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The Earnest Homestead in Springwater NY

Photos and information courtesy of Joyce O’Neil.

Additional information from Shirley Miller Corp & Ed Herwick.

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This is a picture of the Earnest house and farm as it appeared on Mill street in Springwater NY in circa 19xx. Courtesy of Joyce O’Neil. Click any image to enlarge.

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A picture of the Earnest farm in 2012. The buildings are in good condition and are being remodeled. Mill street is in the foreground.

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Here is a closer view of the house in 19xx. Courtesy of Joyce O’Neil.

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A closer view of the house in 2012. This is the south facing front of the house on Mill street.

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A detail photo taken in 2012. A window on the west facing side of the house

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Another detail photo taken in 2012. A window and door on the north facing side of the house.

History of the Mill Street Farm

Springwater NY

By Shirley Miller Corp & Ed Herwick

1847

County Ledgers show that as of this time the farm had been owned by: Richard Nelson, Capron & Clark, Warren Cummins and then Salmon Tyler.

1872

The maps of Springwater in 1872 show what may have been a small building at the site with the name J. Fisher next to it. School Street is not shown on these maps which now intersects with Mill Street in front of the house.

1889

County Ledgers show that the farm was transferred from Salmon Tyler to Eliza Tyler. Eliza Tyler, was the daughter of Levi Ellis and Charity Coykendall.

1899

County Ledgers show that the farm was transferred from Eliza Tyler to Martha Shannon and Flora Sunderland. Eliza Ellis Tyler transfered the farm to her sisters, Martha Ellis Shannon, widow of William Shannon, and Flora Ellis Sunderland, who was the second wife of Byron Sunderlin. Byron’s first wife was another Ellis sister, Rachel Ellis. Rachel and Byron were the parents of Euretta Sunderlin who married Winfield Scott Earnest.

1902

The maps of Springwater in 1902 show a significant building in the shape of the existing house at the intersection of Mill Street and School Street. The name on the map is Mrs. Shannon and Sunderland.

1904

County Ledgers show that the farm was transferred from Martha Shannon to Euretta Sunderland Earnest.

1910

The 1910 Census records show that Winfield Scott Earnest, his wife Euretta Sunderlin Earnest and their son Lealand were living in this house in Springwater NY. Prior to living in this home Winfield and Euretta Earnest lived in Syracuse NY where they were the proprietors of a hotel. Euretta Earnest died in 1921. Winfield Earnest married again to Caroline A. Curry Carter.

1926

The maps of Springwater in 1926 show a building at the location with the name Scott Earnest next to it. Winfield Scott Earnest died in 1926.

1931

County Ledgers show a foreclosure against Nina, Euretta and Lealand Earnest. Nina Beckman Ernest was Lealand’s wife and Euretta Sunderlin Earnest was his mother.

1932

County Ledgers show that Uriah Cecil Miller and his wife Jane (Jennie) Saunders acquired the house. Their son Arvade Miller and his wife Margaret managed the farm and struggled to stay financially solvent. With help from Arvade’s sisters Irene and Tecla and Tecla’s husband Arthur Buckle they avoided foreclosure. Irene Miller worked and lived at the farm and by 1948 had cleared the mortgages and owned the home. Irene Miller’s failing health and finances during the 1970’s forced her to move to the nursing home in Mt. Morris where she died in 1987.

1977

County Ledgers show that the farm was transferred from Irene Miller to Herbert Dedrick. Herbert Dedrick was the husband of Dorothy “Peggy” Dannheim. Peggy, as she was known, was the daughter of Mary Louise Miller who married Otto Dannheim.

1982

Since 1982 these people have owned the house: Bauer & Carney, Roger Panipento and most recently Ron Mastin (2006).

Memories of the Miller Farm in Springwater NY

By Shirley Miller Corp

My name is Shirley Miller Corp and I am the granddaughter of Uriah Cecil Miller and Jennie Saunders. They purchased the Mill Street farm in Springwater about 1933. They left the management of their farm in Troupsburg, NY to 2 of their sons after coming to live on the farm in Springwater. The money to purchase the Springwater farm came from the sales of their Alfred, NY dormitory property where Jennie managed the housekeeping for the university boarders. UC Miller also lived there and worked at carpentry and his financial contribution was also added to the farm purchase.

UC and Jennie’s intentions were for their recently married son, my father, Arvade Miller, to manage this farm. As I recall from growing up experiences, dad was an efficient hardworking farmer but not very good at managing the finances until many years later. His wife, my mother, Margaret Cady Miller, married at the age of 16, and was still a very self-centered teenager. Dad turned the farm revenue to my mother to handle and she spent it on herself instead of making mortgage payments. Within a few years the farm almost fell into foreclosure and it would have if it wasn’t for the financial efforts of 2 of dad’s sisters, Irene Miller and Tecla Miller Buckle.

First, UC Miller urged his daughter, Irene Miller to quit teaching school and move to Springwater and manage that farm. Irene, soon figured she could never return the finances out of red ink. With the financial help of her married sister, Tecla and Arthur Buckle, the farm eventually got caught up on finances. Then my Aunt Irene was able to finish paying off the mortgage sometime in the mid 1950’s.

Irene, eventually failed inspection for the dairy business, which was her sole income. By this time, she was in her senior years and losing her efficiency with farm work. She continued to live alone in that farm house mansion struggling to meet expenses with her meager retirement income. Eventually the NY State welfare system took ownership of the property and Irene became a resident of a nursing home. She passed away in Mt. Morris in February 1987.

The small house next door to the farm was purchased by my parents about 1941 and they owned that property til their death. Arvade was born Sept. 20, 1900 in Troupsburg, NY and died on April 12, 1977 from cancer. Margaret was born January 16, 1916 in Troupsburg and died Feb. 3, 1997. The couple married on August 25, 1931 in Troupsburg.

Uriah Cecil Miller was born August 23, 1864 in Bath, Morgan Co., West Virginia and died in Springwater on August 12, 1951. He married Jane “Jennie” Saunders on January 27, 1892 in West Union, Steuben Co. NY. Jennie was born October 29, 1869 in West Union and died May 12, 1952 in Springwater. Both are buried in the Brookfield Cemetery in Brookfield, Tioga Co., PA along with other family members.

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