Sunday, October 25, 1846, Coroner GALLENDER was called to hold an inquest on the body of George MANWARRING, Jr., who was found dead at the log house of his sister, Nancy CADY, three miles southwest of this village. The neighbors were called in during the night and found Manwarring upon a straw bed on the floor, lying partly on his right side with his face toward his breast. The Cady family, consisting of the mother, two young men, and two boys, were examined and the gist of their testimony was, that Manwarring came to their house drunk on Saturday night, shortly after dark, in company with Russel Cady, and went to bed with him. The latter states that at midnight he discovered his companion dead and aroused the family. A post-mortem examination was had, which elicited sufficient evidence to the Coroner's jury that they returned a verdict of death by violence. Warrants were issued and Mrs. Cady and her son Russel were arrested, jointly indicted, and committed for trial. At the term of the Circuit court commencing September 13, 1847, Hon. Charles MASON, Justice, Russel Cady, at the age of 23, was on trial for murder. There were many dark circumstances which operated against the accused. Threats had been made against Manwarring's life; in a petty lawsuit he stood in their way; he was found dead in their dwelling; there were marks as of violence upon his person; cries were heard on the fateful night; conflicting stories were told by members of the family, and the general belief and opinion of all who saw the body was that violence was the cause of death. These were sufficient of themselves to justify not only strong suspicions, but to form a tolerably well-ground belief. To escape from this weight of testimony, it became necessary to prove that no murder had been committed. Failing to create a reasonable doubt of this in the opinion of the jury, under the rulings of the Court, the result was a conviction, and Russel Cady was sentenced to be hung on the 23d of November, 1847. His counsel carried the case to the Supreme Court on a bill of exceptions, and a second trial was commenced on April 10, 1848, under more favorable auspices. The fact that a new trial had been granted admitted error in the first; and additional evidence was adduced to involve the cause of death in doubt and mystery. These doubts inured to the benefit of the prisoner, and the result was a verdict of acquittal. In the first trial of Mrs. Cady the jury were unable to agree upon a verdict. As the evidence was not as strong against her as it was against her son, and there being no probability of her conviction, she was discharged.
Joseph G. Thorp was born April 28, 1812, at Butternuts, Otsego county, where his father filled the pulpit of the Presbyterian church. He was early inured to the work of a farm, which both gave strength to his body and encouraged and stimulated habits of industry. Only those limited school privileges were at hand which the country school-house provided; of such he made the most. With these aids at his command, together with energy, self-denial, and determination, the subject of this sketch rose to positions of credit, wealth and honor.
When Mr. Thorp was 17 years of age he began business as a clerk in the dry goods store of Ira WILLCOX. He entered upon his duties with the understanding that, in case of their faithful performance, he should receive a salary of fifty dollars a year with board. He continued as clerk on these terms for four years, and during three succeeding years at an increased salary, after which he became a partner in the dry goods business. When he arrived at middle life, after a partnership of several years with his brother-in-law, N. C. CHAPMAN, he had become possessed of considerable property as well as of a practical knowledge of business and excellent reputation. The firm at length became interested in projects for more extended business operations which seemed to offer at the West. Their stock of goods was sold to Messrs. MILLER and PERKINS in the year 1856, and after engaging in banking for a time at Clinton, Iowa, they removed to the pineries of the Chioppewa, having previously bought large tracts of lumber and mill property at Eau Claire, Wis. In 1868 the firm of Chapman & Thorp, with J. T. and S. C. GILBERT, obtained a charter from the State, and became incorporated as the Eau Clarie Lumber Company, with a capital stock of $200,000, which was increased to $2,000,000.
Mr. Thorp served his State in the Senate for several years. He was a delegate to the National Convention that nominated GRANT and WILSON.
Although so thoroughly a man of affairs, he strove to infuse commercial life with Christian principles and to join business and religion in a closer bond of union. Always a zealous friend of the Congregational church, to which he made generous contributions, he is well remembered as an earnest and active member of the society.
Mr. Thorp married Miss Amelia C. CHAPMEN at Norwich February 21, 1838, whose death occurred April 24, 1893, at Santa Barbara, Cal. Mr. Thorp died January 13, 1895, at Cambridge, Mass., where the family had resided many years. Children: Louisa C., died October 1, 1848, aged 8. Charles G., died September 29, 1848, aged 4. Joseph G., Jr., married Miss Anna A., youngest daughter of Henry W. LONGFELLOW, the poet laureate of America, and is a member of the bar of Massachusetts. Sara C., became the wife of Ole BULL, universally known as one of the Norway's most distinguished sons.
Warren Eaton, born April 2, 1814, in Oxford; died suddenly April 7, 1889; married August 12, 1838, Eliza PENSTON.
Mr. Eaton, while yet a mere lad, entered the employ of Benjamin BUTLER on the Corn Hill farm, which, by assiduous application and preserving industry, he himself became the owner in later life. He was one of Oxford's most successful farmers, a quiet, unassuming man, devotedly attached to his family and home. In religious convictions he heartily affiliated with the Methodist faith, and the society in this village received his loyal and earnest support to the end of his life. In 1839 Mr. and Mrs. Eaton entertained at a New Year's dinner sixteen members of the Eaton family in this vicinity. The event afforded great pleasure, and it was then determined to make it an annual affair, to be held alternately among the relatives, which has been done to the present time without a miss. Mrs. Eaton is now the only surviving member of the original New Year's dinner. When the event falls due at Corn Hill farm the table linen, as well as much of the china and silver, are the same used at the first dinner.
The principal founders of the Eaton family who came to America previous to 1640 were: Francis, on the Mayflower, 1620; John, who went to Haverhill, Mass., and Jonas and William, who settled in Reading, Vt. They all came over between 1634 and 1640, and were the New England pioneers. The crest of one Eaton arms is the head of a lion, which is represented as swallowing a cask or tun, a rebus on Eaton (eatun). The more unsual crest is an eagle's head, sable; in the mouth of sprig, vert.
In 1888 Mr. and Mrs. Eaton celebrated their golden wedding. Children:
GEORGE AVERY, died in infancy.
JAMES W., enlisted in the 5th N. Y. Heavy Artillery during Civil war. Made a good record upon many a well-fought battlefield. Taken prisoner and died January 3, 1865, in prison hospital at Salisbury, N. C.
MARY ELIZABETH, died in infancy.
AMANDA C., married March 12, 1873, George B. FLETCHER. Child: Sarah.
EMMA, married Charles S. BROWN, resides at Waverly, N. Y. Child: Robert.
LIZZIE, resides at Corn Hill farm, with mother and sister, Mrs. Fletcher.
GEORGE P., married Emma KINNEAR(?) of Waitsburg, Wyo.; resides at Granger, Wash. Children: Emma, Warren, Edith, Clara.
CHARLES B., married (1) Ida SHERWOOD, who died March 17, 1899; married (2) Anna TRIMBLE. Residence Seattle, Wash. Children: James, Alice, Ruth, Phillip, Dorothy.
The celebration of Independence Day in 1859 was long held in pleasant memory. The day was cool and delightful. At an early hour the streets were thronged by citizens of Oxford and adjoining towns, making the attendance very great. James W. GLOVER, Esq., was marshal of the day. His assistants were General Samuel A. GIFFORD, Colonel Samuel M. ROBINSON, and Andrew J. HUNT. The Niagara and Lady Washington fire companies, led by the Oxford Bank, met at the head of Washington avenue the Deluge and Rescue fire companies from Norwich, with the Sherburne Band, and conducted them to the rooms of the fire department, where ample refreshments were served. The Oxford Guards, under Captain Freeborn YOUNGS, and the Artillery Company, under Captain Edwin M. OSBORN, received the Norwich Heavy Artillery, under Captain James TYRRELL, with mounted guns, and the Infantry from the same place, and escorted them to the village. The procession was formed in front of Hitchcock Hotel and moved to Washington square, where patriotism found full vent in a high order of merit. Rev. Mr. MATTESON of the M. E. church made the opening prayer, after which the Declaration of Independence was read by Cyrus N. BROWN. The oration by John T. MYGATT followed, replete with happy thought and patriotism. The benediction was pronounced by Rev. Mr. POTTER of the Baptist church. The procession then reformed and marched to HITCHCOCK's for dinner. The white clouds which floated lightly upon the horizon above, like banners trailing their shadows, the insignia of the fire and military departments, and their banners, beneath, and the bright equipage and glittering armor, with the alternate martial and band music, afforded a beautiful pageant, which is seldom equaled in any village. The banquet at Hitchcock's was partaken of by a very large and gleeful assembly, and presided over by "Count" VANDERLYN, president of the day, who excelled himself in his large experience in similar positions. After the cloth was removed regular and volunteer toasts were drunk. In the afternoon there was target shooting, trial of fire engines, and a parade drill of Captain Tyrrell's Artillery company. At sunset a national salute of thirty-two guns was fired. The evening was brilliant with fireworks and a torchlight procession of the fire companies ended with the celebration of Independence Day in 1859.
