Cortland County
Saunders Article
from Cutters


The Saunders family is one of the oldest in Rhode Island. Tobias Saunders having made settlement in Taunton as early as 1643. He was the associate of Robert Burdick when they were arrested and brought before Governor John Endicott for "forcible entry into the Pequot lands." He was later deputy and an important man. The Cortland, New York branch, however, claim descent from Jonathan Saunders, believed to have been an emigrant from England. He was a resident of the Seventh Day Baptist Church and a preacher. He married a Miss Sisson. Children: Benjamin, Cyrus, Jonathan (2), Henry Ziba, Bina, and Elisha.

(II) Cyrus, son of Jonathan and ________(Sisson) Saunders, was born near Stonington, Rhode Island, May 19, 1772. He married in his native state and with his young wife came to Central New York, settling in the town of Freetown, Cortland County, in 1795, where he passed fifteen years of toil, privation and loneliness, being the first settler in the town. He labored hard to clear, cultivate and pay for his farm. When the last payment was made and he deemed himself in a home secure from debt he found to his dismay that his title was imperfect and worthless. He lost his farm, then removed with his family to Factory Hill, in Homer Village, where he remained until the factory burned in 1815. From Homer the family removed to the town of Solon, settling on fifty acres of land for which he paid three hundred dollars. This tract was covered with forest and here Mr. Saunders had practically to begin life over again. The first step was to build a log cabin, then clear enough land to raise a crop. For nineteen years he labored on his farm, then with his son, Perry H., went to McGrawville, New York, and bought the carding and cloth dressing mill, which had been conducted by Eber Wilcox and John Peat. This business Saunders & Son conducted for ten years, then removed to Cuyler, in what was known as the Kinney settlement. Later he removed to Chautauqua county, New York, where he died in 1856. He married, in Rhode Island, 1794, Nancy (Nabbie) Hiscock, born near Stonington, Rhode Island, January 15, 1772, died in Cortland county, New York, July 18, 1852. In 1796 she took her infant daughter Nabbie (later a resident of Westfield, Chautauqua county), and made the journey from Freetown to her former home in Rhode Island, making the journey on horseback in company with a neighbor woman. A year's sojourn in the wilderness where she seldom saw a white woman had caused each a longing for home and kindred that she was willing to brave the dangers of such a trip to see again her loved ones. The journey was made in safety as was the return, both ways on horseback. Children: 1. Nabbie, born October 23, 1796, married Gabriel House, and at age of eighty nine years was in good health. 2. Catherine, born May, 14, 1799; married Alvin Hodges. 3. Richard. 4. George. 5. Lavina, born February 8, 1802. 6. Almeda, born December 23, 1803; married Henry G. Kendall. 7. Maria, born October 22, 1805; married Billings Browning. 8. Cyrus (M. D.), born June 4, 1807, died February 29, 1858, his death was caused by drowning in his attempt to ford a river while on his way to minister to a sick patient; married (first) Sally Ann Dunning, (second) Cynthia Gallup. 9. Nancy II, born August 30, 1809; married Preservoid Brownley. 10. Perry Howlett, of further mention. 11. Elisha, born November 12, 1813; married Cordella C. Chency. 12. Cynthia.

