Genealogical & Family History of Northern, NY
Pages 200-207

William Richard Cutter, A. M.
Editorial Supervisor

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam


MATHEWS. The Mathews family of this sketch is of Scotch ancestry, though the name is of English origin. It was formerly spelled also Matthes, Mathes, Mathis, Matthews, etc. At least eight immigrants of the name were in Massachusetts before 1650. John Mathews settled in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and it is thought that the Vermont branch descends from him.

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(I) Joseph Mathews was born august 16, 1772, probably in Vermont, and died December 6, 1845. He lived at new Haven, Vermont, and was a farmer. He married (first) August 22, 1793, Polly Eggleston, born August 22, 1772, died April 3, 1809. He married (second) January 14, 1810, Sabra Holcomb, born May 29, 1768, died February 7, 1851. Children of first wife: 1. Isaac, September 7, 1795, died April 4, 1790. 2. David, may 22, 1798, mentioned below. 3. Polly, March 29, 1800, died September 19, 1802. 4. George, December 23, 1801. 5. Moses, February 10, 1804. 6. John, January 25, 1807.

(II) David, son of Joseph Mathews, was born in New Haven, May 22, 1798; died January 28, 1876. He was educated in the public schools, and was a mason by trade. He moved in March, 1823, from New Haven to Potsdam, New York, with two children. He became one of the leading masons and builders of this section. Potsdam sandstone was then just coming into use and he built the stone flour mill, Judge Allen's house, South Academy, and various other buildings. He was a member of the Baptist Church. He was a contributor to the funds of the South Academy and was greatly interested in church and educational work. He lived for four years in the house half-way between Norwood and Potsdam. In 1836 he became the owner of a farm of one hundred and thirty-six acres at South Potsdam, and he conducted it successfully for twenty-five years. Then he bought a house and lot near the center of the village, and died there January 28, 1876. He married, January 14, 1821, Lora, born November 13, 1798, died July 4, 1882, daughter of Joshua and Mercy Perry. Children; 1. Mary Ann, married Alba Eldridge, of Colton, New York. 2. Isaac. 3. William, mentioned below. 4. Lucina, married George Pert. 5. Amos, lieutenant in the Civil War, lived in Iowa, later in Missouri, died in August , 1909, at Potsdam. 6. Emily, married George Plympton, of Lockport, New York. 7. David Perry. 8. Edward, soldier in Civil War; lived in Iowa, died in Eldorado Springs, Missouri. 9. Ransom, soldier in Civil War; settled in Iowa, now residing in Fitzgerald, Georgia. 10. Martha Melvina, married Loyal S. Jackson, of Canton; she now resides in Potsdam.

(III) William, son of David Mathews, was born at Potsdam, November 14, 1825, died there October 25, 1907. He was educated in St. Lawrence Academy, Potsdam, and for a number of years taught school in the vicinity. He learned the mason's trade under the instruction of his father. He was a master mason and contractor for many years at Potsdam and built many of the important buildings there and at Canton, Gouverneur and elsewhere through the county. He continued in this business through all the active years of his life. In politics he was a Democrat. He served the incorporated village of Potsdam in the board of trustees and was at one time excise commissioner of the town. He married (first) Helen E., daughter of Alanson G. Fisher. Her father was also a mason and contractor and built the St. Lawrence Academy. She died in 1855 and he married (second) Emma Jane Case. Child of the fist wife: 1. Frank Percy, mentioned below. Child of second wife: 2. Elmer E., now living in Syracuse, New York.

(IV) Frank Perry, son of William Mathews, was born January 6, 1853, in Potsdam. He attended district school, No. 8, at Potsdam, but left school at the age of sixteen to become an apprentice at the trade of tinsmith. Afterward he followed this trade for a period of twenty years in all, five of which were spent in Utica, New York, and fifteen in his native town. In 1876 he entered partnership with H. L. Ives under the firm name of Ives & Mathews. This partnership continued until 1879 when it was dissolved. In 1880 he established a retail hardware store in Potsdam and continued until 1889, when he sold

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out and became agent of the Standard Oil Company, a position he held for twenty-one years. Since 1908 he has been sales agent for the Ford Motor Car Company, manufacturers of automobiles. He was one of the organizers and original stockholders and directors of the People's National Bank of Potsdam. He is a member of the Raquette River Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of Potsdam; of St. Lawrence Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; of St. Lawrence Commandery, Knights Templar, of Canton, and of Potsdam Club, of which he is also treasurer and president.

