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 7 - pages 301 through 347
FRANK H. McLEAN, son of Eleanor (Burr) McLean, is a noteworthy citizen and merchant of the town of Arena, in Middletown, Delaware County, New York, where he was born September 13, 1857. His grandparents, Alexander and Christina McLean were Scotch, and came to America in 1836, being eight weeks on the voyage.
Soon after landing in New York City, Mr. Alexander McLean came to Arkville, Delaware County, and speedily found work as a blacksmith, having learned the trade in the old country. After two years in Arkville he went for a season to Clark's factory, still pursuing the same calling, but later he bought the hundred and eighty-five-acre farm in Arena, still known by his name. There he built the first house and barn, cleared the land and became a successful agriculturist. In politics a Democrat, and in religion a Presbyterian, he lived to the good age of seventy-four, his wife living to be a decade older. Ten children blessed their ingleside: Alexander, named for the father; Isabella; Jeannette; Christina, named for her mother; John, father of Frank H.; James; Andrew; Mary; David and George. From farming John McLean naturally drifted into lumbering, and for thirty years has been superintendent of the sawmills near Arena, enabling him to thoroughly prepare the lumber he purchases for the market. In politics he is a Democrat. He married Eleanor Burr, a daughter of Cyrus Burr; and they raised two children, of whom Frank H. McLean, the subject of this sketch, is the elder, the other being his sister, Mary Christina McLean, named for her grandmother McLean, and still living at home.
Frank H. McLean was educated in the public schools. After passing his majority, he began a new career as a clerk for Fletcher and Burr, general merchants, the junior member of the firm being his cousin, and for five years, he continued in the employ of Mr. Fletcher. Then there was another change, and for two years he was with Fletcher and Ellsworth. In 1891 Mr. McLean purchased the hardware store of Mr. E. Burr, and has since conducted the only store of this kind in the neighborhood, dealing in agricultural implements and vehicles of every description. With the store is connected a tin shop, where the trade is daily on the increase. As an energetic and honorable dealer Mr. McLean is highly respected in the community.
JESSE O. BURROWS was born March 29, 1830, in Deposit, and was the son of Whitman Burrowes, who was born in the same town, then known as Tompkins, and was the son of Peris Burrowes. Whitman Burrowes, the father of the subject of this sketch, received his education at the district schools of his town, and being the eldest son of the family, assisted his father on the farm, remaining at home until his marriage with Phoebe Whitaker, daughter of Jesse and Chloe (Hecock) Whitaker. He then bought a portion of his father's farm, and there carried on farming, lumbering and dairying very extensively. Mr. and Mrs. Whitman Burrowes had five children: Jeanette who married Abram Cable, of Deposit; Edward, who married Antoinette Wiest, and settled in Deposit; Jesse O; Deborah; and Sophrona, who married Leonard Walker, of Deposit.
Jesse O Burrowes received much the same education as was given his father, attending the district school, and helping with the work on the arm until he was sixteen years of age. Being a youth of great ambition and more than ordinary ability, he then started in active life for himself, first working in sawmills for daily wages. But this slow progress did not long satisfy him. He saw the advantages to be gained in lumbering and farming; and in 1864, having amassed sufficient means, he bought the farm on which he now resides, which contains a homestead lot of sixty- four acres of highly cultivated land and a hill farm of two hundred and thirty-seven acres.
October 2, 1851, Mr. Burrowes married Frances C. Peters, daughter of Henry and Almira (Hulce) Peters. Mr. and Mrs. Burrowes have two children---Cora Belle and Arba G. Cora married George Chamberlin, of Franklin, where they now reside with their three children---Burr B., Ross B., and Lynn. Arba G. Married Quintilla Apperson, of Marlington W. Va., a furniture manufacturer and dealer, a prominent man in the affairs of the town; they have one child, Jesse J.
The grandfather of Mrs. Jesse O. Burrows was John Peters, who married Betsy Smith of Bushkill; PA.and removed from that place to Sanford, Broome County. He there established a grist-mill, and did farming and lumbering on a very large scale, being successful to such a degree that he retired from business several years before his death, which occurred in Deposit when he was sixty-five years of age. Henry Peters, son of John and the father of Mrs. Burrows started in business life when a very young man, purchased a farm on the "Jersey side" of the Delaware River in Tompkins, where he had an extensive lumber business. He owned his sawmill, and transformed the lumber into boards, which he sent to the Philadelphia market. Henry Peters married Almira Hulce, daughter of Sylvester and Penninah (Hotchkiss) Hulce, of the town of Deposit.
Mr. and Mrs. Burrowes are members of the Presbyterian church, and in politics he is a firm Republican. Mr. Burrowes' success in life has been due to his own hard labor and the sound sense, which has led him to make good use of his opportunities, to work and not to dawdle, to mind his own business and do it well.
CORNELIUS D. REYNOLDS, of Roxbury, New York belongs to a family, which came originally from the East, and has since become well known in the annals of Delaware County. Martin Reynolds was the pioneer of the family in New York. He secured farming lands in Bovina, and there lived and died. His life was an interesting one, full of those incidents and adventures, which characterize the career of a pioneer farmer. William Reynolds, son of Martin Reynolds was born in Bovina, and lived with his father until he became of age, when he moved away and settled for a time at new Kingston. He then bought an undeveloped farm of one hundred and fifty acres in Bovina, and immediately set to work to bring out the resources of the place. He put up new buildings, cleared the land, and improved it generally. Then he sold out, and moved to Andes, and bought the Warren Weaver farm. This property was also in need of improvement. During the twenty years that he lived here he made the estate very valuable by his well-directed efforts in building and working no the land.
Mr. Reynolds now made a radical change in his policy, and determined to move out West. He accordingly went to Michigan, and settled on a new and very fertile farm of some one hundred and twenty acres. He lived in this new Michigan home until his death, at the age of sixty. He was a Republican and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Early in life, Mr. Reynolds had married Jane Demond, daughter of Cornelius and Polly (Neapes) Demond, by whom he had ten children: Cornelius D.; Mary E.; Caleb and Richard, twins; Julia; Libbie; John W.; George W.; William and Manerina. Mrs. Jane Demond Reynolds is still living (1894) on the Michigan farm being now eighty-five years old.
Mr. Cornelius D., son of William and Jane Reynolds, was born in Middleton, New Kingston, on September 15, 1849. He received his early education at the district school in Bovina. At the age of twelve, young Cornelius went to live with his grandfather Demond, for whom he worked nine years, until he was twenty-one, and then stayed three years longer making twelve years in all. At the age of twenty-five Cornelius D. Reynolds married Mary E. Tyler, who lived in New Kingston, near the boundary line between that village and Roxbury, their farm being in Roxbury. Mr. Tyler was a Republican in politics, a Methodist in religion, and he lived to the age of seventy-five. Mrs. Reynolds had nine brothers and sisters.
Mr. Reynolds after his marriage bought the Van Dyke farm of one hundred and twenty-seven acres in Middletown, just above New Kingston. Here he lived four years, and so improved the place that, when he sold it he was enabled to buy two hundred acres of live land at Manor Kill in Schoharie County. Here Mr. Reynolds met with a sad loss, for Mrs. Reynolds was thrown from a carriage while riding, and died from the effects of the accident in the thirtieth year of her age, leaving one son, George H., who is a physician at Delhi. Mr. Reynolds remained only four months at Manor Kill. After a year in Prattsville, he married for his second wife, Amanda C. Craft, daughter of Captain William H. Craft. Mr. Reynolds afterward purchased the Bloomberg farm in Johnson Hollow. This he kept for four years and then sold it. By his second marriage he has two sons, Charles F., who is in a drug store at Delhi, and William E., who lives at home.
The farm which Mr. Reynolds now owns he bought in 1874. It contains two hundred and twenty-seven acres of land, and lies about two and a half miles from Roxbury, near Stratton Falls. Mr. Reynolds has put upon this farm the results of a long and varied experience in agriculture, and as a consequence has one of the finest estates in the region. He keeps forty cows and a number of sheep. The land, which is nearly all cleared and cultivated, is in first-class condition. In politics, Mr. Reynolds is a Democrat. As a citizen and neighbor he is well known and well liked in Roxbury and the neighboring country.
WILLIAM HARING, a well-known carpenter of the town of North Walton, Delaware County, N.Y., was born in New York City, December 25, 1828, his parents being John and Mary (Hall) Haring. John Haring was of English birth, coming to this country when quite a young man and taking up his residence in Paterson, New Jersey, where he followed his trade of tinsmith and coppersmith. He continued in business for himself for four years, during which time he met with success. Mr. Haring married Miss Mary Hall, a daughter of Walter Hall of England and reared the following family: Ann, married to William Odell of Jersey City; William, the subject of this sketch; and Mary Jane, the wife of David Byard of Paterson, New Jersey. Mr. Haring dies when his son William was six years old. Mrs. Haring spent her last years in Paterson, where she died at the age of sixty-five.
At the age of ten years William Haring went to reside in the town of Walton, spending three years in the employ of Mr. Weed, and then for four years worked for Mr. John Townsend. He afterward went to Paterson, New Jersey, where he worked as an apprentice at the trade of carpenter, eventually going back to Walton and then to Binghamton, the year 1858, finding him at Franklin, Delaware County. On the ninth of August, 1862, he enlisted in Company K One Hundred and twenty-first Volunteer Infantry, being attached to the Army of the Potomac, Second Brigade, First Division, Sixth Army Corps, under the command of General Sedgwick. Mr. Haring was in some of the most severe engagements of the war, among them being the first battle of Cranton Pass, Antietam, Fredricksburg, Salem Heights, Salem Church, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, Locust Grove, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Myers Hill, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Fishers Hill, Petersburg and the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. In all the severe fighting in which he took part, he was only wounded once. He was honorably discharged from the army, June 25, 1865, at Paul's Hill, near Washington, D.C., retaining the rank of private. Although he was offered promotion to a higher grade, he refused to accept it. At the conclusion of the war, he came to his present home, and went to work at his original trade of carpentry, at which he continued for many years, or until ill health required him to retire from active life.
Mr. Haring was married November 15, 1849 to Nancy M. Wood, a daughter of Benjamin and Elsey (Hoyt) Wood, of New Canaan. Of this union, one child survives, Willis H., who married Nellie Rowley, and has two children: Maude A. and Annie M. Mr. Haring is a member of Warren Post, No. 209, Grand Army of the Republic. In politics he is a strong supporter of the Republican party. In his religious views he is a Congregationalist. He is a man of deep patriotism and of unflinching integrity, having the courage of a man blended with the tenderness of a child.
MARTIN FORSTER, a carpenter of Hancock, and a veteran of the late war was born in Milford, Luzerne County, Pa., September 16, 1841. His father, Christian Forster, came to America from Germany in 1839, landing in New York after a stormy passage of seven weeks. He worked in that city at his trade as a baker for a time, and later went to Milford, Pa., where he died at the age of fifty-seven years. He was a man of upright life, beloved and respected by all who knew him. His wife, Hannah Sheble, was also a native of Germany; and she still survives, residing at the home of her daughter, Hannah Shafer, in Hancock. Mr. and Mrs. Christian Forster were the parents of seven children--- Martin, John, Catherine, Christian, Clara, Conrad, Hannah---and three others who died in infancy.
Martin Forster spent his boyhood in Honesdale, Pa., where he attended school, and assisted his father in supporting the family, He first went to work in an umbrella factory, where he received as a salary fifty cents a week. Inheiriting from his father a love for fishing, he spent all his leisure at this sport, selling his fish, and thereby increasing considerably his income. In 1863, when the three month's men were called out to repel General Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, he volunteered at Honesdale, and was ordered to Harrisburg on the way to Gettysburg. The news then came that the battle of Gettysburg had been fought, and Lee had retreated; and accordingly, Mr. Forster returned with his regiment to his home without participating in any active fighting. He resumed his old occupation, but in February 1864 enlisted for three years in the One Hundred and Twelfth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was ordered with them to Philadelphia, where they were detained in crowded barracks without exercise or fresh air, and with but little food. He then joined his regiment at Washington, D.C., and while there as a raw recruit, was the victim of many laughable experiences. His regiment, being overfilled, was divided, the new men being organized into a section called the second division of the One Hundred and Twelfth Regiment.
Mr. Forster as a member of this section was ordered with his comrades to Alexandria, VA. This regiment first engaged in active service in the battle of the Wilderness; but owing to some misunderstanding its men were not allowed to draw rations from the government, and accordingly suffered untold privations. They were obliged to raid wagon trains and barnyards to obtain enough food to barely keep them alive. From the Wilderness they were ordered to Cold Harbor, where the rebels attacked their rear guard, which gallantly defended their line of march. Food was so scarce that twenty-five cents was offered for a single piece of hardtack and five dollars for a part of a ham. On being withdrawn from Cold Harbor, the company was ordered to Petersburg, Va., where they arrived in time to take part in the assault of June 17. Here they were fifth in line, the regiment losing eight hundred men in five minutes, and also their colors, which fortunately they recaptured that evening, The following morning they were complimented by General Grant for the recovery of their colors, and after that they were allowed to draw rations from the government. Mr. Forster was then engaged on picket duty and building breastworks until July 30, when the fortifications were blown up, and again his regiment lost heavily there being no officer in his company of higher rank than sergeant at the close of the engagement. The regiment was next ordered to Weldon Railroad, it having been reduced from seventeen hundred to five hundred men; and these survivors were united with the veteran One Hundred and Twelfth Regiment. They occupied Butler's Lookout Station, and thenceforth participated in only a few skirmishes. After the close of the war the companies were distributed through the lower counties of Virginia to maintain order. The regiment was mustered out of service in January 1866, and the men were discharged at Philadelphia in February. After two years of active labor in his country's Mr. Forster then returned home, and resumed his former occupation.
November 17, 1866, he married Barbra Fischer, daughter of Frederick Fischer of New Texas Township, Pa., and they were the parents of seven children--- Minnie, Margaret, Clara, Christian, Lena and Louise. Mrs. Forster passed away November 14,1891, and is buried in Hancock. Mr. Forster is a carpenter by trade, and has followed that occupation in various towns in the vicinity of Hancock. His faithful service in the war has been in some measure rewarded by the pension which he receives from the government, and as a man and a soldier he has been ever held in highest regard and esteem by his comrades and fellow citizens.
WILLIAM FULLER, one of the leading farmers of the town of Masonville, Delaware County, was born in Sanford, in the neighboring county of Broome, October 28, 1838, son of Wilder and Sylvia (King) Fuller. His paternal grandfather, Simeon Fuller, who was born in the state of Connecticut, and was a soldier in the war of 1812, settled in Harpersfield, Delaware County, in the early days, but spent a large part of his life in Broome County. He was a farmer and also worked at the trade of a carpenter, and was successful in his pursuits. He spent his last days at the home of his son, Wilder, where he died when about eighty years of age. He married Nancy Birdsall, a native of Harpersfield, and she also lived to a good old age. They reared three sons and five daughters, all of whom grew to maturity, and were married; but not one of them is now living. Mrs. Simeon Fuller was a Baptist in religion; while her husband was of liberal faith, and in politics was a Democrat.
