Cyrus A. Bacon came to Oxford early in boyhood and began his mercantile career as clerk for Ira WILLCOX in the brick store on Fort Hill. He married Mary A. McCALPIN, daughter of Thomas McCalpin of Oxford, who died December 25, 1857, aged 65 years. He took his young wife to his mother's home in Preston, a few miles from the village of Oxford, where he remained several weeks, when he rented the Stephen O. RUNYAN house on the east side of the river. James CLAPP also occupied a portion of the building for a law office. In 1825, in connection with Uri TRACY, son of the early settler by that name, Mr. Bacon commenced a mercantile business which was continued till the death of Mr. Tracy in 1856. His active business career lasted for a period of fifty-four years or up to the time of his death, which occurred January 12, 1879, at the age of 89 years. Mr. Bacon was for over forty years a trustee of Oxford Academy. He also held the town offices of supervisor and clerk, the latter for a long terms of years. He was the fifth in succession of postmasters, holding the office from 1841 to 1849, and from 1853 to 1861.
During the night of November 3, 1847, the residence of Mr. Bacon, now the Baptist parsonage, was entered, and a cash box taken from his sleeping room, containing nearly $600 in cash and a larger amount in note. He was aroused by a noise made by the burglar and discovering his loss rushed to the door, but only in time to hear the retreating footsteps of the midnight visitors, one of whom left his boots behind. In the morning the cash box was found half a mile from the village rifled of the money and the best part of the papers. One person was arrested on suspicion, examined and discharged. In May, 1851, several more of Mr. Bacon's papers were discovered under a barn five miles north of the village. They were in a leather case, which, with it contents were much decayed, though many were legible.
Mr. Bacon married October 2, 1864, for his second wife, Mrs. Catherine (COOK) KINYON of Oxford, who died November 14, 1892, aged 87 years. Children by first wife:
MARGARET R., died January 7, 1843, aged 22 years.
JANE M., died August 12, 1895, in Syracuse, aged 72 years; married Geo. W. GRAY.
JAMES H., died February 25, 1847, aged 22 years.
ELIZABETH H., died August 19, 1862, aged 34 years.
RANDALL MAIN, for many years a well known citizen of Oxford previous to 1846, in which year he moved to New York City, died suddenly in North Stonington, Ct., March 12, 1852, aged 59 years. He was prominently identified with the Baptist Church in this village. His wife was Fanny YORK, sister of Dr. Edward York, Jeremiah York, and Ruth York. She died August 17, 1878, in North Stonington, Ct., aged 82 years. Among their children were Dwight and Randall W.
Joseph Gifford came to Oxford on horseback about the year 1802, and purchased of Ezekiel OLDS the farm, on which he lived and died, now owned by his grandson, John H. Gifford, on the east side of the river two miles below the village. Mr. Gifford was born in Connecticut, October 24, 1775; married in February, 1804, Priscilla ROOT, who died April 4 1807, leaving two daughters, Jerusha and Priscilla, who died in infancy. His second wife was the widow Betsey TURNER, whom he married October 24, 1807. Her death occurred May 22, 1860. Mr. Gifford died February 15, 1865. Children:
JULIAN, born August 25, 1808; died April 13, 1849; married Ira R. NOBLE.
MARYAN, twin to Julian, died December 9, 1898; married John HICKS of Norwich.
PRISCILLA, born March 4, 1810; died February 7, 1844; married John Y. WASHBURN.
JOSEPH, born November 15, 1812; died in 1885; married Eliza ADAMS.
JESSE H., born August 16, 1816; died October 31, 1886; married Elizabeth C. HOPKINS, died January 1, 1882.
HIEL T., born May 29, 1819; died October 25, 1850.
JAMES M., born February 20, 1823; married Marcia C. RHODES, both now living in town.
John Webb, born December 2, 1756, in Egremont, Mass.; died March 27, 1832, in Oxford. His wife was born December 22, 1777, and died in middle age.
At a very early day, Mr. Webb, accompanied by his wife, came to the State of New York and located on Panther Hill in the town of Oxford. The journey was long and tedious as they came overland by means of an oxteam and encountered many hardships. The country was wild and unbroken, and the hand of civilization had as yet made but few changes. They often went to bed hungry, subsisting mainly on wild game and fish, in which the forests and streams abounded. One by one these old pioneers have passed away, and they live only in the memory of their descendants; but the work of their hands will continue as a monument to their deeds, and as a reminder of the trials and struggles through which they passed in developing the town.
DANIEL, died in 1812 in Canada, unmarried.
LYMAN, found dead in road near schoolhouse; unmarried.
SALLY, married ----- WALL; died in Minnesota.
LORRY, married Erastus INGRAHAM; died in McDonough.
JOEL, married Abigail LOOMIS.
MARGARET, married Leonard INGRAHAM; died in Oxford.
Joel Webb, son of John Webb, born April 11, 1804, in Oxford; died January 5, 1888; married February 6, 1828, Abigail LOOMIS of Smithville, born September 9, 1811, died May 8, 1888. Mr. Webb was born, lived and died on the farm settled by his father on Panther Hill, and reared a family of nine children. Mrs. Webb was a daughter of Edward Loomis of Smithville, one of the first settlers in all that region which was then an unbroken wilderness, inhabited by deer, bears, wolves, and other wild beasts. The Webb homestead had
Mr. Webb was honest and faithful in the discharge of his duties, respected by all and beloved by his kindred.
BENAIAH, married Christina M. SMITH; resides in Greene.
HARRIET, resides in Utica, and for over fifty years was a successful teacher in public schools.
CHARLOTTE, married Charles A. McFARLAND of Oxford; died October 2, 1901.
BETSEY M., married Rev. Daniel BALLOU; resides in Utica.
GEORGE M., married Harriet KETCHUM; resides in Oxford.
WHITMAN J., married Augusta LANSING.
JOEL JULIAN, died August 31, 1844.
MARION L., married Clark L. McNEIL; resides in Oxford.
ALVIN G., married Josephine MILLER; resides in Oxford.
EDWARD L., married Ida C. TOWSLEE; resides in Higanum, Conn.
FRED E., died October 4, 1851.
Epaphras Miller, born June 2, 1778, in Glastonbury, Conn., died July 5, 1860, in Oxford; married July 14, 1810, at Wilkesbarre, Pa., Elizabeth, daughter of Dr. Samuel BALDWIN, born March 26, 1787, in West Stockbridge, Mass., died July 14, 1853, in Oxford.
Mr. Miller was among Oxford's earliest settlers, coming in 1800 and engaging in mercantile business, which he followed for a period of about fifty years. He was identified with many plans for the growth and prosperity of the youthful village, and, among the active men of that day, none were more zealous to advance the standard of education, to open public thoroughfares, and add to the beauty of the village.
From 1807 Mr. Miller was associated with Samuel FARNHAM, Sr., for two years; in 1818 he was a partner of John F. HILL for two years in this village, and then for the two succeeding years the same firm conducted a store in McDonough. In the year 1831 he formed a partnership with Thomas G. NEWKIRK, which terminated in 1836. In 1834 he received his son, Henry L. Miller, as his partner, who retired in 1841 to join William MYGATT in his store on Washington Park, in part the present residence of Mrs. D. M. LEE. Epaphras Miller retired from business in 1843, and died in 1860 in the same house in which he and his wife began housekeeping in 1810. He was one ever ready to assist those around him struggling with pecuniary difficulties, an obliging and sympathizing neighbor, a kind and ever affectionate parent, but unyielding in purpose and opinions he deemed right. Children:
ROBERT, born September 23, 1812; died June 21, 1814.
BENJAMIN, born November 15, 1813; died November 16, 1813.
HENRY L., born May 15, 1815.
ELIZABETH, born Dec. 13, 1818; died January 7, 1894, in Buffalo; married July 24, 1838, John LATHROP of West Springfield, Mass., died May 16, 1870, in Buffalo. Children: Henry M., born July --, 1839, died December 7, 1868, in New York from a street car accident; Mary E., born October 8, 1845.
ANNA M., born January 21, 1821; married June 5, 1844, Benjamin CANNON of Cannonsville, N. Y.
BENJAMIN S., born July 14, 1827; died August 2, 1859, unmarried. Graduated at Yale in 1847, and devoted several years to teaching in this State and in the South. Later was employed in the survey of a canal in North Carolina.
