Biographical Review - 1895
The Leading Citizens of Delaware County, NY
This volume contains Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Delaware County New York
Biography is the home aspect of history
Biographical Review Publishing Company 1895
Section 8 - pages 348 through 401
GEORGE A. SIGNOR, a retired farmer living just outside the village of Walton, is well and favorably known throughout this section of Delaware County as a worthy representative of its agricultural interest, and a most successful business man. He is a native of this county, and was born in the town of Hamden on the third day of April, 1830, a son of John Signor, who was born in Connecticut in 1790, and passed from earth in 1871, in the town of Hamden. He was one of nine children born into the home of his father, Jacob Signor, a life-long resident of Connecticut.
The father of the subject of this sketch was three times married, his first wife having been Loretta Terry, a native of Hamden, who died while in the prime of life, leaving him with four of the eight children who had been born to them, one of whom is now living, David Signor, a prosperous farmer of Hamden, now seventy-five years old. His second wife was Lucy Hotchkiss, who was born in Connecticut, and to whom he was united in the year 1826, in the town of Beaver Kill, Sullivan County. She bore him eight children, four sons and an equal number of daughters, of whom the following are living: Loretta, the wife of Allston Hulbert, a retired farmer, and a furniture dealer in Hamden; George A.; Hannah, the widow of Horace W. Smith, residing in Walton; Jonah, a farmer residing in Oregon; and Albert, at present a music dealer in Owego. One son, John, Jr., gave his life in defence of his country. He enlisted in Colchester, Company B, One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, as a private, and during the two years of his service took part in several engagements, but owing to exposure and other causes incidental to army life became afflicted with chronic diarrhea, from which he never recovered, dying while on a transport going from Folly Island to Beaufort, N.C., being then but twenty-seven years old. The mother of these children died in 1842, when thirty-nine years of age, and the father subsequently married again; and he and his wife resided in Colchester the remainder of their lives.
George A. Signor was the second child and the first son born to his parents, and during the days of his childhood and youth attended the pioneer school of his neighborhood, and assisted his father in the duties about the homestead. When fifteen years of age, he left school, and hired out at nine dollars per month, his wages afterward being increased to eleven dollars per month; and in the summer of 1848 he brought to his father the round sum of fifty dollars. Having purchased from his father a land warrant which the latter had received for services during the War of 1812, with his wife and one child, Lucy, then two and one-half years old, he started for Wisconsin on the 1st of March, 1855. When they left Walton, there was fine sleighing, but on arriving in Wisconsin, after a journey of two weeks, they found the prairies on fire. The last forty miles were made in a stage, which had the spring broken; and, the roads being in a terrible condition, the men often had to assist in prying it out of the mire. The end of the journey was reached when they arrived at the home of Mrs. Signor's brother, four miles west of Plainfield.
The land which Mr. Signor pre-empted lay on Ten Mile Creek; and there we find the Signor family one year later, it having been increased by the birth of a bright boy, whom they named Charley Fremont. The Indians were very numerous, but there was never any real trouble with them. They would take flour to Mrs. Signor for her to make into bread for them, and would pick berries for her in exchange for bread. Sometimes they would give her venison; and she often gave them bread and butter and also milk. At one time some fifteen or twenty Indians, with their squaws and papooses, camped about twenty rods from the house, but were peaceable, never committing any depredations. In the summer Mr. Signor worked clearing his land and tilling the soil; while each fall he went to the pineries to chop; while during the spring of each year he was employed in rafting lumber down the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers.
During one winter of their residence there Mrs. Signor, not liking to stay alone, accompanied her husband thirty miles into the woods, making the journey for ten miles over corduroy roads and in a lumber wagon drawn by oxen. At the end of this wearisome trip she found nothing more inviting than a log cabin of one room, and not in the cleanest condition. She, however, bravely set to work, and made it habitable, and for sixteen weeks did the cooking for a crew of thirteen men, her younger child being then but eighteen months old. Mrs. Signor, however, considered this life preferable to living alone surrounded by Indians. When her son Charley was six years old, another boy was born into the household, but only lived for the short space of one month, when he left this world for a fairer one on high, his mortal remains being interred in Western soil.
In 1863, after nearly eight long years of hardship, Mr. and Mrs. Signor with their family returned to Delaware County; and in the fall of the following year Mr. Signor enlisted, serving his country for one year, and being honorably discharged in 1865, when he returned home. He engaged in tilling the soil, and by thrift and frugality accumulated some money, with which he bought a tract of wild land, and by hard labor and the exercise of good management found himself the possessor of a fine farm of two hundred acres, on which he and his family lived most happily for eighteen years. In 1889 he gave up his farm to his son-in-law, Levi C. Russell; and he and his wife have since occupied their present comfortable home, and are now enjoying the leisure to which their earlier years of toil have richly entitled them.
Mr. Signor was united in marriage in 1852 to Sarah J. Dann, who was born in Colchester in 1832, a daughter of Ebenezer and Serepta (Goodrich) Dan, who for upward of forty years were extensive farmers of Colchester, owning and occupying a farm of two hundred acres adjoining the town of Walton, where they subsequently moved. Mr. and Mrs. Dann reared ten children, eight of whom are living, Mrs. Signor being the sixth. When she was two years old, her mother died, and her father was again married, Miss Lydia K. Hoyt, of Walton, who was bridesmaid at his first marriage, becoming his wife. She proved a very kind step-mother, and herself bore him three children. Mr. Dann was of New England descent, his grandfather, Abraham Dann, having married Rebecca Reskey, who was born and reared in New England. Mr. Dann himself was one of ten children, his mother being left a widow when they were quite young; and they were all apprenticed to some trade, Ebenezer, the father of Mrs. Signor, learning the trades of both hatter and tanner. He afterward entered the employ of Mr. Downs, of Downsville, for whom he clerked in the early days of the settlement of the town, their store, which was in a rough and unfinished building, being the very first in the place. Dry goods and groceries were then high in price, calico being sold at seventy-five cents a yard. His mother subsequently became the wife of Isaac Wilson, one of the pioneer settlers of this section of the county. Mrs. Signor was brought up to habits of industry and early initiated into the science of domestic economy, her youthful training well preparing her for the position she afterward assumed as the head of a household, and which she has so nobly filled. She went to school until eight years old, then during the winters only until eighteen years of age, when she began teaching, a vocation which she resigned after two terms at the earnest solicitation of Mr. Signor, to whom she was affianced.
Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Signor six children have been born, one of whom, as above mentioned, died in infancy; and of the five living the following is recorded: Lucy S., the wife of Hanford Bull, a prosperous farmer of Colchester, where he has a fine residence, is the mother of one child, a daughter. Charles F., who resides in the town of Franklin, has a very pleasant home. Ruby E. Is the wife of Levi C. Russell, and lives on the old homestead. Darius D., who lives in New York City, is butler in the home of J. B. Lang, a railway magnate. Julia A., a cultured and accomplished young lady of twenty-three years, is one of the most efficient teachers in this part of the State, having been engaged in this noble occupation for sixteen terms. The daughters are fine musicians, and doubtless inherit their musical talent from their father, who was a fine tenor singer in the days of his youth. Religiously, Mr. signor and his excellent wife are devout Christians and, with most of their children, are members of the Methodist church. In politics he is a Republican, firm and true.
JAMES WILLIAM COULTER is a prominent resident of Bovina, having competent charge of the Robert J. Livingston estate on Lake Delaware. This property has been in the possession of the Livingston family since 1707, nearly two centuries, the patent coming from Queen Anne. The original grant was for land a mile wide on the Hudson River, and extending back to the West Branch of the Delaware River. From time to time various sections of it have been sold; but even now the estate includes nearly eight hundred acres, and is the largest owned by any private person in the county. Mr. Coulter has from three to ten men working under him, and keeps a hundred and fifty acres under cultivation. The place is chiefly used as a summer resort by the Livingston family, and on it are twenty buildings, including the main dwelling-house, tenement houses, boat-houses, gate-house, and laundry. There are kept twenty-five or thirty full-blooded Jerseys, averaging two hundred and seventy-five pounds of butter each for market every year. On the farm is a lovely sheet of water, named Lake Delaware, two hundred and nineteen rods seventeen links long by sixty-four rods wide in the broadest part, and covering about sixty acres, well stocked with California salmon, trout, and other fish. At the outlet of this lake for eighty-one years stood a grist-mill. The first mill, built by Stephen Palmer for Governor Morgan Lewis in 1796, was burned, and a new one was built in 1823. Mr. Coulter superintended taking down the latter mill in 1881. Mr. Robert J. Livingston died in New York City on February 22, 1891; and the property now belongs to his daughter. He was born December 11, 1811, his mother being the only daughter of General Morgan Lewis, of Revolutionary fame. Mr. Livingston's daughter, Louise Morgan Livingston, is now the wife of Commodore Elbridge T. Gerry, a lawyer residing in New York City.
Mr. Coulter was born in Bovina, January 19, 1837. His parents were James and Nancy D. (Thompson) Coulter, both natives of Bovina. The grandfather was Francis Coulter, born in Scotland, and an early settler in Bovina, a town full of Scotch blood. James W. Coulter grew up in his native place, went to the district school, and attended the Andes Academy a couple of terms. Till the age of twenty-two he stayed at home, meanwhile learning the trade of carpenter. Then he became a bridge-builder for some time. Among the specimens of his work are the large bridges at Otego, Cook's Falls, and Beaver Kill, besides various smaller structures. From 1859 to 1868 he engaged in general carpentry, taking building contracts. Next he bought ninety-seven acres near Bovina Centre, and devoted himself chiefly to agriculture till 1872, when he was engaged as superintendent of the Livingston farm. He was married on a patriotic holiday, February 22, 1866, to Elizabeth Murdock Doig, a native of Bovina, the daughter of William and Jane Doig, both deceased, she at the age of fifty-three, and he at sixty-two. They belonged to the Bovina Centre Presbyterian Church, and he had ten children, of whom two survive. Of these two Mrs. Coulter is the elder. Her sister, Euphemia Doig, is now Mrs. W. G. McNee, of Bovina. Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Coulter both belong to the local Presbyterian church, wherein he is a Trustee. They have no children, and he is a Republican in politics.
A fuller account of the Coulter ancestry may be found in the sketch of James Coulter, and further facts concerning Miss Doig's family are recorded in sketches devoted to its members. The grandfather of Mrs. Coulter was Walter Doig, who was born in Scotland, came to this country, and took up his residence in Washington County, New York. After a few years he changed his home to Delaware County, locating himself at Bovina in the beginning of the War of 1812, on a farm still in the family. Land was hired in those days, not bought outright; and it was therefore many years before Mr. Doig was able to get a deed of his estate. Clearing the forest away gradually, he put up a log house, finding game in the forest and fish in the streams, and now and then shooting a prowling wolf. Grandfather Doig was very industrious, owned in all two hundred acres, and was an organizer of the United Presbyterian church in Bovina. Everybody in the town, not to say the county, knew Walter Doig. The nearest mill was eight miles off, and he carried the grain thither in a bag on his back. The main market for produce was at Catskill, eighty miles away. On this farm Mr. Doig lived until death overtook him; but this was not till he reached the age of fourscore, his wife Elizabeth dying at about the same age. They had six children, all of whom grew up, but are no longer in earth's shadows--Andrew, Elizabeth, William, Margaret, James, and Jennie Doig.
On November 6, 1851, Walter A. Doig, son of Andrew Doig, was married to Margaret G. Armstrong. She was born in Bovina on November 8, 1829, the daughter of John and Isabelle Coulter Armstrong. Mr. Armstrong was born in Washington County, New York; but his wife was born in Scotland. He became a Bovina farmer, and died there at the age of sixty-six; and his wife lived to be eighty-one. He was an Elder in the United Presbyterian church; and they had a dozen children, of whom ten grew to mature age, and six are still living. Alice Armstrong is now Mrs. David Olner, of Bovina. Mary Armstrong married Stephen Russell, and lives in the same town. Margaret Armstrong became Mrs. W. A. Doig. John G. Armstrong is in California. Francis Coulter Armstrong is in Bovina. Ellen Armstrong married John S. Foster, and their home is in Washington County.
Whichever way we glance over the ancestry of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Coulter, we find worthy representatives of the different families, which at one point unite in a single stream with many branches. Says that epigrammatic writer, George Eliot, "Breed is stronger than pasture".
HON. DEWITT GRIFFIN is a very prominent resident of Griffin's Corners, in Middletown, Delaware County, and belongs to the family which gave the settlement its name. By profession he is a lawyer, tried and true, and was named for a family which has been very conspicuous in the annals of the Empire State, Governor De Witt Clinton having died, greatly respected, only a few years before young Griffin's birth, on March 27, 1836. His father was Matthew Griffin, of whom and the Griffin ancestry a separate sketch may be found elsewhere in these biographies; and the mother was Clarissa Dodge. After attending the district school, the lad went to the Albany Normal School, and then studied law, being admitted to the bar in 1857, when only twenty-one. He at once began practice in his native village, where he has ever since remained.
Mr. Griffin was married at the age of twenty-five, in 1861, to a distant kinswoman, Mary Stone, daughter of Robert and Caroline (Griffin) Stone. Mr. Stone was a leading farmer in the town, and one of its first settlers. He died at fifty, leaving nine children--Augustus, John Francis, William Henry, George, Rutson, Margaret, Hannah, Susan, Josephine. Their mother outlived her husband, not dying till she was seventy-six. Mrs. Griffin was born November 20, 1838, and was therefore twenty-three at the time of her marriage; but she was taken away from the home in 1870, at the early age of thirty-two, after only nine years of wedlock; and her only babe, Aurelia, soon after followed the mother's heavenly footsteps. Mr. Griffin subsequently married a second wife, Viola Sharp, the daughter of Revilo Sharp, a farmer and trader in Ulster County, the town of Shandaken. Mr. Sharp's wife was Ann Eliza Milks; and they had several children--Horatio, Jehial, John, Stanley, Jane, Julia, Viola, and Lydia Sharp. By this marriage Mr. Griffin has three children. Clinton, the eldest, bearing a grand historic and political name, was born September 22, 1882. Matthew Griffin, named for his grandfather, was born on Washington's Birthday, 1886. Warner Griffin was born November 19, 1889.
Mr. Griffin is a Republican, has been a representative in the State Assembly, is a Justice of Peace, and belongs to the Methodist church. Needless to say that the Griffin family hold the first position in their vicinity. Two excellent sentences have been uttered about the law. One was by Sir John Powell, a noted jurist of two centuries ago, who said, "Let us consider the reason of the case, for nothing is law that is not reason." The other was a toast at the bar dinner at Charleston, S.C., in 1847; "The law--it has honored us: may we honor it."
Both these sentiments would be indorsed by so sensible a lawyer as the Hon. Dewitt Griffin.
MATTHEW GRIFFIN is a substantial real-estate owner and sagacious business man in Griffin's Corners, a part of the town of Middletown, which owes its name, if not its absolute being, to his enterprise. His genealogy is worth considering.
His great-grandfather, William Griffin, came from England with a large fortune, and settled on Long Island. When the Revolution broke out, he refused to take up arms against the mother country. He was therefore numbered with the Tories, and his estates confiscated to the patriot cause. William Griffin owned some very fine horses; and so his son John took the most valuable of the stallions, and rode away to Delaware County, whence he removed to Dutchess County, where he settled among the Fishkill Mountains. After the surrender of Cornwallis and the declaration of peace, William Griffin went to West Chester, where he died, leaving four children, all born on Long Island--William, Ezekiel, Solomon, John. The junior William Griffin had already settled in Middletown in 1765, a decade before the Revolution began, on a farm now belonging to Henry Boughton; and he became a very prosperous man, raising a large family. Solomon Griffin took up his residence among the Fishkill Mountains, and so did his brother Ezekiel.
Buying a large farm, Ezekiel Griffin became very prosperous, and married Charlotte White (a daughter of a farmer named John White). In 1833 he sold out his Fishkill property, and came to Delaware County, where he bought a hundred and fifty acres now belonging to the Benjamin Crosby estate. He greatly improved the place, and there his children grew up. His son Eli married Phebe Simmons; and both are dead, leaving four children. Mary Gertrude Griffin married Joshua Burcham, and they left two children. Joseph Griffin married, but none of his family survive. John Griffin married Hannah Miles, and they left a large family. Of Matthew Griffin a longer account will be presently in order. David Griffin married Martha Doolittle, and lives at West Hurley, Ulster County, the mother of seven children. Eliza Griffin married Ebenezer Griffeth, of the Corners, and they left four children. Pamelia Griffin married Henry Lee, had six children, outlived her husband, and is in Ulster County. Alice Griffin was the wife of Henry Walker; and they left one child, though another died in early life. Ezekiel Griffin, their father, was a Methodist and a Whig, and lived to be about seventy-two; but his wife died at fifty-eight. Ezekiel Griffin bore an Old Testament name; but this sketch specially interests itself in the son who bore a New Testament name.
Matthew Griffin was born in Dutchess County, in the town of Fishkill, on October 22, 1811. He was educated in the district school, and at eighteen was employed as clerk by Noah Ellis, the chief trader in Griffin's Corners. After working there a couple of years, he accepted a place as general manager of a tannery belonging to Elijah Isham. In 1836, when twenty-five years old, Matthew Griffin opened a store on the site now occupied by Fleischman's hotel. Five years later, in 1841, he built there a new store. In 1848 he procured the establishment of a new post-office, to be called, after him, Griffin's Corners. He built a hotel, also, which he carried on four years in conjunction with his store; for he owned the entire property since known as the Corners. When the anti-rent troubles began, he decided to let both tavern and store. He had begun reading law while a young man. Perhaps the questions aroused by the rent agitation stimulated him to finish studying for the bar. In 1851, at the age of forty, he was admitted at Albany, but did not change his residence; for he immediately found practice enough at the Corners, where he was specially successful in criminal cases. Not quite satisfied with this, after two years he went to Roundout, in Ulster County, and started a store. Two years later he engaged in the steamboat business there. Thence he went to New York City, where for eight years he had full charge of an express business. Then he came back to Delaware County, and kept store, attending also to much law business, though, since reaching the age of threescore, he has lived in comparative retirement from outside activity, sometimes, however, taking up one of the cases urged upon him.
Matthew Griffin was married as far back as 1833, at the age of twenty-two, to Miss Clarissa Dodge, a daughter of Joseph Dodge, whose wife was Sally Burgin. Mr. Dodge was among the earliest settlers on the Little Delaware River, but died in Owego, at four-score, his wife having died young, after bearing him eight children--William, Erastus, Orin, Clarissa, Loretta, Electa, Sally, and Oliva Dodge. By his marriage with Clarissa, Matthew had seven children, five living to adult age. A brief record follows: William Dodge Griffin first married Miss Avery, and second Susie Hoffman, and then died, leaving two children. Of the second son, Dewitt Griffin, there is a separate account in this volume. Mary Griffin married John O'Neil, and died, leaving four children. Sally Griffin married William E. Hull; and he died, leaving her with one child. Charlotte Griffin married William Rickey, who died leaving four children; and she lives in Kingston. Mrs. Griffin died in 1877, in the Presbyterian faith.
As a Republican, Mr. Griffin has been Tax Collector, and from 1872 to 1874 was a member of the State Assembly. Well hath Shakespeare said,--
"Therefore doth heaven divide the state of man in
Setting endeavor in continual motion."
This disposition belongs especially to Matthew Griffin, who in his long and useful life has played many parts, always with advantage to the community, and generally to himself.
WILLIAM H. METCALF, the oldest blacksmith in point of residence in the village of Walton, is the possessor of great mechanical ability, and has a very large and profitable trade, his upright and honorable methods of transacting business and his reliability securing for him the respect and confidence of all with whom he has dealings. His record during the time of the civil strife in this country was creditable to him and an honor to the county from which he enlisted.
