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Frank A. Gould Family, descendants of Hamburg (Big Tree) Pioneer Family, 1814-2013

Shown here in these three photos are the family home of Frank A. Gould, a photo of the Gould Family in about 1940, and Frank posing with horses and wagon near the family home on Bay View Road about the turn of the century. The family farm house still stands on Bay View Road, but now must be reached from South Park Avenue by driving east on Beetow Drive and then turning left on Bay View Road. The house is at the end of the street and is presently owned by Richard Schumacher and is surrounded by several newer homes. In the family photo are left to right standing, daughters Charlotte and Laura; seated are Frank’s wife, Anna Kehr Gould holding son, Royal, daughter Doris and Frank.

The earliest record of the Gould family in America comes from the 1810 federal census. At that time the Asa Gould’s were in Rutland, Vermont, Clarendon County. The family had three boys and one girl under 10 years of age. Family lore has it that about 1811, Asa walked to Western New York, brought land from the Holland Land Company, went back for his family and by 1814, at the age of 33, was settled on his farm on Bay View Road.

Exactly when the house was built is unknown, but by 1830 the Gould Farm totaled 120 acres. Today the farm would extend approximately south to about Beetow Drive, north very near Southwestern Boulevard, west to South Park Avenue and east to an area that would include McKinley Parkwar. There was a second farmhouse on Sheldon Road. In the 1800s, the Gould’s neighbors on the west were the Atwell Saunders Family who operated a large farm that fronted on South Park Avenue and extended east and north to Southwestern Boulevard.

Over the past years, various sons and daughters had rights to Asa’s original acerage. But it wasn’t until 1898 that Frank A. Gould gained title to the land and lived on the homestead and seriously worked the farm. Frank’s grandson, Dean Hartloff, recently wrote me with his memories of the farm homestead.

“As you walked into the kitchen there was a sink with a hand pump for water, the source of which was a cistern outside; outside there also was a hand dug well with a hand pump; inside the kitchen there also was a wood burning cast iron stove with a large oven and naturally a wood box in a corner. Nearby was a pantry for food preparation. In the living room was a large pot bellied stove for heating and since there was no indoor plumbing, a three seat outhouse had to suffice. There were no utilities until the 1940s, so it was kerosene lamps, well water and firewood.”

Other outbuildings included a large woodshed, pig pens, chicken coops, granary and a concrete smoke house for meat preservation. Behind the house was a large ice house, full of ice and saw dust all year round. Ice was obtained from a run-off pond in a lower field and ice saws for cutting hung in a shed. There were also two barns, one for horses and hay the other for storing equipment plus a separate tool shed for tools. There also was a large garage with a grease pit. Probably two of the more popular tasks for the youngsters were making maple syrup and sugar, and the art of making ice cream.

Starting in 1872, when the Buffalo-Jamestown Railroad (Erie) took land for a right of way, several pieces of the original farm were either taken by eminent domain or sold off. The Railroad takeover effectively cut the property in half. Then in 1955, the New York State Thruway acquired additional land from the farm causing additional problems including leaving an odd triangle of land cut off on the north side of the farm, plus leaving a “dead end” to Bay View Road. In 1963 the Gould’s sold 35 acres in the Tomaka Drive area of McKinley Parkway for a Boy Scout camp and park. Unfortunately, the death of a boy drowning in the park pond led to it’s closing.

In the past 25 years, additional lots were sold on South Park Avenue, Howard Road and McKinley Parkway, and finally in 1990, the last 30 acres were sold to a developer who built about 50 new homes that now occupy the last vestige of what Asa Gould originally settled on in 1814.

As for the Frank Gould family, he passed away in 1948 and his wife Anna (Kehr) died in 1952. Son, Royal, and his wife Dorothy and their own son Byron then moved into the old homestead on Bay View Road. Byron is the last to carry the Gould family name in that branch of the family tree. At present, he is retired as a Special Education teacher from BOCES No. 2 in the North Collins Schools and lives in the Village of Hamburg. Byron’s father, Royal passed away in 1993 and his mother in 2005.

To complete the story of Gould’s on Bay View Road, it should be mentioned that when serious vandalism including a barn fire became a problem probably due to the dead end on Bay view Road, Royal decided to sell the property. As a result in 1975 the house and about two acres were sold to the Calvary Way Baptist Church, and when they fell behind in mortgage payments, the property was again sold in 1984 to Edward Cudmore. At present, it is owned by Richard Schumacher.

In 1873 a parcel of land was set aside on the farm for a family cemetery - “to be forever” - but the state did away with this practice and now the Gould’s have been re-interred in Hillcrest Cemetery along with other members of the family.

Photos and text help for this story were provided by Frank’s grandsons, Dean Hartloff and Byron Gould. Dean is the son of Laura Gould and Gordon Hartloff. Glenn Richardson of Hamburg and Nelson and Aileen Hartloff of Elma are surviving cousins of the two men.

This column is written each week by Hamburg Town Historian Jim Baker.

Anyone wanting to submit photographs and/or materials can call the Town Historian Jim Baker at the Hamburg Town Hall on either Wednesday or Thursday between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at 649-6111 ext. 2400.

Readers can also provide feedback by writing to The Sun and mailing it to The Sun, 141 Buffalo St., Hamburg, NY 14075.

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