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 15 - pages 683 through 719
MRS. CATHERINE J. WEIR, of Sidney, is the daughter of Ezra and Mary (Foote) Clark, and the widow of the late William Jones Weir, who was for many years a respected member of the agricultural community, and a worthy citizen of the town. Mr. Weir was born December 30, 1816, and died on the farm now owned and occupied by his widow, in December, 1876. His father, William C. Weir, was a native of Chemung County, having been born and reared in the town of Southport; and in that place he departed this life, dying of old age at the home of John Brown. He married Miss Jones, a sister of the Rev. Simeon Jones.
William Weir was twice married, his first wife, to whom he was wedded in 1842, was Susan Clark, a sister of the present Mrs. Weir. She died February 24, 1855, at the age of forty-four years, leaving one daughter, Kate Ellen Weir, who died in Chicago, Ill., in January 1890, aged forty-three years. Miss Weir was a highly educated and intelligent woman, and notwithstanding her frail physical organization, was a very successful teacher. In January, 1856, Mr. Weir and Catherine J. Clark were united in marriage; and their pleasant pathway was brightened by the birth of three children, who are now the comfort and solace of their widowed mother's life. The eldest child, Alice, married J. A. Priestly, M.D., of Chicago; and they have two children, a son and a daughter. The sons, William B. And Alfred C., the latter being familiarly known as Fred, are wide-awake, active young men, and enterprising members of the industrial community of Sidney, where they are established as printers and publishers of two papers, one of them being the Sidney Despatch. Fred is married, and the happy father of two little girls.
Ezra Clark, the father of Mrs. Weir, had two wives, the first being Polly Banks, of Westchester County. She bore him two sons and two daughters, all of whom grew to maturity; and of these four children the youngest, and the last surviving member, died quite recently in Morris, N.Y. Of his union with Mary Foote three girls and two boys were born, none of whom are now living excepting Mrs. Weir and one of her brothers, a retired lawyer,, residing in Bainbridge, Chenango County. He is a graduate of Hamilton College, and during his professional life had an extensive and lucrative practice. The farm which Mrs. Weir now owns was settled upon her by her father in 1811, and at the time of his purchase contained one hundred and nineteen acres. Mr. Clark being unable to pay fully for the land in hard cash, made part payment in cattle. He began life with limited means, but by industrious labor and economy he became successful and prosperous. The Clarks were a numerous family, and had lived in Bedford, Westchester County, for many generation, coming to Delaware County from there. They were not of aristocratic ancestry, but were earnest workers, and accounted good and loyal citizens.
On the maternal side of the house, however, Mrs. Weir is descended from a noble family of England, who in years gone by were accustomed to dine in state, and were waited upon by a retinue of servants. Joseph Foote, the grandfather of Mrs. Weir, was a commissioned officer in the Revolutionary army; and his daughter Mary used to delight in telling her children how she used to sit upon General Washington's knee. Mrs. Weir is a well known and highly esteemed lady, possessing a great deal of intelligence and energy.
HALSEY DEAN, a respected citizen of Delhi, is familiarly known throughout this part of the county, where he has resided, man and boy, for threescore years. On the farm which he has ably managed for a long period of time he drew the first breath of life, on July 29, 1835. His father, William Dean, a native of Connecticut, a cooper by trade, was one of the earlier settlers of Delhi. He took up a tract of timber, and in the log house which he reared he and his wife began their pioneer work. He labored with a sturdy determination, and in the years that followed put his place in good order and erected good frame buildings. On the homestead which he improved he spent his remaining years, living until 1884. His wife, Hannah Gates, of Connecticut, died at the home of our subject, when seventy-eight years old. Both of these worthy people were faithful members of the Congregational church. They reared a family of seven children--Lucinda, Adaline, Julius, Hiram, Maria, Warner, and Halsey. A brother of his wife came to Delhi at the same time that he did, and was for many years successfully engaged in the lumber business, and also improved a good farm.
Halsey Dean early became practically acquainted with the art of tilling the soil. After the death of his father he and a brother-in-law assumed the management of the homestead, and for twelve years they worked that and the adjoining farm in partnership. Mr. Dean has since continued the cultivation and improvement of the homestead alone. He has constantly added to the improvements already instituted; and since his residence here he has erected the fine dwelling-house, convenient barn, and other out-buildings. Besides mixed husbandry, he pays a good deal of attention to dairying, finding it a very profitable branch of the business.
The union of Mr. Dean with Margaret Bogart, of Colchester, took place in 1854. Of the three children born to them, two are now living--Adaline and Lewis A. The former, who married John Myers, has one child, Halsey Carleton. Lewis A., a farmer, residing on a farm adjoining his father's married Anna Fisher; and they have two children--Laura and B. Margaret. Mr. Dean is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and both he and his excellent wife are members of the Methodist church.
OSCAR F. HARPER is a retired resident of the village of Sidney, where he has lived for the past twenty-six years. He is of old Scotch-Irish ancestry, and a great-grandson of Colonel John Harper, who came from Connecticut to the State of New York before the Revolution. He had five sons--William, James, John, Joseph, and Alexander. They were the possessors of twenty-two thousand acres of land, including what is now Harpersfield, Delaware County, the title for which they had received from King George, it being a patent dated December 8, 1769, bearing a seal the size of a sauce-plate. This document was handed down from generation to generation; and, when Oscar was a boy, it was still a family heirloom, in the possession of Judge Hotchkiss in West Harpersfield, where it was destroyed by fire with his dwelling and all his household effects in 1861. Judge Hotchkiss married Margaret, daughter of Colonel John Harper, at Lake Delaware, the bridal pair standing in Delaware County, and the minister in Schoharie County. He was a man of marked ability, and was widely known for his almost perfect handwriting, as plain and uniform as printed matter. He was prominent in public life for many years, being Postmaster at West Harpersfield for forty years, and died about 1847, on the old home far, which is now occupied by his grandson, Daniel N. Gaylord.
John Harper, Sr., was a Colonel in the French and Indian War, and narrowly escaped capture by the Indians while saving the family of the Rev. William Johnson, one of the original settler of Sidney. His son, William Harper, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, married Hannah Hotchkiss; and they became the parents of nine children, five sons and four daughters. All lived to grow up and have children of their own, except one son, Roswell Harper, who was a volunteer in the War of 1812, when but sixteen years of age, and died while in service. These children have all passed away, the last of them, George Harper, the youngest of the family, having died in the winter of 1892, near Waterbury, Conn., aged eighty-two years.
Oscar F. Harper was born in Davenport, Delaware County, May 5, 1818. January 25, 1844, he married Miss Lydia Hotchkiss, of Harpersfield, who died November 23, 1879, in Sidney, leaving five sons and one daughter, namely: Joseph H., a civil engineer in Butte City, Mont.; Linus P. and George H., of Lincoln, Neb.; Ella G., wife of Leonard Kellogg, also of Lincoln; Porter, who married Miss Kittie Bradford; of Sidney, and has one daughter, Ella, a miss of fourteen years; William R., a railroad engineer at Green Island near Troy, who has one daughter, Maud. Mrs. Kellogg has one son, Orville, a student in the University at Lincoln, Neb.
Mr. Harper is universally respected in the town where he has been so long a resident, numbering among his friends the most cultured and prominent people of Sidney and the surrounding towns.
JOHN and LEWIS ROSE are well-know wagon-makers in the village of Hamden, where they have a firmly established trade. John Rose, the senior member of the firm, was born in 1859 in Sullivan County, New York; and Lewis Rose, the junior member, is a native of the same place. Their father, Austin Rose, who is now living in the town of Hamden, retired from agricultural pursuits, was born in Greene County, New York, in 1815, and although never possssing very vigorous bodily health, still retains the full use of his mental powers, being a bright and active man of nearly four-score years. He has been twice married.
His first wife, Harriet Carley, bore him one child, Edwin L. Rose, who, when a boy of sixteen years, enlisted in the Fifty-sixth New York Volunteer Infantry, and after the close of the war joined the band of adventurous and enterprising young men who sought their fortunes in the Black Hills. The father was also a soldier in the late Rebellion, having enlisted October 16, 1862, but, after serving a little more than a year, was discharged, coming home in December, 1863, physically disabled. The maiden name of his second wife, to whom he was married in 1857, was Harriet Haines. She was one of four children, two daughters and two sons, born to her parents, Lewis and Lucy (Congdon) Haines, neither of whom is now living. By this marriage the two sons of whom we write were the only children. In politics the father has been a life-long Democrat, and, although not in sympathy with the methods of the Prohibitionists, has never used intoxicating drinks. His wife is a consistent member of the Methodist church.
Tobias Rose, the father of Austin Rose, was for many years engaged in farming in Ulster County. removing from there to Greene County in 1819. bringing with him his wife and six children. Two more children were added to their household, and of these eight children three sons are now living. The parents subsequently returned to Ulster County where both lived until far advanced in years.
The life records of John and Lewis Rose have been very similar, both having left school at an early age to earn something toward their own support, entering the employment of J. B. Gardner at Fallsburg. Lewis began to sandpaper woodwork at the age of eight years, and to do odd chores about the shop. Two years later he was doing mechanical work, receiving twenty cents a day, and boarding at home, his brother John, who was then eleven years of age, getting twenty-five cents a day. After remaining thus employed for five years, they started out as journeymen; and from that time until the present day these sterling mechanics have worked continuously at their trade. They have been obliged to rely solely upon their own efforts, their father coming out of the army, poor, not only in health, but in purse; and the self-reliance thus early necessitated has contributed largely to their success in life. In February, 1885, Messrs. Rose bought out the business of E. B. Buckingham, and have since carried on a substantial trade in this village. They have without doubt had a wider experience in wagon-making than any other one of their years in Delaware County.
John Rose entered the matrimonial estate October 9, 1883, being then wedded to Georgiana Greif, of Delhi. Three children have been born to them, namely: Paul, who was taken away when only three months old; Gertrude E., born April 8, 1892; and Helen, born March 24, 1894. Socially, Mr. John Rose is a Knight Templar, belonging to the Norwich Commandery. He is a sincere worshipper at the Methodist church, and is superintendent of the Sunday-school. Politically, both he and his brother are stanch members of the Republican party. On November 10, 1887, Lewis Rose was married to Gertrude, daughter of John Griffin. Her father came to this country from Germany when a young man, and was here wed to Elizabeth Face, who is now a widow, and resides in Delhi.
EZRA OSTERHOUT, a venerable citizen of Meredith, occupying a farm at Meredith Hollow, may well be called a pioneer of this section of the county, having lived here for nearly fourscore years. He was born in Albany County, February 7, 1817, and was brought to Meredith an infant in his mother's arms, his father having taken up a tract of wild land in this town. Mr. Osterhout is of Dutch descent. His father was Henry, third son of George Osterhout. Henry Osterhout was born in Bethlehem, Albany County, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. After becoming his own master, he rented a farm on shares for a time, then came to this county, settling in Meredith on the 1st of April, 1817. He took up one hundred acres of land in the midst of a deep forest, and soon the ringing strokes of his axe were heard as he levelled the huge trees to make a place for the log cabin which was to shelter himself and family. He succeeded in clearing a good farm, replacing the pioneer cabin with a set of frame buildings, and remained there several years. He subsequently sold that farm, and bought another in the same town. He died at the age of eighty-two years. He married Esther Gallup, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ezra Gallup, of Schoharie County. Five children were born of this marriage: Augusta, who married Oliver Butts, of Meredith; Abraham; Elihu; Maria, the wife of George Munson, of Meredith; and Ezra, who was the first-born of the household. The mother, who survived her husband, lived to be ninety years old. Ezra Osterhout spent the first thirty-six years of his life on the parental homestead, where he engaged in different branches of farming, and also operated a saw-mill for several years. He afterward became the owner of the adjoining farm, which he conducted successfully for about thirty years. Finally, disposing of that, Mr. Osterhout bought his present small but valuable farm of thirty-four acres, located in the village, and has since devoted his attention mostly to dairying, making a specialty of fine table butter. He also bought a saw-mill and a grist-mill in the village, which he ran for several years, carrying on an extensive business.
Mr. Osterhout and Miss Juliet Jackson were married in 1839. Mrs. Osterhout is a daughter of William Jackson, who was formerly numbered among the most prosperous farmers of Meredith, where the last years of his life were spent. He and his wife reared a family of twelve children, all of whom grew to maturity and married. The union of Mr. Osterhout and his wife was brightened by the birth of one child, Jeannette, who married Ira George, a son of Charles George, a well-known farmer of Meredith and Davenport. Mr. and Mrs. George own the farm formerly in the possession of Mr. Osterhout; and in its management they are assisted by their only child, Louis E. George. Politically, Mr. Osterhout is a stanch supporter of the Democratic ticket, and has always taken a lively interest in town and county matters. He has served as Assessor for a period of nearly thirty years, twenty-three consecutive years in Davenport, and six years in his present home town. He is not a member of any religious organization, but is a regular attendant at Sunday worship at either the Baptist or the Methodist church.
HORACE BAKER, late of Sidney, Delaware County, N.Y., for many years a well-known farmer and proprietor of a saw-mill in this town, was born at Cummington, Mass., January 5, 1813, and was a son of David and .Rebecca (Hill) Baker. His father and mother were of New England ancestry, and lived for a time after thelr marriage at Cummington, which is noted as the birthplace of William Cullen Bryant. They moved to Sidney in 1817, and occupied for a short time the farm now owned by George Beakes. Mr. Baker afterward bought a farm in the vicinity. He was a hard-working man; and, as in those days most of the land in this region was wild, he had to cut and clear away a good deal of timber, eventually having a large part of his fifty-five acres under cultivation. Mr. Baker was a member of the Congregational church, and Mrs. Baker of the Baptist. They reared the following family, namely: Milton, Persis, Harvey. Armenia, Horace, and Mercy, all deceased; William, living at Sidney Centre; Amelia, wife of Delos J. Bailey, of North Dakota; and Polly, widow of Solomon Johnson, living in Wisconsin. Both Mr. and Mrs. David Baker died on the homestead, at a good old age. Horace Baker was educated at the district schools of Sidney, the schoolhouse being built of logs, and the furniture of a very primitive description. At the age of twenty he commenced to learn the trade of a carpenter with Hubbard Niles, following this business during the best years of his life. Mr. Baker was engaged in farming, as well as conducting a saw-mill, and for fifty years was an extensive manufacturer of coffins. He owned the home farm on which he resided, and also other arable land, in all about one hundred and fifty acres. In the latter part of his life he dealt extensively in real estate, besides looking after his other business interests. In 1870 Mr. Baker had the misfortune to lose his left arm in his planing-mill. This calamity did not, however, deter him from continuing to work with his accustomed energy.
