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 4 - pages 156 through 207
JOHN JAY ANDREWS, a prominent resident of Kortright, was born in the same town on the last day of Janury, 1840. His mother, Nancy Mace, was born in Kortright, with the nineteenth century, November 10, 1800. His father, for whom he was named, John Andrews, was born in Stamford on May 11, 1798. The grandfather, Samuel Wakeman Andrews, was a farmer, who on horseback came from Connecticut to Delaware County, and settled in Stamford, where he bought a tract of wild land, and built a log cabin. This was in 1790, while Washington was in the midst of his first administration. Catskill was the nearest market. Game was very abundant. Success meant hard labor; but in this respect Samule Andrews was fully up to the mark, taking the lead among the agriculturists of his day. At his death, at the age of sixty-five, he was the proud possessor of four hundred valuable acres, and left his family the equal heritage of a good name. He was a Democrat (Republican, the party was early called), and perhaps not particularly well pleased when, not long before his son John's birth, the federalists elected John Adams, in opposition to that deep thinker and steadfast patriot, Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Andrews belonged to the Baptist church; but his wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Meriam, was a Methodist. They had ten sons and two daughters, all but one of whom lived to the age of about fourscore, and one was living in 1894 -- Benjmin Andrews, of new York City.
Among these children, as already suggested, was John, the father of the subject of this sketch. He grew up on the farm in Stamford, but added to farming a skilful knowledge of carpentry. His first land purchase was in another part of Delaware County, the town of Hamden, where he also found plenty to do as a builder. His next business venture was in Kortright, where he added wagon-making to his former trade, and also bought a second farm, on which he labored till the last part of his life. He passed from earth in 1881, while living in his son John's home, at the good old age of eighty-three. His wife died in the same filial home, at the age of eighty-five. Both were stanch adherents of the United Presbyterian church. Politically, he followed his father in being a Democrat; and he had nearly the same number of children, ten in all, of whom six survive. Samuel, named for his grandfather, is a citizen of the metropolis, and so are his brothers, Charles and Benjamin Clark. Their sister Elizabeth has a home with her brother John J. Mrs. Mary D. Bush, another sister, lives in the village of Hobart. Simeon Mace Andrews died at the age of sixty-six. Charles Clark, Cordelia, and Hannah Andrews died in early life. It is a religious as well as a patriotic satisfaction to the Andrews family that they are able to trace their lineage directly back to an ancestor bearing the same name, who crossed the seas in the "Mayflower," and landed where "the breaking waves dashed high, on a stern and rockbound coast."
J. J. Andrews was like his father in growing to manhood on the paternal acres, though in a different district. What schooling was possible he obtained in his native place. Even after he began to support himself he still lived under the parental roof-tree, and cared for his father and mother in the feebler years. He was not married till the second day of October, 1878. The bride was born in Hobart, April 24, 1859. Her name was Mary Emma Kniskern, and at the time of her marriage she was only nineteen. Her mother, Jane Eleanor Story, was born in Schoharie County, December 17, 1828; and her father, John F. Kniskern, an industrious cabinet-maker and builder, was born in the same country, February 7, 1822. Their home was, and still is, in Hobart, where they are active workers in the Methodist church. A Republican in politics, Mr. Kniskern has always been interested in everything that affects the welfare of the community. To the Kniskerns were born ten children, as also to the parents of Mr. Andrews. Walter J. is a house-painter in Hobart. Aldamont is a bookkeeper in Baltimore. Mrs. Maud Chapman resides in new York City. Claude is a resident of Hobart. Mary is the wife of Mr. Andrews. Mrs. Cora L. P. Lyon resides in the metropolis. Herman and John B. are both painters in the village of Hobart, like their brother Walter. Elloy and Jennie both died when only eighteen months old. The productive farm where Mr. Andrews and his family reside was bought in 1865, just at the close of the Civil War. To the original two hundred and eighteen acres he added one hundred and twenty-six more two years later, so that he now owns three hundred and forty-four acres, one of the largest farms in this section. Like his neighbors, he turns his attention mainly to dairy products, having seventy-five milch cows, and selling ten cans of milk daily, the year round. He also deals in fine horses, and keeps his barns and stables in excellent condition. Three children have blessed the home. Maud Elizabeth was born November 23, 1879, and still graces the homestead. John Simeon, named for grandfathers and an uncle, was born May 15, 1884, and has not yet left home; and the same is naturally true of his younger brother, Benjamin Clark, born March 22, 1887. These children are growing up an honor to their parents. Mrs. Andrews is Presbyterian in faith. Her husband, however, is a liberal in his religious views. In politics he is a Democrat, like the two generations preceding him. The home is located in the beautiful valley of the Delaware River, and surrounded by the hills and mountains forming part of the famous Catskill range.
GEORGE WEBSTER. The thriving village of Walton has a full quota of live, energetic, and persevering business men, among whom is the subject of this sketch, who, in company with Mr. Frank Clark, has recently embarked in the market business. He is a man of sound judgment and keen foresight, and has met with uniform success in the various transactions in which he has engaged. He is a native of the Empire State, appearing upon the scenes of life in 1841, in the town of Milford, Otsego County, at the homestead of his parents, David and Ruth (Worden) Webster.
David Webster was born on the green sod of the Emerald Isle, in the year 1796, in Armagh, County Down, and was named for his father. When fifteen years old, he accompanied his parents to America. They had an unusually tempestuous voyage. Their seven weeks of ocean travel being weeks of terror and danger. After landing in New York City, they proceeded at once to the town of Westford, near Schenevus, Otsego County, where they bought a tract of timbered land, on which they reared their large family of eighteen children, all of whom were born in Ireland. Many of these sons and daughters were old enough to be of great assistance in clearing and improving the land; and in a few years they had a good farm, entirely free from debt. On this homestead, which they reclaimed from the forest, David Webster Sr., and his wife spent their remaining years rearing their large family to habits of industry and economy; and all became honored and trustworthy men and women, and most of them well-to-do farmers. They were Protestant in religion, and held in high respect throughout their neighborhood.
David Webster, Jr., the father of George Webster, was an earnest and honest tiller of the soil, and after his marriage bought a farm in Otsego County, on which he resided until 1849, prosperously engaged in mixed husbandry. During that year he removed to Delaware County, buying a farm in the town of Tompkins. After living there eight years, he exchanged that two hundred acres of land for a farm near by, and was there a resident until the spring of 1866, conducting his agricultural interests very successfully. Selling that at an advance, he purchased another farm, which was finely stiuated on the Delaware River, between Cannonsville and Deposit. In 1869, feeling the infirmities of years coming on apace, and having performed his full share of manual labor, he sold his property to his son, with whom he and faithful wife afterward made their home, both dying in Cannonsville, at the age of eighty-six years, his death occuring in 1882, and hers in 1884. Of eleven children born to them nine grew to maturity, four sons and five daughters; and of these the following are now living: John, a farmer, who lives in Sanford, Broome County; Mary Ann, the widow of Stutely Sherman, who resides near Cooperstown Junction, in Otsego County; Ebenezer, who likewise lives near Cooperstown Junction, and owns, in company with his son-in-law, a valuable farm of six hundred acres, on which they carry on an extensive business in dairying and hop-growing; Ruth Ann, the wife of N. S. Boyd, a farmer, who lives in Downsville; and George, of whom we write.
George Webster received a limited education in the district school, and at the early age of eight years began working on the farm, his first employment being to drive the team for his father to plough. From this time until the year 1890 Mr. Webster was steadily engaged in agricultural pursuits, and was a farmer of more than average skill and ability, his early experience in that line being of inestimable value to him. His first purchase of land was near Cannonsville, and contained one hundred and fity acres of rich and productive land, from which he received a good annual income. In 1890 he sold that farm for the consideration of six thousand five hundred dollars, and, coming to the village of Walton, bought a small tract within the corporation limits. This he divided into town lots, all of which he has sold with the exception of five. In 1893 he and his son bought the Walton bakery, which is now under the management of his two elder sons, Eugene and Arthur.
The marriage of Mr. Webster and Miss Hulda Pomeroy was celebrated September 30, 1863. Mrs. Webster Webster was born in Hamden, Delaware County, and is a daughter or Orange D. And Sally (Montfort) Pomeroy, the former of whom was born in Massachusetts, and the latter in Delaware County. This union has been blessed with three children: Eugene, who married Emma Tiffany, and has one daughter, now a few months old; Arthur, who married Florence Walworth, and also has one child, a bright boy of fourteen months; and George L., a young man of eighteen years, who is now attending the Walton High School. Mr. and Mrs. Webster occupy a very pleasant home on Park Street, which they bought from William Woodin, who had built it for his own use.
In politics Mr. Webster is an uncompromising Republican, ever interested in local matters, and now serving as Village Trustee. While in Tompkins he was for one year Assessor. In his religious views he coincides with the tenets of the Baptist church, of which he and his wife and two children are faithful and worthy members, he being a Trustee and Deacon.
EDWARD AUGUSTUS SHAFFER is a leading citizen of Margarettville. Where he has a large store in the very centre of the village. He was born May 27, 1869, in the town of Andes; and his antecedents are worth considering. The great-grandparents were Adam and Laura (Shoefelt) Shaffer. Adam Shaffer was born in Dutchess County, and there married. With his wife and older children he came to Delaware County, and settled in the village of Shavertown, in Andes, on the banks of the Delaware River, on a farm now owned by W. H. Terry. He brought cattle and horses from his old home, and built almost the first log house and barn in this part of the town. On Beach Hill Creek he built subsequently the only saw-mill to be found for many miles; and, as there were as yet no roads to Kingston, the nearest settlement, only trails through the woods, it was no easy task to get together the proper materials. As there was great need of a grist-mill, he contrived a rude machine for corn-grinding, much like an old-fashioned well-sweep; only, in place of a bucket, was a heavy stone that was pounded up and down upon the grain, which was placed in a hollow log by way of a hopper. So indispensable was this pounder that farmers came from near and far to use it. Then Mr. Shaffer began to raft lumber down the river, and in the course of years was able to erect a frame house and barn, the first in this part of the county. It need hardly be said that a farmer so enterprising and inventive soon wanted more than the two hundred acres at first bought. In the woods were wolves, bears, panthers, and wild-cats, as well as deer. Like the father of the human race, this Adam could call the beasts by name, and in later life could narrate to a younger generation many an adventure of the wilderness. Six boys helped him in his work -- George, Henry, Philip, Peter, William, and John. The pioneer was a Whig in his latter days, but earlier in life was a Federalist; and the family belonged to the Dutch Reformed church. Adam Shaffer died in middle life, at fity-two; but his wife lived to be a dozen years older.
Adam Shaffer's son William, on attaining manhood, bought part of his father's farm. He married Hannah Vail, daughter of Joseph and Ruby (Wilson) Vail, who came from the South settle on the banks of the Delaware, reared a large family, and lived to be old people, though the descendants are no longer found in this region. Like his father, William Shaffer not only farmed, but dealt largely in lumber, owning at one time three sawmills. Like his parents, William and Hannah Shaffer had six children. Alfred, born January 5, 1815, married Mary Jessup; and they had one child, who now lives in Andes. Delancey Shaffer was born in the last month of the year 1817. He was twice married, first to the Widow Bambardt, and second to Anne Knapp, and had in all seven children. Edwin Shaffer was born October 1, 1823. George R. Shaffer was born November 10, 1825, married Sarah Radecker, has two children, and lives in Shavertown. Sylvester Shaffer, born January 29, 1830, married Delotte Fuller, and lives in Downsville. Sallie C. Shaffer, born in August, 1839, married Dr. Oliver Carroll, lives in Port Jervis, and has one child. William Shaffer was a soldier in the war of 1812, and received for his service a thousand acres of land, divided into farms and woodland. He died March 30, 1835, and his wife on July 22, 1840.
William Shaffer's son Edwin, father of the subject of this sketch, studied in the district school, and worked at home, where he remained till he was thirty years old. His father gave him a saw-mill and land, and naturally Edwin took to the lumber business; but in 1864 he turned drover, taking cattle at first as far as Dutchess County, and later to New York City and New Jersey. November 29, 1863, amid the Civil War, he married, his wife being Agnes Boyce, daughter of James , Jr., and Barbara (Gordon) Boyce. James Boyce, Jr., was the son of James, Sr., and Agnes (Currie) Boyce, of Dumfries, Scotland. James Boyce the younger came to America when twenty-two years old, and here met and married Barbara Gordon, daughter of James and Mary (Hay) Gordon. Her brothers and sisters were Peter, Jane Ann, Owen, and Jeanette. At first James Boyce and his wife lived in New York City, but later in Delhi and Andes. The names of their children were: James; Joshlynn, who married Laura Caulkins, and has two children; Mary; Peter, who married Mary E. Davis, and has one boy; Fannie; Agnes, who was born march 28, 1849, and married Edwin Shaffer, as already related; John, who is dead; Thomas, who married Maggie Bell, has four children, and lives in Hartford, Conn.; William A., who married Anna Burhaus, lives in Margarettville, and is a merchant; David, who lives in Michigan; Annie, who married C. J. Dickson, of whom a special sketch may be found. James Boyce lived in Andes when his wife died, in 1882, December 20, a member of the Presbyterian church; and then he moved to Margarettville, where he now lives, at the extreme age of eighty-five. Edwin and Agnes Shaffer had only two children. Edward Augustus Shaffer was born May 27, 1869, and was married June 28, 1893. Laura Anna Shaffer was born February 28, 1877, and lives at home. Their father is a Republican, and his wife is a Presbyterian.
Edward Augustus Shaffer went to school winters and worked on the farm summers. Four years he worked for T. R. McFarland, and then, at the age of seventeen, was employed as clerk by C. J. Dickson, of Margarettville, his kinsman by marriage. Being then of age, he formed a partnership with Fred. S. Tobey; and they continued three years in the hardware business, till 1883, when Mr. Shaffer sold out, and worked a year with his old employer, and then went into business elsewhere for himself, adding to his plumbing an extensive traffic in all sorts of farming tools. His place of business is on Bridge Street. He was married in 1893, at the age of twenty-four. His wife, Cora M. Terpenning, is the only daughter of H. H. and Susa (Myles) Terpenning. He was born in Ulster County, near Esopus, and first did business in New York City, but later came to Margarettville, where he purchased of C. B. Schoonmaker the Riverside Hotel, and does a large business in entertaining summer borders. Mr. E. A. Shaffer is a Republican, very liberal in his religious views.
LEWIS B. STRONG, a well-to-do farmer, residing on the Franklin road in the town of Meredith, is a man of much energy and ability, and has attained success by his untiring industry, combined with a careful and wise management of his business interests. He is a native of Delaware County, having been born on September 23, 1828, in that part of the town of Meredith lying between Delhi and Meredith Square. He comes of Colonial stock, and traces his ancestry back to one Caleb Strong, his great-grandfather, who was born in Connecticut, in the town of Colchester, February 20, 1713. He was a farmer by occupation, and spent his last years in Sharon, Conn. His son, Caleb Strong, Jr., was also of Connecticut birth, born June 20, 1749. He carried on farming in Sharon until 1797, when he came to this county and cleared off a tract of land now included in the site of Meredith Squre, remaining there until his decease. He married and reared thirteen children.
William, the youngest, was born February 29, 1797, in the Connecticut home of his parents, and brought here by them when an infant. He was bred a farmer, and remained with his father, helping in the farm work until of age. He then began working by the month for Judge Law, and subsequently bought a farm on Honest Brook, where he lived a few years. Selling that property, he removed to Taylor, Cortland County, residing there three years. In 1834 he returned to this county, and purchased the farm now owned and occupied by his son, Lewis B., the subject of this sketch. He labored diligently in clearing and improving the land, and in course of time waving fields of grain and green pasture lands occupied the tract where formerly stood the primeval forest. On this snug homestead he and his good wife passed their remaining years, she crossing the dark river of death in 1867, he dying in 1876, at the venerable age of seventy-nine years. The maiden name of Mrs. William Strong was Charlotte Whitney. She was a native of Walton, and was one of a large family of children born to David and Nancy (Raymond) Whitney, the date of her birth being February 15, 1800. Her parents were natives of New England; but after their marriage they settled in Walton, where Mr. Whitney followed the trade of a blacksmith for many years. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Strong; Mary Ann, who married Thomas Bartlett; Marietta, who married William H. Gates; Maria, who married Thomas Graham, a butter dealer of Croton; James W.; Lewis B.; William M.; and Milton M. Mrs. Strong was a noble type of the pioneer women of her day, a faithful coadjutor of her husband in all of his labors, and a sincere member of the Presbyterin church of Meredith.
Lewis B., the second son of William and Charlotte Strong, was two years of age when his parents went to Cortland County, where they lived three years, and was five years old when they removed to the farm he now occupies. He shortly began his education in the district school, and completing it at the Franklin Literary Institute was subsequently engaged one term in teaching. His assistance being then needed on the home farm, he gave his attention to that until 1853, when he purchased a farm in the western part of the town, where he resided ten years, successfully engaged in general husbandry. Returning in 1863 to the home of his boyhood, he bought the place, which he has since carried on with satisfactory pecuniary results. During the lifetime of his honored parents they remained inmates of his home, and were tenderly cared for by himself and family. His farm contains one hundred and twenty acres of good land, on which, besides raising grain of all kinds and cutting a good deal of hay, he keeps a dairy of graded Jerseys, which yield him a profitable income, his sweet, pure butter finding a ready market.
Mr. Strong has been twice married. His first wife, to whom he was united in 1850, was Jeanette Hymers, one of ten children born to John and Elizabeth (Ormiston) Hymers, the former of whom was a native of Scotland and the latter of Bovina. Three children were born of this union, namely: Henry M., who married Anna McCormick, of Meredith, and died at the age of thirty-two years; Alfred D., a butcher in Delhi, who married Sarah Thompson, and has one child, James Madison; Frank M., who married Adelia Osborne, of Croton, and has one child, Lewis Ranson. Mrs. Strong, a sweet, lovable woman, passed to the higher life in 1878, at the age of forty-six years. She was a true Christian, and a devout member of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Strong subsequently wedded Miss Eugenia L. Covell, a native of Wisconsin, and the daughter of Peter and Jane (Moscrip) Covell died in Wisconsin; and his wife returned with her family to Delaware County, and married James Sloane, who was for many years a well-known farmer in the town of Kortright.
Politically, Mr. Lewis B. Strong is a true-blue Republican, and in the affairs of his town and county takes an intelligent interest. He has filled the office of Supervisor four terms, and for eleven years was a Justice of the Peace. Six years he was employed as Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue. Religiously, he is a believer in the tenets of the Methodist church, to which his wife belongs.
MILTON H. MAYNARD, a prominent lumber merchant at Fish's Eddy, was born October 26, 1829, in Delhi, Delaware County. His earliest ancestors in this country came from England and settled in Massachusetts. Thomas Maynard, his grandfather, was born in Deerfield, on the Maynard farm, which is one of the oldest in that part of the State. He married Elizabeth Choat, of Deerfield, and, with a colony of Eastern people, comprising members of the Maynard, Choat, and Parsons families, migrated to Schoharie County, New York, late in last century, settling in that part of Blenheim now called Gilboa. They came as far as Newburg, N. Y., by water, and then were conveyed by ox carts to Blenheim, where they built their log cabins on the highest hills they could find. Here they lived a most primitive life, depending mainly upon the game, deer, and fish for their daily food. They built strong enclosures for their sheep and cattle as protection against the wolves, panthers, and bears, which were abundant. The women spun, carded, and wove the wool and flax, and manufactured all the garments worn by the family. Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas Maynard, was a descendant of the Choat family of Massachusetts, her father having a family of thirteen children, nine of whom lived to be over eighty years of age. He himself died after more than fourscore years, and was buried on the Choat farm in Gilboa, having with his wife been a faithful member of the Baptist church. A. S. Maynard, father of the subject of this biography, was educated in his native town, and assisted his parents on the home farm until he became of age. He married Ophelia Reekie, daughter of Andrew Reekie, of Stamford, Delaware County. Her father was a supporter of the last Stuart pretender to the British crown, and came to this country as a political refugee with a price upon his head. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and first met at Newburg, after Burgoyne's surrender, the lady who became his wife. He served until the close of the war, then married and settled in Stamford, where he resided until his death, at the age of ninety-four years. His wife survived him ten years.
A. S. Maynard was the father of eleven children, seven of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and died at the age of seventy-six.