The Oxford Gazette of June 28, 1814, in mentioning the death of Mr. Miller's first born, says: "In this village on Tuesday the 21st, a son of Epaphras Miller, aet. 1 year and 9 months.-The Physician by mistake dealt out Arsenac instead of Calomel: the child took it and in 50 hours expired."
Henry L. Miller, son of Epaphras and Elizabeth (BALDWIN) Miller, born May 15, 1815, in Oxford; died March 10, 1886, in Oxford; married October 15, 1839, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of William and Caroline (NORTHRUP) MYGATT, born November 7, 1817, in New Milford, died February 5, 1890, in Oxford.
Mr. Miller received his education at Oxford Academy and there gave evidence of the intellectual and moral traits of character which made his after life so successful. After completing his academic course in 1834, at the age of 19, he assisted in his father's store, the same now occupied by William M. Miller on LaFayette Square. In 1835 he entered the dry goods house of P. FREEMAN & Co., Pearl street, New York, to acquire a thorough acquaintance with the business, returning to Oxford in 1838, and entering into copartnership with his father. In 1841 he entered into partnership in the leather business with William MYATT putting into the store a large stock of general merchandise, and upon the retirement of the latter in April, 1853, Mr. Miller received Gerrit H. PERKINS as a partner, and later George C. RECTOR, now of Hastings, Neb., also became a partner. In 1868, upon the retirement of the latter, the name of William M. Miller was added, making the firm name Miller, Perkins & Co. The mercantile career of the senior member of the firm extended over a period of more than half a century. During the latter part of this time his extensive private interests, and the management of large estates of others intrusted to his care occupied his mind and time to the serious impairment of his health. A condition of nervous dyspepsia and of enfeebled memory followed, which forced him to abandon all business cares, and from that time he spent the remainder of his days in the enjoyment of his beautiful, quiet home, gratefully receiving the ministrations of his devoted wife, and the society of family and friends.
Few men engaged in business so engrossing and extensive as was Mr. Miller's have given so largely of their time and means for the public good. In the midst of his most active mercantile life he ever manifested a deep interest in the prosperity of the village, and was a zealous supporter of the cause of education and religion. From 1862 to 1866 he was president of the village, and untiringly exerted himself to promote its welfare. For many years he held a trusteeship of the Oxford Academy, and was one of its most earnest and faithful supporters, sparing neither time nor money to elevate its standard of usefulness and influence. He held the position of cashier in the First National Bank of Oxford from 1865 for two years, from 1867 to 1879, when he declined a re-election. Amid all these cares he found time for reading, keeping himself informed in all the current events of the day. He entered the membership of the Congregational church in the year 1849, and from that time until the end of his life he was one of its ablest and heartiest supporters.
Mrs. Miller received her education at Oxford Academy, and, on the 3d of March, 1839, she united with the Congregational church, continuing until he death one of its most devout and loyal members. Her life was one long epistle of benevolence, hospitality, Christian charity, and love. The beautiful chapel contiguous to the Congregational church, was built by her as a memorial of her husband, and given to the society, a free-will offering.
HENRY N., born May 17, 1845; died suddenly February 10, 1864.
BENJAMIN S., born June 1, 1851; married November 23, 1881, Josephine A., daughter of John B. BOWEN of Binghamton.
William M. Miller, son of Henry L. and Elizabeth (MYGATT) Miller, born September 28, 1840, in Oxford; married July 17, 1879, Emma E., daughter of B. M. PEARNE of Oxford.
For nearly forty-five years Mr. Miller has been in the general merchandise trade in Oxford, reckoning the period of his clerkship. His father and his grandfather carried on the same business years before him; the original store of Epaphras Miller, who founded the business in 1800, stood where the grandson now does business. In the spring of 1868 Mr. Miller became a partner with his father, Henry L. Miller, and Gerrit H. PERKINS, and the firm was known as Miller, Perkins & Co. At one time the patrons of this firm were scattered over an extent of country within the radius of a day's drive. Frequently large bills of goods were carted from this store over into Delaware county.
The death of the senior partner, in 1886, led to no immediate change, the business being conducted under the same firm name until the retirement of Mr. Perkins in 1890, since which time Mr. Miller has conducted the business alone. Mr. Miller is a director in the First National Bank of Oxford, the owner of the Citizens Opera House, and a large property in village and farm real estate. Mr. Miller has been one of the active members of the fire department, first connected with the old Lady Washington Company, and afterwards with the Sappho Hose Company.
HENRY P., born September 27, 1880; graduated at Rutgers; died May 17,1904, in Minneapolis, Minn.
John E. Miller, son of Henry L. and Elizabeth (MYGATT) Miller, born August 26, 1842; graduated with the valedictory at Oxford Academy, and with honors at Yale, where he obtained the degree of A. B., and later A. M. Upon leaving school he spent two years as clerk in his father's store and three years in banking, being the first teller of the First National Bank of Oxford, where he was employed for about two years, and subsequently occupying the same position for more than a year in the State National Bank of Minneapolis. While there he declined a flattering proposal to accept the cashiership and a place in the directory of a bank which was being organized in Des Moines, Iowa. His desire was to pursue an active out-door business, this being the special reason why, after registering at Albany as student in law, he decided not to follow that profession. In June, 1872, Mr. Miller entered into copartnership with William C. BEARDSLEY in quarrying and shipping blue stone at South Oxford, which partnership continued only a year and a half, Mr. Beardsley retiring from the firm. Mr. Miller conducted the business alone up to the fall of 1880. In January, 1881, New York parties took a half interest in the business, and the firm comprised W. H .HURST, James J. TREANOR, Frank P. TREANOR, superintendent, and John E. Miller, under the name of John E. Miller & Co. This firm made large contracts and furnished quantities of stone in New York city and vicinity. Following the expiration of this contract Mr. Miller disposed of the stone interest, reserving a valuable quarry in Greene, also one in McDonough. Since then he has been greatly interested in fire horses and in the pursuits of an agricultural nature. He has been a village father or a term of five years.
George C. Rector came to Oxford about the year 1845 from Esperance, N. Y., where he was born March 26, 1831. After a few years in clerking, he became the junior member of the firm of Miller, Perkins & Rector, which did a large mercantile business on Fort Hill during the days when the Chenango canal was in its prosperity. Later Mr. Rector engaged in the hardware business which he conducted for a number of years previous to his removal to the West. He is now a resident of Hastings, Neb. He married (1) April 20, 1856, Sarah ROOME, born May 1, 1836, in New York City, died May 5, 1874, at Blue Earth City, Minn.; married (2) July 20, 1875, Angelina ROOME, born March 7, 1840, in New York City, died March 25, 1902, in Hastings, Neb. Children by first wife:
HENRY C., born in Oxford; died June 14, 1899, in Moscow, Russia, aged 44 years. In 1877, he went to Europe in the employment of the International Bell Telephone Co., and worked in Germany, Switzerland, France, and Russia.
HATTIE, born February 26, 1859; died March --, 1862.
LIZZIE, born November 11, 1862, in Oxford.
GEORGE HERBERT, born March 10, 1864, in Oxford.
JENNIE, born April 10, 1866, in Oxford.
ORLANDO A., born November 10, 1872, in Minnesota.
After their land was sold the dusky natives, mostly Oneidas, still held possession of their hunting grounds and sought game and fish in forest and stream. They lived peacefully among the whites. The early history of the Chenango Valley furnished a variety of Indian stories, some of a romantic and others of a tragic character. One is as follows:
One summer's evening General HOVEY, with a party of surveyors, among whom was Captain Derrick RACE, had finished their day's work of laying out village lots, and were approaching their cabin, when an unknown Indian warrior of powerful build appeared and inquired if a strange Indian had passed that way. Colonel Race replied:
"Yes, about an hour ago, and you will find him a mile north, where he has camped for the night."
The warrior resumed his journey, quickly and silently passing from sight in the direction designated. Reaching the one whom he sought, and how, seeing escape was impossible, rose from a sitting posture, placed his hands at his side and exclaimed: "Ugh! me dead Ingun!" The other without a word raised his tomahawk and buried it three times in his skull, wiped it on his sleeve and returned to the cabin of the surveyors. In the morning he disappeared as silently as he came, having fulfilled his mission to avenge the murder of his sister, which had occurred in a southern State. He had been on the track of his victim for several weeks to accomplish this purpose.
