, MI and John becomes Alpena’s 1st Newsboy selling the Detroit Free Press.

1890-8/25:        grandson Johnie dies age 4 son of James & Martha Tallman, buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1892:                William Duane Tallman graduates from Sparta High School.

1892-6/18:        granddaughter Nora Tallman marries Alton Wells Ball who later becomes owner of the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry line.  They have 2 sons: Gerald Alton & Earl Cecil.

1895-5:             daughter Susan age 60 wife of Abraham Stotenbur dies, she’s buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1895-5/25:        granddaughter Alice Tallman marries Marshall Edgar Lewis a local dairy farmer and has 2 daughters: Bertha R. & Bernice E.

1895-12/13:      Ruth’s husband James Robinson Fenner II dies, he’s buried in Lakeview Cemetery.

1896-2/7:          Mary (Tallman) Losee/Peck is declared a lunatic and placed in an asylum.

1899-2/2:          daughter Mary age 66 dies, she’s buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1899-7/24:        Solomon, Ruth, Charlotte, James and Maria acquire the estate of sister Mary including 25 acres and monies.

1900-3/25:        grandson Leon Tallman age 30 dies at his mother’s Maria Tallman he’s buried in Greendale Cemetery, Meadville, PA.

1900-6/27:        William D. Tallman now with his BS & MS from the University of Wisconsin marries Anna Demuth in Lake Bluff, IL.

1901-1/1:          William D. Tallman a doctoral student and math instructor at the University of Wisconsin resigns and accepts the position of Chairman of the Math department at Montana State University a position he holds for 45 years.

1901-1/21:        Julia A. Tallman dies at the Agard Deaconess Sanitarium in Lake Bluff, IL from stomach cancer; she’s buried in Lake Forest Cemetery, IL.

1903:                Youngest son James H. age 58 dies, he’s buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1903-9/24:        granddaughter Helen Tallman marries Charles Zenns the Mayville Village barber.  They have 2 sons: Wilbur Tallman & Paul Donald.

1907:                granddaughter Eva Tallman marries Milton Gilbert Twichell a carpenter.  They have one daughter Mary Eva.

1909-5/11:        Solomon deeds his home to Laura & daughter Bessie Zenns with rights to live there until he dies. (This indicates he knew he didn’t have long to live).

1909-7/14:        Son Solomon age 66 dies and is buried in Mayville Cemetery.

1910-11/5:        Laura Tallman remarries to Eldred O. Freeman also a widower.

1914-6/13:        James Tallman’s wife Martha age 61 dies, she’s buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1915-10/16:      grandson Henry W. Tallman marries Maude Bell Pratt a divorcee.  They have 3 children: Alberta Ruth, Henrietta Maude & John Henry.

1916-9/23:        granddaughter Nina Bell Tallman marries William E. Dulmage head of the sheet music dept. for the Wurlitzer Co. in Detroit, MI.  They have 1 son William Tallman.

1919-6/15:        daughter Charlotte age 85 dies at her sister Ruth’s house, she’s buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1920-6/23:        daughter Maria E. age 78 dies at her sister Ruth’s house, she’s buried in Greendale Cemetery, Meadville, PA.

1928-2/19:        son John Newton age 89 dies, he’s buried in Oakview Cemetery, Royal Oak, MI.

1930-4/11:        Laura Tallman Freeman dies at her daughter Bessie’s home, she’s buried in Mayville Cemetery.

1930-8/21:        daughter Ruth age 91 dies at her home, she’s buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Jamestown, NY.

1933-4/25:        granddaughter Eva (Tallman) Twichell dies, she’s buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1934-6/17:        granddaughter Alice (Tallman) Lewis dies, she’s buried in Bemus Cemetery.

1934-7/11:        granddaughter Helen (Tallman) Zenns dies, she’s buried in Mayville Cemetery.

1946-1/8:          Maude (Pratt) Tallman dies, she’s buried in Mayville Cemetery.

1952-2/12:        Emma Tallman 2nd wife of John N. dies in Detroit, MI. age 93, she’s buried in Oakview Cemetery, Royal Oak, MI.

1959-4/21:        granddaughter Nora (Tallman) Ball dies, she’s buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

1961-8/19:        William Duane (Dano) Tallman adopted son of Joseph & Julia Tallman dies in Palmetto, FL.

1961-10/13:      granddaughter Nina Bell (Tallman) Dulmage daughter of John & Emma Tallman dies in Broward Co., FL, she’s buried in Oakview Cemetery.

1971-3/27:        granddaughter Mary Ruth (Fenner) Bordwell dies, she’s buried in Lakeview Cemetery, by her mother.

1974-2/1:          grandson William Henry dies in Jamestown, NY, he’s buried in Mayville Cemetery next to his wife.

NOTE: From the History of Albany State Normal College Graduates it’s suspected Joseph B. died about 1890 in Charleston,TX and is buried in Stouts Creek Cemetery, Saltillo, TX.

