BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 


Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Kathleen Novicki who transcribed this biography. 
 


FREDERICK T. CARRINGTON.

The life of Mr. Carrington was comparatively uneventful marked by few incidents, save such as occur in the life of every successful merchant and businessman.  He was emphatically a "man of affairs," industrious, sagacious, enterprising, and public-spirited, early developing those qualities which so largely contributed to his success in afterlife, and made him so apt in originating and prompt and efficient in carrying out schemes of public improvement.

He was born in Clinton, Oneida county, in October 1802, and received his education at Hartwick academy, Cooperstown. Before attaining his majority he commenced business upon his own account, and made large and successful commercial transactions at Peterboro', Madison county, to which place his father, Elisha Carrington, had removed.  Early in life he was married to Miss Louisa, daughter of Major William Shute, an officer in the army of the Revolution, and his wife survives him.  Their children died in infancy.  At the sale of lands by the State in Oswego, in 1827, he became a purchaser of several parcels, and, in 1827 or 1828, removed to the then village of Oswego, and engaged in business as a hardware merchant, initiating, building up, and for many years carrying on a successful trade with Canada and the west in stoves and other merchandise.  From his first investment, in 1827, until his death he was a large holder and owner of real property, having great faith in the future of Oswego, manifesting sagacity and foresight in his purchases, and the result of his investments in real estate justified the wisdom of his action. 

About 1843 he, in partnership with Mr. Pardee, engaged in the manufacture of flour, and also in business as a produce and commission merchant.  After the dissolution of the firm of Carrington & Pardee he associated with himself in business Mr. William I. Preston, who up to that time had been a merchant in Wayne county.  The business of Carrington & Preston was that of produce and commission merchants, and in that business they had an extended correspondence and did a large and profitable business for several years, and until Mr. Carrington retired from active commercial pursuits.  Mr. Carrington was instrumental in obtaining subscriptions in New York and elsewhere to the capital stock of the Oswego and Syracuse Railroad Company, and in procuring the means for the construction of the road.  A few years after the completion of the road he became the president of the company, and bringing to the conduct of its affairs the same tact and economy which he had exercised in the conduct of his own, was enabled soon to make it a dividend-paying road, yielding a handsome return to the stockholders. He was the president of the company up to the time that he effected a permanent lease of the road, at a good rental, to the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company.

In 1844 or 1845 he became the owner, with Mr. Pardee, of the hydraulic canal, on the west side of the Oswego river, known as the Varick canal, and the adjacent property, remaining the owner of one-half of the same until his death.

He had large views, and took an interest in all that concerned the prosperity of the city of his residence, contributing liberally of his substance to advance his interests and in aid of its institutions, especially those of a benevolent character, and his charities to the poor were large and unostentatious, his sympathies going out readily to all in want.

In social life, with a pleasant address, he was refined, unselfish, and courteous, attracting to himself the warm friendship of the intelligent and cultivated. In his business life he was just and honorable in all his dealings, and had the respect and entire confidence of those with whom he was brought in contact.  He died at Oswego, August 25, 1875, and was buried near the tomb, which he had just erected in Riverside cemetery.  He was president of the cemetery association at the time of his death.
 


Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Kathleen Novicki who transcribed this biography. 

MOSES PROUSE NEAL.

---son of James and Johanna Neal, and owner of the grand mid substantial block which bears his name, was born in the parish of Moorwinstaw, county of Cornwall, England, April 22,1828.  His father was born in the same place as also was his mother, whose maiden name was Prouse. In early life he lived with his parents on a farm, and received the usual education given by farmers to their sons until he reached his thirteenth year, when he was apprenticed to William Brooks, of Chumbleigh, Devonshire, a merchant tailor, with whom he served the customary seven years before being promoted to a journeyman.  Soon after the completion of his apprenticeship he made a study of cutting, and upon gaining a sufficient amount of knowledge of the art was employed in the tailoring establishment of William Batton, Holsworthy, Devonshire, as a foreman.

