From Stephentown Genealogy: Roots & More
Sue Tarpley has sent many pictures of the Stephentown Lapp family, with more to come. She has also sent some genealogical information, and promises more of that as well. Thanks to Sue for all that she has contributed. You can contact her at: Sue Tarpley
Brief Genealogy of Lapp Family in Stephentown
"The original Lapp in Stephentown was the son of Anton Lapp, who was born March 15, 1795 in Germany. He was married to Martha Elizabeth Braun, also of Germany. They had 7 children and moved to the U.S. in 1848 with 5 of the children. I would assume that the others died in childhood before they departed for the U.S. Anton Lapp is buried in Cherry Plain, NY in a family plot. The Stephentown Lapps are descended from Anton's son, Conrad, born November 20, 1840, in Germany. He was a farmer and was married to Catherine Elizabeth Schwartz, born September 14, 1845, also in Germany. They had 10 children, the oldest of whom was William A. Lapp, born April 6, 1865 in Berlin, NY and died in Stephentown in 1935 and is buried in Garfield Cemetery. He married Harriet Clark." Sue Tarpley
Sue writes about William and Harriet Clark Lapp:
"I don't know when the pictures were taken, but I'm assuming it was when they were about 20ish or late teens. Harriet looks young. She had a rough life with all those children, and she still looks like she was getting enough sleep. Perhaps the pictures were taken at the time of their marriage??"
William and Harriet Clark Lapp had the following children:
Vernon b. 1891 d. 1958; m. Anna Gauer; was a mechanic
Roy E. Lapp b. 1892, d. 1968; m. Bessie Eddy b. May 16, 1895 was a foreman at General Electric in Pittsfield, Mass (ROY AND BESSIE WERE SUE TARPLEY'S GRANDPARENTS)
Addison b. 1896 d. 1957; m. J. Matilda Whitman and Ruth Conklin; was a cabinet maker
Alberta b. 1898, d. 1956; m. Harold Mattison
Gerald b. 1900, d. 1912
Charlotte b. 1902, d. 1933; m. Stephen Mattison
Waldron b. 1903, d. 1971; m. Helen Newton; no children
A. Stanley b. 1910, d. 1925
The two oldest sons of William and Harriet Clark Lapp, taken about 1895
Third son of William and Harriet, Addison. Probably WW I vintage.
Roy Lapp and Bessie Eddy (daughter of Ira, 1862-1909) and Emma Hunt Eddy of Stephentown) married June 1, 1914. They lived in Stephentown for a couple of years, then moved to Pittsfield, Mass., where Roy worked for General Electric. He stayed there until 1952, when he retired and moved to Clearwater, Fla. Roy died in 1968; Bessie died in 1990 in San Antonio, Texas, where she lived with her daughter Thelma and family. Thelma is Sue Tarpley's mother.
Addison and Roy Lapp, taken between 1952 and 1957. Both retired to Florida.
Roy (left) and Waldron Lapp, taken sometime after 1952. Roy suffered a stoke in 1958, and Sue feels that this photo was taken before that time. Waldron was visiting Roy from Stephentown. Waldron was married to Helen Newton, daughter of Alice Carr and Duane Newton of Stephentown, and had no children.
Sue Tarpley's grandmother, Bessie Eddy, who was the daughter of Ira (pictured on left) and Emma Eddy (pictured right). Ira died quite young, leaving his widow, Emma, with two children, Bessie, 14 and Gladys age 4. Sue said that the picture above is one of a pair of photos taken on the same day. She has the other one framed, and has in her possession the actual glasses worn in this photo. When she had to photos framed she had the glasses mounted underneath the picture within the frame. "They are extremely delicate, and my grandmother used to tell me that whenever she fell, my great-grandmother would always ask 'Are your glasses alright?' and never seemed as concerned about my grandmothers's safety!" Bessie married Roy Lapp on June 1, 1914. Her sister Gladys married Donald Sutherland on August 20, 1929, and they had no children. Emma was remarried to Frank McFeely.
This photograph was taken for the family's 1907 Christmas card, and is Bessie and her little sister, Gladys.
Bessie Eddy Lapp on left and Bessie with her grandmother, Betsey Beers Eddy and daughter, Thelma, Sue Tarpley's mother.
Gladys Eddy, mother Emma Eddy, who married Ira Eddy, and Bessie Eddy. Bessie married Roy Lapp and Gladys married Donald Sutherland.
Gladys Eddy and Donald Sutherland on their wedding day, August 20, 1929. They were Sue Tarpley's great aunt and uncle. Gladys taught school for awhile. Donald did too, but he got into administration at some point. There is a school named after him in the area. On the right is Donald Sutherland at a later date.