John J’s attempt to receive son Trustom’s Civil War Pension

Hon. Christ L Cox of the Department of the Interior Washington City

Dear Sir: Your circular tc of Nov 24 1868 did not reach me till a week since in consequence of being directed to John W. Tallman instead of John J. Tallman.  It lay by different offices some time.  Being sent from one office to another, till I got it at last almost by accident.  (I being so lame I was not at any PO for many weeks.)  I got it at last and took it to my attorney Mr. Hubbell of Jamestown telling him I wished to answer the interrogations and I had forgotten when the application for the pension was filed tc.  Mr. Hubbell retained the paper, saying “he would see to that.”  He gave no reason for retaining the circular and I proceed to answer such interrogations as I am able without referring to papers in Mr. Hubbell’s hands.

Name of Applicant: John J. Tallman, residence at the time of filing the application.  Harmony, Chautauqua Co, N.Y.

Name of soldier: Corporal Trustom C. Tallman of the 90th New York Regt. Co. H. under Capt Edgar Brand.

Time of filing application I can’t tell.

No. of claim 158256.  Claim still pending.

Trustom C. Tallman was wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek was admitted in the Satterlee Hospital. (I think) Oct 23rd 1864.

The Physician who saw him last (as I am told) was Dr. Henry Muller of Philadelphia.

Trustom C. Tallman was shot through the arm shattering it badly. He came home on furlough got his furlough extended and was at home in all (I think) about six weeks.  Started back January 8th 1865 his arm then being perfectly useless.  Surgeon Dr. Boyd is knowing to all the facts and I have been trying for some time to have Mr. Hubbell take or have taken the Doctor’s affidavit and I am in hopes of getting it soon.

In relation to Trustom C. Tallman being a deserter as spoken of in a letter from the department, it took us all by surprise.  If there is anything needing an explanation, I think Dr. Boyd is able to make it, as he was mainly instrumental in obtaining an extension of his furlough.

It appears that it is required that I should prove he was wounded in battle.  That would be very difficult at present, as his officers and company are so badly scattered.  Capt Edgar Brand has been written to (in the west) several times, but as yet no answer from him.  The first Lieutenant is dead.  One or two men saw him engaged in battle, another saw him after the battle wounded, but as yet I can find none that actually saw him wounded, but I have not yet seen all that were engaged, or belonged to his company.  I have written to several persons from whom I have received no answers.  Being my infirm it is difficult for me to get about to see all persons I wish to see.

Trustom was made my ward and acted in that capacity till obliged to relinquish it.

I return a former letter by request of the department.

I am very sorry to trespass upon the time and patience of the department with no lengthy statements and its importance, to me, is my only excuse.  Respectfully yours tc John J. Tallman, Bemis Point, PO, Chautauqua County, N.Y.

Note: 1) tc- means to circulate, or to answer, use is archaic.  2) infirm – use is archaic.

Supporting Documents

Dated: 20 April 1868 a five-page letter written by daughters Mary Losee and Susan A. Stotenbur.  Essentially stating that John had no real or personal property and that due to circumstances has not for the last 10 years been able to perform any labor and now for the most part confined to bed most of the time.  That he was entirely dependent upon Trustom for support and maintenance.  Daughter Mary stated John was boarded at her house two years prior to Trustom enlisting and that the cost was about $200 per year.  She further stated that John drew Trustom’s signing bonus of about $600 and another $80 sent before he died; all of which he has lived on since his death.  Subscribed before H. O. Lakin, Clerk of Court, Court of Chautauqua County, NY.

Dated: May 1, 1868 Dr. Cornelius Ormes a well know Chautauqua Co., Physician deposed “he’d known and treated John J. for the last 15 years and that he had a running sore on the inside of his left leg from a fever; that his leg is swollen, always painful and is a permanent disability.”  Leaving him useless from a work standpoint.  Subscribed before H. O. Lakin, Clerk of Court, Court of Chautauqua County, NY.

Dated: Feb 21st 1869 Grand Rapids, MI a letter from E. ‘Earl’ A. Hoag stating he was Trustom’s bunkmate and that they went into action together and were very near together during the commencement of the battle.

Dated: May 29, 1869 Dr. Edson E. Boyd a physician in Ashville deposed that he treated Trustom while on furlough and sent a letter dated Dec 15, 1864 requesting an extension of leave.  It’s apparent this never reached appropriate officials.  Subscribed before H. O. Lakin Clerk of Court, Court of Chautauqua County, NY.

Dated: July 24, 1869 Robert Donaldson & Robert Lawson stated they knew John & Sally for 30 years in a statement.

Dated: 1869 missing month/day from the State of Indiana, County of LaPorte, a letter written by Edgar E. Brand the Company commander on the date Trustom was shot.  It stated in detail of him receiving the gunshot wound in the arm and the ball breaking his arm badly with several pieces being taken out and that it was received at the Battle of Cedar Creek.  Subscribed before Jas H. Shannon, Clerk of Circuit Court of LaPorte, IN.

Dated: Aug 20, 1869 Trustom was on furlough Nov & Dec 64 from his wound, according to the military he didn’t apply for an extension and was considered a deserter.  John J. stated he was dependent upon Trustom for 10 years prior from a problem in his left leg from a fever; that Trustom contributed $200 a year for 2 years prior to his enlistment and while in the service provided $80.

The Certificate 133679 of Approval was dated 28 Aug 1869 at the rate of $8 a month commencing from 27 May 1865.