Mr. Metcalf is a native of this county, having been born in Masonville, March 7, 1841, and is a descendant of worthy New England stock. His grandfather, Eliphalet Metcalf, was born in New England, and served in the War of 1812. He subsequently removed to this State, and after living for a time in Otsego County, came to this locality, settling in the town of Masonville. He married Susannah Place; and they reared a large family of children, of whom one only is now living. The following is recorded of a part of the family: Nancy married a Mr. Moore. Samantha became the wife of W. A. White. Eliza married Linus Weed, of Walton; and both are now deceased. Harriet married the Rev. Martin B. Cleveland. Adeline married Henry Benedict, of North Walton; and both are deceased. Julia C. Became Mrs. Bigelow. Hubbard was the father of William H. Metcalf.
Hubbard Metcalf was born in the town of Masonville, and was a resident of that place the greater part of his life. He married for this first wife Hannah Ferry, of Masonville, the children of this union being: Hannah O., now a resident of Stamford, Conn., and the widow of Charles Knapp, who died in the Adirondacks; and William H., of whom we write. Mrs. Hannah Metcalf died in the spring of 1848, in Ulster County, New York; and Mr. Metcalf subsequently married Mrs. Mary Bennett, who bore him one child, George E., now a resident of Jamestown, N.Y. Mr. Metcalf spent his declining years in Walton, dying there April 5, 1888. He was a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican party.
William H. Metcalf was reared to man's estate in the town of his birth, and there acquired a fair common-school education. He remained at home until October, 1861, when he volunteered as a soldier in the army of the Union, enlisting in the Forty-second New York Volunteer Infantry, familiarly known as the Tammany Regiment of New York City, where he was mustered into service. He joined the army at camp near Poolesville, Md., and on the 21st of October, 1861, was in the battle at Ball's Bluff, where Colonel Baker, United States Senator from Oregon, was killed, and the brave commander of his regiment, Colonel Cogswell, was taken prisoner. In the spring of 1862 his regiment was sent to Washington to join McClellan's army, and was with him during the Peninsular campaign. During the subsequent months he participated with his regiment in many hotly contested battles. By an act of Congress, passed in August, 1862, all regimental bands were discharged, and Mr. Metcalf returned to Masonville, but on the 4th of January, 1862, again enlisted, joining the Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, being mustered in at Fort Marshall, Baltimore, Md., where he spent the winter. In the spring of 1862 the regiment was ordered to Harper's Ferry, W. Va., where it remained until the close of the war, being honorably discharged from service at that place.
The union of Mr. Metcalf and Miss Frances A. Everest, a resident of Harpersfield, and a daughter of the Rev. George T. Everest, was solemnized in October, 1862; and to them six children were born--Martha O., William A., Olive C., Mary E., Georgiana A., and Henry E. Martha married W. A. Shepard, of Walton; and Olive C. is the wife of James M. Ball, of West Troy. Mrs. Metcalf died in 1878; and Mr. Metcalf was again married, his second wife being Miss Elizabeth Keeler, who lived but a brief time after marriage. He formed a third matrimonial alliance, marrying Miss Lettie Embree, of Catskill, N.Y.
In the community where he has so long resided Mr. Metcalf is held in high esteem. He is influential in local affairs, promoting by every means in his power the welfare and advancement of the town and county. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln during the time he was in the army. Fraternally, he is a member of Ben Marvin Post, No. 209, Grand Army of the Republic, being ex-Commander and Senior Vice-Commander, S. M. V. M.
JAMES G. BALLARD, a foremost citizen of Middletown, Delaware County, now residing at Griffin's Corners, was born in the town of Roxbury, near by, March 12, 1828, son of Jonathan and Roxy (Foster) Ballard. His paternal grandparents were James and Polly (Stratton) Ballard, the former of whom was the son of Peleg and Martha (Haines) Ballard, who came from Putnam County to Delaware County, and were among its first settlers. Taking up a farm in the location known as Red Hill, Peleg Ballard built thereon a log house, partially clearing the land and raising a little grain. The nearest mill was at Kingston, and to get his grain ground Mr. Ballard was obliged to make a long journey through the forest. They were very poor at first, but gradually accumulated a little money, with which they bought some stock, mostly sheep. To protect these from wild animals, as bears, wolves, and panthers, Mr. Ballard built high log pens, a most necessary precaution. A family of six children were born of this couple, by names James, Judith M., Asa, Banager, Elizabeth, and Zillah. Their father, Peleg, died at the age of seventy; but the mother survived to the remarkable age of one hundred and two years.
The son James always worked on the home farm, which after it became his property, he continued to improve by clearing the land and putting up new buildings. His wife, Polly Stratton, was the daughter of David Stratton, an early settler of Delaware County. A family of seven children were born to them--Jonathan, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Louisa, John, Jessie, and Polly Ann. The mother died when she was fifty years old; and James chose for his second wife a widow, Mrs. Sally (Chase) Scudder. He lived to be eighty years of age.
Jonathan Ballard was born on the old homestead, and early brought up to farm work. He was twice married. His first wife, Roxy, was the daughter of Gilbert and Roxy (Ellis) Foster. Mr. Foster was a mason by trade, and a native of Dutchess County. His wife Roxy died in early womanhood, leaving five children; namely, Roxy, Jane, Orville, Mazilly, and Cloey. After her death Mr. Foster was married again, this time to Anna Hodge, by whom he had three children--Eliza A., Catharine, and Adaline. Mrs. Roxy (Foster) Ballard, like her mother, died in early life, leaving four children--James, Asa, William, and Orville Ballard. Jonathan Ballard married for his second wife Rosanna King, who raised two children--Polly Ann and Ira Harris. He was a prominent man in his town, and followed agricultural pursuits to the close of his life. His death occurred on the same day as that of his wife Rosanna, May 8, 1893, their son Ira having died a week previous.
James G. Ballard, after receiving a practical education, went to Halcottsville, and engaged as a clerk in the store of his uncle, Orville Foster. After one year he became a partner, and finally bought the entire business. Later he sold, and went to Batavia Hill, where he invested in a general merchandise store, and remained there for two years. Disposing of his store, he worked for his father two and a half years, and then bought one hundred and fifty acres of land in Middletown, which he improved, and upon which he erected good buildings. Mrs. Ballard married Nancy Travis, who was born in 1827, a daughter of Ethele and Salacha (Jenkins) Travis. Her father was a progressive farmer of Delaware County, and had a family of eleven children--Nathan, Joseph, Harvey, Lydia, Eson, Achsah, Nancy, Elsie, Margaret, Anna, and Frances M. Travis. He was a sturdy Whig in politics, and a man much respected by his neighbors. He lived to the age of sixty-seven years; and his wife, who was an old-school Baptist, died when eighty-eight years old.
Mr. and Mrs. Ballard have two children. The elder, Roxylina, born 1854, married Ceily Slason, and lives on the old Ballard homestead in Roxbury. The younger, Achsah, born in 1857, became the wife of Andrew McNeil, of Griffin's Corners, and died in 1889. James G. Ballard has lived on his present farm for thirty-eight years, and is in fine physical condition, having always possessed excellent health. He takes a deep interest in the cause of education, and holds the responsible offices of School trustee and Overseer of the Poor. He is a Democrat in politics. He is a useful man in the community, and does all in his power to promote every good cause, thus commanding the respect of his follow-townsmen.
AUREA F. GETTER, a well-known contractor and builder of Masonville, N.Y., where he is a large landowner, was born June 30, 1830, in the town of Schoharie, in the county of the same name. His father, Christian J. Getter, was born in Schoharie County, July 29, 1800; and his mother, Maria (Greene) Getter, was born in Rhode Island, November 1798, and was a relative of General Nathaniel Greene. Stephen Getter, father of Christian, was born in Germany, and came to this country with his father, William, Sr., in the time of the Revolutionary War. William Getter, Sr., was killed in the battle on Long Island. Stephen came to Schoharie County when but four years old; and his brother, William, Jr., who came with him, was but six years old. William became a gunsmith, and followed this trade through life.
Stephen owned land in Schoharie County, and was one of the sturdy type of old pioneers. He settled in Masonville, Delaware County, in 1834, having made the removal with teams, camping out nights while on the way. He bought one hundred and eleven acres of wild land, and put up a strong double log house. In those days a man did not stray far from his home without a gun to protect himself and his domestic animals from the assault of wild denizens of the forests, or to shoot deer or other game for the family dinner. Grandfather Getter lived on this farm for about twenty years, then moved to another in the same town, now owned by William Fuller, where he died at ninety-six years of age. When in middle life, he had a comfortable share of this world's goods; but by unfortunate speculations in his latter years he lost the greater part of his property. He and his wife, Lavina (Schufeldt) were members of the Lutheran church in their earlier years, but before their death belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church. He was a Democrat. Mrs. Getter died at the age of ninety-two years. They had thirteen children, all of whom grew to maturity. One is now living; namely, Mrs. Sylvina Deyo, of the town of Masonville.
Christian J. Getter grew to manhood in Schoharie County, and there married. He was a farmer and a mechanic, both of which callings he followed through life. In the spring of 1836 he came to Delaware County, making the removal with a team and lumber wagon, being four days on the way. He bought a partly improved farm of one hundred and thirty acres, which he occupied and continued to improve till 1848, when he traded it for a smaller one of sixty-seven acres about a mile distant, still owned by his son, the subject of the present sketch. Christian H. Getter was strictly temperate, never using either tobacco or intoxicating liquor, and was scrupulously honest in his dealings, but in financial matters was never quite successful. In size and strength he was a giant, weighing two hundred pounds. He and his wife were both members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In his early manhood he was a Jeffersonian Democrat, or anti-Federalist. When later in life, he voted the Republican ticket, he used to say that the party, not he, had changed. He died at the home of their son, Aurea F., in Masonville, November 9, 1879, at the age of seventy-nine years, his wife, in November, 1885, at the age of eighty-seven years. Their four children all grew to maturity, but Aurea F. is the only survivor at this day. A daughter, Maria, wife of J. H. Couse, died at forty-four years of age. Elizabeth, wife of John Houghtaling, died at twenty-two years. Stephen T. married, went away, and has not been heard from for thirty-five years, supposed to be dead.
Aureau F. was the youngest child of his parents, was seven years old when they moved to Masonville. He received a good practical education in the public schools, and at sixteen years was allowed to start in life for himself. This he did by entering the employ of Garrison Baldwin, of Middletown, Conn., as a salesman, receiving for the year seventeen dollars a month and board. Not quite satisfied with his work there, and having an inclination for mechanics, he went to the town of Farmington, Conn., and learned the trade of cabinet-making under Mr. Henry Hitchcock, who carried on a large manufactory. He began by working as errand boy in the establishment, but, staying there four years, mastered the trade, and in the latter part of the time received high wages. Leaving Mr. Hitchcock's employ, he next held the position of foreman in the large paper mill of Messrs. Platner & Porter in the same town. After remaining with them a year, he returned to Masonville in 1852, and, buying a farm adjoining the old homestead, was here engaged in farming for two years. Not yet prepared to settle down to the monotony of agricultural pursuits for a lifetime, he ventured upon another decided change, removing to Windham, Portage County, Ohio, where he engaged in contracting and building, having a business giving employment to five workmen the year round. From Windham he removed to Hiram, also in Portage County, where he followed the same business, retaining his residence there till 1866.
The military achievements of Mr. Getter belong to this period of his life. In 1856 he organized a company known as the Garettsville Rifles, and was commissioned Captain, the company belonging to the State militia. And of July 29, 1862, when he enlisted in Company D of the One Hundred and Fourth Ohio Regiment, under colonel James W. Reilly, he took with him twenty-two of his former men to help fill out the company. He was promised the First Lieutenancy; but, on arriving in camp, the company being fully officered, he shouldered a rifle, and went into the ranks as a private. He was offered a commission as First Lieutenant in the One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment, which he did not accept; and after six months' time he was given the command of the company. As the other officers were captured, he filled their places from time to time, but was never a regularly commissioned officer. He was wounded in the battle of Fort Mitchell, near Cincinnati, on September 10, 1862, and lost wholly the sight of his right eye. His regiment was in the battles of Cumberland Gap, Wataga Bridge, siege of Knoxville, and Dean's Station, and started from Blue Springs with General Sherman in his march to the sea, and entered in the Atlanta campaign, being in the battles of Maple Hill, Resaca, Dallas, Pine Mountain, Little Kenesaw, Chattahoochee River, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Untio Creek, and Jonesboro. Colonel Reilly was then made Brigadier-general; and the regiment went with General Schofield to Atlanta, being then sent to re-enforce General Thomas at Nashville. It was in the Pulaski skirmish, took part in the night retreat of Spring Hill, and passed the rebel camps at Franklin. On November 30, 1864, was fought one of the hottest fights in which Company D took part, in support of the Sixth Ohio Battery. The rebels under General Pat Cleburn made five assaults, and were repelled with a loss of six to seven thousand killed and wounded, including General Cleburn. The Union loss was two to three thousand killed and wounded., On December 15 and 16 the regiment captured two guns, with two stands of colors, and on January 16, 1865, started for Washington, D.C. Company D had traveled about eight thousand miles and had lost two hundred men, killed and wounded, and had captured fifteen rebel flags and six cannon. Mr. Getter was honorably discharged in June, 1865, after nearly three years of hard service, his health being much impaired.
Returning to Masonville in 1865, Mr. Getter bought about four hundred acres of land; and, as soon as he had sufficiently recovered his health, he devoted himself to farming. The years 1872 and 1873 he spent in traveling, visiting five States west of the Mississippi River. He has travelled quite extensively in North America, having been in twenty-nine States of the Union and in Canada. From 1888 to 1890 he was in the South, and was largely engaged in contracting and building in Kentucky and Tennessee, having in his employ some of the time as many as twenty-five men. He erected in Middletown, Ky., two large brick blocks, two churches, and fifteen dwellings, all in two years, being very successful in this business. Since 1890 he has resided in Masonville. He leases his land, and is himself engaged in contracting and building. He married February 12, 1852, Minerva M. Case, who was born in Hartford County, Connecticut, November 19, 1832, daughter of Nelson and Nelsea (Brockway) Case. Her parents were both natives of that county, and her father was a carpenter and joiner. He moved to Windham, Ohio, in 1850, and died at the age of seventy-six years, and his wife at the age of seventy-two years. They had eight children, seven of whom are no living. Hosea K. Case died at thirty years of age. The others are: Mrs. Minerva M. Getter; Flora R., wife of Sherman W. Fuller, of Portage County, Ohio; Asa N. and Charles B. Case, residing in Bavaria, Kan.; Mrs. Amelia A. Thayer, residing in Garrettsville, Portage County, Ohio; Eugene F. Case, living in Watervliet, Mich.; Mrs. Lamira C. Kleckler, in Fillmore County, Minn. Mr. and Mrs. Case were liberal in religious views. In politics he was a Democrat.
Mr. and Mrs. Getter have one child, a daughter, Mrs. Rosa M. Gilbert, born August 3, 1860, wife of Eugene A. Gilbert. Mr. Gilbert was born May 2, 1860, in the town of Sidney, Delaware County, son of George and Olive (Olmsted) Gilbert. His father was a soldier in the late war, in the Eighty-sixth Regiment, New York Volunteers, Company M, and died from disease in 1861, at the age of thirty years. Mrs. Olive Gilbert resides with her son Eugene, who is a member of the Sons of Veterans of Unadilla, One Hundred and Nineteenth Thorne Corps. Mr. Gilbert is a Republican in politics.
Mr. and Mrs. Getter are liberal in religion, and politically he is a Republican. He is a charter member of the Masonville Lodge, No. 606, A. F. & A. M., of Unadilla Chapter, Norwich Commandery, No. 46, Norwich Consistory; also of Wells Post, No. 180, Grand Army of the Republic, of which he was the first Commander, holding the office for three years. It should go without saying that Mr. Getter is a popular man in the county, widely known as a kind neighbor and a good citizen, a man of excellent understanding and general information, and one who has a host of friends. He is interested in everything which is for the benefit of the community, and may be counted on ever to lend a hand to the cause which is right.
The publishers of the "Review" are pleased to present a portrait of Mr. Getter, a very good likeness of this patriotic and eminently useful citizen, in connection with this brief sketch of his personal and family history.
HORACE M. COMBS was born in Hamden, Delaware County, N.Y., January 8, 1821. His grandfather, John Combs, was born in Devonshire, England, in the year 1757. Being the only son of wealthy parents, he was given the opportunity of a thorough education; ut at the age of eighteen years, becoming impatient of the restraints of school life, he ran away, and enlisted in the British regulars, supposing he was going to Ireland. But that was not to be his destiny; for, instead of being ordered to Ireland, his regiment was sent to America. During his service in the British army he was in the battles of Long Island, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth., and was taken prisoner during the campaign of Rhode Island.
After he was paroled, believing the Americans were fighting in a just cause, he went to Connecticut, and hired himself to a farmer, remaining there three years, and during the time he married Miss Currance Southworth. After his marriage he took his wife and all he possessed of this world's good on horseback, and "went West", and settled in the town of Broome, Schoharie County, N.Y. Here they took up and cleared a large farm, and here to them were born four sons and two daughters, whose names were as follows: Polly, John, Seth, Anson, Joseph and Electa. Remaining in Schoharie until his eldest children were grown up, he again moved West, and bought the farm now owned by Mr. Rait near Hawley's Station, in the town of Hamden, where they spent the remainder of their lives, he dying in 1844, at the age of eighty-one, she in 1845, at the age of eighty-four. Both were members of the Presbyterian church.
Joseph Combs, the father of Horace, came with his father from Schoharie in his childhood. In those primitive times, mail came but once a week, carried on horseback. Joseph, being the youngest son, it became his duty to cross the river on post day in a boat, and go after the newspaper which was then quite a rarity, and after he returned, to read it through from first to last to the rest of the family, with his father for teacher. Under his father's instruction and by his own energy he became noted among acquaintances as a reader, debater, and teacher of common schools and held the office of Justice of the Peace for many years. He married Maria Brisack, and settled down on a farm at Hawley's Station. Their marriage was blessed with the advent of these children--- Charles, Elmira, Horace Marcus, Adeline, Seth and Willard.
At that time, Delaware County was a great lumber region, immense quantities of pine and hemlock lumber being manufactured and floated down the Delaware River to Philadelphia in rafts during the spring freshets. Joseph became a prominent lumberman, and one of the most expert and noted steersmen of his time. It is a very remarkable fact that he steered down the river the second voyage he ever made.
In 1840 Mrs. Combs died, and Joseph sold his farm at Hawley's and removed to Gregory Hollow, in the town of Colchester, where he built a sawmill, and again engaged in the lumber business. Here he remained until 1858, when he removed to Ohio, thinking a change of climate might restore his failing health. After his return to New York in 1863 he made his home with his son Horace until his death in 1864. Joseph Combs was a stanch Whig until the Republican party was formed, and then he became a firm adherent to Republican principles. Roth he and his wife were members of the Universalist church.
Horace M. Combs, whose name heads this biography, was born in Hamden, Delaware County, N.Y. on January 8, 1821. He obtained education in the district school, and at the age of twenty-one began business for himself by purchasing a tract of two hundred acres of land, whence he proceeded to clear the monarchs of the forest, the mighty hemlocks, with which it was densely timbered, and manufacture them into lumber to be run down the Delaware to Philadelphia in rafts. After spending about a year and a half in this place, he sold out and removed to Walton, where he learned the wagon-maker's trade. Having followed this occupation two years, he returned to his native town, and worked the succeeding fifteen years at the carpenter's trade. Being naturally ingenious, by diligence and close attention to all the details of his work he became an expert and noted mechanic. In 1856, Mr. Combs removed to Colchester, where he purchased sixty-five acres of land, partly on the Delaware River, and, erecting a house and necessary farm buildings prepared for he and his family a permanent home.
He selected from among his schoolmates Orpah Holmes to be his partner for life, and they were married July 8, 1847. Miss Holmes was born April 16, 1826, and was the daughter of John A. Holmes, who lived in the same neighborhood. Five sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Combs, as follows: Leslie S., born April 22, 1848; William F. February 5, 1853, died November 2, 1882; John A., March 5, 1855; William Ellsworth, February 2, 1861; Newton E., May 24, 1864. Leslie S. Combs was married November 11, 1874, to Phebe J. Husted, of Bloomville, Delaware County, New York; and they have one daughter, Minnie E., born March 22, 1878. Willard F. Combs was married in September 1880, to Angela Hoefele, of Colchester, New York; they had one daughter, Mary E. who was born October 22, 1881. John A Combs was married in October 1880 to Hattie Shaver, of Shavertown, New York, and four children have been born to them: namely, Walter H., Mabel A., Celia H., Hazel O., Arras P. Combs. Leslie is a teacher, John is a farmer and carpenter, William Ellsworth is a farmer and manufacturer of lumber and various articles in that line, and Newton remains with his father in his declining years.