Mr. Baker was married October 6, 1841, to Martha Fowler, who was born in Meredith, January 21, 1814, a daughter of John and Betsey(Whitney) Fowler. Mr. and Mrs. Fowler were natives of Connecticut, moving from there to Meredith when the country was young. He was a hard-working and successful farmer, and was the father of thirteen children, twelve of whom are living at the present day, namely: Sherman W. Fowler , of Winnebago County, Wisconsin; and Harriet Andrews, of Walton, widow of John Andrews. Mr. and Mrs. Fowler were members of the Baptist church at Franklin. Mr. and Mrs. Horace Baker both lived to be past fourscore, and died within a few months of each other, less than a year ago, in 1894, she on May 11, and he on October 1. They had two children, only one of whom was spared to brighten their home, and is now living; namely Ophelia E. Her sister, Althea L., wife of Charles W. Niles, died September 15, 1879, aged twenty-eight.
In their later years Mr. and Mrs. Baker were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They were formerly members of the Congregational church, of which Mr. Baker was a Trustee and an ardent worker in the Sunday-school. In politics he was formerly a Republican, but latterly cast his vote with the Prohibition party. The iron bridge of the Ontario & Western Railroad, which is one hundred feet in height at the highest point, and nearly a quarter of a mile in length, crosses a part of the Baker farm, he having given the right of way to the company. Mr. Baker was known for many years as one of the oldest and most representative settlers of Sidney. An energetic and progressive man, he was always ready and willing to devote his time and use his influence to forward the best interests of the village, where .his name will long be held in honored remembrance. The portrait of Mr. Baker presented on another page of this "Review" is considered a very good likeness of the departed worthy.
JOHN D. SALTON, a substantial farmer of the town of Hamden, is the proprietor of a fine estate of two hundred and thirty acres lying in Terry Clove, where he has lived since the date of his birth, August 12, 1855. He is of Scotch extraction, a son of the late John Salton, Jr., who was born in Scotland in 1812, and seven years later, with his brothers and sisters, accompanied his parents, John Salton, Sr., and Jane (Murray) Salton, to America. On the voyage they had a very exciting and frightful experience, the vessel getting on fire in mid-ocean, and the passengers and crew having a very narrow escape from death. Soon after their arrival in New York they came to this neighborhood, and, being possessed of more means than the average emigrant, bought a tract of three hundred acres of land, the major part of which was in its primeval wildness, almost the only improvement of the place being the small log house into which they moved and spent their first years of occupancy of the farm. They improved a good homestead, and made it their permanent abiding-place, the grandfather dying in 1838, at the age of fifty-eight years, and his widow dying in 1858. They were of the Presbyterian faith. Of the children born to them only one is now living, namely: Jane, the wife of Robert Elliott, of Belle P!aine, N.Y.
John Salton, Jr., lived with his parents until his marriage, and became familiar in the days of his youth with the life and labors of the pioneer. His wife, Elspeth Davidson, whom he wedded in 1849, was born in the town of Andes, of Scotch parents. In the month of April, 1850, they settled on the farm now occupied by their son, the subject of this sketch. Its two hundred and thirty acres were partly cleared, and some improvements had been made. Mr. Salter labored assiduously to place it all under cultivation, repaired and remodelled the buildings, and in 1870 erected the substantial residence now standing here. One of the most noticeable of his betterments was the grubbing out of the thicket of elders, which occupied a large part of the yard, and the setting in their place of the beautiful hard maples which now ornament and shade the grassy lawn. Mrs. Salton, an active and intelligent woman, quite advanced in years, still lives on the home farm. She is a faithful and exemplary, member of the United Presbyterian church, to which her husband also belonged. Of the six children born to her one son died in infancy, his twin sister surviving him. Five are now living, namely: Ellen, wife of Duncan McDougall; John D.; Joanna, the wife of E. A. Tabor, a merchant, in Davenport; James W. a farmer, near Walton; Agnes, a teacher by profession, residing with her mother.
The boyhood and youth of John D. Salton were passed on the home farm, and in attending the district school. After the death of his honored sire he assumed the entire management of the home property, carrying it on with great success. He was the inheritor of an unlimited stock of energy, perseverance, and thrift, and occupies a leading position among the progressive and prosperous agriculturists of this section of the county, taking delight in adding to the improvements of his property. In 1888 Mr. Salton built a commodious barn, sixty feet by forty-six feet, with twenty-two-feet posts above a basement nine feet in height. The driveway to this building is fourteen feet above the first floor, and the bay for the hay has a capacity of eighty tons.
On the 8th of June, 1887, Mr. John D. Salton and Miss Maggie J. Blair were united in marriage. Mrs. Salton is a native of Hamden, and is the daughter of William and Rebecca Elizabeth (Holmes) Blair. In politics Mr. Salton is a stanch adherent of the Republican party, and supports its principles by voice and vote.
GEORGE R. SLITER, the Postmaster, and one of the leading merchants of Halcottsville, was born in Margaretville, Delaware County, November 20, 1847. His parents were Nicholas and Susan (Tremper) Sliter His father was born in Delaware County, and was educated in the district school at Margarettville. When a young man, Nicholas Sliter worked on his father's farm, and afterward learned the shoe-making trade, at which he worked the greater part of his life. In politics he was a Republican, and in religion a Methodist. He married Susan, daughter of Benjamin and Sally (Yeap!es) Tremper, and died at the age of sixty-three, leaving a widow and seven children, thus briefly named: John married Dolly Kettle, lives at Margarettville, and has five children. George R. is the subject of this sketch. Edward is a farmer, and lives in Arena. Sarah died at twelve years of age. Sherman married Miss Beards!ey, and lives at Andes. Ida, wife of M. Wood, lives at Downsvi!le. Alfred married Jane Kettle, lives in Arena, and has two children. Mrs. Sliter is still living, is sixty-seven years old, and enjoys fair health for a woman of her age. She makes her home in Arena, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
George R., the second son, received his education in Greene County, and after leaving school, at about the age of twenty one, worked at farming for some time. He afterward worked two years .at shoemaking in Arena, and then came to Halcottsville, where he has since continued to reside. He married Bema Henderson, a daughter of James and Hannah (Sprague) Henderson. Mr. Henderson was born in Jedburgh, Scotland, December 25, 1805, and at an early age came to America. In January, 1894 Mr. Sliter opened a general grange store at Halcottsville. He is constantly increasing his stock, and the enterprise is proving to be a decided success. The shoe business, also, continues to occupy some of his attention. He recently bought a house here, which he has remodelled, and upon the lot adjoining he has built a barn and other buildings.
In politics Mr. Sliter is a Democrat, and works hard for the success of his party. His appointment as Postmaster he received in March, 1894. He holds broad views on matters of religion, and is not a member of any church. Straightforward and diligent in business, he has won well-deserved success.
GEORGE P. BASSETT; M.D., a prominent citizen and successful physician of Downsville, town of Colchester, was born in that town, December 3, 1837, a son of Philip and Margaret (Hitt) Bassett. The father was born September 7, 1803, near Catskill, where he grew to manhood on the ancestral farm, attending the district schools. When very young, he began to study medicine with Dr. Wells, of Middleburg, Schoharie County, at the same time teaching school. He then located his office in Colchester, and there married February 5, 1835, Margaret, daughter of Jerrid and Betsey (Barker) Hitt. She was born January 7, 1803, and died November 9, 1849, having given birth to two children: namely, George P. and Frances, the latter of whom was born October 25, 1842, and is the wife of W. E. Holmes, a resident of Downsville. Philip Basset's second wife was Maria Barber, whom he married December 24, 1851.
He was the only physician in the town of Colchester, and had an extensive practice, visiting his patients on horseback, and carrying his medicine in saddle-bags. He was one of the men to attend the first course of medical lectures at the Albany Medical College in Albany, whither he went on horseback, almost the only mode of travelling in those days. Philip Basset was a kind-hearted, generous, benevolent man, of extraordinary nerve power, with special aptitude for his profession, in which he was eminently successful. He was a Republican; and both he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church, in which faith he died, July 27, 1866.
George P. Bassett was educated at the Delaware Literary Institute at Franklin, after which he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, from which he was graduated in 1862, and began the practice of medicine in Downsville. In September, 1861, he married Anna, daughter of Abel and Clarissa (Flowers) Palmer. Mr. Palmer was born in the town of Delhi, and late in life went to Oregon, where he died. His wife has also passed away. Mrs. Bassett died September 12, 1874, aged thirty-five years and eight months, having had one child, Jennie, who is the wife of Edward C. Smith, a merchant of Downsville, a nephew of David Anderson. Dr. Bassett has recently married a second time, his wife being Mrs. Elizabeth (Parker) Beers, daughter of Professor James O. Parker, a noted musician of Deposit. Her first husband was Nelson Beers, who is now a leading hardware merchant in Downsville.
Dr. Bassett has continued to practise in Colchester, where he has a private office, and is considered one of the most skilful and advanced physicians of the county. In 1864 he enlisted in the service of his country in the Tenth New York Regiment, as Assistant Surgeon, with rank of First Lieutenant. In politics he is a Republican. For two years he has been Town Clerk, has held the office of Supervisor for three years, and during the last five years has been Pension Examiner. He is a member of the Fleming Post, Grand Army of the Republic, No. 280, and is a Mason, a member of Downsville Lodge, No. 464, A. F. & A. M. Dr. Bassett is a member of the Presbyterian church, which organization has his hearty support. He is an energetic, progressive man. thoroughly competent in his vocation, and deservedly esteemed in both private and public life.
CHARLES H. VERMILYA, of Fleischmanns, in Middletown, Delaware County, has long held the important and trusted position of station agent, besides trading on his own account. He was born in Shandaken, Ulster County, in 1851, on a day of the year which has always been a holiday with at least one nationality, March 17.
He is a great-grandson of William Vermilya, who came from Holland, and bought and improved a farm in Putnam County, living prosperously there with his family till his death of old age. William was the eldest son named for his father. The others who lived to adult age were Jessie, John, and Samuel; and it is in the line of the youngest that the special subject of this sketch has descended. Samuel Vermilya was born in Putnam County, but came to Delaware County when a young man, learning the art of shoemaking. On account of ill health be was unable to continue in this business, and so turned miller, buying an establishment on the Plattekill River, which is now known as the Morse mill. There he remained the most of his life. His wife, Catherine Robinson, was the daughter of Issachar Robinson, who was a soldier in the Revolution, and married into the Gregory family: In religion Samuel Vermilya was a Baptist, and in politics a Democrat; and he died at the age of fifty-eight, his wife living to be seventy-two. They reared six children. Edward Vermilya, the eldest, married Jane Whipple. Of the next son, Orville, more hereafter. William Vermilya married Sarah Kelly, and more of the Kelly family may be found under the proper heading. Melissa Vermilya married Nelson Beardslee. Edgar Vermilya married Melissa Todd. The youngest, Olive Vermilya, had two husbands, John D. Elmore and Rexford Hewitt.
Orville Vermilya was born in Middletown, and began adult life as a clerk in the corner store in Clovesvilie. His wife was Margaret Stone. In due time they left Clovesville, and he found employment as foreman in a tannery in the town of Shandaken, Ulster County. Thence they removed to Griffin's Corners, where he was in the store of William Doolittle (of whose family some account may be found under that name in this volume), and also with A. H. Burhans. Later, he kept a large boarding-house in Griffin's Corners for summer visitors from the city. Both he and his wife lived to a good old age. They had five children. Of these the eldest, Mary Vermilya, married W. H. Oconnor. The second, Charles H., is the special subject of this sketch. Willard Vermilya married Alice Van Huten. Judson makes his home in Griffin's Corners. George died at the early age of seven.
Charles Henry Vermilya attended the district school, and then worked for three years in a store near home. Next he went to Brooklyn, where he worked for a short time in another store, till he received an appointment as station agent on the Ulster & Delaware Railroad, in the centennial year, when he was twenty-five years old. Coming to Fleischmanns, he bought the house now owned by Daniel Slover. In 1882 he bought a lot from the Vandermark farm, and built theron a house, which he afterward sold to A. Kaufmann, Esq., of New York City, for a summer home. In 1893 Mr. Vermilya built his present fine residence, commanding the best view to be anywhere found in this neighborhood. In 1888, at the age of thirty-seven, he had married Lettie Doolittle, daughter of George W. and Sally Jane (Dodge) Doolittle, of whom a sketch may be found in this volume. About the time of his marriage Mr. Vermilya resigned his place on the railroad, and went to New York City where for two and a half years he was a grocer; but then on account of his wife's health he found it expedient to return to Fieischmanns, where he resumed his old position as station agent.· In addition to his official duties, he is a butter commission merchant, handling nearly all of that indispensable commodity churned in this region, and also the flagging from the blue stone quarries. In company with John Blish, he deals also in coal. As a Democrat Mr. Vermilya has held the office of Tax Collector for the town three years, and in religion he is a Methodist. In large measure Mr. Vermilya possesses that good roundabout quality whereof a Spanish statesman, Firman Caballero, has well said,-
"If common sense has not the brilliancy of the sun, it has the fixity of the stars."
GEORGE W. HUBBELL, a well-known and prosperous citizen of Halcottsville, was born in Middletown, March 14, 1850, and is the son of Harvey and Emeline (Hewitt) Hubbell. His grandfather Hubbell, who married Polly Faulkner, was a native of Connecticut, and became one of the pioneer settlers of Delaware County, being distinguished for his sturdy enterprise and progressive spirit.
His son, Harvey Hubbell, was born at Kelly's Corners, Delaware County, received a fair education in the district school, and at an early age began working on a farm. Several years later he bought a farm of two hundred acres, on which he lived the greater part of his life. He was at one time engaged in the grocery business at Kelly's Corners, and he also acted for a short period as a clerk in a hotel at the same place. In politics he was a Democrat, a man of sound judgment and good standing, holding office at various times. He was an active member of the Baptist church. He died at the age of fifty-six, ending his days on the old farm, his wife living to be fifty-nine. Four children survived him, namely: George W., the subject of this sketch; Adelaide, the wife of Clarence White, of Roxbury, mother of one child; Norwood, who married Millie Van Aukin of Kingston, and has one child Peace who became Mrs. George Roberts, of Catawba Hill.
George W. Hubbell acquired a practical education in the district school; and at the age of eighteen he began to learn the carpenter's trade, at which he worked for four years, when he became a butcher. He remained at the latter occupation for five years, and then went into mercantile business, in which he continued for many years. Previous to 1894 there had never been a public house in Halcottsville; and Mr. Hubbell, perceiving with his usual sagacity a good opportunity in this direction, opened a hotel on the main street, and is doing a thriving business. It is built in the cottage style, and presents a very attractive and homelike appearance. Besides the hotel Mr. Hubbell owns one hundred acres of land, and is also engaged extensively in the business of building and selling houses in the village, thus greatly improving the place. Halcottsville owes no small share of its prosperity to his enterprising spirit and successful business ventures.
