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 3 - pages 100 through 150
ORSON J. BUTTS, the enterprising proprietor of an extensive milk farm in the south part of Kortright, N.Y., was born in this town on December 21, 1845, son of Jeremiah and Emma (Dart) Butts. His eminent ancestor, Major Jeremiah Butts, was also a native of Delaware County, the family being among the early settlers of Kortright. The Major, after an early life spent on the farm, became an officer in the War of 1812, and afterward was prominent in the affairs of the town. The excellent farm which he owned was known as the Major Butts farm. Here he reared a family of twelve children, five sons and seven daughters, only one of whom is now living - Mrs. Loranda Barlow, of Binghamton. Major Butts spent his last days on his farm, dying at the age of eighty-four; and his wife, who was Beulah Sheldon, of Dutchess County, died at the same place at the age of seventy-eight. They were members of the Baptist church, and he was a Democrat. The grandfather of Orson J. Butts was Wilson Butts, who spent most of his life in Kortright, having come from Harpersfield, where he first settled. He was a hard-working farmer, and one whose success was due to his own efforts. His first wife , Lucy Smith, died at the age of thirty-six, leaving five children, the only one now surviving being Mrs. Mariette Banks, wife of Henry D. Banks, of Kortright. Wilson Butts afterward married Amy Reynolds, by whom he had two children, the one now living being Mrs. Candace S. Murdock, wife of Matthew Murdock, of Kortright Centre. Wilson Butts was a member of the Baptist church. When he died he had attained the age of sixty-seven years.
Jeremiah, father of Orson J. Butts, located himself in 1835 on the farm now owned by his son, and here followed farming all his life. The farm consisted at first of sixty acres; but by industrious application and good management he became so prosperous that he was able at the time of his death in 1880, at the age of sixty-five, to see double this number in his possession. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Bloomville, and in politics a democrat, and was a prominent man in town affairs, being for many years Assessor. His wife, Emma Dart, died at the age of fifty, having been the mother of five children, namely: Wilson W., of Goshen, Ind.; Orson J.; Ovid L.; Lucy Ann; and Robert J. Ovid L. was a prominent and successful physician of Bloomville, where he died in 1876. aged thirty-six, leaving a wife and one child who survived him but one year. Lucy Ann died at twenty-one. Robert J. died in 1856, when but eight years old.
Orson J. Butts was educated at the district school, and at Stamford and Delhi Academies. He taught school some twelve terms and then. in 1875, bought the farm on which he now lives, consisting at first of one hundred and eighty acres, and comprising now about three hundred acres. He has about sixty cattle, Jersey grades, and sells his milk, the amount produced in 1893 being about three thousand four hundred cans. He has also given some attention to horse-raising, in which, as in his dairying, he has been very successful.
On July 1, 1875, Mr. Butts married Anna E. Eells, daughter of Deacon Horace D. Eells, a resident of Unadilla, a mention of whom may be found in the "Otsego County Biographical Review." She is a member of the Presbyterian church at Unadilla. Mr. and Mrs. Butts have no children. Mr. Butts is a liberal Democrat, but has never taken an active part in politics. His excellent farm is a model of thrift and neatness, his fine buildings and latest modern improvements showing the care and pride of its owner. He is one of the leading farmers of this part of the town, and a man who is held in much respect.
CHARLES H. VERRILL, A.M., PH.D., Professor of Mathematics, Civics, and Methods, has been Principal of the Delaware Literary Institute at Franklin for the past seventeen years, and has ably discharged the duties devolving upon him in this responsible position, gaining a wide and enviable reputation as an educator. He is a native of Massachusetts, having been born in 1837 in Dorchesster, then a suburb of Boston, but now included within its limits. His ancestry ids English, and is traced to Captain Samuel Verill who sailed from England inn the seventeenth century, and landed at Cape Cod, Mass. His father having died when he was young, he lived with his uncle, Alden J. Verrill. He became an inmate of his home in Auburn, Me., living with him eleven years.
At the age of fifteen years, he entered a shoe-shop to learn the trade, and served an apprenticeship. During this time Professor Verrill, who was an ambitious student, attended school three months, and taught school one term. Leaving the shoe shop, he fitted himself for college at the Lewiston Falls Academy, and at the Maine State Seminary of Lewiston, matriculating at Bowdoin College in 1858, and being graduated from that institution in 1862. Professor Verrill began his professional labors very soon after, holding the principalship of the East Corinth Academy in Maine for three years. He subsequently became the Professor of Mathematics at the Pennsylvania State Normal School at Mansfield, remaining there until 1869 as one of its corps of instructors, and the following eight years occupied the position of Principal of that school.
EDMUND ROSE, a worthy representative of the thriving agriculturists of Delaware County, owns and occupies a valuable farm of two hundred and twenty-five acres pleasantly located on Elk Creek, about five miles from Delhi. His homestead is well improved, and amply supplied with comfortable and convenient farm buildings, and all the needed modern machinery and implements for carrying on his work. He is a thorough-going and skillful farmer, who prosperity is due to his energetic, enterprising spirit and judicious management. He is of substantial Scotch ancestry, and a native of Delaware County, having been born in the town of Stamford, on Rose's Brook, December 8, 1817. His father was Hugh Rose, Jr., and his grandfather was Hugh Rose Sr., an honored pioneer of Stamford.
Hugh Rose Sr., was born, bred, and married in Scotland where he was engaged as a tiller of the soil until his emigration to this country. His first location in the United States was in New York, in the vicinity of the Catskill Mountains, from whence he came to this county, at a time when it was a vast forest, with here and there a clearing in which some venturesome pioneer raised a humble cabin. Buying about six hundred acres of timbered land, he built a log house and began clearing the land. With characteristic enterprise he built a saw and grist mill at the mouth of Rose's Brook, the very first in the locality; and his milling business proved very remunerative, farmers taking their grain to him from long distances, some bringing it on horseback and some in canoes. He was for many years one of the most conspicuous figures in the management of local affairs, serving as Justice of the Peace for a quarter of a century, and being for many years Associate Judge. He accumulated quite a property, and continued to reside on his homestead until his demise. His wife, who outlived him, passed her last years in the town of Claverack. They raised six children - John, Aleck, Hugh, Lydia, Nancy, and Catherine.
Hugh Rose, Jr., was likewise a native of old Scotland, and came here when a small boy. He was reared on the paternal homestead, receiving the rudiments of his education in the district school, and afterward continuing his studies at home. He was a man of clear understanding and good judgment, and a great lover of books, being especially well read in ancient and modern history. While at home he assisted his father on the farm and in the mill, and subsequently purchased a farm in Stamford, where he resided until his death, at the age of sixty-seven years. He married Elizabeth Barlow, one of a large family of children born to Edmund Barlow, a farmer of Stamford. Of this union two sons and eight daughters were born, the following being their record: Mary, the wife of George Hume; Margery, wife of William Loring; Salonia, wife of John King; Nancy, wife of John Gammell; Lydia, wife of Peter Grant; Elizabeth, wife of James McDonald; Abigail, wife of William Brock; Catherine, wife of Thomas Smith; Hugh; and Edmund. The mother, who survived her husband, died at the home of her youngest daughter, Mrs. Thomas Smith, in the town of Kortright, at the advanced age of seventy-seven years. Both parents were esteemed members of the United Presbyterian church.
Edmund acquired a good education, and at the age of sixteen years began teaching in the district schools of his native town, afterward pursuing this high calling in Delhi and Bovina, making in all about four years. Mr. Rose next spent a year in Ohio, and, on returning to Stamford, remained with his brother during the summer, and in the following winter taught the district school. Coming then to Elk Creek, in company with Mr. McDonald he bought a large farm, and, erecting a mill, engaged in the milling business for a year. They then divided the farm, Mr. Rose selling his interest in the mill to his partner; and since that time he has given his entire attention to his agricultural interests. Mr. Rose makes a specialty of dairy farming, manufacturing table butter of superior quality, for which he received the highest market price in New York City. His fine herd of cows are mostly Jersey grades, and number about fifty head of as fine and sleek-looking cattle as can be found in the county. In 1891 Mr. Rose, wishing to become more familiar with the beauties of his native country, spent about six months in a trip to the Pacific Coast, travelling extensively throughout Southern California.
Mr. Rose has been three times married. His first wife, Nancy Blakslee, to whom he was united in 1842, was a daughter of William Blakslee, of Kortright. She bore him the following children: William, Hugh, Sarah, Jennie, and Augusta. The youngest daughter, Augusta, married Hiram Ingersoll, a lawyer, residing in Denver, Col.; and they have four children - Leonard, Jennie, Julia, and Sarah. In 1852 Mrs. Nancy Rose died; and Mr. Rose subsequently married Helen Sturgis, the daughter of George Sturgis, of Delhi. After ten years of wedded life she, too, died, leaving four children - Cora, Isabella, Wilson, and George. He married for his third wife, Effie McFadden, who is a native of Delhi, being the daughter of John McFadden, a well-known farmer, and one of the early settlers of that town.
During his younger years Mr. Rose supported the Republican ticket; but since the days of Horace Greeleys candidacy for the office of President he has been entirely independent of party lines, his only question in such matters being whether any measure is for the benefit of the town or county in which he lives, or is calculated to improve or elevate society at large. Socially, he has been for many years a Granger. Religiously, he was formerly connected with a church in Kortright, being one of its most active members; but he now attends the First Presbyterian church at Delhi.
JOHN THOMAS, JR., a descendant of an old and well-known family of that name, was a prominent citizen of Stamford, where he was born on November 20, 1828, and died, highly respected and beloved, on April 14, 1887. His grandfather, Abram Thomas, the original settler, was a son of an earlier John Thomas, who was born on November 25, 1746, and whose wife Phoebe Thomas, was born on August 10, 1749. Arbram Thomas was born January 3, 1773, and married Lydia Hawley, who was born March 4, 1776. He was a farmer, and proprietor of the first tavern in Stamford, which is still standing on the Thomas farm on the main road between Bloomville and Hobart, in what is now South Kortright. It is built on the old Dutch plan, and with its great chimneys and moss grown roof is a landmark for the inhabitants of all the surrounding country, having been in its day one of the most noted and important inns of that section. By industry and economy Abram Thomas accumulated a comfortable fortune, which his descendants now enjoy. He was the father of twelve children, ten of whom reached maturity; but all have since passed away. Abram Thomas died on October 11, 1848. He was liberal in religious views, and a Whig in politics. His wife lived until May 12, 1849, when she , too, passed away on the old homestead.
Their son, John B. Thomas, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Dutchess County, February 15, 1795, and married Fanny Smith, who was born on January 3, 1795. He was a successful farmer , and in 1817 settled in Stamford on the farm where Mrs. Thomas now resides. His wife was a member of the Presbyterian church at South Kortright; but he was liberal in religion, and a Republican in politics. John B. Thomas passed away on April 23, 1870, and his wife, October 15, 1875. They had six children, of whom three are now living: Sally Adelia Perkins, who resides in California; James A., a resident of Wisconsin; and Maria L. Eschemberg, who also lives in California. Their son Abraham died at the age of forty-eight years. A daughter, Mrs. Adeline Wetmore, also passed away when forty-eight years old. The other son, John Thomas Jr., was born on the old Thomas farm now occupied by his widow, and here grew to manhood, attending the district schools, afterward teaching for a time. Like his father and grandfather, he adopted a farmer's life, buying the old homestead and living there until his death. On June 2, 1863, he married Miss Sarah Agnes Blakley, who was born in Kortright, December 5, 1838, a daughter of James G. Blakley, whose family history is given elsewhere in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were the parents of four children: Susan Frances Cronk, born September 21, 1864, and a resident of Roxbury; Sarah A. Lyon, born November 28, 1867, residing in Stamford; Jennie L., born August 8, 1870, at home; and John James Thomas, who was born May 23, 1872, unmarried, and assisting his mother in the management of the old home farm, which she has carried on since her husband's death.
The old Thomas farm consisted of three hundred acres of land; and here the descendants of the family now live, keeping fifty head of cattle, and carrying on a large dairy, making an excellent quality of butter. At his death Mr. Thomas was an Elder of the Presbyterian church at South Kortright. He held many public offices, among which were those of Assessor and County Superintendent of Poor. He was a liberal-minded, public-spirited, conscientious man; and his death was keenly felt and sadly mourned by a wide circle of loving relatives and friends.
CHARLES C. WEBB. The gentleman whose history is here briefly sketched is an active and practical farmer in the prime of life, who is the proprietor of a pleasant homestead in the town of Walton, where he is profitably pursuing his useful and time-honored calling. He is a native of this town, his birth having taken place on the farm adjoining the one on which he now resides, February 7, 1842. He comes of a good family, his grandfather, Ebenezer Webb, who was a native of Connecticut, and there worked many years at the tailor's trade, having migrated to Delaware County in early times. As a pioneer of Walton he must have been of great assistance in facilitating its settlement and growth. He married Hannah Todd, who lived until 1857, dying then at the venerable age of ninety-five years.
Joseph Webb, son of Ebenezer, was born during the residence of his parents in New Canaan, Conn. He received his education in the pioneer schools of the day, and at the age of fifteen years left the parental roof, and came to the town of Walton, living with a sister, and working on her husband's farm until his marriage, when he became the owner of the farm adjoining the one now owned and occupied by his son, Charles C. He cleared the larger portion of the land, and made the essential improvements on the place, and resided here, a prosperous tiller of the soil, until his death, when sixty-nine years old. He was three times married, the mother of Charles C., Sally Seeley, being his third wife. She was of New England parentage, but a native of North Walton, and a life-long resident of this part of Delaware County. She passed her last years on the family homestead, although she was taken sick and died in the village of Walton, being then sixty-seven years of age. Both she and her husband were valued members of the Second Congregational Church of Walton. Of their union were born three children - Charles S., Eliphalet S., and Hannah M.
Charles C. Webb, the eldest of the three, spent the early years of his life on the parental homestead, acquiring a good education in the public schools of the town, and a substantial knowledge of the agricultural arts on the home farm. After leaving school Mr. Webb was employed as a teacher two terms, but afterward assisted in the management of the home farm until the death of his father. Having chosen farming as his life occupation, he bought the old homestead, and in 1888 added to it the farm where he now resides, and has continued engaged in general agriculture until the present time.
The union of Mr. Webb with Miss Rebecca B. Wood was solemnized November 2, 1864. Mrs. Webb is the daughter of Benjamin and Elsie (Hoyt) Wood, formerly of New Canaan, Conn., and later respected members of the farming community of Walton. Her grandfather, Ebenezer Hoyt, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Mr. and Mrs. Wood were members in good standing of the Congregational church at North Walton, remaining active workers in that church until called to their home beyond the vale of shadows, Mr. Wood passing away at the age of seventy-five years, and his wife when seventy-nine years old. Of their eight children seven grew to maturity: Louis; Mary E.; Nancy M., who married William Haring (a sketch of whose life appears in another part of this volume); Ebenezer; Charles S.; George W.; Amelia E.; and Rebecca.
Into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Webb two children have been born - Walter and Annie R. The former married Julia Seeley, the daughter of William and Henrietta (Durfey) Seeley of Walton; and their union has been brightened by the birth of one child, Mary R. Mr. Webb is a Republican in politics, and an able supporter of the principles of that party. In the welfare of his town he ever takes an active interest, and has served as Assessor eight years to the satisfaction of all concerned, and is now a Director of the Delaware County Insurance Company.
THOMAS E. WHITE, a popular citizen of Colchester, a veteran of the Grand
Army of the Republic, is a native of the town where he now resides, having been born here on October 16, 1836. He is the son of Richard Laraway White, who was born in Colchester, March 27, 1797, his parents being Benjamin and Levina (Lotten) White, whose biographies are narrated elsewhere in this volume.
Richard L. White purchased of Peter Bogart three hundred acres of land above Brock Bridge, and there carried his wife, Elizabeth Washburn. who became the mother of nine children, namely: Myria, born November 14, 1822; Mary W., born January 26, 1824; Levina A., born July 30, 1826; Junett A., born November 23, 1828; James J., born November 18, 1831; Perry L. S., born October 18, 1834; Thomas E.; Amos E. and Ambrose E., twins, born November 22, 1839. By unceasing toil and dauntless energy Richard White cleared his land, and erected a substantial house and barn. This land he improved until it was converted into a fertile river farm, and cultivated it in connection with the lumber business, in which he was extensively engaged, sending the logs down the Delaware River to the large cities, where they were readily sold. In 1850 he began to deal in flour and salt, taking to Rondout, sixty-eight miles away, a load of wool, dried apples, or other farm products, and returning with a load of salt or flour, the journey occupying five days. Mr. White engaged in this business until his death, May 14, 1859. He was a Democrat; and both he and his estimable wife, who died March 16, 1882, were members of the Presbyterian church.
Thomas E. White was educated in the common schools of Colchester. He was a bright, active lad, and, when but eleven years of age, drove his father's team to Rondout and Oxford, Chenango County, returning with the load of salt and flour, which his father then sold. When sixteen, he learned the carpenter's trade, at which he worked in the summer, lumbering in the winter, until his marriage in 1872. He purchased many tracts of land, which he cleared, selling the lumber, but since 1892 has worked at his trade, building for himself a beautiful dwelling in a fine lot on River Street, where he has a fine display of fruits in their season. His spacious house accommodates about twenty summer boarders, who enjoy his genial hospitality and the charming surroundings of Downsville.
Mr. White married Melissa, daughter of William and Prudy A. (Ingraham) Marshall, who was born March 12, 1849. Mr. and Mrs. Marshall occupied a farm in Rockland, and were the parents of six children - Melissa, James, Ruth, Frank, Ella and Henry. Mr. Marshall is still living, a resident of Meredith; but his wife has passed away. Mr. and Mrs. White have two daughters; Lelah Bell, born November 12, 1877; and Lizzie L., born January 17, 1881, both of whom are accomplished musicians. He was a volunteer in the Civil War, enlisting in 1864, in Company C, First New York Engineers, and serving until the close of the war, after which, on account of impaired heath, he spent two years in Texas.
Mr. White is a member of Fleming Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and is also a Free Mason, belonging to Downsville Lodge, A. F. & A. M. Industrious, enterprising, and upright, he is widely known and highly respected.
WILLIAM FLETCHER, the well known village blacksmith, whose flaming forge is on Upper Main Street, Delhi, is an active, wide-awake man, whose success in life is attributable to industrious habits and good business principles. Born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, February 3, 1836, he inherits in a large degree the honesty and prudent thrift that distinguished his progenitors. His grandfather, James Fletcher, Sr., whose occupation was farming, was also a native of Scotland, and there spent a life of ninety long years. He and his wife, Margaret McQueen, were the parents of four sons and one daughter; and of this family one son, Robert is still living in Scotland, occupying the parental homestead.
James Fletcher, Jr., the father of William, was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland and lived there until after his marriage, being engaged in farming. He subsequently removed to England with his wife and family, which then consisted of five children. A few years later his life was saddened by the death of his beloved companion, who passed to the better land at the age of forty-six years. She was a woman of many noble qualities, and, with her husband, was a conscientious member of the Presbyterian church. Life in the old country being no longer desirable for him, he emigrated to America with his children, coming directly to Delaware County, New York, and settling in Andes. There he bought a farm, and for some time carried on general agriculture. He subsequently removed to Thompkins, where he purchased a smaller farm, on which he lived a few years; then, returning to Andes, he purchased a home in Shavertown, and remained there until eighty-one years of age, when he was gathered to his long rest. His family circle included nine children, as follows: James, Margaret, Agnes, Ellen, William, Jeanette, Elizabeth, Robert, and John, only three of whom are now living.
William Fletcher, who was the second son and fifth child, was an infant when his parents removed to England, where he lived until fifteen years of age, obtaining his education in the parish schools of that country. Coming with his father to Delaware County, he assisted him for a little while on the farm, but soon afterward began blacksmithing in Andes, continuing it for two years in that town. Mr. Fletcher then came to Delhi, where he secured work, and two years later opened a blacksmith shop of his own in the village. In 1864 he removed to his present smithy, and has continued in active employment. His superior workmanship and his general desire to please and accommodate his patrons are fully recognized by the public, and have secured for him an extensive and profitable business.
