Class of 1919 Biographies
The purpose of this project was to compose brief biographies on our first graduates, the Class of 1919, from when we were known as the New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island. These biographies were created using details from public records and, whenever possible, communication with family members. The education these individuals gained here at Farmingdale impacted their lives and lives of those who knew and loved them. It is through the memories of their living descendants and family members that we, in turn, remember these departed souls. Their loved ones remind us of who they were and thus, who we are.
Presentation: Finding the Class of 1919 by April Lynne Earle
Presented as the Centennial Commencement Lecture on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, this lecture demonstrated the research process used by Librarian, April Lynne Earle, to locate descendants of the first graduating class. Genealogical resources helped to reveal the incredibly diversity in this class of just 15 students which included a woman, an immigrant, a deaf student, and eight first generation Americans. Finding the Class of 1919: https://ensemble.itec.suny.edu/Watch/z8S7Nic6
Finding Aid of resources in the College Archives related to the Class of 1919, created by Robert Voyles as part of an academic service-learning project.
Albert William Berg <-- Click the names for more photos
(23 March 1900 - 16 August 1988)
The only son of immigrant parents, Charles W. Berg and Rosa Schwarz-Berg, Albert William Berg was born on March 23, 1900 and grew up in New York City. While his Dutch-American mother tended to Albert and his elder sister Anna, his Danish-American father owned a bakery and ultimately became a flour merchant. Albert eventually joined his father's flour distribution business which became known as Charles W. Berg and Son but first Albert attended The New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island. After graduating, Albert worked on a ranch in Montana with his good friend and fellow Class of 1919 graduate, Bradford Southard (see biography below). Eventually Albert returned home to New York to help his father in the family business. It was then he met his soon-to-be wife, Clara Marjorie Gladys Tyler, who was a nurse attending the birth of Albert's niece. Clara and Albert were married on November 18, 1926. The couple had four children; Charles born in 1929, Albert W. Jr. (known as "Billy") born in 1933 (killed by a drunk driver in 1943), Claire born in 1937, and Douglas born in 1943. "Dad ran the family owned flour distribution business from his home in the Bronx until his retirement in 1970," his son, Douglas shared. "He maintained a garden next to the Bronx family home with many flowers, vegetables, and also, at least during my youth, some 10-20 chickens, a rabbit, Muscovy duck, a small fishpond, and a prominent flagpole. This was complemented by a vegetable garden he also maintained on weekends on Clara's sister's farm near Salisbury Mills." On his retirement, Albert and Clara moved to Clara's childhood hometown of Salisbury Mills in Orange County, NY. Douglas remembers there always having been "pleasure, indeed family pride, in Albert having been a member of Farmingdale's very first graduating class. This, plus his love of growing things may well have contributed to daughter Claire's also choosing to study at Farmingdale (Class of 1955) and to her and Douglas ultimately having careers in molecular genetic research and teaching." Claire taught at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and Douglas at Washington University in St. Louis. Albert's happy marriage of nearly 57 years ended with Clara's death in 1983. Albert died on August 16, 1988 at the age of 88 in Orange County, New York. Douglas also shared that his father, Albert, willed his body for use in biomedical research and teaching. Ultimately, Albert's remains were cremated and his ashes were scattered on land that he had loved near Salisbury Mills.
Albert Henry Bullard Jr.
(19 June 1897 - 14 June 1941)
Albert Henry Bullard, Jr., was born on June 19, 1897 in Cleveland, Ohio. Before 1900 his parents, Albert Bullard and Anna Rothenbecker-Bullard, moved the family to New York City where Albert Sr. worked as a soda fountain supply distributor. After graduating from The New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island in 1919, Albert married Marianne Crockett. By 1930, the couple was living in Fairview, Pennsylvania where Albert was working as a dairy salesman. It appears the couple separated before 1933 but they had at least one child, Anna Marie Bullard who was born on April 1, 1930 in Erie County, PA. Albert died on June 14, 1941, just a few days shy of his 44th birthday.
