Windham Life and Times – February 9, 2018

This is a page out of the William Austin scrapbook showing Dinsmore Hill with its view of Cobbett’s Pond. I believe Mrs. Austin was picking blackberries along the stone wall. In the left hand photograph one of the Austin children has climbed a pine tree to take in the view.


“I used to roam to Windham

    Beyond the Dinsmore farm;

The roving road to Windham

    Has much of simple charm;

It angles up among the hills,

    And there’s a little singing stream

That carols near at hand.”

“Now, I am far from Windham;

    It’s ways are drifted deep,

The yards that herded cattle,

    The snug folds for its sheep;

I would not climb it’s hill tops

    While bleak the norther blows,

But I’ll be fain to wander there

    Amid the cheery snows.”

“For oh the trees of Windham,

    Their blossoms are so white;

They haunt the mind with beauty,

    They thrill it with delight;

Though from the hills of Windham

    I still be far away,

In visions I will visit them

    About the break of May!”

“Here’s something cut from newspapers, which I changed the name within to fit the old days—-

From the scrapbook of Mrs. John Cochran

Windham Life and Times – February 2, 2018

Edward Searles and Angelo


So the story of Edward Searles (the Old Gentleman) and Angy Ellison comes to an end leaving more questions than answers.  The letters certainly show affection between the two but also seem a bit eccentric to modern readers.  The letters make it obvious why Angy felt so strongly that is was Searles intention to “adopt” him as his son. After all, Searles was signing his letters as “Dad.” You can fully understand how in Angy’s mind it would have logically follow that he would inherit a large share of Searles estate upon his death.

During the will trials, Victor Searle’s attorneys sought to use the relationship between Angy and Searles. In a special report to the New York Times on October 14, 1920 the following is disclosed to discredit the mental capacity of Searles to change his will: “In the opening fight of the Probate Court here before Judge White today for a jury trial in the $25,000,000 will contest involving the estate of Edward F. Searles, late of Methuen, Sherman L. Whipple, counsel for Albert Victor Searles, nephew of the testator, charged that Mr. Searles, when he made his will, was in a mental state and physical decay, and the victim of a plot having for its object the keeping of the vast estate from the party Mr. Searles intended should be the beneficiary.”

“Mr. Whipple dwelt at length upon the alleged affection of Mr. Searles for a young Greek lad, Angelo Ellison, who had been in his employ some six years, and said that a friend had said that Mr. Searles had intended young Ellison should receive the estate, but was dissuaded by Arthur T. Walker, chief beneficiary under the will, on the grounds that it would not do to leave such a vast estate to a poor Greek boy because of the public criticism. It was asserted that Mr. Searles was persuaded that the same object could be gained by leaving the money to some one ‘who could pass it along to Angelo.’ ”

“Counsel declared that young Ellison had disappeared and that had reason to believe the boy was now being paid by the proponent. He declared that the relations between Mr. Searles and the boy were more those of father and son than employer and servant.”

“Young Greek Treated Like Son: ‘We have letters from young Ellison to Mr. Searles couched in terms of the most endearing affection,’ said Mr. Whipple, who added that some of these letters began with ‘Dear Dad,’ ‘Darling Daddy,’ and ‘Dear Old Gray Boy,’ He said he could not find that Ellison was ever paid a salary, but that Mr. Searles gave him money as a father might have done.”

“Mr. Whipple said that Mr. Walker knew of Mr. Searle’s fondness for Angelo and that one of the letters purporting to be from the young Greek to Mr. Searles was in the handwriting of Mr. Walker, and was evidently written by Mr. Walker for Angelo as Angelo was not highly educated and probably asked Mr. Walker to write it for him.

‘Searles,’ said Mr. Whipple, ‘had pictures of young Ellison in his sleeping room and had been seen sitting before these pictures in an attitude or worship.’ Counsel said there was no question that the chief thing in the latter part of Mr. Searle’s life was his affection for this boy, and that there was evidence he intended to adopt him, but that someone, ‘we think we know who,’ (Walker) dissuaded him….”

“Mr. Whipple described the trip taken across the continent by Mr. Searles with young Ellison. Some time after this trip, said Mr. Whipple, young Angelo went to Greece to see his mother. Angelo returned to this country this spring and after seeing Mr. Searles, returned to Methuen. After the millionaire  fell ill, said Mr. Whipple, Angelo was permitted to see him once and then sent to the Searles Estate in Windham, N.H., and did not see Mr. Searles again during the latter’s life.”