Mr. Hubbell has been married twice. His first wife was Ella Roberts. who died at the age of thirty-one; and his second wife is her sister, Inez R. Roberts. Mr. and Mrs. Hubbell have two children: Ira R., born December 30, 1883; and Loren H., born December 10, 1890, to whose training they devote much careful attention. Mrs. Hubbell is the daughter of J. F. and Hulda (Wells) Roberts, her father being a successful farmer of Bragg Hollow, Delaware County, one of the early settlers of that district, and a man of high standing in the community. Mr. Roberts was born in Putnam County, December 27, 1808, his parents being Ira and Phoebe (Baker) Roberts. His father, who was aIso a native of that county, settled on a farm of one hundred acres in Bragg Hollow, in 1815, but died six months afterward, leaving eight children. His widow survived him many years, dying at the age of eighty. J. F. Roberts, father of Mrs. Hubbell, lived on the old farm at Bragg Hollow for eighteen years, at the end of which time he bought a farm of fifty acres on Hubble Hill, where he still resides. He keeps thirty cows, and carries on a successful dairy business. Mr. Roberts is a Democrat, and a member of the Baptist church, and, although of advanced age, is still quite an active man. His wife, who died at the age of eighty-two, was Hulda J. Wells, daughter of Daniel Wells, who was one of the early settlers of Delaware County, and who later in life went West, ending his days there.
In politics Mr. Hubbell gives his support to the Democratic party, and he holds liberal views on religious matters. He is not only a successful business man, but is also a devoted husband and father, a kind friend, and a man of sterling character.
WILLIAM B. OGDEN The following brief delineation of this distinguished son of Delaware County is here reproduced from the eloquent tribute of his friend, the Hon. Isaac N. Arnold:-
"The most prominent figure in the history of Chicago from 1835 until his death, in 1877. was William B. Ogden. His active mind originated most and aided largely in the erection of nearly all our public improvements. He laid out and opened many miles of streets in the northern and western divisions of the city, aided in digging the Illinois and Michigan Canal, advocated with ability laws necessary for its construction and enlargement, projected and built hundreds, nay, thousands of miles of railways. He had much to do with our water supply and sewerage and park systems, and, indeed, nearly all our great enterprises and public improvements.
"He was born June 15, 1805, at Walton, a town in the wild and mountainous county of Delaware, New .York, and died August 3, 1877 at his country seat, Boscobel, near High Bridge on the Harlem. He was yet a lad when his father died; and, being the eldest son, he was early placed in a position of responsibility as the head of a large family, and soon developed those qualities of executive ability, sagacity, and courage, good sense, energy, and determination which made him always a recognized leader among men, and caused his influence to be powerfully felt in this city and State and through the Northwest.
"His boyhood was passed in the picturesque valley and hills of Delaware County, which was then covered with a dense and magnificent forest of sugar-maple, beech, birch, and elm trees; while on the sides of the mountains
were pine, fir, and hemlock. And vast rafts of logs and lumber were with the spring floods sent down the Delaware to Philadelphia. The raftsmen had rude, and sometimes dangerous, experiences in running the dams of the swollen river; and Mr. Ogden had many a tale of exciting adventure occurring in these rough days. But it was hunting the deer among the hills of the Delaware, and on the Unadilla and other tributaries of the Susquehanna, which furnished the most exciting stories of the days of his youth. Clubs of hunters then existed in the counties of Otsego, Chenango, and Delaware. Packs of hounds were kept; and the hunters who gathered at the annual autumn hunts, coming often forty to sixty miles, were as well mounted, with horses of as good blood and equal endurance, as the best English stocks. Judges, lawyers, and gentleman farmers joined in the exciting sport; and among them all was no keener sportsman, no more fearless rider, than Mr. Ogden."
The death of Mr. Ogden was a loss to the world at large. He is ever remembered for his genial disposition, his generous impulses, and large benevolence. He was interested in fostering everything that would promote the general progress and prosperity, and at all times exhibited an unwavering rectitude.
JOHN T. ODWELL, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, was born on October 27, 1837. His parents, John and Elizabeth (Gilfillan) Odwell, embarked for America when he was an infant of scarcely twelve months, and for over seven weeks were out of sight of land. Arriving in New York City, the father engaged in tailoring, which he continued to pursue until 1840. He then removed with his family to Delaware County, making the journey as far as Catskill by water, and thence by driving across the country to Campbell Mountain. Here the travellers stopped, and leased a tract of one hundred and fifty acres of land. A few years later this lease was given up, and they came to Downsville. In December of the same year they set sail from New York for bonnie Scotland where they spent about four years. They then returned to New York, and in the following spring they settled in Downsville. John Odwell some time afterward started for California, but was shipwrecked ninety miles south of Acapulco. He was rescued by the "Starlight's" crew; but the fatigue, exposure, and privation had so impaired his constitution that he succumbed to the illness that seized upon him, and, dying on board the vessel, was buried at sea on May 7, 1853. He had seen service as a soldier in Spain, as a young man. He belonged to the political party known as Whig, and both he and his wife were faithful to their beloved kirk. His wife, Elizabeth (Gilfillan) Odwell, came of ancestry that claimed connection with royalty in long-gone generations.
Their one son, John T. Odwell, was sent to school in Glasgow, and after his return to the United States studied for three years at Franklin Institute. For four winters he taught school, and through the summer vacations read law with some of the best lawyers in the vicinity. In November, 1860. he was admitted to the bar and in the following spring opened his office as an attorney-at-law in Downsville. Here he had begun to establish a flourishing practice when he enlisted in the Civil War, which was then distracting the Union, and faithfully performed his duties to his country as a good soldier. On July 10, 1864, he was married to Miss Sarah C. Terwilliger, a daughter of Isaac and Mary (Anderson) Terwilliger. Mrs. Odwell's grandfather Terwilliger was a Captain in the Revolutionary War, and was present at the burning of Kingston. Her maternal grandfather, Ezekiel Anderson, also held the rank of Captain in the war. Both Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Terwilliger lived and died at Callicoon. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. John T. Odwell, namely: Elizabeth and Thomas, deceased; John G.; Frederic M.; George B.; and Catherine. Mr. Odwell continued to practise law after the war until his health failed. He was a Republican until the time of the Hancock campaign, when he became a Democrat. He and his wife are both members of the Presbyterian church.
JOHN BABCOCK, senior member of the firm of Babcock, Lary & Co., railway and dredging contractors, with an office at No. 11 Pine Street, New York City, is a man of more than ordinary mechanical ability and business tact. He was born in Orange County, December 27. 1838. His grandfather, Isaac Babcock, a lifelong resident of Orange County, married a Miss Benjamin; and they both lived to be eighty years of age, having reared a family of fourteen children, ten sons and four daughters, all of whom grew to maturity and married.
John Babcock, Sr., one of the sons of Isaac, was married in 1834 to Catherine Secor, who bore him nine sons and three daughters; and of these seven sons and two daughters grew to adult life, and all but two of the sons married. Five sons and one daughter are now living, namely: John, the subject of this sketch; Samuel, also of Walton; Josiah and George, railroad men, living at Port Jervis; Isaac, a resident of Cornwall; and Eliza, the widow of David Bowen. The father died in 1880, at the age of fifty-eight years, from the kick of an ox. The mother survived her husband thirteen years, dying in 1893, in the seventy-second year of her age. Their graves are in the beautiful cemetery near Greenwood Lake in Orange County.
John Babcock, who received the name of his honored father, obtained a good common school education, and, not being content to spend his life as a tiller of the soil, left the shelter of the parental roof when seventeen years old to begin his career as a railroad man. He was first employed as one of the track force, but was advanced step by step until appointed foreman. He subsequently became Division Roadmaster on the New York, Ontario & Western Railway, and was finally made General Roadmaster, having full charge of all the lines and branches of this railway. In 1888 he resigned this position to engage in his present lucrative business, becoming one of the firm of Ward & Lary, railway contractors. While in this firm, one of his great achievements was the putting through of the zigzag tunnel of two thousand seven hundred feet, eight miles north of Walton, the approaches of which are one-half mile long and one hundred feet high, the building of these latter being considered a greater mechanical feat than that of constructing the tunnel, which is one of the four tunnels from Cornwall through the spurs of the Catskill Mountains. The next important work of Mr. Babcock was the building of the water tunnel, three thousand three hundred feet long at Winsted, Conn. As Mr. Babcock has never made a special study of civil engineering, it is evident that he has great native ability, possessing an active and fertile brain, which he keeps in constant use. Mr. Babcock was a volunteer in the late Civil War, going to the front as First Lieutenant in Company C, One Hundred and Seventy-sixth New York Volunteer Infantry, and taking part in many engagements. He was made prisoner in June, 1863, and remained in durance thirteen months at Camp Ford, Texas, but on his rations of corn-bread and beef stood the imprisonment quite well, coming out strong. He was finally exchanged, and afterward promoted to the rank of Captain, but, being taken sick, was sent home and subsequently discharged.
On October 8, 1861, Mr. Babcock was united in marriage to Christina Miller. the daughter of John and Agnes (Anderson) Miller, both natives of Scotland. Mrs. Babcock was born in Utica, N.Y., but was reared to womanhood in Canada; and in that dominion, in the city of Quebec, while she was on a pleasure trip, her death occurred, July 17, 1892. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Babcock, one of whom, Frank, an engineer on the West Shore Railway, died at the age of twenty-eight years. The other two children are a son, Charles, who lives in Walton, and a daughter, Tina, the wife of C. E. Vosburgh, an architect in New York City. Since the death of her mother Mrs. Vosburgh presides over the handsome house of her father, which he erected in 1882. In politics Mr. Babcock is a supporter of the Republican party; and, socially, he is an influential member of the Masonic fraternity, being a Royal Arch Mason.
SHERMAN STREET, M.D., a widely known and much esteemed physician of Middletown, residing at Arkville, settled in this vicinity a number of years ago, and has since then attained a leading place among the professional men of the county. His birthplace was Putnam, Conn.; and he is the son of John and Rebecca Street. His paternal grandfather, John Street, was an Englishman, who came to America, where he married, afterward returning to England. Later he came back to this country, and spent his last days here. His son, John Street, Jr., came to Delaware County from Putnam, Conn., and engaged in farming for three years. Then, returning to his old home, he became engaged as a contractor, and resided there until his death, at the age of forty-five. His widow was left with five children to support, and later became the wife of William Frisbee. She lived to the age of eighty-six years. Their children were: Ann, who became the wife of Isaac Robinson, and died, leaving four children; Philip, who .married Jane Fisher, and at his death left six children; John, who married Diantha June, and went to Iowa -had one child; Jane, who died when quite young; and Sherman, the subject of this sketch.
After pursuing his studies in a college in Western Massachusetts, Sherman Street attended medical lectures at Castleton, Vt., and began practice in Roxbury, N.Y., when but twenty-one years old. Later he removed to Middletown, and now resides at Arkville, where he has a farm of one hundred and thirty-three acres, situated on the Delaware River. The farm buildings, erected by himself, were destroyed by fire; but he rebuilt them, and is now the possessor of a fine property. Dr. Street has been twice married. His first wife, Ann Fallock, daughter of William Fallock, a progressive farmer of Roxbury, died when only thirty-six years old, leaving two children: Loranda, now deceased; and Malvina, who married Dr. Banker, and now resides at Livingston Lake. Dr. Street married for his second wife Julia A. Baker, daughter of Frederick Baker. Five generations have lived on the old Baker homestead, on which Dr. and Mrs. Street now reside. They have one son, John, who married Emma Croft, of Somerville, Greene County, N.Y., and has two children. John Street is a carpenter and a bridge builder, and has built several bridges on the U. & D. Railroad. Dr. Street has been very successful in his profession, and has a large practice, not only in his immediate neighborhood, but extending far beyond the limits of his adopted town, and keeps in touch with the latest medical discoveries.
A Republican in politics, he has been a leader of the people by reason of his great natural talents, and has rendered great services to his party. A man of wide influence and conspicuous ability, he is well worthy of public confidence, and is esteemed by all with whom he comes into personal contact.
ROBERT H. SLOAN, an old and honored citizen of the village of Walton, where he has resided the past twenty-eight years, was born in County Down, in the northern part of Ireland, February 28, 1823. When a lad of little more than three years, he was brought to this country by his good parents, Thomas and Jane (Bailey) Sloan.
Thomas Sloan and his family were seven weeks and three days in making the voyage from Ireland to New York City, where they landed July 25, 1826, with their two children, Robert and his elder sister. On the night of their disembarkation another son was added to their family. Mr. Sloan was a shoemaker by trade. He soon came to Delaware County, and settled on a farm of fifty acres in the town of Bovina. His services as a shoemaker were in excellent demand as soon as his reputation for thorough and skilled workmanship became fully established. He also paid good attention to farming, and before his decease had added considerably to his acreage. He died while yet on the sunny side of the hill of life, passing away on September 22, 1844, aged forty-seven years. His widow survived him until 1865, being sixty-seven years old at the time of her death. They became the parents of eight children all of whom grew to maturity, and were married, and of whom three sons and one daughter are now living, as follows: Thomas, who resides in Bloomington, Wis.; Alexander B., who is a farmer, and lives near Belle Plaine, Ia. Nancy, who is the wife of William Miller, and lives in Walton; and Robert H., also of Walton. Robert H. Sloan has spent the major part of his useful life in Delaware County, and has but a dim recollection of any other home, although he distinctly remembers going to the cooper shop of his grandfather, Alexander Bailey, in Ireland. to get a hoop to roll. His educational advantages were very limited, as at the age of ten years he was set to stitching leather. Having learned the shoemaker's trade, he worked at it with such steady application that in 1856 his health began to fail and he was compelled to seek some other employment. In connection with agriculture, in which he engaged, he has carried on an extensive and profitable business, as a dealer in cattle and in butter, the latter of which he shipped to the New York markets.
On July 4, 1848, Mr. Sloan married Nancy Smith of Delhi, daughter of Robert and Christine Smith, both of whom were natives of Scotland. Sorrow as well as joy has from time to time crossed the threshold of his home. Two of their five children namely, Catherine, a child of seven years, and Thomas Albert, an infant of ten months--died in the month of May, 1868, the former on the 4th, and the latter on the 24th, of scarlet fever. And Jennie, a daughter, who married Jacob H. Osterhoudt, died at the home of her parents of diphtheria, August 2, 1882, being then but twenty-two years of age. In less than three years the devoted wife and mother was also called, dying February 15, 1885, at the age of fifty-seven years having borne with heroic fortitude and patience the immense suffering caused by a cancer. She was an earnest Christian possessing the serenest trust in divine providence, and was a member of the United Presbyterian church. Two daughters are left to Mr. Sloan. his first and last born, of whom Christina, the wife of A. F. McFadden, lives with her father. She has three children, one son and two daughters. Ella Catherine, the youngest child is the wife of Charles K. Wakeman of Walton.
