The Descendants

Of

John Addison Biles

 

WORKING DRAFT

Last Change: 7 April 2017

 

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Prior generations in America are speculative.

John Biles - Gen 5

Henry Biles - Gen 6

Alexander Patterson Biles - Gen 7

Jacob Place Biles - Gen 8

John Addison Biles - Gen 9

Sarah Ellen (Kerrick) Biles - Gen 9

 

Clarence Emery Biles (1889 - 1961)

 

Biles Generation 10

Descendant # 3

 

Biles, Clarence Emery and Christine (Irvine) - portrait crop

 

1.  Clarence’s parents:  John Addison and Sarah Ellen (Kerrick) Biles

 

2.  Clarence’s birth: 9 December 1889 in a house his parents rented on 3rd Street (near the bridge) in Towanda, Towanda Borough, Bradford County, Pennsylvania (while his father was a student there at Susquehanna Collegiate Institute).

 

Clarence’s death: Wednesday, 11 January 1961 at Binghamton General Hospital, Binghamton, New York from complications of pancreatic cancer; interred Biles Cemetery on the hill above Homets Ferry, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, New York.

 

3.  Clarence’s formal education:

 

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School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1912

Winona Lake College of Agriculture, Winona Lake, Wayne County, Kosciusko County, Indiana; majored in horticulture.  Roomed, for a time, with his older brother, Elmore.

 

4.  Clarence’s marriage:

 

a.  To whom: Christine (NMI) Irvine (photos) (more info) (SSN: 103-30-2506)

 

(1)  Christine’s parents:  John Milton and Jane Delphine “Dell” (Biles) Irvine (Para. 3.f.(6) of generation 6 of the Ancestors of John Addison Biles)

 

(2)  Christine’s birth: 15 August 1889 at home at Homets Ferry, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

 

Christine’s death: Saturday, 19 August 1967 (11:40 PM), age 78, at the residence of her son-in-law, Lincoln O. Bryant, on Genegantlset Road outside Greene, Chenango County, New York from Lobar Pneumonia.  She had been convalescing there about six months following hip surgery.  Memorial service was held at Rogers and Kennedy Funeral Home, Greene on Tuesday, 22 August with Reverend Nathan J. Rakestraw of the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church of Greene officiating.  Interred beside Clarence in the Biles Cemetery on the hill above Homets Ferry, Pennsylvania.

 

(3)  Christine’s formal education:

 

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To

School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mansfield State Normal School

 

(4)  Christine’s employment history:

 

From

To

Employer, location, job title

 

 

In 1910 was the teacher at the Homets Ferry School, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

 

(5)  Christine’s addresses before marriage:

 

From

To

Address

 

 

Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

 

 

Mansfield, Pennsylvania

 

 

Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

 

(6)  Other biographical notes on Christine:

 

a. Christine had no name at all, except “Baby” for almost a year, and she never had an official middle name.  After marriage she signed her name Christine I. Biles (I. For Irvine).

 

b. Christine was 2 ½ years old when her mother, “Dell” (Biles) Irvine, died from complications of pneumonia.  Dell’s sister, Emma Van Noy Biles, accepted the request of Christine’s father to care for Christine until she was old enough to attend school, at which time Christine returned to the care of her father.

 

c. In early 1948 tripped and fell down the lower portion of stairs from the second story of their retirement home on Laurel Road, Greene, New York and broke both of her wrists, necessitating incapacitating casts on both arms at the same time.

 

d. In 1966 Christine, age 77, displayed frequent signs of confusion, due to her medication, necessitating a companion be with her when she needed help. For instance, when it rained she would evacuate her house, which was situated on relatively high ground, well above any conceivable flood level from the adjoining creek, and walk to higher ground, taking cover under a tree (reliving memories of the 1935 flood).  She would also become quite agitated when she would mistake the pattern in the cloth of her clothes for bugs crawling all over her.

 

e. Christine also developed Parkinson’s Disease following Clarence’s death and was medicated accordingly.  In early 1967 in that condition, characterized, as is typical, by some muscle spasms, a drooped head, and a diminished ability to walk smoothly (shuffling), she tripped in her home over a floor register cover built into the floor, fell, and broke her hip.  A few days later, while recovering at Binghamton General Hospital, Christine, in the presence of her daughter, Margaret, and granddaughter, Marlin, developed a pulmonary embolism (painful blood clot in the lung), probably precipitated by the cystoscopy and the bruising and immobility that accompanies hip fractures.  When she left the hospital she continued her recovery at the residence of her daughter, Margaret, where the 1st floor den had been rearranged and fitted with a hospital bed.  Christine resided there the remainder of her life, about 6 months, during which time her confusion worsened.  For instance, she would frequently be consumed with the thought that some men were imprisoned in her daughter’s basement.

 

f. Christine was a member of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) until that organization would not let Marian Anderson, an African-American opera singer, perform at its Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., whereupon Christine resigned her membership.

 

b.  Marriage date & location:  27 August 1914 at Laceyville, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania.  Eloped.  Reverend H. W. Buckwalter officiated.

