I just got back from New England, and thought I'd share what I have learned on the Billses. BTW, the newspaper article sent to me, with the picture of Florian Bills' La Pierre House, inspired me to check further on the internet to see if the hotel had been rebuilt.
What I found, when I did a keyword search of "Green River" was a bed and breakfast called, "The Inn at Green River". The picture on the website looked eeriIy like the one of La Pierre House. In its description, the owner stated that there was a private cemetery on the premises. I decided to check and see where this place was in New York, when I was researching other families in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
I found the place, and spoke with the owner, reminding her that I had spoken with her a few months ago (she remembered me!). I asked where the cemetery was and she pointed to the back yard of the Inn. I asked if there were any Billses there and she said yes! So, I looked and lo and behold! there were Florian Bills' and Nettie G. Reed's grave, AND his parents' graves! The headstones were surprisingly in good shape, but gave limited historical information. But at least I knew where they all died!
So, the next day, I went to the National Archives in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and retrieved the 1900 Census information for Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY. That rendered even more information, although it didn't reveal where in France Alexander, Mary, Florian and Amos were from.
Next on the genealogical agenda will be to contact someone in the Columbia County Historical or Genealogical Society, or the Courthouse for Columbia County and see if there is anything further on the Bills family.
Descendants of Alexander Bills
Generation No. 1
1. ALEXANDER1 BILLS was born July 1835 in France1,2, and died 1912 in Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY, USA3. He married MARY DEMANCHE.
Notes for ALEXANDER BILLS: From the 1900 Census, Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY, enumeration district 17, sheet 4, Alexander Bills was a white male, born July 1834, 66 years old, married 40 years. He was from France, as were both his parents. He came to the US in 1865, and had been in the US for 35 years. He was a naturalized citizen, and was a farmer. He owned the farm he lived on. He could read, write and speak English.
Notes for MARY DEMANCHE: From the 1900 Census, Hillsdale, Columbia County, New York, Enumeration District 17, sheet 4, Mary DeManche was a white female, born October 1836 , 63 years old, married for 40 years, had 6 children, 4 of whom were still alive. She was born in France, as were both her parents. She immigrated to the US in 1871 and had been in the US for 29 years. She could read, write and speak English. Her cemetery headstone gives her year of birth as 1837.
Children of ALEXANDER BILLS and MARY DEMANCHE are:
2. i. FLORIAN A.2 BILLS, b. March 1859, Alsace-Lorraine, France; d. 1921, Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY, USA.
3. ii. AMOS BILLS, b. October 1861, France; d. March 12, 1932, Payn Mills, Columbia County, New York.
iii. FRED BILLS, d. Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
Generation No. 2
2. FLORIAN A.2 BILLS (ALEXANDER1) was born March 1859 in Alsace-Lorraine, France4,5, and died 1921 in Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY, USA6,7. He married NETTIE G. REED, daughter of JOSEPH REED and SALOME MONTY.
Notes for FLORIAN A. BILLS: from unknown newspaper, unknown date, unknown author, sent by Alice Bills Moulton: "La Pierre House - Early Settlers Gained Respite in Good Food, Grog at Popular Green River Tavern (photograph of LaPierre House) caption: Summer Scene: Taking their ease before the famed LaPierre House in Green River were members of the Van Hoesen and Bills families who graciously posed for an itinerant photographer back in the 1890s. Shown in the usual order are Charles Van Hoesen, Chatham; his mother Sally Van Hoesen; Pierre Van Hoesen, Hillsdale; Mrs. Nettie Bills; Frederick Bills, the last surviving member of his family in Green River; William Van Hoesen, Chatham and Mr and Mrs. Amos Bills." "A motorist out for a ride one of those lovely July days would probably never realize he was passing through the hamlet of Green River in the Town of Hillsdale, unless he was well acquainted with the history of Green River named after the famous stream that winds its way down from the Austerlitz hills, is a quiet spot made up of a few scattered homes along Route 71 and in the triangle where Highway 22 and this road meet