Ethan Clarke, son of Rev. Henry and Catherine (PENDLETON) Clarke, was born at Hopkinton, R. I., March 30, 1798. At an early age with his father, who was one of a Rhode Island colony of Sabbatarians, he emigrated to Brookfield, N. Y., remaining there but a few years, when he went to Plainfield, N. Y. In the spring of 1821 Mr. Clarke came to Oxford and purchased the Stage House, which he conducted for several years in connection with the stage lines running through this valley, an important enterprise at that day. Afterwards he engaged in mercantile business, the first year or two with Henry BALCOM, later with Ebenezer SHERWOOD, and from 1840 with his brother-in-law, Captain Joseph H. DWIGHT, which continued till the death of the latter in 1845. In 1854 his sons, James W. and Francis G., with Frederick A. SANDS, became his partners. At the expiration of a year Mr. Sands withdrew. Shortly after the opening of the Chenango canal the firm added storage and forwarding to their business, becoming extensive dealers in produce. The address, "Care E. Clarke, Oxford, N. Y.," was marked on innumerable boxes, bales, bundles, barrels, crates, and hogsheads, sent to every country store within a radius of forty miles of Oxford, and the name was a household word in every farmhouse in the same circle, where butter was made to be sent to New York city and a market, until the canal boat, like the stage coach became a thing of the past. The name "Clarke" was a synonym for energy, honor, and business integrity.
Mr. Clarke died Sunday, February 8, 1857. He had been in usual health and attended church in the morning. Owing to the sudden rise of the river on that day the guard bank to the canal feeder commenced giving away in the afternoon, making it necessary to removed a quantity of flour from the store cellar. Mr. Clarke assisted with his usual activity and energy. During the work of removal he was found in an insensible state and quickly removed to his residence, where death ensued. Mr. Clarke married (1) Lucy, daughter of Reuben and Hannah (JOHNSON) WILCOX; married (2) September 5, 1814, Rachel, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (COWELL) CASE, born December 28, 1792; died August 25, 1854, in Oxford. The widow, orphan, and stranger ever found in her a sympathizing friend, and the poor a constant benefactor.
Child by first wife:
LUCY WILCOX, born August 30, 1812, in Brookfield, N. Y.; died December 26, 1891, in Oxford.
Children by second wife:
JAMES WILLARD, born July 20, 1815, in Brookfield; died June 30, 1878, in Oxford. He was an active business man, and held the office of postmaster for two years, from 1841. In 1864 he entered upon the work of establishing the First National Bank of Oxford, of which he became president. For many years he was closely identified with St. Paul's church, as vestryman and warden. The Academy also shared in the labors which he willingly bestowed upon it, and in matters of public and universal interest he devoted much time. Mr. Clarke married (1) March 31, 1846, in Oxford, Catherine Iliad, daughter of Obadiah and Elizabeth (TEED) SANDS, born August 13, 1818, in Franklin, N. Y.; died March 21, 1850, in Oxford; married (2) Susan Eliza, daughter of John and Susan (HYDE) TRACY. Children by first wife: Frederick Sands, died in infancy. Winslow, born August 14, 1848; died June 3, 1869. Clement Sands, born March 15, 1850; died November 28, 1855.
ELIZABETH ANN, born April 27, 1817, in Plainfield; died January 29, 1887, in Rochester; married November 9, 1847, in Oxford, Rev. John Visger VanINGEN, born December 4, 1806, in Schenectady; died December 1, 1877, in Rochester; a former rector of Zion church, Greene. Children: Rachel Louisa, died in infancy. Richard Clarke, died in infancy. John Abraham, born October 21, 1851; married Mary, daughter of Albert and Frances WALKER; residence Rochester. Hannah Catherine, born July 1, 1853; died February 6, 1901, in Rochester; unmarried. Fanny DeLancy, died in infancy. Sarah Lucy, died in infancy. James William, born June 10, 1859, in St. Paul, Minn.; married Anna M., daughter of John and Jane CLARK of Yonkers.
DWIGHT HENRY, born March 2, 1819, in Plainfield; died April 7, 1874, in Oxford; unmarried. On completing his literary training in Oxford Academy and Union College he entered the law office of James CLAPP, Esq., as a student. On finishing his legal studies he commenced the practice of his profession at Jackson, Mich., and after two years returned to Oxford, where he resided until his death. In 1850 he was chosen District Attorney of Chenango county, which office he held for three years; in 1854 was elected Supervisor on the Whig ticket; in 1855 elected County Judge, and in 1859 re-elected, holding the office for eight years. After his retirement from the bench he resumed the practice of law.
ETHAN CASE, born December 16, 1820, in Plainfield, N. Y.; died October 4, 1889, in Washington, D. C.; married April 11, 1850, in Rochester, N. Y., Elizabeth, daughter of Simeon and Phoebe (BREWER) MICKLE of Oneonta, N. Y. Mr. Clarke was educated at Oxford Academy and became a civil engineer. He was employed on the enlargement of the Erie canal, the construction of the Illinois Central railroad, the military road between St. Paul, Minn., and Superior, Wis., and the survey of several other railroads. In the spring of 1869 he accepted a position in the Treasury Department at Washington.
HANNAH HENRY, born October 7, 1822, in Oxford; died August 13, 1880, in Clinton, N. Y.; married August 2, 1843, George, son of Luman and Fitche (CHURCH) McNEIL. Children: Rachel Elizabeth, married August 24, 1870, in Oxford, Cory D. HAYES; residence Clinton; (child, Grace, married George WATROUS). Catherine Hanah, born January 3, 1850, in Oxford; died September 2, 1889, in Clinton; married May 17, 1882, at Clinton, Nathan L. HAYES; (child, Robert.)
PETER WELCOME, born April 14, 1826, in Oxford; died here September 10, 1889; married December 31, 1867, Maria Clarissa, daughter of Dr. William G. and Sarah E. (MYGATT) SANDS. Mr. Clarke was proprietor of the Chenango valley stage line, and later became one of the board of directors and cashier of the First National Bank of Oxford. Child: Sarah Sands, married Frederick L. McLAUGHLIN now resides in White Plains, N. Y.; (children, Elizabeth, Frederick, Samuel, Richard and Robert, twins).
JOHN RAY, born April 9, 1828, in Oxford; died suddenly in Narragansett, R. I., August 19, 1890; married August 15, 1850, Elizabeth Wells, daughter of James A. and Ann (BRADLEY) GLOVER. Early in life Mr. Clarke entered upon a business career in his father's store. About 1854 he removed to Buffalo and joined a large jobbing house. Four years later he returned to Oxford and continued in business with his brothers until about 1869, when he was made treasurer of the Midland railroad. In 1876 he removed to Binghamton, engaging in the jobbing of hats, caps, furs, and robes. He was actively interested in all that pertained to the Episcopal church. On the organization of the Security Mutual Life Association he was chosen its president, and was also president of the Binghamton Board of Trade. Mrs. Clarke was liberal and benevolent in church and charity work, and it was largely due to her contribution that Trinity Memorial church, Binghamton, was built. Child: Anna Elizabeth, born in Buffalo; married September 13, 1882, in Binghamton, Charles Martin STONE; (children, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Ray Clark, died in infancy; Mary Clarke, Ruth Glover, died in infancy.
FRANCIS GRANGER, born November 22, 1830, in Oxford; married (1) August 15, 1860, in Norwich, Clarissa Maria, daughter of Isaac and Clarissa (RANDALL) BOCKEE, born there August 10, 1837; died September 13, 1882, in Oxford; married (2) September 9, 1884, in Canandaigua, N. Y., Laura Bemis, daughter of Thaddeus and Rebecca (BEMIS) CHAPIN. Children by first wife: Francis Bockee, born February 17, 1863; died September 18, 1863. Henry Bockee, born September 8, 1864; died December 23, 1889. Herbert William, married August 29, 1893, in Oxford, Margaret, daughter of Robert A. and Elizabeth (PENDLETON) STANTON. James Winslow, rector of St. Andrew's church, Utica. Mr. Clarke early connected himself with the mercantile business conducted by his father, at whose death the firm became Clarke Bros. After the retirement of his brothers from the firm he continued the business for many years, when he became interested in the stone business. After years of laborious work the Oxford Blue Stone Company, was, through his instrumentality, developed from a small flagging quarry into a large and remunerative business.
William M. Price and James Clapp, two young lawyers of New York city, packed their law library in a wagon and drove into the interior of the State to seek their fortunes, preferring the country to the city for their field of labor. They halted at several villages which seemed to offer an opening for the practice of law, but were not satisfied with the outlook, and journeyed on until early one summer evening in 1808 they entered the village of Oxford. The beauty of its position, the neatness of the place, and the substantial air of comfort which presented itself in every direction, determined them to take up their residence and end further prospecting. A small but neat building in the center of the village, owned by a milliner, was rented, their books, chairs, desks, and other belongings unloaded and arranged in order in the new office, and as the shades of night set in they nailed their sign on the window and were ready for any business that might come to them. Early the next morning, seated at the door of their new habitation, there approached a distinguished looking person, whom later they found to be General HOVEY, the largest land owner in the town. He stopped, read the sign on the window, looked at the new-comers, and said:
"Whence came you, young gentlemen, for you were not here when I took my afternoon walk yesterday?"