What is interesting is that the counsel for Victor Searles was using the argument that Angelo Ellison was the intended heir in order to get a settlement for his client. Whatever the case, Walker settled with Searles out of court. While a settlement doesn’t prove guilt it seems to me that there was something to the story. It is said that Victor Searles had his bequest under the will changed from $250,000 to over $2,000,000.  Ellison claimed that Victor Searles was an alcoholic and a drug addict and not a nice man. Events would bear this out. In October of 1921, he was divorced from his wife Etta who received $140,000. He was also said to have been blackmailed out of $50,000 after being trapped with a woman in a Back Bay apartment. He was also reported to have settled for $1,000,000 an alienation suit in having committed adultery with Mary Johnson of Portsmouth N.H.

As for Angelo Ellison, who was most likely the intended heir for much of Searle’s millions, he ended up with just $10,000. He also went to court to contest the will but lost. Andrew “Angy” Ellison in his later life was consigned to the loss saying that the money would have probably ruined his life.


Windham Life and Time – January 26, 2018

Edward Searles and Angelo


“By this time Angy was twenty-three years old and had matured since Searles first met him. He decided to return to his homeland to straighten out family affairs over there. Accordingly, on November 5, 1919, Searles sent him off to Smyrna, Asia Minor. Before the ship sailed Angy wrote the following letter:”

November 5, 1919

“On board S.S. Canada

My dear loving Daddy,

In an hour or as the boat is sailing and by tomorrow I will be far away on the sea. But no matter in what part of the globe I am found I will always love you and remember you. You have been too good to me, more than I deserved, but dear Daddy be sure that your boy always loved you and will love you with all his heart. I can not give you anything or repay you with anything but my love which is pure and which is true for you.

God bless you and give you health and happiness forever.

I wish that I had not gone away from you but I am sure that my homecoming to you will be speedier than you think.

Take good care of yourself. Wishing you happiness and hoping to see you soon.

Your Boy,


“Pine Lodge

My dear Ange,

Your  letter of December 11th was received yesterday and I was very glad to know you of your safe arrival to your old home, and that you are making progress at getting your family affairs into better shape. I hope you will be able to make such arrangements for them that you will feel that you can leave them to take care of themselves without much anxiety on your part. I am looking forward anxiously, for the time when you will return, and the old Murray Hill apartment is very lonesome without you.

Hoping this letter will find you well and happy. I am, as ever,

Faithfully yours,

Your Loving Daddy,


“In the next month of February Searles, as usual, went to New York to live at the Murray Hill Hotel for a while. Towards the end of the month he began to suffer from the prostrate gland trouble and on March 2, 1920, it was necessary for him to go to a hospital in New York. Since Angy was still in Greece, and Searles was all alone in the New York hospital, he sent for Walter Glidden, a young caretake at the Pine Lodge Estate. After Searles went under an operation by Dr. McCarthy, a New York urologist. Angy returned from his trip on April 3rd to find his friend convalescing at the Murray Hill Hotel. It was his first knowledge that Searles had been ill. Walter Glidden continued to care for Searles while Angy began his studies at a New York preparatory school. Searles continued his hospital treatments until April 20th. In May he and Glidden returned to Methuen and later that same month, Angy received the following letter:”

“Pine Lodge                   Methuen, Mass. May 17, 1920

My dear Ange,

Your letter was received yesterday, and you are not forgotten. The reason I have not written to you is that I have been very sick and am still in bed under the doctor’s care.

I am glad to hear you are employing your time so well in your studies.

With love from Dad”

“Pine Lodge                  Methuen, Mass. June 18, 1920

My dear Ange,

I am still in bed under the doctor’s care but think that I am gaining slowly. As soon as I am able I will let you know when I can see you.

Mr. Walker says that the Troy Polytechnical School for Electrical Engineering is the best place for you, and you approve of it, and I advise you to take the preparatory course in New York this summer, and Mr. Walker will make all the arrangements for you.

Hoping you are well and happy and will keep so I am ever,

Faithfully yours,

From Dad

P.S.– Let me hear from you as often as you can.

