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 1 - pages 1 through 51
GENERAL WILLIAMS MARTIN, a well-known and widely influential citizen of Delaware
County, one of the foremost in works of internal improvement, and prominent also in
military circles, was born May 3, 1827, in the town of Hancock. His grandfather,
Ebenezer, was a native of Mansfield, Conn., and was of English descent, the family
being among the early settlers of New England. Ebenezer was a soldier in the
Revolutionary War, and, after that struggle was over, gave his attention to farming
in Connecticut. On April 3, 1777, he married Lucy Lane, by whom he had three
children: Lydia, born March 11, 1778; Lemuel, born January 21, 1780; Amasa, born
September 6, 1782. Amasa was the original settler of Fayetteville, Onondaga County,
N.Y., coming there from Connecticut, and clearing the farm where his descendants
still live. Lemuel was a pioneer of Parksville, Sullivan County, N.Y., to which
place he came in 1811, bringing his young wife Lory Trowbridge on an ox team. The
second wife of Ebenezer was Joanna Fassett, whom he married March 1, 1785, and by
whom he had seven children. The eldest, Ebenezer, born March 30, 1786, was a lawyer
by profession, and died of cholera at Harrisonville, Ill., August 27, 1819. Josiah,
born April 17, 1788, was father of the subject of this sketch, and died July 27
1856. Orra, born January 25, 1791, was a Baptist clergyman, and lived to be nearly a
hundred years old. John was born April 4, 1793. Lucy was born May 3, 1795. Henry was
born July 2, 1799. Charles was born September 14, 1802.
Josiah Martin was educated in his native town of Mansfield, and then studied law,
but later took up the profession of surveyor. He was drafted in the War of 1812,
and, after getting his discharge, settled in Hancock in 1816, being engaged as
teacher in the town school. Previous to this he had taught in Virginia. On February
26, 1817, he married Rachel Williams, who was the daughter of Titus and Phoebe
Williams, her father being a local preacher and one of the first settlers of the
Delaware Valley. Josiah and Rachel Martin were the parents of nine children, two of
whom died in infancy. The following lived to reach maturity: Charles, born November
12, 1818; James, born October 12, 1820; Jane, born November 26, 1822; Levi, born
March 24, 1825; Williams, born, as above mentioned, May 3, 1827; Josiah, born
September 19, 1829; Rachel, born January 7, 1833. Mrs. Rachel Martin died August 5,
1836; and on March 20, 1842, Josiah Martin married Sally Purdy. They lived upon the
home farm the remainder of their lives.
Williams Martin was educated in the district schools of his native town, after which
he followed the river as a lumberman, and also taught school in Delaware and
Sullivan Counties. When but eighteen years old he piloted two rafts to Trenton, and
was called the youngest steersman on the river. At twenty-one he was elected
Superintendent of the common schools of his native town. Much time in his early life
he spent with his father as a surveyor; and after a while he adopted that
profession, and has followed it for many years, and has been employed by the State
engineer and surveyor for the last twenty years in settling many disputed lines
between counties and towns. He was one of the most active promoters of the Midland
Railroad, and was Railroad Commissioner for the town of Hancock during the building
of the road. He was also Vice-President and Director of what is now the Scranton
Branch of the Ontario & Western Railroad.
On July 27, 1848, General Martin was married to Polly Landfield, daughter of Clark
and Hannah Thomas Landfield. Her parents were born in Delaware County, and here
spent their entire lives, dying when quite advanced in years. Wherever known, they
were loved and respected for their many virtues. A brief account of them and of Mrs.
Martin's grandparents is given in the sketch of her brother, the Hon. Jerome B.
Landfield, of Binghamton, in the "Biographical Review of Broome County." Clark
Landfield, who was a business man of Hancock, was of New England ancestry. His
father, Mijah Landfield, a native of Stonington, Conn., born in 1767, was one of the
earliest settlers of Delaware County, pushing out into this wild and almost unknown
region when but a young man. He made a part of the journey by canoe up the Delaware
River, reaching the frontier soon after the last guns of the Revolution had sounded
the note of victory over foreign tyranny, and when the Indians had retreated to
their hilly fastnesses and surrendered their favorite hunting grounds. Mr. Landfield
was a man of will and energy, and he went to work to clear the forest where now lies
the village of Harvard. He was active in advancing the best interests of the
settlement, being among the first to lend a helping hand to every new comer,
extending hospitality to the stranger who sought a home along the valley of the
upper Delaware. He married the daughter of a pioneer, Miss Phebe Youmans; and they
reared a good family to succeed them in the development of the new country. Having
lived useful and happy lives, they died amid the scenes of their long labors,
respected and beloved, and leaving to their children the priceless treasure of a
good and honored name. Early members of the Landfield family had fought for their
country in the Revolution.
Mrs. Martin's mother, a lady of strong character and high mental qualities, was a
daughter of Elijah Thomas, of sturdy New England ancestry, himself a Revolutionary
patriot. He entered the army in 1778, and served faithfully till the close of the
war, often employed as a bearer of despatches from the commander-in-chief. His
discharge bears the signature of the immortal Washington. Having led a life of
honorable activity, he died when about fourscore years of age, in Delaware County,
whither he had come as a pioneer from his native State. He married Mindwell Baxter,
a native of Connecticut, her family being of the early Puritan stock. She was a true
wife and mother, and, like her husband, a devoted Christian. She died in the village
of Harvard, when full of years.
General and Mrs. Martin have had four children, a brief mention of whom is as
follows: C. Leslie, born December 1, 1849, Auditor of the Charleston, Sumter &
Northern Railroad; William Jay born February 8, 1852, General Freight and Passenger
Agent of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad; Fletcher W., born June 26, 1853, now
at Livingston Manor on the O. & W. Railroad; Charles Francis, born October 28, 1855,
died February 19, 1857.
From his youth General Martin has taken an active interest in the State militia, and
at the age of eighteen was elected Second Sergeant of the company to which he
belonged. In 1845 he was elected Orderly Sergeant, two years later received his
commission as Captain, and during the war was given by Governor Seymour the rank of
Colonel. He raised and equipped the One Hundredth New York State Volunteers, and had
them ready for marching at a moment's notice. He held command of the regiment till
June 27, 1867, and then received his commission as Brigadier-general of the
Eighteenth Brigade of the National Guard of the State of New York. He remained in
the service until 1873, when he received his discharge, and is still held as a
supernumerary. In 1877 the General was associated with a syndicate of New York
capitalists in building the P.N.C. & L.E. Railroad, and was Secretary and Director
of the company for three years, after which he again removed to his native town of
Hancock, and has since been actively engaged in superintending and caring for his
lumbering and farming interests, being one of the largest real-estate holders in the
Delaware Valley. In 1892 he was elected a Director of the "Orange County Trust and
Safe Deposit Company, at Middletown, N.Y., one of the largest and most prosperous
institutions of the kind in Southern New York."
In politics he is a Democrat, and is one of the leaders of his party. He was
Postmaster at Harvard, N.Y., during the Fillmore administration. "The Pines," the
comfortable home of the General and Mrs. Martin, is situated on a promontory some
fifty feet above, and five hundred feet distant from, the junction of the Beaver
Kill and east Branch of the Delaware River, and overlooking the bustling little
village of East Branch.
The first portrait in the present volume will be recognized as a likeness of General
Williams Martin who is shown by the foregoing sketch to have done good service, and
justly to have won an excellent reputation both as a soldier and a civilian. The
work in which he has largely been engaged calls to mind the words of Emerson,
"Railroad iron is a magician's rod, in its power to evoke the sleeping energies of
land and water."
JUSTUS W. TAYLOR has lived in the village of Hobart but a little short of half a century, and is now the oldest inhabitant. Excepting that he is still active and vigorous, bearing with ease his fourscore years, he might be likened to the sere and yellow leaf, the last on the tree; for it is true that he is the sole survivor of the companions of his early manhood who with him were residents of this part of Stamford, when it was but a small hamlet. He was born in the town of Stamford, September, 30, 1814, being the son of Baruch and Sarah (Wilcox) Taylor, the former of whom was a native of Danbury, Conn., born on January 7, 1789, and the latter a native of Delaware County, having entered this world May 12, 1792, in the town of Harpersfield.
Baruch Taylor was a son of Andrew and Hannah (Smith) Taylor, both natives of Connecticut. Andrew Taylor was a weaver and a tanner by trade, and followed those vocations in the State of his birth. During the Revolutionary War he was drafted into the army. He subsequently migrated to Delaware County, becoming among the earliest settlers of the town of Harpersfield, where he bought a tract of unimproved land from one of the members of the original Harper family. After clearing many acres of that purchase, he removed to another farm in the same town, where he continued his pioneer labor until death closed his earthly career at the age of seventy years. He was one of the most successful farmers of the vicinity, being enabled to spend his last years free from active labor. At the time of his settlement Catskill was the nearest market, and the nearest mill was in Schoharie, whither the grist had to be taken on horseback. He was a stanch Democrat in his political views, and both he and his good wife were members of the Episcopal church. She lived to the venerable age of ninety-four years. They reared three children - Baruch, Andrew, and Laura, all of whom lived to a good old age, and each reared large families.
Baruch, the eldest son, was reared on the farm, and during the earlier years of his mature life was engaged in teaching in the district schools. He was also a pioneer singing-master, being engaged in that capacity for nearly forty years. He succeeded to the ownership of the paternal homestead in the town of Stamford, the part then known as Harpersfield. He was a very useful and a thoroughly respected citizen, being a man whose word was as good as his bond. His wife, who was a sincere and worthy member of the Baptist church, of which he was an attendant, departed this life on December 9, 1850. Baruch Taylor was a prominent member of the Democratic party, serving as Supervisor, Justice of the Peace, and in various other offices. He spent his last years at the home of the subject of this sketch, dying February 15, 1873. Eight children were born to him and his wife, seven of whom grew to maturity, and two are now living as follows: Justus W.; Andrew, born July 29, 1827, a lawyer in Hancock. Edmund B., born February 20, 1822, died May 31, 1831; Deloss Lafayette, born September 14, 1824, died November 1, 1887; Celia J. Dickson, born January 11, 1816, died March 13, 1869; Laura L. Taylor, born February 8, 1818, died October 4, 1846; and Sarah H., born January 30, 1820 died February 2, 1870.
Justus W. Taylor was given the advantages of a good education, his first steps in the path of knowledge being trod in the schools of the district; and the instruction there obtained was further advanced in a select school and at Jefferson Academy. Mr. Taylor was subsequently engaged for twelve winter seasons as a teacher in the day schools, and, inheriting his father's musical talent, had also large classes in singing for many winters. He is one of the oldest teachers of Delaware County now living. Mr. Taylor has owned and occupied his farm of fifty acres in the village of Hobart since the day of his marriage, and in its management has met with great success. He is a farmer of excellent judgment, and a keen, capable business man, deservedly held in much respect as a citizen and neighbor.
Mr. Taylor was married June 17, 1845, to Thirza M. Booth, a native of Harpersfield, where she was born November 25, 1825, being a daughter of John and Maria (Smith) Booth. Mr. Booth was one of the early settlers of this section of Delaware County, and in his capacity of carpenter and builder did much toward advancing the growth of the place. He died while yet a comparatively young man, at the age of forty years. His widow lived to celebrate her eighty-third birthday. Both were active members of the Methodist church, and in politics he was a Whig. Of their eight children three are now living, namely: Mrs. Lydia Humphrey, of Harpersfield; Mrs. Thirza Taylor; and Mrs. Ruth Humphrey, of Harpersfield.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor has been blessed by the birth of two children. Elizabeth, born October 12, 1849, is the wife of Jabez H. Barlow, a painter residing in Hobart; and John B., born May 3, 1852, a farmer, is married, and also lives in Hobart. Mrs. Taylor is a woman of far more than average ability and energy, both mental and physical. Since the age of sixteen years she has been engaged in the millinery business in the village, and may rightly be entitled the "pioneer milliner." She has the largest and most stylish stock of millinery goods to be found in the vicinity, making two trips to New York City each year to buy her goods and secure the fashions.
In his political views Mr. Taylor is identified with the Democratic party, of which he is a faithful adherent. He has ever taken an active part in local matters, and has served for four years as Justice of the Peace, besides holding various other offices. Both he and his wife are active members of the Methodist church, in which he has served as Trustee and is now a Steward.
MYRON L. BEACH is one of the practical and prosperous farmers of his native town of
Masonville, and one of the representative men of these parts. He is the owner of a
valuable, highly cultivated farm of two hundred acres; and here he carries on
general farming and dairying, besides devoting a good deal of attention to the
business of his saw-mill. He first opened his eyes to the light of this world on
September 17, 1829, being a son of Chester and Eliza Ann (Root) Beach. His father
was born in Litchfield County, Conn., and his mother in Dutchess County, New York.
Among the early settlers of the town of Masonville were several families from
Connecticut, who removed from their native State in 1824, and, establishing
themselves in this part of Delaware County, became largely instrumental in
developing its resources and advancing its growth. Prominent among this number was
Joshua Beach, the paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, who, with four
of his sons, settled within the limits of the town of Masonville, each buying a
tract of wild land. Joshua Beach purchased about two hundred acres, on which a
small place had been cleared and a log house erected. The forests still contained
deer, bears, wolves, and other wild animals, which roamed unrestrained over the
beautiful valleys and hillsides where sleek herds of cattle may now be seen
peacefully grazing. By dint of laborious industry the elder Beach improved a fine
homestead, and remained a respected resident of the town until his decease at the
age of sixty-five years. In politics he was a Whig, and in religious matters was a
sound Presbyterian. He married Lois Loomis, who survived him, living to the ripe
old age of fourscore years. They reared a family of eight children, six sons and
two daughters, none of whom are now living.
Chester Beach was one of the four sons who came to Masonville when his father did,
bringing with him his wife and family. He bought one hundred acres of unimproved
land, on which he built a block-house; and into this he moved with his family. He
cleared quite a tract of his land, and, buying more, became the owner of a farm of
one hundred and ninety-four and three-quarters acres. His death occurred when he
was about sixty-five years old. His wife died long afterward, on the old homestead,
at the advanced age of eighty years. In politics he was a Whig until the
disbandment of that party, when he became identified with the Democratic party.
Of the four children of Mr. and Mrs. Chester Beach, Myron L. is the only one now
living. Pheobe Ann, a single lady, died at the age of sixty-six years. Electa M.,
who became the wife of Erastus Mills, died when only twenty-five years old. Lucius
H. passed away at the age of fifty-three years.
Myron L. Beach grew to man's estate on the homestead, receiving his mental training
in the district school, and on the farm acquiring a practical knowledge of
agriculture. At the age of twenty-two years he began the battle of life on his own
account, buying fifty acres of land, not very far from the parental homestead. He
prospered in his labors, and through his habits of industry and thrift was enabled
to add to his possessions, buying land adjoining the old homestead, so that he is
now the possessor of two hundred valuable acres. In 1864 Mr. Beach moved on to the
place adjoining the old home, where he has since resided, carrying on his farming
operations in such an intelligent and judicious manner as to reap the best possible
Mr. Beach was first married on the 11th of February, 1852, to Maria H. Green, who
was born in Harpersfield, Delaware County, December 16, 1833, and who died November
6, 1853, leaving no children. On October 8, 1854 he married Phoebe Ann Wilson, a
native of Otsego County, born in South Worcester, February 20, 1827. She was the
daughter of Joseph and Jane (Wilsey) Wilson, neither of whom is living. Of this
union were born six children, whose record is as follows: Lewis R., born April 4,
1856, died October 27, 1869. Lydia M., born April 8, 1858, became the wife of Simeon
Pond, and died May 29, 1883. Henry Edson Beach, born May 15, 1860, a single man,
living at home, assists in the management of the home farm. Ida Ellen, born October
31, 1862, died March 4, 1863. Orrin Arthur, born August 1, 1864, is a farmer,
residing in Oxford, and is married, and has five children. Electa M., born
September 1, 1867, married Emory Bartholomew, and died May 25, 1887. Mrs. Phoebe A.
Beach, the mother of this family of children, passed on to the higher life October
4, 1891; and Mr. Beach was united in marriage on February 14, 1893, to Lucy Ann
Wilson, a sister of his second wife, and the widow of the late Reuben Jump. She was
born in South Worcester on February 6, 1834.
Mr. and Mrs. Beach are liberal in their religious beliefs; and he, politically, is a
firm supporter of the principles of the Republican party. He has served as Justice
of the Peace eight years, and has held many of the minor offices of the town.
JAMES HOLLEY, a successful agriculturist of Walton, owns and occupies a comfortable
homestead on the river road, about two miles from the village. He comes of
patriotic Puritan stock, his grandfather Holley having been a life-long resident of
Connecticut and a veteran of the Revolutionary War.
