S - Z
History & Directory of Yates Co., Vol 1, Pub 1873, by Stafford C. Cleveland Pg 172 - 345
Return to Home Page Return to Benton Bio Index
SHAW pg 223 – 225
Jeremiah SHAW was a native of England, and came to this country in 1760 with two brothers, one of whom died on the passage. He married and settled near Sheshequin, Pennsylvania; was a Captain in the Revolution and is supposed to have participated in Sullivan’s campaign against the Indians. He lived to a great age and several of his children have reached the longevity of nearly one hundred years. His descendants are still numerous where he first settled, and it is said that at the second election of Abraham LINCOLN, there were 21 of his sons, grandsons and great grandsons, who voted for LINCOLN at the same poll or in the near vicinity.
His family consisted of five sons and four daughters, but three of whom, Benjamin, Jeremiah and Hannah, wife of Hezekiah TOWNSEND, the pioneer blacksmith, became citizens of Yates county. Benjamin married Margaret, sister of John POWELL of Dutchess county, at Sheshequin, and came to this county in 1805. They located first on the farm now owned by Caleb HAZEN, just east of Lawrence TOWNSEND’S, where he worked as a blacksmith, and subsequently purchased the place known as the GRISWOLD farm, between the South Centre road and Flat street, where he died in 1827, leaving three children and his widow, who died in 1866. Their children were Orrin, Eliza M. and Stephen P.
Orrin married Adela A., daughter of Robert PATTERSON, and settled on the PTTERSON homestead farm, where they still reside, and together with their son, own most of the original farm. They have had two children, Wilson B. and Charles B. The first was a promising boy who had died at 18 years. Charles B. married Ellen REED of Hammondsport; was for several years very popular and successful as a teacher, especially at Honesdale, Pennsylvania, where he was for a considerable period, principal of a graded school of several hundred pupils. He is now the agent of the Northern Central Railway at Penn Yan.
Eliza M., married Elijah G. SIMONDS of Vermont, settled in Benton, and now reside at Milo Centre. They have three children, William G., Susan F. and Margaret. William G. married Hannah MANGUS and lives at Northville, Michigan. Susan married John R. DAVIS of Milo and lives at Manistee, Michigan. Margaret married Joseph WOLFE and resides at Milo Centre.
Jeremiah SHAW, born in 1780, married Betsey FITCH of Sheshequin. They settled on what was known as the RYRES’ tract in Milo, where they lived about fifteen years, and as much longer in Barrington, whence they removed to Gorham where he died in 1843 and she in 1848, leaving eight children: Theresa, Fitch, Lydia, Lucy, Gore, Laura, Guy, Martha and Edgar. Theresa marred Job PIERCE of Middlesex, and died there without surviving children. Fitch married Mary KINNEY of Benton and emigrated to Battle Creek, Michigan. Their children are Charles and Mary. Lydia died single and Lucy married Stephen FERGUSON of Gorham, where they reside. Their children are George, Ellen, Charles, Gertrude, Frank, Monroe and Adelbert. Gore SHAW married Adaline BEACON of Jerusalem, and settled at Hornellsville, where she died leaving three children, Olive, Laura and Cornelia. Laura married Hiram THOMSON and settled in Constantine, Michigan, where she died leaving two children, Josephine and Adelaide.
Guy SHAW born in Barrington in 1820, married Laura L., daughter of John PEARCE of Middlesex. They lived for a time in Gorham, from whence they moved to Benton, afterwards to Middlesex, and finally back to Benton, where they now reside on the original Thomas LEE farm, lot 23, where the old three story house built by Thomas LEE stood, and where one of the earliest stores in Yates county was opened, before there was one in Penn Yan. The original mansion was erected with three stories; it is said to afford a place in the third story for a Masonic Lodge Room, and it was here that the old Vernon Lodge was organized in 1809, and held its meetings for many years. The farm is noted for its fertility and beauty, and the place was long a point for public gatherings of various kinds, such as general trainings and horse races. The first race course in the county was on these premises, where there were annual races continuing three days, while they were occupied by Samuel WISE; and some of these races were memorable trials of equine speed. Many of the best horses of the times tried their powers on this course, among which were Sleepy John, Lady Vixen and other eminent racers. These races were in their glory from about 1825 to 1832, and drew together great crowds of people of all classes, and especially the leading sportsman from long distances.
Mr. SHAW had erected a new mansion of modern and attractive style in place of the old, and improved and enlarged the farm buildings. He is an enterprising farmer, and in 1868 made sales of his farm products to the amount of $4,700. In 1863 Mr. SHAW represented Yates county in the Assembly. They have three children, Wealthy, Elizabeth and Marvin B.
Wealthy, the daughter of Jeremiah SHAW, married Orris B. WAGER of Gorham, and emigrated to Constantine, Michigan, where they reside. They have four children, Floyd, Annette, Edgar and Luella.
Edgar SHAW is by profession a lawyer. He married Clarissa BROWN of Middlesex, and emigrated to Iowa. They have five children.
SHERLAND pg 344
The first settler on the farm now owned and occupied by William TAYLOR, on the Pottertown road in southwest Benton, was James SHERLAND. He was a native of Massachusetts, born in 1785, and married there, Maria MOORE. They moved to Chenango county in 1812 and a year later to Penn Yan. In 1814 they moved into the woods at Benton, where the family remained till 1825, when they removed to Wheeler, Steuben county, and afterwards to Indiana, where James SHERLAND still lives, at the age of 85 years. His first wife died in Benton, in 1816, leaving four children, William H., Nancy M., Nathaniel M. and Luther M. He married a second wife, Lydia, daughter of Martin BROWN Sr., of Benton.
William H. SHERLAND, the oldest son, born in Massachusetts in 1806, married Ann g. MC LEAN. He is a skillful mechanic and inventor, and ingenious artificer in wood, and a successful grape grower. They have resided on lot 23, in NO. 8, on the Penn Yan and Dresden road, since 1832. They have two children, George F. and Charlotte E. They daughter is the wife of David S. KIDDER and they have three children, Samuel, Betsey and Anna.
Nancy M. SHERLAND married John WAGENER and moved to Pennsylvania. Nathaniel M. and Luther M. were both early pioneers of California, from whence Luther M. returned with a fortune, married and settled at South Bend, Indiana, where he died.
