Louis Abraham Thesier
Louis, whom I knew as Uncle Lou, was born in Fine, NY. When he was about 14 years old his family moved to a farm outside of Lowville NY. We can assume that what he did for the next 14 years was probably go to school and then get a job at something, or else help his brother Mose run the farm. Just what he did, is not known. In 1927 Uncle Lou married Gertrude Kirschner in Lowville, NY. His main goal in life was to be a farmer, so after his honeymoon he took his wife back to her parents and went looking for a farm. He was already 28 years old at that time and probably had been saving up for this for some time. He found one in Chittenango, NY not too far from Syracuse where Uncle Bill lived. He went back, got his wife and started farming.
Now he had his farm, his wife, and a year later a son named Robert. Uncle Lou was a very hardworking man according to his son. He now had a farm to run but he still worked in his spare time for a muck farmer in the area, or any other job that he had time for. Robert said that it was not unusual for him to have 2 jobs going at the same time.
By 1936 Uncle Lou had a dairy of 28 beautiful Ashire cattle. When the yearly testing of cattle for TB came around that year, those cattle all tested positive, and had to be destroyed. This was a hard blow to Uncle Lou. He and his son marched them 4 miles to the train station where they loaded them and took them away .. Uncle Lou cried all the way, said his son.
Soon he purchased another herd of cattle, this time Holsteins, and he was back in the farming business. Two years later, one Sunday morning after milking, the barn caught fire and was destroyed. Still, he kept on. He built another barn, only smaller, and kept milking. He built it over the old cattle stanchions. This bam took him 3 months to build and he did it himself.
What I am noticing as I write the stories of these brothers, is their ability to build barns, sheds, make over homes into apartments. Whatever needed building, they seemed to have the ability and the know-how, to do it. Amazing how this knowledge and ability ran in the family. Not only were they very ambitious but they also were very intelligent.
Eventually Uncle Lou bought the farm next door. Now he owned 314 acres of land, more cattle and more equipment. And more work.
During his life, Uncle Lou was a very heavy smoker. He liked to use a cigarette holder and as soon as one cigarette was done, he would put another one right in. This habit contributed, I am sure, to a heart problem. In 1947 when he was only 47 years old he had a very serious heart attack and ended up in the Syracuse Hospital. After he was able to come home, he was not the same. He could not do anything strenuous and was very weak. Robert was 18 at the time and Uncle Lou had taught him well on how to be a farmer. He took over the farm work with Uncle Lou helping as much as he could, which wasn’t very much.
All of his life, Uncle Lou was a worker. After the work was done, he enjoyed the radio and the paper, and doing things with his son. He was a quiet man. They did not travel much as a family for pleasure. His pleasure seemed to be staying home, doing his work, working in the garden, then just having a quiet evening before going to bed. But we do know that farming is a seven day a week job and that takes up a lot of your energy. Maybe when he got through working, he was just too tired.
One day in 1957, when he was 58 years old, he decided he wanted to go see his sister Margaret. She was living in Tonawanda, near Buffalo, NY. By this time Robert was married. Uncle Lou told his wife Aunt Gert and his son goodbye and left on the bus. He never made it to his sister. He had a massive heart attack on the bus and died.
This story about Uncle Lou was written by Marge Thesier Phillips.