Wilder Fuller was born in Harpersfield, August 19, 1809, and lived at home with his parents, was educated in the district schools, and was reared to habits of useful industry. He continued working with his father until he attained his majority. After his marriage he bought his first land in the town of Sanford, Broome County, a farm of sixty acres, which he occupied about sixteen years. He removed in the spring of 1854 to Masonville, and bought the farm on which his son William now lives. It then consisted of one hundred and twenty acres, about one half-wild and unimproved, and but poorly furnished with buildings. He set to work with a resolute will and by dint of well-directed, persistent labor developed an excellent farm. At the time of his death, July 22,1892, he owned two hundred acres. He held an official position in the Baptist church, of which he was an earnest and liberal supporter, his wife also being a member. In politics he was a Republican.
Sylvia King, whom he married December 27, 1837, was born in Sanford, Broome County, April 8,1817. Mrs. Fuller survives her husband, and resides on the old home farm. They reared four children, two of whom are now living, namely: William Fuller in Masonville, and the Rev. Andrew K. Fuller, a Baptist minister in Newburg, New York. A daughter, Clarissa M. Fuller, died at nearly thirty years of age, and a son, JeromeB. just before reaching the age of twenty-one.
William was the eldest son of his parents. He spent his childhood and early youth in his native town, Sanford, there receiving his elementary education, and came with his parents to Masonville at fourteen years of age. Here he had a little more schooling, and after that worked on the farm, remaining at home until twenty-five years old.
His natural aptitude for mechanics found scope at this juncture in the carpenter's trade, which he learned and followed for some years, giving it up at length, except the work of building and repairing needed on his own place. After his marriage he bought a farm of one hundred and thirty acres in Masonville and lived on it two years. Selling it then, he moved into the village of Masonville, and engaged in the manufacture of builders' materials and doing contract work. After carrying on this business about six or seven years, he disposed of his property in the village, and moving back to the old home farm, took care of his parents. He now owns the old homestead, and having added to it by the purchase of adjoining lands, is now the possessor of three hundred and thirty acres, one of the largest farms in this part of the country. He keeps about fifty head of cattle, including about forty cows, Jerseys and Holsteins, yielding an average of seven hundred and fifty pounds of milk a day through the year. He is building a large barn with a capacity of seventy head of cattle.
Mr. Fuller has been twice married. His first wife, Emaline Parker with whom he was united October 28, 1863, died March 6, 1882, leaving four children, namely: Anna, born September 24, 1866, now wife of William Bogart, of Masonville; Edmund L., born January 1, 1868, who died February 28, 1872; Jerome E., born August 25, 1873; and Laura A., born September 7, 1880, both living at home. Mr. Fuller was married the second time, on October 16,1884, to Elizabeth Whitman Darling, who was born I Tompkins, Delaware County, daughter of Jeremiah Darling.
Mrs. Fuller is Methodist Episcopal in religion, while Mr. Fuller is a member of the Baptist church. He is a Republican in politics, and has served acceptably in several town offices, having been supervisor of the town one term, and Overseer of the Poor several years, and Road Commissioner two terms. He is a public-spirited, enterprising, useful and valued citizen.
Life-like portraits of Mr. and Mrs. William Fuller will be found nearby on opposite pages of this volume.
ROBERT A FRASER, a well-known lawyer of Delhi village, was born in the town of Delhi, January 30,1851. His father, James Fraser, married Mary A., a daughter of Robert Arbuckle of the same town, and both parents are still living in this town, where they were born and have always made their home. The grandfather, Andrew Fraser was born in Inverness, Scotland, came to New York State when a young man, and settling in Delhi, here pursued the calling of a farmer for many years.
Robert A. Fraser spent his early years on the home farm, receiving his elementary education at the district schools, afterward supplementing it by a course at the Delhi Academy. He studied law with the late judge Gleason, of Delhi and later with Adee and Shaw. Being admitted to practice at the Albany general term in 1877, he opened his office in Delhi, where he has remained ever since.
Mr. Fraser was married in 1880 to Miss Mary E. Blair, a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Holmes) Blair, and they have one child, Edwin B. Fraser. Mr. Fraser has been Justice of the Peace in Delhi for twelve years and for three years was Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. He is a Free Mason; a member of Delhi Lodge, No. 439, and in politics is a strong upholder of the Republican faith. Mr. Fraser is a member of the First Presbyterian Church, of which he is an attendant.
CHARLES JAMES DICKSON lives in Margarettville, in Middletown, where he carries on a very extensive business, and is the owner of important pieces of real estate. He was born November 25, 1852, son of Peter and Eliza (Boak) Dickson. His paternal grandparents were James and Jane (Trotter) Dickson. James Dickson came to America in 1816, and was a carpenter, but he took up a farm of a hundred and forty acres, now occupied by James Armstrong, in Gladstone Hollow, town of Andes, and put up a log house and barn. There grew up his nine children: Elizabeth Dickson married John Banker, deceased. William is no longer on earth. Thomas married Mary Turnbull, and the widow lives in Andes, and so does James Dickson, who married Elizabeth Davidson. Mary Dickson married Edward Turnbull, a brother of her brother Thomas' wife, and is now a widow. John married first Anna Gladstone, and then Elizabeth Oliver. Peter, the father of the special subject of this sketch, married Eliza Boak, and lives in New Castle. Henry, now dead. Was the husband of Esther Gladstone, a sister of his brother John's wife. Ellen Dickson married A. Frisbie, and lives in Andes. Grandfather Dickson and his wife lived to be very old, and were earnest members of the Presbyterian church.
Their fifth child, Peter Dickson, was born in Andes where he received the usual common-school education, and worked on the farm. Having accumulated a little money by dint of hard work, he went with his brother, William Dickson, to New Castle, Pa., and opened a livery stable. Though doing well, Peter sold out at the end of a year, and came to Andes, Delaware County, and began a manufacturing enterprise in a building now in ruins and known as Dowie's Mill. He did sawing and planing, and had machinery for turning all sorts of woodwork. Later he traded this plant for a farm near the village, now called the Adam Bassett place. There he remained ten years, and then exchanged the farm with Thomas Muir for village property, covering what is now called the Dickson and Armstrong estate, but was then a carding and wool- spinning factory, erected by the Waterburys about the year 1830. Mr. Dickson remodeled the building, added a gristmill, and for six years did a large business. Then he sold out to his nephew, Henry James Dickson, and went again to New Castle, where he became a successful grocer, and retired from active life.
He was a Methodist in faith, and a Republican in Politics. His wife was the youngest daughter of Charles Boak, who even in his old age was considered one of the best teachers in the county. He was a farmer, owning a large tract of land in Harlansburg, Lawrence County, Pa., where he raised the following children: Aaron, Charles, Washington, Margaret, Rebecca, Sarah, Martha, Mary Ann, Eliza. As fast as they grew up, the boys did the farm work, while the father taught school, here and there. Mr. and Mrs. Boak lived to be fourscore, and died the same year. Peter and Eliza Dickson reared three children, the eldest being the subject of this sketch. Thomas W. Dickson married Anna Greene, lives in New Castle, is a commercial traveler, and has two children. Their sister Carrie died at the lovely age of eighteen.
Charles J. Dickson was born in New Castle, while his father was keeping the stable, and was educated not only in the district school, but in the Andes Collegiate Institute, beside attending for one term, the Delaware Academy. The work of life he began on his father's farm, but soon gave this up for a clerkship with David Ballantine. Desiring to see more of the world, and having kinsfolk in New Castle, he went thither to try his hand at his grandfather Boak's profession of school teaching. In two years he came back to Andes, and for another brace of years was clerk for James Ballantine, a brother of his former employer. Next he tried the hardware traffic, buying out the interest of the junior member of the firm of O.S.&C.W. Nichols. Five years later, when thirty years old, he sold his interest in the store to his partner, came to Margarettville, and associated himself if W.F. Doolittle. Since then he has enlarged the store from time to time, till now he has one of the largest in Delaware County, and sells not only hardware and groceries, but agricultural implements, lumber, and all other goods usually sold in a country store. In 1884 and 1885 he erected a skating rink, which since that amusement declined, has been changed into the only hall in the village, and is provided with a stage for various literary, musical, and dramatic performances. Attached to this building is a store for the sale of tin and plumbing goods.
In 1879, at the age of twenty-seven, he married Anna S. Boyes, daughter of James and Barbara B. (Gordon) Boyes. Mr. Boyes was the son of the senior James Boyes, of Dumfries, Scotland, who had a large family. The son James came to America at the age of twenty-two, and their met and married Barbara Gordon, a lady of Scottish blood, the daughter of James and Mary (Hay) Gordon. Their children were Peter, Jane Ann, Barbara and Jeanette Gordon, and the parents lived to a good old age. They belonged to the United Presbyterian Church, and reared nine children. James Boyes married first Miss Josselyn, and afterwards Laura Caulkins, and has two children. Mary Boyes is no longer living. Peter Boyes married Mary E. Davis, is a farmer and has one son. Agnes Boyes married Edwin Shaver, an innkeeper and has two children. John Boyes is deceased. Thomas H. Boyes married Maggie Bell, lives in Hartford Connecticut, and has four children. William A. Boyes married Anna Burhans, is a Margarettville gardener, and has four children. David Boyes lives in Michigan. Anna Boyes, Mrs. Dickson is the youngest. Their mother died December 20, 1882, firm in the Presbyterian religion.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Dickson have two children. Irving was born October 5, 1881, and Irene on July 4, 1889. Being an active, obliging and progressive merchant, Mr. Dickson is not only rewarded with plenty of business, but is highly respected by his fellow citizens throughout the county. As a stanch Republican he has efficiently filled several offices. He has belonged to the fire department ever since its organization.
GEORGE BRAZEE, a retired resident of the village of Walton, is well-known in the vicinity as having long been an active man of business, and is deeply reverenced as an earnest exhorter and preacher of the Methodist faith. The early ancestral home of the family was in Holland, but these records go back only to Mr. Brazee's grandfather, Peter Brazee, who emigrated with his family from Massachusetts to this county and settled in Wilson Hollow.
He was twice married, and by his first wife had three sons and three daughters, all of whom are now dead, including his son, Tunis, born about 1785, who was a young man when they came here. Tunis Brazee married Delia Cook, of Rockland, in this county, who was born about 1800, and after eighty-one years of useful life died in the town of Hancock. She was the mother of four daughters and five sturdy sons, the fourth son being George, the subject of this sketch. Three other sons and two daughters are still living, Robert and Peter being respectively in eastern New York and Pennsylvania, and Eben in Matteawan, New York. Rachel, wife of George Babcock, lives in Colchester, N.Y. Ann Eliza, wife of George Brooks, lives in the West.
George Brazee was born in Colchester, September 11, 1827. After a very limited education in the district school he became a pupil in that larger institution of learning, the world. Much of the time was spent in hard work, early and late, on the arm and in the woods, where the stroke of his axe or the call to the oxen awoke echoes through the vast forests. In those sylvan solitudes was the soul of this man prepared to receive divine instruction, and to experience conversion from the ways of sin to the paths of the godly. The change in his spiritual life occurred in the town of Hancock in 1852, when he was twenty-five years old, and in the same house in which the lady who was afterward his wife was converted eight years before. Through him were his parents also brought to a profession of faith; and for forty-two years has this earnest Christian worker, deeply imbued with the power of the Spirit, labored in his Master's vineyard, being for many years a local preacher.
Mr. Brazee began life with but little capital except with a ready hand and a willing mind, and by his industry and economy has accumulated a competency. For fourteen years he engaged in farming and lumbering near Trout Brook. Here he owned a sawmill and some five hundred acres of land, all of which he has sold. In 1864 he enlisted in the service of the nation, and was assigned to the First New York Engineer Corps in Company C. The war being over, he was discharged at Hilton, July 4, 1865. In 1872 he came to the village of Walton, and bought his present home with twelve acres of land, on which he has already built two dwelling houses. It is probable that within a very few years the entire place will be in great demand for building lots. Here Mr. and Mrs. Brazee now live, contented with the simple ways and surroundings of their peaceful home.
Mr. Brazee married Margaret Weeks Gregory, widow of Ezra Gregory. Her first husband died in the prime of life, leaving her with twin sons, one of whom died at two years of age. The other son, Scott Gregory, is a farmer and lumber merchant in Harvard, Delaware County and has a family of four sons and one daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Brazee have one son, James, who married Jennie Quinn, of Middletown, N.Y., where they now reside and where eighteen months ago, a beautiful little daughter, Edna B. by name was born to them. James Brazee profited by the excellent educational opportunities given him by an indulgent father, who took care that he should have the advantages of early training, which to him had been denied. He is now a conductor on the New York, Ontario and Western Railroad.
In the olden times a Democrat, when the parties changed Mr. Brazee became a Republican, from the ranks of which party he has risen to the acceptance of the principles of the Patriot or Prohibition Party. Illustrating in his daily life, the Christian principles enforced by his devout utterances, Mr. Brazee is deeply loved and respected by his neighbors in Walton, and especially by those of the Methodist faith, in behalf of whom he has labored and preached for nearly half a century, and those who know him and love him for his benignant qualities wish for him all that he constantly prays for for others, and hope that it may be the will of the all-wise Father to spare him to his earthly friends for many years to come.
HON. DAVID LOW THOMPSON, a distinguished resident of Bovina, Delaware County, N.Y., was born in this town on the first day of August 1831. He was a son of David and Jeanette (Low) Thompson, who were both born in Scotland, and he was the grandson of William Thompson. Little is known of Grandfather Thompson except that he lived and died in the old country. David Low, though born in Scotland, was among the earliest settlers of Schenectady, N.Y. At that time the Indians of the Mohawk Valley were very troublesome, and Mr. Low took and active part in the battles with them. He was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, reared two children, Isabella Lovett and Jeannette Low Thompson, and was one of the most thriving farmers of his day.
David Thompson came to America when young man, and settled in the town of Bovina at the time of the famous War of 1812. This region was little better than a wilderness, but he rented land and a little later bought a farm of three hundred acres, where he lived until his death, in his fifty-first year. He was member of the Presbyterian church, a Whig, and a successful man financially. His first wife was a Miss Hume, by whom he had four children, two of whom are now living: namely William D. Thompson of Bovina and James Thompson of Walton, both of whom are retired farmers. His second wife was Jeannette Low, who died at the advanced age of eighty-two years, leaving two sons: Robert F. Thompson, a Bovina farmer, and David Low Thompson, the subject of this sketch.
Young David grew to manhood in Bovina, and after graduating at the district school, continued his studies at Andes Academy, under Professor William Stoddard, from Edinburgh, Scotland. Young Thompson was of an independent turn of mind, and began teaching in the district schools when but a boy of sixteen. Later in life he became superintendent of schools, and represented his town as Supervisor for two terms. During thirteen years he was Postmaster. In 1854 he established a hardware store, in which business he still remains. On December 28 of the same year he married Eliza Murray, daughter of John Murray one of the early settlers of Bovina. Mrs. Thompson died September 11, 1893, leaving three children: namely, Nettie, the widow of Dr. Henry Donelly, residing in Davenport, and Annabell and William D., who live at home, the latter being in the hardware business.
