The clan MACFARLANE descended from one of the ancient Earls of Lennox. The ancestor was Gilchrist, the brother of Maldowen, or Malduin, third Earl of Lennox; the name of a descendant named Parlan being changed to Macparlan, and later to Macfarlane, originating the name of the Highland Clan. During the year 1488, in a war for the protection of their lands on the west shore of Lock Lomond, the Macfarlanes separated, forming a clan by themselves. They were numerous and powerful, but in the wars of the clans their chief was killed, they nearly destroyed, and many of the survivors fled to remote parts of the country. Andrew Macfarlane, who married into the STEWART and DARNLEY families, saved a portion of the clan from destruction, and recovered for them a part of their possessions. His son, Sir John Macfarlane, was made captain of the clan. A portion of the Clan Macfarlane at the time of their disposition settled in the north of Ireland, and changed the spelling of the name to McFarland.
Daniel McFarland and son Andrew, aged 28, were among a colony of Scotch-Irish who landed in Boston on the 4th of August, 1718. They settled in Worcester, Mass.
Andrew McFarland, son of above, married Rebecca GRAY, and they had three sons, William, James and Daniel. James married Elizabeth BARBOUR.
John McFarland, eighth child of James and Elizabeth (BARBOUR) McFarland, was born February 20, 1766, and resided for many years in Worcester, Mass. During the Revolution he was a drummer-boy, and later a member of Governor Thomas HANCOCK's bodyguard, a company of mounted men. After the war he became a blacksmith, married Abigail SPENCER, and had two sons, Ira Barbour and Lawrence, and one daughter, Anna, who married an ACKERMAN. He died at the residence of his son, Ira B., in Oxford, May 31, 1843, aged 76. His wife died July 13, 1831, aged 59.
Ira Barbour McFarland was born at Kinderhook Landing, N .Y., August 30, 1780. He married Polly FENTON, a daughter of Solomon Fenton, December 28, 1808. He came with his family into this section in 1816, and after living in poor circumstances at Sidney Plains and in Guilford, finally settled upon a piece of land about three miles below Oxford village on the west bank of the Chenango river. After his arrival here he taught school on Panther hill seven winters in succession. The same school was taught by his brother, a son, and four grandchildren, extending over a period of ninety years. Mr. McFarland cleared the forest land into a fine farm and reared a family of eight children. During his residence in Sidney he was considered one of the most skillful pilots on the Susquehanna in running lumber rafts to Philadelphia and Chesapeake Bay. The beggar for a crust of bread was never turned from his door, and the heart hungry for sympathy always found it in him. He was well read and a man of unusual breadth of understanding and judgment. Mr. McFarland died January 21, 1880, aged 91. His wife, who was a faithful assistant and shared her husband's troubles and hardships during his pioneer life, was his true companion as long as life lasted. She died January 29, 1866, aged 74. Their children, all born in Oxford, were:
EDWIN F., born November 6, 1809; a school teacher in Oxford and later in Concord, Ky., where he died December 12, 1857; married Abigail SIMMONS March 4, 1829, who died at Muscatine, O. They had six children, the youngest of whom, Henry B., came to Oxford at the death of his father to live with his Uncle Solomon. He was educated at Oxford Academy, became a telegraph operator, and is now train dispatcher of the M. & St. L. Ry. at Minneapolis, Minn.
ORSON L., born July 19, 1810; married Julia A. HOLMES and moved to Troupsburg, N. Y., where he died April 11, 1894. They had two children. After the death of his wife he married a second time.
PHILENDA, born May 5, 1813; died July 6, 1820.
BETSY E., born April 17, 1816; died at Norwich, December 28, 1850; married Cyrus HORTON, who died May 3, 1879. They had six children.
SUSAN M., born October 12, 1819; died -----; married Erastus BRIGGS, who died August 8, 1894, aged 83. They had six children, Oscar E., married Julia L. LOOMIS; Marion, married Liberal C. B. FISH; Elizabeth, married Samuel MOREHOUSE; has one daughter, Minnie; Ire E., married Mayme HASLEY; have two children, Hazel and Robert; Edwin R. D., married Laura H. ARNOLD; a minister of the M. E. church; has one daughter, Christina; Herbert A.
SOLOMON F., born July 12, 1828. He received his education at the Panther hill school and Oxford Academy. Farming not being to his taste, he went into a foundry at South Oxford with his brother-in-law, Cyrus HORTON, where he became expert at the business, and worked at the same in Addison, Norwich, and Sherburne. With the money thus earned he managed to pay his way through the study of medicine, and also through college. He studied with Dr. George DOUGLAS in this village, was licensed to practice by the Chenango Medical Society in 1854, and then located at Troupsburg Center, N. Y. After practicing two years he entered the B9139medical department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, from which he graduated in the class of '57, and returned to Oxford, where he became a successful physician and surgeon. On the 15th of May, 1851, he married Hannah B., daughter of Peleg B. FOLGER. In August, 1862, Dr. McFarland was commissioned Assistant Surgeon by Governor MORGAN, and assigned to the 83d Regt. N. Y. S. V. He was mustered into the service by Major LEE at Norwich and started at once to join the regiment. He was absent nearly three months and then was forced to resign on account of lack of physical endurance. He was present at the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. April 19, 1863, he was appointed by the President Surgeon of the Board of Enrollment for the 19th New York District, with quarters at Unadilla the first few weeks and afterwards at Norwich. He performed the arduous duties of that office for thirteen months, when continued ill health compelled him to resign from military service, and he again took up his professional work in Oxford. Mrs. McFarland died June 24, 1883, after a lingering disease, which she bore patiently. Her life was devoted to her family and she left remaining a noble record. On June 30, 1884, Dr. McFarland moved to Binghamton, where his reputation as an oculist became quite extensively known. In April, 1885, he married Addie L. CHAMBERLAIN. He died April 26, 1900. His children by his first wife were: Evalyn A., born at Troupsburg, N. Y., March 5, 1853; married Frank COWAN in October, 1883, and died November 6, 1883. Agnes P., born at Troupsburg, N. Y., October 20, 1854; now residing at Binghamton; unmarried. Francis H., died in infancy from injuries received in falling from a wagon while at play. Frank Hervey, born in Oxford in 1861; married November 9, 1887, Martha KENT of Lyons, N. Y., and is now an optician at Binghamton.
HENRY A., born May 15, 1831; married Sarah Jane HORTON, who died June 9, 1882. He practiced dentistry for many years in Oxford and then removed to Binghamton, where he also built up a large practice. He was also manager for many years while in Oxford of the Western Union Telegraph Company, at the time when the register printed the dots and dashes on long strips of paper and was read by the eye. It was on this cumbersome instrument that he received the news of the firing on Fort Sumpter. He died at the home of his brother, Charles A., on the old homestead, January 20, 1892. His children: Fred A., born December 30, 1867; now stenographer in the office of the solicitor of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company at Minneapolis, Minn.; married Martha L. McNAIR, and has one son, Arthur Henry. Jennie Elene, twin of Fred A., married Fred L. TITCHENER of Binghamton; died at Cortland February 8, 1902, leaving five children.
CHARLES ARTHUR, born August 13, 1833; died May 30, 1905; was the last survivor of the family, and always remained upon the old homestead. He held acceptably the office of supervisor, as well as minor town positions. He married April 9, 1856, Charlotte WEBB, with whom he lived in unbroken harmony for forty-five years. Mrs. McFarland died October 2, 1901. Their children are: Harriet, married Melvin B. STRATTON of South Oxford. Ira B., married Alice R. STRATTON October 21, 1885; resides in New York. Lottie, married I Vernon D. STRATTON, Esq., September 27, 1893; (children, Marion C., Margaret McF., died in infancy, and Hubert C.) Lillian, twin to Lottie, married Arthur E. CLINE June 2, 1906; residence Ogdensburg, N. Y.
Ishmael Nichols was among the early residents of the village of Oxford and came from Nooseneck, R. I., and was born April 5, 1766. His wife's maiden name was Lydia HOLL. His death occurred in Oxford in 1820, afar which his widow married ---- STEVENS. They lived with her son, Archibald Nichols, in a part of the house at the head of Albany street, now known as the George BROWN house. The children of Ishmael were: Archibald, married Betsey SHERWOOD; Spencer, Palmer, Gardiner, Sarah, married Levi SHERWOOD of Oxford; after a few years they moved to Illinois and both died there. William, studied medicine and practiced in Abington, near Scranton, Pa., where he died November 12, 1822. Alfred, followed agricultural pursuits at Addison, N. Y. Hiram, studied medicine with his brother, William, and practiced over fifty years at Clarks Green, near Scranton, Pa., where he died September 29, 1886.
