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 10 - pages 452 through 499
LEWIS H. OWENS, a well-known dairy farmer of Tompkins, Delaware County, N.Y., was born here on the old Owens homestead in 1847, son of J.Wilson and Eliza [Kelsey] Owens. Eliza Kelsey was the daughter of James and Mary [Brode] Kelsey. James Kelsey came from New Hampshire with Martin Lane; and together they took a tract of land, which was then a perfect wilderness, and erected log cabins and a saw-mill on the banks of the Delaware River. And this for years they worked together, sawing up logs, building rafts, and floating the lumber down the river to the Philadelphia market, making the return journey, which often took them four days, on foot, and carrying on their backs pack filled with proivions and family supplies weighting over fifty pounds.
In 1797 James Kelsey married for his first wife Avis Hoag, of Tomkins; and by this marriage there were these children: Mahala. born in 1799; Roswell, born in 1801; Mariam, born in 1803; Dayton, born in 1805; James Jr., born in 1809; and Enos H., Born in 1811. His second wife was Mary Brode, daughter of Michael and Mary [Funk] Brode, of Philadelphia. The latter was the daughter of Christian Funk, a noted Baptist clergyman of those days, who was located at Germantown, and was a descendant of one of the earliest Dutch settlers of this country, as were also the Brode family. James Kelsey and Mary Brode were married in March 1823, and had three children; Michael, born in 1825; Eliza, born in 1827; and John B., born in 1829. James Kelsey was very successful in his undertakings, and at one time owned over one thousand acres, extending from the bank of the Delaware River back over the hills to where the Sands Creek road now is. He offered one hundred acres to any his sons or son-in-law who would clear ten acres of land and live upon it, and his descendents occupy the land thus obtained.
J. Wilson Owens, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Tompkins, and here received such education as the district schools of the town afforded. In 1844 he married Eliza Kelsey, and settled on Sands Creek, where he engeged in farming and lumbering, and met with such success in those pursuits that at the end of a few years he erected frame buildings on his land , put up a saw-mill, and was considered well-to-do for the times in which he lived. Both he and his wife were Presbyterians in their belief, and energetic workers in the church at Cannonsville.Mr.and Mrs. Owens had three children: Lewis H., the subject of this sketch; James, who married Augusta Seymour, daughter of Charles Seymour, of Tompkins, and has two children-Lenore and Charles S.; and Charles Owens, who married Clara Otis, daughter of Nathaniel Otis, of Iowa, and died in August, 1893, leaving three children-Wilson, Clyde, and Ethel.
Lewis H. Owens was educated in his native town, where he has always engaged in farming. He and his brother James now have charge of the old homestead farm located on the banks of the Delaware River. They are progressive farmers, having all modern improved machinery, graded stock, and an excellent dairy. Farm affairs do not occupy all of Mr. Lewis H. Owens's time, however; for he is prominent in town interests, has always been identified with the Republican party, and has held positions of trust and honor in his native town.
WILLIAM R. REYNOLDS, who occupies an influential position in business circles in this county, is the junior partner in the firm of Eells & Reynolds, dealers in hardware, in the village of Walton. He is of English parentage, and was born in the town of Walton, October 18, 1858. His father, Samuel F. Reynolds, was a native of Bristol, England, and lived there until sixteen years of age, when he emigrated to America. Landing at New York City, shortly afterward made his way to Catskill, and from there journeyed to Hamden, where he obtained work in the woolen-mills. Possessing a good deal of mechanical. ability, he next learned the trade of carriage-making in the village of Walton, and for many years followed that trade. He afterward worked as a carriage-maker, carrying on a substantial business as such for some time in the firm of Wade & Reynolds. Sellinf out his interest in that business, he became a carriage painter, continuing in that occupation until his death, at the age of threescore and three years. His wife, whose maiden name was Amy Rowlstown, was one of four children born to her parents, William and Mary Rowlstown, she and her sister emigrating to this country at the same time. She is still living, and is a beloved member of the household of her son William, the subject of this sketch. The following are her eight children; Charles B., Carrie W., William R., Mary A., the wife of G.A. Barton, of Walton; Samuel F.; Frederick W.; Jennie, who married J.O. Lunn, of Walton; and Harry W.
With the exception of a few years spent on the Pacific Coast, William R. Reynolds has passed his life in the village of Walton, receiving a practical education in the village school and academy, and from his good perents a careful training in the duties of life. When old enough to decide upon an occupation, he learned the tinsmith's trade of Eells & Wood, and afterward the trade of a plumber, subsequently entering their employment as a clerk. After remaining with them three years as such, he secured a position with L.S. & J.W. St. John as a plumber, working for them about a year. Then, desirous of trying his fortune in the great and growing West, Mr. Reynolds made a trip to Califorina, and for two and one-half years was engaged in the plumbing business in Sacramento and other places in that State. Returning to Walton, he entered the employ of St John & White, later buying his present interest in the business carried on by the firm now known as Eella & Reynolds, Captain St. John, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume, having retired on March 1, 1894. A more important as well as more recent date in the life of William R. Reynolds is November 14, 1894, when he was married to Miss Kate Launt, of Walton, N.Y.
Mr. Reynolds is a gentleman of most agreeable manners, courteous at all times, and very popular with the citizens of Walton, among whom he has a host of friends. Socially, he ia a member of the A.F.& A.M., being Treasurer of the lodge, and formerly belonged to the order of the Red Man. He has been in all the ranks of the engine company, from torch boy to chief engineer, and is a treasurer of the corporation . He is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Democratic party, and a regular attentant of the Episcopal church, of which his mother and sisters are active members, and in the choir of which his fahter sung for many years.
WALTER T. ARMSTRONG is a well-known Delaware County man living in the town of Andes where he carries on an extensive and varied business, both with land and machinery. He was born March 27, 1853 in the town of Hamden, and his parents were Andrew and Jeannette (Hastings) Armstrong. Andrew Armstrong was the son of Walter Armstrong and his wife, Violet Anderson.
The grandfather, Walter Armstrong, was born in Scotland, where he married. Subsequently he came to America with his family and bought an Andes farm of a hundred and sixty acres, now owned by L. J. Strangeway. Here he put up various buildings, besides clearing the land, and raising seven children. James Armstrong, the eldest, now lives in Delaware. Ellen Armstrong married Richard Hamilton, and lives in Sidney. John Armstrong married in Montana, where he is still living, though his wife is dead. Jennie Armstrong is in DeLancey, Delaware County. Andrew Armstrong, as already noted, married Jeannette Hastings, and is no longer living; but his wife is with her son in Andes. Belle Armstrong lives in DeLancey, unmarried. Walter Armstrong married Jane Marks, and is an Andes farmer. Their father lived on the homestead till his death, at the age of seventy-two, having already buried his wife. They were both members of the United Presbyterian church, and he was first a Whig and then a Republican in politics.
Andrew Armstrong was born in Scotland before the emigration of the family to America. Like his father, he bought a farm, though it was not situated in Andes, but in Hamden. On these two hundred acres he lived six years. Then he sold out, and bought another place in Andes, of a hundred and forty acres, nearer his father's. This also he sold, and moved to Brushland, where for eighteen months he worked as a stonemason. His next move was to Delhi, where he bought another farm of a hundred and forty acres; and there he lived eight years. Once more he sold, and went again to Andes, where he bought another tract of nearly a hundred and fifty acres. He did not change again, but continued on the same place until his death in middle life, only forty-eight years of age. Andrew Armstrong was a hard-working and enterprising man, as may be judged by his frequent changes. His wife Jeannette was the daughter of James Hastings, who married Elizabeth Elliot, of Bovina, where they owned a section of a hundred and sixty acres, and reared seven children. The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Armstrong were: Martha, Elizabeth, Isabelle, Thomas, John, and James Hastings. Their father was a very prosperous and active man, a Presbyterian and a Republican. He died a short time ago, at the age of ninety-seven, having been born in 1797. Andrew Armstrong had six children, all of whom are living but one. The eldest is Walter T. Armstrong. James H. Armstrong married Lilly Covet, has one child, and is a Roxbury farmer. Ella Armstrong married Thomas Smith, another Roxbury farmer, and has three children. Violet Armstrong married Andrew Browne, an Iowa merchant, and has one child. Belle Armstrong married William J. Hizar, and Martha Armstrong married his brother, Charles C. Hizar, both being Andes farmers; and Belle has two children. Like his father, Andrew Armstrong became a Republican. He was a long time an Assessor, and the family belonged to the United Presbyterian church.
Walter T. Armstrong was educated at the Delhi schools and Andes Academy. In 1872 he married Mary C. Hyzer, daughter of Thomas Hyzer and Rachel Ferguson. Thomas Hyzer was born on May 22, 1819, and was the son of Abraham Hyzer and his wife, Hannah Worden, and the grandson of Peter Hyzer and Eve (Scriver) Hyzer. Peter Hyzer was born in Dutchess County, and came to Andes as a farmer. His children were: Abraham, Peter, Isaac, Jacob, Polly, Eleanor, Betsey, and Katie Hyzer. Their father lived to be very old; and, their mother having died very young, he was married again to the Widow Wilson, who lived to an advanced age. The family attended the Presbyterian church. Abraham Hyzer was born in Dutchess County, but bought a farm in Gladstone Hollow. He soon after sold out, came to his father's farm, and took charge there until the death of the old man, at the age of seventy-three. Abraham Hyzer was a Republican, and the family attended the Methodist church. There were nine boys, of whom four died young; but Thomas, David, Abraham, Ira, and James Hyzer grew up. Thomas Hyzer was born in Andes, and there educated. At twenty-one he married Rachel Ferguson, daughter of John David and Asenath (Hall) Ferguson. Mr. Ferguson was a son of David Ferguson, who came from Scotland, dwelt awhile in Schenectady, and then came to Andes with his family,
and lived into old age. David Ferguson, who was an enterprising farmer, went to Iowa, and raised these girls and boys -- Martha, Samuel, David, Huldah, Rachel, Seneca, and Abigail Ferguson. After the death of their mother he married Eliza Lidger, and lived to be very old, a Whig and a Methodist. In his young manhood Thomas Hyzer bought a farm on Cabin Hill, which he subsequently traded for his present estate, the Armstrong farm, where he raised a family of nine children, of whom six lived to grow up. His daughter, Lena Hyzer, married Wilrod Scott, and died, leaving four children. Another daughter, Hannah, also deceased, was the wife of David Elijah. Abraham Hyzer married Mary Cathels, and they have three children. Frances Hyzer died unmarried. Mary Hyzer is Mrs. Armstrong. Thomas Hyzer married Anna Bell Liddle, and is a thriving farmer, very social and popular.
Mr. Walter T. Armstrong is a Republican, like his father and grandfather, but belongs to a different religious sect, the Methodist, in which his wife sympathizes with him. He has two children: Emory Armstrong, who was born February 2, 1880; and Cora, on June 19, 1882, both of whom live at home. At first Mr. Armstrong lived in Middletown, where he bought a saw and grist mill of Moses Jackson, which he carried on four years. Selling out his mill property, he next came to Andes, where he worked as a carpenter and millwright for a year, staying with his father. Then he came to his present place, the old Hyzer homestead of a hundred and thirty-two acres. In addition to agriculture, he does more or less carpentry, having a separate shop, containing an engine which runs a circular saw and a turning-lathe, wherewith all sorts of bracket work can be done. Not only is he a good mechanic and farmer, but an enterprising man in other directions. He keeps eighteen choice Jerseys, and everything about the place bespeaks thrift and progress. Says wise old Seneca:--
"Opportunity has hair in front: behind she is bald. If you seize her by the forelock, you may hold her; but, if suffered to escape, not Jupiter himself can catch her again." Mr. Armstrong feels the force of this doctrine, and has seized opportunity the right way.
MRS RACHEL BUTLER owns and occupies a fine homestead in the town of Hamden, where she and her husband settled almost a half a century ago. She is a capable, hard-working woman, who has led a noble and heroic life, rearing and educating her children in ways of usefulness and honor, and is well worthy of the esteem and respect accorded her throughout the community wherein she dwells. She was born and reared to womanhood in County Carlow, Ireland, her maiden name having been Rachel Scanlon.
On the 24th of March, 1846, she was united in marriage to Edward Butler, a native of the same county; and the following year they left their native isle, going first to Liverpool, England, where they spent a few weeks. On the 10th of May they sailed from Liverpool in the good ship "Agnes," and after a voyage of nearly seven weeks they landed in New York City. While on the ocean their first child was born, and was named John Atlantic Butler. They settled in the town of Hamden on the farm now occupied by Mrs. Butler and her sons, and were the parents of seven children, two of whom, both boys, died in infancy. Five are now living, and through her judicious teachings have become valued citizens of this locality. The eldest son, John A., an agriculturist, carries on the home farm of two hundred acres, which was bought and paid for through the energetic and persevering efforts of Mrs. Butler. William E. is a carpenter in the town of Hamden. Charles A. is a railway employee in Port Jervis, N. Y. Edward L. is a carpenter. And the only daughter, Rachel A., is the wife of George A. Brainard.
George A. Brainard, a prosperous farmer, residing in District No. 1 in the town of Hamden, was born on the homestead where he now lives, in the month of October, 1857. He comes of excellent New England stock, his grandfather, also named George A. Brainard, having been of Connecticut birth. The elder George was a man of good business ability, possessing some means, and came to Delaware County when a young man, settling in the town of Colchester, where he bought a large farm. He was a wide-awake, energetic man, and, besides carrying on general farming on a large scale, was extensively engaged in buying and selling stock, and was likewise for a time a well-known hotel-keeper in Hamden. He married Polly Bogart; and they became the parents of two sons and three daughters, and of these one son and two daughters are now living.
James M. Brainard, son of the first, and father of the present George A. Brainard, was born in Downsville in this county, in 1831, and died in the town of Delhi, April 30, in 1885. Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, he chose farming for his life occupation; and the success that has crowned his efforts showed that he made no mistake in his choice. He was united in marriage with Phylira Signor, the daughter of Theodore and Sarah (Brown) Signor; and of their union three children were born, namely: George A.; Mary E., wife of Harry Hooper; and Annie M., wife of Alfred Bailey.
George A. Brainard was the only son of his parents, and his entire life has been spent on the farm where he was born. He obtained a good common-school education, and early became very familiar with the art of agriculture. He carries on general farming, and pays a good deal of attention to his fine dairy of thirty-five cows, the milk from which he ships directly to New York City. On April 17, 1878, Mr. Brainard married Rachel A. Butler, as above mentioned; and they are the parents of four promising children, namely: George William, born November 20, 1881; Mary G., born December 15, 1884; James E., born June 20, 1887; and Fred H., an irrepressible little lad of four years, born June 4, 1890.
Mr. Brainard is an active Republican in politics, and has served with great acceptance as School Trustee, and has in many other respects assisted in promoting the welfare and advancement of the community. Both he and his estimable wife are sincere members of the First Presbyterian Church, toward the support of which they contribute generously and willingly.
CROSBY KELLY, a contractor and builder of Middletown, residing at Griffin's Corners, is well and favorably known for his good business abilities, and takes a high stand in his chosen occupation. He is the son of John B. and Mary A. (Crosby) Kelly, and was born September 16, 1862, in Granville, Bradford County, Pa. His paternal grandfather, Thomas Kelly, was the son of Edward, a native of Connecticut, and one of the first settlers in Greene County. Edward Kelly cleared some land on the mountain in the town of Halcott, built a log house, and lived there to an advanced age. His son Thomas married Jane Molyneaux, and continued on the old homestead until he died, at seventy years of age, in 1869, his wife living to be seventy-five years old. Both were members, in good standing, of the Baptist church. A family of fourteen children was born to this worthy couple, the following being a brief mention: Justice K.; Hannah, who married P. Fellows; Clara, who became the wife of B. Ballard; Betsey, who married A. Chase; Chauncey, who chose for his wife Calisa Winchel; John B.; Amy, who became the first wife of W. Scudder, after her death her sister Theresa being his second wife; Edwin and Philip, who died young; and Phebe, who married M. Kelly. The others died in infancy.
John B. Kelly received a common-school education, and commenced farming when he was twenty-one years old. He married Mary A. Crosby, daughter of Benjamin L. and Hulda (Hull) Crosby, and grand-daughter of Thomas and Rebecca Crosby. Her father, Benjamin L., born in 1797 was a hale and hearty old farmer of Greene County, who almost cheated time by living to the remarkable age of ninety-five years. His wife, less sturdy, died when forty-two; and he then entered a second time into the bonds of matrimony. His second wife, Elizabeth Dickson, was more of a match for him, for she attained the age of ninety-one. After his marriage John B. Kelly moved to Bradford County, Pennsylvania, where he bought a farm, but died there in a short time, leaving two children: Crosby, born September 16, 1862; and John B., born July 18, 1864. The latter married Sarah Van Acken, and lives in Kingston, being a mechanic by trade. Their mother, Mrs. Mary A. Crosby Kelly, lives at Griffin's Corners, and is highly esteemed by all who know her.
Crosby Kelly was educated at Delaware Academy, and at twenty-one learned the carpenter's trade. His first work on his own account was building the Elemdorph store at Arkville. Since then he has built many fine houses, among them many of the beautiful buildings at Fleischmanns and Griffin's Corners. In 1884 he married Miss Ettie Hitt, daughter of Albert Hitt, a prosperous farmer of Union Grove, residing now at Griffin's Corners. One child, Mary, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Kelly, April 5, 1887. Mr. Kelly has had a large business experience, and occupies a high position in this community. He is an authority on all matters pertaining to building interests. Socially, he is a pleasant man to meet, and is interested in the leading questions of the day. He is a Democrat politically, and in all things is bright and enterprising, a useful citizen, and well appreciated by his fellow-townsmen.
JOHN D. FERGUSON, a prominent merchant of Delhi, N. Y., was born in Andes, May 8, 1845, and is a son of David and Elizabeth (Pierce) Ferguson. His paternal grandfather, John Ferguson, came with his father, David, to this country from Scotland, settling in Dutchess County, but later came to Andes. He had been brought up to agricultural pursuits, and after the death of his father took charge of the old homestead, where he remained for many years. During the last years of his life he moved to Clarence, Ia. He was twice married, leaving five children by his first wife and six by his second. David Ferguson was brought up as a farmer and miller, buying a grist-mill near Bovina, which he conducted up to the time of his death, May 24, 1884. He left a family of seven children; namely, Robert , John D., Elizabeth, William, David, Thomas, and George.
John D. Ferguson was educated at the district schools. At the age of seventeen he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, and was attached to the Eleventh Army Corps, serving through the campaign of the Peninsula. He was honorably discharged, September 26, 1865. He then came to Bovina, and worked on a farm for one year, afterward learning carpentry, and following that for ten years. In the spring of 1877 he went to California, engaging in the lumber business there until the fall of 1881, when he came to Delhi, and engaged at his trade of contractor and builder. He has erected some of the largest and finest buildings in Delhi, which are monuments of his skill as a builder. In 1891 he formed a partnership with Mr. Churchill, the owner of a large general store at Delhi. A year later Mr. Churchill sold out his interest to Mr. Armstrong; and in a few months Mr. Ferguson purchased Mr. Armstrong's interest in the store, which he continued alone for a time, then took Mr. Groat into the business. The store is fitted up with a large and varied stock of ready-made clothing, dry goods, and groceries, which is second to none in the village.
