The Career of Mr. Frank Bromley, From Early Youth to Advancing Old Age Marked by Continuous Toil and Thrift, and Rewarded by an Ample Competency.
The face of another member of the noted “Boys’ Club” this week occupies the place on our first page assigned to our portrait feature, and is that of a lifelong resident of Danby—Mr. Frank Bromley—who is now nearing the average allotted age of man, three score and ten, with especially favorable prospects of many more years of usefulness here below and becoming an octogenarian before called upon to lay down life’s burdens and enter into eternal rest.
Mr. Bromley was born January 18, 1833, and is the son of the late Hiram and Eliza (Paddock) Bromley. He was born on the old homestead, some distance-north-of Danby Four Corners, and is the third child in a family of fifteen children. His great-grandfather, Joshua Bromley was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, entering the service at the age of fifteen years; and he was also a captain in the local militia.
Mr. Bromley resided with his parents on the farm till eleven years of age, when he commenced “working out,” receiving the first year the sum of three dollars per month as wages. For the first five years he was employed by the Vail family, and each year his wages were raised one dollar per month. After leaving the Vails, he worked for various farmers for eight years, making thirteen years altogether; and Mr. Bromley tells us that in figuring up the average of his wages for those thirteen years he found it to be approximately thirty-four cents per working day. This would make his earnings about $107 per year—or less than $1,400 for the thirteen years.
Notwithstanding the comparatively small sum earned within the above mentioned period, Mr. Bromley informs us that he actually saved $1,063. Of course the difference between his earnings and savings does not quite represent the amount of his personal expenses during the thirteen years, for as fast has he saved his money he invested it in a manner that brought to him quite good interest returns—but the saving represented by these figures could hardly be exceeded, and is seldom equaled, we believe, by a man so young in year as was he at the time.
With the exception of one season of eight months, during which time he peddled tin for Grave & Root of Bennington, running from their branch establishment at Easton Pa., then managed by the late Noble Hopkins and a Mr. Hastings, Mr. Bromley has always followed farming for a livelihood. He is today counted among the best and most successful farmers, and his judgment in farm management and farm values is unsurpassed anywhere in this section.
Mr. Bromley’s first investment in farm property was made in conjunction with his brother, Martin, when they purchased the farm where the latter now resides, and where they farmed it together for eleven and one-half years. At the expiration of that period he sold out his interest to Martin and came away with $12,400 as the sum total of his savings. For about ten years after disposing of his farm interests, Mr. Bromley resided a couple of miles west of this village, in the large two-story house owned by Mr. James Conners, and which was previously a part of the property of the abandoned marble industry.
During Mr. Bromley’s residence at the latter place he worked out a part of the time by the day and occupied the balance of his time in looking after his money investments, loaning to various people upon mortgage security the larger part of his savings. Notwithstanding he lost some money on a few of his investments, we believe. He tells us he was able to add about $5,090 to his accumulations during his residence at the Conners house.
Mr. Bromley then bought the farm where he now resides of the late Charles H. Congdon, and a few months afterward purchased the adjoining place of the late Mrs. Griffin—the two properties costing him about $20,000. According to the deeds of the two places, they contain four hundred acres of land, and are now keeping forty cows, about ten head of young cattle and four horses. While Mr. Bromley has never been given to lavish display, his farm buildings and surroundings are kept in the neat and tidy appearance that betoken the thrifty farmer and his tillable lands in the highest state of cultivation.
On July 12, 1857, Mr. Bromley was married to Betsey Ann, daughter of Oliver Fisk, and to them six children have been born—Mary, Nelson and Nellie (twins), Fred P., Minnie and Jay. Mary and Nelson died in 1864, of diphtheria and within eighteen days of each other. The surviving children are all married. Fred lives at home and carries on the farm under the supervision of his father, who is loath to give up his industrious habits and until the recent dislocation of his shoulder was able to do and did as much work in a day as many men yet past their prime of life. Jay resides in Danby, Minnie in Rutland and Nellie in the West.
In politics, Mr. Bromley has all been a republican of the independent sort, but has never aspired to any political or public position. He was however, one of the delegates to late republican state convention, supported the candidacy of Mr. P Clement for the nomination by convention as governor.