Mr. Holley was born December 23, 1826, in the town of Delhi in this county, being a
son of William Holley, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut. William Holley
remained with his parents until seventeen years old, when he went to Troy, N.Y.,
where he learned the trade of shoemaking from a worthy Crispin who afterward became
his brother-in-law. In 1818 he came to Delaware County, becoming one of the early
pioneers of Delhi, where he worked at his trade for many years. He finally removed
to Hamden, and there passed his remaining days, he living to celebrate his eighty-
second birthday. The maiden name of his wife, who was of Irish descent, the
daughter of George Stewart, of Schenectady, was Ann Stewart. They reared a family
of seven children: namely, John S., George, Stephen, Eliza Ann, James, Margaret, and
Matilda. Mrs. Ann Holley was a member of the Baptist church, in which she did
active work. She survived her husband, and died in Walton at the home of her son
James, after a long and useful life of seventy-eight years,
James Holley was the fifth child born into this household; and, being very young
when his parents moved to Hamden, he there spent the days of his youth, receiving as
good an education as the public schools of the locality afforded, and worked with
his father until seventeen years old. He than began working out by the month at
lumbering and farming, continuing thus employed for eight years. Having saved
enough money to warrant him in establishing a household, he married, and, removing
to Sullivan County, there rented a farm, which he carried on for one year. Mr.
Holley then returned to Delaware County, and, purchasing a farm in Colchester, was
for some time engaged in its management. He subsequently worked at the carpenter's
trade for about seven years in Sullivan County. In 1865 Mr. Holley bought the
seventy-acre farm where he now resides, and has since diligently worked at its
cultivation. In addition to general husbandry, he makes a good profit on his dairy,
keeping about fourteen cows, and selling his milk at the creamery.
The first marriage of James Holley was celebrated in 1850, when Lois H. Lindsley, a
daughter of David Lindsley, an early pioneer of Sullivan County, became his wife.
She was a most amiable woman, and a devoted member of the Baptist church. She died
in 1854, leaving two children - a son named William and a daughter named Matilda.
William, who is a farmer in Tompkins, married Jane Hull. Matilda married William H.
Wilson, a farmer in Colchester, the son of Ephraim Wilson, of that town; and they
are the parents of six promising sons: Frank; Walter; James; Earl; and Sherman and
Herman, twins. Mr. Holley subsequently married Elizabeth S. Moore, a native of
Hilton, and a daughter of James and Betsey (Armstrong) Moore, who removed to Hamden
from Hilton. Two children were born of this union, namely: Marshall, who assists
his father on the farm; and Mary, who died at the age of thirteen months. In
October, 1892, Death, who loves a shining mark, again crossed the threshold, bearing
away the affectionate wife and tender mother. She was a sincere Christian woman,
and a valued member of the Methodist church.
Mr. Holley, who is a true-hearted man, and an esteemed and worthy citizen, is a
zealous worker in the cause of temperance, being a staunch supporter of the
Prohibition party. He has also been a member of the Baptist church for forty-five
WEBSTER M. BOUTON, Principal of the Bloomville Graded School, is a promising young
man of superior mental attainments, and during his professional career has given
evidence of special aptitude for his chosen vocation. He is a native of Delaware
County, Stamford having been the place of his birth, and June 23, 1871, the date
thereof. He is a descendant of an ancient and respected family of this county, his
paternal great-grandfather, Stephen Bouton, a native of Greene County, having been a
soldier in the Revolutionary War, and subsequently a pioneer of the town of Roxbury.
He was a farmer by occupation, and, settling in Roxbury in 1780, resided there until
his death, at the venerable age of ninety years.
Anson Bouton, son of Stephen, was born in the town of Roxbury, and was bred to a
farmer's life. He owned a good farm, and became one of the most representative
farmers of that vicinity, living there until his departure from earthly labors, when
seventy-four years old. He married Elizabeth Craft, who died in the prime of life.
She bore him six children, of whom the following three are yet living: Ann, the
wife of Robert Earl, residing at Beaver Hill; Adelia, the wife of George Bookhout,
living in Roxbury; and Henry C., living in Kortright.
Henry C. Bouton was born May 2, 1844, in the town of Roxbury. He has devoted his
entire life to farming, and is well known throughout this section of the county as a
practical and prosperous agriculturist and an extensive landholder. His homestead in
the town of Kortright contains three hundred acres of choice land, and constitutes
one of the finest farms in the locality. He was married in the town of Stamford,
February 13, 1868, to Hannah M. Haines, who was born in Jefferson, Schoharie County,
in February, 1846. Both he and his wife are conscientious members of the
Presbyterian church at Kortright Centre; and in politics he is a firm supporter of
the principals of the Republican party. He has served as Collector, and in various
town offices, and is in all respects one of the foremost citizens of his community.
To him and his wife seven children have been born, as follows: Cora, the wife of
George Parris, of Meredith; Charles E., of Pennsylvania; Webster M.; Frank H.:
Anson S.; Grace M.; and Carrie A.
Webster M., the second son, who is the subject of this biographical notice, acquired
the rudiments of his education in the district schools of Kortright, where he laid a
substantial foundation for his present mental acquirements. He afterward pursued
his studies at Stamford Academy, making such good use of the opportunities afforded
him that before sixteen years of age he passed a standing examination for teaching.
When seventeen years old, he assumed the duties of a pedagogue, his first school
being in Harpersfield Centre; and from that time until the present he has continued
in this useful and pleasant occupation, enjoying a well-merited reputation as a
teacher of more than ordinary ability and success. Mr. Bouton came to his present
position in 1893; and under his regime the Bloomville school maintains a high rank
among the graded schools of Delaware County, its excellent condition reflecting
great credit upon him, and upon his industrious pupils, and the intelligent parents
of the district, who heartily co-operate with him in his efforts for its
improvement. Religiously, Mr. Bouton is a valued member of the Presbyterian church;
and, socially, he is a member of Delaware Valley Lodge, No. 612, Independent Order
of Odd Fellows, of Bloomville. Politically, he is a staunch Republican, taking an
active interest in local and national affairs; and during the campaign of 1892 he
delivered stirring and sound political addresses on the issues of the day throughout
LEWIS BUSH, of Walton is one of the veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic who
still live to tell of the hardships undergone and deeds of valor done in the most
perilous period of our nation's history. Descended from good old stock, he was born
and bred on a farm, and early engaged in such studies and toils and pastimes as
opportunity afforded or duty directed. His native place was in Rensselaer County,
New York, where he was born on June 12, 1843. His father, John Bush, was born in
the same county on August 23, 1807, and died at his home in Walton in 1884. Mr.
Bush's grandfather was Daniel Bush, who also died in Walton, and whom many still
remember as having retained all his faculties to an extreme old age. The wife of
Mr. John Bush was Mary Launt, a native of Hamden; and she was the mother of nine
children, six sons and three daughters, Lewis being the sixth child. He and his
sister Margaret, wife of Asa Weldon, of Dryden, Tompkins County, are the only
survivors of this numerous family.
Shortly after finishing his course of study in the district school, young Bush
became interested in the questions that stirred the public mind, and, at the
breaking out of the War of the Rebellion and the call to the front, was ready and
willing to go. He enlisted from Walton in the One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York
Volunteer Infantry, Company B, and served in the ranks for three years, thus
becoming accustomed to the hardiest kind of life, and showing a most commendable
bravery. For a long time the ravages of disease made it necessary for him to remain
at Upton Hill, Fairfax Seminary, where typhoid fever bereft him of much of the manly
vigor of which he had always been proud. He experienced some of the worst horrors
of the war; and, when honorably discharged at its close, he came home to the farm,
thankful that his life had been spared.
On the first day of the year 1869 he was married to Elizabeth Cornwell, of Otsego
County, who was the daughter of William and Fidelia (Worden) Cornwell. Mrs. Bush
never knew her father, he having died before her birth. Her mother, however, lived
to be sixty-eight years old, and died in 1882, having been twice married, and
leaving nine children. Mrs. Bush has one own sister, Louisa, wife of Augustus
Fuller of Downsville, Delaware County,. Mr. and Mrs. Bush are without children of
their own, but have an adopted son, Clarence K. Bush, a promising young man of
twenty-one, now at Amherst College, who has already shown much intellectual ability.
Mr. Bush is a member of General Marvin Post, No. 209, Grand Army of the Republic, of
which he has been Junior Commander and Quartermaster Sergeant.
Mr. and Mrs. Bush came to this village eleven years ago, and it is now three years
since they purchased the property where they now live. They have remodelled the
place so that their present home is a credit to themselves and an ornament to the
town. Here Mrs. Bush carries on the flourishing millinery business which she
established eleven years ago, and in which she stands at the head of the trade in
the town in the excellence and good taste of her work.
The family are zealous and valued members of the Methodist church, being among the
most earnest workers and liberal contributors toward completing the new house of
worship and paying off the debt, all of which by eager and heroic effort they hope
to accomplish before the end of 1894.
Mr. Bush is a Republican in politics, and has proved himself a faithful citizen,
having quickly responded in the hour of his country's need, bravely venturing his
life in its cause. Beginning early to make sacrifices, he has been always
influenced by high motives and aspirations; and he is to-day one of the men who are
looked to with assurance for earnest help in works for the uplifting and advancement
GILBERT T. SCOTT, M.D., a practicing physician in East Davenport, was born
March 30, 1854, in the town of Bovina, Delaware County, that town being likewise the
birthplace of his father, James R. Scott. His grandfather, Adam Scott, was a native
of Scotland, whence he came to America when a young man. He took up his abode in
Bovina, where he devoted his time to the pioneer labor of clearing a farm. He had
made excellent headway in his work, having redeemed a very good homestead from the
wilderness, when he was accidentally killed by his horses running away and throwing
him over a bridge. He married Nancy Russell, who survived him, and spent her last
years on the old homestead. They reared eight children - James R., Henry, Frank,
John, Nancy, Elizabeth, Mary, and Ellen.
James, the eldest son, was brought up by an uncle, Andrew Hamilton, in Delhi, where
at an early age he learned the carpenter's trade. He first located in Bovina. In
1861 he removed to the town of Andes, and thence went to New Kingston, where he
departed this life at the age of sixty-five years. When a young man he was united
in marriage with Mary Winter, who was born of Scotch parentage in Middletown. Her
parents were pioneers of this county, settling in Middletown when the place was one
vast forest, wherein wolves, panthers, and other wild beasts disported at will.
During their first year's residence there they depended largely on the game they
shot for meat; but each succeeding twelvemonth saw a few more acres of land under
cultivation, and in the course of time they had a comfortable homestead. They
reared a large family of children - a full dozen. Of the union of James R. Scott
and his wife eight children were born, as follows: James A., a carpenter, living in
New Kingston; Thomas H., a farmer living in Walton; Gilbert T.; Andrew H., deceased;
Anna Bell, deceased; Mary Ellen, the wife of Jacob N. Thompson, a farmer, of New
Kingston; Fanny, deceased, who married Oscar Faulkner, of New Kingston; and
Elizabeth, who makes her home with her brother, the Doctor. The mother spent her
last years in New Kingston, dying at the age of threescore years.
Gilbert T. Scott, having spent his early years in New Kingston, where his first
lessons were conned, subsequently attended the district schools of Middletown and
Andes, and was next enrolled as a student at Stamford Seminary, and later at the
Andes Collegiate Institute, where he finished his preparation for college.
Matriculating at Westminster College in Pennsylvania, he was there graduated, after
a four years' course, with the degree of B.A. He first pursued the study of
medicine with Dr. Alexander Allen, of Pittsburg, Pa., and afterward entered the
medical department of the University of the City of New York, from which he received
his diploma in 1884. Dr. Scott began the practice of his profession in the town of
Roxbury, where he remained three years, at the expiration of which period he came to
Davenport, succeeding to the practice of Dr. James M. Donnelly.
Dr. Scott was married in 1885 to Miss Mary Birdsall, one of the six children born to
the Rev. Isaac and Isabella (Davidson) Birdsall, of New Kingston, where Mr. Birdsall
is engaged as the local preacher of the Methodist denomination. Their happy wedded
life was not of long duration; for on December 11, 1893, Mrs. Scott passed to the
spirit world, leaving one child, Clifton R. Scott. She was a woman of superior
merit, possessing a deeply sympathetic nature, excelling in the Christian virtues,
and was an esteemed member of the United Presbyterian church, of which the Doctor is
SILAS M. OLMSTED, a practical and progressive agriculturist of the town of
Masonville, was born within its precincts, the date of his birth being August 8,
1843. His parents, John and Delilah (Tallman) Olmsted, were both natives of Greene
County, New York, his father having been born February 21, 1811, and his mother
October 13, 1822. His grandfather, Moses Olmsted, was a pioneer of Greene County,
and prominent among its early settlers. He was an enterprising man, full of life
and activity, and was engaged as a contractor of public works, as a successful
hotel-keeper, and as a prosperous farmer. He belonged to a loyal and patriotic
family, and one of his brothers served in the Revolutionary War. Both he and his
wife, whose maiden name was Cornelia Pitcher died in Greene County. They had a
family of eight children, three of whom are now living, the family record being as
follows: Frederick, deceased; Wilbur, deceased; John who resides in Bainbridge,
Chenango County; William, deceased; Dorr, who lives in Greene County; Lany,
deceased; Adaline, deceased; Emeline, the widow of Daniel Linon, residing in Greene
County. Jedediah Tallman, his maternal grandfather, was born in the latter part of
the eighteenth century, and died before 1830. But little of his life record has
been preserved. His wife, Melinda Trip, was born in 1800, and died in Greene County
in the seventies. She was the mother of five children, four of whom are living,
namely: Ursula, widow of Ezekiel Palen, residing in Rome, Ga.; Delilah, wife of
John Olmsted, in Bainbridge, Chenango County; Armida, deceased; Jeannette, widow of
Lewis Hunt, in Quaker Street, Schenectady; Elijah, in Greene County.
John Olmsted was reared and educated in Greene County, in early life turning his
attention to agricultural pursuits. He made his first purchase of land in Delaware
County, coming to Masonville in 1841, crossing the intervening country with teams,
and bringing with him his family and all their worldly possessions. Buying the land
now owned and occupied by Jonas Finch, which was at that time heavily timbered, he
erected a frame house that is still standing, and resided there for many years. He
cleared much of the land, and, buying other tracts, was at one time the possessor of
a farm of three hundred and forty acres. He was well known as one of the leading
farmers of his locality, and during his residence in Masonville, was numbered among
its influential citizens. He served his fellow-townsmen in various official
capacities, having been Assessor three terms, Road Commissioner, and the incumbent
of several minor offices. In 1867 he and his wife moved to Bainbridge, where he
bought the valuable farm of one hundred and forty acres, on which he still lives,
and carries on general farming. Although advanced in years, he and his wife are
still vigorous both mentally and physically, and happy in the enjoyment of good
health. Politically, he is a firm Republican, and religious matters is liberal. Of
the fourteen children born of their union nine are now living, as follows: Theodore
and Silas M., both farmers in Masonville; Levi, a farmer in Sanford, Broome County;
Adelbert H., a civil engineer, in Bloomfield, N.J.; Jonathan, living with his
parents in Bainbridge; Armida who married Samuel Smith, living in Bainbridge;
Arcella, the wife of Charles Osborne, living in Milford, Ostego County; Rueyette,
wife of Elmer Ford, residing in Batavia, N.Y.; and Josephine, the wife of Eugene
Brightman, living in the village of Sidney. The names of the deceased are:
Jeannette, who died at the age of sixteen years; Walter, who died at the age of five
years; Elizabeth, who died when an infant; Adaline, who died at the age of twenty-
five years; and Harriet, who died when an infant.
Silas M. Olmsted obtained his early knowledge of book lore in the district schools
of Masonville, and on the home farm early became initiated into the mysteries of
agriculture, and remained at home, assisting in the management of the farm, until
September 1, 1864, when he enlisted in the service of his country, as a private in
Company B, One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Militia, under the
command of Captain M. W. Marvin, his term of enlistment being for one year, or until
the close of the war. With his company Mr. Olmsted participated in several
skirmishes and battles, among other being the Battles at James Island and Honey
Hill. While at the front he contracted a disease from which he has never fully
recovered. On June 25, 1865, he received his honorable discharge, at Hilton Head,
S.C. Returning to Delaware County, he resumed his former occupation in the place
of his nativity, and subsequently bought one hundred acres of land in the town of
Sidney, where he pursued farming until 1873. He then disposed of his property
there, and bought the farm of one hundred and ten acres on which he now resides,
caring on mixed husbandry with excellent pecuniary results. He has a choice dairy
of fourteen cows, mostly native cattle. He thoroughly understands his work, and is
acknowledged to be one of the most able and successful agriculturists in his
On May 15, 1867, Mr. Olmsted was united in marriage with Emma L. Sikes, a native of
Connecticut, where she was born January 4, 1846. Her parents, Thomas and Pamelia
(Barnes) Sikes, both natives of the same State, removing to Delaware County in 1850,
settled on a farm in Masonville, on which the father still lives. Mrs. Sikes
departed this life in 1882. She bore her husband eight children, five of whom are
living, namely: Henry W., of Pittsfield, Mass.; Mrs. Olmsted; Sila, the wife of
Rufus Randall, of Masonville; John, a farmer, of Masonville; Celestia, the wife of
Nelson Wilcox, of Masonville. The names of the deceased are as follows: Julia, who
died at the age of twenty-three years; Ellen, who died at the age of eleven years;
and an infant. Mrs. Sikes was an esteemed member of the Methodist Episcopal church,
while Mr. Sikes is liberal in his religious views. Politically, he is a straight
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Olmsted has been blessed by the birth of eight children.
the following being their record: Ida, born April 4, 1868, is the wife of Frank
Wright, of Oneonta. Walter J., born January 24, 1871, resides at home. Blanche,
born January 31, 1875, married George Reynolds, and resides at home. Janette, born
January 11, 1880, lives at home. Clara died at the age of six years, Leah died when
ten months old, Iva died when a week old, and John died when two and one-half years
'There is no flock. however watched and tended
But one dead lamb is there;
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,
But has one vacant chair."
