|ALLEN, Samuel Percival||-||Smyrna|
|BILLINGS, Colonel N. E.||-||lived in county|
|HOWARD, Ezra||-||native Columbus|
|HOWARD, William B.||-||native Columbus|
|HOWARD, William C.||-||native Sherburne|
|HURLBURT, Mr. Malcolm Douglass||-||Greene|
|MYGATT, Henry R.||-||Oxford|
|SKILLIN, James A.||-||lived in county|
|WEBB, G. W.||-||Greene|
|WHITE, Devillo, M.D.||-||Sherburne|
The subject of this sketch had no advantages of education save in the common school of the district three miles west of Smyrna village. In March, 1830, he went to Geneseo, Livingston county, with his uncle JAMES PERCIVAL, then the publisher of the "Livingston Register," and for about two years was employed as an apprentice in the printing office. Returning to Chenango county he was employed on a farm in Sherburne for three years, attending school in the winter. In the winter of 1834-'5, he taught schools at the "Old Four Corners," a district made from parts of Sherburne, Smyrna, Norwich and Plymouth. Again returning to Livingston county in 1835, he worked in printing offices in Geneseo and Mt. Morris, until September 1837, when the Whig Central Committee, at the end of which was the late JOHN YOUNG (afterwards elected Governor of the State,) solicited him to take charge of a new Whig journal at Geneseo. As he had no means, the only capital he could contribute was industry and a brief experience as a printer. But with some old and a little new material, "The Livingston Republican," was issued on the 19th of September, 1837, and was continued by him for nine years, when it was sold, prior to his removal to Rochester. In 1847, Mr. ALLEN was nominated as the Whig candidate for County Clerk of Livingston county, and elected by over 1,200 majority. The removal of GEORGE DAWSON to Albany, to become the associate of Hon. THURLOW WEED, offered Mr. ALLEN the opportunity of becoming the purchaser of one-fourth of the Rochester Daily Democrat," in which he continued as one of the proprietors and editors for a period of eighteen years. During this time, in the fall of 1857, the entire establishment was destroyed by fire, with a very small insurance upon the property, but the paper kept up its issue until the proprietors of the "Democrat" bought out the "Rochester American" and consolidated it with the "Democrat". It was thenceforth a prosperous concern and very soon after going to Rochester Mr. ALLEN was elected an Alderman for the old 6th ward, and in January 1858, making two terms of two years each. In March, 1861, he was appointed by President Lincoln, Collector of Internal Revenue for the District composed of the counties of Monroe and Orleans, and held the office over six years, receiving during his term between five and six millions of dollars which was promptly and fully paid over to the government.
By appointment of Gov. Young, Mr. ALLEN served as one of the first Managers of the Western House of Refuge at Rochester; and during the war of the Rebellion, he served as a member of the "War Committee" for Monroe county, appointed by Gov. E. D. Morgan. He was also several times a member of the Whig and afterwards of the Republican State Committee, a delegate to the Whig State Convention in 1855, and served upon the joint committee for selecting candidates upon the first Republican Ticket ever nominated in this State. Since that time he has often been a delegate to Republican State Conventions.
In 1870, after six years as Collector of Internal Revenue, having sold his interest in the Rochester Daily Democrat in 1864, he again turned his attention to his favorite occupation of publishing a newspaper. On the 1st of January in that year he purchased the half interest of Hon. Lewis Kingsley in the "Chenango Telegraph." an old and popular journal, and remained the partner of Hon. B. Gage Berry for four years. In 1874 he sold his interest to Mr. Berry and for the third time became a resident of Geneseo. In September, 1876, he re-purchased "The Livingston Republican," the paper he had founded thirty-eight years before. This he still owns and publishes.
In January, 1872, Mr. ALLEN was appointed Assistant Clerk of the Assembly, and performed the duties so satisfactorily he was, with the exception of 1875 when the Democrats had a majority in that body, continued in the office until and including the session of 1879.
Mr. ALLEN was married in 1838 to HARRIET C. STANLEY, daughter of LUMAN STANLEY, an early pioneer of Mt. Morris. Three of their six children are living: a daughter who was teaching in Detroit and died in October, 1871, and two other daughters who were teachers in the State Normal School at Geneseo, died in 1876.
In 1878, Mr. Allen and his wife visited California, taking the overland route, and passing several weeks in San Francisco, Yosemite Valley and the surrounding region, Lake Tahoe and Salt Lake City in Utah. At the latter place he meet a brother of the Mormon Prophet, Brigham Young, who with the entire Young family lived in Smyrna when Brigham was ten or twelve years old. Their residence was west of "Dark Hollow" on the road to French Settlement or Plymouth village. Mr. ALLEN is attached to his life-long profession, to the place where he first learned the art of printing and established the paper with which he proposes to remain connected as long as life and health are spared to him.
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 467.