In 1872 Mr. Ferguson married Miss Margaret M. Bunnell, a daughter of Mrs. Mary Bunnell, of Delhi; and they have one child, Lillie M. Mr. Ferguson is Junior Warden of Delhi Lodge, A. F. & A. M., a member of Royal Arch Chapter, No. 249, and Past Commander of Post No. 142, Grand Army of the Republic. He is also an active member of the fire department, having been foreman of Hook and Ladder No. 3. Politically, he is a supporter of the Republican party, and has filled the position of Tax Collector. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which they take great interest, Mr. Ferguson being a teacher in the Sunday-school, and his wife a member of the choir for many years. Mr. Ferguson is a man of the strictest probity and honor, progressive in his ideas, and active in business, thus giving life and spirit to the town, and making it one of enterprise and continuous growth.
"Before you marry,
ANDREW M. RUSSELL, of New Kingston, in Middletown, NY, was born in Bovina, on August 12, 1852. His grandfather, Matthew Russell, was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland, and, upon coming to America, sojourned for a time at Bovina, where he plied his miller's trade. From Bovina he removed to Middletown, bought a farm of one hundred and fifty acres, and built thereon a log dwelling-house and out-buildings. He cleared and improved the land; and, having carried out the injunction of the couplet which warns,
Be sure of a home
Wherein to tarry."
he was joined in holy wedlock to Betsey Cummings. They had four sons and one daughter, namely: James C., who married Eliza Dumond; Matthew G., who married Margaret Winters; Alexander, who married Mary Dumond; and John G.; and their sister, Margaret A., who died in early youth. Mrs. Betsey Russell died; and Matthew was again married to Miss Esther Blackman, by whom he had three children, whose brief record follows: Stephen married Hannah Wooden, Margaret Ann married Andrew Glendening, and Roswell married Betsey Russell.
Matthew Russell lived to be seventy-five years old, and his wife Esther reached the age of fifty-five or sixty. Both were members of the Presbyterian church, and the husband was a Democrat.
John G. Russell, a son of Matthew by his first wife, was born in Bovina, April 25, 1822. Having learned the milling trade, he found employment as a miller for six years here before he began farming on a tract of one hundred acres of land, which he purchased near New Kingston, and which is now owned by his son Oscar. He remained on the farm for thirty-two years; and then, abandoning its active cares, he came to New Kingston, where he now lives, at nearly seventy-three years of age, quietly enjoying the reward of his long continued toil. On Christmas Day of 1845 he was married to Miss Jane Chisholm, who was a daughter of Andrew and Elsie Chisholm, and who became the mother of six children. She died at the age of sixty-nine, survived by five children, namely: Alice Jane, who married William Boggs, of Bovina, and has one child; Elizabeth E., wife of Sloan Archibald, a farmer in Bovina, they having two children; Margaret A., who died young; Andrew M., of New Kingston; John Oscar, a farmer, who married Miss Belle Thompson, and lives near New Kingston; and Mary Adelia, the wife of Arthur H. Russell, of Unionville, Mich., who has one child. Mr. John G. Russell married for his second wife Miss Elizabeth S. Miller, a daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Scott) Cowens, and a member of the United Presbyterian church.
Andrew M., son of John G. and Jane (Chisholm) Russell, pursued his elementary studies in the schools of New Kingston, and finished his education at Stamford Academy. As a young man he worked on his father's farm, and taught school for seven terms. He then began selling farming implements for the firm of Wheeler & Mellet. He is now Postmaster of New Kingston, to which place he came in 1884. Here he met and married Miss Anna Winters, daughter of Robert and Margaret (Chisholm) Winters. Mr. A. M. Russell is a Democrat in politics, and has held several of the minor public offices in the town. His wife is a member of the United Presbyterian church of New Kingston, where they reside.
JAMES S. MINOR is a well-known and highly esteemed business man of Deposit, proprietor and manager of Minor's Manufacturing Company of that place, one of the prominent and representative enterprises of Deposit, and contributing not a little to its prosperity and importance. Mr. Minor's paternal grandfather, Philo Minor, was a native of Connecticut, being born in that State, May 3, 1781. He became one of the pioneers of Chenango County, New York, where he followed the useful and time-honored occupation of farming, and became a popular and highly respected citizen of his locality. His wife, whose maiden name was Polly Stilson, was born March 26, 1783, and died February 6, 1848. Mr. and Mrs. Philo Minor had a large family, six of whom, three boys and three girls, attained maturity.
George Minor, one of their sons, was born November 3, 1803, was reared on the farm, and when a young man came to Deposit, where he obtained employment with Martial R. Hulce, a well-known citizen, who was then engaged in the lumber business at that place. After remaining here for some time Mr. Minor returned to Chenango County, built a store, engaged in mercantile business, and dealt to some extent in pine lumber. The lumber was hauled across country by team to Deposit, where it was made into rafts on the river, and thus floated down to the Philadelphia market. The business increased in extent and importance; and Mr. Minor, finding his financial prospects improving so rapidly, made an especial effort, and invested the bulk of his profits in a large supply of this useful product of the forests, which he had on the river in rafts, when a freshet occurred which swept away the lumber and his fortune at the same time. This would have discouraged most men; but Mr. Minor met his bad luck with fortitude, and went to work anew. Receiving an inheritance from his father, he used it to apply on his debts, and by dint of industry and economy finally succeeded in clearing off all his indebtedness and meeting every obligation, paying one hundred cents on the dollar -- an example of business honor and fidelity that might be copied to advantage by firms and individuals of to-day. Mr. George Minor died September 18, 1880. He was twice married, first to Miss Maria L. Wattles, who died, leaving two children, and second to the mother of the subject of this sketch, Miss Ann Eliza Smith, who was born in Delaware County, and was a daughter of Ralph Smith. The latter was a native of Connecticut, where he was born, in Chatham, Middlesex County, March 2, 1780. He died in Deposit, NY, January 17, 1850.
James S. Minor was born in Deposit, January 19, 1840; and it was in the following year that his parents removed to Chenango County. He laid the foundations of a good and substantial education in the district schools of his locality, which were of a high degree of excellence. He later attended the seminary at Deposit, and spent two terms at the Delaware Literary Institute. He improved his opportunities, became an excellent scholar, and was engaged in teaching in the town of Deposit, Delaware County, during one winter, and during another in Chenango County. The money he earned in the latter place he turned over to his father to be applied upon the latter's debts. He was at this time about twenty years old; and, making up his mind to obtain some regular employment, he came to Deposit that year with a cash capital of just one dollar. He first obtained a situation as clerk in a store, receiving for his services for the first year seventy dollars and his board, and for the second year ten dollars per month. He was industrious, and applied himself earnestly to business and to obtaining a close insight into business methods. During this time he became acquainted with C. M. Putnam, of this place, who had some capital; and an agreement was reached between them by which a partnership was formed under the name of Putnam & Minor. They bought out the store of N. A. Eggleston, which they conducted, and where Mr. Minor was engaged in taking care of the business in 1862. They were very prosperous, and continued the partnership until 1886, when they dissolved. The attention of Mr. Minor was then directed to manufacturing interests, and, after looking over the ground, he established a plant for the manufacture of shirts, overalls, and other articles in the line of men's furnishing goods, putting in machinery and stock to the amount of five thousand dollars; and thus the Minor's Manufacturing Company was inaugurated. The first three years of the firm's existence were not very successful ones, and the outlook was rather discouraging; but Mr. Minor was not a man to give up easily, and simply renewed his efforts, his persistence being finally rewarded by larger sales and a rapidly increasing demand for the goods manufactured by the firm. At the present time the business done amounts to about eighteen thousand dollars per year, and furnishes employment of about fifteen hands. It is one of the sound and substantial business enterprises of Deposit, and has done much to advance the prosperity and enhance the progress of the village. Mr. Minor is also closely connected with other flourishing business enterprises. Among them he owns, in company with his brother, A. P. Minor, the Deposit Marble Works, which they purchased together in 1884. He also owns two farms, which come under his management, and is besides the administrator of quite a large estate. He is also a stock-holder and present Treasurer of the Deposit Water Works, and takes an active interest in most of the matters that concern the welfare of the village and the surrounding country.
Mr. James S. Minor married Miss Mary E. Burrows, daughter of Henry Burrows, whose father was Hubbard Burrows, a native of Connecticut, and a pioneer of Delaware County. Henry Burrows was a life-long resident of Deposit. The maiden name of his wife, mother of Mrs. Minor, was Cynthia Smith. she was a daughter of James Smith, and was born in April 1811, in Cortland County, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Minor are the parents of eight children now living, namely: George H., a graduate of Hamilton College at Clinton, N. Y., and now Assistant Professor of Mathematics in the North-western University at Evanston, Ill.; William B., a graduate of the Philadelphia Dental College, practising in Deposit; Henrietta J., a graduate of the normal school at New Paltz, N. Y., and now a teacher in Deposit; James A., a Senior at Hamilton College; Harriet M., now in her second year at Smith College, Northampton, Mass.; Ralph, a graduate of Deposit Union School, who will enter college in the fall of 1894; Clark and Edith, now attending the Deposit Union School. Mr. Minor takes a deep interest in educational matters, and, as will be seen, is taking pains to secure to his children that advanced cultivation of the intellectual faculties that will place them in a position to grasp the best of life's opportunities, and fit them for taking a part and performing good service in the highest spheres of human activity. He has been largely instrumental in raising the standard of the schools in Deposit and in the establishment of the present admirable system.
Politically, Mr. Minor is a Republican, and indorses the national platform of that party. In religion he is a Presbyterian of broad and liberal views. He is one of the most influential members of that church in Deposit, is very active in church work, and is at present Deacon and Treasurer in the church of his choice, toward the building of which he contributed liberally of his means. He has also assisted in the construction and establishment of other Protestant churches, and has not been found wanting when called upon to give both moral and financial aid to benevolent and Christian enterprises of various kinds. His life has been one of industry and active exertion; and all his labors have been directed by a high moral sense of responsibility to himself, to humanity, and to God. He has ever borne the Golden Rule in mind in his dealings with his fellow-men, and has so won their confidence and esteem. In connection with this sketch there appears a more graphic representation of Mr. Minor's personality, as depicted in the accompanying portrait.
RANSOM A. GRANT, Deputy County Clerk of Delhi, Delaware County, N.Y., was born November 20, 1847, in the town of Middletown. His father, W. Ward Grant, was born in the same town and in the same house, on April 12, 1824, the homestead having been in possession of the family for many years. The Grants are of Scotch descent, and come from the same stock to which the late General Grant belonged. The paternal grandfather had but two sons who grew to maturity, namely: John, who was a lawyer by profession and died October 5, 1869, aged forty-two years; and W. Ward. The latter, who was the second son, assisted his father in the management of the farm, and spent his entire life on the old homestead. He took an active part in the politics of his day, serving very acceptably for two terms as County Clerk, to which position he was nominated by the Republican party. He married Malinda Wolcott, who was born June 29, 1825, a daughter of Ransom Wolcott. Mr. and Mrs. Grant reared the following-named children: Ransom, Newman, William W., and G. Chauncey. One son, John, died at the age of six years. Mrs. Grant died at Margaretville, aged sixty-one.
Ransom A. Grant was educated in the district school, and, until he arrived at the age of eighteen, assisted his father on the farm. He afterward went to Delhi, where he took a course in the academy, and in 1867 was appointed clerk in the County Clerk's office, under his father. In 1877 he was elected to the position of County Clerk, serving two terms of three years each, at the termination of which he engaged in the lumber business, and in the manufacture of sash, blinds, and doors, and general building materials. In 1883 his plant and machinery at Delhi were destroyed by fire; and he then moved his business to Brooklyn, continuing there until 1885, when he returned to Delhi, and entered the County Clerk's office, under Mr. George T. Warner. He was appointed Deputy Clerk under Mr. Crawford, which position he has retained ever since.
Mr. Grant was married in 1869 to Miss Augusta Covert, a daughter of Thomas and Jane (Graham) Covert. Of this union there is one son, who is now attending the academy at Delhi. Mr. Grant has served as village Trustee, which position he filled with entire satisfaction. In his religious views he is a Presbyterian, and the Second Presbyterian Church finds in him an active supporter. During his long tenure of public office he has filled his position to the entire satisfaction of all; and, being the possessor of those qualities which go to make a true and loyal man, he is esteemed and respected by all.
LEWIS SEYMOUR ST. JOHN, a leading citizen of Walton, N.Y., was born in this town on Independence Day, 1845. The St. John genealogy is directly traceable back to 1634; and sixteen years afterward, in 1650, Matthias St. John came to Norwalk, Conn. The family is of ancient French origin. Some of its members cast in their fortunes with William the Conqueror as far back as the eleventh century, while others at a much later period became Huguenots in the Protestant Reformation. In the nineteenth century the family interest has largely centred in the grandfather of our special subject, Cook St. John, who was born on June 1, 1773, and died on October 11, 1876. He was a man to make one think of the words of a distinguished lady: "Age, when it does not harden the heart and sour the temper, naturally returns to the milky disposition of infancy. Time has the same effect upon the mind as on the face. The predominant passion, the strongest feature, becomes more conspicuous from the others' retiring." The New York Herald of May 3, 1876, apropos to our centennial year, published a three-column account of an interview with this gentleman, which had been granted a few days before; and these were its headlines: "A Wonderful Career. Thrilling Chat with Cook St. John, One Hundred and Three Years Old. Recollections that almost antedate American Independence. Romantic Incidents from Washington to Grant." He was born in Wilton, Conn., and remembered the burning of Norwalk by the British forces when he was six years old, in 1779. Four of this elder brothers -- Justin, Adonijah, Gideon, and Peter -- were in the Revolutionary army. Their father was Peter St. John, who afterward came to Walton, where he died in 1811, just before the War of 1812, and far into the eighties in age. Though a Yale graduate, Peter St. John was able to give his children but a meagre education. Cook was taught little beyond spelling and ciphering, and had to begin self-support at the tender age of seven. He afterward spent one year as apprentice with a carpenter and joiner, and learned the trade so thoroughly that he is the reputed inventor of the dove-tail joint, so indispensable to every wood-worker. In his youth he had employment in New York City, and there he helped to build the first dock on the Hudson River. He first settled in New Canaan, where he owned a grist-mill.
At the age of thirty-five, in 1807, Cook St. John came to Walton, bringing with him his wife and two boys, and laboriously cleared a farm in what was then a wild region with a few scattered dwellings. Here he remained nearly three-quarters of a century, achieving that measure of success which must ever accompany tact, energy, and a vigorous intellect, though physically he was strong rather than large. His memory was phenomenal, even in old age; and his narratives sounded like romances, though strictly true. He may justly be called the most notable man of his locality; for his career extended into two centuries, and he lived to see forty descendants, growing from eleven branches, and representing five generations, all living within gunshot of the old home. Toward the close of his life he became nearly blind, but never lost his grip on the interests and joys of humanity. In politics he was a Whig till the Republican party was formed; and in religion he became a Universalist, when it cost something to cleave to an unpopular and liberal faith. His hundredth anniversary took place on June 3, 1873, and was a most unique occasion. It was indeed a beautiful sight to see the white-haired veteran surrounded by one hundred and eleven friends, of whom scores had his blood circulating in their veins, and varied in age from two to eighty-three. The gathering was at the house of his son, Thaddeus Seymour St. John. On the lawn the tables were spread in a temporary refectory, adorned with laurel and the national flag. Though somewhat careworn, the patriarch's face beamed with smiles of satisfaction. On his right and left were his nearest kinsmen, and on the table was the birthday cake, three and a half feet high, arranged in a hundred layers, and graced with as many varieties of flowers. After the banquet our old friend retired for his usual nap. In a felicitous speech the family pastor, the Rev. Mr. Purrington, referred to the venerable man's declaration that for seven years he lived with his first wife, fifty with his second, and twenty with his daughter-in-law, with never an unkind work from either -- a fact which speaks volumes for the man himself.
His first wife, Polly Seymour, died July 2, 1804, at the early age of twenty-seven, after the removal to Walton, leaving three children, of whom Thaddeus Seymour, our subject's father, was the eldest. The other boy, William St. John, was an early California pioneer, but died in Walton, at the age of seventy-five, leaving four sons and two daughters, of whom three are still living. The sister, Betty St. John, born in 1800, married Nathaniel Gray Eells, a brother of her brother Seymour's wife; but she also died in Walton. Grandfather Cook St. John's second wife, to whom he was married in Walton, January 7, 1805 was Anna Benedict, of Norwalk, Conn.; and she bore two sons and one daughter -- John, Polly, and Giles. she died in 1850, aged seventy-six; and none of her children now survive. In fact, they died before their father, who did not pass away till the centennial year, when he was nearly four years past his century, his funeral being attended by the first-born offspring of four generations -- that is, his eldest son, grandson, great-grandson, and great-great-grandson.
Thaddeus Seymour St. John, commonly known as Uncle Seymour, was born in New Canaan, Conn., November 25, 1797, and before the family removed to Walton, where he died September 16, 1887, his body lying beneath a granite shaft in the cemetery, whither his wife's body was borne eleven days later. She was over eighty-seven years old, and her maiden name was Hannah Gray Eells. Of their seven children three lived to maturity; and two sons -- Lewis Seymour and William Seymour, both of Walton -- are now living. Mary St. John married David Peabody, and died in Walton in 1864, at the age of forty-four. Mr. and Mrs. Thaddeus Seymour St. John were married in 1818, and lived together sixty-five years. He became a Republican when the party was formed, like his father, and was prominent in public affairs, as Justice of Peace and President of the village. In earlier years he traded largely in grain and lumber, which he rafted to Philadelphia.
His son, Lewis S. St. John, our subject, was educated partly in Walton Academy. After being for a while a clerk for his elder brother William, he went into business on his own account. In 1870, when he was twenty-five years old, and ill health made it advisable to be more out of doors, he found employment in a civil engineer corps, on the New York & Oswego Midland Railroad, and worked there till its completion one year later. For five more years he held other positions with the company. From 1876 to 1885 he was conductor on the main line. He then embarked in the hardware business with his nephew, Julius W. St. John; but after four years in the store, he went back to the road as conductor of the passenger train running between Delhi and Walton, a place he still holds. As a Free Mason, he belongs to Delaware Chapter, has taken the Scottish rites, has been Master of the Blue Lodge seven years, was two years District Deputy Grand Master, under Grand Master John W. Vrooman, and is now Master of a Lodge of Perfection, and holds the position of Assistant Grand Lecturer for the eleventh Masonic district, with Grand Lecturer George H. Raymond.