 

NYPD’s Inspector General

William Tallman Davis   1869 – 1959

 

William was the son of Mary Estelle Tallman and Theodore Whitehead Davis, and a grandson of Judge John P H Tallman.  He joined the Bronx Police Department on 15 Dec 1896, one month later January 21st, 1897, President of NYC Police Commissioners Theodore Roosevelt (1) appointed William a Patrolman.  He spent the next 20 years associated with the mounted squad.  Before ending his career, he would wear two stars for bravery and a bronze medal for heroic events.  The first of these took place on December 9th, 1902 (2) in the Bronx, when he stopped a downhill rider-less runaway lumber wagon headed for a trolley.  In doing so he was dragged a block and spent two months recuperating from his injuries.  For this, he was promoted to “Roundsman” (a supervisory officer) and transferred to the Newtown Police Station.  Officially promoted to Sergeant on 27 December 1902.  The second event occurred on April 30th, 1903, (3) he was on the corner of Covert Avenue and Ralph Street when he saw a runaway horse and wagon occupied by two children.  Managing to catch the horse by the bridle and stopping it, the little girl remained onboard but, the sudden stop caused the little boy to fall out and was badly bruised.  The rig belonged to their father Samuel France of Brooklyn.  His next promotion came December 7th, 1905, he was now a Lieutenant and transferred to the Bureau of Repairs & Supplies.  In August of 1910 (4) he was presented a bronze medal by the U.S. Life Saving Association for saving a man from drowning at Coney Island the previous August.  December of that year he was invited to visit President Taft at the White house to discuss the upcoming annual Lieutenants Association meeting.  In January 1911 he was Grand Marshall and special escort of Governor John Dix at the annual Lieutenants dinner held at the Waldorf-Astoria.

It was while at the Bureau of Repairs & Supplies he became acquainted with Lt. Richard Edward Enright.  Enright went on to become the first man appointed from the ranks to Police Commissioner serving from January 23, 1918 to January 1, 1925.  For years, William was reported in newspapers to be one of his “closest associates, right-hand man, personal friend, etc.”(5)  He was promoted to Captain in April 1919 and placed in Enright’s old position as head of the Repairs & Supplies.  On New Year’s 1920, he was transferred to command of the West 100th Street Station the first step to Inspectorship.  In October 1920, he was promoted to “Acting Inspector General” and officially “Inspector General” on April 7th, 1921.

During this period is when things became very interesting in William’s career, his responsibility now laid as Commander of the Traffic Division.  With automobiles rolling off assembly lines by the thousands, and changing the primary mode of travel it created a whole new set of problems for police to figure out how to monitor and regulate.  In a lengthy 1922 presentation he gave to the Poughkeepsie Rotarians on New York City traffic problems based on facts for the year 1921.  Some of the figures are mind boggling for the time-period.  Examples are as follows: 93,217,798 paid passengers passed through the Times Square Subway Station; 344,931 licensed automobiles were involved in 27,056 traffic accidents, with 21,309 deaths and/or injuries including 6,914 children under the age of 16.  The records also show that 231 children were injured or died while hitching rides on the backs of vehicles.  Police became active in recommending parents and schools in teaching children safety in the streets.  They kept three huge maps in headquarters with color coated pins to show concentrations and types of accidents.  The city’s traffic controls were established in February 1920 with five towers erected at the intersections of 34th, 37th, 42nd, 50th, and 57th Streets with 5th Avenue. (6)“Each tower is equipped with two sets of three lights.  A yellow is shown for 90 seconds during which time north and south bound traffic is allowed to proceed.  The yellow light is then turned off and a red light is shown for a period of five seconds.  This is to clear the. Intersection of vehicles and pedestrians.  The green light is then turned on and east and west bound traffic is allowed to proceed for a period of one minute at the end of which the red light is again shown for the purpose of clearing the intersection, followed by the yellow light which permits the north and south traffic to proceed.  All five towers are operated in unison from the tower at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue.”  In September of 1923 (7) he was sent as part of a contingent to Europe to study what the Europeans were doing to solve similar problems.  One of the things he came away with was what they were doing to alleviate parking problems on major thoroughfares.

Elected positions he held during his career were, secretary-treasurer (8) of the NYPD Lieutenants Association and President (9) of the New York Police Chiefs Association in 1923-24.  On February 18, 1923, he presided over an Anniversary dinner for the Deputy Commissioner and met child movie star Jackie Coogan (10) who gave a speech.  He married Hattie Viola Robinson in 1891 and they were the parents of two daughters, Viola Tallman Davis born 28 May 1893 and Estelle Whitehead Davis born 30 December 1894.  William retired on April 11th, 1924, he was presented with a gold watch, a chest of silver and his wife also present received a miniature clock.  Upon his retirement he accepted the position of Superintendent of the New York State Police Camp at Tannersville in the Catskills.  That fall however there was a fire at the camp in which he suffered a back injury.  The injury (11) caused him to have 3 back surgeries over the next year and after recovering he and Viola retired to St. Petersburg, Florida.

References:

1) His promotions and appointments up to Lieutenant were from an article in the The New York Sun, Saturday, April 26, 1919.

2) The New York Press, Monday Morning, March 2, 1903.

3) The Newtown Register, Thursday, April 30, 1903.

4) The New York Times, Thursday, May 11, 1911.

5) From numerous New York and Brooklyn papers he’s labeled a personal friend and confidant.

6) The Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, 1921.

7) The New York Times, Sunday, August 26, 1923.