Mr. Thompson is an Elder in the United Presbyterian Church of Bovina, having been thirty-two years superintendent of the Sabbath School, which was organized September 15, 1856, with seventy-four scholars. He is a Republican, and has always supported his party, casting his first vote for John C. Fremont. In 1887 he was elected a member of the State Assembly, and served one term at the capitol. He is a forcible speaker, vigorous writer, and able debater, but has latterly retired from politics, and gives his time and attention wholly to business, in which his reliable and high-minded. Personally he is very intellectual and unassuming, and believes with the poet,"True worth is in being, not seeming"
GEORGE SMITH, owner and manager of a livery stable in the pleasant village of Walton, is one of the solid and substantial businessmen of the town, and is meeting with excellent financial success in his present occupation. He is a native of this county and town, his birth having occurred June 30, 1882. His father, Rufus Smith, was engaged in agriculture in this vicinity for many years, owning different farms and finally becoming proprietor of an inn known as Smith's tavern, which he rented in 1835, and subsequently purchased. It was a wooden structure and has since been rebuilt. Some of the hand-made wrought nails used in the original building are now in the possession of the subject of this sketch. Rufus Smith remained engaged as a hotelkeeper until his death in 1842, while yet in the prime of manly vigor, being but forty-five years old. His wife, Sophia St. John, who was a daughter of David St. John, bore him three sons and two daughters, of whom George, the second child, is the only one now living. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Smith, with the assistance of her children continued the management of the tavern for some twenty-five years. She was a very energetic, capable woman, and lived to be more than seventy years of age, dying in 1869. Her father was one of the conspicuous figures connected with the early history of Walton. And in all enterprises tending to elevate the educational or religious status of the place. David St. John could be relied upon to assist. He was one of thirteen men who organized the Congregational Church and society, and who built the log house that was for several years their place of worship. He possessed a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence of the thirteen original States, dated July 4, 1776, which has been in the family for more than a century, and is now in possession of his son George. Mr. Relic has other relics of value and interest, one of them being the clarinet which his father owned, and on which he used to play at public occasions, in the town band.
In common with the boys of his day, George Smith attended the district school, and he afterward spent one term at the Delhi Academy. When quite young, he learned the tailor's trade, which he followed for a while in Ithaca, going thence to Trumansburg and subsequently to Binghamton, where he was under instructions for a year, and was then engaged as a journeyman tailor for a number of years. Shortly after the death of his father, Mr. Smith returned to Walton, and the following twelve years he assisted his mother and brother in the management of the hotel, and took an active part in local affairs. It was during this period that the anti-rent difficulty occurred in this State, attracting wide attention, and in the stirring events which occurred Mr. Smith was an active participant. He was one of the sheriff's posse of one hundred men who under the command of Tim Corbin, were called to Earl's farm, in Delhi, on the occasion of killing cattle for restrained rent, at which time Mr. Steel was killed. Mr. Smith rode his own horse. Mr. Smith rode his own horse, as did most of the other members of that band. Difficulties of this kind were effectually settled by the State Constitution of 1846, which abolished all feudal tenures, and forbade the leasing of all agricultural lands for a period exceeding twelve years. In 1857 Mr. Smith left the hotel, and, purchasing a small house and barn, started the first livery business of the town. In 1865 he sold out his livery, and engaged in merchandising and lumber dealing, erecting a feed-mill and a planing-mill, carrying on a successful business until 1874, when the mills were burned. Prior to this time, however, Mr. Smith was in partnership with Gould & Truesdale; and they operated two daily stage lines, one running from Walton to Delhi, and one to Oneonta. Besides carrying passengers, this enterprising firm secured the contract from the government to carry mails between these places; and they also carried on a heavy express business, paying from July to October, 1865, two thousand one hundred dollars, their receipts for these three months being over seven thousand five hundred dollars. After the burning of his mills, Mr. Smith, in company with Messrs. Jarvis and Truesdale, bought the street-car line in Binghamton, which they operated seven years. In 1881 he returned to Walton, and again resumed the livery business, beginning with four horses, and doing his own work. About ten years ago he and his son, George T. Smith, started a livery business on an extensive scale, on the property of the old mill site, which he had never sold, keeping from ten to twelve horses. They are upright and obliging business men, and have won hosts of friends and a very large patronage by their courtesy and honorable dealings.
Mr. Smith was married in 1854 to Sarah Baker, of Gilbertsville, daughter of Lyman and Esther Baker, the latter of whom lived to the remarkable age of ninety-six years, dying in July, 1892. She retained her faculties of both body and mind to the last, being a very intelligent and pleasant old lady. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Smith only one child has been born, George T. Smith. In 1878 he married Bessie Eells, a daughter of J. Baird Eells, of Walton. They are the parents of three children: Charles, sixteen years old: Frederic, fourteen years of age; and Grace, a little miss of nine years. Mr. Smith is a man who thinks for himself on important questions, including politics and religion, and usually casts his vote for the candidate he deems best fitted for the office, although he is in sympathy with the Prohibitionists. He is a temperance man in every respect, and has never used liquor or tobacco. Although belonging to no religious organization, he gives freely to the support of the churches, and leads an exemplary life.
BENJAMIN HATHAWAY, one of the oldest and most widely known residents of the town of Tompkins, is the proud possessor of twenty-six grandchildren and twenty-five great-grandchildren. His father, Jacob Hathaway, who was a native of New Jersey, emigrated to Delaware County when but sixteen years of age, accompanying a Mr. Dixon, by whom he was employed for some time. He then purchased a tract of land in the valley of the Delaware Rive, and there, in the wilderness, erected a common plank house and a saw-mill, and engaged in the lumber business, sending the logs in rafts down the river to Philadelphia. Many of the forest giants fell by the blows of his axe; and in a short time he had cleared a large tract, and added the occupation of farming to that of lumbering. Here he dwelt and labored until his death, at sixty years of age. His wife was Lydia Lowry, a native of Connecticut, who died when eighty-four years old, having been the mother of eleven children; namely, Nancy, Robert, Sally, Jacob, Lydia, Harriet, Benjamin, Josiah, Abigail, Elizabeth, and a second Robert. The first Robert died at age sixteen; but all the others, except the two eldest daughters, who remained single, lived to marry and rear families of their own.
Benjamin Hathaway was born in Tompkins, February 22, 1810, and received his education in the schools of this town, at the same time assisting his father on the farm and in the lumber business. Upon reaching his majority, he purchased land near the old home and began life for himself, adopting his father's occupations of farming and lumbering. For thirty years after this he was a pilot on the Delaware River. About the year 1850 he made himself possessor of the farm where he now resides, which at one time contained nearly seven hundred acres, and at present embraces within its limits four hundred and thirty-five acres.
When but nineteen years of age, Mr. Hathaway married Elizabeth Case, of Tompkins, a daughter of Phineas and Nancy (Leonard) Case; but she passed away when fifty years old, leaving the following children: Harriet; Lydia; Jennie; Amasa J.; Robert and Edwin, now deceased. His second marriage was with Sibyl E. Blake, a native of Chenango County, and a daughter of Ithuel Blake; and she became the mother of one child, John M. Hathaway.
Mr. and Mrs. Hathaway are earnest, active members of the Presbyterian church, in which organization their influence for good is universally felt. Mr. Hathaway was an anti-slavery man and coworker with Gerrit Smith; and he now votes with the Prohibition party, a firm supporter of its platform, and an ardent laborer for the cause of temperance. During his long residence in the town of Tompkins Mr. Hathaway has been most fortunate in making many warm friends, whose companionship is one of the chief comforts of his declining years. He is an upright, public-spirited man; and the great respect in which he is held by all gives testimony of his strong and noble character.
HENRY RICE. Among the agriculturists of this county who have attained financial success is the gentleman whose names stands at the head of this sketch. He is the owner of a fine farm, and is known as one of the most progressive and energetic farmers in these parts and a thorough master of his chosen calling. He was born in the town of Harpersfield, Delaware County, November 9, 1831, son of Samuel Rice, who was a native of this county. Stamford being, it is though, the town of his birth.
Mr. Rice is of Irish descent, his grandfather, Henry A. Rice, having been born and reared in the Emerald Isle. Emigrating from there to the United States, he settled in this county, buying a tract of wooded land int he town of Stamford. He cleared a portion of his purchase, then removed to Harpersfield, where he bought a partly improved farm, made a home for his wife and family, and there lived until his death. Samuel Rice was the fourth in number of the five children of the emigrant. A large part of his early life was spent in Harpersfield, where he assisted his parents in tilling the soil and improving their farm. On becoming of age, he bought a portion of the old homestead, and there conducted the general work of a farm. He died at the early age of thirty-nine years. He married Ann Smith, a native of Schenectady, and the daughter of David Smith. Her father was one of the first settlers of Scotch Mountain, where he and his wife spent many years clearing a farm.
Henry was the only child of Samuel and Ann (Smith) Rice, and was but six years old when he was deprived of a father's care. Mrs. Ann S. Rice, surviving her husband a full half-century, spent the latter part of her life at the home of her son, where she died in 1893, at the ripe old age of eighty-eight years. She was a sincere member of the First Presbyterian Church, to which her husband also belonged, he being a Covenanter. After the death of his father, Henry found a home with an uncle in the town of Delhi, with whom he lived several years, receiving excellent care. He had good educational advantages, attending the district school and the village academy, and for many seasons thereafter was engaged in teaching. Later he purchased a farm in Delhi, which he conducted for eight years, and then, selling it at a good advantage, bought land on Hollister Hill, where he resided fourteen years, profitably employed in tilling the soil. Finally, disposing of that farm, he bought the one which he now occupies, containing one hundred and fifty acres of rich and productive land, lying in a beautiful locality on the river road. Having steadily applied himself to its improvement, he now has the land in an excellent state of cultivation, well stocked and well equipped in every respect; and on this valuable homestead he is carrying on an extensive dairying business, keeping about twenty-five head of superior Jersey grade cows, and making a fine quality of butter, which he sells in the New York markets.
Mr. Rice was united in marriage in 1855 to Margaret Arbuckle, the daughter of Nathaniel and Agnes (Blair) Arbuckle, who were among the oldest and most prominent residents of Delhi. Mr. and Mrs. Rice have three children, two sons and a daughter. Samuel S., the elder son, is foreman in a lumber yard in Newark, N.J. Mary, the daughter, married Andrew C. Strangeway, a farmer of Meredith. Charles, the younger son, who resides on the home farm, assisting in its management, married Emma, daughter of William Tuttle; and they have one child, Albert. In politics Mr. Rice ardently advocates the principles of the Republican party, and takes an active part in the local campaigns of that organization. He has served his town acceptably as Assessor for four years. Both he and his wife are influential members of the First Presbyterian Church of Delhi, where he has filled the position of Trustee for several years, and in the Sunday-school connected with it has been one of its most efficient teachers.
AMBROSE B. MOORE, a veteran of the late war and a resident of Tompkins, was born in this town, November 10, 1841, the son of Asa and Rachel (Warner) Moore. Asa Moore was the son of Zebulon Moore, who, it is thought, was born in New England, and came to New York State when a young man, being numbered among the sturdy pioneers of Broome County. In 1815 he removed to the village of Rensselaer, living there one year only, when he came to Delaware County, settling in the woods at the place now known as Kelsey, on the farm now in the possession of his grandson. This land was covered with growing timber, and wholly uncultivated; and a log house, which was erected after their arrival, was their only home for a great many years. Zebulon Moore lived to be over eighty years old. His wife, Hannah Hoag, died when eighty-one years old.
Asa Moore was a very young boy when his parents moved to Tompkins; yet he remembers the hardships they endured, the journey made on horseback and in covered wagons, and the many years before railroads and canals were introduced to assist in their labors. He helped his father clear the land, and, when old enough, rafted the lumber down the river to Philadelphia, making the return trip for the greater part on foot. In August, 1835, he married Rachel Warner, who was born in Broome County, N.Y., daughter of Moses and Hannah (Grodevant) Warner. By this marriage there were nine children, six of whom are now living; namely, Persis M., Ambrose B., Julia A., Allen D., Asa N., and Lucinda. Abraham, the eldest son, who served in the Civil War in Company A, One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, died while in service at Fairfax Seminary, March 6, 1863. Nancy died in August, 1892, aged fifty-four years; and Arnold died February, 1893, aged forty-seven.
Ambrose B. Moore during his early years assisted his father in the farm work, attending the district school in its season until in 1862 he enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and Forty-Fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, and went south with the regiment, which was stationed in Virginia until 1863. From Virginia they went to Morris Island, and while here the company did active service in the siege of Charleston, S.C. In March, 1864, they left the island, and took up station in Florida, remaining there until June, when they went to Hilton Head, from which place Mr. Moore received an honorable discharge in June, 1865. For a time he made his home in Cannonsville, and afterward managed a farm about a mile from there, where he lived a few years, at the end of which time he returned to his old home, and has since carried on general farming and dairying. The farm is located in the Sands Creek Valley in the town of Tompkins, is well watered, and has many modern improvements and conveniences.
In 1859 Mr. Moore married Gracie Van Valkenburg, who was born in Walton, Delaware County, the daughter of John Van Valkenburg. Her father was born in Schoharie County, New York, and spent his last days in Walton. His ancestors were among the early settlers from Holland. Mr. and Mrs. Moore have six children - Nettie A., Kate, Horace V., Isa G., Maude E., and Warner Jay.
For many years Ambrose B. Moore was a Republican; but he has now taken up the cause of temperance, and labors in the wide field of the Prohibitionists. Both Mr. and Mrs. Moore are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and the former is a member of the Plasket Post, Grand Army of the Republic. He commands the respect of his fellow-men as a useful citizen of the republic, one whose patriotism has been tried, and has not been found wanting either in peace or in war.
HON. JOHN S. MCNAUGHT, M.D., an experienced and popular physician and druggist of the village of Hobart, was born September 5, 1819, at New Kingston, in Middletown, and was the son of Duncan and Elizabeth (Scott) McNaught. John McNaught, the father of Duncan, was a farmer, and came to America, and took up his abode in the town of Bovina, and resided there during the remaining part of his active life. His early years were not spent in idleness, but on the contrary were sedulously devoted to labor, he being a man of great physical vigor and endurance; and so, when he grew to be old, he was able to live in comfort, a retired farmer in the town of Middletown. Both he and his wife Janet lived to be well advanced in years, he being about eighty years of age when he died. They had eight children, two of whom are now living, namely John McNaught, who is over ninety years old, and resides in the town of Kortright; and Janet Shaw, also over ninety years old, who resides at Hamden.
Duncan McNaught was born in Scotland, and came to America when a young man. He settled in the town of Bovina, where he bought one hundred and fifty acres of land, and where he lived the rest of his life, his death occurring in 1847, at the age of fifty-five. His wife was a native of Bovina, and died at the old home, also aged fifty-five. Duncan McNaught was a Presbyterian, as are most of the Scotch people, and a Whig in politics. They had four children, but two of whom are now living, the subject of this sketch being the eldest. The second son, Robert McNaught, resides in Hobart. The two daughters were Mary A., Mrs. Seymour Wilcox, who died when about forty years old; and Mrs. Isabella Olmstead, who died when thirty-five years of age.
John S. McNaught grew to manhood on the old farm at Bovina, and received more than the ordinary education of the youth of his time. He first attended the district school, then completed the course at Delhi Academy, his preceptor being Seymour Wilcox, of Bovina. He afterward taught five terms, which enabled him to complete his education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, form which institution he graduated in 1846. Dr. McNaught then went to Hobart, where he started his practice, and has remained until the present day, being one of the leading physicians of the village. In 1880, in connection with his practice, he started a drug store, where he carries a full line of drugs and stationery.
