Hoosick Township Historical Society

Backyard History

Project Discover 4th graders from Hoosick Falls Elementary School in Hoosick Falls, NY, were asked to interview an older relative or research the life of an older relative.They then took the information gathered and wrote a biography on that person. The biographies were illustrated and bound into a book. Attached you will read these interesting stories. Each story includes one of the illustrations.


Biographies 2000


The Life Story of Lois Davok

By Rachel Bass

My grandmother (Nana) Lois Davock was born on March 7, 1932. She had one sister, Marie and two brothers, Kenneth and Frank.Her parentsí names were Mary and Patrick. She lived on Lyman Street in Hoosick Falls, NY.Her mother was a housewife and her father was in the trucking business. She went to St. Maryís Academy. Her interests in her early adulthood were going to the movies and seeing ďJoan of ArcĒ and cooking spaghetti sauce. Some of her other early interests were playing canasta and reading Gone With the Wind.My grandmother lived on River St. in Hoosick Falls, NY when she was an adult. She got married on July 30, 1940.Her husband is Tom Davock. She had four daughters named Theresa, MaryJane, Victoria and Patricia. My grandmother is a quilter.She likes to go to church.Her special memories are her dog and cat. Her parents are dead. Her special vacation was when she went to Florida with the whole family.Her hobbies are reading and going to Bingo. Now she has a pet cat. I chose my Nana because I have a lot of special memories, like when she plays bingo with me. A special memory was when she went shopping with my mom and me.


The Biography of Mary McMahon

By Sarah McMahon

My grandmother was born on January 15, 1942 at the Bennington Hospital. Her parentsí names were George and Carolyn Andrew.Her brothers and sisters names are Howard, Carole, Roxie and Doris. As a child, my grandmother lived in Eagle Bridge, NY. Her dad was a dairy farmer.Her mom was a homemaker. My grandmother went to school at Cambridge Central School and it was a one-room schoolhouse.She went there for first through second grade. For sports she played softball, basketball. She also did roller skating and horseback riding. My grandmother lived in Eagle Bridge in her years of young adulthood.She went to Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing. She liked to play softball, basketball and she also did roller-skating and horseback riding and also swimming. My grandmother lived in Petersburg, NY in her years of adulthood. She got married to John Francis McMahon. She had four children. Their names are John Jr., Dan, Kathy and Thom McMahon. Dan is my father. She worked at Samaritan Hospital for a short time, then she worked at Putnam School of Practical Nursing. She worked at Vermont Technical College Nursing Program and she worked at the Bennington Campus. Her special contributions were hospital nursing education, hospital nursing, and nursing education for practical nursing. Her special memories are spending special times with her children and grandchildren.


The Biography of Robert Lavarnway

By Kevin Woods

My Grampa, Robert Lavarnway was born in Plattsburg, NY in 1932.His father was Edmund and his mother was Edith. June and Jean were his sisters and his brother was Lawrence. As a boy, he lived in Malone, NY. His parentsí occupations were a telephone lineman and a housewife. His schooling was at Notre Dame Parochial. His early interests were sports. He lived in Malone, NY from grade school through high school, which was 1937-1950.He went to college in 1955 to 1956 at University of California Riverside.In 1958-1961 he went to New York State Teachers College. He liked to collect coins. He now lives in Buskirk NY. He got married in 1958 to Eleanor Murdoch. They had two girls; my mom, Mary Beth and her sister, Karen.He worked for Key Corp for many years. My grampa got awards in the Navy.His special memories were his grandchildren, children and marriage.††


My Grandfather: Jim Cutler

By Kevin Gorman

My grandfather, Jim Cutler, was born at the Hoosick Falls Health Center on November 25, 1931.His fatherís name was Arthur Cutler. His motherís name was Bessie Cutler.His brotherís name was Harold Cutler.†† He lived on 6 Dale Street in Hoosick Falls, NY. His father worked as a crane operator and his mother worked as a factory worker. When he went to school, he went to Center St. School in Hoosick Falls. His early interest was in Boy Scouts. Jim went camping for two weeks. He got boating, swimming and map reading badges.He was a Boy Scout for a rank. In his young adulthood, he lived at 3 First Street in Hoosick Falls.He went to Walter A. Wood High School.He was the manager of football, basketball and belonged to the Camera Club. Jim Cutler lived on 55 Center Street. He married Evelyn Beagle who is now Evelyn Cutler. They were married at the First United Church.They were married on September 8, 1956. His childrenís names were Debbie, Connie, Carol and Jimmy. He worked at Wood Flong Corp. for 42 years. His special contributions were National Guard for 28 years. Also he was in the US Army Germany Occupation for 2 years. He was in the fire department.He worked for the Village Assessor and Rescue Squad.He was a baseball manager for Little League and also he was a teacher for Sunday school. His special memories were graduation in 1951 and when he saw Paris, France.