Milton H. Maynard was educated in the Stamford Academy, and then went to Franklin, after which he began the study of medicine, but soon gave that up and taught school for a number of terms. About the year 1853, in company with A. B. Stimpson, he started a store, which he sold to his partner in 1857; and he has since been engaged in the lumbering business.
His first marriage was in 1854 to Marie A. Fletcher, of Davenport, by whom he had four children, namely: Augustus, now a resident of Hancock village; Lasael A., editor of the Christian at Work, a paper edited in the interest of the Christian religion in New York City; Ida P., wife of James M. Driver, of Narrowsburg, Sullivan County, who died in July, 1894; Dewhurst F., who died in 1874, when seventeen years old. The mother of these children died in 1863; and Mr. Maynard afterward married Elizabeth F. Sparks, daughter of Robert and Eleanor (Sniffin) Sparks, of Fremont, Sullivan County. Mrs. Maynard is the mother of four sons -- Edwin L., Arthur H., Carlisle M., Manton H. - all of whom live at home and assist in the management of their father's farm.
Mr. and Mrs. Maynard are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Fish's Eddy, and politically he is a Democrat. He has been a Justice of Peace since 1858, and has been Justice of Sessions for two terms, still holding the position. A portrait of this useful and honored citizen, who is well known as a man of good business ability and of upright life, graces an adjoining page.
JOHN H. BAUMES, one of Delaware County's enterprising farmers, proprietor and manager for several years of the first steam saw-mill in Masonville, was born in Bethlehem, Albany County, N. Y., May 24, 1835, son of David and Maria (McKnab) Baumes. His parents were both natives of the county, where they began life almost with the close of that century, the date of his father's birth being February 22, 1799, and of his mother Janury 3, 1800.
John Baumes, father of David, was of German descent, but was born in New York State. In early manhood he owned land in Albany County, and was engaged in its cultivation. Later he removed to Schoharie County, where he died at the age of seventy-two years. Mr. John Baumes was industrious and thrifty, and was a man of substance. In politics he was a Democrat, or States' Rights man. He and his wife, Hannah Moshier, who lived to be of middle age, had a large family of children, some of whom died when young; but eight studious sons grew to manhood, and married before they went the way of all the earth.
One of these, David named above, learned the carpenter's trade, and was a contractor and builder in the city of Albany for a number of years. He afterward spent a year or two in Cayuga County, and about five years in Schoharie County, when in 1848 he removed to Masonville, where he bought land and carried on general farming. In 1856 he and his son, John H., who was then twenty-one years of age, bought the farm of one hundred and eighty acres where the latter now lives; and here he made his home during the latter part of his life. He died, however, during a visit to Schoharie County, March 8, 1867, his wife having died the previous year, on February 19, 1866. She was a Methodist, and he a liberal in religion. In politics, like his father, he was a Democrat. Mr. and Mrs. David Baumes had eight children, six of whom grew to maturity. Five are now living, as follows: Margaret Seely, residing in Sidney; Angelina Bowman, in Masonville; Louise Smith, in Hamilton, Madison County; John H., in Masonville; and James R. Baumes, a former Judge, in Sidney.
John H. Baumes received most of his schooling in Schoharie County, but had also the advantage of one term in Hamilton Adademy. He was thirteen years old when the family removed to Masonville; and he continued to live with his parents and work for his father till he attained his majority, when he began farming for himself on the land of which he was part owner. After the death of his father he bought out the other heirs, and thus acquired sole possession of his present farm of one hundred and thirty acres. When he first began to work on the land, all but about five acres was covered with woods. To the task of clearing and improving he devoted himself with energy, sagacity, and success. Instead of preparing his land for the plough and his timber for market by the wasteful process of reducing the trees to ashes, he built a steam saw-mill; and he and his brother, buying two hundred and eighty acres more of woodland in the vicinity, were engaged profitably for about fifteen years in the manufacture of lumber, in which they did a more extensive business than any other men in the town, the product of the mill being over three hundred thousand feet hemlock. Having since disposed of both the mill and the land, he now devotes himself to the care of his original homestead, where he carries on general husbandry and dairying. He keeps twenty cows, grade Ayrshires, and has an average of twelve thousand pounds of milk a month for eight months of the year. He has a good farm which is well managed and productive.
On New Year's Day, 1867, Mr. Baumes married Mary Burnside, who was born in the town of Butternuts, Otsego County, January 13, 1847, daughter of James and Louise Burnside. Her father was a farmer. He died at the age of seventy-two, and her mother at forty-seven years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Baumes have one child, a daughter, Nellie Baumes, who was born March 6, 1868, and is a cultivated and accomplished young lady, a graduate of Oxford Academy in the class of 1888. Miss Baumes has already taught fifteen terms of school, including one year in the high school.
Mr. John H. Baumes inclines to liberalism in religion, and is a Democrat in politics. He has served as Highway Commissioner one year and as Assessor five years, being a man of unquestioned integrity and sound judgment in regard to property values. He is a Mason, being a member of Lodge No. 606, A. F. & A. M., and of Deposit Chapter, No. 283. Although only in his sixtieth year, Mr. Baumes is one of the oldest settlers in this part of the town of Masonville, which by his untiring enterprise he has done much to build up and improve. Diligent in business, self-respecting and respected, he lives not for himself alone, but as a useful member of society, a valued citizen of the great republic.
DR. MARCUS O. LANDON, dentist, whose office is on Main Street, Delhi, possesses great professional knowledge and skill, and occupies a leading position among the prominent dentists of this part of the State. He is a native of this place, where he first opened his eyes to the light on march 15, 1859, being a son of David G. Landon, one of Delhi's most respected citizens, and a descendant of an honored pioneer. Asa Landon, the father of David, was born in New England, and there spent several years of his early life. Accompanied by two of his brothers, he migrated to this part of New York when the intervening country was little more than a wilderness, and leased a tract of wild land in Delhi, and afterward reclaimed from the forest a valuable homestead. His brothers were equally successful in their pioneer labors, and the trio spent their remaining years in this locality.
David G. Landon, son of Asa, was reared on the parental homestead, receiving as good educational advantages as the schools of his time afforded. He was a very active, enterprising youth, and at the age of fifteen years began clearing a tract of land in Delhi. When at a suitable age to assume the responsibilities of a benedict, he married Mary Ann Dibble, the daughter of Cornelius Dibble, a prosperous farmer of Bovina; and they commenced housekeeping in the log cabin which he had previously erected on his land. He worked with untiring industry, and, as time progressed, had the satisfaction of seeing the once heavily timbered land covered with waving fields of grain, and the log cabin, in which the older children of his household were born, replaced by a substantial frame house. He subsequently sold that farm, and bought the one where he now lives, and has since continued his agricultrual pursuits. To him and his wife four children were born, namely: Amelia, who died when young; George A.; Cornelius F.; and Marcus O.
Marcus O. Landon spent his boyhood days in this town, acquiring the rudiments of his education in the district school, and afterward attending the academy. In 1876 he removed to Cobleskill, where he began the work of his profession, remaining there four and one-half years in active employ. In 1881, Dr. Landon returned to the place of his nativity, and was very soon in the possession of an excellent and lucrative practice. He has now, without doubt, the largest business in dentistry in Delaware County, and is reputed to be one of the leading men in his profession in the State.
The nuptials of Dr. Landon and Emma B. Browne were solemnized on August 6, 1885. Mrs. Landon is the daughter of the Rev. George Browne, pastor of the Presbyterian church of Hamden, and his wife, Maria (McLaren) Browne. Religiously, the Doctor and his wife are esteemed members of the Episcopal church of Delhi, in which he is a Vestryman. In politics he is identified with the Republican party; and socially he is prominent in the Masonic fraternity, having belonged to Delhi Lodge, No. 439, A. F. & A. M., of which he is Past Master. He is also a member of Delhi Chapter, No. 249, of Norwich Commandery, No. 46, and of the Scottish Rite.
MARTIN CHURCH, wagon-maker, residing in Sidney, is a hearty and vigorous man of seventy-seven years, still an active worker at his trade. His grandparents, James and Lois (Dart) Church, were born in Connecticut, and were there married. They reared a family of six children, all of whom were married excepting one daughter, Nancy, who died in Otego, at the advanced age of seventy-two years. Other children were born to them, but were called to their hevenly home when young. In 1806 Mr. and Mrs. James Church migrated from their New England home to the wilds of Otsego County, starting in the month of February or March, making the journey in an old-fashioned cart, drawn by a pair of oxen. On their way through the Catskill Mountains they were snowed in, and had to excange their wheels for runners, fitting up a sled, in which they completed their trip. They settled in the town of butternuts, Otsego County, where their children grew to maturity, and where they spent their remaining years, Grandfather Church living to the venerable age of ninety-three years, departing this life 1857.
The parents of Martin, Ebenezer, and Charity (Emmons) Church were natives of Connecticut, and were both born in the year 1790. Their union was celebrated in the town of Butternuts, where they afterward lived and labored as long as their lives were spared, the mother dying in 1871, and the father some seven years later. Of their four children one, Julia, the eldest born, died at the age of twelve years. Levi B. died at Butternuts in 1866, leaving one son and four daughters. Isaac, a wagon-maker and a farmer, is a respected resident of the town of Butternuts. The other, Martin, as above mentioned, lives in Sidney.
Martin Church was born in Butternuts in 1817. He received a limited amount of schooling in his youth, and at the age of fourteen years began working at the carpenter's trade with his father, continuing in that occupation for several years, having inherited in a large degree the mechanical ingenuity of his father and grandfather. In 1852 he began the trade of wagon-making, without, however, having served any apprenticeship. In company with his brother Isaac, he opened a shop in the village of Gilbertsville; and this they operated in partnership until 1867, when they dissolved by mutual agreement. In 1870 Mr. Church established his business in Sidney, meeting with such encouraging success in the first year that he resolved to make this his permanent abiding-place. He accordingly built his comfortable residence at No. 24 Main Street, and the shop where he is working he erected 1889. He is a thorough-going business man, prospering well in his labors, and a valued and esteemed citizen of the village.
The maiden name of the wife of Mr. Church, to whom he was united in 1841, was Huldah Ann Fairchild. She was a native of Otsego County, having been born in the town of New Lisbon, in 1820, being the descendant of a pioneer family of that place. She bore her husband six children, two of whom died in infancy, and one daughter, Mary, when only six years of age. Of the three children now living William D., now fifty-one years of age, is a printer by trade, and has a wife and one son, Daniel; Sanford E., who was named for the governor of that period, a cousin of his father, is a railway man, and is married, but has no children; and Emma, the wife of Willard B. Ruland, has eight children.
Mrs. Church, who was a most worthy woman, and trained her children to habits of industry and virtue, passed on to the higher life in 1878. In politics Mr. Church is a stanch Republican, having been identified with that party since the time of John C. Fremont, and, although interested in the welfare of his town, has never held any office, excepting that of Town Collector for a while in Butternuts.
WILLIAM R. SWART was born on Beeman Hill, town of Middletown, Delaware County, on the thirtieth day of January, 1821. His grandfather, Tunis Swart, was a farmer at Esopus, on the Hudson River, and had accumulated quite a competence when his possessions were suddenly lost during the Revolutionary War, at the time that the village of Kingston was burned. Having lost his property in the patriotic cause, he received afterward a lot of two hundred and fifty acres from the Livingston tract in Delaware County, at what is now known as New Kingston. His father gave him a team and lumber wagon, also some farming implements, with which to begin life; and he bravely set forth upon the way, but, when he reached Delaware County, found it impossible to go farther until a road was opened from Margarettville, and here remained until a way was cut through the uncleared country. When at last, after a long delay, he arrived at his destination, he cut timer, and built a log house, and commenced the improvement of the land. Later he leased a lot on Beeman Hill, from which place he finally moved to the town of Hamden, where he remained until his death. He reared the following-named children: John, Samuel, William, Richard, Abraham, Anna, Electra, Attie, and Mary.
Samuel Swart was born in Esopus, and came to Delaware County in his youth. Here he married Anna Beeman, a daughter of Solomon and Deborah Beeman. He bought a tract of eighty acres of land, doubling it by a later purchase, and here reared the following-named family: Solomon, who married Miss Mary J. Akerly, and had two children; William R. of this notice; Peter F., who married a Miss Drummond, and died, leaving five children; Attie, who married E. J. Faulkner, and became the mother of one child; Charles, deceased; Mary, who married Peter Delamater, and died, leaving two children; Orson, who married Miss Gussie Decker, and had three children. Samuel Swart afterward moved to Margarettville, residing there until his death. He died at the age of seventy-two years, having served in the War of 1812, been a faithful Democrat, and a conscientious member of the old-school Baptist church.
William R. Swart passed his boyhood at Beeman Hill, receiving an education at an old log school-house on Hubble Hill. Upon attaining his majority he began farming, and a year later learned the trade of carpenter, which for some years he plied through the long winters, driving stock and doing farm work during the summer seasons. Gradually, by industry, he accumulated enough capital to invest in a store at New Kingston, and entered into a partnership with Isaac Birdsell, this being the first store of general merchandise established in that village. This enterprise was sold out, however, and a similar one started in Margarettville. Mr. Swart engaging in business with his brother. Six years later he bought the old Drummond farm, which he finally sold, and purchased a dwelling in Margarettville. Having been successful in these various enterprises, he has retired from active business, although his services as a veterinary surgeon are still in demand. He is the owner of the handsome stallion, Pride of Dutchess.
In 1842 Mr. Swart was united in marriage with Elizabeth Drummond. Her father was a progressive farmer in New Kingston, and lived to attain the age of eighty-four years. Mrs. Swart had one sister, Mrs. Henry Reynolds, of New Kingston; but both are now deceased. For his second wife Mr. Swart married Mrs. Julia E. Carpenter, widow of Richard Carpenter, and daughter of Abram Akerly, who served in the War of 1812, and died at the age of ninety-eight. Mr. Carpenter passed away at the age of eighty-four. Mr. Swart is a stanch adherent of the Democratic party. He has been an active and useful citizen, has held various local offices, for two terms having been President of the village, and has taken great interest in educational matters, at the present time being a member of the Board of Education.
TALLMAN C. BOOKHOUT. In the annals of Delaware County the name of Bookhout is of frequent and honorable mention, and the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this sketch is a worthy representative of the first of that family to settle in this section of New York. Mr. Bookhout is a native of this county, and was born in the town of Roxbury, November 24, 1841. For many years he was identified with the agricultural element of Walton, and in the pursuit of his chosen occupation amassed a competence. He is a man of great energy, enterprise, and financial ability, and occupies an important position among the successful and influential business men of Walton. He is of German origin, and is a grandson of John Bookhout, a pioneer of the county.
John Bookhout was born in Krakow, Germany, and emigrated to America prior to the Revolution, settling in the Dutch settlement then called New Hamsterdam, now New York. At the breaking out of the Revolutionary War he enlisted in the service of his adopted country, serving seven years; and the musket which he carried during that time is still in the possession of one of his descendants. After the close of the war he married Nancy Smart, and the first decade of their wedded life they spent in Dover, Westchester County. Following the tide of emigration to Delaware County, they located in the town of Roxbury, where he was one of the first settlers. He secured a tract of timbered land, on which the family camped until the customary log cabin was raised, and for a short time one end of that was used for a stable. Standing at his cabin door, rifle in hand, he had no trouble in shooting sufficient game to furnish himself and family with a dinner at any time. The nearest grist-mill was twelve miles distant, and he frequently carried his grist to and fro on his back. He and his faithful wife lived together for upward of sixty years; and both died in the town of Roxbury, he passing away at the age of eighty-two, while his widow survived him living until the venerable age of ninety-four years. They were the parents of nine children. Both were religious people, and were charter members of the Congregational church of Roxbury, of which the father was Deacon for many years.
William Bookhout, the father of the subject of this sketch, was the oldest son of his parents, and was born on the farm in Roxbury. He was a farmer by occupation, and in early manhood married Caroline Hull, a native of Connecticut, a daughter of William Hull, and a niece of the world-renowned Commodore Isaac Hull. They became the parents of a large family, as follows: Nancy married Urion McKay, and settled in Lenawee County, Mich., where both died. Sabra is the wife of Francis O'Conner, of Delaware County. Elizabeth is the widow of G. W. Plough, and lives at Roxbury. Isaac married Useba Craft, and they are residents of Roxbury. Mary, the widow of Urion McKay, also lives in Roxbury. Tallman C. is our subject. Margaret died at the age of four years. George W., a resident of Roxbury, married Adelia Bouton. John resides in Dallas, Tex. Rose died, unmarried, in Michigan. James, who resides in the town of Franklin, married Emma Hall, of Walton. The father was a life-long and much esteemed resident of Roxbury, and in his political views was a Jacksonian Democrat. The mother lived to the advanced age of seventy-two years, dying on the old homestead in Roxbury. She was a woman of superior character, and a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Tallman C. Bookhout assisted his brother John to obtain an education. The latter went to Texas, where in course of time he became wealthy, and paid his brother all he had expended for him. He was afterward unfortunate, and lost his all through the failure of a bank. He was fortunate, however, in having friends in the North who had confidence in him, and loaned him a few hundred dollars. With this money he purchased the site upon which the city of Dallas now stands. In the boom which afterward followed he made a vast amount of money, and is now one of the wealthiest men in the State. He married Ella Randall, of Dallas, where they now reside, and of which city he has been Mayor.
Tallman C. Bookhout, to whom we refer in this brief sketch, was reared to man's estate in the town of Roxbury, and received a liberal education. At the first call for troops he enlisted in defence of his country in Company I, Seventy-second New York Volunteer Infantry, being the first volunteer from his town. With his regiment he served in Sicles's Brigade, and was an active and courgeous participant in many of the most important and decisive engagements of the Rebellion, among the earlier ones being the seige of Yorktown, battles of Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, and the Peninsular Campaign. He was stricken with fever, and sent to the David Island Hospital, New York, where he remained five months. He rejoined his regiment at Brandy Station, Va., and was attached to General Hancock's corps at the battle of the Wilderness, but during the second day's fight was wounded and left for dead on the field of battle, which, says Draper, "was throbbing with the wounded." He was sounded in the left shoulder and left eye, the ball striking his gun and being shattered, three pieces entering his body.
Mr. Bookhout was a very courageous soldier and an expert marksman, and in relating the history of his army life often says that, if every Union man had killed as many of his adversaries as he did, there would not have been a rebel left to tell his side of the conflict. Among his victims was the rebel who killed the Major of his regiment, Mr. Bookhout shooting at him six times before killing him, and being shot at the same number of times by his opponent. He was subsequently sent to the hospital at Fredericksburg, narrowly escaping capture on the way thither. This was within fifteen days of the time for the expiration of his term of enlistment, and he was offered a furlough. He proceeded as far as Washington on his way home; but his patriotic impulses were in the ascendant, and he returned to Fredericksburg, starting from there on foot, with the hope of striking a train. Arriving at Fredericksburg, he found himself in the rear of Grant's army, and followed with his own regiment, which he joined at Cold Harbor. He went into the midst of the fray at that place with his arm in a sling, and without fire-arms, but soon procured the latter from the body of a dead comrade. He did heroic duty with his uninjured arm, probablly firing as many effective shots as others with the use of both. He next went with his company to Ream's Station, at Bermuda Hundred, and was subsequently at the siege of Petersburg, this being after his term of service had expired. He was also in the engagement at Weldon Railroad, afterward retiring from active duty, and returning home the 8th of July, 1864. His wound was very painful, and gave him much trouble, not healing for more than a year, and costing him about one hundred and fifty dollars.
In the spring of 1866 Mr. Bookhout was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Ellen Ferris, of Ashland, Greene County, N. Y. Three children have been born of this union: Carrie is the wife of Lewis Benedict, of Walton, Alden is a student in Union College, and Sarah lives at home. In 1893 Mr. Bookhout retured from his farm labors, and removed into the village of Walton, where he is enjoying the pleasant leisure to which his previous years of toil entitle him. In politics he is a firm adherent of the Republican party, and, although not a politician, is deeply interested in local and national matters. Fraternally, he belongs to Ben Marvin Post, No. 209, Grand Army of the Republic, and is prominent in Masonic circles.
GARDNER L. RIDER, who died at his home in Masonville, N. Y., August 12, 1894, was born in the town of Sidney, January 8, 1828, son of John and Charlotte (Smith) Rider, the father being a native of Vermont, and the mother of Otego, Otsego County, N. Y. The grandfather, Gilead Rider, was a resident of Vermont, little being known of his antecedents.
