Nathaniel Pelmer Sackett
|Father||Herbert H "Bert" Sackett (1855-)|
|Mother||Emma Lazear Jessup|
In 1900 Nathaniel was living in Wayne, Steuben County, New York StateG, in the household of his parents Herbert and Emma, and was recorded in the census as Nat P Sackett, at school, aged 14 and born in New York.10
In 1910 he was living at Jacob Street, Penn YanG, and was recorded as Nathan P Sackett, aged 24, proprietor of a moving picture show. He was lodging in the household of Elizabeth D Hobbins.11
Nathaniel was listed in the Penn YanG City Directory from 1913.12
Nathaniel completed a World War I draft registration card on 12 September 1918. He was aged 32 and was a moving picture operator. He was living at 327 Elm Street, Penn Yan, Yates CountyG, with his wife Anne.13
In 1920 he was living at Elm Street, Penn YanG, and was recorded as Nathaniel Sackett, an insurance agent, head of household, aged 34. He owned his home free of mortgage. Living with him were his wife Anna, 36, and Anna's maiden aunt Margaret Dewan, 68.14
In 1930 he was living at 327 Elm Street, Penn YanG, and was recorded as Nathaniel Sackett, moving picture operator, head of household, aged 43. His wife Anne, 45, was living with him.15
In 1940 he was living at 327 Elm Street, Penn YanG, and was recorded as Nathanial Sackett, a motion picture operator, head of household, aged 52. Living with him were his wife Eleanor, 39, and their daughter Natalie, aged eight months.16
Nathaniel completed a World War II draft registration card on 27 April 1942. He was aged 56 and was employed by the Elmwood Theatre in Elm Street. He was living at 327 Elm Street, Penn YanG, with his wife Eleanor.17
Stanley—St. Theresa's Church, Stanley, was the scene of a pretty wedding Oct. 23 when Miss Eleanor Bolger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Bolger, Stanley, was married to Nathaniel P. Sackett, Penn Yan.
The church was decorated with palms, yellow chrysanthemums and bitter sweet. The Rev. Edward Ball, rector, performed the ceremony and celebrated the nuptial mass. Mrs. Sidney Short, Penn Yan, played the wedding music.
The bride wore Chateau Margeau velvet with matching accessories carried a shower bouquet of white roses. Mrs. John Bolger, Penn Yan, the bride's sister-in-law, was matron of honor, wearing tropical blue velvet with matching accessories and carrying a shower bouquet of pink roses.
Edward Bolger, Penn Yan, the bride's brother, was best man, and Patrick Bolger, Rochester, and John Bolger, Penn Yan, also brothers of the bride, were ushers.
Mr and Mrs. Sackett left for New York. They will live at 327 Elm Street, Penn Yan.
—The Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, New York, 28 Oct 1937, p 7
Worked in Movie Industry 42 Years — From Silent Films to Double Features
If the big wheels of Hollywood should ever make Academy awards to some of the "little people" of the movie industry, Penn Yan will have a leading contender for an "Oscar" for long and faithful service.
This man, who has lived with movies since their infancy—from the old nickelodeon days when slapstick comedy and tear-jerking "mellerdramers" were the feature one-reelers—is Nathaniel P. "Nat" Sackett of 327 Elm street, Penn Yan.
Now the chief projectionist at the Elmwood theatre in Penn Yan, Nat started in the motion picture business in 1908 — and his main qualification was a fine singing voice and a knowledge of popular ballads of the day. It was at the old Theatorum on Main street (where the NYS Electric & Gas Corporation office is today) that Mr. Sackett was employed to fill in between reels with songs, while the ambidextrous projector operator rewound and changed reels.
The songs were illustrated with colored slides and the audience was cajoled by young Nat to join in each chorus. Heart-throbbing accompaniment was provided on the piano by Miss Eunice Frame who also furnished the musical background for the silent films on the old stage upright piano.
The Theatorum was owned by the Wickham brothers of Perry, and two years later when they opened a larger movie emporium on Elm street, Mr. Sackett went along. This building, located where Allen's lunchroom is now, was re-modelled from an old blacksmith shop to a motion picture house by simply lining the walls with ordinary building paper.
By now, Nat had learned how to operate the crude projectors, wooden frame machines placed in stuffy booths where the loose film was left to coil in a basket until rewound. Also running movie projectors in Penn Yan at this time was a man who later became one of the key projectionists of the Schine chain in the eastern United States—Lewis M. Townsend. On many occasions, Mr. Townsend was manipulating the silent reels while Nat vocalized on the stage. Mr. Townsend died in Rochester on Oct. 16, 1950.
