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114 State Street

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114 State Street
Brockport, N.Y. 

History written by Carol L. Hannan, March 2014 
Photo Credit and Produced by Pamela Ketchum
© Copyright by Carol L. Hannan – March 2014. All rights reserved.

Charles G. and Katherine “Kate” Vahue Gartley 
Owners/Builders (?): late 1890s/early 1900s to 1918 

This home was built on a divided lot which once belonged to Luther Gordon. From available maps, it appears that two large structures, most likely storage barns for the Gordon lumber business were situated on the lot. Just before the turn of the century, the lot was divided and two houses were built on the land, which was once also the location of the Roswell Smith steam mill. Nearby “Spring Street” pays homage to the natural springs used by Roswell Smith so long ago. The Gordons may have been responsible for constructing this house, at what is now 114 State Street. 

Charles Gartley, born in Ireland to Charles and Averanna Gartley, arrived on these shores as a young child in 1845. He and his family were part of the Irish famine which sent millions to our shores and millions of their native sons to the grave. By 1860, the family was living and working a farm in Sweden Township. Charles, the son, was working on this farm by the age of fifteen. 

At age 18, in 1863, Charles G. Gartley enlisted as a private in Company C, 21st Regiment NY Cavalry, known as the Griswold Light Cavalry. He served his country in Washington, D. C. and many Virginia locations, was promoted to Sergeant and mustered out in 1865. He then returned to Brockport. Gartley was never wounded, so didn’t receive a pension for his service. A member of the Cady Post, G. A. R. following the war, Gartley was active in the organization and elected “quartermaster-sergeant” in 1892. 

Leaving farm work behind forever, Charles got a job working for D. S. Morgan. There, the fortunate Civil War survivor suffered a horrific accident which all, at first, feared would be fatal. As he was oiling an upright shaft in the manufacturing plant, Gartley’s clothes became entangled in the revolving mechanism, which then spun the helpless victim around like a rag doll; with each revolution striking his senseless body on the machine’s framework. Before his coworkers could stop the machine and extricate young Charles, his legs were terribly mutilated and he sustained compound fractures in both of them. That he survived at all was considered a miracle. We are left to guess what pain and permanent injury the young husband and father suffered with for the remainder of his life. 

Charles married Katherine “Kate” Vahue. She was the daughter of Frank and Sophia LaDuke Vahue. Her father was born in Canada and her mother was born in Vermont. At the end of her life, Sophia would live with her daughter and son-in-law. Charles and Kate had two sons: Frederick L. and Arthur Charles Gartley; then they adoped a daughter, Lizzie B., who was born in Canada and later married Clifford Jeffords. Fred married somewhat later in life and either owned or ran a hotel and restaurant in Irondequoit with his wife, Jennie. He had no children. Arthur worked as a laborer and never married. Both Fred and Arthur are buried in Lakeview Cemetery. 

Charles Gartley, after recovering from his near fatal accident, opened a “news room” and became a “tobacconist” on Main Street. He either co-owned or worked with his brother James in the 1890s, then seemed to be the sole owner of the business which he continued to run until very late in his life. There was mention of a market known as Gartley and Gretton in the 1917 village directory, but nothing else could be found about the business. The final listing of Charles’ occupation came in 1918, the year of his death, when he claimed to be a bridge tender after several years of being retired. 

As for Kate Gartley, we know very little about her. She cared for her mother and children in her home. There were many newspaper references to family visits with her sister. She did not survive her husband. Although her parents are buried in the Brockport Cemetery, the Gartley’s final resting place is Lakeview Cemetery in the Town of Sweden. Charles made sure that his war time sacrifice to his county in the Civil War would be noted forever by having an inscription of his company’s name on his tombstone. 

For several years following the death of Charles Gartley, this home became a rental. Stephen A. Gretton, a butcher, and his family lived there. They took in boarders, including, ironically, Arthur Gartley, who lived there with his parents during their lifetime.

Arba Bealy and Helen Blanche “Nellie” Adsit Cary 
Owners: about 1920 to 1950s 

Arba Bealy Cary was the son of Frank Bela and Mary Cynthia Morey Cary. Frank was born in Hamlin, New York. His parents were farmers. Nellie was the daughter of Charles and Mary S. Adsit. He was a laborer born in Canada. Mary was living in Brockport by 1892, a widow with eight children. While she had no outside occupation, her children were working at a young age, including sixteen year old Nellie, who was employed at a canning factory. Nellie’s thirteen year old brother worked there with her. Other siblings worked in the piano and shoe factories. Here, again, was another working class family; living on State Street with multiple family members contributing to the household income.

After Arba and Nellie married, he worked as a farmer, first in Hamlin and then in Parma. Times were changing, however, and people were leaving farms to work in factories and other trades. By 1925, the Cary family was living in this Brockport home, at what was then 106 State Street, and Arba was working as a carpenter. With them were their two daughters: Marion E. and Bernice (pronounced “Ber niss”) Cecelia. Both of their daughters would complete higher educations and become teachers. Marion married first, to John Moynihan, and moved with him to Canandaigua. Bernice left Brockport and taught school in Schenectady for eighteen years. 

In 1950, Bernice took a leave of absence from her job and came home to care for her father, who was a widower in poor health. While here, she completed her Master’s degree in education and became reacquainted with Francis Luskey, an old friend. The couple married in 1951 at the Church of the Nativity in Brockport. Bernice carried a white orchid and wore a gown of dark blue velvet and a matching hat. The new Mr. and Mrs. Luskey spent the remainder of their lives as Brockport residents. 

Francis and Bernice Luskey and her grandmother, Mary S. Adsit, are buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Brockport. 

Epilogue 2014 

Although one of the “newer” homes on State Street, this house is now over one hundred years old! Still a single family residence, its original wooden clapboard exterior seems to have been covered, at some point, with siding. The angled front porch gives the home an interesting focal point.

© Copyright by Carol L. Hannan - March 2014. All rights reserved.