Land brought up from a low state of cultivation to the production of bountiful crops. A beautiful orchard bearing the finest fruit, and comfortable and commodious buildings are evidence of the untiring energy which has even been characteristic of Mr. Combs. In politics he is a firm believer in the principles of the Republican Party. He holds to no particular religious creed, but is liberal in his views. His wife, Mrs. Orpah Combs, who died May 6, 1882, was a Presbyterian.
WILLIAM A. TEN BROECK is a well-known resident of the village of Griffin's Corners in Middletown, Delaware County, where since 1848 he has prosperously pursued the arduous profession of law. He was born in Columbia County, November 20, 1823, the very year when President Monroe announced the important view in regard to the position of nationalities in North America, which has since been known as the Monroe Doctrine.
His paternal grandfather was Samuel Ten Broeck, and the grandmother belonged to the family by blood as well as by law, her maiden name being Christina Ten Broeck. They owned two hundred and fifty acres of land and a beautiful residence in Columbia County, near Mellenville, and thereon Samuel Ten Broeck died at fourscore, after an especially prosperous life. His wife lived to be a century old. They belonged to the Dutch Reformed church, and had only two children, Wessel Ten Broeck married into the Van Rensselaer family, and lived at Claverack in the same county, but died young.
The other son, William, was born on the homestead, where he grew to manhood. He married Margaret Becker, the daughter of an enterprising Columbia County farmer. After their marriage they took the homestead, which they greatly improved, and there they raised a family of six boys, whose record is as follows: David Samuel Ten Broeck, now deceased, married Elida Van Deusen, who has five children, and lives in Albany County. Walter Van Ten Broeck married Elizabeth Clum, daughter of Philip Clum; and both are dead, leaving two children, well endowed by their father's successful career. Peter Van Rensselaer Ten Broeck also died, leaving two children. Jacob L. Ten Broeck married Elizabeth Clum, daughter of William Clum; both he and his wife are deceased, leaving two children. The fifth son is the subject of the present sketch. The youngest boy, Jeremiah Ten Broeck, married Maria Keifer, is a Saugerties farmer, and has six children. The father of all these boys, William S. Ten Broeck, lived to be only thirty-five years old; but his wife survived him many years, living to be seventy-five. Like his father, he belonged to the historic Dutch Reformed church; and he was a Democrat in political opinion.
William A. Ten Broeck was educated at the schools in Hudson, N.Y., and at Lenox in the western part of Massachusetts. Then he entered the law office of Monell and Hogeboom in Hudson. At the expiration of two years he changed to the office of Adams and Watson in Catskill, where he finished his studies, and met his matrimonial fate. On October 19, 1847, he was admitted to the bar, at the session of the court in Utica. In 1846 he came to Griffin's Corners, where he as ever since remained, greatly to the advantage of both himself and the town. He had been married one year before, in 1845, when he was twenty-one years old, to a lady who merited her name, Mary Ann Comfort, the eldest daughter of Hiram and Julia (Ludington) Comfort, of Catskill. Mr. Comfort was the thriving owner of a sash and blind factory, and died when only forty years of age, leaving five girls, almost a match for the six Ten Broeck boys, already mentioned. These girls were Mary, who became Mrs. Ten Broeck; Julia named for her mother; Helen, Charlotte, Caroline. Their mother lived to be seventy-three years old, and was an earnest member of the Episcopal church, as was her much respected husband.
Mrs. Ten Broeck died in 1866, aged thirty-seven, though she had already passed twenty-one happy Christmases in wedlock, being married when only sixteen. She left three boys and a girl: Charles C. Ten Broeck, born in 1846, married Martha Godkins, is a druggist in Kingston, and has buried his only child. William B. Ten Broeck, born in 1848, lives in Utah, where he owns a large ranch. Helen Ten Broeck, born in 1851, became the wife of W.H. Swart, of Ulster County, New York, and died in 1890, leaving four children, who are with their father in Saugerties. Henry H. Ten Broeck, born in 1855, married Ella Wilson, who died in 1893. He is a bookkeeper in Lycoming County, with one child, another having died young. In 1867, Mr. Ten Broeck was again married, this time to Mrs. Mary Ann Person, the widow of John A Person, and the eldest daughter of Solomon Osterhout and his wife, whose maiden name was Bookhout. Mr. Osterhout lived at Griffin's Corners, where he was an early settler, carried on his farm in the most progressive fashion, and lived to be eighty years old. Politically he was a Democrat. Though he lost his wife while still a young woman, she left nine children: Mary Ann, afterward Mrs. Ten Broeck; Catherine; Elizabeth; Goerge; William; Charles; James; Augustus and Nancy Osterhout.
Mr. Ten Broeck is a Democrat, and has been for sixteen years a Justice of the Peace, and for a dozen years has been Pension Notary. As a Free Mason, he belongs to Margarettville Lodge, No. 389, and is a member of the Episcopal church. In everything of a public nature taking place in the village, he is sure to have a prominent part; though of course, when a man passes the milestone of threescore and ten, he is less active in general affairs. Mr. Ten Broeck rendered valuable aid in the erection of the two churches at Griffin's Corners, one Methodist, and the other Episcopal. Well is it said by Lord Eldon, himself a distinguished member of the bar, "To succeed as a lawyer a man must work like a horse and live like a hermit."
CHARLES H. GEROME., a farmer and market man of the town of Sidney, Delaware County, New York, was born in the town of Kortright in this county, March 1, 1850, and is the son of Jesse and Lois (Hobbs) Gerome. The father was born July 13, 1803, in Kortright, and the mother August 13, 1811, in the town of Andes.
The paternal grandfather of Mr. Gerome was born in Dutchess County, of French parentage. Removing to Delaware County in its early and primitive days, he settled in the town of Kortright; and building a rude but comfortable house, he engaged in clearing up his land. He reared a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters, five of whom are still living, the eldest, Benjamin, now residing in the state of Delaware in his ninety-fifth year. The grandfather died in Kortright at the age of sixty years, but the grandmother lived to see her ninetieth birthday.
Jesse Gerome was reared in the town of Kortright, where he was engaged in farming until 1854, when he removed with his family to the town of Sidney, where he purchased a farm, and continued farming until he death of his wife, which occurred December 15, 1862 at the age of fifty-one years. He was a kind husband and father, upright in his dealings with all and generous even to a fault. For a number of years he was a confined invalid, being kindly cared for at the home of his son Horace, when he died August 1, 1888, at the age of eighty-five years. Mr. and Mrs., Jesse Gerome had seven children, five sons and two daughters, four of whom are now living. Hiram, the eldest, a farmer, died in February, 1883, in the fifty-first year of his age; he left, surviving him, two children--- Seymour H. and Susie V. Horace Gerome is a farmer now residing in Sidney Centre. Mary E., wife of George F. Rifenbark, resides at Oneonta, N.Y. James died December 2, 1864, at the age of twenty-two years, from a gunshot wound received while making a charge with his regiment, the One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteers, at the battle of Honey Hill, S.C. Nancy A. resides at Sidney Centre, N.Y. Charles H. is the subject of this sketch. George E. is a graduate of the Delaware Literary Institute of Franklin, N.Y., was afterward a teacher for some time in the same institution. During President Cleveland's first administration he received the appointment of an Indian school in North Dakota. Afterward he became the Principal of the Union High School at Davenport, Nebraska, which position he held when he died, May 30, 1893 aged forty-one years.
Charles H. Gerome was educated in the common schools of the town of Sidney and the Delaware Literary Institute of Franklin, N.Y. He was at an early age impressed with the importance of self-reliance and independence, which have been characteristic of him since. He gained a good business education, paying for his own tuition while at school by work during the vacations on the farm. He engaged in farm work and teaching in the winter season until his marriage, which took place October 26, 1875, to Miss Frances l. Hess. Mrs. Gerome was born in Baraboo, Wisc., September 4, 1856, a daughter of John and Margaret (Crawford) Hess. She also was a teacher in the common schools until her marriage. Mr. Gerome continued farming for a number of years after his marriage, but finally removed from the farm to Sidney Centre, where he now resides. He first engaged in the mercantile business by himself. Afterward, taking in a partner, he was for three years a senior member of the firm of Gerome and Whitman. A length, retiring from the firm, he engaged in general speculation, also conducting a meat market, which he still continues, as a member of the firm of S.L. Bennett & Co., running his farm in connection with his business.
Mr. Gerome has always taken an active part in politics, and in 1879 was elected Justice of the Peace in his town, serving continuously until 1892, during which time he served as Justice of Sessions of the county three terms. In 1886 he was elected Supervisor, serving in that capacity until 1891. While in office he refunded the public debt of the town to such an advantage that the interest theretofore annually paid by the town would in twenty years pay up and discharge the whole indebtedness, principal and interest. He was also instrumental in settling controversies concerning the old bonds and their validity, to the general satisfaction of his townsmen. In politics he is a Democrat, believing that the principles of that party carried out would better serve the masses of the people than any other--- that a low tariff, or even none at all, would be more beneficial than an unjust and unnecessary one collected from the people. He does not believe that a public servant should be hampered or governed by any law or rule of action in the appointment to positions of trust, but that such should be given to the most capable, always keeping in view the principle that "to the victor belongs the spoils"; and therefore he is not an admirer of the civil service law.
In religious views he may be described as liberal, not in the sense of believing that one will not be held accountable for his life and acts, but holding that all will receive their reward or punishment according the light and understanding given them. Mr. Gerome has two children--- Margaret L., born December 4, 1878; and J. Clark, born December 22, 1893. He is one of the active and progressive men in Sidney, ever filling the public positions to which he has been elected with credit to himself and to his town.
ZENAS FARRINGTON is a prosperous and practical farmer of Delhi, ranking among its most respected citizens. The homestead which he now owns and occupies is the place of his birth, which occurred June 10, 1831. His grandfather, March Farrington, who was of English antecedents, was born in this State in October 1762. He had an honorable record as a soldier in the Revolution and the War of 1812, and as a pioneer of Delaware County. On first arriving in this region, having followed a route marked by blazed trees, he located his home in that part of Meredith now known as Meredith Square; and when he built his humble log cabin, his nearest neighbor was in Delhi, some six miles away. He and his family subsisted mainly for a time on the game and fish to be found in the vicinity. He subsequently removed to Delhi, where he and his cherished wife spent their declining years, she passing to her eternal rest November 10,1841, in the seventy-eighth year of her age, having been born April 17, 1764, and he dying April 1, 1849. Her maiden name was Betsey Colton; and by her and her husband five children were reared--- Morris L., Paulina, Betsy Ann, Florella, and Polly.
Morris L. Farrington was but two years old when he came with his parents to this county, and at that day
educational opportunities were here very limited. He began early to assist in the labors of the farm,
growing more and more useful each year, remaining with his parents until he attained his majority, and
afterward taking care of them in their latter years. In 1830 he bought the farm which is now included in the
homestead of his son Zenas, of which he cleared a large portion, further improving it by erecting the
present substantial set of frame buildings. Here he spent a long period of useful activity, living to he
venerable age of ninety years. He was a very intelligent man, taking part in the management of local affairs, and serving in many of the minor offices of the town. He married Ruth Frisbie, the daughter of Judge Gideon Frisbie, on of the original settlers of Delhi, and the first Judge of Delaware County, the first circuit of the county being held in his house. Judge Frisbie came here on horseback, long ere the time of public highways, and as for many years one of the most prominent men in this section of the county. He reared a family of six children by his first wife--- namely Gideon, Daniel, William, Freelove, Huldah, and Ruth, and five by his second wife--- namely, Milton, Portor, Phillip, Angeline, and Anzolette Ruth, who married Morris L. Farrington, was born in Delhi, and spent her declining years at the home of her son Zenas, dying in 1876, at the age of seventy-eight years. She bore her husband three children; namely Anzolette, Zenas, and Maurice.
Zenas Farrington remained on the paternal homestead until he was twenty-one years of age, in the meantime receiving a goof practical education in the district school and academy. Desiring to become better acquainted with his native country; he traveled as far West as Michigan, where he worked for a year as a farm laborer. Returning to Delhi, he took charge of the home farm, which he bought in 1865, and has since carried on a thriving business in general agriculture, of late years making a specialty of dairying, keeping a valuable herd of Guernsey cows, and making a superior article of butter, which finds a ready market in New York City.
On December 28, 1875, Mr. Farrington was united in marriage with Mary R. Fitch, a daughter of Dr. Thomas Fitch, and a granddaughter of Dr. Cornelius R. Fitch, one of the first practicing physicians in Delhi. Dr. Fitch was one of a family of eight children, being the third son. He was educated in the Delaware Academy, subsequently attending Girard College in Philadelphia, from which he was graduated, afterward beginning his medical career in Prattsville, Greene County. He married Sarah J.I. Beattie, the daughter of Dr. Francis S. Beattie, who was one of a family of seven sons, all of whom settled in Orange County. Dr. Francis Beattie studied medicine, and began practicing in Philadelphia. During the time of the Seminole War he went to Florida as a surgeon in the Army, accompanied by his wife, and both became victims of yellow fever. Their daughter Sarah Beattie was then a brilliant young lady of sixteen years, highly educated and accomplished, having studied with a governess, and she was subsequently engaged in teaching in Delhi, making a specialty of the French language, in which she was proficient. At the age of nineteen she married the promising young physician, Dr. Thomas Finch, and they reared five children, namely: Walter C., Mary R., Mrs. Farrington, Paulina, William Beattie, and Anna. Both Dr. Fitch and his wife died in Prattsville, where he had had an extensive practice, and was for so many years its most prominent physician.
Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Farrington five children have been born, namely: Louisa, Ruth, Walter, Paul, and March, who are now living, and one, Morris L., who passed to the life beyond when an infant of sixteen months. In his political views, Mr. Farrington coincides with the Republican party, and socially he is a member of the Grange. Mr. Farrington is an attendant of the Presbyterian church, while his wife is an Episcopalian. They are somewhat related by ties of consanguinity, having had one common ancestor in the person of March Farrington, who was the grandfather of Mr. Farrington, and the great-grandfather of his wife.
DAVID WOOSTER STEARNS, an extensive lumber merchant of Hancock, was born at Mount Pleasant, Wayne County, Pa., March 21, 1826. The Stearns family who came over on the same ship with Governor Winthrop in 1630, and settled in Massachusetts, are of English descent. Joseph Stearns, the grandfather of the subject of this biography was born at Attleboro, Mass., and from there moved to Connecticut. He was of a company called the "Nine Partners" that intended to settle in Harford, Susquehanna County, Pa., but Joseph came only as far as Mount Pleasant, where he cleared a tract of land and cultivated a farm. He was the father of nine children when he arrived in Mount Pleasant. And it was here that his son, Jabez Stearns was born, June 18, 1793. The wife of Joseph Stearns was Rhoda Tingley, a native of Attleboro, Mass., whose brothers were early settlers in Susquehanna County, and whose descendants are still very numerous there. Mrs. Stearns was a devout member of the Baptist church at Mount Pleasant, in which town Joseph died, June 2, 1829, at an advanced age. His widow survived him six years, and during that time received a pension on account of her husband's services in the Revolutionary War. They left ten children who grew to manhood and womanhood.
Jabez Stearns was a natural mechanic, and besides farming, worked at other trades. He was ambitious to secure a good education, in which he succeeded by dint of earnest effort. He married Rowena Wooster, daughter of David and Polly (Church) Wooster, the former of whom was a pioneer of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and a nephew of David Wooster, of Revolutionary fame. Jabez Stearns had six children, namely: Harriet E., who lives in Hancock, and was for forty years a school teacher in Wayne County, Pennsylvania; David Wooster; Polly Church, who married Ira Steinback, of Gibson, Susquehanna County; Laura, an artist, who lived in Scranton for a number of years but now resides with her sister, Harriet E.; Irene, who died in 1872; Frances who married G.S. Ames, of Gibson, Susquehanna County, and lived only a year or two thereafter. Jabez Stearns and his wife moved to Damascus, Wayne County, Pa., in November 1838, and lived for thirty-five years on the farm that he there laid out and cultivated. He died in Damascus in 1874, two years after the death of his wife. In early life they were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, but in later life both became believers in the Universalist faith; and he was a strong temperance man, having a rooted aversion to intoxicating liquors. He was formerly a Whig and later a Republican in politics, and was always loyal to his party.
The early days of David Wooster Stearns were passed at Mount Pleasant, his native town; and there he received his education. From there he moved with his parents to Damascus, entering on an active life of lumbering and farming. His time was always utilized to the best advantage, so that in 1871 he sold the four hundred acres gained by his own industry, and came to Hancock, where he purchased twenty-one hundred acres of land, and engages in an extensive lumbering business; the place and buildings being known as Stearns' Mills. This business he still conducts, and besides this he carries on a grocery and dry-goods store.
February 12, 1866, he married Gertrude Pratt, of Johnstown, Ohio, daughter of B.W.Pratt, a noted physician of that State, who went there from Vermont in 1840. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Stearns are: Benjamin Walter, a physician at Long Eddy; and David Wooster, Jr., now manager of his father's successful lumber business. Another child, Laura Maria, died in infancy. Frederic Waters, now sixteen years of age, is a promising student. Mrs. Stearns is a member of the Episcopal church, and has many rimes lent a helping hand in good work. Mr. Stearns voted with the Republican party till 1874, when he changed his views to some extent, and has since voted with the Prohibition party. He has never aspired to political honors, being fully occupied with his business, which he carried on with marked ability and success. He is regarded as a man of good business capacity, and is personally popular with his fellow townsmen.
JOHN S. EELLS is the senior member of the firm of Eells and Reynolds, which ably represents the hardware interests of Walton, in which department of business they are the leading men. He has not yet crossed the meridian which marks the noontide of life, having been born December 17, 1850, in the town of Walton. He is lineally descended from an honored family of New England, his great-grandfather, John Eells, a native of Connecticut. John Eells was a pioneer of Delaware County, having journeyed here on horseback in company with Samuel Benjamin and John Morey. All of these men took up land from the government, and erected log houses for themselves and their families. John Eells, the emigrant, had a son, also names John Eells, who, after living in Walton many years, removed to Unadilla. He reared fourteen children.
Henry Eells, one of this large family, was reared and educated in Unadilla, and at an early age had the misfortune to lose his mother, from whom he had inherited so many of his sterling qualities. He learned the trade of tinsmith, and in 1840 came to the village of Walton, where he opened a stove and tin store. He subsequently worked as a journeyman in Elmira, then in Little Falls, from there coming to Walton where he entered into business with Colonel Samuel North, continuing thus for a while, when he purchased the Colonel's interest, and conducted the business alone for about fifteen years. Admitting S.B. Fitch. as a partner. They carried on a thriving trade for six years, after which W.S.Hanford became a partner, the firm name being changed to Eells Fitch & Wood, and then as Eells and Wood, Mr. Fitch retiring. Finally, Mr. Eells, selling out his interest to his son, John S., the subject of this sketch, retired from the active cares of business, and during the remainder of his life enjoyed the leisure to which his many years of labor entitled him. He married Anna Gay, one of four children born to William and Anna Gay, who were natives of Connecticut, and pioneer settlers of Walton. They became the parents of three children: Herbert E. resides in Philadelphia; Henry Gay died in 1865; and John S. Mrs. Anna Eells is still living. She is a consistent and sincere member of the Congregational church, to which her husband also belonged, and is ever active in the good works of that denomination. Mr. Henry Eells died at the age of sixty-three years, and his loss was deeply deplored by the community in which he so long resided.