The marriage of Mr. Fletcher with Miss Rebecca Hughes, a native of Franklin, and the daughter of James and Margaret (Weismer) Hughes, was celebrated on December 24, in the year 1857. The beloved wife died when fifty-eight years old, on December 23, 1893, their happy wedlock having lasted thirty-six years lacking one day. The six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher may be recorded, as follows: Margaret, who married Wallace B.Gleason, of whom a sketch may be found on another page of this volume; Minnie, deceased; Myrtie, who married James E. Russell, a native of Hamden, but now a professor in Germany, and has two children - William and Charles; Lulu, wife of W. Ward Seward, of Lenox, Mass.; Nellie; and Ned W. Mr. Fletcher takes a warm interest in public affairs, and may truly be considered a representative man of the town. He is frank and open in the expression of his opinions, and is a strong Republican. He is a trustee of the village; and he and his family are members of the Presbyterian church, of which he is also a Trustee.
NELSON SMITH, a respected citizen and successful farmer of Tompkins, Delaware County, was born in Sharon, Schoharie County, N.Y., March 2, 1830. John Smith, his grandfather was one of four brothers who came from Germany before the Revolutionary War, and all enlisted in the patriots cause. The other three must have lost their lives in the struggle, as they have never been heard from since. John lived to reach the age of eighty-four years, and died at the home of his son in Cherry Valley, Otsego County. He was stationed at Fort Plains at the time of the Cherry Valley massacre, and was detailed to remain on duty at the fort while his companions went to the rescue of the unfortunate victims. His wife was Nancy Yerdon, a descendant of an old Dutch family; and they became the parents of nine children - Philip, Jacob, Margaret, Sophia, Delia, Katie, Mary, Susan, and Laimy, all of whom lived to reach maturity and have families of
their own. The mother of this family died about twelve years previous to the death of her
husband, and they are buried side by side in Cherry Valley. Their son Philip, father of the subject of this sketch, was born July 12, 1801, in Cherry Valley, and was a pioneer of Schoharie County. He received a district-school education, and adopted the occupation of a farmer, marrying Nancy Coonroodt, a descendant of an old Dutch family of New York. They had eight children - Nelson, Katie M., William A., Lydia, Delia, John J., David, Ellen R. Philip Smith was a Democrat, and died, aged seventy-seven years, at the home of his eldest son, Nelson. His grave is in the Loomis cemetery, with that of his wife, who passed away in 1869, and their son, John J., whose death occurred on April 10, 1884, at the home of Nelson. Mr. and Mrs. Philip Smith were members of the Lutheran church.
Nelson Smith, their eldest son, was educated in the district schools of Cherry Valley, and in his boyhood helped his father in the management of the farm. When nineteen, he started out for himself, working out by the month and year. He married October 24, 1858, Julia A. Dnester, who was born March 8, 1834, daughter of Andrew and Maria (Van Valkenburg) Dnester, of Root, Montgomery County. Martin Dnester, the grandfather of Mrs. Smith, was a farmer in Montgomery County, a descendant of a prominent Dutch family. When a boy of twelve, at the time of the Schharie massacre, he and a companion hid in the wheat, while the Indians and Tories searched for them, and with threats tried to induce them to come from their hiding-place. His companion endeavored to escape by jumping the fence, but was overtaken by the Indians and scalped; while Martin remained concealed until driven out by hunger and thirst, when he escaped to the fort. Martin Dnester passed his last days with his daughter in New Berlin. His wife was Maria Gellar, a member of a Dutch family of Minden. Their son Andrew died, aged eighty-six years, May 5, 1891, at the home of the subject of this biography, with whom he passed the last fifteen years of his life. His burial-place, and that of his wife, is the cemetery at Charleston Four Corners, Montgomery County.
Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Smith have had three children, two of whom died within a week, of diphtheria: Andrew D., at fifteen years of age; and Charles, at ten years. The eldest passed away in infancy. Mr. Smith has a foster-son, Charles A. Constable, who has lived with him since boyhood, and still resides there, taking the place of the children who were called away. He is devoted to his foster-parents, is faithful and industrious, assisting in the farm work, and possesses their utmost confidence and regard.
Mr. Smith settled on his farm on June 15, 1852, and cut the first tree for a fallow. By dint of hard labor he cleared the land and built the house he now occupies. He has been remarkably successful in business, and has been able to do much for his parents, his brother, and his wife's father. He is a Democrat, prominent in all town affairs, where he has held several positions of trust. He and his wife attend the Christian church, of which organization the parents of Mrs. Smith were also members. Mr. Smith is universally esteemed and honored throughout the town of Tompkins, the welfare of which he ever has at heart.
ALEXANDER TWEEDIE, farmer and feed-dealer, residing in the village of Walton, has the reputation of being a strictly first-class business man, and is a citizen of whom Walton may well be proud. His farm, which is located about five miles from the village, contains two hundred acres of land, and is specially adapted to the raising of grain and stock, in its equipments comparing favorably with any estate in this part of the county. In noting the industry and thrift of Mr. Tweedie, who ranks among the most substantial residents of Walton, one is not surprised to learn that he is of Scotch birth and parentage. The shire town of Glenrauth, in Peeblesshire, which was the place of birth of his father, Alexander, Sr., was the home of his ancestors for many generations back; and there John Tweedie, his grandfather, following in the footsteps of earlier progenitors, was a life-long resident, engaged in the shepherd's calling.
The first member of the Tweedie family to emigrate to America was Alexander Tweedie, Sr., who crossed the Atlantic in 1849, bringing with him his wife and eleven children. On landing he came directly to this county, and, after spending a short time in Hamden, came to Walton, and purchasing a farm on Dunk's Hill, settled there the same year. After being successfully engaged for many years as a tiller of the soil, he moved into the village, and there lived in honorable retirement for three years, coming then to the home of his son Alexander, where he was tenderly cared for until his death, at the venerable age of eighty-seven years. His wife, Mary Bruce, a daughter of James Bruce, was a native of Scotland, and a lineal descendant of King Robert Bruce, of historic fame. She also spent her declining years at the home of her youngest son, passing away at the age of seventy-eight years. Both she and her husband were members of the Scottish Presbyterian church. The names of the eleven children born to them are as follows: John, Archibald, Christina, Nicholas, William, Mary, James, Eliza, Alexander, Euphemia, and Margaret.
Alexander Tweedie, Jr., who was born in Scotland on January 27, 1840, was a sturdy little lad of nine years when he came to the United States; and the larger part of his education was obtained in the public schools of Walton. With his brothers he assisted in the cultivation and improvement of the parental homestead, remaining with his parents until attaining his freedom. Being a young man of enterprise and ability, keen and shrewd in his judgment of values, he began his business career by going to Pennsylvania, where he engaged in various speculations. Afterward he was similarly employed in the States of Illinois and Missouri. Returning to Walton, Mr. Tweedie purchased a farm on West Brook, on which he has since devoted himself largely to agricultural pursuits. He has from year to year increased his operations, and now keeps from thirty to thirty-five head of choice milch cows, with some young stock and several horses. In addition to his labors on the farm, Mr. Tweedie carries on an extensive feed business, running a mill, and selling and buying grain.
Mr. Tweedie and Margaret Smith, the daughter of Robert and Christina Smith, were united in marriage on December 24, 1872. Mrs. Tweedie is also of substantial Scotch ancestry, her parents having emigrated to New York, afterward settling in the town of Delhi, where they carried on farming for many years. They were the parents of ten children: Jane; Nancy; John; Catherine; Robert; Christina; Daniel; Jennie; Alexander; and Margaret, the wife of Mr. Tweedie. Mrs. Smith died at the early age of forty-two years; but Mr. Smith, who lived retired for some years, died in the town of Delhi when seventy-six years old. They were people of high moral standing, and members of the Reformed Presbyterian church. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Tweedie five children have been born, namely: James and Robert, who died young; and Christina, Maurice, and Jennie, who are now pursuing their studies in the Walton Academy. With the exception of one daughter, the entire family are members of the Presbyterian church, in which Mr. Tweedie has served as an Elder for seventeen years. He is a stanch advocate of temperance and in politics is a Prohibitionist.
CHARLES W. WETMORE is one of the prosperous and progressive farmers and dairymen of Stamford, of which town he is a native, and has been a lifetime resident. His great grandfather was an Englishman, who came to America at an early day, and settled in Rye, Westchester County, N.Y. He was an Episcopal minister, and lived to a good old age in his adopted home. His son, James Wetmore, was born in Rye, but when a young man came to Delaware County, soon after his marriage, and settled in Kortright on Beatty Brook. Later he removed to the outskirts of the town, where William Barlow now resides. James Wetmore died in Stamford, at the age of ninety-two years, his wife, Elizabeth, passing away in her sixty-fifth year. Both were members of the Episcopal church, and Mr. Wetmore was a Democrat in politics. They were the parents of four sons and three daughters, all of whom lived to a good old age, but are now dead.
Their son, James Wetmore, Jr., grew to manhood in the town of Kortright, where he was a merchant, and was also interested in a hotel in what is called "The Hook." He was proprietor of this hotel for thirteen years, and then removed to the farm where his son Charles now resides, engaging in the occupation of stock-raising and dairying, owning two-hundred and eighty acres of land. He was a prudent manager and industrious farmer, and died at the age of eighty-two years, his wife, Hannah Sackrider, whose family history appears in this volume, living to be ninety-two.
James Wetmore, Jr., was a Democrat; and he and his wife were members of the Episcopal church. They had six children, five sons, and one daughter, three of whom still survive, namely: Solomon D., a resident of Delhi; James, who lives at Bainbridge, Chenango County; and Charles W., of whom this biography is written. One son, Thomas, died when sixty-five years of age, another, Henry, at the age of eleven, and a daughter Mary passed away when sixty-five.
Charles W. Wetmore was born in Stamford, on the farm where he now resides, January 28, 1826. He was educated in the district schools, and remained at home, providing for his parents in their declining years. In 1857 he purchased the old homestead, and now possesses a productive farm of two hundred and ninety acres, making superior butter from the milk produced by his forty cows. The buildings on his land were built with the best of material and kept in perfect repair, among them being his fine residence and commodious stable, the latter being one of the most costly and complete in its furnishings in the town. At the time of purchasing his farm, Mr. Wetmore was obliged to shoulder a debt of five thousand dollars, all of which has now been paid through his careful management and strict attention to business.
September 26, 1860, he married Miss Frances Thomas, a native of Stamford, and daughter of John B. and Frances (Smith) Thomas, both of whom have passed away, the mother at the age of seventy-five years, and the father at seventy years. Mrs. Wetmore, a devoted member of the Presbyterian church, died in June, 1882, sadly mourned by her husband and only child. The latter, Charles T. Wetmore, who was born April 16, 1865, married Miss Carrie E. Nesbit, a native of Stamford, and daughter of George Nesbit. This son is now in partnership with his father, assisting in the management of the farm and dairy.
In his religious views Mr. Wetmore is thoroughly liberal, and in politics he votes with the Democratic party. Industrious, upright, and with unusual business ability, Mr. Wetmore has accomplished more than the ordinary man of his time, and is numbered among the foremost men of the locality, where he is a respected and highly esteemed citizen.
The reader will turn with interest to the portrait of this gentleman on an adjoining page.
MRS. MELINDA SAWYER, widow of Isaac W. Sawyer, who died on his homestead, which is known as the Abram Ogden farm, in 1876, is a native of Walton, her birth taking place in 1820. She is of New England origin, and is a daughter of Jonathan and Nancy P. (Richards) Smith, both natives of Connecticut. Her maternal grandfather, Nehmiah Richards, was born in New Canaan, Conn., and his wife Nancy Platt, in the town of Norwalk, the same State. They emigrated to Delaware County in the early days of its settlement, and took up a timber tract three and a half miles from Walton, on the south side of the Delaware River. Besides developing and improving a farm, they made quite a business of manufacturing maple sugar, using the primitive method then in vogue of catching the sap in dug-out troughs, like canoes, and boiling it in large potash kettles. The farm which they cleared was the home of three generations, and is still owned by the family, although it is now occupied by a tenant. Mrs. Sawyer's progenitors were of English birth, the first of her mother's ancestors to come to America being one Samuel Richards, who emigrated from Staffordshire, England, in the closing years of the seventeenth century. He located in New Canaan, Conn., where in 1714 he married Elizabeth Latham, who bore him ten children, five sons and five daughters. Five of these children married into the Waring family. James Richards, the grandson of Samuel Richards, married Hannah Waring, who bore him eleven children, one of whom, Nehmiah Richards, was the grandfather of Mrs. Sawyer, as above mentioned.
Melinda Smith Sawyer was trained by her excellent parents to habits of industry and economy, and received her education mainly in the common schools of her native county. June 28, 1855, she was united in marriage to Isaac W. Sawyer, a prosperous farmer, and at one time a dealer in lumber. He was a native of Walton, and a son of Elisha Sawyer, who came here when a young man from the Green Mountain State, and engaged in farming and lumbering, being a well-known citizen of this community. He subsequently married Betsey Smith, of this town; and they reared a family of three sons and two daughters, all of whom have passed away. Jesse Sawyer, the father of Elisha Sawyer, was a Green Mountain boy, and served in the Revolution. He married Catherine White; and they spent the earlier years of their wedded life in Vermont, the State of their nativity, coming here after their son Elisha had become well established. They were the parents of four sons and four daughters, some of whom became prominent residents of this section of Delaware County.
Isaac W. Sawyer was a very active and enterprising man, and labored hard in his efforts to secure the competence which eventually became his. He was first married in 1842 to Elizabeth Ogden, daughter of Isaac Ogden. She died in 1852, leaving no children. By his second marriage there was born one child, Fanny, who is the wife of Irving Robinson. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, who have three bright and lively children - Francis, a boy of twelve years; Albert, nine years old; and Mary, a little girl of six years - make their home with Mrs. Sawyer at No. 88 North Street.
ALBERT P. CARPENTER, Esq., is a well-known lawyer of Margarettville, in Middletown, where he was born September 5, 1829. His father, Richard Carpenter, was a native of Dutchess County, born on January 6, 1791. He married Miss Margaret Hicks, by whom he had nine children, namely: William, who married Ann Cornell; Deborah, who married Luther Landon; John who married Mrs. Delia R. Ellison; Isabell, who married first William J. Walker, second the Rev. B. S. Wright; Luman, who died in infancy; Abram who married Margaret Jacquish; Elias, who married first Sarah Allen, second Frances De Silvia; Charlotte, who died in infancy; and Richard, who married Jane O. Barber. After the death of his first wife Mr. Carpenter married Charlotte Hicks, by whom he had two children: Albert P., of whom this sketch is written; and Elizabeth A., who married David S. Hill. After the death of Mr. Carpenter's second wife he married Mrs. Juliette Hewitt, by whom he had one son, Orson A., who died when four years old.
Richard Carpenter sold his place in Dutchess, and came to Delaware County after the death of his first wife, settling at Griffin's Corners, where he married again. He then moved to Margarettville, which was but a hamlet at that time. There were no stores or mills nearer than Kingston, where all of the marketing had to be done. Mr. Carpenter was a man of public spirit and enterprise, and took an active part in forwarding the interests of the village. He died at the advanced age of eighty-eight years, having accumulated a good property, and raised a large family of sons and daughters. He was a stanch Republican, and faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Albert P. Carpenter received a common-school education at the Hobart Seminary, and read law for one year with Munson & Gleason and one year with Samuel Gordon, of Delhi, after which he was admitted to the bar on the 11th of January, 1853. He then went into the office of S. Gordon, Esq., of Delhi, with whom he entered into partnership, and with whom he remained for a year, after which he removed to Margarettville. Here he was taken ill with disease of the lungs, and was incapacitated for work for some time. As soon as he recovered, he began to practice his profession in the village, where he is now a respected and prosperous lawyer. In 1858 he secured for his wife the woman of his choice, Miss Nettie M. Coloney, the daughter of James and Melissa Coloney. Mrs. Carpenter's father was a native of New Hampshire, where he was born, January 23, 1803. He was a farmer in St. Lawrence County, New York, for some years, whence he went to Ohio, and finally removed to Fort Wayne, Ind., where he died at the age of forty-five. His wife died at twenty-eight years of age, leaving five children: Mary J., who married Royal Martin, and has one child; Myron, who married Josephine Tuttle, and has one son; Nettie M., Mrs. Carpenter; Josiah B., who married Margaret Currie, and was killed in the Civil War, at the battle of the Weldon Railroad, Virginia, leaving one son; and Sarah, of whom the family knew little, as she was adopted in her infancy, and has had no relations whatever with those of her own blood since. The wife of Mr. Carpenter is a member of the Presbyterian church. He is an advocate of the Republican principles, to which he strongly adheres, and is one of the successes of the legal guild of his section.
JACOB H. CHAMBERLAIN is a prospering farmer and popular resident of Tompkins, formerly known as Pinefield, Delaware County, N.Y., where he was born on November 17, 1849. His father Eliphalet Chamberlain, who was a native of Vermont, married Mary A. Boice, daughter of Josiah Boice. He died in the prime of life; and his widow married Peter Hogan, a farmer of Tompkins. (For further particulars of the Chamberlain family see sketch of John Chamberlain.)
Jacob H., son of Eliphalet and Mary A. (Boice) Chamberlain, was an infant when his father died. He was brought up by his mother and step-father, and educated in the district schools of Tompkins. When fifteen years of age he began life for himself, working out on various farms, and later, in 1878, purchased from William Dennis the farm on which he now resides.
August 28, 1877, Mr. Chamberlain married Deborah A. Dennis, daughter of William and Adeline (Austin) Dennis, of Ovid, Seneca County. Joseph Dennis, father of William, married Nancy Calups, who was of German descent; and they were among the early settlers of that county. William Dennis passed his early days in the town of Andes. Losing his father when very young, he was bound out to Barna Radeker. Energetic and self-reliant, he began to work for himself as a farmer in Colchester when about nineteen years of age, and later removed to Andes. After a few years he disposed of his property there, and in 1867 purchased the farm in Tompkins which is now owned by the subject of this sketch. He resided here until he sold the place, and then moved to the farm now occupied by his son John, at Trout Creek, in the same town; and there passed his last days. retired from active life, dying at the age of seventy-two, and being buried in Trout Creek Cemetery. He was a Republican in politics, and a member of the Methodist church, which he joined when twenty-one years of age, his daughter Deborah, Mrs. Chamberlain, also being a member. His wife still survives, and resides with her son John. Their daughter was educated in the district schools, and resided with her parents until her marriage to Mr. Chamberlain.
The quiet, well-kept home of Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain, who have no children, is plainly the abode of intelligence, industry, and thrift. Mr. Chamberlain is engaged in farming and in sheep and stock raising, in which business he exhibits good judgment and practical ability, and has been eminently successful. He is a Republican in politics, giving that party his most hearty support.
PHILIP LASHER owns a tract of land lying along the river road in the town of Delhi, which is one of the most valuable estates in the vicinity. Here he is engaged in general farming, paying especial attention to dairying, in which he has been very successful, his fine herd of graded Jerseys amply repaying him for the time and attention he devotes to them. Mr. Lasher is a native of Delaware County, Griffin's Corners, Middletown, being the place of his birth, and April 30, 1843, the date thereof. He is a descendant of one of Delaware County's respected pioneers, his paternal grandfather, Conrad Lasher, having removed from Dutchess to this county in the early days of its settlement. He bought a tract of timbered land in Middletown, on a spot known as Brush Ridge, and thereafter devoted his life to its cultivation and improvement.
Frederick Lasher, the father of Philip, was born in Dutchess County, being one of seven children. He came with his parents to this county, and assisted them in their pioneer labor of clearing a farm until of age, when he purchased a small piece of land, and began the work of making a home for himself. He was a man of unusual ability and enterprise, and in the years that followed met with great success. He continually added to his landed possessions, and at the time of his decease was the owner of four good farms, three being in Middletown, and one in Halcott, Greene County. His wife, whose maiden name was Annie Record, was a native of Dutchess County, and bore him the following named children: Conrad and Jane, both deceased; Philip; John; Annie C.; Isabella; Frances, deceased; George; Albertina; Henrietta, deceased; and Jeanette.
