The Early Twentieth Century
~ 1901 – 1930’s ~
thanks to Brent Brandon for contributing these beautiful photographs
and information of his grandfather, who lived most of his life in Oswego
County. Brent Brandon <BrentBrandon@cableone.net>
|Francis Earl Brandon, (Senior) was born
on May 18, 1902 in Watertown, Jefferson County, a city with a population
of 14,725 in the 1900 census. (Please see photo). He was the son of David,
who lived another 54 years after Francis was born and Maud Wheeler,
age 29 at his birth; both of Boylston.
David and Maud separated sometime after Francis
was born: David married Ida Hawley in 1906, when Francis was four.
Following his parent’s separation, Francis was
raised by his Aunt (David’s sister) Martha (Brandon) Freeman and Jay Freeman,
together with their one daughter, Doris.
Francis was a noted singer, "a
little boy with voice of an angel," according to Mrs. Samuel Burton, his
choir director as a boy. On May 25, 1911, at age nine, he performed
a solo for the Ladies Guild of Emmanual Episcopal Church in Sandy Creek
and was noted in the Sandy Creek News. Shortly thereafter, he lost
his right eye to an arrow in an accident and never sang publicly again.
He also served as a Volunteer Fireman with the Sandy
Creek Fire Department, and maintained the Station's fire truck and equipment.
His skill as a mechanic later earned him the nickname, "Doc," and he was
widely known by this name throughout his life. Prior to World War
II, the Brandon's moved to Lycoming, a village on Jones Road (Rte 29) two
miles south of Nine Mile Point on Lake Ontario. There they purchased a
home and acreage for $800 from the Flowers family and raised their family
in this rural setting.
||On June 25, 1925 - a month after his 23rd birthday,
Francis married a striking 19 year-old nurse from the House of Good Samaritan
School of Nursing in Watertown: Alivira Green, a native of Rodman,
New York. (Please see photo).
Francis and Alvira were both baptized on
July 26, 1931 at Sandy Creek Baptist Church by Reverend Floyd Femen.
The couple had their first child, Francis Earl, Jr. in 1932, seven years
after their marriage and later, two daughters, Katherine Louise and Corinne
Francis and his family lived in the "Cole
House" in Sandy Creek, New York during the Great Depression, where he operated
"Brandon's Garage" and later, "Brandon & Son" just two blocks from
Doc joined Oswego Casting Company in Oswego, where
he worked as a welder and mechanic, and was known to “lay a weld like butter.”
Before we move on, a bit more on David, Doc’s
father. As mentioned earlier, David and Maude separated when Doc
was a boy. David married Ida Hawley four years after Francis was
born, and had three more children: Stan, Dorthy and Dorland. Dorland’s
wife, Mary is still with us and recently provided valuable pictures and
newspaper clippings which shed light on David’s life, and that of his brother
Frank as well. (Please see photo and clippings).
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Copyright © Feb. 2004 Brent Brandon
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