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The History Center blog shares research and findings about local history, excerpts from the History Center Archives, information about upcoming exhibits and other opportunities on how to get involved with The History Center in Tompkins County. To learn more or view the archival materials mentioned, visit us in downtown Ithaca, follow us on social media @TompkinsHistory, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter History Happenings

Enfield 1940 Census History - by Sue Thompson - Enfield Historian

Wed, April 27, 2022 11:44 AM | Anonymous

Have you ever heard of “flour sack dresses”? By the 1920’s flour/sugar/feed sacks were printed in gingham checked or striped patterns.  These flour sacks were used to make household items, clothing, quilts and toys.  I am looking for family stories in the use of these sacks. I would also be interesting in viewing an actual sack, or clothing/quilt.  I am working on a history display but do not have local stories of the use of theses sacks.  (historian@townofenfield.org or 607-272-6412).

While entering 1940 Federal Census data in the History Forge project of Tompkins County for Enfield  (https://thehistorycenter.net/HistoryForge) I was noticing the different occupations recorded for residents of the Town.  Below are just a few of the people and occupations. If you have additional information on any of the residents I would love to hear from you.  If you want to do some of your own research, Family Search and Ancestry are two website you can find the 1940 Census.  On April 1, the 1950 Federal Census will be released and viewable on both these websites.

One of the first occupations I noticed was Pocketbook Manufacturing.  France Newhart, Sophia Wilkins, Arthur and Pauline Wright, Andrew Palmer, and Viola McCray were all listed as working at  Pocketbook Manufacturing.  The jobs were listed as leather cutter and sewing operator.  R. Appel opened the “pocketbook factory” in 1934 in Ithaca. The company produced handbags for customers throughout the United States and Canada for 25 years until its closure in 1959. At its peak production, R. Appel, Inc. manufactured nearly 1,800 handbags a day.  Helen Stanton worked as a seamstress at the City Hospital.  The City Hospital at that time was located on South Quarry Street in Ithaca and called the Ithaca Memorial Hospital.

There were teachers listed, Pearl Niverson (Krums Corners School); Florence Bullivant (Trumansburg School for 44 years); Mary Freese (VanDorn’s School); Warena Ramsey (Bostwick, VanDorn, Woodard, Millers Corner, Enfield Center and Enfield Elementary Schools, taught for 40 years); Martha Bock (Woodward School taught for 33 years). Paul Nelson worked at a Chicken Hatchery (we will place him at Babcock’s (1935 Krums Corners). Abram Moore, Junk Dealer.  Clair Entriken and Albert Stone, Bakery.  Blacksmith - Clarence Fitchpatrick, Enfield Center and Otto Newman, Cornell University.   Hall Bailey, Caretaker State Park – Robert H. Treman State Park? 

Lawrence and Arelen Fitchpatrick, Clifford and Doris Voorheis working at “adding machine” manufacture. Allen-Wales produced and sold adding machines, Ithaca. The Company became National Cash Register (NCR) in 1943.  Ernest Buteux, built Hillendale Golf Course (Applegate Road) in 1930’s. Lyman Cockerill, Minister Baptist Church. Merchant Retail Stores – Carl Newhart, Enfield Center Newhart’s Store;  Charles Phillips, Miller’s Corner (Mecklenburg, Enfield Main) Gas Station; William Jones, Enfield Center Red and White Store. Holland Cretsen, Foreman Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp, 1933 Robert H. Treman State Park, Enfield.  Kryle Burlew, Barber Enfield Center.  Nora Dodd, Practical Nurse, Dodd Nursing Home opened in 1951 and closed in 1971, Ithaca.

I ran across this article in the Ithaca Journal, September 2, 1924.  I found it interesting the variety of names attending the Rumsey Reunion, a good research project to see how all these people were connected: The third annual reunion of the descendants of the Jonathan Rumsey family was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Fittchpatrick at Enfield Center last Saturday with about 50 present from Odessa, Dryden, and Ithaca.  A bountiful dinner was served at noon and the day was spent with games and visiting.  Mrs. Fred Bock read a history of the family and officers elected for another year were: President, L.D. Rumsey; vice-president, Mrs. Sherman Ervay; secretary, Mrs. Ida Carpenter; treasurer, Sherman Ervay; historian, Mrs. Fred Bock; committee on entertainment, Mrs. Charles Jones, Mrs. John Myers and Mrs. Fred Bock.  The next reunion will be held at the home of Mrs. E.P. Perez at Shadow Lawn on Cayuga Lake.

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This article was originally published in the April-June 2022 print copy issue of the Enfield Currents. Reposted here with the authors permission. 

Sue Thompson, Enfield Historian, historian@townofenfield.org

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