In the year 1853 he came to America, reaching Oswego a few days after the great fire, which consumed nearly all the buildings on the East Side.  A half-brother, Captain John P. Brooks, was at the time living in Scriba, and thither went Mr. Neal.  While visiting he sought work, and soon obtained it in the store of E. Jerritt, at Scriba Corners he remained with Mr. Jerritt. cutting and tailoring, one year, and while there was married to Miss Hattie Winship, of Scriba.  The union was a happy one, four children being born, of whom three survive.  But the partner of his toils was removed by death in the year 1865, just as prosperity began to smile upon him.  In the spring of 1855 he came to the city of Oswego, and found employment in the tailoring establishment of David Harmon, remaining there six years. A desire to again see the land of his birth came over him in 1801, and in the spring he sailed for England. After spending several months in visiting the scenes of his childhood he again sailed for America, this time accompanied by his only living parent, his father, and arrived home in safety in October.  His father, though quite aged, lived happily with him until death stepped in in 1874, and gathered the ripe fruit at the age of eighty-seven years. 

 In November 1861, the first year of the struggle of the United States, Mr. Neal commenced business for himself in a moderate little room in the second story of the Cozzens block.  By attention to business and fair dealing trade increased so rapidly he found himself cramped for room, and the year following rented and occupied the store corner of East first and Bridge streets. After remaining there he again found himself compelled to seek more commodious quarters, which he did by removing to the Judson block just erected.  In the year 1867 he was married to Miss Verona Glassford, of Oswego city.  Four children blessed the union, but death invaded the peaceful (?) and removed one. Fortune continued her favors to Mr. Neal, and in the year 1871 he bought the lot on which the stately, magnificent block which bears his name now stands.  On the site of the block stood for thirty-six years stone walls five feet in thickness, which were intended by the builder, Theophilus Morgan, to inclose a grand hotel at the packet landing.  In the spring of 1872 the erection of the new block was commenced, and notwithstanding the great expense and trouble attending the foundation (spiles had to be driven over nearly the whole surface to the amount of eight thousand feet) the imposing structure-a monument to Mr. Neal's industry and perseverance-was finished in one year.  In another part of our work can be seen an illustration of this fine building, which is not only a credit to Mr. Neal, but an ornament to the city as well.


Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Kathleen Novicki who transcribed this biography. 

WILLIAM SCHUYLER MALCOLM.

Distinguished as this gentleman's ancestry are on his mother’s side, they are only less so on that of his father.  His grandfather, General William Malcolm, was descended from a powerful Scotch family, one of whom- Malcolm of (?)- was created a knight-baronet by King Charles the Second.  General Malcolm served throughout the Revolutionary war with distinguished courage, commanding a regiment at the battle of White Plains, and taking part as a general officer in many subsequent engagements.  After the war he was during three terms a member of the State legislature from the city of New York.

His son, Samuel Bayard Malcolm, was bred to the law, became the private secretary of President John Adams, and was honored with the especial friendship of that eminent patriot.  His marriage with the daughter of General Schuyler, their residence at Utica and Stillwater, and his death in 1814, are mentioned in the biography of Mrs. Cochran.

William Schuyler Malcolm was born at Utica, on the 23rd day of February, 1810, and removed to Oswego with his mother and step-father in 1825.  He was educated for a civil engineer, but preferred a nautical life, studied navigation, and at the age of nineteen went to sea.  At the end of two years, having made voyages to Smyrna, Leghorn, and the West Indies, he returned home, and immediately went to commanding vessels on Lake Ontario. For twenty-three years he sailed the lakes, commanding numerous vessels, both sail and steam, many of which he owned.  Among the ships he commanded were the steamer “Oswego,” the propeller “Chicago,” and the steamer “United States,” then considered the finest vessel on the lakes.

For a short time during the  “Patriot war" of 1838-39, Captain Malcolm acted as deputy United States marshal, being especially selected, on account of his knowledge of the frontier, to prevent violations of the neutrality laws.

The part he took on hoard the steamer  United States," just before the celebrated affair at  “Windmill Point," has been mentioned in the general history.

 In 1842 Captain M. was married to Eliza Lawrence, daughter of Richard Lawrence, Esq., of Oswego.  She, like her husband, was a zealous member of the Episcopal church.  Mrs. M. died in 1865.

