The following newspaper clippings about the Clemons family (family ties to Williamson) were graciously contributed by Kim Clemons. Kim's great-grandfather bought the old Purdy Fruit Farm. Wayne County is one of the largest apple-growing counties in the U.S. Back at the time these events occurred, the drying of apples and canning provided ample employment opportunities for local farm and factory laborers. Mr. Clemons' name was spelled both Clemons and Clemmons in the articles, and Putney should be his correct first name. The Town of Manchester in Ontario County borders the Town of Palmyra. Kim's original letter and request for assistance are posted at the end of the clippings.

[Note: 1910 handwritten on clipping.]


P.J. Clemmons of Pultneyville Now Owns Manchester Tract Noted for Its Fruit for Forty Years.
By Special Dispatch to The Herald.

Manchester, Nov. 18.- The valuable fruit farm, located three miles north of this village, recently owned by the late M.S. Gardner, and which is better known as "Purdy fruit farm," has been purchased by P.J. Clemmons, of Pultneyville, N.Y.

It is said that this property has been conducted as a fruit growing farm for about forty years, and at first fruit was not grown as extensively as it is today, through considered capable of producing as much of many varieties of fruit as any farm in Western New York.

[Note: 8/29/1912 handwritten on clipping; location not stated.]

Walter H., the 8-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Clemons, residents south of this village, died Tuesday morning, at the home of his parents. Walter was a bright little lad and his death saddens the hearts of his parents and many friends.

[Note: 12-26-1912 handwritten on clipping]

The evaporator owned by P.J. Clemons of the Canandaigua road was entirely destroyed by fire, Tuesday morning. When discovered, at 3 o'clock, the fire was under such headway that nothing could be saved. Loss, $1,000; insurance, $500.

[Note: Feb. 23, 1916 stamped on clipping]


The home of Putney Clemons on the Canandaigua road located just south of the Armington School House burned to the ground late on Sunday night. The flames originated in the kitchen and so quickly did they spread that the entire building was burned to the ground in a very few minutes. Part of the household furniture was saved, but the loss will be a serious one.

The house was erected by the late A.M. Purdy many years ago at a big expense and it was one of the handsomest farm houses in that vicinity.

[Note: Feb. 24, 1916 stamped on clipping]


Fire of unknown origin breaking out in the kitchen of the home of Putnam J. Clemons on the Purdy farm, about three miles out on the Canandaigua road, early Monday morning completely destroyed the house together with the contents, lighting up the country for miles around.

About 2 o'clock in the morning Mr. Clemons was awakened by a loud explosion and discovered the fire, which had already burned so fast he was barely enabled to remove a few articles of furniture, aided by neighbors from far and near who lent heroic efforts. In a very short time the place was a mass of flames and in less than an hour was entirely consumed. As the fire was so far advanced when discovered the Palmyra fire department was not summoned. The estate is in the town of Manchester.

Mr. Clemons, whose family consists of his wife and six children and his father, has been particularly unfortunate since taking possess of this farm, having lost stock through death and an evaporator was burned a few years ago, and he is undecided as to whether he will rebuilt. The loss is partially covered by insurance. Mrs. Clemons and twin daughters were not at home when the fire occurred, being on a visit to her mother in Williamson.

The barns and outbuildings were not destroyed, being out of range of the sparks and there was no wind blowing.


I have been seeking information on the Purdy Fruit Farm that was located on Canandaigua Road in/near Manchester circa 1916. I am especially interested in finding a picture of it and of the house or barn. My great-grandfather bought this farm around 1910. (see attached articles)

Saturday I drove along the road trying to figure out where the farm had been. My father had been told it was a much respected farm and a beautiful house and large barn. He never saw it as he was born in 1919.

Do you have any information about this farm? Thank you so much and best wishes with your efforts as you add to your web site. It is fascinating and important.

Ms. Kim Clemons

[Note: If you can assist Kim in tracking down the exact location of her family farm, please contact her directly. Kim's letter and newspaper clippings were contributed last summer. Email was replied to, but Kim's mailbox was temporarily over quota. The best source for information, advice or leads to researching property is the county historian for whatever county you're researching. The Wayne County Courthouse in Lyons has large deed index books, by grantor and grantee, for you to go through personally (located on the first floor). Ontario County's property research resources are also well-organized. For information about Ontario County's offerings and where to find them, please browse through the Ontario County NYGenWeb web site.

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Created: 2/8/04
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