John S. Eells acquired a good education in the district schools and academy of Walton, and then began his business career with his father, learning first the tinsmith's trade, finally taking his father's place in the firm of Eells and Wood. He subsequently disposed of his business, selling out to L.S. and J.W. St. John and was for several years thereafter in their employ as a clerk. In February, 1891, he purchased an interest in the business, the firm then being changed to St. John Eells and Reynolds. Subsequently the two latter mentioned members of the firm bought out the interest of the senior partner, J.W. St. John, of whom an extended sketch may be found on another page of this volume; and the new firm, Eells and Reynolds, are now ably conducting the business. The marriage of Mr. Eells and Miss Hettie Wilson, the daughter of Alanson and Elizabeth (Duggan) Wilson, formerly of Michigan, was solemnized December 10, 1873. Their pleasant union has been blessed by the birth of three children: Henry Wilson, Kate Gay, and John Dwight.
Politically Mr. Eells affiliates with the Republican party, giving full adherence to its principles, and although having little or no aspirations for the duties or emoluments of public office, has nevertheless served as a member of the Board of Education for several years, has also been Clerk of the Corporation, and since 1877 has filled the position of Town Clerk, having been re-elected to the office every year but one. He and his family are all communicants of the Episcopal church, of which he has been Vestryman for twenty years, being now Clerk of the Vestry; and Mrs. Eells, who is active in church work, has been for many years a teacher in the Sunday school.
JOHN W. WINTER, of Middletown is a descendant of one of the early pioneers of this part of the state of New York. His grandfather, John Winter, was born in England, and there married. After his wife's death he came to America with three of his children, and made his first abode in Bovina. A little later, Mr. Winter took up ninety-six acres in the New Kingston Valley, purchasing a squatter's claim. His tract was uncleared and lay in the midst of dense forest land, where the ferocious wild animals had full sway, and the only roads were a few paths cleared through the woods and over the mountains by the Indians. To place a family in such a home was a hazardous undertaking, as the howling wolves and bloodthirsty panthers were ready to fall on the hapless settler or his children and devour them. Yet, undaunted, he erected a log cabin for a temporary dwelling, and went to work to hew down the forest trees and clear the thick undergrowth, that the land might be fir for cultivation.
The three children who lived on the farm and assisted so materially in this labor were Thomas, Robert and Margaret. Their father died at the age of eighty-two years. Mr. Robert Winter bought the old homestead, finished the task of clearing and breaking the land, and put up substantial buildings. He stayed on the farm, developing it and putting his whole interest in it until he was grown to manhood, unlike many boys, who leave the old place to find something better, and often make a flat failure. At this time Robert met and married Sally Dumond, the daughter of Captain William Dumond, one of the early settlers of New Kingston, whose family is of Dutch extraction, and can be traced back as far as 1661. Robert and Sally (Dumond) winter had thirteen children, of whom only five grew up; namely, Rachel, John W., William, Thomas and Jane. They all received a common-school education, and were well started in life when their parents died. Robert lived to be seventy-two years old, but his wife reached the age of eighty-three.
John W. Winter was born on the old homestead, April 29, 1839. He worked on the place until he was thirty-one years of age. When he was married, he bought a farm in the neighborhood, and exchanged it for the old homestead where he now lives. He put great labor into the further improvement of his farm. Which now, as a result, is one of the best in the neighborhood, and bears the mark of sagacious care and thrift. It is situated about three miles from New Kingston, and eight miles from Roxbury. The town line between Bovina and Middletown runs through it. Mr. Winter enlarged his barn, and remodeled it, and in 1886 built a fine two-story house, in which his family now makes their home. Mr. Winter married Elizabeth Scott, the daughter of Adam Scott, and a descendant of one of the earliest settlers of Bovina, Delaware County. They have two children, namely: Robert Winter, who lives at home; and Nancy who married Mr. H.
M.Colter, a furniture dealer of Margarettville. Mr. Winter is a Republican, and both he and his wife are members of the United Presbyterian church. He is well known as a progressive farmer, and a good neighbor and citizen.
EDWIN L.HITT, son of the late Myers Hitt, was born at the family homestead at the town of Colchester. Delaware County, New York on December 27, 1864, and is of the sixth generation of the Hitt family in America. His great-grandfather, Jared Hitt, the first of whom record is here given, was a native of Westchester County, New York. He married Miss Betsey Barker first; and upon being left a widower. He married Miss Martha Stevens, and raised a family of seventeen children, all of whom are now dead. These children were Oliver, William, Esther, Elizabeth, Samuel, Hannah, Henry, Jane, Ray, Electa, Ann Eliza, Richard E., Arvilla, Catherine, Leonard, James and Hiram.
Abijah Hitt, a son of Jared by his first marriage, was born October 14, 1787. He was a farmer, and twice married, first to Miss Sally Shaver, who died June 20, 1821, having been the mother of these children--- William, Elizabeth, George, Leander, Eleanor, Katharine, and Jared, all of whom are now dead. His second wife was Miss Mary Conklin, born October 1, 1799, married January 31, 1822, to whom five boys were born; namely, Richard E., Myers, Elisha C., Charles W., and Albert. Mrs. Mary Hitt died May 11,1878, after a long and painful illness caused by a broken hip; and at the pressent writing, only two children are living--- Charles W. and Albert. Abijah Hitt was a man of remarkable energy. He owned four farms, all of which were under his own personal control and supervision. He was drafted for the War of 1812, but sent a substitute. He and his wife left behind them the records of industrious, patient and Christian lives; and their descendants may well be proud of such progenitors as these.
It fell to the lot of Myers, the second son of Abijah and Mary (Conklin) Hitt, to begin at an early age to earn his own living, as he was very young when his father died, and there was a large family to be provided for. He went to live with his uncle, John Gregory, a farmer at Union Grove, N.Y. Whenever he could be spared, the little Myers went to school, a distance of about three miles; but there seems always something for the small boy on a farm to do, so his opportunities for education were very meager. Later on he began lumbering and farming in partnership with his brothers, Charles W. and Albert. In 1863 he sold out his share to his brothers, and bought a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Telford Hollow, about three miles from the village of Downsville.
In 1852 Myers Hitt married Miss Lavina A. White, a daughter of Richard L. and Elizabeth (Washburn) White. Her grandfather, Benjamin White, who served in the Revolutionary War, was of a Welsh family on one side. Mr. and Mrs.Myers Hitt became the parents of four children--- Elsie, Emogenie, Mary E., and Edwin L. Elsie, born September 24, 1854, is now the wife of Charles S. Elwood, who own an acid factory at Horton; and they have two children--- Frank and Walter. Emogenie, born February 25, 1856, married Edwin Fuller, carpenter and contractor in Scranton, Pa., and has one child, Maude. Mary E., born January 8, 1859, died September 29, 1861.
Myers Hitt died in the last month of the year that has just drawn to a close, December 19, 1894, aged sixty-nine years, one month and one day, after an illness of two years, in which he had been a patient sufferer. Those who live near him bear testimony to his worth as a man, his kindness as a neighbor and friend.
Edwin L. Hitt lives at the homestead with his mother. The farm is one of the finest grass farms in this region, and has been kept in fine condition, being well equipped with all the most modern implements of agriculture, and furnished with convenient barns and outbuildings, neatly kept.
MRS. JANE E. MERRICK, who is the widow of Cornelius J. Merrick, and a resident of the town of Franklin, where she is well and favorably known, is the daughter of John A. And Mary (More) Grant. The former was a native of Stamford, this county. And died at his farm at Gilboa, Scoharie County, in 1861, when nearly sixty-two years of age. His widow, who is a native of Roxbury, was left with five children; and in 1868, at the age of sixty-seven, she too, passed away. He children were: Jane E., Robert, who died at St. Augustine, Florida, in middle life, leaving three children, who inherited the large property he had amassed in the South; A.H., who died in January 1892, at the age of seventy-two years, leaving a widow and three children; John T., who is unmarried, and lives with his sister, Mrs. Merrick; and Cornelia, who is the widow of Alfred L. Austin.
After receiving a liberal education, Miss Jane E. Grant taught school for some six terms, and was married January 29, 1867, to Cornelius J. Merrick, a son of Joseph H. Merrick, who was one of the early settlers of the town. Cornelius Merrick was reared on the farm where the family had dwelt since its first settlement in the State. After marriage he carried on the farm for about two years, and then removed to that which is now occupied by the family, and which contains about six hundred acres, being part of the property which he had inherited from his father. Here Mr. Merrick died July 29, 1874, at the age of forty-two, after a long illness. Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Merrick, with the assistance of her brother and son, has conducted the affairs of the estate, and, besides making other improvements, in 1886 built a handsome residence.
Mrs. Merrick has lost one daughter, Lizzie J., who died at the age of twenty months; and within a year a dearly loved son, Joseph Haswell. Has been called to join those who have passed from earth. The death of this young man cast a gloom over the whole community, in which he was much beloved. He had read law and was about to enter upon its practice when his health failed, and he realized that the only chance of regaining his lost strength, lay in the clear air and high altitude of Denver, Col. He journeyed thither; but disease had made too many great inroads, and in the winter of 1893-1894 his mother joined him in his Western home, and spent with him the last days of his short life. He died March 11, 1894 at the age of twenty-four, and was buried in Ouleout Valley Cemetery. Mrs. Merrick has one child living, John C., a young man of great promise, who is associated in the management of the estate, and during the winter carries on a flourishing business in buying furs. Mrs. Merrick is a woman of great energy and ability, and is respected by all who know her, both for her uprightness of character and business tact.
J. T. GREGORY, a member of one of the earliest families that settled in the Empire State west of the Hudson River, was born in the town of Colchester, Delaware County, N.Y., June 17, 1824, the son of Josiah and Viletta (Sutton) Gregory, the mother being the daughter of Caleb and Sally Sutton of Hancock.
Josiah Gregory was the son of Josiah Gregory, Sr., of Colchester, whose father came from New England in 1775, and was numbered among the first settlers of Delaware County. The country in those early days was a perfect wilderness; and the immigrant, with only his wife for company, lived there two years, until at the uprising of the Indians he was obliged to leave his home, burning his field of grain that it might not be of benefit to the savage foe. He and his wife, with what effects they could carry with them, left the town on horseback, that being the only means of travel in those early days. He immediately engaged in the Revolutionary war which was then being waged, and fought until peace was declared, when he returned to Delaware County, made for himself a comfortable home, and lived here until his death.
Josiah Gregory, Sr., the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in the town of Colchester, and lived at the home of his parents during his younger days. Upon attaining man's estate, he bought a tract of land known as Gregory Town, and there engaged in faring. He married Sally Fuller, of Colchester; and they lived on the farm during the remainder of their lives.
Josiah Gregory, Jr., the father of J.T. Gregory, was brought up on his father's farm, and throughout his life gave his whole attention to farming and lumbering. In those early years there were no railroads or canals, and very little, if any, communication between the cities and towns. The people lived on the produce raised by themselves and on the game, including bear and deer, which at that time abounded in this region.Mr. and Mrs. Gregory had a family of nine children. In 1840 they removed to the town of Tompkins, where he died when eighty-nine years old, his wife being seventy-five years old when she passed away.
J.T. Gregory came with his parents to Tompkins, and resided at home until twenty-two years of age, then taking an active part in business life. He erected a saw-mill, which he carried on for one year. At the end of that time he rented it, and bought a tract of land, upon which he engaged in farming and lumbering, sending the lumber down the Delaware River, a business which he continues to follow at the present day.
Mr. Gregory has been twice married. His first wife, Esther Alverson, who was born in Tompkins, and died in 1883, was the daughter of John and Jenny [Frazier] Alverson. He has by his first marriage one child, Loomis, who resides in Walton. Mr. Gregory married for his second wife Sally [Durfee] Wakeman, and has a pleasant home in the village. Mr. Gregory is a Republican, and has served eight years as Poor Master. He is also a member of the Baptist church. A portrait of this enterprising and highly respected citizen enhances the interest and value of the foregoing summary of his personal and family history.
JAMES WILLAS CHISHOLM resides in the village of New Kingston, in the town of Middletown, where he was born June 26, 1859, and has become a very influential citizen. His paternal grandfather, Andrew Chisholm, was owner of the Vanbenschoten farm, which he cleared, erecting the first buildings thereon. There he lived till his death, a prosperous farmer, Democratic in politics, and Presbyterian in religion, raising a family of three children- William, James, and Jane Chisholm, all of whom grew to adult life, married, and had large families. James and Jane are deceased. Grandfather Chisholm lived to the ripe old age of eighty-four.
His second son, James Chisholm, was born on the home farm, where he grew up, being educated in the district school. In due time he was wedded to Rachel Delameter, daughter of Abraham Delameter, who fought in the Revolutionary Was, and whose wife belonged to the Brink family. In compensation for the fiery destruction, by the British, of his house and barn in the old Kingston, Mr. Delameter received a tract of land in New Kingston, where he farmed until his death, at threescore and ten. James Delameter bought this farm of his father-in-law, and there were raised the four children which adored the Chisholm family. Andrew Chisholm is a Croton farmer, and has three children. Sarah Chisholm married James Archibald, a farmer and has one child. Margaret chisholm married Robert Winter, and they lived in the village with their three children. James is the special subject of this sketch. Their father lived to the age of only fifty-two.
James W. Chisholm grew up on the farm, where he remained till the age of twenty-three, when he married Ella J. Dickson, daughter of John Dickson, a mechanic in the same town, whose wife was Isabella Frazier. Even after the marriage the Chisholms remained a year on the home farm, till he bought the wagon and blacksmith shop of Walter A. Elliott, which has been very prosperous. Mr. Chisholm is a Republician, and held the office of Postmaster under President Harrison, between 1888 and 1892. His wife is a member of the United Presbyterian church. Mrs. Chisholm's materal grandfather was Alexander Frazier, and grandmother was Christina Cowan. Mr. Frazier's father was Glerander Frazier, who married Isabella Colter. The old man was a Scotch weaver, and taught the trade to his son, Alexander Frazier, who came to America is 1820, and settled in Roxbury, Delaware County, where he lived to be seventy-seven years old, and reared two daughters-Elizabeth and Ellen. Mrs. Chisholm's mother was the daughter of Gilbert and Ellen[Irving] Dickson. The grandfather, Gilbert Dickson, Sr.,came from Scotland, and settled, like so many of his compatriots, in Bovina, where he raised six boys and three girls-Michael, Mary, Jennie, John, Isabella, Walter, Gilbert, Oliver, and Theodore Dickson. Their father lived to be over fourscore, but their grandfather Dickson lived to be eighty-nine. In this biography the repetition of Scottish names is most noticeable. They belong to an admirable class of people, who are an honor to America; and to them might be applied the pithy words of the essayist Tuckerman-
" It has been said that self-respect is the gate of Heaven; and the most cursory observation shows that a degree of reserve adds vastly to the latent froce of character."
GEORGE H. REYNOLDS, M.D. is a rising young physician of Delhi, whose office is pleasantly located at No. 502 Main Street, nearly opposite the American House. He received a thorough education, and is already well and favorably known in the town and in the adjacent country, and is fast winning his way to a large and successful practice. He is a native of Delaware County, Roxbury being the place of his birth, which occurred June 21, 1865.
His father, Cornelius D. Reynolds, was born in this country, at the New Kingston; and that village was also the birthplace of his grandfather, James Reynolds, who late in life removed to Michigan, where he spent his last years.
Cornelius D. Reynolds was bred a farmer, and for many years engaged in tilling the soil in the place of his nativity. Desiring a change of location he removed to Roxbury, where he purchased a farm, which he is still conducting with marked success. In the early years of his life he married Mary Tyler, who was also a native of New Kingston, where her parents lived for many years. They subsequently removed to Prattsville, where they both departed this life. The only child born to Cornelius D. and Mary Reynolds was a son, George H. the subject of this sketch. The mother lived but a few years after her marriage, dying in Prattsville, at the early age of twenty-nine years. She was a woman of fine character, and like her husband, a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal church. After her death mr. Reynolds married Amanda Craft, of Roxbury; and she has borne him two children- Charles and William.
George H. Reynolds spent the first years of his life in Roxbury on the homestead of his father, and after attending the district school, entered the Stamford Seminary, where he pursued his studies for some time. Leaving the seminary, he began his active career as a teacher in the district school, continuing in the pedagogical profession two years. He then entered upon the study of medicine with Dr.E.W. Gallup , of Stamford, with whom he remained one year. Going thence to Albany, he took a course of study at the Medical College, and was graduated from the university in 1891. Having secured his diploma, Dr. Reynolds began the practice of medicine at Trout Creek, where he remained two years. Coming thence to Delhi, to take the place of Dr. Thompson, who had removed to Kingston, he has since continued in the arduous work of his profession, and bids fair to take a position among the leading physicians of this vicinity. The Doctor is a member of the Delaware County Medical Society, and in politics is a steadfast Republican. He is an active worker in the Methodist church, of which he is a consistent member.
JEREMIAH A. HARRINGTON, a thriving business man of Colchester, the well-known proprietor of the Harrington House, was born December 16, 1870, and is the son of Cornelius J. and Elizabeth [Gahon] Harrington. The father of Cornelius J. was Cornelius Harrington, who was born in Ireland, but came to America when a young man, and carried on for a number of years the Exchange Hotel in Dushore, Sullivan County, Pa. He afterward sold out, and bought a farm of one hundred acres in the same county, near Dushore, which he and his wife enjoyed in their old age. They reared a family of seven children- Elizabeth, Mary Ann, Kate, Emma, Cornelius J., Joseph, and James. Grandfather Harrington was a soldier in the Revolutionary Was, that sternly waged conflict in which our country won her independence. He was a Democrat, and held to his principles throughout his long life of over seventy-eight years.
Cornelius Harrington lived with his parents until old enough to go out into the world and struggle for himself. He first engaged in lumbering, but after a few years returned to the paternal homestead to assist his father on the farm, and has continued to live on the old place until the present day. Here he has a selected stock and excellent dairy, and has raised some fine horses. Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Harrington had a family of eight children-Thomas, Jerome, John, Julia, Alice, Nora, Jeremiah, and Mary. He is a public-spirited man, is a Democrat, has held the office of Road Commissioner, and has been on the school Committee.
Jeremiah A. Harrington was born on the old homestead in Sullivan County, Pa., and was educated in the town of his birth. He began active business life as head clerk at the Dushore House, and continued in this capacity for three years, after which he went to Lestershire, and engaged in the grocery business with J.A. Farrell, where he remained for one year, at the end of that time selling out to Mr. Farrell. He then went to Sidney and bought a billiard parlor, which he carried on for a year and a half, but gave it up for his present business of inn-keeping, having bought a fine hotel,three stories high, beautifully located on the Beaver Kill in Colchester. The house has accommodations for many guests. It has fine rooms facing the water, and is much patronized by city people. The river abounds in trout; and that the neighborhood is a fine hunting-ground is evidenced by the fact that two wild bears were killed last winter in sight of the hotel, which is only a step from the depot on the O.& W. R.R.
On March 31,1894, Mr. Harrington married Anna Walls, daughter of Patrick Walls, a farmer of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, and the father of two children. Mr.J.A. Harrington is a free-thinker, a man who is not hampered by traditions, not controlled by political bosses, but who prefers to be led by his own reason and conscience. From his varied experience he has a good knowledge of business and business men, making him admirably fitted for his present work. He is a most genial host, which alone is enough to insure success in the future.
JEROME MANZER, one of the enterprising firm of Manzer Brothers, dealers in general merchandise in Franklin, N.Y., is recognized as one of the foremost business men of the place, holding an enviable position in the esteen of his townspeople as one who is ever ready to perform a generous act, and who has the welfare of the community closely at heart. Mr. Manzer's grandfather, Daniel Manzer, was a prosperous farmer of Greene County, where he died at an advanced age, in 1860, leaving six children. Four of his daughters married; but one Christina, remained in single blessedness, beloved by everyone; and all still reside in Greene County.