Archibald Nichols, son of Ishmael and Lydia (HOLL) Nichols, was born June 14, 1787; place of birth unknown; died December 11, 1838, in Wellsboro, Pa.; married Betsey SHERWOOD, daughter of Levi Sherwood of Oxford. They moved to Wellsboro, Pa., about the year 1825, where he engaged in the lumbering business on West Branch of Pine Creek. While a resident of Oxford he owned the farm near Riverview cemetery, now known as the George BROWN place. Children:
LEVI I., born December --, 1809, in Oxford; died November 14, 1868, in Wellsboro, Pa.; married Sarah J. BROWN, daughter of Thomas Brown of Oxford, who died in Wellsboro, aged 84. Mr. Nichols was a fine musician, and while yet very young played the organ in the Presbyterian church. Like Mrs. Sylvia FOX TAINTOR, his cousin, he received his musical talent from the Sherwoods. He moved to Wellsboro about the year 1831, and became largely identified with the material interests of Tioga county. He was engaged in mercantile business with his brother Enos, and served a term as Associate Judge upon the county bench. He was the father of thirteen children, one of whom, Mrs. Sarah Nichols WILLIAMS, still resides in Wellsboro, and has in her possession a piano given her father by his grandfather, and which was the first one taken into Tioga county, Pa.
Lydia Maria, died in youth,, Enos A., unmarried; engaged in mercantile business with his brother Levi in Wellsboro; died at the age of 30 years. Mary E., married William BACHE, one of the prominent citizens of Wellsboro.
"The First Universalist Society in the town of Oxford," was organized July 8, 1833, at the west side district schoolhouse, in the village; Anson CARY and Luke METCALF were appointed moderators, and Daniel DENISON, clerk. Luke METCALF, Philip BARTLE, Daniel DENISON, Anson CARY, Oliver RICHMOND, Ira DODGE, Jabez ROBINSON, Thomas BROWN, and Henry BALCOM were the nine trustees elected; Charles PERKINS, clerk of the society; James PERKINS, treasurer, and Calvin COLE, collector. The earliest record of any meetings in the town is in the year 1833, of one conducted by Rev. George ROGERS in the hall of the old hotel on Washington park. Occasional services were held at the residences of Messrs. Bartle and Metcalf, and at the west side schoolhouse by Rev. Nelson DOOLITTLE, who came to Oxford in the fall of 1834, and remained here nearly four years. The present church edifice was erected in 1836 and '37, and was dedicated February 22, 1837 , the Revs. O. WINSTON, S. R. SMITH, N. DOOLITTLE, and M. B. SMITH officiating upon that occasion. The edifice cost about $3,000. The site was purchased by Henry BALCOM and Ira DODGE of Ethan CLARKE, and deeded by them to the society November 26, 1839, for $300.
During the year 1862 the ancient pulpit was replaced by one of modern style, and in 1870 sundry changes were made upon the building, which was lowered twenty-eight inches, and stone steps replaced the wooden ones that had extended the whole length of the front. Outwardly the church remains unchanged, but the inside was renovated and modernized in 1882; the body was transformed, the side galleries removed, and the pulpit placed opposite to where it had stood so many years; the pews remodeled, the floor newly carpeted, and the walls tinted. A new organ was purchased, which occupies a space near the pulpit. Seventeen memorial windows, rich in design, light the auditorium; one above the pulpit and circular in form is dedicated to the memory of Rev. and Mrs. John Temple GOODRICH by their son and daughter. About $1100 was expended in repairs. The rededication services were held November 22, 1882, Rev. D. BALLOU of Utica delivering the sermon.
On the 22d of February, 1887, occurred the fiftieth anniversary of the dedication, at which the sermon preached by Rev. S. R. SMITH at the dedication in 1837 was read, and Rev. D. BALLOU delivered a semi-centennial address, giving a historical sketch of the society. A bell was added to the church in 1887. For over fifty years Mrs. Sylvia (FOX) TAINTOR was organist and "played the melodies of devotion, the bridal march and the funeral dirge for almost two generations of her associates and companions."
The clergymen who have served the society as pastors are: Rev. Nelson DOOLITTLE, 1833-34; Rev. --- SKEEL, 1835; Rev. J. T. GOODRICH, 1836-1849; Rev. A. W. BRUCE, 1850-51; Rev. Charles E. HEWES, 1852-56; Rev. J. G. BARTHOLOMEW, 1856-58; Rev. A. J. CANFIELD, 1859; Rev. B. L. BENNETT, 1859-60; Rev. Daniel BALLOU, 1861-63; Rev. F. B. PECK, 1865-69; Rev. J. W. LaMOINE, 1872-74; Rev. R. F. KINGSLEY, 1875-77; Rev. J. M. CLARK, 1879-'80; Rev. Ure MITCHELL, 1881-85, and 1887-88; Rev. Amanda DEYO, 1889-91; Rev. Charles PALMATIER, 1892-93; Rev. L. M. CLEMENT, June, 1894-95; Rev. J. L. SCOBORIA, 1895-96; Rev. G. W. POWELL, 1900; Rev. O. R. BEARDSLEY, 1903, died May 25, 1905; Rev. H. L. RICKARD.
Rev. John Temple GOODRICH was born May 28, 1815, in Middlefield, N. Y. He came to Oxford and boarded in the family of Rev. Mr. DOOLITTLE, until his removal to Norwich in the spring of 1838. Mr. Goodrich preached his first sermon in pubic in this village and remained here some twelve years, where he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret W. BOLLES, daughter of Elias Bolles, Esq. Five children were born to them. Mr. Goodrich is supposed to have perished in the great Chicago fire. He registered at the Metropolitan Hotel in that city October 5, 1871, engaging a room for an indefinite period. On Sunday, the eighth, he was known to have been in his room up to the hour of retiring, and this was the last seen of him. The hotel burned early the next mooring.
General Ransom Rathbone, a man of rare social qualities, was born at Colchester, Conn., April 10, 1780, and came to Oxford in 1806. His father was an officer in the war of the Revolution. He was an enterprising man and carried on a large mercantile business on the corner now occupied by the residence of F. G. CLARKE. His store and dwelling were among the palatial buildings of that day. He also had a store in McDonough, under the charge of his son, Henry W. Rathbone. He owned a paper mill in that village, which in later years was burned.
General Rathbone came to Oxford when the urgent needs of a village in the full tide of a successful settlement, and hopeful for the future, required vigorous and enthusiastic men like him to take a part in its business and develop its resources. For more than a quarter of a century his personal history appears prominently blended with every important public enterprise. As one of the founders of St. Paul's church, and one of its vestry for twenty years; as trustee of Oxford Academy for a still longer term, and during its greatest trials; as a brigade major and inspector in active service on the frontier in the war of 1812, and as a friend and active promoter of the Chenango canal project, superadded to other public duties, he found full scope for the exercise of rare energy, industry, and public spirit. He was a lover of fine horses, always keeping them, and occasionally would hitch them tandem to his gig, driving to neighboring towns, and even to Utica in a day.
Among General Rathbone's chattels was a slave boy named Pomp, who was full of pranks and very mischievous. When his master had occasion to flog him, which was often, he would take him by the wool on the top of his head. One day Pomp thought he would get the better of the General for once so he had the wool shaved off clean on the crown of his head, and then stuck it on with wax. The next offense occurring soon after, the General got his rawhide and seized Pomp at the usual point, but much to his amazement it didn't hold, and Pomp danced off in high glee, shouting, "Oh, Massa Rathbone! youse snatched me baldheaded and I's an ole man now; 'cause I ain't got any wool on the top of my head." This prank of Pomp's gave him a reprieve from the rawhide for many days.
General Rathbone left Oxford in 1842, removing to Steuben county, where, amid the green ruins of the forest, he founded a village, which bears his name, and where he died July 17, 1861, at the age of 81. His wife, Catherine, daughter of Captain John FISHER, an Englishman, died July 27, 1857, at Rathboneville. Children:
WILLIAM R., who bore the title of Major, died July 9, 1972, in Elmira, N. Y.
HENRY W., died September 29, 1891, at Elmira. One son, James B., now resides in that city.
JOHN F., died unmarried October 28, 1865, at Woodbridge, Cal. His inheritance from his father of the love for fine horses was the cause of a terrible accident on the Canisteo river near Rathboneville. He had two high-strung horses hitched tandem to a cutter and invited Miss Jane JONES, a young society lady, to a drive on the ice. The river was frozen hard, and when at their highest speed in crossing a reef where the ice was thin, the forward horse broke through, but leaped across on to firmer ice. The rear horse also sprang upon the ice, drawing the cutter with its occupants into the opening at such an angle that the momentum threw the young lady head foremost under the ice. Mr. Rathbone seized her by her dress and cloak, but the latter unfastened and she disappeared from sight. Assistance was quickly at hand, but it was necessary to cut the ice in blocks of a rod long and float them under to move with the current one after another for two hours before reaching the body.
Major Oscar Henry Curtis, son of George and Nancy Curtis, born March 25, 1832, in the town of Norwich; died December 26, 1903 in Oxford; married June 6, 1866, Susan Elizabeth, daughter of John and Sarah (HOPKINS) VanWAGENEN.