Philip Lasher spent his early years with his parents, attending school, and doing the chores around the homestead that inevitably fall to a farmer's boy. When a youth of twenty years he took upon himself the cares and responsibilities of matrimony, and, in order that he might support his wife, bought a farm in Ulster County, where he made a good living for some twelve years. Disposing of that property, he came to this county, and purchased a farm in the town of Andes, on which he lived for about a year, going from there to Halcott, Greene County, where he bought land and conducted a farm for two years. Returning to Griffin's Corners, the place of his nativity, Mr. Lasher entered upon an entirely new enterprise, building a large house, in which for the next ten years he entertained boarders from the city, a very pleasant and profitable occupation. Then, selling his boarding-house, he bought the farm which he now owns and occupies, and considered one of the finest pieces of property in Delaware County, it containing from one hundred and sixty to one hundred and seventy-five acres of valuable land.
Mr. Lasher has been twice married. His first wife was Jane Townsend, the daughter of Alfred Townsend, of Halcott, Greene County; and to them three children were born, as follows: Willard, who died at the age of thirteen years; Hester who died at the age of twelve years; and Isaac, who married Libbie Butler, of Sullivan County. After fifteen years of peaceful wedded life the wife and mother passed to the better land, laying down the burdens of life in 1878. Mr. Lasher subsequently married Melissa Sherwood, daughter of James Sherwood, of Roxbury; and their union has been blessed by the birth of two children - Frederick and Eathel, the latter deceased.
Politically, Mr. Lasher votes the straight Republican ticket. Both he and Mrs. Lasher are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and are numbered among its most generous and liberal supporters.
JOSEPH H. FOOTE, M.D., a resident of Franklin, and one of its most highly valued practitioners, resides about one mile south of the village, where he has a most delightful home. The ancestors of Dr. Foote were natives of Southington, Conn. His grandfather was Robert Foote, of that town; and his grandmother's maiden name was Deming. Robert Foote was a well-to-do farmer, and reared five sons and one daughter, all of whom grew to maturity, married, and reared families of their own. His son Leonard, father of the Doctor, was born in Southington in 1789, and died in Oxford, N.Y., in 1875. He married Bede Wright, daughter of Enos Wright, of Connecticut. Mr. Wright moved to New York in 1814, and settled on a farm of about fifty acres; and in 1817 his daughter and son-in-law, the parents of Dr. Foote, followed him to their new home, occupying a farm of one hundred acres, part of both of these farms being included in the estate which is now the property of the Doctor. When Mr. and Mrs. Foote came here, the mode of conveyance was very crude, the journey being made in a one-horse lumber wagon, and Mrs. Foote being installed in a chair among her household goods, while the husband and father walked by the side of the horse.
Dr. Foote is the youngest of five sons, all of whom have been called from earthly toil except himself and one other, Robert, of Oxford. The early life of the family was a stern struggle, but in their old age, Mr. and Mrs. Foote enjoyed the quiet of a well-earned rest. Mrs. Foote survived her husband several years, and died when eighty-seven years of age.
Dr. Joseph H. Foote received his early education at the district school, a mile and a half from his home, and by his own exertions succeeded in obtaining sufficient training to enter Oxford Academy. After teaching three winters he studied with his brother, Dr. Ira Foote, in Wellsboro, Pa. The latter was a prominent physician, and one who showed great promise in his profession; but his heath failed, and that dread disease, consumption, soon made itself manifest, he falling a victim at an early age.
Dr. Joseph Foote settled in North Walton in January, 1851, and practised there five years. On May 21, 1855, he married Pamelia Fitch Churchill, of Delhi, and in September of that year came to Franklin, where he has since practised. In 1867 he purchased the hotel property, which with the old buildings he purchased he bought for five thousand dollars. He rebuilt it, erecting the large barn and sheds in connection, and sold it in January, 1894. During the twenty-seven years in which he was connected with the hotel business he also continued his practice, being as popular a practitioner as he was a host.
In July, 1893, Mrs. Foote passed away leaving one daughter, Stella, who is still at home. An elder daughter, Julia, died when an infant. A niece of the Doctor's, Ruth Foote, now lives at his home, and keeps house for him, her two sons and two daughters also living there. He moved to his present home in 1894, having bought a most delightful farm of ninety acres.
Dr. Foote is a Democrat, but does not allow party principles to interfere with his always voting for the best man. For over forty years he has been engaged in arduous toil for his fellow-men. Often sleeping but five hours out of the twenty-four, he has labored with disinterested service, acquiring for himself a name which will far outlast his earthly possessions. He is generous and large-hearted; and his congeniality of spirit has made him a friend to be highly prized, and a welcome guest in all the homes of Franklin.
CYRUS GEMMEL was born July 20, 1850, in the town of Stamford, a son of Hugh and Mary (McArthur) Gemmel. Hugh Gemmel was born in Stamford, August 14, 1803, and his wife in the town of Jefferson, Schoharie County, December 31, 1809. The grandfather, also Hugh Gemmel, was born in Scotland, but in 1790 came to America, and settled at Rose Brook, Delaware County. He was a weaver by trade, and followed this occupation to some extent. He bought about two hundred acres of land, most of which was in a state of nature. Hobart, then called Watertown, was the nearest market and depot for supplies; and the people lived chiefly off the products of their land and the wild game. Mr. Gemmel was a hard worker and a practical farmer, and succeeded in his undertakings. He was a member of the Presbyterian church at South Kortright, and in politics a Whig. He reared a family of seven children, all of whom grew to maturity, but have now passed away. He died on the farm which the subject of this sketch now owns and occupies, when seventy-five years of age, his wife dying at the same age.
Hugh Gemmel, the father of Cyrus, grew to manhood on the old homestead at Rose Brook. He was one of the early school-teachers, and taught for about eleven years, after which he gave his attention to farming, continuing in this occupation for the rest of his life. He bought the farm where his son now lives, just before his marriage, it then comprising one hundred and twenty acres. This he improved and increased so that at his death he owned two hundred and five acres. He was a hard worker and a successful farmer, and an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he was a Trustee. His wife was a member of the same church. He was a Republican in politics, was a conscientious, honored citizen of the town, and held several public offices, including Highway Commissioner, Collector, Constable, and School Inspector, besides several minor positions. He died on the old homestead March 6, 1878, and his widow July 22, 1884, making them at the time of their deaths the same age to a day, seventy-four years, six months, and twenty-two days.
He was twice married, his first wife being Nancy McArthur, who died February 13, 1845. He was the father of eleven children, ten of whom grew to maturity, and seven still survive: Robert, born February 14, 1833, resides in the village of Delhi. James R., born August 4, 1834, is manager of the Lookout House at Utsayantha Mountain, and lives with his brother. Mrs. Nancy M. Iserman, born September 13, 1840, resides in Rockland County, New York. Mary I. Brown, who was born July 1, 1844, resides in Montgomery County, Iowa. Cyrus, the subject of this sketch, was born July 20, 1850. Mrs. Francis H. Allison, born December 4, 1851, is a resident of Kortright. Homer R., born October 5, 1853, is also living in Kortright. Thomas H., born October 21, 1831, died January 24, 1886. George E., born February 15, 1837, died June 29, 1872. Margaret J., born December 8, 1838, died October 9, 1842. The Rev. William A., born August 4, 1848, died October 7, 1876.
Cyrus Gemmel grew to manhood in the parental home, and received his education at the district school. When nineteen years of age, he went to work on the farm of H. K. Rose, receiving for his services twenty-three dollars per month, which at the time was considered a good salary. When twenty-three years old, he learned the carpenter's trade, at which he was engaged for some eight or nine years, but finally gave it up and devoted his time to farming, buying the old homestead after his father's death.
January 1, 1878, Mr. Gemmel married Mary E. Higbie, who was born in Stamford, a daughter of Thomas C. and Sarah (Titus) Higbie. Thomas Higbie was born in Stamford, and his wife in Harpersfield. He was a farmer, and also a merchant in New York City for some years, a descendant of the pioneer family of that name, his father, Nathaniel Higbie, being the first to locate in this vicinity. Thomas Higbie was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and, politically, a Republican. He died at Rose Brook when seventy-eight years of age. He was the father of six children, five of whom are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Gemmel have two children: Mary A., born April 29, 1879; and Ida Bell, October 29, 1889.
Cyrus Gemmel has an excellent farm of two hundred acres, where he carries on general farming and dairying, owning forty head of Jersey cattle. In connection with this he is agent for Buckley's Watering Device. He has been fortunate in his business life, and is a highly respected citizen, showing much interest in the welfare of the town. He has been Inspector of Elections, and for six years Overseer of the Poor. Fraternally, he is a member of the A. F. & A. M., belonging to St. Andrew Lodge, No. 289, at Hobart, and Delta Chapter, No. 185, Royal Arch Masons, at Stamford. Both Mr. and Mrs. Gemmel are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Rose Brook, and in politics Mr. Gemmel is a Republican. He occupies a high place in the esteem of his fellow-citizens.
JAMES ARTHUR HOLLEY, M.D., is a prominent physician and surgeon of Walton, and, being a close student, is well versed in medical lore, and has a large and successful practice. A native of Delaware County, he was born in the town of Hamden, October 10, 1854, on the farm of his parents, George and Maria (Bice) Holley, the former of whom was born in 1818, of English ancestors, and the latter in 1819, of German antecedents.
George Holley was one of the early settlers of this section of the county, and an important factor in its development and improvement. He began life here as a farmer, with limited means, but by sturdy industry not only hewed out a good farm from the wilderness, but acquired a comfortable competence. He was a man of probity and ability, and of a religious character. Both he and his excellent wife were conscientious members of the Baptist church, wherein he served for many years as a Deacon. Eight children were born into their household, mentioned as follows: William, a resident of Walton, married Emma Robinson. He was a volunteer soldier in the late Civil War, serving in Company B, One Hundred and Forty-Fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, and was wounded at the battle of Hany Hill. Sylvia, who was the wife of Jacob Boyer, of Broome County, New York, died at the age of twenty-five years. John, a farmer, living in Walton, married Emma Benedict, a daughter of D. B. Benedict, of the same town. Eliza, who married George E. Benedict, died in Walton in 1870. Lois died when twelve years old. George, a carpenter residing in Sidney Centre, married Hattie Smith, a daughter of Horace Smith, of Hamden. James A. is the subject of this notice. Jennie is the wife of William Olmstead, of Walton.
James A. Holley was reared on the parental homestead, and during the times of sowing and reaping assisted his father on the farm, and devoted the winter seasons to the pursuit of knowledge, being a regular attendant at the district school, and one of its most promising pupils. He subsequently attended Walton Academy, and , after receiving a teacher's certificate, engaged in teaching for several terms, with the money thus earned making his way through college. In 1883 he entered the office of Dr. O. H. Young of Sidney Centre, remaining there for two years, in the mean time attending Albany Medical College, from which he was graduated with honors in 1886. In the autumn of the same year, being well equipped for a medical career, Dr. Holley located in Walton, where he has since resided. His ability and talent are everywhere recognized; and he has built up an extensive and lucrative practice, and won an assured position among the foremost practitioners of the county. He is very popular among his professional brethren, and is a prominent member of the Delaware County Medical Society.
Dr. Holley was united in marriage, in 1876 to Miss Flora Benedict, a daughter of Daniel and Nancy (Weldon) Benedict; and their union has been a most happy one. They have no children of their own, but have taken to their home and hearts an adopted son, Frank Holley, and are bestowing upon him the same attention and advantages that they would give to one of their own blood.
WILLIAM TWEEDIE is a prominent farmer in the town of Hamden, Delaware County, his estate being located on East Brook, Joint District No. 5. He was born in Peeblesshire, Scotland, in 1830, and in the spring of 1849 came to America with his parents and nine brothers and sisters. The father was Alexander Tweedie, and the mother was Mary Bruce, a descendant of Robert Bruce. One of their children died in Scotland, at the age of three, and an infant in Hamden. William was the fifth in order of birth, two brothers and two sisters being his predecessors. All but one of these adult children are now living, and all the sons are in Walton except William. The one exception is James Tweedie. In 1856 he went to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and engaged in mining. For generations his ancestors had been shepherds; and so, after tiring of golddigging he followed his inherited instincts, and turned his attention to sheep-raising in Nevada, where he died at the early age of twenty-eight and was buried in Virginia City, on November 6, 1862. As he was unmarried, his lands flocks, and herds should naturally and legally have belonged to his relations; but they never came into possession of any of his property.
The paternal grandfather was John Tweedie, and his wife's name was Nicholas; but nothing more is known of her parental families. John Tweedie had five boys and a girl, but the only one who came to America was Alexander. He became (thanks to freer institutions) a far more successful man than his home-keeping brothers. His wife died June 11, 1881, aged seventy-eight; and he passed away on the 8th of November, 1882, at the age of eighty-five. On coming hither, they had thirteen hundred dollars left after paying the passage for their party of twelve in the sailing-ship, which made the ocean passage in thirty days, arriving when the echoes of the Mexican War were yet flying in the air, and General Taylor had ridden into the White House on the strength of his military popularity. As might be supposed, the Tweedies are Presbyterians in religion; and the father was an Elder in the kirk.
William Tweedie fed his father's flocks on the Cheviot Hills; but he also received a fair schooling there, which was increased by one term after he was nineteen and the family had come to America, though his time was mostly occupied by work in the two-hundred-acre farm adjacent to the one now owned and cultivated by himself. During two summers he worked out by the month. In 1859, when he was twenty-nine, came an important change; for he then married May D. Munn, daughter of John and Margaret (Clark) Munn, both Scotch people, though they were married in Bovina. Mrs. Tweedie was born in 1838, so she is her husband's junior by eight years. She has one brother, Hugh, and two sisters: Mary, the wife of Andrew Doig; and Margaret, the widow of James Arbuckle, of Walton. The mother, Mrs. Munn, died when her youngest child, Margaret, was born, though only in the prime of life. The father remained a widower many years, and died on his farm, April 22, 1879, aged seventy-six.
After their marriage, April 6, 1859, Mr. and Mrs. William Tweedie began united domestic life in a log cabin in the woods, with a log barn and log out-houses to keep it company. The original hundred and twenty-six acres cost fourteen hundred dollars, and the young couple ran in debt seven hundred dollars in order to stock it. Among other things they bought a yoke of oxen, six cows, and (true to Cheviot training) three sheep. In due time the hundred acres increased fourfold, with from eighty to a hundred sheep, and a dairy of from forty to sixty cows. In later years Mr. Tweedie gave his attention largely to a flock of Cotswold sheep, but never did he forget his native Cheviots. In connection with his active enterprise as a sheep-breeder, he has exhibited at the State and county fairs his Cotswold specimens, yielding fleeces weighing over twenty pounds; and very often he has been appointed one of the judges, for nowhere is there a better judge of wool. One Cotswold lock, cut from a Canadian yearling ram, was sent to Washington because of its extraordinary length of twenty-one inches; and the owner was awarded a diploma. The patient oxen have been displaced by five fine horses, and the master can drive a fine team before plough and wagon. After the martyrdom of Abraham Lincoln, for whom he wore crape a month, Mr. Tweedie gave his adherence to the prohibitory cause, but has never held any office, though he was once placed on the Prohibition ticket as candidate for the General Assembly, and received a large vote. The family residence is far from the main road, and is a fine dwelling, built in 1887, embowered amid Norway spruce and other evergreen trees, set out in 1870, and now grown from nine inches to thirty feet high.
In religion, as well as in daily pursuits, the Tweedies have followed in the parental paths, and are members of the United Presbyterian church. Forty years has the head of the household had charge of a Bible class, besides being a Trustee, Deacon, and the incumbent of other offices. Besides being respected for his ability and thought, Mr. Tweedie is a popular man. The Weekly Reporter instituted a voting contest for the most popular farmer, and Mr. Tweedie won by two thousand majority; and on his shelves is a set of historic books, received as a prize for the best article on farming. It is somewhat remarkable that a man whose days have been necessarily passed in plodding, agricultural pursuits should have developed so much literary ability, suggestive of great possibilities in the line of scholarship had Providence called him into academic grooves. His wife has borne her full share of the labor, having a vigorous physique. Though the mother of nine children, she can to-day walk miles without fatigue. The heroes of the world are not all in parliamentary halls or battlefields. These old farms represent years of labor. How many times have they been cleared - first of timber, next of stumps, and then, once, twice, and even thrice, of successive stone crops, and finally from moitgages! Well has that dear lover of outdoor life, Thoreau, written: -
"Did you ever hear of a man who had striven all his life faithfully and singly toward an object, and in no measure obtained it? If a man constantly aspires, is he not elevated? Did ever a man try heroism, magnanimity, truth, sincerity, and find that there was no advantage in them, and it was a vain endeavor?"
Of Mr. Tweedie's children, the eldest is Alexander, who was born April 23, 1860, is married, and now a farmer at Dunk Hill, in Walton. Margaret, born December 17, 1861, is the wife of Walter Miller, of North Hamden, and has one daughter. Mary, born April 8, 1864, is the wife of Frank Doig, a farmer, and has one daughter. John Tweedie, born August 5, 1869, is a stone worker in Hamden, and unmarried. William James, born February 7, 1872, is still at home; and so are Lizzie M., born September 7, 1874; George Bruce, June 22, 1877; and Robert A., July 19, 1881. One child died in infancy.
JOHN D. CLANCEY, of Margarettville, N.Y., the well-known proprietor of the largest cooper's shop in Delaware County, was born in Olive, Ulster County, on July 14, 1864. His parents, William and Elizabeth McCadden Clancey. were both natives of West Maid, Ireland, and came to America on their wedding journey in 1839. They bought a farm of eighty acres in Olive, and remained thereon for thirty-two years, prosperously engaged in farming. William Clancey died in 1871, leaving these children: Thomas, who married Sarah Beeker, to whom one child was born, lives in the town of Hurley. Anna, who married M. A. Meagher, of Kingston, a commercial traveller, is the mother of eight children. Catherine, who married H. P. Kelly, lives near Arkville. Lizzie, who married B. Soper, a real estate agent in Illinois, has one child, Willie, who married L. Lavy, lives in Shandaken, Ulster County, and has one child. John D. is the subject of further mention below. Joseph and George are both in the ice business in Jersey.
John, the original of this sketch, grew up on his father's farm, and at eighteen learned the cooper's trade at Margarettville, under the training of M. A. Meagher, whose place was on the corner of Walnut and Orchard Streets. Mr. Clancey afterward bought out Mr. Meagher, and has since conducted a large business, manufacturing tubs, firkins, churns and barrels, and dealing in cooper supplies of all kinds, having many varieties of woodenware. His shop caught fire on the 4th of July, 1894, and was burned to the ground; but, with the energy which is characteristic of the man, he has built a new shop on a larger scale, two stories in height, and anticipates making still further additions.
In 1891 he married Maggie B. Carey, daughter of Lute and Sarah (Kelly) Carey. The father-in-law of Mr. Clancey lives on Red Kill, near Griffin's Corner, and is considered one of the best farmers in the neighborhood, conducting a fine dairy, in which he takes great pride. He has four children: Maggie, Mrs. Clancey; Nellie; William; and Rose.
Mr. Clancey is a faithful Democrat, and is as active in the political interests of the country as he is in his own business affairs and personal concerns. As is well known in these parts, his shop has always been considered to be one of the best in the county; and it is a fact worthy of being here recorded that firkins and tubs manufactured in John D. Clancey's cooperage have taken first premium in Delaware County five years in succession.
Mr. Clancey has always had a great many warm friends among the farmers of this section, and may be trusted by manly dealing to merit the continuance of their patronage and good will.
