Clarence David Fulton
Born: 20 Mar 1894
Born Where: Cherrytree, Venango, PA
Died: 13 Feb 1969
Died Where: Snyder, NY
Marriage Date: 11 May 1914
Married Where: Buffalo, NY
Children: Ruth Ann, Dorothy Hazelle, Evelyn Clara
General info:
The following is a word for word, for the most part unedited, transcription of notes in Clarence's own handwriting from the mid-1960's. There are a few [bracketed] spots where we could not read the handwriting or added missing words for clarity.
Born in Venango County Pennsylvania about a mile south of Titusville, PA in a frame home on the hillside, which was the home of my grandparents, the David Fulton's at 5:20 a.m. March 20, 1894. Parents names were Joseph Newton Fulton and Maude Ora Locke, who were married July 20, 1892 at Titusville.
My father at the time of my birth was in charge of a lease of oil wells near a small community known as McGraw, PA, where we stayed for some time, which needless to say, is some what vague to me.
Other homes we lived in at Titusville were East Walnut Street, Prospect Street, and at […] on the road south of Titusville which lead to the site of the Drake Well. The time and sequences I am not too sure of because of my early age.
In the latter part of the 19th century (98-99) my father was in the employ of the Snowsteam Pumpworks at Buffalo, NY. And in the early part of 1901 we moved to Buffalo and set up a home upstairs at the corner of Seneca and […] and I began attending school for the first time at a one room school house known as Annex 27 which was on the site now occupied by St. Simon's Church on Cazenovia Street near Seneca.
Next we moved to home on corner of [Duerstein] and [Manhassett] which was outside of Buffalo city limits and after a while, it was decided by school department that for me to receive benefits of school system, it would be necessary for me to pay tuition.
My father decided it would be much better if we moved to some other location in the city and nearer to his work so we moved to 56 Kepple Street and I transferred to School No. 26 (1902) which I attended to the end of the 8th grade term (1909).
At our settling at Kepple St. in 1902 my father became associated with Geo. Williston who was much interested in the early gasoline motor cars which also fascinated me. [I] spent many hours with my father helping in my small way and also absorbing all the knowledge I could about those early cars such as the one cylinder Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles; two cyl. Reos; two-cyl Fords; two-cyl Maxwells; two-cyl Stanhope; one cyl Pierce Matorette, Franklin Autocars, Locomobile Steamers, White Steamers, and others long since forgotten.
The work performed on these cars was all done at night, Saturdays and Sundays as my father was still employed at the Pumpworks. Our experiences were fascinating as the lack of any special tools was apparent and unheard of firsts were accomplished by makeshift tools and handwork.
When I became old enough I worked after school and Saturdays in Mr. Williston's bicycle shop learning the trade under the watchful eyes of John Pitts and in a few years I was able to make use of that knowledge for my own benefit.
This situation continued until the early part of 1909 when we moved to 244 Triangle Street, (now South Park) and automobiles and bicycles were forgotten for the time being and I in turn transferred my school duties to No. 28 Public School where I met the girl I later married. I will always have high regard for the teacher I had in the last year of my schooling.
Before finishing school my father rented a home and a large barn next door to 28 School at 783 Abbott Road (now part of South Park Avenue) and proceeded to establish himself in the public garage business. Needless to say the bicycle business revived with me spending all the time I could at it. And also learning on my own how to drive and repair the motor cars of that period, which knowledge on my part was a bit of surprise to my father.
I graduated from 28 School in 1910 and for the next year spent all my time in garage. And in the following year my father resigned from Snowsteam to devote all his time to the business which flourished and later it was necessary to move to large building at 831 Abbott Road.
About the beginning of 1911 I took position as driver for the Shea family and remained with them for about two years. I managed to enjoy this position as it took me on several long trips and I gained a lot of experience while with this family who treated me as one of their own rather than an employee.
Being away from home was a considerable drawback as it kept me from seeing and being with the girl I was to marry so I decide to resign and take position with [Lemy] and Company, a large grocery concern on Elk Street at Louisiana Street as mechanic but the need for me at home in garage business was making itself known so resigned and spent all of my time working for my father. The time spent with him, so close was one of the happiest periods of my working career and the knowledge gained from him has carried me over many a rough spot.
After keeping company with Ann Gemmer for four years, we embarked on the sea of matrimony on May 11, 1914 and stayed on in garage until my father accepted position to install a gasoline manufacturing company in Oklahoma near Tulsa in early part of 1917. I stayed on to sell out business which was accomplished and I took position with Lackawanna Steel Company as steam fireman on pile driver, steam shovels, diggers, and unloaders and the pay as fireman was 32 cents per hour and we worked 84 hours a week and shifted our work at the end of every two weeks from days to night.
Our means of transportation was by way of electric trolleys and the fare was 6 cents one way or the South Buffalo Ry [railway] had a train that departed from the Lackawanna RR depot at the foot of Main Street Buffalo to inside of the steel plant and made many stops along the way and transportation was free.
Worked here until early 1920 when I was induced to go back to my former location as gasoline motor mechanic for [J.S.] Turcott at the same place of business we had previously sold.
