In the early 1990s Jim Dann sat down in front of a tape recorder and started talking of growing up on the farm. Presented here is a transcription of those times. It is about Jim himself, about the family, and about the times

Walt Samson was born in 1934, just a few years after Jim. He was a neighbor of the Dann families, and wrote his recollections for a more formal circulation. His story covers mostly the circumstances of the times and how the families of the Ridge Road adapted to them.

Clicking Walt's link takes you to Joyce Tice's excellent Tri- Counties Genealogy and History" site. This site is a great place to browse a rainy saturday afternoon! After reading Walt's recollections, use your "back" button to return here.

For many years the headquarters of the Dann farms was the old "Halfway House" on the Ridge Road. Click this link to read of the house and to read just a bit about life in the 1930s

Jim Dann's recollections.

Walt Samson's recollections.

tour the Halfway house.






I was told that this is Gerald Dann on the wagon, but there is lots of room for doubt. The picture is not quite clear, and nobody recognizes eiter the wagon or the horses. The wagon is carrying cut corn which is being hauled to the silage cutter box at the silo. At harvest time there would often be 5 different teams, wagons, and neighbors, all working together.

The Veteran Juvenile Grange, 1942.

Back Row: Robert Roemmelt, Maynard Shope, ? Gregory, Marion Personeus, James Dann.
Middle Row Loyde Shope, Lois Mae Mosher, ? Gregory, Julia Personius, Helen Samson (Matron), Sarah Turner, Delos Dann.
Front Row Helen Shope, Barbara Dann, Donald Horton, Marshall Conklin, Bog Saunders, Joyce Dann, Walter Samson.

The Veteran Grange Hall, 1923. This building was purchased from th "County Farm" in 1914, disassembled, moved,and rebuilt on this site, property donated by Julia Westlake. Prior to this time the Grange had no home of its own.

The Grange Hall was a center of activity for the Ridge Road families.
To see other grange- related pictures, click here.

Four kids, dressed quite properly to accompany their mothers to a Home bureau meeting, February 1932. Lois Mae Mosher is a second cousin of Ralph, to her right. She is is a grand- daughter of Mary Mosher Dann's brother Frank. She married Walt Hoffman and farmed at the "Catherine 4- corners" on the Ridge Road just south of Odessa. The farm is now (2006) run by her son Ron and his grown family. The Hayes boy to her left is not a cousin to us.

Walter Samson, Philip Dann, Fritzie Dann and Gordon Samson in the front yard of Walt's grandfather Charles MacDougall in 1942. This was on the west side of the road, two houses north of the town barns. It looks to the northeast. Philip and Fritzie are sons of Gerald Dann.
The sign in the background reads "Richfield Service" and there is a tall slender gas pump at the edge of the road.

The punp was put there when the road was being paved, to sell gas to the construction trucks. Working a hand lever would pump as much as ten gallons of gasoline into the glass at the top, and it could then flow down into the vehicle. After Gordon popped a hole in the glass with a BB gun, it became a five gallon dispenser.

Both Jim and Walt talk of the hard work that was required to maintain the town roads. This is a photo of the Veteran road crew pulling a road grader with a Caterpillar tractor. One of the depression- era public works priorities was to "get the farmer out of the mud". There was certainly enough mud to go around!

Walt Samson provided this picture of his grandfather. "He hauled milk down the Ridge Rd. to the Creamery in Big Flats and then Horseheads for over 40 years. First by horsepower, then by Model T truck, then by a Brockway truck, then by a 32 Chev. truck, then by a 39 Chev. truck and, finally, by a 46 Chev. truck"

Walt Samson's caption: "During the War Years on the Ridge Rd. up in the Town of Veteran where I grew up, the ladies actually had a surprisingly active social life. The commonality of the group included the Grange, Home Bureau, the 21 party telephone line and Dairyman's League. There are a decreasing number of us who remember these ladies. The attached photo has the names annotated on the reverse. Like most pictures of this group, some faces are obscured and not all the local ladies were present. Note the style. Most all wore figured dresses. This was the War era, a time of sewing at home, often using the colorful feed bags that were then popular, and a very practical source of fabric." Walt Samson.
Ridge Rd. Ladies – 1945
Standing – L to R Anna Belle Van Duzer 1887-1963, Annie Wheeler 1885-1961, Ruth Mosher 1900-1972, Francis Dann 1914-1995, Berneice REED Mac Dougall 1882-1958, Lena Horton, Violet Smith, Helene Hayes, Lena Banks, Mina Tuma, Nina Roemmelt, Elizabeth Conklin 1901-1992, Rebecca CONKLIN Carrier, Emily Wagner.
Sitting – L to R Lily Ramstein, d. Fla. ????? ????, Helen MAC DOUGALL Samson 1909-1995.
Children– L to R Lu Ann ????, Stuart Samson, Nancy Tuma (front of Mina), Jimmy Carrier, ??? Dann.

Click here to view the names.
The children of Veteran District 10 school, taken 1932- 1933. This school building is now part of a private home located just downhill and across the road from the Vary Cemetery. Jim Dann remembers that the photographer's dog ran around the schoolyard with the kids until photo time, and then sat quietly with them for the picture.