Bessie A. Hallock passed away Monday, October 20, 1986 at the age of 102 years. From 1944 to 1968 Bessie served as Town Historian for the Town of Rush.
Bessie’s family history in the Town of Rush dates back to 1846, When William Hallock brought the members of his household to Rush. They came from Milton the Hudson River where he and his brothers had farmed and run a mill. They traveled by packet boat on the Erie Canal. The party consisted of William, Phebe Hull Hallock, his wife and their three sons, James, and twins Hohn and William Townsend (Townie). With them came an 18 year old black girl. Jane Ann Pierce whose mother worked for a New York City Physician. Jane had lived with Hallock relatives and begged to come along with William and Phebe.
James married Catherine White, daughter of Walter and Mary Hull White. He was 31, she 18 when they married in 1850. They had two sons, Walter who died at age seven and William Townsend (Townie). William married Catherine Danron and they were the parents of Bessie.
Miss Bessie Hallock, the author of “Rush in Retrospect” published in observance of the 150th anniversary of the Town of Rush, she was appointed town historian in 1944. She was the town’s first historian and served with diligence and dedication for nearly a quarter of a century. In addition to acquiring facts, folklore and documents about the town and its people, she has published two printed pamphlets, “Rush in the Early War Years” and “Your Folks and Mine, Reminiscences and Anecdotes of and about the People of Rush.” One of her major contributions was preparing for distribution to all of the people of Rush, a half dozen mimeographed pamphlets on the highlights of the town’s hundred plus years, its schools and churches. The latter called for great determination on her part as she not only garnered the information and prepared it but typed, mimeographed and distributed the pamphlets.
Appointed by Raymond Goff, supervisor, her 24 years of service spanned the administrations of Supervisors Henry Krenzer, Raymond Goff, Clarence Gruschow and William Zimmer.
Hallock attended the Lima Seminary for two years. After that she attended Northwestern University, majoring in dramatics. She directed the plays of the Rush Dramatic Club and served as president of the Ingleside Club, which she helped found with her mother for many years. This organization was responsible for starting the Rush Library. She was the town’s welfare officer for 21 years, having been appointed to the the office by Supervisor Goff in 1943.