“Halloween” by Darius M. Ratcliff, November 3, 1944

“Hallowe’en”

HALLOWEEN

Its  Halloween

And shapes scarce seen

Are darting through the air.

The ghosts are out,

They’re all about,

They’re flitting here and there.

Along the street

With nimble feet,

A crowd of spooks I see

With laughter gay,

They’re off, away,

With whispers fraught with glee.

At twelve o’clock

A frightful knock

Comes crashing through the night,

But when I go

The cause to know

There’s not a soul in sight.

The window next

With no protest

Gives out an awesome shriek,

But when I race

And search the place,

In vain for ghosts I seek.

Sometimes they bring

Near everything

And leave it at my door:

But when I wake

I find they take

As much, and often more.

And when at last

The night is past

I gaze upon strange sights;

A rope is strung

Tree tops among,

And graced with scarlet tights.

A neighbor’s cart

Has come apart

And roost upon our shed:

Our swing is gone,

But on our lawn

There sets an ancient bed.

The village crank

Is out to spank

The kids that brought him leaves:

Some urchins bright

Just out of sight

Are laughing up their sleeves.

Its Halloween

And shapes unseen

Are flitting through the dark:

On phantom wings

Strange ghostly things

Now have their yearly lark.

The kids are out

In madcap rout

To have their yearly lark.

“What the boys did to the cow”

Image 1 retrieved from:

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=1065700&imageID=1587802&word=halloween&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&total=21&num=0&imgs=20&pNum=&pos=2#_seemore

Image Title:  Hallowe’en. Item Physical Description: 1 postcard : col., embossed ; 8.9 x 14 cm.

 Source: Holiday postcards / Halloween; Source Description: 17 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm.

Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection;  Catalog Call Number: PC POC – Halloween; Digital ID: 1587802; Record ID: 1065700

 Image 2 retrieved from:

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=1065698&imageID=1587798&word=halloween&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&total=21&num=0&imgs=20&pNum=&pos=16#_seemore

Image Title:  What the boys did to the cow. Additional Name(s): Julius Bien & Co. — Publisher

Source: Holiday postcards / Halloween; Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection

Catalog Call Number: PC POC – Halloween; Digital ID: 1587798; Record ID: 1065698

“Miss Vermilye” by Darius M. Ratcliff, January 29, 1943

Interior, First Baptist Church, Naples, New York, 1912, Rev. S.T. Harding in Pulpit.

Photo above: A special thank you to Donald Gelder of Naples, New York for sharing this photo of the interior of  First Baptist Church, Naples, New York.

Excerpt from the Article: “The Observer Observes”

The Baptist folk here are a good people. Their numbers are small but they are a brave little band. Without a pastor for nearly a year, they hung together, keeping their pulpit supplied nearly every Sunday, gave a concert at Memorial Hall, had church teas etc. They kept their lamps always trimmed and burning. I thought of all these things when at Union service last week Sunday night. They have a pretty little church, neatly furnished, lighted and decorated. The pulpit furniture given by Miss Katherine M. Vermilye and her sister, in sacred memory, will be a lasting monument.

Source: Newspaper: Naples, New York,  THE NAPLES NEWS, Wednesday Afternoon, May 20, 1914, Volumes XVI,  No. 23

MISS VERMILYE

Your years now number eighty eight,

With us you’ve tarried very late.

The added years have been our treasure,

To us they’ve brought both help and pleasure.

We hope they’re not o’er burdened you,

That you have found them pleasant too.

I shall not wish you many more,

But only those God has in store.

We ask you not to haste away,

We’d like to have you longer stay.

But when you’re tired and want to go,

May God see fit to grant is so.

But while your stay is with us still,

May God your stay with blessings fill.

And may you add a few more treasures,

To thus increase your future pleasures.

And may the Christ walk by your side,

Till you with Him above abide.

