SECTION XV.- BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.
COLONEL JOHN HARPER.* (This sketch is prepared by Mr. Allen S. Gibbs of Harpersfield, and is taken from the history of the town of Harpersfield).
JAMES HARPER, the grandfather of Colonel Harper, emigrates from the county of Derry, in Ireland, and arrived with his family at Casco Bay in Maine, in October, 1720. There he settled; but a war having broken out with the Indians he removed to Boston, Massachusetts, with his family except his youngest son John, who remained for the defense of the Province, continuing in the service against the Indians about three years and eight months. After his discharge he went first to Boston, and afterward to Hopkinton, Connecticut, where he married Abigail Montgomery, November 8, 1728. From Hopkinton he removed to Nodell's Island near Boston, where was born William, his eldest son, September 14, 1726. James, the second son, was born March 26, 1731. Mary, the eldest daughter, was born January 23, 1733. John, the third son, was born May 31, 1734. Margaret, the second daughter, was born February 7, 1740.
In 1741 the family removed to Middletown, Connecticut, where Joseph, Alexander and Abigail were born between that time and 1747, when they removed to Windsor, Connecticut, where another daughter, Mirriam, was born February 14, 1749.
John Harper and his family removed from Windsor to Cherry Valley, then in Albany county in the Province of New York, in 1754, where they purchased a piece of land which they immediately commenced to clear and cultivate.
The father and mother and their eight children were all intelligent persons, and the names of most of them are intimately connected with the great struggle for independence. All then living were patriots, and after our independence was acknowledged, were prominent in their several localities.
William, the oldest son, was a Member of the Provincial Congress, one of the judges of Montgomery county, and after Otsego county was formed was one of the Associate judges of that county. He was also Member of Assembly from Tryon county for the years 1781,1782 and 1784, and from Montgomery for 1785-1789. He married Margaret Williams of Albany, April 13, 1760. His long and useful life ended at the age of eighty-seven in Milford, Otsego county, New York.
James, the second son, died of small pox, March 22, 1760.
John Harper, Jr., the founder of Harpersfield, was distinguished for his bravery and sagacity during the war of the Revolution, when he held a commission as Colonel. He was married to Mirriam Thompson, by whom he had four children- Archibald, Margaret, John, and Ruth. John, born July 10, 1774, was the first white male child born in Delaware county.
During his youth Colonel Harper attended a school at Lebanon, Connecticut, and while there became intimate with a young Indian who afterward became the celebrated chief and warrior, Joseph Brant; and who, although his name has always been held up as the synonym of savage cruelty and outrage, there is much reason to believe has been greatly misrepresented by writers whose partisan spirit was too much excited to do him justice, and who were disposed to hold him responsible for the cruelties committed by Indians under his command. Were this true, it seems certain that so strong a partisan as Colonel Harper would not have continued friendly with him during the war, and for many years afterwards. It is nearly certain that on the occasion of the destruction of Harpersfield by the Indians and Tories in 1777, Colonel Harper and his family were saved by a secret warning from Brant, the particulars of which will be hereafter related.
Joseph Harper, the fourth son, does not seem to have been so prominent in the events of the time as either of his brothers, but he fought bravely in the frontier warfare, and was a member of the Committee of Safety of Harpersfield. After the war he married Catharine, daughter of Joseph Douglass of Harpersfield.
Alexander Harper was nearly as prominent as his more celebrated brother, and held a commission as Captain. After the war he settled in Harpersfield, and is believed to have kept the first tavern in town; as for several years all town meetings were held at his house. He also for several years held the only commission as Justice of the Peace within the present bounds of the town. He married Elizabeth Bartholomew, daughter of an early settler on the Charlotte, near what is now South Worcester.
At the breaking out of the Revolution, men were compelled to side with the King or the Colonies, and in Harpersfield nearly all sided with the Colonies. They formed a Committee of Safety as follows: Isaac Patchin, chairman; John, Joseph and Alexander Harper, John Harper Jr., Freegift Patchin, Andries Rebar, William McFarland, St. Leger Cowley, Isaac Sawyer, John Moore, and James Stevens.
The first capture of Indians, as related by "Simms," was made by Colonel Harper in June or July, 1777. The Colonel had started on horseback for Cherry Valley, about thirty miles distant. As he neared the Schenevus creek, in the present town of Decatur, he saw a party of ten Indians approaching, and as he could not well avoid it he confidently met them. He at once recognized the leader as Peter, an Oquago chief. He met them in a friendly manner, calling them brothers, and they supposing him to be a King's man were thrown off their guard, and informed him that they were on their way to destroy the Sidney settlement of Rev. William Johnston and others, and that their resting place for the night was to be a mile or two above the mouth of the Schenevus. Shaking hands with the party he bade them good-bye.
As soon as he had passed out of their sight, he hastily returned and secured three Bartholomew brothers on the Charlotte, and at, Harpersfield his brothers Joseph and Alexander, and other settlers until his party numbered eighteen. Well armed and with ropes they set forward and reached the Indian camp just before daylight; found them all asleep, secured their arms, and then with eight of their number ready with guns to enforce obedience a man with a rope approached each of the sleepers; the Colonel taking his stand beside the leader shouted in his ear: "Peter! it is time for business men to be up."
The party all started to their feet, but finding their own arms secured and so many guns ready to shoot any who attempted to escape, they submitted to be bound and were soon on their way as prisoners, to Albany. Soon after daylight Peter recognized his captor and exclaimed: "Ah, Colonel Harper, why me not know you yesterday ?" "There's policy in war, Peter." " 0 yes, me find 'em so now."
Soon after the above capture, the enemy under McDonald, (according to Simms, but Rev. H. Boies says Brant and Butler) on its way to Schoharie, visited Harpersfield intending to capture or destroy Colonel Harper and his Whig neighbors. On account of a heavy rain storm the enemy halted a few miles away and a friendly Indian stole from the camp, made his way to Colonel Harper's house and informed him of the intended attack.
The Colonel hastily concealed what household stuff he could not carry, placed his wife and younger children on a horse, or horses; with the rest of the settlers hurried off in the rain and darkness over the Jefferson hills, to find safety in Middleburgh.
Harpersfield the next day was sacked and destroyed. Colonel Harper's mill built two or three years before was burned. Simms says the house was fired at two opposite corners, but the posts being cherry did not burn.
During this raid, or not long after, a family named McKee is said to have been murdered below Odell's lake in the south part of Harpersfield. The father was absent, but the mother and children were butchered and thrown into the flames of the burning house; except one daughter, Anne, who threw herself at the feet of a savage who had his axe raised to strike her. He admired her boldness and spared her life. She was taken to Niagara, where she was compelled by the squaws to run the gauntlet, and was nearly killed during the terrible ordeal. She however recovered, and after a, long captivity was allowed to return to her home.
When McDonald and his part appeared near Schoharie, the garrison feeling unable to contend with him successfully, Colonel Harper volunteered to go alone to Albany for assistance. Stopping at a tavern for the night, the Tories attempted his capture, but he drove them from the door with his pistols. The next day finding he was followed by two Indians who intended to waylay him, he stopped in a hollow out of their sight. stuck his sword in a stump, placed his back against his horse, waited till they approached, then with a pistol in each hand, he exclaimed: "Stop, you villains; face about, and be off, or these bullets shall whistle through your hearts." The Indians finding him thus armed and ready, faced about as directed. Colonel Harper then proceeded safely to Albany and obtained a troop of twenty-eight horses. One of the party had a trumpet, from which an occasional blast says Simms produced an effect equal to that of an army with banners.