are an ancient store, a school no longer in use and hidden from view by a thick grove of bushes, a cemetery. But to Frederick Bills, the last of his family to reside in the hamlet of Green River, it was not always like this. Mr. Bills comes from a long line of French charcoal burners. His grandfather, or possibly his great grandfather came from France together with a number of his fellow countrymen, some time back in the middle of the last century. They settled in the hills around Green River, Hillsdale, and Austerlitz. Here, their knowledge of the proper wood, the making of pits and the slow burning to produce charcoal, came in handy. The charcoal, afte rit was ready, was carted to the Copake Iron Works, where it was used in the smelting of the metal obtained form the mines there. Florian Bills, Frederick's father, was engaged in charcoal burning for many years, but Green River was a thriving spot then, and some time in the early 1890s or possibly 1880s, Florian purchased a hotel which had been standing many years in the community, and gave evidence of the French influence of the neighborhood. It bore the truly Gallic name, "LaPierre house," It was a rambling structure with, as Mr. Bills recalls it, twelve bedrooms, a large ballroom on the second floor and a thriving bar on the first floor. Probably in the days of long ago, the bedrooms were used by the teamsters, on their way from Massachusetts to the Hudson River, but in Fred's boyhood, they were largely unoccupied, except for occasional summer boarders. The ballroom was, however, the scene of considerable activity, and couples would often drive for miles to dance to the strains of an orchestra, of which 'Old Black Joe' banjoist was always a part. The bar room was well patronized, because Green River in those days had two stores, two blacksmith shops and nightly was the gathering place for people from off the hills and the neighboring valleys. Fights were not infrequent, Mr. Bills recalls, and some mighty blows were struck. 'Quoits were also indulged in, and he has heard his father tell of the game that went on all night with the dim light of barn lanterns, and possibly the influence of LaPierre's whiskey. During the bicycle period of the 1890s the hotel had frequent visitors from Great Barrington and other spots. Fred's mother knew that every Sunday during the wheeling season, she would have these guests. In consequence, she would bake a large ham and make several loaves of bread. From these, huge sandwiches would be cut and the entire price, including coffee, would be ten cents. In fact, rates were never high at LaPierre House. Two dollars a day included three meals, and a room overnight. Across the road from this famous hostelry stood the store of Amos Bills, Fred's uncle, which he operated for nearly fifty years, before moving to the vicinity of Payn's Mills, Chatham, in the early 1920s. One night, probably 45 or 50 years ago -- Mr. Bills cannot remember exactly the time -- flames consumed LaPierre House and nothing was left except its foundation and upon part of this, stands his home today. Hotel keeping, however, was in the blood of Florian. Maybe one of his ancestors at one time or another was an inkeeper, and after staying a short while on a farm nearby, he bought a new hotel which had opened a few years before, in Green River. This had a real Yankee name, it was called The American House. Some are still living who can remember Florian and his French accent, and there are still some fisherman about who made the long trek over the Dugway to Green River to spend the night at The American House, and next day whip the stream which early histories of Columbia County describe as one of the best trout waters in the area. Evidently The American House was also destroyed by fire and the Billses, all except Fred, left Green River. It's not the same place he knew in his boyhood. Yet Fred is an optimist about the little hamlet. 'Cities are growing too big,' he says, "and some day the people must come to the country and what nicer place in the world is there than Green River, nestling at the foot of the Berkshires?" And we are inclined to agree with him."
1900 Census town of Hillsdale, Columbia County, New York, Enumeration District #17, sheet 4: Bills, Florian, Head of household, white male, born March 1859, 41 years old, married for 18 years, born in France, both parents born in France, immigrated to the US in 1871, had been in the US for 29 years, was a naturalized citizen. He was a hotel keeper, and could speak, read and write English. He rented the house his family lived in.