8) The New York Evening Telegram, Wednesday, February 23, 1916.

9) From the New York Police Chiefs Organization.

10) The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday, February 18, 1923.

11) The New York Sun, Friday, October 30, 1925.

Tallman Spouses in the War of 1812

James Lovett the husband of Emeline Tallman, she was the sixth child of Isaac Tallman & Sarah Wilcox.  James, the son of Benjamin Lovett and Polly Carpenter was born 4 April 1797 in Cumberland, Providence County, Rhode Island.  The family migrated to Glenville New York ca. 1805 where his mother died in 1813 and Benjamin in 1853.  After the War James found himself in the East Penfield, Monroe County, New York area when he married Emeline.  There he remained the rest of his life and they can be found in Federal and State Censuses from 1830 through 1880.  Emeline and James had seven daughters, Agnes, Elizabeth, Eliza B., Lydia M., Isabelle, Elizabeth and Rebecca.

He was called up to serve in the New York Militia on 14 September 1814 in the Glenville NY area and served as a Private under Capt. John Brown’s Company in Lt. Col. Cadwallader David Colden’s Regiment.  The Regiment was garrisoned in New York City and remained on guard in the City.  He was discharged in New York City on 22 December 1814.  For his service, he received two land warrants one #54.871 of 40 acres that he sold and the other #59.547 of 120 acres in 1856. In addition, he received a Pension of $8 month that was approved on 14 April 1871 and commenced on November 1871.

After Emeline died in 1866 he married Lydia Baker on 22 March 1869.  Upon his death in 1888 he was buried alongside Emeline in Elmwood Cemetery, northeast of Fairport, Monroe Co, New York.

Notes: James Genealogy: Father- Benjamin b. 1772 d. 3/9/1853 buried First Reformed Dutch Churchyard, West Glenville, New York.  Married Polly Carpenter 12/5/1794 in Cumberland, Rhode Island, Polly’s father Jotham Carpenter was present.  Benjamin, remarried after Polly’s death to Laura Fonda on 9/14/1829 in Glenville.

Mother- Polly Carpenter b. ca. 1775 d. 5/31/1813 Glenville, burial unknown.

Siblings: Libbeus b. 3/13/1795, Jotham b. 4/4/1797 (possible twin brother of James), Capt. Olney Whipple b. 5/11/1800 d. 1879, Cornelia b. 9/22/1804, Jabez b. 6/9/1809

Cadwallader David Colden was appointed the 54th Mayor of New York City in 1818 by then New York Governor Dewitt Clinton.

Daniel Cornelius Haight the husband of Catherine Tallman, she was the third child of Stephen Tallman & Mary Tripp.  Daniel was born in 1793 he was the son of Cornelius Haight and Mary Southworth.  Daniel was a Lumber dealer and they lived in Rochester on the east side of the Genesee River.  Daniel and Catherine had four sons and five daughters: Edgar, Jane C., Hilen R., Cornelia, Eliza Ann., Cornelius, Anna M., Elon G. and Helen C.

He was called up to serve in the New York Militia on 10 September 1814 in the Town of Washington, Dutchess Co., NY and served as a Sergeant under Capt. Obidiah Titus’s Company in Col. Anthony Delamater’s Regiment.  The Regiment was stationed at Harlem Heights, New York City and he was discharged from there on 2 December 1814.  They lived in Dover NY until 1823 when they moved to the Town of Mentz, they lived there until 1828.  They next moved to Brighton south of Rochester before moving to Rochester in 1837.  For his service, she received two land warrants the first in April 1855 #24.652 for 40 acres, second #54.943 of 120 acres on 5 April 1878.  In addition, she received a Pension of $8 month starting in 1878.

Daniel died 14 November 1854 and was buried in Sec. B of Mt. Hope Cemetery, Rochester.  Catherine remained in their home, her son Hilen and daughter Eliza neither of whom married lived with her until her death 27 March 1881.  She was laid to rest beside her husband.

Journalist – Writer – Poet

John Talman Jr. July 30, 1851 – March 26, 1936

Born on his parent’s farm on Whitney Road, east of Fairport, New York, in Monroe County.  John received his early education in local schools, he then attended Macedon Academy in neighboring Wayne county.  Macedon was a co-ed institution founded by the Quakers offering three years’ education in math, science and languages.

Not 16 yet, in April 1867, he went to Minnesota to live with his brother Byron who was “farming it” in Cascade township, Olmsted County seven miles outside of Rochester.  He assisted in breaking virgin soil with the horse drawn plow.  He ran a McCormick reaper, which, like all its kind then in market, had no automatic rake; driving a horse team around a hundred-acre wheat field day after day and “raking off ” at the same time.  When his brother removed to Iowa in the spring of 1868 he remained and worked as a hired hand earning $18 a month.  One of the neighboring farmers a Scotsman “Mr. Graham” had a son Christopher who later became Dr. Christopher Graham an early partner in the Mayo Clinic of Rochester.  During harvest days in the fall he earned $2.50 for a Sundays toiling, plus a keg of beer.