The only son of Daniel, David Manzer, was born in 1820, in Ashland, Greene County, where he adopted a farmer's life, and married Sarah Christian, of Ashland, who became the mother of seven sons. Two of these sons received the name Jerome, the first dying when an infant; the second is the subject of this sketch. The other children were; Daniel who died in infancy; George E., at present a merchant at Sidney Centre; Sanford, who died at the age of seven years; Frank E., the owner of a large farm and creamery at North Norwich; Bernard, the able partner of his brother Jerome in Franklin. David Manzer enlisted in his country's service in the Civil War, served for seven months as a private, and died while in the army, though he was never called upon to engage in active battle. He was a man of strong Christian faith, and an active member of the Methodist church. It was in camp at City Point in 1864 that his comrades discovered him one morning dead in his bed, he having been in perfect health on the previous evening when he attended a prayer-meeting. His death resulted from heart disease. He had lived an upright, godly life, doing the best in his power, faithful to his duty to the end. His widow, Mrs. Sarah Manzer, was married a second time, and had two children: Viola, wife of Alfred Sutton, in Otego; and Henry Christian, of Sidney, N.Y.
D. Jerome Manzer was born at Hancock, Delaware County, July 14, 1855, and grew up on the farm with his mother until his seventeenth year. After engaging temporarily in various employments, he formed a partnership with his brother Bernard, and in 1887 removed to Franklin, where they made themselves possessors of a provision establishment, which they operated successfully for two years. They have since then added from time to time groceries, boots, and shoes, hats and caps, gentlemen's furnishing goods, and, later, ready-made clothing, to their former stock. In 1890 this prosperous firm purchased the building which it now occupies, in the basement being the market, which they disposed of in 1892, Mr. Root being the purchaser.
The Manzer Brothers carry about seven thousand dollars worth of stock, and do a strictly cash business, this latter fact being the great secret of their success, enabling them to buy from the best manufacturers at the lowest prices. The firm is a reliable one, prompt and honest in all dealings, and is most popular among the residents of Franklin. Mr. Bernard Manzer is married, and has two daughters and two sons. Both brothers are Democrats, as was their father, firmly supporting that party's principles and platform. Mr. Manzer is a conscientious man, who has won for himself his present position by his good business ability and earnest endeavors to please his patrons, in which he seldom fails.
MAJOR GEORGE C. GIBBS, a successful builder and contractor of Stamford, and a veteran of the late war, was born in the town of Harpersfield, January 6, 1832, son of John W. and Dortha L.[Merriam] Gibbs. His great-grandfather, Deacon Caleb Gibbs, was born in Litchfield County, Connecticut, entered the medical profession, and married Margary Stewart, removing to Delaware County, New York, in 1783. He settled in Harpersfield on what is now known as Smith Street, purchasing from his brother-in-law, Colonel Judd, two hundred and twenty acres of land which had been obtained by him from the Harper family. He built a log house and cleared part of the land, dying in 1801 at the age of seventy-two years. His wife passed away in her seventy-fifth year, a member of the Presbyterian church. Both were buried in the Harpersfield Rural cemetery.
Their son, Cyrenius Gibbs, grandfather of the subject of this biography, was born in Connecticut, and removed with his father to Delaware County when nineteen years of age. After his father's death he managed the farm, and married Abigail Hubbard, daughter of Joel and Anna [Clark] Hubbard. Joel Hubbard was born in Haddam, Conn., and removed to Harpersfield in the early days of this century. The Hubbard family is descended from George Hubbard, who was born in England in 1595, and emigrated to America early in the seventeenth century.
Cyrenius Gibbs was a progressive farmer, and cleared many acres of land. He was a Whig and held the office of Judge of Commissioners, was County Supervisor for ten years, Clerk of Supervisors for five years, Justice of the Peace for fifteen years, and was a prominent Methodist and Abolitionist.
John Wesley Gibbs, son of Cyrenius and father of Major Gibbs, seems in his early life to have disliked farming pursuits. He obtained for those days a good common-school education, supplemented by about two terms at the Jefferson Academy, then [1826 to 1828] one of the best educational institutions in central New York, taught school a few years, and on May 20, 1829, married Dortha L. Merriam, daughter of Peter Marriam and Roxanna Dayton, both of old Puritan stock, of Watertown, Conn., and settled down in business at North Harpersfield, N.Y., then as now known as Middlebrook, where he purchased the business of wool-carding and cloth-dressing and land-surveying until the spring of 1840, when he removed to a farm in the town of Jefferson, Schoharie County, N.Y., where he remained until the time of his death, in 1871. His children were as follows: George Clinton Gibbs[so named by his grandfather in patriotic remembrance of his friend George Clinton, the Revolutionary War governor of New York], Cyrenius A., Charles W., Asenath M., Albert D., and Richard M. Gibbs. George C., Cyrenius A., and Richard M., only, are now living. The others, as also the father, John W., and Dortha L., the mother, are deceased. Their mortal remains rest in the Rural Cemetery near the old Baptist church site, in the southeast part of the town of Harpersfield and near the old Stoddard Stevens Hotel. George C. Gibbs, of whom this sketck is written, spent his boyhood in Jefferson, Schoharie County, and, after being educated in the district schools and the old Stamford Academy, taught school for some years during the winter term, assisting on the farm in the summer. When twenty-one he was elected superintendent of schools in Jefferson; but he later turned his attention to the study of architecture, and began business as a contractor and builder in Stamford, Delaware County, remaining here until the War of the rebellion. He enlisted in August, 1861, accompanied by his brother Charles and six other young men of the vicinity of Stamford, in Company E. Third New York Cavalry Volunteers, raised by Ferris Jacobs, Jr.; and when the company was mustered into the United States service at Elmira, Mr. Gibbs was chosen Quartermaster Sargeant, and was later made First Sergeant. Early in 1863 he was promoted to the position of First Lieutenant, the regiment being stationed at Newbern, N.C. In September and October, 1864, he served as Acting Assistant Inspector, general on the staff of Colonel R.M.West, commanding the Second Brigade of General Kautz's cavalry division. In the following January he was made a Captain, and served on the staff of Colonel George W. Lewis, commanding the district of the Nansemond, as Inspector until the Third Cavalry was consolidated with the First New York Mounted Rifles, thus forming the Fourth New York Provisional Cavalry. He was finally mustered out near Richmond, Va., November 30, 1865.
While in the Army, he participated in almost every battle and skirmish in which his regiment was engaged during its whole period of service. On all these occasions he behaved with conspicous gallantry. The courage and address with which he led the advance into the entrenched camp of the rebels near Kingston, and his coolness when, under the command of Major Hall, his squadron of cavalry covered the retreat of General Wilson after the raid upon the communications of General Lee, in 1864, were especially admired by his brother officers. On the later occasion the whole rebel column was kept at bay for more than an hour, until the bridge over Stony Creek was burned, and our cavalry finally escaped by swimming the stream. Lieurenant Gibbs spurred his horse off a high rock into the river, and barely escaped in safety. In the battle of Goldsboro he was slightly wounded by a musket ball in the arm and side, his life being saved by a package of paper in his coat pocket; and in an engagement on the Darbytown road, before Richmond, he was severely wounded through the left leg by a minie ball. In 1866 he received a commission as Brevet Major of the New York Volunteers for " gallant and meritorious services in the late war," and as a testimonial to his worth and fidelity as an officer.
In 1866 Major Gibbs was nominated for member of Assembly by the Republican party, and received a majority of two hundred and seventy-four votes over his competitor. When the Speaker made his appointments, he placed Mr. Gibbs on the committees on State Prisons and Charitable and Religious Societies. Major Gibbs is a successful architect, and has constructed some of the finest buildings in Stamford, among which are Churchill Hall, New Grant House, Gray Court Inn, Mountain View House, the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches, and the Catholic rectory. He also built the sheriff's residence and jail at Delhi, the county seat, and many other of the best buildings of his village and vicinity. In 1871 he erected his own beautiful residence on Main Street. About 1880 he built a temporary tower on Mount Utsayantha, near Stamford, erected by colonel R.W. Ruliffson, which, being blown down, he later replaced by a still more attractive and substantial one, which is still standing, being as we believe, the highest observatory in the state.
Major Gibbs married in 1871 Mrs. Laura Lockwood Denne, of Franklin, Ohio. Her only daughter, Annie is now the widow of Willis B. Brownell., of Seneca, Kan. Mrs. Gibbs is the daughter of Ransom S. Lockwood, who was born at Shaker Village, Ohio, February 13, 1810, and married Hannah M. Ross. The Lockwoods trace their ancestry to Robert Lockwood, who came from England to this country in 1630. Major and Mrs. Gibbs have one son, Ransom Lockwood Gibbs, who was born April 2, 1873, at Stamford, N.Y. He is a post-graduate of Stamford Seminary, and was graduated from Cornell University School of Law, class of 1894, receiving the degree of L.L.B., and is now completing his studies with Charles L. Andrus, Esq., in Stamford. Major Gibbs is a member of St. Andrew's Lodge, No. 289, A.F.& A.M., of Hobart, N.Y., and for many years has been Highprist of Delta Chapter, No. 185, Royal Arch Masons, at Stamford. He is also now Justice of the Pease of Harpersfield, the town in which he was born, and a Trustee of the village of Stamford, in which he now resides. He is an upright, hororable, and respected citizen, who won an enviable reputation during his service in the Northern cause, and is universally esteemed throughout the community.
Much of the above personal history, especially that part relating to service rendered during the war of the Rebellion, is taken from "Life Sketches of the Members of the New York State Assembly," compiled and published by Weed, Parsons & Co. in 1867.
HON. TIMOTHY SANDERSON, editor of the Walton Chronicle of Delaware County, New York, was born in the town of Meredith, in the year 1848, and is of excellent Scotch-Irish ancestry. He is a man of marked ability and sterling character, impressing his individuality upon all with whom he comes in contact. He spent his early days on the farm of his father, tilling the soil in season, and attending the district school when it was in session. He subsequently pursued his studies at the Delaware and Walton Academies, and in 1868 entered Cornell University, being a member of the first Freshman class of that now famous institution of learning. He was graduated from Cornell in 1872, with the degree of A.B.
During the following two years he was principal of the Red Creek Union School, at Red Creek, Wayne County, going thence to Sag Harbor, Suffolk County, where he remained three years as principal of the union school of the place. Returning to Ithaca, N.Y., he became a student in the law office of Frank E. Tibbets, abd being admitted to the bar in 1879, very soon after began the practice of his profession at Sidney Centre in this county. In 1883 he was elected to the Assembly from Delaware County, and served with distinction on the Judiciary Committee and on the Committee of Public Education. Mr. Sanderson has even taken an active and intelligent part in politics, and has a wide reputation as a public orator. During the campaign of 1892 he spoke under the direction of the State committee, giving his hearers the benefit of his study of the political, social, and economic problems of the day, and wielding a wide influence for good throughout this section of the state. He has made the tariff question the subject of through investigation, and is a Protectionist from conviction.
In 1892 Mr. Sanderson was called to the editorial chair of the chornicle, a weekly paper published by the Childs Association at Walton, a position which he accepted and has since filled with signal ability. In 1894 he was appointed, by the Comptroller, Attorney for the State in cases pertaining to the collateral inheritance tax. Mr. Sanderson is conversant with the leading questions of the times, and expresses his opinions, which are the results of careful inquiry, in a forcible logical manner.
JOHN MARTIN CRONK is a prominent citizen of Roxbury, Delaware County, N.Y. His birthplace was on the turnpike, about two miles from Grand Gorge; and he was born on May-day, 1847 only four months before General Winfield Scott captured the city of Mexico; and there has always been victory in his bones.
In our sketch of H.B. Cronk may be found further particulars of the Cronk ancestry. The great grandfather, Lawrence Cronk, was born in Germany, but early emigrated to America, and was a Revolutionary private, dying with small-pox then contracted. His son, Lawrence Cronk, who grew up in Tarrytown on the Hodson, in earlt manhood came to Delaware county, and kept a hotel in Roxbury. Afterward he went to Dutchess County, married Nancy Crary, and worked a few years at his trade of carpentry, which he had before learned. Coming to Roxbury again, he worked for J.C. Hardenburgh. Then he bought the farm of a hundred acres now owned by Merritt Davis, and devoting his energies, put that into excellent condition. Making another move, he bought the farm still known by his name. His last years were spent with his son, Edward Cronk. He was a firm Whig, though he lived to see the Republican party come into power; for he was ninety-three years old at the time of his death, in 1863. His wife also lived to be very old; and they had ten children-John, Sally, Nathan, Nathaniel, Polly, Hannah, Betsey, Phebe, Rosetta, Edward.
Edward Cronk received some education at the district school, and worked both on his father's farm and for the neighbors till he was of age. Then he hired a farm for himself, and at the age of twenty-five, in 1830 married Elizabeth Haner, the daughter of Martin and Elizabeth [Shoemaker] Haner. Mr. Haner was born in Dutchess County, but became an early pioneer in Greene County, clearing an estate of a hundred and thirty acres, where he spent the most of his life. Edward Cronk bought a farm of two hundred acres, which had been settled by Edward Jump. Thereon he built a new wagon-house and barn, and greatly improved the place, keeping at one time twenty-five cows. He had six children-Sarah, John Martin, Cornelia, Lawrence, Elizabeth, and George Washington Cronk. Their mother died in 1887, at the age of fifty-seven, in the Presbyterian faith; and Mr. Cronk then retired to the village where in the declining years, he quietly enjoys his Republican opinions, and needs no glasses to read the papers. John Martin Cronk worked at home, and went to the district school after the manner of other farmer's sons; but in 1861, just at the outbreak of our Civil War, when he was only fourteen years old, he went to work as a farm hand for David Smith, from whom for half a year he received as wages his board and four dollars. Thereafter he kept on in the same line , but with other farmers, till he passed his majority. In 1870, at the age of twenty-three, he was married to Mary Selleck, daughter of Solomon Selleck, a successful farmer in Gilboa, Schoharie County, who married Mercy Richtmyre, and who lives a retired life in the same town, though he lost his wife when she was fifty-eight. They had but two children. One was Pratt Selleck, who first married Cora Becker, and then Anna Burhance, and is a Gilboa farmer. The other child, Mary Selleck, became the wife of the subject of this biography, and has two children-Ina and Selleck Cronk, born in 1873 and 1875, and both still gladdening the home.
In 1887 Mr. Cronk bought the old More place of two hundred acres; and here in 1891 he built a fine new mansion in the village of Grand Gorge, where he has accommodation for nearly forty city boarders. He attends also to general farming, and a dairy of sixty cows. Besides his own production, Mr. Cronk buys the milk from fifteen other farmers, shipping it to New York. This business he has personally attended to for the past eight years. In politics he is a Republican, like his father, and like him also, is a Presbyterian in his religious convictions. In his life and character he illustrates what that great preacher, Henry Ward Beecher, once said,--"Vigilance is not only the price of liberty, but of success of any sort."
JOSEPH M. PIERSON, son of Jeremiah Pierson, was born in Saratoga County, New York, August 29, 1821, and is now living in the village of Walton, retired from active pursuits, enjoying the rich reward of his many years of toil and enforced economy, his life being an excellent illustration of what may be accomplished in this country by an honest, hard-working, and enterprising man.
Jeremiah Pierson, whose birth occurred in Saratoga County, March 22, 1784 was a blacksmith by trade, and gave most of his attention to that business until the time of his decease, in the year 1850. He was twice married, his first wife, Eliza Gilbert, bearing him nine children, of whom three are now living, namely: Charles Pierson, born June 18, 1807, a retired mason and builder, an active and hearty man of eighty-seven years; Thomas B., born in 1823, a mason; and Joseph M., the subject of this sketch. The mother of these children died September 23, 1834, in the fifieth year of her age; and Jeremiah Pierson subsequently married again, his second wife bearing him three children.
Joseph M. Pierson left the home of his parents at the tender age of seven years to become an inmate of the household of his uncle, Benjamin Morehouse, with whom he lived until attaining his majority. He received a fair education in the district schools, and after leaving his uncle's, attended a select school at Ballston Springs. He began his independent career as a farm laborer, having been furnished by his uncle with two suits of clothes and one dollar; and in the first year he received five dollars a month wages. During the summer of 1843 this sum was increased to eight dollars a month, which was then regarded as quite munificent pay. The following year Mr. Pierson began working at the mason's trade, and during the time he was learning he received but five dollars a month; but even with that small sum he always dressed respectably, and neven ran in debt. In 1850 he came to Walton, and purchasing a farm of about thirty acres within the corporation, was engaged in farming and masonry for upward of twoscore years, accumulating in the mean time a competency. His success has been entirely due to his own thrift and good management; and in spite of the fact that he lost about one thousand five hundred dollars, he can look the world fairly in the face, for he owes no man a penny. In 1888 Mr. Pierson sold his farm; and buying the pleasent house at No. 21 Union Street, he and his faithful life companion have since lived here as happy and cosey as need be.
Probally the most important event in his life occurred on the 2d of February, 1848, when he was united in marriage with Miss Priscilla R. Lyon, who was born in Stamford, Delaware County, in 1825. Her father , Levi Lyon, was the second son of Walter Lyon, an early settler of this county, who died in Stamford in 1830. Levi Lyon was born on Rose brook, in Stamford, March 27, 1793, and lived to be almost one hundred years of age, dying in the town of his birth, May 25, 1890. He married Eleanor Morehouse, who was born in Fairfield, Conn., February 16, 1794, the date of their wedding being February 21, 1815, the ceremony being performed at Malta, Saratoga County, by the Rev. T. Swain. Mrs Lyon died September 4, 1866, in the seventy-third year of her age. Four children were born to her and her husband, the following being their record: Mary Ann, who married Byron Burgin, died May 1, 1891, about two years after the celebration of their golden wedding in 1889, leaving three sons and two daughters; her husband, who was five years her senior, and was a very tall man, being six feet and four inches in height, and well proportioned, lived until October 3, 1893, dying at the age of eighty-two years. Angeline, the widow of Harry Barlow, who died in 1881, at the age of seventy-one years, lives in the town of Hobart, and is a smart and active woman of seventy-five years. George B., a farmer , owning and occupying the home farm, which contains over two hundred acres of land, was married in 1849 to Sarah Pamelia Peck. Priscilla R., the youngest child is the wife of Mr. Pierson. Mrs. Pierson has among her possessions a sampler which she worked in her tenth year, containing the letters of the alphabet embroidered in various forms, and also the initials of her parents and grandparents. This sampler, which is ten inches by twenty inches, is made from linen which was spun and woven by her mother from flax grown on their farm. She has also a piece of home-made linen thread lace, which has been in use a good deal of the time the past fifty years. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Pierson are the parents of three children; Ellen E., the only daughter, is the wife of Edson Dann, and has two children; George J., a student in Union College: and Florence E., a pupil in the Walton High School. Charles H. Pierson, a farmer living near Walton, was united in marriage February 14, 1882, to Elma S. Alexander, who died in 1891, leaving one daughter; and he subsequently married Cornelia Proper. George J. Pierson, who is in Walton Novelty Works, married Rose Berry; and they have two children-Fred R. and Edith R. In politics Mr. Joseph M. Pierson is a stanch supporter of the Republican party. Religiously, he and his wife are members of the Methodist church, of which he has been much if the time for several years a Trustee and Steward.
JOSEPH A. SMITH, a well-known and prominent farmer of Holmes Brook, was born in Delhi, Delaware County, N.Y., December 27, 1860. His parents were James H. and Helen [Calhoun] Smith, residents of Delhi. The paternal grandfather, James Smith, was born in Ireland, and coming to this country in 1820, purchased a farm near Delhi, where he resided until his death. He reared a family of five children-Joseph, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Belle, and James H.
James H. Smith was educated at the district schools, and resided with his father until he was twenty-two years of age, when he departed for the gold-fields of Califorina, in which locality he remained four years. He afterward returned to his native place, and purchased the old homestead, taking up the pursuit of farming. Mr. Smith married Miss Helen Calhoun, a daughter of Peter Calhoun, of Bovina; and six children were born to them, namely; James P.; Joseph A.; Edwin C., deceased; Helen M.; Malcolm J.; and Margaret E. Mr. Smith died February 6, 1887, at the age of fifty-six. Mrs. Smith makes her home at the present time with the subject of this sketch. She is of Scotch ancestry, her family coming from the town of Helensburgh, near Glasgow. Mr. Calhoun came to America in 1834, and settled in Bovina. His family consisted of ten children; John, who was a practising physician in Delhi, and is now deceased; Peter; Mart; Jeanette; Archibald; Helen; Malcolm; James; Daniel; and Margaret. Mr.and Mrs. Calhoun died in Bovina. Mr, Calhoun was an Elder and prominent member of the Presbyterian church, with which his family were also connected.