Eager to step out in the movie business on his own, Nat purchased the Wickhams' interest in the two theatres, and introduced three acts of vaudeville between reels. The old Shearman house, where today the Elmwood theatre stands was the favourite stop-over for vaudevillians appearing in Penn Yan.
Later, Nat was employed at the Cornwell theatre over the J. J. Newberry store, the Sampson theatre on East Elm street, and in 1923 started work at the Elmwood theatre owned by Harry Morse. Mr. Sackett has worked there ever since, continuing his work when the theatre was taken over by the Schine chain in November of 1937.
In his 42 years in the business, Nat estimates he has run more than 75,000 miles of film through the projectors—including the old silent machines, the "synchronized sound" devices with phonograph records that frequently skipped their timing with ludicrous results for the audience, and today's modern arc-light sound-track-on-film machines.
Aside from the wonderful progress in movie entertainment made possible through the introduction of sound, Nat believes the greatest single change since he began work in 1908 was the switch about 1920 from the one-reeler to the feature full-length picture. In one double-feature movie today, almost 20,000 feet of film will spin through the sprockets of the projectors in the Elmwood projection booth.
The first sound movies in Penn Yan were introduced about 1927, and the opening picture with sound synchronization on the film was "Broadway Melody," Nat recalls.
Nat's first wife, Anne Dewan, died in 1936. He remarried in October, 1937, to Eleanor Bolger, and they have two children, Natalie Anne, 11, and Leland, 10.
"Movies are better than ever," Nat agrees, but even today it requires an alert operator to maintain the intricate projectors, switching from one reel to the subsequent one without a break, and keeping the arc lights at a determined brilliance—and doing it all so smoothly that the average movie-goer is completely unaware of what goes on in the little projection booth upstairs.
—Chronicle Express, Penn Yan, New York, 26 Oct 1950
Nathaniel P. Sackett, 75, of 327 Elm St., Penn Yan, Friday, Dec. 29, 1961. Survived by wife, Mrs. Eleanor Bolger Sackett; son, Leland J. with the Air Force in Florida; daughter, Miss Natalie A. Sackett at home; brothers, Clayton and Bert of Keuka. Body at Weldon Funeral Home, Penn Yan. Calling hours: today 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Prayer service there Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., Requiem Mass at 9 in St. Michael's Church, Penn Yan. St. Michael's Cemetery. Recitation of Rosary today at 8 p.m.
—Elmira Advertiser, Elmira, New York, 1 Jan 1962, p 20
(Src: Find a Grave, DM)
(Src: Find a Grave, Tina Adams)
Children of Nathaniel Pelmer Sackett and Eleanor Mary Bolger
- Natalie A Sackett b. 27 Jul 1939, d. 20 Sep 2022
Notes & Citations
- Charles Weygant, The Sacketts of America, "7880d. Nat. P. Sackett, b. Mar. 25, 1886."
- "U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936–2007" (Ancestry transcript), "Sackett, Nathaniel Pelmer, b. 23 Mar 1886, claim date 23 Feb 1951. 11 Mar 1977 listed as Nathaniel Pelmer Sackett; 20 Aug 1982 listed as Nathaniel Palmer Sackett."
- "New York State, Death Index, 1957–1969" (Ancestry transcript), "Sackett, Nathanie P, d. New York, 29 Dec 1961, aged 75, of Penn Yan, Yates, New York."
- Find a Grave.
- "New York, County Marriages, 1908–1935" (FamilySearch image), "28 Aug 1912, at Milo, Yates County, NY, Nathaniel Palmer Sackett, of Penn Yan, Yates County, NY, age 26, shoemaker, b. Kenka, NY, father Bert H Sackett b. USA, mother Emma Jessup b. USA; to Anna Margaret Dewan, of Penn Yan, age 31, bookkeeper, b. Dundee, NY, father Michael Dewan b. Ireland, mother Anastasia Whalen b. USA; both 1st m. Witnesses: Edward J Donahue, Mary Ellen Donahue."
- Marriage record.
- "U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936–2007" (Ancestry transcript), "Bolger, Eleanor Mary, b. Stanley Onta, New York, 11 Mar 1901, d. 11 Apr 1994, father Andrew Bolger, mother Ellen Finnigan. Nov 1936 listed as Eleanor Mary Bolger; Oct 1968 listed as Eleanor Bolger Sackett; 27 Apr 1994 listed as Eleanor B Sackett."