Charles F. Post to Florian Bills. Know all Men by these Presents. That I, Charles F. Post, of Alford, in the County of Berkshire, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in consideration of Eight Hundred Dollars ($800) paid by Florian Bills of Hillsdale, New York, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do hereby give, grant, bargain, sell and convey unto the said Florian Bills, --, a certain piece or parcel of land situated in said Alford bounded northerly by land of f. s. Pearson and land of Estate of O. J. Bruise, deceased, and the highway leading past the old Seba Calkins place; easterly by other land of said Charles F. Post; southerly by land of Leonard Post; and westerly by the land of said Leonard Post and Josie Dunn; containing forty-five acres of land, more or less, being the eastern portion of premises this day purchased by me from Hannah Dunn; being all of the Premises purchased by me from the said Dunn by deed of this date except such portion thereof as I have this day conveyed to said Pearson. (sic). to Have and to Hold the above-granted premises, with all the privileges and appurtenances to the same belonging, to the said Florian Bills, his Heirs and Assigns to his and their use and behoof foreever. And I the said Grantor, for myself and my Heirs, Executors and Administrators, do covenant with said Grantee, his Heirs and Assigns, that I am lawfully seized in fee simple of the aforegranted paremises; that they are free from all incumbrances. that I have good right to sell and convey the same to the said Grantee, his Heirs and Assigns forever, against the lawfull claims and demands of all persons. provided, nevertheless, that if the said Grantor, or his Heirs, Executors or Administrators, shall pay unto the said Grantee, his Heirs, Executors, Administrators or Assigns, the sum of eight hundred dollars $800) on April 1, 1911. with interest on said sum at the rate of five per centum per annum payable annually, and until such payment, keep the buildings standing on the land aforesaid, insured against fire in a sum not less that eight hundred dollards for the benefit of the said Mortgagee, and his Heirs Executors, Administrators and Assigns, at such insturance office as shall approve and also pay all taxes levied or assessed upon or on account of the said premises and of this mortgage,shall approve and also pay taxes levied or assessed upon or on account of the said premises, and of this mortgage, then this deed as also one certain promissory nolte, bearing even date, with these presents, signed by the said Grantor, whereby for value received, he promiswes to pay said Grantee or order the said sum and interest at the time aforesaid, shall be absolutely void to all intents and purposes. And provided also, that at any time after three months' continuance of any breach of the foregoing conditions, the Grantee, his Executors, Administrators or Assigns, may sell or dispose of the granted premises with all improvements that may be thereon, at public auction; such sale to be in said town of Alford without further notice or demand, except giving notice of the time and place of sale once a week in each of three successive weeks, in some newspaper printed in the County of Berkshire aforesaid; and in his or their own names, or as the Attorney of the Grantor, for that purposes by these presents duly authorized, convey the same absolutely and in fee simple, to the purchaser or purchasers, acccordingly; and out of the money arising from such sale, to retain all sums then secured by this deed (whether then or thereafter payable) together with interest and all costs and expenses: paying the surplus, if any, to the Grantor, or his Assigns; and such sale shall forever bar the Grantor, and all persons claiming under him, from all right and interest in the premises, at law or in equity. It being mutually agreed, that the Grantee, or his Executors, Administrators, or Assigns, may purchase at said sale, and that no other purchaser shall be answerable for the application of the purchase money. And provided also, that until some breach of the conditions of this deed, the Grantee shall have no right to enter and take possession of the premises. In witness whereof, I the said Charles F. Post, and I , Lucy A. Post, wife of the said Charles F. Post, in token of my release of all right and title of or to both dower and homestead and all other rights by statute or otherwises in the granted premises, have hereunto set our hands and seals this first day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred ten. Executed and delivered in the presence of O. C. Bidwell Charles F. Post (seal) Lucy A. Post (seal) Berkshire, ss. July 1st, 1910 Then the above named Charles F. Post. acknowledged the above instrument to be his free act and deed before me, Orlando C. Bidwell, Justice of the Peace. Received August 31st, 1910 at 11 o'clock 55 minutes A. M. Recorded from the original Attest Malcolm Douglas , Register. I, florin Bills the mortgagee named in the mortgage recorded, on this and the next preceeding pages hereby acknowledge full payment and satisfaction of the same and therefrom discharge the mortgagor Charles F. Post his heirs and assigns forever. Witness my hand and seal this 2nd day of January A. D. 1914 (In presence of Malcolm Douglas. (signed) Florian Bills. (Alford [Massachusetts] Mortgage Book #198, p. 600).