Joseph A. Smith was educated at the district schools and at Delaware Academy at Delhi. During his father's lifetime, he was of material assistance to him on the farm, and since his death has helped his mother on the homestead. Like his father before him, he supported the Republician party. In his religious views he, like the rest of the family, affiliates with the Presbyterian church. He has never aspired to any public office, devoting his whole attention to the farm and the care of his mother, a most estimable lady, of whom her son may be justly proud.
JAMES McDONALD, a highly intelligent and successful farmer and dairyman of the town of Kortright, Delaware County, was born July 24, 1826, on the farm where he now resides. He belongs to a good old Scotch family, the members of which were among the first settlers of Kortright, where they have been respected for their integrity and industry. His grandfather, John McDonald, was a native of Scotland. He came to America to seek a fortune, staying at first for a while in New York City, and marrying there soon after his arrival. About the year 1786 he removed to Delaware County, buying a tract of one hundred and eighty acres, uncleared and uncultivated. This he proceeded to clear; and here he built his log house, making his home in the Delaware Valley among the Catskill Mountains. Game of all kinds, large and small, was plentiful; and many were the adventures of the sturdy pioneers with wolves and panthers. The nearest market was at Catskill; and he was obliged to carry his grist on horseback into Schoharie County to have it ground, finding his way by means of marked trees, there bring no roads in that portion of the county. John McDonald was a liberal-minded man and a Democrat. He accumlated a comfortable property, possessing at one time six hundred acres of land. He was the father of seven childred, all of whom lived to be over sixty years old. John McDonald, Jr., a son of the emigrant, was born May 23, 1794, on the farm adjorning that on which the subject of this sketch now resides. In 1826 he purchased the old homestead, which contained at that time one hundred and forty-six acres. To this he added fifty acres in 1832 and ten more in 1840. He was energetic and industrious, and died February 16, 1870, having been an attendent at the Presbyterian church, of which his wife Jane was a member. She was born in Stamford, December 26, 1794, and died September 9, 1887. John McDonald, Jr., was a Democrat, and represented that party in the legislature in 1845, serving one term. He held the office of Supervisor for nearly twenty years, was a Justice of the Peace, Assessor, and Superintendent of the poor, and also occupied other minor offices. He was profoundly respected and honored throughout the town where he resides, and for the welfare of which he was ever ready to lend a helping hand. Of his four children butone is now living, James, the subject of this biography. Isabelle Ann, Mrs. Daniel Andrews, died when forty years of age. John Grant died in New York City at
the age of fifty-three, and Alexander T. aged thirty-three years.
James McDonald was born july 24, 1826, grew up to farm life, attending the district school, and later Hobart Academy. After his education was completed, he took up his residence with his parents, for whom he provided in their declining years. He is now the possessor of the old homestead, which he has increased by fifty acres, it now containing two hundred and sixty acres.
September 14, 1857, Mr. McDonald married Miss Mary E. Howard, a native of Gilboa, Schoharie County, where she was born April 2, 1835. Her father was David S. Howard, a hotel proprietor and farmer, who married Miss Sally Knapp; and both of her parents are now dead. Mrs. McDonald died February 3, 1889; and Mr. McDonald was again married March 5, 1890 to Miss Amy E. Wilber, who was born in Unadilla, Otsego County, a daughter of Marcus and Hannah [Sherwood] Wilber, both of whom have passed away. Mr. McDonald had two children; John Grant McDonald, born March 23, 1859, is at present an undertaker and furniture dealer of Oswego, Tioga County. James Howard McDonald, who was born August 6, 1868, is unmarried and lives at home.
Mr. McDonald is a member of the Episcopal church at Hobart, and his wife is a Baptist. Like his father, he supports the Demcoratic party, and has served as Assessor for several years. He carries on a productive farm, keeping forty head of grade cattle, disposing of the milk in New York City. His home is a delightful one, and is sought by many who claim his friendship.
The reader will turn with interest to the portrait of Mr.Mcdonald, who is a true gentleman of the old school, courteous, intelligent, and upright, a representative citizen of the town of which he has been a life-long resident, and where he is highly esteemed.
HENRY E. BARTLETT, M.D., was a man of talent and great executive ability, who not only did much to promote the prosperity of the town of Walton, of which he was an adopted citizen, but made his influence felt for good throughout the county. By appointment of President Cleveland he held here for some years the position of Medical Examiner. He died on January 3, 1892.
Dr. Bartlett was born at Northampton, Mass., June 11 1806. He took his college course at Amherst, and then pursued his medical studies as he had opportunity, teaching school in the mean time to defray his expenses. After receiving his degree in medicine, he was induced by friends to settle in Walton. It is said that he reached this place with a very small sum in his pocket. He was received with the utmost friendliness, and shortly began to identify himself with the interest of the place. The following paragraphs are quoted from a brief sketch of his career that appered some time in the local press:-- " In five years' time he went again to New York, but returned to Walton in 1849. At that time negotiations were on foot concerning the Erie Railroad, and Dr. Bartlett was invited to confer with Governor Fillmore and his staff at Dunkirk in regard to the proposed route.It was decided to put the road through Hancock, and at Dr. Bartlett's suggestion and by his influence a provision was placed in the charter to the effect that all trains should stop at that station. He was clear-sighted enough to foresee the running of fast through expresses, and to his wisdom we owe the conveniences of travel on the Erie which are open to this section of the country.
" The next project of interest in which he engaged was the building of the plank road from Walton to Hancock, thereby making a quick and easy journey to the railroad. Of such importance, and yet of such difficulty, was this project considered that John Alverson, a resident of Carpenter's Eddy, remarked that he though he could die in satisfaction if the plank road were a success. Dr. Barlett was the heart and soul of the movement; and, when the interest of the people began to flag and the plan seemed likely to be abandoned, he conceived the idea of inviting Horace Greeley to make an address on the subject; and at the same time he himself made a speech in which he said, if God would bless him, he would some time get a railroad through Walton. The plank road was a success, and to Dr, Bartlett is due the credit.
"In 1852 he was elected to the Senate, receiving the entire vote of this town. For some years he had been greatly interested in State railroads, and, while in the Senate, was made chairman of the Railroad Committee, and was appointed, together with J. W. McAlpine, State Engineer and Surveyor, to examine all railroads in New York State. Their report was so able and so complete that the London Times made flattering mention of it. In addition to this, it was at the suggestion of his committee that the State Board of Railroad Commissioners was created.
"It is said that the busiest people have the most time, and it has certainly been so in Dr. Bartlett's case. Along with his railroad concerns, he served as one of the committee to locate Central Park in New York, and was appointed by Governor Seymour as Health Officer in that city from 1854 to 1856. During these years he had never lost sight of his desire to have a railroad through this town, and he was at the outset one of the organizers of the new York, Ontatio & Western. His personal influence and the money he invested were the means of putting the railroad through Walton, necessitating the zigzag, instead of through Delhi, where no such arrangement was needed. Thus by his efforts the town entered upon the most important era in its history. Dr. Bartlett's career was an eminently useful and successful one. Not only did he rank high in his profession of medicine, but his talents and executive ability placed him at the head of enterprises which many others, as well as the town of Walton, will always hold in grateful acknowledgment."
ALBERT H. SEWELL, the Judge and Surrogate of the County of Delaware, was born in Hamdem, on the thirtieth day of October, 1847. He prepared for college at Walton Academy, and went to Union in 1867. At the end of his first year he entered Cornell University, and graduated in the class of 1871. In 1873 he graduated at the Albany Law School, was admitted to the bar, and entered upon the practice of his profession at Sidney Centre, N.Y. He continued to be so engaged until 1877, when he was elected member of Assembly. At the end of his term he returned to Walton, and devoted himself closely and successfully to the practice of law until 1889, when he was called to his present sphere of honor and usefulness.
HOMER CHANDLER BURGIN is a highly honored citizen of the town of Bovina , Delaware County, N.Y., and one of the few old residents who remain in the town to tell the tale of earlt privations. He has a beautiful home
and a fine farm, and is all together a good specimen of manhood. He was born in Andes on the last day of April, 1818, when Monroe's wise Presidency was casting oil upon the troubled waters of political strife. His grandfather Burgin, after having fought in the Revolution, became a pioneer farmer in Delhi, but did not live long to occupy his farm; for he died at the age of fifty.
He had a son named Chandler Burgin*, a Massachusetts-born man, who married Prudence Hollister, a Connecticut woman, the daughter of David Hollister, who also was a Revolutionary soldier, so that our subject can boast of two grandfathers who took part in the patriotic struggle. The Hollisters came early to Delaware County, settling on the banks of the Little Delaware River. Chandler Burgin was born December 7, 1789, when Washington was beginning his Presidency; and his wife was three years his senior, having been born May 27, 1786, before any President had been elected or the thirteen colonies were fairly organized into a nation. Chandler Burgin came to Delaware County in his young manhood, and all his life followed his trade as a carpenter and wheelwright in Andes; but he also owned a small farm. Though a very industrious man, his health was poor; and he could never acquire riches. He and his wife reared six children, of whom the only one now living is Homer, who is the special subject of this biography. The father died December 17, 1830, aged only forty-one; but the mother outlived him a score of years, not passing away till 1850, October 13, when she was sixty-four. They were liberal in their religious views, sympathizing with free theological thought; and Mr. Burgin was a Democrat. Their children were the following: Bryan Hollister Burgin, who was born June 4, 1811, died in October, 1893, aged eighty-two, and was a carpenter and millwright in Andes, like his father; Mary Ann Burgin, who was born May 21, 1814, married Charles L. Judson, and died March 26, 1883, aged sixty-nine; Laura Olivia Burgin, who was born March 18, 1816, became the wife of Lewis Moore, and died May 22, 1877, aged sixty-one; Homer C. Burgin, who was the fourth child; Charles Marcus Burgin, a carpenter, who was born August 19, 1820, resided in Delhi, and died June 28, 1847, aged only twenty-seven; Emily Maria Burgin, who was born May 5, 1824, and died single, June 22, 1887, aged sixty-three.
Homer C. Burgin grew up, as might be expected from his environment, working hard and attending the district school when he could. He was only fourteen when he began self-support. The first year he earned thirty dollars at farming, but proved to be so capable that the next year he received fifty dollars. Then he went to Delhi, where he learned blacksmithing with Charles L. Judson, with whom he remained a year. By this time he was seventeen, and went to Bovina Centre to work at his trade, remaining there another year, after which he tried farming again. Mr. Burgin had less than ninety acres of land at the outset, but now has a hundred and five, which afford support to sixteen cattle. He can remember the early days, when his father shot three deer in one afternoon, and there was plenty of game to be had; and he can recall the erection of Landon's mill, one of the first in this vicinity. He has lived to see great changes, many the result of his own efforts; for he has greatly improved his place, and can spend his latter days in well-merited retirement.
In 1849, on February 5, when over thirty years old, he was married to Amanda Cornelia Seacord, a native of Bovina, where she was born April 4, 1831. Three years later, in 1852, he bought the estate where he has ever since resided. His wife dying on march 3, 1868, at the age of thirty-seven, Mr. Burgin was again married, in 1872, April 10, to Mary S. Seacord, an aunt by marriage of his first wife; but she only lived in wedlock eleven years, dying March 26, 1883. Further records of the Seacord family may be found under the proper heading in other sketches. Mr. Burgin's children were borne by his first wife. The eldest, Olivia Jane Burgin, born March 20, 1850, is now Mrs. Liddle, and lives in Andes village. Charles Edward Burgin, born on the last day of September, 1859, lives on the homestead. Mary Emily Burgin, born August 29, 1862, married Frank Elliott, and lives in the town of Delhi.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Burgin are members of the Methodist Episcopal church in Bovina Centre, whereof he has been a Trustee and Steward. In politics Mr. Burgin is a decided Republican. He has been three years Assessor and three years Highway Commissioner, and for twenty years has held the honorable office of Justice of Peace. In agriculture he has been very successful, especially in his dairy, his cows sometimes averaging three hundred and five pounds of butter per head yearly, besides what is needed for family use. Of his career it may be said in the language of the English poet, Edward Young:--
"The purpose firm is equal to the deed.
Who does the best his circumstance allows
Does well, acts nobly; angels could do no more."
HON. WESLEY GOULD, a prominent member of the Delaware County bar, a patriotic and influential citizen of the town of Hancock, was born here on August 25, 1844, son of John and Mary (Gillard) Gould. John Gould was a native of Devonshire, England, and with his wife and three children came to this country about 1834. He was a stone-mason, and worked at his trade for some time at Newburg on the Hudson, whence, in 1842, removed to Hancock, having exchanged his Newburg property for a large tract in this new settlement. The journey was made overland on an ox sled, and the nights were passed in the woods. This was severe experience, especially as he had his family with him, including a three-month-old baby. After reaching his destination, he began his pioneer life by erecting a log cabin, and then proceeded to clear the land. Mr. Gould also found opportunity for the exercise of his trade, being employed on the stone-work of the Erie Railroad bridges, and also at Lackawaxen. He was killed by a log while at work in a saw-mill, and died January 20, 1852, age the age of forty-eight, when he was just rising into prominence in his business, and had been found to be a most useful man in the community.
The part of the town in which he lived has been always known as the Gould Settlement. He and his wife were among the leading members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mrs. Gould died six years later than her husband, leaving the following family: John W., a farmer and lumberman in Hancock; George, an extensive lumberman and mill-owner at Long Eddy, Sullivan County; Hannah, wife of Marvin W. Thomas, a farmer of Hancock, who died in 1888; James, a lumberman, farmer, carpenter, and builder, living now in California; William, a farmer and lumber merchant at Gould Settlement; Richard a farmer and lumberman, also at Gould Settlement; Henry, a doctor, who died of apoplexy; Charles W., a member of Company I, Third Regiment, Sickles's Brigade, who died in the army at Camp Wool, Md., in 1862; and Wesley Gould, the subject of this biography.
Wesley in his young days attended the district school; and after the death of the parents the brothers still lived on in the old home with their sister as housekeeper, the family remaining, together until the breaking out of the war. Then all the brothers enlisted except John, who by mutual consent was appointed to stay at home and attend to the affairs of the place, while the others went forth to fight for their country. At this time Wesley Gould was a youth of seventeen; but he took his place in the ranks of the brave boys in blue, and was engaged in some of the fiercest fighting and suffered some of the worst privations of the four years that followed, trying to the utmost the mettle and endurance of mature men.
He enlisted in September, 1861, in Company F, Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, at Harrisburg. They were first sent to Fortress Monroe, and then to Otter Island, where they stayed all winter, and in June, 1862, went to James Island, and into the midst of the fighting. Afterward joining the Army of the Potomac, they engaged in the Maryland campaign. At South Mountain Mr. Gould received a gunshot wound in his arm, but continued with his regiment, and with them went into the battle of Antietam, where he was struck by a shell. With admirable fortitude he still bore his wounds without complaint, and engaged with his regiment in the battle at Fredericksburg, December, 1862. They were besieged at Knoxville, Tenn., and, after much hard fighting and being nearly starved, repulsed the "rebs," who made a final assault on their entrenchments. The brave Union men were at last relieved by Sherman, and went into camp at Blaine's Crossroads, where the regiment re-enlisted, and, as a regiment, came home on furlough. They went back into the Virginia campaign under Grant, their rendezvous being at Annapolis, Md., where the regiment was recruited, and went through the campaign, from the Wilderness to Petersburg. Mr. Gould worked in the tunnel of the mine in front of Petersburg and helped to lay the powder to blow up the works. The Forty-fifth Regiment was already reduced to about one hundred men; and after the battle, which was a hand-to-hand fight, only thirty-three men were able to report for duty.
In the company to which Mr. Gould belonged there were nine men who went into the fight in front of Petersburg at the springing of the mine, and all were killed or wounded except two, Mr. Gould being one of those two in condition to go on duty. On September 30, 1864, Mr. Gould was taken prisoner at Poplar Spring Church, and for a short time was confined in Libby Prison, whence he was taken to Salisbury, N. C., where he was detained till March, 1865. In the prison cell Mr. Gould underwent the harshest treatment, often being three or four days without food or water, and seeing his comrades dying about him, sometimes seventy or eighty in a day; and, as their emaciated forms were carried from the prison, those who were left felt that perhaps the sun, which was now setting, might look to-morrow upon their forms enwrapped in a last sleep. It was truly a dreadful life, and happy were the survivors when paroled and allowed to their respective commands. Mr. Gould was at that time Second Lieutenant; and his four years of hard service for his country had changed the boy into a man, and a man of true courage and of a noble character, wrought in the forge of a terrible struggle for liberty.
Mr. Gould's brother Richard was in Company G, One Hundred and Forty-third Regiment. James, William, George, and Henry were in Company F, One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment. Shortly after his return from the war Mr. Gould pursued a course of study at Colgate Institute, whence he came back to Hancock, and for a while carried on lumbering and farming. Having decided to adopt the legal profession, he here began to read law, and afterward was graduated from the law department of Union University, and was admitted to the bar in 1884. Since that time he has practised law in Hancock with eminent success. On August 25, 1868, Mr. Gould married Pamelia Brazie, daughter of Abram and Nancy (Livingstone) Brazie, now of Hancock, but formerly of Schoharie County. They have two children: Cora B., now attending Oneonta Normal School; and Flora B., a teacher in Hancock Union School.
Mr. Gould is a stanch Republican, and a man of strong influence in his party. He has been Village Clerk and corporation attorney since 1888, and was elected a member of the Assembly for Delaware County in 1893 by a plurality of one thousand five hundred and twelve, running sixty ahead of his ticket in the county, and over one hundred ahead in his own town. All the family are members of the Methodist Episopal church, as were their parents before them; and they are active in all that concerns the welfare of the parish. Mr. Gould is a man of high moral principle, a well-read lawyer, a citizen of good judgment in affairs, well adapted to fill positions of trust and responsibility, as true a patriot now as when in high-hearted youthhood he bravely dared the dangers of battle and camp and weary march, that his native country might be preserved as the
"Land of the noble free."
HENRY H. HUME, a well-known farmer, residing on Scotch Mountain, near Delhi, Delaware County, N. Y., was born on the high seas off the coast of Newfoundland, July 24, 1830, and is the son of Adam and Jane (Scott) Hume. The father was a native of Scotland, where he was brought up as a shepherd boy, and came to America with his wife and three children, Henry being born on the voyage out. He first settled at Plattekill in Middletown, where he took up a tract of land, but left this place in a short time for Delhi, where he owned a farm, upon which he lived a number of years, afterward selling it, and retiring to Binghamton, where he died at the age of eighty-six years. Mrs. Hume was distantly related to General Scott. She was the mother of five children, namely: Walter; Agnes, the wife of John Atkin, a farmer of Delhi; Janet, the wife of George Laidlow, also a farmer of Delhi; Henry H.; and Mary. Mrs. Hume resided with her son until her death, which occurred when she was eighty-one years of age.
Henry H. Hume spent his boyhood days in Delhi, where he attended the district schools. He worked on a farm by the month, and at the age of twenty-five hired a farm for three years, afterward purchasing a small farm on the Little Delaware. He remained here for eight years, meeting with great success in his undertaking. At the end of this period he purchased his present place, and has to-day a fine farm of two hundred and sixty acres, and a dairy of some forty cows, besides a large number of sheep. He makes a specialty of the manufacture of fine butter, with which he supplies the New York and local markets, turning out about three hundred pounds per week.
Mr. Hume was married in 1856 to Elizabeth Ann Douglass, a daughter of William and Margaret (Robson) Douglass. Mr. Douglass was a prominent farmer of Meredith, where he resided for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Hume have five children, namely: William D., of Bovina; Henry S., a farmer; Robert H., a carpenter; Walter A.; and James. Mr. Hume is a member of the Grange at DeLancey. In politics he is a Republican, and cast his first vote for General Scott on the Whig ticket. Both he and his wife have been active members of the Scotch Presbyterian church for many years, he having been a Trustee of the church, and also one of the Building Committee when it was erected. He is one of the most successful farmers in the county, and is essentially a self-made man, whose earnestness of purpose and strict integrity have placed him in his present position, and gained him the esteem and respect of his associates.