In politics Mr. Sloan was formerly a Republican, voting with that party until 1872, since which time he has been independent. He has never sought the emoluments of public office, although he served as Justice of the Peace four years, in the town of Bovina, and under the administration of Abraham Lincoln filled the office of Postmaster. Clear-headed, high-principled, and endowed with an excellent memory, he is a man of exceedingly temperate habit having never used liquor nor tobacco in any form.
HARRY WARNER and his wife. Emily (Kelsey) Warner occupy the Kelsey homestead of over one hundred acres in the valley of the Delaware. Mr. Warner was, born in Windsor, Broome County, on Washington's Birthday. February 22. 1826. His father, Moses Warner, came from Massachusetts, and purchasing a tract of land near Windsor, was here extensively engaged as a lumber dealer. He was twice married. His first .wife died in Windsor and he married for his second wife Miss Hannah Smith a native of Albany County. Seven children were born of this marriage - Diana, Rachel, Chloe, Elias, Harry, John, and Jane. The father died at about eighty years of age. The mother died in Tompkins. when upward of seventy.
The marriage of Mr. Harry Warner and Miss Emily Kelsey took place in 1848. Mrs. Emily Kelsey Warner was born in the town of Tompkins, Delaware County. on January 17, 1824. Her father, Roswell Kelsey, was born, so far as is known, in the same village. Her grandfather, James Kelsey, who was a native of Connecticut, came thence to the State of New York, and was an old settler in the valley of the Delaware. He bought a large tract of timbered land in Tompkins, cleared a farm, and erected frame buildings. His wife was Avis Hoag. On this farm Mr. Kelsey lived and died. He was twice married, and three of his children now survive.
Roswell Kelsey, Mrs. Warner's father, was for a number of years a lumber dealer, floating his logs down the Delaware River on rafts to their places of destination. In 1844 he bought a farm on the west side of the Delaware River in Deposit, and lived thereon until his death, when about seventy years old. His wife's maiden name was Hannah Smith. She was born in Cannonsville, and was the daughter of Caleb and Huldah (Cottrell) Smith. Mr. and Mrs. Roswell Kelsey raised a family of eight children - Lydia, Emily, Stephen, Elias, Caleb, Albert, Ellen, and Harper.
Mr. and Mrs. Warner have two sons - Samuel and Hiram. The former married Ella Kingsbury, and has one son - Roswell. Hiram married Ann Eliza Smith, and has three children - Harry, Hiram, and Roselle. About the time of his marriage Mr. Warner bought a farm at Tompkins, which he sold five years later, when he moved to Unadilla, Otsego County, where he remained for seven years. He finally returned to the Kelsey homestead in the Delaware Valley, where he has been most successfully engaged in general farming and dairying. Besides this farm, he has two hundred acres of outlying land.
NELSON OZIAS FLINT, proprietor of the Walton foundry and machine-shop, is a manufacturer of ploughs, drags, cultivators, and rollers, for which he finds a ready sale in this locality without the assistance of travelling salesmen. He is respected as one of the most enterprising and upright business men of this part of Delaware County. He was born in the town of Delhi, August 29, 1829, being a son of Albert and Joanna (Jones) Flint, the. former of whom was born in Delhi, and the latter in Greene County.
Albert Flint was the son of a pioneer hotel-keeper of Delhi; and after his marriage, which occurred in 1826, he settled down to farming pursuits, and improved a valuable homestead. He and his wife became the parents of seven children, three of whom are living, namely: Cornelius M., a farmer in Delhi; Nelson O.; and Osman, a compositor on the Delaware Republican. The names of the deceased are: Mary, who died April 5, 1894; Romaine R., who died near Amsterdam, at the age of thirty-five years, leaving a widow and three children; Sarah Augusta, Mrs. Robert Henderson, who died while in the prime of life, in Delhi, leaving five children; Phebe Ann, who married Beman Johnson, and died at the age of forty-five years, in Delhi, leaving six children. The father departed this life in 1876, and his widow in 1880.
Having mastered the common English branches in the district school, young Nelson began at the age of twelve years to plough the steep side hill of the old home farm, using two pairs of horses. After growing to manhood, he owned and improved a fine farm in Delhi, on which he resided several years. After that he was for about nineteen years engaged in the foundry in Delhi. In 1877 he sold out his property in Delhi, and came to Walton, where two years later he established his present foundry and machine-shop, quite an extensive building, being one hundred feet by forty feet, and has since carried on a lively and lucrative business, employing from six to ten hands.
Mr. Flint was united in marriage to Miss Electa L. Smith on January 8, 1851. Mrs. Flint was born in the town of Meredith, August 23, 1830, being a daughter of Elijah C. and Electa (Seward) Smith, the latter of whom died when a young woman: and the former, who was successfully engaged in agriculture in Meredith, was subsequently married, and reared a second family of children. He departed this life in 1873, being then seventy-six years old. He was a son of Peter Smith, who removed from Chatham, Columbia County, in 1798, and located in the town of Kortright being one of the original settlers of that town. He was four times married, one of his wives, Abigail Cleveland, being the mother of Mrs. Flint's father. One of his wives died without issue, and by the other three wives he reared twenty children. He lived twenty-one days after celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of his birth, dying at the home of his son, Elijah Cleveland Smith, in Meredith. Mrs. Flint had five brothers and three sisters, all of whom, with the exception of one sister, have passed away. Of this family, three of the sons were practising physicians, and one was a lawyer. Three of her half-brothers are still living, as follows: George C., a physician, resides in Delhi. Josiah D., a farmer, who was a volunteer in the army during the late Civil War, lives on the family homestead, which contains two hundred and forty acres of land. Henry Melville Smith is a practising physician in Jersey City. Mrs. Flint is a cultivated woman, who taught school three terms before marriage. She and her husband have reared a foster-child, Maggie, the wife of A.D. Peak. Politically, Mr. Flint is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Democratic party; and he and his wife are devout members of the Methodist church, of which he is a Steward.
CALVIN CROSBY, a well-known resident of Fleischmanns, where he is an enterprising man of business, was born in Middletown, January 1, 1838, being the son of Horace and Phebe [Ackerly] Crosby, and grandson of Hopkins and Betsy [Weed] Crosby.
Hopkins Crosby was a farmer on Hubble Hill, where he worked the farm now owned by Elijah Hull. Later he went to Indiana, where he settled and continued farming until his death. His wife also died in that state, and they left the following children: Jeremiah, Horace, Calvin, Cyrus, Jeanette, Amanda, Esther, Maria, Elisha, and William. Horace was born on the old homestead at Hubble Hill in 1812, and grew to manhood there. Having learned the tanner's trade, he served as foreman in a number of different places, and then bought a tannery at Clovesville, in which place he carried on a successful business until his death. His wife was Phebe Ackerly, daughter of William and Lucy [Townsend] Ackerly, the former of whom was a carpenter. He died in early manhood, and left three children-Alfred, Matilda, and Phebe. The children of Horace and Phebe Crosby were: Calvin; Adelia, who married David Pulling, now deceased, and resides in Marlboro, Ulster County, N.Y.; and William H. and Mary F., both of whom died young. The father of these children was a Democrat, and a Methodist in religion. He lived to the age of sixty-three years, his wife reaching her seventy-first year. Calvin Crosby having received his education in the schools of Clovesville, began to work at the age of fourteen for Mr. Humphrey, then became clerk for the firm of Snyder & Dimmick, with whom he remained four years. He afterward purchased a horse and team, and for two years travelled the road with goods. He received the appointment of Deputy Sheriff for Delaware County under Gabriel S. Mead, of Walton, which office he held two years, and was for five years Constable in the town of Middletown. In 1864 he enlisted as a defender of his country's flag in Company C, First New York Engineer Corps, and continued in service until the close of the war, receiving an honorable discharge. On returning home, he married Augusta Van Valkerburgh, daughter of Alexander and Thankful [Peck] Van Valkerburgh. Her father is a mechanic, carpenter, and millwright, owning a saw-mill at Halcott Centre, Greene County.
After Mr. Crosby's marriage his father died; and he went into the mercantile business at Clovesville for, three years, but at last took his father's tannery, carrying it on from 1965 to 1886. During this period he met with various mishaps, at one time losing a large stock of leather by fire in Boston. But, not discouraged, he bought a new stock of bark and leather, which he lost by a freshet. Even this did not daunt him. He began again with renewed determination, and kept on with the business. In the mean time his mother died; and he found himself ignored in the will, the property going to others. In 1888 he established a general merchandise store at Fleischmanns, which he has continued to the present day, now having the largest trade in the village. In politics he is a Democrat, and has been Overseer of the Poor for eight years. He is a member of Margarettville Lodge, No. 389, A.F.& A.M.; of the Knights of Pythias; and of Elliot Post, Grand Army of the Republic. In religion he is a progressive thinker, being liberal in his views. He has led an industrious and useful life, and well deserves the trust reposed in him by his fellow-townsmen.
JOHN CLARK. Some of the most thriving and prosperous farmers of this part of Delaware County are of foreign birth, and prominent among these stands the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this brief sketch. He was born among the rugged hills of Scotland, in Perthshire, in the year 1850, and there received his schooling. He began to work at farming as soon as he was old enough, and remained in Scotland until 1873, when, in company with Isaac Scobie, he emigrated to the United States. From New York City they made their way to Delhi, in this county, Mr. Clark having fifteen dollars left when he arrived. Being of an energetic temperament, and willing to work at any honorable employment, he remained not long idle, and the following eight years worked for Lawyer Bell, of Delhi. The next five years Mr. Clark was employed by George Marvin, who gave him twenty-three dollars per month. When he began work on this farm of two hundred and forty acres, a large part of the land was covered with timber; but by continuous toil and good management he has it now well under cultivation. He has met with most excellent success in dairying and stock-raising, keeping a large flock of sheep, some four or five horses, and a fine dairy of twenty-four cows, selling the milk in New York.
On June 4, 1880, Mr. Clark married Nellie Scobie, a native of Scotland, where she lived until after the death of her father in 1872. The following year her widowed mother came to America with her four children, and, settling in this locality, remained a resident of the neighborhood until her death, which occurred December 27, 1891, at the age of seventy-seven years. The record of her children is as follows: Isaac, a farmer, who lives in Hamden; Annie, the wife of Peter McEwen; Nellie, the wife of Mr. Clark; and Jessie, the wife of Charles Anderson, of West Delhi. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have become the parents of two children; namely, Jessie R., born February 6, 1883, and David W., born December 4, 1884, both of whom have good mental powers, and are in the same classes, in the fourth grade, at school. In 1883 Mr. Clark sent for his father, John Clark, Sr., who was a weaver in Scotland, and then about seventy years old, to come to live with him in Hamden. He came, accordingly, and here lived until his death, on May 4, 1894.
The subject of this brief notice is a self-made man in every respect implied by the term, and has won an honored position in the community by his habits of industry and integrity. In politics he is a straight Republican, and gives his earnest support to the principles of the party. Both he and his wife are active in religious work, and are esteemed members of the Presbyterian church at DeLancey.
CHARLES L. HICKS, a prominent and popular citizen of Roxbury, belongs to one of those families which came to this country when it was still young and have grown up with it through all its stages of hardship and of progress.
His grandfather, Ambrose Hicks, moved from Nova Scotia to Rhode Island, where he stayed for a time, and then came to Delaware County, New York. So rough were the roads that the journey was a long and difficult one. Mr. Hicks came the last part of the way-from Morrisville on- through the dense virgin forests, holding to the faint trail only by following the blazed trees which the few who had gone before him had left marked. He took up one hundred acres of land, and set to work to build a log house. This was soon completed, and the next thing to be done was to clear away the heavy growth of wood in the midst of which his land lay. When he had enough of the ground cleared, he proceeded to plant various crops; and then, from year to year, he widened the area of cultivation. He and his wife had three children, two daughters-Jessie and Polly-and one son, Ira. Mr. Hicks lived on his fine old farm, now well known as "the stone house farm", with his son Ira till he died at the good old age of ninety.
Mr. Ira Hicks bought the old farm from his father, Ambrose. He soon added to the original property three hundred and fifty acres of land in all. He gave a great deal of attention, among other things, to cattle-raising. He also kept a fine dairy, and had a good trade in butter. Later he came down to Stratton Falls, and, buying ten acres of land, put up a store, and dealt in general merchandise and supplies. This proved a good move; for it supplied a growing need, and soon became a large flourishing business, in addition to which Ira Hicks also took charge of the post office. Misfortune now came, this building being destroyed by fire. Misfortune, however, did not daunt Mr. Hicks, who soon had a new store, and was doing a larger business than ever- a business which continued until after the war in spite of the hard times which came at that period. He was much interested in military matters, and won his way to a Colonelcy in the New York State militia. He was a Democrat, and held the office of Supervisor of the town at one time.
Mr. Hicks married Laura Chase, daughter of David Chase, a progressive farmer, who had been one of the early settlers. Mr. Chase had seven other children- Sarah, Lucy, Phebe, Hiram, Calvin, William, and Margaret. Mr. and Mrs. Hicks had three children, namely: Samuel A. Hicks, who married Jennie R. Barnes, but is dead now; Addison T. Hicks, who married Sarah Older, and lives in Stamford, having three children; and Charles L. Hicks. At the age of eighty-nine years Ira Hicks passed away, leaving a good record and an honorable name.
Mr. Charles L. Hicks was born in Roxbury, October 10, 1864. He received a good education at Delhi Academy. When he came of age, he took an interest with his father in the store. This he continued with good success and profit for many years. Mr. Hicks married Miss Mary Wilson, daughter of Robert F. and Polly [Powell] Wilson. Mr. Wilson came from Hobart to Roxbury some years ago, and lived there until his death, at the age of seventy-five. He had six children including Mrs. Hicks- John P., Mary, Egbert, Calista, Charles M., and Frank. Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hicks have a son, Samuel W., born April 11, 1876.
Some years ago Mr. Hicks built a large and handsome house in one of the finest localities in the county. The famous Stratton Falls contribute not a little to the beauty of the place, which, with its pleasant walks, and drives, its numerous shade and fruit trees, and its lawn tennis court, offers great attractions to his fashionable guests. Mr. Hicks is a Democrat in politics, and is a Free Mason, belonging to Coeur de Lion Lodge, No. 571, A.F & A.M., of Roxbury. He is also a member of the Reformed church. He is known among a wide circle of friends and acquaintances as a true man and a polished gentleman, courteous, intelligent, and agreeable, and possessed of more well-merited popularity than often falls to one's lot.
