Born 2nd March 1851.
First marriage to Anna Louise Wilcox (b.1854).
Second union to Sarah Keller (b.1881)
Anna died 19th December 1889.
Samuel died January 9th 1930 in Rome, NY.
Anna died 19th December 1889.
Sarah died 27th March 1951.
Sam had a daughter Mary from his first marriage and a son Samuel by his second.
In 1927 Sam wrote "I have no heir". The bitterness engendered in two marriages meant that his children had almost no contact with him.
A story is told that he lost two fortunes "racing horses".He had several farms, one in Oriskany Falls, one in Madison and another in Sangerfield. He had been raising hops for the beer industry in the area but when a moldy blight destroyed the crop he moved into raising horses. He acted as the local vet assisting other farmers. These are all adjoining towns in Madison & Oneida Counties NY. At the time that he owned all these properties there was a notorious horse-stealing, murdering family known as 'The Loomis Gang'. They lived in Nine-Mile Swamp which was next door to his property in Sangerfield. His association with the Loomis' and his frequent trips to England, Argentina and elsewhere cost him 2 marriages and both his children.
Bob Cummings writes:
I am inclined to believe that Sam F. indeed was a "wealthy" man. He had owned thousands of acres of land in central New York state. The biggest mystery was having lived such as "full" life why was he broke when he died. The marriage between Sam F. & Sarah was most likely a common law marriage. A son Sam E. was born in 1901. She left him after 5 years. Sarah soon
Click here to read three of Sam's letters
growing at Sangerfield
There is no enterprise among farmers depending so much for productions as upon good cultivation, nor in a season of low prices is there any so completely dependent upon mere luck for profit. A very large yield of well cured hops is often worse than no yield, and a very large yield with the price greater than ever known before will be equally bad without judgment to realize it. Growers with every element of good management in ordinary farming are often the prey of extreme indecision. These instances are repeated year after year with no improvement. Sangerfield is full of such cases. I have known a hop grower with 12,000 pounds decline to sell until he could get a dollar a pound, then refuse a dollar and six cents and finally after the opportunity was lost, chase the price down till it reached 20 cents, then frantically catch it better than nothing. Another with 10,000 pounds has refused to sell at 60 cents, preferring to wait until the "p'ise was on the p'int of turning," fancying that he had always done so and succeeded, and find himself, when the season had passed with his hops on hand and no demand for them. One grower in town always sells when they are ready for market, "because he can not sleep until they are sold." Another, with five successive crops on hand has never had the moral power to part with them at any price. Another, after being in the business three years, disgusted with the results, has sold out to a neighbor and that neighbor has cleared enough from the same hop yard the first year to pay the whole cost of land, poles and tillage. The dealers in the town have, as rule, been very fortunate, though mere temporary speculators often have not been. One instance in 1882 was an important exception, the speculator clearing $60,000. But another quite as notable was the loss of $30,000. From this small four acre yield of Benjamin Wimble, in 1822, the business has increased until the present time, when nearly every farm in town has its hop yard.