Madison County Bios


Mr. AMBROSE PHELPS was born August 9th, 1804. He was the third son and fourth child of MOSES and POLLY PHELPS, of Madison Co. Owing to the limited circumstances of his parents, he was obliged to do what many others to their credit have done, labor for his own support, and, as was the custom at that period, he was bound out to service early in life. At the age of seventeen, he succeeded in purchasing time, left and went near Schenectady to work o the Erie Canal which was then being built. At the age of nineteen, he with his older brother, Mr. E. S. PHELPS, purchased a farm near Solsville, and worked the same as partners until about 1830, when as a result of the same determined energy and force of character he gave promise of when a lad, he was able to purchase his brother's interest in the farm. He remained on the farm enjoying the result of self-denial and labor until 1874, when he moved to Bouckville, where he remained until his death, which occurred Feb. 10, 1880.

In 1831, he was married to Miss SALLY EDGARTON, of Bouckville. She was born in Massachusetts, Nov. 24, 1804, and was a daughter of WILLIAM and ALLASEBA EDGARTON. The fruits of this marriage were five children, one dying in infancy. Their names are as follows: BENJAMIN E., born 1832; ALLASEBA, wife of A. T. BLISS, born 1835; MARY A., born 1837, wife of E. L. PEET; ANNA M., born 1839, wife of WILLIAM L. BYRNS, died May, 1869. He also has an adopted daughter, ELSIE M. LEONARD PHELPS, born Sept. 14, 1860, and adopted Nov. 3, 1863.

Mr. PHELPS served his town in various offices, and proved himself a good business man, and respected by all who knew him. He left a fine fortune to his family.

From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 619.


ABI A. PHIPPS was born in Thompson, Windham county, Conn, in 1810, and is the son of DAVID H. PHIPPS, deceased, who was a Connecticut man, but moved from Connecticut to the town of Oppenheim,, Montgomery county, N. Y., in 1821. ABI came in with his father to Montgomery county, and was then eleven years of age. He lived there and in that vicinity until 1841, from which place he removed to Nelson, Madison county where in 1841 he purchased a farm and continued to live there nine years. He then lived in Eaton one year, thence to Smithfield, Madison county, and purchased a farm in that town originally known as the Proy farm, and continued to live there sixteen years, until he came here to Clockville, where he is residing in a pleasant and beautiful home, on the road to Canastota.

Mr. PHIPPS has been twice married, first, to LYDIA KIBBE, daughter of Elder KIBBE, of Oppenheim, in the year 1834, and who died March, 1860, at Smithfield. His second marriage was to DIANA HESS, the daughter of DAVID HESS, of Fenner, who is still living. By his first wife he had two children, a son, and a daughter who is the wife of JAMES G. MESSENGER, of Smithfield. He was elected Assessor of the town of Nelson in 1849. In Smithfield, in 1859 and 1860, he represented his town in the Board of Supervisors and was re-elected in 1864, '5 and '6, and is now for the third year Town Auditor of Lenox, and has aided in reducing the taxes $6,000. Though often solicited to take other public offices, he has always declined to do so, rather devoting his time to business.

Though holding offices frequently, he has not been an office seeker, but has rather accepted such office as he filled at the solicitation of friends whose opinions he regarded. Mr. PHIPPS has been an industrious and successful farmer all his life, and though now quite tired of the hard labors of his earlier days, is spending the remainder of his life among his old associates, an honored and respected citizen of the town. His has been a life well spent and brings its unfailing reward of peace, competency and the respect of his fellow men about him.

From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 728.


Dr. A. S. SAUNDERS - The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Brookfield, Madison Co., N. Y., Oct. 30, 1814. He is the son of AUGUSTUS and EUNICE (LEWIS) SAUNDERS. The former was born in Westerly, R. I., and the latter in Hopkinton City, R. I.

The father of our subject came to Brookfield with his father (also named AUGUSTUS,) and mother, in the year 1800. They settled on Lot 62 and the parents lived there until they died.

