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 6 - pages 252 through 300
JOHN B. BONNEFOND, who was for some time a resident of the town of Hancock, was a native of France, having been born in that country in the department of Saone and Loire. In his early manhood he was a popular restaurant-keeper in Paris: but on account of his Republican sentiments he fell under the displeasure of the government of Louis Philippe. He was repeatedly arrested and confined without a charge being made against him, although he constantly demanded to be brought to trial. In the revolutionary movement of May, 1839, he was one of the leaders of his party in Paris, at the barricades, where they fought and repeatedly repulsed the government troops; but, the barricades being taken, he was obliged to roam over the country in disguise, being kept in hiding by his compatriots until a passport could be obtained for him. This was secured by a friend who was high in office, and who gave him also a letter of recommendation to an old acquaintance in Chile. But, knowing Chile to be a republic in name only, when he arrived at Havre, and saw the stars and stripes, he said to himself, "I will go to the country which represents the government I wish to see established in my own." He took passage to New York City, leaving his wife and two children behind till he could make a home for them in the country of his adoption. He arrived in New York City, August 21, 1839. Declaring his intentions, he took out first papers, and became an American citizen in 1844. Meeting with an old friend, who owned thousands of acres in Hancock, and had established there the French colony known as French Woods, Mr. Bonnefond came to this place, and purchased one hundred and fifty acres of timbered land on the border of the beautiful Sands Pond, then in a state of wild beauty, where the deer roamed at will and all kinds of game and fish abounded.
The wife of Mr. Bonnefond was Annette Marigny, of Cote d'Or, Burgundy. When her husband was obliged to flee the country and leave his extensive and lucrative restaurant business in Paris, representing about ten thousand dollars, Mrs. Bonnefond was unable to save any of the property; and it was confiscated by the government. She came to America with her daughter Octavia, leaving her son Octave at school in Paris, where he remained for two years, and, when eleven years old, followed his parents to their new home.
John B. Bonnefond was an upright man of good education and pleasing address, and counted among his friends some of the best and most influential men in the county. In 1848, after the revolution of that year, he returned to France to see if he could not recover some of his property, but was unable to do so, and received no recompense for his loss and suffering. On the outbreak of the gold fever in 1849, he made his way overland to California and was successful in finding some gold, which he is said to have sent home, but which never reached its destination. He died of fever in August, 1849, and was buried in his cloak, far from his friends and family.
His wife survived him many years. During the life of her husband, by the exercise of her skill as a cook she had done much to assist him in the support of the family: and after his death she so ably managed her affairs as to pay off the indebtedness on the home in Hancock. Besides the children born in France they had two sons born in America - Aristias H. and Francis.
Octave, the eldest son of Mr. And Mrs. John B. Bonnefond, married, June 3, 1857, Mary E. Lakin, daughter of Jonas Lakin, of Hancock. She was educated in her native town of Hancock and in the Franklin Institute, and lived with her parents until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Octave Bonnefond had ten children: Edgar B.; John B.; Horatio Seymour; Leonie; Lucien; Louis and Louise, who were twins; and three who died in infancy. Leonie married S. M. Bouchoux, a farmer in Hancock, and has three children - Seymour J., John Batiste, and Eugenie A. Horatio Seymour was killed by a falling tree in 1879. Louise lives at home with her parents. Edgar B. married Elizabeth Miller, of Hancock, and has one child, a daughter Lena. John B. Bonnefond, son of Octave, married Jenny M. Baxter, of Hancock. They have two children - John M. and Octavia L. Bonnefond. Octave Bonnefond has been prominent in town affairs, having for nine years served as Commissioner of Highways, being also Excise Commissioner. He is a Democrat.
Aristias H. Bonnefond was born March 16, 1845, and received the education which the farmers' sons of that time were able to obtain. Early in life he started to follow the river as a steersman and lumberman. July 4, 1864, he married Mary Hunter, daughter of Richard and Hannah (Mason) Hunter, of Colchester. Hannah Mason was a native of Hamden, Delaware County; and her father was one of the pioneer settlers of Colchester. Mr. and Mrs. Aristias H. Bonnefond are the parents of five children: Frank, born May 19, 1866; Helen, born March 27, 1869; Annette, born March 28, 1873; Margaret A., born January 6, 1879; Alice, born September 29, 1881. Frank married Emily Dirnier, daughter of John Dirnier, of Hancock; and they have three children - Mary Caroline, Eugene, and George. Helen married Arthur Denio, of Hancock, and has one child, Ernest. Aristias H. Bonnefond has been well known in the affairs of the town, among the offices he has held being Highway Commissioner, in which capacity he served four years.
Francis Bonnefond, the youngest son of John B. Bonnefond, was born in the town of Hancock, and was educated in the schools of the French Woods district. When about twenty years old, following the example of most of the young men of the district, he started to follow the river as a lumberman. On November 19, 1879, he married Ellen G. Thomas, daughter of Moses and Eunice (Biggs) Thomas, of Hancock. Mr. Thomas was a native of Fremont, Sullivan County, and now, with his wife, is enjoying a good old age on the farm he has occupied since his marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Francis Bonnefond have three children: Montrelle, born November 19, 1880; June, born June 7, 1885; and Ethel, born July 31, 1889. He has been Collector of Taxes, Excise Commissioner, Constable, and Assessor for two terms. Mr. and Mrs. Bonnefond are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Harvard.
Octavia, the only daughter of John B. Bonnefond, was born in Paris, and accompanied her mother to this country. She was educated in New York City and at Georgetown, D.C., and married John Livingston, of Campville, Tioga County, New York. He was an eminent lawyer and writer, among his works being the "Lawyers Manual" and "Eminent Men of America," a biographical work of large circulation. He died in March, 1893, leaving seven children.
The Bonnefond family have been important members of the community in which they have lived; and in the early days of the settlement, as well as in later years, their integrity, good judgement, and ability in the management of affairs have been of great use to their fellow-townsmen.
CHARLES GORSCH, a native of Neuenburg, West Prussia, and the son of Ludwig Gorsch, whose wife was Florentine Dangers, came to America in 1854, after a voyage of six weeks landing at New York, where he earned his living as a cabinet-maker. In 1857 he came to Andes, where he was employed by Mr. William Oliver, of that town, for three years. After that he came to Margarettville, and here purchased a lot, upon which from time to time, as his prospects enlarged and brightened, he erected buildings. During the Civil War of 1861-65 Mr. Gorsch joined the Union army, enlisting in Company B of the Ninetieth Regiment, Nineteenth Corps, under Captain Lamb, serving during the campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, under General Sheridan, and took part with his regiment in that memorable battle of Cedar Creek. In 1865 he returned to Margarettville, where he applied himself so assiduously to business that in ten years he was able to purchase the largest and oldest mercantile building in the village.
Three years after coming here Mr. Gorsch was the accepted suitor of Miss Jennie Bailey, whom he married in 1868. Miss Bailey was one of the six children of John L. and Deborah (Bush) Bailey, of Margarettville. Seven children, a mystic number, completed the family circle of Charles and Jennie Gorsch, to whom were born six sons and one daughter. Charles, the first born and bearer of his father's name, blessed the marriage of his parents on the 28th of November, 1869. He grew up and married Hattie Stinson, of Roxbury, and has one child. He is an undertaker and furniture dealer in the town of Roxbury. Hugo, the second child, was born June 7, 1871. The third, Wilson, born September 27, 1872, is employed in a large storehouse in New York. The others are: Nellie, who lives at home, and is unmarried; Marvin and Melvin, who are twins; and Arthur, whose birth date is the 27th of June, 1880.
In politics Mr. Gorsch is a Republican. Though of foreign birth and training, he has thoroughly assimilated the American modes of thought and habit, and is entirely loyal to the ensign of the "stars and stripes." He has held several small offices, proving his own efficiency and his neighbors' judicious bestowal of confidence. He is also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
JOSEPH S. MCMURDY, a breeder of and dealer in Jersey cattle, who owns and occupies a fine farm on Glen Bennie, so called from a locality of the same name in Scotland, is a prosperous and industrious agriculturist, a most capable business man, and a citizen of high repute in the community where he has spent many years of his life. A native of the Empire State, he was born in the town of Kortright, October 17, 1852; and that town was also the place of nativity of his father, William McMurdy. He is of excellent Scotch ancestry, his grandfather, George McMurdy, having been born and reared in Scotland, but, after reaching manhood, emigrated to this country, settling in Kortright at an early period, and clearing a homestead, on which he and his wife spent their remaining years.
William McMurdy was one of seven children born to his parents, and, in common with the others, attended the district school, and assisted on the farm during his boyhood. When he was only sixteen years old, his father died, and from that time he and his elder brother worked early and late to assist their mother in her efforts to clothe and educate the younger children. William remained at home until his marriage, when he bought a farm near the paternal homestead, which he carried on for sixteen years. Selling that, he came to Delhi; and purchasing the farm now owned by his son Joseph, of whom we write, he continued the improvements already instituted, repairing the old buildings, and putting up new, and each year placing more of the land in a tillable condition. He exercised much judgement and skill in his operations, and met with assured success in all his undertakings. In 1890, having earned a well-deserved rest, he sold his farm to his son, and is now spending his declining years with his children in the village, retired from active pursuits, and enjoying to the utmost his pleasant leisure. The maiden name of his wife, who departed this life March 31, 1883, in her sixty-eighth year, was Jennet E. Smith. She was a native of Delhi, where her parents spent their last years. She bore her husband five children, the following being their record: Mary Ann, the wife of John A. Hutson, of Delhi; Sarah E., who married John M. Gorden, Under-sheriff of Delaware County; David B., a graduate of Princeton College, who is pastor of a Presbyterian church in Lynn, Mass., Joseph S.; and William S., who is a physician, and resides in New York City. Both parents united with the First Presbyterian Church many years ago, and the father is now serving as Elder. He has attained the ripe age of eighty-five.
The first year of the life of Joseph S. McMurdy was spent on the Kortright farm, which his father then owned. Coming then to Delhi, he was here reared and educated, attending the district schools and Delaware Academy. He then spent some time as a commercial traveller, but, not liking that work as a steady occupation, returned to the paternal homestead. He subsequently engaged in teaching for several seasons, meeting with excellent success, and also assisted his father in management of the home farm. In 1890 he bought the entire property, consisting of one hundred and fifty-four acres of well-improved land, and is carrying on the work his father so successfully inaugurated. The rich and fertile soil is well adapted to the raising of all the cereals common to this section of the state; and in addition thereto Mr. McMurdy breeds Jersey cattle, St. Bernard dogs, Berkshire hogs, and sheep. He is also a poultry fancier, breeding many varieties of land and water fowl. His dairy contains twenty-two Jersey cows; and he makes a fine quality of butter, shipping it to New York.
A most pleasant step in the career of the subject of this sketch was his union with Margaret J. Middlemas, which was solemnized in 1882. She is a native of Delhi, and a daughter of Thomas Middlemas, of whom a sketch may be found on another page of this work. Into the happy household thus established three bright and active children - Nellie J., Jenny D., and Harold - have made their advent. Mr. McMurdy takes an active part in every enterprise tending to promote the welfare of his community. He is a zealous supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and has filled several town offices. Fraternally, he is a member of the A.F.&A.M., belonging to Delhi Lodge, number 249. In his religious views he coincides with the doctrines of the Presbyterian church, he and his wife being members of the First Presbyterian Church of Dehi.
JOHN HILSON, one of the most successful businessmen of Bovina Centre, was born in Scotland on May 25, 1827, the son of Alexander and Elizabeth (Nesbit) Hilson. His mother was a daughter of William Nesbit, who died in Scotland at a very advanced age. Alexander Hilson was a plasterer by trade, and a member of the Presbyterian church; and he lived to be sixty years old. His wife Elizabeth outlived him, dying in her seventy-sixth year. She was the mother of eight children, only two of whom survive, namely: Alexander Hilson, Jr., a retired farmer, living in Scotland; and John Hilson, the subject of this sketch.
John lived at home with his parents until his twenty-third year, being educated in Scotland, and learning the plasterer's trade of his father. In 1850, at the age of twenty-three, he came to America, landing in New York after a pleasant voyage of only thirty days in a sailing ship. He came directly to Delaware County, and settled in Bovina, where he followed his trade for more than four years. In 1855, the year after his marriage, Mr. Hilson bought a farm of a hundred acres, where he started a dairy, having fifteen cows to commence with, and increasing the number to twenty-five during his seventeen years of farming. He has owned three different farms in Bovina, and now has a splendid one of two hundred and six acres, besides his residence in Bovina Centre.
In 1845 he married Hannah S. Hamilton, a daughter of Robert Hamilton, one of Bovina's hardy pioneers. He started a large general store in 1867; and, before retiring from business, in 1889, to return to Scotland for a summer's visit, he had built up a very good trade. Since his return Mr. Hilson has speculated somewhat in butter, but has engaged in no active work, leaving his son Alexander to take charge of the store, in partnership with Mr. Blair. Alexander Hilson, born in 1855, is the only child of his parents. He was married in 1880 to Isabell Archibald; and they have two children, John and Jane Hilson, born in 1881 and 1885.
John Hilson has a large circle of friends, he and his wife being members of the United Presbyterian church, wherein he has held the position of Trustee for a number of years. He has also been town clerk for ten years, and County Superintendent of the Poor three years, and now holds the office of Notary Public. The Hilsons have always been identified with the interests of the town, and are esteemed by all who know them. Well has it been said by a poetic philosopher of our own day, Dr. J. G. Holland: --
"God gives every bird its food, but he does not throw it into the nest. He does not unearth the good that the earth contains; but he puts it in our way, and gives us the means of getting it ourselves."
ROBERT NORTH, SR., was born at Newton, L.I., January 5,1759, was married to Elizabeth Carter in 1783, and in 1785 emigrated to Walton, where he cleared the farm upon which he lived for more than half a century. He held the office of Town Clerk for about forty years, and, being also elected Supervisor and Surrogate of the county, ably discharged his trusts until failing health compelled his retirement from public life. Always interested in and supporting the religious growth of the town, he was in 1830 one of the organizers of the Episcopal church in Walton, for several years its Senior Warden, and an exemplary communicant until his death.
Elizabeth Carter, whom he married, was a typical woman of the Revolutionary times. Possessing great strength of character, an energetic will, and many social attractions, she was in every sense the helpmate of her husband, bearing with him every burden, encouraging every effort, and sharing all his pleasures. She was the mother of eight children, one of whom died in infancy, five in early manhood and womanhood, and only two of whom survived her.
Benjamin, her eldest born, married Eleanor Heath, and was the father of Colonel Samuel North, whose home was at Unadilla, N.Y., where he died on September 15, 1894. Samuel, the second son, born February 9, 1787, the first child born in the new settlement, lived with his parents until the age of fourteen, when he accompanied his father to Albany, and was apprenticed to Solomon Smithwick in the office of the Albany Register, to learn the trade of a printer. Acquiring by industry and perseverance a fair education, he became after several years a student of law in the office of Elijah Thomas, Esq., a gentleman whose example alone was sufficient to inspire a young man with the purest and noblest ambition. On the mind of the student so fair an example produced all the effect his best friends could wish, and his zeal to acquire knowledge was only equalled by his success in the acquisition. In the May term of 1810, he was admitted as an attorney in the Supreme Court, and began the practice of law in the city of Albany under the most favorable auspices. In the following winter he was appointed Clerk in the House of Assembly, and filled the office honorably. He was considered a young man of superior talent, and his friends predicted for him a brilliant career; but about this period his health began to decline, and a year or two later he returned home, where he died of consumption, January 16, 1813.
His death was followed seven years later by that of his brother Cyrus, who was born on December 22, 1793. Although afflicted with blindness, having lost his eyesight when only two tears old, he grew to manhood with rare intelligence and a most attractive character. He was a lover of books, music, and everything that tended toward refined culture. To him perhaps as much as to any other was due that love of literary pursuits that marked an early era in Walton society, and sent out intelligent men and women to distinguish themselves in broader fields.
Sarah North was born on September 29, 1805, and died on February 24, 1829. Hannah, born March 17, 1803, died January 4, 1836. Elizabeth, born November 29, 1800, died August 16, 1830. Mary N. Bartlett, eldest daughter of Robert and Elizabeth North, and wife of the Hon. Henry E. Bartlett, was born June 20, 1796, and died October 15, 1870. Her first husband was Roswell Wright, of Unadilla, by whom she had two children, namely: Henry, born September 30, 1821; and Elizabeth, born July 10, 1823, who married Benjamin R. Robson, and died at Litchfield, Conn., August 1, 1847, leaving one child, Benjamin W., now living in Portland, Ore. Henry married Caroline A. Austin, of Otego, N.Y., who died January 9, 1856, leaving two children: George A., well known as a civil engineer; and Mary, wife of the Hon. A.H. Sewell, Judge and Surrogate of Delaware County.