Bernard Benjamin Cavallaro
(12 August 1896 - 17 May 1988)
Noted as the "best natured" amongst his classmates, Bernard Benjamin Cavallaro was born on August 12, 1896 in Astoria, Queens, New York to immigrant parents; Salvatore Cavallaro and Cristina Scala-Cavallaro; both were born in Corbara, Salerno, Campania, Italy. Berrnard, the third of seven siblings, registered for the United States WWI draft on June 5, 1918 and listed his occupation as a student at the State School at Farmingdale. After graduating in 1919, Bernard married Alice May Demont in East Northport, Long Island on December 28, 1924. The couple had one daughter, Grace. Bernard spent his career working as a poultry farmer; at one time he worked for Beacon Milling Company of Cayuga, New York. His great nephew, Chris Milmerstadt recalls, "Although I was just a little boy at the time I would always see my Uncle Benny at the annual family picnic which he hosted on his property...I remember that he was a very kind, gentle, yet energetic person. He had a large piece of property where we would all gather annually, where he had a huge garden full of fresh corn beans and every vegetable you can think of...!" Bernard’s granddaughter, Amy Kernes, who grew up next door to her grandfather in Riverhead, Long Island, confirms, “Pop had a big garden in his backyard, which he tended with loving care...He grew so many things including rhubarb, asparagus, tomatoes, corn, green beans, bell peppers, onions, beets, and strawberries. The corn was the very definition of sweet. We'd go out and pick it and lightly cook it for supper. He was fond of pulling a vegetable out of the garden, like corn, a tomato, or an onion, brush the dirt off, take a bite, and pass it over to me. This little kid was not about to take a bite out of a raw onion!” Predeceased in death by his wife, Bernard died on May, 17 1988 at the age of 91 in Leesburg, Florida but is interred beside her at the Cutchogue Cemetery in Cutchogue, Suffolk, New York.
Walter B. Eidt
(9 October 1897 - April 1981)
Walter B. Eidt was born in Manhattan, New York on October 9, 1897 to Charles W. Eidt and Agnes Baker-Eidt. While a student at The New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Walter enlisted for service in WWI at Fort Slocum on August 10, 1918 but was discharged shortly thereafter on November 29, 1918. After graduating, he married Marion Louise Richel on June 26, 1925 in Geddes, New York. Walter and Marion settled in Freeport, New York where he worked as a real estate agent just like his father. By 1940 the couple relocated to Marion's home town of Geddes, New York with their two sons; Roger Bradford Eidt (born 1927) and Allen Richard Eidt (born 1935). Walter died in April 1981 in Baldwinsville, Onondaga, New York, at the age of 83.
(23 November 1898 - 23 April 1984)
Kathryn Freeman was born on November 23, 1898 in Plymouth, Pennsylvania. She was one of twelve children born to Leopold Freeman and Rosa Steindler-Freeman; Jewish immigrants from Bohemia, which is now in the Czech Republic. The Freemans obtained much success and are noted as one of the pioneering families of Plymouth, PA. Her father, Leopold, was the director of the First National Bank of Plymouth up until shortly before his unexpected death on November 3, 1914. Due to the passing of her father, her school records indicate her eldest brother Alfred, a New York City architect, as her guardian even though her mother Rosa lived well into her 90s in Plymouth. She was quoted in the July 1919 edition of The Country Gentleman, "I was born to be a farmer. I have always known I should do this, ever since I could tell a seed from a pebble (p.18)." After graduating from the New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island in 1919, Kathryn worked as a superintendent on a ranch in Dayton, Wyoming. She also worked for sometime as a landscape architect in Manhattan. After residing on Fifth Avenue for several years, Kathryn returned home to the Wilkes-Barre area of Pennsylvania. She died on April 23, 1984 in Kingston, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania at the age of 85.
(2 September 1895 - September 1986)
Abraham Ginsberg was born on September 2, 1895 in Hoboken, New Jersey to Moses and Tina (nee Blum or Bloom) Ginsberg. Abraham was one of at least ten children born to this Russian immigrant couple. Noted in several instances throughout the 1919 yearbook, Abraham was a boxer and showed his skills off in the ring at a school event once held in the Heiselmann Opera House in Farmingdale. After graduating from The New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island, Abraham began working as a florist in Patchogue, New York. In about 1921, Abraham married his wife, Blanche Krauss, who was from Hungary. The couple moved back to Brooklyn near Abe's parents to raise their two sons, Herbert, born in 1922, and Eugene, born in 1928. Abe continued to work in the flower industry and at one point was employed by the American Bulb Company in Manhattan. Abraham died in September of 1986 at the age of 91.
Carl Henry Glaesel
(13 January 1901 - May 1975)
Carl Henry Glaesel was born on January 13, 1901 in Manhattan, New York to August Herman Glaesel and Helene Schorstein-Glaesel. Both of his parents were immigrants from Landsberg, Germany. Sometime after graduating from The New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island in 1919, he married his first wife Elizabeth. The couple lived in New Jersey. According to the U.S. Census, Carl worked as a superintendent on a private estate in Bedminster, New Jersey. In 1940 his occupation is listed as a guard in a prison. In 1952 Elizabeth passed away. Three years later in April 1955 he marries a second time to Evelyn Aikey. They have 20 years together before Carl died in May of 1975 in Ocean County, New Jersey at the age of 74. His remains are interred in the Blawenburg Cemetery in Skillman, New Jersey along side his first wife, Elizabeth.
