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 in 1873 when he was arrested for an abortion.  In 1878 he was arrested in Des Moines, Iowa and taken back to Poughkeepsie to stand trial for causing a miscarriage.  He was sentenced March 16th to four years in Sing-Sing prison.  In the “Syracuse Daily Journal Sept 5, 1879 an article was aimed at Governor Lucius Robinson for commuting his sentence to two years commencing Nov 15, 1879.  The Governor was criticized repeatedly for lenient and inconsistent pardons.

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 is 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.


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 Marriage of Mary Tallman Losee

Mary Losee – Seeley Peck Wedding

Story: Her connection to Seeley was perhaps through an ad for a companion or from her Newton relatives who lived in Junius near Phelps.  Such practices were common in the 1800’s for widowers and lonely bachelors.  Late summer or early fall of 1879, she’d begun correspondence that consisted of twenty-seven letters between them.  In her letters she asked for suitable compensation because her sole income consisted of a pension from loss of her husband John in the Civil War.  If she remarried she would be subject to forfeit the pension.  Of the letters eleven contained enough financial arrangements to satisfy her into marrying Seeley.  The wedding took place on 9 March 1880 at the home of her sister Ruth Fenner on E 6th Street in Jamestown.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. Emory Jones of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  It’s known that her sister Ruth, her husband James and another sister Charlotte Tallman attended.  They left immediately following the ceremony for his farm near Phelps.  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 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.  She of course 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.  A newspaper article at the time stated a note was left saying “he had too much trouble as an old man and had better die”.  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.

Authors notes: 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 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.

Seely/Seeley 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 17 Mar 1842 to Experience “Spiddy” Vandemark daughter of William Vandemark of Phelps who died August 18, 1871; they had one daughter Mary “Libbe” E. (named after his sister) b. 1846 she died December 8, 1878.


The Buffalo Evening News, Friday, May 25, 1883, – The Ovid Independent, Monday, June 6, 1881, – 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 1833-1886 buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Jamestown

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


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



He Touched the Lives of Many

In Memoriam:

Ward Erwin Bullock, II, MD

Dr Ward E Bullock

He was a grandson of Eva F. Tallman, Dr. Ward E. Bullock, Jr. emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine passed away on April 17, 2007 at the age of 75.

He received his M.S. in microbiology and M.D. degrees from Temple University School of Medicine. Ward completed his residency and fellowship in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota and a fellowship in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Yale University Medical Center. In subsequent years, he served as visiting professor of experimental pathology for one year each at Yale and Rockefeller University.

He first came to prominence in the 1960s for his studies of leprosy performed at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit in Taiwan. He published several seminal articles on the host response to leprosy. A groundbreaking article in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed the impairments of cellular immunity associated with leprosy. This paper and others reawakened international interest in leprosy research. His steady output of insightful publications on the immunopathogenesis of histoplasmosis had a major national impact on stimulating interest in medical mycology. Ward became one of a handful of clinicians in the United States who appreciated the complexities of this disease and who could care for infected individuals.

During his 45-year career, he has worked in nearly every academic capacity, including serving on the faculties at UC; the universities of Rochester and Kentucky, and as dean of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. At UC, Bullock has served as director of the infectious diseases division and Arthur Russell Morgan Professor of Medicine (1980–94); associate chair for research (1988–89, 1993–94); senior associate dean of the College of Medicine (1989–91) and adjunct professor of molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology (1980–94). He was director of one of two national centers of excellence in the study of fungal diseases and was the first to bring fluorescence-activated cell-sorting technology to the UC College of Medicine.

Ward returned to UC in 2001 after spending seven years at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. “I have a deep love for UC that dates back to when my father was a professor of mechanical engineering here,” Bullock said in the release. “I’ve had many opportunities in my professional career, but feel I owe UC a great deal for providing me with stimulus and inspiration for the work I was able to accomplish.”

In early 2007, Dr. Bullock gave the university a $1 million endowment to develop an endowed chair in the division. Being passionate about improving scholarship’s in his field The Ward E. Bullock Endowed Chair in Infectious Diseases was created.

