...a regular feature of Clarendon's Gazette newsletter - stories about Hillside and the people buried there
Last month we featured the veterans section in Hillside Cemetery. Before our current veterans section there was a section in the middle division of the cemetery that was specifically dedicated to veterans. A flag pole was placed there and maintained for many years. All that remained was a cut off piece of pipe which indicated where the flag pole once was. One of our residents Mr. Al Pulcino took great interest in finding out about this forgotten veterans area this past summer. He along with some volunteers cleaned up the area and placed a small flag pole there to commemorate this veteran’s section.
This month we would like to feature the Veteran’s Section of Hillside Cemetery. In 1938 a committee was formed by the Orleans County Supervisors after a request by the Orleans County American Legion Posts. A decision was made to purchase 250 graves in various Orleans county cemeteries for veterans to be buried since the current designated areas were overcrowded.
48 plots were purchased at Hillside Cemetery for use by veterans. Clarendon, Murray and Holley have always in my mind been very conscious of their veterans and do various activities throughout the year to honor vets. School children and other organizations and clubs seem to do many things to help out or recognize our veterans. Parades are very important in this community and the Memorial Day Parade is always very well attended. The program is organized by the American Legion and VFW and the stop in Hillside shows just how much our veterans mean to us. There are boy scouts and the honor guard as well as retired servicemen and women. The ceremony has school children involved and of course the honor guard does a gun salute.
Over the last several years we have had the great fortune of some fine Eagle Scout Projects being done in our Veterans section of the cemetery. It is an enhancement of our beautiful cemetery and a renewal of the awareness for the sacrifices these men and women have made for our freedom. The ultimate sacrifice for some was dying for their country. If you drive by it is very clear that our community embraces our veterans and values their service. Each veteran’s grave is marked with a flag placed by cub scouts and boy scouts with the guidance of the adults who volunteer their time. We are very blessed to have such wonderful support of the towns, village, and all who volunteer their time to keep the area looking beautiful.
Staff Sgt. Ross C. Turner is buried in Hillside Cemetery on the old side at the very bottom terrace. I happened to be there one evening doing some work and saw this display located above his head stone.
A photograph of Ross in his uniform is displayed along with two telegrams. The first telegram informs his family that he has been taken prisoner by the Japanese government and is being held in the Philippines. The second telegram informs the family that he died.
A type written note by the family explains that Ross Turner was taken captive 9 April 1942 after the fall of Bataan. He endured the infamous and brutal Bataan Death march. He succumbed to dysentery, starvation and malaria. He was buried in a mass grave and his remains were never recovered. The note ended with: LET US NEVER FORGET!
I was so touched by this loving tribute. This has been placed only recently so I encourage anyone who walks in the cemetery to take the path to the bottom terrace and admire this lovely tribute to a lost son.
Ida M. Brace Cook born March 30, 1910. The first time I saw this I was sad to think that a person had passed away and a date of death wasn’t on her headstone. This was probably 2012 and little did I know that this woman was still alive. I discovered that she was living in NYC somewhere. Several years went by and I thought of her every time I was in the cemetery. I learned a little more about her and her connection with a well known family from Clarendon. I discovered that an old family photo album of the Cook family had been donated by her to our county historian who then donated it to the Clarendon Historical Society.
Fast forward to 2016, and I find myself in NYC visiting the Museum of Natural History. By this time I was able to locate and contact Mrs. Cook with the help of Bill Lattin and made arrangements to visit her. Mrs. Cook was 106 years old when I met her and lived in a nursing home in NYC. She visited with me for an hour or so and told me the story of how she grew up in Albion and how she met Gordon Cook, a descendant of Lemuel Cook the Revolutionary War soldier. She spoke of his family, especially his mother who made her way to the USA with an ox cart and her children by herself. Gordon was many years older than Ida when they married but they made a life and did quite well.
Mrs. Cook was very independent up until an accident in 2013 which left her in a wheel chair. She went from assisted living into a nursing home. She had a very sharp mind and although she was almost deaf, she would respond to written questions and speak about anything you could ask. Before I left the nursing home, she was giving me suggestions of places in NYC that I might go to eat. She even gave directions on how to get to several places. She was a very remarkable woman and I feel fortunate to have met her even for a short visit.
Clowes Cliffe was born in England in 1866. At some point he came to Holley to work in the quarry industry as a stone cutter. Records indicate that he worked cutting stone on the capitol building in Albany in 1896 and prior to that in 1895 he traveled to Black River country to do stone cutting on the locks. It was said that he contracted “stone cutters disease of the lungs” and was forced to retire. He had also been a successful taxidermist and there were many ads in the Holley Standard in the early 1900’s. One ad from 1909 stated this: TAXIDERMY-If there is anything that you want mounted in the line of birds or animals, Clowes Cliffe will do it for you. South Main Street, Holley. Another newspaper article from 1924 talked about an Arctic Owl mounted by Mr. Cliffe being exhibited in H.C Oakley’s Store. Clowes Cliffe died at age 65 in 1931 and was buried in Hillside cemetery. The Clarendon Historical Society has a piece of his taxidermy in their museum. It is made in a similar style to Carl Akeley’s Red Fox. It bears his signature in the bottom left corner.
In 1914 G.H. Keople built the Clarendon Cheese Factory which he owned and operated for more than 30 years. Clarendon Brand Cheese was recognized for its high quality and was sold from coast to coast.
Some of his most notable accomplishments are:
Organized the effort to bring electricity to Clarendon in 1916
Holley Rotary Club charter member (43 years perfect attendance)
50 year member of the Murray Lodge No. 380 Free and Accepted Masons
Clarendon Grange No. 1083 member
Clarendon Fire Dept. Honorary Member
Disciples Methodist Church of Clarendon member
Holley Rod & Gun Club member
Holley Cemetery Association trustee
Clarendon Justice of the Peace
Holley School Board member
President of the 1960 Sesquicentennial Society