Sisco & Bailer
Family Genealogy
Charles Bailer

10.  CHARLES ALBERT5 BAILER (JOHANN4, BASIL3, CHRISTIAN2, JOHANN1) was born November 08, 1882 in Otisco, New York, and died February 13, 1964 in Westover, New York.  He married DORA MAUDE HOBART March 29, 1911 in Otisco, New York, daughter of DIX HOBART and MARY TUFFLEY.  She was born April 10, 1886 in Preble, New York7, and died September 17, 1966 in Binghamton, New York.

        Charles Bailer (Circa 1898) 

Charles Bailer and his generation lived in a world vastly different than that of today. His was the last of a trully agrarian American culture. His generation didn't have the advantages that resulted from the advances of the industrial revolution such as the gas engine. They plowed their fields with oxen and horses, not tractors. Life for Charles' generation was hard, yet simple.

The pleasures of life didn't cost in terms of dollars. Esther (Bailer) Sisco remembers each Sunday evening the family would have apples and homegrown popcorn as a treat. The little recreation time they had consisted of swimming in Otisco Lake or visiting neighbors who were likely related  in some manner. Their pleasures were simplistic by today's standards. 

Charles was not given a middle name at birth so he chose the name "Albert" because he liked it. His education ended with the completion of the sixth grade.

At twelve years of age he went to work as a farm-hand to contribute to the families meager finances. It was not uncommon for the children of immigrant families to send their children off to work at a young age as they struggled to gain a financial foothold in their new communities. More important, with so many children it was one less mouth to feed. Charles lived on the farm he hired out to and then in the winters would move back home and go to school. He would get homesick being away from family and friends.

Eventually, he and his brother John Bailer purchased two hundred acres on Onondaga Hill, New York. Together they farmed the land. This is confirmed in The Farm Journal Illustrated Rural Directory of Onondaga County 1917.  Philadelphia:  Wilmer Atkinson Co., 1917, pp. 43-98. It states, "Bailer, Charles (Dora) 1 ch farmer part owner R4 Tully Otisco 53" and also lists "Bailer, John farmer part owner R4 Tully Otisco 53."

In 1908, Charlie's older brother Fred married Luella Hobart. It is uncertain if Charles met his future wife through his Fred and Luella or if he knew from from school but it was at about this time Charlie began taking an interest in Luella's sister Dora. John would let Charles borrow the horses to visit the young Dora Hobart. In fun loving manner, Charlie would typically end his letters with, "Your enemy, Charles." The following letter of October 21, 1908 is the exception.

On March 29, 1911 Charles and Dora were married at the home of her grandfather, Henry J. Tuffley (See Photo Scrapbook below for images). He continued to work the farm after he married Dora. Both Horace and Phyllis Bailer were born in this house.

Around 1921, Charles and Dora purchased another farm on Tully Road (Route 80) in Otisco, New York because the farm was too far for their son Horace to walk to school. The home is at 1779 Route 80 in the town of Otisco. It was in this home that Esther Bailer was born and grew up.

Phyllis stayed in and took care of the kids. Esther used to have to help harvest cabbage. It was picked by the wagon full and she would have to throw it off wagon. Esther recalled that one of her "tosses" accidently hit Charles in face and gave him a bloody nose. Then they would unload the cabbage and place it on the ground near the barn with the core down and it would be covered with hay. In the winter, when the price of cabbage would go up, it would be loaded on a wagon and taken to the Tully railroad. Esther relates that her father would get so cold that he would wear a horse skin coat. Sometimes his nose would freeze. He had blankets that he would put on the horses. Esther would also have to pick up potatoes after school. Her hands would get very cold.

Charles found that after Horace graduated from high school and began attending college, he could no longer work the farm by himself. Charles brother, John had sold the original farm and had moved to Hallstead, Pennsylvania and began working for the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western (DL&W) Railroad. So in 1935 through John's encouragement, Charles and family moved to Hallstead, Pennsylvania and went to work for the same railroad as a laborer. As a laborer he repaired rails and ties.

The trains ran frequently during this time so he and the work crew had to be off the tracks when a train went by. He knew what time each train was to passby so he had to keep his pocket watch accurate. He wore bib overalls and kept his pocket watch in the pocket of the bib.

They originally rented a house on Chase Avenue just off of
DuBois Street in Hallstead, PA for a short time. Approximately one year after moving to Pennsylvania, Charles and Dora heard that the DuBois's were looking for a caretaker for their farm. So they moved to the DuBois farm on Harmony Creek Road in Hallstead, PA and became the caretakers of the farm. The Bailer family lived in the main house as the DuBois's would only visit for a few weeks each summer. At this same time Charles continued to work for the railroad which ran from New York City to Buffalo, New York.

They eventually were able to purchase their own house at the corner of Church and Tannery Streets in Great Bend, Pennsylvania. The house has since been torn down to make way for expansion of the fire station parking lot.

Directly behind the house were Lackawanna railroad tracks. Even in retirement, sitting in his recliner watching television Charles would take out his pocket watch to check the time when the train went by. Terry Sisco remembers placing pennies on the tracks for the trains to flatten.

The kitchen in this home had a wood burning stove and on the back porch were stacks of wood to fuel the fire. Dora planted a vegetable garden in the back yard and at one point raised chickens.  To the left side of the house was an unattached garage. Later in life Dora would not let Charles drive becuase he tended to be "heavy on the peddle."

Charles had very strong opinions concerning just about everything. He was a staunch Republican and was never afraid to express his opinion that "being a Democrat was worse than being a Catholic." He was a very gregarious person who "never met a stranger". He loved people and loved to tell stories. Charles was a hard worker even into his senior years. Two things that he believed a man should never be without were a pocket watch and a "jack knife", both of which Charles always carried.

He enjoyed chewing tobacco much to the chagrin of Dora. Each time he heard Dora coming he would take the wet chewed tobacco out of his mouth and hide it in his back pocket. Charles enjoyed whittling wood and playing the harmonica. He impressed his grandchildren by being able to make a whistle out of a willow branch. He loved to watch Lawrence Welk but despised Perry Como, because he was a "foreigner."


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