"We came last evening, sir," replied Mr. Clapp, with a gracious bow of the head. "This is my partner, Mr. Price, and I am James Clapp. We started from New York several weeks ago in search of a thrifty town in which to locate. We looked over several, but this is the only one that pleased us, and we have unloaded and intend to stay."
"I like this enterprise," replied General Hovey, as he resumed his walk, "and you shall have my law business."
Thus were the young lawyers from the Metropolis introduced to the thriving hamlet, and of which one of them remained a resident during life.
William M. Price was a native of England. The first case he had before a justice of the peace in this village he broke down, but rallied and became a very popular and successful lawyer. He did not remain in town many years, but returned to New York city, where he became eminent as a criminal lawyer. Better it would have been for him if he had never left the village of his adoption. He was United States attorney for the southern district of New York under the administration of President JACKSON and VanBUREN, until the defalcation of one Samuel SWARTWOUT was discovered. Intead of proceeding against Swartwout according to instructions, he fled to Europe, leaving a resignation behind, and was found to be a defaulter himself. He remained abroad until the storm of public and political indignation had somewhat abated, then again returned to New York, and claimed that a large sum was due him from the government, but recovered nothing. He appeared before the court with much of his former success and endeavored to gain his former standing, but without effect. Finally he became pecuniarily embarrassed with a prospect of coming to poverty and want. His property was advertised to be sold at a sheriff's sale, and had been several times postponed at his request in the hopes that he might by some means get relief, but he was at last informed that the sale must take place, and to advoid (sic) the disaster and mortification he put an end to his existence by shooting himself August 11, 1846. His age was 59 years.
James Clapp as born at Hartford, Conn., December 5, 1785. He was a large, firm-looking man, a brilliant lawyer, and fond of the rod and gun; for in those days sporting men were gratified to the extent desired, for all kinds of game were plenty. Mr. Clapp was a student of Aaron BURR's in 1804, at the time of the Burr-Hamilton duel. He came here with a character penculiarly adapted to those early times. He ever declined public honors and office, and few men in private life were more extensively known. Rare conversational powers united with a wide range and versatility of knowledge, rendered him ever attractive and entertaining in the social circle. He married Julia Hyde, daughter of Benjamin BUTLER, who died November 17, 1832, aged 38. Mr. Clapp was found dead January 8, 1854. He, while in a state of unsound mind, like his partner of early days, had put an end to his existence. Children:
MARY B., born October 20, 1816, in Oxford; died January 5, 1845, in Oxford; unmarried.
JULIA B., born may 12, 1818, in Oxford; died December 9, 1885, while residing in Paris, France; married November 22, 1842, Walter L. NEWBERRY of Chicago. She was an active member of the Episcopal church, and a memorial window to her memory is in the American church in Paris. She was known and respected for her liberality and benevolence, as well as for her talents and social acquirements. She left a fortune of over $3,000,000. Mr. Newberry died November 6, 1868, at sea en route for Havre to join his family, then in Paris. Naturally austere and taciturn, he repelled all offers of friendship or acquaintance on shipboard, and thus among strangers he sickened and died. He escaped the usual burial of those dying at sea by the interference of a gentleman from Unadilla, N. Y., who knew him and who assured the captain of the vessel that the relatives of the deceased would meet any expense accrued in keeping the body. A cast of Medford run that formed a part of the cargo, it is stated, was brought into requisition. Mr. Newberry's body was placed in it, and when the cargo was discharged the cask was rebilled to Mr. Newberry's friends in Chicago by the Unadilla gentleman, who was ignorant of the fact that Mrs. Newberry was then in Paris. The cask left for America on the next steamer and in due time arrived at Chicago on a freight train. The friends who had been notified of the shipment of the body, it is further stated, took charge of the cask, still containing the body, and buried it in Graceland cemetery.
Mr. Newberry received an academic education, was appointed to the West Point United States Military Academy by President Andrew JACKSON, but because of ill health, abandoned that career and at sixteen years of age joined his brother, Oliver F., in the dry goods trade in Detroit in 1826. He was successful, and in 1833 joined a syndicate of five, Lewis CASS and William B. ASTOR being among the number, in a tour of inspection and for investment in the West. They bought land in Green Bay, Milwaukee, Calumet, and Chicago; at the latter place he settled in 1833, making investments there in real estate, which became the nucleus of a fortune which was variously estimated at the time of his death at from four to ten million of dollars. He figured largely in the city's early history in connection with the establishment of banks, insurance companies, schools, and public improvements generally, and especially as a promoter of railroads. He was a projector and for a time the president of the old Galena and Chicago railroad, the first line of the present great Northwestern system, and lived to see Chicago the greatest railroad center of the world. He was a member of the banking house of Newberry & Burch, twice president of the Chicago School Board, a founder and twice president of the Chicago Historical Society, and by his will he endowed a public library, which bears his name, with one-half of his estate. This endowment now, in real estate and securities, is valued at $5,000,000, and is increasing rapidly in value.
Children, all born in Chicago: Walter, 1st, died young; Walter, 2d, died young; Mary Louise, born August 12, 1845; died February 18, 1874; Julia Rose, born December 28, 1853; died April 4, 1876.
BENJAMIN B., born April 20, 1821, in Oxford; died November 16, 1882, in Utica; married June 1, 1854, Mary Anne SKINNER of Albany, and lived in Luzerne, N. Y. By an act of Legislature, his name was changed from Benjamin Butler Clapp to Benjamin Clapp BUTLER, to conform to a provision in his maternal grandfather's will. Two days after Fort Sumter was fired upon in 1861 he offered his services to the country, raised the 93d N. Y. S. V., of which he was colonel, and led with courage and ability during four years of meritorious service. The village of Luzerne owes its favorable reputation to his enterprise and public spirit, and St. Mary's church in that village is mainly the work of his hand. Twice he represented Warren county in the Legislature.
JAMES, born August 6, 1823, in Oxford; died February 17, 1893, in Cairo, Egypt. Practiced law in Oxford and afterwards in Chicago. Later became a resident of Luzerne, N .Y. Buried in Oxford.
NICHOLAS D., born November 27, 1827, in Oxford; died February 23, 1889, in New York city; married (1) in 1855 Mary T. McMAHON of Unadilla, N. Y., born in 1832; died in 1866, in Chicago, Ill.; married (2) Adele B. WOLFE of New York city. Children by first wife: Minnie, married D. S. Dickenson MYGATT of New York city. Infant daughter. James. Children by second wife: Infant daughter. Edith Devereux, married December 6, 1904, in New York city, Count Rene du Temple de ROUGEMONT of Paris.
Gerardus VanDerLyn, accompanied by his mother, came from Kingston, N.Y., in 1812, to live with his brother Henry. Mr. VanDerLyn married June 1, 1822, Mrs. Jane VanGAASBECK of Kingston, N. Y., a daughter of Rev. Peter LOWE of Flatbush, L. I., who died October 12, 1862, in the 72d year of her age. He lived a quiet, unassuming life, and was a thoughtful observer of passing events, taking a deep interest in all the questions of his time. He died November 9, 1875, aged 88. Children:
MARY, died March 28, 1857; unmarried.
HENRY, studied law with his Uncle Henry and practiced in Oxford; died May 5, 1869, aged 44; married Ursula SEYMOUR, whose death occurred October 24, 1902.
PETER G., died November 17, 1854, in Elmira, aged 27; unmarried. Located there in 1849 and had an extensive law practice.
WARD, born July 23, 1829; died May 5, 1906; married March 11, 1858, Helen E. PALMER, born June 16, 1838, in Oriskany Falls, N. Y.; died March 27, 1901, in Oxford. Mr. VanDerLyn for a period of twenty years was in the dry goods business with Frederick P. NEWKIRK, and on the dissolution of the firm in 1873 they purchased the WESTOVER farm and conducted it jointly three years. He then in partnership with Frederick H. BURCHARD was for ten years in the hardware business. He closed his mercantile career in the Fort Hill block where for nearly five years in connection with his son Frederick, he carried on an extensive clothing business. After that he lived a retired life, cultivating a few acres of land upon his property in the village. Mr. VanDer Lyn was for a number of years a trustee of Oxford Academy. He also served several terms on the board of village trustees, and as president of the Oxford Fair Association. Mr. VanDerLyn was of a quiet and unassuming disposition, and in his business dealings, honorable and upright. All of his life had been spent upon the same premises in this village. A singular coincidence in his death was that it occurred on the anniversary of his brother Harry's, which was in 1869, and also that of Hon. Wm. H. HYDE in 1902, all having lived in the house now occupied by Mrs. Wm. H. Hyde adjoining and formerly a part of the VanDerLyn property. Children: Mary, married January 6, 1891, Albert S. BURCHARD; Frederick, died February 13, 1891, aged 27. Unmarried.
Andrew J. Hull, born December 4, 1824, in Eaton, N. Y.; died September 20, 1891.