In 1847 he married Helen B. Hoy, of Bovina, who was born in Washington County, the daughter of James Hoy. They have a family of two sons and one daughter. One son, Duncan H. McNaught, is married and lives at Hobart. The other, Frank H. McNaught, is a doctor in Denver, Col. Libbie McNaught lives at home.
Mrs. McNaught is a Presbyterian; and the Doctor is liberal in religious views, and is politically a Republican. He has held several public offices, having been Supervisor three terms, Railroad Commissioner, and a member of the legislature for one year in 1879. Many minor offices have also been held by him. He is a Mason, belonging to St. Andrew's Lodge, A.F. & A.M., and a member of the Delaware County Medical Society. Dr. McNaught has always shown great interest in the welfare of the community in which he lives, and Hobart has no citizen more deserving of honorable mention. His portrait on a preceding page will be recognized and highly appreciated by many friends.
LOUIS M. WALSWORTH, senior member of the firm of Walsworth & Heckroth, proprietors of a general store, located on the corner of Main and Division Streets, Delhi, N.Y., opposite the Edgerton House, is a liberally educated young man, possessing great native ability. He was born at Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., November 29, 1871.
His father, the Rev. Lyman Walsworth, was a native of Jefferson, N.Y., born in 1821. When he was about eighteen, the family, joining a party of emigrants, removed to Ohio, making the journey with wagons and oxen. He shortly after entered the Theological Seminary at Oberlin, from which he was graduated with an honorable record. He began his professional career as pastor of a Methodist church at Hillsdale, N.H., where he was located for some time. He afterward labored zealously and efficiently in the State, preaching successively in Newburg, Dobbs Ferry, and Hancock, whence he came to Delhi. His last pastorate was in Sing-Sing, where after forty-five years of faithful service in the ministry he died at the age of sixty-eight years. His wife, Anna Bloom, was a native of Stone Ridge, Ulster County, being the daughter of Isaac Bloom, a life-long resident of that county. She was a member of the Methodist church, retaining a deep interest in religious matters until the time of her decease, in September, 1889. Of the eight children born to her six grew to maturity, namely: Cornell M.; Mary, who married James R. Honeywell, a merchant of Delhi; Warren W.; Charles L., who travelled in Egypt and Palestine while pursuing his studies for the ministry, and is now preaching in Stone Ridge, N.Y.; Luella M., who, possessing great musical talent, is devoting herself to the study of that art in Germany; and Louis M., the subject of this sketch.
Louis M. Walsworth received his primary education in the district schools, afterward entering the Mount Pleasant Military Academy at Sing-Sing, from which he was graduated in 1889. He subsequently attended the Syracuse University two years, coming then to Delhi. On the first of January, 1893, Mr. Walsworth formed a partnership with Mr. Heckroth; and they purchased their present business of J.R. Honeywell, of whom a sketch is given on another page of this biographical work. Here the firm is carrying on an extensive and lucrative trade, having one of the largest and most conveniently located arranged stores in the county, and keeping a full stock of dry goods, groceries, crockery, fruit, vegetables, and other articles of merchandise.
Mr. Walsworth was united in marriage in January, 1893, to Miss Edith M. Whitney, the daughter of Wells R. and Louise (Teller) Whitney. Mr. Whitney is employed in the office of theCounty Clerk. In politics Mr. Walsworth is a stanch advocate of the principles of the Republican party; and it may be remarked of him in general that he is a man of quick decision and well-defined views, and fearlessly outspoken on all questions that appeal to his judgment.
MALCOLM CALHOUN, a successful and progressive farmer in Andes, Delaware County, was born in Dumbartonshire, Scotland, February 28, 1831 and was the son of Peter Calhoun and his wife, Ellen McAuslan.
Peter Calhoun, also born in Dumbartonshire, came to America with his family in 1833, and bought two hundred and nineteen acres of land of G. Raite in Andes, to which he afterward added eighty more. He was a very intelligent and thrifty farmer, a Republican in politics and a member of the United Presbyterian church. Mr. Calhoun lived to the unusual age of eighty-five yeaaars, and his wife to fourscore. This worthy couple was blessed with a family of ten children, all of whom lived to maturity, and may be briefly mentioned: Dr. John Calhoun, now deceased, had one son and a daughter; Peter Calhoun, a farmer in Hamden, married Mary McAuslan, and they have three sons; Mary Calhoun lives in Andes; Jeannette married William Oliver, and died leaving one son; Archie (??) Calhoun married Allida Rose, has located in Sherman, Chautauqua County, and they have five children; Ellen married J.H. Smith, lives in Delhi, and they have three sons and two daughters; Malcolm Calhoun, the seventh child, si the subject of this sketch; James Calhoun married Phidelia Rose, and settled in Chautauqua County, and their children are two in number; Daniel Calhoun married Cornelia McHair, and they reside in Bovina, and have six children; Maggie Calhoun lives in Andes.
Malcolm Calhoun was educated in the common schools. In 1854 he went to Scotland to visit his grandparents, whom he had left in his infancy. He remained in the land of his birth until 1855, when he returned to America. About this time he married Jane George, daughter of John and Jane (Sinkler) George, of Cabin Hill. Mr. and Mrs. George had a family of six children, two sons and four daughters. He lived to be eighty-five years of age, and she died at threescore and ten. They were members of Cabin Hill Presbyterian Church. Mr. George was a man of ability, and filled a number of public offices, such as Surveyor and Assessor. Malcolm Calhoun came to Bryant's Hollow, and bought of John Whitson a hundred and seventy acres of land, and then of Peter Calhoun an adjoining farm of a hundred and seventy more. He improved his property, remodelling the buildings which had come into his possession, and making a comfortable and attractive home.
Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Calhoun have brought up a family of five children, two sons and three daughters. George P. Calhoun and James Sinkler Calhoun are both living at home. Helen married John T. Rooney, a farmer, of Lower Andes; and they have one child. Aggie Jane Calhoun and Mary Elizabeth Calhoun still brighten the home with their presence. Mr. Calhoun is not only a general farmer, but gives especial attention to milk-producing. He has a herd of over thirty beautiful Jerseys, and employs the latest and best inventions in the way of dairy appliances. True to the traditions of his family and the land of his nativity, Mr. Calhoun is a Presbyterian, a communicant of the United Presbyterian church at Andes. He is a good Republican, a worthy citizen, and an enterprising and successful man, devoted to a useful calling.
MAHLON MCKINNEY was born in Lackawaxen, Pike County, Pa., November 4, 1838. His great-great-grandfather McKinney came from Ireland early in the eighteenth century, and settled in Pennsylvania. Mahlon McKinney, Sr., father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Lackawaxen, and spent his whole life in his native town. He was a millwright and surveyor, which trades he followed throughout his life. His wife was Catherine Kittle, daughter of Jacob and Mary Kittle, of Port Jervis, Orange County, N.Y., and a descendant of the German pioneer settlers of New York State. She was the mother of eight children, namely: Laney, wife of George Youngs, of Berlin, Pa.; Jane M., who was twice married, first to Samuel Smith, and afterward to Smith Wood, of Buckingham, Wayne County, Pa.; Ann Eliza, wife of Hezekiah Wood, of Berlin, Pa.; Nancy, wife of Charles B. Wheeling, Lackawaxen, Pa.; George; Samuel; Mahlon; and Zenas.
The subject of this sketch passed his early life in his native town as lumberman and contractor, and in 1877 came to Delaware County, and moved on to the farm he now occupies in the town of Hancock. He has one hundred and nine acres, more than half of which are under cultivation. His pleasant house and convenient farm buildings and the latest improved machinery for carrying on the place show the thrift and good judgement of the owner. Mr. McKinney in all his dealings shows himself to be upright and honest, progressive and of good judgment, a man to whom is justly accorded the respect of his fellow-citizens.
Mrs. Mahlon McKinney, whose name before marriage was Mary E. Daily, is a daughter of the late William Daily, of Tuscan, Sullivan County, N.Y. The father of William Daily was a veteran and pensioner of the War of 1812, and he lived to be eighty-three years old. His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Fingelder survived him a number of years, dying at the age of ninety-seven. Mr. and Mrs. McKinney were married January 31, 1857, at Honesdale, Wayne County, Pa.; and they have had three children: Mahlon, the eldest, born July 2, 1860, died at the age of one year, eight months, and twenty-eight days; William H., born November 24, 1862, now engaged in business at Long Eddy, married Denas Williams, daughter of Antone Williams, of Hancock, and they have two children, Minnie M. and Mary Louise; Samuel, born November 9, 1865, marrried Mary O. Boyd, of Tompkins, daughter of Henry Boyd, and grand-daughter of Canfield Boyd, of that town. The Boyds were of Scotch ancestry. They came to Delaware County from the Eastern States, and were among the first settlers of the valley, several of them being soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Samuel works the home farm with his father. He and his wife have had three children, one of whom died in infancy. The others are Mahlon Henry, born August 30, 1891, and Ida McKinney, born December 30, 1894.
WILLIAM AVERY FRY is a retired merchant who, after having spent his manhood's prime in the Far South, is now passing the sunset of his life in the village of Sidney, where he was born on July 22, 1816. He comes of good stock, and is one of the oldest as well as most widely known and highly respected residents of this section of Delaware County. The Fry family of England, from whom he is descended, were people of importance and wealth in their native land, and, besides their city home in London, had a handsome country estate in Bristol, where they spent a part of each year. Their coat of arms is preserved by their American descendants, and is emblazoned with three horses, one bridled, and two running at large, unbridled. An early ancestor, Captain John Fry, is said to have gone to England from Switzerland, under George I., as Captain of the Swiss Guards.
John Fry, Jr., the father of the subject of this biographical sketch, was born in Hartford, Conn., in March, 1792 and died in Delaware County, Iowa, in 1870. He was a son of John Fry, a native of Bristol, England, who was united in marriage to a Miss Avery in Hartford, and there engaged in his occupation of gardener. He accumulated quite a property, all of which he converted into English money, as he was a warm advocate of the divine right of kings. Two sons and one daughter were born to this marriage, namely: John, Jr., the eldest child; William, the second son; and Sarah, who married a Mr. Bradley. After the death of this wife, which occurred in Hartford, he was three times married.
John Fry, Jr., was a farmer by occupation, and also an extensive dealer in lumber. He was at one time very well-to-do, but lost heavily in 1824 by the failure of the Columbia Bank of Baltimore, he having taken the pay for a large stock of lumber in bills of that bank just prior to its failure, and in consequence lost the entire amount of the bill. He married Philomela Spenser, who was born and reared in Unadilla, Otsego County, N.Y. Her father, the Rev. Orange Spencer, was a Baptist clergyman, and a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Her grandfather, Solomon Spencer, was one of the very early settlers of the town of Unadilla, coming there in 1743, and being for many years a prominent figure among the pioneers of the place. Eleven children were born to John and Philomela Fry, two of whom died in infancy; and of three sons and six daughters that grew to mature life, all except one are now living.
William A. Fry was named for his uncle William, above mentioned. At the youthful age of eight years he began to be a self-supporting member of the community, entering the service of Judge Samuel Rexford as a chore boy, no doubt forming habits of application that proved the foundation of his subsequent prosperity. After becoming of age, he was successfully engaged in mercantile business in Unadilla Centre until obliged by failing health to abandon it. He removed to Gilbertsville, Butternuts, Otsego County, whence in 1845, in the desire to recuperate his physical vigor, he started for South America. He sailed from New York City, March 25, 1845, on the American bark "Rosalba," which was commanded by Captain Tilton, a fine sailor and a noble man. They sailed for Montevideo, and were seventy-five days out of sight of land, being becalmed in the vicinity of the equatorial line. After making one or two stops on the Brazilian coast, Mr. Fry arrived in Montevideo in July, 1845. He returned to the States in November, 1872, and went from New York to St. Augustine, Fla., whence he came back to Sidney in 1879.
While sojourning in Montevideo, Mr. Fry wooed and won as his bride Jeannie Wield Birrell, their nuptials being solemnized May 15, 1848. Mrs. Fry was born in Dumfries, Scotland, May 6, 1821, being a daughter of John and Amelia (Halley) Birrell, both of whom were natives of Gretna Green, Scotland. Returning to Delaware County, Mr. and Mrs. Fry settled in the village of Sidney, where they are living in comfort, enjoying the esteem and friendship of a large circle of acquaintances.
WILLIAM H. BARLOW, a prosperous and intelligent farmer of Delaware County, was born May 7, 1834, in Stamford, where his grandfather, Edmund Barlow, a native of Fairfield, Conn., was an early settler. He was interested in various occupations, being able to turn his hand to almost anything with gratifying results. He died January 18, 1825, and his wife on June 1 of the same year. Their son Samuel, the father of William H., was born in Stamford, August 31, 1798, and was twice married. His first wife, Maria Squire, had two children, Betsey Louise and Ellen Maria, both of whom have passed away; and she died January 17, 1828. His second wife was Betsey Rolins, who became the mother of four children, namely: Roswell, born March 10, 1830, and died May 18, 1833; Abigail, born March 30, 1832, and died May 23, 1858;
William H., of whom this sketch is written; Edmund W., born December 16, 1837, and died September 12, 1857. Samuel Barlow was a successful farm, owning three hundred acres of land at the time of his death, which occurred May 4, 1884. He was a member of the Episcopal church at Hobart and politically a Democrat. His wife died March 15, 1870.
William Barlow, after receiving the best education afforded by the district schools, gave his attention to farming, and lived at home until the death of his parents. On November 29, 1859 he married Sarah E. Carroll, who was born in Roxbury, March 26, 1840, a daughter of Enos and Anna Carroll. Her father was born in Dutchess County. Having grown to manhood, he engaged in farming in Roxbury, where he was married. He died December 11, 1874, at the age of seventy-six yeaars; and his wife passed away May 30, 1893, in her ninety-third year. They were the parents of five children, namely: John Carroll, of Roxbury; Angeline, also of Roxbury; Sarah E., wife of Mr. Barlow; Samuel B. and Abbie, both of whom are dead.
Mr. Barlow succeeded to the ownership of the old homestead, where he resided until 1888, when he moved to his present place of two hundred and sixty acres. His time is devoted to farming, and he sells the milk from eighty cows. He is the father of six children. The eldest, Annie E., born January 29, 1861, is the wife of William B. Smith, of Bovina. Ella A., born April 7, 1862, is the wife of Daniel Craft, of Jefferson, Schoharie County, Ward S., born December 1, 1863, is married to Lizzie Puffer, and is engaged in blacksmithing in Hobart. Frank C., born May 12, 1876, Fred W., born December 12, 1877, and Abbie M., who was born October 31, 1880, reside with their parents.
Mr. Barlow is one of the most extensive farmers in this vicinity, and a highly respected citizen, liberal in religious views, and in politics voting with the Democratic party.