Thelma is Sue Tarpley's mother, and was the daughter of Roy and Bessie Eddy Lapp. The Lapp Properties
The Lapp Shop, owned by William Lapp, Sue Tarpley's great-grandfather. She was told that it sat where the Stephentown Town Hall now sits. William Lapp was a carriage maker
How many of us are lucky enough to have a journal, letter, or even a note written by our ancestors, giving us a hint at what their lives were like. Sue does, with this piece written by Sue's grandmother, Bessie Eddy Lapp. My Story By Bessie Louise Eddy Lapp (1895-1990)
This photo was taken on the occasion of Bessie's 90th birthday, in 1985.
My father was descended from WILLIAM EDDY who was born in 1560 in Bristol, England and died in 1616 at Cranbrook where he was a Vicar of St. Dunstan’s Church from 1591 until his death. His son SAMUEL came to Plymouth, Massachusetts on the ship HANDMAID in 1630.
IRA EDDY, my father, 9th in line from WILLIAM, was born in Stephentown, New York, in 1862 and died there in 1909. He was the oldest of six children—four girls and two boys.
My mother was EMMA HUNT, born in Stephentown, New York, in 1871, the younger of two daughters of JUSTUS and LOUISA HUNT. She died in Nassau, New York, while living with my younger sister, GLADYS EDDY SOUTHERLAND, in 1953.
I was born in 1895 in Stephentown, New York. My father bought out a general store in Garfield, New York, when I was six months old. We lived in the house next to the store. We just had everything for sale: groceries, candy, fruit in season, tobacco, cigars, yard-goods, boots, shoes, dishes, jewelry, kerosene, oil, bottled soft drinks, wallpaper, paint—you name it, and if we didn’t have it, my father would order it for you. Later on we sold feed for cattle, fertilizer, and bark, which was all stored in an extra building. The farmers cut down trees (mostly cherry and alder) and in the winter they would peel the bark, dry it, and bring it to our place. My father would buy it, but no money actually changed hands since their credit was bartered for merchandise in the store. He then shipped the bark and alder wood on the railroad in Stephentown by the carload, with the bark going to a drug company for use in the manufacture of medicine and the alder wood went out West where gunpowder was made.
In 1908 my father and mother bought property in Stephentown consisting of ten acres of land on which were a house, a store with an apartment over it, and a barn. Work was begun on a big building built for the feed, bark, fertilizer, and in anticipation of coal which we eventually also began to sell, since the barn did not provide enough storage space.
This is the Ira L. Eddy store, which was located in Garfield, as described above.
This shows the second Eddy Store (on right)as described in Bessie journal. Ira built this shortly before he died.
While this so-called feed store was under construction, fire was discovered on day in the barn, but the men working on the new building, plus neighbors, were able to get the feed out and the cow and horse were also saved since they were in the pasture. Once the feed store was complete, we of course had to build a new barn. The railroad in Stephentown ran alongside our property so that the new building was constructed to include a siding which allowed easy access for carloads coming in of feed, fertilizer, and coal—and for the out-going bark. We had everything for sale in the store the same as in Garfield.
Soon after the barn was finished, Papa died with pneumonia on May 17, 1909, the day after my 14th birthday. This left Mama with my little sister, Gladys, age 4, and me. My heart was broken—I loved him so much! I had helped him as I was growing up over the years, and I knew the whole business. He had taught me the McCaskey Register System and so much else that there was nothing other than for my mother and me to take over and for us to run the store in spite of his loss. We had to hire a man to take charge of unloading the coal cars. Many of the folks got their winter supply right from the car; the rest we had to store. Portions of the feed and fertilizer were brought to the store. When the men came for either or both, they would load it in their wagon, but many of the wives would come alone and that meant that it had to be loaded by someone at the store—which was usually me. I could load 100 pounds of feed like a man. The days were not long enough, it seemed, with the store and the house to take care of. We had a cow, Daisy, and Mama milked her. We also had a horse, Prince, and my job was to take care of him. We got up at 6:00 a.m. to get our housework done so as to be ready for business, as the farmers would come to the store after taking their milk to the creamery. We closed the store at 9:00 p.m.
The three that Ira left behind
When it was time for school to start in the fall after Papa died, his maiden sister Luella, came to stay with us since Mama simply had to have help while I was in school. I was ready for high school at the end of my 15th year, but the nearest school was so far away that one had to take the train on Monday and pay board and room with some family in whichever town one chose to go. We therefore decided that I could not go. However, I did take the Mail Stage to Pittsfield one day a week for vocal lessons. I sang in our church choir. At this time I was made a saleslady for California Perfume Company, now known as Avon Products. My territory was Stephentown and surrounding villages. I was lucky that I could make many sales with people who came to the store. I was able to walk to other homes of customers in town and for those in the territory beyond, I drove our horse and wagon………As an extension on this subject, the company now known as Avon celebrated their 75th anniversary a few years ago and at that time asked their sales force to send in names of anyone they knew or whose names they might have access to who were former representatives of the parent company. The daughter of a friend of mine at that time selling Avon sent in my name. I received a bottle of cologne as a special anniversary gift; and to me, it spoke well for a company which valued their early salesladies enough to attempt to thank them for their efforts to have made their enterprise successful.
