Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Diaries & Letters of Tri-Counties
Chemung County NY
Home Page More Diaries & Letters Elmira Page
Emma PEASE "Wells" 1891 and Mable WELLS -  of Elmira NY
From: "Bob Buch" <>
To: <>
Subject: Attached Word document: Emma Pease's notebook
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 18:47:31 -0500

My sister and I have transcribed a notebook containing a family history and diary. It was begun by Emma PEASE Wells, wife of Escourt Wells, of Chemung in 1891, and continued by their daughter Mable Wells until 1927. That is the attached document.

I have more genealogy information on the family if you want it.

Thank you for a most helpful website.


Robert J. Buch , Colleyville, TX

Patricia Sanders , Soquel, CA

Transcription of Emma Pease's note book, Jun 2011

I have corrected some spelling and punctuation to make this easier to read. Comments in square brackets [] are mine.

Chemung NY

August 12, 1891

To Mabel Clarissa Wells

I thought I would write a few sheets so you could have them when papa + I were not here to tell you of things that have happened before you were born + before you were old enough to understand.

My father + family came from Warehouse Point, Conn, in Mar 1859 to Big Flats. Of the family were father, mother, Evelin H. White (a daughter by a former marriage of my mother) + Clarissa + myself + a brother Lemuel H. (now in the west). We moved to Elmira in 1859 + to Greacien [Greece, NY?] Town in 1860. Clarissa was married to Reuben Griswold in 1861. They had five children, James, Lemuel, Lillian (died an infant), Rose + Mija. On June the 13th, 1863 I married your papa Escourt C. Wells, who had been in the army of the Rebellion + in papa's bible you will find a record of our children and also of his ancestors from his grandfather John G Warren to your birth. Lemuel H. Pease was married Nov 22, 1874 to Kate Givens. Up to this date they have had five children, the record of which you will find in my mother's bible.

My mother lived with me from 1874 until she died Jan 17, 1886, aged 73 years, 1 mo, 26 days. In 1865, Feb 16, John G Warren died, leaving a large amount of property by will, of which you can find at the clerks office in Elmira. Papa's mother was an only child of Lord[?] John G Warren, Martha by name (better known as Patty). She married Guy M. Wells June 19th, 1829. They had three sons, Miles, John, and Escourt, and they were the heirs to the property left by the grandfather. There was 2 farms in what is now called Dutch-town that he left to Phebe Levings, a woman that had worked for him a number of years that will be one half yours when your father is done (+ she also). Don't never make a mistake and sign any paper that will take it away from you, but keep it for your children + you in your old age. At this date (1891) John W. Wells, your uncle, and your father are in possession of all the rest of the land of John G Warren's, as uncle Miles died Jan 23rd 1890, + none of us knew of any children belonging to him as he had always claimed that there were none. But after he died there were partys from Canada that came + claimed to be his children + have put in a claim for the most of the property that his grandfather left to him.

In the year of 1858, or there about, Miles Wells left home. He came back and spent the winter of 59-60. Then went again + did not come again until year 76, (I think) and then stayed until he died. Always said he had no family or ever had any. We of course, believed him and time will tell whether it is so or not. And when it is decided I will write it down in this book.

After we were married, we moved into this house that we now live in (known as the Old Middaugh Stand) as it used to be an hotel. At this time it is about the oldest inhabited house in this county. Our 2 oldest children were born here, Harry and Anna. In 1871 we built the house on the left side of the road (going up) on the land known as the Anna Green. We lived there + Alice was born there (died an infant)(as did Harry). In 1874 we moved in grandma Wells farm in the house now owned by John Burt. We stayed there + took care of the farm and her business in general. E. Hart was born there + died there. You were born there. My mother died there + papa's mother was sick there 5 months + we took care of her until she died. And Anna died there too, so you see we had a good deal of trouble while we lived there as well as some joy. We left there in 1887 coming back to Dutchtown.

The east half of the farm where you were born was you grandpa Wells' + it belonged to the three sons Miles, John + Escourt after their mother died. They sold that part to John Burt. The most of the house was on that part of the land. The upper half was Miles' in his life time + when he died it went to Escourt and also part of the Anna Green + the Wyncoop farm in Ridgebury, we call it our Durgy. Uncle John had from uncle Miles' estate half of Anna Green + the old Warren homestead of uncle John's family. I have not told but will - he married Helen McLain Feb 19th 1862. He lived with his grandma Wells (yours too) until he was 16 years old, then went to his fathers + stayed until Jan 22nd 1884. Then he came to our house + is here now (1891). The next child of John was Ida, born Feb 10th 1865. The rest I will give names of but cannot give their birthdays, Martha, Mary, Fred, John, Emma, Harry, Kate, Escourt Lee, an infant unnamed[Leon?] and Louis. Fred, Emma, + Lee died when quite young.