Upon another occasion five hundred Indians, dressed and painted in holiday attire, passed down the river in bark canoes. They were on their way to attend a grand council of the several nations at Tioga Point, now Owego. Their unexpected advent caused great alarm before the object of their visit was made known.
A few Indians still lingered for many years about the town, who were accustomed to camp along the streams, hunt, fish, make baskets, and brooms. They were generally quiet and peaceable, but the whites would sometimes abuse them. Occasionally an Indian would tell over his cups of the traditional glory of his ancestors, when the old fort was theirs. They were principally Oneidas, among them was Antone, better known as "Old Abe," who, notwithstanding his subsequent perfidy, often sided with the whites in cases of disagreement.
Daniel P. FITCH, of whom mention is made elsewhere, related the following to the writer in regard to Antone.
In the years 1809-10 I lived with my uncle, Daniel PERRY, or PRICE as the Dutch would have it, in South Oxford, on the east side of the river. He had a good farm, well improved for that day, good buildings, with an orchard of apple trees in full bearing, far in advance of the early settlers in that section. Abe Antone was in the habit of going there from Madison county, to spend the hunting season, which began about the first of October and held until New Year's Day. I well remember when they came in 1809. The squaws and children were in a two-horse wagon, while the chief and his braves walked, carrying their muskets and wearing belts in which were their hatchets and hunting knives. My uncle and aunt welcomed them cordially; the squaws and children were given the spacious kitchen to use until their cabins were repaired, which stood on the banks of a creek that ran through the farm in a dense growth of small hemlocks and pines. The third day after their arrival the hunt began, which was conducted by the chief himself. Early in the morning Antone, with their best marksmen, took their stand on what was called runways, while the other circled around in the woods, driving the game to the marksmen, who shot it. At the close of the day's hunt the chief would call at the farm house and tell what luck they had. At one time he said: "Me shoot four deer to-day." My uncle told him that was a good day's work. He then got apples and cider, of which Antone was very fond, and in return received venison and other presents. Game was very plenty, deer, bear, wolves, all the various fur animals, such as foxes, otter, mink, and muskrat.
At this time Antone's family consisted of ten children, eight sons and two daughters. The sons were able to join in the chase with their father. The girls being the youngest, about seven or eight years of age, were my playmates during the two hunting seasons they passed in South Oxford. When they were dressed in their neat Indian blankets, with wampum belts around their waists, bead work on their wrists, and their coal black hair combed neatly over their necks and shoulders, they were really pretty. And their bright, shining eyes, musical laugh and winning ways added much to their charms in my youthful eyes. Game becoming scarce and the country settling up so rapidly, Antone went to Delaware county, then a wilderness, to pursue his hunting. This was the last I ever saw of him or his family, but I became aware of some of the tragic events that happened to them in later years.
In time the young Indian girls grew to womanhood, were admired by the young braves of their tribe, and also by the young men among the pale faces. Mary, one of the girls, received the addresses of an Oneida brave, to whom she was tenderly attached and expected to marry, but was doomed to disappointment, for he proved false. He married another dusky maiden of the forest, and Mary mourned over her disappointment until she could bear it no longer. She grew moody and revengeful, and one night arming herself with her father's hunting knife went to their wigwam and, finding them asleep, plunged the knife into the breast of her rival. She fled, but was soon arrested for the crime and placed in jail by the authorities of Madison county. To this Antone objected, telling the white men that it was none of their business, and that they could settle it their own way, but the authorities paid no attention to the old chief's wishes. Mary was brought to trial, proved guilty and sentenced to be hung. Antone made strong efforts to save his daughter and told the court that he did not want his child hung like a dog, but if they would shoot her so that she could die an honorable death he would be satisfied, otherwise he would have revenge. She was executed at Peterboro, and I was shown the field years after where the scaffold was erected upon which my youthful playmate met her death.
Antone's grief and sorrow over the death of his child was intense and he laid plans to carry out his threat of revenge. He left his family and disappeared, but suddenly appeared in a field one day where the men where hoeing corn. John JACOBS, an Indian, was one of the party and had been the principal witness against Mary and active in her arrest. Antone approached, shook hands with each one until he came to Jacobs, and while apparently grasping his hand in friendship, drew a long knife from his sleeve, at the same time saying, "How d'ye do, brother?" quickly drove it three times into the body of his victim, who fell at the first blow. Antone gave one terrific whoop and disappeared before the terrified witnesses recovered their presence of mind. It has been said, though I cannot vouch for it, that he also killed the judge and the sheriff who had sentenced and executed his daughter. Great excitement followed, a reward was offered for his body dead or alive, and a thorough search made, but no clue could be found. Finally the reward was increased, and General Ransom RATHBONE of Oxford called out the militia and a thorough search was made in the forests of New York and Pennsylvania, but without success, for Antone was securely sheltered in South Oxford by Andrew ACHORN until the excitement died away.
Finally two brothers, in whom Antone placed great confidence, followed him to Delaware county, whither he had gone, and after giving him presents and spending some days, finally proposed shooting at a mark, with the object to take their victim while his musket was unloaded. Antone consented and fired, the men rushed upon him, but were beaten off, and the old chief would have then escaped if they had not shot him in the leg. He was taken to Morrisville, placed in jail, where he gave up all hope, and refusing to eat pined away. Judge WILLIAMS of Utica presided at the trial. The prisoner pleaded not guilty and objected to a trial, except by his own people; stating that he had paid $270 to the different tribes for a ransom and thought it hard that he should die when he had made his peace with the Indians. He also produced a document written by George Washington, appointing him one of his aids and fast runners to carry messages to the country in gaining its independence, his friendship for the whites, but all to no purpose. The court appointed Judge PLATT and General KIRKLAND his counsel, who rested their defense on this, that the State of New York had no jurisdiction over the Indian tribes within her territory. The court, however, overruled the objection and Antone was sentenced to be hanged on Friday, the 12th of September, 1828. He said he was willing to die, but objected to the mode of execution, preferring to be shot. A great crowd gathered at Morrisville to witness the old chief meet his death, a walking skeleton and nearly one hundred years old.
Antone was accused of other murders, but in a confession he made which was printed in a pamphlet, a copy of which I have read, he denied, but acknowledged killing two persons, an Indian and a white man.
In later years Abraham TUSHNOOK was another noted Indian character in this vicinity. He was also called "Old Abe," and handled the bow and arrow in a skillful manner. At "general training" he earned quite a little money by shooting pennies form a notched stick to the amusement of a crowd. Abe belonged to the Stockbridge tribe, and served under Captain JACOBS in the war of 1812. His attachment for the favorite hunting grounds in the Chenango valley was strong. He died at the County House in Preston, October 18, 1870, aged 82.
The only affair of honor that ever occurred in Chenango county took place on the island a half mile above the river bridge in Oxford. It was in the early days of the town that two worthies, Messrs. SHERWOOD and STARKWEATHER, had a difference then a quarrel, over some trifling affair, and their friends seeing a chance of considerable sport kept them in a heated condition until it was resolved to exchange shots in vindication of their honor, and the little island was selected for that purpose. Their seconds were chosen, who secretly gave the affair publicity that the friends might be present and enjoy the fun.
On the day appointed the belligerents made their appearance on the spot selected. The seconds had agreed that neither should supper harm, and loaded the pistols with cork instead of lead, and each inspired his principal with courage by informing him that his antagonist's pistol was loaded with cork, but assuring him that his own contained a ball. Sherwood, who had arrived first on the field, said, as Starkweather approached:
"Starkweather, you know I'm a good shot and sure to kill. If you'll acknowledge you are in the wrong, then this affair is ended, and we'll go home."
"Not by a danged sight, Sherwood," was the bold reply. "I'm here on my honor, and when I return you'll be the one they'll take home to bury!"
"I will, eh!" quickly answered Sherwood with flashing eye. "I know there's going to be a funeral, but it won't be mine, not to-day, nor next week, nor for a month to come. You know I'm in the right, confound it, and I thought I'd give you a chance to live a few years longer. You'd rather die a natural death, hadn't you?"
"Well, I'm going to, you old skunk," said Starkweather, as he stooped to pick up a spear of grass. "You can't scare me into showing the white feather. Get up there in line while I let daylight through you."
