Thursday, March 24, 2011

Frank Griffin, The "Fire Fly"

I posted yesterday about Martin S. Spink, who I labeled as a "Painter" because of the colorful language cited in the Batavia Daily News. This time, I found an article relating to Frank Griffin of Brockport where the Rochester D & C as well as the Batavia Daily News call him a "Fire Bug."

Rochester D & C October 14, 1892

Batavia Daily News October 14, 1892

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Arrest and Confession

-Of the Fire Bugs Who Have Been Devastating Brockport-
Special dispatch to the Democrat and Chronicle

Brockport, N.Y., Oct. 13. - The fire bugs who have been successfully working in Brockport for the last eighteen months are at last captured. The credit for their capture belongs to William H. Pollock, one of Brockport's constables. The guily parties are Harry Almy, Clarence Stout, Frank Griffin, George Gates, Henry Lotze of Brockport, and Frank Russ, of Spencerport. They are all in custody except Henry Lotz who is still at large. For a long time the above named parties have been suspected as the fire bugs but no evidence sufficient to convict them could be obtained until last Thursday, when Officer Pollock arrested Frank Griffin on a charge of stealing chickens, ducks, etc., from Mrs. Ellen Shaw in Clarkson. On the way back to Brockport the officer succeeded in getting him to make a partial confession concerning the Brockport fires and the parties who set them. Wednesday he made a still further confession and to-day he made a clean breast of the whole affair before the trustees of the village of Brockport and Justice Dean. On the night of the 2d of June, 1892, there were two fires, the Learned barn and the Union agricultural buildings. Griffin met Harry Almy on the railroad track just after the second fire and Almy told him that he set them both, and that he tried to break the lock to Learned's barn door to get out the horse after he started the fire but could not do it. Then he ran up to the Union agricultural buildings on the fair grounds and set them on fire. He then made the remark that he would like to set another fire, but it was too near daylight. The night the Brown barn on South street burned Frank Russ came up from Spencerport and he and Henry Lots and Griffin set the barn on fire; Griffin poured the oil in the barn window and Lots touched it off, while Russ stayed across the road to watch. The McLaughlin coal sheds were set by George Gates and after he and Griffin had watched it blaze a few minutes they gave the alarm. On August 20th Clarence Stout, Harry Almy and Frank Griffin started out to set a house on fire but were frightened away and then they went up and set the Gardner barns; Almy turned on the oil and set the fire while Stout and Griffin watched. This was a very large fire, causing a loss of about $10,000. The last incendiary fire in Brockport occured the night of October 6th, and was the Caswell house on Fair street which Almy set.

George Gates was arrested yesterday in Churchville by Officer Guenther. He made a confession to Guenther on the way to Brockport but when brought before the justice refused to repeat it until he was told of the confession of Griffin and then he made a confession substantially the same as Griffin's. Russ, Lotz, Griffin and Stout are all married men and Griffin and Stout each have one child and Russ and Lotz each two children. Almy and Gates are both unmattied. They are all held to await the action of the grand jury and will of course be indicted for arson. The crime of arson is a very serious one and no doubt they will all serve long sentences in arson's prison. The national board of fire underwriters some time ago offered a reward of $500 for the arrest and conviction of the Brockport fire bugs. This reward will now be claimed by William H. Pollock. Although Officer Guenther was not fortunate enough to ensure the first confession, yet he is entitled to a great deal of credit for the efficient manne in which he watched the suspects, no doubt thereby preventing many fires which otherwise would have occured, and also for the assistance which he rendered in securing the confession of George Gates.

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Fire Bugs Captured

-Incendiaries in Brockport Run Down at Last - Six in the Gang-

Brockport, Oct. 14. - Excitement was caused here last night by the report being circulated that the gang of fire bugs who had successfully carried on their fiendish work in this village for the past year had been captured. The report is true and many families who have received anonymous letter which threatened their property will rest easier now, knowing that all but one of the outlaws are in the Monroe county jail. The firebugs were captured yesterday and the credit belongs to William H. Pollock, one of Brockport's constables, Frank Griffin, who for a long time has been suspected, made a confession which implicated Harry Almy, Clarence Stout, George Gates and Henry Lotz of Brockport and Frank Russ of Spencerport. They are all in custody except Henry Lotz. These parties have for a long time been suspected but no evidence sufficient to warrant arrest could be obtained against them until Tuesday when Officer Pollock arrested Frank Griffin in Rochester on a charge of stealing chickens from a lady in Clarkson. On the way from Rochester to Brockport Griffin made a partial confession to the officer and Wednesday made a still further confession. Yesterday he made a clean breast of the whole affair before the trustees of the village of Brockport and Justice Dean.

Russ, Lotz, Griffin and Stout are all married men with families. Almy and Gates are both unmarried.