STEPHEN LYON, a retired wagon manufacturer of the town of Walton, Delaware County, N.Y., is a man who has by his own unwearying efforts succeeded in accumulating a comfortable fortune, and, what is still more commendable, is one who bears an untarnished reputation as a thoroughly conscientious, upright citizen. Mr. Lyon was born in Stamford, N.Y., on April 9, 1825. His grandfather, Walter Lyon, was born in that town, January 28, 1769, son of Seth and Mary Lyon, of Connecticut, and died March 19, 1819. Burr Lyon, the father of the subject of this sketch, was one of the nine children of Walter Lyon, and was born in Stamford, December 2, 1795, and died in Walton in 1867. He married Melinda Churchill; and they were the parents of nine children, namely: Stephen; John, born October 30, 1826; William S., born October 5, 1828; Walter B., born December 1, 1830; Giles W., born February 11, 1833, a carpenter by trade, who died in Walton, April 3, 1894, leaving one daughter, Cora; Ann Eliza, born May 23, 1835, widow of William Elijah, who died October 19, 1869; Mary M., born May 1, 1840, and died October 3, 1881; George A., born January 1, 1844; and Elijah, born January 24, 1838, and died in 1862. The last-named was one of the first volunteers of 1861, having enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Volunteer Infantry, where he had reached the rank of Sergeant, with every indication of future promotion. But he died at Folly Island, a victim of typhoid fever, and there rests in a soldier's grave, a brave man who gave his life in the service of his country. His death cast a gloom over the whole community, who sympathized with his family in their great bereavement.
Stephen Lyon was brought up on his father's farm, and attended the district school, later entering the high school of Walton, where he remained one year. After this, in 1847, he started out in life on his own responsibility, being employed by contractors in clearing the land and making it ready for cultivation. After his marriage he settled on his farm of two hundred and forty acres in Broome County, where he remained fourteen years, when he came to his present home, occupying the same house in which he now lives. For twenty-three years, up to March, 1894, he here engaged in the manufacture of wagons, in which occupation he was eminently successful, always giving satisfaction to his many patrons.
In 1854 Mr. Lyon married Julia Hoyt, of Walton, who became the mother of three children, two of whom, a son and a daughter, lived to reach maturity. The son, Melvern Lyon, M.D., was graduated from a Philadelphia medical school, and is now a physician at Absecon, N.J. By his wife, Hannah Crosby, he has had two sons, only one of whom is now living, the other having died in infancy. The daughter, Myrtie, with her husband, Robert Bertray, and two sons - Kenneth, three years old, and Frederick, a young babe - resides at the parental home. Mrs. Lyon has been in delicate health during the last few years and is now visiting her son in New Jersey.
Mr. Lyon is a consistent Republican, being an ardent supporter of the platform of that party, and has held some minor offices under that organization. He and his wife are both devout and interested members of the Congregational church in Walton, taking an active part in its religious and social affairs. A just, reliable, noble-principled man, he holds an exalted position in the esteem of his many friends, and is regarded by his townsmen as a valuable citizen, who is ever interested in good government and the welfare of the people.
GEORGE W. ALLISON, a carpenter and well-known citizen of Cook's Falls, Delaware County, was born at Liberty Falls, Sullivan County, N.Y., July 21, 1830. His father, James Allison, who was born in Scotland, and was a carpenter and millwright, settled in the town of Liberty, and built a mill on Campbell Brook. He also built a number of other mills in Sullivan County. He married Lucinda Divine, to whom four boys were born, namely: Philo, who died in the late war; James, Jr., who died in 1869; Bradly H., who married C. Baxter, after whose death he married Juliet Cook, and now resides in Cook's Falls, Colchester; and George, the subject of this sketch. Mr. James Allison died at Liberty Falls, December, 1830, while in the prime of life, leaving his wife and four children, the youngest of whom, George, was a mere infant. Mrs. Lucinda Allison died at Colchester when sixty-two years of age. She was a member of the Presbyterian church.
George W. Allison grew to manhood in Liberty Falls, spending his time working on various farms. He bought property in Grahamsville, Sullivan County, and, following the carpenter's trade, lived there for fifteen years. He then purchased a farm near Cook's Falls, and engaged in its cultivation, also spending some time at his trade. His next move was to the village of Cook's Falls, where he was since resided.
At the age of twenty-three he married Jane M., daughter of Henry and Catherine (Black) Porter, who lived at Grahamsville, Sullivan County. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Porter had a family of seven children - Elizabeth, Nancy, Abbie, Gideon, Jane M., Jeanette, and Ira. Mr. Porter was a prosperous farmer, and lived to a good old age. Mr. and Mrs. Allison have four children: Ida, born September 23, 1856, who married Alexander Sparks, a truckman of Middletown, N.Y.; Emma B., born in October, 1862, who married Henry Dekay, and has two children; Anna, who was born April 14, 1866, and married John Healy, freight agent at Middletown, N.Y.; and Clarence, born August 17, 1870, who now lives in Rockland, and is a quarryman.
Mr. Allison has held many positions of trust, among them being that of Justice of Peace, which he was ably filled for twelve years, and Justice of Sessions, Commissioner of Highways, and Postmaster, which latter office he has held since February 3, 1894. He is at present a Notary Public. He is a Democrat in politics, and is highly respected by all his fellow-citizens. In the social fraternities he is a member of the A.F. & A.M. and I.O.R.M.
STEPHEN RUSSELL, of whom this sketch is intended to be a brief memoir, was born to his parents in Bovina on the twenty-sixth day of January 1824. His father, James Russell, was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1790; and his mother, Margaret (Brice) Russell, was also a native of Scotland. The grandfather of Stephen Russell, and the founder of this branch of the Russell family in America, was William Russell, a Scotch farmer who came to America in 1800, and settled in Bovina, N.Y., where a grandson, Andrew T., brother of Stephen, now resides.
The two hundred acres of ground purchased by the emigrant was forest land; and the abundance of deer, bears, wolves, and small game gave food to the settlers, and furnished skins for traffic in the Catskill market, sixty-two miles distant. The nearest mill was six miles away from the log house of the emigrant, who would shoulder the grist, and walk the distance when the bread supply became nearly exhausted and the housewife clamored for flour. Life in the primitive new settlement, though hard and rough, was healthful; and William Russell lived to be ninety-five years old. The husband and wife followed the faith of their fathers, and lived and died in the faith of the Presbyterian church. Their five children are all now dead.
James Russell, the father of Stephen, grew up in Bovina, and was educated in the primitive schools of that early period. He was a successful farmer, a prominent man among his neighbors, and a member of the Reformed Presbyterian church. Stephen Russell received his education from the masters in the district school, and lived on his father's farm until he was twenty-one years old. He then went to work for a Mr. William Thompson, with whom he remained nearly two years. His first year's earnings netted him the meagre sum of one hundred and eighty dollars. His employer raised his wages during the last nine months of his service; but Stephen Russell had decided to learn a trade which would insure him a competence, and so became a blacksmith under an apprenticeship with Andrew Craig. As soon as he felt himself sufficiently well skilled in his craft, he set up a shop for himself in the village. Her the stroke of his anvil sounded through days of shine and storm; for the smith was an industrious man, and found much work to do. After nine years, however, he sold his shop, and bought a small farm of sixty acres, which he has enlarged by recent additions to its present proportions, two hundred and nine acres. Here he has established a dairy farm, and keeps a herd of fifty-five milk cows, whose average yearly weight of butter is two hundred and seventy-five pounds. He has the latest and best machinery for butter-making, and takes the deepest interest in his dairy, which one of the largest in Bovina.
On November 11, 1850, he was united in wedlock to Mary Armstrong, a native of Bovina. Mrs. Russell's father was born in Washington County, New York, and came to Bovina when the town was in its first stage of development. The mother of Mary Armstrong was a Scotch woman. The Armstrongs were members of the United Presbyterian church, and certainly fulfilled the Biblical injunction to "multiply and replenish the earth"; for out of a family of twelve children ten grew to maturity. Six of them are now living, namely: John Armstrong, a resident of California; Francis, who lives at the old homestead in Bovina; Elsie, Mrs. David Oliver; Mrs. Mary Russell; Margaret, Mrs. Walter A. Doig; and Ellen J., Mrs. John J. Foster, the latter a resident of Washington County.
To Stephen and Mary Russell seven children have been born, as follows: james, born December 5, 1851; John A., born June 19, 1854; Francis, born May 26, 1857; Margaret, born February 6, 1861; William J., February 17, 1867; Edwin D., born October 26, 1869; Henry George, born May 15, 1872. The parents of this family are in the folds of the Christian faith, being members of the Reformed Presbyterian church. Mr. Russell takes no part in politics, but gives his undivided attention to his work. His hospitality and geniality make him a favorite in the locality in which he lives; and his butter, cream, and milk are well known to epicures of Delaware County.
ALEXANDER MCFARLANE and his brother, Gilbert McFarlane, intelligent and thriving farmers of the town of Hamden, are the owners of two fine and well-appointed farms, aggregating two hundred twelve acres, pleasantly located in school district No. 12. They live together on the old homestead, where Gilbert, who is the elder, was born in the year 1825, and Alexander on August 7, 1830. These brothers are of pure Scotch blood, being sons of Malcolm and Sarah (Crawford) McFarlane, who were natives of Scotland, the date of the birth of the father being 1790.
Soon after their marriage this couple emigrated to the United States, in company with the bride's parents. Peter and Jennie (McNaught) Crawford. They sailed from Glasgow in 1820, and were six weeks on the water before reaching New York City. They very soon came to this county, settling at first in Bovina, and afterward removing to Hamden, where Mr. Crawford bought two hundred acres of land. After working on that for about three years, Mr. and Mrs. McFarlane bought one hundred acres of wild land, which is now included in the property of their sons. Mr. Barrus, an early settler, had here built a small frame or board house, filled in with sticks and mud; and in this house, to which some additions were made, twelve children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm McFarlane, seven sons and five daughters. Three sons and five daughters grew to adult life, and of these the sons and three of the daughters are now living. Malcolm, the third son, is a resident of California, whither he went as soon as he attained his majority, in 1858, journeying across the plains. On his arrival there he engaged in mining for a while, but afterward became a hotel-keeper. One of the daughters, Janet, the wife of Lewis Launt, a farmer, lives in Hamden. Rebecca, the wife of Jeremiah Wilson, a farmer, lives in Sullivan County; and Isabelle, the widow of William H. Beers, resides in DeLancey. Neither of the parents is now living, the father having departed this life in September, 1849, in the sixtieth year of his age, and the mother following him some four years later. They were very successful in their agricultural pursuits, and, in addition to improving their first purchase, bought more land. At the time of their decease the homestead property contained two hundred and ten acres, with a good deal of standing timber. They were very upright and religious people, although members of no church, and observed Saturday as a day of rest.
The maternal grandparents of the subject of this brief record, Peter and Jennie (McNaught) Crawford, reared three sons and three daughters; namely, Daniel, Gilbert, Peter, Sarah, Katie, and Jennie. Daniel, deceased was married, and his widow resides in Hamden. Gilbert was a Presbyterian minister. Peter, who came to this country five years after the arrival of his parents, walked from Catskill to Delhi, a distance of sixty-eight miles, in one day. He was a carpenter by trade, and his first work in Delaware County was on the Delhi court-house. He next pursed his vocation in the city of Buffalo, and there wooed and won his bride. After living there about fifteen years, he traded his Buffalo property for five hundred acres of wild land in Hamden; and this he sold in 1837, and removed to Chicago. He took up one hundred and sixty acres, just outside the city limits; and during his residence there he acquired a large property, which at the time of his decease was divided among his three sons and one daughter.
Alexander McFarlane and his brother Gilbert are as skilful and scientific farmers as can be found in this locality, exercising good judgment, and being highly prosperous in all their undertakings. Their farm is divided into fields and lots by about one thousand rods of substantial stone walls, and is well supplied with all the modern implements and machinery necessary for carrying on general husbandry. Alexander obtained his education in the district school, and at the age of twenty-one years hired himself out as a farm laborer at thirteen dollars a month, working eight months in the year. He learned the mason's trade soon after leaving home, and has continued to follow this in conjunction with farming ever since. He helped to build the Delhi branch of the New York, Ontario & Western Railway, and was also employed on many of the buildings in this locality. He began early as a steady man of work, and is still an energetic toiler, both he and his excellent wife, who has been his faithful helpmate, possessing great mental and physical vigor.
On October 14, 1852, he was united in marriage to Abby J. Launt, who was born in Hamden in 1833. She is a German ancestry, being a daughter of Philip and Almira (Reeves) Launt, the former of whom died April 30, 1880, aged seventy-four years, leaving a widow and seven children, all of whom are now living, Mrs. McFarlane being the eldest child. Seven sons and five daughters have been born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. McFarlane, and of these two sons and two daughters are now living. Philip M., a farmer in Hamden, married Anna Seaman; and they have one daughter. Jessie, the wife of James Wilson, lives in DeLancey. John, a farmer, married Maggie McLaury, and resides in Hamden. Almira, a young lady of eighteen years, lives with her parents, and, being well versed in the domestic arts, is mother's able assistant. Nettie, who married Wilbur Coe, died in 1889, aged twenty-seven years, leaving one son, Alexander Coe, now tenderly cared for by his grandparents.
Mr. McFarlane and his family are members of the United Presbyterian church at DeLancey. Politically, both he and his brother Gilbert, who is a man of great intelligence and well informed on all current topics, are firm Republicans. Alexander has served as Collector two years, as Assessor three years, and as Road Commissioner two years. Their brother John, at the time of his death, was Supervisor of the town.
ARCHIBALD FALCONER MAYNARD is a wealthy and influential farmer in Bovina, Delaware County, and belongs to a family absolutely identified with the history and welfare of this gilt-edged town. Bovina was organized on the first Tuesday of March, 1820, the earliest town-meeting being held in the inn kept by John Hastings, tow miles from the centre, on land still known as the Hastings farm. The first town Superintendents and Justices were Elisha B. Maynard and Thomas landon. The place was settled chiefly by the Scotch, thrifty, industrious, God-fearing people, devoted to the Presbyterian church, United or Reformed. They early gave their chief attention to dairy products, in which they now stand at the head of the county. Indeed, its very name, Bovina, coming from the Latin word for cow, indicates the main characteristics of the town--still one of the very smallest in the county, though at the same time one of the richest. Temperance prevails, and not a liquor license has been granted for a long time. Partly as a result of this policy, there is not a pauper in the community. Tennis Lake takes its name from the friendly Indian, who lived near it on the Doig farm. The first mail was opened on January 27, 1821, on the shore of Lake Livingston, and the office was called Fish Lake. Thomas Landon was the first Postmaster. Of course, the place had been settled some thirty years previous to its separation into a township; and in 1796 the first mill was erected by Stephen Palmer for Governor Morgan Lewis, who was interested in the settlement of the vicinity. The first marriage was between James Russell and Nancy Richie. The first Supervisor was Thomas Landon. The Hastings family introduced Jersey cattle, now to be found on every acre; and to the culture of this breed special attention is still given by J. E. Hastings and W. L. Ruff.
The Maynards are of English descent, the first immigrants of the name coming to America about the beginning of the eighteenth century, and settling in Westchester County, New York, in the town of Rye. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch was Elisha B. Maynard, who came to this region between 1790 and 1792, with two yokes of oxen and a cart, and settled on Maynard Brook. The first birth in the settlement was that of one of his sons, Elisha H. Maynard, in 1793. Pioneer Maynard followed the Indian trail, settling in this valley because it took his fancy, and purchasing the hundred and fifty acres still constituting the Maynard farm. He built his log cabin, and cleared his land, passing his life in hard work, active in everything pertaining to the welfare of the town. In this homestead were born most of his twelve children, five boys and seven girls, all of whom have passed away. The patriarch was very liberal in his religious views, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. In his latter years he moved back to Westchester County to the old Maynard homestead, where he died at a good old age.