His marriage took place on October 30, 1866, soon after be attained his majority; and his bride was Mary Launt, born in Hamden, the daughter of Frederick and Marietta (Chase) Launt. Her father died August 4, 1876, aged sixty-four, ten years after her marriage; though her mother still lives in Walton, at the age of seventy-six. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Seymour St. John have two children living, a daughter and a son, and have buried one daughter, Edna, at the age of three. Helen B. St. John is now the wife of John H. Smith, of Norwich, N.Y.; and they have a fine boy, Harold Horton Smith, two and a half years old. Harold Launt St. John, born in 1875, is a graduate of the high school, and still lives at home. The St. John family may well enjoy the saying of the great Universalist preacher, Hosea Ballou, about home,-
"In family government let this be always remembered, that no reproof or denunciation is so potent as the silent influence of a good example."
WILLlAM R BECKLEY, an enterprising resident of Stamford, N.Y., who has done much to promote the growth of the place, was born June 24, 1820, at New Britain, Hartford County, Conn., and was the son of Moses W. and Mary (Cornwell) Beckley. Moses W. Beckley was born at Berlin, Conn., and in his youth learned the harness-maker's trade, which he followed for some years, but later bought a farm, upon which he died when seventy-six years old; and where his wife passed away at the age of eighty-four. She was a member of the Baptist church, and had seven children -- Sarah, William R., Henry, George, Eunice, Caroline, and Moses -- all except two of whom grew to maturity.
William R. Beckley, having received his education at the district school of his native town, learned the harness-maker's trade with his father, and continued in this for two or three years. His first removal was to Coxsackie, NY, where he stayed a year and a half, and then came to Stamford in 1844, and bought a harness store, in connection with which he carried on a tannery. His under-takings thus far being very successful, he bought land east of the creek, and erected buildings, which he sold when completed. From this time he engaged in building extensively, and was the first to erect business blocks at that end of the town. He has engaged in various lines of business, including clothing, grocery, dry goods, tannery, and blacksmithing. Mr. Beckley also started a stage route between Catskill and Delhi, touching at Hunter, also from Stamford to Richmondville, and from Stamford Emmons Station via Davenport, owning in this connection nearly sixty horses. He bought tracts of land by the acre, cutting streets and walks through them, setting out shade-trees, among which were one hundred of the most beautiful maples in the town, and selling house lots with the contract that the purchaser was to build thereon. By this means he carried out his favorite idea of building up the town, and making it one of the most beautiful places in this part of the county.
In 1846 William R. Beckley married Rebecca H. Maynard, daughter of Samuel Maynard, whose sketch is given elsewhere in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Beckley have had three children: Fremont. who died when four years of age; Fannie, born August 19, 1854, who married William Riseley. a successful blue-stone and granite dealer of Kingston. and who is the mother of six boys and two girls: Frederick B., Clarence M., Claude F., Carrie B., Helen I., Raymond B., Edmund, and Earl D.; and William M., born October 2, 1868, who, after finishing his studies started as a clerk in the post-office, also working at telegraphy, and three years later went as clerk in the post-office at Shandaken, afterward being employed with his father in the post-office at Stamford. He is now the owner of the gentlemen's furnishing and tailoring business which formerly belonged to R. W. Laughlin; and this he carries on in a well-appointed store. William M Beckley was married December 27, 1894, to Cornelia L. Preston.
Mr. William R. Beckley, after selling out his stage route, retired from business life; but, being of an active temperament, unable to endure idleness, he bought a piece of land near the railway station, erecting thereon a building in which he carried on a produce and commission business. His health failing, he at length gave up business, and is now spending his last years in well-earned rest, having the satisfaction of looking back upon a life well spent. He served as Post-master during President Cleveland's first administration. Mr. Beckley is an Odd Fellow, belonging to the Hobart Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Beckley is widely known for his extensive labors in building and improving the town, and his long-continued efforts in this direction have been highly appreciated by his fellow-citizens.
HON WILLIAM L. FORD, one of the older citizens of Deposit, Broome County, has been prominently identified with local interests in this part of the country for many years, and has taken an active part in promoting the welfare and advancement of the community in which he resides. His aspirations through life have ever been toward an ideal manhood; and, following in the path of duty and honor, he has gained the respect and approbation of his fellow-men. He represented the county of Broome in the State Assembly in 1852, in 1872, and in 1873, and assisted in the enactment of wise and wholesome laws, refusing his sanction to unjust measures and those of doubtful expedience. Impervious alike to bribery and intimidation, he is a man who cannot be induced to perform any act which to his mind would involve a breach of principle or a betrayal of his own conscience. He was an able and trustworthy legislator, and was not one of that class of politicians who maintain their positions by corrupt methods and questionable practices. Mr. Ford is of Scotch and Irish extraction. His grandfather, Benjamin Ford, who was a resident of Newport, Herkimer County, was a Deacon in the Baptist church, a consistent Christian gentleman, and a man of high moral influence. The father of our subject was Daniel Ford, who married Elizabeth Scott, a native of the town of Bernardston, Mass. Daniel Ford was a native of Albany, and when a boy came to Herkimer County, where he lived on a farm. In 1836 he removed to Whitestown, Oneida County. residing there until his death, which occurred in 1883, at the age of eighty-two years. His wife lived to be seventy-nine years old. They were the parents of eight children, namely;: Philander, deceased; Eliza, who became the wife of James S. Whitman, of Muncie, Ind; Philinda, who lives at Yorkville, Oneida County; Mary A. (deceased), who was the wife of Nathan Davis, of Panama, Chautauqua County, N.Y.; Rodney A., coal agent for the Delaware & Hudson Railroad at Binghamton; Ann M., who married Charles Graham, and is living at Whitesboro, Oneida County, N.Y.; S. Augusta. wife of Sylvanus Hoag, of Yorkville. Oneida County and William L., the subject of this sketch
The latter was born in the village of Middleville, Herkimer County, N.Y., March 12, 1820. He remained there until the age of sixteen, attending the common schools as he had opportunity, and working on the farm when required. He then engaged at New York Mills as a clerk in a general store, meanwhile pursuing his education as best he could. He continued there till 1841, in which year he went to Binghamton, where his brother Rodney was engaged in the drygoods business, remaining there until 1846, when he came to Deposit, bringing with him a stock of general merchandise. In this place he went into business, and after about three years formed a partnership with George T. Belding, the style of the firm being Ford & Belding, and they operating on the Delaware County side of the line. This arrangement continued for about three years, when Mr. Ford bought out Mr. Belding, and took for a partner John B. Perry, the firm being then known as Ford & Perry. This firm carried on a considerable business, the partnership remaining intact for about twenty-five years; and during that time in 1865, they built the three-story frame building known as Ford's store, and also an addition to the post-office. In 1882 Mr. Ford bought out Mr. Perry's interest, and conducted a successful business till, compelled by failing health, he sold the stock in 1892 to Mr. W. H. Wilcox; but, continuing to deal in butter, he for that purpose retained an office in the building. Mr. Ford was first married in Binghamton to Sarah -A. Morgan, daughter of Augustus Morgan and a sister of Tracy Morgan. From this union sprang two children, both now deceased. Mrs. Ford died in 1848; and our subject was married the second time, in 1858, to Sarah C. Ward, a daughter of Austin Ward, of Holland Patent, Oneida County, and by her had three children: Sarah E., residing at home; Anna W., wife of Dr. Ward, of Binghamton, having two children, Charles A. and Sarah F.: and A. Ward, who married Ada Ford, of Oneonta, and is now residing at Binghamton, being the father of three children, William L., Jr., Elizabeth, and Florence W. Mr. Ford's second wife. the mother of these children, died in 1878. Our subject, in addition to other public service, was Supervisor of the town of Sanford, Broome County, and called the attention of the Board to many matters of importance, being well calculated to advance the true interests of the people in any public place or position. Mr. Ford was a great admirer of Henry Clay. and cast his first vote for him in 1844, when Clay was the Whig candidate for the Presidency. His defeat was a bitter disappointment to Mr. Ford, for all through his younger days Clay was his model and ideal.
Mr. Ford has served for years on the Board of Education, and has also been the President of the Village Board. He is a Director in the Broome County National Bank, and has always manifested much interest in the social. moral, and intellectual well-being of Deposit and its neighboring communities. He is a man of strong mentality, and is remarkably active for one of his years. His useful life and honorable career have made him many admirers; and all will hope that years of comfort and honor, as well as public utility, may still be before him.
MRS. SARAH H. TOWNSEND is one of that older circle of benevolent and high-minded women in Walton, daily growing smaller, which is looked to for advice in all the works of charity of the town. She is the widow of John Townsend, who died October 3, 1870, aged sixty-seven, and occupies the old homestead which was built by his father, William Townsend about 1796, nearly one hundred years ago.
Dr. Platt Townsend, father of William, was born on Long Island in 1733; and, when he came to this part of the country with his family in 1795, he found nothing before him but an unbroken forest. Here he cleared for himself a homestead and built a log cabin, which his son afterward replaced by the stanch farmhouse where his descendants now live, and which bids fair to stand for many years to come and shelter many generations more of Townsends. Dr. Platt Townsend was three times married. His first wife was Elizabeth Hubbard; and she was mother of William, Isaac, and Platt, the latter dying when but eight years old. The Doctor's second wife was Martha Dickinson, by whom he had one daughter, Frances. who became the wife of Lancaster Lupton, an Englishman of wealth and influence, in the direct line of the nobility. His third wife was Ann Goslin, who survived him thirteen years and died March 29, 1828, ninety-two years of age. Dr. Townsend died at the old homestead in 1815. He rests in the family burial place on the ancestral farm. He was a much beloved and public-spirited citizen, and at his decease left a very large property in land and stock but, what was better than all earthly possessions, he had laid up for himself a goodly store of the high regard and respect of his fellow-men and the sure approbation of his God.
William Townsend was born before the family left Long Island, and died December 24, 1849. He married Abigail Smith, by whom he had ten children: Maria, born in 1791; Nancy, born in 1793; Smith, who died in the prime of life; Platt, born in 1801 ; John, before named, born in 1803; Cornelia, born in 1805; Eliza, born in 1807, wife of Rev. E. Wills; Edward, born in 1811, died in Morrisville, N.Y., 1884, after all his family had passed away; Charles B., born in 1813; Abigail, born in 1815. The mother of these children died eight years before her husband, in 1841.
Mrs. Sarah H. Townsend, the subject of this sketch, was born in the town of Franklin, Delaware County, in 1821. She was the daughter of Simeon and Mary Mc Gregor Mulford. Her father was a native of Long Island, and her mother came from Batavia. In 1824 Simeon Mulford moved from Franklin to Walton, where he purchased a farm of several hundred acres, a part of which is now village residences and the fair ground. When his failing health made active business impossible, he sold his Walton property, and moved to Bainbridge, Chenango County. He died in Unadilla in 1856, at eighty years of age; and his wife died in 1866, having also reached fourscore. Mrs. Townsend had one half-brother, Captain Daniel Howell, who served through the Civil War. He was for many years a distinguished citizen of Waukesha, Wis., in which place he died in December, 1890, aged eighty-three. He was high in the Masonic orders, and in many ways distinguished himself, being the prime mover in establishing a post-office at Salem crossroads in Chatauqua County, N.Y. A sister of Daniel Howell is still living in Waukesha. She is the widow of Mr. Lockwood , of that town, and is still a vigorous lady, although nearly an octogenarian. Mrs. Townsend's own sister is the wife of M. N. Kline in New York City.
Mrs. Townsend was educated at the Franklin Institute, and was a teacher before her marriage to John Townsend in her twenty-second year. She has three children, namely: Charles W. Townsend, a member of the Stock Exchange, New York City, and having a family of one son and one daughter; William, a successful lawyer in Utica, N.Y., married, but without children; and John H., who resides here with his mother on the home farm and in the old and spacious house already spoken of and so well known to all who are at all familiar with Walton and it's surroundings. John H. Townsend married in January, 1880, Florence Bostwick, of Walton, daughter of Jabez and Jane (Chase) Bostwick, and grand-daughter of Judge Bostwick, of this county. After the death of Mr. Bostwick his wife married Robert Launt; and after his decease she came here to Walton, where she still resides. John H. Townsend and his wife have but one child, Howell Bostwick, a promising youth of thirteen, tall and manly in bearing, an apt student, and one who shows much decided talent for art.
Much of the village of Walton now occupies the Townsend farm; and both the Congregational and Episcopal churches are on sites presented by the Townsends from their ancestral acres, the former church having been given by William and the latter by John Townsend, who also presented to the town the land for the high school, or academy, as it was called in the earlier days. He was an excellent man, public-spirited and benevolent, setting the example to his townsmen of giving freely to all worthy objects, and through his influence carrying out many schemes for the improvement of the town and it's people. He was a stanch Democrat, but never held office, allowing the casting of his vote to suffice his share in the country's welfare. He was a member of the Congregational church, to which his wife still belongs. The name of Mrs. Townsend will long be remembered, not only for the honor cast upon her family and the noble race of which she is connected by marriage, but more because of her high-minded moral earnestness and the disinterested service which she is always ready to give.
OSCAR I. BENNETT, a retired farmer and a public-spirited and philanthropic citizen of Hobart, was born in Stamford, September 21, 1828, during the Presidency of John Quincy Adams. His parents were Isaac and Nany (Foot) Bennett. His grandfather, Daniel Bennett, came from Connecticut to Delaware County, New York, as a surveyor, and, buying a tract of land in Stamford, began to clear away the forest. While thus engaged, he was surprised and captured by the famous Indian chief, Captain Brant and his band of savages, who took him to Canada, where he remained in captivity six years. Discovering that he was a tailor by trade, the British forced him to make clothing for the army officers, keeping him thus occupied until the close of the Revolution, allowing him small wages in payment for his work. The soldiers often robbed him of his earnings; but, by covering his gold pieces and using them as buttons, and by other ingenious devices, he contrived to conceal, and thus retain, a part of his earnings. After his release he returned to Stamford to engage in farming, and built a log cabin, in which he dwelt some years. Daniel Bennet's family consisted of seven children: William; Abijah; John; Isaac; Charity; and two other daughters whose names are not recorded. All grew up, though not one of them is now living. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett both lived to a good old age, he dying while on a visit to one of his sons in Cayuga County. He was a man of industry and intelligence, liberal in his religious views, and in politics what was then known as a Whig, or Patriot.
Isaac Bennett, son of Daniel, and father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Hartford, Conn., March 12, 1777, and came to Stamford in childhood. He married Nany Foot, also a native of Connecticut, where she was born in 1785. He began life as a merchant, but after a time turned his attention to agriculture. He first bought forty-two acres of land. and then added to it from time to time, until he became the possessor of a farm of two hundred and ten acres, besides a wood-lot of fifty. He was a hard-working, frugal man, who began life with no capital save energy and ability, and raised himself to the independent and desirable position of a well-to-do farmer solely by his own exertions. He was Supervisor for several terms, and held other minor offices. He was a man of a benevolent nature and enlightened views. Believing in the goodness of God and man, his opinions were reflected in his religious belief, which was that of the Universalist church. In politics he was, like his father, a Whig, but became a Republican on the formation of that party. He died at the old homestead, April 15, 1864; but his wife had departed this life fourteen years earlier, on February 10, 1850. Their children were: Mrs. Laura Griffin and Mrs. Charlotte Stevens, both deceased; Mrs. Volucia Grant, now a resident of Hobart; Daniel R. Bennett, a farmer, who died December 23, 1847, at the age of thirty-two, who at the time of his death was town Supervisor; John M Bennett, who died in 1887, aged sixty-six years; and Oscar I. Bennett, the youngest of the family.
Oscar I. Bennett, the special subject of this sketch, grew to manhood on the old Bennett farm; and the instruction which he received in the district school was supplemented by that of private schools, and he also taught for one winter. When twenty-one years of age, he took charge of the home farm, of which in due time he became the owner, paying off the other heirs, continuing to live on his ancestral acres sixty-four years. For a long time he carried it on as a general dairy farm, toiling faithfully, and proving himself successful in every undertaking. The farm is in excellent condition. Most of the buildings now standing upon it were erected by him, and many other improvements are the result of his industry and enterprise. In December, 1893, he moved into the village of Hobart, leaving his two sons to carry on the farm. On June 3,1856, he married Selina W. Sturges, who was born in the town of Stamford, July 2, 1832, and was the daughter of George and Maria (Olmstead) Sturges. Her parents were of the pioneer stock, and resided in the town to the end of their days, dying at an advanced age. They had four sons and as many daughters, all but one of whom are living today. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett have three children: Lotta Sturges Bennett, living at home; Emerson Sturges Bennett, single; and Sherman Oscar Bennett, married. Both boys are on the farm. Mrs. Bennett is a most estimable woman, a lady of refined tastes. Mr. Bennett has always been a public-spirited man, like his father, deeply and actively interested in the welfare of his town, where he has held various public offices. He is Vice-President of the National Bank of Hobart, and a member of the village Board of Trustees. In religion he is liberal, and in politics a Prohibitionist. Though possessing an abundance of this world's goods and a keen intellect, he shows the fine simplicity of his nature by a modestly unassuming and comfortable manner of life. His genuine kindness and strict honesty are proverbial among the people of his town, where truly it seems,
None know him but to love him,
None name him but to praise.
J. THOMAS BURROWS, present Supervisor of the town of Deposit, Delaware County, N. Y., is one of the prominent residents of that part of the country, and comes from a family that was identified with the interests and development of the county at an early day. He has for twenty-two years been engaged in general merchandising in the village of Deposit, and has a high standing among the business men of that place. Mr. Burrows is of Scotch ancestry; and some of his ancestors were officers in the Continental army during the War of the Revolution, one of them bravely meeting his death while facing the foe at Stonington, Conn. This martial spirit appears to have been transmitted to some, at least, of their descendants, Mr. Burrows of this notice having well sustained the family reputation during the late civil strife. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch was Peris Burrows, a native of Connecticut, who came to York State many years ago, and was among the early settlers of the town of Tompkins ( now the town of Deposit), Delaware County. His son, Harry Burrows, was born in Delaware County, and married Betsey Whitaker, a native of Wayne County, Pennsylvania. They were the parents of five children: Wealthy, now Mrs. A.R. Davis, and living in Deposit; Eliza, the wife of D.L.Demoney, of Deposit; George A., a farmer of the town of Deposit; James Thomas, of this sketch; and Frances, wife of W.W. Main, of Rock Valley, Delaware County.
James Thomas, the subject of this sketch, was born in the town of Tompkins, now Deposit, Delaware County, November 11, 1841. He was brought up to agricultural pursuits; and, his father dying when he was quite young, the boys of the family were obliged to work hard, having to care for two farms. He was thus employed until he enlisted in August, 1864, in Company A of the One Hundred Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry. Although needed at home, he could not remain a passive spectator of the great struggle for national life that was then being carried on; and so he went forth, as a soldier and patriot, determined to do his part, and have a share in saving the Union. He was in the battles of Hilton Head, Honey Hill, various skirmishes in South Carolina, in the charge on the Confederate works at James Island, and in a number of skirmishes about Charlestown. He was discharge on the close of the war at Hilton Head, June 20, 1865, and was mustered out at Elmira, N.Y., July 20 of the same year. He then went to work as clerk for his brother-in-law, D.L. Demoney, remaining thus engaged for five years, during which time he became familiar with the business. He then formed a partnership with C.T. Edick, the style of the firm being Burrows & Edick. They bought out Mr. Demoney's store in Deposit, and continued together for ten years. In 1880 our subject bought out his partner, and has since been sole proprietor. He was married August 3, 1870, to Lola Evans, daughter of Newell and Harriet (Webb) Evans. Mrs. Burrows is a lady of refinement, and was educated in the high schools of Syracuse, where she was a teacher previous to her marriage. They have had three children: Marian H.; Walter, deceased; and Lloyd, deceased.