Mrs. Olmsted, a sincere and Christian woman, is a devoted member of the Methodist
Episcopal church; and Mr. Olmsted is quite liberal in his views of religion. In
politics he affiliates with the Republican party, supporting its principles by voice
and vote. Socially, he is a member of Masonville Lodge, No. 180, Grand Army of the
Republic, of which he is Past Commander.
REV. RICHARD C. SEARING, rector of Christ Episcopal Church at Walton, has been
potent in elevating the moral and religious status of this part of Delaware County,
and influential in forwarding its educational and literary interests. He was born
April 13, 1851, in Saratoga Springs, which was also the place of nativity of his
father, William M. Searing. His grandfather, Richard Searing, was a pioneer of
Saratoga County, whither he went from Hempstead, L. I., where he was reared and
married. During the Revolutionary War he was engaged as teamster, but also handled
a musket to good purpose at the battle of Stony Point. Removing to Saratoga County,
he purchased a tract of land which was still in its virgin wildness, and there
engaged in general farming until his death. He was twice married; his second wife,
from whom the subject of this sketch was descended. was Hannah Stanley Marsh
Searing, the daughter of Samuel Stanley, and the widow of William Marsh. She bore
him three children, namely: William M.; Sarah, the wife of J. Ingersoll; and
William M. Searing was reared to agricultural pursuits on the home farm, assisting
in its labors during the years of his boyhood and youth, but not neglecting his
educational advantages. After mastering the common branches of learning, he taught
school several terms with unquestioned ability and success. Having a logical and
analytical mind, with a taste for jurisprudence, he began the study of law in the
office of William A. Beach in Saratoga Springs, and subsequently entered upon the
practice of his profession in that place. He has always taken an active interest in
works of philanthropy and reform, ever being foremost in the cause of the oppressed,
and was prominent among the Free-soilers, who spent some time in Kansas in the
stirring period of its settlement. During the late Civil War he won a record as a
brave man and a loyal officer, of which he and his descendants may well be proud.
He enlisted in the service of his country in 1861 as Major of the Thirtieth New York
Volunteer Infantry, and for gallant conduct was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant
Colonel, and subsequently was appointed Colonel of his regiment, serving as such
until honorably discharged in 1863. He was an active participant in several heavy
engagements, being at the second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg,
Chancellorsville, and others, and at one time having his horse shot out under him.
Returning to Saratoga Springs, he resumed his law practice, and is still an honored
resident of that place, where he is filling the office of Pension Agent.
He married Caroline M. Huling, daughter of Beekman and Maria (Smith) Huling, the
former of whom was born in the town of Beekman, Dutchess County, N.Y., being the son
of John Huling, a native of the same place and a pensioner of the Revolution. Jacob
Smith, the father of Maria Smith Huling, was a resident of Kinderhook, Columbia
County, where the latter was born, December 8, 1799. Of the marriage of Mr. and
Mrs. William Searing seven children were born, namely: Beekman; William, deceased;
Richard C.; Edmund; Carrie; Samuel, Chaplain of City Institutions, Boston, Mass.;
and Hannah, deceased. Both parents are esteemed members of the Bethesda Church at
Richard C. Searing, the subject of this brief biography, spent the first years of
his life in the village of Saratoga Springs, acquiring his elementary education in
its district schools, which was further advanced by attendance at the graded school.
He went thence to St. Stephen's College at Annandale, N.Y., and was graduated from
the General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1877. His first pastoral work
after graduation was at Walton, in the church where he is now officiating, of which
he had charge until 1879, when he accepted a call to Columbia, Pa. After remaining
there three years and eight months, Mr. Searing spent a short time at Middle Haddam
Conn., and subsequently two years in Willimantic and two years at Unionville, in the
same State. He next had charge of a church at Arlington, Vt., for nearly five
years, and from that place returned to his first pastorate in July 1893. Through
his untiring efforts when at Arlington, the church at Sunderland was established.
He is a man of great perseverance. and in his present responsible position in the
Master's vineyard is acquitting himself with the same fidelity to duty, and with the
same lofty purpose, clear judgment, and tempered zeal which have ever been among his
distinguishing characteristics. Under his faithful ministrations many persons have
been added to the different congregations under his charge, and he has made his
influence felt for good in the community wherever he has resided.
The marriage of Mr. Searing with Lizzie Chrisman Seeley, the daughter of Aaron C.
and Caroline (Jennings) Seeley, of New Canaan, Conn., was solemnized on January 15,
1880. Mr. and Mrs. Seeley removed from their New England home to the town of
Walton, and were numbered among its most valued citizens. They had four children -
George C., Erastus C., Carrie C., and Lizzie C. Mr. Seeley died while yet a young
man, at the age of twenty-nine years. Mrs. Seeley survived her husband until 1882,
when she passed to a higher life at the age of fifty-three years. Both were sincere
communicants of the Episcopal church. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Seeley,
who was a woman of fine character and rare mental endowments, devoted herself with
faithful solicitude to rearing her little family, who all continue to reside in
Walton, and have become useful members of society, George being junior member of the
firm of Fitch Brothers & Seeley, and Erastus member of the firm of Tobey & Seeley.
Politically, the Rev. Mr. Searing is a Republican; and, socially, he is a member of
the Masonic fraternity, having joined Walton Lodge, No. 559, in 1878. He is also a
Royal Arch Mason, belonging to Adoniram Lodge, Royal Arch Masons, of Manchester, Vt.
FRED H. GRIFFIS, proprietor of the Edgerton House, the leading hotel of Delhi, has,
by his ready tact and uniform courtesy, made his well-managed establishment, with
its beautifully supplied table and its excellent service, one of the most attractive
resorts for the traveling public that can be found within the limits of Delaware
County, and has won for himself a far more than local reputation. He is a native of
Delaware County, having made his first entrance upon the stage of life October 22,
1858, in the town of Hancock, where his father Calvin B. Griffis, was then engaged
Calvin B. Griffis was born on the farm of his parents in Montrose, Susquehanna
County, Pa., being one of a family of eight children, seven of them being boys;
namely, Calvin, Abner, Milton, Austin, Elisha, John, and Jefferson. He remained on
the paternal homestead until his freedom birthday, then purchased a farm and engaged
in general agriculture on his own account. Being an energetic, stirring man, with
keen foresight, he saw a way to make money in the timbered region of New York State.
Removing to Delaware County, he bought eleven hundred acres of wild land in the town
of Hancock, giving twenty dollars and fifty cents per acre therefor. He erected a
mill and began clearing off the timber, which he sawed and sold, being an extensive
dealer in lumber for many years, and supplying the Erie Railway Company with wood.
With characteristic enterprise he purchased an interest in the stage line from
Hancock to Delhi, and also one from Hancock to Downsville, that being prior to the
time of railways. The business proved to be very remunerative, as many as one
hundred passengers a day, at three dollars per fare, being sometimes conveyed
between Hancock and Delhi. This was during war times, in 1862 and 1863.
Mr. Griffis also built a large store, in which he not only kept a complete
assortment of dry goods, boots, shoes, and ready-made clothing, but ran an extensive
flour and feed business, being one of the most successful general merchants of the
place. All of these he conducted until 1872, when he purchased the Hancock House,
the largest hotel in that town, and for five years thereafter managed it with the
eminent success. In 1877 he came to Delhi, and assumed the management of the
Edgerton House, which he carried on in the same prosperous manner until 1889, when
he sold his interests to his son Fred, the subject of this sketch. Previous to this
time Calvin B. Griffis had bought what is now known as the Edgerton House farm,
which he ran to supply the hotel, and which he continued to operate until March,
1893. He still leads an active life, paying close personal attention to his many
interests and superintending his farm in Hancock, which is one of the finest in the
entire State. He married Jane M. Vaughn, a native of Pennsylvania, and the daughter
of one of its prosperous farmers. She has borne him four children, all sons,
namely: E. Walker, who is retired from active life, and resides in Hancock; Otis
C., proprietor of the Hancock House, which was formerly owned by his father; Charles
H., and Fred H. The mother is an active Christian woman, and a member of the
Fred H., the youngest of the four boys, spent his early years in Hancock, being
reared on the farm, and acquiring his education in the union school. After
completing his education, he came to Delhi, and began to assist his father in the
hotel. Becoming fully acquainted with the details of the business, in 1888 he
bought the hotel of his father, and in its subsequent management he has met with
well-merited success. In 1892 Mr. Griffis leased the Edgerton House farm,
containing one hundred and seventy acres of land; and here he keeps a large number
of cows, supplying the hotel table with pure cream, undiluted milk, and fine butter,
and cultivating the land for the raising of vegetables. From 1891 to 1893 Mr.
Griffis was also engaged in buying and selling horses, owning a large sale and
exchange stable, in company with R. A. Young, and doing a lucrative business under
the firm name of Griffis and Young. On January 1, 1893, he sold his interest in the
stable to his partner, and has since devoted his entire attention to his farm and
hotel, the latter being in every respect the finest and best-equipped hotel in the
In 1881, Mr. Griffis led to the marriage altar Miss Anna L. Judson, a native of
Delhi, daughter of Charles and Mary (Bergen) Judson, former proprietors of the
American House, Mr. Judson being the worthy representative of one of the old and
honored families of this part of Delaware County. One son, Calvin C. Griffis, has
been born of their union. Mr. Griffis, socially, is a leading member of the Masonic
fraternity, belonging to Delhi Lodge, No. 439, A. F. & A. M., to Delaware Chapter,
No. 249 and to Norwich Commandery, No. 46.
WILLARD H. FRISBEE. The farm of this gentleman, with its comfortable residence and
out-buildings and their pleasant surroundings, lies like a picture in the landscape
of Delhi, and bears the appropriate name of "Maple Shade". The homestead was
purchased by Mr. Frisbee from his father, Edward A., into whose possession it had
come on the death of Daniel Frisbee, of whom he was the youngest son. It embraces
two hundred and thirty-two acres of land, which has been managed in the wisest
manner, and has responded liberally in rich products to the hand of one of the most
skillful agriculturists of Delaware County. In the prosecution of his labors Mr.
Frisbee has availed himself of the experience of older men, and of the skill of the
inventor, adapting his land to that branch of husbandry which he deems most
profitable, and using the most approved modern machinery. He is at present largely
engaged in dairying and stock-raising, selling the milk from fifty choice cows in
the markets of New York, and owning a valuable lot of cattle and horses.
Mr. Frisbee was born April 9, 1858, on the homestead where he now resides; and this
same farm was also the birthplace of his father, Edward A. Frisbee. His great-
grandfather, Judge Gideon Frisbee, was one of the earliest settlers in this part of
the State, where the name Frisbee has long been prominent. He was a New England man
by birth, but migrated to this State, and, after a short stay in Schoharie County,
came thence to Delaware County, where he took up a timbered tract lying in the town
of Delhi, and in time established a good home for his family. He was a remarkably
well-informed man, and was very influential in the management of important affairs.
He had the honor of being appointed the first Judge of this county, and in his house
the first court was held. Of his large family of children none are now living.
Daniel Frisbee, son of Judge Frisbee, was born in New Canaan, Conn., went from
there to Schoharie County, New York, with his parents and at the age of nine years
came with them to this county. He was reared a farmer, and, when ready to begin his
independent career, took up a timber tract of two hundred acres of land and
proceeded to clear a farm. In the customary log house he and his young wife, whose
maiden name was Ruth Beardsley, began their labors, mostly of a pioneer nature,
experiencing many difficulties, but with a resolute spirit overcoming them all.
Here they lived and toiled, and here this worthy couple passed to their final rest.
The home which they reared in the wilderness came successively into the possession
of their son Edward and their grandson Willard, whose name heads this sketch. Mr.
and Mrs. Daniel Frisbee were the parents of twelve children, of whom eleven grew to
maturity; namely, Erastus, Huldah, Dalinda, Sally, Beardsley, Ruth, Gideon, Lydia,
Daniel, Marilla, and Edward A.
Edward A. Frisbee was the youngest member of the parental household, and his entire
life was spent on the farm where he was born.
Through the days of his boyhood and youth he attended school and assisted on the
farm, acquiring a good common school education, and becoming well versed in the
pursuit of agriculture. After the decease of his parents, he came into possession
of the old homestead, and was for many years known as one of the best farmers in
this region. He added many fine improvements of the place, building the present
commodious residence and good barn and out-buildings. He departed this life on
February 5, 1893, at the age of sixty-four years, leaving behind the blessed memory
of a life well spent. On April 11, 1855, he married Rosella D. Graham, the daughter
of Henry R. Graham, of Meredith. She passed to the better land April 6, 1888, at
the age of fifty-two years. They were the parents of two children - Willard H. and
Esther H. The latter is the wife of John D. Paine, a clerk in Graham's hardware
store at Delhi. Both parents were conscientious members of the Baptist church, in
which Mr. Edward A. Frisbee served with fidelity as Trustee for many years.
Willard H. Frisbee was reared upon the old homestead, receiving the rudiments of
his education in the district school. Being a bright and ambitious boy, he was
afterward sent to the Delaware Academy, thence to Colgate Academy at Hamilton, where
he pursued the classical course. Returning to the home of his youth, Mr. Frisbee
engaged in farming, and in 1891 purchased from his father the old homestead, in
whose management he is meeting with encouraging results. He is well known
throughout this locality as an honest, upright man and a true and faithful citizen,
and as the encourager and supporter of all enterprises calculated to benefit the
Mr. Frisbee was united in wedlock January 3, 1883, to Miss Minnie E. Hoag, the
descendant of an old and honored family of Delhi, being the daughter of Cyrus Hoag.
Into their pleasant home five children have been born - Ralph H., Clarence E., Elmer
G., Rosella B., and Wyatt C. Mr. Frisbee takes an active interest in the temperance
cause, and casts his vote with the Prohibitionists. Religiously, he is a prominent
member of the Baptist church, of which he is a trustee.
ISAAC WINANS. For more than a half-century Mr. Winans has been a resident of the town of Sidney, and during the time has established a good reputation as a man of industry, intelligence, and thrift. He was for many years an important factor in the industrial interests of the town, carrying on a successful business in the manufacture of boots and shoes. He is a native of New York, born in the town of Unadilla, Otsego County, March 14, 1822, being a son of Silas and Elizabeth (Smith) Winans. His paternal grandfather, Isaac Winans Sr., who was born in Horse Neck, Dutchess County, June 26, 1728, was a veteran of the Revolution; and after the close of that war he settled in Otsego County, being one of the pioneers of Unadilla. He was a farmer by occupation, but not a land-owner, and, although making a comfortable living, never accumulated much property. On July 21, 1774, he was united in marriage to Sarah Holly, a native of Dutchess County, the date of her birth being December 12, 1743. Of their union seven children were born, all of whom grew to maturity; but none are now living. Grandfather Winans was a man of profound convictions in regard to the great truths of religion, liberal in his views, and tolerant of the opinions of others, but rather inclined toward the tenets of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which church his good wife was a consistent member. Both spent the last years of their lives in the town of Unadilla, he passing away at the home of one of his daughters at a ripe old age.
Edward Smith, the maternal grandfather of Mr. Winans, was a native of England, where he spent the earlier years of his life. In 1803 he emigrated to America, and, proceeding directly to Otsego County, settled in the town of Butternuts, where he bought a tract of land and engaged in farming. He died there on February 24, 1813, at the age of fifty-seven years. On June 12, 1783, a score of years prior to his emigration, he was married to Catherine Chapman, who accompanied him to his new home, and who survived him a few years, dying in Butternuts, May 27, 1818, when fifty-seven years old. They reared a family of eight children, but none are now living. While in his native country, Mr. Smith, who had great mechanical ability, was engaged in the manufacture of buttons; and his grandson, Mr. Winans, has in his possession a button made by him in 1770, which is of great value as work of mechanical skill, being worth more than its weight in gold. It is as large as a silver dollar, and consists of seventy-two pieces of steel put together in an ingenious manner. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were people of great moral worth, and were highly respected. They were members of no religious organization, but were firm believers in the Universalist faith.
Silas Winans, son of the elder Isaac, was born in Little Nine Partners, Dutchess County, May 13, 1785, and spent the days of his boyhood and early manhood near the scenes of his birth, being reared to the occupation of a farmer. Subsequently removing to Otsego County, he bought a small farm in the town of Unadilla, and was for some years there engaged in agriculture. In 1839 he came to Delaware County, and, buying one hundred and sixty-five acres of land near Sidney-Centre, began the improvement of a homestead. He was a man of good intellectual capacity, fond of reading and study, but not a very practical manager; it was through the excellent judgment and business ability of his wife that his farming operations were ably carried on. He married Elizabeth Smith, who was born in Leicestershire, England, August 29, 1794, a daughter of Edward and Catherine (Chapman) Smith, above named. She proved herself a helpmate in every sense implied by the term; and both she and her husband spent their remaining years in the town of Sidney, she dying in May 1861, at the age of sixty-seven years, and he in November 1873, at the venerable age of eighty-eight years. They were respected for their integrity and upright moral character; and, although not church members, he was a Universalist in his religious views, and she was a Methodist. To them were born ten children, seven sons and three daughters, of whom the following is a brief record: Catherine, born September 23, 1820, is the widow of Joel Lee, and resides in Sidney Centre. Isaac is the one whose name heads the present sketch. Laura, born in August 1824, married Chester Pomeroy, and died August 15, 1884. Silas C., born in May 1825, is a resident of Franklin. Eliza, born in August 1827, died young. Cyrus W. was born in August 1829. Joseph, born in October, 1831, was a physician in Linn County, Iowa, where his death occurred in March 1892. Henry H., born in August 1833, lives in Sidney Centre with his sister, Mrs. Lee. Samuel, born in August 1836, was an able physician, and died in Sidney Centre in 1863. James, born on May 24, 1839, is a farmer residing in Sidney Centre.