"I'm an old skunk, am I! Goll dern ye! Get your old pepperbox ready; I ain't afraid! I'll show you a trick that's played on folks that never before have been beyond their father's farm."
"You talk as though you had got a brace of printer's devils about your ears. Stop your jibberjabber, the sexton is waiting for his job."
The seconds now concluded that the principals were thoroughly worked up, placed them in position back to back, with directions to mark off ten paces as one was counted, to turn at two and fire at three. The neighboring trees concealed many interested spectators, whose sides fairly ached with laughter they were compelled to subdue for fear of discovery.
"Now, gentlemen," said one of the seconds, "are you ready? If so, we'll proceed."
The principals bravely and in loud voice acknowledged their readiness to shed each other's blood.
"Then, gentlemen, you thoroughly understand the rules, and I'll now give the signal. Ready! One! Two! Three!"
As the last word was echoing from the neighboring hills the report of the pistols rang out simultaneously. And as arranged neither contestant was injured, but was hurriedly approached by his second, who told each that they had winged their man though not mortally wounding him, and that a speedy retirement from the scene and a few days in seclusion would be about the thing to do until the affair blew over.
It was several days before Messrs. Sherwood and Starkweather became fully acquainted with the facts of the affair, and by that time their wrath had cooled, and they again became fast friends. The island has since been known as Cork Island.
DANIEL SILL, son of Rev. Elijah Sill, was born in New Fairfield, Conn., in 1771; married Abigail McKNIGHT, January 25, 1798, and with her came to Oxford. She died in 1806, leaving four children, all of whom were born in Oxford. They were:
ASENATH, who married Samuel LEWIS, and died in March, 1850.
ADDISON, married Jemima CLEVELAND, and moved to Kingsville, Ohio.
DIANA, died in infancy.
SUSAN, married Ami CLEVELAND, and died May 15, 1859.
Mr. Sill's second wife was Albasinda BARNES, whom he married February 2, 1808. Two children were born to them, who died in infancy. Mr. Sill was a farmer, and after residing here a few years moved away and died February 17, 1826, at Ossian, N. Y.
Stephen Weeks and wife came from Long Island at an early day and settled in Bainbridge. Not liking the situation there they went five miles farther and located on "Cider" creek, near Yaleville (Guilford), where he cleared the land sufficiently to put up a log house to shelter himself and wife. They never saw another white woman's face for six months. Mr. Weeks died in 1813, leaving his wife with eight children, the youngest of whom, Stephen, 2d, born March 26, 1813, was but six months old. By the time he was old enough to do anything his brothers had made way with all they could dispose of, and he started out to shift for himself. He finally located in the town of Smithville and hired out to Joseph CORBIN, remaining there five years, and working for five dollars per month. Eventually he bought back the land piece by piece that his brothers had sold, and when that was accomplished he married, September 13, 1837, Julia A. WILLIAMS, daughter of Eber and Martha (BENNETT) Williams, pioneers of Oxford. Mr. and Mrs. Weeks remained in Guilford nearly ten years, and then sold the farm and moved to Wisconsin. The climate not agreeing with them, they returned East and to the home of Mrs. Weeks' parents in Oxford, Mr. Weeks buying their farm on the Tyner road. Here they passed the remainder of their lives. Mr. Weeks died October 5, 1874. Mrs. Weeks was born October 25, 1817, in Oxford, and died on the same farm July 4, 1876. Children:
AMELIA F., born in Guilford; married Burton WESTOVER of Oxford. Resides at San Diego, Cal.
GEORGE, born in Guilford; died December 26, 1846, in Wisconsin.
ALBERT born in Wisconsin, died unmarried June 10, 1864, in Oxford.
E. PERCIVAL WILLCOX, born September 20, 1808, in Durham, Greene county, N.Y.; died January 27, 1869, in Montrose, Pa. Married March 31, 1834, Sarah Jane SPEES, born August 10, 1808; died July 24, 1891, in Montrose, Pa.
Mr. and Mrs. Willcox came to Oxford soon after their marriage, and resided in one-half of the Ira Willcox homestead now the Memorial Library building, for twenty-five years. Mr. Willcox, during this time, was engaged in business at the Oxford foundry and also in a hardware store, which at first was located in Fort Hill block, and later moved to the present location of BURCHARD Bros.' store. Frances Elizabeth, their only child, married Henry C. TYLER and resides at Montrose, Pa. Mr. Tyler died June 10, 1891.
On the evening of December 25, 1862, Niagara Fire Company gave their third annual festival, the proceeds of which were donated for the comfort of sick and wounded soldiers of the Civil War.
John Y. Washburn, son of Luke and Margaret (NOYS) Washburn, born May 31, 1810, in Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; died September 5, 1890, in Norwich. Married (1) October 28, 1834, Antoinette BRISTOL, who died August 24, 1838; married (2) in September, 1839, Priscilla GIFFORD, who died February 7, 1844; married (3) September 8, 1844, Sarah A. SPENCER, born November 14, 1820, in Coventry; died March 29, 1893, in Towanda, Pa., at the home of her daughter, Mrs. BABCOCK, who was then living there.
Mr. Washburn came from Massachusetts stock, and some of his ancestors took an active part in the Revolutionary war. Members of that family thereafter became prominent in the affairs of Massachusetts, one of them serving as Governor of the State at one time.
Mr. Washburn learned the cabinet making trade and came to Oxford in 1830, where for some years he conducted the cabinet business. At the formation of the Oxford Hoe and Edge Tool Company he became identified with that company as manager of its lumber interest, which at that time was quite extensive. He remained with that company during his active business life at Oxford, having about 1869 acquired the entire ownership of the property of the company. The factory was destroyed by fire in 1871 and was not rebuilt. He served the town of Oxford in various official capacities, and when he came to Oxford he identified himself with the Methodist church of this village, and served as one of the official board of that church for sixty consecutive years. In his earlier life he was an active member of the fraternal organizations having lodges at Oxford, and was identified with the Oxford National bank as a stockholder almost from its inception to the time of his death. He was a man of sterling qualities and character, industrious, sober, and faithful in the discharge of every duty and undertaking which he assumed. He died at the home of his son Wesley, in Norwich, and is buried in his family plot in Riverview cemetery. All his children that obtained school age were educated at Oxford Academy.
Child by first wife:
JOHN B., born November 24, 1837. Assistant surgeon in the United States Navy during the Civil war. Died September 23, 1863, of yellow fever at Pensacola, Florida. Unmarried. Children by second wife:
JOSEPH G., born July 26, 1841. Served in the Civil war, at first a sergeant, Co. A., 114th Regt. N. Y. Vols. Promoted first sergeant May 17, 1863. Wounded in arm, thigh, and shoulder at Opequan. Mortally wounded at Cedar Creek, and died October 19, 1864, twelve hours after receiving wound. A brave and accomplished soldier. Unmarried.
WESLEY, born August 4, 1843; died September 7, 1895, in Norwich. Served during the Civil war in Co. E, 89th Regt. N. Y. Vols. Married Melantha BAKER of Norwich, who died February 11, 1905, in Norwich.
Children by third wife:
ANTIONETTE, born June 22, 1845; died November 10, 1876; married Andrew S. SEELEY. Her husband and one child, Sarah, still survive.
SARAH J., born June 20, 1847; died July 6, 1853.
MARGARET F., born April 2, 1849; died August 22, 1849.
MARY ELIZABETH, born November 14, 1850; married Henry E. BABCOCK of Norwich. Both are now living in New York city with one son, Charles E. Babcock, a civil engineer.
CHARLES, born March 6, 1853; died November 5 ,1864.
WILLIAM B., born April 29, 1855; died February 29, 1856.
FRANK, born June 13 ,1857; died July 16, 1877. Unmarried.
CYRUS V., born September 27, 1860; married Lizzie E. BULKLEY of Oswego, N.Y. Resides and practices law in New York city. One daughter, Irene.
WILLIAM A., born December 5, 1862; died January 19, 1892, at Mansville, N. Y., where he successfully practiced medicine and became a skillful physician. Married Mary B. CARL of Candor, N. Y . Child: John Carl, drowned while skating at Mannsville, January 27, 1906, aged 18.