John Rider settled in Otsego County when a young man, and there followed the trade of a blacksmith, his specialty being the manufacture of a high grade of scythes. He afterward moved to the town of Sidney, where he purchased a farm of one hundred acres. This, however, he soon disposed of, and bought another farm of one hundred and twenty-five acres in the same town. He thenceforth turned his attention exclusively to farming, and was a hard-working and successful man of his day. In politics he was a Democrat, but never aspired to any public office. He was married to Miss Charlotte Smith, by whom he had the following children: John G., residing on the old homestead in Sidney; Gilead, a farmer of Sidney; Hannah, wife of Olmstead Flint, of Otego; Hattie Rider, of Unadilla; Elvira, wife of Adelbert Houston, of Otego; Gardner L., and Charlotte, who died young. Mrs. Charlotte Rider died aged sixty-five, and her husband at the age of eighty-seven.
Gardner L. Rider was educated in the town of Sidney. He lived at home until he was twenty-one; and after that he worked out by the month for four years for one man, making good wages, but unfortunately losing over four hundred dollars of his savings by the failure of his employer. In 1858 Mr. Rider settled in town of Masonville, buying at first seventy-five acres of land and adding to it until he had a fine farm of one hundred and fifty-three acres, and carried on a large dairy business, keeping about thirty head of native cattle.
Mr. Rider was married, April 8, 1858, to Sarah E. Thompson, who was born November 11, 1837, in Masonville, daughter of Rufus A. Thompson and Prudence E. Wells. Mr. Thompson was born in Otsego County, and his wife in Masonville, the Wells family being among the early settlers of the town. Mr. Thompson was a tanner in early life, his latter years being devoted to farming. He died in the village of Sidney, April 18, 1890, aged eighty-six; his wife died November 3, 1840, aged thirty-one. Mr. Thompson, who was twice married, had three children by his first wife and four by his second. Four children survive him, namely: Foster W. Thompson, a farmer of East Sidney; Sarah, wife of Gardner L. Rider; Rufus A., a practising physician of Norwich; and Mrs. Ellen Pinder, now residing in California. Mr. and Mrs. Rider had two children. Their daughter, Edith L., wife of Orville Dean, a farmer of East Masonville, has four children -- Jessie, Leslie, Frank, and Ralph. Frank Rider, the only son, resides at home with his mother. He married Alice Robertson, and has one son, Foster Thomas Rider.
Mr. Rider, like his wife, was liberal in his religious views, and in politics was allied with the Democratic party. He possessed one of the best-kept farms in Masonville. He was distinctly the architect of his own fortune, having by diligent application, good judgment, and economy acquired the competency which he enjoyed in his declining years.
EDMUND A. HOWES, a worthy citizen of Tompkins, was born in this town February 27, 1857. The Howes family, which is of English ancestry, came to New York from Caped Cod. Edmund Howes, grandfather of Edmund A., was engaged in farming and lumbering in the town of Thompson, Sullivan County, where he erected a house, which still stands. His wife was Polly Fields; and they had the following family: George, Benjamin, Jesse, Samuel, Edmund, Deborah, Emilly, Elizabeth, and Jane. Edmund Howes died in 1838, having passed the greater part of his life in Thompson, where he was buried.
Jesse, the third son, was born in Bridgeville, and spent his boyhood on the home farm. When about twenty-one, he started out for himself as a carpenter and joiner, following that occupation until 1850, when, in company with his brother George, he purchased a tract of land on the Delaware River near Long Eddy, and here engaged in shipping lumber to Philadelphia. He was an excellent swimmer and an expert hunter, the hero of many thrilling adventures. After about eight years he sold his interest to his brother, and in 1855 purchased a tract of one hundred acres of timbered land on Bullock Hill, where he erected a log cabin, and began to fell the trees. He later built a frame house on the same site, and engaged in farming and dairying. He married Susan Jenkins, daughter of Horace and Anna (Vermilyea) Jenkins, of Roxbury, N. Y. She is still living, and is greatly esteemed by all. Her father was in his younger days one of the most prominent men of his town; he now spends much of his time with his grand-daughter, Mrs. Howes.
Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Howes were the parents of twelve children, namely: Anna F., widow of Charles Drake, a farmer of Tompkins, who died in 1881, and is buried on Knickerbocker Hill; Loomis; Horace J., who married Ella A. Drake, a sister of Charles Drake; Eva A., who married S. L. Niles, of Tompkins; Hiram J., a school-teacher; Edmund A., whose name heads this sketch; Annetta, who married Jesse Gardner, a physician in Anemdeta, Ohio; Emily J., the wife of Frank Clark, a butcher of Walton, of the firm of Clark & Webster; Samuel, who died at the age of two years; Mary E., who teaches school on Knickerbocker Hill; Arthur R., who follows the occupation of a butcher; Helen M., wife of Frank Wells, of Masonville; Frank C., who lives on the old homestead and carries on the farm.
Edmund A. Howes was educated in the district schools of his native town, and when eighteen began to teach in Peasetown, Broome County. He afterward taught at Bennettsville, Chenango County, and later five terms in Masonville, teaching sixteen terms altogether. January 1, 1883, he married Maggie E. Finch, daughter of Henry and Mary Jane (Carroll) Finch, of Sidney. The grandfather of Mrs. Jonas Finch was born in Cairo, Greene County, son of Amos and Martha (Parks) Finch. Amos Finch was a Revolutionary soldier, and engaged in farming in Dutchess County. Jonas married Henrietta Lennon, who lived to be eighty-seven years old, and died in 1874. His son, Henry Finch, father of Mrs. Howes, was born June 22, 1823, was a farmer in Masonville, but later bought land in Williamsport, Pa. In 1862 he enlisted in the war, in which he served ten months, returning to Pennsylvania after peace was declared. He now resides, retired from active work, in Sidney. His wife was Mary J. Carroll, daughter of Samuel Carroll, of Tompkins; and she was the mother of twelve children: Zaccheus, who married Rosetta Teed, of Sidney; Sarah, wife of Edgar Teed, of Stevensport, Pa.; Henrietta, who married Duane Hand, a farmer in Morris, Ontario County; Louisa, wife of Robert Stewart, of Sidney, who died in 1894; Anna, who married Warren Hodges, a farmer of Sidney; Maggie; Henry, who married Mary Bradley, of Tompkins; Emeline, who died at the age of sixteen; Almetta, who married James Hodges, of Sidney; Nora, the wife of Edwin Wheat, a carpenter of Sidney; Norman, who married Bertha Gaylord, and is engaged in farming in Sidney; and James.
Mr. and Mrs. Howes have one son, Fred E., born June 10, 1885, who now ttends school in District No. 7. Mr. Howes is very prominent in town affairs, and has held various offices of trust. He is Justice of the Peace, has been Inspector and Auditor, and was a member of the Republican County Committee during the years of 1881 and 1882. He is a Republican in politics, and is widely known and esteemed.
MRS. JANETTE (GOODRICH) STODDART, widow of James S. Stoddart, who died at his late home in the town of Croton, September 13, 1890, at the age of seventy-four years, is an intelligent and cultured lady, universally respected for her nobility of character and kindness of heart. She is a native of Delaware County, and a daughter of Richard M. Goodrich, who was born June 16, 1786. He was educated for a professional life, and at an early age began his career as a physician, being for many years the most successful and popular practitioner of this section of the county, having an extensive practise in the towns of Hamden and Middletown. He was married December 28, 1812, to Jane J. Sands, who bore him six children, as follows: Antoinette, the wife of Benjamin McCall; Henrietta, now seventy-seven years of age, and a resident of Delhi; Janette, Mrs. Stoddart; Juliet, the wife of Alexander Shaw, of Delhi; Harriet, the widow of William Burgess, of St. John, New Brunswick; and George, a resident of Delhi.
Mrs. Stoddart received a careful home training and an excellent education, being fitted at the age of fifteen years for a teacher, and for four terms was an instructor in the public schools. On the 3d of April, 1839, being then a maiden of eighteen years, she became the bride of James S. Stoddart, an industrious and enterprising farmer, and a young man of great promise. They settled on a farm of their own in the town of Hamden, where they lived several years, prosperously engaged in tilling the soil. Selling that property at an advantage, they bought another farm in Walton, and managed this with the same untiring industry that had heretofore characterized their labors, and in the course of time amassed a comfortable competence. Mr. Stoddart was a man of great force of character. Possessing more than ordinary business ability, he carried on his farming operations in an able and scientific way, and was numbered among the most progressive agriculturists of his neighborhood. About eighteen years ago he and his wife removed to the present fine home of Mrs. Stoddart in Croton, where he lived retired until called to his eternal home. He was a most exemplary and highly esteemed citizen, and in every condition of life performed whatever he undertook conscientiously, and as became a man having the best interests of his town and county at heart. He was an active worker in religious circles, and a devoted membder of the Presbyterian church.
Mr. Stoddart was of good Scotch ancestry, his father, William Stoddart, having been born and reared in Scotland. When a young man, he emigrated to America, and settled in Delaware County, where he was married May 4, 1815, to Phoebe Churchill, who was born in the same year as himself, 1784. He was a farmer by occupation, and owned a farm on Scotch Mountain, where, by industry, thrift and strict economy, he acquired a substantial property. During the last years of his life he lived retired in Delhi. His wife survived him many years, and died at her home in Delhi, June 14, 1857. Four children, two sons and two daughters, were born to them; but of these only one is now living, Esther, the widow of Tracey G. Rich, of Binghamton, N.Y.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Stoddart was blessed by the birth of five children: William G., born January 11, 1840, married Estella Rowe, and lives in Croton. Jane E., formerly a successful teacher, was born January 29, 1843, and is now the widow of Samuel Holmes, of Walton. Sarah B., born in 1845, is the wife of Joshua Seaman, a farmer residing in Meredith, and has two children. Charles A., born January 22, 1849, now a resident of Walton, is a widower with three children. Ann Eliza, born May 8, 1851, married Leroy Smith, of Franklin; and they are the parents of three children.
Mr. and Mrs. Stoddart were for many years among the most extensive and prosperous land-holders of the county, and owned several farms, their acreage aggregating some five hundred acres, this large property being acquired mainly by their own efforts and good management.
MERRIT S. ROBERTS, one of the most prominent and successful farmers of the town of Kortright, was born in that town, October 7, 1829, and is the son of Joseph W. and Mary (Seely) Roberts, the former a native of Kortright, and the latter of Westchester County. The grandfather, Eli Roberts, was born in Westchester County, but settled in Kortright in 1780, being one of the first pioneers of the town. He owned one of the largest farms in the vicinity, remaining in active charge of the same until his death, at the age of eighty-nine. Joseph W. Roberts was brought up as a farmer and lumberman, and purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty-five acres, the greater portion of it having to be cleared. He died on his farm at the age of seventy-six, his wife being eighty-eight at the time of her death. The latter was a member of the Baptist church.
Merrit S. Roberts was educated at the district school and the academy. He turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, managing his father's farm, and looking after his parents during their last years. He has added considerably to the farm since it came into his possession, now having three hundred and eighty acres under cultivation. He has built a handsome residence, and his farm is conducted on model and practical lines. His son is associated with him in its management, the firm name being M. S. Roberts & Son.
Mr. Roberts was married October 20, 1852, to Adelia A. Brownell, a daughter of Isaac and Lucy Brownell, of Kortright. Mr. Brownell was a well-known and influential farmer of this town, and lived to a ripe age, being eighty years old at the time of his death. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have two children: Maud, who was married in April, 1884, to George E. Moore, a prominent druggist of Oneonta, and has one child, Leona; Joseph I., who was married January 18, 1892, to Miss Grace Van Vechten, of Rensselaer County, and is one of the rising young farmers of the town. He was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, which position he now holds, and is a member of Lodge No. 466, A. F. & A. M. In politics, like his father, he is a Democrat.
Mr. Roberts has been Supervisor of the town for two years, and has also filled minor town offices. He is a member of Lodge No. 466, A. F. & A. M., of Oneonta, and is also a Royal Arch Mason, belonging to Delhi Chapter, No. 249. Mr. Roberts is one of the most respected farmers in Delaware County. He is a man of sterling worth, giving life and spirit to the town of his nativity, and taking a deep interest in all enterprises which tend to promote its welfare.
ARTHUR H. ST. JOHN, M. D., represents in a worthy manner the medical profession of Walton, one of the most prosperous and thriving towns of Delaware County, and socially is regarded as one of its most valued citizens. His native place was at Cranbury, N. J., the date of his birth being May 8, 1856. He is a son of Isaac J. and Elizabeth P. (Hanford) St. John, both of whom were natives of Delaware County.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in the town of Walton, whither his parents had returned shortly after his birth. Soon after his graduation from the Walton High School he entered into mercantile business, and was subsequently employed as an agent for the American Express Company, running between Oswego and New York. From his boyhood, however, he had intended to become a physician, and, with this end in view, entered the office of Dr. J. H. Keeney, of Oswego, N. Y., with whom he read medicine, going thence to the New York Homeopathic Medical College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1892. The subsequent year Dr. St. John was one of the staff of the Hahnemann Hospital. After spending some time in private practice in New York City, the Doctor located in Walton, opening his office here in April, 1893, and since that time has been in the receipt of a substantial practice. He is a close and thoughtful student, devoted to the interests of his patients, and is held in high respect both as a man and as a practitioner. He has more than an average share of the patronage of the best people of the community, and his prospects for winning a position among the leading physicians and surgeons of this part of Delaware County are exceedingly good.
The marriage of Dr. St. John and Miss Belle M. Snow, a daughter of Garrett Snow, was solemnized at Caroline Centre, Tompkins County, in 1876; and the young couple began their wedded life in Walton, which is the natal place of their only child, Nellietta, who was born in 1877.
CARL HERMANN is one of the leading cottagers in the charming rural resort known as Fleischmanns, situated in the mountainous uplands of Delaware County, the summer residence of a small number of select families well known in metropolitan life. Some years ago several members of the Fleischmann family, in search of rural quiet and picturesque scenery, visited this retired neighborhood, and, charmed with its pure air CAN'T READ altitudes, and care-banishing influences, resolved that their first visit should by no means be their last. Accordingly, about 1882, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Fleischmann and Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Bleier came to the locality, and purchased a part of the old farm then owned by John M. Blish, building pleasant summer cottages, well adapted to the requirements of health and pleasure seekers. They were soon joined by others, among them Charles Fleischmann, Carl Edelheim, Mrs. Max Fleischmann, Anton Seidl, Louis Josephthal, and Carl Hermann. Bernard Ullman and Henry Mierlander added to the architectural beauties of the place by establishing spacious and picturesque homes on the mountain side, Mr. Charles Fleischmann building three more large and tasteful dwellings.
The grounds surrounding these attractive residences are exquisitely laid out, teeming with flowers and shrubbery, and broken here and there with convenient walks and well-graded carriage drives. A large deer park, in which ramble at will some choice specimens of their kind, adds greatly to the interest of the landscape. Swimming Pond, supplied with pure mountain spring water, is a convenience that has not been forgotten; neither have commodious stables and carriage houses. Another most interesting and luxurious feature of this realm of pleasance is a fine riding-school in a magnificently equipped hall, with a commodious gallery, in which the friends of the riders can sit and watch their graceful evolutions. There are costly paintings on the walls, which are elsewhere tastefully draped with rich bunting; and four large chandeliers provide brilliant illumination for evening pleasures. A portable floor has also been provided for dancing, and an orchestra of skilled musicians from New York is kept in good practice throughout the season. The railroad station, a tasteful structure, erected by the liberality of the Fleischmanns, invites the attention of the passing traveller. The surrounding grounds attest the work of an artist in landscape gardening.
This charming spot, whose natural beauties have been so enhanced by a boundless liberality, directed by cultivated taste, is yet but in embryo. The plans for the future are well calculated to dwarf the achievements of the past; and in the choice and secluded settlement of "Fleischmanns," nestling in the shadow of the romantic Catskills, redolent of health, innocent gaiety, and cultured ease, we may view a place where sordid cares are excluded and the rude turmoil of life's battle stilled, its faint echoes only touching the chord of remembrance, as the reverberations of the swift express, with its varied freight of human interests, hopes, and passions, break softly on the air and lose themselves in the rural solitudes.
SAMUEL W. NILES, a retired farmer of Sidney, was born in that town, August 23, 1816, and is the son of Joseph and Sally (Barstow) Niles. His grandfather, Ambrose Niles, a native of Connecticut, was a veteran of the War of the Revolution, and was drafted in the War of 1812, but hired a substitute. He came to Delaware County in 1810 with his wife and two children, and, settling in the town of Sidney, took up a lot of land consisting of about one hundred and seventy-seven acres, upon which he built a log house, and later built the second frame barn that was erected in that part of the town.
Joseph Niles, son of Ambrose, was born in Connecticut, and taught school in that State before coming to Delaware County with his father when a young man. He here followed the occupation of a farmer, and filled several local offices, being Justice of the Peace for some years, well known as "Squire Niles," holding his court in an old log house, many of the lawyers coming to court on horseback, with their clients behind them. He and his wife were the parents of the following children: Samuel W., the subject of this sketch; Clarinda, wife of Addison Nowland, of Chicago, Ill.; Lucina, who became the wife of Joseph Miller, and died at the age of fifty-six; Mary, wife of Norval Barstow; Celinda, wife of Cyrenus Schofield; Sarah, wife of Henry Fletcher; and Hubbard Niles, who died aged eight-one. Joseph Niles died in 1850, aged seventy-one, his wife surviving him thirty years.
Samuel W. Niles was reared on the old farm, a short distance from where Sidney Centre now stands, receiving his education at the district school, which was on the farm, Gardner Olmstead being his first teacher. The school-house was of logs, and heated by fireplaces, the seats being made of slabs with pegs put in for legs. Mr. Niles had but a meagre chance of attending school, as most of his time was given to work on the farm. He remained at home until he was twenty-one, when he hired himself out to his father, receiving one hundred and twenty dollars a year and his clothes and board. He was twenty-five when he bought a farm in Otsego County, on which he lived about four years, and then sold it and moved back to the old farm, purchasing that after his father's death. In 1874 he moved to his present residence at Sidney Centre.
Mr. Niles was married October 22, 1840, to Susan C. Mack, who was born January 20, 1820, at Harpersfield, a daughter of Abner Mack, one of the early settlers of Delaware County. By this union Mr. Niles had four children - Sarah, Edson, George B., and Charles. Sarah, born December 12, 1850, is the wife of Frederick Shaw, of Binghamton. Edson Niles, born September 10, 1854, one of the leading merchants in Sidney Centre, married in 1880 Addie M. Baker, who died in 1888, leaving two children - Ethel May and Robert. Mr. Edson Niles married in 1890 Miss Cora A. Travis, by whom he has also two children - Susan E. and Harry. George B. Niles was born September 4, 1846, and died June 2, 1877. Charles Niles, born April 16, 1844, died December 23, 1888. Mrs. Susan C. Niles died August 25, 1884. On January 13, 1886, Mr. Niles married for his second wife Mrs. Sally Davis, a daughter of Israel and Susanna Kneeland. Her father was a native of Delaware County, and was a wheelwright by trade; but the latter years of his life were devoted to farming. He died at the early age of forty years, his wife, a native of Chenango County, surviving him thirty-four years, dying at the age of seventy-four. They had four children, two of whom are now living - Mrs. Niles and Mrs. Louisa Davis, the latter living in Masonville. Her mother having been twice married, Mrs. Niles has also a half-brother, Austin L. Welch, who resides in Texas.
Mrs. Niles is a member of the Baptist church, and her husband is a Congregationalist. In politics he is a strong advocate of the Prohibition party. He has been Assessor and Inspector of Elections, besides holding several other public offices, all of which he has filled most acceptably. Mr. Niles bears a high reputation for honesty and integrity, and both in private and public life has always retained the respect and esteem of his fellows. An excellent portrait of this representative citizen of Delaware County maybe seen on another page of the "Review."
JOHN BECKWITH, a retired farmer, owning and occupying a pleasant home at DeLancey Station, was reared to agricultural pursuits, and has followed this calling with more than average success. His present possessions are the result of his own industry, while his integrity and honesty have served to establish him in the confidence and esteem of his fellow-men. He is a native of this great commonwealth, having been born in Ulster County in 1829.