One of his sons, the father of the subject of this sketch, was Isaac Maynard. He, of course, grew up on the farm, and went to the district school. Being studious by nature, he also studied by himself, giving special attention to law, so that he was abundantly able to fill the office of Justice of Peace for a quarter-century, though his life business was farming in which he was assisted by his sons. His marriage took place on January 22, 1824; and his wife was Jane Falconer, born September 9, 1797. Through her the subject of this sketch came by his first name, as she was the daughter of Archibald Falconer, who was born in Scotland, and came to this country in 1795. For a while Mr. Falconer lived in New York City, and then removed to Stamford, Delaware County, where he died in 1842. Isaac Maynard and his wife had five children, of whom four are now living: Elisha B., a Bovina farmer; Elsprit F., deceased, was the wife of A. H. Johnston, now of Hamden; Archibald Falconer; Esther, the wife of Edward Combs, a Delaware farmer; and Judge Isaac H. Maynard, a resident of Stamford, who has an office in Albany, a man whose public career has of late years excited so much attention. The father of these children lived to the advanced age of eighty-two, and then was killed by a runaway horse. In religious views he was liberal, like his father, and in politics he was a Democrat; his wife who died at the age of seventy, was a Presbyterian.
Archibald F. Maynard was born on the homestead where he still lives, on November 14, 1829. He takes pride in the condition of this ancestral farm, unchanged in area, though it has kept up with the times in adopting the latest methods. Archibald attended the district school, and felt it a duty and privilege to remain at home and care for his parents when they needed his help; but he did not marry until June 2, 1875, when over forty-five years of age. His wife was Jennie Isabel Cowan, born in Stamford, January 29, 1849. Her father, Hector Cowan, was also born in Stamford; but her mother, whose maiden name was Esther Nesbitt, was born in Bovina. Mr. Cowan was a mechanic, and died before he had completed his half-century, while his widow lived to be seventy years old. Both were earnest Presbyterian church members at South Kortright; and they had seven children, five now living. Mary Cowan married John N. McCracken, of Oneonta, Otsego County. Jennie Cowan is the wife of Mr. Maynard, and her likeness accompanies that of her husband. William H. Cowan lives in Montgomery, Orange County; he married Miss Mary Keesler, of Orange County, New York. Nancy Cowan is the wife of William R. Brock, of Stamford. George N. Cowan resides in the same town; his wife was Jessie B. Gillespie, now deceased.
The Maynard estate is in the prime of cultivation. Its owner maintains that every farm should produce enough feed for its live stock. Therefore he does not buy grain, like many other milk farmers, and prefers to have the creatures at pasture in the summer. Nevertheless, his is the model farm, his nineteen Jersey cows and heifers yielding in 1893 about four thousand one hundred pounds of golden butter, besides what was used in the family, the dairy being run only through the summer season. The farm buildings are in the finest order. The family residence, built in 1887, is both beautiful and costly, and is provided with every modern convenience. Like the mansion, the grounds are elaborately arranged and decorated. To every detail of the farm work the owner gives his personal attention. In every local enterprise he is thoroughly interested, like his progenitors. Like his father and grandfather, Mr. Maynard is a Democrat, and has been four years Justice of Peace. The family attend the United Presbyterian church at Bovina Centre. There is one son only, William H. Maynard, born June 6, 1876, in the centennial year. In the class of 1894 he graduated honorably at the Delaware Academy in Delhi. He is now attending Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pa.
As the reader turns to view the portrait of Mr. Archibald F. Maynard on a neighboring page, opposite that of Mrs. Maynard, he may well call to mind the words of that enlightened Democratic philosopher and president Thomas Jefferson, "Let the farmer forevermore be honored in his calling, for they who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God."
JAMES R. HONEYWELL, County Treasurer, became the incumbent of this responsible office in the year 1886, and since that period has faithfully and efficiently discharged the duties connected with it. He is known as a man of intelligence, honesty, and ability, and is regarded as a good authority on questions of finance. Having by close attention to business accumulated, while yet in the prime of life, a fair competence, he is now enabled to devote his entire time to the large interests intrusted to his care. Among the solid and substantial citizens of Delhi he holds an honored position and one which he has well earned.
Mr. Honeywell is a native of Delaware County, having been born December 1, 1842, in the town of Walton, which was also the birthplace of his parents, Alfred and Margaret (Russell) Honeywell, the latter being of Scotch parentage. He is of pioneer ancestry, his great-grandfather, Matthias Honeywell, a Revolutionary soldier, having been an early settler of Walton, where he cleared and improved a good homestead. The grandfather, William Honeywell, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and after its close carried on his trade of miller in the town of Walton, remaining there until his decease.
Mr. Honeywell grew to man's estate in the place of his nativity, receiving the common-school advantages to which every child was entitled. Possessing excellent business tact and shrewdness, he early turned his attention toward mercantile pursuits, and in 1865 became a resident of Delhi, entering the employ of Henry England as a clerk in his store. In this capacity he proved himself eminently trustworthy, and in the course of a few years became thoroughly conversant with the mercantile business, and found it so congenial to his tastes that in 1872 he bought out the interest of Mr. England in the store, and was for several years one of the leading merchants of Delhi. During his residence here he has acquired a reputation for financial sagacity and executive ability, and has been elected to various offices of trust. He is at present one of the trustees of the Delaware Academy, and is a director of the Delaware Loan & Trust Company. Politically, Mr. Honeywell is an uncompromising Republican, and fraternally is prominent in masonic circles, being Trustee of Delhi Lodge, King of Delhi Chapter, and belonging to Norwich Commandery.
The union of Mr. Honeywell and Miss Mary Walsworth, of Sing-Sing, N. Y., was solemnized some ten years since; and two children, Warren and Marguerite, have come to gladden their hearts and brighten their fireside. They have an attractive and cosey residence on High Street, where they dispense a generous hospitality to their numerous friends and acquaintances. Both Mr. and Mrs. Honeywell are communicants of the Methodist Episcopal church and active workers in the Sunday-school.
OBADIAH M. NEFF, a well-known farmer and dairyman of Deposit, was born in Lawrence, Otsego County, July 13, 1822, son of Jacob B. and Nancy (Thayer) Neff. The father of Jacob B. Neff was a pioneer settler in the eastern part of New York, and died in early manhood, leaving his widow and children to the care of his son, who was born and educated in Amersterdam, Montgomery County, and there learned the trade of a cooper. When guite young, Jacob moved with the family to Lawrence, where he purchased a tract of land, and made a home for his widowed mother and his brothers and sisters. He cleared the land, erected a log cabin, and worked both at farming and at his trade of cooper. His mother carded, wove, and spun all the flax and wool used for the clothes of her family, proving herself an exceptionally capable and industrious woman.
When nineteen years of age, Jacob B. Neff married Nancy Thayer, of Otsego County, a daughter of Asa and Lydia Thayer. In 1839 he disposed of his property in Lawrence, and moved to Tompkins, Delaware County, in the section now known as Deposit. He purchased two hundred acres of partially cleared land in Barbourville, and followed the occupations of a farmer and a cooper, at which he was employed until his death at eighty years, his wife having died a short time previous. They had eight childern; namely, Obadiah, Martha, Asa, Nancy, Lucy, Rebecca, William, and Esther. Mr. Neff was a Democrat, and both he and his wife were life-long members of the Christian church.
Obadiah M. Neff was educated in Lawrence, and learned the cooper's trade. Going to work by the month when seventeen, he was employed in that way until he started out for himself at the age of twenty-four. He bought a tract of timbered land in Tompkins, built him a frame house, and engaged in lumbering and farming. On February 18, 1840, he married Miss Mary Ann Culver, daughter of Joshua and Parlina (Mills) Culver, of Masonville.
Ichabod Culver, the father of Joshua, came from Dutchess to Delaware County before the Revolutionary War, when the country around there was a desolate wilderness; and he was killed at the raising of a mill building. In those days the settlers were obliged to take their live stock into the house to protect them from the wild animals, which were exceedingly abundant. The grandmother of Mrs. Neff was once followed by a panther, and was obliged to gallop for many miles before she finally reached shelter and escaped the ferocious beast. Joshua Culver was a farmer and lumberman, clearing a large tract of land in Barbourville; and his wife manufactured all the cloth used for the family. Six of their children lived to reach maturity; namely, Thomas, Mary Ann, Hannah, Elvira, Angeline, and Cynthia. Three died within three weeks of one another--Betsey Jane, Alice, and Henrietta.
Mr. and Mrs. Obadiah Neff have five children now living, namely: Walter, who married Violetta Knapp, and has two children; Alice, the wife of Valdermar Mayo, of Deposit, and the mother of five children; Ernest, who married Nettie Miles, of Deposit, and has one child; William; and Edmund. Three of their children, Amelia, Alonzo, and Joshua, died when quite young. Mr. Neff and his son Walter are engaged in farming on the old homestead, and in dairying, in which they are very successful. Mr. Neff is as strong and active as in former years, and his genial countencance is welcome wherever it is seen.
CHARLES SMITH ALLABEN, M. D., a prominent medical practitioner of Margarettville, in Middletown, Delaware County, N. Y., was born in Delhi on January 27, 1855. His father, James R. Allaben, was a son of John Allaben, and a grandson of Jonathan Allaben. Jonathan Allaben was born in Connecticut, but went to Long Island, and was drowned in Long Island Sound not many years after the Revolution. His son, John Allaben, was born on Long Island, and married Fezon McIntyre. He removed to Delhi, and next to Roxbury, where he bought a farm, and remained until death, at sixty-four years of age. He had several children, seven of whom grew up. Orson M. Allaben, M. D., married Thankful Dimmick, and had two children, both dying young. Wilson Allaben, M. D., by his wife Nancy was the father of six children. Jonathan C. Allaben, M. D., married Angeline Decker, and is now dead. His widow survives. They were the parents of seven children, four of whom still live. The Rev. William N. Allaben, of Margarettville, is the only one of the family now living. He is in his seventy-ninth year, and has been married three times. He had five children by his first wife and two by the second, but has only one now living. Abigail Allaben married. She and her husband are both deceased. James R. Allaben is the subject of further mention below. Sarah Antoinette Allaben married William R. Sanford, and died, leaving six children, having had ten or twelve.
James R. Allaben was born in Roxbury, October 20, 1823, and was educated in the district school and at Delaware Academy. He was admitted to the bar in 1848, being one of the first lawyers to study with Judge Wheeler, and in 1860 served as one of the Presidential electors who recorded the vote of the people for Abraham Lincoln. In January, 1853, he married Ellen P. Smith, of Delhi, a daughter of James and Eliza M. Smith. James Smith was born in Andes, but came to Delhi, where he was known as a reliable merchant. His children were: Amasa J. Smith, who married Eusebia Faulkner; Charles B. Smith, who died at the age of eighteen or nineteen; Eliza M., who became the wife of Henry R. Washbon; and Ellen P. Smith, Mrs. Allaben, who died April 15, 1874. Her husband, James R. Allaben, was appointed United States Storekeeper in 1861, and went to Brooklyn, where, with the exception of three years, he remained until death, on September 14, 1893. They had seven children. William H. Allaben married in Brooklyn. Charles S. Allaben is the Margarettville Doctor. Eliza M. Allaben married George T. Moore, and lives in Brooklyn. Orson M. Allaben, second, died young, James R. Allaben, Jr., married Anna McNitt, and died February 15, 1889, leaving one child, Nelson James Allaben. Two other children, John and Ellen C. Allaben, did not live to grow up.
Charles S. Allaben was educated in the Brooklyn public schools and the Delaware Academy, and was graduated from the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons on May 16, 1882. He commenced practising in Brooklyn, and remained there a year. Then he went to Otsego County, where during seven years of successful practice he met and married on March 28, 1883, Mary Electa Moore, a daughter of Albert G. and Elizabeth A. (Beardsley) Moore. Mr. Moore was a banker, and had a family of three children: Mary E. Moore, born July 9, 1862; and Anna E. and Jessie B. Moore, both dead. Mr. Moore died in his forty-third year; but his widow is living now, makes her home in Morris, Otsego County, and is sixty-one years old. Dr. Allaben has one son, Charles Moore Allaben, born October 15, 1885. The Doctor is one of the village Tustees. He has lived on Walnut Street since 1890, and, being a kinsman of the late noted Dr. Orson M. Allaben, is rapidly gaining the implicit confidence of that gentleman's friends. Margarettville is indeed fortunate in securing such a citizen to help humanity."Enjoy the golden moments as they pass,
And gain new strength for days that are to come."
MRS. LAURA GILLETT, one of the most estimable and highly respected women of the town of Franklin, where she has long been a prominent resident, is the widow of the late Jacob Gillett, who died in this town on the farm where he was born, January 1, 1893. The Gilletts were among the pioneer settlers of Delaware County. Joel Gillett, the father of Jacob, was born at Hebron, Conn., February 7, 1773, a son of Ezekiel Gillett, a well-to-do farmer, a soldier of the Revolution, who died in Connecticut in 1819, a seventy-six years of age. Joel Gillett served in the War of 1812. He married Clarissa Carrier, of Connecticut; and she in 1802 joined her husband in Franklin, he having come here the year before with oxen and cart to make a new home for himself and family. It was a dense wilderness that this energetic couple were obliged to penetrate, and in the midst of which they made a clearing and built their house, having purchased the land from George Gillett, a brother of Joel, who had come in 1800, and bought one hundred and eighty-seven acres.
Here Mr. and Mrs. Joel Gillett reared their large family of thirteen children, all of whom, with the exception of one son, lived to reach maturity with families of their own. But three of these children still survive, namely: Joel, Jr., who resides in Afton at the advanced age of eighty-seven years; Warren, in Oneonta, aged sevety-seven; Almire, widow of Reuben Stilson. Joel Gillett died in his eightieth year, April 23, 1853, in the home which he had built, his wife living to be eighty-five years old. Both were members of the Congregational church, in which faith they died; and they now sleep in the Ouleout cemetery. Their son Jacob was born in 1820, and on October 21, 1847, married subject of this sketch, who was then Miss Laura Cleveland.
Mrs. Laura Gillett was born in Kortright, December 4, 1823. Her parents, Levi and Rebecca (Dibble) Cleveland, were both of Kortright, were they were married in 1820. They reared a family of eight children. One son, Curtis Cleveland, died in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, were he was engaged in farming, and left three sons and one daughter. A daughter, Polly Cleveland, wife of David Fitch, passed away in Sidney in 1872, being fity-one years of age. The six children now living are: Mrs. Gillett; Sarah, widow of Seth Bartlett, in Sidney; Amelia Ann, widow of McNight Birdsall, near Unadilla; Chester, in Sidney; Noah, who resides in Crookerville; and David, in Unadilla.