AUGUSTUS (2d) learned the carpenter and joiner's trade and followed that business and farming, as long as he could work. He died in Brookfield in 1868, aged 83 years. His wife died in 1861, aged 70 years. They had ten children, named as follows: AUGUSTUS L., JAMES M., JOHN VARS, EUNICE C., dead, ANNA R., ARETAS and ARTEMAS, twins, the former now dead, SARAH E., E. SOPHIA and PHOEBE L.

Dr. SAUNDERS was educated in the common schools of his town and the Waterville Academy. The latter he attended two terms in the years 1833 and 1834. He taught school three winters before he went to the academy and worked at farming during the summer months to earn the money to pay his tuition.

In the years 1836 to 1839, he attended three courses of lectures at the Medical College at Geneva, N. Y. graduating there the last named year and securing the Rogers Prize Gold Medal for the best thesis, his subject "Effect of mind on the body."

The same year he graduated, he went to De Ruyter and formed a co-partnership with Dr. IRA SPENCER of that village and continued with him about three years. He then came back to his native town and located at South Brookfield and practiced there six years. He then made another change, coming to Brookfield, where he now resides, and where he has practiced medicine since 1848.

Dr. SAUNDERS has been prominent and successful as a physician and has earned and secured the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens. In the performance of the duties of the various offices of trust and responsibility that have been bestowed on him, he has ever manifested an honesty of purpose and a fidelity to principle, that has challenged the admiration of his constituents. The duties of some of the offices to which he has been called, notably, Pres't and Sec'y of the Agricultural Society of Brookfield, were in connection with his duties of his profession, most taxing on his physical system, frequently keeping him employed nearly all night and then being obliged to go the round of his calls in the morning without having secured the sleep that he should have had. His present feeble condition he attributes to over work of both mind and body.

The first office Dr. SAUNDERS was elected to was Town Sup't of Schools, which he held four years, from 1852 to 1856. He was elected Supervisor of his town in 1875, '76, '77 and '78 and in the fall of 1878 he was elected to the Assembly by a plurality of 394, his opponents being JOHN HARMAN, (Dem.) JOSPEH B. PARTELLO (Gr.) and Rev. JOSHUA CLARK, (Pro.) He was President of the Bookfield Agricultural Society several years and also Secretary of the same many years.

In politics Dr. SAUNDERS is a Republican, having united with that party in 1856. In religious sentiment he is a Seventh-Day Baptist, but not a member of the church. His wife is a member of that church in Brookfield.

In all the relations of social and business life, Dr. SAUNDERS has proved faithful to his trusts and has thus far had the good fortune to pass through life without a stain upon his character.

In 1839, the 12th day of Sept., he was married to HARRIET, daughter of JOHN and BETSEY (MILLER) FRANKLIN, natives, the former of R. I., born in 1793, and the latter of Brookfield, born 19th of November, 1798. The father died in 1876 and the mother in 1863. They had twelve children, Mrs. SAUNDERS being the second of the family. She was born Dec. 20th, 1816.

Dr. and Mrs. SAUNDERS have had three children viz:-MYRTUS [? print is not legible] A., born May 15th, 1842, ERRET F., born July 2d, 1848, and HARRIET A., born Dec. 14th, 1850, and died Feb. 14th, 1852.

From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 532.


ALFRED SEYMOUR - SILAS SEYMOUR, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Hartford, Conn., May 7, 1777. His parents were ELEAZER and ANNA (MERRILLS) SEYMOUR, also natives of Connecticut. ELEAZER was a nail maker, and followed that occupation when the use of machinery in the business was unknown. SILAS was the seventh son in a family of twelve children whose names were as follows: WILLIAM, JESSE, NOAH, JOEL, JOHN, ELEAZER, SILAS, LUCY, LYDIA, MEHITABLE, RHODA and ELIZABETH. WILLIAM, JESSE and NOAH were in the Revolutionary army, and were present at the surrender of Burgoyne at the battle of Stillwater, Oct. 16, 1777.