During the whole period of the life of Robert North his character and course were entirely above reproach, his excellence of heart and breadth of intelligence securing the respect and esteem of the community that grew up around him. Dignity, courtesy, and philanthropic feeling distinguished him as a man: earnestness, sincerity, and devotion, as a Christian.
ROBERT NORTH, JR., was born on April 7, 1792, in Walton, N.Y., on the paternal farm, to whose possession he succeeded, and where he passed his whole life. He inherited the sterling principles, traditions, and faith of his ancestors, and spending the prime of life in active, useful labors, enjoyed in old age well-earned repose and tranquility. He engaged for a time in mercantile business, was appointed Deputy Sheriff, and filled several other positions of trust. Interested in political and social subjects, and entering warmly into the discussions of the day, he was an ardent admirer of Clay and Webster, and the personal friend of Erastus Root and Aaron Clark, both members of the old Whig party. Not easily swayed by popular favor, he was strong in his partisanship and fearless in defending his principles. Born amid primeval forest grandeur, this independence and freedom of soul was doubtless fostered by his contact with the wilderness and stern beauty of nature, whose influence was felt in his moral and religious development.
With his father, he was one of the founders of the Episcopal church in Walton, ratifying his baptismal vows at the first visitation of Bishop Onderdonk, and continuing in dutiful and loving service until the close of his life. Having been chosen to succeed his father in the office of Senior Warden, he was reelected through many successive years, until bodily infirmities impelled him to seek a release. As in other departments of thought he reined in any extravagance of sentiment, so in the domain of religion he aimed to blend and soften the contrasting shades of feeling into one harmonious whole. He died August 15, 1873, aged eighty-one years. His wife Mary, to whom he was married on the 6th of September, 1820 , was the daughter of Joshua Pine and Margaret Remsen, and sister of the late Joshua Pine, Jr. She was born in Walton on February 15, 1797, educated at the old Kingston Academy, Kingston, N.Y., and was a refined, intelligent woman. Having passed most of her life in Walton, she was interested in its growth and improvement, and was well versed in its early history. She lived to the age of eighty-four, and died on Easter morning, April 17, 1881.
Her children were Joshua P., born November 11, 1821; Robert Bruce; Margaret; Mary; George; Sarah; Emma; and Martha. Joshua died December 4, 1827, aged six years; Robert Bruce, in the prime of manhood, November 14, 1865; Martha, while yet an infant, October 10, 1845; and Emma, on July 23, 1881. Margaret, Mary, and Sarah are living in the old North homestead, where the ancient humble structure has given place to a modern dwelling. The surrounding lands are the same that have been in possession of their family for more than a century; but a portion of their farm has been surrendered to the growth of the village, and is the site of handsome dwelling-houses. George North has been a resident of Califorina since 1852, and has a home in Winters, Yolo County. He married in 1867, Jennie E. daughter of Thomas Hart Hyatt, of Lockport, N.Y., and has had five children, only three of whom are living: Robert H. born December 11, 1867, died April 15, 1868; George B., born June 24 1869, died December 9, 1876; Hart H., born July 12, 1871, is practising law in San Francisco with the promise of a successful career; Maude L., the only daughter, was born October 15, 1872; the youngest son, Arthur Walbridge, born October 26, 1874, is a student in Berkeley University, Califorina.
The accompanying portraits of Robert North, Jr. , and his wife, Mary Pine North, are of unusual interest.. Of such as they was it said of old, "There be some who have left a name behind them, whose remembrance is sweet as honey in all mouths.""
GABRIEL and ROBERT NORTH, brothers were at the beginning of the war of the Revolution living in the place of their nativity, Newtown, L.I. Descended from the honorable line of English ancestry, they both enlisted in the continental service, and gave up homes and property to join the struggle for the American independence. After the close of the war they lived for a time in New Canaan, Conn., where they married sisters. Deborah and Elizabeth Carter, daughters of Captain Ebenezer Carter of that town, and in 1786 moved with their families to the valley of the Coquago, or weatern branch of the Delaware River. Taking up their abode upon what was known as the Walton Patent, they gave this name to the new settlement, and were honored members of the little band who founded the village of Walton. The difficulties of transportation were great in those days, and many are the stories recorded of hardship and peril during the earlier years of this frontier life. The five original settlers -Townsend, Pine, Furman, and the Norths-were connected by family ties as well as those of friendship, and were all man of more that ordinary cheracter and intelligence, bring with them the unshinking courage, patience, and adventurous spirit transmitted by the New England Pilgrims to their descendants. They with their wives and infant children endured many privations, and underwent many thrilling experinces.
The settlemant grew , and was organized into a town in 1789. Gabriel North and his brother purchased adjoining farms, built houses, and reared families, who, growing up in friendly intimacy with others of their generation, formed the nucleus of an intelligent and prosperous community. The following letter, written during the first years of this wilderness life, will show what had been accomplished toward the establishment of future homes:-
"Walton, November 14, 1785
" Dear Brother:
" I am happy to welcome this opportunity to write, it being the first I have had since we came down in this wilderness. I would impose on you we are all in perfect health, for which blessing I---to be truly thankful, and hope this may find you and yours enjoying the same; would inform you I have built a house, and have a grand winter stove laid in. I have a very pleasant situation on the site of Pine Hill; the Delaware River runs immediately on the south of my house. I think I have a foundation for all the happiness this world can afford. It has been very expensive moving to thie country, and expensive and difficult getting provision. However I hope the worst is over. We have got four acres of wheat, half an acre of rye, and one of timothy sown. I think I could write you a long story about the beauties of this place, wild and romantic,-fish in great abundance, the finest trout ever saw, and pigeons in countless numbers. I keep little Joe to drive them from the grain after sowing, but he could scarcely scare them off. Elk and deer are very plenty. I saw fourteen elk in the river a few rods below my house at one time. Wolves are very plenty all around us, and would frequently come up to our door and around our tents. At night all had to sleep with our children between us to prevent them being carried off. But Prince, king of dogs, has killed three of them; and the rest have become more shy. Prince went out one day alone on Pine Hil, and brought home a beautiful fawn in her mouth, that he had killed. The meat was very fine and quite welcome. We have a varity of wild apples, and mandrakes very plenty in the woods, and every kinf of wild berries, etc.
"You say that my friends have extected letters from me. I am sorry to disappoint them. Tell them I am perfectly satisfied with my situation, and find the country much better than I expected. We except a numbers of settlers out in the spring. We shall be glad to see them, although we are quite happy. Brother Robert or I will go to New York in the spring, and then will give you all the particulars of our emigration to the west.
"Be pleased to give my best love to all my friends. That you may be happy under every circumstance of life is ever the one wish of your loving brother.
To Mr. Benjamin North, New York
Gabriel, the writer of this letter, filled many town offices, and became Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in his county , which he also twice represented in the House of Assembly at Albany. He was also a member of the Electoral College that in 1816 gave the vote of New York for President and Vice-President of the Union. He was a man of ability,genial and social in his nature, honorable abd upright in character, and a sincere Christian. He died in 1827 in the seventy-first year of his age. His wife died in 1837, and only one out of seven children survived her.
The names of the children of Judge Gabriel and Deborah North were Hannah, Deborah, Mary, Gabriel Jr., Benjamin, Emeline, and John. Hannah married Lewis Seymour, and died in 1802, leaving one son, William N. Seymour, who died at Brooklyn in 1881. Deborah married Caleb Benedict, and had seven children, only two of whom are now living, namely: Hannah N., wife of William E. White, and mother of John N. Edwin, and Charles White; and Charles Benedict, residing in New Canaan, Conn. Gabriel,Jr., married Nancy Townsend, and had five children- Maria, Matilda, William, Gabriel S., and Hannah. Of these Gabriel S. North, of Binghamton, N.Y., is sole survivor. Benjamin married Hannah Carter. John died unmarried.
JOSHUA PINE, Jr., bearing the name of his father and grandfather, was born in Walton, November 5, 1798, and was in many respects a remarkable man.
Although reared in the quiet round of farm life, his abilities were such that he might have won distinction in almost any profession, had he so chosen. He was one of the most intelligent men in this section, and few had a more comprehensive grasp of State and national affairs than he. He was also the acknowledged historian authority of the town, his marvellous mamory being a rich storehouse of information. When Jay Gould compiled his history of Delaware County, he obtained many of his facts from Mr. Pine. In affairs of local importance he took a lively interest, being the promoter of the first public library in Walton, and also of the old militia company, from which he received the title of Captain. In educational matters he was deeply interested, taking advanced ground in all matters pertaining to the public schools. He was an easy and thoughly interesting writer, and contributed frequently to the local press on the subjects relating to the early settlement of the town. He was not, however, one of those who lived only in the past, but, with advancing years, kept up with the spirit of the age, being always young in his sympathies, and in every relation of life upright and kindly.
His ancestor, John Pine, came from Devonshire, England, about the year 1640, and settled at Hempstead, L.I. He had one son, James who married and reared a son James, whose son John married a young woman of Welsh descent, named Freelove Carmen. They had ten children, one of whom, Joshua, married Sarah DeMilt, of New York City, in the year 1750. They lived in Hempstead until some time during the Revolutionary War, when they were driven from their home by the British soldiers, who took possession of their house, and wantonly destroyed its contents.
In 1785 Joshua Pine and his wife Sarah came to Walton, and were included in the five families who formed its first settlement. Four of their children died in infancy, and one in his early manhood. The remaining five-John, Mary, Joshua, Sarah, and Daniel- came with them. On arriving at the settlement they found less land than had been anticipated, and consequently settled farther down the river, at what is now known as Pinesville. Here Joshua Pine, the elder bought a large tract of land, which he afterward divided among his sons, John, Joshua, and Daniel, who settled upon it. John married in 1781, but had on children. Daniel married Rachel Robinson, and they had nine children. He built the house now owned by Edmund More: and three of his grandsons, John, Thomas, and Peter Pine, are living in Walton at the present time.
Joshua Pine , second, married Margaret Remsen, of Newtown, L.I., in 1795: and they had seven children- Mary, Joshua, George W., Charles, Sarah, Alfred, and Margaret, the latter of whom is now living, at the age of eighty-five years, in Detroit Mich., the last survivor of her family. The second Joshua built the house long known as the Pine homestead, almost the counterpart, it is said, of the old North home at Newtown. He engaged largely in business, as a dealer in both lumber and merchandise, going frequently yo Philadelphia, and having an extensive acquaintance throughout the country. He also filled the office of Judge in the Court of Common Pleas, and was considered a man more than ordinary integrity and business ability. His death occurred in 1818, at the age of fifty-seven years: and he was succeeded in his home by his son, Joshua Pine, Jr., the subject of this sketch. The latter never married; and at his death, in 1888, the property was sold, and the old Pine homestead passed out of the family.
ANDREW J. THOMSON, a progressive young farmer of Roxbury, N.Y., is a grandson of John Thomson, who came from Scotland in 1820, with his wife and two children, to seek a new home in the Western wilds. After a voyage of seven weeks and four days they landed in New York, and thence proceeded up the Hudson on a sloop to Catskill, and from there came in a wagon to Bovina, Delaware County. After staying for a few weeks with his brother who had been in the country twenty years, Mr. Thomson put up a log cabin about two rods from where the present house stands. He had previously been fully bent on going to Ohio, and he afterward thought his decision to stay here was providential. It was all a widerness two miles down the valley, more than that to the east, and one mile and a half to the west. An Indian and his wife and grand-daughter lived there during the winter in a cabin they built in the woods, and made baskets. A spring near the head of the little brook on the farm was much frequented by deer, and man would come here with their guns and wait for them. Finding the log cabin a convenient resting-place, they named it the "Hunter's Retreat."
During the first year Mr. Thomson used to bring flour and other things for his family on his shoulders for miles. Having good waterpower on his land, he built a mill, which was of great use to him for threshing, grinding provender, and sawing wood. On the pioneer farm Mr. Thomson and his wife, Marion Boyle Thomson, settled down to hard wark. They had a daughter Janet, born October 28, 1815, and a son James, born November 26, 1818. Later two more sons were added to their family: Andrew Y., born May 26, 1822: and John B., March 17, 1824. Janet afterward married Robert McFarland, of Bovina. The three sons grew up manly and helpful: and in time what had been a dark, wooded wilderness because a broad tract of smiling farm land, open to the sun and teeming with the fruit of the soil. Thus down to ripe old age lived John Thomson and his wife Marion.
After the death of his father, James H. Thomson took possession of the farm, and carried it on in the same wide-awake, progressive manner. He bought the remainder of the land under cultivation, and, building large, roomy barns, filled them with good stock. As the years went by, his dairy became noted; for he turned the water supply to a good purpose on driving churns, as well as in sawing wood, and opened a good , substantial source of income thereby. Early in life he planted a profusion of shade-trees about the grounds, and now these have grown so luxuriantly that they make the place very beautiful. Here Mr. Thomson lives a life of quiet retirement. He is fond of reading, and has added to his early learning, which was very limited, schools not being established here till 1833, such a fund of valuable information that he is widely known as a "well-read man." He is a leading Prohibitionist, and highly respected by all who knew him. Mr. Thomson's wife, Jane Amos, whom he married in January, 1856, was, like himself, born in Scotland. Her parents, William and Margaret[Sinclair] Amos, came to this country in 1830, when Jane was two years old, and settled at Cabin Hill in the town of Andes on a farm now owned by their son, William Amos Jr. Seven of the eight children of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Thomson are now living, namely: John A., a minister at Sprakers, on the Mohawk, is now married and has three children. William S. has no children living. Jacob N. married Mary E. Scott, also Scotch. They live on an adjoining farm, and have two children, one having died. Amos W. is a physician, practising his profession at Saratoga. Margaret Janet died young. Annie married Thomas Archibald and lives in Bovina. She had three children, but one of these died. Marion live at home.
The other son is Andrew J. Thomson, who was born November 26, 1864, and received his education at the district school. When he came of age, he bought his farm from his father, and has continued and enlarged the dairy business. He keeps twenty-five fine Jersey milch cows, and these supply the cream for a fine grade of choice butter. There are also twenty-five sheep on the place, besides horses. Everything about the estate is kept in prefect order, and the whole farm is in a flourishing condition. Mr. Thomson married Nettie C. Hewitt, the only daughter of John B. and Marion Hewitt. John Hewitt was a successful farmer of New Kingston. His first wife died; and he married the second time , and had two children- Leola and Howard. Mr. Hewitt died september 17, 1887. Mr. and Mrs. Thomson have a little child, born May 3, 1891, Milton A. In religion the Thomson family are United Presbyterians.
PETER YOUNG, who owns and occupies a valuable estate of three hundred and eighty-six acres, finely located in District No. 1 of the town of Hamden, is one of the most energetic, self-reliant, and successful farmers of this section of Delaware County. He is a Scotchman by birth and parentage, and first opened his eyes to the light in Roxburghshire, Scotland, in 1854.
His father, Thomas Young, was born in Dalkeith, Scotland, in 1811, and died in the town of Hamden N.Y. in 1887. He was a teamster by occupation while in his native country, where more than one-half of his long life has passed. He was twice married and reared a family of nine children, eight sons and one daughter. His first wife, the mother of Peter, his second son, was Margaret Simington, who died in Scotland, at the age of fifty years, leaving four sons and one daughter. The remaining children of the first marriage may here be thus briefly mentioned: Robert, who has never left the country of his birth, is a policeman in Scotland, having been on the force seven years. William, who studied law with the late Judge Gleason, of Delhi, is one of the lights of the legal profession in Denver, Col. Jane , the only daughter, is the wife of Issac Miller, of Pepacton, N.Y. The father emigrated to America in 1868, bringing with him all of his family with the exception of his oldest son, and was thereafter a respected resident of this county.
Peter was but a lad of fourteen when he became a resident of this vicinity,and from that time until he married and had a home of his own he worked out by the month. He was strongly imbued with the true Scotch spirt of industry, frugality, and thrift, so that, with the exercise of a wise discretion in monetary matters, he was enable to save a part of his yearly wages, which never exceeded three hundred dollars. Mr. Young first purchase of land consisted of two hundred and eighty acres lying about two miles from Delhi, for which, including thirty cows, he paid seven thousand dollars, running into debt five thousand five hundred dollars. He labored hard, and economized; and four years later, in 1888, he sold that farm, and bought his present property, paying ten thousand two hundred and fifty dollars, partly in cash, and giving a mortage for the remaining seven thousand five hundred dollars. His place in all of its appointments indicates the supervision of a thorough farmer and business man, and is one of the attractive homesteads in this vicinity. In addition to mixed husbandry, Mr. Young directs much of his attention to dairying, keeping from sixty-seven to seventy head of dehorned milkers, mostly graded Jerseys, and ships milk to New York City. He has five horses and a fine flock of Shropshire sheep, and in the rearing of stock he has excellent success.