Mrs. Gillett has been called upon to part with two sons: David, who died in March, 1863, in his fifteenth year; and Joel, a railroad employee, who passed away January 21, 1883, being twenty- eight years old. On January 1, 1893, her beloved husband was taken away; and she and her children were left to mourn the loss of one who had been the tender, faithful head of the happy household. Jacob Gillett was an intelligent, high-minded, genial man, uniformly courteous and kind, widely known and highly respect in his native town; and by his death an irreparable loss was sustained by the whole community as well as the bereaved family. He died in the house where he had been born, and in which the family at present reside, it still being a well-preserved dwelling of modern appearance, though built seventy-five years ago, having been at all times kept in excellent repair. The fine barn was built by Mr. Gillett in 1880.
Mrs. Gillett has four children now living, namely: Urania, wife of Charles Wheaton, who resides near the old home, and has one daughter; Emeline, wife of Manning Fleming, a farmer in Franklin, with two daughters: Flora, wife of George Stewart, a farmer of Bainbridge; and Levi, who married Miss Carrie Judd, daughter of Ira Judd, and lives at home, assisting his mother in the care of the farm. He and his wife have one son, an interesting lad of nine years. In politics Mr. Gillett was a stanch Republican. Mrs. Gillett is a warm-hearted, religious woman, a faithful member of the Congregational church.
DAVID MUIR, an industrious and prosperous dairyman and farmer of Andes, Delaware County, N. Y., was born at the homestead where he now resides, December 25, 1845. His grandfather, James Muir, was a native of Fifeshire, Scotland, where he followed the occupation of a shepherd, and lived to a good old age. A son of James, David Muir, Sr., the father of the present David Muir, of Andes, was born in Dundee, and, while still a young man, came to America, landing in New York City. He lived there for seven years, being mostly employed at his trade of stone-cutter. He then married Miss Charlotte Turnbull, who was also a native of Scotland, and, removing to Andes, bought the farm which his son now occupies. It was partially improved; and a mill, one of the first in this part of the country, was situated on the land.
David Muir operated the mill in connection with his farm for many years, living in a log house. His first purchase of land included two hundred acres, to which he added from time to time until at the period of his death, at seventy-eight years of age, he was the possessor of three hundred and fifty acres of land. A hard worker, efficient manager, and liberal-minded man, he succeeded in accumulating a comfortable fortune, and, what is far more important, in winning for himself an enviable position in the hearts of his townspeople. He was a Republican in his later years, although a Jackson Democrat in former times. His wife died when seventy-two years of age, the mother of eight children, namely: James, a jeweller and lumberman in Andes; Thomas, who died when fifty years of age; Alexander, a resident of Bradford County, Pennsylvania; Margaret, wife of Alfred Glendenning, of Andes; Mary, who lives at the old home; David, of whom this biography is written; Henry D., of Bradford County, Pa.; and John, a carpenter at Stamford.
David Muir resided with his parents and grew to manhood in Andes, attending the district schools and later the academy of the town. Wisely deciding to devote himself to agriculture as his life work, he at length purchased the old homestead of three hundred and fifty acres, and is now the owner of one of the largest farms in this neighborhood. Mr. Muir operates a large dairy, keeping seventy Jersey cows and dealing in blooded stock. He has given great attention to this industry, and owns a superior herd of cattle, his cows producing an average of two hundred and fifty pounds of butter per head in the year 1892 and 1893. The buildings on his farm have been recently remodelled; and his spacious barn, which was erected in 1884, can accommodate seventy-two head of cattle.
On January 14, 1885, Mr. Muir married Miss Mary Hyzer, a native of Andes, and daughter of Ira W. and Margaret Hyzer. Her father was an early settler of Andes, and died in July, 1893, being survived by his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Muir are the parents of two children: Myrtle M., born July 4, 1887; and David Leslie, born June 9, 1889. Mr. Muir is a Republican; and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Andes, where they are highly respected. He is a practical, industrious man, who has given his undivided attention to the best methods of farming and dairying, and has been deservedly successful in his various undertakings.
RICHARD A. ROGERS, who is now living in the town of Walton, retired from the active pursuits of life, has spent more than fourscore years within its limits, and has been an important factor in promoting its growth from a small hamlet, surrounded with a thick forest, to its present flourishing and populous condition. He comes of substantial New England stock, but is a native of this State, having been born in the town of Tompkins, May 6, 1810. His parents, Asa and Catherine (Hamilton) Rogers, were of New England birth, his father having been born in Massachusetts in 1770, and his mother in Connecticut in 1775.
In 1798 Asa Rogers and his wife migrated to this State, bringing with them one child, and settling in Delaware County, on the banks of the Susquehanna River, where he carried on his trade of a miller for a time. Two years later Mr. Rogers moved to Tompkins, where he engaged in the lumber business with one John Carpenter, remaining in partnership with him until 1812, when he returned to Walton. Here he bought one hundred and eight acres of wooded land, mostly hemlock and hard timer, and, erecting a log cabin, began the improvement of a farm. By his skillful management and energetic toil he clared and improved a good homestead; and before his death which occurred in 1842, he had erected a substantial frame house and the necessary barn and farm buildings, and had increased the acreage to one hundred and twenty acres. His wife outlived him several years, dying in 1865. They reared a family of three children, namely: Fanny; William; and Richard A., the subject of this sketch. Fanny married Jared Marvin, and became the mother of five sons and three daughters, all of whom, with the exception of one son, grew to maturity, four sons and one daughter being yet alive. Mrs. Marvin died in 1873, being then seventy-five years old. William, who succeeded his father in the ownership of the old homestead, died there in 1870, aged sixty-seven years. He married Betsey Felton, of Hamden; and they became the parents of three sons and five daughters, of whom Edward, who lives in Michigan, and Harriet, a resident of Scranton, Pa., are the only ones now living.
Richard A., the youngest son, was but two years old when his parents settled on their farm in this town, and he was there reared to manhood. Being a very good student, he acquired as good an education as the schools of the town afforded, and was employed two winters as a teacher in the district school. He next began life as a farmer and lumberman, and for ten years carried on general farming on the mountain, and was afterward for a space of thirty years employed in the manufacture of lumber. Mr. Rogers was also for many years a prominent carpenter and joiner, taking contracts for several substantial buildings. In his varied occupations he has been remarkably successful, gaining substantial pecuniary rewards.
On the 22d of November, 1832, he was united in marriage to Harriet Hanford, a native of Walton, born November 27, 1814, being a daughter of Stephen and Mary (Hoyt) Hanford. Two sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, the elder of whom, Charles B., born February 16, 1838, died November 27, 1853. The younger, William H., who was born 1840, died in 1880, leaving a widow, formerly Mary L. Crawley, the daughter of Abner and Eliza (Barstow) Crawley, and two children: Anna E., a young lady living at home; and Charles A., a clerk and salesman for George O. Mead. These two children with their widowed mother are beloved and welcome inmates of the home of Mr. Roger; and since the death of his estimable wife, which occurred in September, 1884, after fifty-two years of happy wedded life, they have largely contributed to his domestic comfort and enjoyment. Politically, Mr. Rogers is a strong Republican, and in the years of his activity took a warm interest in local and public affairs. For many years he was Captain of an independent rifle company in Walton, and quite familiar with military tactics. Religiously, he is a valued member of the Congregational church, in which he has served with fidelity as Deacon for twenty-four years.
SIMON BOLIVAR CHAMPION is among the influential inhabitants of the town of Stamford, where he is publisher of the leading Democratic paper of the county. He is probably one of the oldest editors in the empire State; for he established the Mirror in Bloomville, Delaware County, in 1851. The Champions are of old Connecticut stock, the first emigrant having settled in Saybrook in 1647, though later one branch of the family removed to Otsego County. Henry Champion, who came from England in 1645, was born in 1620; and succeeding Champions, through whom his blood reaches our subject, were born respectively in 1654, 1684, 1729, 1769. They were all able and enlightened men. One Henry Champion, born in 1729, was within five years of his half-century when the Revolution broke out; but he joined the army in May, 1776, and was rapidly promoted from office to office, till he became Captain. He was also connected with the engineering and commissary departments and for some time supplied Washington's army with fat cattle. Aaron Champion, born August 5, 1794, one hundred years ago, was a millwright, and married Elmina Brown, of Schenevus, N. Y.
Simon B. Champion, son of Aaron and Elmina, was born at East Worcester, in Otsego County, September 7, 1825. He attended the district schools till September 7, 1840, when he was fifteen, and then went to Cooperstown, to learn the printing trade with the Hon. J. H. Prentiss, in the office of the Freeman's Journal. In 1844, during the Democratic campaign which elected Polk and Dallas against Clay and Frelinghuysen, he was the Otsego correspondent of the Albany Argus, furnishing its readers with full reports of the Democratic meetings in Otsego County. After six years' apprenticeship in the Cooperstown printing-office, he became foreman, and worked for nine months as a journeyman printer. In 1847 he left Cooperstown for Prattsville in Greene County, where he entered into partnership with John L. Hackstaff, in the publication of the Prattsville Advocate, a Democratic paper. Among other new departures he placed a section of the paper under the special caption of "Home Matters," and was perhaps the pioneer in this method of arranging a local news department. After a couple of successful years his health have way, and he moved to Bloomville, and, so far as strength would allow, worked in his father's grist-mill. As he grew stronger, however, his first love returned, and he established the Mirror on a small scale; but he soon had to enlarge it, so that during our war he had thirty-six hundred subscribers, a large number for the time and place. There were then only three other papers in the county, and at this date there are about twenty. In 1870 he removed the Mirror from Bloomville to Stamford, where it has been published ever since, and is one of the best country papers in this part of the State.
While no office-seeker, Mr. Champion has held many local positions of trust, never allowing them to interfere with the Mirror. In 1858 he declined a nomination to the State Assembly, though unanimously made, deeming this for the best interest of his paper. In 1860 he was the Democratic candidate for County Treasurer, and ran a hundred votes ahead of his ticket, but was defeated, like almost every Democrat, that being the year of the Lincoln avalanche. The same year he was appointed Assistant Marshal for taking the national census, having special charge of the towns of Kortright, Meredith, and Davenport. On January 3, 1861, he was one of the delegates to the celebrated Democratic Peace Convention at Albany, and in 1868 was one of the Presidential Electors, casting his vote with the New York delegation for Horatio Seymour for President of the United States, against General Grant. Always willing to bear his share of any duty, he has frequently been a member of county and State conventions, and was in 1856-57 Postmaster at Bloomville, and 1870-71-72 Deputy Postmaster at Stamford. He has been Trustee of village schools, a member of the Stamford Board of Education, High-priest of Delta Chapter, No. 185, of Royal Arch Masons, etc.
In 1857 Mr. Champion married Mary L. McCollum, who was born March 21, 1829, a daughter of Reuben McCollum, of Bloomville; and they have reared four children, two sons and two daughters. Amasa Junius Champion was born April 10, 1858, and married Mary Rexford. Elmina Champion was born July 20, 1860, and is the wife of John Dewitt Church. Clifford Champion was born May 2, 1864. Lucy Brown Champion was born on October 8, 1869, and died December 31, 1873. Nellie Champion was born January 27, 1873.
Amasa J. Champion learned the printing business in his father's office. After graduating at the Stamford Seminary in 1885, he published the Davenport Transcript. In 1891 he sold the plant to Walter Scott. After a vacation he bought the Hobart Independent at Hobart, published a year, and then disposed of his interest in that paper to a stock company, and went back to his father's offices, where he is assistant editor, and has a stationery and book store. Mr. Champion's youngest son, Clifford, after finishing his studies at the Stamford Seminary, learned the printing business with his father, and does the job printing. In April, 1894, he and F. G. Hartwell started the Prattsville Advocate at Prattsville, Greene County, a bright, newsy Democratic sheet, which already has a circulation of nearly a thousant copies per week. For a short time he was a Clerk in the Treasury Department at Washinton, bestowed upon him in part because of devotion of the Champions to the Democratic party. A famous journalist has truly said--and the career of the Champions confirms its truth--"Journalism is an immense power, that threatens soon to supersede sermons, lectures, and books."
DAVID WILLIAMSON, a retired merchant of the town of Delhi, Delaware County, N. Y., was born in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, December 17, 1819. His father and grandfather, John and James Williamson, were both natives of Scotland and weavers by trade. John Williamson died at the early age of forty, leaving a widow and six children, namely: David; Betsy, the wife of Alexander Low, residing in Scotland; John; Robert; Ann, married to Charles Smith, of Bovina, N. Y.; and Mary, who died young. Mrs. Williamson came to this country, and here spent the last years of her life, dying in the town of Delhi at the advanced age of eighty-eight.
David Williamson spent his early years in Forfarshire, Scotland, attending the schools there, and obtaining a sound common-school education, after which he learned the trade of weaver. At the age of twenty-two he left his native land for America, coming directly to Delhi, and went to work for Mr. Edwards, learning the trade of a house and sign painter. In this capactiy he worked for about ten years, and then opened a store for himself, dealing in all kinds of paints and paper-hangings. He continued in this line for the period of forty years, doing a successful business, and is one of two survivors who commenced business in Delhi at the same time, the others having passed away. He has built for himself one of the finest residences in town, which is fitted with every modern convenience.
Mr. Williamson was married July 5, 1857, to Miss Euphemia Lamont, a native of Walton, Delaware County, the date of her birth being February 8, 1829. Her father and mother were descendants of Scotch Highlanders, and were the parents of four children. Mr. and Mrs. Williamson have two children. Mary A., born April 2, 1848, is the wife of Alexander Oliver, of Delhi, and has five children--Charles, James, Grace, Lizzie, and Mabel. The second child, John H., was born September 5, 1850, and is now a resident of California. He married Clara Belle Peterson, and they have two sons--David V. And Charles A.
Mr. Williamson is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is also a strong supporter of the Republican party. Both he and his wife are members of the Second Presbyterian Church, of which for ten years he was Trustee, at the present time being Treasurer. He is self-made in the true sense of the term; and to that mixture of determination, energy, and honesty peculiar to the Scottish race his successful business career may be ascribed. He is a man of generous impulses, ever ready to give a helping hand or word of advice to those who have been less successful than himself.
CHARLES L. ANDRUS, an eminent lawyer of Stamford, Delaware County, N. Y., was born in Roxbury, which lies south of Stamford, on December 10, 1859. He received his education in the district schools of Roxbury and in Stamford Seminary, where he was graduated in 1877. In 1878 he began the study of law with Judge Maynard, with whom he remained till he was admited to the bar in 1881. For three years he was Clerk to the Surrogate's Court for Delaware County at Delhi, and on January 1, 1885, went into partnership with Judge Isaac H. Maynard. They settled for practice in Stamford, remaining together till 1887, when Mr. Andrus opened an office for himself. He was alone till 1890, when he formed a partnership with Judge F. R. Gilbert, staying with him for about three years, and since that time has carried on his profession alone.
At the age of twenty-seven he married Alice Bowne, whose father, Norwood Bowne, was for a number of years editor of the Delaware Express of Delhi. A prominent, well-known citzen, Mr. Bowne died at the age of seventy-four. Mr. and Mrs. Andrus have two children: Bessie K., who was born April 10, 1889; and Mary B., who was born April 13, 1891.
Mr. Andrus is a Democrat, and a member of the Presbyterian church. He belongs to St. Andrew's Lodge, No. 289, A. F. & A. M., of Hobart, Delta chapter, No. 185. Royal Arch Masons, of Stamford, and is a member of Rondout Commandery, No. 52, Knights Templars, also non-resident member of the Kingston Club of Kingston, N. Y. He has an office on Main Street, and a very pleasant residence on Delaware Street, which was built in 1886. He is the leading lawyer of Stamford, having a very large practice, and is considered a man of much ability and greatly respected among his clients and friends.