In 1912 a Dramatic Club was formed. Roy [Lapp] and I both joined. We did two plays a year. The first production was in our Grange Hall, and it was repeated in two other towns. We met evenings in different homes to practice, and eventually we went to the Hall for rehearsals on the stage. We used the proceeds for things for the town one of which was a small park with cement curbing and space for flowers in summer. This later provided the setting for the town to erect a memorial with names of all the boys that were in World War I.
In 1913 the CHATHAM COURIER ran a contest for subscriptions to their newspaper. It was divided into four districts. When first started, many entered; but after a few weeks it settled to four girls. Each girl was to choose another to work with her and at the end of the contest, the girl that had the most votes (votes were given for subscriptions) took the girl that helped and she was named as “chaperone”. I was chosen by the girl in our district and we won with a score of 1,285,968. The girl who came in second had only 412,043; third and fourth place were obviously less, but those figures I have not kept. The reason that we won so decisively was that I was in a position to solicit from the salesmen (or drummers as they were then called) who came to the store, and a goodly number bought new subscriptions which were worth many more points than a renewal. Probably most of these drummers could have cared less whether they received the CHATHAM COURIER or not, but it was good business practice to humor a buyer of their wares, and they went along with the relatively small fee. The prize was a 16-day trip to Bermuda, all expenses paid. The four winners (I, as chaperone) went to New York and stayed one night there. We went to the Hippodrome Theater and stayed in the Bristol Hotel. We left the next morning on the OROTOVA (an English ship). As chaperone, I was given $100 to spend for tips—although I was the youngest of the four girls—at 18 years of age. It worked out all right as I had been around a little more than the other girls and knew how to take care of money. We went with the Cooks Travel Agency, and each girl was given a book of coupons that took care of everything. It was a planned tour, and we had a guide that went with us on all of our trips. It was a wonderful experience for country girls!
Roy [Lapp]and I were married June 1, 1914. We went to the minister’s parsonage in New Lebanon, New York, for the ceremony and on to Albany on our honeymoon for four days. Roy was 22 and I was 19. We lived in the apartment over the store, and Roy took over my job. I helped out when there was a rush, but if there was something to do with the girls, I was free to go. We had a baby boy in October, 1916, but it was born dead. We gave him the name of Roy E., Jr. for the purpose of the inscription on his little headstone, and it is a heartbreak I have never learned to outlive.
Mama was married to Frank McFeely on December 28, 1916, and we moved to Pittsfield January 1, 1917, when Roy went to work at the General Electric Company. After the birth of our son, I was physically unable to take care of a house for many months, so we lived with an uncle of Roy’s mother, Uncle Emerson and Aunt Clara Clark, until May 1 of that year. By this time I had recovered sufficiently to move into a four-family apartment building on the second floor. Thelma was born January 18, 1920; and since Roy and I had almost given up hope of having children after my difficulties with the first birth, this was a miracle to us and the happiest day of our lives. A walk with one’s baby in the afternoon was all-important in those days, and the chance to move into a downstairs flat (two families) behind us in September of that year was most welcome to eliminate the stairs with the carriage. We stayed there for 16 years. In 1936 we moved into a half of a double house in another part of town, and for the first time we had a lovely back yard with grass and plenty of space for me to have flowers. We stayed there for five years.
Roy & Bessie on their wedding day. Then the big event came when we bought a beautiful new home on Windsor Avenue in May, 1941, and we lived there for twelve years.
Wes [Wesley H. Baker who married my mother Thelma Lapp Baker] went into the Service in January of 1941 and was stationed at Fort Devens outside of Boston until he went overseas in September of 1942. He came back for what was believed to be a 45-day leave, landing on April 20, 1945, and Thelma and he were married nine days later on the 29th. The war in Europe was over a few days later the first part of May, and with interim assignments, waiting for orders to return to [the war in] the Far East, the end of the war with Japan also came along—so he never did have to leave the States again. In July of that year they were assigned at Stark General Hospital in Charleston, South Carolana; and with the war ending the next month, Wes elected to leave the Service. They left South Carolina in October and lived with us while Wes looked for work and they could become financially independent. Prior to David’s birth in May, 1946, they bought a lot with plans for a house and when completed, moved into it in December of the same year. Susan came along the following June.