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Lineage

1. Frank Griffin
b: 1868 in Brockport, Monroe, New York
d: January 22, 1900 in Brockport, Monroe, New York
m: Clara Hewitt on July 25, 1891 in Brockport, Monroe, New York

Arthur Henry Griffin b: October 1891 is the child mentioned in the article (approx. 1 year when his father was arrested)

daughter:
2. Marjorie Elizabeth Griffin
b: July 16, 1896 in Brockport, Monroe, New York
d: September 11, 1975 in Waterport, Orleans, New York
m: Winfield Scott Spink
adopted by: George Cox and Lydia Browning of North Bergen, New York

daughter:
3. Shirley Mae Spink
b: March 16, 1934 in Sweden, Monroe, New York
d: March 16, 2011 in Medina, Orleans, New York
m: Ray Howard Traub

daughter:
4. Laurie Traub
m: Robert Ballard

son:
5. Matthew Ballard


The above picture shows the vicinity in which the bulk of the fires were set. The blue arrow points to the residence of Frank Griffin, which was located at the five street intersection on Main Street in the Village of Brockport.


The above image shows the exact location of Frank Griffin's house in 1904 (he was deceased at that time), the house in which his wife was living with her two sons and daughter Marjorie. The house just to the north was owned by Frank's cousin, Edward Coates. Both houses no longer exist.


Martin Spink, The "Painter"

While scanning through some newspapers, I came across this article dated April 26, 1893. It is taken from the Batavia Daily News:


Painted The Town With Blood

-Serious Stabbing Affray in Attica - Two Men Fined $35 Each-

Attica, April 26, -(Special)- Martin Spink, an Orangeville farmer, came to this town yesterday morning with some produce and after disposing of it started out on a spree. He drank all day and during the evening fell in with Andrew Martin and Peter Riley, painters, who have recently arrived in Attica and have been employed by Paul Ganter.

The trio spent the evening together and continued drinking until after midnight when they quarreled on the bridge just north of McKensie, Ryan & Storms' store and during the melee knives were drawn and a good deal of blood flowed. The three were arrested by Police Constable Jewett and taken to the lock-up where their condition was considered so bad that Dr. Seeley was called to dress their injuries. The sidewalks for some distance was discoloted by blood which flowed from their wounds.

The three men were arraigned before Justice Bean on a charge of disorderly conduct this morning. Martin and Spink presented a sorry appearance and pleading guilty were fined $35 each. Riley, who seemed to have taken little part in the fracas, was discharged.

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Lineage

1. Martin Scott Spink
b: April 02, 1855 in Orangeville, Wyoming, New York
d: 1933 in Varysburg, Wyoming, New York
m: 1. Mary Fargo 2. Bertha McCall

son:
2. Winfield Scott Spink
b: February 02, 1897 in Orangeville, Wyoming, New York
d: December 04, 1990
m: Marjorie Elizabeth Griffin (Cox)

daughter:
3. Shirley Mae Spink
b: March 16, 1934 in Sweden, Monroe, New York
d: March 16, 2011 in Medina, Orleans, New York
m: Ray Howard Traub

daughter:
4. Laurie Traub
m: Robert Ballard

son:
5. Matthew Ballard

-------------------------------------

This may shed some light into why Martin Spink and Bertha McCall were eventually divorced.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Some Spink Genealogy

After the passing of my Grandma Traub this afternoon, I thought it might a good idea to share a little bit about her family since, after sitting down and thinking about it, the family has a rather interesting history compared to other lines in my family.

Of course, the Spink surname is one of the older if not the oldest and well traced lines in my family tree; the Spink line tracing back to Robert Spink (1615), William Carpenter (1605), Gerard Spencer (1576), John Coggeshall (1601), George Gardner (1600), John Olin (1664), Elkanah Johnson (1672), and of course the Plantagenet family of the English Royal Family.

Of course the Griffin line requires notation, not as defined and extensive as the Spink lineage, but with deep roots in the Brockport area at least. The Griffins, Coates, Bordens and of course the Hewitts which have resulted in little tracing beyond the immigration from England.