Ward Bullock touched the lives of many people, he will be sorely missed.

Wow… she was a Biochemist

Ellen Louise Talman

In Memory of

Ellen L. Talman

January 4, 1920 – September 9, 2015

Dr. Ellen L. Talman died at home of natural causes on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at the age of 95. Ellen was born on January 4, 1920 in Baker, Oregon. Her parents, originally from Iowa and Nebraska, moved with Ellen and her sister to Baker City, OR, and then Kelso, WA, before settling in Portland. For over 60 years she lived in the family home in southeast Portland’s Clinton Neighborhood until she moved to Hillsboro to be closer to her family.

Ellen was a woman ahead of her time. She excelled in a profession few women at the time would consider an option. Ellen attended Reed College while living at home, receiving her B.A. degree in Chemistry from Reed in 1942. She delayed her education to serve with the U.S. Marine Corp during WWII from 1943 to 1945, serving as a Marine Reserve Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of a materials testing laboratory at the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point North Carolina. After the war Ellen attended the University of Oregon Medical School (OHSU), completing her M.S. degree in 1949 and PhD degree in 1951.

Ellen’s bright mind allowed her to excel in the field of biochemistry. From 1951 to 1955 Ellen worked in the Departments of Bacteriology, Ophthalmology and Biochemistry at OHSU, serving as an Instructor and Assistant Professor from 1955-1967. From 1961 to 1966 Ellen also served as an Assistant Scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center and from 1967 to 1970 as a Research Associate, Biochemist, for the OHSU Department of Surgery until her retirement in 1970.

She was an Emeritus Member of the American Chemical Society, having first joined in 1942, keeping her membership current the remainder of her life.

Ellen had two sides: The Dr. Talman who made a name for herself in a field better known to men at the time; a loving daughter to her parents; and a second mother to her nephew and his family. After retirement, she spent several years caring for her elderly parents, and was always there to help family when needed.

She had her own vegetable and berry garden, canned and made her own bread, always having a cupboard full of canned fruits as well as a freezer full of her famous home grown raspberries (now transplanted to family gardens). Her family will always treasure her pancake, bacon, egg and raspberry breakfasts in the yellow breakfast nook of her kitchen. She loved to crochet tablecloths, doilies, and blankets as she passed her time watching television. Football (Ducks and 49er’s), and Lawrence Welk, Wall Street Week and Washington Week in Review on OPB, were among her favorite programs. She had many interests, particularly the early history of the United States, and continued to learn and keep current in the areas of science and current affairs. Politically conservative, she was a longtime supporter of The Heritage Foundation, as well as Republicans for Choice. All who knew Ellen respected and loved her for her strong will and independence, as well as her brilliant mind and heart of gold. She will be missed.

Ellen was preceded in death by her parents Clarence and Zoe Talman, her brother Dale and sister Virginia Talman Brooks.


The Distinguished Mathematician

William Duane (Dano) Tallman

February 12, 1875 – August 19, 1961

William D Tallman photo A

William Duane Dano was born February 12, 1875 in Sterling, Arkansas. His father Duane Dano, who was merchant in Lake Village died three months before William was born. His mother Jennie (Whittemore) died in April of 1875 he was then taken in by my Great Uncle Joseph B. and Julia A. Tallman. Joseph was the County Surveyor and Julia was involved with local education. They officially adopted him January 8, 1876, however, they began having marital problems and Julia took William and moved to Sparta, Wisconsin in 1880. Their divorce was official July 24, 1880. In Wisconsin, Julia was hired in November 1886 as the first matron in in the new public “Cottage” school for neglected and dependent children in Sparta. Julia would go on to raise Duane as her own until her death on Monday, January 21, 1901.

After graduating from Sparta High School in 1892 he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin. He graduated with honors with his B.S. in mathematics and physics in 1896. While there he was a member of the honor fraternity, Pi Kappa Beta. He taught during 1896-1897 at the High School in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1897-1898 he was a fellow at the University. He then taught math in 1898-1899 at the High School in Eau Claire. Next, he returned to the University as an Assistant Instructor of Mathematics while pursuing his doctorate. During this time he completed his thesis entitled “Singularities of the Quintic Curve.” A fellow classmate was Charles Max Mason, distinguished mathematician and physicist, who became President of the University of Chicago in 1925.