“That was the last letter that Angy ever received from Searles although he didn’t realize it, he would never see him again. Arthur Walker, Searles trusted business secretary, arranged for Angy to go on vacation during that summer’s school recess. Was Walker aware that if he could make it appear to Searles that Angy was neglecting him in his illness, the old gentleman would be sufficiently hurt as to be willing to think the youth as merely a fickle boy, rather than a close companion that he actually was? The result was, perhaps, that Searles, resigned to loneliness, ill, and without Angy’s company, signed the will of July 24th, 1920, leaving the bulk of his fortune to Walker. Never-the-less, it is certain that Searles proved, by his kind affection for this young man,  to be something more than a stuffy old Victorian full of hypocrisy and prejudices. He was human after all. His hard, high stone walls then were not symbolic of his true emotional character.”

“As his strength slowly left him, Searles rarely left his bed, and when he did, he was carried downstairs by the human-chair method, only to sit in a wheelchair. Thus he spent his last six weeks. Doctor Henry F. Dearborn, of Lawrence, who attended him during this time, recalls that his disposition was normal for one as ill as he was…He was in the doctor’s own words, ‘easy to handle.’” He died on August 6, 1920

Quotes from: The Life Story of Edward F. Searles, By Ray Fremmer



Windham Life and Times – January 19, 2017

Edward Searles and Angelo


“Pine Lodge. Methuen, Mass. July 22, 1916

Mr. Dear Ellison,

Your little note received; glad to hear from you and that you were well this very hot weather. I have not been able to find a cook for the castle, although I have answered several advertisements. I was in Boston yesterday trying to find someone but did not succeed. I think I shall be obliged to try for a Japanese.

I hope we shall be able to find someone soon as I am anxious to have you back again.

Yours truly,

E.F.S. “

“Pine Lodge. Methuen Mass. July 24, 1916

As soon as I hear from the cook, at what time he will arrive, I will send you word so you can come on at once, which I hope will be the last of this week,

I got your clothes from the tailor and have taken them to Windham.

Hoping we shall soon be able to get settled at the castle, I remain,

Very truly yours,


“Pine Lodge. Methuen, Mass. Sept. 29, 1917

My Dear Ange,

Just a line to let you know that I received your two letters this morning and hasten to tell you how glad I was to hear from you.

If you got to New York today I am sorry that I cannot be there. I was obliged to come to Methuen to attend to many things, but I will be in New York next Saturday and Sunday.

If you can get away I will be waiting for you at the Murray Hill.

I hope you will soon get your uniform as I am afraid you will be cold in your thin clothes.

If you get hungry buy something outside, if you can get it, and don’t mind spending the money for you can have more. If I don’t come to New York next Saturday I shall go out to Allentown to see you on Monday or Tuesday following.

Do the best to take care of yourself and be a good soldier and believe me, as ever,

Faithfully yours,


“Pine Lodge. Methuen, Mass. Oct. 4, 1917


My dear Soldier Boy,

In your new uniform is not warm enough you must get some new under clothing. Don’t spare the money to make yourself comfortable. I don’t think I will be able to go to New York again until after the fifteenth of this month; if I do I will telegram you.

Hope you are well and take good care of yourself, and believe me as ever the same.



“Pine Lodge. Methuen, Mass. October 7, 1917

My dear Soldier Boy,

Oh how sorry I am that I was not at the hotel to welcome you. I was obliged to come home, to be on time for payday the first of the month.

I went up to the castle today and closed it up. I think of you every day and night and wonder if you are warm and comfortable. I miss you very much, my life is only half a life without my dear boy.

God bless and keep you from harm is my prayer.

With much love from your old guardian,


P.S.—This is all the paper I can get tonight; the Pine Lodge paper is in Miss Littlefield’s desk and she has gone to bed. 11:45 P.M. Good Night”

October 10, 1917

My dear Boy,

I leave tonight at 12 M. I could not get ready for the five o’clock train.

I went to the Studio to see your pictures and I took three of them. They are fine. I had one taken of myself for you. Will  send on to you next week if I get them.

I now must get ready and pack my bags. I miss you my Boy.