REUBEN died Jan. 14, 1859, aged seventy-one years, and his wife, CATY, died Oct. 20, 1879, aged eighty-eight years.
JOEL spent his early years at home working on the farm and occasionally attending school winters. The winter he was twenty years old he engaged with LEWIS MERRILL to drive a stage from Truxton to McLean, on the line from Utica to Ithaca. The next year he drove from Madison to Richfield Springs, on the line from Albany to Syracuse, and continued on this route for two years. He then returned to the first mentioned route and drove there a short time. He then engaged in farming, having bought a farm of 85 acres in Otselic. In 1841, the 8th of July, he was united in marriage with SALLY M., daughter of ELIAS and SALLY (MAXHAM) CARD, of Otselic. They were natives, the former of Madison county, and the latter of Massachusetts. She was born the 11th of February, 1824. Mr. BUCKINGHAM continued farming about nine years. He then run portion of a line of stages from Utica to Pitcher, about four years, and then returned to farming and continued in that business until 1865. He built the cheese factory at Otselic, in 1867, and operated it till 1871. He then went to DeRuyter, and built a factory there in 1875. He was engaged there in the manufacture of cheese some three years before and three years after he built the factory at DeRuyter. He then came back to Otselic and has been very largely engaged in the manufacture of butter and cheese up to the present time. The factory at Otselic has received as high as 21,000 pounds of milk in a single day, and the business is very large during the entire season.
Mr. BUCKINGHAM is a democrat in politics and has had several town offices, such as town clerk, collector and constable and was postmaster at Otselic four years under Gen. Taylor's administration. In religious sentiment he is a Universalist.
To Mr. and Mrs. BUCKINGHAM have been born four children whose names are as follows: JENETTE, born May 7, 1845, married DAVID NEWITT, of DeRuyter, Jan. 29, 1873; CASSIUS M., born Nov. 23, 1848, married EMMA L. JAQUITH, of Otselic, March 22, 1871; CLAYTON A., born Oct. 23, 1852, unmarried; and ARTHUR A., born Oct. 31, 1856, died March 16, 1862.
From "Hisory of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 475.
Mr. BUSH had the advantage of being reared and guided to mature manhood by parents of rare good sense, shrewd business tact and remarkably good habits. He either benefited by their judicious training and example, or inherited their sterling qualities in large degree. But they have long since passed away and their remains now rest, with other old pioneers and relatives of the family, in a beautiful cemetery, walled in with cut stone by the present owner, (to which he has perpetuated the title,) on the farm which they cleared nearly a century ago, and in which cemetery he has caused to be erected to their memory, at large expense, to stand as a lasting memorial of his respect and gratitude.
Mr. BUSH received a good English education in the common and select schools in the village near him and was much improved and benefited by the instruction and assistance of an older brother, who was a graduate of Hamilton College, and for a short time of a brief life, a practicing lawyer of much promise.
Although he received from his father a good inheritance, his enterprising disposition and special training in the lumber business induced him to spend about five years, from 1852 to 1857, in lumbering in Upper Canada; where his uncommon sagacity, experience and business talent enabled him to be successful.
A year or two after this, in the fall of 1859, he was induced by his friends to accept a nomination for Member of Assembly from Chenango county, and was elected; receiving in his own town, where almost every voter had known him from childhood, every vote cast except sixteen. While in the Assembly he served on one of the most important committees, that of Ways and Means. He took an active part in obtaining assistance from the State for the construction of the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad and materially aided in construction by his wealth and influence.
After the expiration of his term in the Legislature he resided in New York city, and was engaged in real estate and other speculations of those times successfully, until 1870, when he returned to his farm in Bainbridge, the old homestead above referred to, which had descended to him from his grandfather and father, and had always received his special care and supervision. It lies on the Susquehanna River and consists of about 250 acres of the choicest lands, in a high state of cultivation. Mr. BUSH brings the same good sense, sound judgment and business capacity to the cultivation and management of his farm which has distinguished him in his other undertakings. The farm is a model one for general convenience, neatness and judicious management, and causes its owner to be ranked among the most successful agriculturalists in the county.
Mr. BUSH is six feet high, of fine presence, prepossessing countenance and frank social and agreeable manners, and a remarkably good judge of character; qualities which particularly fit him for a successful politician. Yet he is entirely adverse to taking office, and has always, since his term in the Legislature, refused. It is not because he has not decided political opinions. Few men are better informed or have more thorough convictions on political questions than he has. He assists his political friends zealousy and liberally, and manifests a deep interest in the success of the Republican party, to which he has belonged since its organization. Prior to that he was a Whig.
His integrity has never been questioned, and his morals and habits are unexceptionable. He pays liberally for the support of the gospel and charitable objects. Mr. BUSH is a bachelor.
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 158.
