Leoria Carolyn Meeker Wilbur, my grandmother, is just three and a half years old when her great-aunt, Sarah Finch Wilbur Millham Cline, stays with the Stephen Wilbur family at 47 Park Street in Binghamton, NY during the month of July, 1907. Stephen is her younger brother by two years. Sarah dies on July 30th at 8:30 a.m. in Stephen’s home at the age of 68. According to her obituary, she was ill for just a short time and probably sought medical attention in Binghamton.
Her husband, James L. Cline, is tending the farm in nearby Hawleyton and her son Ira O. Millham by her first husband, Oliver H. Milham, is also in Binghamton. Another son, James L. Cline, Jr., lives in Hawleyton and is also a farmer.
Two other brothers are living, Edwin L. Wilbur close by in Lestershire, and Abner A. Wilbur, in Albion, Nebraska. Her older sister, Elizabeth, died in 1897 and is buried in Floral Park Cemetery.
Sarah is the second child Abraham T. Wilbur, and Mary Finch Wilbur, who died in 1886 and 1884, respectively. She was born in May of 1839 and grows up on their farm in Hawleyton. At the age of thirty-one, on August 8, 1866, she marries Capt. Oliver Hunt Millham of Binghamton in a ceremony performed by Rev. Paddock at the Hawleyton ME Church.
Oliver joined the 109th NYSV at Binghamton August 1862 as a Private in Company E. By February 1865, he has attained the rank of captain. His discharge is in June 1865.
Their son, Ulysses is born May 13, 1867. He, unfortunately, dies eight and a half months later, on February 3, 1868. Another son is born in November of that year and named Ira Oliver Millham.
Soon after this event it is apparent Oliver is ill. He writes to the Binghamton newspaper on October 7, 1872 from Raleigh, N.C.:
Dear Friend (Capt. M. B. Robbins):
It has been a long time since I have heard from you either directly or indirectly, and have a few minutes leisure I occupy them in writing you a few lines. Frist, you may know that I came to this place on account of my health; in short, I have consumption (tuberculosis), and if you have a friend who is afflicted in that way send them here as I can assure that this climate has done much for me; indeed, I am quite sure had I remained in Broome county, “hugging the delusive phantom of hope”, I would not have been alive to-day. I am a confirmed consumptive, but this climate is so genial I have the promise of at least a few years yet. I was in Binghamton during the month of August, and I assure you I grew worse every day after my arrival, and I note that I felt better just as soon as I returned to this place.
In my next I will write more of North Carolina, its products, natural advantages in farming, etc., and also of the many openings in the manufacturing line.
Yours, O.H. Millham
Oliver succumbs to his disease at 36 on August 20, 1873 and is buried in the Cline Cemetery in Hawleyton, NY. The local GAR Post 610 is named in his honor along with the O.H. Millham, W.H.C for which we see a maple sugar party on April 28, 1884 in Blanding Hall.
Following the death of her husband, Oliver H. Milham, Sarah marries her sister Elizabeth’s brother-in-law, James L. Cline, on December 24, 1874. The sisters are married to brothers. A son, James L. Cline, Jr. is born on April 22, 1877. They continue to farm the land in Hawleyton near the original Wilbur homestead.
Sarah is buried in the Cline Cemetery.