SILAS married SALLY, daughter of ELEAZER and SARAH (WEEKS) GILBERT, at Stillwater, Saratoga Co., N. Y., Nov. 2, 1800. She was born April 1, 1779. They moved to Lebanon, Madison Co., in the winter of 1801, and settled on lot 25, and lived there until they died. The death of SILAS occurred the 2d of August, 1845, and that of his wife, Oct. 5, 1850. They had eleven children, ten of whom came to maturity, viz: FANNY, born Dec. 19, 1801; ELEAZER, born May 3, 1803, (dead); LUCY ANN, born Jan 26, 1805, died in infancy; MIRANDA, born Sept. 12, 1806; HENRY, born April 15, 1808; WILLIAM, born Oct. 19, 1810; SALLY, born June 3, 1813; MARIA, born May 3, 1815; ALFRED, Jan. 8, 1817; CHARLOTTE, April 14, 1821; and MARY, July 14, 1827; nine of whom are yet living.

SILAS cleared the land on which he settled and followed farming for a living. He was elected the first town clerk in the organization of the town in 1807. He held that office many years. He held other positions of trust, but was never an office-seeker. He was nominated for Assemblyman several times, but the party he belonged to (Whig) was in the minority, and he was always beaten. He was in every sense of the word a home man. He was the friend and supporter of educational interests.

He taught his children to avoid all bigotry, sectarianism and intolerance, believing that liberal views conduced to the best development of human character. His belief religiously was that Christ came to bless the world with sentiments to be practically applied in the affairs of every day human life for the benefit of the world at large.

His advice and counsel was sought by those in trouble, and he always advised peace and conciliatory measures in the adjustment of personal affairs. He was the foe of intemperance, and his voice was heard on all proper occasions in condemnation of that evil as well as of slavery everywhere.

He was a humanitarian of the broadest and truest type, and when death claimed him, the town in which he lived so many years of upright and perfect life lost one of its purest and noblest citizens.

ALFRED, the ninth child of SILAS and SALLY SEYMOUR, has always lived on the old homestead, and is now occupying the house built by his father in 1828. It is a stone structure, and from present appearances, will stand the worst usages of time and the elements for ages to come. ALFRED is one of the leading men of the town, really filling the place left vacant by his father. He is a Republican in politics, but has never been an aspirant for office. Being a close reader he is capable of discussing intelligently the affairs that agitate the public mind. He is a deacon in the Congregational church at Lebanon village, now serving his second term of that office. He was secretary of the Agricultural Society of the town of Lebanon, and was afterward president of the same when it was in its most flourishing condition.

He is a warm advocate of intemperance, and takes an active part in measures designed to promote the prosperity of the town, and the moral and intellectual improvement of its citizens. He has carried on farming extensively, and has been highly successful.

January 1st, 1846 Mr. SEYMOUR married RHODA H., daughter of WILLIAM and MERCY (TIFFT) GREEN, natives of Rhode Island. Her father was born April 1, 1779. He was a son of AMOS and ELSIE GREEN. WILLIAM married MERCY TIFFT, daughter of JEREMIAH and RHODA (HOXIE) TIFFT, May 2, 1801; MERCY was born May 20, 1785. They came and settled in Brookfield about 1803. They had eleven children, as follows: HOXIE, born August 28,1802, (dead); MARY, born Dec. 24, 1804 (dead); WILLIAM, Jr., born Jan 14, 1807; ELIZA, born April 5, 1809, (dead); JEREMIAH T., born Oct. 18, 1811, (dead); MERCY, born Oct. 18, 1814; PELEG, born April 14, 1817; LEVI, born June 16, 1819; AMOS, born August 31, 1821; MARTHA E., born Oct. 15, 1823 (dead); RHODA H., born March 27, 1826. The mother died Sept. 20, 1839, and WILLIAM, the father, died in Lebanon where he had moved after the death of his wife, March, 1857, aged 78 years.

To ALFRED and RHODA SEYMOUR have been born seven children. The names of those living are SILAS W., born August 2, 1847, married AMELIA MORGAN, in 1867, now a merchant and postmaster at Lebanon village; SARAH M., born Feb. 19, 1849, married ALBERT MORGAN in 1866; ARTHUR W., born Oct. 2, 1854, and FRANK D., born May 27, 1857.

From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 574.


    John E. Smith was born in Nelson, Madison county, New York, August 4, 1843, and is a son of JAMES and SUSAN (TACKABERY) SMITH. His mother died when he was but ten months, and his father when he was four years old. The latter, as he was about to die, most solemnly and confidently charged PERRY, his son by his first wife, (SUSAN being his second, ) with the care of his helpless little ones he was about to leave forever; and with truth it may be said the charge was faithfully kept.