Major Curtis spent his childhood on a farm at White Store, Norwich, working through the summer and attending school in the winter. At an early age he taught in district schools and later entered in the Gilbertsville Academy, where he prepared himself for Union College, from which he graduated in 1858. Soon after he came to this village and taught languages and higher mathematics in Oxford Academy. In 1860 he commenced reading law with Henry R. MYGATT, Esq., having studied in the interval of teaching under Henry VANDERLYN, Esq. He was admitted to the bar in May, 1861, and commenced the practice of law in this village. In 1862 he offered his services to the government and on July 29 was commissioned by Governor FENTON to raise a company for the 114th Regt. N. Y. S. V., and immediately transformed his office into a recruiting station, raising the first company in that regiment, and going to the front commissioned a captain. By the death of Col. SMITH in 1863, Captain Curtis was promoted to the rank of Major, and served in that capacity till the close of the war. He was an intrepid soldier and participated valiantly in all the hard fought battles that the regiment was engaged in, and happily escaped without wounds. When Lieutenant Colonel MORSE was wounded at Sabine Cross Roads, Major Curtis commanded the regiment, and also after the fall of Colonel PerLEE at Openquan he commanded the battalion under very trying circumstances. Twice he he (sic) held the position of Judge Advocate, once of a general court-martial under General DWIGHT, and again of a military commission under General EMERY. At the close of the war Major Curtis returned to Oxford and resumed his law practice. He was Justice of the Peace eight years from 1867, and in 1868 was elected Special County Judge, holding the office four years, and was Loan Commissioner three years. He represented Chenanago county in the Legislature in 1879 and '80, and did effective work in that body. For a decade previous to his decease he held positions in the United States Senate, his last position was in the office of the Secretary of the Senate. Major Curtis was prominently identified in the centennial of Oxford Academy held in 1894, and afterwards compiled and published a work on the celebration, a book that cost him much labor and pains, but one that proved interestingly valuable.
Jesse Brown, a native of Devonshire, England, was born December 27, 1807. His death occurred January 31, 1899, in this village. Mr. Brown and wife came to America in 1840 and first located in Preston near the NORTON farm. After residing for a time at Preston Corners they came to the farm in this town next south of the Halfway House, where they resided forty years, and where Mrs. Brown died February 17, 1888. In 1898 Mr. Brown, becoming physically helpless and enfeebled by age, disposed of his farm and removed into the village with his youngest daughter. Here he passed the remainder of his life in full enjoyment of sound mind and intellect. Children: William H., married and resides in Scranton, Pa. Lucy J., married Frank W. COMSTOCK, and resides in Oxford. Helen F., married Thomas KNIGHT, and resides at Oradell, N. J. Josephine J., resides at Oradell, N. J.; unmarried. Charles A., married and lives in Kansas City, Mo. Mary G., married A. W. COLONY, and resides in Madisonville, Pa.
Samuel Cole, born July 23, 1775, in Voluntown, Ct., died November 8, 1832, in Oxford; married December 20, 1798, Alice PULLMAN of West Greenwich, R. I., born June 22, 1783. Died January 21, 1858, in Sterling, Ill., and buried in Mt. Hope cemetery, Norwich, N. Y. Mr. Cole, accompanied by his wife and son Calvin, then a lad of 12, came from Sterling, Ct., in 1814 to Oxford and settled the farm now occupied by Clarence R. MINER. He put up a log house containing two rooms and clearing the land subdued the soil for agricultural purposes. The family was congenial, fond of entertaining, and soon became popular with their neighbors, though many lived at a distance.
One extremely cold winter's night, when the snow lay deep and drifted, three couples of young people started out for a straw ride to the Cole farm. Their conveyance, a rough sleigh drawn by a yoke of oxen, was slow of locomotion, but with the jest and mirth of youth, the time seemingly passed in a quick manner. While passing through a deep drift near their destination the sleigh was overturned and joking the party reloaded, when it was found the tongue of the sleigh was broken and could not be used. The sleigh was too heavy for the men to propel with their companions in it and all were forced to walk the remainder of the way. By shoveling and stamping the snow a path was made that the ladies could follow and in this way they finally reached the home of the Coles. They could not return to their homes until the sleigh was supplied with a new tongue, and the men accompanied by Mr. Cole went with lanterns into the woods to cut one. Neglecting to ascertain the correct measurements, they returned to the sleigh and then again entered the woods, and after many trials and vexations found a tree that would answer. Quickly felled and roughly hewn it was taken back to the house. The night was cold and bitter and the work had to be finished in the living room of the little log cabin. The stick reached from one side of the building to the other, and with the huge fireplace and the large old-fashioned bedstead, there was but scanty room for the company. But they accommodated themselves to the situation and enjoyed a social visit, notwithstanding the many inconveniences. There was but one drawing knife to work with to any advantage and as soon as one became weary with using it another would take it and the others worked with their jackknives. The men worked with a will and as in the course of natural events all things come to an end, so did their work upon the tongue, and it was fitted to the sleigh. It was roughly made, but could be used, and that was all that was necessary. In the meantime Mrs. Cole was preparing supper and had to make frequent visits to the pantry. In doing so she had to climb upon and walk across the bed. Potatoes were put in the ashes of the fireplace to roast, a large panful of doughnuts fried, biscuits made, and with brown bread and apple butter, she served a supper, when the men had finished their labor, that was heartily enjoyed. At a late hour the party started on their return trip and reached their destinations without further mishap.
Children of Samuel and Alice (PULLMAN) Cole:
CALVIN, born September 1, 1802, in Sterling, Ct.; died May 10, 1882, in Oxford. Married February 24, 1830, Fayette BALCOM of Oxford; died April 1, 1879, aged 71, in Oxford. Mr. Cole was a public spirited man, always interesting himself in national, state and home affairs. He served the county in the Legislature, the government in the revenue service and the town in various offices, which duties were faithfully performed. A friend to the cause of education he gave liberally in money and devoted much time to the interests of Oxford Academy, of which for twenty-eight years a trustee, and fourteen a president of the board, he was diligent in the discharge of his duties long after his personal interests in the school had ceased. His active services covered a time when no small amount of labor and personal inconvenience was required, being specially active in the erection of the buildings of the present Academy and the late boarding association. On the evening of July 17, 1884, the Cole fountain on the LaFayette Park, a memorial offering of the sons of Calvin and Fayette Cole, was presented to the town. The presentation address was made by Irving J. Cole, son of John C. Cole, of Troy; the acceptance on behalf of the village trustees by Dr. D. M. LEE; the dedicatory by Wm. H. HYDE, Esq., and a poem by Miss L. A. BALCOM was read. The park was handsomely illuminated with Chinese lanterns, the hotels and business places brilliantly lighted and decorated. A large throng was present to witness the exercises, which were of a very interesting order. Three sons were born to them: Augustus, married October 9, 1856, Frances M. DAVIS of Poughkeepsie; died February 8, 1892, in Oconto, Wis. (Child, Henry, resides in Oconto.) John Calvin, born in 1834; died suddenly March 28, 1888, at Troy, N. Y. Married (1) Lydia TOMLISON of Troy; married (2) Emma M. SMILEY of Germantown, pa. He went to Troy in 1854 and engaged in the insurance business, continuing until his death. (Child by first wife: Irving T., residence, Seattle, Wash.) Henry C., married October 22, 1873, Fanny O. STEWART of Chicago; died January 13, 1895 in Omaha, Neb. (Children: Fayette, Fannie, residence, Omaha.)
CHESTER CICERO, Chief Justice Supreme Court of Iowa, born June 4, 1824, in Oxford; married June 25, 1848, Amanda M. BENNETT of Oxford. Graduated at Oxford Academy in 1846; studied in Harvard Law School, 1846-8. Engaged in practice August 11, 1848; Judge and Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Iowa, 1864-76, then resigned and returned to practice; Dean of Iowa College of Law since 1892. Editor Western Jurist (legal monthly), 1866-81; edited annotated edition Iowa Reports (12 vols.). Children: Spencer C., born January 14, 1850; died August 20, 1851; William W., born August 15, 1852; died November 14, 1894; married Frances CHAPIN; Alice Gertrude, born December 7, 1854; married A. E. ATHERTON; Mary E., born March 6, 1857; married D. C. McMARTIN; Chester, born July 15, 1859; died August 18, 1862; Frank B., born November 9, 1861; married Ella JENKINS; Carrie S., born February 10, 1864; married J. R. HURLBUT.
PHEBE A., died April 4, 1890, in Sterling, Ill; married ---- TAYLOR.
WILLIAM H., resided in Baltimore, Md.