From "History of Warren County, PA" contributed by Robin Carpenter, March 1999
From "History of Warren County, PA" contributed by Robin Carpenter, March 1999
From "History of Warren County, PA" contributed by Robin Carpenter, March 1999
He was the son of Mr. ISAAC A. HURLBURT of that county. His early boyhood life was dissimilar from that of many at his age, as he early manifested a taste for books and an anxious desire for knowledge. But owing to the limited means of his father, he was compelled to put forth every effort possible to avail himself of even the meagre chances offered in the common district school. But his determined purpose enabled him to preserve and in the face of many difficulties secure something of an education. Fitting himself for the vocation of a school teacher he successfully engaged in that work for several years, aiding to mold the lives of many who are now living and respected. Turning his attention to farming he purchased a farm of some 200 acres which he thoroughly improved. Not resting with this he purchased a second farm in Chenango county.
From early life he gave considerable attention to the care and training of horses. Such was his admiration and fondness for the horse that he devoted much time to the education and training of them in speed and various tricks. The well known horse Mazeppa was owned and trained by his partner, Mr. ROCKWELL.
On November 4th, 1875, he left VanCouver's Island for California, on board the steamer Pacific with a span of well-trained horses, but he with the other passengers, little realized the fate before them, for in a few hours the steamer collided with the ship Orpheus. The steamer sank instantly and all on board were lost except two. Thus ended the life of the husband and father.
October 3d, 1852, he was married to Miss LUCY ANN HOLCOMB, the daughter of ASHBEL HOLCOMB of Broome county. She was born in 1829.
The fruits of this marriage (six children,) are MARY E., born in 1854; LUCY E., born in 1856; DOUGLASS M., who died at the age of six and a half; LOTTIE JANE, born in 1860; WATSON, born in 1862; GUY, born in 1866; and GENEVIEVE, born in 1871.
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 200.
The career of HENRY F. MYGATT furnishes a worthy example of this kind. He was born in the village of Oxford, in the county of Chenango on the 10th day of April, 1810. His father, HENRY MYGATT, came from New Milford, Conn., and was well and favorably known as a prominent merchant at Oxford, in the years that followed its settlement. His mother, whose maiden name was SARAH STEPHENS WASHBURN, died while the subject of this sketch was quite young. Mr. MYGATT was prepared for college at Oxford Academy, when it was in the charge of DAVID PRENTICE, a successful and popular teacher of youth, and in after years more widely known for his scholarly attainments as a professor in one of the colleges of this State. Of those who were schoolmates of Mr. MYGATT at the Academy were HORATIO SEYMOUR, WARD HUNT, JOHN W. ALLEN, HENRY W. ROGERS, JOSEPH G. MASTON, JOHN CLAPP, and others who like them have left their impress upon their age, and some of whom have given their names to history. Mr. MYGATT entered Hamilton College in 1826, remained there two years, when he went to Union and was graduated in 1830, in a class including the names of HENRY S. RANDALL, BENJAMIN F. REXFORD, GEORGE D. BEERS, and ROBERT C. LIVINGSTON. It was during his stay at Union, and about the year 1880, that he made a note in his memoranda of current events, of the ceremony of removing the first shovel of earth for the Albany & Schenectady railroad, one of the first ever built on this Continent.
After graduation, Mr. MYGATT began the study of law in the office of JAMES C. CLAPP, in Oxford, whose name for years was a synonym for strength, integrity and ability in his profession. In that office, thorough scholarship, exhaustive research, exact knowledge and a high sense of professional honor were inculcated by precept and practice, as the essentials for merited success at the bar. Mr. CLAPP also had a broad culture and general knowledge of men and books, combined with rare felicity of expression and charm of conversation, which inspired his students with the ambition to attain to something higher than the mere routine and technicalities of their profession, and least of all to content themselves with the arts and devices of the pettifogger. It is a circumstance of marked significance in weighing the legal merits and acquirements of Mr. MYGATT, that his tutor ever held for him the highest esteem and confidence, and that too during many years in which they were often brought together in intimate social and professional relations, and associated in cases of great importance requiring close investigation and deep research. He was admitted an Attorney and Counsellor in the Supreme Court at Albany, in 1833, and returned to his native village, where he entered upon and continued the practice of law during more than forty years, and until weakness and exhaustion compelled him to withdraw from the active duties of a professional career of distinguished usefulness and honor. That career began when JAMES CLAPP and HENRY VAN DER LYN were in the full tide of success, in his native village, and found him at its close almost alone of the men who had entered the lists with him, at the Chenango colony bar, but receiving still the same consideration and respect from the younger members of the profession at the close of his career, which was awarded him by his elders in the early years of his practice.