This troop, with the party at Schoharie, met and defeated McDonald, and Colonel Harper wrote the Provincial Council of Safety at Kingston: " SCHOHARIE, August 28, 1777. "GENTLEMEN: Since we put Captain McDonald and his army to flight, I proceeded with some volunteers to Harpersfield, where we met many that had been forced by McDonald, and some of them much abused. Many others were in the woods, who were volunteers; and as we could not get hands on those, that were active in the matter, I gave orders to all to make their appearance at Schoharie in order to give satisfaction to the authority for what they have done; and if they do not, that they are to be proclaimed traitors to the United States of America; which they readily agreed to, and further declare that they will use their best endeavors to bring in those who have been the cause of the present disturbance.
I would therefore beg the Honorable Council of Safety, that they would appoint proper persons to try these people, as there will be many that can witness to the proceedings of our enemy, and are not in ability to go abroad.
From your most obedient humble servant, JOHN HARPER, COLONEL."
* * * * *
JUDGE EBENEZER FOOTE.* (*We are Indebted for the facts embodied in this sketch to a memorial volume concerning Samuel E. Foote in which there is an appendix giving the principal events in the life of Ebenezer Foote; also to an obituary notice by General Henry Leavenworth printed in the Delaware Gazette December 28, 1829, and to memoranda furnished by Miss Foote of Delhi, the great-great- grandaughter of Judge Foote).
Judge Foote was born April 12, 1756, in Colchester, Connecticut. He was the son of Daniel Foote and the brother of Eli Foote whose daughter Roxana married Rev. Lyman Beecher and was the mother of Henry Ward Beecher, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, and others of that talented family. Some of the Foote family espoused the loyalist cause in the Revolutionary war; but Ebenezer was an ardent patriot, and when the first guns were fired be, with several other young men, fled from, home without his father's permission and joined the patriotic troops near Boston. He was present at the battle of Bunker Hill and served continuously until the close of the war. For his bravery and efficiency he was promoted from the ranks in which he enlisted to the position of Major. He attracted the attention of Washington and was by him assigned to staff duty.
He had the misfortune to be taken captive during the war, and was confined with many others in the Bridewell prison in New York city. Along with a number of others he formed a plan to escape. They managed to elude their guards and found themselves in the country near where Chambers street now is. They made their way to the Hudson river with the intention of crossing it to New Jersey. They found an old leaky boat, but they were unable to make it sufficiently safe. All the other fugitives then took to the land and tried to make their way through the hostile sentinels to the country north of them. But Foote found a plank and with it undertook to swim the Hudson. It was in the month of December and the water was piteously cold. He succeeded, however, in escaping the patrolling vessels, and in making his way to the other side. He landed at Hoboken where he found shelter and dry clothes. He escaped, but he never recovered wholly from the effects of this terrible exposure.
Major Foote from his rank in the Revolutionary army became a member of the Order of Cincinnati, and up to the time of his death took great pleasure in joining his comrades on the fourth of July to celebrate the achievement of American independence.
At the close of the war he only possessed the back pay which was due to him for his services. Part of this was paid to him in money; and a part was liquidated by a grant of unsettled land on the West branch of the Delaware river. He entrusted the certificate of his army pay to an agent for collection and this precious rascal defrauded him out of the whole. He had married in 1779 Jerusha Purdy, a member of the Westchester family of that name. Her property also had been mostly destroyed by the British troops in their incursions into the regions north of New York.
Major Foote had, therefore, to commence life anew. He started in a mercantile career at Newburgh which was then in Ulster county. In this he must have been more or less successful; for we find that several times he was chosen to represent the county in the State Legislature. He is recorded as having been in the Assembly in 1792, 1794, 1796 and 1797. It was during this latter year that the bill for the erection of Delaware county was under discussion, and Major Foote took an active part in perfecting and securing the passage of the measure. He served as Senator from the Middle District during the years 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801 and 1802. In 1799 he was chosen to serve as a member of the Council of Appointment under Governor John Jay.
On the establishment of the new county he was appointed by the Governor the county clerk, and immediately removed thither to assume his duties. At this time it must be remembered that there was no village of Delhi. There were two sites which were looked upon as likely to become the location of the proposed county buildings. One of these was at the mouth of Elk Creek on the grounds of Gideon Frisbee. Here already the first meeting of the board of supervisors had been held and the county court had held its first session. The other was the extensive flat at the mouth of the Little Delaware. There is a tradition that some of the early county meetings and courts were held in the latter locality at the house of Mr. Leal. It was near this beautiful intervale that the land lay which had been granted to Major Foote for his military services; and it was near this on the south that he selected a site and built a residence for himself. The building is still standing but has passed out of the possession of his descendants.
Mr. Foote served as county clerk until 1801 when he was succeeded by Philip Gebhard. He was not only the clerk of the board of supervisors, but also the clerk of the courts held in the county and the custodian of their records.
In 1810 he was appointed by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins as county judge for a term of six years. Subsequently in 1828 he was again appointed to the same office which he held until his death in 1829 at the age of seventy-four.
No citizen of Delaware has ever enjoyed a more distinguished circle of acquaintance. He knew and corresponded with the most active political managers of the day, and many of them were his guests at Arbor Hill. We may mention a few from whom letters are still preserved by his descendants: The Patroon Stephen Van Rensselaer, Hon. Elisha Williams, Governor Morgan Lewis, General Schuyler, the Livingstons, Cadwalader Colden, Josiah Ogden Hoffman, Philip Van Courtlandt, Martin Van Buren, John Jay, DeWitt Clinton, Aaron Burr, etc. Catherine Livingston writes to him regretting not having seen him, and would like to sell him a young slave girl, as she has more than she can afford to keep.
We have already stated that he married in 1779 Jerusha Purdy. He had four children, viz: Frederick Parsons, Charles Augustus,, Harriet, and Margaret. Frederick served as general in the war of 1812 and died in Leghorn, Italy, in 1827. His second son Charles Augustus, was a lawyer and filled many local offices. . He was a member of congress in 1824, but died soon after, aged forty. His eldest son was a graduate of West Point, served with distinction in the Seminole War and finally was killed in the battle at Gaines' Mills in 1862. The second son of Charles Augustus Foote was Charles A. Foote of Delhi, who died in 1896, and who will be remembered by many friends still living. He was born in 1818 and being left an orphan he was obliged to care for himself. When twenty-one years of age he commenced business and continued in it till his death. During these many years he maintained a character of spotless integrity. He held many positions of public trust. He was treasurer of Delaware county for nine years from 1861 to 1870. He served as treasurer of the village of Delhi; he was town clerk; he was a trustee of the Delaware Academy, and a director of the National Bank. In all these positions he discharged his trusts with unswerving fidelity.
* * * * *
GENERAL ERASTUS ROOT.
A full account of General Root would include a great part of the history of the county in which so much of his life was spent. We give below the principal incidents in his varied and eventful career.
1. He was born in Hebron, Connecticut, March 16, 1773.
2. He was graduated from Dartmouth College, 1793.
3. He removed to Franklin, then in Otsego county, and when Delaware county was organized in 1797 he transferred his residence to Delhi where he continued to dwell until the time of his death.
4. He was married in 1866 to Miss Eliza Stockton of Walton. He had five children:
..... 1. Julianne born 1807, married Hon. S. E. Hobbie, died 1898 in Washington, D.C.
..... 2. Charles born May 6, 1809, died December 8, 1828.
..... 3. Elizabeth born 1812, died 1865.
..... 4. William born 1813, died 1874.
..... 5. Augusta born 1816, died 1838.
5. He was a member of the Assembly from Delaware county in 1799, 1801, 1802, 1818, 1819, 1820- 1821, 1826, 1827, 1828, 1830.
6. He was Speaker of the Assembly, 1827, 1828, 1830.
7. He was a State Senator, 1812-16, and 1840--44; at this last election in 1810 he was chosen by two majority.
8. He was Lieutenant Governor 1823-4. In 1824 he was again a candidate for the same office, but was defeated by James Tallmage.
9. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1821.
10. In 1824 the Legislature appointed James Kent, Benjamin F. Butler and Erastus Root, as a commission to revise the State laws.
