A. M. (Albert M.) Crary.

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The A. M. Crary






. An.' BOOK



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A. M. Crary

The A. M. Gary Memoirs
and Memoranda

Written by Himself





The Herington Times Printers


T^ T': - v VO^K

- i^-ll^rvi AND



Copyright 1915
by A. M. Crary



To My Wife and Children

Herington, Kansas

July 1915




Mrs. Sabra A. Crary


The preface of a book is more of a matter of form
than of any particular usefulness in getting at the
facts contained therein. I propose, therefore, to sub-
mit this VOLUME to you, kind reader, with the simple
assurance that the design from first to last is to give
Variety rather than Sameness, so as not to weary your
patience with long drawn out Formula, which too often
has a tendency to cause one to become impatient to
arrive at the real pith of the argument, and in many
cases to cause a person to throw a book aside before
reading it half through.

PART FIRST contains Biography, Genealogy and
Reminiscences connected with the Author's Civil and
Military life.

PART SECOND contains a partial Record of the

Crary families from Peter and John Crary down

through Seven generations to the present time. Also


of the C. C. Teats Families.

PART THIRD contains a variety of Choice Select-
ions, in Prose and Verse, to which is added a number of
popular Grand Army songs.

With these bare statements I do hereby offer you
these MEMOIRS, REMINISCENCES, Etc. for that
favorable consideration and approval which I confi-
dently hope and expect it will receive at your hands.



It has been my earnest desire for many years to
leave a part of life's record behind me; not that I am
vain enough to think that I have been so fortunate as
to "distance" others who may have started in the race
of life along with me, but that what I may have ac-
complished for the benefit of mankind, and as a
member of society in general, during the eighty years
that I have been privileged to remain on earth, may
— in after years — prove of some benefit to my family
and friends.

And I desire, right here at the beginning, to
acknowledge my special indebtedness to each and all
who have so kindly assisted me in the matter of hunt-
ing up the Genalogical records of the Crary families,
from Peter and John Crary down, a review of which
will be found in the Appendix to this work and in its


proper place, as well as to all my relatives and friends
who have come to my assistance in the labor before
me. Kindness such as theirs can never be forgotten.

Thrown into life as I was and at a time when all
the energies of mankind had to be quickened to their
utmost capacity, in order to acquire a decent livlihood,
I early learned what it was to labor with my hands,
and at the age of fourteen years to do a man's day's
work in the field.

- A common school education was very hard to
obtain, and a higher knowledge of book learning was
almost next to an impossibility. However, I am pleased
to say that with the kind assistance of the older mem-
bers of our family, I had, at the age of a dozen years
or so, succeeded in mastering the four ground rules of
arithmetic, sufficient at least to graduate from the old
log school house at the Rose Comers, with tolerable
high honors, and was permitted to enter the prepar-
atory course in the Crary school district one mile far-
ther south, where that accomplished educator, Miss


Emily Merritt, sister of General Edwin A. Merritt, of
Potsdam, was employed as Law-Maker, Judge, Jury
and High-Executioner, at a salary of Ten Dollars a
month, with the privilege of Boarding Around, which
was common in those parts at that day and age of the
world. And I may truthfully say, that right then and
there was laid the groundwork for an education that
has carried me through life.

And now, before approaching the real matter at
issue, I am prompted to explain that the advent of the
Crary families into America is dated way back into the
year 1663, when two Brothers, Peter and John Crary,
left their native home near Glasgow, Scotland, and
after a tempestuous voyage of many weeks across the
Atlantic Ocean, arrived at Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston was then but a small village, only about
thirty years old, and while the younger brother, John
was willing to take up an abode in that Metropolis,
Peter journeyed southward and finally brought up at
the little town of New London, Connecticut, where in



I ■

due time, to-wit: In 1677 he married Miss Christobel
Gallup, daughter of Capt. John Gallup, who was at the
time an officer in the British Army under His Majesty
King William 3rd, and it was from that union that my
own line of descent has been traced.