Joseph Beckwith, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Newbern, N. C., in 1801, and at the age of sixteen removed to this State, becoming a resident of Ulster County. He was left an orphan, without means, when quite young, and consequently was obliged to seek his own living. He worked out by the month at farm labor for several years, and by steady industry and strict economy saved some money. With this to start upon, he wedded the lady of his choice, Anna Ostrander, a native of Ulster County, their nuptials being celebrated in 1826. In 1839, accompanied by his wife and four children, he came to this county, settling in the town of Andes, where he purchased a farm, on which he afterward lived and labored until his death in 1865. He was a man of enterprise and energy, meeting with prosperity in his farming operations, and leaving his family a good estate. His widow survived him several years, living to the ripe old age of ninety years. Both were devout members of the United Presbyterian Church, and highly esteemed members of the community where they had for so many years made their home. The record of the children born to them is as follows: Maria, who is the widow of John Fowler; John, of whom we write; Margaret, who died in the prime of life; Cornelius, a carpenter, who lives in Ulster County.
John Beckwith was the second child of the parental household. He was reared on the farm, attended the district schools, and assisted his father until his marriage. He then became a farmer on his own account, carrying on his labors in such a thorough and skilful manner that his farm property in the town of Andes was among the finest, in regard to improvements and cultivation, of any in the vicinity. This farm Mr. Beckwith recently sold for three thousand dollars, and invested one thousand six hundred dollars of this money in his present home in DeLancey. It contains an acre of land, sufficient to keep a cow and a horse, and requiring just enough care and labor to keep him healthy and happy; and, with two daughters to keep house for him, he is living in comfort and ease.
On the 1st of January, 1857, Mr. Beckwith married Elizabeth Nichols, who was born in Scotland in 1827. Her parents, Andrew and Margaret (George) Nichols, were farmers by occupation, and emigrated to this country with their family in 1839. Mrs. Beckwith was endowed with true Scotch habits of industry and thrift, and proved herself a most admirable wife and companion. She passed from earth to the spirit world, January 23, 1893, leaving her devoted husband and seven children to mourn their loss. Of this family, to whom she was ever a wise counsellor and a loving mother, we record the following: Anna M., a successful teacher, lives at home. Hattie M., the wife of A. R. Worden, a farmer of Andes, has four children. Joseph, an insurance and real estate dealer in Walton, has had the misfortune to break one of his legs three times; but, notwithstanding the fact that he is lame, and not in particularly good health, he is managing a very successful business. David A., a resident of Iowa, where he is in the employ of a railway company, is married and has a son and daughter. Cornelius, a carpenter, lives in Missouri. Jane lives at home. William, also a carpenter, is in Missouri with his brother Cornelius, where both are working prosperously at their trade.
Mr. Beckwith is a sound Republican in his political views. The United Presbyterian church finds in him a consistent member.
ARTHUR J. GANOUNG, a substantial citizen of his native town, Roxbury, where he was born February 2, 1864, is of French descent and patriotic ancestry. His paternal grandfather, James Ganoung, who was born in Putnam County, New York, came to Butternuts in Delaware County while in the first vigor of manhood. Here he tried to settle, and clear up a tract of land that was, like a great deal of the surrounding country, almost a wilderness. But the Tories, who were jealous of the prosperity and increasing strength of the rebel element, drove him from his humble and toil-worn home; and the young pioneer returned to Putnam County. Both he and his brother John served in the Revolutionary War as minute-men.
After the war the two brothers were offered a tract of two hundred acres of land at Batavia Kill, as an incentive to settle there and farm the wild and uncultivated land of that section. This offer was accepted; and the brothers had soon erected a log cabin, and were making brave efforts to establish a home, though the danger from the wild animals of the forest, the discomforts of the necessarily primitive mode of existence, the long winters, and extreme isolation made the life very hard, almost impossible. Here James Ganoung met and married Miss Deborah Jenkins, the daughter of one of the early settlers; and here they lived the first years of their married life. As old age approached, they considered it wise to change their location; so the farm was sold, and a new home was established in Roxbury. They became the parents of eight children; namely, Jason, Isaac, Arion, Smith, Abraham, Charles, Rachel, and Polly.
Arion, the third son of James and Deborah Ganoung, was educated at the district school. At the age of twenty-six he bought a farm, owned now by Holsight. He was married in the following year to Priscilla Redmond, daughter of John and Martha (Powell) Redmond. Her father, who lived on a farm near Griffin's Corners, was a member of the Baptist church, and was a loyal Democrat throughout the varying vicissitudes of his life of eighty years. Arion Ganoung was also a Democrat in politics. He had the confidence of the community, and held the office of Assessor in the town of Roxbury.
Arthur J. Ganoung, son of Arion and Priscilla, was educated at Roxbury College, and at eighteen made himself a master of telegraphy, which he followed as a vocation for several years in different places, returning in September, 1890, to Roxbury, where he has since been employed as freight and express agent. His home is near the railway station. Mr. Ganoung married Libbie Richtmeyer, daughter of Jacob Richtmeyer, a carpenter and contractor of Middletown. Mrs. Ganoung is a member of the Lutheran church. Like his father, Mr. Ganoung affiliates with the Democratic party.
JOHN KLING, agent and manager of the branch dry-goods store of Frank Barclay, of Amsterdam, N. Y., is a wide-awake, energetic business man, and, although young in years, has already obtained a good start in life, and is numbered among the rising young men of the village of Walton. He comes of excellent Holland ancestry, and was born in the town of Perth, Fulton County, N. Y., April 8, 1869, being a son of Peter A. and Phyllis Ann (Banker) Kling, the former a well-known contractor and builder of Amsterdam. The parents are both members of the Baptist church, and politically Mr. Kling casts his vote with the Republican party.
The subject of this brief biographical record received the elements of a good education in the Union School at Amsterdam, and, being remarkably ambitious and industrious, secured employment as a clerk in a dry-goods store, thus spending his evenings and vacations from the time he was seventeen years old until nineteen years of age. He has since then continued his mercantile career, and during the past two years has been employed by Frank Barclay, as before mentioned. In January, 1894, Mr. Kling opened the branch store in Walton, and in this new enterprise has met with encouraging success, his honorable and upright dealings, his fidelity to the interests of his employers, and his genial and courteous manners securing for him a good patronage.
April 28, 1892, Mr. Kling was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Jennie Cramer, of Amsterdam, a daughter of William and Emma (McConnell) Cramer. On the maternal side Mrs. Kling is of Scotch extraction, her grandparents having been born, reared, and married in Scotland. They afterward emigrated to this country, stopping awhile in Albany, and going thence to Canada, where the grandfather engaged in the mercantile trade as a tobacconist. In Canada, near the town of Coburg, occurred the birth of their daughter Emma, the mother of Mrs. Kling. On the paternal side Mrs. Kling is of German descent, her great-grandfather having been a native of Germany, and her grandfather, Henry Cramer, a native of the Empire State. Her parents are esteemed residents of Amsterdam, where they are living retired from active labor. They have a family of three children: William H., who is engaged in the grocery business, lives in Amsterdam; Emma, who is an able instructor in the public schools; Jennie, Mrs. Kling, who has engaged in the millinery business for some years, and since coming to Walton has continued her occupation, her millinery parlors being in the store with her husband. She has a well-supplied stock, and displays much artistic ability, her talent being recognized by her large number of patrons.
In religious matters Mr. and Mrs. Kling are not entirely of one mind, he being a member of the Baptist church, in which faith he was reared, while Mrs. Kling worships at the Presbyterian church, of which she is a valued member.
JEROME WHIPPLE, a successful farmer, and dairyman of Kortright, Delaware County, of which town he has long been a prominent citizen, was born in Roxbury, March 17, 1853. His grandfather, Abram Whipple, was a native of Vermont, where he followed the trade of blacksmith. He was a pioneer of Roxbury, Delaware County, and there resided until his death, which took place when he was eighty years old. He was a liberal-minded man, a Republican, and was the father of seven children.
His son Daniel, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Vermont, but grew to manhood in the town of Roxbury, where he engaged in farming. In 1865, disposing of his farm of one hundred acres there, he removed to Kortright, and purchased the farm of three hundred and twenty-two acres which is now occupied by his son Jerome. Daniel Whipple was a hard worker and progressive farmer, and resided on the farm at Kortright until his death, at eighty-seven years of age, his wife, Maria Chamberlin Whipple, dying at the age of sixty-five years. He was a Republican in politics, and both he and his wife were devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They were the parents of eight children, all of whom are living: Mrs. Jane Nesbitt, of Stamford; Jerome; Mrs. Emma Goodsell, of Meredith; George, living at RoseÕs Brook; Mrs. Anna Lamport, of Stamford; Abram, of Fergusonville, Delaware County; Libbie, who lives at home; and Mrs. Sarah Nesbitt, of Fergusonville.
Jerome Whipple removed to Kortright with his parents when but twelve years old, and, after receiving the education afforded by the district school, gave his attention to farming, always living at home, were he took charge of the farm, and ministered to his parents in their old age. On December 5, 1888, he married Miss Mary Mehaffy, a native of Kortright, and daughter of Benjamin and Mary E. (Storie) Mehaffy, the former of whom is a farmer, now residing in Iowa. The latter died in the prime of life. Mr. and Mrs. Whipple have one child, Blanche M., who was born March 22, 1890.
Just before his marriage Mr. Whipple purchased the old homestead consisting of three hundred and twenty-two acres, and now has under his control four hundred and ninety-five acres, part of which he rents. His farm is under excellent cultivation, and the dairy is a very extensive and productive one, comprising sixty-five milch cows of finest Jersey breed. Mr. Whipple has in all one hundred head of stock, employing two men throughout the year. His home is a most comfortable one, situated in the Delaware River Valley among the Catskill Mountains. The family attend the United Presbyterian church. Mr. Whipple is a stanch Republican. He is an industrious man, with remarkable business qualifications, and is eminently successful in whatever enterprises he undertakes.
VICTOR FINCH, a prominent citizen of Tompkins, Delaware County, N.Y., was born September 12, 1820, in Lexington, Greene County. The ancestors of Mr. Finch came from Holland to American with the early settlers of this country, and the family has been known in its history since that time.
Amos Finch, father of Victor, was born in Lexington in 1794, and died in 1868. After engaging in farming, in his native town for many years, he disposed of his property there, and purchased a farm in Maryland, Otsego County, where he lived for some time, subsequently removing to a farm that he bought in Tompkins. After the death of his wife, his eyesight failed; and he gave his property to his sons, passing his last days at the home of his son Victor, where he died November 16, 1868, a the age of seventy-four years. He was buried in the cemetery at Trout Creek. His wife, was Polly Merwin, also a native of Lexington; and she was the mother of six children Ñ Lura, Victor, Samuel, Emmeline, Debias, and Wilson. Mrs. Polly M. Finch was herself the eldest of a family of fourteen children, of whom her brother, David Merwin, of Hensonville, now in his seventy-ninth year, is the only survivor. His earliest ancestors in this country came from Wales. His paternal grandfather, his father, and his uncle, Daniel Merwin, came to New York from Wallingford, Conn., soon after the Revolution, crossing the Hudson on a raft of their own construction, and traveling thirty miles, mostly by blazed trees, through a howling wilderness. They took up a tract of land in Greene County, where the father of Mrs. Finch cleared a small piece of land, sowed it with wheat, built a log house, and then went back to Connecticut, and married Thankful Parker, who returned with him to the new home, where the children were born.
Victor Finch passed his boyhood in Tompkins, attending the district school, and helping with the farm work. When seventeen he went to work for a Mr. Palmer, learning the carpenterÕs trade, and at twenty-one started out in life for himself, engaging in lumbering and farming. When he was thirty-five years of age, he purchased a farm in Manchester, Wayne County, Pa., where for fourteen years he engaged extensively in his old occupation of farming and lumbering. Selling his property there, he purchased in 1856 the farm where he now resides, comprising one hundred and eight-six acres. Besides raising crops and making maple sugar, he also operates a large dairy, keeping forty-five cows, doing much of the work of the place himself. He is strong and hearty, was never known to be ill in all his life, and although seventy-four years of age, is as active and energetic as when much younger.
January 30, 1855, Mr. Finch married Sarah E. Taylor, daughter of James and Clementina (Harse) Taylor. Both of Mrs. FinchÕs parents were born in Winford, Somersetshire, England, where they were married, four children being born in England, two of whom died in that country. In 1828 they sailed for America with their two children in the ship ÒCosmo,Ó the voyage occupying sixteen weeks and four days. The passage was an unusually rough one, the good ship being twice blown off the coast; but, after much suffering and narrow escape from shipwreck, --the family reached New York City and settled on a small farm where Jersey City is now situated. For three years they lived there, and then moved to Honesdale, Pa., which contained at that time but one log house. The journey from the old home in Honesdale was made on foot with the children on their backs, a man driving an ox team containing all their worldly goods. The country to which they immigrated was a barren wilderness, abounding in wild animals, and was not particularly pleasing to Mr. Taylor. He accordingly removed to a tract called the French Woods, in Delaware County, N.Y., and here erected a bark cabin, in which he lived until able to build a log house. He proceeded to clear land on what is now called the Rolland farm, near Sand Pond, which is one of the largest in French Woods. Several years later he sold this property, and went to Bouchonville in the same county, where he carried on a hotel, which he afterward sold to purchase a farm in Manchester, Wayne County, Pa. Ten years later he disposed of this, and bought a farm near Lordville, Delaware County, consisting of one hundred and three acres; and here he lived until his death, which occurred January 14, 1871, the result of injuries received by being struck by the cars near his home. His wife died one year later, in 1872, and they sleep side by side in the cemetery at Lordville.
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were the parents of ten children: John and Michael, born in England; Mary Ann, Nathaniel, Sarah E., Henry, and William, born in French Woods; Bessie, born in Bouchonville; and two others, who died in England. In 1848 Mr. Taylor again crossed the ocean, the death of his father, without a will, making his presence necessary in the settlement of the property. The passage over occupied three weeks; and the return trip, being very stormy, occupied seventeen weeks, both voyages being made in the ship ÒRappahannock,Ó of Liverpool. Mr. Taylor being the eldest son, and his father a wealthy farmer, his portion of the estate amounted to a comfortable fortune. His daughter, Mrs. Finch, was born July 14, 1837, in French Woods, and passed the early part of her life in Lordville, attending the district school, and residing with her parents until her marriage.
Mr. and Mrs.. Finch are the parents of three children; Alva Wilson, born October 16, 1856; William L., born May 4, 1860; Elmer E., born February 6, 1863. All are natives of Manchester, Wayne County, Pa., and attended the district school on Knickerbocker Hill, assisting their parents on the home farm. The son, A. Wilson, married Susan Brown of Tompkins; and they have one child, Ava, born January 30, 1891. William L. finch died July 19, 1862, at the age of two years; and Elmer works on the old home farm with his father and brother. Mr. Finch is profoundly respected for his upright character and honorable dealings.
PROFESSOR WILLIS D. GRAVES. Delaware Academy, located in Delhi, is fortunate in having for its principal Willis D. Graves, a man of liberal culture and great executive ability. Under his wise regime of the past ten years the number of students has increased, the standard of scholarship greatly advanced, and many beneficial changes and improvements been made. Delaware Academy since its inception has been regarded as the leading institution of its kind in this section of the State, and its high reputation and usefulness as a classical institute grow steadily from year to year. It was established in pursuance of an act of the legislature passed April 12, 1819, which appropriated six thousand dollars, the proceeds of a Tory estate, for the purpose of establishing an academy in Delaware county. The academy was incorporated by the regents of the university, February 12, 1820; and the first building was erected upon lands given by General Erastus Root, who had been instrumental in obtaining the appropriation. Judge Ebenezer Foote was President of the first Board of Trustees, Colonel Amasa Parker the first Secretary, and John A. Savage the first Principal of the academy.
From the start this school had a successful career; and having outgrown its accommodations in 1856 a new academy and two boarding halls were built. Recently the boarding department has been enlarged, but is yet too small to accommodate all applicants. In 1893 the number of students registered reached two hundred and twenty-three, and the representation of the school greatly extended, the non-resident attendance numbering one hundred and twenty-six. No other academic school in this section of the State approaches such an attendance of pupils from a distance, and few similar schools in the entire State of New York report such a non-resident attendance. During the past decade over ten thousand dollars has been expended in beautifying the grounds and in adding to the comfort and equipment of the buildings. Among the valuable accessories of the school is a library of two thousand volumes, an extensive collection of apparatus, a thoroughly furnished gymnasium, and every convenience for efficient work. The work of the school is mostly academic, although both a preparatory and primary department are sustained. The regentsÕ courses of study, the only recognized courses for graduation, are liberal and progressive, fitting the students in the most thorough manner for Princeton, Yale, Vassar and other colleges, and for life work.
The faculty of this academy consists of a corps of thorough educators, who devote their entire attention to the best interests of this school. Under their tuition students who have matriculated at various colleges have become distinguished scholars. One of the students of the academy recently won a three yearsÕ fellowship at Yale college, and received the degree of Ph.D. at the age of twenty-one years. Another obtained the Mental Science fellowship of six hundred dollars at Princeton College. One is instructor of Latin in the Hartford High School and another holds the chair of Oratory in Cornell University. Reports have come back from the following-named colleges wherein Delhi Academy students have distinguished themselves, testifying to the thorough preparation received in this school: Yale, Cornell, Princeton, Vassar, Wellesley, Hamilton, Middlebury, Westminster, and Elmira Female College, besides from the law, medical, and normal schools of the State. Aside from the academic course, Professor Graves has maintained a kindergarten course, in which about twenty children are taught; and a practical course in book-keeping is included within the regular course. Special courses are given in music, drawing, and painting, these special studies being under the supervision of thorough and accomplished instructors.
Professor Graves is a native of the Empire State, having been born in Bainbridge, Chenango County, August 18, 1856, the eldest of four children born to Gaylord S. and Harriet E. (Pettys) Graves. His father was a successful business man who, having amassed a competence during forty years in which he was engaged in the furniture business, is now enjoying well-earned leisure from the active pursuits of life. Professor Graves as a boy was an ambitious student, and after leaving the public school, attended the academies of Afton and Bainbridge. He subsequently spent four years as a teacher in the schools of Chenango and Broome Counties, afterward taking a full course of study at the normal school in Albany, from which he was graduated in 1879. In August of the same year he accepted the principalship of the Bainbridge Union School and Academy, a position which he retained six years, winning in the mean time a reputation as an instructor of rare ability and merit. In 1885 he leased the Delaware Academy at Delhi, which under his efficient administration occupies a front rank among similar institutions of the kind in the State.
Professor Graves was united in marriage in 1880 to Miss Elizabeth M. Rexford, an accomplished young woman of superior mental attainments, who was graduated from Vassar College with the class of 1877, receiving the degree of A.B. She is a member of the faculty of the academy, being the instructor in Latin and German. Professor and Mrs. Graves are both members of the Second Presbyterian church, and active laborers in denominational work.
EZRA H. HAIT, an estimable citizen of Stamford, N.Y., was born in this town on Rose Brook, December 26, 1823, son of Stephen and Betsy (Lyon) Hait. Stephen Hait was born in South Kortright in the town of Stamford, and his wife was born on Rose Brook in the same town. His father, Ezra Hait, who was born in Connecticut, in 1790 moved to this county, and settled in Stamford in the Delaware River Valley. He bought a tract of wild land, built a log cabin, and then, returning to his native State, was there married. As soon as practicable he took his wife to their new home. The journey was made on horseback, which was then about the only way of travelling; and a hard and somewhat perilous trip it must have been, for wild animals, which are now seldom found, then abounded in the country.
Catskill was the main market for the wheat crop, and four days were consumed in going thither and coming back. The grist had to be taken to Schoharie to be ground. It must have required great courage and fortitude to live under these discouraging conditions. To be sure, deer, bears, and smaller game abounded in the forests, but so did prowling panthers and wolves; and, had not the pioneers been men and women of dauntless daring as well as sturdy workers, their hearts must have failed them. Mr. Hait owned a good farm, raised flax, and kept sheep, so that the family spun and wove their own linen and wool and dressed in this homespun cloth, which is now seldom if ever seen. He bought in the first place one hundred and fifty acres, but added to it till at one time he owned about four hundred acres. He was one of the well-to-do men of the town, and was a Presbyterian in religious views. He died on the old homestead, March 11, 1849, at eighty-nine years of age, his wife, April 16, 1839, when sixty-three years of age. They had five children, all of whom grew to maturity; but none are now living. Their names were Lydia, Betsey, Patty, Stephen, and Daniel.
