Early Settlers

Benjamin W. Baum





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 Family Genealogy   |   Land Records

McGrath Genealogy  |  Upperchurch Connections  |       Old Mattydale          |  What's New  |  Contact

















Baum Family

This is believed to be a drawing of the Baum family's former residence in the town of Salina. The 3.75 acres in the northeast corner of Lot 18 was named Rose Lawn. This drawing came from the front page of a document entitled, "Welcome Home to Rose Lawn, Mattydale, New York, Town of Salina." This drawing matches the several written descriptions of the house that have been found. After Cynthia Baum sold the property in 1887, the house had been converted into a rural roadhouse. The structure burned to the ground in a fire on the evening of February 24, 1899. The picture of that document cover, shown above, was taken by Keith Choiniere at the Salina Free Library. Keith is on a mission to find an actual photograph of the Rose Lawn homestead and this is as close as he has gotten so far. Good luck Keith!


Connection to Mattydale

The Benjamin Baum family, at least some of them, were at Rose Lawn for less than 20 years. Starting in 1868, for the first 10 years they acquired additional land. The largest piece was the former farm of John Dwight and they called it Spring Farm. Starting around 1873 Benjamin tried to rent, sell and mortgage the place, supposedly to get money for another financial venture. Of course the Panic of 1873 probably didn't help any. For a while they were doing business as the Spring Farm Poultry Yards [1879-02-23]. In 1880 the property was foreclosed. Rose Lawn itself was bought at the foreclosure auction by L. Frank, for his mother Cynthia. George N. Crouse purchased the remainder of the farm. In 1887, after the death of Benjamin, Cynthia sold Rose Lawn to Alfretta Kelley whose husband turned it into a roadhouse.


Family History

Where did they originally come from

The family moved around a bit due to Benjamin Baum's varied business interests. They lived in Chittenango for awhile and that was where L. Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz, was born. Then the family lived in the city on Rust Street prior to moving to the town of Salina in 1868.


Where did they initially settle

Over a year before his purchase of Rose Lawn, Benjamin Baum purchased a farm in the northwest corner of Salina Lot #3. On September 18, 1865 Benjamin Baum purchased 82.5 acres of farm land from George W. Devoe. However, the family didn't move onto that farm, they remained in the city. The Rose Lawn property was purchased on November 10, 1866 but the family didn't move until 1868. In the newspaper article that described the demise of the Rose Lawn homestead by fire, it was stated that Benjamin Baum had built the house or more likely had it built [1899-02-25]. The construction of the house was probably the reason for the delayed move to the town of Salina.


Family connections

The Benjamin Baum family had Baum relatives in the towns of Cicero and Clay to the north. Unlike several of the farming families in the area, the Baum children didn't marry any of the farmers' sons or daughters from the nearby farms. For a very thorough description of the Baum family see The Family of the Wizard, by Susan Ferrara, Ph. D.  


More Material on the Rose Lawn property

The Rose Lawn Saga


The Missing Rose History


Growing Up On the Fields of Rose Lawn


and also The Family of the Wizard, by Susan Ferrara, Ph. D.


Notable Facts or Events

The old Baum homestead at Rose Lawn in the town of Salina burned to the ground [1899-02-25]



[1879-02-23 - "The Motive Power! Who Made the Poultry Exhibition," The Syracuse Sunday Times, Syracuse, NY, Sunday, February 23, 1879.


[1899-02-25] - "Old Road House Burned," The Syracuse Evening Herald, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, February, 25, 1899.