As he neared the completion of his degree, he married Anna DeMuth on June 22, 1900. With a new wife to support he was offered and felt he could safely take the headship at Montana State College while still completing his degree. He was hired at Montana State on January 1, 1901 becoming the first full professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematics. Tallman and his wife had three children; Mildred, Hazel, and Duane. Mildred attended MSC for three years but did not graduate, Hazel and Duane both graduated. Mildred married C. J. Altmaier and had six children. Hazel earned a doctorate in Romance Languages from the Sorbonne in Paris and married Rodger Guillaumant, a Frenchman and an art metal worker. They returned to the United States and she later became a professor of Romance Languages at Valparaiso Indiana. Duane worked with Rodger in the art metal business.

Anna died of cancer shortly after the birth of Duane. He then married her sister Maude S. DeMuth and they had one son, William, Jr. also an MSC alumnus. William Jr. later taught mathematics and music in Florida. Maude (DeMuth) Tallman received a B.S. in Mathematics – Physics from Montana State in 1907. While at Montana State she was a member of the Hamiltonian Literary Society.

After leaving Montana State in 1945 he moved to Corvallis, Oregon where he was Acting Professor of Mathematics from 1946 to 1948. Retiring, he and Maude moved to Carrabelle, Florida and later had a radical operation for lip cancer from his ever-present cigar. He died on August 19, 1961, she died December 8, 1963 in Palmetto, Florida. They are buried in Mansion Memorial Park and Funeral Home, Manatee County, Florida.

(From the document Mathematics since February 1893 a historical file at Montana State University)

When he arrived on January 1, 1901 he rode up to the college on a street car in a howling blizzard to look the place over. For the next 45 years he literally wove his life into that of the college. Due to the heavy workload here he never returned to finish his doctorate.

Professor Tallman’s first courses at Montana State were Preparatory Geometry with 15 students; Freshman Mathematics with 25 students; and Calculus with 12 students. His first class in Differential Equations had 12 students. At the time of Tallman’s appointment no degree was offered in mathematics. Tallman at once organized many more courses in mathematics. Listed in the 1902-1903 catalog was the Collegiate Department with degrees in Agriculture, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science degree in several General Science groups, including Botany, Chemistry, Domestic Science, English, History, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Physics, and Zoology. Tallman taught five courses in Algebra, Trigonometry and Logarithms, Analytic Geometry, Calculus, and The Method of Least Squares, and in alternate years, seven other courses in Differential Equations, Partial Differential Equations of Math. Physics, Newtonian Potential, Modern Algebra, and Advanced Analytical Geometry, Projective Geometry, and Theory of Functions. He was fond of recalling having taught as high as 26 hours per week.

He was also interested in athletics. His undergraduate specialty was track. At MAC he was frequently called in to judge track meets. An indication that athletics already played a role at MAC occurred in October 1902, when representatives from nine northwestern colleges met in Spokane, Washington to form the Northwest Intercollegiate Association, an athletics organization. Not surprisingly, Tallman was the representative from the Montana Agricultural College. He also organized the first all-state Basketball Meet. For many years he sponsored the Beta Epsilon fraternity and he was a charter member of Pi Kappa Pi. Tallman was a superb classroom teacher and a sympathetic advisor. A small group of scholarly men such as William D. Tallman, W. F. Brewer, William M. Cobleigh, Deane B. Swingle, and Robert A. Cooley must be credited with standing for (1) a more liberal program, (2) causing the school to base its offerings in Agriculture and Engineering more directly on science and mathematics, and (3) gradual elimination of the school’s trade school features. Tallman’s fond dream was a department with students and faculty capable of developing a graduate program. He was known as a two-fisted fighter and able debater in the faculty meetings. He more than once blasted unsound programs. His staff remembered him as generously sparing them whenever possible. He never assigned a task he would not perform himself. Late in his career at MSC he started a combined testing program complete with the necessary statistical study showing its validity. This was used for the next thirty years. He also authored a two volume book for the first two years of Engineering Mathematics. It was used for several years but was never formally published. His students remembered him as an artist in the classroom. His out of-class help was cheerfully given. His fondness for tobacco frequently caused his students to give him a box of cigars. He headed the Department of Mathematics until July 1945 when he retired. He was then named Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, the first from this department. Amazingly, he had been at Montana State for 45 years and had seen the presidency pass from Reverend James R. Reid, who was president when he was hired, to James M. Hamilton, named the third president in 1904, to Alfred A. Atkinson named the fourth president in 1919, to A.L. Strand named the fifth president in 1937, to Roland R. Renne, named the sixth president in 1943.