Before going into my immediate line of descent it
is proper that I proceed to explain the real and only
line from Peter Crary down through the six genera-
tions which is as follows:

PETER was blessed with four sons, to wit:

ROBERT, WilHam, Peter 2nd and John.

ROBERT had seven sons, to wit:

CHRISTOPHER, William, Robert 2nd, Aaron, Ben-
jamin, George and Oliver.

CHRISTOPHER had two sons, to wit:

EZRA and Elias.

EZRA had two sons, to wit :

NATHAN and Nathaniel.
NATHAN had eight sons, to wit:
APPLETON, Ezra, Nathan, Orin, Smith, Edward,
Wesley and Stephen.

And according to Bible parlance, the line of de-


scent may be stated as follows :
EZRA begat NATHAN ; and
NATHAN begat APPLETON and his Brethren.

The other line of descent from Capt. John Crary
we have succeeded in tracing along down to Dr. George
Waldo Crary of 771 Madison Ave., New York City, with
whom I am in correspondence regarding this matter
at this time.

And I may also be permitted to add, that several
other families belonging to that branch of the Crary
family, I have been able to locate in Massachusetts,
Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and also in Kansas
where the Sunflowers bloom, and where the annual
supply of wheat, corn and other products of the soil,
sufficient to feed a nation, may always be reckoned

And now, without further explanation along this


line for the present, I will come down to the 4th genera-
tion from Peter Crary, above referred to, and will in-
troduce to your notice my Grandfather, Nathan Crary,
who married Lydia Arnold, a near relative of Hon.
Stephen Arnold Douglass, at Clarendon, Vermont, on
the 1st day of May, A. D. 1783 ; and I will further state
that the said Stephen A. Douglass was the widely
known Democratic politician, the same Judge Douglass
who was a United States Senator from Illinois, and was
the author of that celebrated "Kansas Nebraska Bill",
organizing that part of the Public Domain into Terri-

He was also the Democratic nominee for President
of the United States against ''Old Uncle Abe" in 1860,
but was, as we all know, defeated at the polls, and I am
proud to say that after his defeat he was an ardent
supporter of Mr. Lincoln in his war policy to save the
Union, and kindly offered his services to that end.

However, he was taken violently ill at Chicago,
Illinois, and passed into the Great Beyond without be-


ing able to demonstrate his usefulness to any consider-
able extent, except to say to his political friends, both
North and South, "The Constitution and Laws of the
United States must and shall be Obeyed!" And I am
also very glad to say that the advice given by that
Noble Senator was much heeded by the rank and file
belonging to his party, and that his predictions finally
became true.

Previous to his marriage, Grandfather Nathan
Crary served as a private soldier in the Revolutionary
War from 1778 to 1781, and was honorably discharged
in December, 1781, afterwards drawing a small pen-
sion from the United States Government for honorable
service in line of duty. This pension he drew regularly
every three months until the day of his death, which
occurred on the 3rd day of March, A. D. 1852, and at
the advanced age of Ninety years.

After their marriage as aforesaid, they removed
to Wallingford, Vermont, where several of their child-
ren, including my father, Appleton Crary, was born.


They then removed to Swanton, Falls, Vt., and in the
early part of 1804, hearing of the new country that
was opening up in northern New York, they loaded up
their effects in a couple of lumber wagons, and bidding
farewell to friends of many years, started for, they
knew not where, but without chart or compass they
began their journey westward.

They crossed Lake Champlain at or near where
the City of Rouse's Point now stands, and in due time
and with little trouble, arrived at the crossing of the
St. Regis river at a point where Hogansburg after-
wards was built. There they were detained for several
weeks on account of high water, but after effecting a
safe crossing took their course to the southwest, a
distance of forty miles or more with only a blind trail
to guide them on their way, and finally brought up at
the very point where the village of Potsdam now
stands. There they stuck their stakes, first holding a
council of war, and deciding that **A bird in the hand
was worth two in the bush."