Isaac Winans, the eldest son of Silas, remained in the place of his nativity until seventeen years of age, and there received the rudiments of his education, which was completed in Sidney Centre. He remained at home, assisting on the farm until attaining his majority, when he started life for himself, beginning as a farm laborer, working during the summer months for nine dollars a month, and during the winter seasons working at the shoemaker's trade, which he learned after leaving home. In 1845 he established himself in Sidney Centre as a manufacturer of boots and shoes, and was for thirty-six years prosperously engaged in that business. By steady application to his work and the exercise of sound judgment in his investments he has acquired a good property and a comfortable home. Clinging to his early habits of industry and thrift, Mr. Winans still leads a life of activity, and realizes a handsome annual income from the sale of honey, keeping about fifty stands of black and Italian bees; and, in addition to this business, he also raises a good deal of poultry, his principal stock being brown leghorns.
On the 3d of August 1845, Mr. Winans was united in marriage to Rhobey Hunter, a native of Sharon, Vt., and a daughter of Dr. Ira and Rhobey (Spalding) Hunter. Rhobey Hunter Winans was born on January 26, 1816, and for several years was a successful school-teacher. She had an older brother, Philip S. Hunter, a clothier by trade, and two sisters: Thirza, who died when only two years old; and Louise, who died at sixty-six years of age. The "Review" is indebted to the practised pen of Mrs. Winans for further particulars concerning her parents and interesting incidents in the lives of distant ancestral connections, which she has recorded as they were told by her mother, and which show the heroic spirit that animated the pioneer men and women of the perilous times of old.
Ira Hunter was born in Grantham, N.H., January 10, 1785, worked at shoemaking for several years, and then, under the instruction of Dr. Elias Frost, began the study and practice of physic. In 1812 he was married to Rhobey Spalding, daughter of Captain Philip and Thankful Waterman Spalding. In 1817 he bought a farm in Roxbury, Vt., where he settled with his family, as a farmer and physician, remaining there until he came with them to Franklin, Delaware, County, N.Y., in the year 1837. A few years later they removed to Sidney Centre, where Dr. Hunter died, November 9, 1856, aged seventy-one years. He was a man of much talent and a skilful physician. He was a Republican in political principle, and a true patriot. Rhobey (Spalding) Hunter, his wife, spent the remainder of her years with her daughter, Mrs. Winans, in Sidney Centre, and entered her rest in hope of a glorious resurrection, at the ripe old age of ninety-one years, She was a woman of sound mind, a Baptist, and much respected by all who knew her.
Captain Philip Spalding, father of Rhobey Spalding Hunter, was born in Connecticut in November 1755. He was a soldier in the War of the Revolution, and served as Captian under the command of General Washington. He was a tall, well-built man, of commanding appearance, a wise counsellor, a good Christian, and a Baptist. He retained his mental faculties almost to the last; and, when his life work here was finished in his ninety-third year, he passed away so peacefully it might be said of him, "Asleep in Jesus, oh, how sweet!" His wife, who died at sixty, was a Christian believer, a Baptist in sentiment, not a church member. Her name was Thankful (Waterman) Spalding. She had a brother in the Revolutionary War, whose name was William Waterman; and, at one time, while in a battle where the enemy were victorious, he was the last man on the field who turned to flee. In his flight, the "balls whizzed by his ears thick and fast," he used to say; and, as he leaped over a wall, a ball entered his hip. He fell, and, with many others, was taken prisoner; and with them he was stowed away in an old ship on the briny waters, three miles from any land. Many had the prison fever; and, to use his own expression, "they were dying off like rotten sheep." He knew it was death to stay there, and how to escape was the question. They soon found a plug in an old gun-hole, which they worked at till they loosened it; and in the night they pulled it out, and three of them committed themselves to the merciless waters, determined, if possible, to swim ashore. When they came to land, they found themselves in the midst of the enemy. Their only way of escape was to swim back to the ship, and take another course. They started for the ship, but he alone reached it. He then took another direction, and finally again reached the shore, so exhausted he could not stand up, but crawled to a place where he was found and taken to the hospital. He shortly went home to his friends, where he lived to a good old age, and died in the Baptist faith in Christ.
Another incident relates to the burning of Royalton, Vt., on October 16, 1780. Dr. Ira Hunter's father's name was William Hunter, and he had a sister who married a man by the name of Hendee. At the time of this Indian raid Royalton had but a few houses, and they were far between. The intent of the Indians was to kill every white man they found, so the men fled for their lives. When the Indians had secured all the valuables they cared for, they set fire to the houses, captured nine boys from nine to twelve years old, and left. When Mrs. Hendee, who had been away, returned to her home and found what had been done, she took the Indian trail, and went on, overtaking them just as they had crossed the river, a branch of the White, and entered their camp. She plunged into the water, swimming where wading was impossible, reached the other side and, braving the tomahawk and the threatening aspect of the savages, rushed into the camp, seized a boy, and bore him to the opposite shore. In like manner she took another and another, until eight were carried over. While taking the last one, her strength began to fail. An Indian, seeing this and admiring her heroism, said. "White woman brave; me help white woman." and stepping forward, kindly aided her across the river. He then left her and her boys, one of them being her own son, to go on their way rejoicing; while the Indians looked on with mingled emotions of astonishment and admiration.
Mr. and Mrs. Winans have no children of their own living, their only child, Herman Hunter Winans, who was born August 29, 1848, having passed to the world beyond on December, 29, 1861. They subsequently adopted a daughter, Edith G., who was born July 5, 1857, and, marrying James Voorhees, now resides in Brooklyn, N. Y. Mrs. Voorhees's parents were Dwight and Louisa (Hunter) Manwarring, the former of whom was born in the State of Connecticut, and the latter in Vermont, the date of her birth being October 3, 1825. Mr. Manwarring is a wagon-maker by trade, and carried on his business in Sidney Centre for several years, but is now a resident of Iowa. Mrs. Manwarring, a sister of Mrs. Winans, was an artist of much ability. She passed on to the higher life October 8, 1891, being then sixty-six years of age. She bore her husband three children, as follows: Ida, born December 21, 1855, a talented singer and a leading star on the stage; Edith G., Mrs. Voorhees; Urania Evelyn, born September 17, 1859, now residing in North Dakota. Both Mr. and Mrs. Manwarring were members of the Baptist church.
Mr. Winans is identified with the Republican party in politics, and served for several years as Poor Master. Both he and his wife are held in high esteem throughout the community, and are faithful members of the Baptist church, of which he is Treasurer, a position which he has filled acceptably for many years, besides filling the office of Trustee.
The following poem, "In Memory of Our Early Settlers," was written by Mrs. Edith G. Voorhees, of Brooklyn, N.Y., for the centennial celebration at Sidney Centre, and was there read on June 29, 1892: -
Far, far away the breakers moan and fret
Where islands of strange growth and beauty rise,
No giant forces formed these lands, and yet,
Beneath the azure arch of tropic skies,
A wealth of waving palm-trees they upbear,
For Nature's hand has given most lavishly
Of all her treasures, those most rich and rare,
As though in tribute to the memory
Of all the tiny lives built up in these
Fair, lonely islands of the distant seas.
But who shall say what years or ages long
Passed by, while, upward through the calmer sea
And toward the light, the innumerable throng
Of coral builders grew? At last the free,
Wild surface-waves were parted; then the white,
Still moonlight's radiance touched them. or there shone
Upon each spray-crowned height the golden light
Of tropic sun. The silent work went on.
And life on life was builded: then a space
Of ages, then the palm-trees waving grace.
And we, to-day, do hold in tender thought
The lives on which our lives are safely built.
Now, looking backward o'er what years have wrought,
We find this day has come to us all gilt
And overlaid with golden memories.
What though the hearts so filled with purpose true
A century ago are still in this,
Our own bright, peaceful age? What though the dew
Of heaven has fallen for these many years
On mounds where once fell bitter, farewell tears?
What though the toil-worn hands are folded there
Beneath the grasses that grow lovingly
O'er graves? Set free from all of pain and care,
The earthly part rests on, while. full and free,
The sunbeams come, or. dark athwart the cold,
White stones, the shadows fall. But God is love;
And deathless souls, thank God, no grave can hold,
No cold white stone keep watch and guard above.
And still with us the deeds, the words, endure,
Of those who gave this age its character.
There may be those who. listening here to-day,
Will find this scene grow dim. while in its place,
The faces known amidst their childhood's play
Will look on theirs with all the old-time grace,
And voices that they loved in years gone by
Will sound again like music from the past,
And mem'ries that all changing years defy
Around the heart the old-time charm will cast;
And who shall say what childish prayer may be
By aged lips repeated tremblingly?
But, some day, ours will be the faces seen
Through mists of years, while our own words and deeds
Will have been built upon: and then. Serene,
The sky will bend o'er work that thus succeeds
Our own. Upon this age's higher plane
Some build whose years will reach out fair into
The grander century to be. These gain
Its vantage ground. a greater breadth of view;
Yet all foundation still must be the same, -
Truth, justice, purity, and worthy aim.
Behind these grand. old sheltering hills to-day,
We pay this tribute to the hearts that gave
To us our heritage. Thank God, we say,
That life's true worth and best results no grave
Can hide! And on those lives of theirs we build
Our own. So, upward, until Time shall cease,
New heights shall rise, and all shall be fulfilled
When He whose wondrous birth-song was of Peace,
Whose life was Love, the finished work shall bless,
And so, in blessing, grant it perfectness.
CHARLES L. LYON, who is actively engaged in agricultural pursuits in his native town of Masonville, has by energetic diligence, good judgment, and wise economy made a success in his chosen vocation, and is numbered among the faithful citizens of his neighborhood. He first drew the breath of life on April 27, 1845, and is a son of the late Richard and Mahala (Burdick) Lyon, the former of whom was born in Bainbridge, and the latter in Pennsylvania. His paternal grandfather, William Lyon, was a pioneer farmer of Bainbridge, and there passed the declining years of a life long devoted to useful industry.
Richard Lyon, son of William, was reared and married in Bainbridge, removing from there to Delaware County in 1842, and settling in Masonville. He bought the farm where his son Charles now resides, and which was then but a dense stretch of woods. He and his brother, Caleb Lyon, and a brother-in-law, Randolph Burdick, came here at the same time, and bought in partnership a tract of two hundred acres of wild land. Game was still abundant in this vicinity, deer being frequently seen. Mr. Lyon erected a house and cleared a large portion of his land beforehis death, his toilsome labors meeting with a deserved reward. He died on the homestead which he had redeemed from the wilderness, in 1869, at the age of sixty-four years. His faithful wife and helpmeet lived until 1886, passing away in that year, at the age of seventy-one years. She was an intelligent, energetic woman, and a strong Universalist in her religious faith. Her husband was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and politically he was a Republican. They reared a family of five sons and three daughters, as follows: Wilfred lives in Wisconsin. James is a resident of East Masonville. Charles, of Masonville, is our subject. Ambrose lives in Norwich. Sally A. Randall resides in Oneonta. Emily Ramsdell lives in Masonville. Julia died at the age of three years. Arad died at the age of twenty-two years, while serving in the late Civil War as a member of the Fifth New York Heavy Artillery.
Charles L. Lyon grew to manhood on the old home farm, acquiring his education in the public schools of the neighborhood, and assisting in the care of the farm until twenty-two years old, when he started out to win a living by himself. His first venture was made in the lumber regions of Wisconsin, where he remained two years, going thence to Nebraska. The following year he was employed by the Burlington Railway Company, and subsequently took up a homestead claim in that State; but, not being able to get his money from the railway company, he was compelled to give up his land. From there he went to Hannibal, Mo., and for four years was engaged in burning lime. In 1876 Mr. Lyon returned to Masonville, and was for some time thereafter employed in working out by the month at anything he could find to do. In 1879 he bought the parental homestead, and from that time took care of his mother until her death. His farm contains seventy-six acres of fertile land, in a good state of cultivation; and here he carries on general farming and dairying, milking nine cows, and also pays some attention to the raising of sheep, keeping eighteen to twenty head of Shropshire Downs.
Mr. Lyon was married December 13, 1887, to Mary Rhinehart, a native of Germany, where she was born September 12, 1854, being a daughter of John A. and Barbara Rhinehart, both of whom are deceased. Mrs. Lyon came to America in 1872, making the long journey unaccompanied by friends. She is the mother of four children, namely: her eldest, Elsie; and three who have been born of her union with Mr. Lyon, their names being, Bertha, Ralph, and Frank. She is a member of the Baptist church, and a faithful worker in that denomination; while Mr. Lyon is liberal in his religion. Politically, he is a sound Republican, sustaining the principals of that party at the polls.
CAPTAIN JOSHUA K. HOOD, of the firm of Hood & Douglas, proprietors of the largest general store in Delhi, is one of the leading business men of Delaware County. He was a distinguished officer in the late war, in which he rendered the government valuable service; and he has been no less conspicuous in civil life. He is a native of the Prairie State, born in Oakdale, Washington County, September 1, 1843, being a son of John and Rachel Kennedy Hood.
John Hood was born in South Carolina, probably of Scotch ancestry, and was there reared to agricultural pursuits. Being a strong Abolitionist, and in the active sympathy with the anti-slavery movement, life in the South was not as pleasant for him as it might have been; and he moved to Illinois, becoming a pioneer of Washington County. Buying a tract of raw prairie land, he erected a log cabin, and began the improvement and cultivation of his farm. He was very successful in his efforts, and added to his original purchase until he had three hundred acres of well tilled land, on which he erected a good set of farm buildings, and a fine brick residence in place of the humble cabin of logs. On that homestead he spent the remainder of his years, passing away in 1861. He was twice married. After the death of his first wife, who bore him two children, he married Rachel Kennedy, a native of Greencastle, Pa., but afterward a resident of Illinois, to which State she removed when she was a young girl. She reared five children, of whom only two are now living: namely, Joshua Kennedy and Archie. The latter who served three years in the late Rebellion, in the Tenth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, is now a wholesale merchant in Columbus, Kan. The others were James, Mary, and John C. The mother was an exemplary Christian woman, and a member of the Reformed Presbyterian church, as was also her husband. She was called from life in the midst of her usefulness, dying on the Illinois homestead when but forty-two years old.
When only six years of age, Joshua, the subject of this sketch, had the misfortune to be left motherless. He remained with his father until about fifteen years old, and in the mean time attended the district school and Sparta Union Academy. Coming eastward to Pennsylvania, he entered the Fayetteville Academy, where he pursued his studies until aroused by the tocsin of war which resounded through the land. He was then a member of the senior class in the academy; but, prompted by patriotic zeal, he responded to the first call for volunteers, enlisting as a private in Company K, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. After serving for nine months, he re-enlisted for six months in Company K, Twenty-first Pennsylvania Calvalry, as a Sergeant of the company. At the expiration of his term of enlistment, he again enlisted in Company G of the same regiment. While serving with the nine months men, he participated in the Battles of Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg, receiving a severe wound in the last engagement by the explosion of a shell. During his second term of service he took an active part in many heavy engagements; and during his last he fought bravely for his country in the battles of Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Appomattox, and also at the battle of the Wilderness, his regiment being connected with the Army of the Potomac. For bravery and heroic conduct he was promoted, going through the various ranks, and serving until the close of the war. He was discharged July 18, 1865, at Lynchburg, Va.
Upon his return to the duties of civil life, Captain Hood went to New York City, and was for a time employed by Foster Brothers on Broadway, remaining with them until his health broke down, when he came to Bovina, Delaware County, to recuperate. In 1866 he formed a partnership with T. Hastings, of that place, and opened a general store. Two years later he bought out the interest of Mr. Hastings, and continued the business alone for a year. Then, selling, he went to Andes, where he bought out the business of Connor & Glending, and, after managing it alone for a year, admitted Mr. Dunn as a partner. They subsequently purchased another store in Shavertown, and soon afterward took one of their clerks, J. W. Dixon, into the firm. At the end of the next two years the Captain became sole proprietor of the store, which he conducted for a while, subsequently selling out to Mr. Dixon, his former partner; and, leaving Andes, he came to Delhi. In the fall of 1882 Captain Hood purchased the interest of one of the brothers Bell & Bell, in their extensive establishment, and nine months later bought out the other, for a time carrying it on in his own name. In February, 1892, John A. Douglas became associated with him; and the firm has since carried on a thriving and lucrative business under the name of Hood & Douglas.
The union of Captain Hood and Mrs. Mary E. Norris, a native of New York City, but later a resident of Andes, was solemnized December 18, 1875. Into their happy home three children have been born; but their only son, John K., died at the tender age of four years. The daughters, Mary B. and Florence Irene, are both students at the Delhi Academy.