The fall of 1870 he returned home, by now on Marshall St. Rochester, NY and worked for a short time in his father’s soap factory.  In February 1872, he found his first job in the newspaper industry, where he would remain and make his career.  This job was as telegraph editor with the Rochester “Post – Express” this followed as telegraph editor and staff member of the “Albany Argus”.  He would meet and fall in love with Rena Doney.  She moved with her family to Elgin on the northwest side of Chicago but, that didn’t stop John from marrying her there on February 18, 1874.  Their only child Sarah Irene was born in Albany February of 1875.  On, August 4, 1879, they left Rochester for St. Paul, Minnesota where he accepted a position with the Pioneer Press.  This began a “forty-seven” year stop in St. Paul as combined telegraph editor, railroad reporter and night editor before finally becoming the managing editor.  During his career, he was a staff member of the following: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester Sunday Tribune, Rochester Express, Albany Argus, St Paul Pioneer Press where he was managing editor, St Paul Globe, St Paul Dispatch, St Paul Daily News and Minneapolis Journal.

During those early years before news services grew big like the AP & UPI he was a contributing correspondent for The New York Herald, The Chicago Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cincinnati Inquirer, St. Louis Globe – Democrat, New Orleans Times – Democrat, The Toronto Mail and Winnipeg Free Press.  Contributing author to magazines like Outing, Judge and various other magazines.

Colleagues have said he was a good deal of a poet and good deal of humorist.  He often wrote his humorous stories under the pseudonyms of “Benjamin Backwater” and “Jay Tee”.  His poetic tendencies were inherited from his father, sister and grandmother all versifiers.  Poems credited to him were “Rest” and “The Young Elm” and “Minnesota in Panorama”.

His Contributions have been varied from his earliest remembrances of his father, an abolitionist using their house as part of the underground railroad.  His first encounter was in the winter of 1859 when a family was allowed to stay until transferring to another stop on their way to Canada.  In 1919 at the Albany Argus he contributed an article from the wire that came through the night of July 5, 1876; it was of the loss of Gen. Custer and his command at Little Big Horn.  “Custer’s Last Stand” was printed the next morning on the front page of the Argus while competitors had turned off their wires and missed the scoop.  April 11, 1925, he contributed an article to the Duluth Herald of his remembrance as a boy of hearing from the milkman the morning of April 15, 1865 of “Lincoln having been shot”.  At the time the family had moved from the farm to the village of Fairport.  He spoke of the scenes taking place 10 miles west in Rochester, that he’d never forget the memorial service given by the pastor of the Fairport Congregational Church.  He and his father awoke at 3 in the morning to join hundreds of others in mourning at the train station while the slow-moving death train with bells tolling and draping’s passed by.  He wrote of his brother Byron a Cavalry Captain of Company M, 22nd NY Cav. and his participation in the capture of Major Harry Gilmore a famous Confederate Baltimore Officer.  Of St. Paul, he especially remembered the winter of 1880-81 as “The Storm” with blockades of the railroads, county roads and particularly the suffering of the St Paul – Sioux City Railroad.  Of his interviews with the famous railroad builder James J. Hill of the “Great Northern Railway.”

Additionally, from 1909 to 1926 he was librarian of the Minnesota Historical Society newspaper department.  He lost his wife Rena on 11 August 1924, she was laid to rest in Roselawn Cemetery, Roselawn Minnesota.  After his retirement in 1926 he took a trip back east of unknown length and then moved to be with his daughter Irene and son-in-law Herbert Dewart in Gold Beach, Oregon.  He died there March 26, 1936 and was laid to rest in Gold Beach.

His uncle Darius and grandfather Isaac Tallman (1) brought apple seedlings from the family homestead in Dutchess County.  They were credited with propagating what became known has the “Tallman Sweet” a popular heirloom apple in the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s.

1863 At Age 12, Rochester     March 25, 1891 age 39

(1) Note: There were two distinct Talman families living in Rochester during the 1800’s.  One should not get confused between John Thurston Talman whose wife was Mary Eleanor Fitzhugh.  This family was responsible for the building downtown know as the ‘Talman building’.  It was occupied for several years by Frederick Douglass the noted African-American abolitionist, writer, orator and statesman.  Our John Jr. the son of John Talman of Perinton Township who along with his wife Sarah Elizabeth Foote moved ca. 1867-8 from Fairport to Marshall St. Rochester and started a soap factory.  This Talman’s father was Isaac Tallman who had nine children of which all the sons except two dropped an “l” from the surname, one Jabez who died young and the other Ezra P. a Baptist minister.

Gassed Hero of WWI is victim of rarefied Atmosphere

Sgt Maj Charles C Hallenbeck

Sgt. Maj. Charles Garrett Hallenbeck, 26 years old off 1150 54th Street, Bay Ridge, a veteran who had the unique experience of serving three countries England, France and America in the World War, and who was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Star for being gassed in the service of France, died on October 4, 1920 on Mount Baldy, near Ontario California while attempting to climb to the summit with two companions to watch the sun rise above the fog.

He was stricken with acute dilation of the heart, due to his weakened condition from being gassed on the battlefields of France and also to the rarefied atmosphere at the elevation of 7500 feet to which the party had climbed.  As he sank in a dying condition, Sgt Maj. Hallenbeck begged his two companions the misses Marian and Elizabeth Burnhart to leave him and seek lower altitude as he feared they too would be endangered by the rare atmosphere.  They hurried down the trail to Camp Baldy for help, but Sgt. Maj. Hallenbeck died before aid reached him.