IN MEMORY OR THEIR MOTHER

Sunday, September 8th was the fourth anniversary of Rev. S. T. Harding‘s pastoral work in the Baptist church of Naples and the services were suitable to the occasion. The subject of the morning being looking backward and the evening a forward look, mention was made of all the improvements realized and those that are still hoped for. It was also the occasion of using the first time of the new pulpit furnishing presented to the church by Mrs. S. C. Semans and Miss Katherine Vermilye in memory of their mother, Mrs. Belinda Vermilye, who was for many years a beloved member of the church. The gift consists of a pulpit desk and five handsome chairs which are in harmony with the new decorations of the church and a great addition.

Source: Newspaper, Naples, New York, THE NAPLES NEWS, Wednesday Afternoon, September 11, 1912, Volume XIV, Number 40

MRS. BELINDA VERMILYE

Monday night, May 8th at the home on Elizabeth St., and after a day of considerable activity on her part, Mrs. Vermilye entered into her rest.

Though having been for several months seriously ill, with the end not unexpected at any time, yet she had recovered somewhat and was again getting about, so that her death came suddenly and while she was in possession of considerable physical and much mental strength. She had reached the age of 86 years, 8 months and 22 days and had until her sickness remarkable vigor. These years were all crowned with usefulness and honor.

Mrs. Vermilye was born in Prattsburg August 16, 1818, the daughter of John and Hannah Phelps. A brother, Rev. James Phelps, now dead often visited her here. The sister, Mrs. Emily Van Vleet Ward, once a resident of Naples lives at Coopers Plains. Her marriage to John Vermilye was in 1844 and in 1867 the family moved to Naples.

Mr. Vermilye was not strong and died 36 years ago. In December 1898 James the only son died. The additional burdens of life thus imposed on the widow were assumed with fortitude and ability, marked elements in her character. They were shared also by her two daughters Mrs. Stephen C. Semans and Miss Katharine, who survive her, also a beloved daughter-in-law, Mrs. James Vermilye and her four sons, Louis, John, George and James all of Naples.

Mrs. Vermilye was a woman of very decided character and marked personality. She possessed strong insight, decided views, together with a bright and cheerful temperament. She was fond of the society of the young, sympathized  with them in their plans and made herself so congenial to them that they sought her presence and delighted in her company. Her church was very dear to her and had been from her youth, the object of her solicitude and care, and when in health her place was never vacant. She was indeed a loved and honored mother in Israel. Her interest in the Sabbath services during her recent illness never faltered, always desiring to know the subject of discourse, and the text was always found for her. She was often found by the bedside of the sick or dying as a most loving and sympathizing friend.

During the years of her widowhood she had been most lovingly cared for by her children and grandchildren and the mutual devotion was very apparent. Her exemplary life as a Christian, as a mother, neighbor and friend could not be surpassed. Let us not mourn as those without hope, that the active hands are folded now, or that the loving eyes are closed and the fond heart stilled,but let us rather look beyond, where eternal youth is hers, where her eyes are opened to scenes of ineffable glory, faith to sight and prayer to praise.

The funeral will be held at the Baptist church tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock, her pastor Rev. H. L. Howard to officiate. Interment will be in Rose Ridge beside her husband and son.

Source: Newspaper, Naples, New York, THE NAPLES NEWS, Wednesday, May 10, 1905, Volume VII, Number 22

KATHERINE M. VERMILYE

Miss Katherine M. Vermilye, 91, of Naples, died on Monday, March 12, 1945, at the Clark Manor House, in Canandaigua, where she made her home since December 4, 1928.

Miss Vermilye was a teacher in Naples schools for thirty-eight years, and her many former pupils still praise her as an instructor of exceptional ability. Her good influence will continue to be an active force as long as any of her pupils survive.