11. He was a member of Congress 1803-5, 1809-11, 1815-17, 1831-38.
12. When the village of Delhi was incorporated in 1821 he was a member of the Assembly, and it was by his activity that the act was passed.
13. In 1831 he was appointed by President Jackson along with James McCall of New York and John T. Mason of Michigan as a commission to lay out the Green Bay Indian Reservation.
14. At the Democratic Convention in 1830 he was a candidate for the nomination for Governor, but he was defeated by Enos Throop.
15. He was the postmaster at the village of Delhi during twenty years.
16. In 1833 he abandoned, the Democratic party and became a Whig.
17. In his youth he published an arithmetic, and in 1824 he published a volume of Addresses to the People., He had the honor of being immortalized in Fitz Greene Hallock's Croakers, in the poem addressed to Mr. Potter the ventriloquist.
18. He died in New York on his way to Washington to spend the winter with his daughter Mrs. Selah R. Hobbie.* (*General Root's wit was irrepressible and found vent on all occasions. When Hamilton Fish was nominated for Governor he is said to have expressed himself thus: "No doubt Hamilton Fish is a good man, but he can't swim in the waters of the Delaware.")
A collection of papers relating to General Root was on exhibition during the celebration of the centennial anniversary. Since that time these papers have been presented to the New York State Library at Albany by Mrs. Selah R. Hobbie, then the only surviving child of General Root, who has since died, and by Rev. Reeves Hobbie of Newark, her son. They are as follows:
1. Diploma from Dartmouth College, 1793.
2. Recommendations of Erastus Root for admission to the bar of Tolland county, Connecticut, February 16, 1796.
3. Certificate of admission to the bar of Tolland county, Connecticut, February 25, 1796.
4. License to practise as counsellor in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, January 4, 1799.
5. Appointment of Erastus Root as Master in Chancery, by Governor George Clinton, January 23, 1802.
6. Appointment of Erastus Root as Brigade Inspector of the Militia of Delaware county, New York, with the rank of Major, by Governor George Clinton, March 29,1802..
7. Appointment of Erastus Root as Lieutenant Colonel, Commandant of the Regiment of Militia in Delaware county, by Governor George Clinton, March 24, 1803.
8. License of Erastus Root to practise as attorney-at-law in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, by James Kent, Chief Justice, August 18, 1806.
9. Appointment of Erastus Root as Brigadier General of Brigade of Militia in Delaware and other counties, by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, February 17, 1808.
10. Certificate of the election of Erastus Root as member of Congress, June 3, 1808.
11. Discharge of Erastus Root from the office of Master of Chancery, by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, March 30, 1810.
12. Certificate of the election of Erastus Root as a Senator of the State of New York, May 31, 1811.
13. Appointment of Erastus Root as a Master of Chancery, by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, February 12, 1811.
14. Appointment of Erastus Root as Brigadier General of the Brigade of Militia in Delaware county, by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, April 10, 1811.
15. Appointment of Erastus Root as Commissioner for Insolvent Debtors, etc., by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, June 7, 1811.
16. Order of Brigadier General P. Farrington to Lieutenant Colonel Erastus Root, September 4, 1814.
17. Certificate of the admission of Erastus Root as Solicitor and Counsellor in the Court of Chancery, by James Kent, Chancellor, August 23, 1816.
18. Appointment of Erastus Root as Major General of the 8th Division of Infantry, by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, March 22, 1816.
19. Certificate of the election of Erastus Root as Lieutenant Governor, December 4, 1822.
20. Discharge of Erastus Root as Major General with the thanks of the Commander-in-chief, November 17, 1824.
* * * * *
HON. SAMUEL SHERWOOD.* (* This sketch is prepared by Samuel Sherwood of New York City).
Samuel Sherwood was born in Charlotte county (now Washington county) in this State, April 24, 1779. His father had come from Connecticut to settle in that thinly populated region near Lake George, and on the breaking out of the Revolution became an officer of the volunteer troops. In 1780 occurred the invasion of that region by the British and Indians under Colonel Carleton, who ravaged the whole district and burned many of the houses of the Whigs. Mr. Sherwood's father's house was burned at that time; the mother taking her two children, his brother and himself on horseback barely escaped the Indians. A few years after the war his father moved to Cayuga county; there Mr. Sherwood received a good education at the local schools and was without doubt a precocious scholar, for at the age of sixteen he began the study of the law in the office of Judge Walter Wood of Aurora.. Before he was twenty he had accumulated some landed property in Cayuga county. He entered the law office of Conrad E. Elmendorf of Kingston, where he remained until November 1799, when he went to Delaware county. Before he was eighteen he had tried suits before justices, and before he was twenty bad tried causes against many of the eminent lawyers in Ulster and Delaware, such as Smith Thompson and Garret VanNess.
When Mr. Sherwood went to Delaware county he had formed a partnership with Mr. Elmendorf and did business in the latter's name until his admission in Delaware Common Pleas, February, Court, 1800.
He was married in 1800 to Miss Deborah Hawkins and commenced housekeeping at Delhi next winter. There were several of this marriage, the late Mrs. Herman D. Gould being the eldest.
In 1804 he established his house and law office at Sherwood's bridge (then called Leal's bridge) about a mile south of Delhi, where be had acquired considerable land. This house together with the adjacent farm and wooded hill were retained by him during his life and bequeathed to his grandson and namesake, in whose possession they now are. Woodland House, so called by its builder, is one of the oldest houses in the township. It is situated on somewhat rising ground overlooking the Delaware river. The architecture is Ionic in style, the woodwork of the porch being somewhat elaborate considering the period of its construction. Mr. Sherwood in selecting a building site had been somewhat of the opinion that a village or settlement was likely to spring up in the neighborhood on account of the junction of the Little Delaware with the larger stream, and in the early part of the century this seemed likely for just above the bridge were established a tannery, a grist will and other industries. Mr. Sherwood was interested in many of these business enterprises.
In politics he was originally a Federalist. On going to Delaware county he was appointed paymaster in Colonel Butler's regiment of local militia and later was appointed to take the census in Delaware county in 1800.
In a memorandum made in 1850 he says:
"My determination to make Delaware county my residence had its origin in the local politics of the day. The Federalists of Delaware and Ulster counties were anxious to persuade me to break a lance with Erastus Root, some six or seven years my senior and then established as the leader of the Democracy of the county. We entered the lists in opposition to each other and rose and fell with the ebb tide of our respective parties. With the accession of George Clinton to the gubernatorial chair of state in 1801 the Federalists lost power in the state, and it was only during the war of 1812 that they again obtained a temporary ascendancy after the dissolution of the party, 1819 to 1822. The portion of the party uniting with DeWitt Clinton came into power with him in 1825 and held this power till his death in 1828. Delaware county, 1798, was largely anti-Federal or Democratic, never giving less than four or five hundred Democratic majority of votes under regular organization, and it became part of the tactics of the day for the minority to divide and conquer, and as every year presented some 'ism' it generally happened that the Federalists were able to throw away their vote on some unobjectionable Democrat rather than going to the polls with a certainty of defeat. In this warfare, which was always unpleasant, we often succeeded in controlling the supervision of the county and in subduing the tyrannies and injustices of our opponents."
In 1812 Mr. Sherwood was elected to Congress as a Federalist. The Federalists, as is well known, were opposed to the war of 1812 and presumably he was in sympathy with his party on that issue, but later he gave his support to the war measures proposed by the administration of President Madison.
In 1814 Mr. Sherwood, whose first wife had died in 1810, was married to Miss Laura Bostwick and they spent the following winter in Washington. This was the year following the burning of the public buildings in Washington by the British troops; the war was still in progress, the outlook gloomy; nevertheless there were the usual ceremonial receptions at the White House. Mrs. Sherwood's letters written at the time give an interesting picture of the manners and customs of the period, and an entertaining description of the appearance of Mrs. Dolly Madison, the President's wife.
