The Sterry Family Late 1800'sby
Renters, Chickens and Lawsuits…
When Charles Sterry and his father were doing business in New York, it is reasonable to presume that Samuel rented his farm. Renting was common, and better-off residents could profitably acquire an additional parcel of land with house to rent. Moving day was the first of April, in time for the new growing season.
On the families return, the house would have been empty and the Sterrys would have to set up a new household. Charges spent $7.17 at the Root store on the 12th and 14th of June 1877 for common household supplies. To say the Sterrys took up farming is not useful since probably everyone with a plot of land did some growing and with a little more space could have had an animal or two. Certainly those who could afford them would have raised chickens. These were the property of the lady of the house and she gained the proceeds from any egg sales.
While farming would have been almost universal, Charles is known to have become a leather worker, after the fashion of his father. With the proper tools he could service the normal broken harness and the like of his neighbors. Living just off the green he was in a central location for his business. Later he focused more on making and repairing shoes. The Tolland Historical Society has some of his equipment and tools on display. His reputation for quality work was well known.
Samuel Sterry died January 26, 1882. Even though he wife, Hattie was 38 and their son George was twelve, just prior to his death he transferred all his property to Charles. His wife Harriet, (Hattie) in order to secure her and her son’s future started a law suit against Charles for her son’s expected inheritance. The suit was dropped and we speculate Hattie and George lived with Charles until Hattie remarried in 1895 . George was married prior to 1892 when he had a child, George Jr.
Submitted by Peter C/. Palmer
Tolland Town Historian.
Copyright November 2015 Tolland Historical Society