The Maben Family

Retyped from Beers "History of Greene County" by Annette Campbell



The name of Maben has been familiar to the residents of Lexington from the earliest days. The Mabens are directly descended from the hardy and thrifty Scotch-Irish, and the Scotch clan Gregories on the maternal side. To those acquainted with the characteristics of this branch of the staid going Scotch race, they will trace the same in those of the Maben--honest to a farthing; honorably frugal; decisive; energetic; keen in humor and wit; and God-fearing men and women.
 
It is conjectured, and upon good grounds, that John Maben, the first of this name, came of a well-to-do, if not of a wealthy family. Born in 1753, he came to America, sight-seeing, about 1768-70, "with twenty-four linen shirts, a plenty of other linens, clothes, and money, to live the gentleman for three years, and to return home," so runs tradition.  Young as he then was, the inborn love of freedom, his antagonism for English rule, the solemn and grand intensity of action on the part of the sturdy and earnest Connecticut yeomen, as they formed their plans of resistance of the British yoke, attracted and gained his support. Of strong and robust frame, he at once threw himself into the patriotic movement, and was no slow participant in the skirmishes of that colony. These incidents shaped his course and destiny. Instead of returning to the north of Ireland, he married, in Connecticut, a Miss Sally Pearce, a descendant of the early Puritan stock.  With the cessation of direct hostilities in Connecticut, he (probably, through friends of the earliest Jewett settlers, or Day) found his way to what is now Lexington Flats, as early as 1777, as, at this date, his signature appears upon leases given by Robert Livingston for these lands. Here he lived, and died in 1813; and here he reared his family. It has been said that two mothers with their children can never live in peace in the same house.  This was, by him, proven false doctrine, for in his small cabin there lived three mothers with an aggregate of 15 children, in all three families. The stern discipline of these connected kept peace.  John Maben's children were: Robert, Hugh, Hannah, John, Benjamin, William, Sally and Luther.
 
Hugh Maben married Elizabeth Gregory. The church records of Norwalk, 1652 and later, show these Gregories to have been eminent freemen, and that John Gregory was a founder of that town. To Hugh and Betsey Maben but one child was born, William, January 12th 1822.  Hugh died April 27th 1856; his wife preceded him, June 26th 1846.
 
wpe1.gif (178972 bytes) William Maben married, as his first wife, Louisa Coon, daughter of Benjamin Coon, of Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania. She died November 29th 1851, leaving one child, born May 26th 1831. He married, May 2nd 1853 in Prattsville, for his second and present wife, Miss Catharine Wyckoff, a lady of education, who brought to his home those qualities requisite for a kind mother, and thoughtful help-meet, by which a man meets success.  Her parents were John W. and Mary (Scudder) Wyckoff,  the father a native of New Jersey and son of Cornelius Wyckoff, who was a bugler in the New Jersey Light Horse, and undoubtedly related to the Queens county, Long Island, Wyckoffs, near Newtown. The Scudders were natives of Long Island; John W. was also a Revolutionary war hero. His family by two wives consisted of six sons and eight daughters.
 
To Mr. and Mrs. Maben have been born: George S., Charles W., Benjamin S., Adelaide, Elizabeth I., and Mary; all deceased except Charles W., and Benjamin S.  This excellent couple have given their children a sound, practical education. George and Charles graduated from the State Normal School at Albany; and Benjamin and Mary from a class.  The eldest, by indefatigable labors had fitted himself as an attorney, when he was suddenly struck down by the unforseen messenger. His death was deeply deplored by his many friends. Benjamin is attending the theological institute at Sanfordville, Dutchess county, and Charles remains at home. He is well known as a young man of literary talent, and graduated from his class with honors. He married, 1883, Miss Minnie Karau. Mary wedded John Moseman, of Windham.
 
Mr. Maben is a modest, unassuming man, possessing, however, many of the Scotch characteristics. Mrs. Maben has ever been a fitting help-meet, a careful, industrious housewife, and a kind and thoughtful mother. Both have that love of home and family so worthy in all.

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