SIMMONS pg 330 – 332
Henry SIMMONS was born at Taghkanick, near Copake, Columbia county, in 1780 and married Elizabeth BOGERT of the same place in 1800. They came to this county about 1804 and lived one or two years on the farm of Robert CHISSOM, where Penn Yan now stands. They then purchased 240 acres, which afterwards became the farm of Col. William CARROLL. His wife failing in health, they returned to Columbia county in1808, and she died there, leaving three children, William H., Catharine and Peter. Mr. SIMMONS married a second wife, Hannah, daughter of Andrew RECTOR Sr., and in 1810 returned to Penn Yan. At first he worked the SPEELMAN farm, north of the Centre, but afterwards purchased a farm of 120 acres near his first purchase, and at the Crank four corners, from which a few acres immediately at the corners were sold to Garnet CRANK, who established his blacksmith shop there at an early day, and still resides there. This farm was then entirely new, except that a small house had been erected and a few acres about it partially cleared. Here Henry SIMMONS died in 1858, at the age of 80 years, and his wife in 1862, aged 82 years. Their children were Andrew, Betsey, Sylvester and Mary.
William H. SIMMONS, born in 1801, of the first marriage at Copake, married Catharine, daughter of Andrew RECTOR, Sr. They finally settled on the premises where they now reside, near Potter Centre. Their children are: Charity, Justus M., Christiana E., Henry M., Catharine A., James M. and Charles M.
Charity, born in 1823, married Samuel VAN ZANDT. Justus M., died single in 1850 at the age of 25 years. Christina, born in 1827, married Samuel C., son of Samuel BOOTS. They reside on the BOOTS homestead In Potter, and have a daughter, Mary. Henry M., born in 1829, died of lockjaw in 1847. Catharine A., born in 1837, married in 1868, John H. PRICE of Livonia, Livingston county, NY. They now reside in Springwater, Livingston county. Their children are: George E., Dexter E. and Leola B. James M., born in 1839, married Frances E. HOTCHKISS in 1861. They reside with his father. Charles M., born in 1848, married in 1869, Alice E., daughter of John S. KNAPP of Penn Yan.
Catharine SIMMONS, born in 1803, married George LOWN of Columbia Co. They lived first in Benton, then Potter and afterwards removed to Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1853, where they reside. They have one son, Henry, who married in Potter, Amanda STEARNS, who died there, leaving two sons, Edwin and Worthy. They went to Wayne, Michigan with their father, who married a second wife, Delia BARBER of Cattaraugus Co. There are two children of the second marriage, Irene and George.
Peter SIMMONS born in 1803, married Sally PERRY of Benton, and moved to Independence, Allegheny county, where she died leaving four children, William, Charles H., Joseph P. and Deliverance. He married a second wife, Cynthia LILLY, of Independence. They reside at Greenwood, Steuben county and their children are Leonard, Peter, Wilbur, Lafayette, Elizabeth and Tryphena.
Andrew SIMMONS born of the second marriage, married Hannah, daughter of Baltus WHEELER of Benton. They settled at Naples where he died, leaving fur children, Henry, William, Jane and Delilah.
Betsey SIMMONS became the second wife of Clinton CHRYSLER of Benton, and resided in that town, where he died, leaving three children, Henrietta, Marietta and Hannah. Marietta married David L. BECKER Jr., and resides in Benton.
Sylvester SIMMONS married Harriet, daughter of Anthony TRIMMER Jr., of Benton. They now reside in South Milo, near Chubb Hollow and have one son, Justus M.Mary SIMMONS married James, a son of Thomas CARROLL of Benton. They settled on the SIMMONS family homestead, where she died, leaving a daughter, Emma. He married a second wife, Jane, daughter of Andrew SIMMONS. She died leaving one son, James. Mr. CARROLL married a third wife, Rhoda WEED of Flat Street, Benton. The mother of James CARROLL is now the wife of Henry BROWN of Benton Centre.
SMITH pg 335 – 336
It was in 1812 that James SMITH and his family moved from Goshen, Orange county and settled on the farm on which he lived and died on lots 59 and 60. The land is now occupied by Henry and David MC ALPINE, and Frederick SPOONER was the first settler of this place. The family arrived at their new home in the Spring, and were delighted by the gorgeous bloom of peach trees, which spangled the road sites with objects of beauty most refreshing to the wearied travelers. The peach trees in those days seldom failed to yield them delicious fruit. Mr. SMITH paid from six to eighteen dollars per acre for his land, and finally owned 300 acres, and one of the best farms in the county. He was drafted in the War of 1812, and supplied a substitute, but when the British landed at Sodus, he shouldered his gun and went with many of his neighbors to meet the foe. When they reached Sodus, they found the enemy had decamped, and they were soon discharged.
Mr. SMITH and his family cleared up the fine homestead and gained a good competence. He delighted in a good horse, a fancy which reappeared in his son Job T. His wife Ruth, died in 1820 and he survived till 1861, dying at the age of 80 years. Their children were, Job T., Julia Ann, Mary, Sophia H., Emily T. and Susan T.
Job T., (born abt. 1818) married Olive D., daughter of Henry TOWNSEND and resided in Penn Yan. Both are deceased. Their children are: Susan A., Olive T. and Eva S. Susan A. is the wife of Capt. Edward E. ROOT, formerly of Penn Yan, now of Kansas. Capt ROOT performed brave and honorable service in the war, and was captain of Company I, 33rd regiment, the first raised in Penn Yan in 1861. They have one child. Olive T. married Theodore O. HAMLIN, a prominent merchant of the firm of Hamlin and Sons, Penn Yan. Eva S. is a boarding school student, at Pelham Priorty, New Rochelle, NY
Julia Ann SMITH is the wife of Edward J. FOWLE. They were married in the Spring of 1827, Mr. FOWLE being then the publisher of the Yates Republican. They have had three daughters, Ruth Ann, Sophia, and Julia S., who died young. Ruth Ann is the wife of John J. WISE and Sophia is the wife of Joshua L. ANDREWS, a farmer in Milo.
Mary SMITH married Nelson TUNNICLIFF of Penn Yan. Mr. TUNNICLIFF, was for many years in partnership with John d. STEWART, heavily engaged in selling merchandise in Penn Yan and an extensive dealer in produce. They still reside in Penn Yan, and have two sons, John James and George. James married Kate L. BURROS of Gambia, Ohio, and is a prominent lawyer of the firm of Frost & Tunnicliff at Galesburg, Illinois. George is appointment clerk for Gov. John T. HOFFMAN, in the Executive Chamber at Albany.
Sophia H., was the first wife of Eli SHELDON.