Shirley Spink
b: March 16, 1934 in Brockport, Monroe, New York
d: March 16, 2011 in Medina, Orleans, New York

daughter of:

Winfield Scott McCall Spink
b: February 2, 1897 in Orangeville, Wyoming, New York
d: December 4, 1990 in                  , Orleans, New York

Marjorie Elizabeth Griffin
b: July 16, 1896 in Brockport, New York
d: September 11, 1975 in                  New York

W. S. M. Spink son of:

Martin Scott Spink
b: April 2, 1855 in Orangeville, Wyoming, New York
d: 1933 in Varysburg, Wyoming, New York
1st Wife: Mary Fargo

Bertha McCall
b: October 22, 1876 in Sweden, Monroe, New York
d: 1955 in Brockport, Monroe, New York
1st Husband: James Andrews (Andrus)
2nd Husband: M.S. Spink
3rd Husband: George Ward

M. E. Griffin daughter of:

Francis Griffin
b: 1868 in Brockport, Monroe, New York
d: January 22, 1900 in Brockport, Monroe, New York

Clara Hewitt
b: Aug 1873? in Bolton, England
d: March 22, 1956 in Brockport, Monroe New York
2nd Husband: William Ellsworth Packard

The stories behind these immediate ancestors are interesting and sad to say the least.

Martin Scott and Bertha were both married previously and brough children from those previous marriages into their own to form a family comprised of many different relations. Winfield "Scott" was the only child from Martin and Bertha's marriage. For an unknown reason, Martin and Bertha divorced and "Scott" was left with his uncle, John Alexander McCall, to be taken care of and raised. As Grandma Traub always said, Uncle John Alexander was the only father Great Grandpa Spink knew.

Bertha's third marriage to George Ward produced no known children. It appears as though Martin Scott returned to Wyoming County where he lived out the rest of his life alone, where he died and is now buried. He was approximately 77 when he died.

Francis Griffin's story is a much sadder one. It was always thought that Great Grandma Marjorie's maiden name was Cox, however that was her adopted name. Marjorie was born on July 16, 1896 to Frank and Clara Hewitt Griffin in Brockport. Frank worked with horses for the majority of his life, working for a time with the Fowler Funeral Home in Brockport as the man who cared for the horses and drove the horse drawn hearse at the time. In the later part of his young life, Frank worked for the Village of Brockport as a drayman, meaning that he cared for the horses and other work animals owned by the municipality.

On one occasion, Frank was caring for the horses when he was kicked. The blow proved not to be immediately fatal but left Frank bedridden and Clara to care for three children all under the age of 10, the youngest being Marjorie who was around 3 years old. As Frank spent his days confined to bed, he developed dropsy, retaining fluid in his body, which led to his death on January 22, 1900. On his death bed, Frank told his oldest son Arthur, then 8 at the time, to "take good care of Margie." She was the youngest and the only daughter. Clara was left with the difficult task of caring and providing for three young children and it is likely that she was forced to place Marjorie up for adoption with another family so that she could be properly cared for in her youth.

Frank was buried in the High Street Cemetery in the Village of Brockport without a headstone. A sinkhole in the family plot is the only indicator of his burial spot.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Traub Genealogy

Grandfather:
Ray Howard Traub
b: August 16, 1937 in Murray, Orleans, New York
m: November 30, 1957 in Holley, Orleans, New York to Shirley Spink
d: January 5, 1994 in Medina, Orleans, New York

Great Grandparents:
Clarence Leroy Traub
b: March 22, 1912 in Rochester, Monroe, New York
m: July 2, 1936 in Holley, Orleans, New York to Mildred Clara Russell
d: October 13, 2006 in Sun City Center, Florida

Mildred Clara Russell
b: August 19, 1913 in Albion, Orleans, New York
d: February 1991 in Florida

Great Great Grandparents (Parents of Clarence Traub):
Leroy Traub
b: May 28, 1893 in Long Branch, New Jersey
m: October 1, 1912 in Rochester, Monroe, New York
d: 1956?
Hattie Letitia Maynard
b: 1892 in Scottsville, Monroe, New York
d: Unknown

3rd Great Grandparents (Parents of Leroy Traub):
John Albert Traub
b: May 1853 in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
m: August 31, 1879 in Milltown, Middlesex, New Jersey
d:     in Rochester, Monroe, New York

Mary Sherwood
b: March 7, 1862 in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
d:     in Rochester, Monroe, New York

4th Great Grandparents (Parents of Mary Sherwood)
August Sherwood
b: 1820 in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
d: April 12, 1880 in Sayreville, Middlesex, New Jersey

Mary Unknown

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Mystery Behind the Traub Family

For years I have been stumped behind the origins of my mother's maiden name, the history behind my Great Grandfather's birth and early childhood. When I initially started my research, I had discovered that my Great Grandfather, Clarence L. Traub, was adopted by Raymond Howard Handy and his wife Nettie Pierce from Holley, NY. The exact reasons behind the adoption were unknown as well as who Clarence's biological parents actually were.