JOHN OLMSTEAD, Cashier of the First National Bank of Walton, belongs to a prominent pioneer family, his ancestors on both his mother's and father's side being of good old New England stock. His grandfather, Philo Olmstead, who was a native of Ridgefield, Conn., became by marriage with Phebe Gray the father of two sons and one daughter. The latter died in infancy; while one of the sons, David Gray Olmstead was well known throughout Connecticut as Colonel Olmstead, being a member of the State militia. He died in his seventy-sixth year, a wealthy man. His son Hiram was born at Meredith Square, Delaware County, N.Y., February 20, 1821, and educated at the district school and in the academy at Walton, afterward devoting his time to school-teaching and farming. In 1847 he married Sarah Hanford, who was born in Walton, April 15, 1827, on the old homestead, which has descended to her from her father, Levi Hanford, and in which she still resides. Her father was a native of New Canaan, Conn., born in that town February 15, 1792, and married Cynthia Hanford, who, however, was not nearly related to him. Mrs. Olmstead has one sister now living, the wife of George S. St. John, of Walton.[For interesting ancestral history see reminiscences of William B. Hanford in another part of this volume.] Mr and Mrs. Olmstead reared seven children, all of whom are still living, John, the subject of this sketch, being the third child and second son.
John Olmstead was born in Walton, March 23, 1856; and after imbibing all the learning which the district school afforded, he was sent to the Walton Academy, at the same time helping his father on the farm, and later teaching school during the winter term. When twenty-two years of age, he began his business career, entering the employ of F. A. Brisack as a salesman. Appreciating his young clerk's rare business qualities, Mr. Brisack soon accepted him as a partner in the firm. May 25, 1881, Mr. Olmstead married the daughter of Mr. Brisack, Miss Emma; and they are the proud parents of two children; Edith B. Olmstead, a little miss of eleven years, who attends school and displays special talent for music; and Bertice H., who is a bright boy of eight.
In 1890 the firm of which Mr. Olmstead was a member disposed of its business, which was in a most flourishing condition; and in 1891 the First National Bank was established with a capital of fifty thousand dollars and five thousand dollars surplus, Mr. Olmstead being a stockholder and Cashier, and his father, Hiram Olmstead, a stockholder and Director. Mr Olmstead is a Republican, is respected as a man of sterling worth and tried integrity, and has occupied the positions of Town and Corporation Clerk. He is a Congregationalist, while his wife is connected with the Episcopal church. Mr. and Mrs. Olmstead resides at the pleasant home of her father, who is in frail health. Her mother died here in 1891.
SUSAN E. ENSLIN BAKER, a beloved resident of Hancock, Delaware County, was born in this place March 15, 1843, daughter of George Enslin, Jr., and his wife, Rhoda Bolton Enslin. Her paternal grandfather, George Enslin, a blacksmith by trade, worked his passage from Germany to America in order to save what money he had for a start in the New World. He was one of the pioneers of South Canaan, Pa., where he followed his trade in connection with farming. Tom Quick, the noted Indian slayer and hunter, was a particular friend of Mr. Enslin's family with whom he made his home when not in the woods; and for a long time they had clothes and other mementos of that remarkable man.
Mr. Enslin lived to the advanced age of eighty-five years. His son, George Enslin, Jr., the father of Mrs. Baker, was born in 1794, in the town of Buckingham, Wayne County, Pa., just across the river from Hancock. Here he was educated, being obliged to walk five miles to school, but at an early age began to assist on the home farm. His first wife was Thankful Griffin, and his second, Rhoda Bolton, daughter of Jonathan Bolton, who came to this country from Connecticut after the Revolutionary War. Mr. Bolton settled on the east branch of the Delaware River, on what is known as "Bolton's Flats" in the town of Hancock, where he was one of the early pioneers. Enlisting in the War of 1812, he was stationed at New York Harbor, and was receiving a pension for his services when he died.
Susan Enslin was educated in the district schools of Hancock, always making that place her home. In 1866 she married Augustus Lakin, son of John Lakin, of Hancock. [The genealogy of the Lakin family is given in connection with the biography of John T. Lakin.] Mr. Augustus Lakin was a lumberman on the Delaware River, and was killed by logs falling upon him in the woods, dying the last day of the year 1880, leaving his wife a widow with two children, namely; Steadman, who was born February 18, 1869, and died September 24, 1880; and Lucy E., who was born January 13, 1878, and is now the only living child of Mrs. Baker. On December 2, 1883, Mrs. Susan E. Lakin married James Wellington Baker, of Gilboa, Schoharie County, born March 29, 1837, who came to Hancock in 1866, and bought land near Hale's Eddy, where he engaged in lumbering and farming. His first wife, Mary Brown, a native of Fulton County, died here September 28, 1874, leaving two children- Calhoun and Van Every, the former of whom died in 1883 and the latter in 1886. Mr. and Mrs. Baker have educated two children, doing and caring for them as their own.
Mr. Baker, a Democrat in politics, was a very successful business man, and was active in town affairs, holding the position of Poor Master from 1889 to 1891 inclusive. He was an esteemed member of Shehawken Lodge and Royal Arch Chapter, A.F.& A.M., and when he died was buried with full Masonic honors. He is spoken of as a jovial, generous-hearted man, universally loved and respected. His death was a great loss to the community in which he lived, and was deeply mourned by many friends and fellow-citizens. Mrs. Baker is noted for her charitable disposition, and is at present bringing up as her own two little children, a brother and sister, to whom she gives a happy home. Here they live contented with the love of so good and noble a woman, who is known to them as mother , and who is so sincerely esteemed by all.
ZETUS F. SEARLES was born in Middletown, Delaware County, N. Y., January 5, 1852. His early ancestors came from England to America, and settled in Massachusetts. Boaz Searles, his grandfather, married Mary Bellows, who belonged to the noted Bellows family of Vermont. They had ten children, who were born in the following order: Zetus, March 13,1799: Lumen, September 22, 1801, Aurilla, November 10, 1802; Flowers, September 1, 1804; Hiram, July 24, 1806; Etheta, October 31, 1807; Marina, October 24, 1809; Jerry, June 17, 1810; Walter, July 27, 1813; Stillwell, January 31, 1815. Boaz Searles lived to be seventy-six years old.
The father of Mr. Zetus Searles married Miss Mary Blish, daughter of John Blish, one of the early settlers of Griffin's Corners, and one of the substantial citizens of that village. Of this union seven children were born, briefly recorded as follows: Electra, married first to Mr. S. Tompkins, second to William O. Kelly, and now living at Red Hill, has two children. Frances, married to Jason B. Caton, a carpenter in Roxbury, has six children. Elmira, married to Amos Allison, lives in Margarettville, and has one child. Zetus F. is further spoken of below. Susan lives at home. Bryon married Miss Clara Kelly, and is now a widower in Margarettville. Howard D. lives at home.
Zetus F. Searles married at twenty-two years of age the daughter of John and Angeline [Fuller] Smith, both of whom are living quiet, retired lives at Kelly's Corners. Mr Searles managed and worked the farm of his father-in-law for some years, and then bought a store, in which he is now engaged, and which is the largest mercantile establishment in the vicinity. Mr. Zetus Searles is a strong advocate of Republican principles in politics, and is a man of broad religious views, being untrammelled by petty distinctions of sectarian creed, while he has sincere respect for " pure religion and undefiled."
He has one daughter, Lina, who was born on October 17, 1877.
JOHN PETERS was born in the town of Stamford, Delaware County, N.Y., March 22, 1804, the son of Richard Peters and Susannah Halsted, who came to this county from Saratoga, and settled in the town of Stamford about the year 1795, on the farm recently occupied by Mr. James A. Rich, bringing all their earthly possessions in a wooden chest of primitive mould and rather heroic dimensions, which served them for years in their new home, in turn as table, tool-chest, wardrobe, and cupboard, and which was carefully preserved in the family for many years, bearing the marks of teeth and claws of many wolves, bears, and other wild animals, received during their almost nightly visits while doing duty as a barricade to their doorless cabin. It is not too much to say that the presence of some of these animals around or near their cabin during these years was almost of nightly occurrence; and the "death rate" of the item of wolves for a single season killed by Mr. Richard Peters and a neighbor, Mr. Timothy Canfield, as an occasional pastime, numbered as high as fifteen. The writer remembers a solitary cove in the woods near the Bovina line, on the old farm, pointed out by the old gentleman [John Peters] many years age as a spot where he was at one time attacked in open day by three of these half-starved creatures, he having only an axe and an old knife with which to defend himself, the conflict ending only when he despatched the most determined one and injured another, and being pretty well scratched up and done for himself.
The family of Richard Peters [whose father and grandfather both bore the same name] consisted of nine children, five sons and four daughters. Of these John was the sixth child and the youngest son. One of the social features of our country during the early years, worthy of note, was the existence of slavery throughout the Northern as well as the Southern States. That previous to the passage of a law about the year 1820 fixing at latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes a division known as the "Compromise Line," dividing the States that should henceforth be recognized as "slave" and "free ," slavery existed to a limited extent in Delaware County is a fact which doubtless many of the present generation have but imperfectly comprehended. A considerable number of the prominent farmers, however, owned one or more slaves. One such was among the chattels of the Peters household-a colored girl whose name is now forgotten. Her acknowledged value appeared to have been estimated at from two hundred and fifty to three hundred dollars; and she was swapped around among the families of the neighborhood at about one of these prices, with nearly the same frequency and as little ceremony as the good woman of the house in our day changes her servant girl. The sequel of this particular Topsy's history was that during her forced migrations she chanced to fall into hands that were reported as not being any too gentle toward her; and some of her former owners, having learned of this fact, straightway consulted with the good minister, the Rev. Robert Forrest, in reference to the matter. A purse was raised, a large proportion of the amount having been furnished by the preacher; and the slave girl soon became the property of the venerable Scotch divine. There being a worthy colored man in the neighborhood who had lately obtained his own freedom, and was matrimonially inclined, the good man sought out the sable Romeo, and in course of time, with the fullest consent of all parties interested, sold to him the faithful Juliet for the sum of one dollar, marrying them in the bargain, the couple living happily together for many years, the firm friends of their generous and saintly benefactor.
At the age of twenty-six years, July 1, 1830, John Peters married Jane, daughter of William Blakely, Esq., of Kortright, N.Y., and shortly thereafter purchased of his father the Stamford homestead, the father removing shortly afterward, with the unmarried portion of his family, to Tully, Onondaga County, N.Y. There was born to John and Jane Peters four daughters and two sons; Nancy C., who became the wife of Samuel McCune; Sarah A., who died unmarried at the age of eighteen years; William B., now residing at Bloomville; Elizabeth J., wife of the late Judge D.T. Arbuckle; Susan F., wife of the Hon. Henry Davie; and John R. Peters-all of whom are living except the two first named. Although succeeding well as a farmer, the rather restless spirit of John was not to be confined to the limits of the homestead domain: and forming a partnership with a friend and neighbor, Mr. John Loughren [who later became the senior member of the butter firm of Loughren & Edbert, of New York City], carried on with him for many years a quite extensive and profitable business as dealers in butter, wool, etc. Later he added to this quite an extensive business in the manufacture of horse-rakes, being one of the pioneers in this industry, beginning with that marvel of labor-saving appliances, the wheelless scratch rake, which in these progressive days would be regarded as a marvel of the man-killing art. The favorite branch of his business, however, during his early life, and that to which he devoted most of his attention, was dealing in wool. In the earlier years nearly every farmer living in the towns of Andes, Bovina, Middletown, and Stamford kept more or less sheep, many of them from two hundred to five hundred, and some as many as a thousand; and the sheep and wool industry was the most important in the county. Fulling and carding mills were as common as grist-mills at the present day. Every house has its spinning-wheels, and very many contained looms for weaving their yarn into cloth for family use. Buyers of wool were abundant in the county about sheep-shearing time, the latter part of May or early June; and activity meant success. Sleep on the part of local speculation during this rather brief portion of the season was a matter that was left almost out of the question; and many were the "lots" of wool that were purchased for future delivery during the midnight and early morning hours, the good man of the house being "rattled" out of the bed, and the negotiations carried on and completed through the keyhole or open window, the purchaser having no time to wait to appear in his "proper person." During these years he was seldom without two or three farms on his hands, it being as much in the line of his speculative disposition to buy a drove of cows as a dairy of butter, and a farm as either, providing always there was promise of quick returns and a fair commission; and it might, we think, be safely said of him, as many of his early acquaintances would testify, that he possessed in a large degree a spirit of determination which usually "made thing go." In the year 1850, having purchased a farm in the village of Bloomville, he removed to that village, where he shortly after engaged in that mercantile business. This was the period when the gold excitement of California was at white heat; and as an experiment, he made at different times large shipments of butter to that market. One of the methods adopted with fair success for preserving it sweet during the journey of two or more months necessary for its transit was that of packing the butter in small wooden kegs, holding about one gallon, identical in style with the old-fashioned oyster-kegs. These kegs were in turn packed in large casks of sixty or more gallon capacity, and the vacant spaces carefully filled with Turk's Island salt. These weighty packages were then carted by team to Catskill, thence by water to New York, and thence around Cape Horn, crossing the equator twice on their journey to the "forty-niners" in that then far-off land of gold-a venture which proved a financial success. The advent of the hop-growing industry into Delaware County gave scope for speculation; and Mr. Peters, although well advanced in years, took his chances with the others, and, like most others who dealt in this rather treacherous commodity, met with varied experiences as to the results. Many of the members of the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment will recall a characteristic incident which occurred during a visit made by Mr. Peters to their camp at Upton Hill, Va., during the war. It is needless to say that to many of the boys he was a welcome visitor; and, when night came on, they succeeded in arranging for him a comfortable sleeping place in one of the tents. This, however, the old gentleman, being a good sleeper, entirely ignored; and wrapping himself in a blanket, he took his place with "the rest of the boys." stretched at full length around the camp-fire, where he was soon sleeping soundly. The night was cool, the disposition was to unconsciously snuggle up a little closer to the embers; and toward morning the "mess" were awakened by him with the caution; "Take care there, boys! some of you are burning! It's somebody's boots!" Then, suddenly getting out of his, he said: "Well, well! I guess it's my boots, after all!" They were burned to a crisp-a joke which furnished sufficient fun for the rest of the night, and which no one seemed to enjoy better that himself. A pair of army "schooners" about as wide as they were long were substituted which "did him proud" until he returned to Washington.