On the 25th of September, 1883, Mr. Young was united in marriage to Anna L. Halstead, of Ulster County, the daughter of Marcus and Maria [Hill] Halstead, both of whom passed to the higher life in middle age. They are the parents of four children, three of them being girls. The harmonious and pleasant wedded life of Mr. and Mrs. Young has been brightened by the birth of three children, one of whom, a little daughter, died while in the innocence and purity of infancy. Two bright and wide-awake boys remain to them, namely: James H., ten tears old; and Robert B., four years of age. Mr. Young and his sons all celebrate their birthdays in the same month, each having entered this world in July. In politics Mr. Young casts his vote in support of the principles of the Republican party. Religiously, he and his excellent wife are members of the First Presbyterian Church, wherein he is as honored Elder. He has been prominently identified with the agricultural and business interests of Hamden ever since his residence in the town, and is greatly esteemed among his neighbors and acquaintances.
HECTOR COWAN, who died on July 4, 1878, at his home in the town of Stamford, N.Y., where he was an influential and valued citizen, was born here on October 2, 1824. His father, John Cowan, was a Scotchman, was born in the old country on June 4, 1798; and his mother, Helen Grant Cowan, was born two years later, September 15, 1800, in Stamford.
John Cowan's father, whose name was Hector, came to America with his wife at the beginning of the century, while John was only two years old, and settled in Stamford, on what is now known as the old Cowan farm, which he reclaimed from the wilderness, building a frame house, wherein he resided till his death, at ninety-three years of age, in 1843. The children on the emigrant Hector were as follows; James Cowan, born June 29, 1794; William, on August 3, 1796; John, in 1798; Isabella, on June 14, 1800- all before the emigration. Afterwards, in Stamford, came Mary, March 12, 1803; Agnes, July 1 1805; Andrew, December 13, 1808. Grandfather Cowan was an Elder in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian church in South Kortright. Politically, he was a Whig. He lost his wife when she was sixty years old, nearly thirty years before his own demise.
John Cowan grew up on his father's farm, and attended the district school, his educational opportunities being, however, very meager. In the course of years he purchased the homestead from the other heirs, and added thereto so largely that finally he owned six hundrend acres, and stood at the head of the agriculturists of this neighborhood. Not only was he his father's successor as a farmer, but as an Elder in the Kortright Parish. His marriage to Helen Grant took place on New Years's Day, 1824; and Grandfather Hector Cowan was greatly pleased the next autumn, when they named their first child after him, Hector. On September 18, 1826, came a sister Ann Eliza, and on December 11, 1830, another sister, Marietta; but all three have joined "the innumerable caravan," Ann Eliza on February 21, 1843, the same year with her grandfather, as above mentioned. Hector died in 1878, and Marietta in April, 1893.
Young Hector went to the local school, like his father before him, and likewise worked on the home farm, devoting himself wholly to agriculture. In 1851, November 5, at the age of twenty-seven, Hector Cowan married Helena Jane Rich, who was born on the Rich family homestead at South Kortright, the daughter of James and Helena [Marshall] Rich; and more particulars concerning her family may be found in the sketch in the volume of Mrs. Sarah Rich. Like his progenitors, Mr. Cowan took an active part in church affairs, and succeeded them as an office-bearer, holding the position of Ruling Elder. As they had been Whigs, so was he in sentiment, and cast his first vote for Taylor and Fillmore; but a few years later the Republican party arose, and he at once joined its fortunes. He was also influential in town affairs. At his death he left a widow and eleven children, eight of whom are still living.
The eldest of these, John A. Cowan, born in 1854, is a Stamford farmer and an Elder in the Presbyterian church in Hobart. Helena Cowan, born in 1856, married Dr. F. H. McNaught, of Denver, Col. Of James Rich Cowan more will be said presently. Robert F. Cowan, born in 1860, ia a Stamford farmer. Hector William Cowan, born in 1862 amid our Civil War, and named for his father and great-grandfather, is a Presbyterian clergyman in Lawrence, Kan.
Henry Marshall Cowan, born in 1864, resides on the ancestral acres. Charles Cowan was born in 1868, and lives in Stamford, unmarried; and so does Frank B. Cowan, born in 1870. The children no longer living in this world are: Thomas Rich Cowan, who died at the age of twelve; Stephen, at age seven; Annie, at four. Since the death of their father the large farm has been carried on by his widow, who owns it.
Of course she is aided by her efficent sons, but is herself a very capable manager, as well as a bright and intelligent woman. She is especially proud of her son, the Hon. James Rich Cowan, who bears her own family name.
The Hon. James R. Cowan was born on May 22, 1858. He was educated in the local school, like two generations of his ancestors, and then went to Stamford Seminary. He lived at home till his majority, and did not give up farming till the year 1891, having six hundred acres under his control. Like other farmers in the region, he gave special attention to cattle, having from seventy-five to one hundred. In politics he has been active being commissioned a Justice of Peace. In 1889 he was made Town Supervisior by the Republican party, and acting as chairman of the board the latter part of the time. In 1891 he was elected to the State Assembly, and served a term at Albany. The same year he was chosen President of the National Bank of Hobart, which has a capital of fifty thousand dollars; and this place he still fills, the Vice-President being Oscar I. Bennett, and the Cashier J.A. Scott. Mr. Cowan is still unmarried, and gives his main time and attention to finance. In religion, as well as politics, he retreads the inherited foorsteps, and ia a member of the United Presbyterian church in South Kortright. The Cowan homestead is a noble old place, the house standing amid fertile fields not far from the village of Hobart.
ALONZO A. HAVERLY, miller and lumberman, is carring on an extensive business in the town of Walton, his mills being located near the corporation line. He made his appearance on this mundane sphere in the year 1840, in Middleburg, Schoharie County, that town being likewise the native place of his father, Jacob Haverly, whose birth occurred in 1809. Jacob was a son of Christopher Haverly, who was born in Berne, Albany county, in 1783.
Christopher Haverly married a Miss Haughstrauser, who was of High Dutch ancestry; and they became pioneer settlers of Schoharie County, taking up a tract of wild land in the town of Middlebury, where they not only improved a fine homestead, but by toilsome labor, frugal economy, and wise management accumulated property valued at some twenty thousand dollars. Life's labors over, their bodies were laid to rest in the family graveyard, on the farm which they cleared from the forest. They reared five sons and five daughters, Jacob being the eldest child.
Jacob Haverly was reared to farming industries, and after his marriage, which was celebrated in 1832, he being then united to Catherine, daughter of David G. and Margaret[Nashaultz] Richard, lived for a few years on a farm near his father's. In 1843 they settled in the town of Wright, where they lived on rented land for a few years, afterward buying land and improving a farm. To this he added from time to time, until he had three hundred and forty acres of as fine farming land as could be found in the vicinity, which he carried on with execellent results until his removal to Gallupville, where he and his good wife lived, retired, until his death in 1892. His widow, now several years past threescore and ten, is living in the same town, surrounded by all the comforts that make life desirable. Of the eleven children born to her, nine grew to maturity, seven boys and two girls, the subject of this sketch being the third son and the forth child.
Alonzo A. Haverly received but an indifferent education in the public schools in his boyhood, but has supplemented it with after years of study.
When he was growing up, his parents being in rather straitened circumstances, his help was needed on the farm, where he remanied until twenty-seven years old, working with fidelity and diligence. He then pursued his studies for a while in a select school in Gallupville for two terms, and afterwards attended the Schoharie Academy. The following five winters Mr. Haverly was engaged in teaching. In 1880 he purchased very cheap, at a foreclosure sale, his present fine mill property and the house in which he lives. He has rebuilt and improved the buildings at quite an expenditure, his grist-mill now having three sets of stones and his saw-mill a four-foot circular saw. Both of the mills are run by four different finds of wheels, propelled by water taken from the Delaware River, a half a mile away. The improvements are many and varied; and the proprety has a commercial value of ten thousand dollars, a great increase since the first establishment of the plant, some ninety years ago.
In July, 1873, Mr Haverly forned a matrimonial alliance with Betty Sullivan, a native of Delaware County. She lived but two years after their marriage, dying in 1875, and soon followed by their infant daughter. In 1877 Mr. Haverly married Hattie Sullivan, a sister of his first wife. Of the four children born of this union two died in infancy; and one daughter, Mary, a capable girl of fifteen years, and one son, Fred, a bright boy of thirteen, are both attending school. In politics Mr. Haverly is a straight-forward Democrat, but not an office-seeker. Religiously, he is a believer in the doctrines of the Lutheran church, but with his family attends the Methodist church. He is a man of substanial business ability; and being blessed with good physical as well as mental ability, he carries on the work of his two mills with the help of one man only. In connection with this he also deals extensively in flour and feed.
STEPHEN R. and ERASTUS R. SEACORD were both born in Bovina, and are to-day numbered among the most prosperous farmers on the town. They are the sons of James C. Seacord, and of French origin, tracing their ancestry back to their great-grandfather, Paul Seacord, who was one on the early colonists. He left France with his six brothers, on account of the religious persecutions attending the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. He had a son, William Seacord, who came from Dutchess county to Bovina in 1789, early in Washington's Presidency, and settled near Bennett Hill, where settlers were very few, the country wild, and game plentiful. Here he was twice married, reared fifteen children, and led a useful and happy life. He was a Baptist, and died on his farm at seventy years of age.
Stephen R. Seacoed, the son of William and the grandfather of the special subjects of this sketch, was born in Bovina in 1805. In 1827 he bought the farm of a hundred acres where his grandsons now live, on which already stood a log house and barn; but later he bought more land, so that before his death he had two hundred and thirty acres. He was very liberal in his religious views, and a Whig in politics, though he joined the ranks of the Republican party at its formation. Stephen Seacord died on his farm at forty-seven years of age, leaving three childred and a widow, who outlived him twenty-three years. One of his daughters is Mary Ann Seacord, the wife of George Bell, a farmer in New Lisbon, Otsego County. James C. Seacord was the only son. Amanda Seacord, the other daughter, married Homer C. Burgin, and is no longer living.
James C. Seacord was born November 21, 1828, and lived on the homestead which he inherited, and to which he added. On February 3, 1852, he married Esther Close, who was born on October 8, 1822, and was a daughter of Eli and Elizabeth [Adee] Close. Eli Close was born in Dutchess County, but died in Bovina, at sixty-five years of age. He was a shoemaker as well as a farmer, and an oldtime Whig. Mrs. Close was born in Lane County, became the mother of ten children, and died at seventy-eight. Five of these children are still living-George, Stephen, William, Harriet, and Mrs. Seacord. James C. Seacord was a Democrat, and died at the homestead on Independence Day, 1893. He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and were the parents od five children. The eldest, Abigail Seacord, was born December 12, 1852, and is now Mrs. Thomas Fuller, a resident of Bovina Centre.
The second child, Stephen R. Seacord, the elder of the Seacord brothers, was born in the town of Bovina August 5, 1856, just prior to James Buchanan's Presidential victory over John C. Fremont; and on New Year's Day, 1883, he married Annice McDivitt. She was born in Bovina on February 5, 1862, being one of the five children of William J. and Elizabeth [Kipp] McDivitt. Mr. and Mrs. McDivitt are members of the Presbyterian church in Andes village, where they reside. Mr. McDivitt was a farmer for many years, but is now a drover; and he has always been a stanch Republican. Mr. and Mrs. Stephen R. Seacord have four children: Mabel Esther Seacord, born April 6, 1884; S. Edgar Seacord born February 23, 1886; Elizabeth C. Seacord, born April 6, 1888; and Anna Myrtle Seacord, born September 20, 1893. The father is liberal in his religious views, but Mrs. Seacord belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. The third child of J. C. Seacord, Erastus R. Seacord, was born on January 28, 1959, the year before Lincoln's election. He never married, but makes his home with his mother and brother at the old farm. His second sister, Elizabeth Nancy Seacord, was born on June 25, 1862, and is the wife of H.G. Bramley, a farmer in Bovina. Another sister, Mary Ann Seacord, was born November 19, 1865, and died January 31, 1872.
Stephen and Erastus Seacord were educated in the district schools, and since their father's death have lived in partnership on the old farm. They have used their buildings to the very best advantage, and have a fine dairy, owning twenty-seven grade Jersey cows. For ten months of the year 1893 they averaged two hudndred and fifty pounds of butter per cow for the market. The farm would afford support for as many as forty cattle; and there is an orchard of seven acres, stocked with the finest fruit. The brothers are to be congratulated on their uniting efforts to increace the value of the estate. They are both men of superior business qualities and agricultural knowledge.
" In the field of destiny we reap as we have sown."
HARPER B. GAYLORD, a highly esteemed citizen and prosperous young farmer in Harpersfield, Delaware County, is a descendant and namesake of the founder of that town. He is the son of Daniel N. and Mary (Stevens) Gaylord, and was born March 19, 1860. His great-grandfather, Jedediah Gaylord, who had been a soldier in the Revolution, came from Connecticut, and settled with the Harpers and Roswell Hotchkiss on a large tract of land in Harpersfield, which was then a wilderness. His children, ten in number, were Jedediah, Horace, John, Harry, Daniel N., Levi, Achsah, Lois, Ruthala, and Mercy Gaylord. The father lived to the age of eighty-four years, but his wife died at threescore and ten.
Daniel N. Gaylord, the fifth son named above, was born in Harpersfield, January 6, 1796; and when but a boy he entered service for the War of 1812. When manhood was reached, he bought a small tract of land, nearly all of which was covered with forest, built a store on the road at West Harpersfield, and married Isabella Hotchkiss; but, just as a happy and successful life seemed opening before him, he was stricken down with a fever, from which he died at the early age of twenty-seven, leaving a widow and a baby namesake.
Isabella Hotchkiss was a daughter of Roswell and Margaret (Harper) Hotchkiss, whose marriage took place May 16, 1786, soon after the Revolution. Mr. Hotchkiss built a distillery, and a factory where nails were made by hand, near West Harpersfield. On the brook he put up mills, where he did all the sawing for the people in that region; and he also had a turning-lathe. He bought and cleared land for a farm, erected buildings on it, was an active, enterprising man, and lived to the age of eighty-three years and five months, dying December 28, 1845. His wife was seventy-nine at the time of her death, January 22, 1845. Their children were: John Hotchkiss, born July 10, 1788; Joseph Hotchkiss, April 14, 1790; Roswell Hotchkiss, Jr., April 4, 1792; Isabella Hotchkiss, August 6, 1795; Russell Hotchkiss, July 12, 1797; Margaret Hotchkiss, March 4, 1800; Mary Ann Hotchkiss, January 14, 1804; and Sally Hotchkiss, January 7, 1806; besides two who died in infancy.
Margaret Harper, wife of Roswell Hotchkiss, was a daughter of John and Abigail (Montgomery) Harper, and a grand-daughter of James and Jeanette (Lues) Harper, who were born in Ireland, though their families are traced to Germany and France. James Harper sailed with his family from Derry, Ireland, and landed at Casco Bay, on the coast of Maine, in October, 1720. Here they settled; but when war broke out with the Indians they moved, with the exception of one son, John, to Boston, and thenceforth all traces of them disappear. John remained in Maine, serving in the army three years. Then he went to Boston, and thence to Hopkinton, Mass., where he married Abigail Montgomery, November 8, 1728. After a time he moved to Noddle's Island, now East Boston, Mass., thence to Windsor, Conn., and thence in 1754 to Cherry Valley, Albany County, now Otsego County, New York. Here he bought a tract of land, and began to clear and cultivate it; but after a few years he pulled up stakes, and came to Harpersfield, where his death occurred April 20, 1785. His children were: William, James, Mary, Colonel John, Margaret, Joseph, Alexander, and Abigail Harper.
John Harper, Jr., their third son, was the chief founder of Harpersfield. He attended school at Lebanon, and there became acquainted with a young Indian, who was afterward the celebrated chief, Joseph Brant. From him young Harper learned much concerning the ways of the red man, which was of service to him in after years, when he was a soldier in the War of the Revolution, and served with honor and distinction, gaining the rank of Colonel by his bravery and sagacity. Often, when coming in contact with the Indians, his cool courage, combined with an unusual knowledge of their language and habits, was the means of saving himself and others from destruction. Colonel John Harper married Marion Tompson, and four children were the result of this union. They were John, Archibald, Margaret, and Ruth Harper. John Harper, the third, born July 10,1774, enjoyed the distinction of being the first white child born in Delaware County.
Prior to the Revolution the Harpers, finding that the Indians possessed territory which they were willing to sell between the Delaware and Charlotte Rivers, determined to buy, and to found a settlement of their own; but, before they could complete the purchase, they were obliged to have a license from the government. This they procured, and they bought twenty-two thousand acres. The patent running to them was from King George III, as a lease, which stipulated that a yearly tax be paid of two shillings and sixpence a hundred acres for the use of the ground, not going over one foot deep; but a release from this obligation was given by the State of New York, after independence was declared. Included in this grant were the names of John Harper, Sr., William Harper, John Harper, Jr., Joseph Harper, and Alexander Harper. After the war Colonel John Harper did much toward founding the permanent settlement at Harpersfield, building mills and stores. He died November 20, 1811, his wife having been dead since 1778.