Alamanzar Watson, born in Palmer, Mass., July 22, 1809, was one of six children, three sons and three daughters. By the death of his father, the mother was left alone to care for the children at an early age, and they did what they could toward supporting the family, from which grew habits of industry and frugality. At the age of eleven, as was then the custom, Mr. Watson served an apprenticeship and learned the saddler's trade, after which he started west to seek a fortune. Empty handed, with only a brave heart and his mother's blessing, he worked his way through Albany, Schoharie, and Otsego counties to Bainbridge, where, learning that William MYGATT was in need of help in his tannery and leather store, he came to Oxford. Thus in 1830, at the age of 21, he was working on a salary of eight dollars per month, and by his industry and faithfulness soon won the confidence of his employer, who entrusted to him the most important part of the business for a period of more than ten years. Mr. Watson then commenced business for himself in the Fort Hill block, which he continued until 1856, when he engaged in the loaning of money in Illinois, which he made the field of his financial interests for several years. He was trustee of Oxford Academy and was one of its heartiest supporters. The unfortunate and friendless were often remembered and assisted by his aid. The Congregational church received his warmest support, with which society he united by letter in 1835. On September 9, 1845, Mr. Watson was married to Miss Jennette M. HALL of Sullivan, Madison county, the preceptress of Oxford Academy. They immediately commenced housekeeping on Washington avenue, where they resided until their decease. Their own hands planted the trees, graded and beautified the grounds from year to year. Mr. Watson died May 8, 1886, in his 77th year. Mrs. Watson's death occurred June 20, 1889, at the age of 70 years.
In 1848 a son was born to them and christened Charles Alonzo. He was educated at Oxford Academy and Amherst College, at which institution he graduated in 1870. The remaining years of his life were spent in mercantile business in Lockport, N. Y., with the exception of a few months in 1873, when he was abroad with his invalid mother. On March 19, 1879, he was drowned by the accidental upsetting of a boat in the Gulf of Mexico, where he had been spending a few weeks for vacation.
George D. Avery was born at Groton, Conn., August 19, 1763, a colonial subject of George IV., and a witness of some of the exciting scenes of the American Revolution, among which was the burning of New London by the British. He was a pupil of Nathan DABOLL of arithmetic fame. On the 8th of August, 1796, Mr. Avery took up his residence at Belleville, Va., after a toilsome journey of 800 miles, having in his train thirteen teams. He there undertook the arduous task of pioneer settlement, sawing his own timber and erecting houses, against the disadvantages, not unknown there, of building in a new country. He was familiar with many of the stirring events of the early settlement of that locality, prominent among which were the romantic incidents in the life of Harman BLENNERHASSET; his island paradise in the Ohio, and the strange adventures of Aaron BURR connected therewith, of all of which he was personally cognizant. Adverse fortunes at Belleville induced Mr. Avery to remove to Georgetown, Va., about the year 1812, where he engaged in surveying for nearly twenty years. He surveyed and laid out Georgetown. He was an observer of the important political events, being frequently in the society of public men of that period. In the year 1830, through the kindness of Benjamin BUTLER, who married his sister, he was induced to come to this place, where he resided until his death, April 26, 1860. Mr. Avery was twice married, but had long survived his children, one of whom was a midshipman in the U. S. Navy, with Commodores ROGERS and DECATUR, and died in 1815. Mr. Avery voted at every election for president since the formation of the government, which act was performed by him with a religious sense of duty. When his life journey began, Napoleon and Wellington were yet to be; during his career the leaders of the English parliament and of the American Revolution, that race of Titans, have lived and died; the wars of Napoleon and the war of Independence have become historical, and a new republic, with a network of railroads and a web work of electric wires, have been extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The latter years of Mr. Avery's life were passed quietly. On Tuesday, November 9, 1859, at the age of 97, he deposited his last vote, and while he extended his feeble hand to present the ballot, there was manifest a solemn feeling, as if a contemporary of Washington had arisen from the tomb, appearing again in person upon the earth.
General Peter Skenandoah Smith, better known as Sken Smith, came from Utica at an early day and remained in Oxford till the spring of 1829. He was the eldest son of Peter Smith, founder of Smithfield, Madison county, who in 1794 succeeded in leasing from the Oneida Indians for a term of 999 years a tract of land comprising over 50,000 acres, and which embraced nearly all of Smithfield and Fenner, that part of Cazenovia lying north of the Gore, a part of Stockbridge, and a large portion of Augusta, in Oneida county. This trace he secured by treaty with the christianized part of the tribe through negotiations with their chief, Skenandoah, a warm friend of his and after whom he named his son.
Peter Sken Smith was the only brother of Hon. Gerrit Smith, the philanthropist. He was an attractive looking man, nearly six feet in height, strong, active, and commanding in appearance. He was educated at Hamilton College and became a merchant before he had reached his 21st birthday. He established a large store in Utica, and often would buy at one bid a store with its various contents. He soon became involved and failed for upwards of $100,000, and took the benefit of the bankruptcy act. He then entered a law office in Utica as student, and afterwards settled in Sherburne for a few weeks, and then came to Oxford and studied a short time in James CLAPP's office. He then went to Pharsalia and entered the law office of John CLAPP, where he studied until he was admitted to practice. He married at Catskill, May 15, 1826, Anne V. b. PRENTISS, daughter of the Rev. Joseph Prentiss. He then bought the John RATHBONE house, better known as the McKOON house in later years, and laid out about $1000 in repairs on the property. In 1829 he removed to Oswego, and afterwards resided in Pennsylvania and Florida, where he was an officer in the U. S. Army, bearing the title of Major-General. For several years he was a prominent politician in Philadelphia, but his eventful life was ended May 6, 1858, in an insane asylum at Springfield, Mass.
A rare jest or witty repartee fell musically from his lips. Many balls and banquets owed their chief attraction to his exquisite tact and courtly manners.
Stephen Turner was born January 14, 1772, in New London, Conn., and married Patty PRENTISS of the same place. Shortly after his marriage he located in Butternuts, Otsego county, and in 1813 came to Oxford and settled in the eastern part of the town. He was industrious and energetic, spending little time in idleness. It is related of him that when he stopped in the field to rest he sat upon a sharp stone that he might not sit too long. With strong hands and a brave heart he cleared the forest and planted the apple, plum and cherry where the birch, maple, and lofty pine once flourished. He lived in a log cabin until able to build a frame house, which until the present day has been occupied by his descendants. When unable to reach the distant mill, the family subsisted on samp made from corn pounded in a rude mortar. Mr. Turner gave his children what in those days was considered a good education. The daughters were not only well versed in the homely duties of the household, but were proficient in the art of fine embroidery and lace making, besides teaching the three Rs in the district school. Children:
MARGARET, married Lucius PARKER and settled in Steuben county.
NANCY, married Simeon PARKER, brother of Lucius, and settled in the same county.
MARTHA, married Abel POLLY and moved to Kansas.
STEPHEN PRENTISS, married Lucinda HARRIS.
Stephen Prentiss Turner, born September 23, 1806, in Butternuts, Otsego county; died December 24, 1900, in Oxford. Married February 25, 1834, Lucinda HARRIS of Guilford, N. Y., born September 27, 1814; died December 4, 1867, in Oxford.
Prentiss Turner came to Oxford in 1813 with his parents when but seven years of age. He was not favorably impressed with his new home and the surroundings, and longing for his former playmates he started early one morning to return to his former home. When search for him proved unavailing, his father recalled how homesick the lad had been, decided to go to Butternuts, where, to his delight, Prentiss was found among relatives. He had traveled the whole distance, over twenty miles, in one day by means of marked trees. It is not stated what course the father took to impress upon the mind of his son that it would be better for him to remain at home. It was, however, effectual, for during a life of fourscore years he seldom left his home, either for business or pleasure, till the infirmities of age made it necessary for him to seek a home with his children. Children:
SAMUEL, died in infancy.
FRANCIS M., married T. M. WILLIAMS.
JOSEPH P., married Mary C. STONE; died January 28, 1884.
SIMEON A., married Lucina M. POST.
RICHARD M., married Christinna WALKER.
NELSON J., married Helen R. IVES.
LUCINDA A., died November 12, 1848.
MARTHA M., married Hubert Post.