JAMES E. HARPER, a dealer in watches, diamonds, jewelry, and silverware, whose attractive store is located on Main Street, Delhi, well represents the mercantile interests of this village, and is classed among its most substantial business men. He is here carrying on a brisk and thriving trade, and, although young in years, has already fully established himself in the confidence of his fellow-townsmen. Mr. Harper is a native of Delaware County, having been born February 1, 1867, in the town of Kortright. His immediate ancestors were also of this county, his grandfather, Henry Harper, having been a life-long resident of the town of Harpersfield, which was likewise the birthplace of his father, William H. Harper.
William H. Harper was reared on the home farm, in Harpersfield, and acquired his early knowledge in the district schools. At the youthful age of fifteen years, by reason of the death of his father, Henry Harper, he was obliged to assume the entire management of the old homestead, where he faithfully labored for thirteen years. Going then to Kortright, he purchased a farm on which some improvements had been made, and for thirty-five years thereafter cultivated the land, making essential and valuable improvements, and placing it among the most productive homesteads in the vicinity. Having by diligence and thrift amassed a comfortable competency, he removed to the village of Delhi, where he is living, retired from active life, and heartily enjoying the well-deserved reward of his many years of toil. His wife Sarah McEckron, was a native of Washington County, New York, and one of six children of Alexander McEckron. Five children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Harper, of whom four are living, namely: George, William, Anna, and James. The parents were both members of the United Presbyterian Church of North Kortright, where the father served as Deacon for many years.
James E. Harper spent his boyhood and youth on the parental homestead in the place of his nativity, pursuing his studies in the public schools until seventeen years old, when he came to Delhi to learn the jewelry trade, serving his time with J. S. Page, the leading jeweler of the village. Four years later Mr. Harper bought out the jewelry business of O. C. Mann, of this place, and, after carrying it on in his own name for three years and six months, largely increased his trade by purchasing the long-established business of his former employer, Mr. Page. This large store, ninety feet long, he has completely restocked with choice goods from the best manufacturers in his various lines, having to-day not only the most extensive, but the best-equipped establishment of its kind in Delaware County. His honest and square dealing in all business transactions has won for him the respect of all who know him, and enabled him to secure an extensive patronage among the good people of this vicinity.
On February 20, 1890, Maggie S. Monteith, a native of Martin, Mich., became the wife of Mr. Harper; and into their family circle two bright and active children have been born - Pauline and Harold Glen Harper. The parents of Mrs. Harper, Thomas and Margaret (Campbell) Monteith, were pioneer citizens of Martin, Mich., where Mr. Monteith cleared off a large tract of heavily timbered land, and improved a good homestead, on which he and his wife spent their declining years. He lived until seventy-five years old. Mrs. Monteith, who survived the death of her beloved husband but fifteen weeks, died at the age of seventy years. Both were devoted members of the United Presbyterian church.
Mr. Harper has a pleasant home in a very desirable location on Main Street. In politics Mr. Harper is a firm adherent of the Republican party, ever sustaining its principles by voice and vote. Socially, he is a prominent member of the Sons of Temperance of Delhi, and is Corresponding Secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association, and is President of the County Christian Endeavor Union. Both he and his estimable wife are valued members of the Second Presbyterian Church, of which he is Trustee, and in whose Sunday-school he has been a faithful teacher for the past six years. He may be counted as always ready to lend a helping hand to the needy, and to push forward any good substantial enterprise that will benefit his neighbor or improve the town.
DAVID W. HUBBELL, whose home is near Halcottsville, in Middletown, N.Y., is a descendant of a family which has for several generations been known and respected in America. The first ancestor in the colonies was Richard Hubbell, who was born in Great Britain in 1654, and who came to the New World in 1699. The next in line successively were Peter, born 1688, Enoch, born 1735, Joseph, born 1758. Milow W., son of Joseph, and father of David W. Hubbell, was born February 17, 1798, and came to Hubbell Hill from Connecticut. Here he bought a farm of seventy acres, and cleared the land, which he afterward sold, intending to remove to Indiana. This intention was never carried out, as he decided to remain in Delaware County, and accordingly purchased two hundred and forty acres in Bragg Hollow, which he improved by cultivation and made still more valuable by erecting a frame dwelling-house and barns. Some years later he sold that place to Daniel H. Jaquish, and bought another farm on the river, where he passed the remainder of his life. He married Mary Faulkner, a daughter of Patrick Faulkner, one of the early settlers of Delaware County. Eleven children were born to them here - George W., Lyman, Charles, Harvey, Patrick, John, David, Maria, Nancy, Catherine and Fanny. Mrs. Hubbell was a member of the old-school Baptist church. Milow Hubbell was a Democrat, and held the office of Supervisor and Assessor during the anti-rent war. Having served in the army as a substitute three months at New York, at the close of the War of 1812 he drew a pension from the government up to the time of his death.
David W., seventh son of Milow and Mary Hubbell, as named above, was born November 26, 1839, at the homestead where he now resides. At the age of twenty-four years he wooed and married Hulda Jaquish, who was born in Roxbury, Meeker Hollow, on March 21, 1838. She was a daughter of Daniel H. and Sarah (Hull) Jaquish, and was a descendant of John Jaquish, a French emigrant who came to America during the Revolutionary War, and found his way through the forest by marked trees to Kortright, where he settled. He died in Delhi, ninety-three years of age, leaving a family of twelve children - John, Joseph, David, Margaret, Daniel H., Nathan, John W., Mary, Mathias, Dolly, Betsey, and Sally. His wife died in her eighty-second year, in 1887. Daniel H. Jaquish was born August 19, 1799, and died at the age of eighty-four years, in September of 1883. He raised a family of ten children - Erastus R., Sarah B., Martin B., John I., Cynthia, Polly, Eliza, Hulda, George L., Ursula.
Mr. Hubbell and his wife Hulda had a family of children, who came in the following order: John L., born October 27, 1865, who died June 20, 1868; Sarah M., born September 10, 1867, who married John Francisco, a conductor on the V. & D. Railroad; Bryon, who was born October 20, 1869, and died March 18, 1876; George L., born October 30, 1871, a graduate of the Baltimore College of Physicians and Surgeons; Burnet, born March 26, 1874; Mary F., born May 6, 1876; Ursula, born June 10, 1883.
Mr. and Mrs. Hubbell began domestic life on a farm which he bought at Halcottsville; but has since sold that estate, and returned to the old Bragg Hollow homestead, remodelling the dwelling into a large and beautiful residence. Here, during the hot summer months, they entertain that class of town folks known as "summer boarders," who are delighted to exchange the din and dust and glare of hot pavements and sun-scorched walls for the cool quiet of some country retreat. The large airy house, with its water supply from the pure hillside streams, its excellent dairy, and charming location, offers special attractions to families of children, and is a favorite rendezvous of New Yorkers each season. As many as twenty-five are accommodated at once, and there are thirty two fat Jersey cows in pasture whose special mission it is to minister to the appetites of Gotham's summer idlers.
Mr. Hubbell is a Democrat and a Granger, and in his religious views is a liberal Christian, not being bound down by creed or dogma.
MILES BRAMLEY, favorably known in the town of Walton as an enterprising farmer, is the proprietor of a fine homestead pleasantly situated on the river road about three miles from the village. The place of his birth was in the town of Bovina, Delaware County; its date, December 19, 1831. Mr. Bramley is the worthy representative of an old New England family, his paternal grandfather, who was a Revolutionary pensioner, having been a life-long resident of that part of the Union, and one of its respected farmers.
Henry Bramley, the father of Miles. was reared to manhood in his New England home, but after his marriage removed to this part of New York, and, settling in the town of Bovina, bought the farm on which his youngest son, Girard Bramley, now lives. There he toiled early and late, and by unremitting labor improved a good homestead, where he and his faithful wife and helpmate spent their remaining years, he passing away at the age of fourscore and four years, and she living to celebrate her eighty-fifth birthday. Her maiden name was Betsey Wright, and she was a life-long resident of Delaware County. She bore her husband twelve children: namely, Mary Ann, Phebe Ann, Sylvanus, William, John, Amanda, James, Susan, Charles, Miles, Alexander, and Girard. Of this large family five sons and two daughters are still living. The mother was a practical Christian woman, and was identified with the Methodist church, to which she belonged for many years.
Miles Bramley assisted his father in opening up his farm, and made his home with his parents until he was twenty-five years of age. He then purchased land in Bloomville, in the town of Kortright, and for two years was employed in the labors of husbandry. The following year he spent in Bovina, coming thence to Walton, when he bought a farm on which he has since resided. He raises hay and grain, but pays especial attention to dairying, sending his milk directly to the city of New York.
Mr. Bramley has been twice married. His union with Abigail Nicholas, the daughter of Elijah and Amanda Nicholas, members of the farming community of Bovina, was solemnized on January 6, 1857; and their happy wedded life lasted twenty-five years. Mrs. Abigail Bramley was a Methodist in religion. She died at fifty-five years of age, leaving two children - Ella A. and Frances A. Ella is the wife of Hubert Sewell of Walton. of whom a sketch appears on another page of this volume. Frances married Charles Sabin, a banker residing in Susquehanna, Pa. On March 20, 1890, Mr. Bramley formed a second matrimonial alliance, with Elizabeth H. Blair, a daughter of Peter and Margaret (McCune) Blair, the former of whom was born in Scotland, and the latter in Bovina, but of Irish parentage on the maternal side.
The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Bramley, William Blair, emigrated from Scotland, bringing his family with him, and took up his abode in Delhi, where he bought land, and engaged in agricultural pursuits, carrying on farming in conjunction with blacksmithing, a trade which he had followed in his native country. The father of Mrs. Bramley began his career as an independent farmer in the town of Bovina, where he met and wooed the fair woman who became his bride; and on the homestead in that town, which he improved, both afterward lived until their departure from this world, he passing away at the age of sixty-seven years, and she at threescore years. They were both esteemed members of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian church. Eight of the ten children born of their union grew to maturity; namely, Nancy, Mary, William, Samuel, James, Margaret, Elizabeth H., and Jane S. Of this number Mrs. Bramley and one son are the only ones now living. Mr. Bramley uniformly casts his vote with the Republican party, and in all respects is a citizen deeply interested in the welfare of his county and community. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist church.
GEORGE H. BRINKMAN, M.D., is one of the most popular and successful physicians of the town of Franklin, where he has practiced since December 20, 1893. He was born in Roxbury, Delaware County, N.Y., March 10, 1864, son of Dedrick and Elizabeth (Vareschorst) Brinkman, a short sketch of the life of whom is given elsewhere in this volume, where the biography of his brother, William Brinkman, is also narrated. When but two years of age George was brought to Franklin by his parents, who resided in the town for fourteen years, and then moved to the Chauncy Ogden farm, one and one-half miles north. After living here for two years, they removed to a farm of one hundred and seventy acres on East Handsome Brook, known as the Warren Green place. This home they occupied until the death of Dr. Brinkman's father, when his mother moved into the village.
Studiously inclined from his boyhood, young Brinkman made good use of his time at the district school, and when sixteen was sent to the Delaware Literary Institute, where he was a pupil for eight terms. He afterward taught school one term, and began the study of medicine with Dr. McNaught, in February 1885. For three years he studied with Dr. McNaught, during which time he took three courses of lectures at the medical department of the University of the City of New York, graduating March 6, 1888, standing number seventeen in a class of two hundred. In April, 1888, he began to practise at Davenport, in this county, where he remained until December 20, 1893, when he removed to Franklin, and entered into partnership with his old classmate, Dr. S. J. White. These two young physicians have already secured quite a large practice, which is constantly increasing, as their ability in their profession becomes more widely known.
On December 27, 1886, Dr. Brinkman married Miss Lotta M. Wilson, of New York City, by whom he had one son, William Earl, who died when four and one-half months old. Mrs. Brinkman passed away, after a year's illness on December 31, 1890, being but twenty years of age. The Doctor was again married January 18, 1893, his bride being Mrs. Hannah Andrews, widow of George D. Andrews, and the only child of C. S. and Emma (Stewart) Robertson, both of whom were natives of Worcester, Otsego County. Mrs. Brinkman received her education at the Albany Female Academy.
Dr. Brinkman votes with the Democratic party; but, although displaying a lively interest in all political affairs, he has little time in which to take an active part. He is an energetic, progressive man, who possesses rare qualifications for his chosen profession. The Doctor is a member of Franklin Lodge, No. 562, A. F. & A. M., of Franklin, N.Y.
JOHN J. BURKE. The manufacturing and mercantile interests of Delaware County have no more worthy representative than the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch. He is the leading merchant tailor of the county; and at his place of business in Bell's Block, Main Street, Delhi, he carries a complete stock of both domestic and imported goods, including the latest and most desirable patterns from the largest and most reliable manufactures of two continents. His through knowledge of his business and the especial pains which he takes to please his customers, personally studying the wants of each and every one, seconded by his genial and agreeable manners and his honorable and upright business methods, have won him during his residence in Delhi a well-deserved reputation as the best and most trustworthy tailor in this part of the State. He is of Irish parentage, and a native of West Virginia, having been born in Rowlesburg, February 27, 1865.
Martin Burke, the father of the subject of this brief biography, was born and bred in Ireland, where, on attaining manhood, he worked as a day laborer until about 1864, when, accompanied by his wife and one child, he sailed for America, hoping in this country to achieve the independence denied him in his native land. After a short stay in New York City, where he landed, he proceeded to Rowlesburg, Preston County, W. Va., whither one of his brothers had preceded him. He subsequently purchased a farm there, and carried on general farming the residue of his life, which was not a long time, he being called to his eternal rest in 1878, when fifty years old. He was an honest, hard-working man; and both he and his wife were faithful members of the Catholic church. The bride of his youth, to whom he was united while in the country of his nativity, was Hannah Lee. She bore him four children, namely: Valentine; Mary, deceased; Bridget, deceased; and John J. She lived but a few short months after coming to the United States, dying in Rowlesburg, at the age of forty years.
John J. Burke was but two months old when he was left motherless; and, until his father again married, he lived with an uncle. Returning home after that event, he remained a member of the paternal household until the death of his father, when he was a lad of thirteen years. The following winter he continued his studies in the public school, going thence to Grafton, where he lived about six years, being first employed as an office boy. When fifteen years old he began to learn the tailor's trade, entering the shop of J. H. Gerkin, of Grafton, with whom he served a four years' apprenticeship. He became a most efficient and skilful workman, thoroughly conversant with every branch of the business, remembering the adage that "whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well," and on this fundamental principle basing his success. In 1885 Mr. Burke removed to Pittsburg, Pa., where he worked a short time, going from there to McKeesport, and soon afterward to Washington, D.C. Coming thence to Delaware County, he secured a position in Delhi with Mr. O'Connor, with whom he worked for three years. The following year he worked in Watertown, N.Y., being afterward employed as a cutter in a tailoring establishment in Turin, N.Y., for a year. Mr. Burke then returned to Delhi, and established the business in which he has since been so prosperously engaged, easily taking a foremost rank.
On October 14, 1891, Mr. Burke was united in marriage with Miss Estelle Stoutenburg. Mrs. Burke is the daughter of Hiram Stoutenburg, cashier of the Adams Express Company of Delhi, a sketch of whose life appears elsewhere in this volume. Their happy marriage has been blessed by the birth of one child, Leda. Politically, Mr. Burke is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Democratic party, and holds a conspicuous position in the social organizations of the town, being a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Delhi Lodge, No. 439, A. F. & A. M. Mr. Burke is also an efficient member of the fire department, belonging to Active Hose, No. 5, in which owing to his great popularity with the members of the company, he was in 1892 elected to the position of foreman. He is a regular attendant of the Second Presbyterian Church, of which his wife is a sincere and consistent member. Mr. and Mrs. Burke vie with each other in their efforts to make their home attractive to their many friends, extending to each one with true hospitality a cordial and hearty welcome.
JAMES SACKRIDER, who for many years successfully farmed his ancestral acres in the town of Kortright, where he died May 4, 1883, was born in Schoharie County, December 1, 1813, and was the son of Henry W. and Hester (Wetmore) Sackrider. His great-grandfather, Christian Sackrider, came from Germany and settled in Dutchess County.
Moses Sackrider, son of Christian, was born August 29, 1746, and was the first member of the family to settle in Kortright. When he came to this county, it was a wooded wild, with here and there a clearing. He made the journey on horseback, and, on arriving, bought the farm of one hundred and fifty acres now owned and occupied by Mrs. Sackrider. Building a rude log cabin, he here spent the rest of his life, being at the time of his death ninety years old. The wife of Moses Sackrider was Hannah Wright, born August 2, 1745; and they had seven children; namely, Daniel, Thomas, Solomon, Mary, Timothy, Hannah, and Henry. All grew to maturity, and all except Thomas attained a good old age. Moses was a Whig in politics, and in religion a member of the Episcopal church. He was a strong Free Mason, was a hard worker, and a prominent man in his day.
Henry W. Sackrider was born in Delaware County, and like his father Moses, was a farmer and an able and diligent worker. The old homestead descended to him by inheritance; and by him and other members of the family the territory included in the first farm of the Sackriders was greatly increased, till it consisted of about four hundred and fifty acres. His religious interests were centred about the Methodist Episcopal church at Bloomville, of which he and his wife, Hester Wetmore, were members. They had three children - Christian, Sally and James - all of whom lived to reach maturity, and are now deceased. Henry W. Sackrider died July 5, 1866, aged seventy-nine, and his wife November 24, 1866, aged eighty.
James, the only son of Henry W. and Hester Sackrider, grew up on the farm, received his elementary education in the district school near his home, and then went to a high school in Schoharie County. After finishing his studies, he succeeded to the management of the farm, and engaged extensively in dairying. Being an excellent business man, his success was assured from the start; and he carried on the farm with much care and system. He was married September 23, 1844, to Jane Ann Thomas, who was born in the town of Stamford, March 5, 1819, and was the daughter of Abram Thomas, an early settler of Stamford. They had four children, only one of whom is now living - Helen S., widow of the late F. F. Gibson, of Stamford. Mrs. Jane A. Sackrider passed away in 1870.
In 1880 James Sackrider married for his second wife Mary Jane Trelease, who was born May 21, 1854, in Rondout, Ulster County, N.Y. Her father, William Trelease, was born in Cornwall, England, December 14, 1826, and died March 6, 1887. His wife, Ann Mitchell Trelease, was born in England in 1835, and died October 24, 1863. They were the parents of these children: Mary Jane, Mrs. Sackrider, the eldest; Celia, wife of John N. Boyd, of Rondout; Edward; and Burdella, who also lives in Rondout. Mr. Trelease was a public contractor and an able business man of Rondout for many years previous to his death. The family were members of the Episcopal church, and he was a strong Republican in politics. The grandfather of Mrs. Sackrider was Abraham Trelease, born in England, October 2, 1794. His wife, Jennie Alford, was also born in England, June 6, 1797. He was an innkeeper, one of the jovial hosts of the last century, and was father of fourteen children, thirteen of whom grew to maturity. The family trace their lineage back to Richard Trelease, who was born in Cornwall, England, in 1664, and was connected with many of the stirring events of two centuries ago. Mrs. Mary J. Trelease Sackrider has two children: William H., born December 22, 1880; and Harry E., born May 25, 1883. Since the death of her husband eleven years ago, Mrs. Sackrider has conducted the business of the farm. She has two hundred and forty of the original acres, and carries on a dairy supplied by forty-five cows, grade Jerseys, selling milk at the station at an average of two thousand cans a year. Like her husband, she has shown in all her dealings great executive ability. As members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Bloomville and liberal supporters of its work, they have always been held in high regard.
A portrait of James Sackrider accompanies this brief record of himself and his connections by birth and marriage.
MRS. CORDELIA HANFORD, widow of the late George M. Hanford, of Walton, is a woman of culture and refinement, and is held in high esteem throughout the community wherein her entire life has been spent, her birth having occurred in North Walton, February 26, 1826. She is of New England ancestry, and the descendant of a prominent pioneer of this part of Delaware County, her grandfather, Caleb Benedict, having come hither from Connecticut, the State of his nativity, at an early day. He was one of the first settlers of North Walton, where he purchased a tract of timbered land, from which he cleared a goodly portion of the wood; and on the farm which he thus improved he spent the remaining years of his life. His worthy wife cheerfully shared with him the privations of their lot, and assisted in the establishment of their home. Both were people whose lives were directed by high moral principles, and they were devout members of the Congregational church of North Walton.
