Friday, May 9, 2014

This Is Why I Keep Seeking Milo


     I had looked at every family history website I could think of, and even done Google searches on <"Milo Galloway" New York>.  I was out of ideas and pronounced myself done--finished searching the internet for data on one Milo Galloway.  It was taking up too much research time.

     Yeah, that lasted about two weeks.  It seemed to me something catastrophic must have happened in Milo's financial life around the time of his death; his wife and unmarried daughter were forced to go on the public dole in later years.  Very strange for the family of a man who had once owned a canal boat, a saw and grist mill, a cloth factory, and numerous properties; along with being a manufacturer of water wheels.  I needed to know what had happened! 

     Looking through New York land records at Family Search, I found some very interesting deals.  That is what I've been up to all this time, putting them in order which is harder than you might think.  Back in the day it wasn't uncommon for deeds to be recorded at the courthouse weeks or even years after they were made.  Sometimes they didn't bother to record them at all.  Once you go back and transcribe them in chronological order a clear picture emerges.  Milo's first land purchase was on November 17, 1823.  He bought 1/4 acre of land on the Erie Canal near the three locks in the Town of Lyons for which he paid $13.  In October of 1825 he sold the same property for $215.  In June of 1831 Milo bought a farm at $665.  In April of 1834 he sold it for $3,066.  August of 1838, 50 acres for $409.  Twelve days later he sold it for $1, 500.  You get the gist here--Milo knew what he was doing! 
In his last years however, he entered into several land transactions with partners, something he had never done before. Ira Stanbrough and Esbon Blackman were his cohorts.  Could they offer a clue?

     In 1842, the partnership began.  There was one land purchase that year and two the next with them.  In May of 1847,  Ira Stanbrough, one of the partners, was declared a debtor and threatened with the sale of his worldly possessions.  He then disappeared from sight.  Esbon, the other partner, dabbled in politics, becoming a state legislator.  He died just five months after Milo in 1857.  When Milo passed away, he left no will which I find odd , and I've been unable to find an obituary.  Maybe he just neglected to make a will, after all he was only 57 when he died, but no obit?  He was a well known, prosperous man in a small town, how could that be?  

     Suicide crosses my mind.  In large part because of this final deed, drawn up six days before Milo died:
     June 12, 1857.  William VanMarten, referee in the action of the Town of Lyons, New York of the first part, and William Pulver of Pines Plains, Dutchess County, New York of the second part. Whereas at a special term of Supreme Court ... in an action pending between William Pulver plaintiff, and Milo Galloway defendant ... mortgaged premises mentioned in the complaint were sold at public auction at the Eagle Hotel in Newark, New York.

     So Milo defaulted on his mortgage, and lost the property.  I wish I knew what property it was, there was no description in the deed other than it was located in the village of Newark. Could it have been his home, the loss of which resulted in his death?  Or was he so ill before his death he couldn't make his payments?  That doesn't seem likely, he must have had some money from his land deals and medical bills didn't break the bank back then like they can today.  Could it be he was brought down by his association with the debtor Ira Stanbrough?  I just don't know, but until I do I'll be continuing regular searches.

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