Among the eight children born to William and Persis Packer, who left Guilford, Vt., in 1804, and took up about 300 acres in Preston, was Perez, born January 31, 1790. He became a physician and commenced practicing at Latham's Corners, in the town of Guilford, about the opening of the war of 1812, but soon after removed to Oxford and resided in the house now occupied by Charles W. BROWN. He became noted in his profession, and his circuit of practice was very wide. As a surgeon he had no superior in those early days. During the year 1823 he went to France for the benefit of his health, and while there attended chemical and anatomical lectures in Paris. Among those who were students in his office were the late Dr. Benjamin H. THROOP of Scranton, Dr. Austin ROUSE and Dr. William G. SANDS of Oxford. Dr. Packer died of consumption in Oxford, July 10, 1832, aged 42, honored and respected. His wife, who was formerly Miss Nancy DAVIS of Oxford, died February 16, 1843, aged 47. Their children were:
WILLIAM W., married Mary D., daughter of Colonel Otis J. TRACY, and carried on the drug business while practicing dentistry four or five years till his death, which occurred March 21, 1851, at the age of 32.
NANCY MARIA, married Roswell HEWETT of Preston, and died at Havana, N. Y., September 1, 1849, aged 29.
CAROLINE, aged 19, in attempting to alight from a carriage to which a restive horse was attached, was so violently thrown against a wall in this village as to induce concussion of the brain, which resulted in her death May 16, 1845.
THEODORE S, died March 28, 1855, aged 26.
Joel Smith was born in Southington, Ct., December 9, 1781. His father was a Connecticut patriot, who served in the Continental army, and who brought up his children in the old-fashioned New England way, "in the fear and admonition of the Lord." In 1812 Joel Smith left his home in Southington and came to Oxford, making the journey of about 200 miles with a pair of oxen attached to a genuine Connecticut cart. The spot where he located is known as "The Desserts," about six miles southeast of the village. He cleared away the dense forest for a home, and in a few weeks his wife and two children came with Romeo WARREN, for many years a prominent resident of Coventry, who drove from Connecticut with a fine pair of black horses. Mr. Smith built a stockade for his sheep and on many a night was aroused from his slumbers by the howling of wolves, which he drove away with firebrands or by lustily blowing a tinhorn. Long afterward Mr. Smith described his journey to the "Chenango country" by forbidding roadways through unbroken forests, through sparsely settled valleys and the cabins of the settlers with their genial hospitality, till the embryo village of Oxford was reached. The surrounding country was a primeval wilderness, with here and there a settler who, with ax and brush hook, was making a clearing. His children during their youth suffered all the vicissitudes of frontier life, and attended such transcient schools as were open in the neighborhood. Mr. Smith after residing in Oxford many years moved to Coventry, from there to Guilford, thence to Newark Valley, N. Y., where he lived for over twenty years, and died October 27, 1878, in his 97th year. He married (1) November 22, 1809, Almira BRADLEY of Northampton, Mass.; married (2) May 13, 1812, Sophia ANDREWS of Southington, Ct., born March 20, 1787; died October 9, 1877, in Newark Valley. Child by first wife:
MARY ALMIRA, born September 26, 1810, in Southington, Ct.; married (1) William COPLEY; married (2) Peter MOORE; married (3) Lambert BRADLEY. Resides in Newark Valley. Children by second wife:
LOIS SOPHIA, born December 16, 1812, in Southington, Ct.; married Almander SPRAGUE. Resides in Binghamton.
EMMA ANN, born November 16, 1814, in Oxford; died September 30, 1904, in Owego; married Samuel BLAIR.
ELIZA MARIA, born September 14, 1816, in Oxford; married Andrew McNEIL.
LUCENA ELIZABETH, born June 23, 1818, in Oxford; died June, 1851, in South Oxford; married John GUERNSEY of South Oxford.
SARAH ANN, born March 24, 1821, in Oxford. Resides in Oxford. Unmarried.
JULIAETT, born January 6, 1823, in Oxford; died September 19, 1844, in Owego. Unmarried.
PHEBE LOUISA, born October 17, 1825, in Oxford; died October 1, 1905, in Sidney; married Watson CLARK.
POLLY LOVINA, twin to above, married Mortimer CHAMBERLAIN. Resides in Honeoye Falls, N. Y.
JAMES WILLIAM HENRY, born February 3, 1829, in Oxford; married (1) Angeline STEAD; married (2) Kate BRADLEY; married (3_ -------.
SUSAN AUGUSTA, born February 29, 1832, in Oxford; married Stephen W. AMES. Resides in Newark Valley.
Joseph Mason (MEISSONIER) was born March 101, 1809, in the southern part of France, and lived with his parents on a farm, which was afterwards sold off into building lots and became part of the city of D'Hyeres. When Dr. Perez PACKER of Oxford spent the winter of 1823-24 in France he boarded with a family named MEISSONIER. They had a large family, some ten or twelve children, and the doctor became very fond of one little boy, Joseph, the subject of this sketch. The family was poor, the mother dead, and there was but little prospect of providing for so many. The eldest daughter, Eugenia, filled her mother's place to the best of her ability and cared for the younger children. When Dr. Packer proposed to them to give Joseph to him to take home to America, there was naturally great hesitation and reluctance, as they would never see him again, which they never did. The father gave his consent, and Joseph was brought to Oxford, and while not legally adopted was brought up as one of the family. The school children could not pronounce his name and used to call him "French Joseph" and "Mason," and eventually he went by the latter name.
Mr. Mason did light chores for the doctor. One day just at twilight he was in the woodhouse with an armful of kindlings and looking through the doorway saw a figure clothed in white on the lawn. He dropped the wood, ran into the house and, not having yet mastered English, said in French, "My father is dead!" He was greatly overcome and the family talked and tried to comfort him, making inquiries as to why he felt that his father was dead. He replied that he had seen an angel. At the time the family thought but little of it but several months after the news came that his father had died just at that hour. Papers were sent for Dr. Packer to sign, and from that time Mr. Mason never heard from his people again. In 1875 Ameida PODINIER, a cousin, spent several months in Oxford with the family of Mr. Mason. He was an artist and a musician, and spoke seven languages. Mr. Mason died February 11, 1866. Married (1) Louisa DeMONT, who died May 30, 1842; married (2) in 1845 Nancy SMITH, born January 13, 1816; died October 10, 1888. Child by first wife:
HENRY DeMONT born April 16, 1842; died October 19, 1864. Sergeant Co. H, 114th Regt. N. Y. V. Killed at battle of Cedar Creek. Children by second wife:
CHARLES W., born November 8, 1846; died February 28, 1847.
GEORGE FREDERICK, born May 21, 1848.
MARY GERTRUDE, born October 12, 1851; married October 7, 1875, Edward L. STRATTON. Children: Henry Meissonier, Frederick Lynn, born January 12, 1882; died November 2, 1902; Emmett Abel.
WILLIAM HUBERT, born January 11, 1855; married (1) Jennie LAKE; married (2) November 22, 1904, Nancy HILL.
Cyrus Tuttle, born in 1793, at Middlebury, Ct., came to Oxford, then in the far west, about the year 1814. He had formed those thrifty and economical habits characteristic of the place of his birth, and was endowed by nature with an inherent love of trade, which was almost a passion in his case. He was possessed with a remarkable intuition regarding the relation of the lesser to the greater as applied to the laws of trade, and conducted his business, that of a general storekeeper, always on the principle that "Many a little makes a mickle." When in want of some certain article not to be found at other stores it was said, "Go to Tuttle's and you'll find it, " which often proved to be the case. Thus with forecast, caution, and perseverance, adding dollar to dollar for nearly forty years, Mr. Tuttle was enabled by the severest economy and greatest self-denial to secure a fine competency. But, with all the exactions of a busy life he was duly sensible of his duties as a man and as a Christian, having filled the office of vestryman and warden of St. Paul's church, of which he was also treasurer for many years, and until his death. He began business in 1834, where he continued till his death, July 20, 1870. The stone for his block was quarried near the river bridge at South Oxford by George SYMONDS and brought here on canal boats. Its cost was about $450 only. In 1850 Mr. Tuttle opened a branch store in East Greene, now Brisbin, which was continued about two years. Mr. Tuttle married in Oxford Catherine BENNETT, who died November 23, 1867, aged 74. Their adopted daughter, Catherine, died March 25, 1889, aged 52. She married, May 9, 1860, James B. BROWN of New York, who died December 23, 1902, in New York. Children: Gertrude, Catherine, and Philip. The daughters reside in New Haven, Ct.