“Pine Lodge. Methuen, Mass. June 3, 1918

My dear Ange,

Yours of the 29th received and I was very happy to hear from you, and wish you could be here sitting under the pine trees. I think you would like the odor of the pines better than the smell of gasoline and oil, but we cannot do anything now-a-days that we want to do.

I have been up to Windham two or three times, but the castle looks lonesome without you and Sammy rolling on the grass. Sammy has grown to be a fine big dog.

Yours as ever, the same old, loving Dad”


“Pine Lodge  Methuen, Mass. July 5, 1918

My dear lonesome boy Ange,

I was very glad to hear from you; it seems as though I have been away a month, although it is only a week.

Yesterday I celebrated the Fourth by going up to Windham with Miss Littlefield and paid a visit to Morrison lodge and the Castle on the hill.

We got caught in a thunder shower so we had to wait in Morrison Lodge until the rain was over. Seavey and the men were at work in the field until the rain came on; then they had to give it up.

Take good care of yourself and sleep well at the Murry Hill and forget that you are lonesome.

Faithfully yours,

Your loving old Dad is lonesome without you, Dad”



Windham Life and Times – January 12, 2018

Edward Searles and Angelo

Tiffany& Company wine cooler, whose design was attributed to Charles Grossjean, from the Hopkins- Searles silver service, recently sold at Christies for $50,000.

After the Death of Mr. Searles

“When I arrived at Pine Lodge they had Mr. Searles’ casket in the big hall, and in the hallway, before you go into the hall, were the officers from the businesses he owned; the people from his railroads and coal mines in Pennsylvania. Those were the people I had met when the old gentleman took me on tours of his properties. They recognized me coming in and they all stood up! I believe that they though I was going to be his heir! I was at Pine Lodge for the funeral, and was there when they read the will. He was put in the tomb he built for himself, and for his wife and parents; he built four places there. That tomb is like a small church, and I was at Pine Lodge when they were building it…”

“When they started to read the will I found that I was to get $10,000. I spoke with Arthur Walker, and he said that Mr. Searles never told him that I was to get any more than that. He said he would give me money each month until I could find a job. I wasn’t getting any other information from him, and I was so disappointed that I left Pine Lodge and went to New York to stay with a friend. Before I left, Miss Littlefield gave me some pictures of myself that Mr. Searles had in his rooms in Methuen. She was a wonderful woman; she was good to me there. It was the picture I had taken while I was at camp at Allentown, Pennsylvania. I have another of it because I also took the one from his room at the Murray Hill apartment. There was another one in his room up in the castle in New Hampshire, but I left that one in his memory. Mr. Searles had that photograph of me enlarged from the small one that I sent him. I didn’t know that until he told me later. He kept my pictures in his room all the time, which proves what he thought of me. He always treated me like a son!”

“After I left Pine Lodge, and went back to New York, I moved out of the apartment at the Murray Hill Hotel and went to stay with a friend. I didn’t know it but a detective hired by Mr. Searles’ nephew was looking for me. That nephew was an alcoholic; he was not a good man. I only found that out later!  His lawyers wanted to find me. They must have been talking to the people at the Murray Hill because they knew that was where Mr. Searles was living. I told them that I didn’t think Walker was treating me very good; that I had letters from Mr. Searles, and that he wrote to me and treated me like a son. I was still speaking to Walker at the time. I would visit the office and Walker told me that after a certain date I would be on my own. When the nephew’s lawyers approached me they convinced me that they would have a strong case against Walker because they needed me to go against him; so I cooperated with them. They told me that they could use my information to help them win, and that I would get quite a lot out of it. I made a mistake there; I made a few mistakes now that I look back on it. Later I found out they were just using me! The nephew settled with Walker for four million dollars, and I didn’t get anything out of it once they got their money. That’s why I went against Walker on my own later. When I started that court action it was at the advice of other lawyers. They approached me and convinced me that Walker would settle with us; like with the case of Mr. Searles’ nephew. We had one of Mr. Searles’ best friends, Dr. Bowker, from Lawrence, to come testify in my favor. He knew that the old gentleman thought of me as his son. Walker said he never knew of that. Maybe Mr. Searles never told him. I believe now that he made a mistake not telling him. Miss Littlefield didn’t seem to know that either, because she testified that he liked me, and helped me out, but that I was his valet.”