Emily T. married Augustus STEWART, then a merchant of Penn Yan, now a farmer in Benton, on Flat street, where Perley DEAN was the original settler. She is dead. Their children were, Frederick, Helen, George and Henry Clay. Frederick married Hattie SMITH of Syracuse. She died leaving a daughter, Hattie. Frederick is a dentist at Ithaca. Helen and Henry Clay reside on the homestead with their father, and the daughter of Frederick.Susan T. SMITH was an engaging young lady, died in 1839, at the age of 19 years.
Elijah SPENCER - On of the justly honored names in the annals of Yates county, is that of Elijah SPENCER. In his lifetime he received frequent expressions of the high esteem of his fellow citizens and the confidence they reposed in him. He began life with empty hands, accepting hard labor as his means of livelihood. With vigorous resolution and robust energy, he overcame all the difficulties that obstructed his advancement. He wrought his way by simple industry, and in official station served the people with the same fidelity that hr regarded his own interests. He belonged to the period when honorable service was the rule in public life, and mercenary aims the rare exception, and even in that time his public career was one to be mentioned with special respect. Mr. SPENCER was a leading citizen and belonged to a family of exceptional strength and ability as well as social prominence. His brother, Captain Truman SPENCER was not one of the first settlers of Benton, but for a long period one of its first citizens. And the brothers, Martin, Horace, James, Simeon, and Justus P., were all men of more than common ability and force of character. The sisters too, were women of exceptional worth. James SPENCER who was Supervisor of Jerusalem in 1797 may have been the father, rather than the brother of Elijah SPENCER, as stated on page 260, and the latter hypothesis is the most probable. The portrait of Elijah SPENCER is engraved from a photograph taken rather late in life, and the effort to relieve the features a trifle from the marks of age and infirmity, has perhaps, been rather too successful. He was, till past middle age, a man of remarkably fresh and youthful appearance and his portrait, painted on ivory while he was a member of Congress, depicts him with a clear and ruddy countenance and a luxuriant head of bright red hair. The later picture has bee followed in the production of the portrait presented in this work. The SPENCER family once so numerous in Yates county, still has numerous descendants, but in the male line has for its only adult representatives, George W. SPENCER, the present County Clerk, and Newton B. SPENCER, Printer and Editor of Penn Yan.
SPENCERS pg 250 – 262
One of the earliest and most important families who peopled Yates county, was that of James SPENCER, whose descendants have been numerous and some of them conspicuous and eminent citizens. The SPENCER family is of Welsh origin. Their progenitor came to this country in 1650, and settled in East Haddam, Connecticut. James SPENCER moved from there to Columbia county, NY. He and his wife, Anna, were the parents of twelve children, and his sister, Sarah SPENCER, married Ephraim KIDDER, from which pair the KIDDER family of Yates county have descended. The children of James and Anna SPENCER were: David, Truman, James, Martin, Elijah, Abner, Justus P., Simeon, Rhoda, Lovina, Anna and Angelina. David did not come to this country. Truman, at the age of 17, became a soldier of the Revolution, and for his services in that arduous struggle, received a pension during the later years of his life. His wife was Lois PATTISON, and in 1788, when he was 24 years old, and she 19 years, they set out for the Genesee country, inspired with that noble courage which made them prosperous and successful pioneers; though their resources were little more than their own healthful energies and buoyant hopes. He brought his wife and her father and mother as far as Newtown, where they remained till the spring of 1789. In the meantime, he came on with his knapsack to township No. 8, first range, and selected his farm which he purchased, it is ascertained, of Levi BENTON, on lot 13, for fifty cents per acre. The next spring they moved on it. Coming down Seneca Lake in a boat to Norris’ Landing, they found some sort of conveyance thence to Levi BENTON’S, something more than a mile west of their own premises. It is hardly conceivable how they could have reached Mr. BENTON’S by that route at that time, as there was no sort of a road, unless the tracks of surveyors had opened some lines that could be followed through the dense undergrowth. They reached Mr. BENTON’S just before nightfall, and remained under his roof the first night. The next day, Mr. BENTON sent his sons to assist Mr. SPENCER to put up a cabin. They erected a rude log structure, making use of split basswood for a floor, and basswood bark for a roof. This dwelling stood about two rods north of the present house, on the premises ever since known as Spencer’s Corners. At this time there were but two other families in what is now Benton; that of Levi BENTON and the family that resided at Dr. BENTON’S sawmill, where it was pretty certain there was one, though not the Doctor himself. There was a dense forest in every direction, full of wild animals, and little familiar to any human presence except that of red men.
James PATTISON, the father of Mrs. SPENCER, after viewing the premises with his son in law, selected a place for his final repose, now a little west of Pre-emption road, and south of the house, which was long used as a family burying ground. He cheered them with words that seemed to have a prophetic inspiration, assuring them that “they would live to see the country cleared and thickly settled, and a church on either side of them.” How literally his prediction was fulfilled, will be realized by all who remember the old Baptist church northeast of Benton Centre, and the old Presbyterian Church on the ridge, east of Spencer’s Corners. The old man died in the autumn of 1792, at the age of 77 years. His wife, Betsey PATTISON, 13 years his junior, was a woman of great energy, whose precept and example gave life and encouragement, not only to her own family, but all the surrounding pioneer settlers. She had courage, knowledge, experience and address, which made her one of the most useful residents of the region just peopling with new beginners. In the absence of professional doctors, she was widely employed as a physician and midwife. She was as successful and no doubt as useful as the most accomplished graduates of the schools, and being a skillful and sensible horseback rider, made her visits promptly, while her fee, of one dollar, was adapted to the slender purse of the early settler. If any ambitious and talented young woman waits for a precedent before engaging in a profession to which her sex is admirably adapted, she will find in this worthy pioneer mother an example which sets the argument of propriety forever at rest, and a sanction three generations ago by an excellent community of New England people. Mrs. PATTISON died in 1821, at the age of 93 years.
They brought provisions and clothing, which would have sufficed until they could have replenished their stock form their own land, but Mr. BENTON, whose supplies were short, prevailed on Mr. SPENCER to divide with him, taking what he received as a payment on the land. This reduced their resources so much, that in the early summer of 1790, they had nothing left for food except a few nubbins of corn raised the previous years by scratching with a hoe, among the stumps. In this straight, Mr. SPENCER went on foot to a Mr. STEVENS, about one mile and a half west of Geneva, of whom he bought one bushel of corn for which he paid a French crown. He carried it home by a path married by blazed trees through the woods and from thence to Smith’s Mill on Keuka Outlet. In recounting afterwards the story of this dearly earned corn meal, he related that on returning home with his corn, he sat down on a log to rest, and while waiting there saw some rinds of pork thrown away by other travelers who had eaten a lunch on the same spot. These he picked up and ate, as he always said with more relish than anything he had ever eaten before or after. While he was on this trip for corn, Mrs. PATTISON gathered up the nubbins of corn, washed off the smoke stains and parched the corn for coffee, which they drank. These famishing times were in marked contrast with the generous abundance which afterwards crowned their board, when scores at a time were fed at their table.
