Anthony and Catherine Skrodski – Gilbert Road (No photograph available)

Anthony and Catherine Skrodzki – Gilbert Road

Bildad Searle, son of Nathaniel Searle and Priscilla (Webb) Searle born December 16, 1733 was the first settler on this place.  He married 1758, Mary Hannum, daughter of Eleazer and Mary (or Martha) Root Hannum.

Bildad and his wife Mary had nine children, none of whom settled permanently in Southampton as far as is known.  In fact, very little was known about them until recently, when Mrs. Garner R. Searle of Patterson, California furnished information about them.  Following is just a small part of the information she furnished.

Bildad Searle Jr. was the second son on Bildad and Mary Searle.  He was born 1763 or 1764, died 1843 at Martinsburg, New York.  He married 1794, or soon after Phoebe Gray of Pelham, Mass. She died 1828 and Bildad Jr. married (2) Ruth (last name not known).

Bildad Jr. and Phoebe had 8 children, the first born in Southampton and the others at Martinsburg, New York.

The third child was Harvey Searle born 1803 or 1805, died in Watsonville, California 1864.  He married Harriet Bosworth in 1830 and they had eleven children.  The oldest was born in New York, then in Ohio and the last eight in Illinois.  Four of these children died in Illinois.  In 1852 Harvey and Harriet and their remaining seven children left for California by wagon train. 

Note that this couple born in New York of parents born in Massachusetts emigrated from New York to Ohio and Illinois and finally to California.

The tenth child of Harvey and Harriet Searle was Oliver Cromwell Searle born in Samanouk, Ill., 1849, died in Hemet, California 1921. In 1891 when he was nearly 42 years old he married Idella Hutton who was then 16 1/2.  They had nine children, the third being Garner Roy Searle born 1896 married 1919, Hester Geraldine Lester from Waukegan, Ill.  Garner and Geraldine Searle have three married daughters.

In 1811 Noah Clark bought this homestead from Bildad Searle (1-519). Probably Noah did not live here but his son Ansell did.

Silas Sheldon II bought from Noah Clark (76-45) in 1835 for $1300.  It is doubtful if Silas Sheldon II ever lived here.  His story is given under the heading “Homestead of Captain Silas Sheldon, Russellville Road”.

Ebenezer Harris bought the property from Silas Sheldon II in 1837.  Mr. Harris was twice married.  By his first wife, Pamilia, he had one daughter, Mary, born 1831 married Albert K. Clark.

Mrs. Harris died Jan. 16, 1842 and Mr. Harris sold the farm to Elihu Gaylord in 1842 (96-409).

James Crandall bought from Elihu Gaylord in 1851 (141-19).

Hiram Gilbert was the next owner buying from James Crandall in 1859 (190-267).

Nathan A. Gilbert took ownership from his father Hiram in 1865 (231-73).  Nathan and his wife Elmina (Eggleston) Gilbert had a daughter, Eva, who married Edward Clark, and another daughter, Cora, who married Dana Howland.  Nathan died in 1898 and his widow Elmina transferred ownership to Dana Howland in 1903 (560-592).

Millard Crandall was the next owner buying from Dana Howland in 1911.  He lived here with his wife and two sons, Harry and Raymond.  They were here until 1923 and the were followed by the George Hopke family.

Soon after it came into the possession of the Federal Land Bank of Springfield and in 1927 is was purchased by Anthony Skrodzki.  The buildings had become quite run down by then, but the Skrodzki family repaired them and also improved the land.  Mr. Skrodzki’s first wife died in February 1936, and he married (2) Mrs. Katherine Gnacek of Chicopee.   She had a son Stanley Gnacek who married Jennie Skrodzki, daughter of Anthony by his first wife.

Stanley and Jennie (Skrodzki) Gnacek live in the same house with their parents and help in the operation of the farm.  The have a daughter, Katherine and a son, Anthony.


–From “History of Old Houses” by Atherton Parsons
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