Mr. Burrows was first elected Supervisor in 1883, and served that year, being defeated the year following for the same position. He was again elected in 1892, and again in 1893. Fraternally, he belongs to the Masonic order, and is a member of Deposit Lodge, No. 396, and a member of the Deposit Chapter. Politically, he affiliates with the Republican party. He is a courteous, affable gentleman, of well- defined opinions, but liberal-minded, and always willing to hear both sides of a question. He is popular in his town and village, and his life history is one that is worthy of a place among those of the most honored residents of Delaware County.
REV. THOMAS CLARK, pastor of the Presbyterian church at Walton, N.Y., is a native of Scotland, and was born there, April 16, 1845. His father and grandfather were both natives of that country. The grandfather spent his life there engaged in the vocation of a shepherd, and was the father of thirteen children. One of his sons, Andrew Park, who was superintendent of a large woollen factory at Hawick for many years, came to this country in1857 with a wife and eight children. He purchased a farm at Andes, Delaware County, N.Y., where he remained for eleven years, and then moved to Iowa. He has in later years made his home with his son Thomas. Mr. Park was married in his native land to Miss S. Milligan; and the following children were born to them, three after their arrival in this State: George R., William, Thomas, David, Andrew, Jane, Janet, Isabella, Sophia, Ellen, and Margaret. Ten of the eleven children are living, all residents of this country.
Rev. Thomas Park received his early education in Scotland, attending the parish schools until he was thirteen. After coming to America with his parents, he went to work on a farm. In the year 1870 he began his preparation for the ministry, attending Monmouth College, Ill., for five years, graduating in the class of 1876. He afterward spent two years at the Theological Seminary at Newburgh, N.Y., graduating from there in 1878. His first charge was the United Presbyterian church at DeLancey, where he remained from 1877 until 1892, when he came to his present charge at Walton. He is the first pastor to preside over the fine new church, which was dedicated in November, 1891. During Mr. Park's charge at DeLancey the church membership increased nearly fourfold, and since his advent in Walton sixty-six new members have been added.
He was married in 1878 to Miss Cleghorn, a daughter of James and Anna (Steele) Cleghorn, both of whom are natives of Scotland, Mrs. Park having come to this country at the age of three years. Rev. and Mrs. Thomas Park have six children; namely, Anna, Mary, William J., Ada, Andrew, and Emma, all of whom are now attending the Walton Academy. Mr. Park is an ardent supporter of the principles of prohibition. He is a man of genial manners and liberal views, his personal popularity, as well as the sincerity and effectiveness of his pulpit utterances, being attested by the largely increased membership in both his charges. A true shepherd, he leads his flock.
BERRY S. MILLER, though of Scottish descent, was born in the town of Bovina on February 28, 1837. His father, William Miller, was a farmer and shepherd in Scotland, who came to America in 1831 with a wife and three children. They were on the Atlantic for seven weeks, and were travel-worn and weary when they arrived at New York City. Coming to Delaware County, Mr. Miller purchased land near Bovina, which he at once began to clear off the dense growth of timber with which it was covered. This work required patient industry, and hardships were to be endured; but the bold emigrant who had dared to try his fortune in a strange land was no weakling, and the task was at length accomplished and a log cabin built. As the young farmer grew more prosperous, this modest dwelling gave place to a more ambitious structure of stone. Another farm had been purchased before a great while; and when Willaim Miller died at seventy-eight years of life, he left a comfortable competence for those who came after him. His wife, Isabella (Dixon) Miller, attained to an age of one year greater than that of her husband, whom she did not long survive. Despite Mr. Miller's busy, hard-working life, he did not fail in the duties of a citizen, but discharged faithfully the responsibilities of the office intrusted to him by the people of the county, being Road Commissioner for some time. In politics he was a Republican; and both husband and wife were members of the United Presbyterian church, in which organization he was earnestly interested. Of the seven sons and one daughter born to them six sons are now living, namely: Thomas and Michael, in Bovina; William, in Walton; Walter, in Delhi; Berry S., in Bovina; Gilbert D., in Bovina Centre. Janette J., the only daughter, died in her thirty-second year, and David in infancy.
Berry S. Miller grew up and was educated in his native school district. With the common sense and inherent industry that characterize his nationality, he turned his attention toward practical farming, and worked out by the month. The modest stipend he earned was scarcely an equivalent for the labor expended; but, in spite of this fact, at the age of twenty-five years, so saving had he been that he was able to buy the farm upon which he now lives. In 1866 he won the heart and hand of Miss Catharine E. Oliver, daughter of John and Margaret Oliver, who have since died in Delhi, to whom he was married on December 20 of the same year, The lady was Scotch born; and so he followed the advice given by Nokomis to Hiawatha,--
"Wed a maiden of your people.
Go not eastward, go not westward."
The farm now owned by Mr. Miller consists of one hundred and forty-six acres of land, and to it's cultivation and improvement his entire energies are devoted. A herd of twenty Jerseys supply the dairy, which is noted for its cream and butter.
When in 1864 the call for soldiers to fight for the preservation of the Union sounded throughout the boundaries of the Northland, Berry S. Miller promptly put aside the pacific implements of agriculture, to gird on the weapons of warfare, enlisting under John Clark, One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment, New York Volunteers, Company E. He was in the battles of Honey Hill, Devoes Neck, Coosawhatchie, and several other engagements. On the 18th of July, 1865, he was honorably discharged; but the hardships of campaigning had left their marks upon him, and he never fully recovered from the ill effects of the exposures and privations of the Civil War.
To Mr. and Mrs. Miller one son was born on the 10th of August, 1969, who bears the name of Thomas W. Miller, and has now an honored and respected position among his contemporaries. This young man received his early education in the same district in which his father went to school, though, unlike his father, he did not finish his studies here, but continued them in an academy at Delhi, where he was graduated in June, 1893. Having taught one term of school, he is now the editor of the Andes Recorder, and is a fearless advocate and defender of the principles he espouses.
Mr. Berry S. Miller is a Republican and a member of the United Presbyterian church. He attributes the success of his married life to his wife's industry and frugality, together with her careful oversight of everything he had; and her death, on July 22,1892, he is sensible has left a void that can never be filled.
J. MILO GRAHAM, an enterprising merchant of the village of Meredith, was born at this place, August 4, 1852, and is the son of John G. and Alma (Bouton) Graham. The paternal grandfather, James, was a native of Scotland, and came to this county about 1809, among the early settlers of the town. He farmed his land here for a number of years, afterward moving to Meredith Hollow, where he live until the time of his death, aged seventy-eight. His wife was Jane Rice, a native of Ireland, and the mother of eleven children; namely, John G., Henry R., James H., William H., Samuel T., Thomas, Nancy H., Jane G., Martha M., Charles, and Isabella A. Mrs. Graham died at Meredith Hollow, aged seventy-seven.
John G. Graham, eldest son of James, was educated in his boyhood at the district schools, and thereafter continued for some time to reside with his father, of whom he learned the cabinet-making trade. He also followed farming to some extent. Besides this he owned and operated for a number of years a woollen-mill, and after its destruction by fire he continued to conduct his farm at Meredith Hollow. He was Supervisor for many years, and during the time of the war was enrolling officer, and was also Census Enumerator for the towns of Kortright, Delhi, and Meredith in 1870. He was a Justice of the Peace for twenty-one years, and a very active and influential man in the affairs of the village. He was married to Alma Bouton, a daughter of William Bouton, a carpenter of Meredith; and they reared five children; namely, Mary, James, Minerva E., William, and J. Milo. Minerva E. is the wife of Marshall Jackson, a farmer of Meredith. Mary married Ezra Gates, a farmer; and she and her husband both are deceased. Mr. John G. Graham died at Meredith, in 1875, aged sixty-six.
J. Milo Graham was educated at the district schools, and began teaching at the age of nineteen. having taught school winters for seven terms, in 1879 he went into partnership with F.H. Munson, which business connection lasted one year, when he purchased Mr. Munson's interest in the firm. Mr. Graham has now one of the largest and most completely stocked stores in Meredith, doing a lucrative business. He was appointed Postmaster in 1879, and continues to hold that position.
In 1885 Mr. Graham was married to Mrs. Jennie M. Munson, a daughter of Maxon Harlow, a farmer of this vicinity. Mrs. Jennie M. Graham dying after seven years of happy wedlock, Mr. Graham married for his second wife Miss Cora J. Scott, a daughter of Alexander Scott, of Franklin. Mrs. Graham is a member of the Methodist church, Mr. Graham occupying the position of Treasurer of the Baptist church. He is a member of Delhi Lodge of Free Masons, No. 439, Royal Chapter, No. 249, and Norwich Commandery, No. 46, and has held several important offices in these organizations. For eighteen years he has been Justice of the Peace, having been elected at the early age of twenty-two, and for one term was Justice of the Sessions. He is a Republican and one who has always taken an active part in political affairs.
Mr. Graham is an exceedingly capable business man, enjoying a high reputation as an intelligent and honorable merchant. He takes a deep interest in the affairs of his native place, filling with honor and credit many positions of trust and responsibility. His portrait herewith annexed shows him to be just in the prime of manhood, and, as to his earthly prospects, a citizen who may be counted on to contribute to the common weal for many a year to come.
LIEUTENANT GEORGE C. ROBINSON, a practical and progressive farmer and dairyman of Walton, has an honorable record for brave and gallant conduct as a soldier of the late Civil War, and a good reputation as a faithful citizen in time of peace. He was born in the town of Tompkins, March 24, 1838, and is a descendant of a pioneer of this county, his grandfather, John Robinson, who was of Connecticut birth, having been one of the early settlers. He was a wagon-maker by trade, and was one of the first, if not the very first, to open a wagon-shop in Walton. At the time he came here there were no saw-mills in the vicinity; and he was obliged not only to fell the trees, but to hew out his own lumber, carrying it from the woods on his back. He reared a large family of children.
His son, Hiram Robinson, was born in the town of Walton, and here grew to manhood. He settled on a tract of wild land, from which he evolved a good homestead, sharing with his neighbors the trials and discomforts of life in a new country. He married Lavinia Husted, by whom he had fifteen children, seven of whom are living to-day. John, the eldest son, enlisted in the Seventy-second New York Volunteer Infantry, and was severely wounded in the shoulder at the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse. George C. is the subject of this sketch. Emily J. is the wife of William Holley, of Walton. William H. enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, serving with honor, and is now a resident of Lanesboro, Pa. Frank is the wife of J. Boyer, of Broome County. Charles is a resident of Walton. And Nancy M. is the wife of J. R. Kilpatrick of Newburg, NY. At the age of fifty-six years the father enlisted in the service of his country, becoming a member of the One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Regiment, and serving with his company for a year, when he was discharged for physical disability. In politics he was in his early years a member of the Whig party; but on the disbandment of that organization he joined the Republican forces, and thereafter supported the principles of that party. Both he and his wife departed this life in 1866.
George C., second son of Hiram Robinson, was reared in the place of his
nativity, obtaining a good common-school education. At the breaking out
of the late Rebellion he was among the very first of Walton's chivalric
youth to respond to his country's call, joining the Seventy-second New
York Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted in Sickles's Excelsior Brigade,
May 1, 1861, and was mustered into the United States service at Staten
Island. The day following the first battle of Bull Run the regiment was
ordered to the front, going to Washington, and remaining in Camp Cadwell
till spring, when it was ordered to Liverpool Point, Camp Wool. It was
actively engaged in the siege of Yorktown and subsequently in the battle
of Williamsburg, where the brigade to which it belonged lost seventeen
hundred men, the commanders of the forces being General George B.
McClellan on the Union side, and General Joseph E. Johnston on the
Confederate side. The brigade then marched toward Richmond, reaching
first the Chickahominy Swamp, remaining there until McClellan's retreat,
taking part in the principal battles of those seven memorable days.
Mr. Robinson was taken sick at the second battle of Malvern Hill, and
was ordered to the hospital at Fortress Monroe, where he remained two
months, rejoining his regiment at Warrenton Junction, going thence to
Fredericksburg, where he was again at the front in a hard-fought
battle. The following winter his regiment was encamped at Falmouth, and
in the early part of May, 1863, fought bravely at Chancellorsville,
where Mr. Robinson was unfortunately taken prisoner. He was sent to
Libby Prison, and after a short stay there was sent to Camp Parole, at
Annapolis, thence to Camp Destruction, near Alexandria, where he was
confined for five months. He rejoined his regiment again at Culpeper
Court House and afterward went into winter quarters at Brandy Station.
In the spring of 1864 he fought in all the battles of the exciting
campaign leading to Richmond, and was at one of them wounded in the leg,
but not sufficiently to cause him to leave his regiment. While in the
front at Petersburg, the time of service of his regiment expired; and it
was consolidated with the One Hundred and Twentieth New York Volunteer
Infantry. On an order discharging all non-commissioned officers, Mr.
Robinson was mustered out of service in October, 1864, as Orderly
While home on his veteran furlough, Mr. Robinson was married to Miss
Sarah C. Eels, a daughter of Samuel Eels, the third; and of this happy
union five children have been born, namely: Elmer E., born in July,
1866; Bertie L., born in February, 1872; Seymour B., born in August,
1874; Samuel E., born in August, 1876; and Clara H., born in July, 1879.
In his political views Lieutenant Robinson is a decided Republican; and,
socially, he is an influential member of the Ben Marvin Post, in which
he has served as Vice-Commander. Much credit is due him for the deep
interest he has ever taken in the militia company of Walton. He
assisted in raising the company, of which he was one of the first
members, and was appointed Second Lieutenant of the company, a position
which he held for ten years, when he resigned it. He was also an
important member of the Walton Rifle Team, in the organization of which
he took an active part. As one of the Leading citizens of the town of
Walton, he is held in high respect, and is widely known as a man of
sterling character and worth.
B>NELSON CRANE, a highly intelligent and wealthy farmer and dairyman
living in the town of Sanford, Broome County, is the only representative
left of his father's family. He is one of the most favorably known men
in the-county, has served his town repeatedly on the Board of
Supervisors, and in all public matters has been an effective worker for
the best interests of the people. A man of excellent natural and
acquired abilities, he is competent to fill leading positions in public
life or in the world of business, and has had before him a broad field
from which to make choice of a calling; and his decision to settle down
on a farm was creditable to his judgment.
In the opinion of many thoughtful people the rural home has the
advantage of all other places for the broadest and deepest and most
lasting degree of satisfaction and happiness. The pure air, the open
field, the running brook, are ever-fruitful sources of delight. The
field of ripening grain spread like a sheet of gold upon the hillside,
with the shadows of the clouds chasing each other over it as it bends
and swells in soft undulations to the will of the wandering wind, is
certainly a thing of beauty beyond the artificial splendor of gilded
city palace or the constant tramp of busy thousands hurrying to and fro
amid the marts of trade. As Mr. Emerson has well said, "Whatever events
in progress shall go to disgust men with cities and infuse into them the
passion for country life and country pleasures will render a service to
the whole face of this continent, and will further the most poetic of
all the occupations of real life, the bringing out by art the native but
hidden graces of the landscape." Mr. Crane does not make the life of a
farmer one of mere drudgery, but uses brains as well as hands; for
agriculture, as he rightly views it, is a science and an art, and he
brings to it that intelligence which it demands, having his papers, his
library, his workshop, all at his command, and making of them useful
Mr. Nelson Crane traces his ancestry back to the early settlement of the
Massachusetts Bay colony, when the progenitors of the Crane family in
America came over from England. Several of this name have won
distinction in civil and military life. General William Crane, of the
Revolutionary army, was wounded at Quebec. His son, Captain William
Montgomery Crane, was a noted naval officer in the war with Tripoli and
the War of 1812. Charles Henry Crane, late Surgeon-general of the
United States Army, was born at Newport, R. I., in 1825, and died at
Washington, D. C., in 1883. He was a son of Colonel Ichabod Crane, of
New Jersey, and was a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Medical
Simon Crane, a Revolutionary soldier, moved from Connecticut to Delaware
County, New York, in 1796, and brought with him his son Simeon, who was
at that time two years old, having been born in Connecticut in 1794. It
was this younger Simeon who became the father of Nelson. He married
Charlotte Anthony, a native of Delaware County; and the family moved to
the town of Sanford in Broome County in 1844, and settled on the place
where their son, Nelson Crane, now lives. Simeon Crane, Jr., was a
soldier in the War of 1812, and subsequently an Ensign of the Seventieth
New York Infantry, his commission bearing date of march 16, 1822, and
signed by Governor De Witt Clinton. He was a man of industrious
habits, fixity of purpose, strong and active mental powers, and high
moral principles. He was a successful farmer, and died in Broome
County, march 20, 1879. The mother died August 27, 1884, at the age of
eighty-two. They were the parents of four children, namely: Erastus,
whose death occurred at the age of twenty-four years, occasioned by
being injured by the falling of a tree; Nelson; Laura A., who died at
the age of sixty-four years; and Marietta, who was born in 1830, became
the wife of Aaron Lathrop, a mechanic at Oxford, and died in 1889.
Nelson Crane was born near Delhi, in Delaware County, January 26, 1828;
and his youth was spent on his father's farm. When he was sixteen years
old, the family moved to their new home in Broome County, where he
continued with them. he was a remarkable boy for learning; and, while
having but the advantages afforded by the common schools, he made rapid
progress in his studies, and took up the higher branches by himself.
When nineteen years old, he had mastered algebra, geometry,
trigonometry, and thus fitted himself to become a surveyor. He has done
a good deal of work in this line since in Delaware and Broome counties
and in Pennsylvania. his principal occupation, however, has been that
of farming; and he has a nicely improved place, consisting of two
hundred and twenty-seven acres, having a diary, good farmhouse,
commodious barns, and other out-buildings conveniently arranged and in
good condition. His counsel and help have been much sought, and he has
filled many places of trust and honor in the town. He was town
Superintendent of Schools in 1856, and in 1862 was appointed by Judge
Kattell, of Binghamton (then Provost marshal, stationed at Owego),
Enrolling Officer of the town of Sanford, with rank of Assistant or
Census Marshal. He served in that capacity until the close of the war.
He taught school two terms in Broome County, and was entirely up with
the times in educational matters. He was also elected Justice of the
Peace, but resigned the office. he filled the office of Assessor three
terms, and was elected Supervisor four terms, three of them
consecutively. He has served on the grand jury, and, in short, has been
one of the principal men of the town. Six or seven years ago, when the
New York Central Telephone Company projected their line through from
Oneonta to Deposit, he was one of the prime movers in the enterprise,
and assisted materially by way of subscription. There is a station in
his house, of which he has charge. He was one of the organizers of the
Broome county Farmers' Fire Relief Association, incorporated in 1887.
He was a Director, and its first Secretary.
In 1850 Mr. Nelson Crane married Harriet M. Van Horne, of Delaware
County, daughter of Hubbard Van Horne, a prominent citizen of Sanford.