Stephen Hait, the elder of the two sons of Ezra, grew to manhood in the town of Stamford, and there resided throughout his life. He was well known as Captain Stephen Hait, was a farmer owning a good farm at Rose Brook, and was a practical and successful man in business. In 1820 he married and moved in that same year on to his farm of one hundred and thirty-seven acres, the greater part of which he had to clear himself; and here he lived until his death. His first wife died August 3, 1837; and he was again married to Betsy Patterson. They were both members of the Presbyterian church; and he was a Whig in politics, and was Collector of his town. They both lived to a good old age. He died when about eighty years old. The three children of the first marriage were the following: Ezra H., the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Mary L. Ryer, widow of he late George W. Ryer, a farmer; Mrs. Louisa E. Wakeman, who was born in 1829, and died in 1860. The three of the second marriage were: Lydia E. Scott, who resides in North Kortright; Isaac Henry, who resides on Rose Brook; and Martin K., who lies on the old homestead.
Ezra H. Hait grew to manhood in the town of Stamford, and received his education in the district schools of that town. He lived under the parental roof until about thirty-six years of age, and assisted in carrying on the work of the home farm. He bought his first land, a tract of seventy-five acres, in the Delaware Valley; and this he still holds. About thirty-four years ago he bought the land where he now resides, being one of the oldest settlers in this part of the town. All improvements and additions have been made by him, and he now has one of the best farms in the valley. He is a practical farmer, and successfully carries on a dairy of twenty head of Jerseys. He has in all about one hundred and fifty acres of land, good farm buildings, and a fine dwelling. He also owns real estate in Almeda, and was one of the prime movers in having the South Kortright railway station established. His wife was a member of the United Presbyterian church, and he is a liberal in religious views and politically a Democrat.
On May 18, 1859, he married Nancy Nesbitt, daughter of George Nesbitt. She was born December 28, 1829, in the town of Stamford, on Rose Brook. Mrs. Hait died when sixty-one years of age, July 28, 1890. They had one son, Stephen, born October 12, 1865, who now resides with his father, and is practically the mainstay of the place, having full charge, and carrying on the business. On February 3, 1892, he married Katie Hilts, who was born in Schoharie County; and they have one son, Ezra Hilts Hait, born October 28, 1893. They are both members of the United Presbyterian church, and in politics he follows the principles of the Democratic party. He is one of the rising young farmers of the town, and, like his father, has shown much interest in public affairs.
GEORGE I. TREYZ is known to every resident of Butternut Grove as an enterprising and successful merchant of that place, doing an extensive and varied business. He is the son of Henry and Louisa (Mall) Treyz, and was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., May 11, 1865. His father belongs to that class of foreign-born citizens who are in the front rank of progress, and who have the highest appreciation for the freedom and institutions of our country, having come here to share its privileges and help to mold its destiny. The same might also be said of his maternal grandfather, who was a native of France.
Henry Treyz was born July 3, 1842, in Ulm, Germany, and, coming to this country in his early manhood, worked at his trade of brewer in New Jersey and other places. At length, giving up that occupation, he bought in Fremont Centre, Sullivan County, N.Y., a farm of one hundred acres, which he has improved in every possible way. He keeps a choice dairy of fifteen Jersey cows, besides a large flock of sheep; and everything about the place is in a most prosperous condition, the farm being finely located near the village. His wife, Louisa, was a daughter of John C. Mall, who was born in France, and was son of a Protestant minister, the Rev. Christian Mall. John C. Mall raised a family of seven children Ñ Louisa, Lewis, Caroline, Gottfried, John, Henry, Maggie.
Henry and Louisa Treyz are also the parents of seven children, of whom the following may be recorded: John, born February 26, 1863, married Rosa Holtzman, and has three boys, who live with him at Peakville, Delaware County. George I. is the subject of this biography. Gottleib H., born June 25, 1867, married Lena Bach, has three boys, and also lives at Peakville. Lewis A., born July 2, 1869, married Agatha Keen, has one son, and lives at Sherman, Pa. William H., born July 12, 1872, lives at Butternut Grove. August, born September 21, 1874, lives at Sherman, Pa. Maggie L., born September 17, 1876, is still at the parental home.
George I. Treyz, when but eleven years old, was obliged to leave school and begin to earn his own living. He was, however, so eager to be more than a mere laborer that he applied himself to his studies in the evenings after his daily work in the coal-yard was over, and, with a determination which was worthy of the object, acquired habits of application and gained knowledge which may be said to have been the foundation of his future success. Step by step he went on till he was enabled to start in business at Butternut Grove with a little store in one room, and keeping a small line of groceries. He gradually enlarged his stock until now he has the extensive business that may be seen to-day, including everything in the line of general merchandise, furniture, and many outside branches. He also handles all the coal used at this station, besides dealing largely in lumber and in stone. He employs four clerks in his retail department and several other men outside. William Treyz, his brother and his chief clerk in the store, is a man of much business ability and tact, and one who has made himself a great favorite by his courteous and pleasing address, good judgment, and quick appreciation of the wants of his patrons. Both William and George are Republicans in politics, as was their father before them.
At the age of twenty-seven George I. Treyz was married to Amanda, daughter of David and Sarah (Frisbee) Minkler, Mr. and Mrs. Minkler live at Fremont Centre, where they have a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. Besides Mrs. Treyz they have one other daughter, Martha, wife of Milton Crandall, and mother of two sons. Mr. and Mrs. Treyz have one child, Frank M., born June 16, 1893.
Mr. Treyz is a tradesman with whom his customers are glad to deal, being characterized by uprightness in all his business transactions, and keeping a class of goods that give satisfaction. He is a self-made man, having since his early youth made his own way in the world. He is well worthy of the high esteem in which he is held by his fellow-citizens.
LEANDER H. MAXWELL, senior member of the firm of Maxwell & Son, liverymen of Delhi, is noticeable for his business capacity and enterprise. He has been a life-long resident of this town, where his birth occurred on December 17, 1837, and is especially worthy of representation in this biographical work as being the descendant of one of the honored pioneers of the place.
His grandfather, Joshua Maxwell, emigrated from Connecticut to Delaware County, and was among the earliest settlers of Delhi. He bought a tract of land; and amid the giant trees of the forest he reared his humble log cabin, and began from the wilderness to wrest a farm. He labored untiringly, being encouraged and assisted by his brave pioneer wife, and in the course of time was able to harvest fields of golden grain. A few years later and the improvements on the place were still more marked, the log cabin, in which many of his children were born and reared, having given place to a substantial frame house, flanked by a capacious barn and good out-buildings. On the homestead which he cleared he spent his remaining years; and there his first wife, too, closed her eyes upon the scenes of earthly life. Three children were born of his first union, the second being a son, Gurdon P., who became the father of the subject of the present sketch. His second wife bore him five children.
Gurdon P. Maxwell was born in Delhi, and in its pioneer schools gleaned his early knowledge of books. As soon as he was old enough to handle a hoe or drive oxen, he naturally found plenty of work on the home farm, where he remained until of age, when, following the example of his father, he bought a tract of land which was still in its virgin wildness. In the first space that he cleared he erected a small log house, and in this began his married life. As time sped on, he became the owner of a well-cultivated farm, with a substantial set of frame buildings, and had a fine family of girls and boys growing up about him. On this homestead he and his beloved companion spent their many years of wedded life, he passing away at the age of seventy-two years, and she at seventy years. His wife, known in her girlhood days as Elizabeth Hall, was a native of the Empire State, and the daughter of Adam Hall, who some years after his marriage became one of the first settlers of Delhi. Eight children born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Gurdon P. Maxwell, as follows: Robert C., George H., Leander H., Joshua G., William H., Prudence E., Aranetta, and Hannah M. Both parents were sincere and faithful members of the Christian church.
Leander H. Maxwell was born and reared on the parental homestead, and in the schools of his neighborhood received a practical drill in the three RÕs, the fundamental studies. He afterward worked on the farm with his father until he was nearly thirty years of age, then rented a farm, which he carried on for three years with excellent results. Not making up his mind to follow agricultural work for life, he then went to work for Mr. Roberts, in the village of Delhi, as foreman in a livery stable. In 1870 Mr. Maxwell bought his present livery, boarding, feeding, and sale stable, which he has since managed with satisfactory financial success. In 1890 he admitted his son to an interest in the establishment, and business is now carried on under the firm name of Maxwell & Son.
The union of Mr. Maxwell and Miss Sarah Roberts was solemnized in 1865. Mrs. Maxwell is a native of Andes, being the daughter of William Roberts, who came from England to Andes, where he carried on the shoemakerÕs trade for many years. His wifeÕs maiden name was Moss, and she bore him three children. Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell are the parents of two children, Fanny and Clark. Fanny married Albert Robinson, foreman in ArbuckleÕs mills; and they have one child, Grace. Clark, who is now in partnership with his father, was educated in the district school and academy, and began his business career as a clerk in the grocery store of George McMurray, remaining in his employ about a year. He then began working for his father; and in 1890 he bought an interest in the business. On February 28, 1892, he was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Carrie Thompson, the daughter of William and Lydia Thompson. Mr. Thompson, who was engaged in business in Delhi for nearly twenty years, is now the leading tailor of Walton, where his daughter Carrie was born. She is popular in social circles and is a communicant of Saint JohnÕs Episcopal Church.
In politics both the father and son are zealous advocates of the principles of the Republican party. Mrs. Sarah Maxwell is an earnest Christian woman and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
COLONEL SAMUEL F. MILLER, who died on March 16, 1894, at his home in Franklin, was born on May 27, 1827, on the same farm which has been in the family for many years and was also the birthplace of his father. The Miller family came from East Hampton, L.I., and settled in this part of the State when it was a boundless wilderness. they owned vast tracts of unbroken forest; and in the days of William Miller, father of the late Colonel, their estate consisted of about one thousand acres of land, and included several large mills for the manufacture of pine lumber, which business increased rapidly, and is still carried on by the family. Much of the land is excellent for pasturage, keeping about one hundred cows; and the dairy products of the Miller farm are noted throughout the surrounding country. Some may still remember William Miller, whose commanding figure and pleasant face were familiar to every one half a century ago.
His son Samuel was also a fine representative of an old noble race. He was the only surviving child of William and Mary (Mills) Miller, and in him were centred all the hopes of the family. In him were realized, too, not only their expectations, but honor and distinction far beyond their fondest dreams. After graduating, in 1852, from Hamilton College, he returned to his Alma Mater, and studied law for a year, when he was admitted to the bar in 1853. He then engaged in business with his father, and under their united efforts the farming and lumbering interests grew to large dimensions. In 1854 he was elected to the New York legislature, and in 1855 and 1856 was Supervisor of the town of Franklin. His service in these capacities proved so plainly his ability and principles that he was sent to Congress in 1862. This was the noted Congress under LincolnÕs administration, when the country was in a state of turmoil, and those who served her had much need of firm hands and earnest hearts to rightly administer the affairs of the nation.
In 1867 Colonel Miller was a member of the Constitutional Convention, in 1869 a member of the State board of Charities, to which position he was reappointed in 1873; in 1869 he was Collector of Revenues, resigning this post in 1873; and in 1874 he was elected Representative to the Forty-fourth Congress. Colonel Miller was a stanch Republican, and in behalf of that party exerted a strong influence. Although a man of modest bearing, his speeches were very effective; and his voice was never silent when he saw that by speaking he might serve his country and his cause. Long to be remembered is a speech which Mr. Miller delivered at the Constitutional Convention, when he was disabled by rheumatism, and was obliged to seek the platform with the assistance of a pair of crutches. Coming slowly forward in this manner, he faced his audience and expounded to them in a most concise and masterly way the principles for which he stood.
Colonel Miller was twice married, his first wife being Miss Laura Cadwell, who died while still in the prime of life, May 29, 1865. He afterward received in marriage the hand of Maria M.
Sherrill, daughter of Lewis and Clarissa (Burgess) Sherill. The father was a native of East Hampton, and the mother of Colchester; and they were among the early settlers of New Hartford, Oneida County, N.Y. Mr. Sherrill was formerly a manufacturer of woollen goods, a clothier, as he was called in those days, and, together with his brother, carried on a mill on the Sequoit Creek. Mrs. Miller was one of four children, two girls and two boys. Her father died in 1871, being over ninety years old; and after his death Mrs. Sherrill made her home here with her daughter until the time of her death in 1891, when she, too, had reached her ninetieth year.
The only surviving children of Mrs. Miller are Samuel Jacob and William Lewis Miller, who are twins, and who were born on September 28, 1870. They live in the beautiful mansion built by their father in 1875, and together they carry on the long-established business of farming and lumbering.
they are active and energetic young men, using the most intelligent methods of carrying on their business, and showing in all their undertakings the characteristic qualities of the line from which they have descended.
The father of these promising young men has been called away from his work and his life on this side of the unknown. He had done his duty in his day and generation, as it is not the privilege of all men to do; and, when he passed hence, it was amid the mourning and regrets of all who knew him, and whose admiration and reverence for his noble traits, lofty principles, and virtuous deeds will for many years keep his memory green.
JOSEPH HILLIS is one of the most highly esteemed citizens of Stamford, of which town he is an industrious and successful farmer. His father, Adam Hillis, was a native of Ireland, and came to America when twenty-five years of age. He had received a very good education in his native land, and had taught school fourteen terms. He learned the trade of weaver, but concluded to follow agricultural pursuits and purchased an improved farm of ninety-six acres in Kortright, Delaware County, to which he added from time to time until he became the possessor of two hundred and twenty-seven acres. A hard worker and good manager, he accumulated a comfortable fortune, and died on his farm at the age of seventy-six. His wife was Elizabeth McMurdy, who was born in Kortright, a daughter of an old pioneer settler of that town, Benjamin McMurdy, who was a native of Ireland, and married Elizabeth Shanks, a native of the same country. Benjamin McMurdy was a farmer of progressive habits and much industry, and succeeded in his chosen occupation, residing on his farm until his death, which occurred when he was about eighty years of age. He was a Whig, and, with his wife, a member of the Presbyterian church. They were the parents of three children: David, who died at the age of seventy-seven; Jonathan, at the age of eight-six; and Elizabeth, who passed away when seventy-five years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Adam Hillis were devoted members of the Presbyterian church at South Kortright. He was a supporter of the Democratic party. They were the parents of ten children, eight of whom reached maturity; and three still survive, as follows: Joseph, of whom this sketch is written; David B., a stone-mason in Stamford; and George M., a farmer in Davenport. Jonathan, William, Benjamin, Clark, Sara Jane, Ellen, and Elizabeth have passed away.
Joseph Hillis was born in Kortright, May 28, 1828, and was educated in the district school. Until he was twenty-five years of age he lived at home, but worked for Squire McGillavery, near Bloomville, receiving for his services eight dollars per month, which money he gave to his father. January 12, 1853, he married Miss Margaret D. Barnett, who was born in Roxbury, May 6, 1826, a daughter of John and Eleanor (Voorhis) Barnett. John Barnett was born in Lexington, Greene County, September 22, 1786, and, removing to Delaware County, located in Stamford, where he resided throughout the remainder of his life. He died January 5, 1863. He was a supporter of the Republican party. His wife, Eleanor Voorhis, was born in Schoharie County, January 8, 1793, and died June 16, 1879. Both were faithful members of the Presbyterian church at Hobart. They were the parents of five children, two of whom Ñ Sarah M. McNaught, widow of William McNaught, and Mrs. Hillis Ñ still survive. Those who passed away are Christopher, Charity, and David.
After marriage Joseph Hillis purchased his first farm in Stamford, consisting of one hundred and fifty-nine acres; and here he resided for some years, then sold, and in 1860 bought his present home, removing to it in 1865. This farm contains two hundred and thirty acres. It has been cultivated and improved under Mr. HillisÕs supervision, and is now one of the best farms in the vicinity. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hillis, two of who are living, namely: John O., born May 30, 1865, who is a farmer, making his home with his parents, and who married in October, 1886, Miss Belle Kilpatrick, and has one child, Blanche J., born September 15, 1890; Christopher J., a physician in Kingston, born November 30, 1866, who married June 14, 1893, Miss Ella Meeker. The following children have passed away: Sarah E., born October 12, 1853, died June 25, 1865; Barnett A., born April 3, 1857, died July 6, 1865; Ogden B., born January 25, 1862, died September 5, 1865.
Mr. and Mrs. Hillis are members of the Presbyterian church at Hobart, in the affairs of which they take a prominent part, Mr. Hillis holding the office of Trustee. Politically, he is a Republican, supporting the principles of that party.
ALEXANDER STORIE was born on March 20, 1814, on the very farm in Bovina where he now lives; and he is rightly regarded as its foremost citizen, as well as one of its highest taxpayers. His parents were William and Mary (McCune) Storie. The father was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland, and the mother in Ireland.
Coming to this country about the beginning of the nineteenth century, William Storie settled in Bovina, and there pursued his trade of stone-mason a part of the time. In 1802 he married, and in 1804 bought the seventy-seven and a half acres of land now known as the Storie homestead. He died a decade later, in 1815, before he had finally passed the noontide of life, though not before he had borne the heat and burden of the day, and left the impress of his industry upon the little community surrounding him. His wife outlived him many years, not breathing her last till she had reached her ninety-first year, in the old homestead. She came from the old country when only fourteen with her parents, who at first settled in Washington County, but came later to Bovina, and bought the farm now in the hands of Michael Miller. The Stories were members of the United Presbyterian church in South Kortright. Mr. Storie was a Federalist in politics, holding opinions which would to-day make him a firm Republican. Of six children all grew to maturity, and two are now living: the son who bears the good Scotch ancestral name of Alexander; and his elder sister, Mary Ann, who makes her home in Bovina Centre. Their sister, Nellie Storie, married George Stott, and lived to be eight-five; while Margaret Storie married Walter Coulter, and died at the age of threescore. Jane Storie became the wife of Alexander Brush, a son of the second settler of the town, and died at the earlier age of fifty. Their brother, Samuel Storie, died at fifty-five, on the home farm.
The subject of this sketch was an apt pupil in the district school, where at the age of eighteen he became himself a teacher, a post he subsequently held many terms. The earliest school house was a frame building, with slab benches and writing desks around the sides of the room, heated by an open fire. His mother used to card and spin the wool, which was woven among the neighbors; and in this homespun cloth Alexander was clad till he reached manhood. The family boots and shoes were made by a journeyman crispin, who came that way two or three times a year, and whose presence afforded the youngsters the greatest delight. The chief market for the farm produce was seventy miles away among the Catskills, and the trip thither required several days. The nearest grist mill was at Brushland. People carried their luncheon to meeting on Sundays, and stayed through both the long services. Father Storie cleared his farm slowly, depending upon his boys for help. Alexander did his part; and in later years, after he bought the old place from the other heirs, he added nearly two hundred acres to its area. Beginning as a poor man, he has become by hard work and frugality, backed by the natural shrewdness inherited from his progenitors, one of the most prosperous in town.
He was not married till January 23, 1851, when he was thirty-seven years old, and Millard Fillmore, a New Yorker, was President of the United States. His wife was Esther A. Cowan, born in Bovina, November 1, 1821, the daughter of James and Mariam B. (Maynard) Cowan. Her mother was born on the old Maynard farm in Bovina in 1801, and her father in 1794, in Roxburghshire, Scotland, the birthplace of William Storie. Mr. Cowan was twenty-five years a merchant in Brushland village, but afterward owned a farm in Cortland County, were he died on January 6, 1876, at the advanced age of eighty-two. His wife died twenty years before, April 14, 1856, when fifty-five years old. They belonged to the Stamford Presbyterian Society, and had eleven children, six of whom are now living. Elizabeth Cowan still lives at the old Cortland home. Hannah is now the widow of John Greenman, and lives in Cortland village. Rebecca is the wife of Delos Stevens, of DeRuyter, Madison County. Nancy is Mrs. George Stevens, and lives on the old Cortland farm. Hector Cowan is also a Cortland farmer. The five deceased Cowan children were Mary, William, John, Elisha, and Jane.
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Storie are among the oldest couples in their part of the town, and have had five children, two of whom have passed from earth. James C. Storie, the eldest now living, was born January 12, 1855, and is a physician in Walton village. Alexander F. Storie, bearing his fatherÕs name, was born November 28, 1856, and is a farmer in Newburg, Orange County. John W. Storie, born December 2, 1863, lives on the home farm. The eldest, Mariam Elizabeth Storie, was born December 12, 1851, and died October 29, 1862, in childhood. William Storie was born on Independence Day, 1853, and died October 21, 1862, a week before the little sister, only eighteen months his elder.