The first settlers in this town brought with them a religious culture and a love of religious institutions imbibed in their New England homes; and nearly contemporary with the first labor directed to the subjugation of the wilderness, religious services were held. As early as 1814 there were a number of persons of the Baptist persuasion in this vicinity who desired to form themselves into a church. On July 14, 1815, "The Oxford Baptist Church of Christ" was organized in what was called the McNEIL school house, a half hour walk below the present church edifice. August 17, the council of recognition met in a neighboring grove and recognized sixteen persons, among whom was Mrs. John McNEIL, Nathaniel HAVENS, Mrs. Clara HAVENS, Daniel TRACY, Jr., Mrs. Polly TRACY, John DODGE, Mrs. Betsey GIFFORD, Mrs. Abigail HACKETT, John HULL, Mrs. Hannah HULL, John PERRY, Mrs. Mary PERRY, Hial TRACY and Mrs. Susan TRACY. The organization grew rapidly and within three years had a membership of 103. The congregation worshiped in school-houses or private dwellings till 1833, when a church building was erected and dedicated January 9, 1834. Elder Jabez S. SWAN, subsequently pastor, preached the dedication sermon. This church has served as a feeder of other Baptist churches. The church was remodeled in 1857, the old-fashioned box seats changed to a more modern style, and the pulpit moved to the opposite end of the church. Again in 1879 the church was more extensively remodeled. The audience room is a model of chaste beauty and its seating capacity is three hundred. The horseshoe gallery will seat one hundred and fifty. The wainscoting is of ash and cherry alternate, and the slips are of ash, trimmed with black walnut. All the wood-work in the rooms mentioned is finished in oil. The windows are of stained glass, tastefully designed, and the pulpit platform extends into an alcove. Rising above this platform in the rear is an open baptistery, presenting to the eye in raised letters the words: "Buried with Him in baptism." The orchestra is at the right of the platform. A new pipe organ was installed in November, 1904, at a cost of $12,000.
The following has been the succession of pastors and dates of settlement: Levi HOLCOMB, 1819; Nathaniel OTIS, 1825; Robert ADAMS, 1832; Washington KINGSLEY, 1833; J. D. F. BESTOR, 1838; Jabez SWAN, 1839; Elisha G. PERRY, 1842; Geo. W. STONE, 1844; Wm. S. SMITH, 1848; Elijah BALDWIN, 1851; Nathaniel RIPLEY, 1853; W. T. POTTER, 1857; L. E. SPAFFORD, 1864; A. REYNOLDS, 1870; John C. WARD, 1873; R. A. PATTERSON, 1875; W. R. BALDWIN, 1877; L. F. MOORE, 1882; B. F. WILLIAMS, 1886; P. D. ROOT, 1887; L. T. GIFFIN, 1889; Curtis B. PARSONS, 1892, present pastor.
In 1814, when 16 years of age, Thomas G. Newkirk came to this village form Kingston, on the Hudson, intending to enter upon the study of law with his cousin, Henry VANDERLYN, Esq., but finally decided to engage in the mercantile business, and commenced as a clerk for Gen. Ransom RATHBONE. In the year 1831 he formed a partnership with Epaphras MILLER, which terminated in 1836, when he formed a partnership with his brother Warden, and traded a few years under the firm name of T. G. Newkirk & Co. He continued in business for a number of years, associated a portion of the time with his son, Frederick P., and Ward VANDERLYN. For many years Mr. Newkirk served St. Paul's parish as vestryman and as warden, and gained the utmost respect and confidence of the community. He died March 24, 1875, aged 76. In 1826 Mr. Newkirk married Elizabeth L., daughter of Capt. Frederick HOPKINS, who died Sunday evening, October 15, 1899, at the advanced age of 95 years and 6 months. Mrs. Newkirk was born at Derby, Conn., April 22, 1804, and came with her parents to Oxford three years later. At an early age she taught school near the present farm residence of I. P. FITCH, and was paid for her services half in money and half in grain. As was the custom she boarded around the district. She often related one experience where they had potpie for dinner, and which she and the family enjoyed and partook of freely. At the close of the meal she was asked what kind of potpie she had been eating. "Why, veal, of course," she answered. "Oh, no, that's woodchuck," was the reply. Mrs. Newkirk would laughingly say, that she immediately pushed back from the table, stepped into the yard and in a very short time had got rid of "that woodchuck potpie."
Mrs. Newkirk was one of the early students of Oxford Academy, and previous to her death was believed to have been the oldest living student of this institution. She was a devoted wife and mother, a faithful and consistent member of St. Paul's church, and a friend and neighbor in all that words imply. Children:
FREDERICK P., born April 24, 1827; married December 12, 1855, Phebe Arminda YALE of Guilford, N. Y., a direct descendant of Elihu Yale, founder of Yale University. For twenty years from 1853 he was in the mercantile business with Ward VANDERLYN and on the dissolution of the firm they purchased the WESTOVER farm. After three years Mr. VanDerLyn sold his interest to his partner, who still owns the property. Mr. Newkirk has served the town as supervisor and for several terms has been a justice of the peace. In 1905 Mr. and Mrs. Newkirk celebrated their golden wedding at which they received hearty congratulations from a host of friends at home and abroad. Nearly 600 guests were present. The reception was from 3 to 9 o'clock, after which Harrington's hall was opened and dancing participated in till a late hour. Children: Peter V., married Ada M. RANSOM of Montour Falls, N. Y. Clerk at First National Bank, Oxford. (One daughter, Elizabeth.) Frank B., married Carrie B. FOOTE of Oxford. Engineer on Lackawanna railroad, and resides at Cincinnatus. (One son, George Frederick.)
SARAH JANE, born May 12, 1830, died October 29, 1859, greatly mourned by her mother and friends.
Myron Robbins, a worthy colored man, came to Oxford about the year 1840 from Sherburne, where he was born in 1809. He died March 21, 1865. In 1842 he married Maria RANDALL of Oxford, born November 15, 1819; died July 28, 1879. Their children were born in Oxford, but one of whom survives: THERON H., served in Civil war and died at home within a few months after honorable discharge; FRANCES P., died at Delhi, December 28, 1897; married Marcus RANDALL, who died in Oxford several years previous; PETER A., resides at Delhi, unmarried; JANE C., died September 12, 1868, aged 16, in Oxford.
John Randall, better known as "Jack," father of Mrs. ROBBINS, married Julia A. CRAWFORD. She was a slave in the JEWELL family, and their marriage was a runaway match. Mr. Randall worked many years for the Jewells to earn his wife's freedom.
Captain Frederick Hopkins of Derby, Conn., accompanied by Solomon BUNDY of Huntington, Conn., came to Oxford in the summer of 1806, both on horseback. In the following spring he brought his wife and infant daughter, Elizabeth, in an old fashioned schooner drawn by a yoke of oxen with a horse in the lead, via Catskill and the old State road Captain Hopkins, while yet in his teens, served in the Revolutionary war, and was the last pensioner of '76 in Chenango county. An elder brother was on General WASHINGTON's staff and Mr. Hopkins had the honorable distinction of once dining with the Father of his Country. After the war he became a sea captain and on one of his voyages to the West Indies was captured by the French, losing his vessel and entire cargo. In 1814, when St. Paul's church was established in Oxford, he was elected senior warden and continued for many years faithfully to discharge the duties of that office. His death occurred June 23, 1855, at the age of 87. Captain Hopkins married (1) ---- PICKETT; married (2) Susan SMITH, who died June 16, 1858, aged 78.
Children by first wife:
ALISON, married January 25, 1820, Polly DICKINSON, of Oxford. Children: James, Andrew, Charles, Sheldon, Calena, married Jesse H. GIFFORD.
AUGUSTUS RUFUS, born February 10, 1779, in Derby, Conn.; died June 7, 1870, in Oxford; married Mary WILSON of Oxford, born January 16, 1804, died March 22, 1893. Children: Frederick, born May 15, 1836, married Phoebe COY (child, George F.); Susan C., died in infancy; James A., born May 22, 1844, married Maria TUCKER (children, George F., died in infancy, Nellie L., Anna M.)
CHARLES E., died January 16, 1864, aged 62; unmarried.
Children by second wife:
ELIZABETH L., married Thomas G. NEWKIRK.
JOHN F., died July 4, 1893, in Oxford, aged 87; married (1) Julia BEARD; married (2) Jane E. LOBDELL, who died February 22, 1895, in Oxford.
SARAH A., married John VAN WAGENEN, November 13, 1833, born December 12, 1807, died December 26, 1886.
SUSAN, died in early womanhood.