She died in 1871, after twenty -one years of married life. Politically,
Mr. Crane is a Republican, and is able to give a good reason for
upholding the measures of that party. Socially, he is a gentleman whom
it is a pleasure to meet, thoroughly conversant with the best thought of
the day, entertaining and instructive in conversation, and fully alive
to the best interests of a common humanity the world over.
B>J. LINCOLN MOWBRAY, M.D., physician and surgeon, Walton, Delaware
County, N.Y., is eminently qualified for the duties of his profession;
and during the short time he has been a resident of this county he has
enjoyed a good practice, and has won in a large measure the confidence
and esteem of the community. He was born in New York City on December
He is of French descent on the paternal side. His grandfather, Thomas
De Mowbra, who was born in France, in early life went to England, thence
to the north of Ireland, where he was married , and where the Doctor's
father was born. When the latter was a boy of nine years, the family
emigrated to America, and located in New York City. There the lad was
educated, and grew to man's estate, and subsequential embarked in the
wholesale grocery business, in Fulton Street, where by good business
management he accumulated considerable money. He was afterward
connected with the well-known firm of Thurber, Whyland & Co., in the
wholesale grocery trade, and, having acquired a competency, is now
retired from active pursuits, living in Bergen County, New jersey. In
his political views he was formerly a stanch supporter of the principles
of the Republican party, but is now an active worker in the ranks of the
Prohibitionists, and recently received the nomination for the Lower
House. He was reared to the faith of the Episcopal church, abut later
joined the Methodist Episcopal church, of which his wife is a consistent
member. His wife, Mary B. Hyberger, was born in Pennsylvania of German
antecedents. The ceremony that united their destinies was solemnized in
J. Lincoln Mowbray was reared and educated in the city of New York, and,
after being graduated from the Brooklyn High School, took a private
course of instruction under Professor Winter. Deciding to prepare
himself for the practice of medicine, he entered the New York
Homoeopathic College in New York City, from which he was graduated in
April, 1888, immediately beginning the work of his profession in the
dispensary connected with the college. The following year Dr. Mowbray
continued his chosen vocation as an assistant in the office of Dr. T. C.
Williams, gaining, while serving in that capacity, experience of
inestimable value. He next opened an office in New Haven, Conn.; and
during the three years of his stay in that city he built up a fine
practice, but was obliged to abandon it, his health not being good in
that locality. Coming then to this county, he settled in the village of
Walton, where he is meeting with gratifying success, and bids fair to
become one of the leading practitioners in these parts. Dr. Mowbray was
untied in marriage, June 28, 1893, to Miss Louise M. Reif, of New Haven,
who shares with her husband the respect and regard of the community.
B>JOHN W. MAYNARD, one of the progressive farmers of Delaware County, and
a descendant of one of the oldest families of Stamford, was born here
January 25, 1836, son of Samuel B. and Mary (Judson) Maynard. His
grandfather, Stephen Maynard, was the only child of Thomas, who came to
America from England, and settled in Dutchess County.
The death of Thomas Maynard left Stephen an orphan at an early age. He
married and came to Delaware County while this region was yet a complete
wilderness. Here he settled on the farm now occupied by the subject of
this sketch. Taking up a large tract of land, he built a log cabin,
cleared a portion of the farm, and here lived until his death at
sixty-three years of age. He had six children, four of whom grew to
maturity- Thomas, Coley, Orin, and Samuel. Stephen Maynard was a
Democrat, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Samuel was
born on November 12, 1804, and was married September 26, 1826, to Mary
Judson, who was born July 10, 1806. He bought out his brothers and
sisters, and took possession of the old homestead, where he built a new
house and barns and made various other improvements, living to be nearly
seventy-six years of age, his wife dying at about the same age. They
had six children- Rebecca H., Charles M., Mary L., John W., Harriet H.,
John W. Maynard was educated in the schools of Stamford and in the
academy at Ashland. When twenty-one years old, he bought his father's
property of two hundred and seventeen acres, and engaged in agricultural
pursuits on this ancestral farm. Mr. Maynard has improved the land,
raised frame buildings, including a wagon -house, and has remodeled the
barns. About twenty-three years ago he set out one hundred maple-trees
on his estate, and to-day has one of the finest groves in this section.
In 1868 he went to California for his health, but, failing to improve,
returned after a stay of three months, and gradually regained his health
in his native town.
On November 30, 1856, he married Margaret Hait, who was born August 21,
1836, and was the daughter of Daniel Hiat, of South Kortright, now
called Almeda. He raised a family of four children: Margaret, Lottie,
and Pamelia, who are now dead; and Washington. Daniel Hait died of
heart disease. Mrs. John W. Maynard died September 14, 1868, and left
three children: Frank A. born September 11, 1864, who married Sarah
Darling, and lives at Stamford; Helen J., born April 6, 1866, who lives
at home; and Merton, born July 7, 1868. Mr. Maynard married his second
wife Mary E. Hammond, daughter of Elisha Hammond, a farmer at Manor
Kill, who lived to be seventy-five years old, and raised a family of six
children--Adelaide, Victorine, Sarah, Mary E., Elisha, and Grace
During the summer season the estate of Mr. J. W. Maynard is a favorite
resort for residents of the city. His farm is located on the turnpike,
and has an elevation of some two thousand feet above sea level, the
crest of the hill forming the water-parting for the head waters of the
Delaware and Schoharie Rivers. Mr. Maynard is a Democrat, and a member
of the Methodist Episcopal church, as were his father and grandfather
before him. He is also a member of the St. Andrew's Lodge, No. 289, A.
F. & A. M., at Hobart. He was Assessor for one term, and in all the
duties that have devolved upon him he has shown ability and good
Merton H. Maynard, son of John W. Maynard and his first wife, Margaret,
was born half a mile east of the village of Stamford, and was educated
at the seminary of this place. When twenty-one years of age, he entered
active business life, buying out D. V. Chichester's furniture and
undertaking business. In 1891 he built a large and handsome store, part
of which he used for his own business, while the rest brings him in a
good income by being let to tenants. When twenty-one years of age,
Merton Maynard married Mary A. Gillespie, daughter of Alexander and
Polly E. (Brockway) Gillespie. Her father was a farmer of Stamford, and
died when fifty-nine years old; but her mother is still living.
Merton Maynard follows the traditions of the family in belonging to the
Democratic party in politics, and being a member of the Methodist
Episcopal church. He is also a member of Green Lodge, No. 497, A. F. &
A.M. of Hobart. By his energy and industry he has built up one of the
most extensive trades in his town, and not only has his ability been
used in mercantile pursuits, but he, as well as his father and
grandfather, has been of valuable assistance in the management of town
B>HENRY GROAT, a prominent merchant of Delhi, was born at Prattsville,
Greene County, N.Y., February 15, 1869, a son of John and Catherine
(Gilbert) Groat. His grandfather, John A. Groat, was a native of
Dutchess County, and a prominent farmer. He afterward moved to Greene
County, and purchased a farm there. His son John remained on the farm,
assisting his father until 1861, when he enlisted in the Fifteenth New
York Heavy Artillery, and served with distinction until the war was
nearly over, being discharged on account of disability from wounds
received in action. He resided for a time in Greene, county, but
afterward moved to Gilboa, of which place he is still a resident. He
married Miss Catherine Gilbert, daughter of William M. Gilbert, a
prominent foundryman of Greene County; and two children were born to
them-Henry and Charles.
Henry Groat, spent his early years in Gilboa, and received his education
at the district schools of that village. For several winters he taught
school, afterward coming to Delhi, where he entered the employ of Mr. J.
K. Hood, remaining with him as clerk for three years. He then formed a
partnership with Mr. John D. Ferguson, opening a large general store on
Main Street, where he conducted a successful and increasing business
until July 1, 1894, when he severed his connections with Mr. Ferguson,
and erected a fine business block on Meredith Street, Delhi, N. Y., and
opened a large grocery store soon after, with a complete new stock
throughout of staple and fancy groceries and provisions, and now caters
to the best trade of Delhi and vicinity.
Mr. Groat was united in marriage November 25, 1891, with Miss Alice L.
Mann, daughter of O. C. Mann, formerly a jeweller in this town, but now
employed in the custom house in New York. Two children have been born
to Mr. and Mrs. Groat; namely, Katharine M. and Florence M. Mr. Groat
is a prominent member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Lodge,
No. 439, A. F. & A. M., and Delhi Chapter, No. 249. He is a Republican
in politics, and in his religious views is an adherent of the
Presbyterian faith, Mrs. Groat being a member of the Second Presbyterian
Church. Mr. Groat is one of the youngest and most successful business
men in Delhi, enjoying the highest reputation for honesty and
integrity. He is possessed of much tact and judgment-a combination
necessary to a successful merchant. He has also gained in a high degree
the confidence and esteem of his associates.
B>ELIAS B. HOWLAND, a well-known farmer residing near the village of
Walton, which is his native place, was born on September 28, 1854. He
is a son of Edwin R. Howland, whose father was Elias B. Howland, one of
the early pioneers of Hamden. He was a famous hunter and expert
fisherman. He purchased and cultivated a tract of land, and resided
there for a few years, and then went West for a short time, afterward
coming to the town of Walton, where he purchased a farm, on which he
made his home until his death, in 1893, aged eighty-nine years. Edwin
R. Howland, who was born in Hamden, came to Walton when he was
twenty-two years old, and purchased a farm on East Brook. He was
married to Miss Margaret McDonald, a daughter of Archibald and Jeannette
(Smith)McDonald; and they had a family of six children, five whom are
living and residents of this town; namely, Elias B., Jeanette, Pollock
T., Edgar R., and Owen L. Howland.
Elias B. Howland was educated at the district schools, and spent his early years on the farm which is now owned by his brothers. At the age of twenty-two he started out for himself, renting a farm for one year, and then purchased his present place. He devotes most of his time to his large dairy, keeping thirty-four Jersey cows, and making a fine grade of butter, the output amounting to some ten thousand pounds per year, which he sends to New York and Newburg markets. He was married, in 1876, to Miss Rachel Rutherford, a daughter of Robert Rutherford, a prominent farmer of Bovina, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Howland have two children - Reuben and Maggie.
Mr. Howland has one of the finest farms in the county. He is a man of progressive ideas, never hesitating to utilize any modern improvement which may be of benfit to him in his work. In politics Mr. Howland is a Republican. He has never sought any public office, devoting his time entirely to his calling. He is an honest and true friend, and ever ready to help those who have been less fortunate than himself.
B>ANDREW JACKSON FRANCISCO is a prosperous farmer of East Branch, Delaware County, where he is also proprietor and manager of a popular resort for summer boarders. He was born in the town of Colchester in this county, October 31, 1846.
His father, Richard Francisco, who was for some years Justice of Peace in Colchester, was born in Milford, Otsego County. He was there educated, and worked on the home farm till about 1835, when he purchased a large tract of land on the Beaver Kill in Colchester, and engaged in farming and lumbering, rafting his own lumber down the river to Philadelphia. When a young man, he had studied law; and, as his knowledge of legal matters was quite extensive, his services were in great demand among the people of his section when any controversy arose which required settlement in the courts. He married Polly Westcott, daughter of Benjamin Westcott, a successful farmer in the town of Milford, and a representative of one of the oldest families in the county. Mr. and Mrs. Francisco had twelve children, namely: Erastus, a farmer in Hancock; Audelia, who married Caleb S. Miller, of Hancock; Orlando, who, a carpenter by trade, lives in Ripon, Wis.; Benjamin, a farmer in Walton, who died in 1892; Francis, a farmer in Colchester, who died in 1859; Alexander H., a farmer in Liberty; Lavina, who married John Marven, a farmer in East Davenport, Otsego County; Marette, who died in 1885, and whose husband was Dr. Sibers, a dentist of Cooperstown; Andrew J., the subject of this sketch; Ann, who married George Reynolds, of Walton, a merchant in Oneonta, where he died; Melissa, who married Edget Lewis, of Hancock; and D. C. Francisco, who is a farmer in Liberty, and also keeps a summer hotel there. Mr. Richard Francisco lived to be over seventy years of age, his wife surviving him about five years. They were both esteemed members of the Methodist Episcopal church; and Mr. Francisco, who was a strong Democrat, was an active citizen, taking part in all the town affairs. He was universally respected, and his death was a great loss to the community in which he lived.
Andrew Jackson Francisco was educated in his native town, where for some years he worked the home farm, and followed the river as a lumberman. When he started upon his own career, he bought a farm in Walton, which he sold in 1866, coming to East Branch, where he purchased the only hotel, and in partnership with his brother, D. C. Francisco, was very successful. After a time he bought out his brother's share, and, changing the hotel into a summer boarding house, has now a very select class of patrons during the season. He is also engaged in farming to some extent. He has been twice married, his first wife being Sylvia Tomkins, who was born near Cannonsville. By her he had one child, Lida, who married Charles Miller, of East Branch. Mr. Francisco was again married, June 24, 1874, to Blanche Thomas, daughter of Moses and Orcilla (Cole) Thomas, of Buckingham, Wayne County, Pa. By the second union is one child, Cora A. Francisco, who was born October 5, 1876, and has been educated in the district schools and Hancock Academy.
Mr. and Mrs. Francisco are active members of the Baptist church, and of the Good Templars Lodge at East Branch. Mr. Francisco cast his first vote with the Democratic party, but has since joined the ranks of the Prohibitionists. He is much respected by all who know him, particularly by his city boarders, for whose comfort and enjoyment he so well provides. As is well known, the churl is not bountiful but ever the "liberal deviseth liberal things."
JAMES HENRY BROWN, a successful mason in Walton, is a loyal citizen who did brave service for his country during the late Civil War. He is a native of Oneonta, Otsego County, where he was born December 16, 1845. He was left an orphan at a very early age, and the first six years of his life were spent with his grandfather Sherman, and the next four at the home of A. Cheney, in Cooperstown. The four succeeding years he lived with Harvey Williams, and for two years thereafter worked at anything he could find to do.
At the age of sixteen he enlisted in the Union army, joining Company L, Second New York Cavalry, September 16, 1861. He was mustered into service in the city of Washington, and during the first winter was encamped near Arlington Heights. Early in the spring of 1862, his company was attached to General Kilpatrick's corps, and followed the Army of the Potomac in its various expeditions. Mr. Brown was an active participant in many battles, among them being the engagements at Brandy Station, Fredericksburg, Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, and he served throughout the Pennsylvania campaign. He was at the front in the raids conducted by Colonels McIntosh and Sheridan, and was taken prisoner at Hanover Courthouse, June 2, 1864. He was at first confined at Richmond, going thence to the Andersonville Prison, where he remained seven months. From Andersonville he was forwarded to Savannah thence to Millen, again back to Savannah and down the coast. Kilpatrick was then but twenty miles away, and the object of their many removals was to keep the prisoners out of the reach of Sherman's army, which was making daily progress in its march to the sea. With the others, Mr. Brown was next sent to Thomasville, and then, after a march of thirty-five miles to Albany, Ga., was put on board the cars and returned to Andersonville. He was subsequently forwarded by train to Vicksburg, and in April, 1865, got inside the Union lines. He went first to St. Louis, thence to Camp Annapolis, and from there to New York City, and on the sixteenth day of May, 1865, received his honorable discharge.
After his return to civil life Mr. Brown settled in Cooperstown, and there learned the mason's trade of George B. Wood. In 1879 he removed to the village of Walton, where he has since found constant employment, his ability and faithfulness as a workman being recognized and appreciated by his patrons. He is a man of sound sense and strict integrity, a fine representative of the self-made men of our country.
Mr. Brown has been twice married. By his first wife, Ellen Shelman, of Cooperstown, to whom he was united on January 1, 1866, he had three children. Charles D., born November 9, 1866, is a resident of Waterbury, S. Dak.(sic) Stella A., born July 26, 1869, married Seymour Bush, of Walton; and they have one child, Everett J. Bush. Cora M., born September 18, 1871, is the wife of W. T. Mann, of Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County; and they have a daughter, Helena E. Mann. The mother died in Cooperstown in 1877; and Mr. Brown was married on January 17, 1878, to Emrette Johnson, one of the three daughters born to Daniel and Sally A. (Smith) Johnson, natives of Otsego County, the other children having been Louisa, who died in infancy, and Amelia, who died at the age of eight years. Mr. Johnson went to war and never returned, and his widow married John F. Bristol; and they reared one child, Minnie.
In his political views Mr. Brown is an ardent supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and is a charter member of the Ben Marvin Post, No.209, Grand Army of the Republic, having been a Commander and a delegate to the State encampment. Religiously, both he and his wife are esteemed members of the Methodist church.
JOHN KINMONTH FORMAN is the keeper of the county house at Delhi, Delaware County, N.Y. His grandfather, John Forman, came from Newburg to Delaware County, and was among the earliest settlers in Kortright. Taking up a tract of land, he built upon it a log cabin; and beneath its rude shelter he and his young wife bravely began their married life. Little ones soon came to brighten the pioneer's home; and make loneliness impossible. They brought up a family of seven children, one of whom, named Roxey, is still living, over ninety years of age. For many years Grandfather John Forman remained in possession of this farm, but finally sold it to one of his sons, Jacob. While on a visit at Sidney, the old man was stricken down with an illness which proved fatal. His wife died at the old homestead, after having reached the age of fourscore.
Their son Jacob, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Kortright, and spent his boyhood and youth upon his father's farm. He was brought up to lead the useful and independent life of one who tills the soil, meanwhile availing himself of the advantages afforded at the district school. He remained with his father until twenty-one, and later in life returned to the old homestead as its owner. His wife, Louisa Hill, was also a native of Kortright; and her father had been one of the worthy pioneer farmers of the town. She was one of a family of five children: Athelson, Louisa, Myron, Adeliza, and Freelove. Jacob Forman and his wife reared the following children: Adeline, who married Martin Barker, the agent in charge of the Grecian property at Meredith; Charles, a farmer of the town of Delhi; John K., above named; and Myron, a merchant. After living at the old homestead for a number of years, Jacob Forman removed to a neighboring farm, where he remained up to the time of his death, at forty-five years of age. His wife died at Kortright, at the age of sixty-eight. Both were members of the Methodist church, and for many years Jacob was one of its trustees.
John K. Forman first saw the light in Kortright, November 22, 1851. Like his father and grandfather before him, he was bred to agricultural pursuits, and also went to the district school. When but fourteen, he had the misfortune to lose his father; and for the next four years he remained with his brothers, carrying on the farm. It may well be believed that in spite of his extreme youth he took his share of the labor and responsibility manfully; and that the efforts of these young husbandmen were crowned by success is to be inferred from the fact that at the age of twenty-one John went to farming for himself, having bought land in Kortright. After several years he sold his farm, and bought a mill in Hobart, where he spent one season. Then he returned to his native town, where he again engaged in farming, the work which seems to have been his special vocation; for, as Emerson has truly said, "The fitness is the calling."