Dominic Morandi to Florian Bills Mortgage Deed No. 223 Know all Men by these Presents, that I, Dominic Morandi of Alford, in the County of Berkshire and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in consideration of Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00) paid by Florien Bills, of Hillsdale, in the State of New York, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do hereby give, grant, bargain, sell and convey unto the said Florien Bills, all that certain tract or farm of land, with buildings thereon, situated in said Alford, bounded and described as follows: Northerly by land formerly owned by Samuel K. Williams, deceased; Easterly by the highway running Northerly and Southerly; Southerly by the highway known as White's Hill Road, and westerly by land of J. S. Shutts; containing 36 61/100 acres of land, more or less, and being all and the same premises conveyed to me, the said Dominic Morandi, byHudren S. Garrison by deed dated February 11, 1907,and recorded in the Registry of Deeds at Great Barrington, in said County of Berkshire, in Book no. 194, page 411 (or 471). To Have and to Hold The granted premises with all the privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging, to the said Florin Bills and his heirs and assigns to their own use and behoof forever. And I hereby for myself and my heirs, executors and administrators covenant with the grantee and his heirs and assigns that I am lawfully seized in fee-simple of the granted premises that they are free from all encumbrances; that I have good right to see and convey the same as aforesaid; and that I will and my heirs, executors and adminstrators shall warrant and defend the same to the grantee and his heirs and assigns forever against the lawfull claims and demands of all persons. Provided nevertheless, that if I or my heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns, shall pay unto the grantee or his executors administrators, or assigns the sum of Four Hundred Dollars in two years from this date, with interest semi-annually at the rate of six per cent per annum, and until such payment shall pay all taxes and assessments, to whomsoever laid or assessed, whether on the granted premises or on any interest therein, or no the debt secured hereby; shall keep the buildings on said premises insured against fire in a sum not less than four hundred dollars for the benefit of the grantee, and his executors, administrators and assigns, in such form and at such insurance offices as they shall approve, and at least two days before the expiration of any policy on said premises, shall deliver to him or them (words accidentally deleted) and shall not commit or suffer any strip or waste of thegranted premises, or any brach of any covenant herein contained; then this deed, as also one note of even date herewith, signed by me whereby I promise to pay the grantee or order the said principal sum and installments of interest at the times aforesaid shall be void. But upon any default in the performance or obwservance of the foregoing condition, the grantee or his executors, adminstrators, or assigns, may sell the granted premises, or such portion thereof as may remain subject to this morgage in case of any partial release, hereof, together with all improvements that may be thereon, by public auction in said Alford, first publishing a notice of the time and place of sale once each week for three successive weeks in some one newspaper published in said County of Berkshire, the first publication of such notice to be not less than twenty-one days before the day of sale and may convey the same by proper deed or deeds to the pruchaser or purchasers absolutely and in fee-simple; and such sale shall forever bar me and all persons claiming under me fro mall right and interest in the granted premises, whether at law or in equity. And out of money arising from such sale the grantee or his representatives shall be entitled to retain all sums then secured by this deed, whether then or thereafter payable, including all costs, charges and expenses, incurred or sustained by them by reason of any default in the performance or observance of the said condition, rendering the surplus, if any to me. or my heirs or assigns; and I hereby for myself and my heirs and assigns, covenant with the grantee and his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns that, in case a sale shall be made under the foregoing power, I or they will upon request, execute, acknowledge and deliver to the pruchaser or purchasers a deed or deeds of release confirming such sale, and said grantee and his assigns are hereby appointed and constituted the attorney or attorneys irrevocable of the said grantor to execute and to deliver to the said purchaser a full transfer of all policies of insurance on the buildings upon the land covered by this mortgage at the time of such sale. And it is agreed that the grantee, or his executors, administrators or assigns, or any person or persons in their behalf, may purchase at any sale made as aforesaid, and that no other purchaser shall be answerable for the application fo the purchase-money; and that, until default in the performance or observance of the condition of this deed, I and my heirs and assigns may hold and enjoy the granted premises and reeive the rents and profits thereof. And for the condition aforesaid do hereby release unto the said grantee and heirs and assigns all right of or to both dower and homestead in the granted premises, and all other rights and interests therein. In witness whereof, I, the said Dominic Morandi hereunto set my ahnd and seal this twelfth day of February in the year one thousand nine hundred and seventeen. Signed and Sealed in the presence of John S. Stow to D. M. Dominic morandi (seal) Commonwealth of Massachusetts Berkshire ss. February 12, 1917. Then personally appeared the above-named Dominic Morandi and acknowledged the foregoing instrument to bve his free act and deed, before me. John S. Stow, notary public. Received February 12, 1917 and recorded from the original by Malcolm Douglas, Register. (From Great Barrington [Massachusetts] Mortgage Book #223, p. 42 mortgage deed #223)
More About FLORIAN A. BILLS: Occupation: farmer, owner of the LaPierre House and The American House in Hillsdale NY Residence: France; Williamstown, Ma; Great Barrington, Ma.; Alford, Ma.: Hillsdale, NY Ethnicity/Relig.: French Catholic
Notes for NETTIE G. REED:1900 Census, Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY Enumeration District 17, sheet 4 indicates that Nettie Bills was a white female, born February 1867, 33 years old, married for 18 years with 3 children, two of whom were still alive. She was born in Vermont, as were both of her parents. She could read, write and speak English.