“Dana Seavey, who ran the farm in Windham, testified for Walker’s side. Seavey inherited thousands of dollars by Mr. Searles’s will, and he didn’t tell the truth in court; the first thing he said wasn’t the truth! When his step-daughter, Emma Richter, heard about it she told him, ‘You lied!’ Walker’s lawyers tried to discredit Mr. Searles; imagine that! They wanted control of his money but didn’t care about his memory; and the old gentleman was the kindest man you could know. He did so many things for people, and he never asked for any publicity about it.”

“…The judge told the jury, before they came to their decision, that the letters Mr. Searles wrote to me were personal but did not prove that he considered me his son, but that I must prove that Walker influenced Mr. Searles against me when he made those wills. It was up to me to prove fraud, and I couldn’t prove it.”

“After the trial Arthur Walker came up to me to say that he didn’t want there to be any hard feelings between between us, but I was so upset that I didn’t want to bother with him. Maybe that was another mistake; maybe I should have had a talk with him. I was very upset that they bought in people to say that Mr. Searles was not in his right mind! That’s what they testified in court! But those lawyers contradicted themselves, because during the same time that they were saying Mr. Searles was not in his right mind, he made out those wills in Walker’s favor; and when he made out those wills they claimed he was in his right mind…I often wondered why he approached me like that; maybe his conscience was bothering him. He won his case but didn’t live to enjoy the money. Just five months after the trial he was up at the castle in New Hampshire and he died from a stroke; right in front of the big fireplace. That’s where I heard they found him.”

In 1927, after the will trial, Ellison was offered a job at a Studebaker dealership in Manhattan. He went on to work for a large movie theater chain and other car dealerships. He then worked for various car dealerships in Yonkers New York, eventually becoming a partner in an Oldsmobile dealership there. He owned various used car dealerships and then owned a Kaiser-Frazer franchise. In the 1950’s he worked as a sales manager for one of the largest Chevrolet dealerships in the country. By this time he had changed his name to help shield him from the controversy with Searles and his will.

On reflecting on the whole Searles saga, Andy Ellison had this say: “Mr. Searles told me that he wanted to adopt me as his son but his advisors in New York influenced him against it. They told him it would bring negative publicity if he adopted ‘an immigrant Greek;”

…I married in 1935, and my son Peter was born in 1942, and my daughter in 1944….Sometimes I think the Good Lord made all this happen, because it might of changed my personality if I had some of those millions of dollars; it might of turned my head, and I might of gone crazy of something. Just five months after Walker got his money he was in front of the fireplace in Windham and had a stroke…” As for Andy Ellison, he became a respected businessman in the New York area. He passed away January 6, 1988 at the age of Ninety-Three. Taken from: Andrew “Angy” Ellison – The Unheard Witness. 1979-1987.


Windham Life and Times – January 5, 2018

Edward Searles and Angelo

Anglo’s last trip with Mr. Searles to the Canadian Rockies.

Travels and Mr. Searles Passing

“Mr. Searles loved to travel and had been planning a trip to Europe; to go after the war was finished.  But I was released too late, in 1919, so we went across Canada to Vancouver, instead that year. We went to Lake Louise, in Alberta, and we didn’t stay in the big hotel, but in one of the cottages on the lake. While we were there the manager found out who he was, and that he owned a railroad. Those big hotels in Canada were owned by the Canadian Pacific Railroad, so they treated him like the owner of a railroad would be treated! I wanted to hire a couple of horses and go riding with him, up the mountain. He laughed, and told me to go and enjoy myself. So I went alone; all the way up! You reach a point where you would put your horses, and then you would walk up the rest of the way; five hundred feet further up. There was a tea house up there and, and if you wanted they would let you carve your name in the wood. There were names there from all over the world, and I carved my name there…After we left Lake Louise we went to Vancouver, then to Seattle and then to San Francisco, where we stayed in a big hotel on Nob Hill. After that we went to Chicago, then to Buffalo, where we had to spend a few days because I was sick. He arranged for me to see a specialist there. We went all over. When we returned to Methuen, Pine Lodge wasn’t ready, so we stayed at the Red Tavern. We used to stay there, or stopped in for lunch a few times myself, when I was working for Mr. Searles. I knew the manager, Mrs. Barnes, very well! When we were back at Pine Lodge I was talking, one day, to Arthur Brown’s daughter. He was a kind of butler there, and helped Miss Littlefield run the place. His daughter was a nice girl; pretty, but kind of pudgy. We were just walking on the grounds, shooting the breeze, and the old gentleman must have seen us because he spoke to me about it the same day. He said, ‘Don’t get serious with her, I want you to marry a princess, not just any girl!’ He thought I was something special. I was special to him; he thought of me as his own son. Well, later, during the will trial, Art Brown, and others testified that they didn’t know that the old gentleman thought of me as special; I was surprised! Well, when we took that trip Mr. Searles was feeling all right, and he was in good spirits because he was travelling again. A few weeks later we were back in New York, at the Murray Hill apartment. And one night he called for me because he couldn’t pass urine and was in pain; he had a prostate gland condition and had been treated for that before. I was scared so I went down to the desk and asked them to call his doctor; Dr. McCarthy. He came in and after he spoke with Mr. Searles the doctor started to bleed him. In those days they thought that would relieve the pressure, so that he could pass urine. I saw the blood and I fainted, and when I fell I hit the radiator! When I came to Mr. Searles helped the doctor to get me up, and was telling the doctor to forget about himself, for the moment, and take care of me first! That’s how he was; but I told them I was all right. He was treated for that, while we were in New York, and afterwards he felt all right again.”