Joseph Anthony Horak
(27 February 1895 - 24 April 1984)
Named by his peers as the "best orator" as well as the "best basketball player," Joseph Anthony Horak was born in Long Island City, Queens County, New York on February 27, 1895 to Rudolph Horak and Anges Frederick-Horak. He was the eldest son of the couple's seven children. His father Rudolph was an immigrant from Austria and worked in publishing. On Joseph's WWI draft registration card, dated June 5, 1917, while still a student at the New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island, Joseph indicates that he was working as an agricultural instructor at the Y.M.C.A in the Bronx. According to an article in the July 1919 edition of The Country Gentleman, Joseph was recognized as the "only born farmer (p.18)."After graduation in 1919, he continued to work as an agriculturalist on a farm and later as a florist. After the passing of his father on September 30, 1930, Joseph continued to support his mother and several siblings through operating his own florist shop. He operated that floral shop on Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens, New York for over 40 years and served as the president of the Steinway Street Merchants Association in the 1940s and 50s. On February 11, 1925, Joseph married Grace Emilie Heaker. The couple had at least two children; Rudolph Martin Horak who died in infancy in 1926, and a daughter, Grace E. Horak. Joseph's wife, Grace, predeceased him. She passed on August 18, 1954. Joseph never remarried. He lived another 30 years. He died on April 24, 1984 in the town where he was born, Long Island City, at the age of 89. He is buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Flushing, New York besides his wife Grace and infant son, Rudolph.
Scott Putney Hutchins
(16 June 1897 - 7 December 1949)
Scott Putney Hutchins was born on June 16, 1897 in Boston, Massachusetts to George and Marion Hutchins. Scott was deaf. His parents moved him and his younger sister, Barbara, to New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York before 1910. After graduating from the New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island, Scott lists his occupation as an agriculturalist on a farm in the 1920 U.S. Census. By 1930, though, he is supporting his widowed mother and younger sister by working in a lighting fixture store in Brooklyn; which was his father's industry. Sometimes after the passing of his mother in 1933, Scott moves out to California. There on September 27, 1943, he married Edna Lucille Chalk. It is not known when the couple moved to Arkansas but on December 7, 1949 Scott dies there in Cleburne County at the age of 52, and is interred in the Higden-McLehaney Cemetery in Higden, Arkansas.
Alfred John Kemna
(14 October 1897 - 5 December 1988)
Alfred John Kemna was born on October 14, 1897 to Herman J. Kemna and Lily F. Smith-Kemna. The eldest child, Alfred had at least one younger sister named Lillian. On September 12, 1918, while still a student at the New York School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island, Alfred registers for the U.S. WWI draft. He lists his occupation as an agriculturalist at Elderfields Reservation, Inc. in Port Washington, Nassau County, New York. After graduating in 1919, he continued his career in agriculture. After graduating he returned home to Staten Island to live with his parents. By the 1940 census, Alfred and his parents are in Monrovia City, California and in the 1940 U.S. Census he lists his occupation as a machinist in the aeroplane industry. That airplane company was the Lockheed Aircraft Company in Burbank, California. On August 6, 1949, at the age of 51, Alfred married Helen C. Busby in Laguna Beach, California. After 18 years of marriage, Alfred and Helen divorce in September of 1967. At the age of 75, Alfred remarried on November 18, 1972 to Dorothy Marie Lloyd-Binning. Dorothy died shortly thereafter on July 12, 1976. Alfred passed on December 5, 1988 at the age of 91 in Los Angeles County, California.
(20 June 1897 - March 1987)
John Nicolais was noted among his peers as the "biggest cut-up." Unfortunately though, without documentation of his birth date in our school records, we can only guess that he may have been born John Darwin Nicolais on June 20, 1897 in Brooklyn, New York to Salvatore Nicolais and Maria Fastiggi-Nicolais. If this is indeed our John Nicolais, his parents immigrated from Calitri, Avellino, Campania, Italy in the early half of the 1890s. His father supported the family by working as a tailor. After graduating from The New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, John's occupation is listed as farm hand in the 1920 census. It is possible that he then moved to New Jersey where he became a barber and married a woman named Rosemary. That couple at one point is living in Greenwich, Connecticut. It is not known if they had any children but Rosemary Nicolais died in 1957. On July 1, 1976 at the age of 79, John marries Ruby Lillian Thrash-Belt-Pomroy in West Virginia. He was her third husband. It is not known what brought John to West Virginia but he lived there until his death in March 1987 at the age of 89 in Parkersburg. His remains are interred at the Knights of Pythias Cemetery in Elizabeth, West Virginia with his wife Ruby by his side.