He married, in 1881, Helen E., daughter of George W. and Helen S,. Bonney, of Potsdam. Children, born in Potsdam: 1. Helen. 2. Grace. 3. George, employed by the Standard Oil company at Albany, New York. 4. William, graduate of the State Normal School at Potsdam, now a student in the University of Illinois. 5. Mary Louise, died aged one year.

BALL. William and Alling Ball, probably brothers, settled at New Haven, Connecticut, as early as 1643. Alling married (first) Susan ---------; (second) Dorothy -------------, who died February 22, 1889-90. His sister married Thomas Fugill and another sister married James Russell. Alling Ball was a blacksmith; captain of militia; died November 21, 1716. Children of Alling Ball: 1. John, born April 15, 1649. 2. Eliphalet, February 11, 1651. 3. Alling, June 27, 1656. 4. Sarah, January 17, 1660. 5. Lydia (twin of Sarah), January 17, 1660. 6. Mercy married George Pardee

(I) William Ball, brother of Alling Ball, it is though, came from England to New Haven as early as 1643. He died April, 1648, probably soon after his marriage, leaving behind him little record of his life. . He took the oath of fidelity in 1644 at New Haven. (See New England Hist. And Gen. Register, April, 1907). He appears to have left a son Edward, mentioned below.

(II) Edward Ball was born about 1645. It is not known where he spent his youth. He appears in 1667 among the first settlers of Branford, Connecticut. He signed the rules with other October 2, 1665, for the government of the town owned by Branford settlers, "upon the Passaic River in New Jersey, that none should be admitted free burgesses in their town except such plants as were member of some of the Congregational Church or elected magistrates or to some judicial office or assistant or deputies to make or repeal laws or to be elected to any chief military office unless they were members of the church, etc." He removed with Mr. Pierson to New Jersey in 1666-67, and settled in what is now the city of Newark. In 1673 he and Daniel Dodd were appointed to run the northern line of the town of Newark from the Passiac River to the mountain. He and Joseph Harrison were appointed attorneys for Newark, October 18, 1686, to see the town orders executed, and to prosecute offenders and have half the sums recovered for their fees. He was on a committee with Azarish Crane and Joseph Riggs to lay out the bounds between Newark and Hockquecanung. In 1686-86 he was one of a large committee of Newark to take notice of all lands that person had appropriated to themselves and order how a fourth division of common lands should be laid out. He was sheriff of Essex County in 1693. He married Abigail Blatchley. Children; 1. Caleb. 2. Abigail, married Daniel Harrison. 3. Joseph. 4. Lydia. 5. Moses. 6. Thomas, mentioned below.

(III) Thomas, son of Edward Ball, was born 1660-70, at Branford or Newark. He married Sarah Davis, and through their nine sons their descendants have been very numerous.

(IV) Nathaniel, son of Thomas Ball, was born at Newark, New Jersey, 1700-1710. He resided at Connecticut Farms in Newark, on the turnpike, near the site of the old tavern. He married Esther Osborne.

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Children; 1. Phebe, married Jacob Jennings, of Passiac. 2. Rhoda, married Patrick Crilles, an Irishman of Connecticut Farms. 3. Rebecca, married ---------- Loyd, of Camptown, now Clinton, New Jersey. 4. James, married Eunice maker, of Connecticut Farms. 5. Salome, married Solomon Line, of Sodom. 6. Esther, married John Mulford. 7. Aaron, married (first) Petty Wade; (second) Hannah Wells. 8. Nehemiah, mentioned below. 9. Paul, of Trenton. 10. Davis, married ---------- Hetfield. 11. Eunice, married Dr. Wats Bonnel, of Union.

