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Putnam County, New York

History of Putnam County
Chapter XXIII
The Town of Southeast

Morgan Horton

Morgan Horton wa born in the town of Southeast, April 24th, 1819, and removed with his father in the following year to the place now owned and occupied by him. He attended the district school for several seasons and finished his education at the select school of Russell J. Minor, near Doansburg.

At the age of eighteen he began teaching school in the adjoining town of Patterson, where he remained one season. He afterward taught for three successive winters in what is now known as Lewisboro (formerly South Salem) Westchester county, and at Southeast Center the winter following. In the winters of 1842 and 1843 he taught the district school of Doansburg. He was then called, by the appointing power, to take charge of the schools of Putnam county which he continued to do for four years, when he protested against a reappointment. In the winter of 1847-8 he again taught the Doansburg school.

In 1841 he was elected one of the inspectors of common schools for the town of Southeast. In 1845 he was elected a justice of the peace to fill a vacancy, and served one and a half years. He also served three or four terms of three years each as assessor. In 1853 he was elected commissioner of highways to serve out the unexpired term of Capt. Orrin B. Crane. In 1854 he was elected supervisor, and again in 1855, 1859, and 1860. During the last year he was chairman of the board. In 1859 he was nominated for member of Assembly by the democratic party, but was defeated by about 50 majority. In 1868 he was again nominated for assembly man, and was elected by about 150 majority. In 1869 he was reelected by nearly 500 majority. During his first term in Legislature he served on the committees on engrossed bills an on expenditures of the house, and on the joint committee of the House and Senate on the State Library, besides various conference committees.

During his second term he was chairman on agriculture, and was also a member of the committee on banks.

In 1870 he was chosen as one of the charter members of the Pawlings Savings Bank, and served one year as a trustee of said bank. In 1871 he was instrumental in organizing the Putnam County Savings Bank, and at its first meeting was elected its president, which office he has continued to hold. For the last 40 years he has been, almost continuously, overseer of highways and a school trustee of his district.

During the last 24 years he has had much to do with the settlement of estates, and at the present time has several on hand in process of settlement. He has repeatedly been a delegate to State and other conventions; was a delegate to the State Convention that nominated Samuel J. Tilden for governor. During his second term in the Legislature he suffered from ill health and declined a re-election. Although repeatedly urged to accept nominations to the same office he has repeatedly declined.

Mr. Horton was married December 19th, 1848, to Jane A. Northrop, of Sherman, Conn., by whom he has four children, all living and all married: Inez A., Franklin N., George William, and Ira D. His father's name was Daniel and his mother's Susan.

In 1850 he commenced building on the site now occupied by him, and in 1852 stocked the farm and began the milk business which he has since continued, sending his milk to New York. His farm consists of 300 acres, about one half of which is in Connecticut. It was originally owned by Isaac Crosby who sold it to one Godfrey and he to Reuben Rockwell. The latter sold it to Joseph Banks, of whom it was purchased by the father of the present owner.He has surrounded his home with orchards of choice fruit and gives abundant space to the various species of horticulture.

Mr. Horton is a thorough student and a great reader, and his home is abundantly supplied with the current literature of the day. His children have all received a liberal education. He has ever been the friend and adviser of all who sought his aid, and he is widely and deservedly esteemed.

Source: pages 507 to 508.

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