William A. Lawrence kept a journal which mentions the following Kuhn's: Fred, Uncle Joe, Jennie, Milton, M. L. Kuhn, Jake, Abel, Otto (who painted his house), and Jean Kuhn's wedding June 30, 1951. On 24 Apr 1958 he wrote, "Last Sunday Kuhn's came back from Fla. Yesterday their garage burned and scorched one side of their house." At his funeral the "Kuhn Family Relatives" gave a Floral Tribute.

Rodina's name is spelled "Rhodina" (sic) by James H. Smith in 1867 History of Livingston County. She was written up in "The Leading Citizens of Livingston and Wyoming Counties", Biographical Review Publishing Company, Boston (1895). In that Biographical Review she is described as follows:

The Leading Citizens of Livingston and Wyoming Counties - In the same publication, Rodina described her father, Jacob Kuhn: "My father was born in 1794. He received a good English education, was a good writer and reader, always figured up the interest on his notes, and kept good accounts. He was a good singer, too. In 1813 he was drafted, and served in the army three months, for which he enjoyed a pension in his old age. I have heard him tell that they lived in Hagerstown, Md., when he was six years old; and he saw General Washington go through the town. After they moved to New York, they stopped in what is now the village of Dansville one year, then only a country place, with a grist-mill, one store, and a blacksmith-shop, visited frequently by wild Indians. Grandfather [Peter Kuhn] soon went on the hills to get him a home; for land was cheaper there, and he had a big family to support, seven boys and three girls. He at first settled on the land now owned by Frederick Traxler, one mile north of the Lutheran church, Sparta Center. After a good many of his children were married, he sold that home to Peter Traxler, one of his sons-in-law, [husband of Elizabeth Kuhn], and bought eighty acres of heavily timbered pine land south-west of the church. He built a saw-mill, which stands there yet; and it must be sixty-five years old, if not more. It is now owned by my brother I. A. Kuhn [sic. Jacob A. Kuhn], and, with an addition where he saws wood and shingles, is in running order yet. In 1834 grandfather sold the mill lot to my father [Peter Kuhn], and in 1835 bought and moved on to the farm now known as the Daniel Kuhn place, now occupied by his [Daniel's] daughter, Lucinda Steffa. Grandfather [Peter Kuhn] did not live to be very old, for he had heart disease. He was buried in that beautiful resting-place for the dead back of the aforesaid church which ground and that where the church and school-house now stand he gave to the public for those purposes. Shortly after my father moved on the mill place, the community built the church, and my father sawed the timbers and lumber for the same.

"I remember seeing Grandfather [Peter] Kuhn but once. I heard my folks tell of his coming to our house once on horseback, and his heart stopped beating, and he fell off; but the jar started his heart again, and he got on his horse and came down."

MRS. RHODINA[1] [sic.] (KUHN) LAWRENCE, of Springwater, Livingston County, N. Y., a woman of charming personality, quiet and unassuming in her ways, amply endowed by nature with strong mental powers, a book-lover and student, especially interested in history, biography, and genealogy, has ever striven to promote the educational interests of the community in which she lives.  Mrs. Lawrence’s paternal grandfather, Peter Kuhn, emigrated from Germany, where the days of his youth had been spent, to this country, and settled in Maryland, where he carried on farming for a time, but later came to this section of New York, being among the early pioneers of the town of Sparta.

The parents of Mrs. Lawrence, Jacob and Eleanor (Prussia) Kuhn, were well-known and prosperous members of the farming community of Sparta, N. Y.  Of the ten children born to them, seven are still living;  namely, Jeremiah, Joseph, Lovina, Jacob, Mary, Rhodina [sic.], and Eleanor.  Mr. and Mrs Kuhn were worthy Christians, following the teachings of the Lutheran church, to which they belonged;  and both lived to a venerable age, the father dying at the age of eighty-three years, and the mother at the age of eighty-five years.  Mrs. Lawrence’s maternal grandparents were Christian and Anna Maria Frederika (Kephart) Prussia, who emigrated from Prussia to Berks County, Pennsylvania, whence they came to this State.  They raised a family of four sons and four daughters.