The family are actively connected with the United Presbyterian church in Bovina Centre. Mr. Storie is a Republican, and has always been prominent in town affairs. When a young man, he was Assessor one term, and also for many years a Supervisor. Though now withdrawn from office-holding, he never fails to be at the polls on election day, nor has he ever missed but one town meeting. With the assistance of his son John, he is still able to carry on the farm, and they keep twenty or thirty head of Jersey cattle. Not only is the farm the best in the neighborhood, but both the house and out-buildings are in the finest order. Mr. Storie is also the historian of the town, and takes a great interest in literary work of this description, feeling the inherent truth of President GarfieldÕs saying, ÒThe worldÕs history is a divine poem, of which the history of every nation is a canto, and every man a word.Ó
Turning over a leaf or two, the reader will be gratified to see the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Storie.
HENRY FINCH, a well-to-do, retired farmer of Sidney, Delaware County, N.Y., was born in Greene County, June 22, 1823, son of Jonas and Henrietta (Leonard) Finch. His father was a native of Greene County, and his mother of Dutchess County. Amos Finch, father of Jonas, served as a soldier in the Revolution; he was a farmer, and lived to the advanced age of ninety years. Jonas Finch was brought up in the county of his birth, whence he moved in 1833 to Delaware County, and took up one hundred acres of land. By hard work and energy he added to this until he had one hundred and sixty acres, and owned one of the finest farms in the neighborhood. He was the father of eleven children, of whom the following survive: Henrietta, widow of Alexander Bryan, residing in East Sidney; William and Jonas, at Masonville; Henry, the subject of this sketch; John, located in Tennessee; and Amos in Sidney Centre. Mr. Jonas Finch died at the age of seventy-three, and his wife aged eighty-one.
Henry Finch was educated in the district schools of Sidney, living with his parents and helping on the farm until he attained the age of twenty-one, when he hired himself out by the month. He followed this for several years, and, being of a frugal turn of mind, saved his money, which enabled him to buy his first land in the town of Masonville, a farm of fifty acres. He lived there for one year, when he sold out and moved to Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, where he bought an uncultivated tract of land of about one hundred and fifty acres, which he occupied for some time, bringing it into a good state of cultivation. At the end of about fourteen years he moved to Masonville, and there carried on the business of a general farmer for twenty-two years. In 1886 he moved to Sidney village, where he now lives retired. Mr. Finch is a veteran of the Civil War, having enlisted in 1862 in the One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania volunteer Infantry, Company A. He was in the service ten months, when his health gave way, and he was honorably discharged from the army at Harrisburg, Pa., August 5, 1863.
Mr. Finch was married March 1, 1849, to Mary J. Carr, who died August, 1880, aged fifty-one. By this union twelve children were born, eleven of whom are living, namely: Zaeuch, a farmer of Sidney; Sarah, wife of E. Teed, of Pennsylvania; Henrietta, wife of Duane Hand, of Otsego County; Louisa, wife of Robert Stewart, of Sidney; Anna, wife of Warren Hodge, also residing in Sidney; Maggie, wife of Edward House, of Tompkins; Henry Finch, of Franklin; Allie, wife of James Hodge, of Sidney; Norman and James, residents of Sidney; Nora, wife of E. Wheat, of Sidney.
On February 7, 1883, Mr. Finch married for his second wife, Mrs. Hannah Crounse, the widow of Abram Crounse, a farmer of Albany County, and mother of one child, Mary, wife of John Armstrong, of Unadilla. Mrs. Finch was born in Guilford, Chenango County, October 20, 1827, her parents being James and Catherine Lewis. They reared twelve children, six of whom are now living, namely: Mrs. Finch; Rensselaer Lewis, in Pennsylvania; Joseph Lewis in Michigan; Sally Ann, wife of David Loomis, of Sidney; Abiel Lewis, of Pennsylvania; Julia, wife of Norman White, of Bradford County, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Finch is a man of quiet and refined tastes, and in his old age enjoys a mental vigor which years have not impaired, his generous, kindly nature endearing him to neighbors and friends.
REV. WILLIAM N. ALLABEN, a minister and dentist in Margarettville, was born in Roxbury, Delaware County, on the 20th of June, 1816. His grandparents, Jonathan and Martha (Bouton) Allaben, were residents of Blue Point, L.I., where the grandfather was drowned in 1787. He was long survived by his wife, who died in 1828, leaving five children - sally, Polly, John, James, and Esther. John, the first son of Jonathan, was born in Blue Point. He married, and raised a family of seven children, namely: Orson, a physician; William N.; Abigail; James; Sarah; Wilson; and Jonathan. Besides these were two who died in infancy and Orpah and Nelson, who died young.
William N., son of John Allaben, was one of a family who seemed to drift into educational work; and it is a noteworthy fact that each of the brothers and sisters at some period of his or her life was a teacher. William was a teacher at eighteen; and Abigail at the early age of fourteen years, herself a mere child, taught in the neighborhood. William, who was of a studious turn of mind, proved the theory of self-culture by practical demonstration in his own life, for, having no advantages besides those offered in the common schools of his native village, he acquired a good education, storing his mind with much general information by studying and reading at home. After some years he took up the profession of dentistry, which he practised in West Colesville, Broome County, during a period of eight years. Here he entered the Baptist ministry, and preached for six years. His next charge was in Windsor, where he was pastor for three years, after which, coming to Margarettville, he bought property and remained for eighteen months. He then took charge of the Baptist church in West Kill, Greene County, for eight years. A longing to return to his place in Margarettville now began to possess him; so he came back and built a church in this town, where he has since continued to follow jointly his two professions.
His first wife was a Miss Maben, a daughter of Benjamin Maben, of Greene County. She died in her youth, leaving two sons, namely: James R., a physician, who married Miss Hattie Newton, of Greene Coungy; and Hamblin L. Allaben, a clergyman, who married Hannah Cave, and died in Lebanon, Madison County, being the pastor of the church of that place. The second wife of the Rev. Mr. Allaben was miss Martha Todd, a daughter of Isaac Todd. She died, leaving one son, who bears his father's name, and is a farmer in Iowa. William N. Allaben, Jr., married a Miss Redmond, who has borne him two children. Mr. Allaben's third wife was Josephine Leora DeWitt, an orphan who was adopted by Robert Palmer, a kindly farmer of Sullivan County. Mr. Palmer was one of the first settlers of his section, where he erected the first lgo habitation.
Mr. Allaben has reached an age when it seems desirable to live a quiet life, free from the demands of business and professional cares, but, being of an active mind and strong character, he still shares in the interests of his fellow-citizens, and attends somewhat to his office practice. He is much beloved and respected.
BELL BROTHERS. Edmund Roberts Bell. Dr. Howard Bell, and Walter
Langdon Bell, of Delhi, Delaware County, N.Y., are sons of the late
Calvin H. Bell and his wife, Frances Lear Roberts. Their
grandfather, Joseph Whiting Bell, emigrated from Conneticut, the
State of his birth, which occurred in the town of Litchfield, to
Delaware County, and was among the early pioneers of Harpersfield.
He took up a tract of wild land situated in the heart of the
primeval forest, and building a log house, improved a homestead in
which he and his faithful wife, who shared with him the arduous
labors of life in the new country and the deprivation of their
earlier comforts, spent their remaining years. They reared a large
family of children, the following being their names: Louisa,
Charles, Richard, Calvin, Lyman, Roxey, and Altania.
Calvin H. Bell, the father of the Bell brothers, of Delhi, was born
in the log house in Harpersfield, and assisted on the home farm
until fourteen years old; but not being sufficiently strong to
carry on the labors of an agricultural life, and being a bright
scholar with an ardent desire for knowledge, he then left
Harpersfield to continue his studies in Delaware Academy. He
subsequently began the study of law in the office of the Hon.
Stephen C. Johnson, of this town, and being admitted to the bar,
afterward practised here for a time. With a view to improving both
his fortune and his health, he made a trip to Missouri, where he
was engaged for a while in teaching school. When the California
gold excitement broke out, he joined a band of Forty-niners and
journeyed to that State on foot, a distance of twenty-four hundred
miles, through an almost impassable wilderness. After mining for
gold for about two years, succeeding only in a measured degree, he
returned to Delhi and resumed the labors of his profession. In 1870
he established in connection with his law practice a banking
business, and continued it until the time of his death, which
occurred in 1890, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. He was a very
prominent and influential man, and one of the best known citizens
in Delaware County. In a history of the county issued in 1880 an
extended sketch of his life may be found.
Frances Lear Roberts, wife of Calvin H. Bell, was the youngest
daughter of Edmund and Catharine Whipple (Langdon) Roberts, of
Portsmouth, N.H. Her parents reared a large family, the following
being their names: Catharine, Sarah, Mary Ann, Harriet, Caroline,
Anna, Maria, and Frances. Catharine married the Rev. Dr. Andrew P.
Peabody, late of Harvard University. Sarah married Dr. James Boyle
of New York City. Mary Ann married Charles E. Perry, of Delhi, N.Y.
Harriet married Judge Amasa J. Parker, of Albany, N.Y. Caroline
married Robert Parker, a lawyer of Delhi, N.Y. Anna married Truman
H. Wheeler, a lawyer, also, of Delhi. Maria joined the Sisterhood
of Saint Mary, of New York City. Frances married Calvin H. Bell, of
Delhi. The Roberts family are of English ancestry and natives of
Portsmouth, N.H. Their grandfather was Captain Edmund Roberts, of
the British navy; and their father was Edmund Roberts, Envoy
Extraordinary and Minister I'lenipotentiary of the United States to
several Asiatic courts. He died at Macao, China, June 12, 1836, and
was buried there.
Calvin H. Bell and wife reared three sons - Edmund Roberts, Howard,
and Walter Langdon Bell. Edmund R. and Walter L. Bell, under the
firm name of E.R. & W.L. Bell, bankers and real estate agents, with
an office in Bell Block, nearly opposite the Edgerton House, Main
Street, Delhi, are among the foremost business men of the town.
They were educated in the district school and at Delaware Academy,
and have passed the larger part of their lives in Delhi. Entering
the office of their father as clerks, the brothers gained a
practical and thorough knowledge of the business; and after the
death of their honored sire they succeeded to its management. Under
the present firm name the reputation of the house is well sustained
as one of the most substantial and reliable in the county. The firm
are men of excellant judgement, stand well in financial circles and
in the social world, and have a fine reputation for using
systematic methods and conducting their affairs on sound business
principals. Edmund R. Bell takes an intelligent interest in the
welfare of his native town, is a member of the Board of Trustees,
a fireman, and also manages successfully his farm, situateed near
the village of Delhi. Walter L. Bell, is identified with the
Masons, being a member of Delhi Lodge, No. 439, and as a fireman is
a member of Active Hose, No. 5.
Dr. Howard Bell, an active medical practitioner, whose office is
pleasantly located on Main Street, near Court Street, is an
intelligent, finely educated man, thoroughly skilled in the science
of medicine, and is rapidly working his way to an important
position among the progressive physicians of Delaware County. He
spent his boyhood days in Delhi, receiving the rudiments of his
liberal education in the village school and academy. He afterward
entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City,
from which he was graduated in 1884, subsequently receiving his
diploma from the University Medical College of that city, located
on Twenty-sixth Street. Soon after his graduation Dr. Bell started
westward in search of a promising location, and began the practice
of his profession in Albert Lea, Minn., where he remained for two
years. Having acquired some valuable experience, he then returned
to Delphi, where he has since attended to the duties of his
profession. He has steadily gained the confidence of the people in
this and adjacent localities, and has a large practice. Besides
being a physician in good and regular standing, the Doctor also
holds a certificate for the practice of dentistry, to which he pays
some attention, although making no specialty of that branch of the
Dr, Bell is prominent in social circles, and is a member of the
Delaware County Medical Society. He likewise belongs to the Masonic
fraternity, and is Junior Warden of Delhi Lodge, No. 439, A. F. &
A. M., and a member of Knights Templar Norwich Commandery, No. 46.
Politically, he uniformly casts his vote with the Democratic party.
The brothers are all communicants of St. John's Episcopal Church,
as their parents were before them, the same pew having been rented
by the family for nearly forty-four years. At the present time
(1894) they are all unmarried and living together, keeping old
ORSON JENKINS, farmer, dairyman, and carpenter of the town of
Tompkins, was born in Roxbury, Delaware County, August 21, 1831.
Tradition says that his great-grandfather, Nathaniel Jenkins, was
a descendant of one of three brothers who came to America from
Wales in the old Colonial days. He was a farmer, and was also
engaged in the occupation of a cooper. He died in Roxbury at the
age of ninety years. His son, Nathan Jenkins, was born in Roxbury,
and there throughout a long life gave attention to agricultural
pursuits, dying when eighty-five years of age. He married Lydia
Morse, who passed away in her eightieth year. Horace Jenkins, son
of Nathan and Lydia and father of the subject of this biography,
was also born in Roxbury, where he was reared to farm life,
removing in 1845 to the town of Tompkins. Here he purchased a farm,
where he still resides, having reached the age of eighty-seven
years. His wife was Anna Vermilya, daughter of Solomon and Susan
(Mulline) Vermilya. She died at the age of seventy-four years, the
mother of the following children - Susan, Orson, William, Hosea,
Orson Jenkins was bred to farming, but has likewise followed
mechanical persuits, for which he has a natural aptitude, although
he never served an apprenticeship. For five years he resided in
Walton, where he was engaged as a contractor and builder. With the
exception of that time, his life has been spent on the farm; and he
has been employed to some extent in the carpenter's and cooper's
trade. In 1884 he settled on the farm he had purchased some time
previous, and here he now lives. Mr. Jenkins is a reliable, upright
man, and is identified with all the good works of the town where he
resides. In politics he is a Republican.
He married Miss Helen Chandler, who was born in Clifford,
Susquehanna County, Pa. Mrs. Jenkins's grandfather, Robert
Chandler, was a farmer and physician in Pennsylvania, and served in
the Revolutionary War. He was one of the first of his profession to
settle in Susquehanna County; and his practice extended for many
miles, his visits being made on horseback. His son John, the father
of Mrs. Jenkins, engaged in mercantile business in Clifford for
several years, dealing extensively in game and furs, wild animals
being abundant. He also dealt in farm produce, New York City being
the market in which he sold his goods. In 1841 he removed to Long
Eddy, Delaware County, where he purchased a mill and engaged in the
lumber business, residing there until his death in his seventyªeighth year. His wife, Catherine Decker, was born at Port Jarvis,
Orange County, N.Y., daughter of Martin and Huldah Decker; and she
passed away in her seventy-eighth year.
Mrs. Jenkins resided with her parents until her marriage, and
learned, besides the regular duties of a housewife in these days,
the art of spinning. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins have one son, Frank E.,
who was born November 26, 1854, and after attending the Walton
Academy, entered Williams College, from which he was graduated in
1878. He then took a three years' course at the Hartford
Theological Seminary and became a Congretional minister, being
employed for some time as a missionary in the South. He is now engaged in pastoral labors in Palmer, Mass. He has been twice
married, his first wife being Maria Bucklin, and his second Sarah
Stanley, by whom he had one daughter, Helen C. Jenkins.
WALTER SCOTT, Esq., an able lawyer of Davenport, N.Y., whose
qualities of mind have eminently fitted him for the bar, is a man
of superior culture and attainments. Besides being well informed on
general subjects, he is perhaps the best mathmetician in the
county. Mr. Scott is of New England origin, but is a native of
Delaware County, having been born in the town of Meredith, November
11, 1853. His father, Jesse Scott, was born in the town of
Franklin, and there reared, receiving a good education. He was for
many years a noted instructor in the schools of Franklin and
Davenport, and subsequently retired to a farm in the town of
Meredith, where before reaching the noon-tide of life, he passed to
the world beyond, being then forty-three years of age.
Walter Scott was but six years old when the death of his father
occurred; but, although missing the care and influence of that
parent, he received a judicious training from his mother, who gave
him the benefits of a good education, fitting him for a teacher in
the public schools, a position which he filled most satisfactorily
for several years in his native town, also teaching one term in
Andes and one in Maryland. In the mean time Mr. Scott had continued
studying; and, desiring to enter the legal profession, he read law
with Youmans & Niles, of Delhi, and afterward with Edward O'Conner,
of Davenport. From there he became a student in the Albany Law
School, from which he was graduated in 1883. He began the practice
of his profession in Davenport, where he has since continued in
active work, and has built up a large practice, clients being
attracted by the prudence of his counsel more than by the
brilliancy of his forensic display.
The union of Mr. Scott and Miss Flora Livingston was celebrated in
1882. Mrs. Scott is a native of Schenevus, Otsego County, being the
daughter of Jacob Livingston, a farmer of that place. Mr. and Mrs.
Scott are the parents of two children, Edith and Hazel, both bright
and accomplished girls. The eldest, Edith, now eight years old, has
already made a reputation as an elocutionist, and is probably the
youngest child who ever learned the art of stenography. The
Philadelphia Stenographer for February, 1894, contains a fac-simile
of a letter written by her in shorthand when but seven years of
age. She has never attended school, but is being educated by her
parents at home. Politically, Mr. Scott is a Democrat, and an
earnest supporter of the principals of that party. He was its
candidate for Member of Assembly in 1885, and for District Attorney
FRED P. BEERS, one of the leading hardware merchants of Delaware
County, an influential citizen of Downsville, was born in the
village of Franklin, Delaware County, N.Y., September 24, 1865, son
of A. Nelson and Elizabeth (Parker) Beers. A. Nelson Beers was a
native of Otsego County, and was educated in the district schools.
Having much artistic talent, he was early led to undertake photography, in those days an art less commonly adopted than now;
and in this business he was very successful, doing a large amount
of work in both Delaware and Otsego Counties. He died in the prime
of life leaving but one son, the subject of this sketch. Mrs.
Elizabeth P. Beers has since married Dr. Bassett, of Downsville,
where she now resides.
Young Fred was educated in the Downsville and Deposit schools,
graduating when very young and going into mercantile life as a
clerk. At the age of twenty-one he started a small business for
himself in Downsville, carrying a line of hardware and other
commodities. Sagacious and enterprising, Mr. Beers extended his
business and his acquaintance with every branch of it, by careful
management establishing a large trade, and soon was enabled to
build the commodius store which he now occupies, and which stands
on the corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue. It is seventy-five
by ninety feet, and three stories in height, with a tower forty
feet high, and is to-day the largest and one of the most sightly
buildings in Delaware County, and one of which the wide-awake town
of Downsville is justly proud. A part of the first floor of the
building is occupied by the post-office and J. W. Hartman's law
office. The rest of the first floor is improved by Mr. Beers for
the display and storage of his goods, which include a large stock
of hardware, stoves, ranges, tinware, paints, oils, crockery,
agricultural implements, and wagons. The second floor contains
tenement rooms and offices. On the third floor is a large and
beautiful hall having a seating capacity of five hundred. It has
also a smaller hall occupied by the Grand Army of the Republic Post
and a photograph gallery.
Mr. Beers is young and unmarried. He is a fine amateur musician,
and it goes without saying that he is extremely popular in society,
and is often called to exercise his talents for its diversion. He
is a member of Downsville Lodge, A.F. & A.M., No. 464, __ a
follower of the Republican party, and a member and officer of the
Presbyterian church. He is also a member of the Republican town and
county committees, and a director and stockholder of the Delaware
Loan & Trust Company, and of several other enterprises. Mr. Beers
is a man thoroughly in touch with the times, able in business,
progressive in policy, and a man known throughout the county for
his energy, his genial, social qualities, and his unsullied
SEYMOUR KNAPP, a representative citizen of North Franklin, and a
valued member of the community, is pleasantly located in joint
School District No. 18, of Meredith and Franklin, where he has
spent the larger part of his long and useful life. His farm
comprises some of the most valuable land in this vicinity, is under
good cultivation, and is supplied with a comfortable set of frame
Mr. Knapp is a native of the Empire State, and was born in
Hillsdale, Columbia County, January 20, 1825, being a son of
Alanson Knapp, who was born in Westchester County, New York, and died in Corning, Steuben County, March 10, 1884, at the ripe old
age of eighty-four years. His widow, now an aged woman of ninety-one years, is a resident of Steuben County. They reared six sons
and four daughters, all of whom are still living, with the
exception of two daughters. A cousin of Seymour Knapp, Martin A.