Miss Vermilye was born in Prattsburgh, on January 29, 1854, a daughter of John and Maria Belinda Phelps Vermilye. She did not attend school until she was thirteen years old, at which age she came to Naples with her parents, having received instruction at home up to that time. She first attended school in the old schoolhouse on the “Commons” in North Main Street, Naples. In 1873, she was graduated from the old Naples Academy. After teaching in district schools in this vicinity for a few terms, at $3.00 a week, she was engaged to teach seventh and eighth grades in the Naples Union Free School, in 1880, under the principalship of Percy I. Bugbee. From that time until her retirement in June, 1914, her principal work was with the eighth grade.

Miss Vermilye was a member of the Naples Baptist Church and of its auxiliaries, and was active in church work until she went to reside in Canandaigua.

She is survived by three nephews, John S. Vermilye, of Naples, George Vermilye of Pennsylvania, and James H. Vermilye of Naples; three grand-nephews, Charles Vermilye of Penn Yan, Edward Vermilye of Baltimore, Md., and Rodney W. Vermilye, of Petersburg, Va.; two grand-nieces, Mrs. Earl H. Norton, of Greenwich, N.Y., and Miss Pauline Vermilye, of Rochester.

Services will be held from the Kennedy undertaking rooms in Canandaigua at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, conducted by Charles Wallis, pastor of the Canandaigua Baptist Church. Interment will be made in the Rose Ridge cemetery, in Naples, at a later date.

Source: Newspaper, Naples, New York, THE NAPLES RECORD, Wednesday, March 14, 1945,Volume 77, Number 11

 

 

“A Welcome to Rev. and Mrs. Frank Sperduto” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Presbyterian Church
Naples, Ontario County, New York


A WELCOME TO REV. AND MRS. FRANK SPERDUTO

You’ve made, by now, your own preview;

My welcome can be hardly new:

I’ll add tonight of words a few:

This for my church I gladly do:

A welcome warm to both of you.

A lovely lake our border makes,

Its charming shore affection takes:

The sportive trout its water breaks,

To joyous beauties the heart awakes:

A welcome to our land of lakes.

We once were noted for our mills;

We boast some shaded woodland rills;

For those who practice climbing skills,

Our peaks afford real mountain thrills:

A welcome to our land of hill.

If you grow tired of stuffy dens,

And of wise words from prophets’ pens,

And wish a rest from sung “amens,”

We have a world shut out from men’s:

A welcome to our land of glens.

Our orchard trees will you salute,

They with the vines some farms dispute;

Their blossoms preach with voices mute,

Their autumn offerings your taste will suit:

A welcome to our land of fruit.

It matters not what church you’re of,

Our game is not to push and shove;

Our bird is just the friendly dove,

Our model is the God above:

A welcome to our land of love.

Now, I’m a Baptist, through and through,

And I am loyal to that view;

But God loves Presbyterians, too,

And they to Him can be as true:

The Baptist Church here welcomes you.

And as our work together blends,

And prayer to God from each ascends,

And each to work of Christ attends,

And grace from Him to both descends:

May we become the best of friends.

Naples Baptist and Presbyterian Churches
Naples, Ontario County, New York

Reference:
http://www.fultonhistory.com
Newspaper: “The Naples News”, Naples, New York; Wednesday, March 3, 1943, Volume XXXXV, Number 9; “Rev. Sperduto To Be Installed”.

On Thursday, March 4, at 7:30 according to Presbyterian custom,the Rev. Frank Sperduto, will be installed as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Naples.”

 “The participating clergymen at the service will be: Rev. D. M.Ratcliff, Baptist Church, Naples ; Rev..J. Wesley Babock, Methodist Church, Naples; Rev. Luther Bostrom, Seneca  Presbyterian Church, No. 9 and Moderator of the Presbytery of Geneva; Rev.William Halbert Campbell, First Presbyterian church, Waterloo; and Stated Clerk of the Presbytery; Rev. Angus J. MacMillan, Oak Corners Presbyterian Church, Waterloo; and Frederick L. Harper, First Presbyterian Church, Geneva.”