"Austerlitz, NY - Mrs. Florian Bills Dies at 76 -- Austerlitz, NY - Mrs. Nettie Bills, 76, widow of Florian Bils, died at her home Wednesday evening after a short illness. The funeral was held Friday afternoon at her home with Rev. M. Charles Adams, pastor of the First Methodist Church of Chatham officiating. The bearers were Fremont G. Brengel, Curtis T. Grant, Charles R. Van Hoesen and Donald Perry. Burial was in the family plot in the Green River Cemetery. Mrs. Bills is survived by a son, Frederick A. Bills, at home; a sister, Mrs. Lillian Morgan of Williamstown; a brother, Donald Reed, of Pittsfield, a son-in-law Patrick J. Nalty of Great Barrington, three grandsons and two granddaughters." (from the Berkshire Eagle dated 23 Dec., 1943)
More About NETTIE G. REED: Occupation: housewife Residence: Heartwellville, Vt., Williamstown, Ma., Hillsdale, NYEthnicity/Relig.: Methodist
Children of FLORIAN BILLS and NETTIE REED are:
i. AMOS3 BILLS, b. Abt. 18838; d. February 24, 19009.
ii. FREDERICK BILLS, b. August 1885, Massachusetts, USA10,11; d. 197112.
iii. MINNIE BILLS, b. September 1883.
Notes for MINNIE BILLS: See notes on Mary A. Bills From the 1900 Census, Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY, enumeration district 17, sheet 4, she was a white female, born Sept 1883, 16 years old, born in Massachusetts. Her mother was from Vermont and her father was from France. She could read, write and speak English.
iv. MARY A. BILLS, b. September 26, 1883, Williamstown, Berkshire Co., Ma., USA13; d. October 13, 1932, Great Barrington, Berkshire Co., Ma., USA14; m. PATRICK JOSEPH NALTY, April 17, 1901, Great Barrington, Berkshire Co., Ma., USA15.
Notes for MARY A. BILLS: The doctor who delivered Mary Bills was Dr. Hubbard, in Williamstown, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. 1900 Census has a Minnie Bills as the daughter of Florian and Nettie Reed Bills, but there is no Mary Bills listed. Both Minnie and Mary have birthdates of September 1883, born in Massachusetts. Could they be the same person?
More About MARY A. BILLS: Occupation: housewife Personality/Intrst: liked to dress well Residence: Great Barrington, Ma.; Hillsdale, N. Y. Ethnicity/Relig.: French Catholic
Cause of Death: Carcinoma of uterus
Medical Information: Cancer
Notes for PATRICK JOSEPH NALTY: Will dated 10 Aug 1950 #57927, Berkshire County Probate. The Arcade Cafe is now known as "20 Railroad St." address of 20 Railroad St., Great Barrington, Ma. He liked boxing and used to go to New York to watch the fights. He brought the bar which is now at "20 Railroad St." back from New York.
Grantee in the following deeds in Great Barrington, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts: 8/6/1903 Warranty Book #200, p. 102; Warranty Book #190 p. 213; 5/2/1908 Warranty book #190 p. 72; 10/07/1910 Warranty Book #211 p. 224; 10/10/1912 Dis. book #204 p. 489; 05/20/1913 Dis. book #191 p. 19; 11/27/1917 Warranty book #225 p. 134; 10/18/1918 Warranty book #226 p. 8
Great Barrington Warrant Book #190, p. 213: " To all people to whom these presents shall come, greeting: Know ye that I, Frederick P. Spath, of Great Barrington, in the County of Berkshire and Commonwealth of Massachusetts in consideration of One Dollar and other valuable consideration paid by Patrick J. Nalty of said Great Garrington, the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, do hereby give, grant, sell and convey unto the said Patrick J. Nalty, a certain lot of land situated on the north side of an extension to Cottage Street, so called on the east side of the Housatonic River, in the village and town of said Great Barrington, and bounded and described as follows, viz: -- Beginning in the north line of an extension to Cottage Street, at a point one hundred and eighty seven and one third (187 1/3) feet easts from the east line of East Street; thence in the north line of said extension to Cottage Street south, seventy degrees, twenty-five (25) minutes east, fifty (50) feet; thence north nineteen (19) degrees, thirty-five (35) minutes east, two hundred and eight (208) feet and seven (7) inches; thencenorth sixtypthree (63) degrees west, thirteen (13) feet, five (5) inches; then swsouth twenty eight and one half (28 1/2) degrees wests, seventy six and one-half (76 1/2) feet; thence north sigxty-four (64) degrees west, twenty-four (24) feet, one inch, to land of one Mallory; thence south nineteen (19) degrees, thirty-five (350 minutes west, one hundred and thirty-eight (138) feet to the place of beginning, being Lot no 2 on the plan of the Higgins Building Lots, being the same entire premises embraced and described in a deed from A. Chalkley Collins to me, said Spath, dated August 1, 1901, and recorded in the Registry of Deeds at said Great Barrington, in Book No. 180, at Page 330, to which reference may be had.