Politically, Captain Hood has always been a staunch Republican, and a man of influence in the party, having served as a member of the Republican County Committee for nine years, for the last three of which he has been its Chairman. He is ever interested in local matters, and while in Andes served as President of the village. He has also belonged to the fire department, serving faithfully in the ranks, and being promoted to the position of Chief. He cast his first Presidential vote while in the army for Abraham Lincoln. Captain Hood is very prominent in Grand Army of the Republican circles, having been one of the founders of the organization. He belongs to England Post of Delhi, of which he was formerly Commander, and was one of the members of the department staff. As a member of the national staff, he served as one of the Council of Administration of the Department of the State of New York. In 1889 he was elected to the position of Senior Vice-Commander in this State, which is next to the highest office. He has been urged for the position of Department Commander, and has been several times delegate to State and national encampments, being one of the best known men in the Grand Army of the Republic. He was elected delegate to the national encampment at Indianapolis, receiving the highest number of votes of any delegate on the national ticket. He was elected County Clerk of Delaware County, December 6, 1894, on the Republican ticket, receiving three thousand one hundred and five majority over his competitor, the largest majority any candidate ever received in Delaware County. Religiously, Captain Hood and his wife are valued members of the Presbyterian church, for which he has been connected for twenty-seven years.
JAMES S. KERR. Along Beatty Brook Valley, in the town of South Kortright, is a valuable tract of a thousand acres with a good residence owned by the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch, who is the largest dairy farmer of Delaware County. His cows, between two and three hundred, supply the Sheffield Farms Company with over two thousand quarts daily of milk nearly always above the legally required standard grade, yielding nearly five per cent. of butter fat. This prosperous and progressive farmer avoids labor complications by employing Polish hands, in sufficient numbers to keep each other contented, and free from the homesickness almost inevitable to strangers in a strange land. He finds them competent, quick to learn, trustworthy, and systematic, though often lacking in prior agriculture experience. In addition to his extensive farm work he is a stock-raiser, and has a stone quarry, from which good flagstones are cut.
Like most men who are worth anything in the world's growth, Mr. Kerr is interested in procuring facts which throw any light upon his family history. He is the grandson of Robert Kerr, who was a farmer in County Monoghan, Ireland, but came to this country in 1801 with his family, and bought the Kortright farm, where he lived till his death, many years later. He is undoubtedly of Scotch descent.
Robert Kerr's son Henry, the father of the subject of this sketch, died February 20, 1864, seventy-five years of age, having been born in 1789. His birthplace was not in America, however, but in the old country. He was brought hither by his parents when a dozen years old, and they worked on the farm now carried on by William Briggs. Henry Kerr learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed for a quarter-century; but he also bought forty acres of land, to which he added from time to time, rising in fortune by the ladder of hard work, till he owned the two hundred and eighteen acres now belonging to his son, James S. Kerr. He was a member of the United Presbyterian Society in South Kortright, and used to go regularly to meeting when stoves were considered needless luxuries, not conductive to "pure and undefiled religion," and the meeting-house was constructed of rough slab boards. His wife, Mary Anne Keator, who was a descendant on the paternal side of the noted Sands family of England, died twelve years before her husband, in 1852, aged sixty-two, having been born only a year later than he, in 1790, in Marbletown, Ulster County, N.Y. This Christian couple had only four children, three of whom are now living. Mary Kerr, the eldest, is the wife of Robert S. Orr, of Kortright. Her sister Jane died in the midst of her career as a school-teacher. Matthew H. Kerr resides with his brother, James S., on the big farm, portion whereof was first put under cultivation by their industrious and respected father.
James S. Kerr was born in 1834: his birthplace was the town of Kortright, on the very estate now his exclusive property. Besides attending the district school, he went to the Delaware Literary Institute and to Delhi Academy, where he received a good education for his position and generation. Thereafter he lived at home, and cared for his father, his mother dying before he reached his nineteenth birthday. To equal his honored father in agriculture, and excel him if possible, was James's great ambition; and to this end he has fully achieved. As already implied, of the thousand acres under Mr. Kerr's control, over three hundred acre are his own exclusive property. In 1893 he shipped over thirteen thousand cans of milk to market. He gives employment to a score of men or more in the busy season, and his buildings are all in fine condition.
James S. Kerr did not marry early in life. In fact, it was not until September 14, 1869, when he was thirty-five years old, that he took to himself as wife Effie Scott, who was born across the water on February 12, 1838. Her birthplace was on the noted East Boonrow farm, which was in the family for over two hundred years. Her parents were George and Mary (Thompson) Scott; but she was soon bereft of her father, who died on the ocean when Effie was but a child. Only one son has resulted from this marriage, M. Henry Kerr, named for his grandfather, was born on May 14, 1872. He was a graduate of Delhi Academy in 1894. They lost one child, Katie J. Kerr, who died on April 4, 1894, in the very flower of her youth, at the age of twenty. Mrs. Kerr belongs to the Presbyterian church in Kortright, Mr. Kerr in politics is a Democrat. As an upright and reliable man, intelligent and affable, he has been a Justice of Peace since 1866, besides being one of the Supervisors seven years.
An excellent likeness of Mr. Kerr appropriately graces this portrait gallery of Delaware County worthies.
HENRY LITTEBRANT, who is numbered among the enterprising agriculturists of Delaware County, owns a well-cultivated and productive farm of eighty-four acres in the town of Masonville. The larger part of the improvements are the work of his own hands, and reflect on him great credit, his buildings being of a handsome and substantial character and well adapted to the purposes for which they are used. He carried on general farming in a skilful manner, giving considerable attention to dairying, keeping fifteen head of cattle. Mr. Littebrant was born in Schoharie County, New York, October 28, 1834, being a son of Adam Edward and Christain (Getter) Littebrant, both natives of this county.
His grandfather Littebrant was one of the early settlers of Schoharie County, and died there at a good old age. Stephen G. Getter, his maternal grandfather, who was born in Germany, emigrated to America when a young man, and became one of the pioneers of Schoharie County, where he lived for some time, but subsequently removed to Delaware County, settling in the town of Masonville. He engaged in farming in his new home, continuing to reside here until his death, which occurred in 1858, at the age of eighty-three years.
Adam E. Littebrant lived in the county of his nativity until after his marriage, removing to Masonville in 1835. His first purchase of land here consisted of eighty acres, on which he resided a few years. Then, disposing of that, he bought the farm where his son Henry now lives. The original tract contained fifty acres of heavily timbered land, very little of it being cleared. He began its improvement but was erelong overtaken by death, passing from the scenes of his earthly labors in 1844, when only thirty-eight years of age. He was a hard-working man, a true Christian, and an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His early loss was deeply deplored throughout the community. His estimable wife survived him many years, dying in 1885, at the age of eighty years. Of the eight children born to them the following is a record: Aurilla, the wife of Cornelius Cornell, resides in Unadilla, Otsego County. Mary, the wife of Horace Benedict, lives in Michigan. Joseph, a volunteer of the late war, died while in service, his death occurring in Tennessee, when he was about thirty years of age. Henry lives in Masonville. George died at the age of fifty-five years. Elizabeth, the wife of James Blincoe, is a resident of Masonville. Jane French died at the age of twenty-one years. Hannah, who married Herbert Frazier, resides in Michigan.
Henry Littebrant was an infant when his parents came to this county; and he grew to manhood in Masonville, receiving his education in its public schools. When nine years of age, he removed with his family to the homestead where he has since resided, after the death of his father assisting in its development and improvement, and finally, buying out the interest of the other heirs, becoming its owner. His mother remained with him, tenderly cared for in her last years, until called to meet the loved ones on the farther shore. Mr. Littebrant served during the War of the Rebellion, enlisting as a bugler, September 2, 1863, in Company H, First New York Veteran Cavalry, under the command of Captain Allen Banks. He was subsequently taken sick, and was transferred to a brass band. He was honorably discharged and mustered out of service at Frederick City, Md., on June 6, 1865. Resuming his duties as a private citizen, Mr. Littebrant has since resided on his farm and devoted his entire attention, with marked success, to its management. He occupies a good position in the community as an honorable and upright citizen, and possesses the confidence and esteem of his fellow-townsmen. He has never married. He is liberal in his religious views, and socially is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, belonging to Masonville Post, No. 180.
EMMETT O. COAN is extensively engaged in farming, dairying, and stock-growing in the town of Kortright, where he has a valuable farm of two hundred and fourteen acres under a high state of culture, with substantial and convenient buildings, and all the accessories of a model homestead. He is the worthy descendant of one of the early-established families of the town of Kortright, where his birth occurred August 10, 1850. His parents Orrin and Elvira (Burdick) Coan, were also natives of the same place; and here his grandfather, Miller Coan, was one of the original settlers. He was a native of Dutchess County; and , coming here when the country was new, he bought a farm near Bloomville, and in the course of years by dint of energetic toil, long continued, cleared a good homestead, living upon it until his form was bent by the weight of more than fourscore years. In politics he was a sound Democrat, and in his religious beliefs quite liberal.
Orrin Coan spent his entire life, a long and active one of eighty-two years, in the place of his birth. Following in the footsteps of his father, he became interested in agricultural pursuits, and buying a farm of one hundred acres in Kortright, abided thereon until his death, successfully engaged in its cultivation. His wife survived him, and still lives on the homestead, where they passed so many years of wedded happiness. Eight children were born into their household, of whom the following five are now living: Paulina A. Dean; Mary Scott, of Walton; Leroy J.; Emmett O.; and Fanny L. Paulina A., Leroy J., and Fanny L. reside on the home farm.
In the days of his youth Emmett O. Coan attended the district school of his neighborhood, and under the instruction of his father acquired a practical knowledge of the art of agriculture. On attaining his majority, he began life on his own account as a farmer. In his business affairs, he has met with prosperity, and is now classed among the most thriving and progressive farmers of Delaware County. In 1891 Mr. Coan bought he farm where he now lives: and, under his close application to work, and through his judicious management, it has become one of the most attractive estates in the vicinity. He devotes much attention to the rearing of fine stock, and his dairy contains twenty-nine head of choice cows.
Mr. Coan was united in marriage in 1891 to Addie M. Boyd, a native of Bovina Centre; and one son, Charlie, has come to brighten their household. By his sterling traits of character and straightforward business ways Mr. Coan has fully established himself in the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens and associates. In politics he is an ardent Republican, and in religion he is liberal in his views. His worthy wife is a consistent member of the Presbyterian church.
EDWIN TAYLOR, son of William and Anna (Dewey) Taylor, was born on March 15, 1830, in Franklin, Delaware County, N.Y., where he still makes his summer home, although he is now a resident of Binghamton. His father, who came here from Massachusetts in the early part of the present century, was a cloth-dresser by trade, but chiefly followed farming. He bought the first settled farm in the town of Franklin, and resided thereon over seventy years, dying in 1880 at the great age of ninety-seven. He was a representative man of his day, was highly respected by his neighbors and a wide circle of friends, and held several town offices. His intelligence was of superior order, and his character above reproach. In religious matters he was connected with the Baptist church, which he helped to support to the extent of his means, his Christianity being of that practical kind that is manifested in daily life and in contact with one's fellow-men rather than in empty professions. His wife, formerly Miss Anna Dewey, was born in Springfield, Mass., and came to Delaware County, New York with her parents while young.
Edwin, the subject of this brief narration, was brought up on his father's farm, and laid the foundation of his education in the public schools, afterward attending the Delaware Literary Institute at Franklin. Having finished his course as a student in the classes, he continued his career in the public schools by beginning at eighteen years of age the work of teaching, in which he was engaged during six winter terms. Meanwhile, in the warmer seasons he took up farming, which remained his principal occupation for several years. He also devoted considerable time to handling butter and farm produce, which he shipped to Eastern markets. His ability as a man of affairs was recognized by his fellow-townsmen; and he was chosen to serve as Deputy Sheriff and Road Commissioner, and was also Collector for his town for two years.
In 1872 he went to Binghamton, N.Y., and engaged in the produce business, which at first he conducted by himself, but afterward was associated with Mr. A. H. Leet, under the firm name of Leet & Taylor. A year and a half later this connection was dissolved; and Mr. Taylor then went into partnership with Mr. North, the firm being known as North & Taylor, wholesale provision dealers. Their store was on State Street. A year after this Mr. Taylor established the firm of Saunders & Taylor, the first prominent house in Binghamton to handle dressed meats. They built a fine refrigerator, or cold storage building, on Prospect Street, near the Erie Railroad. After doing a large business for four years, Mr. Taylor sold out, in 1887, to Mr. Saunders, and in the same year formed a connection with Messrs. Shaw and Eitapene in the provision and wholesale grocery business, at 132-134 State Street, under the firm name of Taylor, Shaw & Co. Later the firm became Taylor & Niven, occupying the same floor as wholesale dealers in provisions, especially flour, of which they made a specialty. They have a large outside trade, and employ several commercial travellers, their trade in flour being larger than that of any other firm in the city. Their business increased so rapidly that they were soon obliged to double their floor capacity. Mr. Taylor's business experience in Binghamton covered a period of twenty years. It is Mr. Taylor's custom to spend a few months each year upon his large farm of two hundred and twenty-five acres, which is run as a dairy farm, in Franklin, Delaware County.
Mr. Taylor's marriage occurred June 9, 1852, when he was united to Miss Delilah Taylor, daughter of Oliver Taylor, of Sidney, N.Y. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor attend the First Presbyterian Church of Binghamton, of which Mr. Taylor is a member; and it is not too much to say that their influence is ever cheerfully exerted on behalf of every worthy cause, and that they are ready at all times to aid in furtherance of the public good. They occupy an important place in their community, and enjoy the general respect and good will. Mr. Taylor, like his father before him, was formerly a Whig. He has been a strong Republican since the organization of that party. He has served as Alderman for four years, and is now serving his fourth term as Supervisor, a fact which shows the estimation in which he is held by his fellow-citizens. A well-informed, thoughtful ,an, of quick, clear perceptions and sound judgment, he possesses superior business abilities; and being public-spirited, he is one to whom his neighbors gladly intrust the management of matters of general concern.
JOSHUA BEERS, proprietor of an excellent farm situated on the river road about three miles from the village of Walton, is numbered among the successful grain and stock growers of Delaware County. His land, one of the most fertile tracts in this region, has been brought to a good state of cultivation; and the homestead is particularly noticeable on account of the fine set of frame buildings and their general air of comfort and plenty. Mr. Beers is a native of this town, having been born February 1, 1819, on the homestead property of his father, Benjamin, and his grandfather, Ephraim Beers, a farm about two miles below his present residence.
Ephraim Beers was a Connecticut man by birth, but after his marriage came to Delaware County, following a path marked by blazed trees, and was among the very first to settle in this section of the county. He found the land a wilderness, and, like all pioneers, was called upon to undergo the hardships and privations consequent upon life on the frontier. He was a blacksmith by trade, and continued that occupation, in connection with farming, after coming here. He took up a tract of land, the one previously mentioned, and cleared a homestead, on which he passed the remainder of his years. He and his wife reared thirteen children.
Benjamin Beers, son of Ephraim, was born on the parental homestead, and, as soon as old enough to weld the spade and hoe, began to assist his father in tilling the soil, from that time being engaged in agricultural pursuits. After the death of his father he took possession of the home farm, which he carried on successfully until his death, at the age of sixty-four years. The maiden name of his wife was Polly Alverson. She was a native of Nova Scotia, and a daughter of Jeremiah Alverson. Six children were born of their union, as follows: William; Joshua; Ezra; Maria, who married Charles Buckbee; Allen; and Antoinette. The mother outlived her husband, and died on the old homestead at the age of seventy-two years. They were people of sterling worth, and Mrs. Beers was a consistent member of the Free Will Baptist church.
Joshua, the second son of Benjamin and Polly Beers, was reared as a farmer, and assisted his parents in the management and care of the old homestead until twenty-nine years old. Then, having saved some money, and being desirous of enjoying life under his own vine and fig-tree, he bought the farm on which he now resides, and energetically began its improvement. It had been partly cleared; and he has since placed it all in a condition for pasturage or tillage, and erected a comfortable set of farm buildings. He is thus now, in the sunset of life, enabled to enjoy the fruits of his earlier years of toil and denial.
In 1848 Mr. Beers was united in marriage to Sarah E. Buckbee, the daughter of Ezekiel and Ruth Buckbee, well-known members of the farming community of Walton. To gladden their hearts and brighten their home came five children, whose record is as follows: Willis, who married Maggie Telford, of Walton, the daughter of William and Isabella (Ruby) Telford, who are of Scotch descent; Orrin, now deceased; Emily, who became the wife of Albert Barlow, both she and the one child born of their union are now deceased; Elsie; Ira, who married Elsie Howard, the daughter of Charles and Juliet (Seward) Howard. Mrs. Beers, who was an active member of the Episcopal church, departed this life in the summer of 1888. The daughter belongs to the same religious denomination that her mother did, and in her daily life exemplifies its excellent teachings. Politically, Mr. Beers and his sons are stanch Democrats, and steadily uphold the principals of that party.
ARNOLD S. CARROLL, an enterprising hardware merchant of the village of Hobart, dealing extensively in shelf hardware, stoves, ranges, furnaces, and plumbing materials, is also an important factor in the agricultural community, owning a snug farm of ninety-six acres on Rose Brook. He is a native of Delaware County, having been born on December 16, 1853, in Roxbury. That town was also the birthplace of his parents, Samuel B. and Elsie (Travis) Carroll, the former of whom was born August 21, 1829, and the latter, December 3, 1833.
