Issue 2-22-15 Website - page 11

RoyMcPherson - AHistorical Legacy
Seventy-five people attended
thefirst official LeRoyHistorical
Societymeetingat theWoodward
Memorial Library on Friday,
February16, 1940*. Mrs. Albert
Kenny, the temporary chairman,
chairman of the Nominating
Committee and presented the
slate of officers: For President -
Roy McPherson; Vice President
-AlbertMcVean;Secretary -Mrs.
CarlosChapman;Treasurer -Mrs.
AlfredDavis; andCurator -Mrs.
J. Albert Kenny. And so, the
LeRoy Historical Society began
its mission to preserve and col-
lect the history of the commu-
nity. They decided to have four
meetings a year and the annual
meetingwould always beheld in
May on a date closest to the 5th,
in commemoration of the first
meeting of theVillage of LeRoy
in 1834.
at President Roy McPherson’s
was called to order by the blow-
ing of two conch shells. There
was apresentationof a“playlet”
“HomeActivities ofLongAgo.”
Costumedparticipants arrived in
horse-drawn carriages. After the
play, everyonewas invited to tour
the house and see the exhibits of
antiques thathadbeenassembled
The Historical Society’s first
president waswell suited for the
job. During his eight years as
president, he worked to acquire
the Historic LeRoy House and
to complete its restoration so it
could become a community cen-
ter for heritage and history.
In 1943, he wrote: “The LeRoy
Historical Societyhasmadeprog-
ress beyond our expectations
in these difficult years. We feel
this is prophetic of greater ac-
complishments possible in the
future. ...The work can go on
only with the continued support
of themembers.We urge you to
help increase thenumberby inter-
esting your friends.” It was said
thatRoyMcPhersonwas ready to
help promote the long cherished
dreamofMrs.MaeKenny for the
LeRoyHistoricalSocietyand the
acquisition of LeRoyHouse.
Roy McPherson was born in
1875 and lived his entire life
where his great-grandfather, Al-
exanderMcPherson, direct from
Scotland, had settled in 1802.
His maternal great-grandfather,
SimonPierson, came to theGen-
esee country in 1807 and settled
near Bergen. Roy McPherson’s
homeonOatkaTrailbecame there-
pository forold things,old records,
old traditions and old memories,
which he sought to preserve. He
attended the Fort Hill School and
attended the LeRoy High School
graduating in 1895. The oldAca-
demicBuildingwas always inhis
thoughts, and he envisioned that
someday itwouldbecomeamuse-
um for farmmachinery and relics
of the horse-and- buggydays.
drawn vehicles was moved into
the basement of the Academic
Transportation” came to fruition
in2006,when theTransportation
Exhibit,“On theRoad:ACentury
of Ruts, Dust and Macadam”
opened in the basement.
McPhersonwasfirst employed
by theChileanNitrateCompany
ofNewYork andworked at state
fairs inNewEngland. In thewin-
for the Jell-O Company and
traveled to theFarSouth.Copies
of his letters while traveling in
the South are in the collection
of LHS.
In 1910, he married Ethelyn
Hull of Madison, Connecticut,
and from 1910 to 1920 he spent
winters conducting Farmer’s In-
stitutes in theagriculturalareasof
NewYorkState. Hecontinued to
promote the fruit industry in the
State and served as Secretary of
Society. In 1926, hewas elected
to theStateCouncilofFarmsand
Markets. He also, served for 20
yearson theConsolidatedBoard
of Health. He was a member of
the Oatka Falls Grange and the
RoyMcPhersonwith grandsonDavid Frost, Janet Hull Frost, Nancy Frost, Robert Frost,Mrs.
EthelynMcPherson andBetsyFrost.
Roy McPherson died in
1951. In 1990, fifty years after
the founding of the Historical
Society, his grandson, David
Frost, served as President. His
great-granddaughter, Marny
Cleere served two years on the
Board of Trustees. RoyMcPher-
son’s legacy continues today, 75
years after thefirstmeeting.
* (The handwritten record says
that the meeting was held on
Friday afternoon, and later the
dateFeb.17-40was inserted. But
Fridaywas the16. Memoriesare
not always accurate.)
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