He was married Dec. 2, 1835, to ESTHER MARIA, daughter of JOHN TRACY, formerly Lieutenant-Governor of the State. She, with two sons, JOHN T. MYGATT of New York, and WILLIAM R. MYGATT, a lawyer at Oxford, and one daughter MAI MYGATT, survives him. It is not the purpose of this sketch to recount the professional triumphs of its subject, but two only may be fitly cited as showing his exact and close study of adjudicated cases bearing upon a particular principle, and his persistence even under defeat until he had reached the court of final resort, so long as he could see that he was right with the authorities. The one, proving his indomitable perseverance and tenacity for the right was the case of the Chenango Bridge Company against the Binghamton Bridge Company, in which upon appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States after defeat in the trial and General Terms of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals of this State, he obtained in that highest tribunal of the nation a reversal of the decision of all the State courts, and maintained the inviolability of a legislative franchise as a contract. The other was an action in equity, which resulted in a decree in his favor declaring a will which was a cloud upon title, void for incapacity of the testator, and that too, after it had been proved and of record for more than a quarter of a century.
But we prefer to leave the question of his acquirements and merits as a lawyer to the spoken or written authority of those who were associated or opposed to him at the bar, to the public press of the State, and to the judges of our highest courts, before whom he appeared at trial or for argument. One writes, who was a schoolmate, of the same profession and a lifelong friend, "His success was due to honest, hard work, to an energy that never tired, a tenacity of purpose which never yielded except to the mandate of a court of last resort, combined with integrity never even tainted with suspicion."
One of his profession and a neighbor, said of him at a meeting of the Bar in his native county called to tell their regret for his loss and express their sense of his noble career:-
"I entered Mr. MYGATT's office as a student-in-law in October, 1841, and remaining in his office from that time until April, 1846, I became very conversant with the habits and characteristics of the man, and I assure you that no man, probably, ever labored harder, more hours, more unceasingly to make himself perfect in his profession, and to make himself what subsequent events proved him to be, one of the ablest lawyers in the State of New York. The extent and variety of his work has been simply enormous, and it shows what a man may attain by perseverance, labor, by devotion to his object, and a love of the profession, which he regarded as the highest that a man can pursue, save one."
Said another, a Judge of the Supreme Court, before whom he often appeared during many years: "His virtues, his integrity, his goodness, his usefulness, his benevolence and example as a citizen as well as a lawyer, will long be remembered, and should be emulated by all lawyers who desire the esteem and welfare of the people among whom they live."
One, his junior in the profession, a townsman, spoke thus kindly of him:-
"Our loved and honored friend was rich in nature's best endowments, but it seems to me he was richer far in acquired forces, which come of ripe scholarship, a life of patient labor, well directed efforts, and the constant adherence to right, and the practice of everything becoming an honest man, the noblest work of God."
And again a former judge, and who knew him well, spoke these words of tender regret:-
"I feel that the profession has lost one of its brightest ornaments, and the community one of the noblest of men. Never, in my experience, have I known a lawyer who was as devoted to the interests of his client, or who would make so many sacrifices that justice might be done to his client, as Mr. MYGATT."
A Judge of the Supreme Court for many years, and afterwards of the Commission of Appeals, who presided at the meeting of the Bar in Chenango county, called after his death, said of Mr. MYGATT: "I cannot permit myself to remain entirely silent and be simply a listener to these proceedings. I have known Mr. MYGATT for more than thirty years. When he first appeared before me as a member of the Bar, there was one thing that I particularly noticed, and that which proved true of him at all times, that the case upon his part was exhausted both upon the argument and authority. And very often this fact forced upon the Court a more careful examination of the other side of the case, and the result was that the cases in which he appeared as counsel were sometimes more carefully considered, fearing that injustice might be done his opponent."
The Broome County Bar Association adopted and published a minute, stating their estimate of his career as a lawyer in these words:-
Resolved, That in our deceased brother, there existed that admirable union of great knowledge, untiring perseverance, fidelity, integrity and devotion to truth and honor, combined with great urbanity, which form a character worthy of imitation, and a model which all entering upon the study and practice of the profession may adopt for their own and the public good."
The press in his own county, and in other counties and cities of the State as well, added its tribute to his worth. It is, however, needless to further extend the testimonials of Mr. MYGATT's standing in his chosen profession. He took pleasure in the research which it required, and thought it as Edmund Burke well said, "one of the first and noblest of human sciences; a science which does more to quicken and invigorate the understanding than all the other kinds of learning put together."
But in the larger sphere of equity jurisdiction he found greater pleasure and won deserved success. Whatever the result of the litigation might be, his client never doubted that he had devoted to him his best services, and his antagonist, whether in defeat or victory, retired from the contest with a higher sense of his courtesy, his fairness and his honor. In ready perception of analogies and exact application and knowledge of adjudicated cases bearing upon a particular point, or establishing a given principle, he had no superior.