Churches of Naples, Ontario County,  New York (Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist)
Artist: Donald Gelder of Naples, New York

Images above:
 Source – Personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

Rev. Frank Sperduto

RACINE – Rev. Frank Sperduto, 86, passed away at Lincoln Lutheran Care Center on Saturday, February 10, 2001. He was born in Sommerville, Mass. on November 18, 1914, son of the late James and Annina (nee: DiTucci) Sperduto. On August 24, 1941, he was united in marriage to Ruth M. Roth. Rev. Sperduto was ordained on July 11, 1939, in Chicago, Ill. He subsequently served churches in Naples, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., Ithaca, N.Y., Wichita, Kan., and then in 1962, he was called to Milwaukee to Pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church where he served for 18 years, retiring in 1980. He then came to Racine, where he assisted at the First Presbyterian Church for four years and had remained a member until present. Rev. Sperduto was a member and past President of the Kiwanis Golden K’s. He enjoyed camping, fishing, and traveling with his family. His survivors include his wife, Ruth; his son, Ted (Mary) Sperduto of Wausau; his daughter, Susanne (Keith) Doe of Racine; his five grandchildren, Aaron (Jody) Sperduto of Green Bay, Tim Sperduto of Eau Claire, Jennifer (Tim) Figlmiller of Elk Mound, Robyn (Jason) Gardner of Flagstaff, Ariz., Heidi Doe of Franksville; his great-grandson, Ian Matthew Figlmiller; brother, Rev. Ted (Muriel) Sperduto of Annandale, Va.; sister, Civita (Ray) Trotto of South Weymouth, Mass.; brother-in-law, Albert Roth of Atlanta, Ga.; and nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many dear friends. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his three sisters, Mary Camelio, Rose Camelio, and Nancy CiCicco; and an infant brother, Raymond. Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Avenue, on Friday, February 16, 2001, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Randall K. Bush and Rev. Steve Fringer officiating. Interment will follow at Wisconsin Memorial Park in Milwaukee. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the church on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until time of service. Memorials to the First Presbyterian Church have been suggested.

Source:

Newspaper: “The Journal Times”, 212 4th St, Racine, WI, 53403; Date: February 14, 2001

http://journaltimes.com/wednesday-feb/article_b302dc0f-bd69-5ee7-b6f5-6f35ed439282.html

RACINE – Ruth M. (nee: Roth) Sperduto, 89, passed away at the Kenosha Care Center Saturday, May 8, 2004.

Ruth was born in Ridgeway, Pa. on January 14, 1915, daughter of the late Albert and Susanne (nee: Kubli) Roth. On August 24, 1941, Ruth was united in marriage to the Rev. Frank Sperduto, who preceded her in death February 10, 2001.

Ruth was a very active member of the First Presbyterian Church. She had previously taught and cared for pre-school children at Trinity Presbyterian Church, where her husband, Frank had served as Associate Pastor for 18 years. Ruth enjoyed her times spent with her family. She will be sadly missed.

Survivors include her son, Ted (Mary) Sperduto of Wausau; her daughter,Susanne (Keith) Doe of Racine; her five grandchildren, Aaron (Jody) Sperduto of Green Bay, Tim Sperduto of Minnesota, Jennifer (Tim) Figlmiller of Eau Claire, Robyn (Jason) Gardner of Parker, Colo., Heidi (Ernesto) Lopez of Racine; five great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. Ruth was also preceded in death by four brothers.

Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Avenue, Saturday, May 15, 2004, 11 a.m. with Rev. Randall K. Bush officiating.

Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the church Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time of services. Interment will be held at Wisconsin Memorial Park. Memorials to the First Presbyterian Church or to Trinity Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee have been suggested.

Source:

Newspaper: “The Journal Times”, 212 4th St, Racine, WI, 53403; Date: May 11, 2004

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/obituaries/article_950b06a7-6967-540c-b073-7a86c5f369d4.html

“Marjory Dear”, “To Rosemary”, and “Shirley” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Girl on Her Way to Church by George Hitchcock (1850 – 1913)


MARJORY DEAR

Here’s a word for Marjory dear:

Summer days will soon be here;

School ‘ll be left to memories dread

Joyous times’ll then appear.