From the day he arrived in Bozeman, William Tallman strove to strengthen and broaden the Department of Mathematics’ curriculum. He recognized the importance of mathematics to the entire scientific enterprise at MAC. With the Bachelor of Science degree in several General Science groups, including Mathematics, being listed in the 1902-1903 catalog, Edna Lewis was granted the first Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in June 1903. Lowell R. King was granted the same degree in June 1904 as well as Clyde C. Penwell in 1906. Tallman’s efforts meshed well with the vision of James M. Hamilton, the third president appointed in 1904. Hamilton’s immediate plans were to transform MAC into a high grade technical college. This movement away from a training school to a college with its offerings in Agriculture and Engineering based directly on science and mathematics was a cornerstone of Hamilton’s vision and happened to fit precisely with Tallman’s ideas that he had begun instituting the day he arrived. Unfortunately, Hamilton’s “Education for Efficiency” also led to significant change that negatively affected the Department of Mathematics. Hamilton’s primary purpose was to avoid duplication between “the University and the College of Agriculture,” the University being the state university in Missoula and the College of Agriculture being in Bozeman. Thus in 1906 the separate degree courses in History and English were combined into one. Likewise, the separate degree courses in Mathematics and Physics were combined into one. In addition, the Agriculture program was eliminated and replaced with majors in Agronomy, Animal Industry, Horticulture, and Dairy. Also, the Division of Science was created. In the 1906-1907 catalog, the Bachelor of Science degree included different General Science groups, including Biology, Chemistry, Domestic Science, History-Literature, and Mathematics-Physics. These five General Science groups were first identified as belonging to the Division of Science in that same catalog. By now, Tallman taught six courses in Algebra, Plane Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, Calculus, Method of Least Squares, and Theoretical Astronomy, and in alternate years, six other courses in Differential Equations, Partial Differential Equations of Math. Physics, Newtonian Potential, Algebra (advanced), Analytical Geometry (advanced), and Mathematico-Physical Seminary. A thesis was also required for the Mathematics-Physics degree, either in mathematics or physics. William M. Cobleigh appears to have taught all the other physics courses including seven courses in General Descriptive Physics, General Physics, Physical Measurements, Electricity and Magnetism, Electrical Measurements, Light and Sound, and Advanced Physics. In 1907 Annie T. Breneman, Frieda Mildred Bull, Maude S. DeMuth, Agnes Mountjoy, and Mabel Thorpe each earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics-Physics. In 1909 Frieda Bull earned a Master of Science degree in Mathematics-Physics. Of these early students, Annie T. Breneman, Frieda Mildred Bull, Maude S. DeMuth, Agnes Mountjoy, Mabel Thorpe, Amy Cooke, and June Hartman were all members of the Hamiltonian Literary Society.






Ship Designer, Author & Model Builder

Charles Gerard Davis

July 22, 1870 – January 22, 1959

Charles G Davis

Charles was one of America’s leading model ship builders; his models are readily found in museums. In the first half of the twentieth century he was an acclaimed naval architect and boating author.