“Later that year I received news that my mother had died and that my family there could use my help. Mr. Searles had his New York office book passage for me on a steamer, so that I could return to Greece. The trip took twenty-three days! I was away for about five months because I was arranging to bring my whole family over; Mr. Searles gave me enough money to do that, and when I was there he sent me another Thousand dollars! He was very good to me and I wasn’t able to thank him enough for what he did for me and my family.”

“During the time I was gone he took sick again, in New York, and I never knew about it; he didn’t want me to worry about it. When I returned to New York he was at the Murray Hill apartment, and that was when I found out he had been sick, and Walter Glidden, from Pine Lodge, was taking care of him. He hugged me, and cried; he was so happy to see me again! After that, when we were back in Methuen, Mr. Searles was talking to me and said that since he was going to rest at Pine Lodge until he felt well enough to travel again, that I should get an education and that he would ask Arthur Walker to find a good school for me. I went to school in New York, but the course was too difficult for me to understand; it was a language problem. At the same time I was nervous about the old gentleman because I wasn’t in contact with him. I went to see Walker, I always called him ‘Arthur’, and he said I should get away and unwind. He persuaded me that Mr. Searles wasn’t that bad and that I should take a vacation. So I went to the Catskills because I knew someone up there. While I was there the old gentleman was dying in Methuen, but I didn’t know it.  Seavey’s step-daughter, Emma, back in New Hampshire, was writing to me at the Murray Hill Hotel in New York, That’s where she though I was. She was saying that Mr. Searles was dangerously ill and that I should get back to Methuen because he would want to see me. Well, I received a telegram from Arthur Walker, at where I was staying in the Catskills, because he knew where I was. He informed me that the old gentleman had died, and to come back to Methuen for the services. I went back to New York and while I was waiting for the next train to Boston I walked to the hotel to get some things from my room, and that’s when I found two or three letters from Emma Richter saying ‘Angy, where are you? Why don’t you answer me? Mr. Searles is very sick, and you should come back right away!’ That was my mistake, going on that vacation. If I had been in New Hampshire, at the castle, or in New York, I would have heard about it, and would have gone back to Methuen in time to see him again.”


Windham Life and Times – December 29, 2017

Edward Searles and Angelo

Camp Crane, Allenstown, PA Army Ambulance Training

In New York and the Army

“After I began to work for Mr. Searles he rented a suite at the Murray Hill Hotel, on Park Avenue. It was an old-fashioned hotel, and he liked it because it was just one block from Grand Central Terminal. It was a family hotel, and we had an apartment there. He could take a cab or the subway to his office down on Broadway, near Wall Street. Arthur Walker ran the office for him. Mr. Searles would meet there with businessmen who came to see him about his properties…”

