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Former slave Frank Brown comes to Clay

— One day, Frank pulled up in front of the schoolteacher, Miss O’Neil, was dismissing the lower grades. As it would be 30 or 40 minutes until the upper grades were dismissed, Frank asked her how she would like to take the little kids for a sleigh ride. She said “surely” and went back inside the school house to bundle them all up and they all hopped on the bobs. With blankets and straw to keep warm, they had a “jolly” time riding around the old village of Liverpool. They returned just as the older students were leaving. The happiness shown on their little faces and their thankfulness to the “nice man, Mr. Brown” so impressed the older ones. ‘The transformation was complete.” He won them all over! (If anyone has heard of this family, maybe from their great grandparents, please contact me to add to the story.)

*”Liverpool in the Nineties,” by Joseph H. Schaeffer, published by Onondaga Historical Assoc., 1957

Dorothy Heller is the historian for the town of Clay. She can be reached at historian@townofclay.org.

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