Here's what was originally known:

Clarence Louis Traub
b: March 22, 1912 in Unknown
m: July 2, 1936 in Murray, Orleans, New York to Mildred Russell
d: October 13, 2006 in Sun City Center, Florida

Adopted son of:
Raymond Howard Handy
b: December 22, 1866
d: November 25, 1953 in Murray, Orleans, New York

Nettie M. Pierce
b: May 27, 1872
d: June 29, 1950 in Murray, Orleans, New York

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What was known after obtaining Clarence's birth certificate from the State of New York:

Clarence Leroy Traub
Legitimate male child, born March 22, 1912 at 7:30 pm at
44 Lyell Ave. Rochester, NY in the 9th Ward

Son of:
Hattie Letitia Maynard
Age: 19 (approx. 1893)
of Scranton, PA
born in New York State
occupation: None
number of children born to this mother including current birth: 2
number of children now living: 1

Leroy Traub
Age: 21 (approx. 1891)
of Scranton, PA
born in Pennsylvania
occupation: Wood Carver

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Further research on Leroy Traub:

1917 WWI Draft Card

Leroy Traub
24 Years Old
190 Silver St. Rochester, NY
b: May 28, 1893 in Long Branch, New Jersey
employed by: Keith Auto Company; Detroit, Michigan
married; dependents: 2 children + wife
slender, medium height, grey eyes and brown hair.

Newspaper Article:
Leroy Traub of No. 190 Silver Street, who is alleged to have left his wife a year ago, was ordered to pay her $6 a week for the support of herself and two children.

New Jersey Births and Christenings:
Leroy Traub
b: May 26, 1892
son of:
Albert Traub & Mary Sherbet (Sherwood)

Evidence also shows that Leroy was a veteran of the Border Excursion into Mexico in 1916, serving from New Jersey.

---------------------------------------

Confirming Leroy's parents:

Marriage Certificate Monroe County:
October 1, 1912 (after birth of Clarence)
Leroy Traub
21 Years Old
son of: Albert Traub and Mary Sherwood
Hattie Maynard
19 Years Old
daughter of Iredore Maynard and ________ Richert (Rishor)

Other Children:
William Traub
b:  July 29, 1888 in Long Branch, New Jersey
son of: Albert Traub and Mary Sherwood

Clarence Traub
b: May 13, 1889 in Long Branch, New Jersey
son of: John A. Traub and Mary Sherwood

1900 Census: Dunmore Ward 6, Lackawanna, PA
John A. Treub [Traub] 47
Mary 38
George 19
Albert 17
Edward J. 14
William 12 (1888)
Leloy [Leroy] 7 (1893)
Louis 4
Mary 9/12
James Robinson 37 [Boarder]

1920 Census: Ward 20, Rochester, NY; 190 Silver Street.
John A. Traub 67
Mary 58
Edward 33
Mary 20
Viola 16

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It can be discerned based on the common place of address for the above listed Traubs in 1917 and 1920 that Leroy, father of Clarence, is Leroy, son of John Albert Traub and Mary Sherwood; the following family members are in Mt. Hope Cemetery:

Father
John A. Traub
buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery on June 23, 1924
age 70 years
died from Pneumonia and Arterio Sclerosis
lived at: Cayuga St.
Plot: S. Gr. (Single Graves) 18 R-187 BB

Mother
Mary S. Traub
buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery on September 11, 1934
age 72 years 6 months and 4 days
died from Cerebral Hemorhage
lived at 414 Cedarwood Terrace
Plot: S. Gr. 11 R261 BB

Brother
Edward Traub
buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery on January 6, 1948
age 62 years 7 months and 21 days
died from Miocaralitis
lived at 66 Charlotte St.
Plot: S. Gr. 64 Row 306 BB

Brother
George E. Traub
buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery on February 16, 1955
age 74 years 7 months and 6 days
died from Coronary Thrombosis
lived at 1600 South Ave.
Plot: S. Gr. 61-62 R 323 BB

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Other information about Traub family:

George E. Traub, son of John A. and Mary, was a baker in the City of Rochester and in New Jersey/PA

John A. Traub worked as a wood carver, but also as a janitor and watchman in Rochester.

Edward Traub, son of John A. and Mary, worked as a polisher, was missing three fingers from his left hand and served time as an inmate in Rochester.

1915's Rochester City Directory notes Leroy as having removed to Scranton, PA and listing Hattie as remaining in Rochester. It is difficult to understand this as well as the reasons behind their "divorce."

1914's Rochester City Directory notes Leroy's brother as having removed to Scranton, PA. The year before, he is employed as a Piano Maker.

In 1912's Rochester City Directory, Leroy [Roy] is noted as living at 44 Lyell Ave. Same location where Clarence was born the same year.

---------------------------------------

Parents of John Albert Traub:

Father: Unknown
Mother: Unknown
Immigration from Germany: approx. 1865

Found in 1870 Census living in New York City at the age of 17, working as a Wood Carver.

Parents of Mary Sherwood:
Father: August Sherwood
Mother: Mary ??????
German immigrants