Solomon Bundy accompanied Capt. Frederick HOPKINS on horseback to Oxford on that summer day in 1806, and with him put up at the tavern kept by Erastus PERKINS. The following day was Sunday and the travelers were out early viewing the town. Returning to the house they were approached by a guest, who said: "Gentlemen, I see you are strangers in our little hamlet and I would be pleased to have you take a drink with me." They acquiesced and the hospitable citizen soon took his departure. The traverlers were quite anxious to learn the name of the man who was so considerate of them, and inquired of the landlord: "Who is the gentleman with the black coat and white cravat whom we have had the pleasure of meeting?" "Why, that is our Presbyterian minister," replied Mr. Perkins. "He is doing excellent work in the ministry, and I assure you he would be pleased to have you attend his meeting to-day." They attended. Monday morning the travelers rode over the east hill to look at a farm of 200 acres owned by Gerrit BURGHARDT, which they purchased. The following spring they moved their families on the farm and lived for a year or more in the same dwelling, for many years thereafter known as the Capt. Hopkins' house. When Mr. Bundy and family moved from there, it was into a new house a quarter of a mile nearer the village, the same, with many alterations now occupied by W. J. REDMOND. Mr. Bundy died February 24, 1851, while on a visit to his son, Oliver T., at Windsor, N. Y. Jane FRASER, his wife, who was a native of Huntington, Conn., died August 22, 1846, aged 70. Mrs. Bundy was very fond of children and delighted in entertaining them. She had a way of roasting apples and potatoes for them in ashes covered over with live coals in the kitchen fire-place, and when done they tasted better than any prepared at home. She had a way too of getting the butternut and beechnut meats for them that none ever tasted quite as good elsewhere. Children:
OLIVER T., born January 31, 1801; died January 9, 1874, in Deposit, N. Y. Married Lydia SMITH of Wellsboro, Pa. Practiced medicine in Deposit.
RACHEL, born May 14, 1803; died August 15, 1866, in Oxford. Unmarried.
JANE MARIA, born September 17, 1805. Married Rev. James NOBLE and moved to Iowa, where she died.
NATHAN, born July 22, 1807, in Oxford; died May 3, 1846, in Harford, N. Y. Married Hannah HAWKS.
AMELIA, born August 27, 1811, in Oxford; died October 29, 1851, in Oxford. Unmarried.
PHILO, born February 10, 1814, in Oxford; died June 1, 1901, in Oswego. Married (1) in 1842, Margaret A. BURT, who died in 1868. Married (2) IN 1870, Catherine VanDYCK, who died in 1899. Had five daughters by first wife, and one by second wife. He was educated in Oxford Academy and taught several terms in the common schools. In 1838 he went to Oswego and engaged in the grain trade. In 1862 was made a paymaster in the U. S. army with the rank of Major. Was also deputy collector of the Port of Oswego.
SOPHIA LOUISE, born June 30, 1816, in Oxford; married George MANWARING and moved to Iowa. Died August 20, 1891 in South West City, Mo.
EDWARD AUGUSTUS, born November 6, 1819, in Oxford; died May 13, 1892 in Oxford. Married (1) Esther SHAPLEY; married (2) Eliza BURLISON. Resided on the homestead for many years. Came to the village and for several terms was a civil magistrate.
SOLOMON, born May 22, 1823, in Oxford; died January 13, 1889; married (1) June 28, 1846, Roxanna HITCHCOCK of Oxford; born December 25, 1821; died July 28, 1848. Married (2) Elizabeth A. McGEORGE of Oxford, born October 20, 1827. Resides at Grand Rapids, Mich. Mr. Bundy was the first child baptized in the Presbyterian church. His early life was spent in working on the farm during the summer season. He received a common school education, which was liberally supplemented by his private studies and extensive readings. Soon after his second marriage he removed to the village and engaged in the boot and shoe business, and later entered the law office of James W. GLOVER as a student. While pursuing his studies he held the office of justice of peace and clerk of the Board of Supervisors. Admitted to the bar in 1859, he soon formed a law partnership with Horace PACKER. In 1862 he was elected District Attorney of Chenango county, and in 1876 was elected to the Forty-fifth Congress.
Child, by first wife: ELIZABETH R., now practicing medicine in Philadelphia.
Children by second wife: NATHAN A., married Ella M. HULL of Oxford. Now resides in Philadelphia. Children: Elizabeth, married Joseph A. CULBERT of Philadelphia; Kate, married Daniel BURKE, Esq., of Brooklyn; Agnes, married James H. MILLHOUSE of Buffalo, N. Y.
McGEORGE, married Mary G. HOLLISTER, now practicing law in Grand Rapids, Mich. Children: Nathan Hollister, born May 18, 1886; Harvey Hollister, born March 30, 1888; Frederick McGeorge, born January 4, 1900.
Isaac Sherwood, a native of Connecticut, was born in 1768. At an early age he moved to Oxford and began the practice of law, in which profession he rose rapidly. He held the office of judge of the county, was justice of the peace for a long term of years, and was supervisor of the town for a number of years. Later he embarked in the mercantile tailoring business in this village, and also became a large land owner. He married a Miss SMITH, a native of Connecticut. Children: Samuel S., and Rebecca.
Samuel S., married Catherine BESSAC, a native of France. She was descended from a long line of French ancestry, who were known in history for their chivalry and important services rendered the French government. After clerking for some time in his father's store, his father gave him a fine farm, still known as the Sherwood farm above the W. R. C. Home. He immediately moved upon it and followed agricultural pursuits the rest of his life, and through energy and good judgment made a successful farmer. He died in 1846. Mrs. Sherwood died October 6, 1821, aged 34. Children: John, Mary, Harriet, Catherine, married James BENNETT; Isaac S.
Rebecca, married (1) Charles DENISON of Oxford; married (2) John JUDSON of Oxford; married (3) --- HOXCIE.
Issac S. Sherwood, son of Samuel S. and Catherine (BESSAC) Sherwood, born September 18,1816, in Oxford; died January 13, 1898, in Oxford; married September 12, 1837, Abigail TIFFANY of Sherburne, N. Y., born in 1817; died in 1896 in Oxford. Mr. Sherwood was born upon the farm upon which he lived and died. In his early days, being an excellent penman, he accepted a position to copy deeds and legal papers and to settle estates; he also became a prominent figure in the courts, being clerk for different lawyers. For a few years he clerked in a village store, but later devoted his attention to farming. During a long term of years he was a popular auctioneer of farming and household goods, his ready wit and free command of language making him a successful dealer in that line of trade. He invariably looked upon the humorous side of life, and his reputation as a wit and eccentric character was more than local. He seldom wrote in a serious vein, as was frequently illustrated by advertisements, auction bills, and rhyming notices that were posted at the watering trough near his residence, also the original mottoes that adorned the walls of his home. Mr. Sherwood was a true sportsman, expert with gun and rod. During the latter years of his life he devoted much time to the collection of native birds, which he himself skillfully mounted, and to which was added many rare and foreign birds, contributed by friends. In June, 1896, he presented this large and valuable collection to Oxford Academy. Mr. Sherwood received his education at Oxford Academy. He was popular in town and county, and was a member of Oxford Lodge, No. 175, F. & A. M. He was elected supervisor of the town and a trustee of Oxford Academy several years. His later days were spent in quiet retirement from active labor, and his passing was felt by the community at large. His burial was beside his wife on a high knoll upon the farm, which commands an extensive and beautiful view up and down the Chenango valley.
Dwight Morgan Lee, M. D., was born at Georgetown, Madison county, January 25, 1843. His father, Rev. Hiram W. Lee, D. D., was a Presbyterian clergyman; and the early education of the son was obtained at Cincinnatus Academy. In 1863 he graduated from Hamilton College, Clinton, from which he received the degree of A. B. He began to read medicine in 1861, at Earlville, under Dr. D. J. RESSEGIEU; attended two courses of lectures in the Medical Department of the University of New York, and at Albany Medical College, graduating from the latter, December 27, 1864. He immediately entered the army as assistant surgeon by brevet, and remained until mustered out of service in August, 1865. The following month he commenced the practice of medicine at Smithville Flats, remaining till March, 1867, when he came to Oxford, continuing his practice successfully till his death, which occurred October 5, 1895.
Dr. Lee was a member of the Chenango County Medical Society; the Medical Association of Central New York, and the Medical Society of the State of New York. Was one of the original pension examiners; president of the corporation, 1881-7 and 1892; past master and past high priest of Masonic lodge and chapter, and a member of the Commandery. In later years he gave special attention to diseases of the eye and ear.
Dr. Lee married in 1866, Elizabeth E., daughter of John R. and Susan S. (HOUGH) GLEASON. Children: Charles D., married Johanna BAYER of Breslau, Germany; Hiram A., died in infancy; Zaida B.; and Walter C.
In the spring of 1850 a number of enterprising citizens joined in raising a fund for the purchase of a town clock, which, during the month of May was placed in the tower of the old Episcopal church on Fort Hill, by Messrs. HOPKINS & MILLARD of De Ruyter, at a cost of $265. It remained there until 1864, when the church was taken down. In 1867 a tower was built on the Fort Hill block for the clock and a fire bell. In 1887 the works became worn and the clock ceased running.
On the evening of August 8, 1902, The Ladies' Village Improvement Society, having procured a new clock at a cost of $650, presented it to the village at a lawn fete held on Fort Hill. The Citizens Band was present and rendered some of their most choice music. Nathan P. STANTON, Esq., in behalf of the ladies made the presentation speech, and Hon S. S. STAFFORD, in behalf of the village accepted the gift in a few well chosen words. An excellent supper was served and a delightful evening was spent.