Mr. Sherwood, after serving his term in Congress, was not again a candidate for public office and later in life became a. Democrat.
His law practice in Delaware county continued until 1830. Among those associated with him as law partners or students may be mentioned Amasa Parker, (father of the late Robert Parker of Delhi,) Judge Amasa J. Parker of Albany, Nelson Wheeler and Franklin Sherwood Kinney.
In the early days of the century he was generally pitted against General Root in legal as well as political matters. Some old papers in a libel suit entitled "Root vs. Sherwood" are still in existence and illustrate the conditions of politics about 1808. Root claimed that Sherwood had libelled him by publishing a political poster stating that he (Root) was an adherent of Aaron Burr, and charging Root with complicity in Burr's schemes in the west and urging the electors to "beware of Burrites." Root succeeded in getting one hundred dollars damages.
In the trial of James Graham for the murder of Cameron and McGillivrae the accused asked to have Erastus Root and Samuel Sherwood appointed his counsel. But Street, the District Attorney, had already secured Sherwood for the prosecution. The latter in a private letter describes the trial as a most impressive one. Great crowds of people were present. Even many ladies, among others the wife of the presiding judge, Ambrose Spencer.
About 1830 Mr. Sherwood moved to Now York and established a successful legal practice, which he continued until about 1855, prominent in general practice his specialty perhaps was the management of real estate cases, ejectment suits and the like. He was also distinguished as a Chancery lawyer. In early life he had been in active practice against Aaron Burr. In the Anti-rent trials in Delhi he appeared for the prosecution at the request of Mr. VanBuren, the Attorney General.
Although engaged in business in New York he retained a deep interest in Delhi. He had been associated with most of the enterprises of the early period of the history of the village; he was interested in the establishment of the Academy and was one of the founders of St. John's Episcopal Church.
His home, Woodland House, has sheltered four generations of his family as well as many visitors.
In appearance Mr. Sherwood was above the middle height, strongly built, with dark complexion, marked features. He was a man of few words but energetic and forcible. He died in 1862. Four of Mr. Sherwood's children survived him: Mrs. H. D. Gould, John Sherwood, Robert H. Sherwood and Mrs. D. Colden Murray. All these are now dead.
John Sherwood was born in Delhi in 1820, was educated at the. Delaware Academy and Now York private schools and was graduated at Yale College in 1839. He studied law and practiced with his father. At one time he made a specialty of the law concerning trade marks and had been engaged in important cases concerning steamships and marine insurance. He was interested in historical literature and was especially conversant with the military history of the country.
He married in 1851 Miss Mary Elizabeth Wilson, daughter of General James Wilson of Keene, New Hampshire. One of their sons, Samuel Sherwood, is the owner of the old Sherwood place and spends a good deal of his time in Delhi. Another son, Arthur Murray Sherwood, is of the banking firm of Tower & Sherwood, Wall Street, New York. Mrs. Arthur M. Sherwood was Miss Rosina Emmet.
Robert H. Sherwood, son of the late Samuel Sherwood, had been a lawyer. He died the year after his father's death, in 1868. He married in 1852 Miss Mary Neal, daughter of John Neal of Maine. She survives him as do two daughters, Mrs. Picking, wife of Captain Picking, United States Navy, and Mrs. J. Wilson Patterson of Baltimore.
Mrs. Herman D. Gould was the eldest daughter of the late Samuel Sherwood and was born in this county in 1800. She married Herman D. Gould, a prominent business man of Delhi village. He was a merchant and for some time president of the bank and Representative in Congress. They lived in the large and attractive house at the lower end of the village now owned and occupied by the Messrs. Bell.
Mr. and Mrs. Gould had four sons: Sherwood D., S. Augustus, Herman and Charles. S. Augustus Gould is the only survivor of the four. He married Miss Weston and is now a resident of Chicago. Herman Gould had been prominent in railroad work and was a resident of Illinois at the time of his death. He left a widow and three children, the Misses Ruth and Katharine Gould and Edward L. Gould.
* * * * *
GENERAL HENRY LEAVENWORTH.
A monument to General Leavenworth stands on the brow of the hill above the village of Delhi. The situation is beautiful, but the grounds about it have been sadly neglected, and now the graceful shaft is almost concealed by the great trees and the encroaching underbrush. With my best endeavors I have been able to gather only a few facts concerning him of whom many were proud in his day, and to whose memory they erected this worthy monument.
Henry Leavenworth was born in New Haven, Connecticut,* in 1783. (In a sketch of him in the Washington Globe (1834) his birthplace is given as Vermont, but it is believed that this is an error. The monument above referred to gives the place of his nativity as Connecticut). He belonged to the same stock as the noted General Elias W. Leavenworth of Syracuse who for so long a time was a prominent figure in New York public life. Like many other young men of New England he had been smitten with the fever of emigration .and followed friends into the county of Delaware. He had already begun the study of law before he left New England, and when he came to Delhi in 1805 at twenty-one years of age, he entered the office of General Erastus Root to continue his studies. In due time he was admitted to the bar and then became a partner of his preceptor.
He imbibed from his partner not only a good knowledge of law and a ready and cordial manner with all who approached him, but particularly a keen liking for military matters with which the experiences of the Revolution made almost all the pioneer settlers .familiar. From this military ardor came the movement of Mr. Leavenworth at the opening of the war of 1812. He raised a company, (the 25th Infantry,) for service and was commissioned as a Captain in the United States Army. He was in the battle of Chippewa where he was brevetted for bravery, and again in the battle of Niagara, where he was a second time brevetted. But in this last battle he had been severely wounded. Colonel Leavenworth had married Harriet Lovejoy just before setting out for the war, and his wife accompanied him to the field of service. Fortunately she was present to nurse him and care for him in his wounded condition. But he recovered and was able again to give his services to the government.
After the close of the war Colonel Leavenworth was allowed a leave of absence from the army, and on his return, to Delaware county he was elected a member of the State legislature. He rendered such service to his State and his party that pointed him out as a conspicuously rising man.
On re-entering the army he was appointed an Indian agent by the government in the Northwest territory. He repaired to his field of labor without his wife; but after a few years, she joined him in these then remote regions. There are still many reminiscences of Colonel Leavenworth's residence in that country. His duties were partly civil and partly military. As a reward for his faithfulness and bravery the War Department had conferred on him the rank of Brigadier General. For the purpose of protecting the frontier settlements against the Indians he erected many forts which would enable the slender forces of the United States to hold their own. One of them, Fort Leavenworth, has given its name to a city in the state of Missouri.
During the winter of 1834 he came to Washington, on duty connected with his mission in the West. During his visit he was admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States. He was put in command of the military department of the Southwest and returned to his duties in the spring. During his operations against the hostile Indians he was seized with an attack of malarial fever. He died from this at Cross Timbers in the Territory of Arkansas. Captain James Dean, who was with him at his death, wrote concerning the painful circumstances. General Leavenworth, foreseeing that his death was near, said to Captain Dean:
"To the people of Delaware county I owe all that I ever have been; and at the beautiful little village of Delhi, that delightful spot, I wish my bones to rest. Place my body in a coffin of bordock wood, and let it be buried here until the cold weather comes. Then carry me by way of New Orleans back to my home."
This was tenderly done, and accompanied by a detachment of his command his body was brought to Delhi. Here it was received by every demonstration of sorrow and respect by his townsmen and the military authorities of the State. The funeral was held May 22, 1835, and he was buried in the spot where his monument now stands. This was erected shortly afterwards by his admiring friends. It bears the following inscription:
On the West Front:
IN MEMORY OFHENRY LEAVENWORTH,
COLONEL OF THE U. S. 2D INFANTRY
BRIGADIER GENERAL IN THE ARMY.
