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Zenas Farrington

Biography courteously provided by Joyce Riedinger, Delaware County Coordinator.

ZENAS FARRINGTON is a prosperous and practical farmer of Delhi, ranking among its most respected citizens. The homestead which he now owns and occupies is the place of his birth, which occurred June 10, 1831. His grandfather, March Farrington, who was of English antecedents, was born in this State in October 1762. He had an honorable record as a soldier in the Revolution and the War of 1812, and as a pioneer of Delaware County. On first arriving in this region, having followed a route marked by blazed trees, he located his home in that part of Meredith now known as Meredith Square; and when he built his humble log cabin, his nearest neighbor was in Delhi, some six miles away. He and his family subsisted mainly for a time on the game and fish to be found in the vicinity. He subsequently removed to Delhi, where he and his cherished wife spent their declining years, she passing to her eternal rest November 10,1841, in the seventy-eighth year of her age, having been born April 17, 1764, and he dying April 1, 1849. Her maiden name was Betsey Colton; and by her and her husband five children were reared--- Morris L., Paulina, Betsy Ann, Florella, and Polly.

Morris L. Farrington was but two years old when he came with his parents to this county, and at that day educational opportunities were here very limited. He began early to assist in the labors of the farm, growing more and more useful each year, remaining with his parents until he attained his majority, and afterward taking care of them in their latter years. In 1830 he bought the farm which is now included in the homestead of his son Zenas, of which he cleared a large portion, further improving it by erecting the present substantial set of frame buildings. Here he spent a long period of useful activity, living to he venerable age of ninety years. He was a very intelligent man, taking part in the management of local affairs, and serving in many of the minor offices of the town. He married Ruth Frisbie, the daughter of Judge Gideon Frisbie, on of the original settlers of Delhi, and the first Judge of Delaware County, the first circuit of the county being held in his house. Judge Frisbie came here on horseback, long ere the time of public highways, and as for many years one of the most prominent men in this section of the county. He reared a family of six children by his first wife--- namely Gideon, Daniel, William, Freelove, Huldah, and Ruth, and five by his second wife--- namely, Milton, Portor, Phillip, Angeline, and Anzolette Ruth, who married Morris L. Farrington, was born in Delhi, and spent her declining years at the home of her son Zenas, dying in 1876, at the age of seventy-eight years. She bore her husband three children; namely Anzolette, Zenas, and Maurice.

Zenas Farrington remained on the paternal homestead until he was twenty-one years of age, in the meantime receiving a goof practical education in the district school and academy. Desiring to become better acquainted with his native country; he traveled as far West as Michigan, where he worked for a year as a farm laborer. Returning to Delhi, he took charge of the home farm, which he bought in 1865, and has since carried on a thriving business in general agriculture, of late years making a specialty of dairying, keeping a valuable herd of Guernsey cows, and making a superior article of butter, which finds a ready market in New York City.

On December 28, 1875, Mr. Farrington was united in marriage with Mary R. Fitch, a daughter of Dr. Thomas Fitch, and a granddaughter of Dr. Cornelius R. Fitch, one of the first practicing physicians in Delhi. Dr. Fitch was one of a family of eight children, being the third son. He was educated in the Delaware Academy, subsequently attending Girard College in Philadelphia, from which he was graduated, afterward beginning his medical career in Prattsville, Greene County. He married Sarah J.I. Beattie, the daughter of Dr. Francis S. Beattie, who was one of a family of seven sons, all of whom settled in Orange County. Dr. Francis Beattie studied medicine, and began practicing in Philadelphia. During the time of the Seminole War he went to Florida as a surgeon in the Army, accompanied by his wife, and both became victims of yellow fever. Their daughter Sarah Beattie was then a brilliant young lady of sixteen years, highly educated and accomplished, having studied with a governess, and she was subsequently engaged in teaching in Delhi, making a specialty of the French language, in which she was proficient. At the age of nineteen she married the promising young physician, Dr. Thomas Finch, and they reared five children, namely: Walter C., Mary R., Mrs. Farrington, Paulina, William Beattie, and Anna. Both Dr. Fitch and his wife died in Prattsville, where he had had an extensive practice, and was for so many years its most prominent physician.

Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Farrington five children have been born, namely: Louisa, Ruth, Walter, Paul, and March, who are now living, and one, Morris L., who passed to the life beyond when an infant of sixteen months. In his political views, Mr. Farrington coincides with the Republican party, and socially he is a member of the Grange. Mr. Farrington is an attendant of the Presbyterian church, while his wife is an Episcopalian. They are somewhat related by ties of consanguinity, having had one common ancestor in the person of March Farrington, who was the grandfather of Mr. Farrington, and the great-grandfather of his wife.

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