Rhodina Kuhn was a rosy-cheeked maiden, familiar with book-lore and thoroughly trained in the domestic arts, when she became the bride of Loren Lawrence, a stalwart young farmer of Springwater, and the son of John Lawrence, both being ripe in age as well as wisdom, he being thirty-nine and she twenty-eight years old.  John Lawrence was a native of Onondaga County, where he was reared to agricultural pursuits.  When a young man, he migrated to Livingston County, and purchasing a tract of timbered land, reared a “shake” cabin as his first domicile in this county, its location being in Sparta, where he lived for several years before becoming a resident of Springwater, where the last days of his busy life were passed.  He married Mary Thiel, a New Jersey girl[2]; and she bore him eleven children, namely: James; Loren; Ira; Charles; Elijah; David; Clarissa, deceased; George; Eliza; Mary; and Henry, deceased.

Loren Lawrence was born during the residence of his parents on their homestead in Sparta, October 30, 1822.  When he was eighteen years old, his people moved to Springwater, he remaining beneath the paternal roof thirteen more years.  He and his brother Ira purchased his present homestead in 1853, they two keeping bachelors’ hall a good share of the time, but having occasional visits from their sisters.  In 1863 Ira Lawrence married a young lass by the name of Juliette Lewis, daughter of Jacob Lewis; and then the two brothers who had lived together thirty-eight years had to separate, Ira purchasing of Collins Gardner the farm in Carney Hollow where he still resides.  In 1881 Loren bought fifty-one acres one-half mile north of his residence[3], making in all one hundred and fifty-six acres.  He has labored with persevering diligence and energy in its improvement; and his efforts have been crowned with success, the farm being well cultivated and amply supplied with every convenience for carrying on his work after the most approved methods.  His union with Miss Kuhn was solemnized in 1862, and has been blessed by the birth of six children, three of whom are now living.  Nellie married Edmond L. Albright, a contractor residing in Rochester; and they have three children – Lawrence, Harold, and Leland.  Ulysses Grant, a railroad man residing in Rochester, married Sadie Moose; and they have one child, Grantyne.  The third one is William Artman Lawrence, now staying at home, carrying on the farm.  Mr. Lawrence is in all respects a most valuable citizen of the town,  fulfilling his obligations as such with fidelity.  In politics he is a stanch adherent of the Republican party, and in religion is inclined to the Methodist church, of which his wife is a faithful member.

The following interesting reminiscences have been kindly furnished by Mrs. Lawrence:

“My father was born in 1794.  He received a good English education, was a good writer and reader, always figured up the interest on his notes, and kept good accounts.  He was a good singer, too.  In 1813 he was drafted, and served in the army three months, for which he enjoyed a pension in his old age.  I have heard him tell that they lived in Hagerstown, Md., when he was six years old; and he saw General Washington go through the town.  After they moved to New York, they stopped in what is now the village of Dansville one year, then only a country place, with a gristmill, one store, and a blacksmith-shop, visited frequently by wild Indians.  Grandfather soon went on the hills to get him a home; for land was cheaper there, and he had a big family to support, seven boys and three girls.  He at first settled on the land now owned by Frederick Traxler, one mile north of the Lutheran church, Sparta Centre.  After a good many of his children were married, he sold that home to Peter Traxler[4], one of his sons-in-law, and bought eighty acres of heavily timbered pine land south-west of the church.  He built a saw-mill, which stands there yet; and it must be sixty-five years old, if not more.  It is now owned by my brother, I. A. Kuhn[5], and with an addition where he saws wood and shingles, is in running order yet.  In 1834 grandfather sold the mill lot to my father, and in 1835 bought and moved on to the farm now known as the Daniel Kuhn place, now occupied by his[6] daughter, Lucinda Steffa.  Grandfather did not live to be very old, for he had heart disease.  He was buried in that beautiful resting-place for the dead back of the aforesaid church, which ground and that where the church and school-house now stand he gave to the public for those purposes.  Shortly after my father moved on the mill place, the community built the church, and my father sawed the timbers and lumber for the same.