Ira Benedict, son of Caleb, the father of Mrs. Hanford, was born in Connecticut, and, coming here with his parents, soon grew old enough to assist them in their arduous labors of improving a homestead. He attended the pioneer schools of this place, and, being familiar in his boyhood with agricultural pursuits, naturally selected farming as his life occupation. After his marriage with Hannah Fitch he bought a farm near the home of his parents, and there carried on general husbandry many years. At length disposing of that property, Mr. Benedict removed to Wisconsin, where he spent a few years, but later to Walton and spent his last days at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Hanford, passing away at the ripe old age of eighty-six years. His wife was the daughter Seymour Fitch, and honored and influential pioneer of Walton, who came here from Connecticut, bringing with him his young wife and three children, who performed the long journey, through vast forests, on horseback. They began life in their new home in a humble log cabin, on the farm adjoining the one on which Mrs. Hanford now lives. Mr. Fitch was an important factor in building up this town, contributing his full share toward its development and advancement. Both he and his wife were closely identified with the interests of the Congregational church at Walton, of which they were active members. Ira Benedict reared a family of nine children, as follows: Edward S., who died April 17, 1894; Elizabeth; Lewis; Maria; Nathan; Cordelia; Mary; Hiram; and Helen. Mrs. Benedict died in North Walton when but forty-nine years of age.
Cordelia Benedict passed the days of her childhood and early maidenhood with her parents, receiving from her mother a practical training in the domestic arts that well fitted her for her future position as a housewife and helpmate to her husband. On November 2, 1848, she became the bride of George M. Hanford, a son of Levi and Cynthia Hanford. His father was a native of Connecticut and an early settler of Walton. Mr. Hanford, who was a man of honor and integrity, possessing qualities of a character which greatly endeared him to his family, and won for him the esteem and confidence of all who knew him, departed this life November 8, 1878, being then sixty-two years of age.
Into the household of Mr. and Mrs. Hanford were born six children - William L., Eliza M., Samuel I., Platt Mead, Henry C., and Lucia C. Henry C. died at the tender age of one year. William L. married Anna Tibbals. Eliza M., who married William T. Moore, a clerk in a general store in Walton, has three children - Annie H., Henry S., and Charles W. Samuel I., who married Rosetta Ritser, is a graduate of the Theological Seminary in Chicago, and the pastor of a Congregational church in Aurora, Neb. Platt Mead married Emily Ogden, the daughter of Edward and Margaret Ogden; and of their union three children were born, only one of whom, Bessie E. Hanford, is now living. George, the only son, died in 1884, and the youngest daughter, Mabel, and her mother passed away in 1887. Mrs. Cordelia Benedict Hanford and her family are worthy of the high respect accorded them by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. They are conscientious members of the Congregational church, in which her son William has served with fidelity for many years as Trustee and Deacon.
THOMAS D. MIDDLEMAST, a prominent farmer residing on the old homestead near Delhi, was born May 18, 1860, and is a son of Thomas and Jane (Douglass) Middlemast. The paternal grandfather, Thomas Middlemast, was a native of Scotland, residing there until his marriage, when he came to this country, and settled on a farm on the Little Delaware River. He made his home with his children during the latter years of his life. The names of his children were as follows: Thomas, John, William, James, Ellen, Elizabeth, and Anne.
Thomas Middlemast the father of the subject of this biographical notice, was educated in the district schools, and assisted his father on the farm. He rented a farm for three years, afterward purchasing the one where his son now lives. Mrs. Middlemast is a native of Meredith, her father having been a well-known farmer of that locality. The family were originally from Scotland, in which country her father engaged in the occupation of a shepherd. Mrs. Middlemast was one of six children, as follows: Margaret, who resides in Delhi; Jane; James; Elizabeth; Isabella: and William H. Mr. Middlemast died September 27, 1887 at the age of 65. He left a family of five children: Margaret, the wife of Joseph S. McMurdy, of Delhi; Thomas D.; William J.; Belle W., the wife of William J. Hoag, a farmer of Sullivan County; and Ebenezer R. John died when an infant.
Thomas D. Middlemast was educated at the district schools; and since his father's death he, with one of his brothers, has managed the farm, which consists of about two hundred and fifty acres, devoting a large portion of his time to the dairy, and keeping from fifty to seventy head of cattle. Mr. Middlemast is a prominent member of Delhi Lodge, No.439, A. F. & A. M., in which he has held several important offices. In politics he is a Republican. He has been Collector of Taxes for the town. and is President of the Delaware County Agricultural Society. a position he has filled with honor and dignity for two years. He is an attendant of the Presbyterian church, of which his mother is a member. That Mr. Middlemast possesses progressive ideas is clearlv demonstrated by the model farm which he so ably conducts, a fine example of careful and prudent management.
RICHARD B. ROBINSON, son of Dinghee A. and Roxy A. Benjamin Robinson. was born on September 11, 1841. in the town of Roxbury. His maternal grandfather was born on 1778. When a young man he came to Delaware County. where he plied his trade of masonry, undertaking work by contract, paving the way, and laying the foundation. in both a literal and figurative sense, to prosperity and happiness; for it was here that he met and won his wife.
Mr. Dinghee A. Robinson was also a native of Roxbury, and received a practical education in the district school. He was a farmer and teamster until i866, when he exchanged plough and spade for counter and scales, and established a grocery store, in which his son Richard held a partnership, and in which he took an active interest until the day of his death. He was a stanch adherent of the Democratic party. and a consistent member of the old school Baptist church. He married Miss Benjamin, whose father has been before mentioned. and died in the fifty-fifth year of his age, leaving a widow and three children : Henry C., who married Miss Sarah Dart, and is now a merchant in Camden. N.J.; a daughter Betsey, who died young: and Richard B. Robinson, the original of the present outline portrait.
Richard was educated at the Roxbury Academy, and at the age of twenty-three went into the drug business in Prattsville, Greene County, but sold out later, and returned to Roxbury, where he joined his father in the grocery. Ten years afterward he sold out his interest in this to Burhans & Lauren. In 1885 he was appointed Postmaster under Grover Clevelands first administration. At the end of the Democratic Presidential term he resigned his office and became clerk for W. M. Banker, in whose employment he remained until President Cleveland's second term in the White House, when he again received the appointment as Postmaster, having proved his fitness for the work and his efficiency.
Mr. Robinson won for his wife Miss Phoebe White, of Prattsville. Miss White was a daughter of Hiram and Maria (Bate) White, whose married lives extended over such an expanse of years -- their deaths occuring within the space of five days, both caused by pneumonia -- as to deserve more that a passing notice. There is a hale of beauty and pathos surrounding the aged couple who had lived, sorrowed, and rejoiced together for the greater part of eighty-five years of shadow and sunshine, and whose earthly separation was so mercifully short.
Mrs. Robinson died in the spring of 1894, at the age of fifty-two years. She was a consistent and faithful member of the Presbyterian church. She left one child, a daughter, Anna M., who lives at home, the only solace of a desolated fireside and a bereaved husband. Richard B. Robinson is a clear exponent and stanch adherent of the Democratic party, in whose services his energies have always been enlisted. He is a notary public, and a member of the Masonic Order, belonging to Coed de Lion Lodge, No.571, at Roxbury, N.Y.
AINER MUNSON, whose post-office address is Ouleout, is a fine representative of the prosperous and intelligent agriculturists of Delaware County. He was born on the farm where he now resides, in the town of Franklin, December 21, 1843, being the son of John H. Munson, who was born in Meredith in 1817, and died in Oneonta in 1889. Mr. Munson is of honored English ancestry on both sides of his family, his great-great-grandfather on his mother's side having been the Duke of Northumberland. His paternal grandfather, Heman Munson, was born in Watertown, Litchfield County, Conn., in 1784, and was a resident of that place for many years. He married Sarah Hecock. a native of Connecticut, and afterward removed to this State, and was numbered among the well-to-do farmers. He reared six sons and one daughter. One of these, Peter Munson, is now a bright and active man of eighty-two years. having the full use of his mental and physical powers. The grandfather lived to celebrate his seventy-sixth birthday. dying in the town of Davenport. and being buried beside his wife and son John H. in the Ouleout cemetery.
The father of the subject was from boyhood a tiller of the soil. He bought the nucleus of the present homestead of the subject in 1842. paying twelve dollars an acre for the first thirty acres of it. He cleared and improved this, and added somewhat to its acreage, having before his decease a good-sized and well-appointed farm. His widow, who has passed the seventy-fifth milestone of life, is now living with her daughter, Mrs. Josephine McMinn, in Oneonta. Her other living children are as follows: Milton D., a farmer, lives in Franklin. Albert H., a commercial traveler, resides in Chautauqua County; John A., a physician, in Sullivan County; Ainer in Franklin; and Mrs. T. K. Walker lives at Downsville. One son, William A., formerly a cattle dealer, died in 1885, at the age of thirty veers.
Ainer Munson was reared to farm life, and obtained a firm foundation for his education in the district school. this being supplemented by a years attendance at a select school in Oneonta, and another year at the Delaware Literary Institute in Franklin. During the progress of the late Civil War he enlisted in September, 1864, as a Union soldier in Company A, Thirteenth New York Heavy Artillery, serving as a private until the close of the war, being honorably discharged June 24, 1865. He participated bravely in several engagements and skirmishes. After his return from the army Mr. Munson resumed his farm operations on the old homestead, upon which he has since resided. being now the possessor of one hundred and eighty acres of land, the larger part of which is under cultivation, well fenced, and improved, he having built two thousand five hundred rods of fencing, and amply supplied the place with convenient buildings. The barn is very capacious and well arranged, being one hundred and twenty-four feet, with a basement having accommodations for fifty or sixth head of cattle. Mr. Munson has a fine dairy, containing twenty-five grade Jersey cows; and to the care of this he devotes a good deal of his attention, making it a very profitable branch of industry:
On October 30 1866, Mr. Munson married Adelaide Ward, of Davenport Centre, where her birth occurred in 1849. Her parents, Daniel and Emily (Brewer) Ward being prosperous members of the farming community. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Munson, one of whom died when an infant, and another, Eva W., when eight years old. Alberta G. is the wife of John Hotaling, a farmer in Franklin. and has one daughter. Berenice B., a young lady, lives at home. Edith Lyle lives at Oneonta. Walter H.. an active youth of seventeen years, and John H., eleven years, live with their parents.
In politics Mr. Munson is a stanch supporter of the Republican party. and has held various offices of trust, among others that of Justice of the Peace, which he is now filling most creditably and acceptably. Socially he is a Chapter Mason, and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, belonging to the E. D. Farmer Post, No. 116, of Oneonta.
THEOPHILUS G. AUSTIN, whose biography is herein given among those of the prosperous men of Delaware County, was born on January 30, 1830, on the family estate where he now lives. His grandfather, Pardon Austin, was of English descent and a native of Rhode Island. where he was a skilled tanner and shoemaker. Purchasing a tract of one hundred and forty-seven and one half acres of land in Delaware County, he established a tannery near Arkville, still following also for about twenty years his other trade of shoemaking. He bought the frame of a grist-mill on White Brook. and built a house, and also put up the first frame barn in Middletown. He afterward moved to the Carter farm, and eventually to Erie County. Pennsylvania, where he died, in his eighty-third year. He was a Whig, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His wife, Jane Stanton. lived to be eighty-three years old, and was the mother of eight children - Pardon, Alexander, Jane, Laura. Malinda. Rhoda, Henrietta, and Freeman.
Alexander Austin was born at the old homestead on April 5, 1798. Having grown to manhood, he bought the farm, and, dropping the tannery, went on with the improvement of the place. He also bought and cleared one hundred and thirty acres more, making his home here till his death, when sixty- three years old. At the age of twenty-one. December 19, 1819. he married Deborah Dean. who was born August 16, 1804, a daughter of William and Mary (Mott) Dean. Mr. Dean was a Delaware farmer, and conducted a carding factory. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Austin, namely: Alfred L., February 11., 1822; William D., August 16, 1823; Adaline, December 23, 1826: Henry M., December 1, 1828; Julia, August 12, 1832; Clarinda, October 6, 1835; Huldah Austin, born February 5, 1838; Polly D., March 4, 1843; Theophilus G., January 30, 1830. Mr. Austin was a Republican, and served his town as Postmaster. His wife, who was a member of the Baptist church, lived to the age of seventy-two years. Theophilus G. Austin was educated in the district schools, and continued during his youth and early manhood to work with his father, putting the farm into a high state of cultivation, and was thirty years of age when the estate came into his possession. He won the heart and hand of Miss Huldah Allison, one of Middletown's maidens, and the child of Jefferson T. and Margaret (Paul) Allison. Mr. Allison was a mason and farmer in prosperous circumstances, on the stream known as Platter Kill. Mrs. Austin had five brothers-James F., William T., Andrew B., Hiram H., and Amos. The children of the marriage of Theophilus Austin and Miss Allison were: Margaret, born December 1, 1870; Deborah. March 19. 1873; William T., born March 23, 1879; and Alfred L.. born on August 8, 1882.
The old house of his ancestors has been entirely remodeled since Mr. Theophilus Austin came into possession of it : and he has built a new barn, wagon-house, and other outbuildings. Five thousand rods of Stone wall lately built have greatly enhanced the value of the farm, which has an exceptionally fine location, being on the U. & D. K Railroad, within two miles of Margaretteville, and one mile distant from Arkville. Mr. Aust:n is liberal in his religious views, believing that Christianity is embodied in the practical application of the Golden Rule rather than in formulated theology. His wife is a member of the Methodist church. He is a Republican in politics. A beautiful home, happy domestic relations. and the esteem of his contemporaries are the rewards of his well-spent years.
J. DUNCAN LAWRENCE, a successful farmer and leading citizen of Kortright, where he is engaged in dairying, is a son of Jacob W. Lawrence, a native of Middletown, who carried on an extensive lumber business in that town, where he erected a saw-mill. Removing to Sullivan County, he engaged in farming. and by uniting energy and toil became the possessor of a comfortable fortune. At the breaking out of the Civil War he enlisted in Sickles Brigade in the Ninety-First New York Volunteer Infantry, and died in 1862 from injuries received while in service. He was a Whig, and later a Republican. The Methodist Episcopal church found in him a consistent member. His widow, Margaret Monroe, a native of Scotland, and five children survived him. The latter are as follows: J. Duncan, the subject of this sketch; Jacob H., a resident of Massachusetts; George E., a carpenter residing in Omaha, Neb. ; Mary, the wife of William Tuttle, of Curtisville, Mass.; and Addison E., who also resides in Curtisville. Mrs. Margaret Monroe Lawrence is still living, and resides in Curtisville.
J. Duncan Lawrence was born in Colchester, January 29, 1846, and received his education in Sullivan County. When fifteen years of age he enlisted in Company H. Fifty-sixth New York Volunteers, Captain William Joslyn, and saw much hard service, taking part in sixteen battles. among which were those of Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Fair Oaks. He was honorably discharged in 1865, and went to Andes, Delaware County, where he attended the Andes Collegiate Institute. He then spent about two years traveling through the States. and then settled in Binghamton where he was employed as a clerk for five years, then engaged in buying and selling stock in Andes.
October 30, 1880, Mr. Lawrence married Miss Kate Keator. who was born a in Kingston, a daughter of Harvey and Elliff Keater. Mrs. Lawrence's father has passed away; but her mother still survives and is a resident of Kingston. Alter his marriage Mr. Lawrence moved to Kingston, and for a year and a half managed the farm of his mother-in-law. In 1882 he purchased the farm where he now resides, removing to it the following year. This comprises two hundred and thirty acres of land, with a fine residence. All the buildings have been remodelled and improved: and a productive dairy is operated, over forty head of cattle being cared for on the place. Mr. Lawrence devoting his entire time to the management of his farm, and being eminently successful.
Mr. Lawrence is liberal in religious matters, while his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a Republican, and is serving his second term as a member of the Board of Supervisors. For three years he was Superintendent of the Poor. Fraternallv, he is a member of Delaware Valley Lodge. No. 61, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is an excellent business man, and interested in all matters concerning the welfare of the town, and has won well-deserved success in his chosen occupation.
STEPHEN DECATUR EELS, one of the oldest native-born citizens of Delaware County, was born in the town of Walton. November 3, 1815, and during nearly fourscore years has watched the wonderful metamorphosis of an originally wild and wooded tract of land into fertile fields and blooming gardens, which yield abundance and to spare. In the days of his boyhood the surrounding county was largely covered with timber, through which bears, deer, and other wild game roamed at will, furnishing the principal meat for the pioneer families.
Mr. Eels comes of distinguished English stock, the first of the name to locate in American soil having been John Eels. who emigrated from England to Dorchester, Mass., in 1628. To him and wife there was born on June 25, 1629, a son, Samuel Eels, who afterward removed to Hingham, Mass., and on August 1, 1663, married Anna, a daughter of the Reverend Lenthal, of Weymouth, Mass. Soon after his marriage he removed from Hingham to Milford, Conn., where seven children were born into his household. The first two died in infancy. The third child, Samuel. was born September 2, 1666. His first wife, Martha, died in 1700, he subsequently marrying the Widow Bayard, nee Russell. Of this union there was one son, John Eels, who was born in 1702, and was baptized April 11, 1703. He received a liberal education, was graduated from Yale College in 1724. and died in New Canaan, Conn., October 15. !785. He married Anna Baird; and they became the parents of two children: Anna Baird, born May 1, 1729; and Jeremiah Baird, December 21, 1732. The latter married Lois Benedict, a grand-daughter of Dr. Bouton, of Norwalk, Conn., a French Huguenot, and a man of note. They had a family of ten children. the eldest of whom, named John, was born in New Canaan, Conn., November 16, 1755, and married Anna Mead, a twin daughter of General John Mead, of Greenwich, Conn. General Mead had command of the Continental troops adjacent to the neutral grounds between Horse Neck and New York; and it was on his farm that General Israel Putnam made his perilous ride down the rocky hill and escaped the Tory light horse, so famous in Revolutionary history.
John and Anna Mead Eels removed from New Canaan to the town of Walton in 1785, and were numbered among its most honored and valued pioneer settlers. They reared the following children : Anna horn in New Canaan. Conn.. December 20, 1784; John J.. born in Walton, February 24, 1786; Benjamin B., born March 8. 1788; Mead, July 3, 1790; Samuel, March 12, 1793; Mary, May 1, 1795; and Baird, October 10, 1797 Mead Eels, the father of the subject of this sketch married Philena Johnson. a daughter of Dorman and Rebecca (Church) Johnson, of Vermont, and reared seven children.
Stephen Decatur Eels received his education in the typical log school-house of early days, and on the home farm was trained to habits or industry and thrift. He learned the painters trade, and for fifty-four years made that his principal occupation. During the progress of the late Civil War he enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, and served until the cessation of hostilities. being then discharged with an honorable record.
Mr. Eels and his wife, formerly Mary Wood Marvin, have passed a happy wedded life of more than half a century, having been married fifty-three years ago, and have occupied their present home forty-eight years of this time. Four children have blessed their union. John, born December 31, 1843, married Anna Kneer; and they are residents of this county. He was a volunteer in the late war, being a member of the One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, which was stationed at Hilton Head, S.C. Ellen M., born January 27, 1846, married J. Q. Barlow, a farmer of Delaware County; and they have three sons - William, Marvin, Joseph, and John Alan - and also an adopted daughter, Daisy L. Emma Isabel, born May 6, 1848, married Robert L. Eels, and died in Norwalk, Conn. William H., born April 16. 1853, is proprietor of the Walton Times, of Walton. Delaware County. He has been twice married, his first wife having been Huldah H. Stoddard, who died in New Haven, Conn. He subsequently married Eleanor Place; and this union has been blessed by the birth of two children - Hamilton Chace and Martha D.