Mrs. Jane Peters, his wife, died at Bloomville, March 7, 1879, at the age of sixty-eight years, after having spent a busy and in many respects an exemplary life. Of slight frame and never physically strong, she shared the spirit of activity and ambition which has characterized the life of her husband. Her kind disposition and gentle manners deserved and were rewarded with the respect of all with whom she mingled. Her remains are resting besides those of her husband's parents, Richard and Susannah Peters, who, after living about twenty years in Cortland County, returned to Delaware that they might spend their last days near the scenes of their early married life, and in the year 1853 were , within a few weeks of each other, laid to rest in the cemetery at Bloomville. Mr. John Peters is living with his son, William B. Peters, at Bloomville, hale and hearty, and still full of business projects, at the age of ninety-one years. His long and active life, crowding hard upon a century, has been to a greater extent than that of any other man now living identified with the history of the village in which he dwells.
WILLIAM B. PETERS, the third child and eldest son of John Peters and Jane Blakely, was born in the town of Stamford, Delaware County, N.Y., December 23, 1837, in the same house in which his father saw the light, and took his name from his maternal grandfather, William Blakely. Since the age of twelve years he has been a resident of Bloomville, having removed with his parents to that village in 1850, on the same day in which Simon B. Champion, the now venerable editor of the Stamford Mirror, took up his abode therein. Being a boy of an inquistive turn on mind, his time for the following four years was about equally divided between the district schoolhouse, his father's store, and the printing-office, with odds probably in favor of the latter. At the age of sixteen he was placed in Harpersfield Union Academy, at that time under the supervision of the Rev. Robert Rogers, and remained for two years, at the end of which time he entered Delaware Academy at Delhi, in the old building which is now standing, opposite the County Clerk's office, it being the first term in which Professor John L. Sawyer was in control of that institution. He remained a student there for about three years, during which time the present buildings were erected and the school was removed into its more commodious quarters; and during the same time he taught two winter terms of school. At twenty-one years of age he entered into mercantile business at Bloomville with Samuel McCune, under the firm name of McCune & Peters, and the following winter was elected Justice of the Peace, his opponent being the honorable Stephen H. Keeler, now deceased.
July 17, 1861, four days previous to the battle of Bull Run, he married Hannah Rich, of South Kortright, daughter of James Rich and Jane Southard , and a grand-daughter of the Rev. Robert Forrest. Mrs. Peters is a sister of Captain John Rich, late of Jacksonville, Fla. Like her husband, Mrs. Peters was for a time student at Delaware Academy under the tutorage of Professor Sawyer. During the war Mr. Peters was a member of the town board, and was for some time engaged in the recruiting service, being later appointed at assist Colonel Robert Parker and the Hon. James H. Graham in looking after the just apportionment of State military credits in Delaware County, at Albany, and elsewhere. After the war, having closed out his mercantile business, he engaged in agricultural pursuits on what was then known as the John Bathrick farm in Bloomville, and continued to make this his business, in part, for about four years. In this short period he entitled himself, as he declares, to be regarded as one of the most unsuccessful farmers in the community; and, feeling a particular respect for men who succeed in employments where he cannot, he to this day feels like raising his hat when he meets a prosperous farmer. Mathematics was his favorite study, and he had a special fondness for mechanical pursuits. The astonishing development of the watch-making industry about 1870 led him to engage in the watch and jewelry business; and this occupation, together with that of surveying, to which he has from boyhood given more or less attention, have for the past twenty-five years furnished him with sufficient and fairly remunerative employment. As a surveyor and draughtsman, Mr. Peters is said to have no superior in Delaware County.
Mr. and Mrs. Peters have had a family of four children, three daughters and one son, named respectively, Jennie, who died at the age of eleven years; Lizziebell, who pursued a course of study at Delaware Academy, and afterward graduated from the Oneonta Normal School; James R., who was for a time a student at Delaware Academy, and also at D.L. Moody;s school at Mount Hermon, Mass.; and Sarah, who finished a course of study at Delaware Academy.
SHERMAN STREET BOUTON was born in Griffin's Corners, May 17, 1864, son of David A. and Rollins [Covell] Bouton. His great-grandfather Bouton came from Westchester County, and settled in Delaware County in 1807. David A. Bouton, Sr., son of the emigrant, moved from Batavia Kill to Beaver Dam, and thence, in 1823, to Red Kill, where he bought seventy-five acres of land, and made his permanent home. He served in the War of 1812. He married Katie Williams; and they reared ten children, briefly named as follows: John Bouton married Betsey Smith. Katie married D. Northrop. Betsey married the same after her sister's death. Walter is deceased. Avery A. married H. Richards. Polly married S. Reynolds. Louise married Henry Powell; and Sarah, her twin sister, married Martin Kelly. Julia married Mr. Thomas O'Connor. David A., Jr., married Miss Rollins Covell, and was the father of Sherman S. Bouton, the first white child born in Halcott, Greene County.
David A. Bouton, Jr., settled on the farm of the wife's father, to which he added two hundred and fifty acres, and upon which he built houses and barns, and made many improvements. Here on the family estate seven children were born. John died in the Civil War. Avery A. married Anna K. Lasher. Harley married Gilbert Moseman, living in Halcott. Mary married three times, first to D. A. Morrison, second to L. Faulkner, and third to C. Sanford; she has one child, and lives in Margaretville. Daniel H. married Ettie Lasher, by whom he had one child, and after her death married
Minnie Newton. Henry married Mary Van Valcurbing
Sherman S. Bouton was the youngest child of his parents. He received his education at Griffin's Corners, and at the age of twenty- three years was united in marriage to Hattie Todd, the daughter of John and Emily [Utter] Todd. Mr. Todd is a successful farmer at dry Brook, Middletown, and has reared a family of seven children: Charles; Warren; Nettie; Hattie, Mrs. Bouton; Bertha; Lizzie; and Ida. Mr. Bouton established a grocery and ice-cream parlor in the village of Griffin's Corners, which he conducted for two years. He then came to Margarettville, and , buying the Scriven place, converted it into a restaurant, and later on enlarged it into a hotel, which he has conducted successfully, and in a way to elicit the commendation of his patrons and the travelling public who enjoy his hospitality. Mr. Bouton is full of business enterprise and public spirit, and has been among the foremost in every project for the advancement of the town's resources. In the parlance of the present era of active effort, he is a "boomer." In political faith he holds fast to Republican traditions. He has one son, Forrest, born July 13, 1888.
WILLIAM THOMSON BLACK, who is holding the highest office in his town to-day, is a grandson of William Black, a scotch herdsmen who came to seek his fortune in America in 1841, and who settled on a farm in Bovina, Delaware County. He left seven children , four of whom are still living, namely: Mrs. Mary Whitson, of Dutchess County; Mrs. Jane Taylor, of Andes; Mrs. Rebecca Thompson, of Minnesota; the Rev. James Black, of Hamilton, Ontario. David, the father of William T. and two others are dead.
David was a boy of seventeen when he came to America, and was a farm laborer for some years before he became a land-owner. His first possessions lay in Grant county, Wisconsin; but he moved back to Delaware County, and here he spent the last years of his life. He died in 1883. His wife, Margaret Thomson, who was fourteen years his junior, died thirteen before him. David was an honest, industrious man, who held the respect of the entire community in which he lived. He was an Elder in the United Presbyterian church, in whose communion he lived and died; and he was elected Supervisor for eleven consecutive terms. He left two sons - William T. and James, the latter a Presbyterian clergyman in Boston, Mass. Two other children died in childhood.
William T. Black was born in Beetown, Grant County, Wis., an August 5, 1861. He grew up in Bovina, where he was educated in the district school. Opportunity for pursuing a higher course of study was denied him, as the management of the farm fell to his lot at his father's death. In his youth he taught school for two terms, which helped, no doubt, to fix thoroughly in his mind the learning he had already acquired. The homestead has now passed into his hands, and has been remodeled and greatly improved. He takes a pardonable pride in the three dozen Jersey cows, whose cream and butter are of wide local reputation. On his farm is one of the finest groves of larches to be found in Bovina.
In 1885, Mr. Black was married to Miss Bell J. Irvine, a daughter of Henry and Jeanette (Ainslie) Irvine, of Delhi. Both he and his wife are members of the United Presbyterian church in Bovina Centre, of which he is a Trustee. William Black is a Republican in politics. He is a very capable man of affairs, well informed, and possessed of sound sense. He is now acceptably serving his second term as Supervisor.
A. J. GEORGE is a prominent farmer, residing in Arkville, in Middletown, Delaware County, and was born on the site of his present home, July 24, 1843. His great-grandfather was John George, of whom more may be found in the biography of Hiram N. George. Henry George, son of John, married Elizabeth Tremper; and their fourth son was Edward, who married Olive Todd, and became the father of the special subject of this sketch. Edward George received his education in a log schoolhouse. At the age of nineteen he learned coopering. About this time his marriage took place, his wife being a daughter of Lyman and Polly (Craft) Todd. Buying the homestead farm, he built thereon a new frame house, besides a saw-mill. This land he finished clearing, and then bought more, so that in time he owned five hundred and seventy-five acres. The timber was worked up in his mill, and then sold, mostly in the neighborhood, though a small quantity was shipped to Philadelphia. By these enterprises he was able to leave a comfortable fortune when he died, at the age of sixty-seven. He had two children. The eldest is the subject of this sketch. The other is a sister, Catherine George, the wife of Abraham Broadkill, of Beaver Hill, and has three children. Their father was a Republican, and a very influential and honorable citizen. The mother has outlived her husband, and is still a cheerful Christian of the Methodist Episcopal faith.
A. J. George went to the public school in the Arkville district, and like his father, early began life for himself, being married at the age of twenty, during the great Rebellion, to Hannah Elizabeth Myres, who was born in April, 1843, and was therefore his senior by a few months. She was the daughter of Jacob Myres, a farmer in Margarettville. Her grandfather, Henry Myres, married Catherine Shaver. He was born in Germany, but came in early life to this country, and settled at Shavertown, where he met his wife, by whom he became the father of fifteen children. Those who grew up were: Jacob, George, Henry, William, Adam, Sally, Betsy, Catherine, and Jane Myres. Jacob Myres reared seven children. Of these Jackson Myres reared seven children. Of these Jackson Myres married Harriet Wycoff, lives in Margarettville, and has five children. Daniel Myres died in the great Rebellion, fighting for his country's honor. Hannah Myres is Mrs. George. May Myres is the wife of Jackson Corbin, of. Roxbury, and has four children. Charles Myres married Sarah Slack, lives in Margarettville, and has one child. In youth Mr. George worked with his father, lumbering and farming, and now is the owner of the old homestead; but he has built a new residence, and done much to keep the estate fully up to the times. He keeps twenty-five cows, and also has thirty head of cattle, four horses, and fifty sheep. In fact he is the most extensive farmer in the valley.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. George has been blessed with five children. Edward J. George was born February 5, 1866, and lives at Griffin's Corners, in this county. Marcus was born July 14, 1870, and lives at home. Merritt was born February 6, 1873, and has followed the paternal and grand-paternal example in his youthful marriage to Lillie Warren; and they live at Griffin's Corners, with one child. Cyrus George was born November 13, 1875, and lives on the home farm; and so does Harvey George, born October 21, 1879. Arthur George was born May 10, 1868, and died at the early age of four. In politics Mr. George is a Republican. The Greek poet, Hesiod, has wisely written, "let it please thee to keep in order a moderate sized farm, that so thy garners may be full of fruits in their season." Hardly can the George farm be called moderate in size, but its owner faithfully obeys the injunction to keep it in prime shape.
EBENEZER LAIDLAW, of Margarettville, was born in the town of Andes, July 28, 1828. His grandparents, Thomas and Margaret (Stewart) Laidlaw, were both natives of Hawick, Scotland, where Thomas was a spinner in a woollen factory. Three children were born to them: namely, William, Ebenezer, and Mary. Thomas came to America in 1823, and bought in New Kingston, Delaware County, a farm of one hundred and eighty acres of land, which was of more than ordinary value, as it had already been cultivated and improved. He died at eighty-seven years of age, being a member of the Presbyterian church, and a Whig.
William Laidlaw settled in Weaver Hollow in Andes, where he purchased two hundred and sixty acres of partially improved land. The lease of the previous tenant having run out, William took the estate on a new lease, the contract of which stipulated for twenty bushels of wheat a year as rental. He purchased this farm eventually, and married Miss Isabella Liddle, by whom he had twelve children, briefly mentioned as follows: Andrew, who married Margaret Miller, and to whom were born six children; Ebenezer, of whom this memoir is written; Thomas, who married Catherine Robertson, and is now a farmer in Kansas; Margaret, who married Daniel Hizer, became a widow in 1891, and is the mother of seven children, and lives in Andes; Stewart, a farmer and blacksmith, who married Mary Johnson, and has a family of five children; Christina, who married James Reynolds, and has one child; James, who died young; William, Jr., who was in the war, and now lives in Michigan; John, deceased; Mary, who married James Miller, and has five children; Isabella, who married F. Ferguson, a farmer of Bovina, and has three children; Alexander, who married Milla Gibbs, and is a stock dealer and blacksmith in Kansas. The father was a Republican, and a Presbyterian. He died at the age of sixty-five years.
Ebenezer was educated in the district school of Andes, and at twenty-two started to work as a stone-mason. Three years later he learned black smithing, which he plied for sixteen years at Margarettville. After some years of industrious toil he bought a small estate near the village, where he established and conducts a dairy of grade Jerseys, not, however, neglecting his trade, at which he continues to work. He won the heart and hand of Miss Sabra Kelly, a daughter of Jesse and Priscilla (Ackerly) Kelly, to whom he was joined in marriage in 1857. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Kelly: Demaris; Naoma; Dennis; Sabra K., Mrs. Laidlaw; Jane; and Emery. Ebenezer and Sabra (Kelly) Laidlaw are the parents of two children: Bell, born November 23, 1864; and William, born November 14, 1872. The latter married Fanny Moore, a daughter of Ben Moore, and resides in Margarettville, where he follows the trade of blacksmith. Ebenezer Laidlaw has inherited the thrift and cool sagacity of his Scottish ancestry, with whom the national characteristic of shrewdness was strongly marked. He is a Republican, and among other office has held that of Overseer of the Poor.
ROBERT B. VAN AKEN, a well-known furniture dealer in the village of Walton, has long been connected with the mercantile interests of this part of Delaware County, having owned and managed a jewelry store in the village prior to the time of opening his present place of business. He is a man in the prime of life, and during his residence in this thriving village has built up for himself a reputation for honesty and good business methods. His birth occurred in Delhi in 1847. His father, Jeremiah Van Aken, was born in Middletown in 1820, and died in the town of Walton in 1890.
