Cora Bruggencate: a working woman’s life.

Cora was born in St. Johnsville, Montgomery County, New York on 4 March 1877 and died in Little Falls, Herkimer County, New York on 24 July 1945. Her entire life was spent in these two counties. She never married, and was a working woman her entire life. For years (from 1900 on) she worked in the mills, in the beginning it just says mill worker, later in a knitting factory, a shoe factory, and a typewriter factory. She must have been a strong woman, working the mills was backbreaking work, long hours standing at the machines. And then at the end of her life, at age 63, she worked as a domestic servant.

She was the daughter of Jerome Bruggencate, whose father immigrated to the US in 1847 (see this post for the immigration, and this post for some more info). Her mother died in November 1880, and her sister Maude died in 1885 at the age of 5. Both are buried in Prospect View Cemetery in St. Johnsville, where Cora will be buried in 1945 also.

After Almira’s death, Jerome takes up with Louise Pealer. I don’t know whether they ever married officially, but they have three children together. These all have progeny in Montgomery County, mainly in Palatine (Nelliston); Blanche married Elijah Melick, Irene married Emory Waner, and Marshall married Bertha Gottschalk.

Cora is mentioned in the paper several times as visiting Mr. and Mrs. Norman Snell, her second cousin, with whom’s parents she lived in 1892. She also visits her aunt Mrs. Henry Rockefeller. She is a witness in an inquest of a deadly car accident in 1925. There does not seem to be an obituary for her, and she does not seem to have had contact with her half-brother and sisters (as far as the papers indicate).

I can find Cora in all available censuses (unfortunately the 1885 state census is not available):
1880: with her father Jerome, mother Almira, sister Maude, and grandfather Peter Snell in St. Johnsville
1892: with Edwin S. and Almeda Snell in St. Johnsville. Edwin was a cousin of Cora’s mother. I cannot find her father’s second family (There is no 1892 census of Fulton County, so maybe they are there). Her grandmother Nancy Bruggencate is living with her daughter Gertrude (Bruggencate) Rockefeller in St. Johnsville. The mother of Jerome’s second wife is enumerated in Palatine, NY, but Jerome and family don’t seem to be enumerated.
1900: lodger in the household of Clark Marshall, Little Falls, NY. She was a mill operative. Her father and stepmother are in Palatine (Nelliston), NY
1905: lodger in the household of Otis Eyrann, Little Falls, NY. She was a mill worker. Her stepmother and family are still enumerated in Palatine (Nelliston), NY, the father has left the family and shows up in 1910 in Chicago.
1910: lodger in the household of Frank Miner, Little Falls, NY. She was a finisher in a knitting mill (The Industrial Directory and Shippers’ Guide, New York Central Railroad Lines lists 5 knitting mills in Little Falls)
1915: lodger, Little Falls, NY (still need the image)
1920: lodger in the household of Lela Handy, Manheim, NY. Occupation: back seamer in a shoeshop
1925: lodger, German Flatts, NY (still need the image)
1930: lives on her own at 7 Arlington Avenue, Ilion Village, NY. She worked as a mill press operator in a typewriter factory. This was most likely Remington Typewriter Co. or its successor Remigton Rand, who had a plant in Ilion.
1940: household servant in the household of David Stroup, Litchfield, NY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.