“I remember seeing Grandfather Kuhn but once.  I heard my folks tell of his coming to our house once on horseback, and his heart stopped beating, and he fell off; but the jar started his heart again, and he got on his horse and came down.  It was many years before my father got a buggy, and a much heavier one it was than they have nowadays.  I know I was thirteen years old before they would take me along to Dansville when they went to trade, and I so longed to see a village that I coaxed my mother to let me go next time.  Grandmother lived many years after her husband’s death with a family by the name of Frone, who worked her farm.  She finally lived and died with her daughter, Mrs. Betsy Traxler[7].  I remember mother sent me up to see her once and take her some very nice rare, ripe peaches.  Awhile after she had eaten them she asked me to light her pipe at the kitchen stove.  I took it, and went out there and got a little coal on.  As I could not tell whether it was lit or not, after a minute I thought I must draw on it till it smoked, and did so, but never wanted to light another pipe.

“Those were the days of mud and stone bake-ovens outdoors and bake-kettles and fires on the hearth.  What big logs they used to burn!  They called them back logs and front logs, and had smaller wood for between.  We had the kitchen all to ourselves after supper, as the older ones would go into the other room to work in the long winter evenings.  Mother would knit or darn or patch; and sometimes two would spin flax or tow on the little wheels, or would be doubling or twisting, for we didn’t have any cotton thread.  Everything in the line of clothing was either linen or woolen.  I remember when they had a tailoress come to the house and help make up a piece of fulled cloth that my sisters had spun the yarn for the summer before.  Her name was Ann Clemons.  She is now the widow of Elisha Webster.  And old Mr. Shafer came over with his kit of tools strung on a stick over his shoulder and stayed almost a week, making and mending shoes.

“Folks had to study economy then, but they were just as healthy and happy as those that have all they desire nowadays; and almost all of my neighbors became wealthy.  But how we did enjoy the long evenings, a-playing by the light of the fire in that big kitchen and eating chestnuts!  We played ‘pussy wants a corner,’ blindfold, hide the handkerchief, and jumping over the broomstick; and, when it was moonlight and the snow crusty, we would have a lively time coasting down hill on the hand-sled.  Then what times we would have with frozen heels and toes!  We used to bathe them with spirits of turpentine, or anoint them with gudgeon grease; that is, the black grease that works off the gudgeon under the mill.  In those days girls did the milking; I think I learned to milk in a tin cup, when I was eight years old.  When I was ten, I knit my own stockings and sewed on patchwork.  I think the school-house was built in 1846; but I went to that church to Sunday-school many years ago, when children went barefoot and wore sunbonnets and calico dresses.  A new calico dress was worn to my first Sunday-school picnic.  I remember well when our folks got their first cook-stove over fifty years ago.  My mother said it was a great deal easier to cook over than the fireplace.  So after that the fireplace was boarded up; and my sisters, getting tired of whitewashing all around the walls, began to paper the rooms.  I should like to tell of the sugar camp and what sweet times we had every spring, and of the well-curb, -- how different it was from any other I ever saw.  But my sketch is already too long for the first one written by a person sixty-one years old.”


 

[1] Family records and the grave stone consistently spell her name “Rodina.”

[2] Census records indicate Maria (Mariah) was born in New York State.

[3] This house was located about ¼ mile south of the Erie railroad branch, and about ¼ mile north of the house later built by William Artman Lawrence.

[4] Husband of Elizabeth Kuhn

[5] Jacob A. Kuhn

[6] I.e., Daniel’s

[7] Daughter of Peter Traxler & Elizabeth Kuhn