Daniel N. Gaylord, Jr., son of Daniel N. and Isabella (Hotchkiss) Gaylord, was born near where he now lives, in Harpersfield, and was educated at the district school. He became a partner in the firm of Peck & Harper, but soon bought them out, and managed the store alone for several years. Then he gave up mercantile life for agricultural, buying one farm after another until he was the owner of four hundred acres. He married for his first wife Mary Stevens, a daughter of Seely Stevens, who was one of the earliest hotel keepers in Delaware County. Mr. Stevens was the owner and manager of the hotel at Stamford, built in 1807, which has since been converted into a dwelling house, and is now owned by S. B. Champion. The children of Mr. Gaylord's first marriage were: Edward, Sarah, and John Gaylord, all of whom died young; and Harper B. Gaylord, whose name heads the present sketch. Mrs. Mary Stevens Gaylord died at the age of fifty-three; and Mr. D. N. Gaylord has since married Rose Vrooman, a daughter of Cornelius Vrooman, of Blenheim, by whom he has one child. Edward Gaylord, born February 15, 1882. Mr. Gaylord stocked his store, and there established his son Harper.
On account of poor health, Harper B. Gaylord, like his father before him, exchanged the life of the store for the freer range of the farm, settling on the old homestead. On March 15, 1880, he married Hattie, daughter of Bennett Graff, who came from Leipsic, Germany, to New York City, where he resided some time. From there he moved to Hobart, Delaware County, and thence to Kortright, where he is a painter and cabinet maker. He married Mary J. Tinker, daughter of Stephen Tinker, and had two children - Hattie and Wesley, the latter of whom died when a child. His first wife dying at the age of twenty-eight years, Mr. Graff married for his second wife Hattie Keeler, of Kortright, by whom he has one son, Edmund L. Graff.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Harper B. Gaylord is blessed with two children: Roswell Hotchkiss Gaylord, born January 22, 1881; and Alice Mary Gaylord, born November 16, 1889. Their father and his father are both Republicans, and both families are connected with the United Presbyterian church. Mr. Gaylord is a worthy descendant of his pioneer and Revolutionary ancestry, and is highly esteemed in the town which his family founded.
REV. GEORGE F. POST, a retired Baptist minister, living at Meredith, Delaware County, N.Y., was born at Bozrah. Conn., September 24, 1813; His father, Stephen Post, Jr. a native of the same town, came to Meredith in 1818, and, taking up a tract of timbered land, cleared it, and got it into a state of cultivation. A few years later he sold this property and moved to West Meredith, living there for some time, afterward returning to Connecticut, dying there, aged sixty-three. Mrs. Post, who was a Miss Amanda M. Burchard before marriage, was the mother of five children: George F.; Ira Hill; Charles B., a missionary in California; Samuel A., deceased, who graduated from Yale College, afterward engaging in teaching; and Harriet Amanda, wife of Nathan Ayer a graduate of Troy, and teacher in a female college in North Carolina.
George F. Post spent his early years in Meredith, and at the early age of thirteen worked on a farm by the month, continuing at this labor until he was twenty-one. His schooling was obtained during the winter months. He prepared himself for college, entering Hamilton, graduating from there after a four years' course. He was ordained in Westford, Otsego County, in 1838, his first charge being at Leesville, near Sharon Springs, where he preached for about six years. His next charge was at New Berlin, where he remained for six years, and was then called to the home of his childhood. He remained in Meredith about three years, was at Franklin two years, and again returned to Meredith for another three years. His next charge was at Jersey City; and he went from there to East Lyme, Conn., where he remained four years. He was once more recalled to Meredith, and preached here until 1882, when he retired, and has since made his home with Mr. Ayer, of Camden, N.J.
The Rev. Mr. Post was married in 1838 to Miss Mercy Galloup a daughter of Thomas Galloup, a well known farmer of Cassville, Oneida County. Mr. Galloup and his wife were originally from Connecticut, but for many years had been residents of Cassville. They were the parents of seven children. Elder Post has always been an earnest worker in the temperance movement, and early joined the ranks of the Abolitionists. During his long and active course, which in every sense has been that of a noble and Christian man, he has ever lived up to the principles he preached. Always first and foremost in every good and noble work, he is revered and respected throughout the length and breadth of the county, the serene content of his old age being the result of a godly, useful, and unselfish life.
Probably few portraits within these covers will be more welcome to a larger circle of friends than the accompanying likeness of this faithful preacher of the gospel of peace.
WILLIAM G. SMITH. M.D., of the firm of Smith Brothers of Walton, N.Y., the partners of the firm being William G. and John D. Smith, is a graduate of Bellevue Medical College, of New York City, and a young man of good mental powers, well educated, and well equipped for the battle of life, having before him the prospect of a useful and honored career. He was born in Walton on the homestead where he now resides, on October 11, 1866. Mr. Smith is of Scotch antecedents, his great-grandfather, John Smith, having emigrated from Scotland with his family in 1818, becoming one of the early settlers of Delhi. Buying a tract of land, which was mostly covered with timber, he cleared a small farm, and made that his permanent home. This farm is now owned by the Howland brothers, and adjoins the farm of the Smith brothers.
Robert Smith, son of John the emigrant, was about eighteen years of age when he left his home in Scotland; and after his arrival in this country he assisted his father in clearing land and in establishing a home in the wilderness, remaining at home until his marriage with Christina McFarlane. He then purchased a farm on Scotch Mountain, Delhi, where he lived and reared a family of ten children, who may be thus briefly designated: Jane married Alexander Shaw of Delhi, Nancy married Robert Sloan, of Walton, John W. was the father of the subject of the present sketch. Catherine married Robert Wight. Robert was the fifth child. Christian married John Armstrong, of Salinas, Cal. Janet married James Miller of Fresno, Cal. Daniel was the eighth, and Alexander E. the ninth child. Margaret, the youngest, married Alexander Tweedy of Walton village. The parents of this large family spent the years of their wedded life on their homestead in Delhi, the mother passing away at the age of forty-two years, ere reaching the meridian of life. Her husband survived her, living to the advanced age of seventy-seven years.
John W. Smith was born and bred in the town of Delhi, attending first the district schools, and later the high school, and, after completing his education, was engaged in teaching school in the winter season, and working on a farm in the summer. In 1854 he came to Walton, and, purchasing the property where his sons now reside, began the improvement of a farm. He placed the land under good cultivation, erected commodious buildings, and successfully conducted the business, farming until the time of his death, which occurred in August, 1882, when fifty-four years of age. He married Jane Wight, daughter of George and Jane (Little) Wight, farmers of Delhi, where they spent their last years. Mr. and Mrs. Wight were the parents of ten children; namely, John, Betsey, Robert, Ellen, William, Margaret Ann, Isabella, Jane, George, and Thomas.
John W. Smith and his wife Jane reared seven children, five sons and two daughters; namely, Robert, Jane E., George W., John D., William G., Emma C., and Alexander E., of whom only three are now living: namely, John D., William G., and Emma C. Robert, the eldest, died at the age of twenty-three, at the close of his Junior year in Hamilton College. The remaining three died in childhood. John D. married Mary Petrie, the daughter of John and Margaret (Elliott) Petrie, of New Kingston, Delaware County; and their union has been blessed by the birth of two children - Margaret E. and John W.
William G. Smith, being a studious, ambitious youth, received excellent educational advantages, and, after leaving the district school, pursued a course of study at the Walton Academy, and later took a business course at the Albany Commercial College, alternately working on the farm and attending school. He subsequently entered Bellevue Medical College, from which he graduated in 1894, and expects in the near future to sever his connections with the farm and practice medicine in his native town. In their political affiliations both brothers are inflexible adherents to the principles of the Republican party, and John is serving his fellow townsmen as Excise Commissioner. Both are members of the United Presbyterian church, of which their father was one of the founders, and in which he served with fidelity for many years as an Elder.
FELIX SEARLES, a successful merchant tailor of Hancock, N.Y., was born in Withiel, Cornwall, England, May 7, 1837. His father, who was born in the same town, was William SEARLES, a blacksmith by trade, who there followed his occupation until 1848. He then came to America, sailing from Padstow, Cornwall, in the ship "Belle." and after a stormy voyage of six weeks and three days landed at Quebec. Going from there to Bethany, Wayne County, PA., he remained about a year; and then, moving to Cherry Ridge, Pa., he engaged in the blacksmith business.
Being moderately successful, he lived in that place until his death at the age of seventy-five years. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Cherry Ridge, and with his wife, who was Mary Blake, of Withiel, Cornwall, and survived her husband about one year, is buried at Cherry Ridge.
They had a family of nine children, namely: Reuben, who was a miller by trade, and passed his days in his native town : Jane, who after her marriage to Philip Williams, a wheelwright, went to Sydney, New South Wales, about 1845, and died in 1860; Caroline, who went to Australia with her sister, Mrs. Williams, and, having married, made that place her home; Belinda, who died at Cherry Ridge when about seventeen years of age: William, a farmer, who with his wife, Sarah (Gregory) Searles, and a family of seven children, lives at Seelyville, Wayne County, Pa.: Mary Ann, who married a shoemaker of Portland, Conn.: Henry Dickerson, who died in 1882: Felix, the subject of this sketch: Thirza, who married William Ham, a carpenter of Honesdale, Pa.: and Andrew, a farmer near Windsor, Broome County, N.Y., who married Jane Bond of Honesdale.
Felix, at the age of fourteen began to learn the tailor's trade in the employ of William Parmenter, of Honesdale, Pa., where he remained for three years. He there worked for Benjamin Sherwood nine years, and, going from there to Hawley, Pa., started in business for himself. After eight years he left Hawley and in 1864 came to the thriving town of Hancock, where he has since been engaged in the clothing business. He carries a large stock of gentlemen's furnishing goods and ready-made clothing in connection with his merchant tailoring, and counts among his customers the best people in this section.
On October 25, 1869, he married Mary A. Tarbox, daughter of Silas and Ann (Matthews) Tarbox, of Honesdale, whose ancestors were soldiers in the patriot army in the Revolutionary War. The Tarbox family came originally from France, and were among the early colonists of the United States. Mr. and Mrs. Searles have two children: Minnie A., who was born May 23, 1871, obtained her education at the Hancock Academy, and now lives at home with her parents: Clarence Howard, who was born November 2, 1886, now attends the academy in Hancock.
Mr. Searles was one of the charter members of the Knights of Honor in Hancock. He is a well known and popular citizen; and, being upright in all his dealings, he has gained much respect among his friends and patrons.
HARVEY B. CRONK is one of the most extensive agriculturists at Grand Gorge, in the town of Roxbury, Delaware County, N.Y., where he was born on July 8, 1832. The great-grandfather, Lawrence Cronk, came from Germany. He was a private in the Revolution, and died of smallpox, leaving only one child, named after himself. Lawrence Cronk, Jr., was born in Tarrytown, on the Hudson River, and when he grew up learned the carpenter's trade. After attaining his majority, he removed to Delaware County, where he at first went to work for Captain Hardenburgh in Roxbury. Then he bought a log house on the turnpike, and kept a tavern there for a couple of years, also working more or less at his trade. Later he bought a small farm. He lived to be ninety-three years old. In politics he was an old-time Whig. His wife, whose maiden name was Nancy Creary also lived to a good old age; and they brought into the world ten children - John, Nathan, Sally, Nathaniel, Polly, Hannah, Betsey, Phoebe, Edward, and Rosetta Cronk.
Nathaniel Cronk, second son and fourth child of Lawrence, Jr., was born on the farm in Roxbury, where he worked many years. His wife was Abigail, the widow of Charles Harley. They bought of John Powell the farm of two hundred acres on which Nathaniel had been employed, and remained there till 1840, when they bought another place, of a hundred and fifty acres, on the Delaware River, where they built a barn and a large addition to the house. In 1845 they sold this estate to Mr. Cronk's brother John, and moved back to Ferris Hill, where they lived some years. In their declining days they found a home with their son Harvey, and died in the Methodist faith in which they had lived, he at the age of sixty-seven, and she at eighty-two. In politics Nathaniel Cronk was a Whig till the formation of the Republican Party, which he at once joined. Nathaniel and Abigail Cronk had seven children, of whom the eldest is Harvey B. The others were: Volney, Laura, Lyman, Alva, Debois, and Martha Cronk.
Harvey B. Cronk went to the district school, and worked on the home farm till he was twenty-two, when he bought three hundred and sixty-five acres, one for every day in the year, which had been settled by the Rev. James Russell; and thereon he erected the present commodious buildings. The next year, 1855, at the age of twenty-three, he married Amanda Moffatt, of whose family an account may be found in another sketch. She died in 1893, aged sixty; but Mr. Cronk is still an active man, enjoying the confidence of his fellow-men. Like his father, he belongs to the Methodist church; but, unlike his father, he is a Democrat, not a Republican. He has held the office of Town Commissioner over twenty years. His farm now numbers three hundred and fifty acres, and supports nearly sixty cows.
His daughter Mattie was born on September 11, 1857. On March 19, 1876, at the age of nineteen, she became the wife of Everett Desilva. He was born in Schoharie County, near the town of Gilboa, on January 24, 1856, and was the son of Ira and Sarah (Thomas) Desilva, and a grandson of Abner Desilva, who was born in France. When not yet ten years old, Abner Desilva was kidnapped while playing on a wharf, and brought to America. He was kindly cared for, however, and lived for a time in Gilboa, but later went West. His children were John, Issachar, Hiram, and Ira Desilva. Ira Desilva was born in Gilboa. In due time he bought a farm of two hundred acres, and then another farm adjoining of a hundred and fifty acres, putting up new buildings, and also a woollen mill, and becoming a very prosperous manufacturer. His wife was Sarah Thomas, a daughter of Martin Van Buren Thomas, a Gilboa lawyer. Ira and Sarah Desilva had a large family of children: Frances Desilva, the wife of Edward Carpenter; Electa Desilva, who lives at Cohoes; Laura, who married W. H. Becker; Josephine, who married William Dudley, and is no longer living: Rosa, the wife of Frank Simmons; Andrew, deceased; Homer, who married Anna Ellen Searls (Searles?[mlm]); Henry, who married Emeline Myres; Smith, now living at the West; John, Stephen, and Judson, all deceased; and finally Everett Desilva. Ira Desilva lived to be sixty-eight and his wife seventy-four years. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he was a Democrat in politics.
Everett Desilva attended the public schools in different places till he was fourteen years old, and then worked on a farm until he married Mattie Cronk. Two of their children died young, but they have two living. Leo Harvey Desilva was born March 30, 1880, and Iva Alva on November 4, 1882. Everett Desilva worked for his father-in-law two years after marriage, and then bought a farm near by of a hundred and thirty acres, which he carried on in partnership with Mr. Cronk till 1888. Then the younger gentleman bought the Moore farm, of three hundred and sixty acres, whereon he has built a fine house, measuring forty-two by seventy-four feet, and supplied with all modern improvements. He has also put up a large barn, affording room for sixty head of cattle and four horses. Not only does he raise milk for the New York market, but colts also; and there are about a hundred and fifty sheep on the place. The family attend the Methodist church, and Mr. Desilva is a strong Prohibitionist. Their place is only a mile and a half from Grand Gorge.
SAMUEL MEIN is the owner of a valuable estate, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres of well cultivated land, with good buildings thereon, in the town of Hamden. He is a native of Scotland, and was born in Kirkcudbright, July 9, 1819.
His parents, Robert and Euphemia (Thompson) Mein, were life long residents of Scotland, the father dying there in 1843, aged sixty-two years, and the mother in 1845. Of the six sons and three daughters born to them four sons and one daughter came to America. James Mein, the eldest son, crossed the ocean in 1831; and two years later his brother Robert joined him in New York City. They followed their trade of stone cutting there for eight years before coming to Delaware County. Putting their earnings together, they bought a farm in Delhi, which they carried on jointly for a few years; and then each purchased a homestead. Another brother and a sister came from Scotland to this part of New York in 1839; and in 1841 their brother Samuel, of whom we write, came alone, taking passage in a sailing vessel, and being on the water thirty-two days.