On the North Front:
AS A TESTIMONIAL
TO HIS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE WORTH
HIS.REGIMENT HAVE ERECTED
On the South Front:
BORN AT NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT,
DECEMBER 10, 1783.
IN THE SERVICE OF HIS COUNTRY
NEAR THE FALSE WASCHITA
JULY 21, 1834.
On the East Front:
FOR HIS CIVIC VIRTUES
HIS FELLOW-CITIZENS OF DELAWARE
HONORED HIM WITH A SEAT IN THE LEGISLATURE OF NEW YORK:
THE FIELDS OF
CHIPPEWA, NIAGARA AND AURICHAREE
ESTABLISH HIS FAME AS A SOLDIER.
* * * * *
WILLLIAM B. OGDEN.* (*I am indebted to Hon. Andrew H. Green of New York for the most of the information contained in this sketch. The pamphlet referred to is No. 17 of the Fergus Historical Series, relating to early Chicago events).
The family to which William B. Ogden belonged came to Delaware county from Morristown, New Jersey. It seems to have enjoyed the special friendship of Governor Dickerson of that State, because we find that a younger brother of William B. was named after the governor Mahlon Dickerson Ogden. It is stated that Abraham the father of William started out to find a suitable place in which to settle. He had about determined upon Washington, the new capital of the nation; but he met a friend in Philadelphia, who had purchased a large tract of land in the wild regions on the upper Delaware. He set forth so attractively the opportunities for land and lumber in this picturesque region, that it ended in the agreement of the Ogdens to go to Delaware county instead of Washington.
Accordingly in 1797 a colony of this family, all bearing substantial bible names, found their way into the valley of the Delaware and settled at Walton. Here Isaac and Abraham established a sawmill for cutting up the vast amounts of timber which was found around them. Subsequently they added to their establishment a mill for fulling the cloth which the settlers brought to them.
Here William, the son of Abraham, was born in 1805. Long afterward when he had become a prosperous and well-known public man, he spoke of his early life: "I was born close by a saw mill, was early left an orphan, was cradled in a sugar trough, christened in a mill pond, graduated at a log school house, and at fourteen fancied I could do anything I turned my hand to, and that nothing was impossible."
In his boyhood he was remarkably athletic, and was fond of hunting and fishing. His father was obliged to make it a rule for him, that he must not fish more than two days in the week. He was a notably good shot * in the days when good shooting was not uncommon. (*Turkey shooting was a favorite amusement, in those days. Usually a colored man owned the turkey and was paid twenty-five cents by each one who shot. If the marksman hit the head of the turkey it was his; but if he hit any other part it still was the negro's. When young Ogden shot he was made to pay twice the regular rate. The poor darkey would shout, "Dodge, dodge old gobbler, Ogden is going to shoot. Shake yer head, darn ye, don't you see that rifle pinting at ye?" See Arnold's memorial of W.B. Ogden).
It had been determined in the family councils that William should study law, and he had begun to make preparation for his professional studies. At this time, 1820, his father suffered a, stroke of paralysis from which he died in 1825. The duty of the son was to take up the responsibilities of the father and abandon his chosen career. This he did bravely and without hesitation. For the next ten years he was the intrepid business man of Walton. In 1834 when he was still a young man of twenty-nine he was elected to represent the county in the State Assembly. The scheme for building the Erie railway with State aid was in that year before the legislature. Mr. Ogden, although inexperienced in legislation, was put forward as a leader in the advocacy of the desired measures. He made a speech on the subject lasting through three days, which is still spoken of as showing the far-sighted discernment of the future financier.
It was during this winter that he became interested in the subject of real estate in the little village of Chicago. His friend Arthur Bronson of New York, and his future brother-in-law the late Charles Butler, had visited the west and had become impressed with the prospects of this place. A land company was formed and Mr. Ogden was asked to take up his residence there as its agent.
Mr. Ogden therefore removed to Chicago in 1835 and entered on that splendid career which ended only with his life. Chicago had then only 1,500 inhabitants. But he was one of those who saw its future possibilities at the head of lake navigation and as a railroad center. Two years later it received a charter as a city, and had then reached a population of 3,500. Mr. Ogden was elected the first mayor of the new city. To him more than to any other man it owes its position as the great mid-country metropolis.
It is impossible that he should have gone on with all his great enterprises without reverses. During the crisis of 1857 he was largely interested in the extension of the railroad which is now the Chicago and Northwestern. This corporation defaulted in the payment of the interest on its floating debt. Mr. Ogden was the endorser of its paper to the extent of a million and a half of dollars. The response of his friends in this embarrassment is one of the most creditable things in financial history. Samuel Russell, the founder of the house of Russell & Co. in China, placed nearly half a million of dollars at his disposal; Robert Eaton, of Swansea, Wales, sent him eighty thousand dollars to use at his discretion; Matthew Laflin of Chicago tendered him from himself and his friends one hundred thousand dollars; and Col. E. D. Taylor repeatedly offered like substantial assistance. But Mr. Ogden contrived to weather this storm without accepting this magnanimous aid. He was often heard to declare that it was worthwhile to become embarrassed in order to experience the generosity of such friends.
The active spirit of Mr. Ogden kept him busy during all these years in developing new lines of industry. He founded an immense lumbering establishment at Peshtigo in Northern Wisconsin; he organized great iron and coal works at Brady's Bend in Pennsylvania; he was the leading spirit in the movements connected with the Union Pacific railroad, the Fort Wayne railroad, the Chicago, and Northwestern railroad and many others.
So much of his time was now required in New York on account of his great interests, that in 1866 he purchased for himself a home on Fordham Heights near New York, which he called Boscobel. The Chicago people never quite forgave him for this desertion of the city he had done so much to build up. But he did not give up Chicago. He always retained a house and a legal residence there. He considered himself as a Chicagoan living for convenience in New York.
He was at Boscobel when word came to him in 1871 that Chicago was on fire. He started thither by the earliest train. On his way he received notice that his lumbering village at Peshtigo, two hundred miles from Chicago, was also entirely destroyed by fire. We may well suppose that Mr. Ogden was not the least brave of those who confronted the disasters of that terrible time. By their courage and intrepidity they turned the ruin of Chicago into lasting benefit, and gave it an impulse toward greatness which it has never lost.
Up to 1875 Mr. Ogden had lived a bachelor, both at Chicago and Boscobel. But in that year he married Mary Arnot, daughter of Judge John Arnot of Elmira, and took her to reside at Boscobel. Here he died in 1877 aged seventy-two years. He left behind him a great name for financial skill and enterprise, for openhearted generosity, and for a most attractive and charming personality. He never forgot his native town or county. In his will there was a clause bequeathing a sum of money to be expended in the discretion of his executors for charitable objects. This clause was attacked in the courts but was settled by compromise, and from it the sum of $20,000 was received for the establishment of a library in the village of Walton. A beautiful building for this purpose has been erected at a cost of $14,500.
* * * * *
REV. DANIEL SHEPARD.
PRINCIPAL OF THE DELAWARE ACADEMY 1837-46.
No sketch of Delaware county would be complete without an account of the Rev. Daniel Shepard, the principal of the Delaware Academy from 1837 to 1846. All those who knew him and knew the work he had done for the Academy, and especially all those who were students under him, will be ready to testify to his high and exemplary character and his inspiring scholarship. When he came to Delhi in 1837 to take charge of the Academy he was only twenty-two years of age, and when he died in 1846 he was only thirty-one. We append a brief sketch of his short but brilliant life.
He was born at Portland, Connecticut, in 1815. His parents were members of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and he was confirmed and became a communicant at the age of sixteen. He was sent to Trinity College at Hartford, and was graduated in 1836. It was his purpose to enter the university of the Episcopal Church, but as he was still very young, he accepted an invitation to become the principal of the Delaware Academy. While he held this position he pursued his theological studies and was ordained a deacon by the Bishop of Connecticut in 1839, and a few years later was ordained a priest by the Bishop of New York. During his principalship he occasionally officiated in the church at Delhi, and he never gave up the design to devote his life to the sacred ministry, but death came before he was able to change the plans of his life.