An early and valuable acquisition was a fine sow, which ranging in the woods near by, was one day attacked by a huge bear. The terrified squeal of the hog soon drew her owner to the spot. He shouted, waved his hat, and made such demonstrations as attracted Bruin’s attention for a moment, and the hog was not slow to improve the diversion by making a sally for home. Her owner covered the retreat, and the bear followed so closely after, as to tear away one of his coat skirts, but concluded to retreat in time without securing any further spoil.
On one occasion, an Indian stole his iron kettle in which he boiled his maple sap for sugar making, and carrying it to the Kashong Flats, hid it. Procuring the company of Samuel JAYNE Sr., Captain SPENCER went to Kashong, and after diligent search, found the kettle buried in the mud, much to the chagrin of the felonious red skin, and the merriment of the other Indians who ridiculed the thief for his lack of craft in hiding his booty.
Mrs. SPENCER would occasionally go on horseback to visit the family of Samuel TAYLOR, living about one mile north of Kashong, where the lake road now runs. She followed an Indian trail, which ran to Kashong, crossing the premises now occupied by Samuel JAYNE. Often, as the shades of evening gathered on her return, the wolves would keep even with her up the ravine of the Kashong, which she could well understand by their dismal howl. This was an escort not unlikely to make a solitary woman nervous, and anxious, to say the least.
The deed of Truman SPENCER’S land was executed in 1792, signed by Levi BENTON, witnessed by Martin SPENCER and Seba SQUIERS, and acknowledged in 1807 before John NICHOLAS.
Their first child, David, was born September 8, 1790 and was, beyond all doubt, the first white child born in Benton, if not in Yates county. He died of “canker rash,” March 18, 1793. The father road to Geneva for a physician, but when he returned, the child was dead. The inscription on the headstone of his grave, denoting his age and date of decease, proves the date of his birth.
Levi BENTON Jr., was the mechanic who framed Truman SPENCER’S first barn, and at the supper when the barn was raised, every man, woman and child, in what is now Benton, was present. So few were the inhabitants that they had great difficulty in getting up the frame. These early difficulties were rapidly vanquished, and they lived to witness great changes. Mr. SPENCER was soon followed to his new home by his parents and all his brothers and sisters, but one. Offices, civil and military were conferred upon him. He was elected a captain in the militia and was ever afterwards called Captain SPENCER. At the second election of JACKSON in 1832, he was one of the Presidential electors. When Martin VAN BUREN visited Geneva, on his tour through the State, while President, he was stationed in front of the old Geneva Hotel to receive the usually introductions. Captain SPENCER’S name being announced, the President recognized him at once. “Ah!”, said he, “one of the old Electors.” Mr. VAN BUREN was chosen Vice President by the Electoral College of 1832.
Mr. SPENCER and his wife made their first visit to their old home in Columbia county, in the fall of 1804, going on horseback. While absent, their youngest child, James, died of croup. He was a little prattler of 18 months, whose loss was a sore affliction to them.
Captain SPENCER was an ardent politician, and made it a point to be the first man to vote on election days. The liberties he had fought for, he was eager to maintain. He and his brother, Elijah, were much attached to each other, but in Jackson times, they differed politically and their differences were sometimes acrimonious. He opened a public house at an early period, and there for many years the Benton town meetings and other public gatherings were held.
The children of this family, other than those already mentioned, were Nancy, David P., Laura and Olive. Mrs. SPENCER died in 1830 at the age of 62 years. He afterwards married Martha, widow of George WHEELER, Jr., daughter of Eliphalet HULL. His death occurred in April 1840, at the age of 76 years. His name should be held in honorable memory, as one of the first and most distinguished pioneers of this county. A graceful obituary notice was penned by Elijah SPENCER on his death, and published in the Yates County Whig of that date.
Nancy, the oldest daughter, born in 1792, married Henry, son of Elijah KELSEY of Benton, and settled near the homestead. Their children were Caroline, George W., Charles R., Heth, Arabell, Olive, Laura and Myron. Charles R. married Elizabeth SAWYER. They had a son, Charles, with whom the mother now lives in Michigan. Heth married Olive BARDEN of Seneca. Their children are George and Sarah. His widow married John WILLIAMS of Seneca, where the children reside. Arabell, the only survivor of her mother’s family, married William SCOON of Seneca, where they now reside. Their children are Margaret A., Charles K., Helen A., Laura J. and William.
David P., born in 1795, married Abigail WOOD of Bellona, and their children were: Truman, Isabell, Thomas, Lois, Andrew J., Augusta and Herman. They emigrated to Michigan. Truman married Susan A. FISHER of Benton, and afterwards moved to Ingham county, Michigan. Their children are Charles, George D. and James H. Isabell married Emory LAMB of Benton, and moved to Carrol county, Illinois. Their children are Theresa, Susan, Lucy, Bellina, Joanna and Laura. Thomas married Caroline DENNISON of Torrey, and resides at Oakes Corners, Ontario county. Their children are George E. and Mary. Lois married Parshal P. PETTENGILL of Torrey. They moved to Ingham county, Michigan and their children are John, Isabell and Catharine A. Andrew J. married Harriet GAGE of Phelps, NY and moved to Ingham county, Michigan. Their children are Mary Jane and Laura. The widow of David P. SPENCER still survives in Michigan. She is a daughter of Thomas WOOD, who moved from Ulster county in 1808, and bought a farm of LOUGHEAD, at Bellona. At that time there were but three families in Bellona; the LOUGHEADS, J. REYNOLDS and John CARR.
Laura, born in 1798, married James BARNES JR., of Seneca. She still survives with her natural powers of body and mind well preserved. Their children are: Herman S., Augustus T., Mary E., and Charles P. Herman S., is a prominent citizen of Torrey. He married Deborah GOUNDRY of Torrey. Their children are: Wellington A., Josephine, James F. and Margaret. Augustus T. married Amelia SCOTT of Seneca. They have one son, Clarence Eugene. Mary E. married William T. BEATTIE of Seneca. Their children are Charles A., Laura, Mary and Herbert. Charles P. married first, Sarah HEWLETT of Benton, and a second wife, Esther HOPE of Benton. They reside in Seneca and have one child, Gertrude.