Mr. Van Aken is a grandson of Gideon Van Aken, who emigrated to this country from Holland, and settled in Kingston, N.Y., but later came to Delaware County with his wife, and took up a small tract of thickly wooded land on Platner Brook. They reared a family of twelve children, all of whom grew to adult life, and all but two married. These four are now living: Joseph, a venerable man of ninety years, whose home is near Fort Ann; Catherine, residing on the old home far; Nancy, the wife of Alvan Burdick, near Delhi; and Eliza, the widow of Lucian Stillson, a resident of Meridith.
The father of the subject of this brief sketch became one of the prosperous farmers of Delaware County, carrying on his occupation for a few years in Delhi, and afterward removing to Hamden, close to the town of Tompkins. He married Ann P. Ballentine, who was born in the town of Bovina, their nuptials being celebrated in 1836. Six children were born to them, two of whom died in early infancy, the record of the living being as follows: Solomon, a farmer, owns and occupies a farm adjoining the paternal homestead in Tompkins, is a widower, and has one son. Catherine, the eldest daughter, keeps house for her brother, Solomon Van Aken. William, a farmer, residing on the old homestead, is married and has three children, one son and two daughters. Robert B. is further mentioned below. The mother survived her husband about a year, and died in Walton in 1891. They were sincere Christian people, he being a member of the Methodist church, and she of the United Presbyterian church.
Robert was educated in the district schools, and assisted on the home farm until twenty-three years old, when he followed the bent of his inclinations and learned the jeweler's trade, coming to Walton and entering the employment of Harvey Morton. He afterward opened a jewelry store in Liberty, Sullivan County, where he spent two years. In 1882 Mr. Van Aken returned to Walton, and established a store for the sale of jewelry and silverware, succeeding so well in this enterprise that five years later he bought out the store of Mr. Morton. In 1893 he disposed of his jewelry store and its contents to Laverne White, and opened the store he now occupies, putting in a complete line of furniture, and his prospects are good for building up a substantial business.
The marriage of Mr. Van Aken and Miss Emily Alverson took place on December 20, 1882, in the town of Walton, the place of nativity of the bride. Mrs. Van Aken's parents, George and Hettie (Morton) Alverson, were natives of Walton. Her mother passed to the higher life in 1890, at the age of sixty-four years, and her father in 1891. They left five children, as follows: Esther, the wife of Oren G. Barlow, of Davenport, Ia.; Emily, Mrs. Van Aken; Thomas, a farmer on the old farm in Walton; Damaris, the wife of Ransom Wilson, a lumberman in McKean County, Pa.; Seymour, and unmarried man living in Walton. Mr. and Mrs. Van Aken have no children. Both he and his wife enjoy the esteem of their neighbors; and both are active workers in the Congregational church, of which they are regular attendants. Politically, Mr. Van Aken has decided tendencies toward the teachings of the Republican party, although he claims the right of voting for the man best fitted for the position.
EDWARD C. LASHER, residing at Griffin's Corners, is the proprietor of Fleischmanns Hotel at this place, and is looked upon as a sound business man and good citizen. He was born in Halcott, Greene County, N.Y., in 1854, son of Allen and Eliza A. (Crosby) Lasher, and grandson of Conrad and Anna Maria (Sagendorf) Lasher. Conrad Lasher was born in Dutchess County, son of a German emigrant, but after his marriage came to Delaware County, where he was an early settler. He and his wife made the journey on horseback by the aid of marked trees, carrying what little they had with them. They made a home; and he became a successful farmer and prosperous man, both he and his wife living to the age of eighty-three years. They were members of the Lutheran church, but never learned the English language. They raised a family of eight children, by name Robert, Edward H., Allen, Abraham, Frederick, Susan, Maria Susan, and Katherine.
Allen Lasher was born in Red Hook, Columbia County, N.Y., and was in every sense a self-made man. His educational opportunities were so limited that he received in all but twenty-three days' schooling. He engaged in farming and lumbering, and worked hard to get ahead in the world, cutting timber, and then carrying it to Kingston, where he purchased supplies. This journey took four days, and was made under difficulties. Mr. Lasher was born in 1823, and lived to be sixty-nine years of age, his wife dying at the age of fifty-two. They left seven children: Edward C.; Emmett M., who married Allerina H. Vaudermark, and had one child; Mary E.; Viola V., who married Theodore V. Floyd; Hulda, who became the wife of William H. Whispul, and has two children; Charles, residing in Newport; and James, who lives at Griffin's Corners.
Edward C. attended the district schools, then commenced farming and lumbering, and in 1893 bought the hotel built by Asa Griffin, which under his efficient management is well patronized. The property covers two acres, and the hotel accommodates a large number of boarders. Mr. Lasher's first wife was Harriet Kelly, daughter of Kelsey Kelly. She died in 1879, leaving one child, Edna, who did not long survive her mother. Mr. Lasher chose for his second wife Jennie V. Ferio, daughter of Peter and Jane (Jones) Ferio, the former of whom was a prosperous farmer on Bingle Hill. Her mother, daughter of Robert and Jane )Newton) Jones, was born in Wales in 1765, but came to this country when she was five years old. Robert Jones lived to be eighty-eight years of age, and his wife was ninety-four at the time of her death. They had a family of fourteen children. By his second marriage Mr. Lasher has one son, Samuel A., born July 12, 1882.
Mr. Lasher has inherited the characteristics of his German ancestors in energy, persistent effort, and good business qualities, ready to work hard with any worthy object in view. He is a Republican in his political opinions, and a Methodist in religion. He is considered one of the solid business men of Middletown, and is doing all he can to aid in advancing the business and social interests of the town.
GEORGE HENRY BARNES, an able and prosperous business man, and an esteemed citizen of Franklin, is here successfully engaged as a dealer in furniture, having a substantial trade in this and the surrounding towns. He is the worthy representative of a pioneer family, being the grandson of Lyman Barnes, and the son of Levi Barnes, both of whom were formerly well-known citizens of Franklin.
Lyman Barnes was born in Branfort, Conn. After arriving at years of maturity, he removed to New Haven, where he engaged in general farming, residing there until after the birth of all his children. In 1830 he came from his New England home to this county, locating in the town of Franklin, where he spent his last years. He married a Miss Brackett, who was of Scotch extraction, but a native of Connecticut. She bore him several children, including, besides Levi, the father of the subject of this sketch, the following: George L., who came here from the State of his nativity, and, after spending a few years in this vicinity, moved with his family to Michigan, where he died, leaving a widow and three children; Merrick, who spent his last years in Georgia; Sherman, who accompanied his brother Levi to Georgia, where both were slave-holders, and lived and died in that State; and three sisters, Betsey, Jane, and Lurinda. None of this family are now living.
Levi Barnes was born in New Haven, Conn., in 1800, and was there married to Flora Hubbell, the daughter of John and Priscilla (Foote) Hubbell, the latter of whom died at the age of sixty-nine years, some four years prior to the decease of her husband. The father spent the earlier years of his married life in the city in which he was born, being the larger part of the time engaged in the manufacture of combs, operating quite a large factory. In 1836 he went South with his brother Merrick, settling in Georgia, where he lived until his removal to this town. His declining years were passed in the home of his eldest son, George Henry, of Franklin, who was born in New Haven, Conn., in 1829. To Levi Barnes and his wife four children were born, as follows: Mary E., who married Alonzo Blish, and died at Hawley, Pa., at the age of twenty-two years, leaving an infant son; George Henry; John Hubbell, a wholesale dealer in tea and coffee in Boston, who was killed in a railway wreck in Cambridge, Mass., in 1892, leaving a widow and three children; and Herbert, a farmer in the town of Bainbridge, Chenango County.
RICHARD S. HAMMOND, a popular and prominent citizen of Roxbury, was born at Batavia Kill in this town, January 15, 1839. He is of English and Dutch descent, one of his great-grandfathers, named Ferris, having come here from Holland. Mr. Richard S. Hammond can remember going to visit him in his old log house many years ago. Mr. Hammond's paternal grandfather was Jonathan Hammond, who came to Roxbury from Long Island, and settled on a small farm and built a log house. His wife was Polly Jenkins. They had six children--Nathaniel, James, Polly, Phoebe, Margaret, and Litta.
Nathaniel Hammond, the father of the subject of the present sketch, was born at Batavia Kill, and received a common-school education. At the age of twenty-one he purchased a farm, which is now owned by James Sherwood, Jr. This farm he sold after improving the land and buildings, and went to work in the carpenter's trade, which he followed the rest of his life. He married Caroline Sears, the daughter of Richard Sears, and had eight children: Richard S.; Nancy; Franklin; Daniel and David, who were twins; James; Herbert; and Hector. After working as a carpenter at Roxbury for a short time, Mr. Hammond moved to Lexington, Greene County, and from there to Ulster County, where he spent the last years of his life. He was a Whig, and was a prominent citizen, well known and respected. His church preference was Baptist, and he was a prominent member of that church. He died at the age of forty-seven. His wife survived him, and married a second husband. Both are now dead.
Richard, who was named for his grandfather Sears, was educated in the district school. At the age of seventeen he went West to Illinois, where he worked farming, but came back to Roxbury after three years, and continued in the same occupation until a few months after the outbreak of the Civil War. He then took up arms in defense of his country, enlisting in September, 1861, in Company G, Twentieth New York Volunteer Militia, as a private at the end of a year being promoted to be Corporal. In the battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862, Mr. Hammond was wounded in the knee, and disabled so that he had to come home, receiving his discharge. After his return he bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres at Pine Hill, Ulster County. At the end of two years he sold it, and bought out a grocery business in Pine Hill; but at the end of a few years, deciding to go back to farming, he traded his grocery business for a farm on Birch Creek. Here he remained ten years.
On July 4, 1865, he was married to Louise H. Cure, the daughter of William Cure, of Pine Hill. She died on his farm at Birch Creek; and he sold the place, and accepted a position as traveling salesman. On January 15, 1874, he married Phoebe Gray, daughter of Jonathan and Nancy Gray, of Ulster County. He has two children by his first wife, namely: Elmer F., who was born January 13, 1866, married Jennie Haines, has one child, and is now a well-to-do farmer in Lexington, Greene County; and Benjamin F., who lives at home. By his second wife he had four children: James W. and Louise H., both of whom died in childhood; Hermon H.; and Charles T. The former is thirteen and the latter seven years old.
Mr. Hammond was Deputy Sheriff for nine years, and is now a Constable in the town. He is a member of the John A Logan Post, No. 477, of the Grand Army in Stamford, and is a respected and popular citizen of Roxbury.
EDMOND T. FINCH, a prosperous farmer of Tompkins, Delaware County, N.Y., was born in the adjacent town of Colchester, June 23, 1836. His great-grandfather came from England before the Revolutionary War, and settled in Westchester County, N.Y., where he employed himself in clearing the land and building a log house. His wife accompanied him to this country, and here was born their son, James Finch, who was a minuteman in the Revolution. At the close of the war he married a Miss Finny, of Westchester County. They reared a large family, leasing land on Hardenburgh Patent, which they cleared, erecting a log cabin. James Finch rafted his lumber to Philadelphia, returning on foot with his purchases bound to his back, the journey occupying four days. He died at Colchester at the age of eighty years.
Jesse Finch, son of James, was born in Colchester, and after leaving the district school, began the business of cutting and rafting lumber with his father. When twenty-four years of age, he married Huldah Malory, daughter of William Malory, who soon after his marriage moved to Hamden, Connecticut, buying a farm, which he sold ten years later, and then returned to Colchester. Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Finch were the parents of eight children, namely: Frank, George, Mary, Amy, Esther, Edmond, Junius and Cornelia. They moved to Tompkins, and settled on the farm now occupied by their son, Edmond T., where the father died at the age of eighty years. In religion he was a Methodist, and until 1860 voted with the Democrats, after which he adopted the Republican platform.
Edmond T. Finch was educated at the district schools of Colchester, and assisted his father in farming and lumbering until he reached his twenty-second year, and then went to Kansas. HE joined the "Jay Hawkers", a company of eastern men who banded together to make Kansas a free state, and participated in the "Kansas War". At the breaking out of the Civil War, he returned to New York and enlisted in the Second Heavy Artillery, taking an active part in seven of the most important battles of the war, among them the battle of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and Cold Harbor. In a skirmish at Talpothimie Creek every man in his company was shot and half of them were seriously wounded. His regiment of eighteen hundred men lot thirteen hundred in six weeks before Petersburg. At Weldon Railroad, June 18,1864, Mr. Finch was shot through the right lung, and for nine months was confined in the hospital at Willets Point, being mustered out of service after Lee's surrender in 1865.
In 1866 Mr. Finch married Miss Clementine Griffin, daughter of Stephen and Amanda Griffin, of Tompkins and settled on the old homestead, where he still resides. Mrs. Finch's grandfather, Peter Griffin was a pioneer of Delaware county, and married Phebe Parks, daughter of the famous "Boswain" Parks, a noted scout and bunter of revolutionary times, who was locked up as a traitor by the inhabitants of Wyoming, whom he had warned of the approaching danger. They, believing his story of the oncoming massacre as untrue, had him arrested, but he was rescued by the interference of friends, and escaped the dreadful fate of those who did not heed his warning. His daughter, the great aunt of Mrs. Finch, died in Hancock a short time ago at the extraordinary age of one hundred and eight years.
Mr. and Mrs. Finch have five children--- Mary, Roy, Leon, Paul and Edna. Mr. Finch is a successful farmer, and in addition to his property in Tompkins, owns arm lands in Kansas. He is a liberal-minded, upright man, who enjoys the regard and esteem of his acquaintances.
GEORGE F. WOOD, son of Henry W. and Sarah Abell Wood, was born in Franklin, N.Y., April 7, 1867. In 1868, with his parents, he went to Nebraska, and he lived there till the summer of 1883, when he returned to Franklin, and in September he entered Delaware Literary Institute as a student.
He remained in the school, graduating in the class of 1888, and taking a medal for declamation the same year. He entered Hamilton College in 1888, and at once was a recognized leader of his class in all matters of common college interest. He graduated with honor, June 30, 1892. He entered Union Theological Seminary in the fall of 1892, and died at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York, February 3, 1893. His burial place is in the beautiful Ouleout cemetery at Franklin, near by the village where five years of his school days at the institute so pleasantly and quickly passed away. He was a young man fully six feet high, of large frame and of noble countenance, a young man of large intellect and larger heart.
His character was of the highest order, and his friends were legion. The ministry was his chosen life work, and the foreign field his place selected for work. The call to die was sudden, but not murmur did he utter. A few moments before his death he said, "O Lord Jesus, in thy name I ask full and free entrance into the city of life." He was a natural speaker, and he spoke with an earnestness seldom known in a young speaker.
Franklin mourns the death of George F. Wood.
