January 1990

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Grandfather Clocks


George O. Miller

In 1820 Jabez and Eleanor Hanmer traveled from Mendon, New York, to Tompkins County where they stayed for one year. In 1821 they journeyed on to Sugar Hill and Pine Grove between Watkins Glen and Tyrone now.

They had several small children. Peter was the oldest, ten years old. Maria was the youngest, just one year old. David, younger than Peter, helped milk and lead the cow.

Jabez pulled a two-wheeled cart that carried all the goods the Hanmers had: a small chest with carefully packed dishes and a grandfather clock.

When they reached Sugar Hill they stayed with John Young's family, one of two living in the area, until they could build a cabin. The roof of Young's cabin wasn't high enough for the grandfather clock so they dug a square hole in the ground and set the clock in it.

The Hanmer children were about the same age as the Young's children. One of them was named Brigham. He later led the Mormons to Utah.

Jabez and Eleanor lived to a good old age. Peter their oldest, married Ruth Bacon and they had a son Benjamin Franklin Hanmer. His son Ira had a daughter named Tempa who married Harry Dill.

The grandfather clock that was carried in the two-wheeled cart and set in a hole dug in the earth floor so that it could stand upright in the cabin has come down this line to Georgia Dill who has it now.

B.F. "Frank" Hanmer married my great-grandmother in 1861 after her husband had died when my grandmother was only one year old.

George O. Miller, Reading Center
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