Olive, (the youngest daughter of Capt. SPENCER) born Jan 1, 1800, married David BARNES, brother of James. Their children were Martha and James W., neither of whom survives. James Warren raised a company of volunteers during the rebellion and served as a captain for some time. He returned home and died of camp fever near the close of the war. His wife was Caroline JOHNSON of Benton. He left one child, Martha Lucinda. Martha, only daughter of David and Olive, married Martin R. GAGE of Benton, and moved to Iowa, where she died.
Elijah SPENCER, then 15 years old, came with his parents (James & Anna) and the rest of the family to Benton, then Jerusalem, in 1791.The family located on what is now known as the Phelps farm, where the father died in 1805, at the age of 70 years, and the mother in 1806, at the age of 64 years. Elijah was early inured to all the hardships of pioneer life. On one occasion, he and one of his brothers when searching for the cows were lost, and too refuge at nightfall in one of the huts of David FISH, on the Outlet of Keuka Lake, not far from Hopeton (not yet founded). The night seemed long and the found it impossible to sleep. So they concluded to go home at all hazards, and proceeded to the lake, which they followed to Kashong, and thence found their way home by an Indian trail early in the morning. In his early manhood, Elijah SPENCER was an enterprising laborer and for some years cleared land by the acre for the early settlers. In 1808, at the age of 32 years, he married Sarah BEAUMONT, a niece of Rachel and Margaret MALIN, who was ten years younger. They settled on lot 21 in No. 8, where they remained through life.
Mr. (Elijah) SPENCER early became a prominent and influential citizen, enjoyed the fullest confidence of the people, and was frequently called to important public stations. He was Supervisor of Benton, then including Milo and Torrey, in 1810, if not earlier. That year the county bounty for wolves was ten dollars, and Mr. SPENCER’S allowance for his services as Supervisor, was $28. In 1811, Elijah SPENCER was again Supervisor, and the wolf and panther bounty was $15. He had $33 for his services. He was Supervisor in 1812-13-14, and again in 1816-17-18. In 1818 he was chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Ontario county. That year, Milo was set off from Benton, and Elijah SPENCER was the first Supervisor of Benton as thus formed; and after Yates county was set off from Ontario, he was again Supervisor in 1826-27-28. In 1819 he was one of the seven members representing Ontario county in the Assembly. In the Seventeenth Congress (1821), he and William B. ROCHESTER, represented the 21st district of this State, embracing all the State west of Seneca Lake, except Steuben county. Finally, in 1846, he was honored with a seat in the State Constitutional convention of that year. His name was always a tower of strength with the people. It had been the lot of few citizens to be so much favored by public honors, and few men have so well deserved them by lives of equal probity and usefulness. He transformed his homestead from total wilderness to a beautiful and productive farm, accumulated a good estate, and died in 1832, at the age of 76 years. His wife died in 1856 at the age of 70 years. Their children were: Harriet, Mary, James, Caroline, George W., Benjamin, Elijah P. and Sarah Jane, twins.
Harriet became the second wife of Thomas H. LOCKE and died in 1858 at the age of 48 years, leaving one son, Charles S. Mr. LOCKE still resides in Penn Yan, is a book binder and Justice of the Peace of Benton. Various other offices have been held by him. He has a daughter, Cornelia, by his first marriage, who resides with her father.
Mary, born in 1814, married Henry C. WHEELER. They now reside in Chicago. Their children are E. Spencer, Frank and Carrie.
James died unmarried in 1849, at the age of 33 years. Caroline died single in 1851, at the age of 33 years.
George W., born in 1821, married Elizabeth M., daughter of Ephraim WHEELER, in 1852. She died in 1860, leaving one son, Frank Elijah. In 1862 Mr. SPENCER married Mary E., also a daughter of Ephraim WHEELER, and they have one son, Charles P. They reside on the paternal homestead, which has always been retained by the family. George W. is a prominent and much respected citizen.
Benjamin F. died single in 1855, at the age of 31 years.
Elijah P. married Elizabeth HYER of Philadelphia in 1852, where he died in 1860, at the age of 34 years, leaving three children: Alexander H., Beaumont and Annie.
Sarah J. married John MC NIEL of Penn Yan, and died soon after in 1856, at the age of 30 years.
Martin, brother of Truman and Elijah SPENCER, married Sybil, daughter of Stephen RICHMOND of Columbia county. Their children were Rhoda, Truman, Eliza Ann, Horace, Martin, Corintha, Theresa and Louise. The father of this family came here when young, but returned to Columbia county and married and died there. The children all came here, except Rhoda. Truman Jr., married Christina BECKER in Columbian county, moved to Prattsburgh and thence to Penn Yan, where he died in 1839, leaving two sons and two daughters, now living at Clyde, NY.
Horace was a Baptist clergyman, who preached at Reed’s Corners in Gorham and other places. He died leaving three children, Emily, Newton B. and Caroline. Emily died a young woman. Newton B., is editor and co-proprietor with Harrison DE LONG of the Pomeroy, (Ohio) Crescent. Caroline lives with her uncle, Edwin WILLAIAMS at Galva, Ill. He married Margaret BEYEA of Penn Yan. Their children are Albert and Martin.
Eliza Ann married Henry HICKS, in Columbia county. He was a native of Long Island and moved to this county in 1833. He lived some time on Bluff Point, and about twenty years owned and occupied the farm first settled by Levi BENTON, Sr., at the intersection of Flat street and the east Centre Road in Benton. He is now a prominent citizen of Penn Yan, and has a second wife, Marietta, daughter of Jonathan WHITAKER. The surviving children of the first marriage are: Mary Elizabeth, Martin S., Cordelia, Henry Augustus, George N., Ellen R., James E., Alice and Maleen. Mary Elizabeth married Andrew CHAPMAN of Benton. Their children are: Ida, Eddington, Hobart, Henry and Grace. Martin S., married Ellen TALMADGE of Massachusetts. He was captain of company B in the 148th Regiment, and performed honorable service in the war of the Rebellion. Cordelia married Thomas B. MORRELL of Williamsburg, NY, who died there leaving one child, Cornelia M. Mrs. MORRELL resides in Penn Yan. Henry Augustus married Lucy, daughter of John O’BRIEN, of Penn Yan. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 9th Battery of Wisconsin Volunteers during the war, and served in the Southwest. George N. married Lucy Sophia, daughter of Elisha H. HUNTINGTON, of Penn Yan. Ellen married Daniel ADAMS of New York, a leather dealer residing at South Orange, New Jersey. James E. is unmarried. Alice married Emile A. RIEGE, a merchant of Williamsburg, NY. They have one child. Maleen is unmarried. The children of Henry HICKS by the second marriage, are Ruth Ann, William J. and Henrietta.