Charles was the son of Mary Estelle (Tallman) and Theodore Whitehead Davis and the grandson of John Peck Higgins Tallman. Five foot eight, blue eyed Charles Gerard married Minnie Webber in 1896 she was born in 1877. Their children were Camilla born in 1897, Theodore W. in 1899, Carrie Belle in 1900 (died young) and William Tallman born in 1902. He began his love of boats and sailing at an early age. As a child growing up in Poughkeepsie he would sit on the town dock jutting into the Hudson River watching ships and listening to the boatman tales. While still a youngster his father a Civil Engineer and ex-naval officer moved the family to Brooklyn. There he took to yachting with his father and brother, while in his spare time he would rove Brooklyn’s docks watching the larger ships loading and unloading their cargo. He and his older brother, William, built their own boat in 1884, cruising the Hudson and Western Long Island Sound before purchasing, refitting and racing an old sandbagger.

In 1889 he went to work in New York as a draftsman for William Gardner, the Clydeside Scots steam yacht designer. He also filled in on a job at T.R. Webber’s boat shop where he began to do some independent designing. His eyesight became affected in 1892, his doctor recommended he find a job with less eye strain. In August ‘92’ he signed on in NYC as an AB (able seaman) at $18 a month on the Bark “JAMES A. WRIGHT” out of Boston for a trip around Cape Horn to Chile. In 2004 a book “Around Cape Horn” was written by Neal Parker from the manuscript that Charles had written upon his return. After the “Horn Adventure” he then spent another year in Gardner’s office, before again going to sea in the “J. PERCY BERTRAM” in the West Indies trade. Upon his return from this trip, he began to design racing boats for Webber and later for Larry Huntington in New Rochelle, N.Y.

In 1898 he went to work for Thomas Day founder of “The Rudder” the leading yachting magazine of its day and was its design editor for several years. At the outbreak of World War I he joined the Elco Boat builder company, managing their plans at Halifax, Nova Scotia and in Montreal where wooden submarine chasers were being assembled for England. In 1917 he became general manager of the Trailer Ship Building Corporation at Cornwells, Pa. supervising the building of wooden steam, and after the War he became associated with the United States Maritime Service. From 1925 to 1927 he was in retirement in St. Petersburg, Florida, but returned to Port Washington to work as a draftsman under A. Couch for Toms & King, Inc.

In 1935 Davis again retired. He moved to Cazenovia, N.Y. and began building ship models, many of which are on display in the Stillman Building at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. In 1940 he was called out of retirement by the Navy to become head hull inspector for wooden PT boats and minesweepers at the Nevins, Jacobs & United Shipyards at City Island, N.Y. He retired for a third time at the end of World War II.

In 1899 he skippered the “Genesee” built for the Rochester Club but, actually represented the Chicago Club winning race 2, 3 & 4 to win the “Canada’s Cup.” The race was sailed at Toronto; the Canada’s Cup Races have been held since 1896 on the Great Lakes between The Royal Canadian Yacht Club of Toronto and an American Club. The yachts were 35-foot class with crews of six, and not to exceed 1050 pounds. The Championship was determined by the best of five races. The Canada’s Cup, which stands for supremacy of match racing on the Great Lakes, still continues in the 21st Century.

He was a charter member of the Cruising Club. He was also an enthusiastic and skillful racer of small boats, and often enlisted his sons, Theodore and William Tallman, to crew for him. As an author, he wrote many technical articles for Yachting, The Rudder, Motor Boat and other magazines. Besides the novel “Around Cape Horn” developed from his manuscript, he wrote several books on sailing ships and ship models. He died in Manor Haven on January 22, 1959 in Port Washington, Nassau Co., NY at age 80. He’s buried in Beechwoods Cemetery, New Rochelle, NY along with his wife Mimmi.