MRS. SYLVIA ELIZA FOOTE, of the village of Franklin, N. Y., is the estimable widow of Russell Foote, a prominent gentleman who died in this town, January 26, 1883, at the age of seventy-two. He was born in the same town, and was a son of Elias Foote, who came hither from Connecticut with his bride, Sally Tracey, in 1806, and in company, also, with his brother, Russell Foote. Here was born their son in 1810, and named after his uncle Russell; but, while he was very young, the family removed to the town of Otsego in the county of the same name. They had four sons and two daughters, as follows, the husband of the subject of this sketch being the eldest. David Foote lives in Franklin, as does his sister, Esther Foote. Asa Foote is no longer living, but his brother Ezekiel is in North Franklin. Jane Sylvia Foote and her sister, Lois J., who married Jonathan Fitch, are deceased. The father, Elias Foote, died in North Franklin, in 1855, at the ripe age of eighty-eight, a well-preserved and vigorous man; and his disconsolate wife followed him in eighteen months, aged seventy-six. In religion they were consistent Free Will Baptists; and they were worthy, steadfast, laborious pioneers in this region, where money was scant, but work plentiful.
The mother's maiden name was Sylvia Eliza Loveland. She was born in 1820, in Franklin, the daughter of Benjamin K. and Clarissa (Mann) Loveland. Mother Loveland was from Connecticut; but Father Loveland was born in Franklin, though his parents also came from Connecticut. The grandfather was Abner Loveland. He was elected one of the town officers at the second town meeting ever held in the place, and died in 1799, about the same time as the Father of his country. His son, Benjamin K., Mrs. Foote's father, was born in 1793, and died in 1831, aged only thirty-eight. His widow outlived him thirty-seven years, dying in 1868, aged seventy-six; and they both rest in the churchyard. They had one son and four daughters, Mrs. Foote being the eldest of the girls. Her sister, Althea Loveland, died in her youth, while at the normal school in Albany. Clarissa was a teacher, and died in 1869, in middle life. Rachel married S. A. Wheat, and lives in Franklin. Abner B. married Rachel A. Chambers, and both are deceased.
Mrs. Sylvia E. Foote is a member of the Congregational church, to which her husband also belonged. They lost one son, Albert Loveland Foote, who died unmarried on January 3, 1872, in early manhood, aged only twenty-six, having been a farmer and school-master; for the art of teaching seemed to run in the family. Mrs. Foote has two daughters living. Augusta taught school before her marriage, but is now the widow of Marshville Gibbons, of Franklin, and has a boy and three girls. The other daughter, Frances A., who married Austin Jacobs, is an accomplished lady, living with her mother. She has a son eight years old, who lives in Trout Creek. A woman so bereaved as Mrs. Foote can realize the truth of what was said by old Thomas Fuller: --
"The good widow's sorrow is no storm, but a still rain. Commonly it comes to pass that that grief is quickly emptied that streameth out at so large a vent, whilst their tears that but drop will hold running a long time."
Further particulars as to the Foote family may be found in the sketch of Mr. David Foote in this volume.
DR. EDWARD C. HUCHINS, dentist, one of Roxbury's best-known citizens, is descended from an old English family. His grandfather was an English farmer, who came to this country early in its history to try the soil of the "new West." After a long life of profit and usefulness he passed away, and was laid to rest beneath the sod of his adopted country. His wife survived him and lived to the extraordinary age of one hundred and four years. At the age of seventy-five she was stricken with blindness, and for nearly thirty years lived shut out from the glories of the outer world, consoled only by the added insight which comes in such cases into the realms of meditation. But, strange to say, just before her death, her sight returned; and she was able once more to read. The closing hours of a day of clouds and darkness were flooded with sunset glow, a beautiful fulfilment of the prophecy, "At eventide there shall be light."
Stephen C. Huchins, father of the Doctor, was born and grew up in Harpersfield, Delware County, N. Y. His wife, Martha Rice, was a sister of John Rice; and they were grandchildren of Henry and Agnes harper, who belonged to a noted family of early settlers. Henry Harper died at the age of eighty-five years. Stephen C. Huchins lived during much of his life in Otsego County, where he followed the trade of carpenter. His death was a sad and tragic one. When sixty years old, he was run over and killed by the cars at Buffalo, N. Y. Mrs. Martha Huchins survived her husband many years, and died October 17, 1887, at the age of eighty-three, having lived to see her nine children grown up and well settled. Three of these -- Samuel, William Henry, and Charles -- she sent to the defence of the Union in our late war. William Henry entered the army in 1862, and fought well until the battle of the Wilderness in 1863, when he was taken prisoner and died in captivity. Charles was discharged after the close of the war, Samuel served until 1864. He lost his right arm in battle, and only survived the storm a year or two, dying in 1867.
Edward C. Huchins was born in Davenport, Delaware County, September 29, 1834. He received his early education in the district schools; and, when thirteen years of age, he obtained work upon a farm. He was not a very robust lad, and of course not able to do a man's work; but he earned three dollars a month when he began, and soon raised that to five dollars, large pay for a boy in those days. Thus he spent his youth and young manhood, learning those invaluable lessons which the discipline and hardy toil of farm life impart. After nine years, desiring a change, he moved to Hornellsville. His brother Henry was a prosperous contractor and builder of that town, and Edward went to work with him to learn the carpenter's trade. He followed this occupation until 1851, when he went to Cooperstown, and studied dentistry. After, careful preparation at that place, in 1858 he set up for himself in Meredith. He had a good practice there, and stayed four years. Finally he came to Roxbury, and on April 2, 1861, opened an office opposite the hotel. Here his courtesy and skill soon won for him the patronage of the surrounding country, and built up a profitable business.
Soon after his arrival Dr. Huchins met Miss Mary McGarry, daughter of Daniel W. McGarry, who was for a long time well known in Roxbury as a tailor. This lady he married; and they had two children -- Minnie and Freddie. Minnie was born December 13, 1864, and married Andrew Hess. She is now living in Roxbury, and has two children. Freddie, a lad of fifteen, lives at home. Mrs. Mary Huchins was a Methodist, and died in that faith, June 19, 1885. The Doctor married for his second wife Prudence Thorpe, daughter of William and Mary Thorpe, who came from Harpersfield. Mr. Thorpe lived here until his death, at the age of seventy. His wife died when she was sixty-five.
The Doctor still continues his office business, though he has for the last few years put his money into real estate investments of various kinds. His first was in a lot of land on which he built a house, and sold it at a good profit. Then he bought a marble business, and, after carrying it on for some time with success, sold it at an advance. He also bought the estate of Mr. McGarry, his father-in-law, and has remodelled the house and made general improvements so that to-day it is one of Roxbury's finest residences. Dr. and Mrs. Huchins live on Main Street, next to the post-office. They have a young son, Charles E., born September 7, 1889. Dr. Huchins has well won his place in the respect and admiration of his fellow-citizens.
MRS. HANNAH E. HORTON, widow of Orin O. Horton, whose death occurred on his farm at Horton, Delaware County, November 3, 1886, is a woman of superior intelligence, ability, and worth. She was born in the town of Liberty, Sullivan County, in 1838, on the farm of her parents. The birthplace of her father, G. M. L. Hardenburg, was Marbletown, Ulster county, where he was reared to maturity. He married Mary Fiske, a native of Vermont; and in course of time twelve children were born into their household, of whom four sons and seven daughters grew to years of discretion. All of these are now living except one son, Jonathan Hardenburg, who died in 1890, aged forty years. Mrs. Hardenburg, who was a most comely and attractive woman, lived but a little past fifty years, passing to the higher life in 1863. Her widowed husband survived her more than a quarter of a century, and died at Cook's Falls in this county, in 1892, of old age, having lived on this earth eighty-seven years. Mrs. Hardenburg was a devoted member of the Presbyterian church, and most of her children have espoused the faith in which they were reared.
Hannah E. Hardenburg Horton, being one of the large family of children born in the farm-house home, was necessarily kept busily employed there most of the time in her girl-hood, a good deal of her attention being given to the care of the younger members of the family. Her parents were in humble circumstances, unable to give their offspring other educational advantages than afforded by the district schools. She became thoroughly acquainted with domestic affairs, and before the time of her marriage fully competent to discharge the duties of a home-maker. On December 12, 1862, she became the wife of Orin O. Horton, a promising young agriculturtist, who was born in the town of Horton in 1834.
David Horton, the father of Orin, was a native of Delaware County, born in the year 1796, a son of John and Sarah (Hagar) Horton. David Horton was twice married, his first wife bearing him but one child, a daughter. His second wife was Hulda Rediker, of Orange County; and of their union eleven children were born, seven sons and four daughters, Orin being the fifth child. His grandfather, John Horton, reared a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters, and, dying in the prime of life, left a good record as a useful and influential citizen and an honest man. His fahter, the great-grandfather of Orin O. Horton, was William Horton, who will long be remembered as the first Judge of Delaware County. He married Lizzie Covert; and, after spending the larger part of their wedded life in this county, they died at their home in Downsville, and their remains were laid side by side in the rural cemetery of that place.
Orin O. Horton was a brave soldier in the late Civil War, having responded to his country's call for volunteers in 1861, going to the front as Sergeant of Company L, in the fifty-sixth Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. One year later he was discharged for physical disability, and returned to his home in Horton, where all but three years of his married life were spent. In addition to general farming, Mr. Horton was a dealer in lumber, rafting his lumber down the river to the most desirable markets. At his death he left a farm of one hundred acres; but his widow subsequently removed to the village of Walton to give her younger children better facilities for obtaining an education, and to make a home for her older children. Of the seven children living at the time of Mr. Horton's decease, the youngest was then but one year old; and to the welfare of these sons and daughters Mrs. Horton has faithfully devoted herself. One son, Linford, preceded his father to the silent land, dying at the age of two years. The record of the remaining children is as follows: Belle, the wife of William Couch, of Horton, a prosperous merchant, has two children. Fred, a resident of Middletown, Orange County, where he is in the employment of the railway company, has a wife and three sons. Alvin and Elvin, twin brothers, now twenty-three years old, are flag-men on the Midland Railway. H. Millard, a photographer, lives at home. Laura, a young lady of fourteen years, is in school, and has a very good record for scholarship. Orin Raymond, now in his ninth year, is an unusally bright and promising student, often excelling his classmates.
HUBERT S. SEWELL, a well-known and highly respected lawyer and real estate dealer, residing in the village of Walton, was born at Colchester, Delaware County, N. Y., May 7, 1852, and is the son of Daniel R. And Jane (Johnson) Sewell. The former was a carpenter and builder by trade, and was engaged in the erection of a large number of the houses in Colchester. Later in life he moved from Colchester to Sidney, this county, where he died at the age of seventy-four. Mrs. Sewell was the daughter of Henry Johnson, a native of Ireland. She was born in America, and lived with her parents at Colchester, they settling there during its infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were the parents of the following-named family: Barney, John, Henry, Ann, Catherine, Abby, Mary, and Jane. With the exception of Ann and Henry, all are living at the present time. Mr. and Mrs. Sewell had six children: namely, Anna, Tryphenia, Cecil, Maria, Hubert S., and Henry.
Hubert S. Sewell spent his early years in the town of Colchester, where he attended the high school. He then studied law with Mr. W. F. White, and spent one year at the Albany Law School. In 1880 he was admitted to the bar at Albany, and began practice at Sidney Centre, where he remained for two years, and then came to Walton, where he does a large and successful business in real estate, besides attending to his law practice.
Mr. Sewell was married in June, 1889, to Miss Ella Bramley, a daughter of Miles Bramley, now a resident of Walton. Mr. Sewell is a member of Walton Lodge, No. 559, A. F. & A. M. He was elected Supervisor in 1893, being re-elected in 1894, and has also been Justice of the Peace for eight years. Mr. and Mrs. Sewell attend the Congregational church of Walton. Mr. Sewell is in the prime and vigor of manhood, and has the promise of many years of usefulness in the pursuit of his profession, of which he is a bright and shining light.
JOHN M. BLISH, Postmaster at Fleischmanns, in Middletown, and a large land-owner and dealer in real estate, was born in this town on March 1, 1841, son of Simon and Mary (McKeel) Blish. His great-grandfather Blish came from England, and settled permanently in Connecticut.
His grandfather, Silas Blish, was born in Connecticut, April 17, 1763, and there married Hannah Blish, a native of the same State. He came on horseback to Delaware County, and bought fifty acres of wild land. After clearing a small portion of it, and building a log cabin, he returned to Connecticut for his family, and brought them to the new home which he had prepared. This estate is now known as Fleischmanns; and, where Silas Blish looked upon his fields of corn, his great-grandchildren now behold stately residences surrounded by well-kept lawns. Only a few families had then ventured into this region, where the forest primeval still sheltered bears, wolves, panthers, and timid deer. Mr. Blish built his log cabin and barn on land which is now just in front of the John M. Blish house, and is crossed by the Ulster & Delaware Railroad. The children of Silas and Hannah Blish were seven: Katie Blish, born May 18, 1784, married Alpha Townsend, and left five children, only one of whom is living; Nicholas Blish, born September 18, 1789, married Charity Ferguson, and left four children; John Blish, born August 17, 1792, married Lucy Acklery, and left five children; James Blish, born Jul 19, 1796, married Esther Croft, and left three children; Asa Blish, born May 19, 1799, married Katherine Kelly, and left six children; Jane Blish, born June 27, 1801, married Trowbridge Mills, and left children, four having died; Simon Blish, born March 22, 1812, was the father of John M. Silas Blish continued to clear his land and work faithfully in his fields, and, being a progressive man for his time, became prosperous. He was loyal to his country, and served as a soldier in the War of 1812. He lived until the great age of ninety-two years; but his wife was taken from his side a number of years earlier.
Simon Blish was born on his father's farm, and was educated in the district school. On reaching manhood, he bought a farm near Delhi, and married Mary A., daughter of John and Nancy (Molineux) McKeel. In a short time he sold his newer farm and bought the family homestead. He purchased more land, added to the original farm, cleared away more of the forest, and in place of the log cabin and barn erected comfortable frame buildings. He had six children, three of whom lived to grow up. These were: John M. Blish, of Fleischmanns; Katherine Blish, born in 1844, who married George Jones, and is now a widow, living at Fleischmanns; and William Horace Blish, born Auguest 21, 1847, who married Esther Crosby, and is a retired farmer at Griffin's Corners. Simon Blish lived to be sixty-three years old, and his wife died upwards of fifty. He was in politics a Democrat.
John M. Blish was educated in the district school, and early began to work on his father's farm. When a young man, he bought a neighboring estate; but he soon sold this property, and returned to his ancestral acres, which he continued to improve. He married for a first wife Jemima Jones, who lived but a short time, and left one child. Willie Blish, who lived to be but seven years old. His second wife was Delia Garrison, daughter of Lewis and Mary (Scudder) Garrison. Mr. Garrison was a blacksmith; but after man years spent in useful activity, being now over eighty years of age, he is enjoying a well-earned rest at his home in Pennsylvania. He is a Democrat, and a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His wife died several years ago. Mrs. Blish has one brother, Charles, and three sisters. Charles Garrison married Charlotte Woolhizer, lives in Illinois, and they have one child. Harriet Garrison married Frank Pierce, has one child, and they live in Pennsylvania, retired from active business. Libbie Garrison married Frank Miller, a farmer in Pennsylvania, and has four children. Emma Garrison married for her first husband Oliver Ingraham, who died; and she has since married Ezra Baxter, and lives in Pennsylvania, having one child.
After a time Mr. Blish began to sell off portions of the farm in five and ten acre lots. One of the first sales was to Leopold Blair, of New York City, who built a beautiful residence, laid out tasteful grounds, and then sold the estate to Lewis Fleischmann. The sales have continued; and the work of improvement has gone on until there are many fine estates bordering on the Ulster & Delaware Railroad, on what used to be the old farm. (See sketch headed Carl Herrmann.) Mr. Blish has bought several neighboring farms, and now owns over two hundred acres of land. He has remodelled the homestead, converting it into a fine and spacious residence. The model stables contain valuable horses, and the grounds are laid out with taste and elegance. He is general manager for the Fleischmann owners, having charge of their property and directing all movements for improving and beautifying their estates, and is a man of much executive ability. He is a Democrat in politics, and his religious views reflect the liberality of his nature and the breadth of his intellect. On a neighboring page is a portrait of this well-known and enterprising citzen, who is highly esteemed in the community for his capabilities and worth.
THEOPHILUS B. HIGBEE, a successful farmer and dairyman of Stamford, is of the sixth generation in direct descent from AbramHigbee who is said by tradition to have emigrated from England with two brothers, Charles and John, probably about two hundred years ago, settling in the south-eastern part of the State of New York, and becoming the founders of the Higbee family in these parts. In the course of time their posterity became numberous on Long Island, Manhattan Island, and in Westchester County, being large owners of real estate. Abram was the father of a large family. One of his sons, Anson, the next in the line now being considered, was the father of Edwin, George, William, and Abram Higbee, second. The last named, and also Edwin and William, served in the Revolutionary War. Abram Higbee, second, married Abigail Dean, and died in the prime of life, leaving her with three small sons, Nathaniel, William, and Oliver, and one daughter. These children had some half-brothers, one of whom was Jacob Higbee.
Nathaniel Higbee, son of Abram Higbee, second, and his wife Abigail, was born at the home of his parents in Westchester County, New York, on June 15, 1781. He was about eight years old when, in 1789, his widowed mother, who was a woman of strong character and great practical ability, emigrated with her children to Delaware County, and settled in Stamford, one of its very earliest pioneers. She took up three farms, including about eight hundred acres of land; and here she lived to a good old age. The land in this vicinity was owned in patents; and the inducements to settle on it were that it was offered rent free for seven years, and then at one shilling per acre, durable lease. Nathaniel Higbee went back to Westchester County in his early teens; and there he became acquainted with Sarah Brundage, whom he married. He returned with his wife to Delaware County in 1806, settling on Rose Brook. A sturdy woodsman, weighing over two hundred pounds, he cleared a large farm. He was a Whig in politics, and liberal in religious views. His four children were as follows: Charles B., the father of the subject of this sketch; Thomas Clapp Higbee, a farmer of Stamford, who died when seventy-six years of age; John Sherman Higbee, a merchant in New York City, who died in his eightieth year; Hannah E., who died aged eighty, the wife of David P. Bailey. Nathaniel Higbee passed away on his farm at the age of ninety-one years, his wife Sarah, who was born June 14, 1781, living to be eighty-nine years old. She was an orthodox Quaker, and was related to the Clapp and Carpenter families.
Charles B. Higbee was born in Westchester County, March 18, 1803, and came to Stamford with his parents when but five years of age. Owning a portion of the old homestead, about three hundred and seventy acres of land, he gave his attention to farming, and was one of the most prosperous men, engaged in that occupation at Rose Brook. He was a Republican, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and died September 27, 1887. His wife, Mary Palmer, was born in Middletown, March 4, 1806, and died November 12, 1884, the mother of five children, namely: Hiram T., who was born January 29, 1827, and died February 22, 1892, a mechanic and resident of Stamford; Sarah E., born May 28, 1829, and a resident of the old homestead; Theophilus B.; Mrs. Hannah J. Weed, born March 27, 1836, now the widow of Hoyt Weed, of Oswego County; Charles S., who was born March 31, 1838, and died in 1865 in California.
Theophilus Brundage Higbee, son of Charles B. And Mary P. Higbee, was born in Stamford, April 19, 1831. He received his education in the schools of his district, and remained at home, assisting on the farm, until twenty-six years of age. In 1857 he purchased the farm which he now occupies, it then containing one hundred and ten acres. To this he has added from time to time by means of his industry and perseverance, and now owns two hundred and eighty-five acres. Here he is engaged in general farming and dairying, keeping twenty head of native cattle, and producting superior butter. All the farm buildings have been improved, and are kept in perfect repair; and his residence is one of the most beautiful in the town. It is situated at the head of a branch of Rose Brook, and is furnished with an excellent water system, the water for which is brought from a never-failing spring on the premises. Mr. Higbee also has on his grounds a private fish-pond, where may be found some fine specimens of the speckled trout.