May 16, 1872, Mr. Forman married Delia Maxon. Her grandfather, also, was one of the pioneer settlers of Kortright, and had the honor of serving as a gallant Captain in the War of 1812. Both of the grandparents passed their last years in Kortright, but the death of the wife took place in Meredith. Mrs. Forman's parents were Reynolds and Lydia (Butts) Maxon, both of whom were born in Kortright. But the father established himself as a wagon maker in Bloomvile; and it was there that Delia, afterward Mrs. Forman, was born. Her mother was one of five children: Bushrod, Oliver, Betsy Ann, Lydia, and Delilah; and Mrs. Maxon brought up three of her five children, namely: Marshall M.: and his sisters, Delilah and Delia, who were twins, the latter being Mrs. Forman. Delilah married James B. Cavan, a farmer of Kortright, and is now a widow, making her home in Delhi. Marshall M. Maxon is still a resident of Bloomville, having there a pleasant home. At the age of eighteen he enlisted in the Union army, and had served as Sergeant three years lacking one month, when the war closed. He married Lucia Keeler, and they have three children. The mother died at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Forman, at the age of seventy-one years. Death came to the father at the age of seventy-seven, while at the house of his son in Bloomville. Both parents were devoted to the interests of the Methodist church, of which they were worthy members.
On April 1, 1891, Mr. Forman took charge of the county almshouse at Delhi, and continues to fill the position with marked ability. In his wife Mr. Forman has an invaluable assistant. While he is occupied with matters pertaining to the farm, she superintends the household, and with kindly care promotes the well-being of the inmates within its sheltering walls. The house is charmingly situated on the Delaware River, in one of the most beautiful portions of the county, and will accommodate seventy-five people. The farm consists of two hundred and ten acres of fertile land, under excellent cultivation and stocked with sixty head of cattle. Mr. Forman gives much attention to his herd of forty beautiful Holsteins, which bear witness to the success that has attended his efforts in this department. Under his management many improvements have been made and reforms instituted, both indoors and out. From the top of the house to the bottom an exquisite neatness prevails, and one is impressed with the perfect system everywhere found. Mr. Forman finds a judicious adviser in the county superintendent, Mr. Wright. At the last county fair both the horses and cattle from the county farm received first prizes, as did the vegetables and fruits exhibited. The fact that the entire work of the institution is performed wholly by the inmates, thus saving the county great expense, proves the wisdom of Mr. Forman's administration as well as his practical ability. The State inspector, in his last report, pronounced the establishment a model for the entire State.
Mr. and Mrs. Forman are regarded with the highest respect throughout the community, their kindly and sunny natures endearing them to all with whom they come in contact; and their hospitality, a virtue which is called in the Talmud "an expression of divine worship," is proverbial for its graceful cordiality. Mrs. Forman was formally a member of the Methodist church at Bloomville; but, on becoming a resident of Delhi, she connected herself with the Second Presbyterian Society here, where her husband is also a worshiper. He is a member of the Delhi Lodge of Free Masons, No. 439 As would be expected from his career and position, he is warmly interested in the county agricultural society, of which he is Vice-President; and he is a Republican in politics.
AUGUSTUS S. FITCH, who has been eminently successful in mercantile pursuits, is a member of the enterprising firm of Fitch Bros. & Seeley, of Walton, N. Y., dealers in general merchandise. Mr. Fitch is descended from a long line of ancestors, a full account of whom is given elsewhere in the biography of George W. Fitch.
Augustus S. Fitch was born in the village of Walton, May 15, 1841. In due time he became a regular attendant of the town schools, where he was carefully instructed until his twentieth year, when he accepted the position of clerk in the store owned by his father and brother, the firm name being N. Fitch & Son. After ten years of faithful service in this capacity he was made a partner, the firm becoming N. Fitch & Sons. In 1872 the aged father died and once more the firm name was changed, being then known as N. Fitch's Sons. For some years the two brothers were the only members of the company; but in 1879 they received Mr. George C. Seeley as a partner and the name then adopted has been retained ever since.
Mr. Fitch was married September 13, 1866, to Eliza A. Honeywell, of Walton, a daughter of Alfred and Margaret (Russell) Honeywell. After nine years of happy wedded life Mrs. Fitch died, July 25, 1875, when but twenty-nine years of age, having given birth to four children: Frankie, who died in 1873, a babe of four months; William H., whose death occurred January 1, 1880, he being then a lad of eleven summers; Mary A. Fitch, who was graduated from the Walton High School in 1894; and Eliza, who died when an infant.
Mr. Fitch's second marriage occurred on September 30, 1880, he being then united in the bonds of matrimony with Miss Isabelle Bryce. She was the daughter of James and Elizabeth (McQueen) Bryce, the former of who died in DeLancey, N.Y., in 1865, in his sixty-eighth year; while the latter passed away in 1870, having reached the age of seventy-three years. Mrs. Fitch was a graduate of the Albany State Normal School, and for three years taught in the Walton schools. She and her twin sister, Elizabeth, widow of James Taylor, of DeLancey, and mother of James Bryce Taylor, a school boy of fifteen, are the only survivors of a large family. Their brother, William Bryce, who for some years taught school in Delhi, and was at one time principal of a school in Saugerties, was a surgeon in the Civil War, in the Forty-fourth New York Infantry, and served for three years, after which he practiced in Hamden, where he died in 1868. He was a graduate of Columbia College of Medicine in New York City.
Mr. Fitch is a Republican, a rigid adherent to that party's principles, although he has never held office or been an aspirant for office. In 1857 he joined the Congregational church, of which body he has ever since been an active and valued member, having been a trustee since 1882. He has occupied his present delightful home since the fall of 1877; and here he is ever glad to receive his numerous friends, whom he entertains with genial cordiality. Walking in the ways of integrity, honor, and industry, making untiring efforts to meet the wants of his many patrons, Mr. Fitch has won enviable success in business life, and an influential position among his associates and friends.
J. W. SHEFFIEILD, M.D., is one of the ablest and most favorably known physicians of Sidney, Delaware County, N.Y. He was born in St. Johnsville, Montgomery County, on September 7, 1857, a son of George, and a grandson of James Sheffield. The grandfather was born in Connecticut, May 2, 1788, of English and German parentage, and was still a boy when his father and all the family moved to Deerfield, N.Y., near Utica. Later they went to the town of Clay, Onondaga County, where the father of James died about 1810. James remained at Deerfield, married Miss Anna James, March 21, 1813, and moved to Manheim, Herkimer County, and later to Dolgeville (then known as Winton's, later as Brockett's Bridge, but now as Dolgeville), Fulton County, where his son, George Sheffield, was born June 10,1818. He married on March 30, 1843, Caroline E. Higbie, daughter of Jacob Higbie, of St. Johnsville. In this town Mr. and Mrs. George Sheffield made their home, and reared their large family of ten children, seven of whom are still living. Charles Wesley, their first son, died July 14, 1849, aged five years. William James, their second son, died December 17, 1875, aged twenty-nine years, leaving a wife and two children, a son and a daughter. Mary Elizabeth, wife of Harvey Fox, of St. Johnsville, is the mother of one son. Sarah Jane Sheffield died July 10, 1877, aged twenty-six years, unmarried. Caroline Adelia, wife of Henry Fical, is the mother of a son and a daughter. George Washington Sheffield lives near Dolgeville, is married, and has a son and two daughters. John Wesley is the subject of this sketch. Albert D., who has been principal of the Nelliston public school for a number of years, is married, and has one daughter. James Erwin Sheffield, who lives in Montgomery County, is recently married. Hattie is wife of Clark Leek, an engineer of Johnstown, Fulton County, who has one son. George Sheffield, the father of this family, died at Lassellsville, Fulton County, May 26, 1883, aged sixty-six years. His widow is still living at the same place, now aged seventy-one years.
John Wesley Sheffield was reared on his father's farm, attending the district school, the high school at St. Johnsville, Fairfield Academy, and Eastman's Business College, of Poughkeepsie. He followed the profession of teaching for eight years, and in 1883 began the study of medicine with Dr. Daniel Small, of St. Johnsville, as preceptor. He entered the Albany Medical College in the autumn of that year, was graduated on March 3, 1886, and soon after began to practice at Trout Creek, Delaware County. Here he remained for five years, with the exception of a few months spent at Wampsville, Madison County. In the spring of 1891 he removed to Sidney, where he is regarded as a most skillful member of his profession.
October 19, 1887, Dr. J. W. Sheffield was married to Miss Zana M. Clarke, a daughter of the late Luman P. Clarke, of Addison, Vt., her mother being a great-grand daughter of Lord Dudley, of Wales. She had been a successful teacher, and is also a graduate of the Mary Fletcher Hospital Training School for Nurses, in Burlington, Vt. Dr. and Mrs. Sheffield are the parents of two children: Bernard Clarke, born September 5, 1889; and Wesley Thare, born February 18, 1891. The Doctor is a Master Mason and a Knight of Pythias, but takes no active part in politics. He and his wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal church, giving to that organization their hearty support. Dr. Sheffield is a rising young physician of remarkable adaptability for his calling, his kindly, prepossessing manner, combined with his cheerful, sympathetic disposition, making him a welcome visitor in hours of health as well as illness; and the success he has attained in the short period of his residence in the town of Sidney gives unquestionable assurance of a bright and prosperous future.
REV. ISAAC HEWITT was a Baptist clergyman, and an influential resident of Halcottsville, in Middletown, Delaware County, N.Y., where he died on January 7, 1892, full of years and worth, respected by a large number of associates, both in religious and social circles. In this town also was he born, on August 25, 1810. His father, Russell Hewitt, was born near Albany, married Ziporah Wheeler, was a Democrat, came to Halcottsville in his later years, and lived to be eighty-four. He reared eight of the nine children born to him, whose names were Merritt, Orin, Isaac, Wheeler, Norman, William, George, Emeline.
Isaac, the third son, was a self-made man, having been born with a disposition to get all the education possible, and so be of some use in a public way to his country. The neighborhood did not afford the desired facilities for culture; yet he managed by hard work to fit himself for the pulpit at the early age of twenty, at which time also he married, the lady of his choice being Julia Maria Weld, who was born on the last day of the year 1806, and therefore was her husband's senior by nearly four years. She was the daughter of David Weld, born February 15, 1773, and his wife, Hannah Foster Weld, born January 16, 1787.
David Weld's birthplace was in Massachusetts. In early life he was bound out to a farmer, who treated him so harshly that David ran away to Connecticut, where he found a home with a shoemaker named Earl, whose trade he learned. There also he subsequently married, and then came to Hubbell Hill in Delaware County, where he took up a tract of land, and built a log house amid the acres he was gradually reclaiming from the wilderness. There were neither shoe factories nor shoe stores in those pioneer days; and David Weld found plenty of employment among the farmers of the district, his services being in requisition far and near. By his union with Miss Foster fourteen children were added to the population of the town: the eldest, Julia Maria Weld, before mentioned, the wife of the subject of this sketch; Harvey Weld, born February 12, 1808; Matilda Weld, January 26, 1810; Huldah Weld, November 11, 1812; David Foster Weld, January 4, 1814; Clarence A. Weld, November 19, 1815; William W. Weld, July 29, 1817; Eli T. Weld, May 7, 1819; Delilah Weld, December 19, 1820; Jarvis J. Weld, the first day of October, 1822; Jeannette Weld, the second day of June, 1824; Augustus Weld, June 21, 1827; Fanny Weld, December 5, 1829; Isaac W. Weld, July 28, 1832. At the end of a dozen years, about the year 1817, Mr. Weld bought two hundred more acres adjoining the farm he already owned; for there were boys and girls enough growing up to attend to every department of farm work, both outside and inside. On this homestead he died January 18, 1853, at four-score; but his wife lived twelve years longer, dying on June 19. 1865, just at the close of the Civil War, aged seventy-eight. They were members of the Baptist church, and Mr. Weld was a Democrat.
The marriage of Isaac Hewitt and Julia Maria Weld took place November 5, 1830. He at once bought one hundred and fifty acres of land at Bragg Hollow, and also began preaching in various places within the limits of what was known as the Lexington Association. At different times he was the stated supply in a dozen different churches, and with four of them he was continuously connected for many years. The Second Church of Roxbury, N.Y., located in Halcottsville, was built at the expense of the Rev. Mr. Hewitt; and the first sermon in it was preached by him, his text being Obadiah i. 17. His last discourse was fittingly delivered in the same church, from the text, John iii. 14. In the course of his ministry Mr. Hewitt baptized over four hundred persons, married about four hundred couples, and preached about the same number of funeral sermons. Like a veritable Baptist apostle, he went from State to State, even as far west as Illinois; nor did he give up the good work till his death, at the same advanced age as his father, eighty-four.
Not long before the centennial year he removed from Bragg Hollow to Halcottsville, buying the farm of two hundred acres, where he spent his last days, and where his widow still lives, lacking only two years of ninety, but enjoying excellent health, as indicated by the fact that as late as 1894 she was able to drive to Middleburg, a distance of thirty miles, to attend the yearly meeting of the Baptist Association, greatly enjoying the services, and not over tasked by the journey. Like her husband, she is large-hearted, always ready to help the poor, and interested in whatever tends to promote the public welfare. The religion of Mr. and Mrs. Hewitt found expression in their good, hearty music. With full heart could they sing the couplet:
"I'll drop my burden at his feet,
And bear a song away."
An excellent likeness of the able and faithful Christian messenger whose career is briefly outlined in the foregoing sketch is presented on another page of the "Review".
OSCAR J. SLATER, a well known and expert mechanic of Deposit, was born May 28, 1840, in the town of Bainbridge, Chenango County, N.Y., being the son of Joseph Slater and his wife, Sally Sylvius, of Northampton County, Pa., a descendant of one of the early Dutch settlers of that section.
Israel Slater, the father of Joseph, was born in the town of Windsor, Vt., where he received his early education, and where he resided until after his marriage. He studied medicine, and followed that profession with marked success in the town of Windsor, also later on in Bambridge. From early youth he showed marked ability in mechanics, and, after coming to New York, used to work as a blacksmith as well as a farmer. At one time, having built a forty foot barn, he made by hand all the nails used to shingle it. He married Susanna Gage, of Washington County, New York, and with his wife made the journey through the wilderness to Bainbridge, bought a tract of timbered land, and erected with his own hands a log cabin, which was the only shelter for his family for many seasons. Many were the hardships and discouragements; and caution had to be taken against the wolves, bears, wildcats, and panthers which in those days abounded. On one very dark night Mr. Slater was followed by a pack of wolves a distance of three miles through dense woods to his own door, although for some reason they did not dare attack him. Israel Slater served his country at the time of the War of 1812, being one of the brave minutemen stationed at Sackett's Harbor when the British threatened that place. Mrs. Slater died when sixty-two years of age, in 1854, and left a family of eight children; Joseph, the father of the subject of this sketch; Marcus; Benjamin; Nathan; Albert; Delia; Caroline; and Charlotte. Her son Albert served under Sherman in Wood's division, and was killed in the battle of Resaca, having had his thigh shattered by a shell.
Joseph Slater was born at Bainbridge in 1810 and received his education in the schools of his native town. When he had attained sufficient years, he learned the trades of millwright and joiner, in which callings he actively engaged for himself in the town of Greene, Chenango County, and was considered one of the best mechanics in the country. Mr. Slater was a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Universalist church. His career was a short one, as he was cut down in early manhood, and left a wife and four children - Lydia, Louisa, Oscar, and Julia. At the death of Mr. Slater the home was broken up. Oscar, the subject of this sketch, went to live with his grandfather, Israel Slater; Lydia lived at the home of Hiram Bennet, of Bennetsville; and Louisa, at the home Milton Bennett, of the same place. Mrs. Sally Slater, with her daughter Julia, returned to her old home in Pennsylvania, where she later married for her second husband Urias Holenbeck of Belvidere Ill., and went West, taking with her Julia and Louisa, who there married and settled. Louisa became the wife of Seth Blood. Julia married David M. Gibbs, who soon went to the front in the war of the Rebellion. After his return at the close of the war they finished their education at Normal, Ill., and then taught for nine years, as principal and preceptress, the high school at Rosemond, Christian County, Ill., and later, for eleven years, the graded school at Genoa, Ill., where they now reside. Lydia married William L. Axtell, a brother of Mrs. Oscar J. Slater, and lived near the home of her brother's family until she died, in 1892, greatly lamented.
Oscar J. Slater received his education in the schools of Bennettsville and Sanford, where he lived with his aunt Charlotte, wife of Hiram B. Fuller. In 1861 Mr. Slater started in active business life in the town of Sanford, Broome County, N. Y., as a carpenter and joiner, which trade he followed until 1864, when he went to Masonville, and there learned the cooper's trade. In 1866 he started in the cooper's business at Deposit with a cousin, Orville Wilson. The partnership continued for about two years, and then Mr. Slater bought the place where he now resides, and carried on his business for over twenty-five years, up to August, 1894.
When twenty-four years of age, he married July 17, 1864, Margaret Axtell, daughter of Joseph and Caroline (Harper) Axtell, of China. Mrs. Slater received a district school education, and was brought up at home, assisting her parents in the work of the farm, and learning to spin wool and flax. The training which she received in all domestic pursuits excellently fitted her to oversee the home which she now possesses. Mr. and Mrs. Slater have one child, Stella Olivia Slater. She was graduated at the Deposit High School in the class of 1888, and is an accomplished musician, having received her musical education at Clinton Liberal Institute, at Fort Plain, N. Y. She has large classes of pupils on the piano, both in her own and neighboring towns, and enjoys an enviable reputation as a teacher.
Mr. Slater inherits his skill as a mechanic from his grandfather and father, and through his success in his work has made for himself a pleasant home. Changes in the butter trade having made the cooper business unprofitable, he has now, January 1, 1895, abandoned it, and accepted a pleasant and responsible position in the employ of the New York Condensed Milk Company in their condensery in Deposit. Mr. Slater's family are members of the Baptist church in Deposit, working for the interest of the people among whom they live, and holding the respect of the whole community. Mr. Slater is a Republican in politics, and as a representative of this party has been offered several times the most important town offices, all of which he has refused. He has stood like a rock for the principles of his party, successfully combating, through the press and in public debate, what he sternly characterizes as "the false claims of the Democrats, the heresies of the Greenbackers, and the hypocrisy of the leaders of the Prohibition movement." He has also done some good work as a lay preacher.
BENJAMIN J. WHITE was born on the old White homestead on April 4, 1827. His grandfather, Benjamin, who was born in Wales in 1746, came to America with the British soldiers during the Revolution, and was taken prisoner at the battle of Bunker Hill. While in the soldiers' hospital, he fell in love with a young nurse who came each day to render her sweet services to those suffering from wounds and illnesses. The attraction seems to have been mutual; for the young lady, Miss Lovina Tottin by name, afterward became his wife. Miss Tottin was a native of Dutchess County, New York, where she was born March 7, 1761, and was the daughter of Jonas Tottin, a Hollander. To Benjamin and Lovina White eleven children were born - Mary, Lovina, William, John, Benjamin, George C., James, Peter V. G., Richard, Susan, and Phoebe.