    When he was old enough JOHN was sent to the district school, and as soon as he was able to, he assisted PERRY on the farm, and continued to do so until he was eighteen, attending school winters.

    During the years 1861 and 1862 he attended the Academy at Cazenovia and at the close of his term there he returned to Nelson and worked on the old home farm summers and taught district school winters, three years.

    In 1866 he went to Albany and attended law school during the fall and winter, graduating there in the following May, at which time he had the decree of Bachelor of Laws conferred on him. He was admitted to the Bar of the State at the General Term in the same month, and came to Morrisville and immediately commenced the practice of law. He has proved an able and valuable acquisition to the bar of the county.

    On the 16th of January, 1872, Mr. SMITH was admitted to practice in the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, for the Northern District of New York.

    In the fall of 1877 the people of the county entrusted him with the office of District Attorney, the duties of which he entered upon January 1, 1878, and which have been performed by him in a manner highly honorable to himself and satisfactory to the people.

    Mr. SMITH has met the barriers common to young attorneys in competition with older and more experienced lawyers, with the energy and integrity of purpose that carves out success in any calling of life; and holds to-day a most enviable position in his profession. Endowed with fine natural abilities, and possessed of a peculiarly acute and logical mind, he is justly reputed for extensive learning and sound judgment. With these qualifications as an advocate, his efforts are able and effective, while his arguments upon questions of law are remarkable for a style of reasoning at once forcible and convincing. Of the personal appearance, and with refined and cordial manners, he is a favorite with his professional brethren and the public, by whom he is highly esteemed as an able lawyer and genial gentleman.

    Politically Mr. SMITH is a Republican, and takes an active part in furthering the interests of the party. He is the unrelenting foe of intemperance, doing everything in his power to check the growth of that mighty evil.

    If inheriting no wealth but an honest name, of conquering rough fortune by sheer pluck and resolute will, if working one's way through an academic and collegiate course of study by hard hand-work as well as hard head-work, and obtaining prominence in a chosen profession are marks of self-made men, then is the subject of our brief sketch such an one.

    The 1st of March, 1865, Mr. SMITH married MARY E., daughter of WELLS N. and ROXY L. OSBORNE, of the town of Smithfield, Madison county. She was born the 9th of November, 1816. They have two children, viz: GEORGE WELLS, born July 5, 1868, and EDWIN DUDLEY, born March 25, 1877.

From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 630.


Prof. PHILETUS B. SPEAR, D. D., Madison University, Hamilton, N. Y., is above medium size, compactly built, elastic, possessing great power of endurance, well-poised, well preserved, sanguine in temperament, hopeful, conscientious, cool in counsel, tenacious of purpose, earnest in execution, regarding success of all things most successful, but trusting in God for final results.

He was born at Palmyra, N. Y., May 23, 1811, brought up in boyhood as a farmer, and prepared for college at "Ostrander's Mathematical School," at "Seth Davis' Classical School," and at the "Palmayra High School." He came to Hamilton, Dec. 1, 1831, and entered the class that, after "the re-organization into an Academy, College and Theological Seminary," was the first to pursue the entire college course. He was graduated in 1836 from college, and in 1838, from the Theological Seminary. The class numbered when graduated from college, twenty-six. Nine are living at the present date, eight of whom have been honored with the Doctorate. He married ESTHER JACKSON Aug. 29, 1838, and had by her eight children.

He became a classical teacher in 1835 while in his senior year; then, after graduation, tutor of mathematics and natural philosophy, soon Professor of Hebrew, and in 1850, of Hebrew and Latin, having taught in all over forty years in the Academy, College and Theological Seminary, a part of the time also as Principal of the Madison University Grammar School.

As a teacher he was punctual, methodical and thorough, inspiring his pupils with high motives and with enthusiasm, rarely losing an exercise, and often taking extra college work. After the Madison University charter of 1846, he gave no little attention to the finances, often being a sort of Committee of Ways and Means to the treasurer.