"'Patsy J. Nalty' 50 Years Bartender --"Patsy" and "Jigger" have Operated Arcade Since 1915 -- Completing 50 years as a bartender is the boast of Patrick J. "Patsy" Nalty, who has been a familiar figure on Railroad Street for many years, especially in the Arcade, which he and John Mulhall operate today. Mr. Nalty started working in the St. Denis Hotel in New York June 20, 1897, as bartender. Previous to that time, he had been employed at the hotel as a bell hop and cashier. When there was an opening as bartender there he accepted the job. Mr. Nalty had an object in view when he took the position. He admits being a little homesick when he was down in the big city, and he figured if he were able to acquire some experience as bartender, there was the possibility of getting a job here at home. He worked for two years and then came to Great Barrington in September 1899 at the Waverly Hotel and bar on Railroad Street. In 1915, Mr. Nalty, with John J. "Jigger" Mulhall and the late James Gibbons opened the Arcade and the establishment has been in business ever since. Mr. Gibbons died several years ago. At the time the latter was living, the three partners had a combined total of more than 100 years as bartenders. Mr. Gibbons up to the time of his death had been a bartender for 40 years. Mr. Nalty believes he is the oldest bartender in the point of service in these parts. His partner, Mr. Mulhall, started in four years later. During prohibition, when the sale of liquors were taboo, the three men operated a billiard and pool room, and resumed the liquor dispensing trade with the repeal of the Volstead Act in 1932. The local bartender is a great sports fan, especially boxing, and can give many interesting highlights of numerous fights he has seen during his lifetime. A great follower of the game, he saw to it that his sons, when they reached an appropriate age, were given boxing gloves and taught the manly art of self defense. The Nalty barn on Cottage Street was the scene of many spirited boxing matches between the Nalty boys and other youngsters in the neighborhood, a few years ago. Mr. Nalty is about his business every day. A job, he says, isn't as easy as it looks. He said he would be 73 years old in October and is as fit as a fiddle. When asked to give a comment on his career, he remarked that he wished he had followed the hotel business. "It's a lot easier and a lot more money in it." he also commented that it is unusual for two or more partners to remain in the type of business he and his partner are engaged in for any lengthy period. He said in most cases partnerships of that type always seem to breed dissention and usually break up before long. It's no surprise to those who know "Patsy" and "Jigger" that they have gotten along together for all these years. Their genial manners and habits are well known. (The Berkshire Eagle June 26, 1947)
"Nalty Rites Tomorrow - Well-known Resident Succumbs at Fairview -- Great Barrington - Funeral Services will be held tomorrow morning at 9 in St. Peter's Church for Patrick Joseph Nalty, 75, Cottage St., who died Saturday night at Fairview Hospital after an illness of two years. Burial will be at St. Peter's Cemetery. Mr. Nalty was born in this town, son of Patrick and Mary Condry Nalty, and spent his lifetime here. One of the partners in the Arcade Cafe on Railroad Street, he helped establish the business 25 years ago with John J. Mulhall and the late James J. Gibbons. He was an expert on boxing lore and had seen most of the big fights in the past half century. He also took a great interest in raising pedigreed dogs. Mr. Nalty's wife, the former Mary A. Bills, of Green River, N. Y., died about 15 years ago. He leaves behind three sons, Fred W. and Donald Nalty of this town, John P. Nalty of Boston; two daughters Mrs. Edward Dempsey of Lee and Mrs. Harold Walsh of Torrington, Conn., two sisters, Mrs. Daniel Flynn of this town and Mrs. Annie Lavasseur of New Haven, Conn; two brothers William and John H. of this town; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. (The Berkshire Eagle August 5, 1950)