Martin SPENCER Jr., married Jane Ann, sister of A. J. KNEELAND. They were for many years, estimable residents of Penn Yan. They now reside at Galva, Illinois, and have one son, Judson.
Corintha married Edson WILLIAMS, and resides at Galva, Illinois, and Theresa married Edwin BROWN, a Baptist preacher, and resides also at Galva.
Laura married Morris M. FORD, for many years a successful merchant in Penn Yan, and now a prosperous citizen of Galva, Illinois. They have three surviving children: Florence, Jane and Dyer.
James Spencer Jr., married Lizzie PHILIPS and died in 1801, leaving no children. He was Supervisor of Jerusalem (then embracing Milo and Benton) as appears from old records of 1797.
Abner SPENCER married Hannah MACOMBER. They had two children, Ceressa and Chester. They moved early from Benton and settled in the Black River region.
Simeon SPENCER married Martha, daughter of Elijah TOWNSEND, lived with his father on the old Phelps place in Benton, and died in a few months after his marriage in 1805. He had a posthumous child, named Lydia, who became the wife of Aaron F. CARPENTER and the mother of a large firmly, in Westchester county. The widow of Simeon SPENCER became the second wife of Abraham PROSSER and stepmother of David B. PROSSER, of Penn Yan.
Justus P. SPENCER born in 1774, was an active and conspicuous citizen during the early years of the new settlement. At the age of 23, he married Ruth PRICHARD, of the Friend’s Society, thirteen years his senior. She ws born in 1761, in Rhode Island, was an early and firm adherent of the Universal Friend, and for some time her secretary and amanuensis. She was a woman of intelligence and devoted piety, and for many years was a successful school teacher. Her handwriting was clear, and beautiful and resembled that of Sarah RICHARDS so much, that an attempt was made it the litigation relating to the Friend’s estate in Jerusalem, to prove that certain memorandums signed by Sarah RICHARDS had been fabricated by Ruth PRITCHARD. All the evidence we have relating to her character renders it quite certain that she was incapable of any such fraud. If her marriage was opposed to any injunction of the Friend, it did not interrupt their harmonious relations, as she continued a steadfast Friend, and an attendant of the Friend’s meeting. They resided in Penn Yan, where she taught school after her marriage for many years. She died in 1816 leaving two daughters, Almira S. and Ruth. Almira S. married Samuel DANFORTH and died in 1830 at the age of 32 years, leaving one son, Augustus, who followed ocean-life for many years, and once sailed round the globe. He was a gallant soldier in the Mexican war, during which he suffered indescribable hardships. He afterwards went west, and is supposed to be dead.
Ruth SPENCER, born in 1800, married Joseph SHEPHERD in 1826. They had one son, J. Wesley SHEPHERD, who resides on the old homestead in Jerusalem, a thrifty and intelligent farmer. He married Mary L., daughter of Thomas BLANSETT and they have two surviving children, Ella J. and Minnie A. Joseph SHEPHERD died in 1831 and his widow survived him 29 years, dying in 1860.
Justus P. SPENCER married a second wife, Betsey CRAWFORD, a widow, and they removed to Oakland county, Michigan in 1831, where he died in 1850, at the age of 74 years. They had two children, Norman C. and Mary Jane.
Rhoda SPENCER married Roswell WOODWORTH, and lived in Columbia county.
Ann SPENCER married Nathaniel FRISBIE, and they resided in Benton. Their children were Phillip, Sophronia, James, Laura and Martin. All the survivors moved to Michigan many years ago.
Angelina died in 1801, unmarried.
Of this extensive family it only remains to speak of Lovina, who married Luman PHELPS. He became the owner of the homestead where the family of James SPENCER Sr., settled in Benton, which is still known as the Phelps farm, but kept a public house many years in Penn Yan, where the machine shop of H. Birdsall, Son & Co. now stands. He was a prominent and influential citizen, and died in 1823, at the age of 55 years. His widow survived him twenty years. Their children were: Mary, Rhoda, Angelina, Thomas J. and David L. Mary married John BROOKS, who was several years a merchant in Penn Yan and moved to the town of Richmond, Ontario county, where he died. Rhoda died single. Angelina married Lewis VANDERLIP, a tailor of Penn Yan, who died at Toledo, Ohio. Their children were: Lewis N., Sarah E., Thomas J., Mary J. and Lovina P. Lewis N. was a lawyer, and married Sarah C. CORNWELL. He died at Havana, NY at the age of 27 years, leaving one son, Charles C., now an active mercantile clerk in Penn Yan. Sarah E. died single at 21 years. Thomas J. married Albina, daughter of Jesse T. GAGE, and is a resident of Penn Yan. Mary J. Married first, Patrick H. GRAHAM of Rochester. They had two children, Edward and Nora, of whom Nora alone survives. The second husband of Mary is James GRAHAM, brother of the first husband. They reside in Rochester. Lovina P. died in 1856, at 21 years. Laura S. is married to Michael RAY, of Rochester and died about one year after her marriage.Thomas J. PHELPS was killed in 1816, by a tornado, which passed over Benton one summer day, prostrating trees and carrying destruction in its path. The young man was returning home from the farm in company with Jonathan COLEMAN of Jerusalem. They were struck down by a falling tree, and COLEMAN was able with returning consciousness to extricated himself, but could not relieve his companion who was held down by a limb which had struck his head. He ran for help and a party was soon raised that carried the sufferer home alive. Dr. Joshua LEE was sent for and by relays of horses a physician arrived from Geneva in three hours. The skull was badly crushed, and the surgeon could do nothing to save the life of the young man, who shortly died. This catastrophe caused a great sensation at the time, more probably than a railway crash in these days that should destroy a dozen lives. David L. PHELPS owned the homestead and married Mary, widow of Lewis CRAWFORD. He died in 1859, at the age of 50 years.