My mother was a daughter of John Hopkins, who
was also a soldier in the Revolutionary War. She was
born at Pittsford, Rutland county, Vermont, the family
coming to St. Lawrence county about the same time
the Crary family did, settling between where Canton
and Ogdensburg was afterwards built.

I learn from those who have the records still pre-
served that their claim was on the direct road between
Canton and the "Burg," and that Grandfather Hopkins
built what was afterwards commonly known as the
Woodbridge Tavern which may possibly be standing,
some parts of it at least, at this time.

vjrrandfather Hopkins afterwards purchased land
near where the old County Poor Farm was located, and

where he died in 1825, after raising a family of four-
teen children; and had there been a newspaper pub-
lished anywhere in that vicinity in the year 1808, the
following marriage notice would doubtless have appear-
ed therein:



''Married, at the home of the bride's parents, Mr.

and Mrs. John Hopkins, Sunday March the 8th, 1808,

Mr. Appleton Crary of Potsdam and Miss Roby Hopkins
of Canton, Stillman Foot, Magistrate, performing the
marriage rites."

The wedding presents consisted of a good, sharp
axe, presented to the groom by the bride's father, and
a modern, hen's-feather-bed to the bride, a present
from her mother. These were usually the wedding
presents given at that day.

Being each of a family of fourteen children them-
selves, this new couple continued to observe the usual
custom, as poor as they were, and in due time the three
families of Nathan Crary, John Hopkins and Appleton
Crary — my father — could boast of fourteen children
in each family, or forty-two in all, the writer hereof
being the youngest of the three broods.

And as hard times as it was in those days, later in



life I often heard my father and mother say that the
happiest days of their life was when they could climb
up the stairs of the old log house and tuck up eight or
ten children in bed every night, knowing that even if
they were under a thatched roof where snow in the
winter beat in apace, they were under their own vine
and fig tree, and knew where they could find them in
the morning.

The entire Crary family, so far as I am able to
learn, were members of the Wesieyan Methodist church
and four or five of them, including my father, were
ministers of the gospel the greater portion of their

As far as even a common school education was
concerned, they had none at all until the older members
of the family were too old to attend school. I have
heard my father say that he never went to school more
than three months in his life. However, the family
were all of a disposition to acquire knowledge, there-
fore in after life there were few if any in that section



of the country who were able to boast of a better knowl-
edge of history and other matters in general than they.
The Holy Bible was always the rule and guide to their
faith, and this naturally led them into the ministry as
above mentioned.

And while the entire family were members of the
Methodist church, all were more liberal in their views
than the majority of their co-workers ; my father lean-
ing a good deal more toward the Universalist faith
than any of the rest. He knew the Bible from begir-
ning to end, and could turn to almost any passage in it
at a moment's notice. He could therefore **hoe his row'^
with anyone who might attack him in debate.

In all his years of Ministry he always preferred to
avoid as much as possible, the "rocks and shoals'*
usually to be found in shallow waters, and to keep along
in the safe channels where the v/aters are always deep.
Knowing that man in his best estate is subject to frail-
ties and errors, he was ever inclined to cover their
faults and imperfections with the broad mantle of



charity and brotherly love. He was in full accord with
the thought that the Heavenly Father has far greater
love for his children than an earthly parent can pos-
sibly show.

The dictates of his own conscience always prompt-
ed him in this line of belief, and nothing on earth could
cause him to depart from that conclusion. The words
of the Prophet Mica, the greatest of them all, were
dear to him when he said: "What doth the Lord re-
quire of thee, but to do Justly, and to love Mercy, and
to walk Humbly with thy God ?"

A personally acquired education was all that my
mother ever had, but at the same time she was able to
write as fine a hand as most graduates from the High
School; notwithstanding the fact that she learned to
write on birch bark with a sharp stick. This she learn-
ed too, after she was married. From the first time
she was able to use a quill, she became quite proficient
in the matter of letter writing, and before her death
she had worked up a correspondence in almost one-half
as many states as she was years old.