In early life, and during the existence of the Free Soil party, Mr. Eels was one of its warmest adherents, and cast his first Presidential vote for James G. Birney. On the organization of the Republican party he cordially indorsed its principles, and has since sustained them at the polls. For many years both he and his wife have been honored members of the First Congregational Church. As a man and Citizen, his record is without spot or blemish and he is held in high esteem throughout the community.
DEWITT CLINTON SHARPE, one of the thriving farmers of Stamford, was born in New York City, July 10. 1844. being a son of Alexander Y and Clarissa (Palmer) Sharpe, the former born in Brooklyn, March 29, 1817. and the latter in Connecticut January 19, 1822. The grandfather, Peter Sharpe. was a respected and successful business man of New York City. He was born in Holland, coming to America when comparatively a young man, and settling in New York City, where he resided until his death. Being an early settler of that city, he numbered among his friends many of the substantial old Knickerbocker families. He carried on very successfully a whip manufactory, owned considerable real estate, and at his death left a large property. On the 12th of April, 1792, he married Christina Notrand, who was born March 4, 1771. Of this union there were four children. namely: Fanny, born January 2. 1806; Harriett, February 22, 1806; John H., December 4, 1809; and Alexander Y., March 29, 1817. Of these children but one is living, Mrs. Whetmore, who now resides in Brooklyn. N.Y. Mrs. Christina Sharpe died in New York City in June, 1839, her husband surviving her but a few years. and dying August 2, 1842.
Alexander Y. Sharpe was a life-long resident of New York City. He inherited a large share of his father's estate, and passed the greater part of his time in travel, but finally located in Stamford, Conn., where he spent his last days. He died in the prime of life, when but thirty-nine Years of age, on the 14th of November, 1856. He was a Presbyterian in his religious views, and in politics a Whig. He had but one child, DeWitt Clinton Sharpe, the subject of this sketch. On September 29. 186i, Mrs. Alexander V. Sharpe was again married, her second husband being Daniel Andrews, a successful farmer of Stamford; and they moved to the farm upon which Mr. Andrews was born May 17, 1813. Daniel Andrews was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Marriam) Andrews, the former of whom was born in Fairfield County, Conn.. August 2, 1770. and the latter in Connecticut, September 7, 1775. They were the parents of fourteen children, twelve sons and two daughters. In 1794 they moved to Delaware County, and settled on the farm now owned by Mrs. DeWitt Sharpe. The country around was rough and uncultivated; and wild game, which is now almost a thing of the past, abounded. Samuel Andrews was a sturdy pioneer, and, nothing daunted by his surroundings, began to make a
home for his family. He erected a log cabin; but with hard work came success, and this rude building was replaced by a frame house, which was one of the first in this town. His was a good one, and comprised a large tract of land located in the Delaware River Valley; and here he lived until his death, October 10, 1838. His wife passed away October 12, 1865. Of their fourteen children but one is now living, the youngest, Benjamin, who resides in Brooklyn.
Daniel Andrews grew to manhood on the old farm, and was extensively engaged in farming all his life. He was a large landowner, having had possession during his life of seven or eight hundred acres. Most of the improvements on the old place were made by him. He was married twice, his first wife being Isabella Ann McDonald, who was born in Kortright, December 26, 1819. Of this union there were two children. Mary H., wife of DeWitt C. Sharpe. born June 13, 1844; John T., born July 31, 1846. who now resides in New York City. Mr. Andrews's first wife died April 27, 1859; and in 1861 he married Clarissa (Palmer) Sharpe, the mother of DeWitt C. Sharpe. There were no children by this union. Mr. and Mrs. Andrews were members of the Presbyterian church, in which both were active workers. He was a Republican in politics, and interested in the welfare of the town. For several years he held the office of Supervisor of Stamford. He died at the old homestead September 21, 1871. His wife also spent her last years here, and passed away January 3, 1883.
DeWitt C. Sharpe came to Stamford with his mother in 1861, being then a young man of seventeen. For about four years he was engaged in mercantile business in Brooklyn. but in 1865 moved to Hobart. and carried on a general store for about seven years, when. closing up his business there, he moved to the farm where he now resides. October 6, 1865, Mr. Sharpe married Mary H. Andrews and five children have blessed the union. DeWitt C., born October 28, 1866, is a farmer in the town of Kortright. Daniel A., born July is, 1869. is a telegraph operator and station agent in Brooklyn. Clara Belle, born April 3, 1871, is the widow of M. J. McNaught, and now resides at home. Mary E., born August 4. 1881, is also at home. John A. was born February 9, 1885.
Mr. Sharpe is liberal in his religious views. Politically, he is a Republican. He has taken an active part in the Hobart Agricultural Association and Horse and Cattle Show, has been President of the association, and held many of the other offices. The weather signal station, "Volunteer Observer Weather Bureau," which is located on his farm, was established in 1886 under General Hazen, and is now conducted by Mr. Sharpe. The farm, which contains three hundred and seventy-five acres, is beautifully located in the valley of the Delaware River, and is surrounded by the grand hills and mountains of the Catskills. It is devoted to general farming and dairying, the dairy comprising seventy-five head. That Mr. and Mrs. Sharpe have been successful in life is indicated by their surroundings, which plainly denote the good judgment and foresight of the owners.
JAMES S. ADEE is a respected and well-to-do agriculturist, descendant of a widely known pioneer family, and a fine representative of the citizen-soldier element, who so bravely served their country during the dark days of the Rebellion. He is a native of Delaware County, having been born on April 14. 1836, in the town of Bovina, on the same farm which some years before had been the birthplace of his father, Stephen Adee.
His grandfather, Samuel Adee. was born and reared in the town of Rye, Westchester County, N.Y., and lived there until 1790, when he came to this county, where he took up a tract of forest-covered land in the town now called Bovina. He built a log house to shelter his wife and children, and entered upon the hard task of clearing a farm. His persevering toil was in due time rewarded, the dense wilderness giving way to a well-cultivated farm, on which he had erected a good set of frame buildings; and there he and his faithful wife lived until called to the bright world beyond.
Stephen Adee was one of eight children born to his parents. He received as good an education as the pioneer schools of his day afforded, and early began to perform his full share of the arduous labor required in clearing and improving the wild land of the parental farm. Diligent and faithful, he remained with his parents, laboring day after day in the pioneer work of felling trees and upturning the sod, and, after the death of his father. took possession of the old homestead. Year by year he added to the improvements of the place, residing there until two years prior to his decease. Selling the old homestead to his son James, he at length removed to Kortright Centre, where he spent his last days, dying there at the age of sixty-nine years. He was twice married. His first wife, Elizabeth Luddington, was one of a family of ten children, five girls and five boys, born to Henry and Jane (Northrup) Luddington, of Bovina. Of their union six children were born, namely: Henry, deceased; George, a lawyer in Delhi; James S.; Augustus, a resident of Indiana, engaged in the stock business; Ruth, the wife of Robert McLouny, a farmer in Stamford; and Mary. the wife of Charles Martin. The mother of these children passed to the higher life at the comparativly early age of thirty-six years. She and her husband were faithful members of the Baptist church. After her death Mr. Adee married Nancy Orr, of Kortright, who died on the old homestead. leaving no issue.
James S. Adee was reared on the home farm, and acquired a substantial foundation for his education in the district school. This was supplemented by a thorough course of study at the Delhi Academy, after which he taught two terms in the district schools at Kortright and Bovina. He then formed a partnership with James Elliott. and entered into business In Bovina Centre, opening a store for general merchandise. They conducted a flourishing trade for four years, when Mr. Adee sold out his interest in the concern to his partner. The late Civil War was in progress. and Mr. Adee took steps to place himself among the brave men who were going
forth to fight for the defence of the country's flag. He enlisted in September, 1862, as a private in Company E, One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, and did faithful service until receiving his honorable discharge, July 15, 1865. He was an active participant in many skirmishes and in some of the most decisive battles of the war, and for gallant and meritorious conduct was promoted first to the rank of Sergeant, then to Orderly, or First Sergeant, and finally to the First Lieutenancy, which rank he held at the time of his discharge.
Returning to civil life, he settled in Bovina, and the following year, 1866, bought his fathers farm, which he carried on most successfully until 1880, improving the land and erecting new buildings, greatly increasing the value of the estate. In 1880 Mr. Adee moved to the farm of his father-in-law in Kortright, where he remained until the purchase of the estate on which he now resides. This farm contains three hundred acres of rich and fertile land, beautifully located on the river road, about four and one-half miles from Delhi. Mr. Adee devotes a good share of his attention to his dairy, keeping fifty-six cows and about thirty head of young stock, and in this branch of industry meets with rich returns.
In 1866 Mr. Adee married Mary F. Wetmore, one of the three children of S. S. D. Wetmore and Rebecca A. (Jacobs) Wetmore. Mr. Wetmore was formerly engaged in farming in the town of Kortright, but recently sold his farm to his son-in-law, W. 0. Hill. The pleasant wedded life of Mr. and Mrs. Adee was blessed by the birth of three children - James W., Lucia, and Ferris. In the chill November days of 1891 the home of this family was saddened by a great bereavement, the loving wife and tender mother being then called to the "life immortal." The domestic cares and duties now rest upon Miss Lucia, the daughter, who has become presiding genius of the household. Both she and her father are members of the Presbyterian church. and are active participants in all charitable works connected with that organization. Politically, Mr. Adee is a strong Republican. and is a member of England Post, No.142, Grand Army of the Republic.
ROBERT E. OLIVER was born January 12, 1860, on the farm upon which he now resides. Both his father and grandfather were natives of Perthshire Scotland. from which place the
grandfather emigrated to America with his family in 1830. They took passage in a sailing vessel, and were seven weeks in making the voyage. Thomas Oliver, the emigrant, settled in Meredith, Delaware County, where he spent the remainder of his life.
His son William, who was a boy of nine when he was brought to this country, became a clerk in a general store when he was old enough to earn his living, and was so industrious and economical that he was soon able to buy an interest in the establishment, and become a partner of his employer, Mr. Rich. Some years later he sold out and engaged in business at Delhi with a Mr. Elwood. Deciding at length to engage in agricultural life, he again sold his mercantile interests, and purchased a tract of land in the town of Tompkins, where he lived until his death. Only five acres of land were in cultivation; but William Oliver possessed both energy and judgment, and he soon added to his possessions, and left at his death, July 11, 1876. a farm of four hundred acres, two hundred of which were in an improved condition. William Oliver married Harriet Parsons, of Franklin, a daughter of Simeon and Rebecca Parsons. There were eight children born of this union, six of whom are still living.
Robert E. Oliver was a lad of sixteen when his father died; and he worked with his brothers until 1885, when he undertook the management of the place alone. He is extensively engaged in dairy farming, and owns a dairy supplied with all the modern improvements. In 1890 he married Miss Susie M. Gregory, of Tompkins; and they are the parents of two children - Mary and Mabel. Mr. and Mrs. Oliver are members of the Presbyterian church.
Mrs. Oliver belongs to a family whose record is worthy of more than a passing note. One of her ancestors, who was among the earliest settlers of this part of New York, came from New England in 1775, and selected a tract of land upon which he intended to settle; but the hostility of the Indians in the vicinity made it unsafe to remain. He accordingly burned his stacks of grain; and then, taking his wife on horseback behind him, he journeyed back to New England. He enlisted and served throughout the Revolutionary War, and, after the establishment of the American republic, returned to his forest possessions in New York. which he cleared and improved, and from which a home was gradually evolved. Here he lived until his death. Her great-grandfather, being raised up as a farmer, naturally followed the lead of early training, and purchased a tract of land in what is now known as Gregorytown, where he passed the residue of his life. He married a Miss Sally Fuller. The grandfather of Mrs. Oliver, Josiah Gregory, removed to Tompkins in 1840, and remained there. His wife was Viletty Sutton, the daughter of a lumber dealer and farmer. The mother of Mrs. Oliver was Mary Fisher, a daughter of Frederick and Eliza Fisher.
WALLACE B. GLEASON, who is very prosperously engaged in the flour and feed business with Charles E. Kiff a sketch of whose life appears on another page of this work, is a representative citizen of Delhi, and intimately identified with its industrial interests. He is a native of the town, and first saw the light of this world on March 14, 1859. He is of stanch New England ancestry, his grandfather. William Gleason, having been a native of Connecticut and a descendant of a well-known and honored family of that State After spending the days of his early manhood in the town in which he was born, William Gleason came to Delaware Count, being among its earliest settlers, arriving here in 1802, and, buying a tract of unimproved land in the town of Roxbury, there continued the occupation to which he had been reared. By unwearied and skilful labor he cleared a good homestead from the forest, and remained one of Roxbury's most respected citizens until his death in 1861. He reared a family of eight children, one of whom was a son. also named William.
William Gleason. Jr., was born in Moresville, now Grand Gorge, in the town of Roxbury, and until the age of twenty-one years remained a member of the parental household. He attended the district schools, and fitted himself for a teacher by private study, in which he obtained a knowledge of the higher branches of education. For some time he was engaged in teaching school, and later studied law in the office of Judge Munson at Hobart, in the town of Stamford, remaining with him until admitted to the bar in 1843. He began the practice of his profession in Hobart, continuing there seven years, when he came to Delhi. Here he engaged in the active practice or law until he was elected a member of the State Assembly in the year 1850. After serving one term he was made Surrogate and County Judge, an office which he so ably and faithfully filled that after the expiration of his term of service, in 1859. he was reelected for another term. During the progress of the late Rebellion Judge Gleason was Commissioner of the drafts for the United States service. His eminent legal qualifications were recognized throughout the county; and, having built up a lucrative practice, he continued in active work until 1890, when he retired. having in his honored career by his own unaided efforts amassed a competency. In his home life he was a most affectionate and tender husband and an indulgent father, revered by his children.
On May 9, 1894, after a lingering illness of sixteen weeks, Judge Gleason. at the age of seventy-six years, passed beyond the confines of earth. His death was deemed a public calamity; and at a meeting of the Delaware County bar, held at the court-house in the village of Delhi, May 10, 1894, W. H. Johnson, Esq., upon taking the chair, paid an eloquent tribute to his many virtues and great intellectual attainments, George Adee, Esq., gave a graphic and interesting biographical account of the Judge. Arthur More, Esq., spoke feelingly of the great assistance which he had in his youth received from the wise counsel of Judge Gleason. Alexander Cummings. Esq., spoke of his unswerving integrity and unwavering fidelity to his clients, and J. A. Kemp, Esq., and C. L. Andrus, Esq., spoke in behalf of the younger members of the bar. Resolutions in honor of the memory of Judge Gleason were subsequently prepared, of which the following is a copy:
"On the ninth day of May. 1894, Judge William Gleason passed from among us: His familiar face we shall never again see, except as we look upon it in the stillness of death. His busy life is ended, and all that is left of him for us is a memory. But that memory, thanks to the natural gifts with which God endowed him, and his own industry, perseverance, integrity, and upright life, is to all of us a most kindly recollection. His work is ended, but his character for good has left its impress on all our minds. He will be remembered and honored as a most able lawyer, sound jurist, and conscientious citizen. His habits, morality, industry, and integrity gave to him the proud distinction of being one of the leaders of the Delaware County Bar. The world is better for Judge Gleason's years and life. The present generation of young men in and out of the legal profession may learn from his life and character a lesson of incalculable value. They should study, and contemplate the lesson of his life. In honor of our deceased brother we desire that this expression of the sentiments of the bar of Delaware County be ordered placed upon the records of the court. Abram C. Crosby, George Adee, Arthur More, Committee of the Bar."
The wife of Judge Gleason, formerly Caroline Blanchard, was one of four children born to John Blanchard, of Meredith. Mr. Blanchard subsequently removed to Delhi, and, forming a partnership with Charles F. Kiff. became one of its most successful merchants. Mrs. Gleason, who still occupies the homestead, reared three children born of her union with Judge Gleason - John B., Wallace B., and La Fayette B.
Wallace B. Gleason, second son of Judge Gleason, received a substantial foundation for his education in the district schools of his native village; and this instruction was supplemented by a course of study at the Delaware Academy. After leaving school, Mr. Gleason read law for a while with his father; but, being desirous of entering upon a mercantile career, he formed a partnership with Charles E. Kiff in 1882, and, establishing a flour, feed, and general grain business, has since built up an extensive and lucrative trade.
The most important event in the life of Mr. Gleason was his marriage with Miss Maggie Fletcher, the daughter of William Fletcher, a blacksmith of Delhi, and a native of Scotland, and of whom a sketch may be found on another page. Their nuptials were celebrated August 22, 1883; and their pleasant home circle has been brightened by the birth of two children - Caroline Louise and Donald William. In politics Mr. Gleason affiliates with the Democratic party, and takes an intelligent interest in whatever is for the general good of the community. Religiously, he attends the Presbyterian church, of which his wife and mother are devout members.
DR. EDGAR B. LAKE, a talented young physician of Meredith Hollow, was born at Cherry Valley, Otsego County, N.Y., March 4. 1864, a son of Thomas and Louisa (Wood) Lake. His grandfather, Joel Wood, was a native of Connecticut, coming to Otsego Countv when a young man. He purchased a tract of land, which lie cleared, and followed the occupation of a farmer. He was the father of five children; namely, Joel, Henry, Jehial, Elizabeth Ann. and Thomas.
Thomas Lake was brought up to farming pursuits, residing at home until he was twenty-five. when he rented a farm for a time, afterward purchasing one in Jefferson County, where he lived for several years. Some years ago he moved to Schenevus,. where he is now living retired. Mr. Lake married Louisa Wood. a daughter of John Wood, of Jefferson County, who was of Quaker ancestry. Of this union the following children were born: Frank, Edgar B., Merritt, Elmer, and Adelbert.
Edgar B. Lake spent his early years on his father's farm, receiving an education at the district and normal schools. He afterward taught school for three terms at Milford and Cartersville. For one year he read medicine with Dr. Manchester, of Oneonta. and then entered the University of New York City. whence he was graduated with high honors in the class of 1888. After graduation he practised for two years at Marion, Ohio, but left there on account of his wife's health, locating at Meredith, and has today a large and lucrative practice.
Dr. Lake was married August 15, 1890, to Miss Mollie J. Taylor, a daughter of Arthur Taylor, a shoe dealer of Cardington, Ohio. Dr. and Mrs. Lake have one living child, Eva B. Mabel died in infancy. Dr. Lake is a member of the Delaware County Medical Society, also of the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America. He is an attendant of the Methodist church, of which Mrs. Lake is a member. Dr. Lake is Postmaster of Meridale, formerly Meredith Hollow, receiving the appointment under the Cleveland administration, and his wife occupying the position of Deputy. He is also Health Officer of Meredith. For several months he has studied under Dr. Swinburn, the celebrated specialist, thereby adding to his already large fund of medical knowledge.
PORTER G. NORTHUP is a successful agriculturist and life-long resident of Franklin, Delaware County, N.Y. His father, William Northup, was a native of Rhode Island, but when very young was brought by his parents to Franklin, where he later engaged in farming. He married Amanda Foote, a daughter of Jairus Foote, whose wife was a Miss Wilson; and they became parents of eight children. One daughter, Martha Northup, was educated in the district school, but for many years suffered from ill health. September 8, 1886, she married Mahlon Rowell, who was born in Walton, January 6, 1837, a son of Alvah and Sarah (Wakeman) Rowell. Alvah Rowell was born in Fairfield County, Connecticut, in May, 1803, and became a successful teacher and prosperous farmer. He died of heart disease, April 3, 1869, his widow living to reach her seventy-eighth year, and passing away September 16, 1881, leaving five children namely: Helen M., widow of Isaac Elderkin; Mahlon; Charles D., a farmer in Franklin; Julia Ann, wife of Robert Woodburn, of Addison, N.Y.; Edward P. a teacher, residing in California. Mahlon Rowell was reared on his father's farm, but, being in delicate health, received only a limited education. Until his marriage too Miss Northup he lived on the old farm with his sister, but now owns a small place of thirty-one acres near East Handsome Brook. His has been a quiet, uneventful life, passed in peace and happiness in the country, where the excitement and noise of the bustling city never penetrate. It is a remarkable fact that Mr. Rowell has never ridden in a public conveyance or attended a circus. He is a Republican, although never an office-holder, and religiously is a member of the Congregational Church.