When you’re through with Sunday’s preaching

And your teacher  has done with teaching,

Let the care come out a screetching,

Make it hum till here you’re reaching.

First we’ll start right in to talk,

Then we’ll take a pleasant walk,

Keep it up till ladies balk,

Act as mad as any hawk.

You must plan to stay till night:

That’s the time that skeeters bite,

Cat’s come out and start to fight,

Give the girls an awful fright.

Cats will come a catawauling,

Start the babies all a squalling:

Bugs and worms will come a crawling;

Girls and boys will then be bawling.

Then the night air you’ll be feeling,

Hear the pigies all a squeling:

You’ll be someraults a keeling

Till little head and heels are reeling.

Won’t we have alot of fun.

Get all blackened in the sun,

Scare the cows and make them run.

All get sick, every one.

Won’t we have a lot of funning,

For the day with us is doneing?

Eyes pop out and start to running,

Heads jump off and start to spunning.

Girls like you to Christ are dear,

He would have you ever near.

You should Sunday school attend,

And from church too, never wend.

You should give to Christ your heart,

Of His church become a part.

You should ask Him to take you,

Keep you His your journey through.

You should come to Him in prayer

Let Him meet you often there.

You His word should daily read,

And to what it says give heed.

You should do for Him some work

Never let yourself this shirk.

You should love Him more and more

Till your earthly life is o’ver.

TO ROSEMARY

I’ve not forgotten Rosemary,

Nor lost her pleasant smile

She was a little fairy,

And did my heart beguile.

I send my love to Rosemary,

The little southern maid:

Sweet words take wings and carry,

Nor let your message fade.

Tell her the love of Jesus

Can human hearts adorn;

From ugliness it frees us,

When in our bosoms worn.

Tell her the love of Jesus

Is free from all alloy:

That it from sorrow frees us;

Is freighted rich with joy.

SHIRLEY

(Written for a family who had just lost their baby.)

And have you come and gone so soon?

And have you left us desolate?

We dreamed your life you’d share with us,

But such was not to be your fate.

We will not say that all was vain,

That we have hoped and loved for nought:

Perhaps we do not understand,

Perhaps God’s hand through you has wrought.

Some live for years and some for days,

But all at last will pass away.

Who knows what mansions are above?

And whom God needs in heaven’s day?

Our little one we bid adieu:

Our hearts with heaven now have a tie:

We’ll think of you close to our God,

We’ll plan to meet you by and by.

Public Domain Image above retrieved from:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_Girl_on_Her_Way_to_Church_-_George_Hitchcock_-_overall.jpg

“Morning on the Farm” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Barn, Homestead of Charles Benton and Louise Mitteer Ratcliff, abt. 1910
Hurleyville, Sullivan County, New York

MORNING ON THE FARM

Its morning on the farm,

The day begins to break;

The creatures of the farm world

Are everywhere awake.

The roosters from their perches,

Now near, now far away;

Their challenges repeat

To greet the coming day.

A thousand little birds

Are singing in the trees:

Our friendly robin redbreast

Is loudest of all these.

A plaintive phoebe’s call

Is heard among the songs

Of many feathered songsters,

As she her note prolongs.

A mournful cuckoo adds

A doleful sweet  “oo-OO”

And sparrows chatter loudly

As days comes on anew.

A cow in distant pasture

Is lowing now and then;

And slowly from their dwellings

Come forth the world of men.

The milk pails in the milk house

Give out a cheery sound,

And noises from the big barns

Betray someone’s around.

And early in the morning

I come my Lord to thee.

I ask, O Lord, that thou

Will dwell today in me.

Photo Above: Source – Personal photo collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

“The Song of Naples” by Darius M. Ratcliff


West Hill, Naples, Ontario County, New York

THE SONG OF NAPLES

I dream, I dream of Naples

When I am far away:

Its lovely lake is sparkling

With pastel tints so gay.