While the country was yet new, Cornelius Conover, of Dutch descent, with his wife, whose maiden name was Polly FURMAN, came from Glen, Montgomery county, and settled at South Oxford in the section known as "The Desserts." They brought all their worldly possessions in a cart drawn by oxen, and on the journey were often alarmed, though unmolested by wild beasts. Through his efforts the farm now occupied by his daughter, Julia, was made to blossom and bring forth the fruits of civilization and prosperity. He erected a frame house instead of the usual log cabin of the pioneer, and one standing in the large fireplace could look up the stone chimney and see the branches of the trees waving overhead. Mr. Conover and family attended church at Coventryville and went through the forest guided by marked trees. Deer often came to the brook near the house, but were unmolested by him, although he had firearms. Mr. Conover's second wife was Julia HORTON of Coventry, who was born in Connecticut.
Children by first wife:
SOLOMON, married Roxy BARTON.
ISAAC, married Eliza APPLEGATE.
JANE, married Obabiah CANNIFF of Cincinnatus.
JEMIMA, married Leonard HORTON of Coventryville.
Children by second wife:
FURMAN, died unmarried.
PETER J., married Ann L. HAVENS.
JULIA, unmarried; lives on the homestead farm.
MARY, married Franklin KNICKEBOCKER of Cincinnatus; died April 14, 1900, in Holly, N. Y.
The Judson brothers, David, John, Lewis, Everett, and Philo, came to Oxford in 1812 from Stamford, Ct., and conducted a woolen mill on the Georgetown road for several years. John, Lewis, and Everett finally moved from town; the latter died October 27, 1864, at Candor, N. Y., aged 71. David purchased the property now known as the David G. BARBER place, and resided there until his death. Philo came into the village and conducted a mill near the present site of the Harrington block. He lived on Washington street, in the house now occupied by Miss Clarinda LEWIS. Their father, John Judson, was a Revolutionary soldier.
David P. Judson was born February 28, 1786, in Stanford, Conn.; died February 15, 1862, in Oxford; married (1) in 1812, Jerusha STILLSON of Stamford, Conn., born June 14, 1791; died April 9, 1832, in Oxford. Married (2) April 4, 1833, Melinda BILLINGS of Preston, N. Y., born in Preston; died October 4, 1892, in Oxford.
Children by first wife:
LEWIS, born in 1815; died June 17, 1817; poisoned by arsenic, which he found while at play in the mill.
CAROLINE, born in 1819; died November 24, 1821, from scalds received by falling into a dye vat.
CHARLES, married Julia JEROME. Died in 1900.
JULIA E., married Orville L. MEAD. Died August 17, 1855. Child by second wife:
CORDELIA T., married November 8, 1886, James W. SHERWOOD, and resides in Oxford.
Philo Judson, after the death of his wife, Charity, July 26, 1851, went to Omaha, Neb., to reside with his son, where he died January 9, 1872.
Children: JOSEPH, died September 6, 1828, aged 4; ORMAN B., AUGUSTUS, CHARLES, HENRY MARTIN, PHILO M., died May 21, 1850, aged 28; JANE E., died January 4, 1853, aged 26.
William Denison, born in 1705, lived at North Stonington, Conn., was twice married and the father of eleven children. He died January 29, 1760. His fifth child, Daniel Denison, was born July 20, 1740, and married Martha GEER, an English lady from Groton, Conn., in 1771. About 1800 they emigrated to Pharsalia, this county, where he purchased large tracts of land and settled on lot 70 in that town. They left their Connecticut home surrounded with the comforts and luxuries that wealth could bestow. When they reached Chenango county it was almost a wilderness, and the wolves and bears came howling around their log cabin. All their grain was carried to Binghamton to be ground. It was carried on horseback, and as there was no road they went by blazed trees. Daniel Denison was a man of considerable prominence and remained in Pharsalia until 1802, when he sold his real estate to his son, William, who already owned a large tract in that town, and came to Oxford, purchasing of Solomon DODGE what is now known as the MORSE farm, and died there in 1817. He built the first frame house and barn in Pharsalia, and a house on the Morse farm, which within a few years has been replaced by a more modern structure. When he came here there was no church and the meetings were held at his house. He was a large, strong-built man of commanding appearance and a bravery no opposition could intimidate. They had seven children-HANNAH, born in 1772, married William POPPLE; PRUDENCE, born in 1775, married James DENNISON, JR.; WILLIAM, born in 1777, married Betsy LEDYARD; MARTHA, born 1779, married a Mr. SPAULDING; MARY, born 1782, died unmarried; EMMA, born 1784, died unmarried; DANIEL, born 1787, married Betsey HUNT of Oxford.
William, who married Betsey LEDYARD, remained in Pharsalia only a few years, and then moved to Oxford. His house stood where St. Paul's church now stands.
Daniel, Jr., who married Betsey HUNT, after a few years moved to Cleveland, O., where he died July 1, 1865, aged 78. Mrs. Denison died before he left Oxford. They had six children:
EMMA AMELIA, born in 1815, married VanRensaeller RICHMOND. She lived and died May 18, 1854, in Lyons, Wayne county. Their children were: Denison, Frank E., and Emma.
BETSEY ANN, born in 1816.
MARY JANE, born in 1817, married Charles McNEIL of Oxford, September 22, 1838. They moved to Cleveland, O., in 1852.
WILLIAM HENRY, born in 1819, married Ruth THOMAS. Five children were born to them while living in Chicago, where both died: Daniel and William, both killed in the Civil war; Frank, Lydia, and Loren. Lydia was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Nelson PURDY of Cleveland, married George H. FOOTE and died in that city, leaving three children: Helen, Charles, and Mary.
CHARLOTTE REBECCA, born in 1820, married Nelson PURDY of Oxford, died at Green Spring, O., August 20, 1895.
CORNELIA LUCEBA, born in 1825.
About the year 1800 Peter and John Dodge, with their sister, Ruth, left their Vermont home and came to Oxford to reside with their uncle, Solomon Dodge. Peter married Matilda SHELDON. Their children, all born in Oxford, were: Otis, Lyman, Eliza, married James CARPENTER, born in Exeter, Otsego county. They lived for several years on the farm above the village now owned by Edward B. BARBER, and in 1831 moved to Troupsburg, N. Y., and died there; Lucy, Nancy and Cornelia.
John Dodge married in 1801 Mary BURGHARDT, daughter of Peter Burghardt, and lived and died in Oxford. They first lived on Panther hill, and in 1806 settled on the farm on the east hill now occupied by Ward H. MOORE, a descendant. Mr. Dodge died September 4, 1847. Mary, his wife, died September 26, 1855. Children, all born in Oxford:
LUCRETIA, born June 17, 1803; died December 31, 1859; married Lyman ROOT, born October 13, 1798; died August 29, 1880.
SALLY, born June 17, 1806; married in 1833 Philo BURLINGAME. Moved to Cuba, N. y., where they both died and were buried in the Franklinville cemetery.
JOHN, born July 27, 1808; died October 5, 1869; married (1) June 4, 1834, Maria ALLEN, born March 27, 1813; died October 15, 1839. Married (2) October 16, 1842, Amanda C. SHELDON, born August 25, 1824. In 1906 still living. Child by first wife: Ella Maria, born May --, 1835; died in infancy. Child by second wife: Alice L., born May 1, 1844; married Lewis ROWE of Schoharie House, N. Y. Mr. Dodge held the office of sheriff of the county, and was a man prominent in local affairs, both in Oxford and Guilford.
PETER, born October 4, 1810; died October 23, 1839; married January 26, 1835, Mary P. LEWIS of Norwich; died February 5, 1896, in Cortland. She married (2) June 23, 1858, Colonel Ezra M. STRATTON of Roxbury, N. Y., who died October 24, 1876. Children of Peter and Mary (LEWIS) Dodge: Christianna O., born October 27, 1835; married February 21, 1855, D. D. SHEPARD of Oxford, and resides in Oxford. (Children, LaVerne and Addie L.) Anolia P., born May 23, 1837; married April 12, 1864, Richard T. HUSTED of Lisle. (Child, Lura F., born September 6, 1869; died in 1903.) Augusta P., born December 6, 1838; married May 9, 1857, Harry J. WATTLES of Lisle, N. Y. (Children, Mason D., Louis and Louise, twins.)