 Captain Malcolm was elected one of the first aldermen of the city of Oswego, in 1848, but aside from that has taken little active part in political life.  In 1854 he was appointed an assistant engineer in the United States civil service, being stationed at Oswego.  This position he held until 1869.  Since that time Captain M. has led a less active life than before, though still owning some property in use on the lake.

 Captain Malcolm is the father of seven children: Catharine Schuyler, wife of Elias Baxter; Mary Lawrence, wife of Douglas Beeson, of Erie, Pa.;  Philip Schuyler Malcolm, Emma Malcolm, Richard Lawrence Malcolm, William S. Malcolm, Jr., and Anna Van Rensselaer Malcolm.  He has been for many years a warden of Christ church, and has always manifested a deep interest in its welfare.  Few men have lived a more active life, few men are more widely known along the great lakes, and very few indeed display more vigor under the weight of sixty-seven years.

  See Captain William S. Malcolm's Obituary
 


Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Kathleen Novicki who transcribed this biography. 

MRS. CATHARINE VAN RENSSELAER COCHRAN.

 This lady was not only, as is well known to all the earlier citizens of Oswego, a daughter of one of the most illustrious patriots of the Revolution, but represented a family that for more than a hundred and fifty years exercised an immense influence over the colony and State of New York. From 1650, when Philip Pietersen Schuyler, an enterprising young gentleman from Amsterdam, made his home at Beverwyck (now Albany) down to 1804, when General Philip Schuyler, the father of our subject, sank into the arms of death amid the sorrow of a nation, there was no time when some one of that family was not an eminent leader of the people.

 Colonel Philip Pietersen Schuyler was a man of mark under the last Dutch governor of New Netherland and the first English governors of New York.  His second son, Colonel Peter Schuyler, was mayor of Albany for twelve successive years.  Exercising great influence over the Six Nations, he led a body of Mohawks and Dutch colonists through the wilderness of northern New York into Canada the year after the destruction of Schenectady (1691), and inflicted heavy loss on the French in retaliation for that terrible massacre. He was afterwards a member, and finally president, of the king's provincial council, chief commissioner of Indian affairs, and for a time acting governor of the province of New York.

 His younger brother, Captain John Schuyler, led an expedition against Canada the same year as the Schenectady massacre, though then but twenty-two years old.  He afterwards held many important stations, both civil and military, and was for eight years a member of the colonial assembly.  Still another brother, Arent Schuyler, located in New Jersey, and founded an influential family there, one of his sons having been the Colonel Peter Schuyler who defended Oswego against De Montcalm, as mentioned in the general history.

 The eldest son of Peter Schuyler, of Albany, Colonel Philip Schuyler, succeeded to his father's influence over both whites and Indians.  For a long period he was a prominent member of the colonial legislature, a military leader, trusted to defend the colony against the French, and a commissioner of Indian affairs, who held nearly the same relation towards the Six Nations that was afterwards held by Sir William Johnson.  His wife (who was also his cousin, being a daughter of Captain John Schuyler) was the subject of a book called “An American Lady," by the Scotch authoress, Mrs. Grant, -a work which is recognized as the pleasantest picture now extant of pre-revolutionary times on the Hudson.  Numerous other members of this remarkable family occupied positions of considerable importance, both civil and military.

 One of the brothers of the lady just mentioned was John Schuyler, Jr., at one time mayor of Albany.  His eldest son, born in November, 1733, was Philip Schuyler, afterwards the distinguished American general and statesman. Entering the military service at the age of twenty-one, this Philip Schuyler was one of the most active and useful officers engaged in the old French war, and his services in Oswego County have been duly noticed in the general history.  He was one of the foremost leaders in the long civil opposition to British tyranny, and when his country was compelled to resort to arms he placed life and fortune at her service.  Of his career as a major-general in the Revolution it would require far too much space to speak here, and it is too well known to make such mention necessary. Called to the senate of the United States after victory had crowned our arms, he was one of the foremost members of that august body, and when at length he slept the sleep of death, five years after his friend Washington, all true Americans mourned the loss of the patriot, the soldier, and the statesman.