Enos Carroll was one of the early settlers of Roxbury, and was born in the year 1798. He was a man of unlimited energy, courageous and ambitious, and during the many years of his residence in Roxbury was engaged in tilling the soil, being well known as one of its most prosperous agriculturists. Having accomplished a life's work, he quietly closed his eyes on earthly scenes, December 11, 1874. Politically, he was a Jeffersonian Democrat, and in his religious views a decided Baptist. He married Anna Stratton, a native of Roxbury, whose birth was on November 7, 1801. She bore him six children, five of whom grew to maturity. The three now living are Angeline Hill and John S. Carroll, of Roxbury, and Mrs. Sarah Barlow, of Hobart. Mrs. Abbie Squares and Samuel B. Carroll are deceased.
Samuel B. Carroll, son of Enos, grew to man's estate in the town of Roxbury, and, giving his attention from his youth to farming, succeeded his father in the ownership of the old homestead, which he conducted in a most successful manner. Besides adding essential improvements, he bought adjacent land, becoming the possessor of one of the largest and most valuable pieces of property in the vicinity. He was noted for his enterprise and progress, and was an authority in matters pertaining to agriculture. He spent the major part of his life on the old home farm, having moved into the village of Roxbury but one month prior to his decease, which occurred January 26, 1884, after an active life of fifty-four years. His widow survived him, and is living in their village home. She is a worthy member of the Baptist church, and he was also a believer in the doctrines there taught. In politics he was a strong Democrat. They reared four children, as follows: Arnold S., Adelbert E., a lawyer in New York City; Annie S., and Abbie S.
Arnold S., the elder of the two sons of Samuel B. and Elsie Carroll, spent his early years in Roxbury, acquiring his elementary education in the district school, which was further advanced by an academical course. He remained at home, assisting on the farm, until 1878, when he purchased an estate of two hundred and thirty-three acres on Rose Brook, in the town of Stamford. For nine years he put in practice the knowledge that he had acquired on the parental homestead, and carried on a thriving business in general farming and dairying. Disposing then of that farm, he bought another, smaller one, also on Rose Brook, which he still owns. It contains ninety-six acres of very fertile and productive land, well adapted for general farming purposes. Being a wide-awake, alert young man, with a keen eye for business, Mr. Carroll took advantage of the opportunity for buying the hardware store of Charles P. Foot, which was offered him in 1888, and has since been prominently identified with the mercantile interests of Hobart. His large stock of goods is valued at about three thousand five hundred dollars.
On May 2, 1877, Mr. Carroll was united in marriage with Ella Kaltenbeck, who was born in Delaware County, in the town of Roxbury, being a daughter of Fred and Lucy Kaltenbeck. Her father, who in his earlier years was a shoemaker, is now a farmer in Roxbury, where the death of Mrs. Kaltenbeck occurred some years since. On January 29, 1879, was born the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Carroll, who is named Isaac S. Carroll. In politics Mr. Carroll uniformly casts his vote with the Democratic party, and has served satisfactorily as Assessor three years, and is now filling his third term as Town Clerk, having recently been elected to the office for a term of two years. He is liberal in his religious views, and his wife is a conscientious member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
WILLIAM ANDREWS. Who in the town of Walton, Delaware County, N.Y., is not familiar with the pleasant face, gray head, and wrinkled brow of "Uncle Billy," as Mr. William Andrews is affectionately called by old and young? Everybody knows him and loves him - facts not to be wondered at, considering that he is the oldest inhabitant of the place, having been born here on April 20, 1801, and connected with all the interests of the town and its residents ever since that early date.
His father was William Andrews, Sr., of Shrewsbury, Conn., who was born in 1764, and when a young man removed to Dutchess County, New York. Here he married Hannah Burrhus, a daughter of Silas Burrhus, who died at sea, and was buried on a distant island, his widow afterward marrying Dr. Payne and removing to Dutchess County. After burying one child in Dutchess County, Mr. and Mrs. William Andrews, Sr., in 1793 emigrated, with their three remaining children, to Delaware County, and here occupied an old log cabin which had been deserted by some former sojourner in the wilderness. Clearing away the forests, they tilled the soil and cultivated their farm, which was situated between the tracts now known as the McGibbon farms.
They were the parents of twelve children, of whom William, Jr., is the only survivor. A daughter of Lucy, wife of George Simmons, died in Indiana, an octogenarian. Burrhus was sixty years old at his death, Thomas was over eighty, and Sallie lived to be about sixty years old. In the little burial-ground on the old farm, which remained in the possession of the family until forty years ago, rests in peace all that is earthly of those worthy pioneers, who labored with undaunted courage and patience, bearing cheerfully all hardships, and founded a home for generations to come. Mr. Andrews was a lover of sport and a famous hunter, being an adept with fire-arms, and, though at times nervous and tremulous, never missing his aim. His brother, John Andrews, attained a celebrity throughout the country, being hung near Seneca Lake for a crime of which he was innocent, as was afterward proved by the confession of the real culprit.
William Andrews, Jr., the subject of this sketch, was born ninety-three years ago at Eastbrook, five miles from the village of Walton. On March 8, 1837, at Unadilla, N.Y., he married Miss Amanda Rumsey, who was then in her twenty-fourth year. She was the daughter of Ebenezer S. and Chloe (DuBois) Rumsey. Her father, a native of Dutchess County, learned the trade of blacksmith of his stalwart sire, who was a German, and who lived and died in Colchester. The parents of Mrs. Andrews moved to Walton in 1829, and later lived in Steuben County, and finally removed to De Kalb County, Illinois, where the father died in 1851. His widow then made her home with her son, Elnathan Rumsey, in St. Clair County, Michigan, where she afterward died in 1872, at the age of seventy-six years, having been the mother of twenty children, of whom eighteen grew to maturity. Amanda Rumsey was the eldest of this large family, and was born on July 7, 1813. Her brothers and sisters who are still living are the following: Mary Ann, a maiden lady of Kansas, born in 1819; Annis, born in 1822; Edward, born December 9, 1832; Rachel, widow of John Herrald, of Binghamton, who was born August 13, 1823; Margaret, widow of Elisha Wallen, of Pennsylvania, born February 19, 1828; Ebenezer S., of Iowa, born August 30, 1829; James H., who now lives in the South, and was born January 24, 1831; Martha, the wife of Amasa Fox, of Chetopa, Kan., born March 11, 1834; Henry H., of New York, who was born on October 22, 1840. One sister, Almina, born December 2, 1843, wife of Clarke Burzett, died December 28, 1892, the mother of eighteen children.
Mr. and Mrs. Andrews mourn the loss of two children: an infant; and a daughter fifty-one years of age, Mary E. Andrews, who died October 10, 1889. The latter was a teacher in Walton for many years, and, although she had never attended any but a district school, proved to be remarkably successful in her vocation. She was the possessor of many accomplishments, among which painting in oils held a prominent place. The following are the surviving children of Mr. and Mrs. Andrews: Charles, who lives in Elmira, is married, and is the father of one son and one daughter; Perry, a contractor in Atlanta, Ga.; Sarah, now the wife of Robert McLaury, and who is the mother of one daughter and one son by her former husband, Edwin Frost; Edward R., who resides in Walton at 28 Union Street, and with whom his aged parents now make their home.
Edward R. Andrews was married in 1890 to Annabelle Fravor, who was born in 1871, the daughter of Alonzo and Ella (House) Fravor, farmers of Oswego County. She is the eldest of a family of four: three girls, Annabelle, Myra, and Alwillda; and one boy, Charles - all of whom live at home and are unmarried except Annabelle. Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Andrews have one child, a fine boy, Perry W., who was born on November 14, 1891, in Ohio, where Mr. Andrews was employed in drilling oil and gas wells.
In politics "Uncle Billy" was a Democrat before the war, but now votes always with the Republican party. He is a truly old-fashioned Methodist, loving the old hymns, and singing them even now in a strong, clear voice. Time, of course, has left its stamp upon his brow, and his hearing is somewhat impaired; but his heart is yet young, and he holds his place among his family and friends with a dignity and grace well becoming a man of his age and long experience. Mrs. Amanda R. Williams, though several years her husband's junior, is in her eighty-second year, but still possesses all her faculties as perfectly as she did twenty years ago.
"Uncle Billy" and his wife have lived together for fifty-seven years, a faithful, loving couple, whom all esteem and revere; and they are now drifting hand in hand toward that shinning shore where there is no more parting. What a record is his of long years of useful labor, nearly a century of manly, honest living!
HENRY LEAL was born on January 9, 1855, on the farm on which he now resides, in the town of Meredith. His family is of excellent Scotch ancestry, and was first represented on American soil during the later years of the last century by his great-grandfather, Alexander Leal, who was born in Scotland, and there reared to farming pursuits. Emigrating when a young man to the United States, Alexander settled in the town of Kortright in this county, where he cleared a good farm, and in the course of time had it comparatively well improved; and there he lived and labored until gathered to his final rest. His wife was born of Scotch parents in the town of Stamford; and she, too, spent her last years on the old homestead, which is now owned by one of her grandchildren, the house, built probably in 1800, still standing. They reared five children, all boys; namely, John, Hugh, Alexander, Jr., James, and Clark.
John Leal, the eldest son of Alexander, was born in Kortright, near the centre, and lived on the parental homestead, on which he did much pioneer labor, until attaining his freedom. He then removed to Stamford, where he carried on a farm for three years, going from there to Delhi, and entering the employment of the old ex-Sheriff, Robert Leal, with whom he remained four years. He then bought the land on Catskill turnpike, near East Meredith, on which his grandson Henry now lives, and, erecting a log house, at once began the establishment of a homestead. The land was then in its primitive condition, presenting a spectacle sufficiently wild and desolate to discourage any one less daring and hopeful than the pioneers of that early day. He labored with diligence and energy, and in due time had cleared a good farm and erected frame buildings, among others being a substantial dwelling-house, which he built in 1838, and which remains in a comparatively good state of preservation. Here he spent the latter part of his life, and died at the age of eighty-six years. His faithful wife, who had courageously shared his trials and privations, also resided here until her death, at the age of seventy-five years. Both were consistent members of the United Presbyterian church, of which he was a Trustee. The maiden name of his wife was Martha McLawry. She was a daughter of Thomas McLawry, of who a sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. She bore her husband five children; namely, Nancy, Lydia A., Mary, John R., and Alexander T. John R. served during the late war as a Surgeon in the One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, and from the effects of the hardships and exposures which he then endured he lost his life.
Alexander T. Leal, the youngest child of John Leal, was born on July 29, 1815, in the town of Kortright, and was very young when he came with them to the farm in Meredith, where he has since resided. After the death of his father, he continued the work already begun, and has brought the one hundred and seventy acres of productive land to a fine condition, and has erected a handsome house, the estate now ranking as one of the most valuable in the locality. He engaged in general farming and dairying, keeping about twenty cows, and sending the products of his dairy to the New York and local markets. In 1846 he married Margaret Bell, a native of Harpersfield, being one of eight children born to James and Isabella Bell, well-known members of the agricultural community of Harpersfield. Of this pleasant union were born the following children: John, who was graduated from Yale College, is a teacher of prominence in Plainfield, where he prepares young men for college. Mary I. is the wife of James Smith, a farmer of Davenport Centre. Henry is the subject of this sketch. James, deceased, married Jennie Hamilton; and they reared one child, Aggie. Hugh, a banker in Nebraska, married Jeanette Gale. Joseph, the youngest, in early manhood fell a victim to consumption. He spent four or five years in Denver and other places in Colorado and Western Kansas, vainly seeking relief from lung trouble. At length, realizing that his days on earth were numbered, his only desire was to reach home as soon as possible. With the consent of physicians, he started at midnight on a through train; but at nine o'clock the next morning he had come to the end of life's journey, dying in the arms of his brother. A few days after, his mortal remains were gently laid to rest in the cemetery at Delhi. Mrs. Margaret B. Leal, the mother of these children, died in April 1888, leaving behind her a memory which will ever be cherished with love and reverence. She was a devoted member of the Presbyterian church, in which her husband served as Elder for many years. In politics Mr. Alexander T. Leal is a staunch Republican.
His second son, Henry Leal, received a good common-school education, and is numbered among the most enterprising agriculturists of Meredith. The place formerly consisted of two hundred and forty acres, but in the past few years has been sold down to its present size, the remainder being so improved by drainage and otherwise as to double its capacity. The work still goes on; for, as the owner says. "There are many improvements yet to be made on this farm." When the place came into his hands, the stock consisted of twenty-five head: to-day the barns contain fifty cattle. The large barn now standing was built in the fall of 1889, to replace the one burned in October, 1888; and the present stock has been gotten together since that date. The business is strictly dairying, and a cream separator has been used the past season. Mr. Leal has been twice married. The maiden name of his first wife was Joanna Murdock. She was a native of Kortright, being the daughter of J. L. Murdock, a well-known farmer of that town. She died in 1884, leaving him with two children - Clara Belle and Joanna. Mr. Leal married for his second wife Miss Mary E. Fehrensen of Hamden. This union has been blessed by the birth of three children - Edward, Ethel, and William. Politically, Mr. Leal affiliates with the Republican party; and religiously he is a worthy member of the Presbyterian church, of which he was a Trustee for many years, and in which he is now an Elder.
HENRY A. COMBS, one of the leading merchants of Hamden, was born in this town in 1839, and is proud to trace his ancestry to an English army officer of Revolutionary times. His great-grandfather, John Combs, who was born in Devonshire, England, in the middle of the eighteenth century, while yet a youth joined the English army, and was sent to America to fight against the patriots of the new country. Here he remained, and after a while completely lost sight of his parents and all their kindred in the old home. He married in Connecticut, and became the father of six children, namely: Polly, born in 1782, who became the wife of Herman Baer; John Jr., grandfather of the subject of this sketch, born in 1784; Seth, born in 1786; Anson, born in 1790; Joseph, born in 1794; Electa, born in 1798. All these children married and lived to old age, although the race is now nearly extinct.
John Combs Jr., married Catherine Brisack, of Connecticut, and in 1805 settled on land adjoining his father's farm in Hamden. This land was still new, and covered with pine timber, which was the staple product of this region. Together they cleared some three hundred acres of good farm land; and here John died in 1864, and was buried beside his parents in the old family cemetery. He had two daughters and two sons. One of these was Daniel Combs, who died in 1870, and whose daughter, Mrs. Augusta Bush, is the only surviving member of his family.
William E. Combs, the other son of John, and the father of the present storekeeper of Hamden, was born on April 6, 1813. He was reared on the farm where his parents first settled, and in his young days helped to clear its broad acres. He attended the district school in the log school-house, and supplemented this limited education by the broader experience of a busy life. In his twenty-second year he married Louise Canfield, of Connecticut, who died at their farm, a mile below the village, March 11, 1885. She was the mother of three sons: Henry A. Combs, born in March 1839; George, who died at the age of one year; Marshall E., born in 1852, well known in this vicinity as Matt Combs. William E. Combs sold his river farm of one hundred and thirty acres in 1888, and moved to Hamden to be with his sons. He still owns a hill farm of some one hundred and seventy-five acres, in which he takes great delight. In 1841 Mr. Combs voted for William Henry Harrison, and half a century later for his grandson, Benjamin, first in his successful and again in his unsuccessful Presidential campaign. He belongs to no society or church.
Henry A. Combs acquired his early education at the district school, and pursued his advanced studies at the Delaware Literary Institute. He began mercantile life in 1867 in company with his uncle, Daniel S. Combs; and when, after five years, his uncle's health failed, Mr. Combs continued the business for a while, and then was joined by his brother Marshall, who had been a clerk with him since 1878. They now carry on a leading trade in general merchandise, and supply goods to a large section of territory. In the winter of 1869 Mr. Combs married Mary Robinson, daughter of Francis Robinson. Mrs. Combs's mother, whose maiden name was Barlow, died in the prime of life, leaving this one daughter and a son Charles. Mr. and Mrs. Combs have one son, George E. Combs, a young man of twenty-one years, who is with his father in the store.
Mr. Combs is a staunch Republican in politics, and is now serving his seventh year as Supervisor of the town. He is a very capable man of affairs, and under his skilful management his business has rapidly grown to wide dimensions. He has in all his undertakings cast lustre on a name already claiming for its own an unsullied reputation.
J. DOUGLAS BURNS, one of the self-made men and well-to-do farmers of the town of Bovina, is actively engaged in general agricultural pursuits, and operates a large dairy , keeping from twenty to twenty-five head of graded Jersey cattle, and milking about eighteen cows, his sales of butter for the past three years averaging two hundred and seventy-five pounds each year. He is a native of Bovina, and was born August 9, 1858, of Irish and Scotch antecedents.
His paternal grandfather, Moses Burns, was born in Ireland, and, after coming to this country, was married to Catherine St. Clair, a native of Orange County, New York, and the daughter of John St. Clair who emigrated here from Scotland. After his arrival in this State, Moses Burns settled in Bovina, in 1802, and here bought a farm, on which a log house and small clearings constituted the only improvements. The country was then in its primitive wildness; but, laboring with energetic perseverance, he reclaimed a large portion of it, although he was called from the scenes of this earth when a young man, having received injuries while assisting in the erection of the first frame house built in Bovina, from the effects of which he died, being then but thirty years old. He was the owner of one hundred and five acres of land, which he carried on in an able manner. He was a Federalist in politics, and he and his good wife were esteemed members of the Presbyterian church of South Kortright. They had a family of five children, of whom John Burns, the father of the subject of this sketch, and his sister Elizabeth, who resides in Brodhead, Wis., being the widow of James Kirkpatrick, are the only ones now living.