This portion of this book I have written at one time Aug 12th 1891. The rest I will write as it come to me + will give the date that I write + the past dates as near as I can and if it is very much mixed, excuse it as I am not a good composer.

Sept 11th 1891

You will remember today, we found Ned the colt. Papa has been off to the state convention. J. Slate Fassett was nominated for governor on Sept 9, 1891.

Sep 18th '91

The house we built, on the lot called the Anna Green, was burned today. It is quite a loss to papa. It is insured for only three hundred dollars.

Sept 26th 1891

Papa has gone to the senatorial convention (as a delegate) at Hornellville. There has been a political strife in Chemung County between Fassett + Flood, both republicans. Papa works for Fassett, they won. I may not write again until after election. If Fassett is not elected we shall be sorry.

Nov 4th 1891

Fassett was not elected, so papa was disappointed

May 1st 1892

It is some time since I have written in this little book, as there is not much happened to write. Only you have had the measles twice in 4 weeks. You broke out with them on Monday the 4th of April, and got better, so you went out doors on the 14th, and on the 18th you broke out again worse than before, but was well enough to go to school on the 20th of May.

July 18th 1892

School closed today. We bought Gyp for you the 16th, and you were very much pleased with him. The suit between Papa, uncle John + the people that claim to be Miles Wells' heirs is settled. Papa + Uncle John gave them the land known as the Anna Green and the Durgy Farm. The cost was $75 and papa has paid it all. Uncle John has not paid a cent as of this date.

July 22nd 1893

You see it is over a year since I have written in this book. A great many things have happened in the time. Uncle John died March 20th 1893 after an illness of 4 or 5 weeks. His death left to Guy his farm. You will, of course, know where. The rest of the children did not hold any as your great grandfather John G. Warren willed it that way. It made the rest all feel hard towards Guy but he was not to blame for what John G. Warren did. They also blame papa for a good many things that he had nothing to do with. They did a great many things that people thought not right, took away + secreted lots of things that should have been sold to pay the funeral expenses of uncle John's. They want to make papa pay them.

Ada McConnel[?] was married to John Wood April 16th 1893. Your little dog Gyp was killed by the [railroad] cars June 26, 1893. Your papa and cousin Milt bought a judgment that was against uncle John of $3,500. It gave them a title of 66 acres of land joining Guy's land, and they still hold claims against the farm known as John G Warren homestead. Today July 22, 1893 you + I go to Montrose PA to visit your cousins Milt + Ida Bodin. Will try to write more when we get back.

Feb 12, 1895

Again I will say it is a long time since I have written in this little book. On April 16, 1895[?] we moved up to Gretien[?] and built a new house. (You will remember) and in December we sold the farm to cousin Milt and moved back to Dutchtown on the 26th of Dec. On the 20th of Dec Phebe Levings died, and the farm came to your uncle John's children + papa. We moved in to the house(on the farm), Jan 23, 1895 and are here yet. Guy left our house Jan 9, 1895, was here eleven years, lacking 12 days. There was a big storm commenced Feb 7 at about noon. Lasted until the 10th. Its worst I ever saw. I write it down here that you may remember it as we were down to Willinsons[?] on the night of the 7th and was obliged to stay until morning.

[At this point, Emma's daughter Mabel Wells takes over.]

The summer of 1895 we built the new house on the point across from the Levings house, as that half of the property came to father. Moved in it Dec 1895. M.C.W.

The following is a true account of the life of Mabel Clarissa Wells, daughter of Emma Caroline (Pease) Wells and Escourt Crisswell Wells, of Chemung, NY, from the time she left home to enter school, on ---

Gillett, Pennsylvania

April 17, 1904

To whom it may concern:-

In September, 1897, I entered School No. 2. of Elmira, N.Y. I remained there three years, graduating in 1900. In September, 1900, I entered Waverly High School, in Waverly N.Y., Prof H.J. Water, Prin. I remained there one year, then entered the training Class of that school and became a licensed teacher after one year and a half of work.