There were two emergencies outside of his chair which taxed severely his energies:-

I. In the midst of the biggest prosperity the "Removal Question" was suddenly sprung upon the University. This was followed by a controversy running through three full years, with all the consequences of divided counsels and legal prosecutions. The controversy was generally friendly but animated, sometimes fierce and bitter. The tendency was to a loosening and a falling apart of that compact inner structure which so many years had been successfully building. His aim was to hold everything in position and working order whether removal took place or not.

He was moderate, but held his views with great firmness: that a new institution was better for the Western field; that is was doubtful whether removal could be accomplished; that therefore Madison University should be left undisturbed. This threw him on the side of the defense of the present location. He made a historical and legal brief, drawn from annual reports, records and other documents, and this became the basis of injunctions served against removal. The positions therein taken were sustained by the courts, and a perpetual "injunction" issued.

On two occasions he stood alone - once when the "Compromise Scheme" was urged "to take away the Madison University charter and leave another school." He insisted that it meant death to this enterprise, and that the charter must stay or all go. Then again, after all legal questions had been settled, and not a quorum of Hamilton men were left on the Board, he had, in the final adjustment of the Board to this location, to assume the entire responsibility, or see in one hour all that had been contended for lost, by losing the use of the Madison University charter, and of the Madison University Board. These were saved by passing through the narrowest strait possible, without losing the corporate powers. For each case of resignation and election there was just a quorum to act, and no more - 9 out of 27.

Thus the controversy closed, and around the two Professors who had stuck by Drs. EATON and SPEAR the old enthusiasm and old patronage rallied, and three years, equaling the years of the removal controversy, more than brought back the old prosperity.

This success brought large accretions of work and responsibility. Beside the chair of Hebrew and Latin, he for ten years was secretary of both Boards, and of the executive and provisional committees, and Madison University librarian. These offices he dropped when the necessity ceased.

2. The second emergency was the necessity for an "Endowment." The income was small, the salaries small, and to push out with larger plans, required larger means. Hired agencies for this specific work had nearly proved a failure. Forced by the logic of circumstances, he undertook this outside work. In 1850 he had already engineered the subscription for $60,000. Near the close of the war he organized and initiated the "Colgate Plan" for $60,000 more. At the close of the war, in 1864, he renewed his efforts as a voluntary and gratuitous service, as a side issue for re-creation. The first year there came in $82,000; then for Jubilee year (1869-'70,) $220,000; then for the National Centennial 1876, $102,000. These with other sums straggling in, the whole amount since the close of the war, for all purposes, is about half a million. This is said to recognize the aid received from those whole-souled men and women without whom no success could have followed. The COLGATE Brothers, and a thousand others, TREVOR, Mrs. Dr. SOMERS, and many new comers, D. MUNRO, Mrs. KING and CORNELL, with scores of others doing equally well.

As a student and professor he has kept pace with University life for nearly half a century, having personally known every member of the faculty, and being familiar with nearly every phase of University history. He has used his pen with effect, especially during the removal controversy. He drew up "The Fraternal Address to the Baptist Denomination," June 9, 1849; also the "Address to the Albany Convention" of Oct. 4, 1849, and then an answer to Dr. WILLIAMS' compromise scheme of Oct. 22, 1849 - all of which did much to settle mooted questions, and establish the old devotion, enthusiasm and patronage.

From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 569.


DAN STORRS.

    The subject of this brief sketch was born in the town of Royalton, Windsor county, Vt., June 1, 1799. His parents were JOHN snd THANKFUL (SPAULDING) STORRS, natives, the former of Mansfield, Conn., born July 29, 1766, and died Nov. 25, 1814, and the latter of Plainfield, Conn., born Sept. 11, 1768, and died Jan. 22, 1855, aged 87 years.

    These parents had seven children, viz: JOHN SPAULDING, DAN, CONSTANT W., REUBEN, WILLIAM, CHARLES and MARILLA, all dead except CHARLES and our subject.

    DAN remained at home until he was fifteen years old and attended the common schools of his town during the time about two months a year, and these were the only advantages he ever enjoyed for securing an education. He worked on a farm after leaving home about two years, and then went to Moreau, Sarataoga county, N. Y., and was engaged in teaming for his uncle about nine years. Up to the time he was twenty-one his wages were unselfishly donated to the support of his mother who was left destitute at the dead of her husband, who died of typhus fever as above.