Harry Herron Johnson Shoup
(10 July 1899 - June 1975)
Deemed the "most graceful" of our graduates, Harry Herron Johnson Shoup was born on July 10, 1899 in New Castle, Delaware to Samuel Ransom Shoup and Grace Platt Johnson-Shoup. His mother, Grace, died on the following day as a result of complications from giving birth. On March 22, 1905, his father, Samuel, remarried to Martha Elizabeth Fischer and moved to New Jersey. Harry remained with his paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Shoup, who by 1910 was widowed and living in the Flushing, Queens County, New York near one of her other sons, Harry's uncle, Richard Shoup. He had family ties to Mississippi and was quoted in the July 1919 edition of The Country Gentleman that he had once lived on the family plantation for a two year period. "Down there I had a nice garden of my own. Summers I earned extra money working for a florist. Gardening and flowers interested me so much I decided I couldn't keep away from them. The Mississippi experience brought me here [to Farmingdale]. (p.18)" After graduating from the New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island in 1919, Harry continued his education at Mississippi A & M which is now Mississippi State University. There he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1921. He then went on to complete a Master's degree in Agriculture from Iowa State University. On December 26, 1929, Harry married Violetta M. Schnell in Cattaraugus, New York. The couple had 5 children: Margaret, Robert, Katherine, Richard, and Charles. Harry eventually taught agriculture at Falconer High School from 1943 until his retirement in 1961. In 1943 he also purchased a small dairy farm in Jamestown, New York. His youngest son fondly recalls days on the farm and travelling with his father to livestock judging events. Harry loved judging dairy cattle; specifically Holstein cattle. All three of Harry's sons went on to study agriculture at Cornell University. Harry died in June of 1975 at the age of 76 and is interred at the Allen Cemetery in Falconer, New York.
Bradford Kenneth Southard
(9 January 1898 - 12 August 1991)
Named "handsomest cadet" and "best baseball player" among his peers, Bradford Kenneth Southard was born on January 9, 1898 to Austin Southard and Emma Josephine Lott-Southard. He had a younger sister Emily Southard. He was the 1919 valedictorian of his graduating class at the New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island. Immediately after graduation he was hired to drive livestock from Long Island out to a ranch in Montana. His time out west in Montana was cut short by the untimely death of his father who was killed in an explosion at the United State Navy Star Shell Plant in Baldwin, New York, in May of 1919. In 1923 He sold some land in Freeport and purchased a fruit and dairy farm near Red Hook, New York; approximately 120 acres. Prior to buying the farm, he married Almira F. Waring in Franklinville, New York on September 1, 1923 Bradford. Their marriage was short lived. He sold the farm in 1927 when he went to work at the Walker Gordon Dairy Farm. Bradford wasn't happy there and found a job at Schrafft's Restaurant where he worked until he retired in 1964. Bradford remarried in about 1945 to English immigrant, Cecilia O'Neill. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to New Jersey where they raised two children; Martin and Jane. Bradford passed away in Manatee, Florida on August 12, 1991 at the age of 93.
Milton Barauch Spiegel
(30 June 1897 - 1 July 1952)
Noted by his classmates as our "best football player" in the Class of 1919, Milton Barauch Spiegel was born on June 30, 1897 to Hyman Spiegel and Rose Bleyer-Spiegel in Manhattan, New York. Milton married Carolyn V. Kaffka on June 30, 1923 in Manhattan, New York. The couple had one daughter, Annette, born in 1925. By the beginning of WWII, Milton was working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Mower, Minnesota. Milton died in Roslyn, New York on July 1, 1952 at the age of 55.
Alphonse Castro Tello
(19 September 1899 - 1950)
Alphonse Castro Tello was born Alfonso Antonio Tello y Castro on September 19, 1899 in Tacubaya, Mexico City, Mexico to Manuel C. Tello and Javiera Castro de Tello. At the age of 16, Alphonse came to New York from Guanajuato, Mexico with his older sister Carmen on December 11, 1915 aboard a ship called Esperanza. His older brother, Manuel Tello was already living in New York with his wife, Maria. After graduating from the New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, New York in 1919, Alphonse married Josephine Bonello of Port Chester, Westchester County, New York on September 18, 1921. The couple appears to have made many trips between the U.S. and Cuba. Their travel was due in part to Alphonse's job as a salesman and representative of his pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Havana, Cuba. Alphonse and Josephine had a daughter Rosary Joy but divorced when she was very young. Alphonse remarried to Elsa Leon in Cuba. They had two children but before the birth of his youngest child, Alphonse died of complication during surgery. He is buried in Cuba.