Knapp, a well-known and able jurist of Syracuse, was appointed by
President Benjamin Harrison, one of the commissioners of Interstate
Commerce, and now holds that office. Alanson Knapp was a skillful
mechanic and a farmer, and was at one time possessed of
considerable means; but, having lost the major part of his
property, he came here from Columbia County, arriving in Franklin,
May 9, 1835, with two teams, a pair of oxen, and a pair of horses.
He bought a small piece of land at first; and meeting with good
success as a farmer, he afterward purchased more land until his
homestead contained one hundred and fifty acres, a part of which is
included in the farm of the subject of this sketch. His father,
Josiah Knapp, was for many years engaged in farming near Hudson,
and from there to the vicinity of Rochester, where he lived to a
good old age. He reared a family of nine children, five of them
being sons, namely: Josiah, who was for many years a judge in
Columbia County; Alanson; Augustus; Martin E.; and Chauncey. None
of this family are now living, the last surviving member having
been one of the daughters, Waitey.
Seymour Knapp was ten years old when he came here with his parents,
with whom he resided until his marriage. In his boyhood he used to
work on the farm through seed-time and harvest, and attend the
district school in the winter seasons. Taking upon himself the
cares and responsibilities of married life ere he attained his
majority, he continued to work at farming as his means of earning
a livlihood, and subsequently bought a tract of land in the town of
Tompkins, where during the winter of 1852 and 1853 he cleared a
piece of land in the woods, one mile from any dwelling. There he
errected a log house for himself and family, and in the course of
the next seven years by unremitting toil he placed one hundred and
ten acres of the land under cultivation. In 1864, resolving to
assist in the preservation of the Union, Mr. Knapp sold this farm
of three hundred and fifty acres, and on January 1, 1864, enlisted
for three years as a private in Company G, Second New York
Artillery. Happily, after he had served a little less than
eighteen months, the war closed; and he was honorably discharged,
being one of the very first to reach home, arriving on May 19,
On December 31, 1845, Mr. Knapp was united in wedlock with Jane A.
Greene, who was born March 11, 1829, in the town of Franklin. Her
parents, Zadoc and Ruth (Dart) Greene, were both natives of this
state, the former having been born in Hoosick, Rensselaer County,
and the latter in Harpersfield. They were worthy farmers, and
reared a family of daughters, four in number, three of whom are now
living, namely; Mrs. Knapp; Emeline, the widow of Stephen Bradley,
of Franklin; and Eliza, the wife of Leroy Lamphear. Into the
household circle of Mr. and Mrs. Knapp four girls and three boys
have been born, as follows: Eunice, who died at the age of ten years; Mary Jane, the wife of Franklin Munson, residing on a farm
near here; Harriet, who married Henry J. Person, of Susquehanna,
Pa., and has one son and two daughters; LeGrand, a farmer, married
and living in this town; Laverge, a bright and ambitious student,
who began teaching when quite young, and afterward entered the
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he took first the
classical and then the medical course, and was graduated in June,
1894, with the degree of M.D.; Ellis, who is working on the home
farm, who married Carrie Wattles, of Sidney Centre, and has two
children--Ray and Marion; and Cora, who married Emmet C. Fisher,
owner of the adjoining farm, and has three children.
In politics Mr. Knapp was a Democrat until the formation of the
Republican party, when he joined its ranks and has never since
swerved in his alligence. He has served as Inspector of Elections,
and is now filling the office of Town Assessor, this being his
twenty-seventh consecutive year. He is a member of the Grand Army
of the Republic, belonging to Post No. 132; and religiously he and
his wife have been for about forty-seven years members of the
Methodist Episcopal church, in which during the most of that time
he has been an officer.
DR. H. WARD KEATOR, a youthful, but already brilliantly successful physician of Griffin's Corners, in Middletown, N.Y., was born in the adjoining town of Roxbury, December 13, 1870, and is the son of Henry M. and Anna (Shoemaker) Keator. Great-grandfather Isaac Keator, who married Esther White, was one of the early settlers in Roxbury, to which place he came from Dutchess County. He purchased a small estate near the present village of Roxbury, which was a mere hamlet at that time; and here he reared a family of six children, - namely, Jacob, David, Harmon, Beers, Caroline, and jason. Harmon, the third son, was born August 20, 1817, and was by occupation a farmer. He married Sarah, a daughter of B.J. Cross, one of the first settlers of West Kill, Greene County, and died on the 8th of April, 1852, leaving four children - George W., Homer B., Elizabeth, and Henry M.
Henry M. Keator displayed at an unusually early age that energy and courage which are almost always marked characteristics in the lives of those men who win success in their chosen occupations. At fourteen he began to earn his own living, driving teams for the farmers in the neighborhood; ut, with the wise precaution which was one of nature's gifts, he set himself steadily to work to master the carpenter's trade. By industrious effort and close economy amassing enough money to buy a lot, he erected a house in Roxbury in 1874, where he has since lived. He married Miss Anna Shoemaker, a daughter of Martin and Louisa (Rifenburg) Shoemaker. The father of Mrs. Keator was a progressive farmer of Ashland, Greene County, who went West in his old age, and died in Nebraska. Henry M. Keator is a member of the Reformed church, and also a member of the Roxbury Coeur de Lion Lodge of Masons, No. 571. Dr. H. Ward Keator, the son of Henry and Anna (Shoemaker) Keator, and the original of this brief memoir, received a plain education in the schools of Roxbury, and acquired a knowledge of his profession at the Baltimore, Md., College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he took his degree on the 15th of April, 1892. He immediately began to practice medicine at Port Allegany, Pa., and in the course of two years had established himself as a successful physician.
At this time the death of Dr. Patterson, a noted medical practitioner at Griffin's Corners, left a fine opening in that community for an intelligent and competent physician and surgeon; and so it came about that Dr. H. Ward Keator found himself following his profession in the familiar haunts of his childhood surrounded by old friends and home associations. As regards his religious convictions, he is a member of the Reformed church; and taking an interest in politics, as all American citizens should, his political proclivities are toward the Republican party.
ANDREW PECK BARTOW, who was formerly engaged in farming in this section Delaware County, is now living in ease and retirement in his pleasant home at No. 13 Griswold Street, in the village of Walton, caring as best he may for his physical health, which has been impaired for many years. He is of New England birth, New Canaan, Conn., being the place of his nativity, and March 15, 1834, the date of his entrance into this world. His paternal grandfather, John Bartow, was a pioneer farmer of North Walton. He reared seven children; namely, Stephen, John, Lewis, Chauncey, Jonah, Reuben, and Polly - all of whom married, with the exception of the daughter. None of this family are now living, the last survivor having been the son Reuben, who departed this life in 1890, having nearly reached his eightieth milestone. His widow resides in Oneonta.
Stephen Bartow, the father of Andrew Peck, was born in New Canaan, Conn., April 1, 1794 and was a life-long resident of that State, dying there in 1878. He married Sally Clinton, who was born in New Canaan, September 1, 1793, and during her long life of nearly eighty-three years never left the State of her nativity. She was the only child of her parents, Allen and Sarah (Keeler) Clinton. Her father and an uncle, General Clinton, served in the Revolutionary War, wherein they won renown for their bravery and efficient service, her father afterward drawing a pension from the government. He was of most commanding appearance, standing six feet two inches in height, very straight and erect, and weighing over two hundred pounds. His teeth, both upper and under, were all double, and he could bite a goose quill in two. He was a farmer by occupation. Both he and his wife were sincere Christian people, and belonged to the Congregational church. Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Bartow reared nine children, five sons and four daughters, of whom the following are living: Lucy Ann, the widow of George Whitney, lives in New Canaan; Anson is a farmer in Walton; Philo recently moved from Walton to Connecticut; Andrew P. lives in Walton; Charles L. is a farmer and stone mason in New Canaan; A daughter, Roxie, died at the age of six years. Catherine died in infancy. Sophronia, the wife of Henry M. Webb, died in 1862 at the age of thirty-eight years, leaving one daughter.
Andrew P. Bartow was reared on a farm and received a good common school education, among other studies mastering Dabol's arithmetic, then the leading text book in that science. When seventeen years old he learned the shoemaker's trade working at it in New Canaan, both before and after the beginning of the Civil War. Inspired by patriotic motives, he was anxious to enlist in defense of his country's flag during the late Rebellion, and in August. 1863, was examined, but rejected. On the 12th of September, 1863, however, he was drafted, and mustered into Company A, Sixth Connecticut Volunteer Infantry and served in the ranks until January, 1865, when he was discharged, being disabled by paralysis caused by over marching and exposure. He was brought very low, and but little hope was entertained of his recovery, his sufferings being so intense that death seemed to him the most desirable thing that could happen. He returned home, expecting to die or to be a life long cripple, with no use of his left arm or side. In 1866 Mr. Bartow removed to Walton, where he opened a store for the sale of boots and shoes, and established a pretty good trade. Failing health induced him to exchange the house and lot he had purchased for a farm of sixty acres up the river, to which he moved in 1879. Two years later Mr. Bartow traded his farm for a house in Walton; and recently he and his son George have bought a small farm of fifty acres in this locality, where the latter is carrying on general husbandry with good results. Mr. Bartow built his present residence in 1884, and it is a model of comfort and good taste.
Mr. Andrew P. Bartow and Miss Sarah A. Crabb were united in marriage on August 3, 1858. Mrs. Bartow was born in Stamford, Conn., April 28, 1833, a daughter of Jeremiah and Ruth (Northrup) Crabb. George Bartow, a farmer, the eldest of the four children of Mr. and Mrs. Bartow, has a wife and four children. Charles, the second, a manufacturer and dealer in furniture at No. 86 Delaware Street, has a wife and one daughter. Harry Edson, a reed worker in the Novelty Works. has a wife and one son. Jennie Belle, the only daughter, a young lady of eighteen, lives with her parents. Mr. Bartow is held in much esteem by his friends and fellow townsmen, being a man of strong opinions and sound judgment, and one whose character is above reproach. He is an ardent advocate of the principles of the Republican party, and he has served his town as Constable and Collector. Socially, he is a Master Mason, and an influential member of the Ben Marvin Post, No.209, Grand Army of the Republic. His religious beliefs coincide with the doctrines of the Congregational church; while his wife, who is a noble type of the worthy Christian people of this vicinity, is a member of the Methodist church.
Charles A. Bartow was born in New Canaan, Conn., April 26, 1863. He completed his education in the Walton Academy, which be left at the age of sixteen years to engage in manual labor. On the 1st of November, 1882, he began working at the cabinet maker's trade; and, having become proficient in every branch thereof, he established himself in business on his own account as a manufacturer and dealer in furniture. He is a young man of enterprise and integrity, and a valued citizen. On the 6th of October, 1889, he married Mary E. Wilson, who was born in Downsville, a daughter of George S. and Sarah (Combes) Wilson. Mr. Wilson is a carpenter by trade, now living in Walton in order to give his youngest daughter, Jeanette, the benefit of the excellent educational advantages afforded by the village schools. Ada, the remaining daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, is the wife of E. R. Johnson, a railroad man. Mrs. Mary E. Bartow is a cultivated woman, and before her marriage was a very successful teacher, her mother also having been early engaged in this calling. Two children have been born to Charles A. and Mary E. Bartow, one of whom, a beautiful boy, died in infancy. Flossie Combes, the remaining child, is now three years of age. Politically, Mr. Bartow is a firm and uncompromising Republican. He has been Commander of the order of the Sons of Veterans of George Crawley Camp No. 143, Department of New York, also is a worthy member of Walton Lodge No. 559. of Master Masons, the same lodge of which his father is a member.
GEORGE AND DAVID MONTGOMERY, sons of Hiram Montgomery, an energetic and successful pioneer farmer of Delaware County, seem to have inherited much of the sagacity of their forefathers, who were active in promoting every enterprise that tended toward the advancement of the section in which they had cast their lots. The great-grandfather of the brothers was a native of the northern part of Ireland, and came to America and settled in Vermont. His name was Robert Montgomery, and he finally moved with his family to Salem, Washington County, N.Y., where he died at the age of sixty-five, leaving a family of seven children - Robert, William, Martin, Alexander, Hugh, Polly, and Jane. William, the second son of Robert and Polly Montgomery, was born in Vermont, where he married Sally Conkee. and whence he came to Delaware in 1806, settling on the estate now owned by Robert Hastings. Here he built a log house, and lived with his family in the lonely forest depths. Thirteen children were born to the husband and wife, who toiled happily and ate the bread of their labor in peace and contentment. Thirteen small hungry mouths to feed, thirteen little bodies to clothe and nourish and protect, thirteen souls and active brains to be guided and trained and molded into useful, honorable, patriotic American citizens! The work was a great one; but William and Sally Montgomery were honest and capable and strong. The "baker's dozen" of offspring came in the following order: William, Hiram, De Bois, Richard, Dewitt, Betsey, Lucy, Mary, Angeline, Sally, Eleanor, Harriet, and Louisa. The tract of land upon which he first settled was afterward sold, and one hundred acres were leased, just above the place now owned by the two descendants whose names form the headline of this family chronicle. This he cleared and put into cultivation, building another habitation for his household. Living in those early days was no easy matter to those who had only their own labor to depend upon for support, and so William had to work other men's lands in order to keep his own and support the family of children intrusted to his keeping. When the War of 1812 broke over the land, he was drafted, but drew a blank, and was thus enabled to continue working the virgin soil, while his neighbors went to fight the Britishers once more. He was Democratic in his political views. He and his faithful wife each lived to be about seventy-nine years old, he dying in 1858, and she ten years later.
Hiram, who was born in Roxbury, November 1, 1811, received a rudimentary education in the district school, but read and improved himself at home as far as he could. At twenty-two he began to farm, and seven years later, in 1840, bought one hundred acres of land which was heavily timbered with hemlock. The trees he cut down and peeled, selling the bark at such advantageous terms that he was able to pay for the land with the proceeds. He married, at the age of thirty-eight , Miss Rheuana Peck, born June 20, 1822, a daughter of Lucy (Barnham) and Oliver Peck, the latter a cooper and farmer of Connecticut, who lived to be eighty-three and left these children - Warden, Smith, Eli, Charles, Rheuana, Sarah, and Polly. To Hiram and Rheuana (Peck) Montgomery were born nine children - George, Rheuana, Hiram, Jr., David, Otis, Liberty, Jenette, Emma, and Agnes. Rheuana married Mr. Andrew McCarrick, and lives at Caton in Steuben County. She has one child, Andrew B. Otis married Miss Minerva VanAiken. They live at North Sanford, Broome County. Liberty lives at home; and Hiram has bought the farm just across the brook from his father's old homestead, which is now conjointly owned by David and George. Hiram, Jr., married Miss Ella Scudder; and they have two daughters - Nellie and Grace. Emma married Henry Reed; and they have two children - Charles and Harry. Jenette married Otis Tiffany, and has two children - Cora and Hiram. Agnes is single, and resides on the home place. George is a Past Master of Coeur de Lion (Masonic) Lodge, also a member of Delta Chapter, No. 185, and of Rondout Commandery, No. 52, Knights Templar.
Hiram Montgomery, the father of the family, died at his home October 19, 1894, aged eighty- three years. He was laid to rest with Masonic honors, he having been a Mason for many years. The wife, Rheuana (Peck) Montgomery preceded her husband two years, having died September 23. 1892.
On the site where now stands the Montgomery mansion five gigantic hemlocks raised aloft their somber heads toward the northern skies; and so deeply rooted were they that Hiram had great difficulty in digging the stumps from the soil, that a cellar might be dug and foundation laid for the house. Many are the family associations gathered about this ancestral home of the Montgomerys. The mountains and woods that covered the old place were literally infested with deer in the early days of the settlement. They came in such herds, indeed, that the hounds were in danger often of being killed by the valiant stags, whose sharp antlers sometimes severed the dogs' heads from their bodies. Where the deer stalked proudly and unmolested, and the howl of the wolf and the panther sounded dismally through the long watches of the night three-quarters of a century ago, a magnificent orchard of fine fruit trees now stands to mark the energy, industry, and foresight of Hiram Montgomery, who set them with his own hand, and watched them sprout and grow and develop into maturity and bearing. In all the neighborhood there is not an estate in a more highly developed state of cultivation than the Montgomery farm; and its owners, George and David, are justly proud of the homestead of their fathers.
The accompanying portrait of Hiram Montgomery is an interesting addition to the family record, and an ornament to this volume.
WILLIAM BROWN HANFORD, the author of the following reminiscences of the Levi Hanford branch of the Hanford family -- which he has written for this "Review," only a small part of his manuscript having previously been in print -- early in the present year, 1894, passed his ninetieth birthday in Frankin Village, N.Y., where he has resided since 1860 in retired life. He was born in New Canaan, Conn., May 19, 1804, and removed with his parents and family in 1808 to Walton, N.Y., where he passed more than half of a century on the ancestral farm.
This branch of the Hanford family he can trace back seven generations to an ancestral Hanford, a man of large property and respectability, whose given name is unknown, but who died in England in 1596 or 1597. He married Eglin SeliS, a widow. Her maiden name was Eglin Hatherly. She had by her second marriage one son, the Rev. Thomas Hanford, to whom all the Hanfords of this country can be traced back. He was born in England in 1621, and was early sent to school and college. He was a decided Puritan in principle, and opposed to the tyranny and persecution of the Established Church toward all others. For that reason he could not receive the honors due to his college attainments. Feeling deeply the cruelty and injustice that was inflicted on him, it was not strange that in 1642 he should be found an immigrant to the New England colonies. In 1643 we find him completing his education with the Rev. Charles Chauncy, one of the most learned and popular Puritan divines of that day, and afterward preaching for a time in New Haven, Conn. From there he went into Massachusetts. On May 22, 1650, he was made a free man of the colony. In 1652 he was called to the pastorate of the church of Norwalk, Conn. He preached there for forty consecutive years. He married Hannah Newbury, daughter of Thomas Newbury. She died shortly, leaving no children; and on July 22, 1661, he married Mary Ince, widow of Jonathan Ince, and daughter of Richard Miles. They had a family of ten children, as follows: Theophilus born July 29, 1662, who died unmarried; Mary, November 30, 1663; Hannah, June 28, 1665; Elizabeth, July 9, 1666; Thomas, July 18, 1668 (he was the branch from which the Levi Hanford branch of the Hanford family sprung); Eleazor, September 15, 1670; Elnathan, October 11, 1672; Samuel, April 5, 1674; Eunice, March, 1675; Sarah, May, 1677. The Rev. Thomas Hanford died in Norwalk, in 1693, at the age of seventy-two years, respected and highly esteemed. His wife, Mary Miles Hanford, died September 12, 1730, at the advanced age of one hundred and five years.
In 1692 Thomas Hanford, second son of the Rev. Thomas Hanford, married Hannah Burwell, widow of John Burwell, and daughter of Gershon Lockwood. They had a family of five children: Theophilus, born in 1693; Elnathan; Elizabeth; Catharine; and Mary. The gravestones of Thomas Hanford and his wife were standing at their graves in 1893, in good preservation. Theophilus Hanford, the writer's great-grandfather, bought land, and built on it about the year 1718 or 1719, the first house built in the part of Norwalk that became New Canaan. Theophilus and his wife Sarah had a family of four sons and two daughters, namely: Dinah, born October 11, 1720; Theophilus, April 26, 1724;. Levi, March 4, 1731, died May 21, 1796, aged sixty-five years; Ebenezer, born October 14, 1733; Abigail, January 20, 1738; Simeon, July 7, 1741. Theophilus Hanford, Sr. built a house for his son Theophilus, in the hope that he would marry and settle in domestic life. But he, being of a roving, restless disposition, did not accept his father's offer. The house was afterward given to his second son, Levi, who soon after married Sarah Elizabeth Carter, daughter of Ebenezer Carter, a well-to-do farmer noted for generous hospitality, patriotism, and good living. She was born in 1731, and died in 1776, aged forty-five years. He was a man of good mind, honest and upright in all the vocations of life, standing high in the esteem of all that knew him, but of a quiet, unassuming, domestic turn. They were devout and respected members of the Baptist church. He was a good farmer and the owner of mills.
