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Robert T. Elethorp was born in the town of Macomb on July 19, 1884, the only child of Edgar and Eliza Barley Elethorp. In 1895 his parents bought the farm now owned by John and Ann Mitchell. He attended a one room school across the road from the farm, and in 1909 married Laura Felt, a school mate. They were the parents of two children, Truman and Arvilla Elethorp Long.

In 1912 a new barn was built on the farm and Rob, as he was known to all, with only an 8th grade education drew up the plans which when presented to the builder were accurate to the last detail. The farm was known as the “Bee Farm” as he and his father kept from 250-300 colonies with their yearly average honey yield being from 20,000-25,000 pounds. The highest yield ever was 42,000 pounds. This was in addition to their dairy farming.

The summers on the farm were hectic but in the winter Mr. Elethorp had time to enjoy his “whittling” --- always building models.

In 1933, they moved to the village buying the house now owned by Mark and Virginia Bickelhaupt and he then had his chance to devote his time to the work he loved. Not only did he build models; he also made furniture for their house.

After leaving the farm he took on new responsibilities. He was appointed director of the St. Lawrence County Savings Bank where he served for 40 years, was one time President of the Citizens National Bank, and was instrumental in getting the bank to re-open after the problems in the 30’s. He was also on the Board of Directors for the Hepburn Hospital, was active in the lodges, being a past Noble Grand of the Hammond I.O.0.F., a past Master of the Hammond Masonic Lodge, a past District Deputy Grand Master of the 1st St. Lawrence District, active in the Grange, and a member of the Hunyak Hunting Club.

Both he and his wife loved to travel. In the 50’s they started spending their winters in Florida. In 1966 his wife of 63 years passed away and in 1967 he married Lucy Barr, a life long friend of the family, and the mother of Helen McCormick and Maxine Rutherford Hall. She passed away in 1969.

After living a full and active life, at the age of 97 years, Mr. Elethorp passed away in Sebring, Florida, on July 15, 1981.

We are indeed fortunate to have his models given to us by his family, and proud to name our society the R.T. Elethorp Historical Society.


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