And now a LADY


September 6, 1874 – October 16, 1950

Lillian Durham

Miss Durham was a singer and comedic actress of early burlesque and vaudeville. She was married three times, known as “Nell” to family and friends and as Lillian Durham on stage. “Nell” was the youngest of four children and the only daughter of Silas and Prudence Serenia (Tallman) Durham. She was born September 6, 1874 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, her mother Prudence was my 3rd cousin 2X removed. Just three when her father died in 1877, she and her brothers were raised by their mother who didn’t remarry again until 1892. Lillian was a talented vocalist from an early age, by her ability to sing clearly and with no apparent effort she could reach “G” above high “C.” While still just a teenager she dreamt of a career in vaudeville as an operatic soprano and actress. At just 16 in 1890, she met vaudevillian comedic actor Frederick “Fred” James Green and they married. Together they started their own production company the “Lillian Durham Co.”, one of their productions from 1895 was “Jeremiah”. A son, Fred Jr., was born 7 May 1897 while performing in Nashville; their marriage however would end with divorce in 1905.

Her reputation suffered a blow in April 1909, when she was arrested in Philadelphia for allegedly threatening attempts of blackmailing wealthy oilman William Annear. Mrs. Lillian Green, better known as Miss Lillian Durham, an actress, was held under $2,000 bail by Magistrate Harris. Mr. Annear was also held under $1,000 bail by Magistrate Boyle. In her defense, Mrs. Green appeared in answer to proceedings brought by Annear, after she had sued him for $50,000 damages for assault and battery and breach of promise of marriage.

Having taken up residence in Philadelphia, with her career suffering a downturn, she met June Stone, they would marry in January 1910 in Clark County, Indiana. They took up residence in Louisville, KY where June was the Traveling Passenger Agent for the Louisville-Nashville Railroad. June was the son of Henry Lane Stone, a member of the Kentucky State Legislature; General Council for the Louisville-Nashville Railroad; and author of “Morgan’s Men” – A Narrative of Personal Experience’s. By 1912 they moved to Los Angeles with June starting a law practice and they were writing one-act plays. He became ill September of 1913 and returned to Louisville where he died the 22nd of Bright’s disease (kidney failure).

She would finally marry George Knight in California, at the time of her passing she lived at the Springer Hotel on Taylor St., San Francisco. She was interred in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, San Mateo County, CA. She leaves her only son Fred J. Green, of the United Press International and four grandsons.

The following is a glimpse into “Nell’s” career path. Her early days were spent in trying to make a success of her own Company she’d started with Fred Green. However, by 1896 and beyond she would take work with several vaudeville companies of the day. First with Ferguson & Emerick in 1896; the Holden Comedy Co in 1899; The Murray & Mack Company; Webber & Fields from 1901-1904 in “Hoity Toity” as an understudy of Lillian Russel. It played at the Weber & Fields Music Hall, NYC. Weber & Fields are credited with the first burlesque theater in 1896. Briefly she was with the Charles Horwitz Co. at the Harlem Opera House and the Peters & Green Co.

She appeared with such other noted vaudevillians as W. C. Fields, Lillian Russel, Eddie Cantor, Fay Templeton, Max Bloom, Clara Howard, Harry West, and Sam Howe. Her most noted shows were the long runs of “Hoity Toity”, “The Sunny Side of Broadway” that started in 1908 again with Murray & Mack and the McSorley Twins. I believe her last Broadway appearance was but, as one of a couple of dozen Ziegfeld Glorified Girls in “Whoopee” starring Eddie Cantor with Buddy Epson in a small role. “Whoopee” based on “The Nervous Wreck” by Owen Davis ran from December 4, 1928 through November 23, 1929 (407 performances). For the first time Lillian was billed as Lillian Knight.

Lillian from The Rock Island Argus 11-27-1909

Springer Hotel built 1924 for George Springer


Ferry Wayside MarkerThe ferry’s located at the “Narrows”, a crossing of 968 feet between Bemus Point, New York on the eastern side of Chautauqua Lake to Stow on the western side. Started in 1811 by Thomas Bemus an early pioneer of the County whose father had property on both sides of the Lake. It was the only way to cross the lake until the fall of 1982 when the bridge on I-86 opened to traffic.