    In 1820, August 21, DAN was married to SOPHRONIA HAMLIN, of Moreau, by whom he had two children, CHARLES AVERY and SOPHRONIA H. His wife died Feb. 15, 1824. In 1827, 28th of September, he was married to BETSEY SPENCER, of Marshfield, Vt., by who he had three children, EMILY, ELIZA ANN and JULIA.

    From Moreau he went to Marshfield, Vt., and engaged in farming. Here he lost his second wife.

    He came to Eaton in 1871, and on the 11th of July of that year he was married to CLARISSA E. MAYDOLE, widow of the late JAMES H. MAYDOLE [see his bio] and daughter of JABIN and CLARISSA E. ARMSTRONG [see his bio], formerly of the town of Lebanon.

    Mr. STORRS is a Congregationalist in religious sentiment, and has been deacon in that church fully sixty years.

From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 641.


    The subject of this sketch was born March 8, 1807, in the town of Mansfield, Windham county, Conn. His parents were DANIEL and MARY (WEAVER) TILLINGHAST, natives of Rhode Island. The former was born June 5, 1756, and the latter April 6, 1768. They were married Oct. 26, 1788. MARY was DANIEL's second wife. By his first wife he had two sons, DANIEL, born Sept. 26, 1780, (died Oct. 27, 1802,) and CHRISTOPHER, born Aug. 21, 1783, (died May 22, 1828.) The children by his last wife (Mary) were nine in number, all of whom except BRADLEY, who was the youngest, are now dead. Their names and dates of birth are as follows: PENELOPE, Oct. 16, 1789; DEBORAH, Sept. 20, 1791; MARY, Aug. 21, 1793; JOHN, Dec. 5, 1795; ANTIPASS, Nov. 11, 1797; CLARK, Dec. 5, 1799; EUNICE, Jan. 21, 1802; RUTH, March 6, 1804, and BRADLEY, as above. These parents settled in the town of Nelson in 1821. The father was a cooper by trade. He was a captain in the Revolutionary War and was in the service of his country until the close of her struggle for independence. He then engaged in farming, which business he followed before and several years after his settlement in Nelson. His wife died on the farm in Nelson, Aug. 22, 1827. He moved to Morrisville some years afterwards where he was living at the time of his death which occurred March 22, 1839. He was a man possessed of sterling qualities of mind and heart and was esteemed by all who knew him for his strict integrity and high moral worth.

    BRADLEY lived at home with his parents until he was seventeen years of age, assisting them on the farm and receiving such an education as could be obtained in the common schools of his town. At that age in 1821, he was bound to C. & O. S. AVERY, shoemakers and tanners and curriers, at Perryville, Madison county, for four years. He remained with them until the expiration of his term of service, securing a perfect knowledge of his business in all its branches. He then started out for himself, with a kit of shoemaker's tools on his back and traveled through Central New York, accepting work wherever it was offered. But in those days it was not an easy thing to get a job and he was forced to plod along sometimes many days before he could find employment. In this manner two years were spent. He then returned to Perryville and accepted the position of foreman in the establishment in which he learned his trade, remaining one year. He then came to Morrisville and worked at shoemaking for himself, and carried on that business until the next spring, 1831, when he commenced the business of tanning and currying, the business that he is now engaged in, and which he has carried on uninterruptedly for nearly fifty years in the same location.

    In 1859, his son GEORGE S., was given an interest in the business and the firm is now B. Tillinghast & Son. They have acquired an enviable fame in the manufacture of their goods, known as wax leather, and the extent of their business is very large, averaging nearly one hundred and fifty hides per week the year round. The leather is marketed entirely in Boston, Mass.

    Mr. TILLINGHAST has identified himself with every enterprise that seemed to be for the benefit of Morrisville since his residence here. When the First National Bank of Morrisville was established he was chosen one of the Committee on Finance and held that position several years, and has been one of its Directors since its organization up to the present time. He has been President of the village several terms and has been entrusted with other offices of responsibility by his fellow citizens and all these positions have been filled with that integrity of purpose and honest dealing which have characterized his whole life. Mr. TILLINGHAST is a plain, unassuming man, having the full confidence of his fellow men, and now at the age of seventy-three years retains an active mind and business ability apparently unimpaired.