Mr. Hull came to Oxford from Angelica, N. Y., about the year 1838, and attended Oxford Academy until he entered Union College , where he graduated in 1845. He then read law in the office of Henry R. MYGATT and was admitted to the bar in 1847, and the same year was united in marriage with Frances B. PERKINS, daughter of Erastus and Agnes (VAN WAGENEN) Perkins. Sometime after he removed to Georgia and engaged in business in that State for a number of years. After the close of the Civil war he became interested in a woolen mill in this village, which was conducted but a short time and at a loss. In 1870 he received the appointment of Harbor Master of New York city from Gov. HOFFMAN, his classmate in college, as also were Bishop LITTLEJOHN and Judge EARL. Children:
AGNES PERKINS, married September 6, 1876, William R. MYGATT and resides in Chicago.
KATHERINE M., unmarried, resides in San Francisco.
GERRIT HENRY, born June 11, 1858, in Walthourville, Ga.; died August 10, 1881, in Denver, Col.
Isaac Leonard, born April 18, 1786, at Hoosic, N. Y.; died March 23, 1877, in Oxford; married June 3, 1814, in Oxford, Naomi SEELEY, born February 20, 1795, in Stratford, Conn.; died September 8, 1888, in Oxford.
Mr. Leonard was of hardy Welsh stock and served a short term in the war of 1812 as a common soldier without any chance for distinction, and unlike most of his comrades drew no pension, satisfied with the pay of his time of service. After the war he drifted into Chenango county, then still a wilderness inhabited by wild beasts and Indians, and took up on contract a parcel of land located on the hilly confines of the towns of Oxford and Coventry, built himself a log cabin and cleared several acres on it for cultivation. Feeling the need of a helpmate, he courted a comely lass of the neighborhood, Naomi Seeley, and though ten years her senior, won her consent to marry him. By steady industry and economy they succeeded to a farm of 109 acres, though, by a fault of title, not until they had paid for it twice over. Children:
MARY, married Dr. C. BRUCHHAUSEN, died August 15, 1883, in Norwich. MATILDA, married Hector BEECHER, died March 21, 1904. ABRAHAM, born November 28, 1816; died May --, 1837. ALFRED, born October 21, 1821; died June 17, 1887. JAMES G., born August 11, 1827; still living. CHARLES J., born November 26, 1829; died November 26, 1864. NELSON, born August 1, 1831; deceased. HULDAH, born May 9, 1834; died January 3, 1856; married Edward PORTER. SARAH E., born August 20, 1841; died November 5, 1881; married William LEACH. RILEY K., twin to Sarah E., died in 1895.
Samuel Guernsey, born November 10, 1776; died April 9, 1836, in Oxford; married about 1800, Sarah BULKLEY, born July 13, 1775, in Saybrook, Conn.; died September 13, 1850, in Greene.
Mr. Guernsey came from Dutchess county in 1797 while a young man, bought land, worked on it summers, went back and taught school winters. This he did for some five years or more, when he married and settled down to farming as his life work. He was a son of Dr. Guernsey, and a brother, Peter, located in Norwich. Mr. Guernsey brought to his work skill, intelligence, unbounded perseverance, and left nothing unaccomplished that lay within his reach. He was a great help to the new settlers, though some thought him severe and exacting. He began to be a well-to-do farmer when the hills were almost an unbroken wilderness; hence he employed the surplus labor of the hills. This was when a man could be hired for nine dollars a month through the long summer days. Fifty cents and board was all the laborer could command for twelve hours work. A man of integrity and honor, Mr. Guernsey enjoyed the confidence of a large circle of friends. A man of strict morality and virtue, he commanded and enjoyed the respect of all. The Guernsey farm is now the home of the FARRELL Brothers. In early days it was the resort of traveling Methodist ministers, and it was also where the pioneers of the town made their applejack. Children:
JULIA, married Allen WRIGHT of Rome, N. Y., and died there in 1883.
JOHN M., of whom further mention is made.
AMANDA, married (1) --- NICHOLS of Greene; married (2) Dr. RICE of Rome, Penn., and died there about 1890.
MARIA, married Charles STEVENS of Greene, and died there in 1884.
SARAH A., married Henry D. MERCUR of Towanda, Penn., and died February 19, 1874.
John M. Guernsey, born in 1804 in Oxford; died October 2, 1862, in Oxford; married (1) in 1843, Lucena E. SMITH, born June 23, 1818; died in June, 1851, in Oxford; married (2) about 1855, Melinda Hollenbeck WHEELER. Mr. Guernsey received a professional education as a doctor, but did not practice any length of time and returned to the farm where he spent the remainder of his life. Children by first wife:
SUSAN M., was severely burned by her clothes taking fire June 11, 1861, and died four days later. Miss Guernsey was scaling milk pans in the yard near a fire, when by some means the flames were communicated to her dress. She ran towards the house, her screams attracting the attention of her father, who endeavored to relieve her from the frightful position in which she was placed, but his efforts were unavailing. Mr. Guernsey received severe burns upon his hands.
WILLIAM J., married May 25, 1881, Harriet ANDERSON of Rome, N. Y. Superintendent of mails at Albany, N. Y.
ESTHER, married October 8, 1873, David Finn SMITH of Greene. Child by second wife:
RACHEL, married Nelson WESSELS of Greene, and died in 1877.
Luther Hunt, an early resident of Oxford, was born November 9, 1761; place of birth now unknown; died November 29, 1830, in Oxford. Mr. Hunt was appointed ensign of a company in a battalion of militia March 10, 1792, and commissioned lieutenant October 5, 1793. Following is a copy of his commission as ensign:
The People of the State of New York,
By the Grace of God, Free and Independent.
To Luther Hunt, Gentleman, Greeting:
We, reposing especial trust and confidence, as well in your patriotism, conduct and loyalty, as in your valour and readiness to do us good and faithful service, Have appointed and constituted, and by these presents, Do appoint and constitute you the said Luther Hunt, Ensign of a Company in the Battallion of Militia in the County of Tioga whereof Benjamin HOVEY, Esquire, is Major Commandant. You are, therefore, to take the said Company into your charge and care as Ensign thereof and duly to exercise the Officers and Soldiers of that Company in arms, who are hereby commanded to obey you as the Ensign, and you are also to observe and follow such orders and directions, as you shall from time to time receive from our general and Commander in Chief of the Militia of our said State, or any other your superior Officer, according to the Rules and Discipline of War, in pursuance of the trust reposed in you; and for so doing, this shall be your commission, for and during our good pleasure, to be signified by our Council of Appointment: In Testimony whereof, we have caused our seal for military commissions to be hereunto affixed. Witness our truly and well-beloved George CLINTON, Esquire, Governor of the State of New- York, General and Commander in Chief of all the Militia, and Admiral of the Navy of the same, by and with the advice and consent of our said Council of Appointment, at our City of New York, the third day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, and in the Sixteenth year of our Independence.
Passed the Secretary's Office, 10th March, 1792.
ROBT. HARPUR, D. Secretary.
GEO. CLINTON.Mr. Hunt's son, Charles A., is by some authorities claimed to have been the first while child born in Oxford. Rebecca, his wife, was born in 1760, and died April 3, 1823, in Oxford. Children: Williard, born June 29, 1797; died November 25, 1826; Samuel died in infancy; Betsey, born May 15, 1791, died July 20, 1828; Charles A., born September 2, 1793; Thomas, born August 31, 1795, moved to Rochester when a young man; Samuel F., born May 26, 1799, died January 29, 1829, in Steuben county; Clarissa, born April 17, 1801, died August 12, 1831; married December 3, 1820, David St. John.
Charles A. Hunt married Lucy PRESTON. He occupied many important public stations with honor to himself and to those who placed him there. In 1849 he moved with his family to Preston, where in May of that year while in a fit of despondency he committed suicide. His age was 56 years. His wife, Lucy, died December 3, 1850, aged 52.
JULIAN, born August 15, 1818; died June 5, 1886, in Binghamton; married Freevon S. YOUNG, who was one of the first to enlist in the 114th Regt. during Civil war. Died from wound August 25, 1863.
JANE ELIZA, born July 10, 1820; died March 23, 1895, in Oxford. Unmarried.
CHARLES LUTHER, born January 18, 1822; died November 28, 1875, in Oxford; married Mary ROOT, died November 23, 1893.
REBECCA, born January 28, 1824; died April 28, 1889, in Norwich; married Loren D. BACON of Norwich.
JAMES HENRY, born February 26, 1826; died February 5, 1897, in Norwich; married Frances THOMPSON.
CHANDLER P., born August 10, 1827; died October 12, 1903, in Oxford; married Katherine CARPENTER, who died November 15, 1890, aged 54.
MARY ADELIA, born November 7, 1830; died July --, 1902; married Joseph L. SMITH, died March 19, 1901.
ANDREW J., born November 29, 1834; married May 6, 1858, Mary P. RANSFORD, died January 20, 1902; resides in Norwich and only survivor of the family.
CLARISSA ELIZABETH, born October 14, 1835; died December 26, 1836.
CLARISSA ELIZABETH, 2d, born March 10, 1838; died November 28, 1843.
WILLARD RUSSELL, born April 30, 1842; died September 11, 1887. Unmarried.