Everyday, life's hourglass runs for somebody and Saturday "Patsy" Nalty's completed its trickling after 75 years, and the popular Railroad Street businessman went to his greater reward. "P. J" and Railroad Street were synonymous, for he had long been a familiar figure on that street that runs west from the main center. And there aren't too many around who can reminisce and weave stories of the days when that short thorough fare was a lusty, brawling street, long before it acquired its present-day polish and refinement. You could spend an interesting afternoon or evening with him while he told of the many characters that habitually made their way to the hot spots. "P. J." boasted a couple of years ago that he was the oldest active bartender in the county. He had completed a half-century of service at that time. He said he first went to New York to learn how to mix drinks, and then came back home and got a job as a bartender. "I went down to the city to learn how to make those fancy drinks they served in all the ritzy places around the country," he said. "I wanted to make sure I knew my business when I got back home. But when I did, those fancy drinks didn't go at all, the Barrington crowd just drank theirs straight, nothing fancy about the crowd. I was a bartender right from the time I started to the present day," he remarked at the time. "Didn't let a little thing like prohibition interfere with business," he chuckled. When they had the pool tables in the establishment it was a great place for us high school kids to drop in after school. But we all kept a weather eye on the door at all times, for fear that maybe our Mamas would storm in and drag us out by the ears. "P. J.", "Jig" Mulhall and the late "Jim" Gibbons, when they saw us tromping in, would laugh and remark, "School is ready to begin." Some of the boys became quite proficient in the art of pool playing. We're happy to say that all the apprehensions the mothers had about their boys going wayward from ideas picked up at the pool tables were for naught. Most of us knew plenty before we ever knew the Arcade existed, and we never heard or saw anything in the Arcade that would influence boys to such a degree that they would eventually find calm repose in the confines of a bastille. We were active and very much sports-minded and the Arcade was the center of sports talk and information. We'd drop in to listen to the baseball games which came in over the old Atwater Kent radio, or the big fights, when everybody would sit or stand quietly while the announcement would be coming through the screeching loud-speaker. If we weren't listening to a game or fight, "Patsy" was always good for a story about old -time fighters or baseball players. Then too we heard of the prowess of the late Dick Cunningham. Then he was the scourge of the Railroad street roughnecks - a one-man police squad when he swung into action. "Patsy" had a great sense of humor, and he must have enjoyed a thousands laughs when very straightfaced, he would remark to one of us boys that somebody's mother was lurking outside the front door. There would be a scramble for the men's room or a quick squat behind a pool table. Railroad street is going to miss "Patsy" and also will the legion of friends he had in all walks of life." (The Berkshire Eagle date unknown)
Funeral of Mr. Nalty - Funeral services for Patrick J. Nalty were held yeterday morning at 9 at St. Peter's Church. The pastor,Rev. Bernard A. Kerrigan, officiated at the high mass of requiem. The bearers were Judge Thomas F. Conneally, Chief of Police Henry T. McCarty, Thomas F. and William M. Graham, Charles Viola and John E. Casey, Sr. Burial was in St. Peter's Cemetery. (The Berkshire Eagle date unknown)
I was sorry to hear about the death of Patrick J. Nalty of Great Barrington. He was long in business with John J. Mulhall and the late James J. Gibbons. Patrick was a great lover of boxing and saw many heavyweight championship bouts. His brother William was a fine basball player and a clever boxer. (The Berkshire Eagle date unknown)
...The death of Patsy Nalty at 75 leaves Jack Casey in undisputed possession of the title of Great Barrington's No. 1 boxing fan... (The Berkshire Eagle date unknown)
"The Theodore W. French Block at 20-26 Railroad Street was also known for many years as Kastner's Hotel. A longtime tenant was Patrick J. "Patsy" Nalty, John J. "Jigger" Mulhall and James Gibbons' Arcade Cafe, which opened in 1904. An avid sports and boxing fan, Nalty began as a bartender at the St. Denis Hotel in New York City in 1897. coming to Great Barrington two years later to work for John Race at the Waverly Hotel. The Arcade during Prohibition became a pool room." (from "Great Barrington - Great Town, Great History" by Bernard Drew, p. 316
More About PATRICK JOSEPH NALTY: Event 1: 1882, Attended North Street School Gt Barrington Occupation: part owner of the Arcade Bar Personality/Intrst: loved dogs and boxing Residence: Great Barrington, Berkshire, Ma., USA Ethnicity/Relig.: Irish Catholic Comment 1: 1880 Census Great Barrington, Ma., USA has Comment 2: name as "NELTY". Also lived in Hillsdale, Comment 3: NY. His house in Great Barrington was on Comment 4: Cottage St at the corner of Gilmore
Cause of Death: bladder cancer
Medical Information: Cancer
v. ARTHUR BILLS, b. August 23, 1885, Williamstown, Berkshire Co., Ma., USA16.