It is enough that commencing and continuing in a quiet and then secluded village, with no advantages gained from that fame which political honors and official position confer, he won, as a private citizen only, by honest, hard work, persevering study, deep research and skillful and honorable practice, a pre-eminent place in his profession not only in his own county, but in the State at large. Success and honor thus won are not accidents, they come of an abiding purpose, and therefore is it that they are the more valuable as examples for those who are struggling for excellence, not only in the professions, but in any worthy business or calling. And such an example is most valuable in these latter days, when the temptation to tread forbidden paths and to use, to say the least, doubtful expedients in the headlong scramble for riches and honors,, has left so many human wrecks along the pathway of the generation. Instances there are of transcendent talents and large endowments, which have given their possessors too often a short-lived fame, only to be buried in disgrace, or clouded with dishonor.
But the fact remains that the firm purpose, quiet perseverance and faithful pursuit of any worthy calling will in the end bring the only enduring reward, the only abiding honor. And it is this, which gives value to the example of HENRY R. MYGATT. His pathway to success is clear and open as the day, the honors and rewards which he reached were honestly won and justly merited; they admit of no doubtful interpretation nor require any secret explanation. The possibility, nor only so, the certainty of attaining to excellence in any honorable calling or profession is open to all upon the same conditions. There are not a few in the county where he lived, within whom are enfolded, as the oak in the acorn, the underdeveloped germs of the same success upon like conditions. As certain as the sun and the rain will from the acorn bring to its majestic proportions the oak, so certain will the firm purpose, the steady and persistent march in the way of a high and noble intent, lead to the goal of excellence at last. If this sketch shall find lodgment in the breast of any, struggling upward and onward in the way of a high and noble purpose, and his heart shall take new courage and his sinews shall gather fresh strength for the life-battle, it will not prove to be without benefit. But it is often charged to biography that it is partial, and can see only virtues in its subject. Admitted that the subject of this sketch had infirmities and weaknesses common to human nature, the example does not fail, for he kept onward and reached his reward despite them all. It is with his completed life and its results as a whole, that we have to do, and that life was a success.
One, a neighbor, well said of him: "It may not, cannot be presumption for me to say that if we copy the example of our departed friend and brother, we shall not go astray; if we follow in his footsteps we shall not widely err.: It was less than two years before his death that Mr.MYGATT fully yielded to the weakness and disease which finally ended his life. Those even who knew him best, can only faintly realize the struggle only less than that with the last enemy, which enforced retirement from his life-work so well and justly done, must have cost him..........
Mr. MYGATT always preserved a lively interest in matters of public concern, and kept up with political affairs in the State and nation.
But he never entered the area of politics, much less was he a political place-seeker. There seemed inherent in his very nature, a distaste reaching almost an abhorrence of the practices of politicians, and of the ways of politics. And yet he was ready to aid those whom he thought worthy and who desired promotion. There were times when friends who knew his eminent qualifications, and especially for judicial station, urged him to yield to their wishes, and a seat upon the bench of our highest Court required only his consent. But he always valued the rewards, honors and usefulness to be derived from steady adherence to his profession above all that political office and public place could bestow. But we have no right to leave the character and career of HENRY R. MYGATT to be measured only by his merits, great as they were, in his chosen profession. Stretching above and beyond the round of his daily toil, is the better and nobler life of the man, which induced and supplemented all his professional labors and successes. Indeed the life of the lawyer, and the broader and higher mission of his manhood, seemed to act and re-act on each other. His enthusiasm seemed to get new strength, and his energies to quicken for his work, that he might the better serve the nobler impulses and fulfill the higher behests of the man and the citizen. To those who day by day witnessed his constant and exhausting labors, the surprise was not so great that he accomplished so much, but rather that the slight form and delicate organism could sustain the steady and continued strain who which they were subjected. He seemed to measure time not so much by the common standards, as by heart-throbs, not so much by minutes as pulsations, and his life became to those who could read it best, poetry put into action, to teach them.......
.... For forty years, during the most of which he was a Trustee, and during many as its President, his gift to Oxford Academy were constant and munificent. Not only so, during a part of those years he put at its disposal a fund to supply free tuition to poor and worthy students, struggling more vainly for their daily bread than for the bread of knowledge, the objects of his bounty being unknown to him.
There are those yet alive who will associated the name of HENRY R. MYGATT with the Jubilee of Oxford Academy, in August 1854. It was an event which gathered back, after sixty years from its foundation, the representatives from 1794 of the classes that in succession had gone out form that institution; and to Mr. MYGATT's efforts and liberality the happy result was greatly due. The words of graceful and cordial welcome with which, as President of the Board of Trustees, he greeted that remarkable assemblage, is a part of the published record of that anniversary. Of those whose addresses gave an unwonted fascination to the banquet spread on that occasion, HENRY W. ROGERS alone remains.