Salmon W. Owen, who traced his lineage to ancestors in Wales, was born in 1795, and for a long term of years a resident of Panther Hill in this town, where he died June 6, 1883. His wife was Sally SHERWOOD, born in 1800, and died December 4, 1879, in Oxford. Mr. Owen was a pilot on the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers in the early days when rafting was carried on extensively. He was among the sturdy men who took part in the war of 1812, by reason of which he afterward received a pension, and was the last pensioner of that war in this town. Children:
MARCUS S., born April 25, 1820, in Oxford; died September 18, 1896, at Benton Harbor, Mich. Married (1) Augusta I. BECKWITH of Coventry, N. Y., who died may 1, 1856, aged 32. Married (2) Adelaide POPE of New Berlin, N. Y. Mr. Owen at the age of twenty years began the study of music and became a skillful violinist. He taught vocal and instrumental music for a number of years.
MARTHA MELISSA, married Charles Henry BECKWITH. Children: Franklin H., married Nannie KERFOOT of Chicago; Charles L., married Alice DENIKE of Poughkeepsie; James Carroll, an artist in New York, married June 1, 1887, Bertha HALL of New York.
JANE E., married Smith STEERE of Norwich. They only survivor of the family and resides in Benton Harbor, Mich.
DeLOS, died June 25, 1857, aged 24.
HELEN M., died July 10, 1877, aged 44.
FREDERIC O., died April 5, 1873, in Cleveland, O., aged 37.
The first Stratton of whom any record has been found in America, came from England in 1628. By 1660 there were seven Strattons settled on this side of the Atlantic; one at James City, Va.; two on Long Island and four in New England. Probably most of the Strattons in the United States may be traced back to one of these seven branches and these are shown to be connected by a search of English records.
Of the Stratton family residing in the town of Oxford, John Stratton was the first, and from him are descended most of the present residents of that name. He was born in New Ipswich, N. H., March 28, 1775, and was one of a family of twelve children, seven girls and five boys. His father was Daniel Stratton, a descendant of Samuel born in England in 1592 and died in Watertown, Mass., in 1672. Daniel Stratton had two brothers, Hezekiah and Nehemiah, the latter was one of Washington's Life Guards, and a record of him is to be found in a book published in 1905, "The Commander-in-Chief's Guard."
John Stratton, when a youth, was apprenticed to a Dyer and Clothier, but never followed his trade, being of a mechanical turn of mind, and became a millwright, which occupation he followed for years. He came to Oxford some time prior to 1809 and made a business of buying and selling land. After a short time he removed to Binghamton, but returned to South Oxford previous to 1815, where he remained until his death, which occurred January 28, 1842. His wife was Charlotte FRINK, who was born April 22, 1788, in Connecticut, and died March 27, 1875, in Oxford. Children:
ALBERT G., born November 17, 1809, in Binghamton; died July 15, 1890, in Oxford; married November 12, 1835, Caroline WILLCOX, of Oxford, born February 11, 1815. Children: Adelaide C., married (1) Isaac L. BRONSON of Amsterdam, N. Y.; married (2) E. D. BRONSON of Amsterdam. John Hovey, born August 26, 1838; died April 13, 1841. Mary C., born June 29, 1840; died April 8, 1841. Mary L., born April 14, 1842; died July 3, 1858. Charles J., married Mary KINNEY of Oxford. Sarah DeF., married Henry M. JULIAND of Greene. Tracy, born July 19, 1848; died February 16, 1850. Rosella H., married Rector W. WILLOUGHBY of Oxford. Melville B., now owns and occupies the farm where his father and grandfather lived and died. Married October 24, 1877, Harriet McFARLAND of Oxford. (Child: Julian Arthur, born May 15, 1882. Inheriting from his ancestors a love for mechanics he graduated from Cornell University in 1904 with the degree of M. E. E. E., and is now with the Western Electric Co. of Chicago.)
JOHN, born March 2, 1812, in Binghamton; died January 2, 1886, in Oxford; married January 5, 1844, Hannah WILLCOX of Oxford; died January 6, 1904, in Greene, aged 82. Children: Eli B., married Anice RACE of Greene, and resides there. Ellen L., married Dr. C. C. MILLER of Detroit, Mich. Latson W., married Ella McNELL of Amsterdam and resides in Chicago. Emma C., married Chester B. WILLOUGHBY of Oxford and resides in Sidney. Gilbert J., married Jennie HODGE of Oxford, who died March 29, 1906. Clark L., married Bertha BERRY of South Oxford.
IRA, born January 29, 1815, in Oxford; died September 22, 1883; Alice, Mary.
WILLIAM FRINK, born January 27, 1817, in Oxford; died October 31, 1847, in Oxford; married January 1, 1840, Maria SYMONDS of Oxford, born January 11, 1820; died July 30, 1890, in Norwich. Children: Whitman, born September 7, 1840; married April 30, 1867, Margaret SHEFFER. Resides in Norwich. Charlotte, born January 28, 1842, resides in Norwich. Unmarried. Avery, born March 31, 1844; died September 3, 1865; married August 27, 1864, in Wisconsin, Louise WOOD. Gerritt Smith, born August 24, 1846; died March 18, 1848.
CHARLOTTE A., born February 26, 1819, in Oxford; married January 1, 1838, D. W. TenBROECK. Resides with her brother George. Children: Eli, married Anna WHEELOCK and resides in Colorado. Frank, unmarried. Alice, married ---- LANDON.
MARY, born May 26, 1821, in Oxford; married October 22, 1839, Clark LEWIS.
GEORGE, born September 26, 1823, in Oxford; died March 21, 1873, in Oxford; married (1) January 8, 1845, Mariette ROBINSON; married (2) October 9, 1866, Maria ROBINSON. Children by first wife: William Avery, unmarried. Edward L., married Mary MASON. Harvey J., married Fanny COPELAND. Luke Co., died February 2, 1863, in childhood. Tracy. Alice, married Ira B. McFARLAND.
EBENEZER ROSS, born December 4, 1825, in Oxford; died August 26, 1889; married October 28, 1846, Hannah SYMONDS. Children: Harriet, died April 22, 1906; married C. O. WILLCOX of Oxford. Clara, married A. H. WHEELER of Mt. Upton. Curtis B. Albert C., married Lillian M. TIFFANY of Norwich; died July 1, 1889 in Robinsonville, Miss. George F., married Addie EATON of Oxford, now residing in Buffalo. Luverne B., married Cora CHURCH of Oxford.
SARAH ANN, born September 26, 1828, in Oxford; died December 24, 1859. Unmarried.
CAROLINE, born October 29, 1831, in Oxford; died May 6, 1832.
Samuel Wheeler, one of the earliest residents of this village, by his unstinted benevolence, unremitted industry, and the counsel of a clear and reliable judgment contributed greatly to its prosperity. The duties of various offices were discharged with ready ability, fidelity, and universal satisfaction. For twenty-five years he was a consistent member of the Congregational church. Mr. Wheeler died March 20, 1847, aged 58 years. Nancy BENNETT, his wife, died in Oswego, N. Y., December 27, 1860, aged 71 years.
JOHN B., born August 26, 1815, in Oxford; died December 2, 1885; married November 11, 1840, Caroline M. DeSHON in McDonough; born October 26, 1820, in Preston; died December 9, 1885, in Oxford. Mr. Wheeler was a blacksmith by trade, a well read man, and devoted much of his time to military affairs. At one time he held high rank and became a distinguished officer, having commanded the 43d Regiment for several years, and on April 29, 1863, was appointed Brigadier General of the 12th Brigade. Children: Robert A., born March 10, 1844; died March 26, 1860. Henry DeShon, born August 29, 1846; died October 29, 1848. Alice E., married December 1, 1874, J. H. KENNEDY, of Des Moines, Iowa; living at 3200 University Ave., that city. Alida A., unmarried, living with her sister in Des Moines. John Lewis, with West Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minn. Children of J. H. and Alice (WHEELER) Kennedy: Grace DeShon, married J. D. STANLEY, resides in Denver, Col. Alice Wheeler, married H. E. MOSS, resides in Hastings, Neb. Caroline Parmelee, unmarried; resides in Des Moines.
JAMES A., died January 2, 1843, in Columbus, Ill., aged 26, where he was teaching school.
WILLIAM HENRY, born in 1817. Children: William, James, Louise, died October 30, 1884, in Oswego, N. Y.
DARIUS, one daughter. Died in Sag Harbor, N. Y.
CATHERINE B., born June 2, 1824 in Oxford; died January 19, 1905, in Casselton, North Dakota; married Waldo M. POTTER. Children: Franklin, Carrie, Grace, Kittie.
ANGELINE, died July 6, 1836, aged 17, from the result of a carriage accident. On the 4th of July, 1836, Miss Wheeler with a party of young people spent the day at Greene. On their return towards evening and near the inn six miles below the village, then kept by Col. MORGAN, a carriage tongue was drawn out, frightening the horses and throwing out the driver and the young lady who was on the seat with him, neither receiving injuries. The tongue was replaced and the party proceeded onward. The young lady's dress was soiled with mud, and Miss Wheeler, who was riding inside, exchanged seats with her. They had gone but a few rods when the tongue again fell, the horses became unmanageable and ran, striking a wagon and turning over the carriage, throwing out the entire party of three ladies and the young man who was driving, none of whom except Miss Wheeler received serious injuries. The party returned to the inn and a physician was quickly summoned, but her injuries were so great as to defy surgical aid and she died on the second day following the accident.