John Burns was born in Bovina, March 7, 1897, on the farm where he now resides, and received his education in the district school known as Maynard School. During the early years of his life much of the pioneer labor of clearing away the forests devolved upon him, the old homestead of his parents being at that time heavily timbered. Game abounded; and he remembers once chasing a wolf, although he was not fortunate enough to kill it. He was reared to farming pursuits and to habits of industry and honesty, and has followed agriculture the whole of his life. In April, 1832, he was united in marriage with Nancy Ormiston, a native of Bovina; and they began housekeeping on the parental homestead, which he had previously bought. He carried on a thriving business in general agriculture and dairying, and in the course of time added to the original acreage of the place, and now has a fine farm of one hundred and fifty-five acres. His improvements have been of an excellent character, his residence being substantial and comfortable, and the necessary farm buildings convenient and commodious. He has been a hard-working man, and, although now crippled by rheumatism, is enjoying life, surrounded by hosts of friends and neighbors, of whose respect and good will he is assured. Both he and his wife, who crossed the river of death November 6, 1877, in the sixty-fourth year of her age, were members of the United Presbyterian church at Bovina Centre, with which he is still connected. In politics he was a Whig until the abandonment of that party and the formation of the Republican, when he joined the latter, and has since been one of its most faithful adherents. He has always taken an active part in local affairs, and has served as Highway Commissioner and Assessor, besides filling various minor offices. His family circle included seven children of whom five are now living, the record being as follows: Moses E., born August 18, 1833, is a farmer in Brodhead, Wis. William, born November 28, 1834, is engaged in farming in Delhi. James, born January 6, 1845, is a farmer, living in Meredith Hollow. Alexander, born December 8, 1848, resides on the old homestead. J. Douglas, lives in Bovina. Janette, born September 3, 1839, married Francis C. Armstrong, and died February 15, 1885. John C., born August 2, 1841, enlisted during the late Rebellion in Company E. One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, and was killed while in service in 1863.
J. Douglas Burns has been a life-long resident of Bovina, gleaning his education in its public schools, and growing to man's estate within its precincts. When starting in life for himself, he began as a farm laborer at fifteen dollars a month. Being prudent and economical he saved money, and in 1880 bought the farm where he now resides, containing one hundred acres of land. This he has brought under cultivation, and has equipped it with a good set of farm buildings which are both tasteful and substantial. He devotes a good share of his attention to his dairy and to stock-raising, and is numbered among the most progressive and enterprising farmers of this vicinity.
An important step in the career of Mr. Burns was his marriage with Maggie S. Doig, the daughter of William S. and Elizabeth (Doig) Doig, the latter of whom died at the age of fifty-three years. Mr. Doig is a respected member of the agricultural community of the town of Andes, where he still resides. To him and his wife three children were born, namely: Belle, who died at the age of thirteen years; Maggie S., Mrs. Burns; and Andrew, a resident of Kansas. The union of Mr. Burns and his wife has been blessed by the birth of four bright and interesting children: Namely, James A., Lizzie M., Eva J., and Willie C. Burns.
RUFUS SYLVESTER WOOD, a highly esteemed citizen of the village of Franklin, where he has lived in retirement from active life for the last ten years, was born in the same town in 1832. His grandfather, John Wood, came when a young man from Ireland to Boston, Mass., with two brothers, one of whom was named Henry; but the three soon became separated. John married Mary Sarles, and settled on a farm in Newfield, Tompkins County, N.Y., where were born their three boys and four girls, all of whom grew to maturity. One lived to be over eighty; but two died much earlier, of consumption. Their father died in the prime of life; but the widow married again, and did not pass away till she had left behind her the milestone of threescore and ten. Among the children of John and Mary Wood was Charles Jefferson Wood, who was born in Newfield in 1804, and died in Franklin in 1893, aged eighty-nine. He married Eliza Wheat, born in Franklin, a daughter of Captain William Wheat, who came from Marlboro, Conn.
The Wheat family derive their lineage from Thomas Wheat, who came from Wales to Boston in 1692. In the genealogy it is possible to go back fully through four generations, to Solomon Wheat, of Connecticut, a graduate of Yale College, a Surgeon in the Revolution, and a Baptist clergyman. who was born in 1753; so that he was twenty-two when the struggle for independence began. He lived through the War of 1812, and died, at a great age, about the time when Vice-President John Tyler had succeeded to the Presidency by the untimely death of General William Henry Harrison, and was disturbing the equanimity of the Whig party, which had elected him. Dr. Wheat had nine sons and four daughters, one of whom died in infancy. Samuel Wheat settled in the South , and had a son Robert Wheat, who fought in three wars - first in the Mexican War, second under Garibaldi in Italy, and third in our Civil War, dying during the siege of Petersburg, with the title of Major. Another son of Solomon Wheat was Thomas, who lived and died on the old Connecticut farm. Still another son was the junior Solomon, a man whose great strength, immense stature, and surgical proficiency did not prevent his capture, and who died on board his father's ship soon after his liberation from a French prison. Aaron, the youngest son of Grandfather Wheat, lived in Sackett's Harbor, L.I., while his brother Benjamin settled either in Chemung or Steuben County, New York. Solomon Wheat's son William followed in the nautical rather than the theological or medical lead of his father, and was a marine merchant and commander for thirty years. He was born on January 19, 1772, and began life as a sailor when only thirteen. At nineteen he was a mate with a Captain Smith, bound for the West Indies with a cargo which included much live stock. In the midst of a gale the captain ordered his mate to free the horses, and try to make for the shore. William Wheat disobeyed. Instead of driving the horses overboard, he gave the pigs that opportunity, and so succeeded in righting the ship and keeping out of danger. The marine rule, "Obey orders or break owners," did not work in young Wheat's case; for he was promoted for his disobedient bravery, and placed in command of the brig "Buck," and thereafter made voyages not only to the West Indies, but to South America, Italy, and Africa. The valorous captain died full of days, in Franklin, N.Y., in March, 1868, lacking less than four years of his century.
Among his sons was Cyrus Howell Wheat, who was born in Franklin, March 19, 1813, and followed an agricultural career. He married Amanda Rogers, of Sidney, Delaware County, on February 7, 1836. Their first child was Watson Wheat, who died, not of wounds, but of disease, at Harper's Ferry, at the age of twenty-four, a member of Company G, of the Sixth Regiment of New York Volunteers. Another son, Leroy Wheat, died in Croton, aged sixteen. Herbert Wheat died in Franklin, of typhoid fever, when only twenty. Of the living children, Marion Wheat married Manzer Smith, of Meredith, Hartson Leroy Wheat is a Franklin farmer, and Orton Wheat is a carpenter in Croton. Their brother, Porter Alton Wheat, is a noted resident of the village of Croton, where he was born March 24, 1845, on the place purchased by his grandfather after retirement from a seafaring life, and where Porter's father also was born. Besides attending the district school, Porter Wheat was educated at the Delaware Literary Institute. He began teaching in 1861, when only sixteen, and just as the Civil War began; and he continued to teach in the district schools till 1877, when he was thirty-two years old. In 1866, three days before Christmas, he married Lydia Maria Southworth, of Masonville, daughter of the Rev. Nelson and Jennie (Finch) Southworth. Lydia was born in Schoharie County; and her father was one of four brothers, two others being, like himself, Methodist clergymen. Mrs. Wheat had not only these two uncles in this profession and denomination, but also two brothers.
The Porter Wheats have five children: Cora Wheat married Leroy Evans, a Franklin farmer. Homer Wheat resides still at home. Bertha Wheat is her father's assistant in the post-office. Seymour Wheat is an agriculturist. The youngest son, born in 1881, Roscoe Wheat, is still a boy at home. Mr. Wheat is a Democrat. For sixteen years he has been a Justice of Peace, and in Cleveland's first administration was appointed Postmaster, a place he still holds. The surname recalls what is said by an early historian, that God had sifted three nations to give New England's colonies the finest of wheat.
It will be remembered that Charles J. Wood married into the Wheat family, his wife being an aunt of Postmaster Wheat. They had three sons and a daughter. One of the boys died in 1848, at the early age of eleven. Of the three living, Rufus Sylvester is the eldest. Henry W. Wood is a resident of Franklin, and a separate sketch of him may be found elsewhere in this volume. Jane Wood, the youngest, married Daniel Colby Dibble, of Dakota, Neb.
Rufus S. Wood grew up on a farm, attended the district school, and also the Delaware Literary Institute, but afterward felt it his duty to remain at home with his parents. There his mother died in 1883, aged seventy-two, a decade before her husband, who survived till 1893, dying at his son Rufus's, and lying beside his wife in Ouleout Valley cemetery. In 1855, September 16, at the age of twenty-three, Rufus Wood married Susan Maria Mann, daughter of Horace and Sophronia (Fitch) Mann. Father Mann was a native of Connecticut, but his wife belonged in Franklin. Her paternal grandfather was Abijah Mann, whose wife was Chloe Clark; and they were pioneers in Delaware County, coming thither in an ox cart, and settling in the woods in 1803, when John Adams was growing unpopular as President of the United States. Mrs. Wood's maternal grandfather was Colonel Silas Fitch, who was another early settler on Ouleout Creek. Mrs. Wood's mother Sophronia Mann, was one of nine children, having two brothers and six sisters, all refined and intelligent people.
Grandfather Fitch was a Colonel in the militia; and his wife was Clara Howell, a daughter of Isaac Howell, belonging to a New England family that came early into this region. His two sons, Mrs. Wood's uncles, were both professional men. Almiron Fitch was a college graduate of powerful physique, and became a physician at Delhi, where he died. Silas Fitch went to college, and became a Methodist preacher. He died suddenly, in 1872, at Irvington, N.Y., while engaged in animated conversation with a visitor. Mrs. Wood has three bothers living, one having died in childhood: George W. Mann is a farmer in Franklin. Silas Fitch Mann is a merchant in Warsaw, Wyoming County. Almiron Howell Mann studied at the Delaware Literary Institute, but was reared a farmer, and now lives a retired life at Franklin.
In 1884 Mr. Wood sold his inherited farm, and removed to the village, where he has a small estate of fourteen acres. He and his wife had the misfortune of losing one son, Edson Stanley Wood, when only thirteen months old; but they have two living children. Their son, Irving C. Wood was graduated at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and is now a physician in the town of Logan, Harrison County, Iowa. His wife, Florence Bolter, was a daughter of Senator Bolter of that place. Carrie J. Wood is the wife of Frank C. Daniels, of Franklin.
Mr. Wood is a Blue Lodge Mason. He was formerly a Democrat in politics, but left the ranks to join the Prohibitionists. His wife is a Baptist. They live in a pleasant home, and are highly respected. Though prosperous in his undertakings, Mr. Wood is not a rich man, but has chosen that better part, a good name. He has been always a total abstainer from liquor and tobacco, and therefore finds a congenial abiding-place in a community where no licenses are granted for the sale of that which stupefies men's brains. He is more than satisfied with his children, and in both these sentiments his wife heartily shares. With the practical sage for whom his town was named, Ben Franklin, Mr. Wood might say, "Temperance puts wood on the fire, meal in the barrel, flour in the tub, money in the purse, credit in the country, contentment in the house, clothes on the back, and vigor in the body." Concerning the weed he would adopt the opinion of the old dramatist, whose first name was like Franklin's, Ben Johnson, "It is good for nothing but to choke a man and fill him full of smoke and embers."
LEWIS MARVIN, who worthily represents important industrial interests of the town of
Walton, where he owns and operates a stone quarry, is a native of this State and county, his birth having occurred in Walton, March 13, 1831. He is the son of Jared Marvin, a native of Hoosick, Rensselaer County, N.Y., whose father, Matthew Marvin, was a native of Connecticut and a veteran of the Revolutionary War, having served in the ranks for seven years.
In 1799 Matthew Marvin came to this county, and, settling in the town of Walton, on Mount Holly farm, which he cleared from the wilderness, resided there until he had rounded out a full life of ninety-six years. The worthy descendant of one of the Puritan fathers, he was very strong in his religious convictions, and very strict in observances. He married Mary Weed, the daughter of Thomas Weed , who was born in Simsbury, Conn., June 7, 1754. He was a Revolutionary soldier, and one of the sixty-eight who were pickets for Lafayette's regiment, and stormed the redoubt near Yorktown. He served with distinction throughout that war, participating in the most prominent battles, coming forth with an untarnished war record. The children of Matthew and Mary Weed Marvin were as follows: Joseph, Abigail, Jared, Thomas, William, and Lewis.
Jared Marvin was reared to the carpenter's trade which he followed for several years in the town of Walton, in which place he afterward operated a woollen-mill, remaining there until his death, in 1865, at the age of seventy-six years. He married Fanny Rodgers, a native of Greenville, Worcester County, Mass., and a daughter of Asa and Catherine (Hamilton) Rodgers. (For further parental history see sketch of George W. Marvin, which appears on another page of this work.)
Lewis Marvin received a substantial education in the public schools of his native town, and at the age of eighteen years began teaching, a profession in which he engaged for several terms. He was appointed Postmaster in 1868, and retained the position eighteen years. Purchasing the stone quarry about the time he left office, he assumed its management, and has since carried on the business.
On September 3, 1862, Mr. Marvin was united in marriage with L. Vesta Beard, the daughter of Ezra and Lois (Gaylord) Beard. Mrs. Marvin's ancestors were from Massachusetts, that State having been the birthplace of her grandfather Ezra Beard, Sr., who was born May 2, 1764, and, after spending the earlier years of his life there, moved to Jefferson, Schoharie County, N.Y. His children were Julia, Annis, Russell, Ezra Lusk, and Ezra Gibbs. He and his wife lived to a good old age, he dying at the age of seventy-eight years, and she at the age of seventy-five years. The father of Mrs. Marvin was born in 1804, and was very young when he came with them to this State. He was a successful tiller of the soil on the old homestead for more than a quarter of a century, during which time he buried his wife, the mother of his children, and married her sister Ruthala. When the shadows began to lengthen, he left the large farm, and moved to Harpersfield, Delaware County; and here they lived until the time of their respective deaths, May 30, and June 11, 1888, having numbered fourscore and four years. They were people of genuine worth, and were members of the Congregational church, of which he was Deacon. Their children all survived them, namely: Mary, who married the Rev. L. M. Purington; Lydia, the wife of M. S. Wilcox; Mrs. Marvin; and Ezra. Mr. and Mrs. Marvin have one child, a son, Robert B. Marvin, who is a young man of superior mental ability and attainments, a graduate of Hamilton College, and is now a Professor in the Blair Presbyterial Academy at Blairstown, N.J., occupying the Chair of German Language and Literature. Mrs. Marvin is herself a woman of much cultivation, being a graduate of Mount Holyoke Seminary, South Hadley, Mass., in the class of 1859.
Politically Mr. Marvin is a strong Republican, and for the past twenty-five years has served as Justice of the Peace, an office which he has filled to the satisfaction of all concerned. He and his family are members of the Congregational church, of which he has been a Trustee for a quarter of a century; and in the Sunday-school connected with it he and his wife are faithful teachers. Mr. Marvin, who has labored for the educational and moral advancement of the town, served on the Board of Education for twenty years, several of which he was Secretary of the Board. Mrs. Marvin has also served as President of the Foreign Missionary Society of the Congregational church.
EMERY JENKINS, of Union Grove, town of Andes, farmer, stock-raiser, and dealer in butter, is one of the best-known and most progressive men in his line of business in Delaware County. He is quite a young man, having been born October 24, 1868, son of Anson and Sarah (Mekeel) Jenkins, the former of whom was a native of the town of Roxbury, his birth having occurred there December 3, 1833. The paternal grandparents of Mr. Jenkins were James and Polly (White) Jenkins. James Jenkins followed agriculture as his occupation, and with his wife reared a large family, his other children besides Anson being named Alonzo, Nathan, David, Egbert, Delilah, Elephan, Lucinda, Ella, and Angelina. He bought one hundred and thirty acres of land in the town of Andes, built a saw-mill, and in company with John Mekeel & Son engaged in lumbering, floating their lumber down the river in rafts to Philadelphia. He afterward bought other land to the amount of two hundred and seventy acres. He died at the age of seventy-two, after an industrious and well-spent life. His wife still survives, and resides with her son Nathan in Union Grove.
Anson Jenkins, father of Emery, early acquired his habits of industry, and assisted his father on the farm and in the work of lumbering. He married Sarah Mekeel, daughter of John Mekeel, his father's partner. This gentleman came to Delaware County among the early settlers. He took up three hundred acres of land, and built a log house, later constructing a saw-mill and engaging with Mr. Jenkins in the lumber business as above narrated. His son-in-law Anson Jenkins, afterward bought the farm in an improved condition, and still further improved the property by erecting new buildings, one of the barns being the largest and most substantial in that part of the county. The children of Anson Jenkins were as follows: John W., deceased, James H., and Emery.