Roy retired January 10, 1953, from the General Electric after working there for 36 years. They gave him a lovely retirement party, a gold watch, and a purse of money. They gave me a corsage and a bouquet of red roses.
Our good friends, Arthur and Catherine Snook, who lived across the street from us on Windsor Avenue, retired and bought a motel in Clearwater, Florida, in the fall of 1952. After Roy retired, we went to Clearwater and stayed with them in their motel until April 1. While we were there, we bought a lot and decided on a house plan and builder. We went back to Pittsfield, sold our house, and left for Florida again on June 1, 1953. We stayed with the Snooks until the house was finished in September. Roy and I were there together for fifteen years, and I continued to stay there alone for five years after his death.
In our younger days of married life, Roy and his father made a trailer which folded to the width of a utility trailer and opened to allow for two double beds, storage of utensils and food, and a canopy at the entrance for outdoor eating and relaxation. We went frequently to New York State parks for weekends in this (our favorite spot was Lake George.)
Friends Roy & Iva Rose, on the camping trip We had old friends who lived on the Canadian border in New York State (Heuvelton) and we had interesting trips on several occasions, including Ottawa one time when we visited them and other areas across the border………We went to the New York World’s Fair in 1939 three times—once with a General Electric-sponsored weekend tour; another with Thelma and Wes; and still another with friends…….We went to Washington, DC once with my sister and her husband [Gladys and Donald Southerland]and a second time with our friends of longstanding, the Grovers…….For a number of years prior to the time when we moved from Pittsfield, we spent a month in Florida with my cousin, Edna, in Miami, and one year we decided to take a weekend tour to Havana, Cuba. This was our first experience with plane travel and the trip was exciting, however short…….While Wes and Thelma were stationed outside of Boston, we saw parts of the city plus Salem and the north shore and later on Cape Cod, saw more of the southern shore, including Plymouth……….When they went to Germany, we flew over for a two-month visit. While there we went on a trip to southern Germany, Italy (which included Venice, Florence, and Rome), and a return through Switzerland, and back through Baden-Baden to their quarters in Ramstein. We enjoyed our stay so much.
When they returned from overseas in 1958, Roy had had a stroke but he recovered sufficiently so that we still drove up to Montgomery, Alabama, where they were next assigned, to visit them a couple of times. Small seizures prevented us from the longer trip to Washington, DC after they moved there, so we went by train or plane. By the time they moved to San Antonio, our traveling days were over due to his health, and he finally died in 1968. I spent two months with them here after his funeral and since this was the year of HEMIS-FAIR, I was able to see that, get a bit rested, and prepare for a life alone. While here, toward the end of the visit, I received word that my house had been broken into and I left immediately, preparing myself for the worst. Obviously just ignorant vandals since they turned the house upside down, overlooking anything of real value and were satisfied with camera equipment and a bedside clock.
In July of 1970, Thelma and Wes went to Spain, and early in the next year I visited them for three months. We traveled around the City of Madrid where they lived and took further trips beyond. We also went up to Wiesbaden, primarily for Thelma to obtain her first hearing aid, and this was my first introduction to Laura, my first great-grandchild! A most happy occasion! Then Thelma and Wes were transferred to Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1972, and I flew over again, this time for the Christmas holidays. They came back to San Antonio in 1973. I sold my home in Florida, moved here on August 1, 1973, after my five years alone in Florida and of course have remained here since.
Now, thanks to David [Baker] and Susan [Baker Tarpley], I have four beautiful great-grandchildren; Laura [Baker], Treva [Tarpley], Beth [Tarpley], and Andy [Tarpley]. I feel so very fortunate to be able to see them more frequently here than I would have, had I still been in Florida.
I’ve had a full life during my 87 years as of this writing. There have been sorrows and joys—which none of us escape, each in his own way—but overall, I feel fortunate to have lived during this span of years. I do believe that no other generation will see such a dramatic change in lifestyle: from stereoscope slides to wide-screen movies; from a crystal radio set to modern television; from adding machines to computers; and last, but by no means least, from a horse and buggy to a man on the moon. Whether we are actually better off or happier is questionable, but I’m not at all sure I would want to go back to the “good old days”.
Merry Christmas, 1982
Note from Tina: I have to sincerely thank Sue Tarpley for all of the pictures and information that she has painstakingly sent to me. THIS is truly what I had in mind when I started this site - to do something to preserve Stephentown's past, and that of the residents of the town. Sue has sent pictures of many eras in her family's life, and with them and the words of her grandmother, Bessie, this page tells the story of her family, albeit mere snapshots, but it shows us the richness of her family's life and experiences. I hope I have been able to do her family justice.
- Eddy Genealogy
- Additional Lapp family photos