Mamma was taken sick in October of 1899. She had a stroke of paralysis on the 31st of that month. In December she was well enough to be about the house. In June, 1900, she was taken ill again but was up in a few weeks. In November, we moved to Waverly, and remained there until April 1901. Mamma was sick nearly all winter, but was better in the spring, when we moved back on the farm and remained there a year.

On Oct. 31, 1901, Mamma died, having been sick two years. Papa was never the same man after her death.

In March 1902, Papa and I moved to Chemung village. The second week in April, papa was taken sick with pneumonia, and died May 3, 1902, after having an operation for dropsy.

On May 6, 1902, I came to Gillette to Cousin Rosa and Elmer Dewey, who very, very, kindly offered me their home. I went back to school from there in about a week and remained till the end of the term.

On August 16, 1902, Marguerite A. Dewey was born. I was home at the time and Marguerite has been my particular favorite ever since.

In the winter of 1903 - 04, there was a great revival in the Church at Gillett, Mr. H.A. Depfer[?] had charge. On the evening of February 28, 1904, Elmer Dewey, Charley Dewey, Della Bryan, I, and several others were baptized and taken into the church, by Rev. Mr Reynolds.

The school year of 1903 - 04, I taught in the "Roushey District," Chemung Co,. New York State, about 6 miles north of Gillett on the Elmira Road.

On March 9, 1904, Elmer Charley Dewey was born. He is a very great and wonderful personage in our family as he is the one and only boy of sixteen grandchildren, of whom thirteen are living.

The spring of 1904, I attended a Summer School, seven weeks, at Towanda, Penna, held by Co. Supt. H. S. Putnam. The instructors were F.W. Gorham, D.H. Avid, Geo. Saxton, Mr. Allen and Mr. + Mrs Styles and Mr. Shipman of the Susquehanna Collegiate Institute, the building in which the school was held.

I boarded with Mrs. Foyle and there met Julia Hichey of Warren Penna, Kathryn Butler of East Smithfield, Will Foyle and Charles Foyle, Alice and Belle Foley beside many others.

I taught in Thompson Hill the winter of 1904-05. I met many young people, among them Phil Inman. I had a splendid school of about 20 pupils and a splendid time for I was with lovely people and went a good deal to the socials etc at Gillett. My school was out the 4th of April 1905 and I came home to Gillett. I attended Mr. Avid's Select School and secured a first class certificate at one examination.

The 8th of June Rosa, Elmer, and I attended Etha Brown Argyle's wedding. The 27th of June, Charity Passmore was married to Samuel G. McKee. She had a lovely wedding which I attended - Rosa and Elmer not being invited. Sunday, the 2nd of July 1905 it commenced to rain at about 1 P.M. We had a terrible storm and the water came over the creek banks and down the road past our house and did us much damage, though it did not quite come in the house.

August 3, 1905

At Rosa Dewey's I have the following furniture: 1 bed room suit of 3 pieces, 1 light open bookcase full of books, 2 pair of lace curtains, 1 carpet, 2 new rugs, the old fashioned folding table in her parlor, 1 set of dining room chairs [this item is lined through and marked "sold"], 1 framed picture of roses etc, 1 album, 1 set of silver knives and forks, 1 set solid silver teaspoons marked "M.W.," 3 other solid silver teaspoons marked with "Anna" [A.W. is written above this] , 3 large silver table spoons, 1 large old blue platter worth $50, 2 boxes of dishes and pictures, 2 pictures on walls of my room, several things in her garret.

Elmira, N.Y. June 5, 1910

The year of 1905-6 I taught the Gillett lower room. My school was out in April and I came to Elmira and attended Miss Louise Murphy's Private School for Stenographers in the Robinson Bldg. The middle of July I secured a position with R. G. Dun + Co. on the first floor of the same building after having been in school exactly 3 months and having finished everything but the law course. I stayed there until the 1st of November and then went back to Miss Murphy's to take the law course. I also did work for Mr. Aulls by the hour. Then the week before Christmas I clerked in Izard's on the corner of Baldwin + Water Sts. The first of the year 1907 I went to work for Mr. W.H. Blight, a wholesale coal agent, at 111 College Ave. I worked for him until the 18th of the next November 1907, when I went to work for the Kennedy Valve Mfg Co. I am still working there as Asst. Order Clerk and first Asst. Stenographer. I have in my possession a picture of the office force[?] as it was in October 1909.

When I first came to Elmira I went to board with Mrs. Sarah Griswold at 510 John St., and stayed with her until the early part of April 1907, when I went to stay with cousin Lem Griswold at 404 William St. In June 1909 I went with Mrs. Vaughan at 605 East Second St. and was very glad to get away from there to come to Mrs. Richford's[?] the first of November of the same year.