Ezekiel and Martha (HACKETT) Olds came to Oxford in 1798 from Berkshire, Mass., traveling with an ox team. He was one of those men of other days, whose lot it was to take a part with Chenango's bold pioneers, when upon all her hills and throughout all her valleys stood the dark and gloomy forest, and where the wolf's long howl was heard echoing to the sound of the woodman's axe. Mr. Olds was truly one of those men whose strong arm has helped to clear away the gigantic trees from our forests, instead of which we now behold green fields stretched far and wide. He died May 31, 1849, aged 84. Mrs. Olds died January 25, 1876, aged 95. Children:
OLIVE, married Elijah B. PRENTICE, died in 1884, aged 89. Children: Philo, met death by drowning; Charles, Chauncey, Elizabeth, Susan A. J., John and Martha, all married except the last two.
ESTHER, married Alexander WILSON. Child: Mary L., married Levi BARTLE. (Children: Maryette, married Ransom PALMER, resides in Sidney; George, married Sarah PETTIS, accidently killed while hunting in Brisbin, February 19, 1876; Charles A., died November 18, 1875, in Albany, unmarried.
ABEL, died October 13, 1894, aged 92; married Thurza M. GARTSEE, who died February 19, 1885, aged 72 years. Children: Andrew B., died suddenly May 1, 1904; married October 28, 1856, Caroline M. HOLMES of Oxford; died August 9, 1900. He was the last of the family. For many years devoted his time and attention to music, and as a violin player led and conducted an orchestra, which was in great demand for public and private parties. Frederick E., died suddenly, January 24, 1900, aged 55.
ABIGAIL, married Nelson WRIGHT. Children: Mary E., married Edward A. NICKERSON; Martha, married (1) Lewis FOOTE; married (2) James BROOKS, died in Oxford.
CAROLINE E., born February 24, 1811; died May 9, 1905; married Levines B. JACKSON. Children: Sarah I., married Willis WHEELER, had one son; Charles H., who died July 4, 1874, aged 16; Mary A., married James P. SEAMAN, died in 1898; (children: Carrie, Mary, Arthur and Naomi.) Susan C., married (1) Nathan WHEELER; married (2) Byron PHELPS. Martha A., married Clark K. HOLMES. (Children: Etta M., married Eugene WELLS; Minnie E.) Esther M., died 1868, aged 12.
CHARLES, married Jane E. HACKETT, died in 1851.
ERASTUS, married Laura A. BURLISON. Children: Ward L., died in 1884, unmarried; Jessie D., married George FRANKLIN, died in 1896.
Samuel S. Stafford passed away May 4, 1904, after an illness of ten days. The direct cause of his death was from a wound received in the service of his country during the Civil war. At the age of twenty years Mr. Stafford entered Oxford Academy to prepare for a college education, in the meantime teaching four terms of district school. At the call of President LINCOLN, July 2, 1862, for three hundred thousand men, the 114th Regiment of volunteers was formed. Major O. H. CURTIS, then a young lawyer in Oxford, enlisted Company A, which Mr. Stafford joined July 23, 1862, and assisted in recruiting. Volunteering his services in defense of his country caused the abandonment of his cherished plans for a collegiate education. Upon recommendation he was commissioned a First Lieutenant, with rank from August 6, 1862, and was presented with a handsome sword, sash and belt by the officers and men of Co. A. He served with his regiment until March 11, 1863, when he was detailed a member of a General Court Martial sitting at Brashear City, Louisiana. The court was in session one month, after which Lieutenant Stafford joined his regiment, and participated in the battle of Fort Bisland, the skirmish at Franklin and the siege of Port Hudson. It was at Port Hudson, July 11, 1863, while bravely leading his men on the assault of the enemy's breast works that he received the wound that eventually caused his death. He was sent home to recuperate, and for ten months was confined to his bed, and July 8, 1864, was honorably discharged from the service on "account of wound received in action."
While recovering from his wound Mr. Stafford was tendered the nomination for Member of Assembly by the Republican party, an office he had not sought and was ignorant of the fact that he was to be thus honored. He accepted the nomination, was elected and went to Albany on crutches, serving in the Legislature of 1865. On his return from the Assembly he studied law with Solomon BUNDY, was admitted to practice and elected to the office of School Commissioner for the second district of the county, and later appointed one of its Loan Commissioners, an office he held for several terms. He was Supervisor of the town for three years, 1886 to 1888, and for many years corporation attorney for the village. To all elective offices he received nearly the unanimous vote of his party and many votes from the opposing party, so well was the trust in his integrity and honor established. Conscientious and painstaking in the discharge of one public duty he was so in the many entrusted to him, and has left a clean and bright record. As a lawyer his office work was perfect, and as a counsellor he was a model, for no opinions were given without mature deliberation and in belief that they were for the best interest of the client, though they might contrary to his expectations.
Mr. Stafford was a Past Master of Oxford Lodge, No. 175, F. & A. M.; had served one term as District Deputy Grand Master of the Masonic district; was Past Commander of Breed Post, No. 196, G. A. R., and secretary of the 114th Regimental Association. To these organizations he was devoted and gave much attention and counsel. With Major CURTIS he did much to keep up the regimental reunions and perpetuate the regiment's glorious achievements. He was a communicant of St. Paul's church, and at his death a member of the vestry. Mr. Stafford was the eldest son of Job and Wealthy Stafford, and was born June 8, 1837, in Preston, N. y. He married December 12, 1866, Mary A. GILBERT of Oxford.
LEVI SHERWOOD lived on a farm at the head of Albany street, afterwards known as the INGERSOLL place, and now a portion of Riverview cemetery. He followed the occupation of tanner and currier. At his death he was buried under a tree on his farm, the Masonic fraternity conducting the services. His daughter Betsey married Archibald NICHOLS, and Levi, a son, married Sarah NICHOLS.
John Padgett and family, English by birth, came to Oxford at a very early day in the town's history. Mr. Padgett's marriage in England was not pleasing to his wife's parents, they considering their daughter above him in rank, therefore the Padgetts emigrated to America. On their arrival in Oxford they settled near WALKER's Corners in the east part of the town. Among their children, all born in Oxford, were:
JOHN, 2d, born in 1768 in England, and died in 1834 in Oxford. He married Anna PRESTON of Oxford, whose death occurred in 1823. Children: Erastus, John 3d, Elizabeth, Hannah, William, Lorenzo, Henry Lewis, born August 15, 1816; died July --, 1905; married Clarissa MANWARREN; Maria and Sophia, twins; Mary, Harvey.
JAMES, died November 24, 1848, aged 77.
WILLIAM, died in the autumn of 1800 from injuries received in a bear trap. Near where the Padgetts settled is a brook which bears their name. Beartrap falls came by its name in connection with the death of William Padgett. A deadfall or primitive bear trap had been constructed in the form of a figure 4, with a heavy piece of timber made sharp on one side to fall upon and hold a bear or other large animal when caught under it. Early one morning William went alone to examine the trap, was caught and held by the sharp log for several hours before anyone came to his aid. When released he called for water, which was brought to him in a hat, drank it and immediately expired.
HANNAH, married --- SHAPLEY.
MATTIE, married Garner SHAPLEY.
JANE, married James WALKER.
Ebenezer Root, a miller, came from Great Barrington, Mass., previous to 1800 and settled in the eastern part of the town, where he lived until 1820, when he moved to Fayette (Guilford village) and took charge of the grist mill for a number of years. He was also a drover and cattle dealer. He returned to this town and run the VanWAGENEN mill on Lyon brook, near the present O. & W. R'y bridge, and in 1839 took the mill of Edward ARNOLD a half mile below North Guilford, where he died February 12, 1842, aged 82. He was buried at Guilford Centre. At one time he ran a mill built by the WESTCOTTs to grind grain for their distillery. He was known throughout this section as "the honest miller." Mr. Root was a Minute Man during the Revolution and enlisted six times, the first time in February, 1777, serving one month; the last enlistment was in 1781, serving fourteen days. He served under Captains SILCOX, INGERSOLL, DENNING, CARSON, DOWNING and HEATHCOTE. He applied for a pension in 1832, which was allowed. He was twice married and the father of sixteen children. His second wife, Cynthia WHIPPLE, to whom he was married in 1802, died in 1856.