(V) Nehemiah, son of Nathaniel Ball, was born at Newark about 1740. He was a soldier in the Revolution, orderly sergeant of light artillery and of the regiment comprising General Washington's body guard at one time. He lived at Elizabeth, New Jersey. he was a farmer. He married, Elizabeth Sallee, sister of John Sallee. Children: 1. Betsey. 2. Elihu. 3. Nathaniel. 4. Puah. 5. Esther (twins). 6. Sineas, mentioned below. 7. James.

(VI) Sineas, son of Nehemiah Ball, was born at Elizabeth, New Jersey, March 5, 1781. He settled in Theresa, Jefferson County, New York, where he followed farming. He was a soldier in the War of 1812 with a rank of Captain of his company and colonel of his regiment in the state militia. He was a Whig in politics and liberal in religions, making the Golden Rule his guide in living. He married in Rutland, March 25, 1813, Charlotte, born September 5, 179-, daughter of Francis and relief Towne. Children: 1. Child, born and died March 30, 1814. 2. Francis Towne, born May 7, 1815, died March 19, 1819. 3. Child, born and died April 19, 1817. 4. Warren, May 13, 1818. 5. Edward. May 30, 1820. 6. Egbert, March 27, 1822. 7. Willis, April 21, 1824. 8. Charles, May 3, 1826. 9. Emeline, July 15, 1828. 10. Chauncey, April 15, 1831. 11. Wilson F., mentioned below.

(VII) Rev. Wilson F., Ball, son of Sineas Ball, was born at Theresa, New York, June 30, 1834. He attended the district schools, the Theresa High School, the Fairfield Seminary, and the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary. Four fourteen years he taught in the public schools and academy. He served in the Union Army for three years during the Civil War, enlisting in Company D, Ninety-second Regiment, New York Volunteers, and attained the rank of sergeant-major. He was in the battle of Fair Oaks, of Black Water, Kingston, Goldsborough, North Caroline, Fort Anderson, opposite Newbern. After the war he taught school in Canton and Carthage and fitted himself for the ministry. He was admitted to the conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and began a long and honorable career in the ministry in 1869. He had pastorates at Buck's Bridge, Norwood, Sacketts Harbor, Massena, Heuvelton, Sandy Creek, Herman, Fort Covington, Canton, Madrid, Newport, De Kalb Junction, Louisville and Tupper Lake, all in northern New York. He was placed on the superannuated list in 1905 and since then has resided in Massena and Watertown, New York. During his forty years in the pulpit he made a reputation for able and forceful preaching and took rank among the leading ministers of his denomination in this section. He is a prominent Free Mason, a member of lodge, chapter and Commandery, and has taken the thirty-second degree in Scottish Rite Masonry. He is a member also of the Sons of Temperance, the Good Templars, of which he has been chaplain and worthy chief, and of the Grand Army of the Republic. In politics he is a Prohibitionist.

He married, September 24, 1862, at Philadelphia, Jefferson County, New York, Katherine, born June 8, 1837, daughter of Dr. Weeden and Elizabeth (Roberts) Mosher. She had brothers Cyrus and Samuel, and sisters Ann, Sarah Jane, Mary, Katherine, Lucy. Children; 1. Leon Cyrus, born September 8, 1864, graduate of

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Syracuse University; formerly manager of Jefferson casket factory; now engaged in newspaper business, a new publication in Watertown, New York; married (first) Clara Hall, of Columbus, Ohio; three children: 1. Catherine, deceased. 2. Richard. 3. Robert. Married (second) Margaret Carpenter; one child, Carolyne. 2. George Wilson, May 24, 1866, mentioned below. 3. Manley, 1870, died in infancy. 4. Karl Mosher, March 1, 1882, graduate of the Military School at Nyack, New York; foreman in a wholesale house dealing in oilcloth, curtains, etc., Plainfield, New Jersey; married Margaret Williams.