Among the rest, who with Mr. MYGATT are lost to mortal sight, were MERRITT G. McKOON who through long years of service saw more students go out from its halls than any other of its principals, CHARLES MASON, the pure and learned jurist, JUDGE HENRY STEPHENS who first knew Oxford in 1802, and was of the class of 1807 in the Academy, EDWARD TOMPKINS, the silver tongued, who lent to the occasion the charm of his fertile fancy and the sparkle of his wit, EDWARD ANDREWS, a former teacher, rich with the husbandry of his Master, DANIEL H. MARCH, a former teacher, then the accomplished and upright lawyer, and who after twenty-seven years had come back to meet his schoolmates of the class of 1821, and DANIEL S. DICKINSON, even then know to the nation, in the full strength his noble manhood.
But great as were Mr. MYGATT's benefactions for the benefit and advancement of the village and community where he lived, they were not limited by them. He was not forgetful of educational and religious establishments in his own State and in remote sections of the country, and the Missionary of the Cross, battling in new and distant territories with vice and irreligion, felt his burden grow lighter, and his heart grow stronger, for his bounty. A young and lion-hearted Missionary Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, wrote to him not long before his death, from across the Continent, these words of grateful benediction, "You have been too kind, and loving, and steadfast and unselfishly helpful a friend to me, for me to forget you. My heart has higher aims for that I have known you. My hopes are to know you better and to be with you more in the great hereafter." And then supplementing all these larger benefactions, he scattered along the pathway of his daily life bright deeds, tender courtesies and thoughtful charities....
Mr. MYGATT was attached to the faith and worship of the Protestant Episcopal church, but he took a kindly interest in all that concerned the progress of true Christianity under whatever name, and his principles and practice were free alike from irreligion and intolerance. He died on 31st of March, 1875. Some have forgotten that morning of the early spring, when it was first told that he was dead. It was a morning glad with bird-songs and radiant with sunlight, fit counterpart of the active, bright life just then closed. The life went out only a stone's throw from where it was taken up, the circle of its orbit seemed not so very wide, it included no foreign travel nor spanned remote continents, yet it stretched away into a horizon reflecting back the serene light of kind and generous deeds. That other day came when judges and lawyers and friends of his youth from afar, tenderly bore his pall to the church, where the beautiful Episcopal burial service was said over his remains. His well-known wish that no other words should be spoken, was reluctantly but religiously kept. But the organ would somehow repeat his name, and the stones that stood up in buttress and column and tower over his sleeping clay, found voices to tell of his benefactions. And then the long procession went with his ashes by homes each with its badge of sorrow, to the little City of the Dead, upon the hill-side. There, at the open grave, while tears gathered in regretful eyes, and the blending voices of school and church-bells, from the village, told of their common sorrow, it seemed passing strange that so many will leave their names only to be cut in pale, cold marble, when they might write them on the tablets of living, loving, human hearts.
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 290.
HECTOR ROSS was born in Greenock, Scotland in 1811. His father's name was JOHN ROSS, who was a molder, living in Greenock. His mother's maiden name was ISABEL MELVILLE. She was also a native of Scotland, and came to this country in the year 1844. With her also came two brothers of HECTOR ROSS - WILLIAM and GEORGE, and one sister, BELL, all residents of Binghamton.
When HECTOR ROSS first came to this country, in 1837, he landed in Canada, where he was employed for a brief time in a foundry. Leaving the Dominion, he crossed to Charlotte, and from there went to Rochester, walking the distance, as he was entirely out of funds. Finding no employment in Rochester, he started on foot eastward, but found nothing to do until he reached Brownell's mills, in Oneida Co., where he worked for one day, during the absence of one of the hands, who was known as a mule spinner. Thence he went to New Berlin, Chenango county, expecting to find employment in one of the two mills located there. Again he failed, but with characteristic perseverance, he went on to Morris, Otsego county, where he began work as a hand mule spinner in a cotton factory. He received for his service about $18 per month, and he worked faithfully in that place for twenty years. For the last six years of this long time of service Mr. ROSS had full charge of the mill. It was there that he gained the practical experience and acquired the foundation of that large business capacity that enabled him in after years to gain so much success as a manufacturer.
In the early part of his service in Morris, in the year 1838, Mr. ROSS was united in marriage to Miss ELLEN EDWARDS, of that village. Her parents were of Welsh nativity, and came to this country in 1806 or '7. Mrs. ROSS was born in 1814.
Leaving the mill where he had been so long employed, Mr. ROSS returned to New Berlin, where he, with his brother DANIEL, and WILLIAM CLINTON, purchased the cotton mill there located. Subsequently the Brothers purchased Mr. CLINTON's interest, and in the spring of 1859 Mr. ROSS sold his interest to his brother. He then bought a fine farm within the corporate limits, erected a large house, contemplating the future devotion of his time to agriculture.