Nathaineil SQUIER - Slender opportunities of early culture do not repress the
better aspirations in every case, nor quench the ambition to excel in the
honorable struggles of life. Nathaniel
SQUIER was one of a large family whose chief inheritance was poverty and its
hard conditions. Means of education
and culture were scanty, almost wholly absent in the surroundings of his early
life. While his father was a man of
easy and passive nature with little ambition to strive for better conditions of
life, his mother, a woman of the kindest attentions was zealous to elevate the
lot of her family and secure their moral and social improvement, but she
struggled against the fate of adverse circumstances. She died of consumption in Benton, in 1826, at fifty-two and
her husband nine years later in Michigan, whither the family had moved.
There two of the sisters are still living.
Nathaniel SQUIER never had any school education, but the winter
after gaining his majority, he took to the study of arithmetic, and made a
conquest of the old Daboll textbook in 31 days.
The next winter he studied grammar, and then taught school several
winters following. While young he
stated that he scarcely ever had a pair of shoes, and almost invariably went
with bare feet, especially during the milder months of the year.
The first pair of shoes he ever had, he says, were made by a local
Methodist minister, called “Thundering Mars,” who went from house to house
shoemaking. Shooting was as great
an accomplishment then as now, and in his younger days could out-shoot any and
all competitors with whom he tested his marksmanship. He could also excel in most of the rougher sports, and gamble
with such dexterity that he was never worsted in games of chance.
All these diversions he resolutely put aside when he assumed the sober
business of life.
Among the friends of his early days, he mentions Edward HALL of Seneca, with high respect. When he went to Italy Hill in 1833, the land was nearly all covered by its native forest, and was so heavily timbered with pine, that had it been left standing it would now have been worth $200 an acre. One TYLER kept a tavern there and was a tenant of Abraham MAXFIELD. The amount of work accomplished in getting out lumber and clearing the land was prodigious. With his adroitness for management, and the influence inspired by his generosity of character, Nathaniel SQUIER soon became a leading citizen of his town, and his alliance was sought by those who bore away in county affairs. No one could be more skillful nor more successful in keeping the upper hand in that wrestle of tact and strategy known as local politics; reticent and cautious in his steps, his purposes were accomplished befo9re his opponents were awake to the occasion. In 1852 he was chosen sheriff, and thereafter was les active in political contests, though frequently taking a part to help old friends or gratify some feeling other than general politics. Naturally social and sympathetic and endowed with a strong sense of justice, Nathaniel SQUIER is a character worthy of study, and entitled to earnest respect. His native shrewdness gives him a ready insight into the character and motives of others, and his lenient feeling leads him to a kindly judgment of his fellow men. Kind himself, he warmly appreciates kind treatment from those who grant him aid or favor, and what is rare in men of advanced years, he has a generous and comprehensive sympathy with human nature. He speaks in high terms of William M. OLIVER, Eli SHELDON, and Abraham V. HARPENDING, men whose friendship he tested, and who in all pecuniary transactions gave him his own time and terms, and trusted implicitly, as did Martin GAGE, to his integrity and memory of facts. Though he has rounded off his three score and ten, he is still robust and in the full enjoyment of his faculties. After a life of much severe toil and many embarrassments it is pleasant to see that he is still taking life zestfully, and finding genuine enjoyment in the care of his broad acres and his fine wooled sheep. The past he lives over with serene satisfaction, and finds the present cheerful and happy.
TAYLOR pg 319 – 321
James TAYLOR was a native of Ireland, born in County Down, and came in 1755 at 19 years of age, to America. He resided in the town of New Windsor, Orange county, and enlisted in 1776 in the army of the Revolution. He was in New York, when the city was captured by the British. After his enlistment expired, he was often engaged as a militiaman for occasional service. He was in the engagement at the battle of White Plains and shared in much of the irregular but trying service along the Hudson River. Although entitled to a pension, and in moderate circumstances, he never applied for it. The poverty of the nation deterred many of the old patriots from asking that just recognition of their services. After his death, his widow presented his claims, which were at once allowed and afforded her a small income in the closing years of her life. His wife was Elizabeth THOMPSON, of Plattskill, NY and they were married in 1781. Their family of eight children, were born in Orange county. They were: Joseph, Ann, Hannah, Mary, Elsie, William, Margaret and Alva. In 1816 they came to Ontario county, leaving behind Ann and Mary, who were married and remained in Orange county. They stopped in Seneca, and the following spring moved into Benton. In 1821 they took up their residence in South West Benton, on lot 112, where they remained till the parents died. The father died in 1832, and the mother in 1840. Their son, Joseph, died single in 1831 and Hannah, one of the daughters, died single at an advanced age.
Elsie married Gillett KELSEY, a son of Elijah KESLEY of Benton, in 1819, and settled in Benton, where she died leaving five children, Elijah, Ann E., Helen M., James F. and Alexander. Elijah married Lucretia STANTON of Prattsburg, and emigrated to Michigan about 1867, with their family. Ann E. married Edward R. BRIGGS of Benton. Helen M. is single. James F. emigrated to Havana, Illinois, where he married Lucinda CONNET. They have two children, James and Fanny. He has been highly successful in business; has become a leading railroad man in that locality and is Vice President and principal manager of the Peoria, Pekin and Jacksonville Railroad. Alexander married Georgiana GROTT of Butler, Wayne county and resides on the homestead in West Benton.
William TAYLOR, born in 1793, married Margaret, daughter of John COLEMAN of Benton, in 1821, her age being 23 years. They settled where they still reside, on the Potter road, on lot 87, never having moved except from the old house to the new. They have enjoyed the prosperity that is the natural fruit of industrious lives and frugal habits, and have the satisfaction of seeing their children inheritors of the paternal virtues. Their children are: Charles W., James F., Sarah E., Henry R., John C. and William M. Charles W. married Francis, daughter of Abraham RAPELYEA of Seneca county, and is a prosperous farmer and esteemed citizen of Jerusalem. Their children are, Sarah Loraine, Harriet N., and Mary Agnes.
James F. married Mary A., daughter of William L. PORTER of Penn Yan. He is pastor of the Congregational Church at Saugatuck, Allegan county, Michigan. They have two children, William A. and Grace M. Sarah married Firman R. RAPELYEA of Farmer, Seneca county, a brother to the wife of Charles W. TAYLOR. They reside near Bellona. Their children are: Helen L., Kitty R., Elizabeth T. and James F. Henry R. married Adelia C., daughter of James G. BARNES, of Seneca. They reside near the family homestead in Benton, and their children are: Sarah E., Henry S., Margaret A. and Ralph B. John C. married Sarah J. MC CARRICK of Prattsburg. They settled at Groton, Tompkins county, where she died, leaving one child, George W. He is pastor of the Congregational church at Groton. William M. married Mary E., daughter of col. William CARROLL of Benton, and resides on the homestead. James F. and John C. are both Graduates of Union College.