(IIII) Perry Howlett, son of Cyrus and Nancy (Nabbie) (Hiscock) Saunders, was born in the town of Cincinnatus, Cortland county, New York, May 11, 1811, died January 12, 1890. He was educated in the public schools; was his father's assistant on the farm and for ten years engaged in business with him at the cloth dressing mill in McGrawville. For many years thereafter he was engaged in farming. He was a man of great energy and high character, commanding the respect of all. For over half a century he was a devoted member and active worker in the Methodist Episcopal church. He married, April 23, 1835, Sarah Emerson, born in Groton, Massachusetts, January 2, 1816, died July 30, 1889, daughter of Dearborn and Sally (Brooks) Emerson. Children: 1. Edwin, born May 10, 1837, married Mary Woodruff. 2. Samuel, born December 17, 1838, died July 6, 1905; enlisted in 1861 in Company G, Seventy-sixth Regiment. New York Volunteers; was severely wounded at Gettysburg, which later caused his honorable discharge from the army; he rose to the rank of lieutenant of Company G; married Mary Wheelock. 3. George F., born May 25, 1840, died November 22, 1876; married Bertha E. Kibbe, died April 4, 1911. 4. Sarah, born January 20, 1842, died November 23, 1866; married Walter Thompson. 4. Juliette, born September 3, 1843, died January 23, 1866; married Homer D. Call. 6. Mary E. born September 17, 1845, married Almond M. Kibbe. 7. Charles W. born August 24, 1847, married Mary Brown. 8. Franklin P. of further mention. 9. William F. born July 20, 1853. married Ellen Skinner, of Syracuse. 10. Lucia B. born May 28, 1855, married Samuel H. McCullough and lives in Idaho. 11. Frederick I. born September 18, 1860, married Alice Bunnell.

(IV) Franklin P. son of Perry Howlett and Sarah (Emerson) Saunders, was born in the town of Fabius, Onondaga county, New York, February 27, 1849. He was educated in the public schools of the town of Truxton (where his parents had removed) and at the Seventh Day Baptist Seminary at DeRuyter, finishing his education at Cazenovia Seminary. After completing his studies he engaged in the nursery business for several years, representing well known firms of Rochester and Syracuse. He later engaged in the same business on his own account, employing many agents and doing a successful business in New England and in New York state. In 1879 he married and settled on a farm in Truxton, which he operated until March, 1883, when he removed to Truxton Village, and, in 1892, removed to Cortland, New York. During his years of residence in Truxton Mr. Saunders gave special attention to live stock, buying, breeding and selling, shipping mostly to the New York and Philadelphia markets. He was a most successful farmer and stock dealer and is well known all over the county. He is a director of the Second National Bank, of Cortland, and interested in other business enterprises in Cortland. He has devoted much of his time in the public service and although a Republican in politics, he obtained strong endorsement from his Democratic friends of Democratic Truxton. In 1887 he was elected supervisor by a large majority, reelected in 1888-89, refusing another nomination, being the only Republican so honored during a period of twenty-four years. In 1895, he was the candidate of his party for the state assembly, and was elected, receiving two thousand more votes than his nearest opponent. During the session of 1896 he served on legislative committees, taxation and retrenchment, villages and internal affairs. During the session he introduced bills: "Providing for the issuing of railway mileage books; to punish the pollution of streams; to punish violations of the Agricultural Law; regarding the collection of taxes; providing that notices of political primaries shall be given; relative to affidavits under foreclosure; regarding the foreclosure of mortgages". In 1896 he was reelected to the assembly by a large majority, serving in the session of 1897 on committees; judiciary; banks and public education, and was chairman of committee on printed and engrossed bills. Mr. Saunders' life has been a successful one from whatever point viewed. He has an abundance of worldly goods, the confidence and respect of his community, has been honored publicly and has a nature that enjoys and appreciates. He is a member and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal church of Cortland, and interested in church and benevolent work.

He married, October 22, 1879, Harriet L. Peck, born in Solon, New York, August 20, 1855, daughter of Platt and Mary Ann (Kinney) Peck, of Solon, granddaughter of Captain N. Peck and the ninth in line from William Peck, the progenitor, who was one of the founders of the New Haven colony. Children: 1. Carrie, born August 8, 1880, died January 17, 1881; 2. Arthur Franklin, born August 1, 1882, engaged with his father in the cattle and live stock business; married Gertrude Huber, of Van Etten, New York; child, Franklin Arthur, born October 7, 1910. 3. Anna Harriet, born November 18, 1883, died February 24, 1910; married Harry A. Jennison; child, Harriet, died in infancy. 4. Fannie Sarah, born September 4, 1891. 5. Helen Peck, born April 8, 1897.

          Entry done by Mary Kreps on Feb 26, 1999

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Created on or before Feb 26, 1999

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