“He liked to travel and visit his properties. I went on trips to those railroads and coal fields he owned in Pennsylvania. He would always arrange to travel in a private railroad car for those trips. He was treated like a dignitary because he owned a railroad himself; the Pittsburg and Shamut. We each had our own rooms, and a parlor; half the car in those days! On those business trips he would always call me ‘his boy’! He would introduce me to those officials, who ran the railroad and coal fields, with ‘I want you to meet my boy, Angy.’ After I was introduced I would go off to the side, so I wouldn’t interrupt their business, but I could hear him speak about me like I was his own son! One time we stayed in Philadelphia, and he was going to see the Rowlands. I asked him who they were, and he told me they were cousins; he said, ‘I try to help them.’ One time he took me to see the castle he owned in Great Barrington. I was only there once with him. But I knew he went there himself, from time to time. We stayed there, in the castle. There was furniture in it; but it was a big place! He told me he had built it for his wife. Some of the furniture in Pine Lodge, and the castle in Windham, came from there.

“While in New York we would go all over town. It was on one of those walks that he told me he was buying a place in upstate New York, for Arthur Walker; as a place for him to retire. One day the old gentleman and I were in front of one of his buildings and I said that maybe I could have an office in it! He said, ‘Don’t bother with that building; I’m getting rid of it! It’s too old-fashioned. Not up to date at all; besides, you’re going to have a lot of buildings some day!’ At that time New York was his legal residence, but at some time in the future he planned to make Massachusetts his legal residence again. He said he was selling off his New York property. It was at this time he told me that I would have the castle in Windham someday. I was surprised, and asked him how I would be able to afford to keep it up! He told me I would also be getting enough money to keep it up. I knew he was telling me the truth because I felt that he would do anything for me. He used to give me spending money, and he bought me a gold watch at Tiffany’s. Another time we stopped there and he bough me a gold ring, with a big green stone in it, for a thousand dollars; he picked it out for me… Mr. Searles would have me go to his tailor, and all my clothes were made special for me. On Sundays, in New York, we always went to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Mr. Searles gave money for some of the work there because his architect, Henry Vaughn, designed a few of the chapels. Inside you see those lanterns; he spoke to me about them. They are beautiful and I think he gave those to the cathedral. He built many churches and gave money to the National Cathedral. We went to Washington to see it, he and I, and they were building it at that time. His architect, Henry Vaughn, designed it, and after Vaughn died he was buried there, right at the cathedral.”

“In 1917 I went into the Army; I wasn’t drafted, I enlisted. Afterwards, I realized that Mr. Searles was pulling strings for me behind the scenes, to keep me from going to Europe. All my pals went over but the old gentleman had me transferred from camp in Allentown, Pennsylvania to New Jersey so he could see me more often. (Camp Crane) When my pals went over to Europe, and I stayed behind, I cried like a baby. I was in the Army for two and a half years. During the winter I was in Allentown, where there was a training camp for the ambulance corps. I knew how to drive; it wasn’t everybody who could drive at that time. Some of those boys had never been in a car before, let alone drive one! They had me teach the men how to drive ambulances and trucks. All the while I was in at Allentown, Mr. Searles used to come out to visit me every week. He gave me spending money so I could eat out anytime, because the Army food was poor; just beans and beef stew. Later when I was stationed in New Jersey I really ate good! I don’t think I ate regular Army food more than twenty times in all. That’s what I was doing when a truck backed into my arm and broke it. I couldn’t drive anymore, then, because you had to use a clutch and a big floor shift.  So I was transferred to Hoboken, New Jersey, where I was a dispatcher. It was right across the river from New York City and when I was not on duty I could go into the city and stay at the Murray Hill apartment. I’m sure Mr. Searles used his influence to get me transferred there.   When my arm was better I was assigned as driver for a General Shanks; later they named a camp for him. Camp Shanks, up in New York. He was a rough guy; he wanted me to run down people in the streets! People would be walking and I would have to just crawl. He said, ‘What are you doing? You’re crawling! Get going; they’ll get out of your way!’  Well I spoke with my officer there, he was a nice guy and he told me that he would get me another duty. So I became a driver for a Navy captain that planned ship movements from New York harbor; it was a security operation. Only he knew when they would sail; and I knew too because I was stationed in his office. I would drive him out to Staten island, or Long Island: all over!… I was still driving for him when the war ended in 1918. It was almost the middle of 1919 and I was still assigned, and the old gentleman was as mad as the devil! He wanted me out! I think he went to his friend, Major General Edwards, to get me out, and he did.”