Porter G. Northup was born in Franklin, April 24, 1829, and attended the district school and academy of that town. When seventeen years of age, he determined to start out in the world for himself, and accordingly accepted a position as travelling salesman for a firm dealing in jewelry and silver, which position he occupied for several years. April 31, 1850, he married Mis M. Mary Chamberlin, daughter of Deacon David Chamberlin; and the newly married couple began life on Mr. Northup's farm of two hundred acres. This he sold in 1866, and bought another, comprising one hundred and thirty acres, which they occupied until 1888, then rented it. Mr. and Mrs. Northup have lost one son, Louis, who died at the age of six years; but one daughter, Mary Augusta, is still spared to them. She graduated at the Delaware Literary Institute, and taught for several terms. She is now wife of William D. Ogden.
Mr. Northup was a member of the Republican party until 1873, when he espoused the cause of the Prohibitionists, representing this party in the State Convention in 1876, and being the only Prohibitionist in the county at that time. He is familiarly known as the "Prohibition War Horse," so ardent is he in the work of his political platform. He held the office of Highway Commissioner under a Republican administration, and has been a candidate for Supervisor, Assemblyman, and Congressman on the Prohibition ticket. For many years he has been intensely interested in all matters pertaining to agriculture, being President of the Agricultural Association for two years, and serving as its Secretary for a long period. He has taken prizes to the value of five hundred dollars on his choice sheep, cattle, horses, and farm produce at the different fairs.
Mr. Northup's parents were Congregationalists; but he joined the Baptist church, and for many years was a leading member of this society, form which he resigned, August 8, 1879, at a public meeting, claiming as a reason for his resignation that the church was encouraging the liquor traffic. At present he is not a church member, but gives proof of his strong convictions in upright, honest living, true to his conscience and his country's welfare.
WILLIAM HENRY WOOD, a wealthy farmer in Franklin, was born in this town. March 8, 1834, during the second Presidency of General Jackson. His grandfather was John Wood, who died while Charles, William's father, was a small boy. John came from Ireland, settled in Boston, and fought in the Revolution. His wife was Mary Sarles; but what became of his four brothers, who immigrated at the same time with himself, nothing is now know by this branch of the Wood family. Charles Wood was born in 1804, just thirty years earlier than his son William, in Tompkins; but he died in Franklin, November 22, 1893. He married Eliza Wheat, daughter of a sea captain, William Wheat, and his wife, Mary Bolles. The Wheat family was of Welsh descent. Eliza and Charles were married in September, 1831; and they had three boys and a girl. The third son, Charles, named for his father, died at the early age of eleven. Rufus Sylvester Wood is a retired farmer, living in Franklin, at the age of sixty-two. The second son is the subject of this sketch. Their sister Jane married D. Colby Dibble, a farmer now in Dakota County, Nebraska. The mother of these children died in 1883, aged seventy-two, and rests beside her husband in the Ouleout cemetery. William Henry Wood grew up on the farm, and went to the district school and to the academy in Franklin. His father was by trade a blacksmith. The homestead was on an estate of one hundred and thirty-four acres, not far south-east of the village of Franklin. William Wood was married October 23, 1855, to Sarah Jane Abel, daughter of Emery Abell, of Franklin and Ruth Northway Abell, both natives of Massachusetts. They came to Delaware County in 1824. Mrs. Sarah J. Wood has two brothers and two sisters, all living. Her father died February 10, 1884, aged seventy, and her mother a year earlier, on January 28, 1883, aged sixty-seven; and both these deaths occurred in the present home of their daughter Sarah, where they had lived during twelve years after Mr. Abell's retirement from active life. In 1856 Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Wood went West, as far as Jackson County, Iowa, where they remained eighteen months, thereafter removing to Dakota County, Nebraska, where they took a farm of one hundred and twenty acres. Always an agriculturist, and believing thoroughly in land-ownership, Mr. Wood now has six farms, aggregating in all fourteen hundred acres, to which he gives his attention. He is the father of two children now living. Stella Wood married L.W. White, land and loan agent in Woodbine, Iowa, and has three children. Frederick Abell Wood is just finishing his education at Hamilton College. The parents have lost three other children. Charles Emory Wood, named for his grandfathers, died in boyhood, aged fourteen months, while his parents were in Iowa. Nellie Wood died when only twenty-two months old, in Franklin. George F. Wood, a brilliant and promising scholar, a fluent speaker, and a graduate of Hamilton College, had completed his first year in the Union Theological Seminary, New York City, when he called to give up his young life at the early age of twenty-six.
In religious belief the father is a Baptist and the mother a Methodist; but they agree in practical religion, adopting the sentiments of the immortal Washington: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain could that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert those pillars of human happiness, those firmest props of the duties of men and citizens."
CALVIN MCALLISTER is a well-known and highly respected resident of Walton, and a man who has always, since he settled in this town, been closely connected with local affairs, and especially with all religious matters. He was born in New York City, October 22, 1844. His father, David McAllister, was born in 1800, in the north of Ireland, where he grew to manhood, and was married to Mary Scott Enrouth. Not long after that event he embarked with his wife in a sailing-vessel, and after a long, tedious voyage arrived in this country. He engaged in the dry-goods business in New York City, where they lived for twenty years, and then removed from the metropolis to Bethel, Sullivan County. A short time prior to his death he made his residence in Newburg, Orange County, on the Hudson. He died about 1870, leaving his widow with eight children, five sons and three daughters, of whom Calvin was the seventh child. Mrs. McAllister died in Newburg, in 1887, at eighty-years of age. They were members of the Reformed Presbyterian church, of which Mr. McAllister was an Elder. Their bodies rest in the cemetery at Coldenham, Orange County.
At the age of nineteen, after finishing his education in the district schools, Calvin McAllister volunteered in the service of his country, and went to the front in Company G, Second Regiment, New York Volunteer Rifles, and was in the Army of the Potomac during the campaigns at Spottsylvania, North Anna River, Cold Harbor, and at Petersburg, Va. At the latter place he received a gunshot wound in the left elbow. He went to the field hospital, and then by transport to Alexandria. Here he suffered from severe mortification of his wound, which at one time appeared so serious that he was given a leave of absence; and he came North to his father's, where he could receive treatment amid the comforts of home, and the kind ministrations of friend and kindred. A council of physicians was held, and decided that amputation was necessary. Dr. Apply, surgeon of the New York & Erie Railroad, was called; and through his excellent skill Mr. McAllister escaped all the discomforts of an operation and the loss of his arm, coming out of the crisis in good condition.
In 1867 Mr. McAllister married Maria, daughter of D.G. and Jane (Chambers) McDonald, of Walton. Mrs. McAllister died after one year of married life, leaving an infant who lived but three months after its mother's death. Mr. McAllister was again married June 13, 1870, to Mary Cowan, daughter of William and Elizabeth A. (McCullogh) Cowan. Mrs. Cowan was a native of Newburg, while Mr. Cowan was born in New York City. Mr. and Mrs. Cowan were married in New York in 1836, and continued living in that city for seven years, when they moved to York, Livingston County, where they carried on agricultural pursuits until the death of Mr. Cowan in 1870, in his sixty-second year. His widow, now in her eighty-first year, is with her daughter in Walton, and although feeble in body is still vigorous in mind, and interested in all the affairs of the day. Her one living son, Moses, is a farmer in Livingston; and another son, William, died from an accident when but eleven years old.
Mrs. McAllister studied at Ingham University, Le Roy, N.Y., and before her marriage engaged in teaching. A deep sorrow came to the family in the loss of the eldest daughter while still an infant, and great was the joy of the father and mother when two other children came to bless their home. The eldest of these is Anna Vida, who is now a Sophomore at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass. The other child is David C. McAllister, who has just graduated, in 1894, from the Walton High School, and although but sixteen years of age bore off the highest honors, being valedictorian of his class. He is now a Freshman in Amherst College, Amherst, Mass.
Since Mr. McAllister came to Walton, in 1874, he has been engaged in the produce business, especially in buying butter and shipping it to Eastern markets, and has established a flourishing trade, which is rapidly growing to large proportions. In politics he is a firm adherent of the Republican party. In the Congregationalist church both Mr. McAllister and his wife are valuable workers, he having been superintendent of the Sunday-school connected with that church for past four years. He is a clear-headed, high-principled man, of strong personality and wide-reaching influence.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM SMITH, a well-known resident of Tompkins, who earned his shoulder-straps by bravely battling for the Union in the late war, has passed through varied experiences, meeting with thrilling adventures; and the story of his life is most interesting. His great-grandmother Smith was one of the famous "Green Mountain Boys" who fought for freedom under Ethan Allen in the Revolution. He was an extensive land-owner, and gave to each of his five sons, as they attained successively their majority, a large farm. His last days were passed in Wardsboro, Vt., of which the family were pioneers.
Richard Smith was born in Massachusetts, and moved with his parents to Vermont, where he was a prosperous farmer. He died there at an advanced age, in 1863. Many exciting stories of Revolutionary times, gleaned from his father, he in turn told to his son and grandson. Mason Smith, son of Richard, was born in Windham, Vt., but, when a young man, removed to Delaware County, New York, and purchased land in Masonville, which he proceeded to clear, and there erected a log house, being employed in the sawmills in the winter. He married Caroline Reynolds, of Masonville; and they were the parents of six children - Mary, Henry M., Winchester, William, Stillman, and Charles. Mason Smith was killed at the age of forty-five by a fall from a building in Masonville. His wife survived him a number of years.
William, son of Mason and Caroline (Reynolds) Smith, was born in Masonville, January 31, 1843, and passed his boyhood in Vermont, being educated in the town of Wardsboro in that State, and afterward attending the normal school in Geneseo, Ill. He started out in life on board the whaler, "Homer," of Fairhaven, Mass., and sailed to the coast of Morocco, where they were shipwrecked. The natives being hostile, they were obliged to watch day and night, and twice fought them for their lives. The natives endeavored to smother them by closing the only opening for air in the hut, but were repulsed; and after five a small boat was sighted. This proved to be commanded by Portuguese, and manned by a crew of negroes, one of whom was left on board while the others landed. Mr. Smith and his companions lay in hiding until the sailors of the small boat had made their way inland, and then swam out and captured their prize, taking prisoner the only man on board, whom they bound and took ashore. Gathering together their possessions, they put out to sea, and after five days sighted one of the South Azores Islands, where they landed and were most kindly received by the American consul. Mr. Smith then shipped on the American brigantine, "Candace," of Boston, engaged in the smuggling of tobacco into Portugal, and, after many exciting adventures, returned to Boston on her, arriving there in September, 1860. He then shipped for the winter on a coaster, after which he returned to Masonville, having been absent for two years, and found his mother mourning him as lost, the wreck of his vessel having been reported by a homeward-bound ship which saw her driving on to the rocks, but was unable to render assistance.
In March, 1862, Mr. Smith enlisted in the Eighth Vermont Infantry, and went South with General Butler, participating in the taking of Fort Jackson, Fort St. Philip, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge. In the fall of 1862 he was detailed as Drillmaster, and in September was promoted by General Butler to the office of First Lieutenant. After raising the Union troops of Louisiana, he was made First Lieutenant of Company A, Second Regiment of that State, and, for bravery in action, twenty days later was promoted to the office of Captain, and assigned to Company H of the same regiment. He was present at the siege of Port Hudson, and participated with his regiment in all the fighting that followed, taking an active part in thirty-one battles, besides several skirmishes, and following General Banks on his Red River expedition. In 1864 he resigned his commission, and went to Illinois, three months later enlisting in the Ninth Illinois Cavalry fromt he the town of Geneseo for one year. He was discharged July 1, 1865, having been present at the battle of Nashville and in many skirmishes. After the war closed, Captain Smith engaged in farming for fourteen years in Clayton, Bay County, Mich., of which town he was Supervisor from the village of Mapleridge for twelve successive years, also Commissioner of Highways, Superintendant of Public Schools, and Justice of the Peace. His health failing, he removed to the State of Delaware, and was employed in building electric railways, being foreman in the building of several large lines. Eight years later he returned to New York State, and settled on the farm where he now resides, very near his birthplace, having been absent twenty-three years.
September 20, 1866, Captain Smith married Sarah A. Scott, daughter of David and Clarissa (Eggliston) Scott, of Tompkins; and they had seven children; Elmer E., who died when ten months old; Clara E.; Rosa A.; Lela Irene, who died at the age of two and one-half years; Lulu May; Lena Maud; and Walter S.,. who died at nine months old. Captain Smith and his wife are members of the Kingswood Methodist Episcopal Church of Wilmington, Del., and are most profoundly esteemed wherever they are known.
FRANK MELVILLE ANDRUS, one of the leading lawyers of the town of Roxbury, Delaware County, where he was born on the 8th of February, 1861, is of English descent, and seems to have inherited the traits of sagacity, thrift, and industry that have through successive generations distinguished the Andrus family. He is the son of Daniel D. and Catherine N. (Stratton) Andrus, and grandson of Daniel D. and Polly D. (Demmon) Andrus, both of English parentage. Daniel Andrus, the grandfather, a native of Albany County, where he was born March 26, 1786, came to Meeker Hollow, and settled upon a tract of land covering an area of one hundred and thirty acres. Later in life he moved to Victor, Ontario County, taking his family with him, and established himself there as a drover. In the fiftieth year of his age, while on a business trip in the eastern part of the State, he was taken ill, and died on the 20th of July, 1836, leaving a wife, who did not long survive him, and eleven children, who were born in the following order: Joseph D., born November 19, 1808; Alonzo B., March 19, 1810; Laura L., May 28, 1812; Justice D., August 8, 1814; Anna, August 29, 1816; Catherine, July 30, 1818; Polly D., September 10, 1820; Brazil, February 10, 1823; Maranda D., October 20, 1828; Daniel D., December 2, 1831; and Anna C., April 2, 1833.
Daniel D., the youngest son, was sent back to Delaware County at the age of five years, where he grew to manhood under the guidance of Mr. Ira Hicks. He was educated in the district school, and for some time was a clerk in Mr. Hick's store, but finally embarked in the cattle business, inheriting an aptitude in that line from his father, and proving himself equally successful. He married Kate N. Stratton, who was born March 17, 1839, a daughter of Lewis and Jane (Lockwood) Stratton. The grandfather of Mrs. Kate Andrus was one of the early settlers of that locality so famous for its beauty, and known as the Stratton Falls. Daniel Andrus was a Democrat in politics, and held the offices of Assessor, Supervisor, and Justice of the Peace. Socially, he was a member of Coeur de Lion Lodge.
Frank Melville Andrus attended the district school of Delaware County, and afterward went to Stamford, N.Y., where he pursued more advanced studies. He finally applied himself to the study of law, and, after reading with Mr. Henry C. Soop, was admitted to the bar in 1885, since which time he has practised his profession, in partnership with his former tutor, Mr. Soop.
Mr. Andrus married Nellie E. Pierce, daughter of Roderick and Olive A. (Peck) Pierce; and their union has been blessed with one child, Olive E. In his political convictions Mr. Andrus is a Democrat, and in his religious views liberal. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is Past master of Coeur de Lion Lodge.
TRUMAN GUILD may properly be classed among the most prosperous business men of Walton, Delaware, N.Y., where he is senior member of the firm of T. Guild & Son, druggists. Mr. Guild is purely American, his grandfather Jeremiah Guild, having been born in Warren, Conn., September 4, 1746, in which town he also died in 1822. His mother, who was early left a widow, passed away in 1792, at the age of seventy-two years.
Jeremiah Guild was a navigator, who followed the sea for many years, experiencing the marvellous escapes and exciting adventures of a sailor's life. During one voyage his vessel was seized by the British, and he and his brother were taken prisoner and carried to Halifax. After their release he returned to Middletown, Conn., and later removed to Warren, where he engaged in the charcoal trade in connection with the iron works in that place. Mr. Guild was a member of Trinity Parish, and was most influential in the building of the church.
Mr. Guild married Miss Hannah Hale, of Middlefield, who became the mother of nine children, five of whom were sons: Timothy; Gael; Albon; Everett, the father of the subject of this sketch; and Jeremiah. When but forty-four years old, this tender, loving mother was taken away; and September 2, 1800, the husband was again married, to Miss Lucinda F. Eaton, who was born in Coventry in 1768, and lived to reach her eighty-first year. Five children were the issue of this second marriage, all of whom have passed away: Lucinda; Frederick, a soldier of the late war; Sophrona; Truman; and Anna Maria.
Everett, son of Jeremiah and Hannah (Hale) Guild, was born in Warren in 1773, and died in Walton in 1849. On May 5, 1810, he married Miss Hannah Perkins, of Massachusetts, who was born August 31, 1775, and died November 27, 1850. Soon after their marriage they settled in Walton, N.Y., where Mr. Guild gave his attention to the manufacture of harnesses and saddlery. Like his father, he was a member of the Episcopal church, and in politics a Democrat. He and his wife were parents of nine children, namely: Everett; Lyman; Delia; Emily; Edwin; Truman; Marshall; Emma; and Edward, who died in infancy. Only two, Marshall and Truman, are still living. Everett E. was a Universalist minister in Binghamton, where he died when seventy-six years old, leaving one daughter. Edwin was a prominent merchant of Walton, where he died aged sixty-four, in 1884, mourned by a widow and one son. Delia became the wife of Gabriel Hoyt of Walton, in which town she passed away in 1892, being seventy-five years old and the mother of eight children. Lyman, a harness-maker, was born in Walton in 1813, and died at his birthplace in the prime of life. Emily, who was born in 1817, married B. F. Griswold, and died in Atlantic City in the fall of 1892, leaving one son.
Truman Guild was born in Walton, September 1, 1825, and like most of his brothers, learned the harness-maker's trade from his father. In 1849, on the fifth day of September, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Keen, daughter of George M. and Matilda (Saybolt) Keen. The Keens were natives of Orange County, where Mr. Keen was employed as a stone-mason. They were the parents of nine children, and lived to a good old age, Mr. Keen dying in Pompton in 1865, aged eighty-one, and Mrs. Keen living till her ninety-sixth year, when she died, December 23, 1871. Of these children the following are now living: Mary Jane, widow of William F. Wood, a livery man, of St. Joseph, Mo.; Abigail M., wife of W.T. Palmer, of Milwaukee; Valentine Mottkeen, who is a railroad machinist at Scranton, Pa.; George P.; a drayman in Honesdale, Pa.; Frederick; Ira; Lucy; and Elizabeth, the wife of the subject of this sketch.
Although Elizabeth was very young at the time of her marriage, she was an excellent housekeeper, and with her husband's aid has guided to maturity four children, namely: George Everett Guild, born November 9, 1850, a Presbyterian minister of Scranton, Pa., who married Mary Clark, of Florence, Mass., by whom he has three children - Clark G., E. Burnham, and Gertrude E.; Fannie M., widow of Herbert Twaddell, who has three sons - Ralph S., Howard J., and Everett E.; Edwin L., a druggist in partnership with his father, who married Julia C. Ogden, of Walton, and has two children - Edna S., eight years of age, and Emily O., who has see but four summers; Harriet E., wife of Henry O. Tobey, a grocer of Walton, who is mother of two daughters and one son - Anna G., Martha B., and Truman C. Mr. and Mrs. Guild have been called upon to part with two sons and three grandchildren, who have passed on to the eternal home. The family are all members of the Congregational church, where they are constant and interested attendants.
Mr. Guild is a Democrat, but has never held office in that organization, content that his vote should always favor the men best qualified in his estimation to rule the people of this land. A gentleman of rare mercantile ability, high moral principles, and genial, affable manner, he has founded a reliable business, in the successful conduct of which he is ably assisted by his son. The sterling qualities of Mr. Guild are most thoroughly appreciated by his large circle of friends, all of whom regard him as a man of noble character and upright life.