 

Anecdotally from Marian Biles:

 

“They did not seem like the eloping kind, but perhaps it was because Clarence Biles and Christine were second cousins.  Neither family was entirely happy about this relationship.  Maybe they just decided to do something about all the neighborhood speculation concerning the long, slow, simmering romance.  Or maybe it was just because they were both twenty five years old that year and had waited long enough.  At any rate, it happened in broad daylight.  Not one person thought it unusual when Clarence came down the road that morning with his sister, Ruth; and stopped at the Irvine’s for Christine and a pair of boat oars, before heading for the nearby river….  The excitement began that afternoon, when Ruth Biles came home alone on the northbound train.  The grapevine soon buzzed with the news that Clarence and Christine had gone down the river to Laceyville, Pennsylvania, and were married there by the Reverend H. W. Buckwalter; and that they expected to be gone for a week or two…. (Reverend Buckwalter sometimes held meetings at the school house in Homet’s Ferry, and so was known to the community.)

 

“While the newly-weds enjoyed a honeymoon, floating down the Susquehanna River, and camping on little islands by the way; the neighborhood youth planned a rousing shivaree for their return, and the ladies got ready for a  “rag-bee” for the new bride. (It must have been quite a “Bee.”  Enough rags were cut, sewed, and wound into large balls, so that my Mother not only had woven rag rugs on two rooms at home, but also had about four bushels of large balls of sewn rags, which we gradually worked up into small crocheted rag rugs, chair pads, hot mats, etc.  Some were made into braded rugs….  I learned to both braid, and crochet, using those balls of rags.  I also learned to make more balls of rags from used clothing, which were made up into “Singer-craft” items.  “Singer-craft was something of a fad while I was young.  The sewed rag strings about 3 ½ inches wide were wound around the gadget, sewed into a burlap backing, and clipped; making a finished product that was something like some of the hooked rug designs we see now.  Rags and burlap bags were easy to get at our house.  Money was not, so I was delighted with this use for them.”

 

d.  Children:

 

(1)  Marian Elizabeth Biles: Born 20 September 1916.

 

(2)  Irvine Clarence Biles: Born 25 April 1918.

 

(3)  Margaret Adelle Biles: Born 1925.

 

(4)  Joseph LaRue Biles: Born 1927.

 

5.  Clarence’s employment history:

 

From

To

Employer, location, job title

1912

 

Self employed as a poultry farmer (Blue Ribbon Poultry Farm) on Laurel Road outside Greene, Chenango County, New York.

 

6.  Clarence’s addresses:

 

From

To

Address

 

 

Biles homestead near Homets Ferry, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

 

1912

Winona Lake, Wayne Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana

1912

1915

Homet’s Ferry, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

1915

 

Family farm on Laurel Road (RD #2) outside Greene, Chenango County, New York.  Moved there in January 1915.

 

 

Small house with adjoining hen houses and barn that Clarence and Christine had given to their son, Irvine, before his marriage in May 1941.  It was on a hill overlooking Genegantslet Creek on a portion of Clarence’s Laurel Road farm about ¼ mile from Route 12.  Irvine and his family moved to Pennsylvania a few years following marriage, leaving this house available for Clarence and Christine in their retirement years.

 

7.  Clarence’s organizational affiliations:

 

From

To

Organization, offices held

 

 

The Welfare Association of the Central Baptist Church, Greene, New York

 

 

 

 

8.  Other biographical notes on Clarence:

 

a. Per Marian Biles: “Clarence and Christine Biles lost no time in making ready to establish a home of their own.  He was a 1912 graduate of Winona Lake College of Agriculture in Indiana, and dreamed of becoming a fine fruit farmer.  Christine had attended the Comb’s Conservatory of Music in Philadelphia and the State Normal School at Mansfield, Pennsylvania.  She had several years of teaching experience behind her, and had turned down an opportunity to become a Principal at Athens, Pennsylvania when she decided to become a bride.

 

“Thinking that Binghamton, N. Y. would be a good market for the products of their future dream farm; they drove into the area by horse and buggy to look at several farms they had selected after correspondence with advertisers in The American Agriculturist….  The farm on Laurel Road in Greene, N. Y. was the third farm they looked at.  They looked no further.  The price was right; they could move in at once; there was an eight room house that looked grand to a Mother (three rooms upstairs were not finished).  My father fell hard for the creek-side flats with their alluvial soil, a real contrast to the stony Pennsylvania hillside where he grew up.  There were three good springs, a henhouse for 400 hens, and an incubator cellar.  Their deed was dated December 15, 1914.”

 

b. Clarence was Secretary and Treasurer of The Welfare Association of the Central Baptist Church, Greene, New York.

 

c. Clarence’s residence was electrified in 1933.  Before that Clarence had a generator running limited hours per day to provide electricity to the residence and work areas.

 

d. On Sunday afternoon, 2 September 1943 one of Clarence’s hen houses was destroyed by fire, which began in the nearby covered haystack at the upper end of the hen house area.  Luckily, the family’s straw barn was saved.

 

e. Clarence became ill while vacationing in Florida in the winter of 1959-60.  When he returned to Greene in the spring of 1960, his daughter, Margaret, who was a medical professional, didn’t like what she saw in his condition and scheduled him to see one of her colleagues at Binghamton General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Typical with that affliction, Clarence wasted away at his residence for several more months and then experienced a cerebral hemorrhage (stroke) about one week before he died.  The stroke caused him to loose his ability to speak.  He died at Binghamton General Hospital with his family at his side.

 

f. Clarence and Christine got their first car, a Metz called “Old Jenny,” in the fall of 1918.  Per their daughter, Marian: “I remember watching his first and only driving lessen – ½ mile and back.  Mother was holding my hand, and my arm was as high as I could reach!  I understood that it was to be our car.  We had two horses only up until then – “Charley” and “Byrd.”

 

 

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