 We have spoken at unusual length regarding the ancestry of Mrs. Cochran, for it is seldom indeed in this youthful country that a single family presents such a long list of distinguished members.  Her own life was marked by much more of incident than usually falls to the lot of woman. Born at Albany on the 20th of February, 1781, nine months before the surrender of Cornwallis, she was almost literally rocked in the cradle of revolution.  She was baptized in the Dutch Reformed church, General and Mrs. Washington being two of her sponsors.  Her name was the same as that of her mother, who was a daughter of the distinguished family of Van Rensselaer.  When only six months old she was the central figure of a most romantic yet terrifying scene.

 Though General Schuyler had withdrawn from the army, he was still active in the cause of his country, and the British and Tories were anxious to get possession of his person.  He was aware of the fact, and a guard of six soldiers had been furnished him, three of whom were on duty at a time.  Nevertheless, a bold ruffian named Waltermeyer, accompanied by a gang of Tories, Canadians, and Indians, made the hazardous attempt. Just at twilight on a sultry August day the general and his family were collected in the front hall of his house in the suburbs of Albany.  The three guards off duty were asleep in the basement; the others were lying on the grass outside and not very vigilant.  A servant announced that a stranger wished to speak with the general at the back gate. A trap was at once suspected, the doors were instantly barred, the family ran up-stairs, and the general sprang for his arms.  Waltemeyer's gang surrounded the house, the three guards who were barred out fled, and the doors were soon broken in.  The three soldiers below rushed up to the back hall where they had left their arms, but these had been removed by some of the family, and they were quickly overpowered.

At that moment it was discovered that the infant Catrina was asleep in its cradle in the basement.  Margarita, the general's third daughter (then a brave girl of twenty-two, afterwards the wife of the celebrated patroon, General Stephen Van Rensselaer), instantly rushed down the two flights of stairs, snatched up the child, and bore it to the upper rooms.  As she fled up-stairs one of the cut-throats flung a tomahawk at the heroic girl.  It whizzed past the head of little Catrina, slightly cut the dress of Margarita, and was buried in the railing of the stair.  A moment after Waltermeyer met her, but supposing her to be a servant allowed her to pass, exclaiming, “Hello, wench, where is your master?"

 “Gone to alarm the town," replied the quick-witted girl. The general heard her, flung up a window, and called at the top of his voice,-
 “Come on, my brave fellows, surround the house and secure the scoundrels!"  A panic seized on the marauders, who immediately fled, carrying off their three prisoners and a large quantity of silver plate.

Such was Mrs. Cochran's infancy.  As she grew up she was the friend and companion of her father, accompanying him on numerous journeys, and constantly meeting the most distinguished society of the country, who always surrounded her father and her equally distinguished brother-in-law Alexander Hamilton.  At the age of about twenty she was married to Samuel Bayard Malcolm, a rising young lawyer, and, like herself, the child of a Revolutionary general.  For many years the young couple resided at Utica, where General Schuyler had possessed a large estate Four children were born to them there, two of whom died in their youth, the others being the well-known citizen of Oswego, Captain William Schuyler Malcolm, and his brother Alexander Hamilton Malcolm.

About 1812 Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm removed to Stillwater, Saratoga county, where Mr. Malcolm died, in 1814. Mrs. Malcolm removed to Utica, where, in 1822, she married her cousin, Major James Cochran, a son of Dr. Robert Cochran, who had served with General Schuyler during the old French war, who married the general’s sister, and who was surgeon-general of the American army during the Revolution.  Major Cochran had himself been a member of Congress and a State senator.  One daughter was born of this union, who died when but two years old.
  In October, 1825, Major and Mrs. Cochran removed to Oswego, making their home on the east side of the river, at what is now the Corner of' Canal and Cochran streets, but was then a forest, where they both resided till their death. 

  During her residence in Oswego, Mrs. Cochran was a zealous and devoted member of Christ church, the first Episcopal church organized in the place, and her life was in full accordance with her religious professions.  In the words of one who knew her, she was honored, beloved, and respected by all around her: honored for her noble family connection, comprising the Schuylers, the Van Rensselaers, the Van Cortlands, the Livingstons, and the Hamiltons; beloved for her many virtues and courteous manners, respected for her native intellect and mental culture.
Her husband died in 1848.  Mrs. Cochran survived him nine years, and passed away on the 26th day of August, 1857, almost exactly seventy-seven years after the marauder’s tomahawk nearly blotted out her infant life.


Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Kathleen Novicki who transcribed this biography. 

JOHN B. EDWARDS.

---was born near old Tennent Church, Monmouth county, New Jersey, May 23, 1802. In 1807 he dame with his father to the town of Lyons, Ontario county (now Wayne), where he resided when Clinton inaugurated the movement for constructing the Erie canal.  Mr. Edwards worked one year as laborer on the canal, and in the following year, 1820, became a sub-contractor.  His energy and great adaptability for this kind of work attracted the attention of Governor Clinton, and in 1822, then but twenty years of age, he was appointed superintendent, and faithfully discharged the duties of that position until the year 1824, when he came to Oswego for the purpose of superintending the construction of the Oswego Canal Company's hydraulic canal; and has since been engaged largely in the construction and care of the docks and piers in this harbor.

The late Gerrit Smith was an extensive property-owner in this city, and in 1831 his foreman in the construction of work in the harbor displeased him, and upon inquiry for a man who combined the necessary qualifications for the position with honesty and integrity, he was promptly referred to John B. Edwards, whom he at once secured, and from that time up to the date of his death, embracing a period of forty-three years, he was the trusted agent of Mr. Smith, and still has charge of his estate in this county. It is a remarkable instance, and reflects much credit upon both principal and agent, that during this long period not an unkind word or act passed between them.

In 1826 Mr. Edwards married Lydia M. Hall, a native of this State.  Their family consisted of four children, viz., two sons and two daughters, all of whom are deceased.  Mrs. Edwards died January 20,1856, and was buried in Riverside cemetery.  January 5, 1858, he united in marriage with Julia M. Imlay.

His first vote was cast for De Witt Clinton, and he subsequently became an anti-Mason, afterwards a Whig and upon the organization of the Republican party became an earnest worker in its ranks, where he has since remained. He was an abolitionist, and performed substantial service for the slave element, emulating in this humane work with his honored and philanthropic principal and friend, whose life was devoted in a great degree to the unfortunate victims of American slavery.  He has been a faithful worker in the interests of the village and county, and has held the office of supervisor of Scriba, county coroner, president of the village, alderman of the city, trustee of the orphan asylum, and upon the organization of the Gerrit Smith library was chosen a member of the board of trustees, and still officiates in that capacity.  He is also president of the Oswego County savings bank.  He became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church in 1828, and his active business career has ever been measured by the scale of religious duty and a God-like principle.  He has given liberally to the support of the church, and in its general welfare manifests a lively interest, and was lay delegate to the last general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church.  He has now attained the age of seventy-five years, and during a residence of more than half a century in this city no man has won the esteem and confidence of the people in a greater degree.  His fellow-citizens point to him as “an honest man, the noblest work of God."


Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Dianne Thomas for transcribing this biography.

William Wart

Was born in Boylston, September 4, 1819, at which time Boylston was a part of Orwell township.  His parents removed from Otsego county, New York, and settled in the northwest corner of what is now the township of Boylston.  They were among the first settlers of the township.  Mr. Wart was the eldest son of eight children, and lived with his father up to nineteen years of age.  In 1847 he purchased eighty-six acres of land where his present home is.  He was married July 4, 1847, to Margaret Dingman, daughter of John Dingman, a resident of Boylston.  They moved into their home March 23, 1848.  One son and one daughter were born to them, - Wm. Franklin and Emmagene.  The son married Hattie Worlie, of Otsego county, and the birth of a daughter gave a great-grandchild in the house, - four generations under one roof.

Mr. Wart has added to his lands until he is the owner of two hundred and fifty-four acres in the home-farm, and seventy-four in the east part of Boylston.  His home is finely situated on an eminence commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country and of Lake Ontario.  Mr. Wart has always taken pride in raising and keeping good stock.  Two span of horses, one owned by himself and one by his son, and sired by a stallion (Little Mack) owned by him, are among the finest in the country.

Mr. Wart has always been a Democrat, voting for Martin Van Buren in 1840, and has not missed voting at any presidential election since.  Though not a member of any religious denomination, he has always responded with his share of means to their support.

Affectionate and kind in his family, a genial companion, no one would be more missed from his neighborhood than would William Wart.


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