JOHN T. SHAW, a well-known and prominent lawyer of Delhi, Delaware County, N.Y., was born in the same town, May 14, 1844. His father Daniel Shaw, was also a native of Delhi. The grandfather, John Shaw, was a Scotchman by birth, and came to this country about 1800, bring his wife, who was a Miss Anna McBain, also his father, mother, brothers, and sisters. They all settled in Delaware County, with the exception of James Shaw, who went to Genesee, where he reared a family of ten or eleven children, some of his descendants still living there.
John Shaw was one of the earliest settlers in Delhi, purchasing land here at a period when there was but one store in the village, Main Street being at that time nothing but a country road. Mr. Shaw was one of the active men of his day, possessed of good judgement, and eminently successful in business. He moved from his first location to a farm on the Little Delaware River, where he lived for many years, but later sold it to one of his sons, and retired to Delhi, where he died July 3, 1868, at the advanced age of ninety-six. His wife was also long-lived, dying in her ninety-third year. The following-named children of their family lived to years of maturity; namely, Ann, Nellie, Isabel, Margaret, Daniel, Alexander, John, James, and William.
Daniel Shaw was educated at the district school, afterward working with his father on the farm, and remaining with him until he was twenty-one. Later he purchased a farm, which he conducted successfully until 1847, and then bought one near Delhi. Mr. Shaw was a member of the Republican party, and held several important town offices. He married Miss Margaret Lenox, a daughter of James Lenox, an early settler in Delhi and a prominent man of the town. To them were born eleven children, of whom the following-named reached maturity; John T., Jennie A., Daniel W., Emma, Hattie, Nettie, Perry, and Lillie. Mrs. Shaw died May 30, 1870, aged forty-seven, and Mr. Shaw in 1881, aged sixty.
John T. Shaw, the subject of this notice, received his education at the district school, afterward assisting his father on the farm. A farmer's life not being to his liking, however he took a course at the Delhi Academy, and then taught school during the winter season until he was twenty, when he entered the employ of Mr. D. Ballantine as clerk, remaining with him for one year. He was next employed in New York City for a year, afterward returning to Andes, where he commenced the study of law in the office of William H. Johnson. In 1867 he went to Iowa, where he taught school, but the following year returned to Andes, and for a time acted as clerk for Mr. Johnson. In May, 1869, he was admitted to the bar at Binghamton, at the general term of the Supreme Court, to practise in all the courts of the State. He continued as clerk for Mr. Johnson until 1870, when he opened an office at Margarettville, remaining there for eighteen months. In 1872. He commenced practice in Delhi, and has remained here ever since, practising in all the courts of the State. For eight consecutive years he held the office of Justice of the Peace.
January 4, 1871, Mr. Shaw married Miss Margaret S. Maxwell, a daughter of Ebenezer K. Maxwell, grandson of Judge Foot, first judge of Delaware County; and to this union have been born three children: Maxwell D., a clerk for Mr. Hudson, of Delhi; Frederick F. and Frances R., both students at the Delhi Academy. Mr. Shaw is a strong supporter of the Republican party. The family are all members of the Episcopal church. Mr. Shaw is essentially a self-made man, having gained his present honorable position by dint of energy and perservance.
EDWARD EDGERTON, a leading citizen of Franklin, Delaware County, was born in Sidney Plains, on April 26, 1829. An enterprising ancestor was Richard Edgerton, one of a company of nine men who purchased and settled on a tract of thirty-nine square miles, in that part of Connecticut where the city of New London now stands. From his three sons are descended most of the Edgertons now to be found on this side of the Atlantic. One of these three was Nathan Edgerton, the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch. This Nathan Edgerton had a son, to whom he gave the same name. The second Nathan was born in Connecticut, but came early to the region where the town of Franklin now stands. The nearest mill was at Cooperstown; and, when there was a bag of corn to be ground, he rode with it as far as the port of Unadilla, on the river, where he took a canoe. This involved a trip of two or three days; and on his return his wife would meet him at the landing, with the horse, and they would ride home together. Their son Thomas was the first white child born in the town of Franklin. Nathan Edgerton was at one time Sheriff of Delaware County. He died some years before his wife, who lived to within four years of the century. They were industrious farmers, and able to pass their declining years in comfort; and their bodies rest in the family burial-yard. The grandmother was Sally Belshaw, a lady with some Irish blood in her veins; and her seven children all lived to a good old age, having families and farms of their own. One son, John, lived to be eighty-six. Grandfather Nathan had a brother Roger, who fought in the Revolution, and was captured at New York, but later became a Coventry farmer, on land won by his military services, where he died. His son, Albert Edgerton, is now a lawyer in St. Paul, Minn., and was one of the veteran's two sons to be present at the family reunion, recently held in the metropolis.
Grandfather Nathan Edgerton had a son Nathan, the third to bear this name. He was born in Franklin in 1795, and died in Walton in 1856. His wife was Emily Howell, of Franklin, the daughter of Simeon Howell. Their only son was Edward, though he has had three sisters, of whom one survives, Maria, the widow of W.T. Dart, of Des Moines, Iowa. One sister, Sally Ann, died in the prime of life, unmarried; and the other sister, Harriet, died in Walton in 1857, the wife of Andrew Steele, leaving three sons and three daughters. Mrs. Emily Howell Edgerton died in 1851.
Till he was sixteen Edward Edgerton stayed at home, going to school, and working on the farm. He then went to work with his uncle, John Edgerton, a prominent storekeeper in Franklin, who was also in public life as Supervisor and Sheriff. Six years later, in 1851, at the age of twenty-two, Edward took to himself a wife on Christmas Day. She was Lucy Mellor, of Middlefield, Otsego County, a daughter of John Mellor and his wife, Ann Barnett, both of whom came from Derbyshire, England, in 1830, though her father crossed the seas in advance of his wife, in order to have a home ready when the mother came over with her three boys and five girls. She died in 1867, aged seventy-seven, and he in 1875, ten years older; and they both now rest in Ouleout Valley cemetery, he being the first person interred in that beautiful spot. A cousin of our subject, Erastus S. Edgerton, the son of Erastus Edgerton, did much for this cemetery. He was a banker in St. Paul, Minn., was interested in several other banks in different States, and was one of the few business men able to withstand the financial panic of 1857. At one time he was Deputy Sheriff, and in this capacity was active in suppressing the anti-rent riots, and barely escaped with his life, having a horse shot under him and a bullet passing through his hat. At the same time the Under-sheriff, Mr. Steele, was killed. Erastus S. Edgerton left provision in his will for a family monument to be erected in the Ouleout Valley cemetery, which provision has been fully carried out, the monument costing ten thousand dollars.
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Edgerton have lived in Franklin since their marriage, and from 1853 to 1857 kept the hotel, but have now been farming for nearly forty years, except during two years, when Mr. Edgerton was engaged in lumbering. They have lost two children. Agnes married Isaac Birdsall, and died in April, 1877, just as she reached the age of twenty-one, leaving an infant son, Edward Ira Birdsall, who has been adopted by his grandparents, and received the patronymic, Edgerton. He is a young man of great promise, having been graduated with honors from the Delaware Institute in the class of 1894, at the age of seventeen, receiving a gold medal for declamation. Edward F. Edgerton was graduated from the medical department of the University of New York, and also from the Homeopathic College in the same city. He was enjoying a successful practice when his death occurred, at the age of thirty-one, in Chicago, at the Lincoln Park Sanitorium, November 21, 1893, just at the close of the Columbian Fair. The eldest son is George H. Edgerton, who has a wife and five children. Samuel Lloyd Edgerton, a twin brother of Dr. Edward, is married, and resides at Unadilla, being connected with the Hanford Wagon Company.
Mrs. Edgerton is an Episcopalian. Mr. Edgerton is a Mason and a Democrat, though not an office-holder. The records of such families as the Edgertons suggest such praise as James Russell Lowell bestowed on President Garfield, "The soil out of which such men as he are made is good to be born on, good to live on, good to die for, and to be buried in."
ROBERT NESBITT, a prominent and wealthy citizen and farmer of Stamford, was born on St. Valentine's Day, 1826, in the same town. His grandfather, William Nesbitt, was an Englishman, coming to Stamford as an early settler as far back as 1795, and bringing with him his wife and children. Speedily he built a log house, and owned two hundred acres, which he cleared by hard work. This homestead, thus won from the wilderness, became very dear to him; and there he died at the age of eighty, after a prosperous agricultural career, still maintaining his faith in the Episcopal church, wherein he had been reared. He was a Federalist, or Whig, and attributed the ills of the nation to the misrule of the opposition party when in power. It was no easy task for a farmer in Delaware County a century ago, when every bushel of meal had to be ground in Schoharie County, where stood the nearest mill; but game and fish were plentiful. Grandfather Nesbitt had three sons and two daughters - George, William, Robert, Nancy, and Mary, all of whom grew up and married, but have passed into "that undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveller returns."
George Nesbitt was born in the English home about the year 1777, while the colonies were fighting for their independence, and came over at the age of eighteen, with his parents, younger brothers, and sisters. He married Elizabeth Maynard, a native of Bovina. More about the Maynards may be found in the sketch under that name. George Nesbitt was a good farmer, and his fertile fields laughed out with his plenty. Such a man could not be otherwise than prominent in local affairs. When the anti-rent contest arose, he sided very strongly with the efforts of the common people to resist aristocratic land-monopoly; and he also served as Supervisor and School Commissioner in Bovina, where his farm was located. With his youthful training in Great Britain, it was but nautral for him to follow the religious example of his father, and be an Episcopalian; but his wife was a Methodist. He was also like his father in being a Whig: but, when this party disappeared in 1856, he joined the Democratic ranks. His last years were spent in Stamford, dying on the parental farm, which had come into his possession. There, also, his wife died, at the great age of eighty-five. Of their eight children six grew to adult age, and three still survive. William Nesbitt lives a retired life in Stamford, and George is in De Kalb County, Ill.
The youngest of these sons, Robert, is the special subject of this sketch, and was named after an uncle. He grew up like other lads of the neighborhood, working on the home farm and attending the district school. A year after he came of age he learned carpentry under Hector Cowan, and in 1849 began for himself the business which for fifteen years he carried on uninterruptedly. His first pay was at the rate of ten dollars per month, from Charles Higby, who paid him, not in the expected cash, but with a promissory note. Frugal in disposition, he at last accumulated fifteen hundred dollars, wherewith he bought part of the old homestead. In September, 1868, he married. The bride was Jane Whipple, a daughter of Daniel and Maria (Chamberlain) Whipple. Daniel Whipple was born in the Green Mountain State, and his wife in Roxbury, Delaware County. Not only was he a successful farmer, but a tanner also, a trade much in demand in a new country. His declining years were spent in Kortright, where he died at the age of eight-seven, his wife passing away at the age of sixty-six. They had ten children, of whom eight survive; and the family belonged to the Methodist body. Mr. Whipple was a Republican in politics.
Mr. Nesbitt from time to time increased the old farm, till it included over five hundred acres; but in 1868, at the time of his marriage, he sold out, in order to buy another farm, where he still resides, and which was at one time only one hundred acres smaller than the old one; but he has parted with portions of it, till now he carries on a little less than three hundred and fifty acres, which are in first-rate condition, affording pasturage for sixty cows, besides other stock. What he has he has earned by hard labor, and thriftily cares for. Land and buildings are in fine condition, and one can read prosperity in barn and meadow. Mr. Nesbitt has been chosen a director of the new creamery in process of erection in South Kortright. Though he has been a Stamford Assessor, he has not cared to mix very much in political life. The family belong to the Presbyterian society in Almeda. Only two children have blessed the home, and one of these has been already called to higher spheres. Sherman S. Nesbitt was born February 17, 1875. In the same year, on November 14, in Schoharie County, was born his wife,. Hattie Hilts, a daughter of Jay and Lydia (Boyington) Hilts, farm-owners. The deceased brother was the older of the two, and born July 12, 1872. He bore the family names, Robert Whipple Nesbitt, and passed away July 17, 1891, in the very bloom of his youth, his twentieth year only five days begun.
Mr. Nesbitt may well look with pride upon lowland and upland, as well as upon the cattle so well cared for, not only by himself, but by his enterprising son, who, with his young wife beside him, is not only the pride of his father's heart, but bids fair to share his agricultural laurels. Well did the late President Garfield say: " If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old." With equal truth was it said by an older thinker and scholar, Josiah Quincy, "An agricultural life is one eminently calculated for human happiness and human virtue."
CAPTAIN JULIUS W. ST. JOHN. In the annals of Delaware County no name stands forth more prominently, or adds a brighter lustre to its records, than that of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. For many years he has been an important factor in the mercantile circles of the town of Walton, having been senior partner in the firm of St. John, Eells & Reynolds, dealers in hardware. He is one of Walton's favored sons, his birth occurring within its limits, March 29, 1855. His father, William S. St. John, was born in Walton, about half a mile from the village, on the East Brook Road, April 13, 1822. He was a son of Thaddeus Seymour St. John, who was also a native of Walton, where he spent his entire life. In his early days he was engaged in farming, but relinquished that occupation, and for several years managed the only hotel in town. He subsequently opened a store for the sale of general merchandise, and carried on an extensive business, being one of the most prominent merchants in this vicinity, and remaining actively engaged in business until the time of his death. He married Hannah Gray Eells.
The father of the subject of this sketch was but six years of age when his parents removed from their farm to the hotel, which was located three miles up the river from the village of Walton. There he resided until ten years old, and during the last three years of his residence there carried the mail from Walton to Downsville, a distance of twelve miles, on horseback, being, without doubt, the youngest mail-carrier in existence. At the expiration of that time his father entered upon his mercantile career in the village of Walton: and he pursued his studies in the village school, and afterward attended the academy at Delhi one winter, remaining with his parents until twenty-one years old. He then assumed the responsibilities of married life, supporting himself and wife by clerking in his father's store. He later entered the business as a partner, continuing for a short time, when the goods were sold out and the firm dissolved. He then went to Ohio, where he dealt in sheep and cattle, buying there and selling to the New York market. Returning to Walton, he again entered the mercantile business, forming a partnership with S. North, and continuing with him a few years, when he bought out the interest of his partner, and ran the business alone for a time. He subsequently took in H.E. St. John, and carried on business with him for a time, then bought him out, and made his son, Charles B., a partner; and the firm continued thus for a few years. He afterward removed to Norwich, where he was employed some years in the shops of the Ontario & Western Railway Company, then, returning to Walton, was for a time in the coal office of Pond & Fancher. Later he went to Sing-Sing, and worked for a time on the New York Central Railway, then came back to the place of his nativity, where he has since lived retired.
He has been twice married. When he was twenty-one years of age, his union with Juliette Bristol, the daughter of John and Priscilla Bristol, of Walton, was celebrated. She died, leaving four children, as follows: George, an engineer, who was killed on the railway at Liberty, was married, and left one son, who is now running an engine on the fast express from Middletown to New York, and is considered one of the best engineers inn employ of the Ontario & Western Railway Company; Charles B.; Edward S.; and Florence, who died when young. In 1850 Mr. St. John was again married, taking for a wife Mrs. Betsey Ann (Hanford) Waring, a daughter of Seth Hanford, a native of Walton, but of New England origin. Of this union two children (twins) have been born: Julius W., the subject of this sketch; and Julia B., the wife of Charles S. Waters, of Norwich, N.Y. In politics Mr. St. John uniformly supports the Republican ticket, and has served as Collector of Taxes and as Trustee of the school district. His wife is and active worker in the Congregational church, of which she has been a member for years.
The subject of this sketch spent the days of his boyhood and youth with his father, obtaining his preliminary education in the village school, and completing it in the Walton Academy. On October 20, 1873, he began to learn the tinsmith's trade with S.B. Fitch, and also assisted in clerking in his large hardware store. In 1877 he was taken into partnership, buying a one-third interest, and so continued, the firm being known as S.B. Fitch & Co., for two years. Then, selling out to his partners, Mr. St. John went on the road, selling stoves for Russell, Wheeler, Son & Co., of Utica, N.Y., and remained in their employ until February 14, 1885. He then established the present hardware business here, from which he has just retired, succeeding Eells & Wood, under the firm name of L.S. & J.W. St. John, and having a store at the corner of North and Delaware Streets, the old Eells store. This firm continued until June 20, 1889, when L.S. St. John sold out his interest to J.P. White, the firm name being changed to St. John & White; and on November 14, 1890, the present magnificent store, which had been erected and completed under the supervision of our subject, was opened. This is conceded to be one of the finest hardware stores in the State of New York; and in it the firm continued to do business until January 1, 1891, when Mr. White retired, Mr. St. John buying his interest. On February 1 of the same year Messrs. Eells and Reynolds, whose sketches appear elsewhere in this volume, were taken into partnership; and the firm name changed to St. John, Eells & Reynolds, continuing to read thus until May 1, 1894, when Mr. St. John practically retired from the business, although remaining with and assisting Messrs. Eells and Reynolds in the management of the same.
The stock of goods carried by this firm is the largest in any town in the State of New York; and the store is one of the largest, finest, and best-arranged in the State, its stock of goods being one of the most complete be found in the country. The business, which was established by Henry Eells, the father of the present partner, nearly half a century ago, has been successfully conducted from that time to the present, and more particularly so during the past ten years, under the able during past ten years, under the able management of Mr. St. John. His excellent reputation throughout the surrounding country, his pleasant, agreeable manners, and his frank, open, and straightforward business methods have won for him a large circle of methods have won for him a large circle of friends, and have materially increased the profits of the business. September 15, 1894, he purchased the interest of E.W. Pond, of the Pond & North, in the insurance business, which business will be continued under the firm name of North & St. John.
In all social matters, and, in fact, in all matters connected with the advancement of the village of Walton, the Captain has always taken a very warm interest. On May 29, 1879, he joined the Thirty-third Separate Company of Walton, under the command of Captain M.W. Marvin, a sketch of whom appears upon another page of this volume. On account of being compelled to travel in the interests of his business, the name of Mr. St. John was dropped from the rolls of the company on April 21, 1880; but on May 5, 1887, he re-enlisted, and on April 6, 1888, was elected to the position of Second Lieutenant from the ranks, passing all intermediate offices of positions, showing his immense popularity with the members of the company. This rank he retained until March 29, 1890, when he was promoted to First Lieutenant, and continued in this position until July 5, 1892, when he was made Captain of the company, which at this time consisted of seventy-six men, not more than half of whom were located within the corporation limits. The company has now the names of ninety-four men upon its rolls, nine-tenths of whom are within the corporation limits, and in point of discipline and execution has few superiors in the State. Through the influence of Captain St. John and his friends a bill has been passed, and signed by the Governor, for a magnificent new armory, which will be completed in about a year, and will be one of the finest armories of a separate company in the State. In all martial circles the name of Captain St. John is held in high respect, and in all martial matters his opinions are eagerly sought for.
The Captain is also a member of Walton Lodge, No. 559, A.F. & A.M., of which he is a Senior Warden. He is a Royal Arch Mason, and Treasurer of the chapter to which he belongs. He is a member of the Lodge of Perfection, Scottish Rite, of Utica, an ex-member of the Red Men, and a charter of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of which he is now Master Workman. Mr. St. John was also a charter member, and the first torch boy of the Alert Hose Company; and, when he left in 1880, he had risen to the position of foreman of the company, of which he had been secretary for many years. He likewise belonged to the band and orchestra for many years, and has been an official member in every secret society organized in the village of Walton within the past twenty years.
On September 26, 1876, Mr. St. John was united in marriage with Miss Hattie Ada J. Chrisman, one of three children born to James D. and Julia A. (Bassett) Chrisman, a sketch of whose lives may be found elsewhere in this work. The pleasant household thus formed has been brightened and enlivened by the advent of three children; namely, Earl Sheffield, Frank Chrisman, and Howard Raymond. Mr. St. John and his family are members of the Episcopal church of Walton, and for twenty years he has sung in its choir. He is also an officer of the church, having been elected Vestryman in 1888, and is now serving as Junior Warden. Politically, he is a Republican, and is now a Trustee of the School Board. He was a member of the Building Committee when the present magnificent Union School building was erected.
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