Sgt. Maj. Hallenbeck’s body arrived yesterday afternoon at his late home in Brooklyn, where the funeral service will be held on Saturday evening at 8 o’clock, conducted by the Rev. Alexander Wouters, pastor of the Edgewood Reformed Church, and there will also be Masonic services by Joppa Lodge No. 201 F. & A. M. of which Sgt. Maj. Hallenbeck was a member.  The internment on Sunday will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

Sgt. Maj. Hallenbeck was a wireless operator in the Marconi service when the World War started in 1914 and promptly enlisted for service with the British Navy, like many other young Americans who were anxious to get to the front while the United States remained neutral.  He was assigned to the Welsh Prince a transport for cavalry horses for the British government running from the Port of New York to Brest France.  On a trip on another transport, the boat was torpedoed near Brest and young Hallenbeck sent a wireless call to Brest for help with the result that a fleet of destroyers came out and rescued the entire crew of the transport.

After arriving in Brest young Hallenbeck went with three officers of the Welsh Prince on a sight-seeing tour, and while traveling on a train from Bordeaux to Paris all were ordered off the train as a bombardment of the French lines nearby was in progress.  German shells were bursting all around and in the excitement, young Hallenbeck became separated from his companions, got lost and soon after found himself in the French trenches, from which shells were being hurled back at the Germans.  He soon after enlisted in the French army and was gassed in a battled while serving in the French trenches.  During his service in the French army he helped the Frenchmen install signal and wireless stations in various parts of the country.  Because his disability from being gassed, he received an honorable discharge from the French army and came back to Brooklyn.  The Mexican border troubles were then going on and in June 1916 he enlisted as a bugler in Co. A, 23rd Regt. and served with that regiment on the Texas border until the combination of heat and hikes with his condition from being gassed rendered him incapable of further duty and he was honorably discharged.  After returning to Brooklyn he enlisted again for service at Camp Upton as gas defense instructor with the rank of Sergeant Major.  He remained there until the Camp was closed after the signing of the armistice.  He went to Idaho last May and then to California, where he was manager of the San Diego branch of the Remington Typewriter Company.

Sgt. Maj. Hallenbeck was born in Brooklyn on Dec. 25 1894, the son of Garrett Clarence Hallenbeck II and Angie Davis Hallenbeck.  He was educated in the Brooklyn schools and had been a wireless operator for the Marconi Company for two years before entering the service of the British Navy.  His father was for several years a member of the old 3rd Battery of Brooklyn and has been with the Remington Typewriter Company for 33 years.  His grandfather, Maj. G. C. Hallenbeck was the organizer of the old 13th Regiment of Brooklyn when he started on the top floor of the old building at Fulton and Pineapple streets.  Sgt. Maj. Hallenbeck is survived by his parents, two brothers Garrett Clarence Hallenbeck III who served all through the war in the United States Navy and Frank Garrett Hallenbeck and his grandmother Mary Estelle (Tallman) Davis of Poughkeepsie.

Editors Note: his great-grandfather was the Honorable John P. H. Tallman

We All Have a Blacksheep

and this is ours…

The Notorious “Malpractitioner” Dr. Edward White Tallman

Seems our Dr. Edward had a number of run-ins with the law.  From all the old Poughkeepsie newspaper articles he had an alcohol problem which probably led to his second wife Mary leaving.  As early as Oct 1868 he was arrested for striking a woman and public drunkenness.  His medical practice misadventures hit newspapers as early as Sept 5, 1879 in the “Syracuse Daily Journal”.  The article aimed toward then Governor Lucius Robinson noted “the Doctor” was sentenced 16 March 1878 to four years in Sing-Sing prison for causing a miscarriage, the Governor commuted his sentence to two years on Nov 15, 1879 bringing public criticism.

There are a number of articles of his arrest for drunkenness in later years.  June of 1904 the Doctor was arrested for first degree murder in the case of Mrs. Clara Wylde Cooper but was reduced to first degree manslaughter .  On June 11th Mrs. Cooper summoned him to her home in Poughquag village while her husband was gone.  She died on June 21st and he was arrested June 30th from the write up it’s quite apparent he performed an abortion that went bad.  She was 39 with six children and a husband who was not home.  When arrested the good doctor was wearing a long frock coat, striped pants, Panama hat and carried a stout cane.  Upon entering the jail, he wiped his partially bald head and asked for either morphine or alcohol or his physical condition would be shattered.

In both the Poughkeepsie Journal and Poughkeepsie Journal & Eagle the doctor’s business had been long considered questionable.  At this point I’m going to make the assumption he performed several abortions during his medical career.

The only article in which the good doctor isn’t in trouble was in July 1854 he was called as a witness in the case of Lake vs. the People.  One George Lake murdered his wife Hannah Cromwell with an axe.  Edward was one of many witnesses called to testify as to the competency of the plaintiff in which the good doctor said he was quite sure that indeed George was competent during the crime.

From his reputation one has to wonder about first wife Prudence D. Champlin’s death, she died 30 days after giving birth to their daughter Prudence Serenia.  This child for the most part was raised by her grandparents and uncle Darius Benham Tallman.  His second wife Mary Agard either divorced or left him before 1865.  She and their two sons moved to Rensselaer County before finally moving to Albany about 1900.  His third wife Julia died of cancer at age 31 and presumed to be the woman listed in newspaper articles as his assistant.  A month prior to her death a lot in Rural Cemetery was purchased for both of them with help from William C. Smillie a retired local businessman and bank engraver.  He was convicted in the 1904 Cooper case, upon his release in 1906 he wound up in the Hudson River State Hospital for the insane where he died April 27, 1911.