When he came to Delhi the academy was in a depressed condition, and the prospects might have deterred a less alert and enthusiastic man. But Mr. Shepard had youth and health and unbounded vigor, and entered on his duties with an assurance that speedily brought success. Nine years he remained principal, and each succeeding year of this period witnessed a marked advance in the standing and prosperity of the school. It had a patronage not only from the county of Delaware, but from the large cities of the country. Many boys were sent from New York, with the assured expectation that they would receive not only a sound educational training, but would profit by the bracing physical and moral atmosphere in which they would be placed.
The academy had the confidence and the patronage of the best and most distinguished citizens of the county and especially of the village of Delhi. The old students will remember well the faithfulness and vigilance of the trustees in watching over the institution; how General Root in his old age renewed his youth and his scholarship by visiting the school on every suitable occasion. How Colonel Amasa Parker, Judge Amasa J. Parker, and others, were constantly present on occasions of examination or at the exhibitions which were held at the close of the terms.
Mr. Shepard was the principal character connected with the school. In the female department, however, which was separated from the male, Mrs. Ten Broeck (afterward Mrs. Howard) was for a long time the preceptress, and endeared herself, not only to the girls under her immediate care but to the boys in the male department. In classical learning particularly Mr. Shepard was an enthusiastic scholar and teacher. Any of the lads who showed any special aptitude received from him every encouragement and assistance. He was a most successful disciplinarian, and maintained an easy and natural authority over his boys which made impossible the taking of any liberties with him. He had a good-natured wit of which they had a wholesome fear, and with which he occasionally lashed them.* (** Dr. McGregor of New York, who was Mr. Shepard's pupil for several years, remembers once when he was engaged with a class, some of the other boys in the room took. advantage of the opportunity to neglect their work. Mr. Shepard without a moment's hesitation said:
"Thomas Scott, you study not,
Edward Bill, you're idle still,
Walter Crear, come sit here."
But it was his natural dignity and the kind-hearted spirit in which he administered his little domain that made him an easy and successful ruler.
Mr. Shepard's career at the Delaware Academy was not long, although it was memorable. At the close of the academic year in 1846, he planned for himself a trip to the west. He went as far as St. Louis and was there seized with a congestive fever. He started on his return home, in spite of his illness. The facilities for travel were then by no means so great as they have since become; and the fatigue of his exertions materially aggravated his disorder. He reached home suffering still from the attack of fever, and after a few weeks closed his young and promising life.
He had married, after coming to Delhi, Miss Hogan of Albany, who with a family of young children survived him. She still, after a period of more than fifty years, remains in a placid old age awaiting the summons to join her dear husband in the land of eternal rest.
* * * * *
AMASA J. PARKER.
Of few of her citizens is Delaware county more proud than of the eminent and accomplished Judge Parker. Although he removed from his home in Delhi at an early age, only thirty-nine, yet he had remained long enough to be chosen to most of the honorable offices of the county, and to show by his professional ability and by his energetic private career, his true worth as a man and a citizen.
He was the son of Rev. Daniel Parker, a Congregational clergyman who for many years was the pastor of a church in Sharon, Connecticut. He was born in Sharon in 1807; but in 1816 the father removed to Greenville, in Greene county, N. Y., where he took charge of the Academy of that place. The son, then only nine years old, here commenced the study of Latin, and in the usual studies of a classical education made notable advancement. In May 1823, when only sixteen years old he became principal of the Hudson Academy. In 1825 he entered the senior class of Union College and was graduated, still retaining his position in the Hudson Academy. After graduating he commenced the study of law in the office of Judge John W. Edmonds.
In 1827, at the age of twenty, he removed to Delhi and resumed the study of law with his uncle, Col. Amasa Parker. He was admitted to the bar in 1828, and immediately was taken into partnership by his uncle. Here for fifteen years he was engaged in an extensive and laborious practice; his uncle almost entirely confining himself to the duties of the office, leaving to the learned and brilliant nephew the duty of appearance in court.
In 1834 he was a member of the Assembly.
In 1835 he was chosen a Regent of the University, which position he held till he was appointed Judge.
In 1937-39 he was a member of Congress from the counties of Broome and. Delaware.
In 1839 he was a candidate for State Senator against General Root, but was defeated by a few votes.
In 1844 he was appointed by Governor Silas Wright to the office of Circuit Judge of the Third Circuit. It was at this time he removed to Albany where he resided until his death.
At no time in the history of the State have the judicial labors devolving upon the judges been more difficult and responsible than those which he was called upon to discharge during the twelve years of his service. The anti-rent excitement was then at its height. It crowded the civil calendars with litigation, and the criminal courts with indictments for acts of violence in resisting the collection of rents.
The trial of Dr. Boughton ("Big Thunder") in the spring of 1845 before Judge Parker at Hudson lasted two weeks and resulted in a disagreement of the jury. The second trial was held by Judge Edmonds and the prisoner was convicted and sentenced to State's prison.
In the summer of 1845 Osman N. Steele, Under-Sheriff of Delaware county, while attending a sale for rent, at which more than two hundred disguised "Indians" were present, was shot and killed. Over two hundred persons were indicted for crimes connected with this killing. The trials were conducted during the autumn of 1845 by Judge Parker. The cases were all disposed of either by trial or by the prisoners pleading guilty. The sad business was ended and Judge Parker had done a pathetic and trying piece of work.
In 1846 a new constitution was framed for the State and duly adopted. Under this constitution Judge Parker was elected a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State for the full term.
After the expiration of his term of office he devoted himself to the duties of his profession in the city of Albany. A large part of his time was taken up with the argument of cases before the Court of Appeals. He was the author of several law books which were highly esteemed by the profession. Geneva College in 1846 bestowed upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. He was called upon often in his home in Albany to aid in the management of educational and charitable enterprises. For many years he was a professor in the Albany Law School and devoted much time to preparing and giving lectures.
He was a politician in its widest and best sense. Twice he was, the candidate of his party for Governor of his State, in 1856 and again in 1858.
* * * * *
Jay Gould was born in Roxbury, Delaware county, in 1836. He was a descendant of the Goulds who immigrated from New England into Delaware county in 1789.* (*See page 49). The ancestor of the, family came from England in 1646 and settled in Fairfield, Conn. Abram Gould the great-grandfather of Jay Gould, was a colonel in the Revolutionary war and was killed in battle. It was the son of this revolutionary colonel who came with other pioneer settlers into Roxbury. Here his son John B. Gould was born, who grew up to be one of the substantial citizens of the town. He married a daughter of John More who was the pioneer Scotch settler in Roxbury and the founder of Moresville.
When their son Jay Gould** was fourteen years old, he was sent to the Academy at Hobart, where he made such good use of his opportunities that he became well founded in the branches of which he was afterward to make such good use. (**Originally, the name was Jason Gould). In 1851 his father established a hardware store in the village of Roxbury, and the energetic boy, now grown to be sixteen years of age, was the chief manager of the business. In the midst of all his engagements, however, he contrived to save time to continue his studies in surveying and engineering. And in the next year, 1852, we find him employed to make a survey of Ulster county for a proposed map. His employer, however, failed in big plans, and they were taken up and finished by big young assistants one of whom was Mr. Gould. Other surveys followed the village of Cohoes, and the counties of Albany, Sullivan and Delaware. About 1853 he was for a time a student in the Albany Academy, no doubt with the purpose of perfecting himself in the branches which he had occasion to use.
His history of Delaware county, a notably thorough and painstaking piece of work was issued in 1856. After the manuscript had been sent to the printer in Philadelphia it was destroyed by a fire in the printing house. It was however re-written, and ready for the printer a second time within four months from the time of its destruction. The map of Delaware county was also published in 1856 when Mr. Gould was still but twenty years of age.