Benjamin learned the hatter's trade, which he followed after the war in Strong Ridge, Ulster County, N.Y.; but in 1795 he yoked an ox team, and, bundling up bag, baggage, and family, journeyed in true pioneer style to Delaware County. Arriving in Colchester, on the Delaware River, he purchased a hundred acres of land, and built a log house in which to abide. This was burned to the ground; and subsequently he erected a clapboard house, which is still standing, in a fairly good state of preservation. Here he established a hat factory and built a cider mill, the nearest mill and market being at Kingston. Although the distance was not great, it took quite a week to make the journey back and forth, and necessitated great inconvenience now and then. He was a Democrat, and lived to be eighty years old. His wife died October 13, 1857, at the age of ninety-six years.
Peter Van Gasbeck White was born in Ulster County, and came to Delaware County with his father when a lad. Here he was educated; and, as he grew older, he took tender care of the aged father and mother who leaned upon his youth and strength. Upon coming into possession of the homestead, he married, July 9, 1826, Miss Charlotte Sutton, a daughter of Caleb and Sarah Sutton, formerly of Dutchess County, but now living near Hancock. A family of eight brothers and sisters filled the Sutton home with sounds of fun and frolic. Their children were James, Abraham, Polly, Lettie, Hettie, Abby, Charlotte, and Sherman. The latter is still living, at eighty-three years of age.
Peter V. G. White was known for his skill as a pilot, displaying great dexterity and energy in floating his lumber rafts down the river. Seven trips were accomplished in one year. In the early days this rafting was an arduous enterprise, the return trip being made by water to Kingston, from which point the rest of the journey, a distance of sixty-five miles, was made afoot. Railroad travel now renders the journey a short and easy one. Nine children were born to Peter V. G. White and his wife Charlotte. The eldest, Benjamin J., born April 4, 1827, married Lovina Hurd. William G., born April 25, 1829, married Sarah A. Holiday. Jeremy T., born February 24. 1832, married Caroline Schoonmaker. John S., born June 24, 1834, married Mary E. Radiker. Eunice Page, born January 24, 1837, married Wesley Terry. Phoebe Jane, born March 12, 1839, married Nicholas Barnhardt. Peter Harrison, born April 19, 1841, is dead. Hettie Maria, born December 15, 1843, married John Warren. Mary Cornelia, born September 9, 1846, married James Berhim. Mr. Peter Van Gasbeck White served in the War of 1812. He died October 25, 1862. His wife died May 19, 1866.
Benjamin J. White, their eldest son, grew to years of discretion in his native town, and received his education in the common schools. He was married in 1854 to Miss Lovina Hurd, whose father came from Connecticut in the early days of the settlement of Sullivan County, and who married a Miss Mallory. Mrs. Lovina White had five sisters - Olivia, Mary, Charlotte, Minerva, and Harriet - and three brothers - John, Curtis, and Charles. Mrs. White died, leaving these children to solace her husband in his grief. The eldest of these, Fred G., born January 26, 1859, is a carpenter in Delhi, married Mary A. Hawks, and has two children - Bell and Bessie. Charlotte, born September 16, 1860, married George Knoll, a farmer of Parksville, Sullivan County, to whom she has borne two children. Bell, born September 18, 1863, married Herman Wilson, a farmer in Walton; and they have two children. Wilson P. lives in Indian Territory.
Mr. Benjamin J. White at one time owned a farm of one hundred and forty acres near Walton. Later he lived for seven years at Brock Hollow, afterward farming at Trout Brook. He married for his second wife Mrs. Hannah Hawk, widow of Daniel Hawk, and a daughter of David and Mary Ann (Cauniff) Hawk. Her parents raised a family of seven children - Susan, Hannah, Caroline, Charles, Eliza, Venice, and Everett - all of whom live in Matteawan, Dutchess County. Mrs. White's first husband. Daniel Hawk, was a descendant of Eben Hawk, who settled in this section when there was only an Indian trail through to Newburg. Only one child, a daughter, was born of Mr. White's last marriage. This daughter, Susie L. by name, was born on the first day of May, 1879, and lives at the parental home. Mr. White is one of the seven men who formed the Masonic Lodge of Walton. He is a Prohibitionist, and a Democrat in politics, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He has filled several small offices in the town, and is now Notary Public of Colchester.
ANDREW T. STRANGEWAY was born in Bovina, Delaware County, in the year 1840. His grandfather, Thomas Strangeway, the progenitor of the Strangeway family in America, was a native of Scotland, who settled in Middletown, where he bought a farm and raised a family of three sons and two daughters. He died in Walton. Christopher, the father of Andrew, was also a Scotchman, and was evidently quite a lad at the time of his father's emigration to America, as he had been apprenticed to a blacksmith in Scotland, and had acquired great skill in his craft. The vast agricultural facilities of the new country encouraging him to turn his attention to husbandry, he bought a farm of one hundred acres, whence he moved several years later to take possession of a small estate known as the "turnpike farm," upon which the remaining years of his life were spent. The steady, strong hand of the smith was turned with equal success to the plough, spade, and scythe; and Christopher had accumulated a fair share of worldly goods and chattels within his allotted years. He married a Miss Margaret Thompson, of Bovina; and the five children born of the marriage are all living. They are: William T. Strangeway, a farmer in Delhi; Andrew, the central figure of this family group; Helen, the wife of Mr. George Gladstone, of Bovina; Thomas C., who resides on the old place; and James, a farmer of Andes. Christopher Strangeway was a Republican in politics, and a United Presbyterian in religious faith.
Andrew T. Strangeway was educated in the schools of his native town, and at about thirty years of age engaged in mercantile life in Bovina with Mr. John Hilson. This partnership continued for three years, when Mr. Strangeway went into business for himself, in which he has prospered throughout the period of twenty-three years of close application. It seems that Mr. Strangeway must have had in a large degree that pertinacity of purpose and clear foresight which combine to produce what is known as business talent, and this aptitude for the practical details of life is doubtless an inheritance from his Scotch ancestors. At all events, he is what is called a "success."
In 1874 Mr. Strangeway consummated his youth's ideal of happiness in his marriage with Miss Margaret A. Doig, of Bovina. The young lady was the youngest daughter of Andrew and Margaret Doig, her father being a well-known farmer in the neighborhood. Only six years of wedded union followed; for in 1880 Mrs. Strangeway died, leaving three little motherless children to her husband's care: Maggie D. and Elizabeth J. Strangeway, and Harvey C., the last named being now deceased. Both Mr. and Mrs. Strangeway were members of the United Presbyterian church at Bovina Centre.
In politics this gentleman has always been Republican. The people of Bovina have given proof of their confidence in him by electing him to the office of Town Clerk, a position he has filled creditably for several terms; while in the church he has also been a prominent official. The elder of Mr. Strangeway's daughters is a graduate of the Delhi Academy, and both young ladies are teachers in their native town.
WILLIAM REED, an enterprising farmer and dairyman of Union Grove, in the town of Andes, Delaware County, is a man of good judgment and foresight, having by his energy and industry won well-deserved prosperity. His father, Samuel H. Reed, was a son of Samson and Rebecca (Hannond) Reed, natives of New Hampshire. Their other children were Elizabeth, William, and Levi Reed. Samuel H. was born in Hamilton, Madison County, N.Y., June l, 1830, and married Elizabeth M. Baker, daughter of John M. and M. B. (Miller) Baker. Her parents were both born in Rhode Island; and they had five children -- Elizabeth M., Sarah A., John M., Warren A., and Susan L. Mrs. John M. Baker was a daughter of John R. and Elizabeth (Wilson) Miller, both of Rhode Island. Samuel H. Reed and wife Elizabeth had three children. James, the eldest, was born October 22, 1847, William was born November 5, 1852, and Elizabeth November 19, I855. Mr. Reed's occupation was farming and lumbering. He resided in Sherburne, Chenango County. In 1863 he enlisted in the Twentieth New York Cavalry. Soon after the war he moved with his family to the town of Andes. Here he helped to erect a saw-mill at Big Pond, now called Mountain Lake, and also aided in building a road from that place to the Barkaboom road, a distance of three miles. He worked at lumbering for a number of years, and then sold out to James Murdock and W. H. Ellsworth, and with his son William bought the farm of four hundred acres which is the present home of the family. The land was then entirely uncultivated; but by unceasing toil it was cleared, and substantial buildings, including a saw-mill, were erected. Samuel H. Reed died December 17, 1892. His widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Reed, still lives, making her home with her children. She is a member of the Presbyterian church.
James Reed married, in 1870, Ellen Pudhey. They reside at present in Norwich, Chenango County, and have two children, namely: Charles L., born October 11, 1871; and Arthur J., born August 18, 1879. Elizabeth Reed married July 4, 1874, Leroy Decker; and they have four children: Samuel O., born November 16, 1876; Maud M., August 17, 1878; Lina H., June 12, 1880; Leroy, December 28, 1886. Their home is in Sodom, Colchester.
William Reed was educated in the district school at Sherburne, and later attended the Sherburne Academy, living at home with his parents till he was twenty-one. On July 4, 1876, he married Salome Decker, who was born September 18, 1858, daughter of Philip and Margaret Decker. Mr. and Mrs. William Reed have seven children, as follows: Lillie M. Reed, born July 13, 1877; William Walter, January 18, 1879; Myrtle V., March 16, 1880; M. Ellen, February 9, 1882;
Floyd G., July I, 1884; Charles I., October 31, 1887; C. Lesley, August 19, 1890.
Mr. Reed is a Democrat, being an active politician, and is a member of the Methodist
Episcopal church. His career has been a successful and prosperous one, everything about his farm giving evidence of the good management and energy expended upon it. He began life in a most humble way, and to-day owns one of the finest farms in this section of the country, in connection with which he operates an extensive dairy. He may well be considered one of the most popular men in the town, and is held in the greatest esteem by all his fellow-citizens.
JAMES W. LAKIN is an esteemed resident of Hancock, where he was born May 13, 1839. He a descendant of some of the most noted men of this part of the country; and the history of his ancestors is a history of the trials, hardships, and bravery of the early days.
The grandfather of James W. was Jonas Lakin, who came with his parents from New London, Conn., in 1795. and settled on Partridge Island, the Wheeler family migrating at the same time. Though advantages for education were then but meagre. Jonas overcame all the difficulties in the way, and acquired a knowledge not only of the common branches, but also of law. His learning and sound judgment gave him a wide reputation in the surrounding country, and his advice was often called for in affairs of importance in town and State. For over thirty years he was Justice of the Peace, and fur many years was Coroner. He was a Free Mason and a Democrat, and one of the most prominent men of his time in politics. Jonas Lakin's wife was Prudence Parks, daughter of "Boswin" Parks, the most noted scout and hunter in this part of the country in Revolutionary times.
"Boswin" Parks's real name was Josiah; and he, with a man named Skinner, was the first to take a raft down the river to Philadelphia. Skinner was nicknamed "Admiral" and at the same time Parks received his sobriquet of the "Boswin," by which he is generally remembered in the Delaware Valley. Stories of him and his daring exploits are very numerous. He often lay concealed for days at a time to escape the Indians, at one time hiding with his family in a cave near Equinox, Pa., while the Indians searched the surrounding country for him. : He was a man of athletic build and matchless nerve, an antagonist to be feared by all who met him in combat, as was well attested by a Tory named Goodman, with whom he had a hand-to-hand contest. They were coming down the river in a canoe together, when a political dispute ensued; and, leaving the canoe, they landed on an island in the Delaware River, about one mile above Fish's Eddy, and there fought it out, "Boswin" coming off victorious.
He was always scouting about the Indian camps, finding out their plans; and many defenceless settlers owed their lives to his timely warning. Once he started from Cochecton and made his way through the wilderness to the Wyoming Valley, to warn the settlers there of the approach of the Indians and Tories under Brant and Sir John Johnston. He was met with suspicion, and confined in the block-house, the officers thinking he was a renegade or Tory who was trying to entice them outside their defences, that they might the more easily fall upon them, he was, however, recognized by an officer as "Boswin" Parks, the scout, and allowed to depart; but his warning was unheeded, and the terrible Wyoming massacre followed. One night, when he encamped on an island in the east branch of the Delaware River, being accompanied by his wife and small children, they were attacked by three Indians. "Boswin" disposed of one with a shot from his rifle, and then turned and struggled with a second. While thus engaged, the third savage managed to twist his fingers in a handkerchief which the brave frontiersman wore knotted around his neck, and nearly succeeded in choking him, when Mrs. Parks came up from behind with a butcher's knife and cut the handkerchief; and her husband, regaining his breath, made quick work of the remaining Indians. This fiercest of the fierce combats of those wild days gave the name of Bloody Island to the place where it occurred. The reputation of Mr. Parks as an Indian fighter made him a valuable scout for the Revolutionary army. His thrilling adventures are still told in the valley where much of his life was spent. He was an old man when he died, and was buried on Partridge Island.
Mrs. Prudence Parks Lakin lived to the extraordinary age of one hundred and eight years. Her memory was excellent; and she never tired of telling of the perils of her early youth, of which she retained a distinct recollection. She was well acquainted with Tom Quick, the noted Indian slayer of the Revolutionary days, who was a companion of her father. Well did she remember how on two different occasions the family were taken by their father into his canoe in the night to escape from the Indians, and how many times they lay for days concealed in caves and woods until the enemy was put off the scent. She retained her faculties until. the last. About twenty years previous to her death she discarded her glasses, being able to read without them, and at the age of one hundred often took walks by herself, going three or four miles. She had two brothers, William and Moses, natives of Hancock, who lived to be nearly ninety; and her sisters also lived to a good old age. Moses Parks was a pensioner of the War of 1812.
Jonas Lakin and his wife cleared the land now occupied by their grandson, James W., and erected thereon a log house. They were the parents of nine children. Their eldest son was William G., father of the subject of this sketch. Their other children were: Homer, a farmer and lumberman at Como, Pa., Justice of the Peace, and a prominent citizen; Salose, a merchant lumberman and blacksmith at Pease Eddy, Hancock; George, a Pennsylvania farmer, now engaged in the livery business in Hancock; Arad S., a minister and missionary, a self-educated man, who, experiencing religion at eighteen, studied for the ministry, preached in Delaware County and New York City, enlisted in the army as Chaplain, under Sherman, and after the war went South and established a church and school for the enlightenment of the negroes; Elvira; Thankful; Louisa; and Sally.
William G. Lakin was educated in his native town of Hancock, and was a lumberman and farmer. He was a prominent man in town affairs, and one of great ability in business. He married Sophia Wheeler, daughter of Royal Wheeler, and grand-daughter of Frederick and Mary (Comstock) Wheeler, of Hancock. Mr. W. G. Lakin died October 26, 1851, in the prime of life; and his wife survived him a number of years, dying September 23, 1880. Their children now living are as follows: Oscar, a farmer and lumberman at Dingmans, Pa.; Earl S., a farmer at Fish's Eddy; Porter, a farmer and lumberman in Hancock; and the subject of this sketch.
James W. Lakin was educated in the district school of his native town, and started as a lumberman at an early age. He is a prominent member of the Free Masons, and has for two terms been an able Commissioner of Highways. On May l0, 1883, Mr. Lakin was married to Lucy Sherman, daughter of George anti Susan (Lakin) Sherman, natives of Pennsylvania. They have one child, Grace Lakin, born July 5, 1887. Mr. Lakin has inherited from his illustrious ancestors much of their strength of character, and is to-day one of the ablest men of the town.
B> PROFESSOR JOHN Y. SMITH, teacher, well known in Delaware and adjacent counties, now engages in the work of his profession at Roxbury, N.Y., was born at Potter Hollow, Albany County, July 8, 1843. His great-grandfather, William Smith, came overseas from England, and settled at Bangall, Dutchess County, N.Y., where he obtained a large tract of unreclaimed land, and set to work to make it productive. After some little time he sold this farm, and moved to Potter Hollow, where he bought a much larger estate. The new farm was still a wilderness when he took it, and he had to clear the land before he could plough it. He built a comfortable house and a good barn, and soon had a beautiful home. Before this, however, he had served in the army throughout the French and Indian War. He lived long enough to see the beginnings of the United States of America, and to take some part in the early political life of the country. He was a Jeffersonian Democrat in politics. He died at the age of eighty-seven, leaving thirteen children, who all lived to good old age.
Isaac J. Smith, one of the sons of William, was born on the old farm at Potter Hollow. He was educated in the district school, and at the age of eighteen began to learn the carpenter's trade--an occupation which he followed through life. He was one of the leading contractors and builders in the region, and left behind him as witness of his energy and skill many well-built tanneries and gristmills. When he was twenty years of age, he married Miss Phoebe Wyatt, a lady of Welsh parentage. He built a comfortable home, and had a family of seven children-- Lot J., Daniel, Leonard, John W., Orin, Platt A., and Sarah M. Isaac J. Smith was a Democrat. He lived to the age of eighty-five years, his wife having died when she was sixty.
Lot J. Smith was born and grew to manhood on the old Smith homestead, at Potter Hollow. When he was seventeen, he began learning the carpenter's trade with his father, and worked at this for four years, until he was of age. But he was more interested in agriculture, and, soon taking up that occupation, followed it to the end of his days, putting forth his best efforts to make it progressive. In this he was abundantly successful. When twenty-one years old, Mr. Lot J. Smith married Almina Young, daughter of John T. and Margaret Young, of Albany County. Mr. Young was a farmer, and died at the age of sixty-eight, survived by his wife, who lived to be eighty years old. They had seven children -- Peter J., Julia M., Henry, John W., Margaret, Jeremiah, and Almina. Mr. and Mrs. Lot J. Smith had six children --Samuel, Isaac, John Y., Rosina, Ann E., and Julia M. Samuel married Amy Hagadone, and has five children. Isaac married Cynthia Coppernoll; and both he and his wife are now dead, leaving three children. The three daughters -- Rosina, Ann, and Julia Smith are deceased. Mr. Lot J. Smith died in the sixty-eighth year of his age, from the effects of a fall. His wife died when she was sixty-eight. Mr. Smith was a Democrat, and he and Mrs. Smith were members of the Baptist church at Preston Hollow.
John Y. Smith began his education at the district school. He was a good scholar, and when he was only sixteen he got a situation as teacher. He afterward went to the academy at West Durham, and took an advanced course to fit himself more thoroughly for this work, and was graduated from that institution in 1863. Then for seven summers and eight winters he taught school during the winter term, and worked at carpentering in the summer. In 1876 Professor Smith accepted the offer of a school in Durham. This was his first school which kept in session the year round. After three years of satisfactory service in Durham, he accepted a call to Middleburg, where he stayed four years, and was well liked and much respected. Then he went to Gilboa, and taught there for six years. He won many friends, and left the schools in a good condition. For the past five years Professor Smith has been teaching in Roxbury, where his record is well known.
Professor Smith married Lucy Hisert, daughter of Benjamin F. and Ann Hisert. Mr. Hisert was a black smith and inventor, who lived at Norton Hill, Greene County, afterward at Coxsackie. and now lives at Hoosick Falls. Mrs. Smith had four brothers and sisters--Dallas M.. Jannett, Philip B., and Frank Hisert. Mrs. Smith was a Methodist. She died April 30, 1885, at the age of thirty-nine years, leaving three daughters, who have all been school-teachers. The eldest. Alice Jeannette, was born September 27, 1869. She married Zopher E. Reed, lives in Roxbury, and has one child, John Henry Reed. Julia Franklin Smith was born December 23, 1872, and is now living at home, as is also Almina Ann, who was born March 7, 1875. All three of the daughters belong to the Methodist church. Professor Smith is a Democrat in politics. He is now fifty-one years old, and has the respect and esteem of the town's people, who know him as a public-spirited man, a man who has at heart the best interests of his school and of the community.