23 March 1797 the New York State Legislature passed a law regulating doctors and surgeons.  Edward was admitted to practice on 9 Feb 1844 although its unknown if he attended a college or if he served a two year residence under a licensed physician.  From all this I’ll assume it’s why his brother the Hon. John P. H. Tallman didn’t mention him in his 1897 autobiography.

1906-dutchess-co-medical-address

A Career Naval Officer

Donald on USS Huntington

Donald “Rex” Tallman was born August 29, 1900 in Hillsdale Michigan. The son of William Henry Tallman a Captain of the Michigan 2nd Calvary during the Civil War and Cora E. Sampson. Upon the death of his father in early 1909 the duties of raising Rex and his older brother Henry was now placed on Cora. Both boys were educated in Hillsdale local schools.

Rex likely placed high regards on his father’s military history and decided on a military career upon his graduation. With recommendations, he received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. from Congressman J. M. C. Smith. He graduated from the Academy an Ensign on June 3, 1920.

Starting with his first known assignment in June 1924 he served two years aboard the destroyer “USS Dale” operating in eastern waters and the Mediterranean. From a 1941 newspaper, article Rex took a special course at Newport, to prepare for three years as Executive Officer aboard the flagship gunboat “USS Luzon” stationed on the Yangtze river, China from 1929 through 1931. His next assignment took Lt. Tallman to the White House where he served as one of three naval aides during the latter part of the Hoover and early part of the Roosevelt years. On May 20th 1933 he served as one of two aides to Eleanor Roosevelt at a White House Garden Party alternately greeting about 1500 guests. From 1937 through 1939 and now a Lieutenant Commander he served as Director of Discipline’s at the Naval Academy. Upon leaving the Academy, he has been connected with the Pacific Fleet. Rex was promoted to Commander on 1 July 1941.

On 16 Jun 1942, he married Francis Virginia Waggaman widow of a fellow Annapolis grad. Most of “43” was spent in Newport, R.I. attending the Naval War College. Next up, the “Flagship – Teton” (AGC-14) was acquired by the Navy on 18 October 1944; and commissioned the same day at Brooklyn, N.Y., commanded by Donald “Rex” Tallman now a Captain. After the initial shakedown cruise, she headed for Hawaii via the Panama Canal; arriving in Pearl Harbor 19 Jan, 1945. Teton was assigned to Amphibious Group Twelve, with Rear Admiral John L. Hall – Group Commander.

The following acknowledged paragraph is referenced from the book- “America’s Fighting Admiral’s” by William Tuohy.  “On Okinawa for the D-Day landings on April 1, 1945, Easter Sunday, preceded by five days of air and sea bombardment. Admiral Hall closed in near the beach and his flagship, conned by Captain D. R. Tallman, prepared to drop anchor. Hall noticed Kelly Turner’s flagship “Eldorado” steaming past and anchoring closer in, despite occasional enemy artillery rounds landing in the water. Hall told Captain Tallman if he let Turner’s flagship get closer to the beach than Teton, he would fire him. Tallman steamed the Teton past Eldorado before dropping the hook. The landings went off with few hitches after dawn on one of the island’s few level stretches. She remained there for 72 days controlling the landing operations on the Hagushi beaches and providing standby control of defensive and offensive air operations before joining a convoy for the Phillipines. But for the U.S. Navy, the battle of Okinawa was turning into the bloodiest chapter in its history.”

His last command was as Captain of the “USS Huntington” commissioned Saturday Feb 23 1946 in Philadelphia. A 10,000-ton single stack light cruiser, one of the most modernly equipped at the time. 611 feet in length, designed to attain a speed of 35 knots, equipped with 12 – 47 caliber and 12 – 38 caliber guns. She carried a crew of 50 officers and 850 enlisted personnel. Rear Admiral Milo F. Draemel commandant of the fourth naval command turned the ship over to him. Other distinguished guests that day, included West Virginia Senator Harley M. Kilgore, Representative Hubert S. Ellis of West Virginia and Connecticut Governor Raymond E. Baldwin.

After the Huntington returned November 14, 1947 to the Philadelphia Naval Yard for an extensive overhaul, Donald retired to Coronado, California. He lived the rest of his life in California working as a broker for both Dean Whitter and Merrill Lynch until around 1965. He passed his life on August 8 1983 and is buried in Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego.

The Bizarre Story Of Mary Tallman 1832-1899

Authors note: From real-estate transfers I had known for a number of years about Mary being married to a “Peck”, but, until Feb of 2016, who he was, remained a mystery. It also ties together the story of a quilt passed from Ruth ‘Tallman’ Fenner to her daughter Mary to my parents that had belonged to Spiddy ‘Vandermark’ as my parents had no idea who Spiddy was. Mary Peck eventually moved back and lived with Ruth until she was committed to a home as an incompetent.

First the background information needs to be provided in order to start this bizarre story. Mary Tallman married her childhood sweetheart from Dutchess County John J. Losee and settled on a farm in Chautauqua County, New York. John, was a volunteer in the Union Army, and like tens of thousands of others would lose his life in the conflict. Mary had a farm near Laona in the Town of Pomfret, her brother James worked it until his marriage to Martha Vastbinder in 1872. She then had a hired hand until she sold it to her brother in 1885.

