Dennis W. Earl

Biography courteously provided by Joyce Riedinger, Delaware County Coordinator.


DENNIS W. EARL, a merchant in Griffin's Corners, and a man of good business tact and energy, was born in the town of Halcott, Greene County, on December 7, 1850. The name of Earl has been known in Delaware County since 1813, when David K. Earl, a native of Putnam County, who married Elizabeth Palmer, came thither, bought a tract of the wild waste of uncultivated land in this region, and engaged in farming. The brave young couple made a home for themselves and their family; and, as they grew more prosperous, they added to their earthly store, and were happy in their simple, busy lives. Eleven children were born to tax their energy and care, yet to gladden and beautify their lives of homely toil -- Clarissa, Esther, Deborah, Orrie, Dennis, Susan, Adelia, Mary, William, Matthew, and Eliza.

Dennis Earl, the fifth child named above, was born in Putnam County, and came with his parents to Delaware County. He married Miss Lydia Todd, and settled on a farm at Batavia Kill. They raised a family of four children -- Robert, Wright, Eliza, and David. Mr. Earl was a member of the old-school Baptist church, and died in middle age. His widow survived him for many years, living to be seventy-four years of age.

David, the youngest son of Dennis and Lydia Earl, was born at Batavia Kill. He began farming at twenty-two years of age on an estate of one hundred acres in the town of Halcott, Greene County. In 1865 he purchased of Hezekiah Van Valkenburgh an adjoining farm of two hundred acres, which by careful management and judicious expenditure in various improvements became one of the most valuable farms in the neighborhood. He married Amelia A. Faulkner, and had four children, namely: Dennis W., of Griffin's Corners; William; Luther; and Emma J. William married Louisa Valkenburgh. Luther married Ida W. Peck, and, being left a widower, married a second wife, Miss Almeda Low. They live at Halcott, Greene County, and have two children. Emma J. married a Mr. Eli Meed, and has two children. In 1885 David sold the farm in the town of Halcott, and moved to Griffin's Corners, where the residue of his life was spent in the ministry, he being an old-school Baptist, and having been ordained in the year 1880.

Dennis W. Earl received a plain education in the district school of Halcott; and, upon arriving at his majority, he began life as a farmer. As seems usually the case with men who follow agricultural pursuits, he married in his youth. The young woman who joined her life and fate with his was Miss Emeline A. Streeter, daughter of Thomas and Sarah A. (Miller) Streeter. Her paternal grandparents, John and Belinda (Betts) Streeter, were among the early settlers of Halcott. They had eight children; namely, Thomas, Levi, Nicholas, Orlando, William, Romain, Alma, and Julia.

Thomas Streeter, Mrs. Earl's father, is a most successful farmer in Halcott. As a young man he went to California; and, although he was on the road to success in the "Land of the Golden Gate," he eventually returned to his native State, where he is now living, a useful and prosperous citizen. He is a Democrat, a member of the old-school Baptist church, and holds the office of Overseer of the Poor. He and his wife are the parents of three children, namely: Emeline, Mrs. Earl; Mary E., the wife of G. A. Gordan, now a widow with two children; and Charles M., who lives in Scranton, Pa.

Dennis W. Earl, like his father, sought other fields wherein to labor, and, selling out his interests in Halcott, went to Catskill. He remained there for two years, and then returned to Griffin's Corners, and entered mercantile life, in which he has since been engaged. In his last enterprise there is rather a wide field of interests, since he sells, besides general merchandise, drugs, agricultural implements, and patent medicines. In his political proclivities Mr. Earl is a Democrat, and in his religious views is liberal, while not attached to any of the sects or churches. He has earned by an honorable and upright life the respect of his contempories, and has among other offices held that of Justice of the Peace in his native town. His family circle is as yet unbroken, the three sons -- Wright, William, and Herbert D. -- having not yet left the paternal shelter.


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