    March 9, 1831, Mr. TILLINGHAST married REBECCA, daughter of PETER and MARY (PETIT) SMITH, of Jefferson county. She was born Mary 22, 1809. There have been born to them six children, viz: MARY ELIZA, born Mary 27, 1832, died Sept. 13, 1858; JULIA ANN, born Nov. 4, 1834, died April 1, 1853; GEORGE SMITH, born Dec. 11, 1836; ADELAIDE SOPHIA, born June 3, 1843, married to Dr. C E PINKHAM, of Boston, now living in California; EUNICE BLANCHE, born March 30, 1845, died Aug. 24, 1848; and EMMA BLANCHE, born Dec. 1, 1850, married to FREDERICK STARR, now living in Brooklyn, N. Y.

From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 632.


    The man whose name and likeness are seen above was born on May 11, 1793, in Arklow, Ireland. His parents' names were MICHAEL and RACHEL TOOKE. When their son MICHAEL was 16 years old they emigrated to America. From his boyhood MICHAEL had evinced a more than ordinary desire for knowledge, and he never let pass an opportunity of adding to his store. When his father's family reached this country, they settled in Eaton, Madison county, N.Y., about a half mile east of what is known as Pratt's Hollow, on the New York, Ontario and Western (Midland) railroad.

    In those days of inferior educational advantage, pupils were compelled to depend for instruction upon the district school, however ambitious they might be for high attainments. It was thus with the subject of this sketch, who, so far as school instruction was concerned, was confined to the rude country school, but he was not the person to sit idly down when he had learned all that was thus offered him. He was a close observer and an eager reader of all that came within his reach, and he thus became enlightened on all current subjects, and well versed in ancient and modern history.

    At age 25 he became a convert of religion and united with the Methodist Episcopal church. In November of the following year (1819,) he received license to exhort in his church, and on June 18, 1821, he was licensed to preach. June 14, 1829, he was ordained Deacon, by Bishop ROBERTS and as Elder by the same Bishop, August 25, 1840. These events sufficiently show that he was held in high esteem by his church brethren.

    As a local preacher, Mr. TOOKE ranked high in his locality. From the earliest movement toward the abolition of slavery, Mr. TOOKE was a strong advocate of the doctrine, speaking and voting in its favor on all occasions.

    In the year 1820, Mr. TOOKE was united in marriage to Miss SARAH TACKABURY, an estimable Christian lady. For fifty years she was his beloved consort, being all that becomes a wife and mother. Ten children were born to them, seven sons and three daughters. RACHEL, the eldest, is the wife of Mr. JOHN STRINGER. MICHAEL is a farmer, as is also NATHANIEL. These three reside in Bouckville, Madison county, N.Y. F. W. TOOKE is a member of the Central New York Conference. SARAH is the wife of Mr. HENRY BURNS, a farmer living in Bouckville. W. T. TOOKE is a member of the Northern New York Conference. D. J. TOOKE is a farmer residing in Chittenango Falls. JAMES N. now resides on the old homestead. MATTIE Z., married Rev. G. G. MEGINNIS, a member of the Illinois Conference. S. N. TOOKE is a postal agent, and resides in Charleston, Ill.

    MICHAEL TOOKE, the subject of these notes, died December 30, 1870, in the 78th year of his age.

From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 634.


CHARLES WEST.

    In tracing out the early surroundings of some of our best representative men, we often find that chilling adversity companioned their youth, and that hard labor filled their early years. Frequently the only school attended was that of experience, where severe maters taught severer lessons. Truly this is the case with Mr. WEST, the subject of our sketch. He was born in the town of Pitcher, Chenango Co., N. Y., the 4th of September, 1816. He is a son of CHARLES and REBECCA (PEABODY) WEST, natives of Gloucester, Mass. The former was born about 1780 and the latter August 12, 1780. They were farmers, but the father was by trade a mill wright, and followed that occupation several years before he left Massachusetts. They settled in Oneida Co., at Clinton, in 1812. In 1816 they moved to the town of Pitcher, and carried on farming.

