Henry Osborn

Retyped from Beers' "History of Greene County", by Sylvia Hasenkopf


Henry Osborn was the tenth child of Nathan Osborn, a native of Connecticut, and a soldier in the Revolution. In 1799, Nathan Osborn wpe13.gif (197933 bytes) with his family then consisting of eight children, came to North Settlement, in the present town of Ashland, where, on the 25th of November 1803, Henry was born. On their arrival at their destination, they built a log house, in which they resided three years, when they built a more capacious frame residence. This was burned in December 1804, and one of the children, eight years of age, was so injured by the flames that he soon died. The family returned to their original log dwelling, and soon the house was built in which the childhood and youth of Henry were passed. The same house, much remodeled, is now owned and occupied by Henry Cook. The common schools of that period afforded Mr. Osborn his only facilities for obtaining an education, but these he so utilized, that he was considered a better scholar than most of his associates at that time.

At the age of 20, or in 1822, he, in the company with an elder brother, Bennet Osborn, took up his residence in the present village of Windham, which then consisted of only five houses. He engaged in mercantile business, which he continued till 1836.

In 1840 he removed to Rensselaerville, where he was a merchant till 1848. He then bought a farm at Hunter, where he remained till 1864, when he removed to Tonica, LaSalle County, Illinois, where he was a wholesale coal dealer. On account of the health of his family, he returned to Windham, his present place of residence, in 1876.

Mr. Osborn served eight years as a school inspector in Windham, and for several years was a magistrate in Hunter, but he has never been an officer seeker.

In 1818 he became a minister of the Presbyterian church of Windham, and in 1828 he was ordained a ruling elder by Rev. C. H. Goodrich, which position he has ever since held. Mr. Osbornís memory of the early development of this region is, in all respects, quite a distinct.

October 31st 1826, he was married by Rev. C. H. Goodrich to Sarah Loomis, a daughter of Oliver and Sarah Loomis, of Windham.

They have had three children: Helen, who still resides with her parents; Austin Melvin, now a judge of the Supreme Court of the State of New York; and Frances Rebecca, who died in infancy.

Mr. Osborn, at the age of 80, is in the enjoyment of robust health, and a clear intellect. Of his 12 brothers and sisters, only one, a brother, survives. Mr. Osborn has been an invalid for 15 years.


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