This street was a challenge with more research needed, for sure. I thought it might be somewhat easy because it was “laid out on land owned by Wadsworth Estate.” There was a C.H. Wadsworth who lived at 80 Fitz Avenue (now West Main Street), so it seemed like a slam dunk. Not so! For starters, C.H. Wadsworth died in 1926, but the property labeled “Wadsworth Estate” is showing up on the 1888 map, and the street was accepted in 1915. The street was listed in city directories as early as 1906. Which Wadsworth left the estate, who was C.H. Wadsworth, and what connection did he have to the Wadsworth Estate?
It took some digging and using online resources (once again!) to find more about Clark Hobart Wadsworth. He was the son of Ela Wadsworth and Amanda Howe. Ela was the son of Archibald Wadsworth who came to this area from Tyringham, Massachusetts in the early 1800s. Archibald married Eunice Maine in Homer in 1813. Archibald and Ela were both listed in the census as farmers, and I found several deeds related to them, so more in-depth research would need to be done to see what they acquired and when. It is likely that Clark inherited property from his father. Ela died in 1883 and Amanda died in 1909. The 1876 atlas shows a small piece of property owned by E. Wadsworth and the 1888 map shows the Wadworth Estate with a home owned by C.H. Wadsworth located in that tract. A trip to the Surrogate’s office to look at wills might be useful to learn more.
Clark H. Wadsworth was born in Homer in 1863 and when he was about three years old, his parents moved to Cortland. He was educated at local schools and the Cortland Normal School. He followed his father into the milk business for a period of time and then worked at Wickwire Brothers for over 20 years. After retiring from Wickwire, he pursued other occupations, including carpentry. Clark married twice, first to Stella Pierce and second to Carrie Nelson. His son Glenn was the only child of his marriage to Stella, and he had four daughters (Maria, Ruth, Elizabeth, and Helen) with Carrie. Clark was active in his church, the Homer Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. He died in 1927 and is buried at Cortland Rural Cemetery, along with Carrie. Stella died of consumption at 24 years old and is buried with her parents at Cortland Rural. Son Glenn died at 40 years of age, after a long illness.
I looked at many resources for this post, including a Wadsworth genealogy book, Cutter’s genealogy (a three-volume set that is very useful for many families), the Wadsworth family file and vital statistics cards on file, the Streets file, local histories, the Blodgett scrapbooks, census records, maps, city directories, and online resources. We have a huge collection of Wickwire Brothers business records, including pay books, but I was unable to find a volume with years when Clark was employed there so I included a photo from a page from 1890 because it’s interesting to see what people were being paid. In spite of looking at so many resources, it seems like we still don’t know much about the Wadsworth family. There was some correspondence from a gentleman in the 1960s who said he had family photos, but we do not have any. I wonder what happened to those pictures!
If you have any information about the Clark-Ela-Archibald Wadsworth line in Cortland County, we would love to add it to our files for future researchers. Every bit of information we can add only increases our understanding. Let us know! ~Tabitha