So far as I have ever been able to learn, my advent
into the world was little thought of except that there
was another mouth to fill and more wood to be chopped
in order to keep the old fireplace going through the
long, cold winter, which was close upon us. This was
on the 20th day of November, 1834, and in that north-
ern country, with the mercury often down to 38 and
40 degrees below zero, it required most strenuous ef-
forts on the part of the entire Crary family to get
along during the next four months at least, and until
the breaking up of spring should bring new life and
energy to the surrounding multitude.

Our folks were by no means alone in the dread of
the long, cold winter, for about every farmer through-
out the length and breadth of Old St. Lawrence county,
was just about in the same fix. There was but little



money in circulation in those days, taxes had to be paid
in gold or silver, and interest on the land purchased of
corporations always had to be promptly reckoned upon.
However, time always flew merrily at our house. The
older boys and girls were soon able to teach school dur-
ing the winter months, but at a very low salary of
course, generally about seven to ten dollars a month,
and board around. And ere I had attained my tenth
birthday, I was proficient in the art of potato planting,
corn hoeing and sap gathering in the spring, which
was and still is the boy's delight wherever sugar trees
are to be found.

My early school experience at the Sam Rose cor-
ners near our house, and in the Crary school house has
already been mentioned, hence I have only to add that
the half dozen terms of select school I attended with
Rev. Philetus Montague as Preceptor, and two terms
at the Potsdam school was about all I had. However,
it was sufficient to allow me a First Grade Certificate,
and to enter upon my twenty odd years of school work



that followed, first in Minnesota, then several years
in Illinois, and still later on in this, Dickinson County,
Kansas, where I not only taught school for several
terms, but served from 1874 to 1883 as County Super-
intendent of Public Instruction.



The first remembrance I have of creeping into
politics was in October, 1840, when I was only six yeara
old. I went to Potsdam village with my folks, to a rati-
fication meeting and hung around the old "log cabin"
erected on the square in front of the American House
of which my Uncle Warren Clark was proprietor;
watching the Coons climbing over it and occasionally
taking a sup of *'hard cider," w^hich was free to every-
body, and enjoying the campaign songs of ^'Tippecanoe
and Tyler too" until way along in the night when we
trundled off home in the old lumber wagon a distance
of ten miles and better.

The next campaign of any note that I remember
of was in the fall of 1844, when James K. Polk of
Tennessee was at the head of the Democratic ticket
for President of the United States, and that accom-



plished citizen, Hon. Silas Wright of Canton, was on the
same ticket for Governor of the great state of New
York. During that fall the usual number of campaign
songs were in vogue, among which was one with the
following chorus which many no doubt will also recol-
lect. It ran along this way:

"Poor Coony Clay is full of woe,
Democracy has laid him low;
Polk is the man, I told you so,
For Polk and Dallas we're all the go.


While the campaign that fall was going on. Gover-
nor Silas Wright while on his rounds, campaigning,
came to our house for one of his favorite calls, and dur-
ing his stay the neighborhood poet happened in and
the Governor asked him what the political situation
was about there, upon which the old poet took out of
his pocket a scrap of paper and soon produced the
following :



"My friend you ask me what I know
Of the campaign that's raging so ;
Therefore I'll tell it you in rhyme,
In common sense if not sublime.

The voters living here abouts,
With Polk and Dallas are at outs,
Nor have they use for Clay's demands,
For recognition at their hands."

We have no faith in promise made,
By men who think it right to trade
In human kind if he be black,
And naught but rags upon his back.

But men like you, true in the past.
We'll surely stand by to the last.
So now don't let them trouble you.
You're Wright, without the W."