Levi Hanford, Sr., and his wife passed their lives in domestic happiness and comfort. They had a family of three sons and two daughters, whose names, dates of birth and marriage were as follows: Ebenezer, their first child, was born February 27, 1755, and married Hannah, daughter of Thaddeus Hanford. He had poor health, was a well educated man, a farmer, and a writer for papers and books. They left no children. He died October 19, 1833, aged seventy-eight years. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, born June 20, 1757, died April 23, 1828, being burned to death, her clothes taking fire from smouldering coals on the hearth while engaged in secret prayer early in the morning. She was a woman of strong mind, well stored with useful knowledge. She married Captain Isaac Keeler, who was an officer in the Continental army under General Washington, and was in many of the hardest fought battles of the Revolution. He with his company passed that terrible winter at Valley Forge, in tents all winter. After the war was closed, he went into mercantile business for some years, during which time he married the before mentioned Elizabeth Hanford. He eventually received the appointment of Police Justice in New York City; and after several years' service in that office he was appointed to a place in the New York Custom house, which office he retained till his death. His death was caused by consumption, the result of a severe cold taken during the War of 1812. In that war, when New York City was threatened with an attack by the British, and troops were called in protection, many of the veterans of the Revolution volunteered and formed companies to assist in guarding the city. Keeler was one of them, and was appointed an officer. He endeavored to show the spirit and energy of his former years of military life, and took without hesitation his part in the hardships and exposures of the camp with the best. But the years that had been added to his life had unfitted him for such hardships; and when on one cold, rainy night he was out on guard duty, and was very much chilled, he took a severe cold that never left him, but continued until it culminated in consumption and death. They left no children.
Levi, the second son of Levi Hanford, Sr., was born September 19, 1759. His childhood and early youth were passed with his parents and family on the farm till 1775, when the Revolutionary War broke out, and he was sixteen, the age at which the law then held them liable to military duty. He then enlisted in a company of minute-men, liable to be called into service at a moment's warning for short periods of a few days, weeks, or months at a time, as local circumstances made it necessary. The manner of calling out those minute-men, in case of an alarm, was as follows: The news of the approach of an enemy was usually heralded by an express rider in haste to the town officer authorized to receive the news. He would hasten to the meeting-house hill, and there, in a voice as loud as he could make it, would cry: "Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye!" three times, then proclaim the cause of the alarm, and then beat the long roll on the drum. The minute- men first hearing the alarm would mount their horses, and ride in every direction, to spread the information. When the men were assembled, the officers would explain the cause of the alarm, and then march wherever they were needed. If the alarm was an important one, a cannon was fired, that denoted danger and required haste. On one of those occasions Levi Hanford, Jr., was called to New York for some length of time. While there he was sent with a detachment of men, one very dark and stormy night, to Governor's Island, and broke the first ground ever broken for a fortification on that island. The British fleet was lying at anchor in the lower bay. They had placed sentries around the island. The British, mistrusting that something was being done, sent up boats to reconnoiter. They would row up as near as they dared; the sentry would hail them, and, receiving no answer, would fire. They would haul off, to come up again at some other point. This continued through the night. In the morning the men were withdrawn, to be replaced at evening. Levi Hanford, Jr., was a soldier in active service during the war. Again he was called out, and, while on guard duty, was surrounded by British and Tories, who came across the Sound in whale-boats and took the guard, Hanford among the rest.
The following sketch of Levi Hanford. Jr., and the old Sugar House Prison is abbreviated from an account taken down in his words about forty-six years ago, and published in 1852, in which year he was presented with a cane made by David Barker from one of the oak beams of the old prison. The veteran was then in his ninety-third year, feeble in body, but still able to walk, and still retaining his faculties in a remarkable degree, and the memory of Revolutionary events and the transactions of by-gone days in great perfectness, the result, no doubt, of habits of steady industry, temperance, and morality, joined to a good constitution:
In March. 1777, I was called as one of a guard of thirteen men on the coast of Long Island Sound. On March 13, 1777, a very dark and stormy night, we were stationed as a guard at what was then an out-station called Oldwell, now South Norwalk. Our officers were negligent; and, for that cause, in the night the guard was surrounded by British and Tories from Long Island, and the guard made prisoners, myself among the rest, an ignorant boy of seventeen. We were taken in whale-boats across the sound to Huntington, L.I., from there to Flushing, and then taken from there to New York, and incarcerated in the old Sugar House Prison in Liberty Street , near the new Dutch Church, at that time converted into a riding school for British light horse, and afterward into the city post office. The old prison, now torn down, was a stone building six stories high but the stories were very low, which made it dark and confined. It was built for a sugar refinery, and its appearance was dark and gloomy; while its small and deep windows gave it the appearance of a prison, which it really was, with a high board fence enclosing a small yard. We found at that time about forty or fifty prisoners, in an emaciated, starving, and wretched condition. Their numbers were continually being diminished by death, and as constantly increased by the accessions of new prisoners to the number of four hundred and fifty or five hundred. Our allowance of provision was pork and sea biscuit; it would not keep a well man in strength. The biscuit was such as had been wet with sea water and damaged, and was full of worms and moldy. It was our common practice to put water into our camp kettle, then break the bread into it, skim off the worms, put in the pork and boil it, if we had fuel. But that was allowed us only a part of the time; and when we could get no fuel, we had to eat our meat raw, and our biscuit dry. Starved as we were, there was nothing in the shape of food that was rejected or was unpalatable. Crowded together in bad air, and with such diet, it was not strange that disease and pestilence should prevail. I had not been long there before I was taken with the small pox and taken to the small pox hospital. I had it light, and soon returned to the prison, but not till I had seen it in its most malignant forms. Some of my companions died in that hospital. I remained in prison for a time, when, from bad air, confinement, and bad diet, I was taken sick and conveyed to the Quaker Meeting Hospital, so called from its being a Quaker church. I soon became insensible; and the time passed unconsciously till I began slowly to recover health and strength, and I again quitted those scenes of disease and death for the prison. On my return I found the number of our companions still further reduced by sickness and death. During all this time an influence was being exerted to induce the prisoners to enlist into the Tory regiments. Although our sufferings were intolerable, and the men were urged by Tories who had been their neighbors, and had enlisted into the Tory regiment, yet the instances were rare that they could be influenced to enlist. So wedded were they to their principles that they chose honorable death rather than sacrifice them.
"I remained in prison till October 28, when the names of a company of prisoners were taken down, and mine among the rest. It was told us that we were going home. We drew a week's provisions, which by solicitation we cheerfully divided among our starving associates, whom we were to leave in prison. But whether it was to torment and aggravate our feelings I know not; but this I do know, that, instead of going home, we were taken from the prison and put on board of one of the prison ships (the 'Good Intent' ) lying in the North River, and reported there with one week's provisions. The scene of starvation and suffering that followed cannot be described. Everything was eaten that could appease appetite. From this and other causes, and crowded as we were with over two hundred in the hold of one ship, enfeebled as we had become, and now reduced by famine, it was not strange that pestilence began to sweep us down, till in less than two months we were reduced to scarcely one hundred. In December, when the river began to freeze, our ship was taken around into the Wallabout Bay, where lay the 'Old Jersey' and other prison ships of horrific memory, whose rotted hulk long remained to mark the spot where thousands yielded up their lives, a sacrifice to British cruelty. The dead from those ships were thrown into the trenches of our fortifications; and their bones, after the war, were collected and decently buried. It was here that Ethan Allen exhausted his fund of curses and bitter invectives against the British, as he passed among the prisoners and viewed their loathsome dens of suffering, after his return from his shameful imprisonment in England.
"The day before New Year's the sick were placed in a boat for the city. She had lost a piece of a plank from her bottom; but it was filled with ice, and we were taken in tow. The boat began to leak, and, before we had gone far, was half filled with water. When the boat touched the dock, she struck level with the water; and we held on with our hands to the dock and a small boat by our side to keep from sinking. The sailors reached down from the dock, took hold of our hands, and drew us up. I remember that I was drawn up with such violence that the skin was taken from my chest and stomach. We were taken to the hospital in Dr. Rogers's brick meeting house (as it was then called, afterward Dr. Spring's church, and now the Times building occupies the same ground). From the yard I carried one end of a bunk, from which some person bad died, into the church, and got into it, exhausted and overcome. The head nurse made me some tea, and piled blankets on me, till I sweat profusely and fell asleep. When I awoke in the morning, they gave me some mulled wine and water. Wine and some other things were sent in by our government for the sick: the British furnished nothing. I then lay perfectly easy and free from pain; and it appeared to me that I never was so happy in my life, and yet so weak that I could not get out of my bunk had it been to save the Union. The doctor (who was an American surgeon and a prisoner, had been taken out of the prison to serve in the hospital) told me that my blood was breaking down and turning to water from the effect of smallpox. He said I must have some bitters. I gave him what money I had, and he prepared some for me; and, when that was gone, he had the kindness to prepare some for me at his own expense. I began slowly to gain, and finally to walk about. While standing one day in March by the side of the church in the warm sun, my toes began to sting and pain me excessively. I showed them to the surgeon when he came in. He laid them open. They bad been frozen, and the flesh had wasted till little more than the bone and tough skin remained. I had now to remain here for a long time on account of my feet. And of all places that was the last to be coveted. Disease and death reigned there in all their terrors. I have had men die by the side of me in the night, and have seen fifteen dead bodies sewed up in their blankets, and laid in the corner of the yard at one time. Every morning at eight o'clock the dead cart came, the bodies were put in, the men drew their rum, and the carts were driven off to the trenches of the fortifications that our people had made. Once I was permitted to go with the guard to the place of interment, and never shall I forget the scene that I beheld. They tumbled the bodies into the ditch, just as it happened, threw on a little dirt, and then ran away. I could see a hand or a head washed bare by the rains. One day, about the first of May, two officers came into the prison. One of them was a sergeant by the name of Wally, who from some cause, and what I never knew, had taken a great dislike to me; the other, an officer by the name of Blackgrove. They told us there was to be an exchange of the oldest prisoners. They began to call the roll. A great many names were called, but no answer given: they had been exchanged by that Being who has the power to set the captive free. Here and there was one to step forward. At last my name was called. I attempted to step forward to answer, when Sergeant Wally turned and frowned upon me with a look of demoniacal fury, and motioned me back. I dared not answer. All was still. Then other names were called. I felt that live or die, that was the time to speak. I told Officer Blackgrove that there were but eleven older prisoners than myself. He looked at me, and asked why I did not answer. I told him I attempted to answer but Sergeant Wally stopped me. He turned and looked at him with contempt, and then put my name down. But of the twelve prisoners taken with me only two now remained: myself and one other were the only ones to be exchanged.
I was now returned to the prison; and from that time forward I enjoyed comfortable health to the close of my imprisonment, which took place in the May following. One day I was standing in the yard near the high board fence. A man passed in the street close to the fence, and, without stopping or turning his head, said in a low voice: 'General Burgoyne is taken, with all his army. It is a truth, you may depend upon it.' Shut out from all information as we had been, the news was grateful indeed. and cheered us in our wretched prison. Knowing nothing of what was taking place beyond the confines of our miserable abode, we had been left to dark forebodings and fears as to the result of our cause and the probabilities of our government being able to exchange or release us. We knew not whether our cause was even progressing or whether resistance was still continued. On May 8, 1778, we were released from our wretched abode. They, as if to torment and trouble us, took the Southern prisoners off toward Boston to be discharged, and the Eastern prisoners were taken to Elizabethtown, N.J. From there we went to Newark. There everything was clad in the beauty of spring, and appeared so delightful that we could not forbear going out and rolling on the green grass. The luxury appeared so great after a confinement of fourteen months in a loathsome prison, clothed in rags and filth and with associates too numerous and offensive to admit of description.
"From here we traveled as fast as our enfeebled powers would permit. We crossed the Hudson River at Dobb's Ferry. Here we began to separate, each for his own home. The officers pressed horses and went on. My companion and myself were soon wending our way slowly and alone. As we passed on, we saw in the distance two men riding toward us with each a led horse. It did not take me long to discover the man on a well known horse to be my father, and the other the father of my comrade. The meeting I will not attempt to describe here; but from the circumstances and the nature of the case, you may imagine it was an affecting one. And especially so, as my friends had been informed some time before that I had died in prison. They had had prayers offered up, according to the custom of the times, and the family had gone into mourning. They therefore felt as if they had received me from the dead. The officers had carried the news of our return, and our fathers had ridden all night to meet us. We proceeded on our way; and, ere the shades of evening closed around us, we were once more in the bosom of friends and the enjoyment of the society of those we loved and the sweets of home. And may my heart ever rise in gratitude to that Being whose preserving care has ever been over me, and has never forsaken me."
As soon as he had regained his health, Levi Hanford again took his position in Captain Seymour's company, and continued in active performance of his duty to the termination of the war. He was present at the taking and burning of Norwalk, Conn., and assisted in driving the British and Tories back to their ships. At another time he was one of a body of troops that was called out to repel a large British force that was advancing from King's Bridge, foraging, marauding, and burning everything in their way. The American army marched in two divisions, one taking the Post road, and the other a more circuitous route, and coming together at a designated place near the enemy. The night was excessively cold, and the men suffered. The detachment to which Hanford belonged reached first their place of destination. and halted near a public house. Hanford and a few others of his party soon entered the house and found their way to a fire. While they were engaged in warming themselves, an officer, whose name is not now recollected, came in, chilled and shivering with the cold, and placed his hands over Hanford's shoulders to warm. While thus engaged, he and Hanford were led to notice each other, and with a mutual half recognition. Soon after this Hanford was standing at an outer door of the house; and, while there, that officer walked past him several times, each time eying him closely. Finally, coming up to Hanford, he thus addressed him: "Sir, I think I know you. I recognize you as one of my fellow prisoners of the old Sugar House Prison in New York. I thought I knew you when I first saw you. I was with you for a while in that den of human suffering." After a mutual greeting he asked Hanford how he liked his present position, to which the latter replied that he was not particularly attached to it. The officer then told him that he had letters and despatches to the Secretary of State at Hartford, and he would like him to go and deliver them. But he would have to furnish his own horse, pay his own expenses, and, when he had performed the duty, he must make his report, when he would be reimbursed and draw his money. To this Hanford readily assented. The duty was accordingly performed by him after the battle and the return of the British.
In the mean time the troops passed on; and, after several skirmishes and a running fight, the British were finally driven back over King's Bridge. About that time another party of British and Hessians commenced the erection of a redoubt on the Harlem River; and a body of men, of which Hanford was one, was sent to stop their operations. The troops marched all night, intending to surprise the enemy, and make the attack at early dawn. They reached their destination before daylight, unobserved, and took a position from which they could take the redoubt with their small arms, aided by one piece of artillery, loaded with grape. In front of and near the redoubt was a vessel lying at the dock, loaded with fascines (fascines were bundles of brushwood bound together, like sheaves of grain, with their ends sharpened; they are laid in, in the building of breastworks, with their sharp points out), a portion of which had already been landed. The Americans were hid from view when lying down; but, when they arose, the whole scene was open before them. At daylight a detachment of Hessians made its appearance, and soon came to the water for fascines. The Americans lay perfectly still until each Hessian had shouldered his bundle, and was about to return to the fort, when the command was given in a loud tone of voice: "Attention, men! Ready! Aim! Fire!" Quick as thought each man sprung to his feet; and a volley of musketry and a discharge of grape was poured in upon the enemy. The scene that followed was ludicrous in the extreme. The enemy were taken completely by surprise and were terribly frightened. In their confusion and terror they threw down their bundles, and used every effort to run. Although they jumped and sprung, and swung their arms, and made desperate strides, yet for a time they seemed to have lost all ability to move forward; for, when one leg started in one direction, the other went off in an exactly opposite direction, and it was only by the most desperate effort of springing and jumping that they effected their escape. This they were enabled to do at last by reason of the river being between them and their pursuers. The Americans, however, succeeded in carrying out the objects of the expedition. They destroyed the redoubt, made a prize of the vessel and cargo, and captured some prisoners.
On another occasion, when a party of British and Tories came on an expedition of plunder and destruction, Hanford was again called out, with others, to repel them. They met the enemy, and after a skirmish succeeded in driving them back. The Americans pursued the retreating foe until the engagement became a running fight. The British finally made a stand in a favorable position; and, when their pursuers came up, they found a rising ground before them, partially concealing the enemy from their view. The division that Hanford was in had to pass over the ridge amid a galling fire, and the bullets flew among them thick and fast. Hanford found shelter behind a large rock, under cover of which he used his gun for some time for a purpose, till finally, in attempting to reload it, the cartridge stuck in the barrel, and in striving to force it down with his rod, he inadvertently leaned back to give more force to the rod, in doing which a part of his person became exposed to view. At that instant a ball whizzed past, just missing his head; and, looking up, he perceived a British soldier in the act of dodging back to his covert. The Americans firmly maintained their ground, and after a fearful charge repulsed the enemy and drove them in disorder and confusion within the British lines, and bore off the honors of the day.
After the war was over, Levi Hanford bought a farm, and built a house, and in 1782 married Mary Mead, of Horseneck, in Greenwich, Conn., the daughter of General John Mead, an officer of the American army. His house and farm were between the American and British lines, and were repeatedly plundered, his cattle driven off, and his property damaged by British and Tories. At one time the house was surrounded by a company of light horse. The table was set in the dining room for breakfast, and the family were just going to sit down to breakfast. An officer rode into the house and into the dining room by the side of the table, and, putting his foot under the leaf, upset the table; and crockery, provisions, and all went to the floor with one general crash. He then with his sword broke and hacked to pieces all the mirrors, pictures, and furniture of the room and all over the house. The soldiers ripped open featherbeds, and emptied hives of honey, bees and all, in them, and rolled them all up together. They destroyed all they could find that they could not carry away. At another time when it was very dry, and the water had failed at the house, they had to go to a spring some distance in the field to do their washing. One morning very early Mary (afterward the wife of Levi Hanford) went to that spring to rinse some clothes. Her brother John, who was an officer in the American army, had been taken prisoner and paroled and exchanged. He had returned to duty, but was taken sick and sent home on a furlough. While Mary was at the spring, she saw her brother run from a back door of the house, in his shirt sleeves, and run through an Orchard and to where a hollow hickory tree had been cut, and had sprouted from the roots into tall brush. He ran into that thicket, and ran his white sleeves into the hollow stump. Very soon after a company of British and Tory light horse rode up , and surrounded her; an officer presented his sword to her breast, and demanded where her brother was, declaring he would take her life in an instant if she did not tell. She said: "How can I tell? I came here as soon as it was light enough to see, and before the family were any of them up, and have not been from here since I came. Then how can I know?" After many more questions and terrible threatenings he became satisfied that she did not know, and they all withdrew. By her cool firmness and intrepidity she saved her brother, though his place of concealment was plainly in sight, and almost within the sound of her voice. After many such scenes of excitement and danger the family found a home in what is now New Canaan, then a part of Norwalk
When the war closed and the family returned to their former homes and farm, they found it in a most wretched condition, the house torn to pieces, partitions torn out and walls broken, and the farm fences burned for fuel. The State of Connecticut made General Mead some amends for his losses by granting him a large tract of land in what was then known as the fire land of Ohio. It was not considered of great value in those early days, but since has become the richest part of Ohio. General Mead was elected to the State legislature for nineteen consecutive years. He also received the appointment of Judge of the Court of Probate, and was acting in that office when he died. It was while General Mead's family were refugees from their home, and were living in New Canaan that Levi Hanford and Mary Mead formed their first acquaintance. He bought land and built a house where all their family of five sons and four daughters were born. After a residence of about twenty-five years in that place he sold his farm and removed with his whole family to Walton, N.Y., where he purchased a large farm,and built a good house. They were exemplary members of the Baptist church, and highly respected and esteemed as good citizens by all who knew them. She was born in Horseneck, in Greenwich, Conn., December 11, 1759, was married in 1782, and died September 15, 1847, in Walton, aged eighty-eight years. Hers was the first death in that family. He was born in Norwalk Conn., September 19, 1759, and died in Walton, October 19, 1854, aged ninety-five years. He was a pensioner under act of Congress, and his interment was in the family cemetery in Walton, N.Y.
John, third son of Levi Hanford. Sr., was born in Norwalk, May 16, 1762. His early childhood was passed with his parents. At the age of sixteen he enlisted in the Continental army, and served to the end of the war. He was a good soldier, and became an officer, and saw much of the hardships and privations of that war, and participated in many of the hardest battles of the Revolution. He was a man of unusual cool courage and perseverance. For that reason he was always one selected when anything was undertaken that required daring firmness and resolution. After the close of the war he returned to his home, purchased his father's farm, and soon after married Miss Sally Weed. They had two daughters. But the hardships and exposures of the war had broken him down, and his health failed; and in November, 1807, he died of consumption. Mary, second daughter of Levi and Sarah Elizabeth Carter Hanford, was born 1767, and died 1776, age nine years.
Index to Biographical Review