John Backus was born in Norwich, Conn., April 11, 1781. He ran away from home to go to sea when he was about twelve years old, but his father brought him back and told him if he wanted to be a sailor to start in a proper way and found him a place on a ship sailing from New London. He rose rapidly from one position to another, and became a captain before he was very far in his twenties, serving under the Government in the war of 1812. Yielding to the importunities of his wife, he left the sea in 1813, and following the line of immigration from Connecticut with his wife and little daughter came to Oxford. We quote from a letter written by Mrs. Backus to her husband's parents in Connecticut:
January 24, 1814.You will be surprised to hear that we have moved. Mr. Backus has taken the Coffee House in Oxford Village (the present HOTCHKISS House), a large building, considered a very good stand. A good farm under cultivation attached to it; has taken it for three years at $300 per year. We are now all bustle and confusion as we came into the house yesterday and the other family have not yet left the house. The girls in this country are not half so good as they are down country. Mr. Backus has requested the bearer of this letter, Esq. NICHOLS, to call on you and he can inform you of all particulars. He has likewise requested him if possible to bring our looking-glass as we are much in want of it. This house has six large rooms on the ground-besides a shop, which takes one end of the house through and fronts on one of the public squares of the village. Mr. Backus says Esq. Nichols thinks you might get a load of wheat about twenty milieus from here at one dollar 25 cash. There was a load sold here for that to-day. * * * I wrote Mrs. BREWER and requested the favor of the notes of the two afternoon chants, as we have a church meeting here, and a subscription out for building a church. Benj. BUTLER, formerly from New London, subscribed $500 and a subscription among the ladies for furnishing the pulpit had several days ago, $40 or upwards to it.
In a letter written May 17th of the same year by Mrs. Backus:
A Mr. HACKETT sets out to-morrow morning after a load of our goods. * * * Since my husband spoke to Mr. Hackett about going the journey he has seen Mr. Jabez PERKINS who would liked to have gone, but the old man would not give up going. He is not quite so steady at all times, but hope he will take good care of the load. He will talk a great deal, you may believe just as much as you have a mind too and no more. We were much surprised at the number of deaths mentioned by Father in his letter. * * * I am almost lost without my little girl. I can see her every step I take, some talk or action is ever before me-and then to find it real that her little body is crumbling into dust crowds hard upon the heart. * * * They are forming an Episcopal society since we came and think they will be able to get a nice church with assistance from Trinity church, N. Y., which they have no doubt of obtaining, and have had three sermons delivered by a young clergyman, who they are in hopes of hiring soon-a very excellent speaker indeed. My husband is one of the committee and seems quite engaged. * * * Will thank you for a few cranberry beans and watermelon seeds & a receipt to color red. * * * If you have observed any new fashions for making gowns will thank you for a little description. If I live I calculate to make me a good black one soon and should like to make it handsomely, as it is not likely I shall wear it out immediately.
A meeting was held at the house of Abijah LOBDELL, May 23, 1814, for the purpose of forming an Episcopal church. John Backus was chosen chairman and Abijah Lobdell clerk. It was resolved that the youthful parish erect a place of worship and call it St. Paul's church of Oxford. Frederick HOPKINS and John Backus were elected wardens. The first celebration of the Holy Communion was December 10, 1815, Lucinda Backus and Bedee HULL being the only communicants.
In 1814, Mr. Backus bought a farm of 108 acres at $10 per acre, now owned by Alva M. BALCUM, near the top of Gamble Roof hill, and that summer proceeded to build the house which is still standing and the exterior but little changed. Mrs. Backus gives the following description in a letter home:
Our house since planting comes on slowly. Will tell you how it is calculated. It is I think 25x37 ft., calculated to have on the ground a large kitchen, one keeping room with cupboard, two large bedrooms with clothespress and cupboard, a pantry and back entry with sink. A story and a half; stands on the corner of two roads. When he feels able calculates to build in front on the State Road. Have a very pleasant view of the village.
On April 8, 1820, Mrs. Backus died, leaving two small children: William and Lucinda.
WILLIAM, who was born in 1816, married Maria S. CAMPBELL of Norwich, Conn., in 1844. They went west, when to quote his own words: "I could have bought all the land that Chicago now stands on for $10 an acre, and I wouldn't take it as a gift." Mrs. Backus died at Cherubusco, Ind., in 1898, and Mr. Backus at Norwich, Conn., in 1899, leaving no children.
LUCINDA, born in 1818, was married to Amariah N. BEMIS in 1839. They lived in Oxford village till 1851, when they removed to Lyon Brook, where Mr. Bemis bought and operated the mills. For many years he transported his lumber to New York by canal. In 1870 he sold the mills and moved to Esmen township, Ill., where Mrs. Bemis died in 1889. Mr. Bemis dying at his daughter's in Oxford in 1897. They left four children:
Nelson A., married Sarah SHELDON of Guilford, N.Y. Residence, Odell, Ill.
Mary, married Albert C. GREENE. Residence, Westminster, Conn.
Harriet Lucinda, married Dr. G. A. GLEASON of Oxford.
Sarah Abigal, married Frank RAISBECK. Residence, Bloomington, Ill.
In 1821, John Backus married for his second wife, Abigail GLOVER of Oxford, and they had four children. Mr. Backus spent the remainder of his life quietly on is farm, where he died March 17, 1842. His wife continued on the farm with her son Henry till her death in 1872.
HENRY, never married, living at the old homestead until January 1, 1885, when he sold to Alva M. BALCUM, at which time he moved to Newburyport, Mass., where he died in 1898.
JOHN, JR., died in Norwich, Conn., in 1866, leaving two children: Lila, living at Norwich, Conn., and John 3d, living at Providence, R. I.
HARRIET, born in 1827, died in 1832.
NATHAN GLOVER, died in Lisbon, N. D., in 1899, leaving one daughter, Alice M. BENNETT of Seattle, Wash.
DEATH FROM LIGHTNING. --- A sad catastrophe occurred near this town on the night of September 6, 1819. Jabez PERKINS, a young man of 36 and brother of Erastus Perkins, with his family had closed their cabin amid the deep darkness in the woods and retired. A fearful thunder storm came up, during which Mr. Perkins and wife in an instant of time were stricken by a blinding flash of lightning into eternity. A child sleeping with them was unharmed. They left a large and helpless family destitute and forlorn.
JARED HINCKLEY, born at Lebanon, Conn., November 8, 1759, was a soldier of the Revolution who came to Oxford about 1803. He died April 12, 1828, aged 69. His widow, whose maiden name was Hopestill BREWSTER, died in 1849, aged 89. Mary O. Hinckley, their daughter, died December 27, 1884, in Clifton Springs, N. Y. Married November 17, 1819, Ashel J. HYDE of Oxford. Resided in This village thirty-three years.
The Oxford Hoe and Edge Tool company was organized in the spring of 1853 by a stock company, with a capital of $10,000 of which Alamanzar WATSON was resident, and Lemuel BOLLES, Thomas J. WOOD, Joseph G. THORP and Nelson C. CHAPMAN were trustees. The factory was under the superintendence of Mr. Bolles, whose edged tools had been awarded several premiums at State fairs and Mechanical institutes. The fires were first lighted early in December, 1853, and business was soon in full operation, their work gaining an extensive reputation throughout the country. At the World's Exhibition in the crystal Palace at New York in 1854, the award for the best solid shank cast steel hoe was given to this company, and a silver medal was awarded in November, 1855, by the American Institute fair in New York. On the average thirty men were employed and about $40,000 worth of goods were manufactured per annum. Mr. Bolles remained in the company ten years and then established a hoe factory at South Oxford. Hon. John TRACY succeeded Mr. Watson as president, the charter in 1863, when the company was sold to John Y. WASHBURN and Wm. A. MARTIN, the latter retiring in June, 1871, when the establishment was destroyed by fire. At the time of the discovery, shortly before one o'clock Sunday morning, the main building was on fire at the south end and by the time the engines reached the scene, had spread so that it was impossible to save that part of the building and the firemen turned their attention to the wing, containing the engine and boilers, which escaped injury by keeping two streams of water upon it until daylight. The safe and other articles were taken from the office, and with the exception of the engine, boilers, a quantity of belting and a few knives, were all that was saved. The property was valued at $24,000, on which there was an insurance of $11,000. About $2,000 worth of hoes and nearly the same amount of knives were destroyed.
BURNING OF THE CHENANGO HOUSE. --- Early Tuesday morning, February 7, 1871, fire was discovered in the barn connected with the Chenango House, on the site of the present residence of Mrs. Mary WARN. An alarm quickly brought the firemen, but the flames had gained such headway that it was impossible to check the devastation. The Chenango House and barn, livery barn, and a barn owned by Orson CRUMB were destroyed. L. & A. W. BARTLE, proprietors of the hotel, were heavy losers. BUELL & DODGE, proprietors of the livery, lost nine horses, several wagons and everything connected with the barn. Mr. Dodge had an insurance of $1,000 on his half of the livery. Mr. Crumb lost his barn, together with its contents.
SAMUEL STOW, born April 17, 1742, came to Oxford in 1819, to reside with his daughter, Mrs. Hezekiah MORSE, and died January 21, 1835. He was a sergeant-major during the war of the Revolution, and in 1832 was granted a pension of $40 per year.
The iron bridge across the canal was removed last week. The change is great in the general view, and will be the greatest improvement Oxford has ever witnessed. One other improvement must now follow, and that is to curb a portion of LaFayette square and form a small Park. * * * The principal item of expense in forming the Park would be in the curbing a few entertainments by a "Village Improvement Society," would soon raise the amount required. Who is the first public-spirited lady or gentleman to make a move? You can count on the Times office for assistance. --- OXFORD TIMES, September 3, 1789.