MARY ANN, born November 17, 1814; died December 17, 1889; married June 5, 1834, John MOORE.
LAURETTE, born June 30, 1818; died July 16, 1901; married April 7, 1841, Munson SMITH.
HARRIET N., born June 9, 1821; died April 21, 1886; married Charles B. MOORE.
JAMES, born November 9, 1824; died in infancy.
JAMES OSCAR, born August 25, 1830; died July 7, 1896, in Oxford; married (1) March 25, 1855, Elizabeth A. ROYS of Oxford, born January 16, 1837; died August 6, 1870. Married (2) October 26, 1871, Lavina B. HULL of North Haven, Conn. Child by first wife: Loyal I., married Addie L. STORK of Coventry. (Child, Elizabeth V.) Children by second wife: Margaret I., died in infancy; Mary Genevieve, married November 1, 1898, Arthur C. LEWIS; died May 11, 1901.
Job Willoughby, a very worthy man, was a pioneer who in the early part of the nineteenth century settled on the east side hill of Oxford. He encountered many incidents on his way to the new settlement by a blazed trail, and his struggles in the forest to establish a home. He followed agricultural pursuits for many years, and was strong in his devotions, loyal in his relationship to men and principles, and frank and open in all his utterances. Nothing is now known in regard to his wife. Children:
JOHN, lived and died in Oxford. Unmarried.
IRA, married Minerva COLSON of Poolville, N. Y., a lady much respected. After her death, which occurred May 20, 1864, at the age of 63 years, he then well advanced in age, went to Kansas, where he died. Their home for many years was on State street. Mr. Willoughby was very eccentric, and for a long period was "the town fiddler," whose services were frequently required for dances, also for picnics at Lake Warn, when that resort was very popular and reached by canal. His favorite song, which he used to sing to his own violin accompaniment, was:
Children of Ira and Minerva (COLSON) Willoughby: FREDERICK STANLEY MONTGOMERY, born about 1824; while a student in Oxford Academy, from 1838 to 1846, composed a poem of several cantos of much merit, entitled "The Indian Queen of Chenango," which was dedicated to his intimate friend, William H. HYDE, Esq. He graduated from Union College and then went South on account of delicate health, later became principal of a leading academy in Washington, D. C., where he also read law. Just as a brilliant career opened for him he died of yellow fever near Charlestown, Virginia, September 28, 1849, aged 25 years. ALFRED, possessing a genial disposition, located in Illinois, where he married and died October 16, 1867, in Nebraska City, aged 35. ELLEN MINERVA, married and went to Missouri, where she died, leaving one daughter. EDGAR RODNEY, enlisted during the Civil war, was a good soldier, but never returned. ROSALIE MARIE, married James COLEY, then a teacher in Oxford Academy. They moved to Iowa, where she died in her twenty-second year, leaving two daughters. Her husband, in 1905, was still living at the age of 83 years. A singular coincidence of the family of Ira Willoughby is that no two members of the family are buried in the same state.
RUSSELL W., resided on Butler street, then known as Red street. He also played the violin and followed the occupation of a carpenter. For many years he had a clock dial set in the siding of his house facing the street, which for the passerby or neighbor answered the purpose of a town clock. He had a peculiar faculty of calling to him any cat, however wild, which he could pick up and caress. His death occurred December 22, 1869, aged 55. Ruth, his wife, died February 28, 1862, aged 52 years.
JAMES, a wanderer for many years, finally returned home to die.
ZEBULON, moved to Cooperstown, where he died.
ALMIRA, married Reuben DOTY of Oxford.
Deacon John Perry, born in 1781 at New London, Conn., died suddenly in Oxford June 3, 1857. For more than two score years he had been a member of the Oxford Baptist church, and was one of the constituent members, and the last but one of the little band who first received fellowship as a church.
Deacon Perry's first wife was Mary WELCH of New London, Conn., whose death on April 21, 1830, was of a distressing character. At that time their residence was on Washington avenue, a little story and a half house on the site of the present residence of Millard C. LOOMIS, Esq. Ebenezer, their eldest son, was in his room and had taken down a gun preparatory for a hunting trip. Having forgotten that the weapon was loaded, he snapped the flint and its contents were immediately discharged. Mrs. Perry was in the garden and directly in range; the ball passed through the side of the house, struck the right arm of the unfortunate woman about four inches from the shoulder, passed through her body and lodged in the left shoulder. She fell to the ground and immediately expired. At her funeral, which was largely attended, Elder Jabez SWAN preached a sermon which took three hours to deliver.
Deacon Perry's second wife was Lydia ----, whose death occurred April 4, 1869, at the age of 77.
Children by first wife:
EBENEZER W., died April --, 1875, at Tuscola, Mich., aged 68.
JOHN, died suddenly November 1, 1896, in Tuscola, Mich., aged 74.
REUBEN F, died February 18, 1864, in Brooklyn, N. Y., aged 40.
LAURA, died March --, 1897, at Atlantic City, N. J. Married Dr. Augustus WILLARD of Greene. Child: Anna, married George W. CONNELY of Atlantic City, N. J. John died in New Jersey.
MARY, died January 27, 1905, in Greene. Married Addison Dudley ADAMS.
MARIA LOUISE, died March 4, 1903, aged 92, in Oxford; married Oliver RHODES of Oxford.
DORCAS, married Erastus MAIN of Friendship, N. Y.
FANNY, died March 26, 1881, aged 73. Married Palmer P. YEOMANS of Oxford. Children: Rufus P., married Electa NORTON; Fanny, died January 9, 1861, aged 16.
Hon. John Tracy, 6th, of Oxford has born at Norwich, Conn., October 26, 1783. His descent from Lieutenant Thomas Tracy of Norwich, Conn., was in this wise. His father was:
John the 5th, who married Esther PRIDE.
John the 4th, who married Margaret HUNTINGTON.
John the 3d, who married Margaret HYDE.
John the 2d, who married Elizabeth LIFFINGWELL.
John the 1st, who married Mary WINSLOW.
Mr. Tracy, with his father's family, journeyed on horseback at an early day to Columbus, this county. In 1805 he came to Oxford and was deputy clerk under Uri Tracy. Having pursued the study of law with Stephen O. RUNYAN, he was admitted in 1808 as an attorney in the Supreme Court, and commenced the practice of his profession in this village. His rulings in law were never reversed in the Court of Appeals. He was appointed examiner and master in chancery, and in March, 1815, received the appointment of Surrogate of the county. He was a member of Assembly in 1820, 1821, 1822, and 1826, and in 1821 again received the appointment of Surrogate, and in 1823 that of First Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, holding these office until 1833, when he resigned them. The legislature in 1830, made him a regent of the university, and in 1831 he was appointed Circuit Judge of the sixth district, but declined the appointment. In 1832 Mr. Tracy, then called Honest John, was elected Lieutenant-Governor, with William L. MARCY, Governor; and with him was re-elected in 1834 and 1836. In 1846 he was elected from Chenango county, with Colonel Elisha B. SMITH as his colleague, a delegate to the convention for revising the constitution, and was chosen president of that distinguished body, which had on its roll the names of Ira HARRIS, Ambrose L. JORDAN, Samuel J. TILDEN, Samuel NELSON, Charles O'CONNOR, and Michael HOFFMAN.
Mr. Tracy's interests in all good works for the permanent improvement and welfare of the village was repeatedly manifested, and the Academy, of whose board of trustees he was for years the president, and St. Paul's church, of whose vestry he was a member, and a warden at his death, will bear evidence to his worth in faithful and affectionate remembrance.
Mr. Tracy married August 5, 1813, Susan HYDE, daughter of Joseph Hyde, of Franklin, Conn., who died February 3, 1864, aged 76, survived but a short time by her husband, who died in the following June at the ripe age of four score years. They had one son and two daughters:
JOHN, born at Oxford, June 20, 1820, and was the seventh John in descent from Lieut. Thomas Tracy. He was drowned while skating on the Chenango river, December 24, 1829.
ESTHER MARIA and SUSAN ELIZA, twins, born April 9, 1816. The former married Henry R. MYGATT, Esq., and died June 25, 1895, in New York City. The latter married James W. CLARKE and died October 15, 1906, in New York City.