The most of the old settlers who came here during the early part of the nineteenth century were poor in pocket, but, possessed of an unlimited amount of energy and perseverance, and having faith in the country, "stuck it out," and were successful. Among them were Nehemiah Smith, the third of that name, a native of Lyme, Conn., who settled on Fort Hill in this village in 1801. He was a carpenter and cabinet maker, which vocation he pursued till his death in December, 1835. Elizabeth (GEE) Smith, his widow, died in 1858. Children:
ERASTUS, married Sophia McNEIL; died in Buffalo, October 26, 1847.
SUSAN, developed into a beautiful girl, and while in young womanhood started alone on a lengthy journey. She was never again seen by her family, although traced to Utica, nothing definite was ever known in regard to her fate.
SALLY, married (1) --- PEABODY; married (2) Asa SHELDON. Died in Oxford. Child by first husband: Susan C. Peabody. Married David L. SHERWOOD of Oxford.
FANNY, married John CROSIER; died January 20, 1886, aged 73, in Buffalo. Child: Fanny, died in infancy.
ESTHER, married William TERREL; died July 26, 1876, aged 72, in Buffalo. Child: James, died May 12, 1906, aged 80 years; married Alinda CRANNELL.
EUNICE, died in Oxford. Unmarried.
NANCY, married Stephen BENTLEY; died in Ellicottville, N. Y. Children: Ada, Burr, Anna.
ABIGAIL, married William SHERWOOD of Oxford; died August 21, 1850, in Norwich.
NEHEMIAH, 4th., married Susan GORDON of Oxford; died June 14, 1873. Children: Jane, died December 26, 1901; married John THURBER; (their children: Elizabeth, married Warren SMITH; Ida, married George KETCHUM; Minnie, married Delbert JENKS; Dell R., married Jennie SHARP; Guerdon, died unmarried). Sophia E., born October 19, 1828, married Hiram D. WALWORTH, died December 3, 1905. (Children: Louise W., married Edward B. LOOMIS; Susie E.) Margaret, died in 1856, unmarried. Almira, married LaFayette BRIGGS. (Child: Margaret E., married G. B. BRETZ of Brooklyn.) Nehemiah, 5th, married Sarah BARR. (Children: George, N. Y. C. R. R. mail agent; Charlotte; Matilda, married Frank ROOT; Elizabeth.)
JAMES, died in New Orleans. Unmarried.
CHARLES, died in California. Unmarried.
BETSEY, died in 1836, in Oxford. Unmarried.
Frederick Greene came at an early date from Dutchess county and located in Oxford. He married Sopia BALDWIN, daughter of Jonathan and Parthenia (STANFORD) Baldwin. His death occurred August 13, 1846, in Oxford. Mrs. Greene died July 22, 1885, at Grand Rapids, Mich.
HARVEY M., born November 23, 1837, commenced the practice of medicine in November, 1868, and in January, 1870, removed to Grand Rapids, Mich. December 12, 1872, he left that city for Dutchess county to be married and stopped in New York to transact business, where he was stricken with apoplexy and died on the 17th of that month.
BRADFORD G., born April 16, 1839, in Steuben county; died suddenly December 6, 1896, at his residence on Clinton street, now owned by Dr. Chas. B. PAYNE. Married September 7, 1870, Marania SISSON of Norwich. Children: Frederick B., married Minnie A. HOWARD; Harry, resides at Greenfield, Mass.
Mr. Greene was public spirited and untiring in his devotion to public improvement. Upon finishing his education at Oxford Academy he entered the office of Dr. ECCLESTON to learn dentistry. In October, 1861, he enlisted in the navy, being assigned to duty as surgeon and Steward on the gunboat Port Royal, and afterwards in transport service. In 1863 he entered the merchant marine, where he continued two years, serving under his flag at many European stations, principally in the Mediterranean. In 1865 he returned to Oxford and resumed dentistry, which he continued a short time, and was soon after engaged at the jeweler's bench in the store of H. H. CADY. A year later COVILLE & MOORE succeeded Mr. Cady, and Mr. Greene continued with them for about sixteen years, in the meantime taking the ticket and express agency for the N. Y. O. & W. R'y., and subsequently adding the coal business. Mr. Greene had an agreeable disposition, enjoyed hearing and telling a good story, in which he was an adept; and had a good word for everyone and everywhere. He was an active member of Breed Post, G. A. R., and also of Oxford Lodge, F. & A. M. He was one of the incorporators and a director of the Excelsior Mutual Insurance Company. He was largely instrumental in procuring the adoption of the Union Free School system and the passage of the necessary resolutions to provide for the erection of the building. He was appointed postmaster under the administration of Benj. HARRISON, which position he occupied four years and eight months.
CHARLES F., born January 4, 1842; Corporal Co. H., 114th Reg't., N. Y. S. V., during Civil war. Killed at battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864.
CLARA C., graduated from Oxford Academy and taught nearly thirty years in the Grand Rapids, Mich, public schools. She left her home July 2, 1903, in that city, and for several days the mystery surrounding her disappearance was not cleared until her body was found in the suburbs of the city behind a piece of underbrush. Indications pointed that death was due to poison taken with suicidal intent. The body was cremated and the ashes sent to Oxford and placed within the grave of her mother.
Gerrit Huybert Van Wagenen, son of Huybert and Angenietje (Agnes) VREDEN BURGH Van Wagenen, born at No. 5 Beekman slip, now 33 Fulton street, New York, January 21, 1753; died November 20, 1835, in Oxford; married March 11, 1783, Sarah, daughter of Derick and Rachel (VanRANST) BRINKERHOFF, born November 5, 1764, in New York; died December 9, 1833, in Oxford.
Gerrit Van Wagenen was a Revolutionary soldier and received the appointment of second lieutenant in the 8th company commanded by Captain John QUACKENBOS, in Colonel McDOUGAL's regiment, being the first regiment in the New York State troops. He left New York in August, 1775, with part of the regiment for Canada, and participated in the storming of Quebec in the columns of General MONTGOMERY. He remained in Canada till May, 1776, when he returned to New York in charge of prisoners whom he was ordered to take to Philadelphia. Returning to New York and finding the British were landing on Long Island, he offered his services to General SULLIVAN, and was sent by him with four other officers to the Jamaica pass. The entire party was captured, and he was held as prisoner twenty-two months, when he was exchanged. He then received an appointment in the department of Commissary of Prisoners, with the pay and rations of a major, which office he held three years, being stationed most of the time at Fishkill and West Point. After the war he engaged with his father in the hardware business in New York, which the latter had carried on at No. 5 Beekman slip since 1760. This was dissolved May 1, 1791, and he continued the business by himself, and afterwards with his son Hubert, till about 1820, when it was sold out to others. He was a vestryman of Trinity church from 1808 to 1811. In 1821 he removed to Oxford, where he established the first hardware store in the south end of the HOTCHKISS House. He subsequently built and occupied a store on Washington park. He was largely engaged in the purchase and sale of land,, and at his death owned about two thousand acres between the Chenango and Unadilla rivers. Mr. Van Wagenen built on Lyon brook, then affording a good water power, a grist mill, carding, or woolen mill, and a saw mill. At the time of his removal to Oxford his household goods and merchandise were brought on sloops up the North river and carted over the Catskill mountains to Oxford. Bishop HOBART, one of the early pioneers of the church and whose diocese was the entire State of New York, was an intimate friend of the family and was accustomed to make his headquarters at their home, and from there made his visitations to the surrounding parishes. Mr. Van Wagenen was a liberal contributor to all religious and public enterprises. By his will he established the Van Wagenen missionary fund for the support of a missionary of the Protestant Episcopal church in the county of Chenango, and the Van Wagenen cemetery was bequeathed to St. Paul's church of Oxford.
RACHEL, born October 5, 1783, in New York; died May 8, 1839, in New York; married in 1811 Tyler MAYNARD, an attorney-at-law, who died in 1817 in the West Indies.
HUBERT, born February 3, 1785, in New York; died October 31, 1852, in Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; married March 20, 1808, Mary WHEELER of Red Hook, N. Y.
RICHARD and GERRIT, twins, born November 22, 1786; died in infancy.
AGNES, born December 12, 1787, in New York; died February 13, 1868, in Oxford; married June 18, 1822, in Oxford, Erastus PERKINS.
SARAH, born July 4, 1791, in New York; died in infancy.
WILHELMINA MARIA, born March 24, 1793, in New York; died November 2, 1873, in Oxford; unmarried.
SARAH BRINCKERHOFF, born December 20, 1794, in New York; died December 21, 1878, in Oxford; unmarried.
CATHERINE, born October 2, 1796, in Newtown, L. I.; died February 14, 1886; unmarried.
RICHARD, born October 8, 1798, in Newton, L. I.; died September 27, 1837, in St. Josephs, Mich.; unmarried.
GERRIT, born November 6, 1800, in New York; died September 17, 1835, in New Brunswick, N. J.; married March 17, 1835, Anna C. PIERREPONT of Brooklyn, N. Y.