Robert Smith

By Sara Smith

My grandfather, Robert Smith, was born at home in Petersburgh, NY on November 4, 1927. His parentsí names were Alvin and Blanche Smith. Bobís brothers were John and Peter. Bobís sisters were Louise, Miriam and Barbara. As a young boy, Bob lived in the farmhouse on Fox Hollow Rd. that his father bought. Bobís father was a dairy farmer who bought a farm that was used for three generations. Bob went to a one-room schoolhouse on Potter Hill. Bobís early interest were fishing and hunting. At the age of 14, Bob went to Hoosick Falls High School. Bobís interests in young adulthood were football and baseball, fishing and hunting. In adulthood, Bob lived at 432 Fox Hollow Road.Bob married Mary P. OíDell Smith. Bob and Mary had two children. Keith Smith was born September 27, 1963. Matt Smith was born November 23, 1965. Bob is still a farmer working for my family.He is very strong and helps with most everything. Bobís special memories were the first electricity on Fox Hollow Road, when he shot a 12-point buck with a rifle, building his house in 1966 and sailing out of the Golden Gate Bridge after World War II. Bob was in the Navy as a seaman first class, in World War II from 1944-1946 at the age of seventeen. Bobís pets were dogs. Their names were Tiger, Bullet, Trudy and Count, also Sam. Bobís favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because he gets to hunt and eat a lot.


The Biography of My Grandmother Esther Gates

By Ryan Gates

My grandmother, Esther Gates, was born in Arlington Vermont at her parentsí home.She was born on July 29, 1926. My grandmotherís parents were Royce and Margaret Squires.She had 13 siblings, 7 brothers and 6 sisters. Their names were: Gilbert, James David, Vernon, Kenneth, Max, and Richard. The girls were: Ruth, Phyllis, Joyce, Hazel, Linda and Lucille. As a child, my grandmother also lived in Arlington, Vermont.She lived there with her parents and other siblings. Her dad was a teamster. He drove and trained horses.Her mother was a homemaker, which meant that her mother took care of her children, her husband and her home. My grandmother attended Arlington Memorial High School. She attended this school for kindergarten through 12th grade. She babysat for younger children after all of her homework was finished, until her parents returned home. As she grew older, she still lived in Arlington, VT. She loved music. She played piano.She learned to play by ear. After she was married, she lived in Bennington, VT with her husband and children. She happily married my grandfather, Joseph E. Gates on November 26, 1955.They were married for 26 years before my grandfather died of throat cancer. My grandmother had 4 children. Their names were Nancy, Kenneth, Joann and my father Allan who is the youngest. My grandmother was a housewife. She took care of her children and husband. My grandmother helped teach children and she aided children that were unable to learn by themselves.


My Grandpaís Life

By Meaghan Wood

My grandfather, Richard Wood, was born September 23, 1935 in a hospital in New York City.His mother and fatherís names were Francis Wood and Dorothy Harres. He had two brothers named Frank and Robert.He also had two sisters named Marilyn and Carol. During his childhood, he lived in Tarrytown, NY. His mother was a homemaker and his father was a conductor on a railroad. He went to Washington Irving Elementary School and enjoyed playing school with his big brother. He liked to play ball with his big brother Frank, also. During his young adulthood, he still lived in Tarrytown. He went to Washington Irving High School.He joined the US Army and served in the Korean War overseas. He received the Purple Heart for injuries he received. When he came home he went to State University of New York in Brockport for his math teaching degree on the GI Bill.His interests were reading, woodworking and my grandmother, Donna Mumford.†† During his adulthood, he lived in Newark, NY.He married Donna Mumford on July 12th, 1957 in Chamong, NY.They had five children: Richard, Chris, Mark, Jeff and Meghan. My grandfather was a math teacher.He was also a football coach for twenty years. His special memories were his grandchildren.He died February 11, 1992.