Samuel Mein had learned the shoemaker's trade in his native land; and at this occupation he worked quite a long while after coming here, being employed the first winter in the town of Andes, the following six years in Bovina, and the next three years in Hamden. In 1851 Mr. Mein, desirous of seeing more of his adopted country, made a trip to Virginia, sojourning for a short time in one of its quaint towns, and there working at his trade. He subsequently explored a large part of that State, returning to Delhi in October. After his marriage he bought a farm in the town of Delhi, and lived on it seven years, exchanging it then for another in the same town, which he occupied for five years. In 1863 Mr. Mein bought his present farm, which then contained one hundred and ninety-seven acres, for the moneyed consideration of three thousand three hundred dollars, his purchase including the stock on the farm. Small parcels of this land he has sold to the villagers, and his homestead property now contains one hundred and sixty acres. He keeps twenty-nine choice milch cows, some of them being grade Jerseys; and from this valuable dairy he gets three hundred quarts of rich milk twice a day. In its appointments and improvements the farm of Mr. Mein ranks with the best in the locality, being a credit to his industry and good management. He recently lost a good barn and wagon house by fire; and the substantial barn which he is now erecting in place of the old one, at a cost of nearly two thousand, is very commodious and conveniently arranged, and one of the finest structures of its kind in the vicinity. The stone basement is nine feet high, with twenty-two feet posts above; and the timbers are of hemlock. There are two floors above the main floor, the driveway for the hay being on he upper floor; and the hay is thrown down into two immense bays. The second, or middle, floor contains the threshing room, and also the grain and feed bins. In the basement are accommodations for forty-five head of cattle and from five to seven horses, and one very important feature in connection with this fine building is its excellent system of ventilation.
In the spring of 1852 Mr. Mein was united in marriage with Maria Lewis, the daughter of the late John Lewis and his estimable wife, Anna Wakeley Lewis. Mr. Lewis was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, and for many years received a pension. He settled in the town of Delhi, where he carried on a successful business as a miller. Of his seven children three daughters and two sons are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Mein have buried one infant daughter. Three daughters and one son still remain to them, who may here be briefly named: Mary, who married John Young, a farmer in Franklin, has one son; Euphemia, a well known and successful teacher, began her professional career at the early age of sixteen years: Jessie lives at home; Robert L., who lives with his parents, has operated and managed the home farm for the past nine years, continuing the improvements already begun, and meeting with unquestioned prosperity in his various undertakings. He is a thorough going agriculturist, and inherits in a marked degree those sterling qualities of character that constitute a good and loyal citizen. He is a strong Republican in politics, and takes a warm interest in the common weal. He is now serving his second term as Assessor. He has also filled many of the minor offices of the town. Mr. Mein and his family are people of strong religious convictions, and worthy members of the Reformed Presbyterian church. Like his son, he is an ardent supporter of the Republican party, and forwards to the best of his ability the interests of the town.
WILLIAM LEONARD RUFF, a well known farmer and the leading cattle breeder in Bovina, Delaware County, was born in the adjoining town of Roxbury on February 21, 1855. His father, John Gottlieb Ruff, was born in Germany, and married Rosa Leonard before emigrating to America in 1853. He belonged to an old and rich family, had been trained a farmer, and was far from penniless when he crossed the seas. For a year the new comers stayed in New York City, and then went to Greene County, where they hired a farm in Prattsville. Not feeling satisfied there, they left the place before the birth of their second child, William L., and settled in Roxbury, where they purchased two hundred acres, whereon they remained till recently, when they moved into the village, in retirement from hard work, and where they are now in the enjoyment of comfort and good health, and of religion, also, as members of the United Presbyterian church. Mr. Ruff is especially active in religious matters, and is a Republican in politics. There were born into the homestead seven children, all now living and thriving. John Ruff, the eldest, born in 1853, is a farmer in Andes. Next comes William L. Ruff, of Bovina. The eldest daughter, Kate, born in 1858, is now the wife of Lewis Van Aken, a Roxbury farmer. Carrie Ruff, born in 1868, married Albert Craft, of Roxbury. George Howard and Edward Ruff, born in 1863 and 1867, live in the same county, the former in Stamford and the latter in Middletown. Henry Ruff, born in 1871, remains on the parental estate, and is largely engaged in land speculation.
William L. Ruff grew to manhood in the usual way of a farmer's son, working on the land and attending the district school. In 1872, at the age of seventeen, he started for himself, and for nine years worked on other farms for about fifteen dollars a month. By this time he was twenty-six; and, being very economical in disposition, he had accumulated a goodly sum of money. He therefore felt justified, on March 10, 1881, in marrying Anna Melissa White, daughter of John White, an early settler in Kortright where he still lives, a representative farmer, an earnest Democrat, and in sympathy with the religious opinions of his wife, who belongs to the Methodist society in Hobart.
After his marriage William L. Ruff bought the Rutherford farm, of three hundred acres, in Bovina, where he has continued to live and work hard ever since. Of course, he has to engage more or less in general agriculture, but gives his special attention to his dairy and to cattle breeding, keeping seventy-one cows, including the young stock. His milch cows yield each two hundred and eighty-five pounds of butter yearly for market, and the average has sometimes reached three hundred pounds a head. He is justly proud of his high breed of cattle, registered, full blooded Jerseys. If you wish to see it, he will show you a neatly printed chart, giving the pedigree of the head of the herd, Ida Meridale's Angelo, No. 28,013, dropped March 23, 1891, and described as having a solid color, black tongue and switch. This superb creature he bought of the Meridale farm at Meredith, Ayer & McKinney proprietors, for a hundred and twenty-five dollars, when the beast was only three months old. His majesty can be traced back four generations, through Ida of St. Lambert's bull, 19,169, and Angela Grand, 32,607. Among his progenitors were the famous imported Stoke Pogis, 1,259, and Michael Angelo, 10,116, the latter sold to Miller & Sibley for twelve thousand five hundred dollars each, when only a calf six months old. The cattle raised on Mr. Ruff's farm are sold into Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and especially into Wayne and the adjacent counties, the calves always commanding two hundred dollars apiece, and sometimes twice that sum. For ten calves, now grown into cows, he refused two thousand dollars. All this successful work has not been carried on in the old buildings which were on the place when Mr. Ruff bought it of W. L. Rutherford. There is a new barn, measuring eighty by fifty-six feet. The other structures have all been remodeled, and thoroughly piped with water. There is stabling for some eighty cattle. and the Buckley water device is used in the dairy process. The Ruff farm is anything but a rough farm, being under fertile cultivation. The proprietor gives himself strictly to business, and keeps two or three men constantly employed over his stock.
Two children have blessed the family board - Minnie Bell and Lula May, born respectively in 1883 and 1886, and both gracing the home with the promise of fair womanhood. Mrs. Ruff is a member of the Methodist society in Bovina Centre; but her husband belongs to the United Presbyterian church in New Kingston, both following the parental lead. He is a Republican, but is best known as the leading cattle breeder of the vicinity. Though barely forty years of age, Mr. Ruff is a hustler; yet he has won his way by strict integrity. The home is provided with every modern attachment for health and comfort.
CHARLES C. TOBEY, one of the most enterprising representatives of the industrial interests of Delaware County, is, with his partner. J. A. Warner, carrying on a substantial business as a tanner in the town of Walton. He comes of excellent New England ancestry, and is himself a native of the old Bay State, having been born in the town of Monson, Hampden County, December 31, 1831. His father, Stephen Tobey, was born in, Tolland County, Conn., where, after completing his school life, he learned the trade of a tanner and currier, continuing in business some years. He subsequently removed to Monson, Mass., where he erected a tannery, one of the largest in the vicinity, and there carried on an extensive business. Later in life, in addition to that industry, he also established a country store, which he conducted with profit until his death, at the ripe age of seventy-eight years. He married Rebekah Fantan, of Willington, Conn., who bore him the following named children: Warren, a tanner, residing in Canada; Anna F., the wife of Rufus Chandler, of Monson; S. H., who graduated from Yale College in the class of 1853, and is now a broker in New York City, doing business at No. 4 Broad Street; Charles C.; and Mary E., the wife of H. F. Wing, of Grafton Mass. The mother spent the declining years of her life in Monson, passing away at the venerable age of eighty-five years. She was a sincere Christian, pure in heart and spirit, and a faithful member of the Congregational church.
Charles C. Tobey was educated in the schools of his New England home, first attending the district schools of Monson, and subsequently taking a thorough course of study in Monson Academy, an institution of learning that ranked among the best of any in New England. He later worked in his father's tannery, learning the trade of a tanner and currier, and, after becoming of age, went into business with his eldest brother, who had purchased his father's interest in the tannery. In 1857, his brother deciding to remove to Canada, Mr. Tobey, in company with R. O. Fantan, purchased his interest in the tannery; and they carried on a successful business for two years. In 1859, buying out his partner, Mr. Tobey carried on the business alone, continuing until 1871, when he closed out there, and came to Walton. Purchasing the plant of Mead, North & Co., he formed a copartnership with J. A. Warner, his present partner; and for a quarter of a century they have conducted a flourishing trade, their upright and honorable methods winning for them the esteem and confidence of all with whom they come in contact.
Mr. Tobey was united in marriage in 1858 to Maria B. Barrows, a native of Willimantic, Conn., and one of five children born to William and Betsey Barrows, the others being: Julia, who married John Atwood; Dwight; Jane; and Charles H. By this marriage there have been born six children, the following being their record: Henry C., who is in the grocery business, and who married Hattie Guild, a daughter of Truman Guild, of the firm of Guild & Son, druggists, of Walton, and has three children - Anna, Martha, and Truman; Herbert E., who is engaged as a dealer in coal and lumber in Walton, and married May Dayton, of Stamford, this county; Fred S., who is a hardware merchant in Sherburne, Chenango County, and who married Ada Berry, of that place, they having one child, Marjorie: Frank W., a twin brother of Fred S., and in the coal business with his brother Herbert, who married Linda Holmes, a daughter of Ephraim Holmes; Carrie M., a graduate of Walton Academy, in the class of 1893; and Emma L. Frank Tobey was also graduated from Walton Academy, and later from the New York School of Pharmacy, being the third in rank in a class of one hundred and thirty. He practiced pharmacy two years, being with Imgarde & Co., of New York City, and was later employed for a year in a drug store in Erie.
Politically, Mr. Tobey affiliates with the Republican party. He takes a deep interest in local affairs, and is a strong and earnest advocate of all enterprises tending toward the advancement of his adopted town and county. For three years he has been President of the Board of Education. He and his family are devout members of the Congregational church, of which he has been chorister for many years. Mrs. Tobey, who is an active worker in the church, is also a teacher in the Sunday school, and President of the Missionary Society.
SAMUEL DECKER, M.D., is a physician in the village of Griffin's Corners in Middletown, where he has a large practice. He was born in Schoharie County on July 21, 1839, son of Cornelius and Sally (Hallock) Decker. His grandfather, John C. Decker, son of Cornelius, of Columbia County, went to school and worked on a farm in youth; but, arriving at manhood, he bought eighty acres in Broome, Schoharie County whither he had to journey afoot. A log house and barn soon made the new country seem more like home, and the wilderness began to blossom like the rose. Grandfather Decker was a Democrat and a Methodist. He was the father of four children, two by each wife; for he married two Shaver sisters. The first wife died young, leaving a boy and a girl - Cornelius and Margaret. This daughter married Freeman Whitbeck, and now resides in Rensselaer, Albany County. Of the second wife's two children, one died in middle age, and the other, David Decker, lives in Binghamton. The grandfather died at the age of seventy-five.
His son Cornelius, father of the Doctor, was born in 1808, and grew up a farmer and cooper. He married Sally Hallock, daughter of Samuel Hallock, whose wife died young, but not before she had borne four girls and three boys - Sally, Betsy, Nancy, John, Cornelius, Samuel, and Deborah Hallock. Cornelius Decker leased eighty acres in Schoharie County, where he passed his life. He was a Democrat. and held the office for some time of Highway Commissioner; and he wonderfully improved his land. He died at the age of seventy, and his wife at sixty-eight. They had five children. The eldest, Wesley Decker, died in 1860, just before the Civil War. The second child, Samuel Decker, is the special subject of this sketch. Levi Decker married Mary Vaughn, lives in South Dakota, and has one child. Daniel Decker married Eva Case, and died in Mackey. Mary Decker became Mrs. Minor Hagerdorn, of Middleburg, and has one child.
Samuel Decker went to the district school. Besides working on the farm, in his early manhood, he taught school till he was twenty-four. Then he studied medicine, graduating in 1867, at the age of twenty-eight, from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York City. He at once began practice at Griffin's Corners, where he still continues. He did not marry till he had been nearly a decade in practice; but in the centennial year he became the husband of Mary Lasher, belonging to a family of which more is recorded under the proper heading. She was born October 3, 1857, was the daughter of Allen and Eliza (Crosby) Lasher, and the granddaughter of Conrad and Anna C. (Sagendorf) Lasher. Grandfather Lasher was born in Columbia County, and was reared a farmer. He came to Delaware County, and lived here till the great age of ninety; but his wife died young, though the mother of the following children: Robert, Frederick, Edward, Abraham, Allen, Betsey, Marietta, Catherine, none of whom are now living.
The fifth child, Allen Lasher, was born in Columbia County, and came with the others to Delaware County. At first he did business as an insurance agent, and then bought a farm, turning his attention especially to lumber. By degrees he became an extensive speculator in real estate, buying and selling constantly. He had seven children, Edward C. Lasher married first Henrietta Kelley, and second Jennie Ferow. He lives at the hotel in Fleischmanns village and has one child. Emmet Lasher married Allison Vandermark, and lives on the farm belonging to her family, in the same village, and has one child, Mary Eliza Lasher became Dr. Decker's wife. Viola Lasher married T. B. Floyd, an insurance agent in Syracuse. Huldah Lasher married William Whispwell, a New York salesman, and has two children, another having died young. Charles Lasher also lives in New York City. James Lasher is a student at the Annandale College on the Hudson River. Their father died at Griffin's Corners, aged sixty-nine, and their mother at sixty-two. In religion they were Methodists; and he was a Democrat, holding three terms the office of Assessor.
Dr. and Mrs. Decker have three children, all living at home in the pleasant house which their father built in 1879. Lucy Maud was born on the first day of August, 1877. Mary Edith was born March 26, 1880. Harvey was born August 24, 1887. The Doctor is, like his progenitors, a Democrat, and has held several offices. In religion he holds very liberal opinions, and would say, with a man whom he admires - as did his grandfather, who supported that man for President - Thomas Jefferson, -
"Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."
JOHN C. CHAMBERLIN, a highly intelligent resident of Tompkins, comes of good ancestry on both his father's and mother's side. His great-grandfather Chamberlin, who, with three brothers, was in the Revolutionary War, fought at the Battle of Bennington. When peace was declared, he returned to his home at Brattleboro, Vt., and resumed a farmer's life, remaining there until his death. Four of his sons settled in New York State in the latter part of the last century. One of them, Calven Chamberlin, born at Brattleboro in February, 1773 made the journey on horseback, carrying all his earthly possessions on pack horses. He built a log cabin, and for six years employed himself in lumbering and rafting. In June 1799, he bought one hundred and thirty acres of land in Rapalyee's Patent, which is still in possession of the family, and on which he built the second frame house in the town. February 7, 1805, he married Polly M. Clune, whose one child, Mary, married and moved to Connecticut. Calven Chamberlin's second wife was Bersheba Judd, daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Judd, of Penn Yan; and she became the mother of these children - Eliza M., Benjamin J., Nancy Ann, Harriet, Nelson, Daniel D., Emeline, and James. After a long and useful life, the father died in January, 1853, aged eighty years, at the home of his son Daniel, which is one of the most beautiful in that section of the country.
Daniel D. Chamberlin, son of Calven, and the father of the subject of this biography, was born on the old homestead, April 23, 1819, and, after attending the district school, entered the Franklin Academy, receiving an education far superior to that usually considered sufficient for a farmer's son of that time. Upon leaving school, he engaged extensively in farming, lumbering, and operating a dairy, and for a time was a steersman on the river. For some years he was associated in business with William B. Ogden, the Chicago millionaire, who endeavored to persuade him to enter the Western speculations in which Mr. Ogden later made his fortune. However, his love for his native State and his many business interests prevented him from adopting any Western ventures. He built the residence now occupied by his son, John C. He died March 29, 1881. Mr. Chamberlin married November 16, 1833, Miss Elizabeth Foulds, daughter of John S. and Elizabeth (Wheaton) Foulds.