WILLIAM, born July 26, 1802, in New York; died December 6, 1864, in Oxford; married January 8, 1840, Ursula A., daughter of James A. and Ann (BRADLEY) GLOVER of Oxford; died May 24, 1887, in Oxford. Children: John Richard, born November 9, 1841; married December 26, 1872, Clara L., daughter of George W. and Clarissa (WHITMORE) LESTER of Binghamton, N. Y. Mr. Van Wagenen was supervisor of Oxford in 1868, elected county treasurer in 1872, and is now president of the First National Bank of Oxford; (children, Helen M., William Lester, Henry Tracy, Florence, Harold W. and Ursula). James G., born December 1, 1845, in Oxford; married April 9, 1867, Mary E., daughter of Stephen H. and Mary (GILLMAN) MILLARD of Oxford; he was in service in the Civil war in Co. L, 20th N. Y. Cavalry, which was the advance regiment into Richmond at the surrender; (child, Anna M., married Jared C. ESTELOW of Oxford). Anna G., born September 24, 1853; died in infancy. Mary E., born February 21, 1857; married August 25, 1886, William W. LESTER of South Norwalk, Conn.
JOHN, born July 28, 1804, in New York; died July 2, 1846, in Oxford; married November 13, 1833, Sarah A., daughter of Captain Frederick and Susan (SMITH) HOPKINS of Oxford, born December 12, 1807; died December 26, 1886, in Oxford. Children: William Hubert, born November 11, 1837; married January 21, 1874, Anna L., daughter of Jacob and Sarah J. SELDEN of Williamstown, N. Y.; in drug business twenty-seven years in Oxford; residence Rome, N. Y.; (children, all born in Oxford, Sarah Louise, Grace S., married Arthur F. CARPENTER of Rome; Nellie E.). Susan Elizabeth, married June 6, 1866, Major Oscar Henry CURTIS of Oxford, who died December 26, 1903.
Solomon Kinney died November 14, 1839, in Oxford. He married (1) Grace WISE, a native of Connecticut; married (2) Phila GIFFORD.
Samuel Kinney, only child of Solomon and Grace (WiSE) Kenny, married Amelia CRUMB of Stonington, Conn. He died April 3, 1847, and his wife's death occurred December 22, 1865. Their children were: Charles Albert, Susan, Mary Mead, Samuel Wise, and Jane Elizabeth.
Samuel Wise Kinney was a prominent and well-known farmer of Oxford, where he resided during his lifetime. He was born June 5, 1821, and died June 6, 1894. Mr. Kinney was twice married; his first wife was Sophia SYMONDS of Oxford, born January 11, 1819; died November 25, 1864. His second wife was Mrs. Huldah (SEELEY) JEFFORDS, who survives and resides in a western state. Children by first wife: HENRY, died June --, 1883; married Frances M. ROWLEY of Guilford. FRANCES, married Archilaus HAYNES of Colesville, N. Y. ISABELLA, died April 8, 1851, in infancy. WARD, married Helen MINOR of McPherson, Kan., where he resides. CHARLOTTE, married Edgar W. EDMUNDS of Oakville, N. Y., and resides on the old homestead.
Few incidents in the past attracted so much attention as that of the muster of the local citizen soldiers at "general training," or drills and muster under the militia system. The event was looked forward to with pleasure, as it gave the men a chance to meet old acquaintances, and the boys to invest their pennies in the inevitable gingerbread. The companies, glittering with tinsel and flaunting with feathers, were duly paraded through the maneuvers on "the green," much to the satisfaction of all emancipated school boys and idlers.
The militia consisted of all able-bodied white male citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. Among those exempt from military duty were clergymen, school teachers, students in colleges or academies, and members of fire companies; though in cases of insurrection or invasion all but clergymen and teachers could be called upon.
Each militia company was obliged to assemble for training on the first Monday in September; and between September 1 and October 15, at a place designated by the commander of the brigade, the regiment was directed to assemble for one day's general training. Each militiaman was personally notified of an approaching muster, and failure to appear or to bring the necessary equipments resulted in a court-martial and a fine, unless a satisfactory excuse could be given. Those who could not pay were imprisoned in the county jail. The military spirit that existed in those days was a prominent feature of the country in general. Many that gathered every fall at "general training" had seen active service in the Revolutionary war. Almost every large town had its militia company, but in Oxford they had an artillery company and a cannon. Simon TROOP was the captain, and with his sword, epaulets, black feather, black coat trimmed with red, and red topped chapeau, he appeared to the youth of that day greater than any king or potentate. Peter Sken SMITH, soon after he came to Oxford, entered into the spirit of the community and raised the first company of riflemen in the county, which in a short time developed into a battalion, and for several years were applauded for their military bearing. About the same time, Wayne BERRY of Preston was captain of a cavalry company that looked very attractive and valiant. They appeared at the yearly musters at Oxford and Norwich, but the horses, excepting the captain's, looked as though they enjoyed the harrow and plow much better than the military ordeal to which they were subjected, especially late in the day, when the captain always showed himself on his favorite steed to the terror of all beholders.
The place of meeting for muster was designated by the commanding officer, and the sale of spiritous liquors on the grounds could only be carried on by special permission of this officer. Total abstinence was not the rule by any means, and any officer had the right to take a bottle from a private and destroy it, but the contents were usually stowed away about the officer's person and often the burden was rather heavy to carry conveniently.
At "general trainings" the regiment was made up of odd, ill-sorted, and ungainly men for the most part. Men from the back hills, who sometimes came in barefooted, carrying their books and militia outfit in a bundle; cobblers, tailors, and farm hands from neighboring hamlets, short, tall, fat, lean, bow-legged, sheep-shanked, cock-eyed, hump-shouldered, and sway-backed, equipped by art as economically, awkwardly, and variously as they were endowed by nature. The officers of the volunteer companies, on the other hand, were generally selected for their handsome appearance and martial bearing. There were also a few veterans of the war of 1812, who were noticeable for their precise bearing and contempt for their crude companions.
As before mentioned, the regiment assembled yearly for general training between September 1 and October 15, usually for one day, though sometimes they were on parade for a longer time. On one occasion they camped in Oxford for a week, and about forty officers' tents were pitched. On Monday and Tuesday the officers of the regiment met for drill. On Wednesday the uniformed militia, numbering 400, with nearly as many more without uniforms, met their officers for parade, inspection, and review. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the uniformed continued in the field, drilling and exercising. There were organized companies present from neighboring towns besides the Oxford companies. Stalwart Captain Zadoc ADAMS of the Rifle Brigade of Preston combined the greatest tact, skill, and pride in military evolutions, and the exhibition drill given by his company in uniforms of gray, and their military band, was an event not soon to be forgotten. Brigadier-General RATHBONE reviewed the militia; General DeFOREST the cavalry, and General Peter Sken SMITH the rifles.
On the occasion of a military review Major Benjamin RAY, a Revolutionary veteran, would come from Norwich in great state, accompanied by Captain HARVEY of Preston, a patriot of '76, to enjoy the events. The Major also had another comrade, Jason GLEASON, who was sometimes called "Bildad," whom he would, in the height of his excitement, enthusiastically punch in the ribs and exclaim, referring to General Peter Sken SMITH: "What eyes!" "Remember the battle of Monmouth, bub?"
Captain Wayne BERRY would loudly declaim on the fading glories of the past, and irreverently proclaim that certain judicial functionaries then on the bench should "withdraw" and give place to better men, by reason that "they could not stand so much popularity." "Perez, Perez!" he would proudly exclaim, "Old Wayne foots the bill; eat like a fattin' hog!" At the same time making an assault on the gingerbread stands and drawing from his pocket a well-filled purse, from which he promptly settled all bills.
Samuel Lewis, born May 20, 1744, in Voluntown, Conn., now a part of New London, came to Preston, N. Y., in the spring of 1804 with his wife and seven children. They made the trip in covered wagons and were a month on the way. He settled on Fly Meadow creek, on the farm occupied by his grandson, Samuel E., during his lifetime, now owned by Jerry SHARP. Samuel served in the Revolutionary war as a private in Captain Benjamin WEST's company in Colonel John TOPHAM's Reg't. (R. I.). He married Sarah EDWARDS, born August 18, 1750, and died May 1, 1831. Mr. Lewis died February 9, 1818, both having lived and died upon the farm which they settled.
Among the children who accompanied them was Clark, born February 20, 1778, in Rhode Island, and died October 27, 1853, in Preston. He married Mary WILLCOX of Exeter, R. I., who died November 21, 1855, in Preston.
EUNICE, born in Rhode Island; died May 19, 1873, aged 70, in Norwich; married Elnathan TERRY, whose death occurred June 25, 1866, in Norwich, aged 71.
MARY, born November 18, 1804, in Preston; died January 27, 1883, in Bainbridge; married Charles ECCLESTON of Preston.