In the summer of 1908, I went to visit Aunt Addie Beecher at Woodmont, Conn., seven miles around the Sound from New Haven, where their home is. I spent there, I think, the most delightful two weeks of my life up to this date. I had not seen Aunt Addie or cousin Mabel since the summer of 1894 or 5; and had not seen uncle Eugene since I was a very little girl. If I am ever rich, I shall go to the seashore to spend all my summers.

When I first came to Elmira, I became interested in the Sunday School at the First Methodist Episcopal Church on Baldwin Street, particularly in what was then known as the Star Class of that school. Mrs. John J. Richford is the teacher. In September 1909 we changed the name of the class to the Richford Bible Class of the First Methodist Church. The officer's terms are six months long, and I was elected and reelected Secretary four times, the last three times unanimously. I was then unanimously elected President for the next three terms, and at the last election I was given no office at all. But though that sounds as though I was inefficient, I don't think that was the only reason why I was not reelected to some office. I am this year first vice-president of the Epworth League. Last year I was second vice-president of the Epworth League and in October was elected to the secretaryship of the Young Women's Foreign Missionary Society. So I am very busy. I have very wicked (sic) about the first vice-presidency and am still struggling with myself about it. I know it's the thing I should do, but I do not want to do it. I probably shall not find it so hard as I think.

My present pastor is the Rev. A.J. Saxe. This is his second year in our church and his predecessor was Dr. G.H. Haigh.

The present date is June 5th, 1910

The last week in August + the first in Sept, 1912, I spent with Lemuel Griswold at his home 1966 Deresford Ave, Highland Park, Detroit, Mich. Mrs. Walter Dewey (grandma) went to Detroit with me. While there received word not to return to Kennedy Valve (for which I am very, very thankful). Came back and kept house a few days for Mrs. Richford, and then went to Wellsville N.Y. to work for the National Aluminum Mfg. Co, where I stayed 5 weeks. Then received an offer with the American Sales Book Co, at Elmira and am still there, October 28, 1912. At first I took a position in their sales Dept., as last stenographer in the dept., of about a dozen, although I had been offered the position of stenographer to the purchasing agent. Received in this dept. the best opportunity for improvement in my profession that I had ever had. On the 15th of October 1913 I took the position I had been hired for the year before. Have worked for Mr Fisk ever since, and we seem to be very well fitted to work together.

In August 1914, I came to Mrs. Blade's at 405 1/2 Davis St. to live.

The 3rd of Sept., that year, I took my first trip to New York City with Kathryn Morey. Spent six days in the city doing the town. Have a description of what we did there which I will append as it is too bulky to copy. [Not found]

That summer I had spent 4 weeks camping up the river with the "Pollyanna Club" in the Utley Cottage. The next year I spent one week of my vacation there and one week in Gillett. In June 1916, I went to Albany, N.Y. with the Chemung County delegation to the State Sunday School Convention.

In July, I autoed with a party to Cleveland Ohio and twelve miles[?] beyond to a cottage and and spent six weeks with Mr. + Mrs. Wm. J. Brownlow [?]

In September I spent four days in Syracuse with Minnie West Ameigh.

For three years I have spent my Christmases with Esther Struchen, and they have been the pleasantest I have had since my parents died.

This is written on Jan. 13, 1917.

Wages received since I have been in business life:

3 mo. in 1906; R.G. Dun + Co.; Elmira N.Y.; $3.50 per week.

10 mo. in 1907; W.H. Blight; Elmira N.Y.; $4.00 + $5.00

5 years 1907-1912; Kennedy Valve; Elmira N.Y.; $7.00, $8.00, $9.00

5 Weeks in 1912; Nat. Aluminum Wks; Wellsville, N.Y.; $10.00

4 yrs. 1912-1916; American S.B. Co.; Elmira, N.Y. $8.00, $9.00, $10,00, $11.00, $12.00

1918 June; American S.B. Co.; Elmira, N.Y.; $13.00 - $14.00

1918 June; American S.B. Co.; Elmira, N.Y.; $15.00

War was declared on Germany Apr. 6, 1917. Arthur Chase of Gillett, an old beau whom I did not know I loved, enlisted Dec 11, 1917 after securing my consent. He went overseas in Co. K, 111th Infantry, 28th, or Pennsylvania, Division in May 1918. Was killed in the Argonne Forest fighting on Oct 3rd, 1918. I received word of his death three days before Armistice Day (Nov. 11, 1918) and Armistice Day was the saddest I ever spent. He was a very brave man. He was Sgt. of Scouts and as such was ordered to the rear when his Co. went over the top, but declined to go saying that he had come to France to fight, and was allowed to go over the top and was killed by a machine gun bullet. I am very proud to have called him friend because he was a true and brave American.