In the meantime he had formed the acquaintance of Col. Zadoc Pratt of Prattsville, who had a gift for discovering energetic and capable young men. Col. Pratt had come to the conclusion that owing to the failure of the supply of hemlock bark, the time for the business of tanning at Prattsville was nearly ended. He despatched Mr. Gould, therefore, to search for and select some suitable place where the business could be profitably conducted. In pursuance of this purpose he selected a site in Pennsylvania, where there was an abundance of hemlock timber which would furnish bark for a long time. Here he built an extensive tannery and entered upon the business on a large scale. In a few years he was able to buy out his partners, and finally in 1857 he sold out the entire establishment in order to enter upon the occupation which had always had a fascination for him.
In his testimony before a Commission appointed by the United States Senate in 1883, to investigate the affairs of the Union Pacific Railroad, Mr. Gould, in describing this transition in his career, says: "I still retained my early love for engineering and I was watching the railroads. After the panic everything went down very low, and I found a road whose first mortgage bonds were selling at ten cents, the Rutland and Washington Railroad, running from Troy, N. Y. to Rutland, Vt. I bought a majority of the bonds at ten cents, and left everything else and went into railroading. That was in 1860. I took entire charge of that road. I learned the business, and I was president, treasurer and general superintendent, and owned a controlling interest,"
The result of his foresight and energy was soon apparent. The road which he had rescued was soon after consolidated with others into the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad with a very substantial profit to the young financier. After this profitable transaction he established himself in the city of New York, becoming an extensive broker, especially in railroad properties. The New York and Erie Railroad was at this time in dire financial straits, and Mr. Gould purchased large block of its depreciated securities. In 1872 he became the president of the road, and for some years thereafter was deeply engaged in its management. Finally however a decisive turn occurred in its affairs through the intervention of the English bondholders and Mr. Gould and his friends were retired.
When the Union Pacific Railroad became financially embarrassed, feeling assured of the substantial value of the transcontinental lines, he bought up large quantities of its securities. These, when the affairs of the road had been improved, appreciated greatly on his hands and returned him a liberal profit. His dealings in the Missouri Pacific securities were of the same kind and led to the same profitable results. As he himself testified before the Commission above referred to: "The re-organization of broken-down roads and rendering them profitable had become a hobby with me. I cared less for the money I made out of the transactions than for the satisfaction of re-establishing them upon a profitable basis."
Another of his far-reaching and remunerative schemes was the organization of the Western Union Telegraph Company. After several preliminary consolidations, the last which brought all the interests into one vast company was effected in 1881. By this great transaction he became by far the largest holder of Telegraphic stock in the United States. Soon after this he took up the Elevated Railroad interests in the city of New York, and it was mainly through his influence that the separate companies holding these valuable franchises were combined into one working organization. The results of this operation were to add largely to his already vast wealth. Thus by his own foresight and by his clear and dexterous combinations this able and capable man who "knew how to bring things to pass," had stop by step grown to be one of the recognized financial powers in the country.
In 1863 he had married Helen Day Miller, the daughter of Hon. Daniel S. Miller of Greenville, N. Y. Their children who are all still living are: George Jay Gould, Edwin Gould, Helen Miller Gould, Howard Gould, Anna Gould, (now the Countess Castelane) and Frank Jay Gould. His wife died January 13, 1889, and Mr. Gould himself December 2, 1892.
In memory of their father and mother, and in recognition of their father's birth and early residence in Delaware county, the family has improved and beautified the ancestral residence in Roxbury and frequently it is occupied as a summer home. They have also built a beautiful and picturesque little memorial church, which they have donated to the Reformed Congregation of the town. And lastly Miss Helen Gould, who most often takes up her summer residence there, has bought back the old home of her father and converted part of it into a library and reading room for the people of the village. She has contributed many books to this library, and the library association of the place has purchased others, so that the little village library has become a most valuable source of culture and intelligence.
All these benefactions have been inspired by the desire to commemorate in some appropriate manner the lives of those who were so dear to them, and at the same time to benefit the community to which early associations had attached them. It is a matter of no small pride to Delaware county that two of the most eminent financiers of our country have thus been born within her territory, viz: William B. Ogden and Jay Gould.
* * * * *
ANTHONY M. PAINE.
General Paine was born at Harpersfield, March 25, 1801, a son of Dr. Asahel E. Paine, who came to Delhi in 1807, and Mr. A. M. Paine was a resident from that time till his death, March 10th, 1881. In March 1833, in company with Jacob D. Clark; purchased the Delaware Gazette. In early life Mr. Paine was engaged in mercantile business in Delhi village. For many years he was a Justice of the Peace, also Supervisor and Town Clerk. For one year he was Treasurer of the county, and in 1830 census taker of the county. He was a director in the Delaware Bank for nearly forty years and for over forty years a trustee of Delaware Academy, and for fifteen years president of the board. He passed through the various promotions of the old State militia until he reached the rank of Brigadier General, which position he hold until the militia was disbanded. Mr. Paine was always very regular and punctual in attendance at his office; and rarely in the forty-four years of his life did a day pass by when in the village that he was not to be found there at his accustomed seat. And as he passed into and through middle life to a ripe old age, no man ever had occasion to say that a single scar marred that life's record. His ear was never deaf to the story of suffering and distress, nor his hand empty to want and hunger.
* * * * *
HON. SAMUEL A. LAW.
Samuel A. Law was born in Cheschire, Conn., in 1771. He was graduated from Yale College in 1792. He pursued the study of law at Litchfield, Conn. and was admitted to the bar in 1795. He was sent into Delaware county in 1798 as the agent of the owners of the Franklin Patent. The tract was then almost a wilderness; but the liberal terms offered to settlers led to the rapid filling up of the vacant lands. Mr. Law himself became a settler, and established himself at what has since been called Meredith Square. He was appointed a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, from which fact he was commonly called Judge Law. He died at his home in Meredith in 1845 in the 74th year of his age.
* * * * *
COLONEL AMASA PARKER.
Colonel Parker was born in Litchfield county, Conn., in 1784. He was graduated from Yale College, studied law In Litchfield and afterward with Peter Van Schaik at Kinderhook, N. Y. In 1812 he removed to Delhi and formed a law partnership with Samuel Sherwood, then in the acme of his professional career. This lasted until Mr. Sherwood removed to New York. His residence was near that of Mr. Sherwood at the influx of the Little Delaware. Afterward he formed a partnership with his nephew, Amasa J. Parker, which continued until the latter was appointed a judge and removed to Albany. Then he still continued the practice of law with his son, Robert Parker. His distinguished services in his profession ended with his death in 1855.
* * * * *
HON. CHARLES HATHAWAY.
Charles Hathaway was born at Hudson N. Y. in 1796. He died at his home in Delhi January 21, 1876. He came with his parents into Delaware county in 1808, where he spent the whole of his long life. He commenced the practice of law in Delhi, being for a time in partnership with Hon. C. A. Foote. He held the office of County Judge and Surrogate beginning 1840, to which he was appointed by Governor Seward. During his term of office there was a bitter controversy throughout the State as to the administration of the office of Surrogate. The reports of Surrogate Hathaway were especially commended as models for honesty and fairness in every particular. After the termination of his term of office as county judge he retired from the practice of law, and devoted himself to the extensive land interests for which he had been appointed agent. These interests were the same as those for which Judge Foote had acted. During his life he had availed himself of the assistance of Mr. Hathaway in the management of these important concerns; and before his death had him substituted for himself as the agent.
Judge Hathaway was during his whole life an active and public-spirited citizen. The introduction of water for the village, the organization of a fire department, the building of churches and county buildings, the organizations of the Delaware Bank, all found in him an active and zealous friend. Judge Hathaway married in 1828 Maria Augusta Bowne, a niece of Judge Foote and a sister of Norwood Bowne.