B>JAMES D. CHRISMAN, carpenter and builder, an intelligent and worthy representative of the industrial interests of the village of Walton, was born in the Weed settlement, in the town of Walton, in March, 1831, being a son of Jacob Chrisman, who was born at German Flats, on the Mohawk River, July 15, 1784, and died in Walton on October 24, 1877. Jacob was a son of Frederick Chrisman, whose early life was spent in the home of his nativity, Hamburg, Germany. He emigrated to the United States in 1772, bringing with him his wife, and also two or three of his family of four sons and two daughters. He bought a large tract of unimproved land in the fertile flats of the Mohawk Valley, and he and his sons became well-to-do farmers. A brother of Frederick Chrisman, William Chrisman, accompanied him to this country, and settled in Chester, Pa. He reared seven children, five of them sons, one of whom became a wholesale grocer in Philadelphia, and another a well-known druggist in the same city.
Jacob Chrisman did his full share of pioneer work, and eventually became an extensive land-holder. During the War of 1812 he did gallant service for his country at Sackett's Harbor. On September 11, 1810, he was united in marriage to Betsey Day, who was born in Craig's settlement, in the town of Tompkins, Delaware County, May 20, 1790, and who died in Walton in 1850. She was a daughter of John and Nancy (Craig) Day, both natives of this county, and prosperous members of the farming community. Mr. Day made voyage to the Sandwich Islands, where he was taken sick and died, leaving his widow with one daughter and four sons, of whom John Day, of Titusville, is the only one now living. In 1830 Jacob Chrisman and his wife came to the town of Walton, and, buying one hundred and fifty acres of land on the Delaware Flats, in the Weed settlement, carried on general farming as long as they, lived. Six children were born to them, as follows: Henry Chrisman, of Walton; Mary Ann, the wife of Michael Hess, who died in Buchanan, Mich., at the age of' forty-four years, leaving two sons; Eliza, the wife of Peter Hess, who resides in Hesston, Ind.; George, for many years a hotel-keeper in Hurley, Wis., dying there in October, 1893, leaving three daughters and two sons; Abram and James D., residing in Walton. The mother died September 7, 1850; and Mr. Chrisman subsequently married Mrs. Redeker a widow.
James D. Chrisman spent his younger days in school, and at the age of seventeen began a three years' apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, and afterward was employed for a year as a journeyman-carpenter. In February, 1852, he started for California, via Nicaragua, arriving at the Golden Gate city on March 25. From San Francisco he went to the placer mines at Rattlesnake and Wild Goose Bar, six miles from Auburn, the county seat of Placer County, and for three years thereafter he engaged in mining, owning two claims, one on each side of the river. The following year Mr. Chrisman was engaged in the lumber business, with a yard at Wild Goose Flats. Although quite successful in his ventures, the love of home was strong within his breast; and he returned to this State, having been absent four years to a day. Resuming his former occupation in Walton, he has since been profitably employed, not only in this county, but beyond its borders, having erected some of the fine residences and business buildings in Wellsville, Friendship, Hornellsville, Andover, Independence, and elsewhere, also churches in Addison, Wallace, South Addison, Orrville, Cameron, and other places too numerous to mention.
While working in Independence, Allegany County, N.Y., Mr. Chrisman met, wooed, and won the estimable woman who became his wife. She was then known as Julia A. Bassett; and their wedding was celebrated September 9, 1856, at the residence of her parents, John C. and Martha (St. John) Bassett. Three children have been born to them, one of whom, George B., died at the age of twenty months. Two daughters, Harriet J. and Lizzie, are living. The former is the wife of Julius St. John, and they, have three sons. Lizzie, who married William Wade, of Walton, has a son and a daughter living, and has lost one little son. Mr. and Mrs. Chrisman's finely located in the pleasant house which he built some thirteen years ago, and which his son-in-law, Mr. St. John, and family occupy with them. Mr. Chrisman occupies a good position in the community, possessing in an eminent degree the confidence and esteem of his fellow townsmen. Socially, he is one of the eldest Free Masons in Walton, having belonged to that fraternity thirty-three years. He is a Chapter Mason of the Scottish rites, and has served as Secretary and Treasurer of Blue Lodge. In politics he casts his vote with the Democratic party, doing his full duty at the polls, but has never been an aspirant for public office.
EDGAR O. LAKIN, the prosperous proprietor of a well-stocked and finely equipped farm bordering on Lake Somerset, in Hancock, Delaware County, N.Y., was born in this town in July, 1837. The Lakin family is one of the oldest in New York State, and the early ancestors of the subject of this sketch were among the pioneer settlers of the Delaware Valley. A further history of the family may be found in this volume in connection with the biography of John T. Lakin, a brother of Edgar.
Edgar O. Lakin was educated in the schools of Hancock, and was still quite young when, owing to the death of his father, he learned to rely upon his own resources. His early occupation was that of lumbering, working in the saw-mills, and teaming the lumber to the river. In 1861 he came to Homand Pond, since called Lake Somerset, the country being then but a wilderness; and here he cleared his land, and engaged in farming and lumbering, which occupations he still follows. His extensive farm buildings are of most modern architecture; and his two hundred acres of land near the lake, together with one hundred and fifty-six acres of woodland, are carried on by the most improved methods.
Mr. Lakin married July 26, 1860, Mary Emma Evans, Whose parents were Nathan and Mary Ann (Jordan) Evans. She was born near Philadelphia, her father being an engineer on the Reading Railroad. Mr. Evans was struck by an engine, and killed while yet in the prime of life, and at his death left a widow and three children. His daughter Mary Emma, came to Delaware County when about twelve years of age, and till her marriage made her home with an aunt, Mrs. Loemans, of Pease Eddy, Hancock. Mr. and Mrs. Lakin are the parents of four children, namely: Leonie, born October 15, 1862; Charles E., born October 8, 1864; Edward D., born February 8, 1876; and Reuben A., born August 10, 1890.
Mr. Edgar O. Lakin has served his town as Collector for two years. He has one of the most beautifully located homes in the town or county, standing on the picturesque shore of the delightful sheet of water known as Lake Somerset, the homestead being surrounded by stately and venerable trees. Everything about the estate gives evidence of a man of taste and good judgment, as well as thriftful industry.
EDWARD A. ACKLEY, managing editor of the Stamford Recorder, was born in Troy, NY., May 30, 1869. He comes of excellent parentage, his father, Ferdinand W. Ackley, having been a man of exceptional ability. Ferdinand W. Ackley was born in Washington County, where he received his early education, and when quite young began the study of law, and was admitted to the Rensselaer County bar. From his youth he took a great interest in politics, being a stanch Democrat, and in the interests of his party made many brilliant speeches, which won for him a lasting reputation. When he died in the prime of his life, being but forty-two years of age, Rensselaer County lost one of its best-known lawyers and most energetic political workers.
Edward A. Ackley received his education at the St. Paul's School at Salem, N.Y., and at the Bulkeley High School at New London, Conn. He began the work of life in New York City, as an office boy, and step by step was promoted until he became manager of the business. Here he remained five years, when he started a manufacturing business for himself under the firm name of Ackley, Allen & Co. After two years his health failed, and he sold his business and came to Stamford, where among the Catskills he rapidly improved. Being possessed of literary taste and ability, he went into the office of the Recorder; assisting in the editorial work as a pastime and as his health would allow. On September 1, 1893, he became a stockholder in the company, and was appointed director. September 1, 1894, Mr. William Clark, the editor, resigned and Mr. Ackley was chosen editor and general manager.
Through his efforts the Stamford Recorder has become the leading weekly paper in Delaware County, and is a stanch supporter of Republican principles. In the spring of 1894 the Recorder printed and distributed four thousand illustrated souvenirs of Stamford by way of showing their appreciation of the support which it had received from the people of the town.
Mr. Ackley is interested in all enterprises calculated to promote the welfare of the town, and in all things shows himself a public-spirited citizen, his efforts in behalf of good government and the advancement of local interests meeting with the hearty co-operation of his fellow-citizens.
MATTHEW W. MARVIN, a prominent lawyer of Walton, and one of the firm of Marvin & Hanford, has always resided in the town of his birth, taking an active part in its political and social affairs. He is descended from an old pioneer family, a full account of which is given in the sketch of his brother, Mr. Nathaniel C. Marvin.
Thomas Marvin, the present Matthew's father, was born in Connecticut, but, when a very small boy, was brought to Walton by his father, Matthew Marvin, a hero of the Revolution, who had married Mary Weed, of that State. This worthy couple were the parents of six children, five of whom lived to reach maturity; and they now sleep side by side in the Walton cemetery, having died at advanced ages, firm believers in the Congregational faith, in which they reared their children. Thomas Marvin's wife was Dency Tiffany, of Hamden; and after their marriage they began life on the farm in that town, but soon removed to the old homestead, where his wife died in 1845. Thomas Marvin was a soldier in the War of 1812, where he fought gallantly for his country. He was a Deacon of the Congregational church, in which he had been reared from childhood. In 1861 he took up his residence in Walton with his son, Nathaniel C. Marvin, where he died, leaving eight children, namely: Andrew Marvin, who has since died in Brooklyn, N.Y., the father of two sons; William, who died in New Jersey in 1886, leaving a widow ; Thomas -E., of Walton; Joseph T., now in Kansas; Nathaniel C., a popular lawyer of Walton; Frederick F., of Kansas; Eliza, the widow of the Rev. J.P. Root, of Boston; and Matthew W., the subject of this sketch.
Matthew W. Marvin was born in Walton, November 18, 1832, and grew up on his father's farm, attending the district school. When nineteen years of age, he entered the Walton Academy, where he pursued his studies two years. For five terms he taught in the district schools of his native town, but left the teacher's desk in 1862, to enlist in the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry. He took the field as First Lieutenant of Company B, and in March, 1863, became Captain of that company. He served throughout the war, fortunately escaping injury, and returned in good health when the struggle was over. Mr. Marvin has received five commissions from the governor of New York, among them those of Adjutant and Major of the regiment. In 1879 he organized one of the best companies of the State, of which he was Captain for thirteen years, resigning in 1892. After the war he began the study of law with his brother, Nathaniel Curtis Marvin, and has been practising for about twenty-four years. Mr. Marvin is a Chapter Mason, and has served as High-priest and Master of the Lodge. He is also a Past Master Workman in the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
In 1864, when at home as a recruiting officer, he married Isabella Sinclair, who was born in Stamford, daughter of Hector and Anna (Moore) Sinclair, of Scotch ancestry, and a descendant of John Moore, one of the oldest and most celebrated settlers in this portion of the State. Mr. and Mrs. Marvin have been called to part with one daughter, Dency, who died when thirteen years of age. They have five children now living: Elizabeth, wife of William Wells, of Middletown, who has one daughter; Mary, who married Philip Titus, and has one son and one daughter; Hector S., who resides at home, and is Assistant Postmaster; Harry F., a lad in school; and Anna Bell, a young lady still at school.
Mr. Marvin has been Supervisor of the town, President of the village, and President of the Board of Education. He has also served one term in the State Senate. He is a member of the Republican party, the interests of which he ever has at heart, and whose principles receive his earnest support. A gentleman of high moral character, brilliant intellect, and untiring energy, he is regarded by his friends and associates as a living example of honor and uprightness.
WILLIAM H. WEBB is a man to whom have come experiences, dangers, and deprivations which it has been the fate of few men of recent times to undergo. He was born on September 24, 1837, in Kilsby, Northamptonshire, England, son of William Webb, a sheep-raiser in that place. The family afterward moved to West Haddon, where the father spent the remainder of his life, and was buried.
William H. Webb received his early education at the common school of West Haddon, and when eighteen years of age enlisted in the Fifth Northumberland Fusileers, and embarked for the Crimean War. Leaving Ports mouth in 1854, the regiment proceeded to the town of Varna, Turkey, with the expectation of meeting the Russians on the Danube. After a short stay they were ordered across the Black Sea to the Crimea, where they landed at the mouth of the river Alma. They were engaged in the battles of Alma and Inkerman, and in the long siege of Sebastopol. After that city was taken, the regiment proceeded to Philippopolis, thence to embark for England; but, before sailing orders arrived, the war with Persia broke out, and the regiment journeyed overland to the Red Sea, arriving at Bushire in time to participate in the battles of Reshire and Ab E1 Hamid. The Fifth then embarked for Mauritius on Her Majesty's transport "Simoon," which, when off the coast of Ceylon, struck on a coral reef, and quickly went to pieces, three hundred and fifty lives being lost. With incredible strength and endurance Mr. Webb swam seven miles, and reached the shore. He was shipped on board the "Mount Stuart Elphinstone" and arrived at length in Mauritius.
Rumors of the Indian mutiny now began to take definite shape, and the remnant of the Fifth was ordered to Calcutta. Proceeding up the Ganges River to Chinsura, they disarmed two regiments of native infantry, and at Bhagalpur met with similar success. Farther up the river they were signalled by Major Eyre's detachment of artillery, who had met the enemy and had been defeated by them in ambush. The fresh troops, consolidating with the artillery, met the mutineers drawn up in line of battle; and after an hour and a half of s harp fighting the British were victorious. The Fifth was the first regiment to carry Enfield rifles into India; and their skirmishers were able at eight hundred yards to drop the enemy. With the superior skill and courage of trained troops, they totally defeated the mutineers and took sixty prisoners, whom they hung that night. This engagement was called the battle of Arrah. At Buxar the victorious troops re-embarked and proceeded to Allahabad, where they joined Havelock's forces, and with them pressed on to Cawnpore, about which and Lucknow centred the attention of both British and mutineers. About twelve hours before the arrival of the re-enforcements there had occurred in Cawnpore, under Nana Sahib, one of the most horrible massacres ever known, only four men out of four hundred and fifty persons escaping to tell the tale. Nana Sahib escaped across the river just as Havelock's troops came up. The first thing to meet the eyes of the English was the slaughter-house, where three hundred and fifty-seven women and children had been butchered. Mr. Webb assisted in the sad burial of the bodies, and then with spies helped to discover two or three hundred of the leaders and the followers of Nana. These sepoys were brought before the English army, the artillery was set up, and they were shot from the mouths of the cannon.
On September 20, Havelock, with about two thousand two hundred men, started for Lucknow, to relieve Sir Henry Lawrence and the beleaguered garrison. At Marigunge the enemy were drawn up in line of battle, and Havelock's forces cut their way through the centre of that immense army of fifty thousand, and kept on to Bunio Bridge on the river Dumree. On this march two hundred and twenty-three men were killed, six of whom were commissioned officers. On entering Lucknow, the Fifth Regiment, being the right of the line, was first to cross the bridge, and lost six hundred and sixty-three officers and men, and, on reaching the City, was reduced to two hundred and thirty men under Major Simmons. Here it was that William H. Webb passed his twenty-second birthday. The next morning they, advanced on the rear of the troops of the enemy, and made it possible for the remainder of Havelock's forces to come through. On September 25, 1857, they entered the residency, and found the remnants of the Thirty-second Infantry, Captain Oliphant's battery, and about two hundred and fifty women and children. The siege lasted four months; and during that time the besieged subsisted on four ounces of rice a day, and day and night kept their rifles loaded by their sides, ready, waking or sleeping, for the call to duty. After a while the enemy began to fire upon the hospital. The general gave orders that the firing must be silenced and detailed Major Simmons for the duty, The Major, taking the forlorn hope, composed of fifty volunteers of his own regiment, Mr. Webb being one of the number, proceeded along till they came to the street facing the battery; and they gave the order to the rear rank to take the left side of the street, leaving the front rank on the right. The enemy, opening a fire of grape, killed every man on the right of the street, the brave Major being one to fall. The left now charged the battery and killed nearly every man at the guns, spiking the battery. From now on Lucknow was surrounded by over one hundred thousand mutineers, being. re-enforced from Delhi, who constantly fired upon the town; and every day the hope of the little band inside grew more desperate. Each day the guards listened for the boom of the relief army. The women climbed the walls, where it was safe, and gazed earnestly across the plains, where help would first appear. At length, on January 26, 1858, Mary Brown, a Scotch girl, known in song as "Fair Ellen," gave out the cry that she heard the bagpipes in the distance playing "The Campbells are coming." Sir Colin Campbell, afterward Lord Clyde, arrived at the city with his Sutherland Highlanders and others on January 27; and that very night General Havelock died of dysentery, and worn out with privation. Mr. Webb was in the rear of the retreat from Cawnpore with the garrison, and received a bullet through the mouth. The British troops continued to pursue the mutineers, and at one time Mr. Webb rode eight hundred miles in ten days on the back of an elephant.
May 16, 1860, the Fifth went on board the troop ship "Megera," at Calcutta, under command of Sir Hope Grant, proceeded toward China, and at the Pei-Ho River had the first engagement with the Chinese, both on land and water, capturing all the forts on the river, and keeping on to Pekin, which they also captured, and ended the war, Mr. Webb being here wounded in the ankle. The homeward voyage to England from Hong-Kong was made in the ship "Cambodia," and was not without incident and peril, the most irksome experience of all to Mr. Webb being when, off St. Helena, they were "lying at sea becalmed near the equator, under a boiling sun, with scarcely a breath of air."
The Fifth arrived in England ninety-three strong. and was reviewed by the Queen at Hyde Park, January l, 1863, each man being presented by Her Majesty with the "Lucknow Medal." When Mr. Webb's commanding officer wished him to re-enlist for another ten years, Mr. Webb said that he had seen enough of war; and he received this answer: "Well, if you will go, you must; but you can make up your mind, Webb, you will never be shot or drowned, but whether you will get hung or not I cannot say. Good-by." When in Mauritius Mr. Webb, then a Corporal, was placed as guard over a Dutch murderer; but his prisoner escaped his guard, jumped overboard, and was drowned. Mr. Webb was reduced to the ranks, but was afterward promoted to the rank of Sergeant. To tell the whole story of Mr. Webb's military career would be to give a history of the Crimean and Persian campaigns, the Indian mutiny, and the China campaign of 1860. His memory of places and events is remarkable, including a long list of battles in which he was engaged, besides those mentioned above.
After leaving the service he was appointed Warden of Leicester Prison; but that position he resigned before long, and in 1865 came to this country. He made the voyage in the "Harvest Queen," an old "Black Ball" liner, landing on September 24, 1865, in New York, and from there came to Unadilla. Here he worked at farming and railroading for a time, and then bought a farm in Masonville. This he finally sold, and bought the one where he now resides. Mr. William H. Webb and Harriet Deacon, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Allen) Deacon, of South Kilsworth, England, were married in St. George's Church at Leicester, May 24, 1864. They have two children: Harriet Emma, born in Unadilla; and Florence Ella, born in Masonville. Mr. Webb is a useful and highly respected citizen, has held several offices of trust, serving acceptably for some years as Justice of the Peace.
Index to Biographical Review