Seeley or Sealey Peck was born in Connecticut and settled on a farm near Phelps, in Ontario County, New York, near the head of Lake Seneca. He was married to Spiddy Vandemark who died August 18, 1871; they had one daughter Mary “Libbe” E. b. 1846 she died December 8, 1878.

Story: I’m making an assumption but, either she made the connection to Seeley through her Newton relatives who also lived in Junius near Phelps, or maybe, an ad placed in a newspaper for a companion. Such practices were common in the 1800’s for widowers and lonely bachelors. In late summer or early fall of 1879 she began a correspondence that consisted of twenty-seven letters between them. Eleven of them contained enough financial arrangements to satisfy her into marrying Seeley. The wedding took place the 9th of March 1880 at the home of her sister Ruth at the corner of Spring St and 5th Street in Jamestown. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Emory Jones of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It’s known that her sister Ruth, brother-in-law James Fenner and sister Charlotte Tallman attended. They left immediately following the ceremony for Phelps. In her letters she asked for suitable compensation, because her current income consisted of a pension from the loss of her husband John in the Civil War. If she remarried she would have to forfeit the pension. Shortly after returning from the wedding they went into Phelps accompanied by her uncle William H. Newton and William Vandemark to draw up a Will by Attorney Spence in Phelps. William Vandemark was named as Administrator and William Newton was witness. The following year her Aunt, Jane Ann Newton (William’s older sister) was to marry her third husband William Anson Collamer of Waterloo, New York. Apparently the Tallman’s were made aware of it, and Mary invited them to be married at their residence in Phelps. The wedding took place on 2 June 1881, officiated by Rev. M. Wheeler of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Now the bizarre part, what happens next and of course no one except Mary and Seeley know the facts. He committed suicide by hanging himself June 6th four days after Jane’s marriage. Of course she immediately applied for her portion of the Estate, but, was also immediately sued by William Vandemark for what he stated as her abuse of Seeley causing him to commit suicide. I assume, William being the sole relative and executor wanted the Estate. The suit had continuance until May of 1883 when Judge Charles Dwight awarded in favor of Mary the plaintiff. William chose to appeal the case which eventually wound up in the New York Court of Appeals under the title Mary L. Losee vs William Vandemark. On April 14, 1885 the court upheld the award in favor of Mary. The case has since been used numerous times as a reference in similar legal circumstances.

References:

Waterloo Observer 6-22-1881 Coffin-Collamer Wedding

The Buffalo Evening News, Friday, May 25, 1883

Waterloo Observer, Wednesday, June 22, 1881

Waterloo Observer, Wednesday, March 25, 1885

Copies of the testimony and eleven letters admitted into evidence from the NY State Library & Archives in Albany.

William Henry Newton b. ca. 1818 was a farmer living near Junius, NY. He was the youngest of 11 children by David & Charlotte (Wooley) Newton and brother of Sally Ann Tallman and Jane Ann Collamer.

Rev Emory C Jones

Rev. Emory C. Jones 1833-1886 buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Jamestown

Rev Martin Wheeler

Rev. Martin Wheeler 1818-1892 buried Resthaven Cemetery, Phelps

NOTES:

The key evidence was EXHIBIT No. 2 the letter dated Oct. 7, 1879, Phelps, that is partially detailed in the Newspaper clipping above. He described his fair value worth and what he would bequeath to her. The other key pieces were the testimonies made by Charlotte Tallman and William Newton.

Collamer’s were farmers and neighbors of Newton’s near Junius. (1)

Phelps, Junius & Waterloo sit with a triangular area, all within about 10 miles of each other.

William Henry Newton died between Aug 1894 and April 1895 his wife was Julia Ann Burnett Aug.1820-15 May 1908.

Personally, the most interesting aspects of these letters are the bits of information of what’s happening in the time period. In each of hers, she always asks about her maternal relatives (both Newton & Collamer (1)) making the quote “No kindred is to me as my Mother’s.” Reference’s to seasons, apparently 1879 was a dry year, there’s mention of crops and dairying. The Nov 4th letter was election day; winter may be coming early with 2-3 inches of snow. She mentions the “6-year Panic” 1873-1879 may be coming to an end; about her own small farm and possibly renting or selling it.

(1) 3 Newton girls and 1 Newton boy married into Collamer’s and Tallman’s: Anor, Jane Ann, Sarah Ann and Abraham.

Recently Found

A paper inside the cover of Nora (Tallman) Balls Bible with the dates of births of the children of John James Tallman & Sarah Ann (Newton) Tallman.  First and probably the only documentation confirming all of them including what appears to be their last child being still born 1 February 1844 with no given name.

Tallman Bible 03Tallman Bible 02

J = Joseph Feb 1st 1831; M= Mary March 19th 1832; C= Charlotte Nov 18th 1833; S= Susan May 20 1835; A= Addie July 5 1837; J= John Aug 3 1838; R= Ruth Jun 7 1840; S= Solomon March 26th 1841; M= Maria Jun 3rd 1842; T= Trustum Feb 1st 1844; J= James June 6th 1845; infant = Jun 14th 1847