Becoming again imbued with a desire to enter the manufacturing business, he sold out his farm property and went to Sherburne, in 1861. There he, with great energy and success, soon enlisted sufficient capital for the erection of an extensive cotton mill at the Quarter. The planning, furnishing and general oversight of the erection of this mill was placed in the care of Mr. ROSS, and the work was accomplished in the most thorough and successful manner. The first brick of the mill chimney, 108 feet high, was laid by ALEXANDER ROSS, the eldest son, on his birthday, June 25, 1862, the first breaking of ground having occurred on the 1st of April preceding. The first brick of the mill itself was laid by HECTOR ROSS on his birthday, May 6, of the same year, on the south east corner of the building. The mill was 163x46 feet, three stories high, with boiler house, 51x23 feet, and an ell 57x26 feet. The office was 42x22 feet. So energetically was the work pushed that the first cotton was run through the mill on the 23d day of December of that year. Moreover, during the same year, Mr. ROSS built six dwellings, one store, a large storehouse, a blacksmith shop, a barn and 186 rods of picket fence. It will readily be seen that he was a busy man. His business enterprise and his liberal foresight almost revolutionized the Quarter, giving it its present appearance of thrift.
For a time Mr. ROSS managed the mill in the interest of the stockholders, but he finally purchased the entire mill property, which was left at his death, July 24, 1872, in a prosperous condition, to his family.
A person who was well acquainted with Mr. ROSS, thus writes of him at the time of his death:-
"Mr. ROSS possessed the rare gift of accomplishing large results with little display of activity. While everything was moving on with celerity and precision under his hands, he never seemed to be busy or in a hurry. His judgment in business affairs was seldom at fault. He was prompt and liberal with his means in all matters of public utility, and never stinted his sympathy or means in cases of private suffering. It will be long before the void made by his death will be completely filled."
Mr. ROSS was the father of ten children, six of whom are now living. We have already mentioned ALEXANDER as the eldest son of HECTOR ROSS. To him was left, by the death of his father, the full management of the large business. ALEXANDER ROSS was born in Morris, Otsego county, June 25, 1845, and removed to Sherburne in 1862, where he has since lived.
This mill, which is now under the control of ALEXANDER ROSS, is the largest manufacturing establishment of any kind in Chenango or Madison county. It now manufactures prints exclusively, employing one hundred hands and manufacturing annually 2,250,000 yards. The goods stand high in the markets, and are sold mostly in New York city.
The machinery of the mill is run by about 160 horse power, and is complete in every detail. In addition to his branch of business, Mr. ROSS runs a first-class retail store, in which is his private office. The direction of his large business interests is characterized by the same traits of energy, foresight and capacity evinced by his father, with still more of modern progressiveness and liberality. To his present large and prosperous business interests much of the thrift of the village is due.
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 458.
Mr. TRACY was born in Norwich, Conn., October 26, 1783. Near the beginning of the present century he removed to Columbus, in this county, making he journey on horseback, a mode of travel made necessary at that early day by the unsettled state of the country and the lack of public conveyance. He brought with him but a small share of worldly wealth, but the sturdy common sense, integrity of purpose, and steadiness to duty, which marked his after life, served him in stead much better. In 1805 he came to Oxford, where, as Deputy Clerk under URI TRACY, he also pursued the study of law with STEPHEN O. RUNYAN, Esq. After his admission as an attorney in the Supreme Court, in 1808, he commenced and successfully practiced his profession at Oxford. Such, however, was the confidence which his ability, sound judgment and integrity won for him among those who knew him, that he soon became the recipient of official trusts in his own county, and surrendered the pursuit of an increasing and lucrative practice, for the public service. He was married August 30, 1813, at Franklin, Conn., to SUSAN HYDE , who proved herself the worthy partner of his virtues and his honors, and died but a short time before him.
There came to him the first important office, under the old practice, of Examiner and Master in Chancery. This was followed in 1815 by his appointment as Surrogate of his county, which he held four years. He was elected in 1820, and returned in 1821, '22 and '26, to the House of Assembly, having as colleagues in the former years, WILLIAM MASON and EDWARD G. PER LEE, and in the latter, TILLY LYNDE and ROBERT MONELL. In 1821 he again received the appointment of Surrogate, and in 1823 that of First Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and held these offices until 1833, when he resigned them. The Legislature, in 1830, made him a Regent of the University, and in 1831, upon nomination of the Governor, the Senate appointed him Circuit Judge of the Sixth District, in the place of SAMUEL NELSON, but he declined the appointment. In 1832 he was elected Lieutenant-Governor with WILLIAM L. MARCY, Governor, and with him was re-elected in 1834 and '36, and was the presiding officer of the Senate, whose roll included among others the names of HENRY A. FOSTER, NATHANIEL P. TALLMADGE, WILLIAM H. SEWARD, SAMUEL YOUNG, DANIEL S. DICKINSON, GULIAN C. VERPLANCK and EDWARD P. LIVINGSTON. As Lieutenant-Governor and President of the Senate, he also presided in the Court for the Correction of Errors; and in each place alike, showed that urbanity, patience and impartiality which command the highest respect and honor. In 1846 he was elected from Chenango county, with the lamented Colonel ELISHA B. SMITH as his colleague, a delegate to the Convention for revising the Constitution, and was chosen t preside over that distinguished body, which had on its roll the names of IRA HARRIS, AMBROSE L. JORDAN, SAMUEL NORTON, MICHAEL HOFFMAN, CHARLES O'CONOR and SAMUEL J. TILDEN.