A Report

By Thomas Bass

My Poppy, Thomas Davok, was born on January 29, 1932.His momís name was Jane and his dadís name was Frank. He had a brother named Bernard and two sisters named Margaret and Jane.I was named after my Poppy. During his childhood, he lived on 9 White Street in Hoosick Falls. He went to Clay Hill School.His parents were factory workers. He was a St. Maryís High School graduate.He still lived on 9 White Street as a young adult. He loved to play baseball and basketball. He got a jacket for being a good baseball player.He liked the Boston Read Sox and likes playing pitch. As an adult, he spent three years in the Marine Corps and one year in Korea.My Poppy lived on Lyman Street in Hoosick Falls. He had a dog named Liz and a cat named Fluffy. He had five daughters.Their names were Theresa, MaryJane, Victoria, Patricia and Barbara.He was a factory worker for 35 years and NYS worker for eight years. He loved being a father.He liked to raise his children and watch them grow.The children graduated from high school and made him happy. Hi mother, daughter and dad all died. I chose my Poppy because he is nice to me all the time and he has taught me a lot about sports.


The Life of Ralph Auernig

By Corey Callahan

Ralph Auernig was born on October 28, 1922 in Pownal, VT. He lived in Hoosick Falls with his three brothers.Their names were Charles, Louis and Frank. His parentsí names were Joseph Auernig and Emma Auernig. In his childhood, he went to 3 different schools until the 9th grade. He quit school to get a job to help his family. When he was 19 years old, he volunteered to join the Navy. He worked on a destroyer ship during WWII. After the war he came home and married Loretta Thomas on November 15, 1948. They had no children of their own, but helped to raise their niece, my mom, Mary Callahan. Ralph worked at the Pownal Tannery. He retired on December 31, 1085 to take care of his wife.She was sick with emphysema.She died in October 1991.Now Ralph lives at Woodbridge Heights in Hoosick Falls, NY.I visit him as often as I can.


Irwin Wright: A Biography

By Laura Stevenson

On January 28, 1901, Irwin Wright was born to Eva Card and Irwin D. Wright at Harriot Medical Center in Erie PA.He had three sisters, Norma, Lucille, and Winifred. Through most of his life he lived in Erie. His mother worked at the city laundry and his father worked in a shirt-making factory. Irwin only went to eighth grade.He liked to play the violin, take walks outside, go fishing, play banjo and play practical jokes. In his young adulthood, Irwin lived in Erie. He did not go to college.He still loved his music, walks, fishing and jokes. At that time, he was a salesman. He was also part of the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, in which he played the violin.He also played the banjo in the Philharmonic Society. Irwin married Elizabeth Altematt in 1934.They had one child, Doris. In 1961, they moved to Mayville, NY.He became an underwriter for an insurance company. He was the treasurer of the Erie Community Chest.He was a very loving father and grandfather. He died on July 9, 1986 at the age of 85.


Dorothy Marie Savoy Robichaud

By Taylor Robichaud

She was born on September 13, 1927 at Athol, Massachusetts. Her dadís name was Arthur T. Savoy.Her momís name is Roseanna M. Savoy.Her brothers were Herman, Ishmael and Buster. Her dadís job was as a machinist. Her mom was a housewife.When she was 12 she still lived in Athol. She went to school at Half Good School for her elementary school and finished high school at Athol Regional High School. She liked to jump rope and play hopscotch. Her favorite thing to do was reading books.Her favorite book that she always remembers is, The Secret Garden. She loved to go see movies and her favorite was Gone With the Wind. She was married at 21 years old to Raynold Joseph Robichaud in the Our Lady Immaculate Church in Athol, MA. She has five children: Carol Ann, Diane, Janice, and Alan.All the children have ďAnnĒ in their name for St. Anne. Later she worked at Starett Tool, one of the largest makers of tools in the world. After her children were grown, she worked for the Department of State of Massachusetts.She helped people to find employment and get off unemployment payments. Her special contributions in life are that she prayed for her children and all of them and their spouses became Christians with a faith in Jesus Christ. Her most special place to go is Walt Disney World in Florida.She has been there six times and last year she brought my brother Jordan, and me. We went on an airplane to Walt Disney World where we stayed for nine days.It was the best Christmas I ever had.