I am now planning to leave in a very few weeks, days in fact, for California. Alice and Eva and Lemuel [Griswold] went there last September and I am going to join them and see if perhaps I can find contentment.

I am planning to stop enroute to visit Walter Pease and his family at Harrison, Mont. Am anticipating becoming acquainted with them.

It is a very important and momentous step to take to go so far away, and I may be very homesick, but I am hoping to better myself financially and hope to make use of the Spanish language in my work. I have been studying very hard on it for the past three years and I hope now to turn it to account.

This has been written at 408 W. Clinton[?] St. on May 21, 1919.

On June 5th 1919, at 10:20 P.M. I left Elmira for good, en route first for Harrison, Mont. to visit Walter Pease (and family), eldest son of uncle Lem Pease, who died in

- a detailed record of my trip is hereto appended, as it is too bulky to copy. [Not found]

I spent ten days in Montana with cousin Walter's people and then came on to Napa, Cal. arriving there Sunday morning, June 21st. I went directly to Eva's and she welcomed me royally, telling me that their house was my home from now on. I spent three weeks there, did the first housekeeping I have done for years and found that I liked it immediately. Alice was there two weeks of the time, having come up from Oakland. (A dreadful fire in Napa July 4th.) Came to Oakland on July 15, to Mrs. Griffiths, at 2005 Webster St. Alice worked for her until Jan 1st, and then she went home to Napa ill, and I have had another roommate, Daisy McGaffey since then.

On Christmas day, Mr. Howland proposed to me. Had met him in July and had gone about with him less and more since then. Had also had other men friends, but chose him from them all.

Immediately told Pollyanna girls at home about it, and on my birthday received a lovely box from them, a hope chest box. The girls - Esther Struchen, who married John Gundersen in August 1919, Vera Utley and "Mother" Utley, her mother, Kathryn Morey, and her mother, Cora Atwater, Daisy Albertson, son Juda Eaton Mercy [?] and Bessie Banks, and Harriet Griswold (who did not belong to the Pollyannas), had a birthday party in my honor, at Esther's, and though I wasn't there, enjoyed themselves in thinking of me. I sent them the following night lettergram "This will take my place at my Pollyanna birthday party. So sweet of you. Wish I were with you tonight. Would be had I wings. As I have none will send my best love to each of you and may you each be as happy on your next birthday as I am today." I am planning to be married the 30th of September (1920), and will write more of that later.

Have employed by the University of California since Dec 3, 1919 in their purchasing dept. Started at $70 per month, and was raised to $80.00 in January.

This is written on June 5, 1920.

Was married July 16, 1921. No wedding, but spent my two weeks vacation in apartment at 1530 Harrison Street.

Was taken sick about middle of May 1922. Left office June 9 and did not return until early in Jan 1923, back to original job but went back to log desk in August of that year. Was in hospital 2 weeks. Had ulcers of the rectum. For many months after discharged as well had prolapses of the rectum. Was with Alice in Fresno from Oct 3[?] to Nov 11, 1922 to try and gain my strength back. Her boy is so lovely.

Moved to cabin in Redwood Canyon in May of 1923. There developed a bad goiter and was treated from Aug until May of 1924 with x-ray.

Vera Utley visited us from Aug to November of that year (1923). Was so hard to work, be so sick and have company that fall. The dreadful Berkeley fire in Sept 1923, had just moved there to 2317 Bancroft Way.

Boarded winter 1924-25 and moved to 3014 College Ave. 1925.

Blanch Pease [Walter's daughter] came to live with us in Aug '25 to go to school. She was not what we thought she was. Was slovenly and dishonest. Because we thought it would be pleasant for her, moved to Davenport Way in a fine apartment Feb 1st, 1926. She left March 3rd and was married 3 or 4 months later to a man from home.

We started our home in March '26 and moved in June 1st. Address 702 McLaughlin Street, Redmond. We are so happy here by ourselves.

Written on Sept 27th, 1927. Am now perfectly well for the first time since I can remember.

[That is the last entry.]

Chemung County NY

Published On 1 July 2011
By Joyce M. Tice