    In the winter of 1819 the father took the job of putting a water wheel in the mill of GEORGE SWEETLAND at Dryden, N. Y., and while at work at that he took a severe cold, from the effects of which he died soon after. The mother lived a widow until the 12th of September, 1837, when she married JOSEPH RANDALL, of the town of Pitcher, by whom she had no children. The children by her first husband were nine in number, four sons and five daughters, whose names and dates of birth are here given: BETSEY, born Dec. 7, 1779, yet living in the town of Pitcher and who is the mother of ten children; LYDIA, born Nov. 15, 1801 (dead); LUCY, born June 20, 1803, died in 1843; JOHN, born Jan. 13, 1807, died in 1854; STEPHEN, born Aug. 10, 1809, died in 1861; POLLY, born Aug. 1, 1811, died in 1865; JOSEPH, born June 25, 1813, now living in Cattaraugus Co., N. Y.; CHARLES as above and ROXSINA, born July 19, 1819, died July 9, 1850. Mrs. WEST was a cousin of GEORGE PEABODY, the great philanthropist. She died the 19th of April, 1867, at the advanced age of 87 years. She was a woman of rare excellence, moral worth and pure christian character.

    As will be seen, CHARLES at the tender age of three years was left without a father. At the age of seven he left his mother's care, and went to live with his elder sister, with whom he remained until he was twenty years of age. His advantages for an education were extremely limited, and the entire amount of time he spend in school was not more than two years.

    In 1837, the 15th of March, Mr. WEST, taking the few articles of clothing that he possessed, tied up in a small bundle, and his little store of money, a silver quarter of a dollar, went to Binghamton, all the way on foot. Here he was employed by the State as lock tender on the Chenango Canal, and stayed there during that season. He followed farming several years, working by the month for several parties up to 1842, in which year, on the 29th of September, he was joined in marriage with ORINDA C., daughter of RENALDO and MARY (WHEELER) BURDWIN, of Lebanon, Madison Co. Her parents were natives of Coventry, Conn. The father was born in 1796, and died the 13th of January, 1868. [Note: printing was not very illegible on his dates.] The mother is still living, aged 81 years. They had three children, viz: ORINDA, born Oct. 8, 1821; LUCY born Dec. 24, 1825; JOHN, born July 29, 1833, all living. Mrs. WEST's parents were early settlers in the town.

    March 18, 1846, Mr. WEST purchased and moved on to the farm on which he is now living. It contained 200 acres, but he sold off 50 acres the same day he made the purchase. He paid down $500 that he had saved up, and $1,450 that he borrowed of Dr. HOVEY, of Morrisville, who required of him no security whatsoever, simply saying that his note was sufficient; that his word was as good as his bond. Such was his reputation for honesty and square dealing.

    Although Mr. WEST had some misgivings as to his being able to pay for his farm, even after he had purchased it and paid down so large an amount, he made up his mind that he could not without bending every power he possessed, and throwing all the energy of which he was capable into the task, which he did, and the result was that it was but a short time before he was on the high road to success. He has added by purchase from time to time until his farm consists of 240 acres.

    Mr. WEST is emphatically the architect of his own fortune. He is one of the most thorough farmers in the county, and has by his energy, push and ability as a business man, accumulated a large property. He has been most faithfully and materially assisted in his efforts by his excellent wife to whom he attributes a large share of his success.

    Mr. and Mrs. WEST have had nine children, four sons and five daughters, as follows: SARAH JANE, born April 10, 1844, now married to GEORGE L. CHOATE, of Eaton; MARY A., born Dec. 26, 1845, married to MELVIN M. CHUBBUCK, of Madison; LUCY F., born Feb 4, 1848, married to CHAUNCEY JENNE, of Eaton; CHARLES E., born March 8, 1850, married NETTIE TOWER, of Plymouth, Chenango county, now living in Fremont, Neb.; ANSON, D. E., born May 21, 1852, died July 18, 1854; IDA A., born June 26, 1855, living at home; CLAYTON B., born June 18, 1857, married LOTTIE PRICE, of Otselic, Chenango Co., now living at home; HULDAH C., born April 18, 1859, died Feb. 14, 1862, and FREDDIE J., born Sept. 2, 1864, living at home.

From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 624A.


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