John S. Foulds was a native of Scotland, being born in Greenock on the Clyde. At the age of eleven he ran away from home to go to sea, and was taken on board the clipper "Fannie," which was commanded by his brother-in-law, Captain Black, and was said to be the fastest ship then afloat. His first voyage was to New York; and he later sailed to the West Indies, returning home at the age of sixteen, when he was pressed into the English navy. He participated in three naval engagements with the French, and carried away the scars of the wounds made by pike and cutlass on his face and body. For twenty-eight months this poor boy served his country without pay, throughout all that time never being allowed to land. Is it to be wondered at that he imbibed a hatred for the English which he could never overcome? He finally made his escape from the English ship while she lay off the island of Barbadoes, by dropping overboard, and swimming a mile through water notoriously infested with man eating sharks. After reaching the shore, he lay in hiding for a time, and then secured passage back to Scotland in a ship commanded by an old acquaintance. Upon landing once more on his native shore, he hid himself for three days, fearing discovery, as the government had offered five pounds as a reward for information of deserters. Poor, unfortunate John Foulds was then placed in a hogshead, which was headed up and sent on board his old ship "Fannie," still in command of his brother-in-law, Captain Black; and for three days food and water were passed to him in his hogshead in the hold, as he did not dare to be seen till well out at sea. On his arrival in America, being an expert machinist, he went to New London, Conn., and engaged in the cotton manufacture. Later he moved to New Berlin, and there engaged, as one of the first manufacturers of cotton print in this country, with Colonel Williams, President of the Canal Bank of Albany. On the death of his wife he went to the northern part of Illinois, where he lived for a time, but returned to Cannonsville, and took up his residence with his son-in-law, dying there of pneumonia in 1881, at the age of eighty-seven. John S. Foulds was a Democrat until 1846, when he joined the Whigs, and later the Republicans. He fought in the War of 1812, taking part under General Scott in the battles at Lundy's Lane and Sackett's Harbor. He stood high among the Masons, being a member of the Royal Arch Grand Lodge. During the famous Morgan trial he was asked by the judge when he last saw Morgan, and replied, "I last saw Morgan sailing down Unadilla River in a potash kettle, with a crowbar for a paddle"; and this witty answer is still quoted in that section of the country. Throughout his life he was a firm friend of the negro, often attacking roughs whom he saw abusing them.
John C. Chamberlin, son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Foulds) Chamberlin, was born August 19, 1859, on the old homestead at Tompkins. He attended the district school, and at the age of thirteen entered the Walton Academy, from which he went to Cornell University as a member of the class of 1880. When he was twenty-one, his father died, leaving in his care his invalid mother, who died January 27, 1887, and the management of the estate. In the discharge of the duties which devolved upon him he proved thoroughly conscientious and competent. He now holds the position as Railway Postal Clerk on the N.Y., O. & W. R. R. Mr. Chamberlin is very popular in his native town, possessing the admiration and respect of a host of friends, and has served in several position of trust.
WARREN GALLUP WILLIS, a wealthy land owner and attorney, residing in the town of Masonville, was born in the same place on March 11, 1827. His grandfather, Solomon Willis - or Wyllys, and then Wyllis, as it was formerly spelled was born in Connecticut; and the grandmother's maiden name was Betsey Lathrop. Solomon Willis was old enough to fight in the French and Indian wars; and his commission from George II., dated March 31, 1758, is still in the possession of the family, and highly prized. He was an Ensign, and served in the company of which Phineas Lyman was the Captain.
When the Revolution broke out, Ensign Willis enlisted for the entire war, and was on duty seven years, serving first as Captain. Being the oldest officer in the regiment, he was raised to the rank of Colonel at the battle of Bunker Hill, and held his regiment through the hard fought battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776. He was soon after sent on the expedition against Canada, in which he and his men suffered severely in battle and from the privations and hardships incident to that ill fated invasion. He always cherished a great admiration for the bravery of Benedict Arnold, under whom he served in the arduous march to Quebec, and in the heroic fights there in 1775-76, exploits which won for Arnold the rank of Brigadier general. Colonel Willis was fortunate in never receiving a single wound. Before the wars he had owned considerable property, but came penniless out of the Revolution. The pay due from the British government for the earlier contest was never paid, because Ensign Willis was rightly suspected of rebellious sympathies; and the Continental currency received from the Colonial Congress sank in value till it was practically worthless. After the war was over Colonel Willis returned to Connecticut, where he died at the age of four score, firm in the Presbyterian faith, having reared nine children, who have long since passed away.
Among the veteran's sons was Wearam Willis, who was born in Tolland, Conn., on July 27, 1780, while his father was still serving in the patriotic contest; and he married Hannah Gallup, of Stonington, who was born July 17, 1790. Wearam grew up on the home farm, and received a fair education at the district school. Arrived at his freedom age, he went to Albany as clerk, but in 1808 came to Masonville, where he bought sixty acres of land. After a short time, in 1810, he sold this farm, and bought two hundred and thirteen acres of forest land, wherefrom he cut the first tree and built the first frame house in the region - the place now known as the old Willis homestead. Deer abounded, wolves could be heard howling at night, so that the live stock had to be sedulously protected, and bears made occasional visits. While building his house, Mr. Willis saw one prowling near, and walked toward him, thinking the animal would be frightened away; but Bruin stood on his hind legs for a tussle, and then the settler was the more frightened of the two, and was relieved when at last the grim intruder concluded to sidle away. The nearest market was sixty miles off, among the Catskills, though later Utica grew to be an important centre. Father Willis was a hard working and progressive farmer, acquiring a large property for those days. He was Supervisor, held other town offices, and was practically, as well as theoretically, interested in the welfare of the town. Though not a professor of religion, he was a Trustee in the local Presbyterian society, which he helped to organize. In politics be was a Whig, till the Whig party vanished and Republicans came into power. He was the father of nine children. The first died in infancy, unnamed. Hannah Willis died at fourteen. George Wearam Washington Willis lived to be seventy-six. Melissent Emeline Willis married Lyman Witter, and died in 1866. Nancy R. Willis died unmarried, at the age of twenty-four. Deidamia D. Willis became the wife of Stephen Thatcher, and died at seventy-two. Joshua S. S. Willis was born April 20, 1822, and is a Masonville farmer. John M. Willis lived to be sixty-three. The youngest of the nine is the subject of this sketch. Their father died April 6, 1860, aged fourscore, and the mother four years earlier, on the last day of November, 1856.
Warren G. Willis grew up on the farm, went to the district school and to a select school in the same town, and then studied two years in the Delaware Literary Institute, after which he taught school in this and other counties. As the youngest son, he then returned to the homestead, which he finally owned, adding thereto, till at one period he had over seven hundred acres, the largest farm in the town, devoted to general agriculture and especially to dairy products. In 1850, when only twenty-three years old, Mr. Willis went to California. Being detained on the Isthmus seven or eight weeks, the exposure deprived him of his good health to such an extent that he was unable to remain in the diggings over four months, though he still has one of the golden nuggets he dug straight from the earth. On his return he went to farming until 1874. In 1877 he removed to Albany, in order to study at the law school. He was graduated, receiving his diploma from Union University in 1878. Returning to Masonville, he remained here till 1882, when he once more went to Albany for a year. Then he tried Minnesota for four years, on land still belonging to him; but in 1887 he came back to Masonville, where he continues to reside, practicing law and caring for his real estate both in this town and in Albany. He has not remained on the homestead, however, having sold it in 1880.
His marriage took place September 2, 1856. His wife, Mary Parker, was born in Masonville, August 15, 1835, and is therefore eight years his junior. She was the daughter of Erasmus and Matilda (Humphrey) Parker. Her father was born in North Brookfield, Mass., on June 4, 1808, and her mother in 1806, two years earlier, in Duanesburg, not far from Albany. Mr. Parker was a farmer for a few years in Masonville and Bainbridge, and then went to Minnesota, where he died August 17, 1871. His wife died in Banbridge, Chenango County, June 24, 1857. They were Presbyterians, and reared seven children, of whom five survive. Alexander Parker died when only two years old. Mary Parker married the subject of this sketch. William Haskell Parker, born in 1840, now resides in Otego, Otsego County. Ruth M. Parker married Hunttress Ross, and lives in Florida. Elizabeth Parker married James N. Crandall, and died at the age of forty-six in her Chicago home. George H. Parker and Sarah Newhart Parker reside in Minnesota.
Mr. and Mrs. Warren G. Willis are among the most respected people of the town, have a lovely home, and are surrounded by troops of friends, but have no children. Mr. Willis is an active Republican, and helped organize that party. He was nine years Justice of Peace and three terms Supervisor, and in 1875 was sent to the State Assembly at Albany. Like his father, he is thoroughly alive to whatever concerns the town's welfare, and is a Trustee of the Presbyterian church, which the family attend. It has been said by Horace Greeley, a publicist whom Mr. Willis always admired, "that men who have great riches and little culture rush into business, because they are weary of themselves." Mr. Willis, however, is not open to this implied blame; for he believes in culture, and has pursued it.
While in Minnesota, he and his wife joined the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, and successfully pursued a four years' course, graduating and receiving their diplomas from Dr. Vincent at Chautauqua August 15, 1887.
This interesting biographical sketch, which is accompanied by a portrait of its principal subject, brings to remembrance the saying of a wise essayist: -
"Wealth brings noble opportunities, and competence is a proper object of pursuit; but wealth, and even competence, may be bought at too high a price. Wealth itself has no moral attribute. It is not money, but love of money. which is the root of all evil. It is the relation between wealth and the mind and the character of its possessor which is the essential thing."
ANDREW THOMAS DOIG, a prominent citizen of Bovina, was born in the same town on May 10, 1867, his father being Walter L. Doig, a son of William Doig, and a grandson of Walter Andrew Doig, whose history will be found elsewhere in this volume.
William Doig, the grandfather of Andrew Thomas, was born in Bovina, and owned the Doig homestead of a hundred and eighty-five acres, where he lived for many years, a most prosperous and energetic farmer. He married Jane Forest, who was born in Scotland in 1811 or 1812, and spent the last of his life in Bovina Centre, where his family attended the United Presbyterian church. He died on April 7, 1871, at sixty-three years of age. His son, Walter L. Doig, was born on March 26, 1837. Growing to manhood, he continued the cultivation of the old farm, and was considered one of the most practical men in the vicinity. His wife was Jane McNair, who was born in the town of Andes, August 20, 1839, a daughter of Archibald and Martha McNair. Mr. and Mrs. Walter L. Doig were both members of the United Presbyterian church. He held several public offices, was a Republican and an active politician. He died at the age of fifty-seven at the old home where he was born, and where his widow is still living. They had four sons: William James, Archibald, Andrew T., and Milton A. Doig. William James Doig was born December 19, 1862, was educated in the district schools, and is still living on the homestead, having married on January 27, 1890, Clara M. Sloan, who was born October 4, 1868, at Bovina Centre. Her parents were David Sloan, now living in Colorado, and Margaret (Hillson) Sloan, who died in her thirtieth year. Archibald M. Doig was born on March 16, 1865, and died February 5, 1894. Milton A. Doig was born December 12, 1871, and resides in Bovina Centre, where he is a clerk in his brother Andrew's store.
Andrew T. Doig. the third son of Walter was educated in the district schools, and lived on the old homestead until 1893, when lie opened a store at Bovina Centre. His stock is estimated as worth about seven thousand dollars, and includes a large assortment of goods: for Mr. Doig aims to give his customers the best articles at the lowest prices, and he has built up a large trade. Strict attention to business and his good reputation make him one of the rising young men of the town. He is a Republican, and a member of the United Presbyterian church at Bovina. On June 20, 1894, he married Carrie E. Thompson, a daughter of Andrew and Margaret (Scott) Thompson. Mrs. Doig is a member of the Reformed Presbyterian church, and a further account of the family may be found in the sketch of William S. Thompson. Andrew T. Doig has won the admiration of his townsmen, not only as a man of intrinsic worth and social tact, but as one who, in the words of the poet Saxe, is "always doing his very best."
E. R. HARKNESS, junior member of the firm of Oliver & Harkness, dealers in staple and fancy groceries, provisions, canned goods, and crockery, is a man of superior business ability, and an influential citizen of Delhi. He was born in Kortright on August 27, 1845. He is descended from good old pioneer stock, and is of excellent Irish extraction, the Harkness family having originated in Ireland, whence they emigrated to the United States, settling in Kortright about the year 1800, being among the original settlers of that town. His parents, though both bearing the surname of Harkness, were not related by ties of blood. His father, James Harkness, married Lettie Harkness, and was for many years one of the most extensive land owners of Delaware County, having a good farm in Kortright, and another in the town of Davenport. He was very successful, financially and otherwise, and a man much respected by all. He was born in Kortright in 1800, and his eighty-five years of life were years of activity and usefulness. Of the twelve children born to him and his wife, seven are now living; namely, Charles, James, George, Ebenezer R., Margaret, Eliza, and Frances.
Ebenezer R. Harkness, fourth son of James, was reared to manhood beneath the parental roof, the major part of the time being spent on the Davenport farm. He was graduated from the Franklin Literary Institute when quite young, and then engaged in teaching, beginning in New Jersey, where he taught school for a year. The following two years Mr. Harkness taught in the town of Davenport, coming from there to Delhi, and for four years thereafter being one of its most successful teachers. He relinquished his position as instructor in the public schools to accept that of School Commissioner of the Second District, Delaware County, an office to which he was elected for a term of three years. The duties of that responsible position were fulfilled so satisfactorily that he was subsequently re-elected to that office for another three years' term. The succeeding year Mr. Harkness was special State agent for the Equitable Life Insurance Company, the agency of which he resigned to embark in a mercantile career, forming a partnership with Mr. Oliver. The firm have since carried on an extensive and lucrative trade, their stock being one of the most complete in every department of any similar store in the county.
A man of Mr. Harkness's intelligence and push necessarily occupies an important place among the citizens community, and is often called to positions of trust. Thus he was elected Supervisor of the town of Delhi in 1892, and re-elected to the same office in 1893. He is a man of good judgment and strong convictions, never hesitating to express them freely and frankly, and with all the vigor he can command; and, whatever course he pursues in business or political matters, he is actuated by conscientious motives. When, after mature deliberation, he has found it to be his duty to do or refrain from doing a certain thing for the benefit of his constituents, he has never swerved from his chosen path, as was clearly shown in the recent contest for a new courthouse in Delhi. Knowing that his people were already laboring under the weight of a heavy railway tax, and that there was then no imperative need for a new building, he would not impose on them a further burden. Mr. Harkness was somewhat severely criticized at the time for not voting in favor of said new courthouse; but that the soundness of his judgement and the wisdom of his action have since been admitted is shown by the outspoken expressions of many of his constituents. That he is a loyal citizen, of true public spirit, is never doubted. These strong points in his character, combined with his many allied commendable qualities, have rendered him very popular and successful in all circles of life, either business, social, or political.
Mr. Harkness was united in marriage in 1876 to Miss Libbie Sexsmith, of Kortright Centre, who is the presiding genius of his hospitable home. Both are consistent and valued members of the Second Presbyterian Church of Delhi, wherein Mr. Harkness has served for many years as Elder.
SAMUEL I. BROWN, an enterprising resident of Stamford, was born in this town on September 1, 1850, son of James J. and Lucina (Warren) Brown. His grandfather, Samuel I. Brown, for whom he was named, was born July 28, 1788, and married Mary Hair, who was born in Rhode Island, March 7, 1792. Her family came by boat up the Hudson River to Albany, and then by ox team through the forest, cutting their way part of the distance. She was married to Mr. Brown on October 23, 1806, when he was only eighteen and she fourteen; and they lived awhile in the hopeful town of Esperance, in Schoharie County. The husband held a commission in the War of 1812, which came when he was about twenty-five years old. He did not survive it many years, but died on June 17, 1819. His wife lived over fifty years longer, till December 18, 1870. They had five children: Betsey Brown, born February 20, 1808; Dorcas Brown, born January 29, 1810; James J. Brown, born January 29, 1813; Mary Brown, born July 24, 1815; Nancy Elizabeth Brown, who did not come into the world till September 20, 1819, when her mother had been three months a sad widow.
James J. Brown's birthplace was Saloneville, Schoharie County. Being only six when his father died, the child was bound out as an apprentice when only nine, to learn the trade of wool carding and dressing, his master being Mr. Harrington, of the town of Bethlehem, on Norman's Kill, in Albany County. With Mr. Harrington the boy remained till he was a man of twenty-one, in 1834. He worked in the same place at his trade eight years longer, till 1842, when he moved to Stamford, and took charge of the clothing works. His next change was to Hobart, as superintendent in a cashmere factory; but after some years he went to Prattsville, where he held a similar position for some years. Coming to Stamford, he bought a factory, which he carried on three years, and then sold, in order to take up farming. But his attachment to his old trade was too strong for him to enjoy being out of it; and in 1857, when nearly forty-five, he bought land on River Street, where he erected what is known as Brown's mills. This was his last business change. He was an Odd Fellow, belonging to Hobart Lodge; and in politics he was a Republican. His death took place on New Year's Day, 1875, when he was sixty-two; but he had already been a widower eighteen years, his wife, Lucina Warren Brown, dying August 14, 1857. They had four children: Maria Brown married Mr. Merrill for her first husband, and Charles Parridie for her second, and has borne six children, of whom four are living. The second is Samuel I., of this sketch. The third, Adam G. Brown married Adeline Smith, now deceased, and lived in Detroit with his one child. The other child of James J. Brown died in babyhood.