During the term of his active participation in pubic affairs, Mr. TRACE was a Democrat of the school of Wright, Flagg, Young, Hoffman and Marcy, all of whom were contemporaries and personal friends. After the convention of 1846, he withdrew from political life.
His constant occupation with public concerns did not prevent an earnest and active interest in all matters which affected the welfare of the village and community in which he lived. The Oxford Academy, of whose Board of Trustees he was for years the President, was always near his heart, and he ever gave to it the benefits of his wise counsels and active support. The striking features of the life and character of JOHN TRACY, was its consistency and symmetry.
The principles which controlled his political career did not contradict, but were in harmony with his private life. He knew no standard of moral action which prescribed one rule of conduct for the man, and quite another for the politician, which is summed up in the baneful maxim that "All is fair in politics." He had that incorruptible honesty which an old writer has fitly called the sister of justice. If he had ambition, it was not of the sort that seeks preferment by detraction, and ignoring the rights of others, for there mingled with it a courtesy and kindness which scorned to seek his own advancement at the cost of his self-respect and sense of justice. Hence, he wore his honors unobtrusively, as the spring its flowers, the forest its foliage,, as trusts which honored him only in their faithful discharge.
"His life was gentle and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, This was a man."
One who well knew him has left on record the following tribute, and all who knew him will recognize the faithfulness of the portraiture:-
"Throughout his career of official position and preferment, Governor Tracy never held a station, from the lowest to the highest, upon which he did not, by his virtues and ability, confer honor, rather than having honor conferred upon him. His life, public and private, was absolutely without spot or blemish. To intellectual grasp and vigor he added an amiability of character, and an unswerving integrity of purpose, that lifted him above the sphere of ordinary men. His mind was always clear and firm, precise and comprehensive, and whether as Judge or Legislator, President of the Senate in its palmiest days, or presiding over the deliberations of a Convention to remodel the fundamental law of the State, it enabled him to discharge his high and responsible duties with distinguished credit and success. As a public man, he was unselfishly devoted to the public interest, ever keeping it in view above all the allurements of private gain."
Mr. TRACY died at Oxford, June 18. 1864, at the ripe age of four score years. There survives him two children, ESTHER MARIE MYGATT, now the widow of the late HENRY R. MYGATT, Esq., and SUSAN ELIZA CLARKE, the widow of the late JAMES W. CLARKE; and grandchildren, JOHN TRACY MYGATT, Esq., of New York, WILLIAM R. MYGATT, Esq., a lawyer in practice at Oxford, and MAI MYGATT.
To the State he has bequeathed the example of many years of public service, which he exalted by his fidelity, integrity and ability; and to the community where he died, the priceless heritage of a career ennobled by the constant and steadfast practice of virtue and of truth.
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 290.
In 1876 Mr. WEBB married his second wife Miss ROSELLA S. BARNETT who was born in Chenango county in 1854, she is the grand-daughter of CHARLES FELIX BO LYNE BARNETT, of Chenango county, who was one of the pioneers of this county.
Mr. WEBB is one of the energetic farmers of the county and has a fine farm of 160 acres, a view of which may be seen on another page of this work. His residence commands a fine view of the surrounding valleys.
In early life, after being graduated from Gilbertsville Academy, he taught school for several years, finally preferring farming he purchased his present residence.
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 224.
After over fifty years of active practice, we find he has fully succeeded in his purpose, standing high as he does in his profession, and having amassed a fortune second to none in this section. In politics he was always a fearless and zealous advocate of the principles of the old Whig party, and afterwards was warmly attached to the Republican party, ready and eager at all times to do battle for the cause whenever the opportunity presented itself. During the late war, when the country was trembling for its very existence, he gathered together all the means he could and invested the same in government securities,, and even borrowed money of his more timid neighbors, who had no faith in the success of our arms, and invested as above, thus proving his loyalty to his country in her distress.
No more forbearing or lenient creditor was ever known, and there is, to-day, many a happy and prosperous family, made so by his pecuniary assistance, and now at his advanced age, being in his eightieth year, he transacts all his own business without the aid of a book-keeper, and even finds time to attend professionally to the wants of some of his old customers.
From History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY starting on page 455.
From: 1883 History of Bremer County, Iowa, page 865
From: 1883 History of Bremer County, Iowa, page 917