In dreams again I wander

Through quiet glens alone;

Where waterfalls are babbling

Down towering cliffs of stone.

I hear the hush of evening

In the dreamy month of June;

And light winds in the tree tops

Are singing love’s sweet tune.

I dream of nights in August: –

The clouds joyful sing,

And all night long the night air

With melodies does ring.

I see the roadside beauties,

In autumn’s hazes mellow;

And golden rods are waving

Their plumes of golden yellow.

West Hill goes up to meet it

With many a lovely hue.

I dream of hilltops airy

With valleys spread below;

I dream of vineyards many,

And quiet fields of snow.

I dream sweet dreams of Naples

When I am far away:

Its loveliness has blessed me

And for its good I pray.

Photo Above: Source – Personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

 

 

 

 

“The Storm” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Poplar (1827)

THE STORM

The storm came rolling toward us,

The sky grew densely black;

And thunder crashed fearful

Scarce missed the lightning’s track.

Strong gusts of wind were swaying

The tall thick maple tops:

And rain clouds fast descending

Sent down some great rain drops.

And soon the wind increasing

Began to show its might:

So dark had grown the valley

It near resembled night.

The air was filled with debris,

Dead limbs were in its load:

A great tree top was lifted

And crashed across the road.

A half dead poplar giant

Was twisted right around,

And barely missed our house top

In crashing to the ground.

And now the wind in fury

Went lashing by the town,

And struck the pride of Naples,

The tree of wide renown.

The tree that linked us back

To pioneering date;

A mammouth balm of Gilead,

The largest in the state.

The tree that loomed up skyward

Six score feet and more;

Whose trunk in girth did measure

Ten feet beyond a score.

Its branches were like tree trunks,

And they great limbs did bear:

Its crown spread like a forest,

And towered high in air.

Its ponderous form had stood

Against all wind and blast;

As if ‘twere made of granite

And could the hills outlast.

But old had grown the giant,

And unbeknown to all

Its roots were rotting slowly;

The mammouth tree would fall.

And now the wind in  power

Was wrestling with the giant: –

But then a thousand others

Had found it adamant.

But lo! Its top is leaning!

It never leaned before:

The ground around the great trunk

Came buldging more and more.

And now above the storm roar

A rending sound is heard:

The crown dividing slowly,

Revealed what had occurred.

The sound  of rending roots

Was mingled with the roar,

As all its mammouth greatness

Swung out like swinging door.

A silent moment only,

And through the air  a flash:

And then great limbs were shattered,

And then a dead weight crash.

The jar was like an earthquake

For many rods around:

The roar of wind was lost

In that great thunderous sound.

And still the rain in torrents

Came pouring ever on;

The street was like a river,

A lake was all our lawn.

The sky grew brighter now,

And soon appeared the sun:

The giant low was laying,

By time and wind undone.

Reference: Newspaper – “The Naples Record”, Naples, New York, Wednesday, July 22, 1942, Page Six

“Kiandaga Chapter, D. A. R., has recently had a state marker erected at the Thomas Briggs farm, on the Woodville road, to mark the historic Balm of Gilead tree which was felled by the rains during the night of January 1-2, 1942. The marker was taken down a few weeks ago for correction, following the fall of the tree which once was claimed to be the second largest tree in the state.”

Click to access Naples%20NY%20Record%201941-1942%20-%200665.pdf


Photo above retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=358000&imageID=1113429&word=poplar%20tree&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&total=14&num=0&imgs=20&pNum=&pos=2#_seemore

Image Title:  Poplar.

Additional Name(s):
Hullmandel, Charles Joseph, 1789-1850 — Printer
Burgess, Henry W. — Author

Medium: Lithographs
Item/Page/Plate: Pl. 10

Source: Eidodendron : views of the general character and appearance of trees foreign and indigenous connected with picturesque scenery.

Source Description: pp. [7], iii, [4]; Fol. 26 & plates. 54 plates, front. ; 56 cm.