Polk and Wright were both elected at the Novem-
ber election that fall, and three years thereafter,



Governor Wright blankly refused a nomination for

President of the United States, preferring a quiet life

at home among his tried and true friends in Old St.
Lawrence. But fate had decreed that this quiet was

not to be of long duration, for in May following his

retirement, death came suddenly upon him at his home

in Canton village, at the age of 52 years. His name

has ever been a household word wherever Governor
Silas Wright was known, and his remains are now
safely guarded in the Canton Cemetery Grounds.



My boyhood days were just about as pleasant and
endurable as most of the others about town, but once
in a while I ran up against a proposition that actually
took me off my feet. One fall along about 1846 or 1847
my mother, the very best she could do, was put to her
wits ends to scrape up cloth enough to clothe us all for
the winter, consequently something desperate had to
be done. Well, she finally hit upon the plan to make up
the garments as usual as long as the cloth would last,
then trust to luck for the balance. And she did, and
with a good deal of coaxing and engineering she ac-

complished what she undertook.

It was in this wise : By the time that all the other
boys and father was provided for in the matter of
coats, pants and vests, the cloth for coats was nearly
exhausted, and there wasn't enough left of any one



kind to make ''Little Mell" a coat, and there's where
the trouble came in.

Well, she went to work with a will, dyed all the
lighter colored patterns as nearly alike as possible, and
in due time produced the "Coat of many colors" refer-
red to above, and the very vexatious situation the
family was brought up against was supposed to be
disposed of.

Not so, however, for as soon as the boys and girls

at school saw it they all began to call me ''Little
Joseph" and to hint that the older boys of the family

might get a bit jealous of my preferment, and might

possibly sell me down into Egypt as did once befall the

youngest of a family away back in Bible times. Now

you should have seen little I clipper off home and put

up the most strenuous kick against that coat that the

Crary family had seen for many a day.

But the matter was soon compromised and the

trouble all ironed out under the most faithful promise

that I should go to the very next circus that came



around and have plenty of pocket money for ginger-
bread and enough to take me into the side-show to
boot. And in addition to this, my brother Ezra, who
taught the school, issued an edict at once that the
pupils should all cease and abandon the title of "Little
Joseph" ; and barring the fact that my winter coat
was scuffed out as fast as possible, no one had any
farther reason to complain.



Much of my home life on the farm I thought to be
the worst kind of drudgery, but there were so many
pleasures mixed along with it that I made out to pass
the time without serious difficulties of any kind. Once
in a while during the summer season a circus would put
in an appearance, either at Canton or Potsdam, and
we were always sure of a good time, for our good
mother was always a great admirer of entertainment
of any kind, consequently she seldom ever failed to
have spare change enough laid up to give the children
a number one outing on such occasions as those, but
when the "general trainings" came up in the fall, we
usually had to shift for ourselves.

I remember of going to mill with a grist to grind
when I was about ten years old, and Uncle Hank Mead,
the miller, gave me the greatest surprise I had ever



enjoyed. Says he, "Come here Mell. They tell me
there's goin' to be a circus in Canton next week. Are
you going to take it in with the rest of the boys?"

"Sure", said I, "but it's pretty close times at home
this summer, and I don't know yet where the money's
comin' from."

Now what should that good old uncle of mine do,
but to hobble along to his desk with an old cane that
he always used to bring up that game leg of his, and
to reach in and bring out an old, dusty pocket-book he
had, open it up and spirit out a bright, shining silver
quarter, and handing it to me, said "There, boy, go to
the circus and have a good time."

Uncle Hank never forgot the boys, you know,

if it took the last quarter in that old pocket-book

of his. I assure you I never forgot to do Uncle Hank a

kindness after that whenever I could, and the only

chance I ever got, so far as my memory goes, was

several years after that, when he was too crippled up
to run Uncle Ned Crary's mill any longer, I went to his



home and presented him with the nicest cane I could
find in the market, reminding him of the good time I
had at the circus spending that bright silver quarter
he had given me.

Our father was always a hard working man him-
self, consequently he expected his boys to work about
as many hours in the field as he did. Also he had

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