* * * * *
HON. SAMUEL GORDON.
Samuel Gordon was born at Wattles Ferry on the Susquehanna in 1802. Like most of the young men of that day his education was chiefly obtained in the common schools of his home. His busy, active and intellectual boyhood naturally led to a career beyond the community in which he was born. He acquired by persistent self-effort a good general education including classics and general literature. In 1827 he commenced the study of law with General Erastus Root in Delhi. After admission to the bar in 1829 he became a partner of General Root and began that remarkable career of' professional activity which ended only with his life. Scarcely a term of the court passed during that long period without his being engaged in some of the most important cases. He was elected in succession to nearly all the offices which lay in the line of his profession. He was postmaster in 1831; he, was member of Assembly in 1833; he was District Attorney of Delaware county from 1836 to 1839; he was elected a member of Congress from Delaware and Broome counties in 1840; he was re-elected in 1844; during the civil war he served as provost-marshal of the 19th congressional district until its close in 1866.
His wife was Frances Leete and his children were Harriet, Frances, Anna, Samuel, William and George L. He died at his home in Delhi, October 24, 1878.
* * * * *
DR. O.M. ALLABEN.
Dr. Allaben was born in 1808 at a place then in the town of Delhi, but which now is in the town of Hamden. His father removed to Roxbury when his son was still a small boy. He attended the Delaware Academy and prepared himself for his subsequent professional studies. He commenced the study of medicine in 1827 with Dr. J. B. Cowles of Roxbury. He was graduated in 1831 from the Waterville (Me.) Medical College, and in the same year settled for practice in the town of Middletown. Besides his constant devotion to his profession he was always a most public spirited citizen, and ready to exert his influence for the benefit of his friends and the community. He was elected supervisor of his town for seven successive terms beginning from 1839. He was a member of Assembly in 1840 and again in 1870, and a State Senator in 1864 and 1865. In the latter position he obtained the legislation necessary for building the Ulster and Delaware R. R. In 1863: he started the Utilitarian newspaper which he personally conducted for five years. In 1832 he married a daughter of Noah Dimmock. He died at Margaretville November 27, 1891.
* * * * *
HON. NORWOOD BOWNE.
Norwood Bowne was born in New York City May 2, 1813. He early became familiar with the printer's trade with which his life was to be associated. He came to Delhi in 1830 in order to enter upon the study of law with his brother-in-law Charles Hathaway. But the taste for editorship and printing was too strong in him. He was for a time connected with a newspaper called the Delaware Republican established by George E. Marvine. But this enterprise not being successful, he returned to New York where he was connected with the publication of the Protestant Vindicator. The printing and publishing house was destroyed by fire in 1834, leaving the proprietors penniless.
In 1839 he returned to Delhi for the purpose of establishing a newspaper in the interests of the Whig party. The Delaware Gazette, a Democratic paper, had been established in 1819, and in 1839 was the only newspaper printed in the county. At this time Mr. Bowne founded the Delaware Express and during the remainder of his life continued to be its editor and publisher.
Mr. Bowne has held various local offices. He was postmaster from 1849, to 1852; he was active both personally and by his paper in every important public enterprise. In 1854 he was elected on the State ticket with Governor Myron H. Clark to the office of State Prison Inspector, in which he served for three years. He died at Delhi, January 7, 1890.
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HON. WILLIAM GLEASON.
Judge Gleason was born in Roxbury January 4, 1819. He was educated in the common schools of his vicinity, and added to his acquirements a vast amount of liberal culture attained by private reading and study. To the very end of his life he took delight in works on literature, history and poetry, which he had learned to love in his boyhood. He studied law in the office of Judge Levinus Monson of Hobart, and was admitted to the county bar in 1843 and to that of the Supreme Court in 1845. He was elected a member of Assembly in 1850 and took an active part in the business of that body. In 1851 he was elected County Judge and Surrogate and removed his residence to Delhi. He was elected to a second term in 1859, and served also as supervisor of the town. He was in every way a public-spirited citizen and ready on every occasion to help forward measures for the public good. In the civil war when Delaware county was so conspicuous for its patriotic efforts, no one was more active in devising and working for the public good than Judge Gleason.
In 1853 Judge Gleason was married to Caroline, daughter of John Blanchard of Delhi. He has had three sons all still living: John B. Gleason of New York, Wallace B. Gleason of Delhi, and Lafayette B. Gleason of New York. He died at his home in Delhi, May 9, 1894.
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HON. WILLIAM MURRAY.
William Murray was born in Bovina in 1820. He was the son of William Murray who had migrated from Scotland two years before. In his early life he was engaged in the work of the pioneer settler. His education was such as could be acquired at the common schools and at the Delaware Academy. He commenced the study of law in the office of Samuel Gordon and was admitted to the bar in 1848. He has held in succession nearly all the offices in the line of his profession: Justice of the Peace, District Attorney, County Judge. After the expiration of his term of office he was appointed by Governor Fenton in January 1868, Justice of the Supreme Court in the Sixth District in the place of Judge Mason; resigned. In the autumn of 1869 he was elected to the same office for eight years. And at the end of this term he was re-elected without opposition for the term of fourteen years. These evidences of popular favor were the results of his judicial fairness, his personal amiability and profound legal knowledge.
In 1850 Judge Murray married Rachel Merwin of Bloomville. He has three children living: David Murray, lawyer, of New York, Mrs. Alexander Conklin of Delhi, and Asher Murray, lawyer, of Wadena, Minnesota. He died at Delhi, 1887, aged sixty-seven years.
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GENERAL FERRIS JACOBS JR.
General Jacobs, the son of Dr. Ferris Jacobs of Delhi, was born March 20, 1836. He received his education at the Delaware Academy, the Franklin Institute and at Williams College. From this last institution he was graduated In 1856 in the same class with President Garfield. He commenced the study of law in Philadelphia but afterward changed to Delhi where he was connected with the office of Parker and Gleason. He was admitted to the bar in 1859.
Early in the civil war he enlisted a company of cavalry and was mustered in as captain at Elmira in August 1861. His company belonged to the Third Regiment of New York Volunteer Cavalry. From this time he was in continual active service. He was with General Banks in the Shenandoah; he was with Burnside in North Carolina, where he was in innumerable engagements and was promoted to the rank of Major; he took part in the memorable campaigns of 1864 and was again promoted to be Lieutenant Colonel and commanded his regiment. His regiment was so cut up and reduced in numbers that it was necessary to consolidate it with other regiments and Colonel Jacobs resigned. He re-entered the service however and was assigned to duty on the northern frontier. In July 1865, he was mustered out of service with the brevet rank of Brigadier General.
After his return from the war in 1865 he was elected District Attorney and in 1871 he was elected for a second term of the same office. He ran for the office of County Judge but was defeated. He was a member of Congress during the term 1881-83.
In 1869 he married Miss Mary Hyde of Yellow Springs, Ohio. He died at Delhi, August 30, 1886.
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JUDGE ISAAC H. MAYNARD.
Judge Maynard was born in Bovina in 1838, being the grandson of the first settler in that town. He was graduated from Amherst College in 1862. He studied law in the office of Judge Murray and established himself at the village of Stamford. Here he was supervisor in 1869 and 1870. He was elected County Judge as a democrat, carrying the county by 1,355 majority, although usually its majority was 800 republican.
In 1875 he was elected Member of Assembly; in 1884 he was appointed first Deputy Attorney General of the State, which position he resigned to become Second Comptroller under President Cleveland. In 1887 he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the United States Treasury. In 1892 Governor Flower appointed him one of the Judges of the Court of Appeals.
Judge Maynard was a man of scholarly attainments, a brilliant and successful lawyer, and was highly esteemed by many friends. He died in Albany June 12, 1896, at the age of 58 years, and his remains rest in Woodland Cemetery at Delhi.