While employed at Turcott we decided to build our own home 20 Hubbell Avenue because I had wired our flat at 282 Triangle for electric lights and had furnished my labor for free but when work was completed our rent was raised ten dollars per month. Our first child was born at 282 and was named Ruth Ann but we were unfortunate in having her leave this life four or five weeks later.
Our second child Dorothy Hazelle was also born at 282 and is still with us and has been and still is a source of enjoyment to say that she is our daughter.
Left the employment of Turcott's to go into the garage business myself at 15 Como Avenue, Buffalo, and my ego I think got too big and took over a public garage and also a partner at 625 South Park Ave. and businesses flourished until a little mismanagement of funds (which my wife had nothing to do with, sorry to say) engulfed us in difficulties and we sold out and I went to work for Frank Steele who was starting an automobile agency at 211 South Park Avenue selling Oldsmobiles as service manage.
While in business for myself our next daughter, Evelyn Clara, was born at 20 Hubbell and she also has been and still is an enjoyment to say to that she is also our daughter.
In 1926 Frank Steele sold out and I went to work for International Harvester Company as truck mechanic in their motor truck division on North Division Street and was sent to Jamestown, NY as service manager there and [then]returned to Buffalo branch which in the meantime moved to Fillmore Avenue near Main Street. And after a short period was laid off and tried my hand on my own again, but was getting into the early part of depression so tried civil service examination for special mechanic for position in the Post Office in garage in Buffalo. But as there was no position open with that rating [accepted] temporarily position as sub-garageman-driver.
Had many interesting and educational experiences while there and almost starved because pay was low and work could be obtained only on regular employers days off or because of sick leaves, but with my wife's super-human ability to accomplish the feat of existence was able to pull through these difficult times.
Had to accept a few motor car repairs on the side, (now known as the second front) but after two or three years of this managed to obtain position in the J.A. Beales and Sons business near our house as maintenance supervisor of fleet of trucks and dairy machinery. During this period still performing duties as driver for the Post Office whose dispatcher arranged my hours to [match] my off time but this situation didn't last long because my Post Master informed me that I couldn't hold down two jobs. So as the position with Beales had the most to offer, terminated my connection with the Post Office which I had held for about five years.
It was about July 1933 that I went with Beales and the work was enjoyable and educational and I gained considerable knowledge while there. Converted several of the stand up to drive trucks from left hand drive to right hand drive so that drivers didn't need to alight from trucks into street.
Made friends with Jack Roth who was connected with Sterling Engine Company, Buffalo and in 1941 severed my connection with Beales to accept position with Sterling Engine as millwright. After short time was promoted to maintenance supervisor of Navy Building occupied by Sterling.
In 1948, Sterling Engine had financial difficulties and factory was closed for a while and I obtained temporary employment with Old Dutch Foods of Buffalo who at the time was moving their plant from Buffalo to Blasdell, NY.
My duties there were to receive machinery from the movers and place in position and set up plant for operation, which at times seemed to be an impossible feat because of severe cold weather and lack of heat in bldg.
But task was finally finished and plant was in operation and I was prevailed upon to remain in the employ of Old Dutch Foods in the maintenance department and after a short time was in complete charge of maintenance. During my stay went through the ordeal of the business being sold to Roswell Park who got off to a good start and we all had visions of a good future. He attempted to establish a branch factory in Canada but for reasons unknown, didn't work out so well.
Then the business was sold to Westfield Foods and they operated it for about two years but siphoned the cash off and almost bankrupted the company. Finally was taken over by Mr. Smith who at the time was connected with Dean Foods of Richmond Virginia, and [he] took possession of Old Dutch Foods by paying off the creditors at a fraction of what was due.
I retained my position during this period until I retired at 71+ in 1965 which amounted to about 19 years of long working hours and finally retired from my position of Vice President in charge of Engineering because of physical conditions on July 1st 1965.
During the month of October 1965 assumed the position of factory representative for Helmick Foundry-Machine Company, Fairmont, West Virginia and was allotted New York State territory except NYC area and have been busy.
1900 Census: Titusville, PA
1910 Census: Buffalo, NY
1920 Census: Buffalo, NY
1930 Census: Buffalo, NY
1969 Death Record: Buffalo, NY
image: Clarence David Fulton about 1913
Clarence David Fulton about 1913
(Picture courtesy of Kathy Mieczkowski)
image: Clarence D. Fulton's and Anna Gemmer's Wedding pic 1914
Clarence D. Fulton's and Anna Gemmer's Wedding pic 1914
(Picture courtesy of Kathy Mieczkowski)
image: Anna, Clarence, Evelyn, Dorothy Fulton 1920s
Anna, Clarence, Evelyn, Dorothy Fulton 1920s
(Picture courtesy of Kathy Mieczkowski)
image: Clarence D. Fulton in later life
Clarence D. Fulton in later life
(Picture courtesy of Kathy Mieczkowski)
Gravesite: Cremated - Ashes spread somewhere on the rocky coastline of Maine.