Two months ago I was browsing in an antique store in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and found a rectangular red autograph album with about 30 entries to Omar. I was intrigued by it and read some of the entries from 1885, as the entries started in Marysville, Kansas, but then most came from the people of Conesville, Schoharie County, N.Y.
On a whim I bought the album and wondered if it would be possible to locate this stranger from 137 years ago. As I walked to my car where my wife was waiting I appreciated how the storeowner had discounted ten dollars off the price. That made me turn around to go back to buy another autograph album (1890) addressed to Velna, sitting beside Omar’s on the same shelf with over 40 entries, and the first ones starting off from Middleburgh, N.Y. When I got home I checked on a map and Middleburgh was only about 20 miles from Conesville and I wondered if these two might have known each other.
I transcribed the album and as I read about Conesville I was impressed by the 200 year-old Richtmyer Tavern and Richtmyer cemetery and hoped this meant I could track Omar’s down. The Town Clerk at Conesville put me in touch with the Town Historian, Kimberly Young, who is a wonderful detective and a wealth of information about the Richtmyer family and their history. Her love of history brought Omar Richtmyer to life and I hope you enjoy stepping back in time 137 years to rural New York.