The Dutch Settlers Society of Albany

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eileen webb

Joined Jan 19 2014
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72 years old
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The Dutch Settlers Society of Albany

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hi,,,retired from the state of in versailles.n.y. ,,in my great grandmother's home...Ethelyn Juno Van Schoonhoven Lord Perkins. she is my reason for joining.. her great grandfather was an early settler here in western n.y...[henry  van schoonhoven]. Gram was born in Osakis,mn .in 1876,in the wilderness. they had frequent visits from natives,who seemed to like gram and her family. she had no fear of them and they did them no harm... when the war had ceased hostilities, her family[richard van schoonhoven] moved back to western ny.. gram was an exceptional woman,,six foot tall and a very independent ,political,and an adventurous soul.  widowed in her early twenties with three surviving children, she took over her husband's job as rural mail route deliverer.. on sleigh or stage ,she went daily to Lawtons,ny and picked up the mail.. she was the second woman in the country to hold such a job. the indians would guide her horses in the winter storms .i saw a pic of her winter attire once,,,,bear robes and a pistol in her belt.. she was adopted into the seneca nation by her admirors on the rez as she also taught the native children to read and write in Newtown,which was on her route. there were no schools for them in those days and her wage was a whole $32.00 a month. gram was not a certified teacher,but always consulted professors at the university of Buffalo for assistance... always on the go,,she drove to Stockton,Ca. to visit her son,Derrick as often as she could. her adventures were sent to the Gowanda,ny newspaper and printed for all to enjoy.  that alone was amazing,,never went over 30 mph, changed her own tires and once my aunt ellen,[her daughter] rode the whole way in the rumble seat.......gram was mother -of-the-year in 1956 or 1957, i believe..  she was made post master of our little hamlet and held the position until she retired. her father had the same postion many years before...gram was there when McKinley was shot and ,of course, was very involved in woman's rights, voting or otherwise. during the pan am. expo in buffalo,ny ,for some unknown reason, she took two bulbs off the electric building display,,,one of which my cousin's son has donated to the history museum in buffalo. well, i could go on and on about my great grandmother..she was a wonderful person. never have met anyone who could even compare with her accomplishments.....she was so proud of her heritage and so am i....

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1 Comment

Reply Charles Case Stoodley
2:01 PM on September 26, 2015 
CCS: LOADS of great info-fwd! So glad you're a 'fellow'--seems sexist?--DSSA member. My veritable anchor is Ms Cheryl Webber, who is kind and answers my endless questions--she of those 'many hats' even when NOT in 'Dutch' dress!

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