to Levi Corser
by daughter, Helen C. Fox
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A book could be written about my Dad, Levi Corser. He
lived a very interesting life growing up without a father, who left his family
for California leaving a wife and three young children. He spent his
early childhood in Bristol with his grandfather, who was a Civil War Veteran.
One of the things they did together besides work the farm was make sure the
graves of the Veterans were decorated for Memorial Day. That project
carried on through out his life.
In the early 1900's getting high school education was
complicated if you lived in the country. One had to walk or try and get
transportation with neighbors or friends whenever possible. He was able
to attend Lima Seminary and later Mechanic's Institution in Rochester.
(Now RIT) He enlisted in World War I in the Army Air Force.
Aviation was new and his mechanical experience was needed. He spent
time in France. He returned after the War and with an Army buddy opened
a Garage and Filling Station in St. Albans, West Virginia. The town grew
around a munitions factory during the war. Unfortunately the town lost
its principle employer and the Garage lost customers and they had to dissolve
He returned to the Bristol area in the 1920's where he worked
in a local store for a time before finding work in a Garage in Canandaigua.
He met my Mom and they were married in 1925 and bought a home
in Bristol in 1927. Of course the depression came along and work was
scarce, but the US Veteran's Hospital was being built in Canandaigua and he
got a position as guard there and later as Master Mechanic, where he worked
until retirement in the 1960's. Though not called that at the time, his
family were "suburbanites", driving the twelve miles in a Model T
Ford daily to work over unplowed roads, no defrosters and heaters. Few
did that, but those who asked, were always given transportation when
needed by him.
With his membership in the Legion he kept busy with a few
others who were interested in preserving the memory of those who served for us
in the armed forces of all wars. This included recording tombstones of
many of the cemeteries. He shared all that he could with various
Historians in this area at that time. I have since tried to up date
cemeteries and share them as well.
During this time he was Bristol Town Justice and also on the
Town Board. When the position of Justice became almost full time he
could no long serve on the Town Board. He was able to interest the Town
in Cemetery Preservation and many of the early cemeteries were mowed and
restored by volunteers.
He was also active in the Masons, Bristol Valley Grange,
Historical Society of Bristol and Ontario County, Assisted at Ontario Co Fair
when held here in Bristol, and for the 4-H Camp and Clubs. Active
in Churches of Bristol. First the Methodist Church and Congregational
Churches which Federated in 1948. Known to paint the Old Congregational
Church by himself. Later the Federated Church joined with the
Universalist Church at "Baptist Hill" in 1970. When addition
were made, he volunteered his service where needed.
He had a deep concern for preserving the history of the town
and community efforts of the people. We, his children, are aware of the
appreciation of many when we were asked to attend the dedication of the
"Levi Corser Memorial Park", here in Bristol Center. Again I
was appreciative of all his endeavors when I became Bristol Town Historian as
I had a great base of information to carry on the work I feel that he started.
He passed away in 1979 at age 81 very suddenly and we still
miss him very much, as he had knowledge of so much history that was never
written down. Wish there had been computers then. He was a very
modest man never expecting the preserving of his name that I have witnessed.
A proud daughter,
Helen Corser Fox
Html by Dianne Thomas
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