(VIII) George Wilson, son of Rev. Wilson F. Ball, was born in Canton, May 24, 1866. He attended the public schools of Massena and graduated from the high school in that town. He afterward taught school there. He was clerk in the store of G. W. Bailey & Company, dealers in dry goods, Massena, for three years, 1885 to 1888. He became general manager of the department store of J. L. Hyde, of Massena, and remained for sixteen years. In 199-4 he embarked in the dry goods business in Massena on his own account, and after three years sold out and since that time has been engaged in the retail coal business in Massena. He is a director of the First National Bank of Massena, organized in 1903, and was one of the original stockholders and directors. He is an active Republic and a member of the Republican County Committee of St. Lawrence County. He is a member of Massena Lodge, No. 513, Free and Accepted Masons. He is a prominent member of the Congregational Church, clerk of the society and superintendent of the Sunday School. He married, in 1891, Cara, born in Massena, January 31, 1870, daughter of Horace C. and Rebecca (McGowan) Clark, of Massena. Children: 1. Bernice, born august 2, 1892, died October 23, 1901. 2. Irene, December 30, 1894. 3. Mildred, August 8, 1897, died March 30, 1899. 4. Clark, April 17, 1900, died July 22, 1902. 5. Marjorie, February 11, 1902, died August 4, 1902.

MERRITT. henry Merritt, immigrant ancestor, was born in England, and settled among the first at Scituate, Massachusetts, probably as early as 1626. In 1628 certainly he was there, as shown by a deed to Nathaniel Tilden of planting land on the third cliff. His house lot in 1633 was at the corner where the "drift-away" crosses Greenfield Lane. He was admitted a freeman, February 1, 1638. He was prominent in community affairs. He was on the list of those able to bear arms in 1643. He had a large share in New Harbor marshes and was one of the Conihasset partners. He is said to have been born in county Kent, England, 1590. He died at Scituate, November 30, 1653, and administration was granted to his son John, January 24, 1653-54. Goody Merritt, perhaps his wife, joined the church April 16, 1637. Children; 1. Henry, died without issue, before 1673. 2. John, mentioned below.

(II) John, son of Henry Merritt, was born about 1635, died in Scituate, in middle life about 1674. He married Elizabeth Weyborne. He lived at Scituate. Children: 1. Deborah, born March, 1655. 2. John, mentioned below. 3. Henry, January, 1662. 4. Jonathan, July, 1664. 5. Mary, December, 1667. 6. Elizabeth, July, 1670. Ages of the children are all given in the inventory taken in the latter part of February, 1676.

(III) John (2), son of John (1) Merritt, was born in 1660, at Scituate, being "aged sixteen last February," according to the inventory February, 1676. He died at Scituate, June 5, 1749. He married Elizabeth Hyland, of Scituate. Children, born at Scituate: 1. John, August, 1687. 2. Thomas, September, 1688. 3. Elizabeth, 1690-91. 4. Abigail, November, 1700. 5. Jonathan, May, 1702, mentioned below. 6. David, October, 1703. 7. Ebenezer, De-

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cember 25, 1705. 8. Ezekiel, March 22, 1709-10.

(IV) Jonathan, son of John (2) Merritt, was born May, 1702, at Scituate, died in Hebron, Tolland County, Connecticut, October 27, 1758. He married, at Scituate, January 8, 1727, Mehitable Damon. He settled in Hebron about 1730. Children: 1. Jonathan, Jr. 2. Simon, born 1728. 3. Noah, mentioned below. Probably other children.

(V) Noah, son of Jonathan Merritt, was born at Scituate or Hebron, 1732, died at Templeton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, March 24, 1814, aged, according to town records, eighty-two years, seven months. He married Sarah ------------, who died February 6, 1830, aged ninety-two years. Children, recorded except the eldest as born at Templeton: 1. Noah, October, 1758, mentioned below. 2. Abel, May 2, 1760. 3. Lucy, May 25, 1762. 4. Sarah, August 20, 1764. 5. Henry, March 1, 1767. 6. Esther, March 17, 1769. 7. Simeon, May 23, 1771, died December 6, 1844. 8. Eunice, June 17, 1773. 9. Wilks (twin), September 7, 1775, died young. 10. Molly, (twin), September 7, 1775. 11. Uriah, November 19, 1777. 12. Molly, May 14, 1780. 13. Hannah, June 6. 1782.