Samuel I. Brown was educated in Stamford Seminary, but began learning the trade of a clothier when only ten years old. At sixteen he decided to do farm work. Three years later, in 1869, he became clerk in a dry-goods store in Stamford, where he remained till 1874, when he bought a woollen factory near his father's, which he conducted till 1881, seven years. His next change was into a partnership with H. S. Preston, keeping a provision market in Stamford. In 1883 he bought out his partner's interest, and began running the business on his own account, meanwhile moving his family into the seminary building, where he conducted the boarding department for seven years. Subsequently, he bought the Presbyterian church property, and remodeled the building into a tenement house and a meat market. In 1890 he bought the Widow Foote estate, and there built a large boarding-house, called Greycourt, a building measuring thirty-six feet by eighty, five stories high, with accommodations for seventy-five boarders.
In 1876, the centennial year, Mr. Brown married Mary Mackey, of Stamford, of whose family a few particulars should be here set down. She was born in Denning, Ulster County, but brought up in Gilboa, Albany County. Her parents were Albert and Sarah (Kingsley) Mackey. Albert Mackey was born the first day of July, 1824, and was the son of Daniel Mackey and Mary Wicks. Daniel Mackey was bred a farmer in Albany County, and continued in that pursuit all his life. He lived to be seventy-eight, and his wife seventy-five. They reared six children: Marilla, Orin, Elizabeth, Albert Aaron, Nancy Elizabeth, and Louisa Mackey, of whom five survive. Albert Mackey, the second son and third child, was born in Albany County, like his father, and has followed agriculture in that county, and also in Schoharie and Ulster Counties, though at present he lives with his wife in Stamford. Of their three children, J. Irwin Mackey lives in Main, Emily Mackey, wife of Orin Edwards, lives in Massachusetts, and Mary Mackey is Mrs. Samuel I. Brown.
From this union have come two children: M. Louise Brown, born October 3, 1877; and Roy S. Brown, on November 21, 1884. The father is a Republican, holding for several years a place on the local Board of Education; and he and his wife belong to the Baptist church, though the daughter Louise is a Presbyterian. Mr. Brown has a large business patronage, both from city boarders and provision customers, his market being the largest in Stamford. It is such men as Mr. Brown who can say, with Oliver Goldsmith,: "The fortunate circumstances of our lives are generally found at last to be of our own producing."
SAMUEL CURTIS PETTINGILL, M.D., is a retired physician of Hancock, Delaware County. His grandfather, Edmund Pettingill, was born in Massachusetts, of old Puritan ancestry, and fought in the Revolution, after which he resumed the occupation of farming, and about 1785 moved to Butternuts, Otsego County, N.Y. A pioneer settler there, he cleared the land and erected buildings. He married a Miss Curtis, of Massachusetts, and both lived to be over ninety years of age. Their mortal remains were laid to rest in the old burial-ground at Butternuts. They were the parents of six children, their two sons, Edmund and Josiah, being born before the family moved to New York.
Josiah Pettingill was educated in Massachusetts, and after the removal of the family from that State assisted his father on the home farm. Starting out in life for himself, he purchased land in Butternuts, which he cleared, and there built his home. His wife was Lydia Hawkins, of Rhode Island; and she became the mother of eleven children, namely: Fanny, who married Guile Bump, of Otsego County; Abigail, who married Jacob Bump, a brother of Guile; Lyman, whose wife was Phoebe Morgan, of Bennington, VT.; Alanson, who married Almira Sawyer, of Butternuts; Alonzo, who became the husband of Lucy Davis, of Butternuts; Josiah, who died in childhood; Josiah, the second; Edmund; Samuel; Lydia, wife of Lewis Millard, of Butternuts; Sarah, who married and settled in Ohio. About 1835 the family moved to Ohio in teams overland, and settled in Kirtland, Lake County; and there the venerable parents of this large family passed the evening of their lives; dying at an advanced age.
Samuel Curtis Pettingill was born May 18, 1811, at Butternuts, and received his early education at the district school, later attending the Gilbertsville Academy. Until twenty-three years of age he remained at home, and assisted about the farm work. He commenced to practice as a physician in Masonville, where he lived for four years, and then located his office in Hancock. The country there being almost unsettled at that time, the roads were little better than deer paths, and accordingly the Doctor was obliged to make his visits on horseback, by canoe, or on foot. The town of Hancock then boasted of but one store, a hotel, a grist-mill, and a few scattered houses whose inhabitants depended on the products of the land and the little money they could get from their lumber, which they rafted down the river to Philadelphia, returning on foot.
October 14, 1840, Dr. Pettingill married Miss Salome Hoag, daughter of Ezra and Charlotte (White) Hoag, of Massachusetts. They were married in Cannonsville, and had four children: Lucius L., born July 26, 1842; Edmund L.; Samuel C., Jr.; and Warner, who was born November 19, 1846, and died May 22, 1853. Lucius L. Married Fanny D. Frazier, and had four children: Alonzo, born November 29, 1868; Jennie L., born August 19, 1870; Alice Edna, born January 4, 1873; and Samuel C., born December 31, 1874. He established himself in Hancock in a drug store, where he remained until his death, February 8, 1882. He is buried at Riverview. His brother Edmund was a physician, a graduate of Yale in the year of 1871, and located his office in Hancock, marrying Miss Ida Allison, of that town. He died August 16, 1881, aged thirty-one years, and is buried at Riverview.
Dr. Pettingill is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Free Masons. He has been on the Board of Education, and has also served as Justice of the Peace. About 1892 he retired from active practice, having been an energetic and faithful worker in his time; and now, honored and respected, he enjoys the comfort and peace deserved by a man who has spent so many years in useful service to his fellow-beings.
JAMES TOWNSEND is an influential resident of Middletown. Delaware County, N.Y., though his post-office address is Pine Hill, Ulster County. A proper sketch of this gentleman involves the history of the Townsend family, so we may begin with James's great-grandfather, Robert, who married Sarah Morehouse. Robert Townsend was in Bridgeport, Conn., whence he came to Middletown in 1817. Here Mr. Townsend bought a grist-mill where the one now owned by Mr. Doolittle stands. For this he paid eight hundred dollars in gold: but, as the property was under the cloud of a small mortgage, the new purchaser lost it by foreclosure. Then he went into the mountains, and bought a hundred and thirty acres in the valley ever since known as Townsend's Hollow, where he cleared land, at once cutting enough timber for a log house. There were wild animals to be faced, as well as hardships. Careful watch had to be kept over the stock by night as well as day, to guard from prowlers both two-legged and four-legged. Nevertheless, pluck and perseverance overcame all obstacles; and Pioneer Townsend established a reputation not to be forgotten in many generations. He raised three boys and a girl. Morris Townsend married Anna Johnson. Alfred Townsend married Kattie Blish, and with this line we are more especially concerned. Seth Townsend married Hannah Johnson, a sister of his brother Morris's wife. Their sister, Abbie Townsend, married Floyd Smith. Their father died at fourscore, and so did his wife, dying, as they had lived, in the Methodist faith. Politically, Mr. Townsend grew up a Democrat; but he lived to see the rise and growth of the Republican party, whose ranks he joined in his latter years.
Robert Townsend's son Alfred was born in Connecticut in 1805, eleven years before the removal of the Townsends to Delaware County. On attaining his majority, he bought the paternal farm from the other heirs; and he added more land thereto, till he owned some six hundred acres. Of course, the new land had to be cleared, and this involved plenty of hard work; and he also gave much attention to pulling bark, and article greatly in demand for use in tanneries, as well as for other purposes. His wife was a daughter of Silas Blish, and they raised four children. Sylvanus Townsend married Jane Barrett, and had five children. His widow now lives on Pine Hill. Of Isaac Townsend more will presently be recorded. Jane Townsend married Philip Lasher, whose family descent is elsewhere sketched in another volume; and one of his three children is still on the earth. Grandfather Alfred Townsend lived to be seventy-eight; and the grandmother seventy-six. Both were Methodists, and the husband was a Democrat. They continued on the farm till the end, though during the last nine years it was in the hands of their son Isaac.
Isaac Townsend was born in Greene County on September 13, 1836, and went to school in a log cabin. At twenty-two he married Hannah Woolheater, the sixth child and third daughter of Ezekiel and Betsey (Avery) Woolheater. The Woolheaters were among the early settlers, and Father Woolheater was a very enterprising man. He and his wife reared eight children--Margaret, John, Catherine, James, Noah, Hannah, Orrison, and Anthony Woolheater. Their father lived to be eighty, and their mother seventy-five; and they both were adherents of the Baptist church. Only one child has come to Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Townsend. This son, James Townsend, was born June 13, 1839, and on November 29, 1879, married Alice Winchell, daughter of John L. And Rebecca A. Winchell, of Brown Station, Ulster County; and they have four children, as follows: Henry A., Granville, Willobell, Rebecca A.
On coming into possession of the homestead, Mr. Isaac Townsend greatly improved it, putting up new buildings; and he and his son James have room for twenty-five city boarders in their spacious residence, known far and wide as the Townsend Farmhouse. Father and son own twin farms, about a quarter of a mile apart. On one are kept as many cows as there are boarders, twenty-five; and on the other there are the same number of sheep, but only ten cows. Both father and son follow Grandfather Alfred Townsend in their Democratic politics, but in religion they pride themselves on their liberality. Both belong to the Knights of Pythias, Lodge No. 233, and also to the Masonic lodge in Margarettville, No. 389. In fact they are one in sentiment and social tastes, more like brothers than like father and son. Their estates are in first-class condition, and are situated three miles from Pine Hill, and a half-mile farther from Griffin's Corners. It is delightful to be in such a home as the one here noted.
MRS. AMELIA (BUELL) CHAMBERLAIN, widow of Elijah B. Chamberlain, has resided in her present home for upward of forty years, and has performed with fidelity her duties as wife, mother, neighbor, and friend, winning the esteem and confidence of all with whom she comes in contact. Since her marriage to Mr. Chamberlain, which was celebrated in 1850, she has led a domestic life, attending to the duties involved in the care of home and children, and proved herself an able coadjutor of her husband in his efforts to secure a home.
In 1852 Mr. Chamberlain bought two hundred acres of the present home farm, paying three thousand five hundred dollars for it, but being obliged to run in debt two thousand five hundred dollars. He was eminently skillful and shrewd as a farmer and as a business man, and, after freeing himself from his indebtedness, bought eighty-five acres of adjoining land, and continued his profitable labors in general farming and dairying. He placed his land under an excellent state of cultivation, and further improved it by the erection of the necessary buildings, and in 1878 built the fine barn which ornaments the place. He usually kept from twenty to thirty cows, and manufactured butter, selling it during the first year for thirteen cents per pound. His son-in-law now owns and manages the farm and has enlarged the dairy to forty cows, but, instead of making butter, sends his milk to the creamery.
Mr. Chamberlain was a native-born citizen, his birth occurring in 1822; and his life of sixty-seven years was spent within the limits of the town of Franklin, the date of his death being December 28, 1889. His parents, William and Sally (Bemis) Chamberlain, were of Connecticut birth, and after their marriage migrated to this county, where the father worked at the trade of carpenter until disabled by rheumatism. The mother died when a little over threescore years of age, the father surviving her, and dying at the home of his son Elijah in 1864, in the seventy-ninth year of his age. They reared five sons, only two of whom are now living. Enos and Rebecca (Chamberlain) Bemis, the maternal grandparents of Mr. Chamberlain, were natives of Connecticut; and both lived beyond the allotted threescore and ten years, he departing this life in 1848, and she passing to the better world September 3, 1853.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain was brightened by the birth of seven children, one of whom, Mariette, died June 6, 1854, at the tender age of three years. The record of the remaining children is as follows: Alice Maria is the wife of Charles Eveland, a farmer in the town of Franklin. William Henry, a widower, resides in Binghamton. Clarence Augustus, a farmer residing in Franklin, has a wife and three daughters. Mary, the wife of George Sanley, the owner of the homestead property, has two children: Grace, four years old; and Dwight, a little boy of three years. Minnie, the wife of Morris Hallock, of Merrickville, has two sons. Charles E., a farmer living in Franklin, has two children, a son and daughter.
Mr. Sanley has continued the improvements already begun on the home farm, and in 1891 built a new wagon-house. He keeps a winter dairy, having from fifty to sixty head of dehorned cattle, grade Jerseys, Holsteins, and some pure bloods, and feeds them on ensilage from his large silo. He is an enterprising and energetic farmer, carrying on his agricultural labors with an enthusiasm and earnestness that insure his unquestioned success. Mrs. Chamberlain is a valued member of the Congregational church, of which her husband was a Trustee.
WILLIAM COBBE, one of Delaware County's energetic and exceedingly prosperous farmers, is the owner of a finely improved estate in the town of Hamden. The worldly goods of which he is possessed have been accumulated by the work of his hands and the sweat of his brow, and the confidence and esteem in which he is held by his neighbors are the result of his upright course in life. He was born in King's County, Ireland, in 1839, being the son of Joseph Cobbe, who was a native of Queen's County, and a life-long resident of the Emerald Isle, dying there in 1887, aged eighty-three years. Joseph was three times married, and had eight children by his first wife, Mary Short, the mother of William, three by his second wife, and fourteen children by his third wife.
Maria, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Cobbe, was the first of the family to come to America. She emigrated with her husband in 1847, and settled in Ulster County, New York. When her brother, William Cobbe was twenty years old, resolving to seek his fortune in the New World, he took passage in a sailing-vessel, and for seven dreary weeks was tossed on the broad Atlantic. He had barely enough money to pay his fare to New York, and long ere reaching his sister's home in West Hurley ran out of funds. He was fortunate enough to find kind friends, however; and, after reaching his destination, he secured work in a stone quarry, where he remained for two years. He next hired himself out on a farm, receiving one hundred and twenty-five dollars for his first year's work. Mr. Cobbe was a very industrious, steady young man, and continued to work out for eight years, his wages being increased from time to time, until they amounted to four hundred dollars annually. On January 26, 1864, Mr. Cobbe was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Goodenough, who was born in the Black river country, in the town of Lowville, being a daughter of William and Maria (Martin) Goodenough, both natives of New York. Mrs. Goodenough, now an aged woman, having lived nearly eighty-four years on this earth, is a resident of Oneonta, and has been a widow for ten years, her husband having died in 1884, at the age of fourscore and three years. They reared a family of three sons and eight daughters, and of these children seven are now living.
Mr. and Mrs. Cobbe began their wedded life in a humble way, hiring a small house, in which they lived for some years, both laboring diligently. In 1870 Mr. Cobbe made his first purchase of land, buying one hundred acres, for which he paid four thousand dollars, going into debt to the extend of three thousand five hundred dollars on his farm and the stock which he put on it. He labored with heroic toil in his endeavors to meet his expenses, and his efforts were crowned with success. Four years later he bought another tract of one hundred acres, paying for it three thousand two hundred dollars; and in 1882 he bought still another one hundred acres, for which he gave one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars. On this valuable estate of three hundred acres he has placed many important improvements. The large barn which he built in 1887, at a cost of three thousand dollars, is a handsome and conveniently arranged structure, eighty feet by forty feet, with a wing forty feet by twenty-six feet, and a basement, with twenty-four feet post above. It has accommodations for seventy head of cattle and seven horses, and space for one hundred and fifty tons of hay. Not having sufficient room for all of his cattle. Mr. Cobbe built another stock barn in 1894, and now keeps on his farm eighty head of dehorned cattle and grade Jerseys, and milks from forty-eight to fifty cows, manufacturing a superior quality of butter, which he sells in New York. He cuts about two hundred tons of hay each year on this farm, which, when he bought it, would not yield sufficient hay to keep twenty cows.
Six children have been born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cobbe, two of whom, a son and a daughter, died in infancy. Four grew to mature life, as follows: Justus, a farm laborer, lives near Delhi. Willie died in 1890, at the age of twenty-three years. Charles and John are both living with their parents, and assist in the care of the home farm. In his political views Mr. Cobbe is a decided Democrat, and religiously both he and his excellent wife are valued members of the United Presbyterian church at Mundale.
HIRAM McFARLAND belongs to the well-known agricultural firm of McFarland Brothers, of Bovina, Delaware County, N.Y., where several members of the family reside on the old McFarland estate. Their grandparents were Thomas and Elizabeth (Thompson) McFarland. Thomas McFarland was born in 1769, six years before the commencement of the war which emancipated the American colonies from British tyranny; but probably the McFarland family were not interested in this event, for they lived in Ireland, and Thomas did not come to America till 1785, when he was sixteen years old. Though a weaver by trade, he did not pursue the craft in this country. He married a Pennsylvania lady; and about the beginning of this century he came to that part of Delaware County now known as Bovina, and he bought eighty-five acres of land, in the midst of which was a small clearing for a log house. The rest of the ground he had to clear for himself. Being a man of good education, he became one of the earliest school-masters in this region; but his chief attention was given to his land. He belonged to the Presbyterian church in South Kortright, was a Jeffersonian Democrat, lived to be nearly ninety years old, and died on April 11, 1858. He had ten children, of whom two only survive; namely, Mrs. Martha Boylan and Mrs. Rebecca Ormiston, both widows, one living in the State of Iowa, and other in the town of Delhi.