The latter, the subject of this notice, came into possession of his father's farm, which he has improved and cultivated to a high degree. He is far-sighted, and is ever on the alert to take advantage of new inventions and the latest methods. His farm is provided with every convenience for getting the most out of the soil; and in addition to his reputation as an agriculturist he has achieved fame for the excellence of his butter, which he finds a ready market at all times, and is considered the best produced in his part of the county. Mr. Jenkins married Eliza Lynn, daughter of John and Margaret (Fellows) Lynn, the former of whom was born in Jen Capen, Sweden, April 28, 1840, and was the son of Frederick Lynn. The grandfather was born in 1782, and spent his whole life in Sweden, where he died at the age of eighty-two.
John Lynn left home at the age of fifteen, and went to sea as a cabin boy. He followed a sailor's life for fifteen years, visiting most of the great seaports of the world. With the intention of bidding farewell to salt water, he landed in England, but soon after decided to seek his fortunes in the New World, and emigrated to America. Arriving in the land of promise, he went first to Suspension Bridge, where he found employment in a freight-house; but after remaining there a while removed to Greene County, New York, where he met and married Margaret E. Fellows, daughter of Philip and Hannah (Kelly) Fellows, residents of Albany County, the former being a lumberman by occupation and of German ancestry. John Lynn then purchased a farm in Ulster County, where he resided six years, after which he sold the farm and bought another in Delaware County. Here he stayed some time, and finally purchased a farm on Bakerboom Creek. This he retained, and resides thereon at the present time. He is the father of three children: Eliza, born November 21, 1874: Charles, September 6, 1876, and Inez July 21, 1880.
Mr. Jenkins, as already mentioned, is a wide-awake and progressive agriculturist. Possessing every modern convenience for successfully pursuing his chosen occupation. he makes the most of his advantages; and, in a community where farming is carried on with exceptional skill, he is renowned for the thoroughness of his methods and the excellent quality of his produce. He is the owner of some forty Jersey grade and young stock, has good water power on the premises, and possesses the most improved farm machinery. In the fraternal orders he stands high, being a member of Margarettville Lodge, No. 389, A.F. & A.M., and of Arena Lodge, No. 589, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a Republican in his political views, true to the principals of his party, and is esteemed by his fellow-townsmen as a man whose word can be relied upon and whose judgment is of value in all town affairs.
HARVEY M. SEAMAN, a miller and dealer in flour and feed in DeLancey, in the town of Hamden, Delaware County, N.Y., led an eventful life, which has developed a strong character, marking him as a man of indomitable will, high moral principals, and honorable ambition. His grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier. whose bounty land included what is now the town of Geneva. His father, Joshua Seaman, was born in Bovina in 1803, and was educated in that place and the town of Delhi. In 1824 Joshua Seaman married Mary Millard, daughter of Amos Millard, she having been born in Delhi in 1804. Eleven children blessed this union, all of whom lived to reach maturity. Three sons and one daughter still survive, namely: Harvey M., of whom this sketch is written; Amasa, a farmer on Hamden Hill; Joshua, who is engaged in farming in Meredith; and Ann Eliza, wife of Frank Welch, of Delhi. The mother of this large family died in April, 1883, the father having preceded her some sixteen years; and they sleep among their children in the old cemetery at DeLancey.
Harvey M. Seaman was born in Delhi, February 13, 1829; and, when a lad of ten years, was sent to live with his uncle, H. R. Millard, a merchant of Delhi. For six years he acted as a clerk in his uncle's store, and at the expiration of that time left for his father's farm near Montrose, Pa., where he remained for two or three years. The next scene of his labors was New York City, where he was occupied for a few months as clerk in an establishment dealing in woodenware. Again returning to the paternal home, he took up the role of teacher, and for three terms had charge of the district school. Urged by his restless nature, he then started out as a traveling salesman with a stock of tin trunks. This departure proved to be not as successful as he hoped. Accordingly, he abandoned the life of a traveller, and settled down to the carpenter's trade and chain-pump business in Elmira, where he remained for one and one-half years.
In 1851 his desire for adventure once more predominated; and he departed for California, that golden Mecca of the New World, sailing around Cape Horn, spending one hundred and sixty-five days on the storm-tossed waves, and three or four weeks in St. Catherine, South America. He reached his destination in October, 1851, and remained five years in that country of sunshine and flowers, making his home with three brothers, Dent by name, a sister of whom married General Grant. Mr. Seaman was here engaged as a dealer in mining claims, and also had charge of a local ferry. In 1856 he returned to DeLancey by way of the Isthmus of Panama; and in company with his brother Amasa, who had joined him in California, and had now come back with him to the old home, he bought the old Russell & Erkson tannery, which was built in 1844, and was occupied as a tannery until 1885. Mr. Seaman's father was a tanner, and from him the two sons learned the trade in 1859. After a time Harvey Seaman purchased his brother's interest in the business, and was its sole proprietor until he abandoned that industry and remodelled the buildings into a feed and grist mill. The new mill, since built on the old site, consists of a structure seventy-four by thirty-two feet, with a roomy wing and storehouse. A saw-mill is operated in connection with this, the water-power being furnished by Bayley's Creek, which never fails in its supply.
Mr. Seaman was married May 1, 1869, to Miss Isabel Goodrich, who was born in Hamden in 1837. Her father was Hiram Goodrich, of Connecticut, who died at the age of eighty; and her mother was Betsey (Butler) Goodrich, who passed away April 10, 1871, aged seventy-four, her death occurring just one month previous to that of her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Seaman are the parents of four children, namely: Fanny, who is the wife of Herbert Chapman, and the mother of two children; Amasa G., a young man of twenty-one years, in business with his father; Clifford D., who at the youthful age of sixteen is teaching his first school; Bayard J., a schoolboy of fourteen. Unlike the majority of his townsmen, Mr. Seaman is a Democrat, being an ardent follower of that party's code and a steadfast supporter of its platform. He is an industrious, honorable man, who throughout his varied occupations, travels, and experiences has merited the confidence and enjoyed the esteem of his wide circle of acquaintances.
BOLIVAR RADEKER is a farmer in the town of Colchester, having returned to the place of his birth, and adopted the calling of his fathers after several years of experience in other occupations elsewhere. The earliest Radeker that we hear of in this country is William, who came from Germany about the middle of the last century. His experience in crossing the Atlantic was far from pleasant; for he had not sufficient of this world's goods to pay for his passage, and he was therefore sold and served his time, landing at last, together with his two brothers, who were also unable to pay the passage money, and were obliged to undergo similar inconvenience. After landing, William settled near Newburg; but since that time nothing has been heard of the other brothers, so that the members of the family here know not whether they returned to the Fatherland or settled in some distant part of this vast country.
William raised a family of six children - Peter, Jeremiah, Henry, John, Jacob, and Kate - and, having lived to a good old age, died upon his own farm. His two sons Jacob and John came to Delaware County in the year 1795, settling in what is now Colchester, then called Soden, buying about four hundred acres of new land, which had never felt the touch of either plough or axe. Across the river was an Indian town, and the savages made their power felt to its full extent. Often did the settlers flee with their families to the mountains, that they might save their lives and their treasures from the red men. The brothers here built a saw and a grist mill, and then a carding-mill, the first and for many years the only one of the kind for many miles around.
Jacob Radeker married Sarah Horton, who was born May 17, 1775, and had the following family: Elbridge; Annace; John R.; George; Barna; Sylvia; Hannah; William H.; Henry J.; Perry; Esther; Almeda and Almira, twins; and Betsey. Jacob Radeker died April 5, 1857, and his wife August 1, 1834. Both were members of the Presbyterian church. In the latter part of his life he sold his mill property, and lived retired from business cares. His son Henry J. married Catherine Hitt, and raised a family of four children. He is still living in the full enjoyment of health and activity, although well along in years. Almira, widow of H. Wilson, is also in excellent health, an example of the longevity of the race. She and her brother Henry are residents of Downsville.
Barna Radeker was married at the age of twenty-four to Elizabeth Fuller; and they reared a family of eight children. Bolivar being the eldest born. The others were: Elbridge G., who married Adalinda Sprague; Milo C., who married Minda Fuller; Sarah M., wife of George R. Shaver; Margaret A., wife of William B. Shaver; Charles Porter, who married Electa Terry; James M.. who married Estella Fuller; and Dr. Barna E. Barna, in company with his father, bought eighty-four acres of land, and after two years bought his father out and commenced work for himself in farming and lumbering and mercantile business, doing a large and prosperous business for many years. He was a highly respected man, a kind neighbor, and helpful friend. He was a strong Democrat, and a man of liberal views in religion.
Bolivar Radeker was born on the old farm, where he grew to manhood, finishing his education at the Franklin Institute. On leaving school he accepted the position of cashier in the Deposit Bank, the duties whereof he faithfully discharged for ten years. Then, severing his connection with the bank, but remaining in that village, he started in business for himself, and continued it successfully for the next fifteen years. He was later employed in the coal business with Rodney A. Ford in Binghamton for two years, and then came to Colchester and bought his father's farm. In 1866 Mr. Radeker married Anna L. Perry, who lived but four years after her marriage. He subsequently married Myra G. Ford, daughter of Rodney A. and Adaline (Whitney) Ford; and they have one child, Mary E., who is still at home.
Rodney Augustus Ford, the father of Mrs. Radeker, was a son of Daniel Ford, who formerly lived in Herkimer County, but died at his residence in New York Mills. His wife, Adaline Whitney Ford, was daughter of Virgil and Marcia (Doty) Whitney, Virgil Whitney being son of Joshua Whitney, who was one of the first settlers of Binghamton, and who there built the first house, when the place was called by the curious name "Chenang P'int." Joshua was a Democrat of the staunchest kind. His son Virgil, who was also of that political party, was Postmaster for many years, being the first to hold the office there.
R. A. Ford raised a family of eight children: Charles W., born June 9, 1845; Charlotte A., born November 14, 1846, wife of C. J. Knapp; Myra G., Mrs. Radeker, born August 26, 1848; Mary L., born April 29, 1854, who died March 17, 1888; George H., born February 22, 1865, who married Hariett Smith, and died May 21, 1894; Virgil W., born November 4, 1857, who married Della Sheppard, and died April 29, 1889; Helen J., born November 13, 1866, who married Edward E. Powell; Frederick, who died in 1865; Edward A., born July 13, 1869, who married Maude McDonald. Mr. Ford is a large coal dealer in Binghamton, is a man of liberal views, a Democrat, and a supporter of the Episcopal church, of which his wife is also an attendant.
Bolivar Radeker is a farmer of the modern type, adopting all the improvements which time has brought; and his twenty-five Jersey cows, sheep, and other live stock are tended and sheltered in the most approved manner. In politics he is a staunch Republican, and his wife is a member of the Episcopal church. He comes from good old German stock, characterized by courage, endurance, and sagacity, and has profited much by his varied experiences in life.
FRANCIS E. TIFFANY is an enterprising citizen of that part of Colchester called Pepacton, owning there a great deal of property, which he is constantly improving. His paternal grandfather, Jefferson Tiffany, came here at an early date and bought one thousand acres of land in what is known as Tiffany Hollow, where he was the first settler. He and his wife, Louisa McIntyre, reared three children - Henry, William and Sylvenas. At length, disposing of his farm, he removed to DeLancey, where he resided until his death, both he and his wife living to a very old age. Jefferson Tiffany was a firm believer in the principals of the Republican party. Sylvenas, his youngest son, was born in the town of Hamden, and grew to manhood on the old homestead. He married Miss Mary Stevens, daughter of Zebra Stevens, an extensive farmer in Cattaraugus County. Mr. and Mrs. Sylvenas Tiffany were the parents of six children - Augusta, Marshall, Eugene, Sylvenas, Charles, and Frances E. Mr. Tiffany was a Republican, like his father, and was a highly respected farmer. His wife, who survived him, resides in Randolph, Cattaraugus County.
Francis E. Tiffany, youngest son of Sylvenas and Mary (Stevens) Tiffany, was born in Tiffany Hollow, December 22, 1854, and was educated in the common schools of the town, where he was studying his early lessons when the patriotism of the country was aroused by the firing on Fort Sumter. He was far too young to go to the front, even as a drummer-boy; but no doubt he longed to be a soldier and follow the flag. Happily, the conflict was over before he had seen eleven summers. Hence, as he grew to manhood, he had no call to engage in any other than the peaceful pursuits of husbandry, with which he became familiar on the home farm. His first purchase of land was a tract of ninety-seven and one-half acres, know as the Hunter farm. It being well wooded, he employed himself in clearing it and dealing in lumber. Later he sold that place, and bought a farm of one hundred and twenty-five acres at Pepacton, known as the Townsend-Shaver farm, on the east branch of the Delaware River. Here he built a cottage, hotel, and barns, the house being four stories high with basement. It is a charming location for summer boarders.
On April 4, 1879, Mr. Tiffany married Miss Ella, daughter of N. B. and Margaret (Gregory) Fuller, who was born August 2, 1861. Mrs. Tiffany's father is a son of Joseph Fuller, and resides in Colchester. He has three daughters: Ida, who married John Flint; Rachel, the wife of Parker H. Sprague; and Ella, who is the wife of the subject of this sketch. Mr. and Mrs. Tiffany have one daughter still living - Clara, born July 27, 1890. Their elder daughter, Lena, was born October 28, 1882, and died in December of the same year.
Mr. Tiffany is at present carrying on a large lumber business, and also managing his extensive farm, where he keeps a fine herd of Jersey cattle. He is a person of great perseverance and industry, who exhibits much ability in the conduct of his affairs, being as would be judged from his portrait, which meets the eye of the reader on another page of this "Review," a man eminently capable of
Through the world" his "way."
The Republican party claims him a supporter of its platform, he being a staunch adherent of its principals; and throughout the community in which he is a resident he is highly respected.
HIRAM N. GEORGE, a highly respected resident and successful farmer of Middletown, was born on the old homestead where he now resides, November 12, 1832, son of Henry and Elizabeth (Tremper) George. His father was son of John George, a native of Germany, who came to America before the Revolutionary War, and during that arduous struggle was engaged as military tailor, making uniforms for the Continental soldiers. In addition to his knowledge of the tailor's trade, John George was also skilled in music, which he had followed as a profession for seven years in his native country. At the close of the Revolution he settled in Dutchess County, New York, and was engaged as gardener by the Livingston family, also working to some extent at his original trade of tailoring. Both he and his wife lived to a good old age, he dying in his eighty-first year, and she at the age of seventy-five. They had three children, two of whom died in infancy.
Henry George, the third child, and the only one who grew to maturity, was born in Dutchess County. On arriving at manhood, he chose for his wife Elizabeth Tremper, daughter of John and Rachel Tremper. They came to Delaware County together and settled on the present site of the Cogburn farm, near Margarettville. After residing there three years, Mr. George purchased one hundred and sixty acres of wild land at Arkville, and, after building a log house, set to work to clear off the heavy growth of timber. He built a saw-mill, and succeeded in bringing the land into a state of fair cultivation before arriving at middle age. He was a popular man in his neighborhood, and was much respected, filling several town offices during his long and active life with credit to himself and satisfaction to his fellow-citizens. In the War of 1812 he served in the American army as a musician. He became a Republican on the formation of that party, and ever adhered to Republicanism as his political creed. In religion he was a Methodist. He lived to the remarkable age of ninety-five, and his loss was much deplored by all who knew him. His faithful wife died at the age of seventy-five years, after a life of toil and devotion. She was the mother of eleven children, whose names are as follows: Catherine, John, William, Daniel, Peter, Edward, Alfred, Rachel, Walter, Andrew, and Hiram N.
At the age of twenty-one Hiram N. George, who had received a plain but practical education in the district schools of his native town, engaged in lumbering, and continued in that occupation until he came into possession of the old homestead. On this event he went to work to improve the place. He remodelled the buildings, bought more land, and made other improvements, until he now has a fine farm of over two hundred acres. He owns twenty Jersey cows, and raises some fine horses and sheep. Realizing the truth that it is not good man should be alone, he obtained in marriage the hand of Phebe Seager, daughter of Hiram and Synthia Bly Seager, the former of whom was a native of Ulster County, New York, and was a large lumber dealer and farmer. Mr. Seager was twice married, first to Tirzah Murwin, by whom he had the following children: Murwin, who married Ada Todd, of Ulster County, and has two children; Lucy, who became the wife of Dyer Todd, and died, as did her husband, leaving one child; Susan, who married Daniel Todd, and has a family of six children; Aylwin and Hiram H., both of whom died when quite young. Mr. Seager's second marriage (to Synthia Bly Lemore) added to his family three more children, namely: Elizabeth, now deceased, who married Judson Haynes, and at her death left five children; Phebe, wife of Hiram N. George, of this biographical notice; and James, who married Estella George, and has two children. The father of these children died at the age of seventy years, and his second wife when seventy-seven. The latter, previous to her marriage to Mr. Seager, was the widow of James Lemore, and by him had three children - George, Mary and Melissa. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Hiram N. George has been blessed with two children: Samuel, born May 28, 1869, who died at the age of thirteen; and Seager, born February 12, 1884.
Mr. George is a man of influence in his town. By industry and judicious economy, qualities doubtless inherited from his pioneer ancestors, he has improved his worldly condition and achieved fair competence. He does not confine his attention to local affairs, however, but takes a keen interest in the general welfare of the country, keeping himself well informed upon national issues. He adheres to the principals of the Republican party, and votes as he believes. In religious matters he is an active and sincere member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Arkville, as is also his wife. Both are much esteemed members of the community in which they reside, and may well be counted among Delaware County's representative citizens.
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