by Barb Chapman, Wheatland Town Historian
It is always exciting when someone sends a Wheatland artifact “home.” The Historian’s office has recently received the gift of this beautiful diploma from the Mumford Union School dated 1904. Bob McCann of Geneva, NY was the generous donor. The diploma was presented to Howard D. Hadley when he finished his eighth grade studies at the Mumford school.
A little research revealed that Howard was the son of George and Clara (Munson) Hadley. George, the father, was the stationmaster in the Mumford railroad station for 40 years. He was also the head of the Mumford school board and signed his son’s diploma. Howard went on to high school in Pennsylvania and then graduated from Cornell University in 1911. For a few years, he worked as an engineer on the Barge Canal. He married Cora Comstock of Penn Yan and opened a hardware store in Seneca Falls in 1919. Howard and Cora had four children, all university graduates. This Mumford boy became a well-known and successful businessman. He retired in 1962 and his store was passed down to his son-in-law and then to his grandson. Howard D. Hadley died in 1971 and is buried in Seneca Falls where he had been a respected community member for over 50 years.