January 5, 1857, he married Miss Elizabeth McPherson, who was born in Stamford, March 17, 1832, a daughter of James and Mary (Yeomans) McPherson. James McPherson was born in new York City, and was a blacksmith, working at that trade in Delaware County throughout his life. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and a Whig. He died in Kortright at the age of seventy-three years. His wife, who was a native of Delhi, a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, died at the age of forty-four years. They were the parents of six children, namely: Matilda and Mary, residents of Stamford; Elizabeth, Mrs. Higbee; Ezekiel, a resident of Stamford; Henrietta, who died aged sixty years, the wife of Jeremiah Butts; Janet, who passed away at the age of fifty-two years, the wife of George Hubbill.
Mr. and Mrs. Theophilus B. Higbee have had three children, one of whom, Mary A., born October 9, 1858, died November 1, 1885. The other two are: Effie E., who was born November 24, 1862, and resides with her parents; and Fannie Y., who was born August 17, 1865, and is the wife of Charles Polley, residing on the home farm. Mr. and Mrs. Higbee are liberal in religious views, and he is a Republican in politics. He is a very sociable, genial man, who has met with evident success in life, and is well known and highly esteemed throughout Delaware County. As will be judged from this sketch, he is interested in the history of his ancestors. He indeed comes of good stock, and may well revert with pleasure to the fact that the Higbees, so far back as they have been traced, appear to have been plain, unassuming people, strictly honest and temperate, with never one that had to be supported by charity, and none ever known to solicit an office. When it is added that they are truthful, and generally good-natured and obliging, enough has been said to show them to be kind neighbors and excellent citizens.
COLONEL GEORGE D. WHEELER, of Laurel Bank Farm, one of the leading agriculturists of Delaware County, widely known as Vice-President of the Delaware County Dairymen's Association and First Vice-President of the Holstein Friesian Association of America, and as a writer for the papers, is a popular and influential resident of Deposit, where he was born on June 24, 1818. On his paternal side he is of Welsh extraction. His grandfather, William Wheeler, with two brothers, James and John, lived at New London, Conn.; and their father was a native of Wales. The Colonel's father, who was also named William, was born in New London, May 2, 1774. He married Eleanor Knox, a native of Blandford, Mass., born in 1774, a lady possessing many excellent qualities of heart and mind. William Wheeler, Jr., being left almost without a home, when eight years old, by the death of his father, went to live with Roger Parks at Blandford, where he learned the clothier's trade. In 1795 he and his brothers came to Partridge Island, now in the town of Hancock, Delaware County, N. Y., and engaged in cutting logs and rafting them to Philadelphia. The country was wild and new; but these men, possessing great physical strength and endurance, together with a determination and courage that knew no such word as fail, cut down the forests, subdued the wild beats, and overcame every obstacle. They were illustrious examples of a hardy race of pioneers, and seemed to possess the requirements demanded by the situation. They excelled also in hunting, and it was an unlucky day for any ferocious beasts or game when coming within the range of their guns. Besides, they would tackle single-handed, with club or axe, whenever occasion required, either bears or panthers. On this occasion, having collected a considerable number of logs, made their raft, and started it on its journey, they began to figure the probable proceeds to be secured when it should arrive at the Philadelphia mills. This proved a vain calculation; for the venture was unfortunate, the raft being broken up and lost. After so much hard work amid such surroundings this outcome was a discouraging feature of the undertaking, and with men of less pluck would have ended the effort; but these men were not easily turned from their purpose. They went to work with renewed energy, and soon had another raft ready for transportation, which was safely piloted by William to its destination at Philadelphia. Of these remarkable brothers, Ebenezer, in point of strength and agility, excelled, and was widely known as a great wrestler -- one who never found his equal in that athletic sport. William Wheeler contined engaged in rafting and lumbering from 1795 until 1804, when he returned to Blandford, and soon after took to himself a wife, as before stated. Whe was a daughter of Camptain William Knox, whose father emigrated from Belfast, Ireland, in 1737. He was a member of the Colonial Assembly of Massachusetts, and was a prominent man both in military and civic affairs of that time. Mr. and Mrs. William Wheeler removed to Delaware County, New York, in 1805. They became the parents of seven children, namely: Malina, who became the wife of Elijah S. Knapp, and after his death was married to Henry Smith, a partner of William B. Ogden, of Chicago -- whe died in Deposit in 1892, at the age of eighty-eight years; Nelson K., who became Judge of Delaware County, and served two terms in the Assemby -- he was also one of the District Judges in New York City, and died in 1880 at the age of seventy-three years; Betsey, unmarried, who resides at the old Wheeler homestead at Deposit, well advanced in years; William French, who was born in 1811, and died in 1892 -- he was also a member of the Assembly; Truman Hubbell, who was appointed one of the Judges of the court for Delaware County -- he practised law in Delhi and in Chicago, Ill. -- he married Anna Roberts, a sister of the wife of Judge Amasa J. Parker, of Albany, and died in 1860; Addison Justin, who died in 1892, was a merchant and lumberman, and was also engaged in the oil business in Western Pennsylvania -- he died in 1892, leaving one son; the youngest of these children is the one whose name heads this sketch. Their mother lived to the age of eighty-eight years. Their father died when seventy-seven years old. He was a remarkable man, and had a reputation for honesty and integrity wherever he was known. He was a Deacon of the Presbyterian church, and one of the original members of that organization in Deposit. He was usually known as Captain Wheeler, having his title from his position in the State militia.
The birthplace of George D. Wheeler was the old Wheeler homestead in Deposit, which at that time contained only twenty-five houses, so that he has witnessed its development from a very small beginning. The lad attended the district school, receiving a fair education, which was supplemented by a course in the Delaware Academy at Delhi. While not in school during the years of his boyhood, he assisted his father in the lumbering business and on the farm. After leaving the academy, he engaged with his brother, Addison J., in mercantile business at Deposit, the style of the firm being A. J. & G. D., Wheeler. They dealt in dry goods and general supplies; and Mr. Wheeler was thus engaged in trade in tade at the time of the building of the Erie Railway, and was present to see the first shovelful of earth placed which initiated that great enterprise. Like his illustrious ancestors, he has been noted for his agility, strength, and courage, having been a particularly fine horseman, being equally at home whether sitting, standing, or lying down on the back of a horse, regardless of the rate of speed. In his younger days he could mount a horse of sixteen hands in height by merely placing his left hand on the withers -- a feat which he actually accomplished on his sixty-first birthday.
Colonel Wheeler was first married September 17, 1845, to Antoinette downs, who was born in Colchester, Delaware County, May 4, 1820. By this union there was one daughter, also named Antoinette, who is the wife of Robert M. Cannon, of Buffalo, and the mother of four children -- Antoinette, Eleanor, Bessie, and Margaret. Colonel Wheeler's second wife was Mary Waterbury, of Middletown, Conn., a daughter of the Rev. Daniel Waterbury, the founder of the Delaware Institute, and a graduate of Union College and of Princeton Theological Seminary, and a sister of the Hon. Daniel Waterbury, of Margarettville, Delaware County. She died, leaving one son, George W., who married Mary Fischer, daughter of the Rev. James Fisher, a Presbyterian minister, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. George W. Wheeler have three children -- Francis Addison, Eveline F., and Mary Foster.
The Colonel continued in business with his brother for about six years, and then sold out to a Mr. Finch, and took up farming. He subsequently went to Vermillion County, Illinois, and engaged in coal-mining at that place, remaining two years, meanwhile keeping up his farm at Deposit. Returning to this place, he has remained here since that time. He now owns eight hundred acres, and is successfully engaged in dairying and general farming. The principal farm is now under the title of George D. Wheeler & Son, and is called the "Laurel Bank Farm." They do quite a business shipping their milk to New York City. This farm has something of an early Indian history. It is said to have been the council place of the Lenni Lenape tribe of Indians, and was their camping, dancing, and feasting ground in all the last years of their stay on the banks of the Delaware River. The settlement of the Indians in this vicinity was called by them "Kookose," which name, Anglicized, became "Cook House," the original name of Deposit.
Colonel Wheeler was prominent in military circles in Broome County and throughout the State, having a fine physique and attractive military bearing. He joined the State infantry of the State miltia under the appointment of Quartermaster of the Two Hundred and Sixty-first Regiment, by Governor William H. Seward, August 7, 1839. He was appointed Adjutant on June 24, 1840, by the same Governor, who, realizing his ability, commissioned him Lieutenant Colonel on April 10, 1841; and on April 18, 1844, he was commissioned Colonel by Governor William C. Bauck. He contined as Colonel of that regiment until the militia was disbanded. He was active in raising the first company of the One Hundred and Forty-fourth new York Volunteer Infantry, which was the first company organized in Broome and Delaware Counties for service in the Civil War in 1861-65. He has been Supervisor of the town of Tompkins for three or four terms, and of the town of Deposit once. He was in the legislature in 1876, and spent a good deal of time on the bill relating to assessment and taxation, which measure he championed and brought to the third reading, although finally defeated. He was a very successful legislator, and worked hard for the benefit of his constituency. He got a bill through from Binghamton, authorizing the discarge of an inefficient and irresponsible county official by the Exxecutive of the State, and another for the city of New York, exempting to a certain extent firemen from taxation. He has been a member of the Presbyterian church since he was sixteen years old, and has for thirty-five years been Sunday-school superintendent, and is now one of the most competent and interesting teachers of the school. Being at once devout and social, and of a genial disposition, he is honored and respected by all. He is a life member of the New York State Dairymen's Association, and has been a frequent and able contributor to the leading agricultural journals, including the American Agriculturist, Country Gentleman, Breeders' Gazette, and Orange County Farmer. He is the Vice-President of the Delaware County Dairymen's Association and the First Vice-President of the Holstein Friesian Association of America. Thus it will be seen that Colonel Wheeler is a man of excellent endowments, the holder of many talents, which it is evident that he has faithfully improved.
JAMES KNOX POLK JACKSON, is naturally a prominent citizen of Margaretville village, in Middletown township, Delaware County, being a lawyer, and also publisher of the local paper, the Utilitarian; but he is a gentleman who would be a marked member of the community, whatever his calling. He was born in Franklin, in the same county, on January 10, 1843, a very year Daniel Webster concluded the famous Ashburton Treaty, and resigned his position as Secretary of State in President Tyler's cabinet, and the year before James K. Polk was elected Tyler's successor.
The grandfather was Zerah Jackson, whose wife was Mary Munger, a descendant, on the maternal side, of the March family, being a distant relative of Governor William L. Marcy.
Zerah Jackson was born in Litchfield, Conn., but located in Franklin, Delaware County, in 1810, during Madison's administration. His farm was near the Meredith line, one mile east of Croton; and thither came he, driving an ox team attached to the proverbial wood-shod sled.
Three brothers, Eldad, Medad, and Zerah, came in the same party and settled near each other. Zerah Jackson became a fairly successful farmer for those days, and reared a useful and persevering cluster of seven children -- Erastus, Elias, Amos, James Hervey, George W., Aurelia, and Eliza -- who all lived to maturity. Their father took part in the War of 1812 for three months, and lived to be sixty-six years old. His widow outlived him many years, and reached the ripe age of eighty-four, and departed this life confident of the saving efficacy of her Baptist faith, having been a real mother in Israel for many years.
Our subject's father, James H. Jackson, was born May 8, 1812, just as the last war with the mother country broke out. He grew to manhood on the home farm, with such school advantages as the old-time district school afforded. Notwithstanding his meagre advantages, his retentive memory, inherited from his mother, and his love of books, which he read at every opportunity, made him one of the best-informed men in his vicinity.
Self-support began by going to New Jersey, and engaging as a notion pedler for about a year successfully. He gave up this occupation at the earnest solicitation of his parents, who needed his strong right arm on which to lean, and so induced him to assume charge of the old homestead. For the next twenty years he was a successful farmer and cattle-broker. He married Annis M. Terry, and had a patriarchal brood of a dozen capable children, minus one, all but two reaching useful maturity.
Among the grandfather's children Bible names abounded; but James H. Jackson's children had more modern titles, though not conferred at the christening font, as the parents did not approve of infant baptism. The children were: Mary, born May 11, 1841; our subject, born January 10, 1843; Huldah C.; Francis; Julia M.; Annis A.; Linus D.; Emily A.; Orle V.; Amanda E.; and Laura.
In 1850 the excitement of the gold discoveries in California induced James H. to sell out his farm, intending, like so many others of that day, to visit the gold fields. His love of home and family finally caused him to relinquish his purpose, and he resumed his old occupation of cattle dealer with varying success. Heavy losses caused by the failure of others whom he trusted took away the savings of a life of toil, and his declining years were spent in a modest home provided by his children. He died in 1891, as he had lived, an honest man, a kind neighbor, a loving husband and father -- aged seventy-nine years. His widow still lives in Franklin. His political proclivities are shown by the fact that he named his son James after the successful Presidential opponent of Henry Clay in the election of 1844, and he held several local offices as a Democrat.
At an exceedingly early period of his youth J. K. P. Jackson began to be the architect of his own fortunes. Not only did he support himself, but assisted in the support of his parents and younger brothers and sisters, and obtained a fair education in the district schools and at the Delaware Literary Institute. In school he always stood well in his classes, and was never known to fail of having his lessons. At eight years of age he began assisting his father in the matter of driving stock, and at twelve years of age also assisted in buying and selling. A portion of each year was devoted to this business until the age of twenty-five years.
He read law with Robert T. Johnson, Esq., of Franklin, and was admitted to practice, after eleven months' study, in June of 1870. In February of 1870 he bought a half-interest in the Franklin Register and Walton Chronicle. Later he disposed of his interest in the Chronicle, and became sole proprietor of the Register. In the fall of 1871 he established another journal in Sidney, called by the very appropriate name of Jackson's Democrat. Removing to Oneonta in the fall of 1872, he published the Oneonta Liberal, from that date to 1875 taking a very active part in the Grant-Greeley campaign. In 1876, during the Hayes-Tilden campaign, he published a campaign paper at Oneonta, and stumped Otsego County for Mr. Tilden.
In 1877 he returned to Franklin, and practised law until the fall of 1879, when he removed to Margaretville, and brought the Utilitarian, a weekly paper, which he still controls, though he is an active and successful lawyer and dealer in real estate.
In 1871, on his twenty-eighth birthday, he married J. Alice Grant, daughter of Alexander Haswell Grant, of Franklin, who married Julia Merrick, the eldest daughter of Joseph H. Merrick. Mr. Grant began life as a clerk while still a young lad, and continued in mercantile life for a quarter of a century, then, like Cincinnatus, retired to the quiet of a farm, where he spent his declining years at active labor as a successful tiller of the soil. He died in January, 1892. His widow is still a resident of Franklin, occupying the old homestead. Mr. and Mrs. Grant reared three children. The eldest, Julia Alice, became Mrs. Jackson; the others were Powell M. and Mary, who both reside in Franklin.
Mr. and Mrs. J. K. P. Jackson have three living children: Alexander Grant Jackson was born in Oneonta, March 2, 1873, and now holds a position in the custom service under the appraiser of the port of New York. Mary L. Jackson was born in Oneonta, November 27, 1875. Fanny Myra Jackson was born April 9, 1889, in Margaretville. Mr. Jackson is a Democrat, and has always taken a deep interest in politics, although never an office-seeker. In 1871 he was the candidate of his party for the Assembly in the then Second Assembly District of Delaware County, but placed in nomination by his party to complete a ticket, and lead a forlorn hope in a district always Republican. He has held the office of Justice of the Peace two terms, and served one term as Police Justice of his village. In the line of his profession he is attorney for the People's Bank, and has been since the organization of that institution. He is an easy, fluent, and forcible speaker, and has taken part, from the platform, in the discussion of political questions in each Presidential campaign beginning with that of 1864.
He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, an active worker in the Sunday-school, and has been a church Trustee.
Mr. Jackson was one of the first advocates of an agricultural society for his locality, and called the first meeting that was held to organize the Catskill Mountain Agricultural Society, was elected the first Secretary of that association, and is now its President. As a military man he held the office of Captain in the One Hundredth Regiment of Infantry in the Eighteenth Brigade of the Fifth Division of the National Guard of the State of New York. His commission was signed by Governor Reuben E. Fenton.
Mr. Jackson cares nothing for money except to use for the advancement of some laudable object or the comfort of his family, has no pride so far as dress or show is concerned, but only in his integrity and his family, every member of which is more dear to him than the apple of his eye, and to all of whom he has given the best advantages within his means. He is a liberal giver, and keeps open house to his many friends. He is abstemious in his habits, using neither tobacco nor liquor; and, while he enjoys sitting at a good table, he chooseth only the plainest of food for his own plate. He works all the week-days in the year, including the holidays. While so many in these days take vacations for longer or shorter periods, he has never taken a full week from his business since he began for himself. Among his clients are many quite poor; but their cases are taken, and the work performed with the same care and fidelity as though they were able to pay large fees. He has probably done more work for which he has received no pay, during the past ten years, than any other member of his profession in the county of Delaware. A frequent remark of his, showing how well he knows himself, is, "If I were as good a collector for myself as for my clients, I should have been rich long ago." Another pet expression is, "Having the luck to be born poor, I have escaped those temptations that have destroyed many who deemed themselves more fortunate than I." Another, and the key-note to his character, is, "I never deemed myself beneath any man because of his wealth, nor above any because of his poverty."
CHARLES E. HITT, a well-known enterprising and prosperous merchant of the village of Delhi, Delaware County, N. Y., was born in Sullivan County, February 22, 1841. His father, Leander, was a native of Colchester, this county. The grandfather, Abijah Hitt, came from Devereux County, Pennsylvania, and, purchasing a large tract of timbered land near Colchester, engaged in the pursuits of farming and lumbering. He was the father of seven children by his first wife, of whom Leander was the youngest.
After being educated at the district schools, Leander Hitt worked for his father until he purchased a farm of his own in Colchester. This he conducted for some time, and then bought a hotel in the same town, which he managed until his death in middle life. Mr. Hitt was married to Elizabeth Ann Wright, of Colchester, by whom he had five children, only four, however, arriving at maturity -- Charles E., William H., Myers, and Elbridge.
Charles E. Hitt was educated at the English High School of his native town, and until the age of seventeen assisted his father on the farm. Not being desirous of leading the life of an agriculturist, his bent being more toward mercantile pursuits, he engaged as a clerk in a hardware store in Andes, where he remained three years. He then came to Delhi, and worked in a large general store for another three years. At the age of twenty-three he entered into partnership with Mr. J. H. Gould, opening a general dry-goods and furnishing store. Having continued in this connection four years, Mr. Hitt sold his interest in the business, and went to Albany, where he was employed for three years as salesman for Douglas, Shepard & Co. Again returning to Delhi, he associated in business with Mr. John Russell in a general store. This partnership continued four years, when it was dissolved; and Mr. Hitt has continued in busines alone ever since, having a fine general store and conducting a large and increasing trade. Charles E. Hitt was married July 13, 1868, to Miss Mary A. Elwood, a daughter of James and Mary J. Johnson Elwood, her father having been a successful business man in Delhi for many years. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hitt, only one of whom is now living -- Irene Elwood Hitt.
Mr. Hitt is a member of the Zeta Phi, a literary society of Delhi. He has also been Trustee of the village, and for many years was a Trustee of the Delhi Academy. In politics he is a strong supporter of the Democratic party. Mr. and Mrs. Hitt are communicants of St. John's (Episcopal) Church, of which Mr. Hitt is Senior Warden. Mr. Hitt is one of the most successful and highly respected merchants in Delhi, his genial manners and kindly and generous impulses making him beloved by all.
text as written above:
He had a son named Chandler Burgin, a Massachusetts-born man, who married Prudence Hollister, a Connecticut woman, the daughter of David Hollister, who also was a Revolutionary soldier, so that our subject can boast of two grandfathers who took part in the patriotic struggle.
The part I have underlined may be in error. I think it should be "He was the son of Chandler Burgin". --Jean Carlson
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