ALBERT PAYNE, a clear-headed, well-to-do farmer of the town of Franklin, Delaware County, is descended from an old English family which was one of the first to settle in the State of New York. His father, Isaac Payne, was a native of East Hampton, L. I., where he was born in 1782. His trade was that of a tanner and shoemaker; but later he adopted the life of a farmer, in which he was very successful. Isaac Payne was a soldier in the War of 1812, manfully doing his duty in his country's service. He married Lucretia Barnes, of Amagansett, L. I., and soon after moved to Franklin, where they reared seven children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the youngest, and is now the only survivor, although the others all lived to reach maturity, with families of their own. Isaac Payne died in Franklin in 1860, his wife living four years longer, and dying when eighty years of age.
Albert Payne was born November 22, 1826, at the parental home near the village of Franklin, and grew to manhood on his father's farm, attending the district school, and receiving the best instruction that could be given to a farmer's son of those days. He later taught school during the winter term, but when seventeen years old, with the independence and confidence characteristic of a young, sturdy farmer just starting out on life's journey, determined to set forth to seek his own fortune. He was offered a position on a neighboring farm, which he accepted at the small remuneration of six dollars a month. For nine years he was employed in this way, never receiving more than fifteen dollar a month. Later, after taking a Western trip to Iowa and Wisconsin, he returned to Franklin, and purchased for seven thousand dollars his present estate of two hundred acres, including the stock and farm implements, paying sixteen hundred dollars in cash, this amount being all he possessed at that time.
In April, 1856, he married Miss Helen F. Drake, daughter of the former owner of his new home, where they began domestic life and reared a large family.
Mr. and Mrs. Payne have buried four children: Charles, aged one year; Howard, who died in 1886, at the age of fifteen; Luella, who died aged one year; and Eleanor, aged nine years. Their children still living are the following: Louisa, wife of Morton L. Mills, a postal mail clerk on the N. Y., O. & W. Railroad, they having one son, Albert P., a bright, manly boy of thirteen; Mary E., wife of Henry H. Kerr, of Fort Worth, Tex., and mother of one son, Harry; Arthur Melvin, a graduate of Hamilton College at Clinton, N. Y., in the class of 1894, who was valedictorian of his class of twenty-five, having taken many prizes in oratory as well as other honors during his college career, and has now adopted the law as his chosen profession; Walter Albert, a young man of twenty-two, who lives at home and manages the farm.
Mr. Payne is a Republican, and has rendered acceptable service as Assessor and Supervisor. He is a Trustee of the Methodist church, of which both he and his good wife are conscientious members. The Payne family live in the house which was built by Mrs. Payne's father over sixty years ago, but which has been remodelled into a comfortable modern dwelling. In 1893 Mr. Payne erected his commodious barn, where he keeps about thirty grade Jersey cows of choice breed besides his other stock. Near by is his large timber lot of thirty acres, which produces a goodly supply of lumber and fuel.
Mr. Payne is the possessor of a rugged constitution, and though somewhat aged with the toils and cares of many years, is well preserved, and active in his daily duties, having at all times given careful attention to his health, never indulging in the use of tobacco or intoxicating liquors in any form. He is a man of unswerving principles, practical, intelligent, and upright, and holds a high position in the esteem of all who know him. Such a citizen is well worthy of being held in remembrance by coming generations; and the publishers of the "Biographical Review" are happy to present a very good likeness of Mr. Payne in connection with this brief sketch of himself and his family.
DAVID JAMES MILLER is among the best-known and most respected inhabitants of the town of Bovina, where he has his home. He was born June 26, 1858, his birthplace being the very farm on which he now resides. His first name, David, has been perpetuated in the Miller family for at least three generations.
Grandfather David came from Scotland, and was in his younger days a carpenter. In Delaware County he became an agriculturist, settling on the present family acres between the years 1815 and 1820, soon after the differences between Great Britain and the United States were fairly adjusted. Indeed, it was this contest which brought him to America. The land he purchased had to be cleared before the new country seemed like home; but the sturdy Scotchman achieved his purpose, and at his death left nearly two hundred acres in a good state of cultivation. At this time he was about eighty years old, and had reared seven children, four of whom are still living. John T. Miller, the eldest, lives in Delhi; and so does the next son, David, who is our special subject's father. Their sister Isabell is the wife of John R. Hoy, Bovina Centre; and the unmarried sister, Jennie Elizabeth Miller, also lives at Bovina Centre.
The second David Miller was born in 1828, on the old Bovina farm, where he grew up, and attended the district school. In due time he turned his attention specially to agriculture, bought the grandfather's old place of the other heirs, and married Christina P. Hoy. He has been a successful dairy farmer, keeping about a score of milch cows, and attaining the success which is the legitimate result of sagacious industry. On this farm he resided till 1885,and then moved into the village of Bovina Centre; but, not feeling quite contented there, he soon made another change to the village of Delhi, where he still lives a retired life, though not without a deep interest in things that go on around him especially in Republican politics. Both Mr. Miller and his wife were members of the United Presbyterian church in Bovina, and he now maintains the same relation to the Delhi society; but she died on the second day of the year 1893, at the age of sixty-four, having been born September 29, 1828. Only two children were the fruit of her marriage, which took place on February 23, 1853, when she was twenty-five years old. Of these the eldest is David James, to whom this biography specialy relates. His brother, William Portus Miller, was born two years later, July 25, 1860, just before the election of President Lincoln filled the father's heart with mild triumph. This son now resides in Portland, Ore, where he is the honored pastor of the Presbyterian church. He was graduated at Hamilton College, was married 1885 to Ada G. Chipman, and has a growing family of two children.
David J. Miller grew up on the farm, and attended the school which his father had attended before him, and which his grandfather had assisted in establishing. As we have already seen, he has never left the old place, and is now its owner, having bought it of his father in 1885. Nor has he swerved from his father's methods, except to adopt the latest modes of keeping and using the milk from his thirty or forty grade Jerseys, which yield an average of from two hundred and fifty to three hundred pounds of butter per head annually. The land and the buildings are in good condition.
Mr. Miller was married on November 28, 1883, at the age of twenty-five; and the bride was Elizabeth Nancy Campbell, the daughter of a Scotch pioneer, Duncan Campbell, of whom a separate sketch has its place in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Miller are both Presbyterians, but belong to different sections of that body, he to the United society, and she to the Reformed. With his antecedents Mr. Miller could hardly be other than a stanch Republican in his politics. Though no children have blessed their marriage, the Miller fireside is a centre of wholesome influence in the community. On all sides Mr. Miller is regarded as a practical man, whose agricultural opinions are worth attention. Well has a practical writer said, "In life, as in chess, forethought wins."
IRA BEACH, a highly respected farmer of the town of Masonville, Delaware County, N. Y., was born in Litchfield County, Connecticut, February 19, 1825. His parents were George W. Beach, who was born October 26, 1804, and Lovisa Dorman Beach, born March 3, 1805, both natives of Litchfield County, Connecticut. The grandfather, Joshua Beach, moved to Delaware County, in the early pioneer days, settling at Masonville on the farm now owned by William Birdsall, which was then in a wild and uncultivated state, game being plentiful, and the nearest market town being Unadilla. Mr. Beach resided on this farm until his death in 1841, at the age of sixty-one. He reared the following family, all of whom have passed over to the silent majority -- Jeremiah, Chester, Marvin, Harriet, Nelson, George W., Luman L., Miranda, and Harlow.
George W. Beach settled in Masonville, December 28, 1828, his father giving him fifty acres of land, to which he afterward added thirty-five acres more. He was a hard-working and successful man, and resided on this farm until his death, February 7, 1878, aged seventy-three, his wife having died March 27, 1861, aged fity-six years. Eleven children were born to them, six of whom grew to maturity, and three being alive at the present day, namely: Ira, the subject of this sketch; Avia A., wife of Charles L. Rowell, of Franklin; George J. Beach, of East Masonville. Emeline died young. Marvin, a soldier in Company F, Fifth Michigan Rifles, died during the late war. Fanny A. died September 12, 1865. Curtis H., a soldier of the late war, died in front of Petersburg. Mary L. died in 1839, Francis B. in 1840, and two infant sons died at birth.
Ira Beach received his early education, a fair one for those days, at the old log schoolhouse at East Masonville, having to journey two miles through the woods to reach the school-house. He lived at home, assisting on the farm, until he was twenty-one years of age, when he started out in the world for himself, working for ten dollars a month, and managing to save money on this small amount. It was when he was in the heyday of his youth that he took a trip to Connecticut on foot, walking to Hudson, a distance of one hundred miles. Upon his return he worked for his father three years, afterward receiving a piece of land consisting of one hundred and five acres, which he eventually paid for, at that time not having sufficient capital to purchase the land outright. He first built for himself a small house, in after years adding to it considerably. His land also increased as time went by, until at one time it amounted to two hundred and five acres. He also owns the farm upon which his son now lives. He conducted a dairy for many years, and was noted for making a fine grade of butter. In 1887 Mr. Beach had a remarkable escape from death by lightning, his son Orlando being killed by his side, and he himself severely burned from the shoulder to the heel. From this shock, however, he has fully recovered.
Mr. Beach was married on January 2, 1850, to Abigail Blowers, a native of Pennsylvania, who died February 8, 1851. Mr. Beach married for his second wife Priscilla Blowers, a sister of Abigail. She was born in Sidney, November 28, 1833, a daughter of Hiram and Persis (Baker) Blowers. Mr. Blowers, who was a prominent farmer of the town of Sidney, died in March, 1872, aged seventy-one, his wife surviving him ten years, dying in December, 1882. They were the parents of twelve children, five of whom are now living, namely: Priscilla, wife of Mr. Beach; Mrs. Mercy Fitch, who lives in Sidney Centre; Mrs. Mary A. Taft, who resides at Afton; Sidney Blower, a resident of Unadilla; and Amelia Cunningham, who resides at Wells Bridge, Sand Hill, Otsego County.
Mr. Beach has been the father of six children, one by his first wife, and five by the present. The two now living are: Frances A., wife of Martin Price, born January 21, 1851, a resident of Masonville; and Legrand I. Beach, born August 26, 1855. He was educated at the district schools, also going for one term to the Unadilla Academy, and has given his attention to farming, living at home until his marriage, February 5, 1890. His wife, Anna Lewis Beach, was born in Rockdale, May 28, 1870, a daughter of Jay and Tryphenia Lewis, and died June 25, 1892, at the early age of twenty-two.
Mr. Ira Beach is a Republican in politics, but has never been desirous of accepting public office, devoting himself entirely to his farming pursuits, in which he has been eminently successful, and is esteemed as a man of probity and honor.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM HYMERS, a practical agriculturist and dairyman of DeLancey, in the town of Hamden, is a man of marked intelligence and a prominent granger. He is a native of Delaware County, having first drawn the breath of life in the town of Meredith, September 1, 1827. He is of sturdy Scotch ancestry, his father, John Hymers, Jr., having been born March 12, 1795, in Roxburgshire, Scotland, being a son of John Hymers, Sr., a shepherd, who died when a young man, from exposure and exhaustion during a great snow-storm.
The younger John was but a boy when his father died, leaving a widow and two sons; and he was reared to a shepherd's life by his grandfather, Adam Douglas, who was a game-keeper on the estate of the Duke of Roxburg. In 1818 he left the home of his grandsire, and emigrated to America, arriving here in March. He settled in this county, and here formed the acquaintance of Elizabeth Ormston, who afterward became his wife. She was born in the town of Bovina, October 6, 1802, being one of the six children of William and Janette (Graham) Ormston. Her parents were both natives of Scotland, but emigrated early in life, and were married in this county in 1801. The union of Elizabeth Ormston and John Hymers was celebrated January 9, 1823, and they began their wedded life on a farm in the town of Meredith, where they reared a family of eleven children, seven girls and four boys, the subject of this sketch being the second son and the third child in order of birth. Two of the daughters have died, namely: Mary, who passed away May 29, 1852, aged twenty-two years; and Janette, the wife of Lewis B. Strong, who died in 1882, leaving three sons. The following are the nine living children: A. D. Hymers is an undertaker and a livery-man. Margaret is the wife of Andrew Oliver, of Oswego, N. Y., and has two children. William, a farmer at DeLancey, is further mentioned below. Thomas, a livery-man and proprietor of a boarding and sale stable in Reno, Nev., is married, and has two children. Ellen, the wife of Milan Seeley, of Hartwick, Otsego County, has two children. Elizabeth, who married W. H. Maxfield, of Croton, has two children. John, a farmer, residing in Reno, Nev., has two children. Nancy, the wife of S. D. Reynolds, of Franklin village, has two children. Lucretia, the wife of James Brazer, of Oneonta, has one child. The mother passed to her eternal home March 22, 1881, and the father, August 27, 1883, being then nearly ninety years of age. They were active, sincere Christians throughout their entire lives; and their bodies were laid to rest in the old Flat churchyard cemetery.
William Hymers developed into manhood on the parental homestead, drinking from the fount of knowledge at the old district school, and, when a youth of twenty years, taught his first and last term of school. He remained at home with his father, assisting in carrying on the farm until his marriage, which happy event took place March 13, 1851, the bride of his choice being Miss Margaret Ann Wight, of Delhi, the daughter of George and Jane (Little) Wight. (For further parental history see sketch of George Wight, a brother of Mrs. Hymers.) After their marriage they lived for about ten years on a farm in the town of Meredith. Then, selling that property, Captain Hymers bought land in Franklin, where from 1862 until 1886 he carried on general farming, with good results, on his three hundred and twenty-five acres, keeping among his other stock a fine dairy of thirty-five cows, and selling his butter in the Eastern markets. Disposing of his Franklin estate, he came to DeLancey, where he purchased his present sixty-five-acre farm, and has continued his agricultural labors, now paying special attention to the production of winter milk, which he sells in New York City. For ten years or more he was extensively engaged in buying and selling stock, building up an extensive trade with Eastern dealers. Seven children have been born into the household of Captain and Mrs. Hymers, the following being their record: Emily, the wife of Royal Culver, resides on a farm in Franklin. J. K. Hymers, a carpenter, lives at home. Isabella J., the wife of Charles Haight, a resident of Sidney, has three children. George W., a farmer in the town of Delhi, is married, and has one son. William D., a farmer in Deposit, has a wife and two children. Chauncey Stewart, a farmer in DeLancey, has a wife and two daughters, Arthur T., a farmer, lives in Franklin, with his wife and son.
The subject of this sketch received his military title as a member of the New York National Guards, which he joined when twenty-three years old. During the first eight years of his service he was promoted through the various grades from the rank of Third Corporal to that of Captain of his company. Captain Hymers has been assisted and encouraged by his wife in all of his labors, and they are together enjoying the fruits of their many years of successful toil. Both are members in good standing of the First Presbyterian Church, of which the Rev. James H. Robinson has been the pastor for thirty years. Politically, Captain Hymers votes the straight Republican ticket; but, with the exception of having been Justice of the Peace for nine years when he was a young man, he has not been the incumbent of any public office. Socially, he is a charter member of the Grange, wherein he is Master, and also a lecturer of the subordinate lodges and Pomona.
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