When large steamers started operating on the lake in the 1860’s it created numerous problems for the ferry. A steel cable was installed in 1887, replacing ropes, thus being harder to break but expensive to repair. Ferry & Steamer from 30's or 40'sIn 1901 the Lakes Navigation Commission issued a requirement that steamboats sound their whistle as they approached the narrows. This gave the Ferry time to reach the shore, and allowed the drive cable to sink to the bottom and the boat passed through without incident. The last steamboat the “City of Jamestown” ceased operation at the end of 1958. In 1960 the State of New York took over control of all inland lakes.

There were numerous operators until May 3rd, 1886 when Albertus Rappoe’s Charter expired.  William Wallace Ball, Jothan Bemus & W. H. Urmson obtained a new Charter and took over the operation.  In 1887 a man named “Mep” Mason built a new ferry which operated by a steel cable, pulleys and hand crank.  When William died in 1898 the operation became a Company enterprise with Alton Wells Ball as President. Alton W Ball & Nora A Tallman (2)Alton married my first cousin twice removed, Nora A. Tallman on 18 June 1892 in the Ashville Methodist-Episcopalian Church by Rev. J. P. Burrows. Alton and Nora both came from early pioneer families to the County. Nora once was interviewed by Floyd L. Darrow for his book on the History of North Harmony about the Tallman’s. She was 10 when her Grandfather John James died in 1883 and retold the story he passed on to her of the family move in 1848 from Chestnut Ridge in Dutchess County to their new farm in what was then the Town of Harmony. John “traveled with his children by wagon pulled by oxen, camping along the way.” His wife Sally stayed with her family until John was settled on the new farm.

Manual operation of the ferry ended in May of 1902, when, Alton and his brother Ralph installed a naphtha fired steam engine. Then in 1908 it was again changed this time to a single cylinder gas engine. Alton W BallAlton was also known as a boat builder and may have been involved with building some of the steamships. The winter of 1915 he built a new ferry that began service April 1st, 1916 with a capacity to carry 6 automobiles and now using a four cylinder engine. The family business was incorporated in 1921 as the “Bemus Point to Stow Ferry.” 1924 saw another growth of the business with two ferries operating simultaneously from both sides of the Lake passing in the middle. Alton bought out the business in 1925 becoming the sole owner and built what would become the last ferry in 1928. Alton and Nora had two sons Gerald Alton in 1898 and Earl Cecil in 1901. Both, as youths helped out with the operation. Gerald entered the Army Tank Corps in October 1918 and was discharged December 1st from Camp Dix (1). Gerald went to work for Curtiss Aeroplane in Buffalo before entering the service and again upon discharge. When Curtiss closed he moved to Detroit there he married Adeline Stella Barnes in 1922. Prior to 1930 however, he returned home and re-entered the family Ferry business. Earl became an accomplished mechanic, in 1926 he married his cousin Gladys Ball and permanently moved to Los Angeles (2). On an average day, 80 trips would be made and 350 motor vehicles would be transported, at a fare of 30 cents for an automobile and 10 cents for each passenger.

With Alton’s sudden death at the start of the “42” season Gerald took over and promised to run it for at least that season. In 1943 the ferry was sunk at Stow, Gerald said he didn’t know what happened, but most people thought he sunk it so he could leave and go to Erie, Pa., for a good-paying wartime job, which he did. Nora would begin a routine of spending winters with Earl in Los Angeles and return to Stow in the spring. Alton and Nora are buried in Magnolia Cemetery, North Harmony, New York alongside several of their Ball and Tallman ancestors.

With the end of the of the 1942 season the Ball family would leave a lasting Chautauqua Lake legacy of being its longest operators. 1944 the County acquired and operated it until the I-86 Bridge opened. Today, it’s operated seasonally by a non-profit organization running as a tourist attraction. It remains as one of the last cable drawn Ferry’s in America.


(1) World War I had ended, Gerald was discharged on demobilization of US Troops.

(2) Alton had two brothers (Frank & Ralph) living in the Los Angeles area and another in Oregon which may have been part of Earl’s lure there. After Alton’s death Nora would spend many winters with Earl and his family in Los Angeles and summers at Stow until her passing in 1959.


“A Ferry Tale” by Art Thomas published 2011 by the Town of North Harmony.

Sea Lion Project Limited, the current operators of the Ferry.