The above item evidently had a stimulating effect for five days later a meeting of several of the ladies was held to devise ways and means of constructing a park on La Fayette Square. From that time the ladies have worked with a will, as the three parks in the village, the town clock, and other improvements testify. The society has raised and expended several thousands of dollars for the benefit of the village.
DANIEL TUCKER came on foot from Massachusetts to Wattles Ferry, near Unadilla, in 1787, and in the spring of 1791 removed to a farm of fifty acres south of the BLACKMAN farm, in Oxford, which is still owned by his descendants. In 1793 he married Mary McKENZIE, who came from Kinderhook, Columbia county, and died July 19, 1833. Mr. Tucker worked for Gen. HOVEY the first two years, and drove team between Oxford and Catskill. Sleighs were used and the runners were shod with ironwood. There was no road at that time and those who accompanied the teams carried axes with them to cut away the trees. Mr. Tucked died September 7, 1845, aged 85. He was one of the most fearless, energetic, and active men among the earliest settlers; industrious as well as honest, he enjoyed the esteem and respect of all. He was the father of eleven children.
STEPHEN ASA SHELDON, who for a number of years was a resident of the village, was born April 28, 1830, in the town of Norwich, N. Y. He married March 26, 1856, Sarah E. HAYNES, daughter of Charles B. and Sarah (MEAD) Haynes, of Oxford. He went to California in the early days of the gold excitement, where he remained a year or more, experiencing all the hardships and exciting scenes incident to a mining camp. About the year 1860 Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon moved to a farm three miles above the village of Oxford on the east side of the river. Here they remained a short time and then came to the village, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Sheldon's death occurred September 22, 1895. That of his wife, March 14, 1901. Children: CHARLES BENJAMIN, born July 7, 1857; died January 29, 1861. JESSIE HAYNES, married December 15, 1886, Myron E. POWERS of Oxford.
ZOPHER BETTS, a man of large stature, came from Massachusetts, where he was born at Egremont in 1761, and settled on the West side of the river at South Oxford. In the early days of the community, when the Oxford and Greene Baptist church was formed at Brisbin, he was one of the ten constituent members. His sons were Erastus, Silas and Warren, as his daughters were the wives of Blodget SMITH, William D. WHEELER, Jeremiah TenBROECK, Wheaton RACE and Loren MILLER. Numerous descendants are living in the county. Mr. Betts was a soldier of the Revolution, and after living in Oxford while, he went to Egremont with horse and wagon to get proofs that he might secure a pension, in which he was successful. He died March 10, 1842. Jane, his wife, died February 14, 1841, aged 76. They were buried in the TenBroeck cemetery at South Oxford.
JAMES M. EDWARDS came to Oxford in 1835 and was employed in the foundry until 1868, when he purchased the property and continued its owner until his death, which occurred February 7, 1887. The foundry was destroyed by fire November 23, 1883. He held the office of village trustee for several years, in which position he was honored and trusted, as in all his business transactions. Mr. Edwards was born January 12, 1815, in Cairo, N. Y. In January, 1845, he was married to Miss Sarah CHUBBUCK, born May 28, 1816, in Eaton, N. Y., and died September 17, 1902, in Oxford. She was a cousin of Mrs. Emily Chubbuck JUDSON, a prominent missionary, though better known as Fanny FORRESTER, the poetess and author of the Alderbook Tales. Children: JOHN W., died in 1877. Unmarried. HARRIET H., married Darwin E. LELAND, and resides in Oneida. SARAH JENNETTE, married William F. COOK. JAMES H., married Mabel T. DAVIS of Binghamton. Residence, Passaic, N. J.
JOEL CHAPIN, who pursued the occupation of a cabinet maker in the early days of Oxford, died August 2, 1860, in Saratoga Springs, aged 62 years. Honor F., his wife, died May 18, 1844, in Oxford, aged 49 years.
ELIZA B., died March 4, 1851, in Philadelphia, aged 24 years. ANNA WICKHAM, died December 20, 1851, in Germantown, Pa., aged 24 years. FLOYD LeROY, died April 10, 1889, in Glens Falls, N. Y. He studied medicine and became a physician. During the Civil war was a surgeon of the 30th N. Y. S. Vols. At second battle of Bull Run he allowed himself to be taken prisoner by the enemy so that he could attend to the wounded Union prisoners within the Confederate line.
During the night of June 25, 1860, John S. WHITE, who kept the old BUSH stand, now the farm residence of Patrick HOGAN near the O. & W. station, Orlando UTTER and Samuel ROBINSON, having blackened their faces and disguised themselves, went to the house occupied by Horace R. BURLISON and family, situated a short distance below White's hotel, and opening the door of the house ascended to the chamber floor and commenced tearing the roof off; working away with the evident intention of razing the house to the ground. While they were at this work, Burlison procured a gun and fired, killing Robinson almost instantly. His intention was to shoot White, but, owing to the darkness and disguises, killed Robinson. It was alleged that Burlison, who was a poor man with a large family, kept a house of illfame, which was a nuisance and a pest to the neighborhood. The coroner's jury brought in a verdict of murder; but the grand jury failed to indict him, and he was discharged. Robinson had but previously come from the West and was in the employ of White. He was a sober, industrious young man of good habits. A few days after the affair, several persons of that neighborhood collected themselves together and razed the house to the ground, destroyed the barn and filled up the well, leaving not a vestige to mark the place where once there was a dwelling.
The First National Bank of Oxford was established in February, 1864, in the building now occupied by Miss S. J. SWAN, with a capital of $70,000, which was increased May 10, 1864, to $100,000, and again February 15, 1865, to $150,000, at which amount it stood till June 2, 1879, when it was reduced to $100,000, the present capital, by paying back to the shareholders $50,000 in cash. The first directors were: James W. CLARKE, Frederick A. SANDS, Peter W. CLARKE, William VAN WAGENEN, William H. VAN WAGENEN, Francis G. CLARKE, and John R. CLARKE. The first board of officers were elected February 10, 1864. They were James W. CLARKE, president; Frederick A. SANDS, cashier, and May 10, 1864, John R. VAN WAGENEN was elected assistant cashier. The bank opened for business February 13, 1864, and took up quarters on the second floor of the Clarke block, while the Navy Island location was being prepared for its reception, to which it removed within few weeks from the organization. Frederick A. Sands resigned as cashier March 22, 1865, in favor or Henry L. MILLER, who was succeeded October 8, 1867, by John R. VAN WAGENEN, Mr. Miller accepting the office of vice-president, which was created at that time. After the death of Mr. Clarke, the organizer of the bank and the moving spirit of the enterprise which had proved of so much importance to the community, June 30, 1878, the office of president was vacant till the annual election in January, 1879, when John R. VAN WAGENEN, the present incumbent, was elected thereto, and Peter W. CLARKE, vice-president, Mr. Miller declining a re-election. J. Fred SANDS was appointed to the vacant cashiership, which office he held till the appointment of Peter W. CLARKE, January 11, 1887, when he was elected vice-president, holding the office for one year only.
Cory D. HAYES, at present in the banking business at Clinton, N. Y., was assistant cashier from January 14, 1873, till his removal from town March 1, 1878. Jared E. ESTELOW, the present incumbent, was appointed in January, 1888, having served as teller for several years previous. The present directors are: John R. VAN WAGENEN, president; Cory D. HAYES, vice-president; Jared C. ESTELOW, cashier; Charles W. BROWN, William H. VAN WAGENEN, William M. MILLER, and Gilbert J. PARKER. The bank has been uniformly successful, having accumulated a large surplus besides paying liberal dividends. A semi-annual dividend has never been omitted since the first one in January, 1865. In 1894 the present commodious building was erected, which is a monument to the enterprise and liberality of the present management. Its plans were drawn in the office of State Architect PERRY and personally supervised by him.
Stephen Hambidge Millard, with his wife, and infant daughter came to Oxford from Watledge, Gloucestshire, England, his native place, in 1842. He was born February 1, 1821, and his marriage to Mary GILLMAN occurred in 1840. Their voyage to America in a sailing vessel occupied fifty-two days. Landing in New York city they continued their trip by water to Oxford, taking a boat via Albany and Utica. Here they spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Millard was a cooper by trade and conducted an extensive cooperage for a term of years, employing a large number of hands. He was fond of music and for many years was leader of the choir in the M. E. church. Mrs. Millard was born in 1822 and died June 20, 1898, in Oxford.
S. AMELIA, married (1) September 20, 1860, Gilbert J. ROWLEY, who died May 31, 1867; married (2) Edward SMITH, now residing in Seymour, Ct.
MARY E., married April 9, 1867, James G. VAN WAGENEN.
FRANK S., married September 2, 1875, Della V. SOULE of Smithville.
ELLEN J., married February 1, 1871, William ALEXANDER.
CARRIE, married June 10, 1886, Edwin T. DELAVAN.
HARRIET L., died April 16, 1859, in infancy.