STEPHEN, born August 7, 1806, in Preston; died January 20, 1892, in Oxford; married Aurilla ECCLESTON, born August 29, 1810, in Preston; died December 9, 1885, in Oxford. Children: Hiram E., born February 7, 1838; died March 22, 1880, in Oxford; married Jane WEBB. Henry C., twin to Hiram, died June 12, 1892, in Oxford; married Mercy EDMUNDS. Arvine S., married Sarah LOOMIS of Smithville; resides in Oxford.
CLARK, born December 23, 1808, in Preston; died July 31, 1893, in Oxford; married October 22, 1839, Mary STRATTON of South Oxford; born May 26, 1821, in South Oxford; died March 21, 1873, in Oxford. Children: George W., enlisted in the United States Navy August 15, 1862, for one year, and was discharged October 15, 1863. He enlisted from New York and first served on U. S. Bark "Arthur" from Pensecola, Fla., for about five months. Transferred to U. S. Bark "Anderson," for a time on blockade duty at Aransas pass, Texas. Married Olive A. BROOKS of Oxford, who died March 31, 1904. Marietta, married (1) J. B. JENKINS of Oneida; married (2) A. VAN EMBURGH of Ridgewood, N. J. Charlotte A., married Enoch Henry CURRIER, principal of the New York Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb.
Before coming to Oxford Clark LEWIS was for a few years engaged in the lumber business in Pennsylvania. In 1838 he came to Oxford and in partnership with his brother Stephen bought the grist and saw mill one mile south of the village. In 1850 he bought the plaster, grist, and lumber mill in the village, now owned by FLETCHER and CORBIN; here he did a large business, as he had a planing mill in connection with the plant. Before the Civil war he did a thriving business in plaster and employed many hands at the mill. During the winter months when the sleighing was at its height the farmers coming from neighboring towns, Morris, Unadilla, Sidney, and other outlying villages, would reach Oxford in the afternoon, trade at the stores, spend the night at the hotel, and in the early morning get their load of plaster and start for home. Up to the serious flood of 1865 he had prospered and acquired wealth, but the great losses he sustained in mill and stock from water damage ruined him, and he never recovered therefrom. Previous to this he erected the building known as the Lewis block, now owned by C. A. GILLMAN, T. C. PETTIS, and T. W. ROBINSON, on the third floor of which was a ballroom extending the whole length of the building. This ballroom was on several occasions the scene of large dancing parties, under the auspices of the Masonic fraternity and the firemen, and during the Civil war, luncheon was served in this same room to the 114th Regiment by the ladies of Oxford on their departure from and their return to the county. Mr. Lewis' residence was on Clinton street, now the home of C. O. WILCOX.
HANNAH, born November 21, 1810, in Preston; died February 23, 1900, in McDonough; married September 4, 1836, William R. BURDICK, born May 5, 1812, in Pharsalia, N. Y.; died March 3, 1893, in McDonough. He lived for some time in Oxford, where he learned the currier's trade in the MYGATT tannery. Children: Oresta L., married Rev. William L. HILLER; died November 6, 1901, in Parsons, Pa. Lewis Dayton, born in Guilford, N. Y.; was educated at Oxford Academy and Fairfield Seminary, Herkimer county. He entered Madison University, now Colgate, and completed nearly half the classical course when he left and enlisted in Co. K, 10th N. Y. Cavalry. He was commissioned second lieutenant with rank from September 30, 1862, but owing to protracted ill health resigned December 18, same year. Mr. Burdick taught public and private schools in Guilford, Otselic, Smithville, Earlville, and McDonough, and for some time was employed in the First National Bank of Oxford. He has written occasionally for publications since 1860 on literary, political, religious, historical, and oriental subjects. He is the author of several books, which have received many flattering notices form the leading journals of the country. His books have been published in the order named, viz.: Through Field and Wood, Foundation Rites, Magic and Husbandry, Oriental Studies, and The Hand. Mr. Burdick resides in Oxford, and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Folk-Lore Society, and Corresponding Member of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Sarah L., died June 9, 1875, in McDonough, unmarried. Mary E., married William Eber JONES and resides in Oxford. Erford W., married Charlotte BRUNDIGE of Gilbertsville, and resides in Chicago. Ellen H., died December 4, 1878, in McDonough, unmarried. Henry R., died in childhood.
SARAH, born July 24, 1813, in Preston; died January 3, 1814, in Preston.
SAMUEL, twin to above, died August 29, 1816, in Preston.
IRA W., deaf mute, born March 16, 1815, in Preston; died suddenly November 21, 1893, in Preston; married Catherine P. ELLERSON, deaf mute. Children: William, Prudence, Catherine, James, John, Charles, Sarah.
EDWARD, born August 16, 1817, in Preston; died in childhood.
SAMUEL E., born August 9, 1819, in Preston; died on the old homestead October 24, 1885; was a member of Assembly from this county in 1861. Married (1) Maryette TURNER; married (2) Lydia SMITH; married (3) Lemira D. SANFORD. Children by second wife: Wilson D., deceased. S. Edward. Child by third wife: Florence married Hubert C. STRATTON, Esq., of Oxford.
SARAH E., died in childhood.
CLARINDA, died in childhood.
PRUDENCE, deaf mute, born November 21, 1826, in Preston; died June 18, 1906, in Oxford. She was educated in the Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb at Washington Heights, New York city, and this institution became her home for a large part of her life, for she returned to it as assistant matron, a position which she held for thirty-three years and relinquished only when compelled by failing strength and advanced age. She had a wide acquaintance with the deaf and dumb, as was intimately associated with them all her life. She was of a kind and genial disposition and made friends with all whom she came in contact, and was respected, loved, and honored by all who knew her. For the last two years her home was with relatives in Oxford.
Isaac J. Stratton was born November 13, 1782. He was the seventh son of a seventh son, a personage who has always been credited by the superstitious with supernatural powers, especially powers of healing. Mr. Stratton remembered that, when he was a child, children afflicted with King's evil, or scrofula, were sometimes brought to him that he might touch them. September 11, 1803, he married Rachel, daughter of John and Rhoda ALGER PUNDERSON. The young couple, aged respectively 21 and 17, began their life together on a newly-cleared farm in Smithville, three miles from any neighbors. Mrs. Stratton's stories of this time became in after years the delight of her grandchildren. Mr. Stratton built the house with his own hands, and his only door was a blanket woven by Mrs. Stratton, a sort of great-grandmother to the modern portieres.
There were many Indians about, who, though not really unfriendly, were yet among the uncertain elements of life. One day Mrs. Stratton had just baked two loaves of bread before her open fire, and was putting them away on the shelf which served for a pantry, when a big Indian, blanketed and painted, appeared in the doorway and said: "Me want bread." She offered him one loaf, but he replied: "Me want more." One can imagine that it was a trying moment for the young wife, with no help near; but as she hesitated she heard the sound of her husband's ax far off in the forest and it gave her courage to answer: "No, you can have only one." She inwardly determined that Isaac should not come home, hungry and tired, and find nothing for his supper. Her tall visitor grunted, let us hope in admiration, and walked off with his half of the bread.
About 1807 they left this farm and moved to McDonough to be with Mrs. Stratton's father, Deacon John Punderson. In 1806 a son, Charles, was born, and in 1808 a daughter, Lydia, who in 1825 married Dr. Edward YORK. Soon after Mr. and Mrs. Stratton gave up the farm to their daughter and her husband, and about 1841 they themselves moved to Oxford, where Mrs. Stratton died January 2, 1861, at the age of 75. Her husband lived to be 91 and died February 1, 1873. Their lives were full of helpfulness to all who needed help; but they are prominently among those whom children and children's children "rise up and call blessed."
Charles Stratton, son of Isaac J. and Rachel (PUNDERSON) Stratton, was born January 8, 1806, in Smithville, N. Y. On August 22, 1839, while bathing in the Chenango canal with his father, he sank beneath the water and his body was not recovered for several hours. His father made a desperate attempt to rescue him, but, failing, summoned assistance. Mr. Stratton married February 7, 1827, Lovina LOOMIS of Smithville, born February 13, 1807; died January 3, 1870, at Upper Lisle, Broome county. Children:
LYDIA, married Samuel WILLIAMS; died October 19, 1891, at Upper Lisle.
LOUISA, married Joseph W. HAMILTON; died December 2, 1892, aged 63 years, in Oxford.
DIANA, married Horace J. WOOD; died April 27, 1878, at Utica.
ISAAC J., married Margaret BARTLE; died March 28, 1903, at Portland, Oregon.
CHARLES E., married Marion L. BUCKLEY, and resides in Oxford. children: Elvie C., born November 2, 1859; died February 14, 1860. Flora L., born December 2, 1860; married Edwin L. HAYNES. Hubert C., born December 5, 1863; married Florence LEWIS. Robert B., born July 13, 1868; married Minnie B. BROWN. Vernon D., born December 23, 1869; married Lottie McFARLAND. Nettie C., born November 14, 1873; died April 29, 1875, from scalds received from falling into a pail of hot water. Carroll L., born March 21, 1876; married Genevieve CARPENTER.