Democrat & Chronicle
Rochester, NY Monroe Co.
March 11, 1929
Mrs. Lucy PHILLIPS is 95 years old today.
Pump at Main East and St. Paul Streets Service Hotel in Early Days, Says Woman Who Remembers When Indians Roamed Freely, Numerously in City.
While she celebrates her ninety-fifth birthday today, Mrs. Lucy Charles PHILLIPS of 28 Poplar Street, will not look in any book having pictures of Rochester in the first years it was a city, for she carries those pictures in memory. Her age is the same at the city's. Born here, she remembers when there was a pump over a well at Main and St. Paul Streets. On the north side of that intersection she lived with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John CHARLES, in the Franklin House, a family hotel, and they drew water from tat well. She attended No. 10 and No. 14 Schools, when the children all learned to write with quill pens. They made their own copy books she said, folding foolscap paper to the right size.
One of the clearest memories Mrs. PHILLIPS had yesterday was of the historic flood of 1865. She recalled how a man living somewhere near to Rochester had a horse caught in the swelling current of the Genesee Rivers as it flowed down, and offered $25 to any one who would rescue it for him. Not many cared to take the chance of going into the rising flood, but one did and got the horse while it was still swimming. Mrs. PHILLIPS remembers. After the flood had abated, she says they found a large log on the floor of Reynolds Arcade. She then lived in the old Rochester House, where steps now lead down from Exchange Street by the bed of the old Erie Canal, present bed of the subway. She said that horse cars were running to Carthage when she was a child, and that Carthage was nearly as large as Rochester.
Mrs. PHILLIPS said that her father was constable, and was tax collector for three years. Her father and mother had come here from Malone, arriving on June 4, about a year before she was born. She remembers the old wooden bridge that crossed the river where the Democrat and Chronicle now is, and also when no coal was burned in Rochester. Asked the name of the first president she remembers, she replied "Jackson--much mourned when he died."
Mrs. PHILLIPS was twice married and both husbands were in the Civil War. The first, David BENJAMIN, whom she married in 1859, was killed in the battle of Fredericksburg. Her second, Isaiah PHILLIPS serviced on a Federal transport. He lived until 22 years ago. Until about three years ago, Mrs. PHILLIPS kept house for her son, Edwin Eugene, now of Clarissa Street, and until six years ago kept house both her sons, the latter, William Wallace PHILLIPS, who with his wife, now makes a home for her. Until a year or more ago, when she had trouble with her eyes, Mrs. PHILLIPS was a constant reader. If alone at noon she would sometimes omit luncheon to read. When her sons were eating she would often read from books to them while at table. She now goes up and down stairs every day. She is fond of automobile riding.
Mrs. PHILLIPS says she remembers when Indians were quite numerous here, and visited the white people's homes to sell baskets, slippers and little beaded bags.
She has a brother, William, who owned two boats on the Erie Canal. Later he went to the Atlantic Coast and made his home so much of the time on the water that all his children excepting one were born on boats. On one trip over the Hudson River, a daughter arrived, and he named her "Mary Hudson CHARLES." So far as the family has learned, this brother, now 85 years old, still runs his own boat in New York Harbor.
George P. KLEE, well known Rochester jeweler, for 34 years a member of the firm of Klee & Groh, died yesterday morning at his home, 5 Burkard Place. Mr. Klee was 62 years old.
Funeral services will take place Thursday morning at 9:15 o'clock at St. Boniface Church. Interment will be made in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
Mr. KLEE was born in Rochester on June 26, 1866. In 1895, with the late Albert GROH, he founded the jewelry business of Klee & Groh with a store at Clinton Avenue North and Gorham Street. In 1907 the firm moved to 214 Main Street East, and six years later went to the present location, with enlarged quarters, at 143 Main Street East. Mr. GROH died in 1925, since which time Mr. KLEE had carried on the business as sole proprietor. Mr. KLEE was a member of the Rochester Retail Jeweler's Association, B.P.O.E., Knights of Columbus, Chamber of Commerce, St. Herman's Society and the St. Boniface Club of St. Boniface Church.
He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Margaret Burkard KLEE; two sons, Louis G. and Eugene W. KLEE; a daughter, Mrs. J. Emmett MURPHY; three brothers, Joseph, John and Henry J. KLEE; a sister, Sister Mary Concepta of North Java, N.Y. and six grandchildren. psm
Rochester, Monroe, NY