- 1900 United States Federal Census
Page 1, Enumeration District 0113, FHL microfilm
Wayne, Steuben, New York
Sackett, Herbert, head, b. Sep 1855, 44, m. 23y, farmer, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY, home owned
Sackett, Emma L, wife, b. May 1855, 45, m. 23y, 7 ch, 6 living, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY
Sackett, Leland J, son, b. Aug 1878, 21, farm laborer, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY
Sackett, Alvie, son, b. Jun 1880, 19, farm laborer, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY
Sackett, Cornielus J, son, b. Feb 1884, 16, at school, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY
Sackett, Nat P, son, b. Mar 1886, 14, at school, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY
Sackett, Clayton G, son, b. Nov 1889, 10, at school, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY
Sackett, Bert H, Jr, son, b. Sep 1898, 1, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY.
- 1910 United States Federal Census
Roll T624_1075, p 2B, Enumeration District 0179, FHL microfilm 1375088
Jacob Street, Penn Yan Ward 4, Yates, New York
Sackett, Nathan P, lodger, 24, proprietor, moving pict show, employer, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY
[In household of Elizabeth D Hobbins, widow, 40, boarding house keeper].
- "US City Directories, 1822-1995" (Ancestry image), Penn Yan, New York, City Directory, 1913, "Sackett Nathaniel P (Anna M), shoeworker, res 327 Elm."; 1927, "Sackett Anne D. (Mrs Nathaniel P), sten, h 327 Elm.", "Sackett Nathaniel P (Anne D), projectionist Elmwood Theatre, h 327 Elm."; 1930, "Sackett Anne D. (Mrs Nathaniel P), sten J.T. Andrews & Co, h 327 Elm.", "Sackett Nathaniel P. (Anne D.), projectionist Elmwood Theatre, h 327 Elm."; 1941, "Sackett, Nathaniel P. y (Eleanor M.), Elmwood, 327 Elm."
- "US, World War I draft registrations records 1917–1918" (FamilySearch image), New York, Yates, Roll 001819398, "Serial no 611, order no A-727, Nathaniel Pelmer Sackett, 327 Elm, Penn Yan, Yates, N.Y., age 32, b. 23 Mar 1886, white, native born, moving picture operator, H.C. Morse, Jacob, Penn Yan, Yates, N.Y., nok Anne Dewan Sackett, 327 Elm, Penn Yan, Yates, N.Y., Registrant: med ht, med build, brown eyes, brown hair, no disabilities, Reg. 12 Sept 1918."
- 1920 United States Federal Census
Roll T625_1281, p 19B, Enumeration District 182
Elm St., Penn Yan, Yates, New York
Sackett, Nathaniel, head, 34, agent, insurance, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY, home owned free of mortgage
Sackett, Anna, wife, 36, book-keeper, paper mills, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY
Dewan, Margaret, aunt-in-law, 68, b. Ireland, father b. Ireland, mother b. Ireland.
- 1930 United States Federal Census
Page 7A, Enumeration District 0003, FHL microfilm
327 Elm Street, Penn Yan Village, Milo, Yates, New York
Sackett, Nathaniel, head, 43, m. at 25, operator, moving picture, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY, home owned, $10000
Sackett, Anne, wife, 45, m. at 27, stenographer, paper mill, b. NY, father b. NY, mother b. NY.
- 1940 United States Federal Census
Roll m-t0627-02817, p 1B, ED 62-6
327, Elm St, Penn Yan, Milo, Yates, New York
Sackett, Nathanial, head, 52, motion picture operator, theatre, b. NY, home owned, $12000
Sackett, Eleanor, wife, 39, b. NY
Sackett, Natalie, daughter, 8/12, b. NY
[+ 2 male lodgers].
- "US World War II draft registration cards 1942" (Ancestry image), "Nathaniel Pelmer Sackett, 327 Elm St, Penn Yan, New York, age 56, b. Keuka, New York, 23 Mar 1886, contact Eleanor Sackett, 327 Elm St, employer Elmwood Theatre, Elm St, Penn Yan, race white, ht 5' 6", eyes hazel, hair brown, wt 162, complexion light. Reg Penn Yan, Yates County, 27 Apr 1942."
|Sackett line||9th great-grandson of Thomas Sackett the elder of St Peter in Thanet|
|Charts||Line 3a (American)|
|Last Edited||25 May 2023|