When you're big into Genealogy, you find yourself becoming very familiar with people in your family tree who died long before you were born. So although Joshua Cornell is actually my great-great grandfather I tend to refer to him as "Grandpa Josh" because its just simplier. My very tolerant family apparently has gotten used to this because they know exactly who I'm referring to. I've heard some Grandpa Josh stories over the years which I kept in mind while looking at his genealogy.
Joshua A Cornell was born on June 30, 1849 to Jacob G Cornell and Mary McCord. He joined at home two brothers, Aaron and Willett, and a sister Sarah. His brother Ezra was born three years later. There's little known about his mother, Mary McCord, and speculation that she was Jacob's second wife. If so, Joshua was her first child. But thats a whole other story to tell some other time. Joshua's brother Aaron had a blacksmith shop, which was in the exact spot the new Croton Dam was built, which is why many refer to the dam as the Cornell Dam. The family farm and where Joshua was born is now under water, one of many homes flooded when the dam was completed.
Joshua was taught the trade of a wheelwright at first, according to his obituary. However he also is listed in the census throughout the years as a carriage maker, a blacksmith, and a carpenter with his own shop. Joshua married Alice Chase on Oct 22 1871. Their son Ira J Cornell was born in May of 1874, Wright Benjamin Cornell in November of 1878. It was much later, in November of 1889, Lester Albert Cornell was born.
Here they are all together: Lester being the younger one on the left, behind him is Wright, with Wright's wife Lizzie (Elizabeth Titus) besides Lester. Standing in the back is Grandpa Josh with his wife Alice on the right. Ira is in the right front with his wife Allie (Almira Fisher) just slightly behind and to the left of him. Date of photo unknown, but Wright married in 1903 and Ira died in 1905, which gives us a small window when this photo could have been taken. Lester would marry much later - in 1923, to Florence Purdy.
One of the stories I've heard told about Grandpa Josh was that he had a temper and sometimes he & Alice fought. Matter of fact, (they would say) he lived out in the garage for a time. The garage they referred to was once Grandpa Josh's shop. he bought it in 1885 and then began to build their house next to it. I thought this a funny story growing up.
|Wright, Joshua and Ira|
Grandpa Josh, along with his sons Lester & Wright were well known for their carpentry skills. Some of the buildings for Trinity-Pawling, a private boys school in Pawling, NY, were built by the three of them. The family also hunted. In 1926, at 77, Joshua was mentioned in the paper for getting some squirrel and a pheasant.
Alice Chase Cornell died in July of 1939, after being ill for a few weeks. Grandpa Josh however lived a long time. When he turned 91 his family threw him a big get-together to celebrate. Joshua was the last of his siblings to pass away, in 1943 at the age of 94.