(VI) Noah (2), son of Noah (1) Merritt, was born at Templeton, in October 1758, died at Sudbury, Rutland County, Vermont, August 21, 1843. He was a soldier of the Revolution from Templeton, in the Seventh Worcester County Regiment, Continental Army, enlisted for three years, February 21, 1778. He was also in the Fifth Regiment, Captain Gardner, in 1780. The descriptive list shows that he was of light complexion, five feet eleven inches tall and aged twenty-three in 1780 when he was at Springfield with the recruits. He settled at Brandon, Vermont, in 1785. He married Eunice Metcalf at Templeton, April, 1781. Their son Noadiah is mentioned below. Noah had a personal acquaintance with Washington and was in the army altogether for six years.

(VII) Noadiah, son of Noah (2) Merrett, was born in Templeton, December 3, 1782, died at Pierrepont, New York, January 1, 1854. He married Relief, daughter of Jeremiah and Relief (Rogers) Parker. Her mother was descended, according to family tradition, from John Rogers the martyr.

(VIII) General Edwin Atkins Merrett, son of Noadiah Merrett, was born in Sudbury, Vermont, February 26, 1828. He left his hone at the age of ten years, to live with a married sister at Westport, Essex County, New York. In 1841, with his father's family, he emigrated to St. Lawrence County, where he has spent the remainder of his life. He is now living (1910) in Potsdam, New York. He had a good public school education and taught school in St. Lawrence County for a time; having resolved to become a surveyor he qualified himself and pursued that profession for several years, mainly in the Adirondacks. He published the first map for use of tourists in the wilderness. He was the engineer in charge of the construction of the eastern section of the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad. In 1854 he was elected supervisor of the town of Pierrepont and re-elected the two following years. In 1857-58-59-60 he was clerk of the board of supervisors of the county. In 1859 he was elected member of the state assembly from the second district of this county, receiving a plurality of one thousand, three hundred and two votes, and in 1860 was re-elected by two thousand, two hundred and fifty-nine plurality. In the assembly his directness and honesty of purpose, his sound judgment and good sense soon gave him a position of great usefulness and influence. In 1867 he was elected to the constitutional convention of the state of New York and was chairman of the committee on organization of the legislature. For several years he was a leading member of the Republican State central

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committee. In March, 1809, he was appointed naval officer of the post of New York by President Grant, and held that office for sixteen months, being removed to make place for Moses H. Grinnell, formerly collector of the port. In 1875 the Republican state convention nominated him for state treasurer, but the party was in the minority that year. In 1877 President Hayes appointed him surveyor of the port of New York to succeed General sharp, and his administration was so successful that the president promoted him to the collectorship of the port in July, 1878. Up to that time he was the only man who had ever held the three offices of surveyor, naval officer and collector of the port of New York. Among the first nominations made by President Garfield after his inauguration in 1881 was that of General Merrett for consul-general at London. He filled this office with characteristic zeal and efficiency. He was succeeded in 1886 by Thomas M. Waller, ex-governor of Connecticut, appointed by President Cleveland. After his retirement from the naval office in 1871 he was offered the post of United States minister to Brazil through the suggestion of Hon. William A. Wheeler, the congressman, afterward vice-president of the United States, but he felt constrained by circumstances to decline the office. He was an intimate friend of Hon. John Sherman and a warm supporter of the Ohio statesman for president. He was for many years a personal friend of Horace Greeley, and was one of his supporters for president.

