Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson
Showing posts with label HERRICK Amy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HERRICK Amy. Show all posts

Friday, August 12, 2016

60 Acres More or Less

Growing up, I remember my father telling the story of his Aunt Clarice buying land.  Clarice Theodora Evans (1884-1953) was a professional woman in the first half of the 1900s.  Clarice taught industrial arts when it was a new area of study in various schools around the US, advocated child-centered education, traveled to England to teach and to research for Darlington Hall, and spent her final years teaching at Jersey State Teachers College in New Jersey.

Clarice never married. Her sister Marion Evans Dakin was a widow who was raising a son, Ted.  Both were professional women, but neither woman had any extra funds -- they did not come from a wealthy family.  So purchasing land would be a luxury for Clarice.  Some land became available near the woods where their father had built a shack in Sherman, Connecticut.  Clarice wanted to purchase the land, but it was too expensive.  So, Clarice suggested to her friend Amy Herrick, that maybe they could buy the land together.  Amy had some money and she agreed. They would purchase the land together.

My father's story of the purchase:
The land was 60 acres and the farmer wanted three times what Clarice could afford. Clarice and Amy wanted the land surveyed before they bought it, but the farmer said, "It's 60 acres more or less, period."    The two women paid the going price per acre, Amy paying 2/3 and Clarice 1/3.  When they had the land surveyed to divide it afterwards, Clarice's share was 60 acres!

The story sounds a bit apocryphal, but I used to tell it in my middle school math class when we would study measurements --  an example of needing to have a sense of the size of measurements that you use each day.  In this case, the farmer would probably have some sense of what an acre actually was -- not what I would expect my students to know, but the farmer should.  Then we'd do an activity estimating the number of inches, centimeters, feet etc. something was before measuring. Then I'd end with "handy approximate" measures for the inch, and some estimating activities, for example.

Time to investigate the story:
1. Did Amy and Clarice purchase 60 acres of land in Sherman? 
2. Did they have it surveyed dividing it into 2/3 and 1/3?
3. Did Clarice end up with 60 acre of land as her 1/3?

This is a piece of a more complicated land record search in Sherman that I'm trying to sort out.
Here is the "truth" of the story about Clarice and Amy.

Amy and Clarice made two purchases of land in the northern portion  of Sherman, Connecticut on Ten Mile Hill on 13 December 1938, each with an undivided interest of 1/3 to Clarice and 2/3 to Amy.   One piece of property was for 10 acres, more or less, of woodland from Roland Mygatt [see Sherman Land Records, volume 16, pages 310-311].   The other piece was from Helen H Mygatt for 60 acres, more or less [see Sherman Land Records, volume 15, page 161].
Amy and Clarice purchased 10 + 60 acres on 13 December 1938.

1. Did Amy and Clarice purchase 60 acres of land in Sherman? 

Amy and Clarice, paid to have the land surveyed and divided, 17 months later.
On 1 June 1940, they signed a portion of the land to Amy and a portion of the land to Clarice.

Clarice Evans Quit-Claimed three pieces of property to Amy Herrick, one was 5 1/2 acres, one was 10 and one was 10 acres, a total of 75 1/2 acres [see Sherman Land Records, volume 16, pages 340-341].

Also, on 1 June 1940, 1 Amy Herrick Quit-Claimed three pieces of property to Clarice Evans, total 55 acres [volume 16, pages 341-342].

Amy got 75 1/2 acres, Clarice got 55 acres.  This doesn't sound like 2/3 and 1/3.
They did own the property together as undivided 2/3 and 1/3 each.

Looking closely at the deeds on 1 June 1940.

The land had been surveyed and divided, giving Amy all of the 10 acre piece piece purchased from Roland Mygatt -- a totally separate piece of land sold, none of which went to Clarice.  Possibly this piece of land had a higher value.

The piece of land sold by Helen Mygatt, had been surveyed and divided into three pieces, one was a 6 acre plot which Amy got.

The rest of the "60 acres" purchased from Helen Mygatt, was divided into two convoluted pieces: a west portion (55 acres) and and an east portion (60 acres).

So the "60 acres, more or less" piece was actually 60 + 55 +10 acres when a survey was done.
Clarice received the west portion.

So, back to our questions....
2. Did they have it surveyed dividing it into 2/3 and 1/3?
Well, when they owned it together, it was as an "undivided" 2/3 and 1/3.  They had it surveyed.  They probably divided it into the real estate value of 2/3 and 1/3. Not explicitly stated, since no values were given in any of the original or later transactions].

3. Did Clarice end up with 60 acre of land as her 1/3?
Close to it!  She ended up with 55 acres of land bordering on the land her father bought and built a shack on in the 1920s.

I had always assumed from my father's telling of the story:
They bought "60 acres more or less, 2/3 to Amy and 1/3 to Clarice," with Clarice getting 60 acres  would have meant that Amy got 120 acres -- not exactly the the case, but not too far from the truth, I suspect if you look at land values.

So, did Clarice enjoy her new position of land owner?
Actually, Clarice was very generous.  Not long after her purchase, she filed two Quit-Claim Deeds -- giving her sister Marion Evans Dakin a 1/3 undivided interest and her nephew, Theodore Robert Dakin a 1/3 undivided interest.   [see Sherman Land Records, volume 17, pages 519-520.]

Where is the land located?
It is actually hard to find the exact location on Ten Mile Hill by the deed descriptions because names of adjacent land owners might have been long dead and the land is not a simple rectangular shape like suburban lots. ["BEGINNING at the stonewall fence intersection marking the Northeast corner of the six acres field which is bounded on .. thence Westerly along said Northerly boundary about 375 feet to land of Marion Evans Dakin; thence Northerly along land of said Dakin and land of Emery Thorp about 1520 feet to the Northeasterly corner of land of said Thorp; thence Westerly along land of said Thorp about 600 feet to the land of Robert Hungerford; thence Northerly along land of said Hungerford about 1220 feet to the Northeasterly corner thereof; then Westerly..."]

There was a statement in the deed giving Clarice her land that a photo [Fairchild Aerial Survey] was filed with the land outlined in red ink and filed with the land records.  Unfortunately, that photo doesn't exist there now.

The Town Clerk did find a map showing the land on a map for a nearby property -- Herman Mosenthal's land (actually the land originally owned by Jonathan and Ruth Evans when they first came to Sherman in 1801)

and here is a close up of the map:

Now, Clarice, Marion and Ted are land owners!

©2016, Erica Dakin Voolich
The link to this post is