Notes for ARTHUR BILLS: The doctor who delivered Arthur Bills was Dr. Mather. At that time, his parents were listed as being from Hancock, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
3. AMOS2 BILLS (ALEXANDER1) was born October 1861 in France17,18, and died March 12, 1932 in Payn Mills, Columbia County, New York19. He married HARRIET MOORE.
Notes for AMOS BILLS: 1900 Census, Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY, Enumeration District 17, sheet 4 indicates that he was a white male, born October 1861, aged 38 years old, married for 16 years. He was born in France, as werre both his parents. He immigrated to the US in 1875 and had been in the US for 25 years. He was a naturalized citizen and was a general merchant. He could speak, read and write English. He owned a farm and a house. Article from 1932 unnamed newspaper: "Amos Bills, 71, Died Saturday - Born in France, Came to America as Boy; Ill a Week. One of the last workers at a fast vanishing trade, that of the charcoal burner, passed away this week when Amos Bills, 71, died at his home near Payn's Mills, on Saturday, March 12 of heart failure. Born in France, Mr. Bills came to this country when ad boy, and with his father, established a charcoal burning industry at Green River (unreadable words) a highly important one, as much as the fuel was largely (unreadable words) in the iron foundries of this vicinity. The Bills family was one of several French families who settled in that vicinity for this purpose. About thirty-five years ago, this commodity was discontinued as fuel by the foundries and as the demand for charcoal became less, and the charcoal burners throughout Columbia county discontinued the business, Mr. Bills turned to other liens of endeavor, and for many years operated a general store in Green River. In 1924, he retired from active business and moved to Payn's Mills, where he resided until his death. He had always been in good health, and the fatal seizure came following a week's illness. His brother was the late Florian Bills, who for many years conducted the American House at Green River. Mr. Bills was for many years a member of the Republican County Committee, representing the third district of Hillsdale, and was always active in the political affairs of his township. Funeral services were held from the late residence on Wednesday afternoon. Rev. R. C. Wright of the Chatham Reformed Church officiated. Interment was in the Chatham Rural cemetery. E. B. Gifford and Sons were in charge of the funeral arrangements. Hie is survived by his wife, the former Harriet Moore, of Stephentown, two sons, Alexander of Mineola, and Claude of Cobleskill, a brother Fred of Pittsfield and five grandchildren.
Children of AMOS BILLS and HARRIET MOORE are:
i. ALEXANDER3 BILLS.
ii. CLAUDE BILLS.
1. Headstone in cemetery behind the Inn at Green River 9 Nobletown Rd., Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY 12529.
2. 1900 Census Hillsdale, Columbia Co, NY ED 17 sheet 4.
3. Headstone in cemetery behind the Inn at Green River 9 Nobletown Rd., Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY 12529.
4. Headstone in cemetery behind the Inn at Green River 9 Nobletown Rd., Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY 12529.
5. 1900 Census Hillsdale, Columbia Co, NY ED 17 sheet 4.
6. Obituary of Amos Bills, 1932, Payn's Mills, New York.
7. Headstone in cemetery behind the Inn at Green River 9 Nobletown Rd., Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY 12529.
8. Headstone in cemetery behind the Inn at Green River 9 Nobletown Rd., Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY 12529.
9. Headstone in cemetery behind the Inn at Green River 9 Nobletown Rd., Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY 12529.
10. Headstone in cemetery behind the Inn at Green River 9 Nobletown Rd., Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY 12529.
11. 1900 Census Hillsdale, Columbia Co, NY ED 17 sheet 4.
12. Headstone in cemetery behind the Inn at Green River 9 Nobletown Rd., Hillsdale, Columbia County, NY 12529.
13. Williamstown Ma VR 1884 Vol Birth p93 #54
14. Great Barrington Ma DR 1932
15. Great Barrington, Ma. MR 1901
16.Williamstown Massachusetts Birth Records for 1885, p. 100.
17. Obituary of Amos Bills, 1932, Payn's Mills, New York.
18. 1900 Census Hillsdale, Columbia Co, NY ED 17 sheet 4.
19. Obituary of Amos Bills, 1932, Payn's Mills, New York.