Thomas McFarland's son, Andrew T., was born on the homestead, November 15, 1805. He grew up on the farm , which he subsequently inherited; and on January 19, 1832, was married to Jane Russell, who was born April 19, 1806, and was the daughter of James Russell, one of the earliest Bovina pioneers, whose marriage to Nancy Ritchie, in 1799, was the first in the new settlement. Mr. Russell was a stone-mason as well as a farmer, occupied the land where Archibald Erkson now lives, was a sturdy Democrat and an Elder in the Bovina Presbyterian church, and died in Delhi at fourscore years of age. Of his ten children the only one now living is Mrs. Helen Murray, of Hamden. Their mother died in our centennial year, having reach her threescore and ten.
After his marriage Andrew T. McFarland continued to live on the homestead, which grew under his fostering care till he owned nearly a hundred and eighty acres. He was active in town affairs, was Supervisor for two terms, and held minor offices. Like his father-in-law Russell, he was an elder in the United Presbyterian church at Bovina. In early life he was a Democrat, but joined the Republicans when he believed his old party faithless to solid Jeffersonian antislavery principles. In 1881 he passed away on February 27, aged seventy-six; but his widow lingered till the first day of August, 1889, when she was eighty-three. Of their four boys and as many girls six survive.
Hiram McFarland is the oldest son, and was born March 5, 1833. He was educated in the district school and worked at home finally obtaining a joint proprietorship in the homestead where he still lives. When nearly forty, on October 5, 1871, he married Rachel Winter, who was somewhat his senior, having been born in Middletown, February 24, 1827. She died December 29, 1891, aged sixty-four, leaving no children, though they had adopted a son, Chauncy McFarland. Hiram McFarland is like his father both in religion and politics, being a Presbyterian and a Republican. His sister, Emily Jane McFarland, born October 14, 1836, is now Mrs. William Burns, of Delhi. The next son, Madison McFarland, born October 2, 1839, is a carpenter and a Republican, and resides in Kansas City, Mo. Louisa McFarland was born March 21, 1841, and is still gracing the home, of which she is the attractive centre, having a proprietary interest in the homestead and a religious interest in the family church. Andrew McFarland was named for his father, and born December 12, 1842. He is a Republican in politics, but is liberal in his religious views. In his name the agricultural business is carried on; for he remains on the old home farm, and is unmarried. Thomas Russell McFarland, who was born March 25, 1845, also retains an interest in the homestead, and is like his brother Andrew in political and religious opinions; but he is a jeweler by trade. Two daughters have passed away. Elizabeth McFarland, born September 11, 1834, died on the last day of May, 1882, on the homestead and unmarried. Indeed, it can hardly be said the McFarlands are given to marrying; for her sister Anna Maria, born December 9, 1847, died single, in Missouri, on February 15, 1890.
The McFarland brothers have a large dairy, owning twenty-six cows, besides attending to general farming. They have a good her of full-blooded and grade Jerseys, with a capital pedigree and record for milk production. For many years the old farm-house has served its purpose, but now a more modern and showy residence is in process of construction. In reading the records of such a family as the McFarlands one is impressed with the prosperous diversities of American life.
ERASTUS DODGE DOOLITTLE is a sagacious and enterprising miller in Fleischmanns village, in Middletown, Delaware County, and was born in the same town in the village of Clovesville, January 10, 1847. His grandparents were Joseph and Lorena (Dunham) Doolittle. He was born in Connecticut, and was trained a miller there, but in March 1824, at the age of thirty-three, brought his knowledge to Delaware County, where first he ran a mill at Rose Brook. The country being newly opened and Mr. Doolittle being a man of experience as a millwright, he was summoned to many places to assist in building and starting mills. Among others he built the mill at Fleischmanns village, now carried on by his grandson Erastus, though it was put up for Noah Ellis. Grandfather Doolittle also bought a carding-mill at Clovesville, which he managed for nineteen years; and in that village he died, on October 8, 1859, not long before the Civil War. He was then sixty-eight years old, having been born in 1791, during Washington's first Presidential term. He was politically a Democrat. His wife lived to be eighty-five, and both were Methodists. They brought into the world six children, namely: Allen Doolittle, who died young; George, of whom more is presently to be written; Mary Doolittle, no longer living; Martha Doolittle, who came next in order; then William Dunham and Allen Cook Doolittle, the latter living in Massachusetts.
The father of the special subject of this sketch was George Washington Doolittle, who was born in Burlington, Conn., before his father's removal to the Empire State, and at the age of twelve was bound out as apprentice to a wool spinner and dyer, Charles W. Booth, in Hobart, Delaware County. At twenty he was able to work for himself in the town of Walpole, Norfolk County, Mass.; but after a time he came to Griffin's Corners, to be in business with his father. Here he remained till his retirement from active life. In 1841, February 4, he was married to Sally Jane, the daughter of an enterprising farmer, Joseph Dodge, whose wife was Sally Burgin. George and Sally J. Doolittle had children, whose record in brief is as follows: Mary Doolittle married Allen L. Myers, agent of the Kingston granite quarry, and has one child. Erastus D. is the miller at Fleischmanns. Clara Doolittle is the wife of Fletcher Hill, of Prattville, and has borne seven children, of whom four are living. Allen Sanford Doolittle lives at Griffin's Corners, and has one child by his wife, Clara Todd. Loretta Doolittle is the wife of C. H. Vermilya, sketched in another section, the station agent at Griffin's Corners, but has no children. Martha Frances and Olive Burgin Doolittle have passed into the better land. Their father was the Republican Postmaster in Clovesville fourteen years, and in religious matters was a free-thinker.
Erastus Dodge Doolittle bears his mother's family name. He went to the district school awhile, and then began carving out his own fortune. In 1871, at the age of twenty-four, he began working for his father in the carding-mills. Subsequently he purchased of John Vandermark the site of the old mill which Grandfather Doolittle had built long before; and then he began grinding corn, wheat, buckwheat, and fertilizers on his own account, besides doing a great deal of custom work. The products are shipped to many places, but mostly to Maryland and Washington. In the decade from 1875 to 1885 Mr. Doolittle did an immense business, and is still shipping a hundred tons of buckwheat flour southward every winter. In addition to his mill he owns the store on the opposite side of the street, and a blacksmithy and cooper's shop near by. His wife, Elizabeth Jane Person, was born January 11, 1842. She was the daughter of John A. and Mary (Osterhoudt) Person, of Clovesville, where the father, a Democrat, kept a store and hotel, and was foremost in all local affairs. He died in middle life, aged forty-eight, leaving three children--Charles, George, and Elizabeth. His widow was married the second time to Judge W. A. Ten Broeck, of whom a separate sketch may be found in the volume.
Mr. and Mrs. Erastus D. Doolittle have been blessed with nine children, of whom six are still on the earth. George Person Doolittle was born February 29, 1870, married Ada Jenkins, has one child, and has lived at Fleischmanns and in Stamford. Mary Doolittle was born December 19, 1874; Kate Doolittle on February 28, 1878; Anna on January 22, 1880; Frank on April 9, 1882; Joseph on January 11, 1889. Charles, Allen, and Freddy died in childhood. In politics their father is a Republican, and his religion is practical rather than theological.
The life-like portrait of Mr. Doolittle on a preceding page shows a vigorous scion of good New England stock, a man yet in the prime of life, whose career has been characterized by industry, growth, and prosperity.
SAMUEL TERRY, a substantial farmer and highly respected citizen of Walton, has spent the major part of his existence within the limits of that town, watching the growth and development of this section of the county with a deep and personal interest, and contributing his share toward bringing the town to its present prosperous condition. He was born in Terry Clove, in the town of Hamden, July 19, 1829, and is a son of Samuel Terry, a native of the same place. Mr. Terry is of New England stock, and the descendant of a pioneer of Delaware County, his paternal grandfather, Urband Terry, having removed from Connecticut, the State of his nativity, to Hamden, when this portion of the county was in its virgin wildness. He was accompanied by Gilbert Townsend, and each took up a tract of land in that part of the town afterward known as Terry Clove. There he built a log house, into which he moved with his wife and two children, and in which the remaining children of his family were born. In the course of time he cleared and improved a farm from the forest, remaining there until his death, in September, 1840, at the ripe old age of four-score years. At the time of his settlement in Hamden his nearest neighbors were some distance away, the new settlement of DeLancey being five miles distant, and Pepacton eight miles in another direction. He married Huldah Tiff; and they reared eight children--Nathan, Elihu, Darius, Samuel, Bane, Ovanda, Loretta, and Lucinda.
Samuel Terry, Sr., was reared to agricultural pursuits, assisting his father in uprooting the giant trees and clearing the land for tillage purposes, remaining beneath the parental roof until becoming of age. He then bought a tract of land, and for many years thereafter worked hard to improve it. He subsequently sold his first farm, and buying another, on Mallory Brook, there carried on general farming for some time, meeting with varied success until his demise, which occurred when he was fifty-six years old. His wife was in her maiden days known as Abigail Signor, being a daughter of Jacob Signor. Her parents were of German origin, and reared nine children--Susan, Catherine, Albert, John, Jane, Thomas, Mary, Theodorus, and Abigail. Mr. Signor was a farmer by occupation, but spent the last years of his life retired, in Terry Clove. The parental household of our subject included twelve children: Abigail; Jane; Julia, who died when three years old; Theodore; Catherine; Dow; Marcus; Harrison; Samuel; Calder; Ferris; and Wesley. The mother was a devoted member of the Presbyterian church. She spent her declining years in Hamden, living in ease and comfort, and died at the venerable age of eighty-eight.
Samuel Terry attended the district school of his native town, and in common with other farmers' sons early became familiar with the general labors of a farm. He assisted his father until the death of the latter, and then went to Colchester, where he engaged in farming for nearly twenty years, in addition to the lumber business. On April 5, 1869, Mr. Terry took possession of his present farm, and industriously and energetically set about its improvement, in the course of time receiving due reward for his labors. He rebuilt the house, erected a new barn, and established a fine dairy, which now consists of forty-nine Holstein and Jersey cattle. The milk is sent to the creamery at Walton.
The union of Mr. Terry with Agnes C. Holmes was solemnized April 9, 1863. Mrs. Terry is of Scotch descent, and is a daughter of Walter and Elizabeth (Blair) Holmes, who were prosperous farmer in Delhi. Walter Holmes was born in Paisley, Scotland, and at the age of seventeen years came to this county with his father, John Holmes, who, bringing his wife and two children, located on Scotch Mountain, in Delhi, being one of the earliest settlers. His son Walter succeeded him in the possession of the homestead, which he improved, there spending his remaining days. He and his wife reared eight children; namely, Mary, William, Thomas, John, Elizabeth, Archibald, Ebenezer, and Agnes. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Terry has been brightened by the birth of three children: Lizzie Abbie, who married W. D. Burns, of Walton, and who is the mother of two children--Mildred and Aubrey; Samuel T., formerly a clerk, but now engaged in farming on the homestead; Walter L., a young man of fine mental ability, is taking the scientific course at Schenectady College. Before her marriage Mrs. Burns was a very successful teacher in the public school.
Mr. Terry, who is warmly interested in the temperance cause, uniformly casts his vote with the Prohibition party. Religiously, he is a very active and esteemed member of the Presbyterian church.
JOHN BROWN, an honored citizen and successful farmer, was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, September 9, 1832, a son of Robert and Agnes (McCheyne) Brown, both natives of the same shire. Robert Brown came to America in 1835, and first settled in Prattsville, working in Colonel Pratt's family. He lived there about three years, and then moved to Meredith, where he bought a farm of two hundred acres, upon which he spent the last years of his life, dying at the age of eighty-six years. His widow died November 24, 1894, on the same farm, at the age of ninety years. They were both members of the United Presbyterian church, and he was a Republican in politics. Their family comprised eight children, but four of whom are now living: John, the subject of this sketch; Marion, the wife of James Ainslee, a resident of the town of Delhi; Jane, the wife of James Murdock, a farmer residing in Kortright; and William M. Brown, who resides in the town of Meredith, and is engaged in farming on the old homestead.
John Brown received his education at the district schools of Meredith and Delhi. He assisted on the farm, and lived at home until he was twenty-one years of age. December 10, 1857, he married Sarah A. Griffin, of Kortright, a daughter of William Griffin, who was an early settler of the town, but who is now deceased, as is also his wife. To Mr. and Mrs. Brown were born three children: Martha Jane, who died when six years old; Cora A., the wife of E. M. Powell, a hardware dealer in Bloomville; and Robert William, who is a farmer.
Since becoming the owner of the farm where he now resides, Mr. Brown has added to it, and made extensive improvements. At first there were but one hundred and sixteen acres; but he has purchased land until he now owns one hundred fifty-six acres. The dairy comprises thirty head of grade Jerseys, and averages two hundred and twenty-five pounds of butter per head per year. For ten years Mr. Brown lived in the log house which was on the place when he came, but by energy and hard work, combined with skill and foresight, has achieved success, and has erected all the building and his spacious residence. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Bloomville. Politically, he is a stanch adherent of the Republican party.
CALEB BRUNDEGE, an intelligent, practical farmer, proprietor of one hundred and eighty well-tilled acres in the town of Tompkins, N.Y., was born May 10, 1842, in the adjoining town of Masonville, son of James D. Brundege, who was a native of Saratoga, N.Y. The first Brundege in this country came from Holland and settled on Long Island before the Revolutionary War. He raised a family of thirteen sons. One of his descendants, Daniel Brundege, the father of James D., was born in Saratoga, and when but a youth engaged in farming in that town. A few years later he bought land in Coxsackie, Greene County, where he was one of the first settlers, and assisted in the raising of the first frame building by the square rule. The father of Daniel Brundege was a stanch patriot at the time of the Revolution; and a band of Indians and Tories, knowing this, came and plundered his house of all they could find, the family, with the exception of Daniel, who was but a small boy, and his little sister, having fled to the mountains to hide their clothes in the rocks. Mr. Brundege lived to the advanced age of eighty-four years, and died at the home of his son, James D., in Masonville.
James D. Brundege came when a boy with his parents to Coxsackie, where he attended the district schools of the town, afterward assisting his parents on the home farm, and a few years later working in the grist-mill. When twenty-two years of age, he married Hannah Pierce, of Coxsackie; and by this marriage there were eight children, namely: Mary, who married Abraham Teed, of Masonville; Levi, who married Fayette Dibble, of Masonville; Sarah Jane, who married Debias Finch, of Tompkins; James C., who died when twenty-one years of age; Cordelia, who married Edward Pierson, of Masonville; Caleb, the subject of this sketch; Perline, who died when ten years of age; and Fields, who married Abbie Hoag, of Tompkins.
Caleb Brundege received an education such as the farmers' sons of his day obtained at the district schools of the town, and until he started in life for himself, assisted his father on the home farm. He first purchased fifty acres from his father; and, as he grew in experience and desired a wider field for his labors, he sold this and finally bought one hundred and eighty acres in Tompkins, where he resides at the present day. On November 26, 1855, he married Helen Sutton, daughter of Sherman and Laurana (Folkerson) Sutton, of Hancock. Sherman Sutton's father, Caleb Sutton, was born in Westchester County, New York, was one of the earliest settlers in Hancock, and a resident and respected citizen of that town until his death. He married Sally Ann Flatenburg, a descendant of one of the earliest settlers of New York State. Sherman Sutton attended the district school of his native town, and started for himself in farming at an early age. He married Laurana Folkerson, daughter of Joseph Folkerson, in the town of Hancock; and, coming from East Branch in 1845, he bought a tract of timber land in Tompkins, where he engaged in the timber business for a few years, and then started a hotel on Trout Creek road. This last was not such a success financially as the former had been; and in a short time he gave it up, and went back to the lumber business. He now lives at the home of his son, Wallace Sutton, at Cannonsville, practically a retired lumber dealer. His daughter Helen was educated in her native town, and resided with her parents until her marriage.
Mr. and Mrs. Brundege have four children. The eldest, Watson J., who was born in Masonville, December 8, 1866, married Maggie J. Peck, of Tompkins. Sherman, born in Masonville, July 20, 1869, married Alice Scofield, and is engaged in the grocery business at Granton. Lorena M., their only daughter, was born in Tompkins, December 5,1875. Jasper, the youngest son, who lives at home with his parents, was born in Tompkins on June 1, 1879. Mr. Brundege is interested in all that concerns the welfare of the town, and has held offices of trust. Both he and his estimable wife are descended from early Dutch settlers of New York, and, like their ancestors, are respected and honored members of the community in which they live.
Index to Biographical Review