JACOB C. HOAGLAND, a retired farmer of the town of Tompkins, Delaware County, N.Y., was born in Gilboa, Schoharie County, April 17, 1827. His grandfather, Christopher Hoagland, was born in New Jersey, and migrated to Gilboa, Schoharie County, N.Y., in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Here he bought, at twelve and a half cents an acre, large tracts of land, which he improved and sold at an advanced price to new settlers, who kept coming into the county at that time. He was the first militia Captain in town, having formed the company which he afterward commanded, and also took an active part in town affairs. He married Eva Van Loan, who, like himself, was descended from the early Dutch settlers of the State. Captain and Mrs. Hoagland had five children: Jacob, a merchant in Catskill; Abram, a successful farmer in Gilboa; James the father of the subject of this sketch; John who was engaged extensively in business, having a tannery, a store at Gilboa, and a large farm at the same place; and Susan, who married Solomon Grey, a merchant in Catskill.
James Hoagland received his education in Gilboa, his native town, where at an early age he began to work on a farm. When he started in life for himself, his father gave him a farm fully stocked, where he spent the rest of his days. He married Ellen Decker, the daughter of Abram Decker, a hotelkeeper and representative of one of the oldest families in Gilboa. Eight children were born of this union: Christopher, who was a farmer in Gilboa, Abram. A wholesale and retail dry goods merchant in Albany; Jacob; Nathan, who keeps a dry goods and grocery store in Schenevus; Margaret; Eva; Adaline, and Sarah.
Jacob C. Hoagland was educated in his native town. Having grown to manhood, he purchased his present farm of ninety-eight acres, then partly under cultivation. He married Sarah Beagle, of Hancock, daughter of John and Margaret Finkle Beagle. Mr. and Mrs. Hoagland had a family of ten children, seven of whom are living. Their son, Christopher, who is a farmer of Hancock, married Vesta Alberta, and has two children--- Alberta and Christopher. A daughter, Margaret, married Edward Christian, a farmer of Tompkins, and has two children--- Claude and Mena. Another daughter, Julia, married John Douglass, a resident of Pennsylvania, and has a family of four children--- Della, Herbert, Blanche and John. Emma Hoagland married Lawyer Bush, of Hancock, foreman in the acid factory, and has one child, Ervin. Mary married Charles Bush, a mason in Hancock, and has three children--- Frank, Christie and Arthur. Effie married Peter Summers, a foreman in the acid works of Hancock, and has one child, Mina. Orlando Hoagland lives at home with his parents.
Mrs. Hoagland is a much respected member of the Methodist church. Mr. Hoagland who has been foreman for a number of years in the acid works of Hancock, now lives practically retired on his farm, assisted in the work by his son, Orlando. He is held in favor by his fellow citizens, and has made many firm friends.
DAVID G. McDONALD is now living, retired from the active cares of life, on a portion of his farm on the East Brook road, at about five and one half miles from the village of Walton. He is a native of North Carolina, born of Scotch parentage, August 23, 1822, in Fayetteville, Cumberland County. His father Archibald R. McDonald son of Roderick McDonald, was born and grew to maturity in Scotland. While in the vigor of young manhood, Archibald McDonald immigrated to America, and going directly to North Carolina, purchased a farm near Fayetteville, and resumed the occupation to which he had been reared. Selling that estate, he at length came to Walton, and, after looking about for a little, bought the farm where his daughter, Mrs. Howland now lives, and carried it on with success until a short time prior to his decease, when he sold it to his son-in-law, Edwin R. Howland. Very soon after the transfer of his property, he was thrown form a wagon, meeting with such injuries that his death occurred three hours afterward, he then being eighty-four years old. His wife, Jeanette Smith, was also a native of Scotland, and the daughter of Jane and John Smith. She reared seven children: Robert; Catherine; Jane, who married John Henderson; John, Mary, the wife of Amos Ensign; David; and Roderick.
The subject of this sketch spent the early years of his life in the place where he was born, until twelve years old became a regular attendant at the district school; but after that time made himself useful in farm work, remaining with his parents until attaining his majority. After the family removed to Walton, he began his independent career by obtaining work on a farm by the month. His first purchase of land was near the place where he now lives. He ran in debt for the farm, but managed it so well that it paid for itself in a few years. He subsequently sold the property to his son; and, buying the one hundred and sixty acres that constitute his present homestead, he carried on a good business in general farming and dairying, usually keeping about twenty-seven cows. This estate he has very recently sold to his son-in-law, Amos Launt, keeping a portion of it for his own use; and here, he and his good wife are passing their sunset years in comfort.
Mr. McDonald was married in 1845 to Jane Chambers, a daughter of David and Jane (Smith) Chambers. She is a native of Scotland, and was about eight years old when her parents came to this country. Their family circle has been completed by the birth of these children: Maria, who died at the age of twenty-three years, married Calvin McAllister, formerly of Sullivan County, but now a butter merchant in Walton. Eliza, who married George Seymour, a farmer of Cannonsville, has two children--- Ethel and David. John, who married Hattie McFarland, has two children: Earle, a carpenter, residing in California. David, a farmer and superintendent of a ranch in California, is married and has one child, Lucy. Jane, who married Almon Launt, son of Louis Launt, of Hamden has two children--- Louis and Jane. Sloane, a farmer in Masonville, married Hannah Terry.
Mr. McDonald has achieved success in life by diligent toil, directed by sound business principles. He is a man who thinks for himself, and in politics does not confine himself to any party, but votes for the best men and measures. Both he and his wife are consistent members of the United Presbyterian church of Walton.
SAMUEL B. KEATOR, the owner of a productive farm on the Beatty Brook Road in Kortright, is a successful dairyman and a good citizen of the town in which he resides. He was born on the farm which he now occupies, on March 7, 1831, a son of Matthew S. and Polly (Dennison) Keator. Matthew Keator was born in Ulster County, but removed to Delaware County and settled at his present home about the year 1820. This arm was improved land, but by his unceasing toil, and patience he did much to make it more productive. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, politically a Republican and died in Jordan, Onondaga County, at the age of seventy-nine years. His wife was a native of Delaware County, and died at the age of ninety years. They were the parents of ten children, eight of whom are now living, namely: James, in Louisiana; Catherine Barlow, of Syracuse; David in California; Henry in Minnesota; Samuel B., the subject of this sketch; Julia Doolittle of Margaretville, N.Y.; Harriet Chadwick, in Jordan, Onondaga County; and Matthew S., in Tennessee. A daughter Mary died aged fifty years; and Jerman, at the age of sixty-eight years.
Samuel B., the fourth son, grew to manhood on his father's farm, receiving the best education afforded by the village school at that time. He gave attention to farming and purchased his old home about thirty-five years ago. He is the possessor of one hundred and ninety acres of excellent land, superior farm buildings, with twenty-five head of the graded Jersey cattle, and furnishes dairy products for the market.
In 1860, he married Miss Jane Ann McMurdy, a native of Kortright, and a daughter of Jonathan B. and Abigail McMurdy. Mr. McMurdy was a successful farmer. He died at the age of eighty-six, his wife's death occurring when she was seventy-nine years old. Mr. and Mrs. Keator are the parents of two childen: Helen, wife of A.T.Dunn, a resident of Kortright; and George W. The latter married Miss Mary E. Smith; and they reside with his parents, assisting in the care of the farm and the dairy. Mr. and Mrs. Keator are members of the United Presbyterian Church at Almeda; and the Republican party has an ardent supporter in Mr. Keator, who has been Assessor for three years. He is an industrious, progressive, public-spirited citizen who has won well-deserved success by his strict attention to business and honorable dealings with his fellow men.
JOSEPH SCHAUFLER was born May 25, 1851. His father, George Schaufler was a German, who came to Columbia County, and married there a Miss Catherine Loos, a daughter of Frederic and Elizabeth Loos. In the Loos family there were four children: George R.; John H.; Joseph; and Melissa, now Mrs. Wilson. George Schaufler was something of a wanderer, working at his trade in Hamden, Colchester, Delancey, Holiday Bridge, Gregory Hollow, Downsville, Oneonta and Croton. At Gregory Hollow he farmed for a short time, but returned to his trade. At Croton, the last named in the list of his abiding places, he remained until his death.
Joseph Schaufler was born at Oneonta Plains, Columbia County. There is a pathetic interest surrounding the childhood of a man who at the age of ten years went to work on a farm for his board and clothes, in the stern school of necessity, learning the lessons of patient toil and endurance. His first wages were four dollars for three months from which they were increased to forty-eight dollars for eight months. He continued working on various farms in the neighborhood until he was twenty-four years old, when he was married to Miss Amelia Tasey, by whom he had five children: Lelia E.; born October 5,1877, who died May 17, 1883; Jane C., born July 14, 1879; Maud S., born October 17, 1882; Henry, March 3, 1885; and Grace. Born April 17, 1890.
Joseph Schaufler began working at blacksmithing after his marriage, setting up his forge in the old Charles Wilson shop in Downsville in the fall of 1877.
Here he plied his trade for two years, after which he sold out and worked for Mr. William Holmes. Later on he bought out the business of R. Liddle, and built a shop of forty by twenty-four feet in Bogart Avenue. Here he has the largest horseshoeing business in Downsville. Mr. Schaufler's house is one of the first houses erected in Downsville, having been built about fifty years ago.
He is a Democrat, and has held the office of Overseer of the Poor for two years. Mrs. Schaufler is Methodist in faith. The success that has attended the life-long toil and effort of this man should surely be an incentive to others who have their own exertions only to depend upon, and who need an example to cheer and encourage.
LINDLEY E. HOYT, senior member of the firm of L.E. Hoyt & Co., proprietors of the Walton foundry and machine works, was born in this town, June 26, 1853. He comes of stanch New England stock, being the only son of the late Edwin and Eliza Ann (St. John) Hoyt, both natives of Walton, and a great-grandson of Thaddeus Hoyt, one of the original settlers of this section of Delaware County, who came to Walton in 1790 from New Canaan, Conn., bringing with him his young wife, Jemima (Benedict) Hoyt, and one son. Of the five children of their household all but the eldest were born in Walton. One, Matthew died in early youth, the names of the others being Thaddeus, John B., Amasa, and Chauncey. Amasa Hoyt, who was the fourth son born to his parents, was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He was a farmer, and succeeded his father in the ownership of the homestead, which was about four miles north of the village of Walton, and on which he spent his entire seventy-eight years of life, his body being there now interred. He married Elizabeth Hyatt Seymour, a daughter of Samuel Seymour, of Walton, who bore him nine children, seven of whom are now living as follows: Lewis, who resides in Walton; Thaddeus S., a farmer on West Brook; Frederick, in Walton; Edward, owning a farm adjoining the old homestead; a twin brother of Edwin, deceased; William S., residing in Unadilla, Otsego County; Julia, who is the wife of Stephen Lyon; and Whitney who lives in Binghamton. The oldest of these children is now seventy-eight years of age, and the youngest, fifty-three years, their combined ages aggregating four hundred and seventy years.
Edwin Hoyt lived but a few years after his marriage with Miss St. John, dying in November, 1855, when but twenty-eight years of age. Mrs. Eliza A. Hoyt still lives in Walton, and is now enjoying the comforts which her early years of toil have so richly entitled her. Being left a widow when quite young, with little of this world's goods, and with a young child to care for, she labored diligently with her needle, working at the tailoress's trade, and made a good living for herself and son. She is a daughter of the late Cyrus and Lydia (Andrews) St. John, and one of their seven surviving children, all of whom with the exception of one daughter, who resides in Ohio, are residents of Walton. He father who was a prominent farmer of this town, rounded out a long life of ninety-three years, retaining until the last in a degree his great mental and physical vigor, dying very suddenly, February 27,1892. He was a very devoted and exemplary member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he had been for many years an officer. He was a son of Peter St. John, Jr., and a grandson of Peter St. John, Sr., who came to Walton from Norwalk, Conn., in1803.
Peter St. John, Sr. was born in Norwalk in 1726, and died in Walton in 1811. He worked at shoemaking and farming after coming to this town, being one of the most industrious and prosperous of its pioneers. He was a poet of much merit, and was a Yale student, but left college before graduating to marry Molly Cook, one of New Haven's prettiest belles. Seven children were born of this union--- Philo, Amelia, Justus, Sally, Adonijah, Polly and Gideon. His wife Molly died in 1759, in New Jersey, whither they had moved. He subsequently returned to Norwalk, where in 1761 he married Rebecca Crofoot, who bore him eleven children--- Peter, Hannah, Betty, Joseph, Lydia, Rachel, Cook, Anna William, Rebecca, and Ezekiel. Joseph died in childhood, and Lydia, Peter, Jr., Cook and Ezekiel have all been residents of Walton, coming here within the first four years of the present century.
Peter St. John, Jr., and the maternal great-grandfather of Mr. Hoyt, was three times wedded. His first wife was Sarah Hoyt, by who he had one child, mother and child dying shortly, at about the same time. His second wife died at the age of thirty-seven years, in 1804, leaving five sons, one of whom was the grandfather of Mr. Hoyt. In 1805 he married Esther Hoyt, of Norwalk, who bore him one son, Isaac. She survived her husband, who died in 1824 at the age of sixty-three years, while she lived until 1836. For more than one hundred years the name of St. John has been held in honor in Walton, some of the most influential of the earlier settlers of the town having borne that name.
When a lad of ten years, Lindley E. Hoyt began working as a chore boy on a farm, and in 1871 entered a blacksmith's shop, where he served an apprenticeship of three years. He continued to follow his trade, most of the time at the same shop, until 1888, his work being mostly carriage-ironing. On the first of November he formed a partnership with Tregurtha, a machinist, and Thompson, a moulder, and established his present foundry and machine shop. Mr. Hoyt then bought out the interest of the moulder, and Winfield S. Cook and Frank Pinch were subsequently admitted to the firm, which was ready for business by April 1889, almost their first work in the foundry being to make the castings for the railway, besides which they did general machine work. The firm met with eminent success, and in 1892 the present fine machine shop, thirty feet by ninety feet, was erected. In January, 1893, M.J.Stanton bought out the interest of Mr. Tregurtha, and is now manager of the business.
Mr. Hoyt was married March 21, 1883, to Virginia A Stevens, a native of Cayuga County, being a daughter of D.Q.Stevens, of West Virginia, whose remaining children are a son, living in Walton, a daughter residing in Hagerstown, Md., and another daughter who resides in Ohio. Five children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt, one of whom died in infancy. The four remaining are: Edwin Bell, a sturdy lad of ten years; Helen Eliza, eight years old; Clyde, three years; and a beautiful baby boy, Irving Winfield. Mr. Hoyt and his family reside with his mother in the house she purchased in the days long gone by, and which he has entirely remodeled, and which is as cosey and comfortable a home as one would wish to see. The adult members of this family attend the Congregational church, and in Mr. Hoyt the Republican party has one of its most faithful adherents.
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Index to Biographical Review