He had a notable military career. At the beginning of the Civil War he became active in the work of raising troops, and he himself went to the front as quartermaster of the Sixtieth New York Regiment of Volunteers. He was for some time with the Army of the Potomac and after the battle of Gettysburg went west, participating in the battles about Chattanooga and in Sherman's March to the Sea, as far as Altoona Mountain near Marietta, Georgia. While in the field at this point he received from President Lincoln a commission as commissary of subsistence with the rank of Captain and was ordered to Washington and stationed on the Potomac River to supply reinforcements proceeding to join Sherman's Army. At the close of the campaign he was stationed at Annapolis, Maryland, to pay commutation of rations to the soldiers returning from rebel prisons. While on this service he was appointed quartermaster-general on the staff of Governor Fenton and entered upon the duties of his office January 1, 1865,m and continued until January, 1869.

General Merrett has always taken an active interest in educational affairs, and was especially influential in securing the location of the State Normal School at Potsdam. He was for many years president of the board of trustees of the Normal School and of the corporation of St. Lawrence University at Canton. He is trustee of Clarkson Institute of Technology of Potsdam. He is a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. Both in private and public life, General Merrett has shown himself to be a patriotic and useful citizen. Since retiring to private life, he has made his home at Potsdam, and he enjoys the respect and esteem of all his townsmen.

He married, May 5, 1858, Eliza, daughter of Jacob Rich. Children: 1. Edwin Atkins, mentioned below. 2. Arthur Rich, born august 31, 1863, died 1867. 3. Parker Wilson, December 7, 1865, died 1867. 4. Darwin Fenton, July 21, 1867, died 1875.

(IX) Edwin Atkins (2), son of General Edwin Atkins (1) Merrett, was born at Pierrepont, New York, July 25, 1860, and was educated in the public schools there, in the State Normal School at Potsdam, and in Yale College, from which he graduated in the class of 1884. In 1886 he went to England and was for a year deputy consul-general at London. On his return to this country he took up the study of law in the office of Parker & McIntyre, Potsdam, and

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later was admitted to the bar. He is a member of the law firm, Ingram Merrett & Merrett. He belongs to the Bar Association of St. Lawrence county and to the State Bar Association. He is one of the owners of the Potsdam Red Sandstone quarries and of the Hannana Falls Power Company, which furnishes electricity to the town of Gouverneur, also to Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Canton and Hermon, and manufactures ground wood pulp. In politics he is a Republican; he was vice-president of the League of Republican Clubs of the state of New York for several years; was supervisor of the town of Potsdam for seven years; was elected to the assembly in 1901 for the second district of St. Lawrence County and has been re-elected at each succeeding election. He has taken a leading position in the legislature by virtue of his long service and efficient labors. He was a member of the committee on general laws, fisheries and game, in 1902; on insurance, general laws and trades and transportation in 1903; chairman of general laws and member of fisheries and game, trades and manufactures in 1904; chairman of the committee on general laws and member of the committee on canals and of the committee on agriculture in 1905; chairman of the committee on general laws and member of ways and means and of agriculture in 1906; chairman of the committee on railroads and member of ways and means and the rules committee in 1907. At the end of the session of 1907 he was appointed a member of the joint committee of senate and assembly to report a new code of highways laws and provide for a system of improved highways for the state. In 1908 he became the Republican leader of the assembly and chairman of ways and means and member of the committee on rules. In 1909 he was again chairman of the committee on ways and means and member of the committee on rules, and by virtue of his position, Republican leader. He is a member of the Raquette River Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; of St. Lawrence Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of Potsdam; of St. Lawrence Commandery, Knights Templar, of Canton; of Media Temple, Mystic Shrine, of Watertown, New York.

He married January 24, 1888, Edith Sophia, born June 2, 1845, daughter of Edward H. and Mary (Putnam) Wilcox, of Potsdam. Her grandfather, Horace Wilcox, was born in Berlin, Connecticut, September 9, 1793, died August 16, 1853; married Sophia Lombard, born in Pawlet, Vermont, august 16, 1797, died June 2, 1882. They have one daughter, Esther May, born in Potsdam, June 11, 1894.


Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1910

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

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