Margaret married Moses L. RUGAR of Benton, and resides on the Thomas RUGAR farm in Potter. Their children are: Francis H., Lewis M. and Mary E. Francis H. married Elizabeth BEERS of Danby, Tompkins county, and emigrated to Galesburg, Illinois, where he was a merchant. He was a quarter-master in the army, through the war, and died at Nashville in 1865, before being discharged. Lewis M. married Mary COMSTOCK at Galensburg, Illinois, and resides at Potter. His children are: Margaret, Francis, Cornelia and Moses L. Mary E. married Milton, son of Isaac LAIN of Potter, and resides near the Isaac LAIN homestead.
Alva TAYLOR married Artelissa, daughter of William GENUNG of Jerusalem. They settled on the homestead of James TAYLOR in Benton, where they still reside. They have three children, Sarah J., Mary E. and William J. Sarah J. is the wife of Myron PECKENS. William J. married Harriet, daughter of Elnathan R. HUNT.
TOWNSEND pg 344 - 345
An early improvement, made by David SQUIER, on lot 86 in Benton, was bought by John R. TOWNSEND, the father of Thomas M. TOWNSEND, now a prosperous farmer residing on lot 85, on the Potter road and also owning the land of his father’s first purchase. John R. and his brother, Thomas TOWNSEND, came to Benton about 1811 from Greene county. Thomas sold out and moved west in a few years, and John R. died in 1825, at that age of 40 years. His wife, who was Abagail MEAD of Greene county, is still living with her children, at the age of 78 years. Their children were Amanda, Hannah, Philinda, Susan, Thomas M. and Deborah L.
Amanda married Joseph MERRITT and moved to Illinois about 1850. Their children are Emerson, Abagail, Jane, Huldah, Phlinda, Electa, Daniel, Stephen and Edwin. The mother died a few years since.
Hannah married Sheldon W. MUNGER, a tailor, residing in Penn Yan. Their children are, John, Deloss, Amanda, Mary and George. John is married and resides in Chicago and George is married and resides in Buffalo.
Philinda married Edward DAVIS of Pultney. They reside near Rochester and have six children, William, John, Albert, Sarah, Rosetta and Susan.
Susan TOWNSEND married John WIXSON, a farmer of Wayne, Steuben county. Their children are Florence and Clarence.
Thomas M. TOWNSEND, born in 1821, married Sarah, daughter of Abram RAPELYEA, of Farmer, Seneca county. He has a farm of 280 acres, including the premises first owned by his father and his uncle, Thomas TOWNSEND. Their children are: Abram R., Sarah A. and Thomas I. Abram R. is a student at Cornell University.
Deborah L. is the wife of John P. SCOFIELD of Benton. Their children are Arthur, Herbert and Hattie.
TOWNSEND pg 270 – 274
One of the earliest and most noted public houses in this region was that of Capt. Lawrence TOWNSEND, a short distance east of Penn Yan, and just beyond the late residence of Amzi BRUEN. That tavern was a famous resort and a central place for town meetings and all public gatherings long before Penn Yan had its beginning or a name in the land.
Lawrence TOWNSEND was born in Greenbush, near Albany, in 1740. He married Phebe GREEN, a cousin of the celebrated Gen. GREEN of Revolutionary fame, in 1767. He was a Captain in the army of the Revolution, and achieved distinction as a soldier by bravery, at the battle of Stillwater. He was at Saratoga whey BURGOYNE surrendered, and had charge of a portion of the prisoners, some of whom he took to his own home, and kept there till they were exchanged. When the war closed he returned to his farm and was successful in his agricultural pursuits. (book cuts off of one subject and starts on another) …
In 1790, having six children, he resolved on emigrating to the West. Leaving his family, he came to Lake Country, as this was then called, bought a large tract of land in the district of Jerusalem, a part of lot 48 of township No. 8, and a part on lot No. 17 of township No. 7. He built a log house near the center of this tract on the present roadside, south of the cemetery, on the corner next to the BOYD farm, made a little clearing, sowed some wheat, and returned to his eastern home.
The following winter, John, his oldest son, went forward with the household goods, and the family soon followed to their new home in the wilderness. Their way was on the line of Indian settlements, with bears and wolves on every hand. The traveling was not of the most inviting character. At Geneva there was nothing but two or three log shanty in the woods. It is hard to imagine how utterly wild and forbidding was the wintry landscape that met the vision of these pioneers on their entrance to this now beautiful and cultivated land.
The first parading down on the site of Penn Yan was by the Captain’s peacocks. They would stray down in the valley, and there remain contented until driven home. A few years after he came, and when settlers were more numerous, he built a public house, the first after that of David WAGENER near Smith’s Mills. It stood across the road from his old log house, a trifle east of the Hazen Cemetery. Here was the center of public business for many years. The Captain drew his supplies for his tavern from Albany, and this house in its day was a popular resort. Dr. Calvin FARGO made his home there for a long time. Dr. HENRY of Geneva, used to come there and spend several days at a time. A few old pear trees still remain, that were planted by the Captain’s own hand; but there is little else except the headstones in the adjoining cemetery to remind his descendants of his pioneer labors. Mrs. TOWNSEND was a kind and benevolent woman. Their children were John, Anna, Henry, Phebe, Jarius and Abraham.
John married Hannah, daughter of Randolph FOX, a wealthy farmer of Penn Flats. They had eleven children: Phebe, Stephen, Elizabeth, Pamela, Obadiah, Nancy, Hannah, John, Cyrenus, Mary Ann and Emma. Phebe marred Christopher CHASE, and resides in Jerusalem. Stephen married Abigail ROSS and lives in Iowa. Their children are Pamela, Marietta, John, Charles and Hobart. Elizabeth married George CONKLIN and resides in Italy. Their children are: George L., Caroline, Almina, Philo H. and Perceival. Caroline married Alonzo FESSENDEN and lives in Naples, NY. Obadiah TOWNSEND married Eleanor MC AULEY of Seneca, and resides in Michigan. Their children are: William, Charles, George and Jane.
Nancy (dau of John & Hannah) married John BROWN and lives in Prattsburg. Their children are: Arnold, Harriet, Sarah, Mary Jane, Charles, James and Fran. Charles is married. Arnold was a soldier and was killed in one of the battles of the Wilderness. Hannah married James EMORY and lives in Illinois. John married Mahala, daughter of Sewell SHATTUCK, and resides in Jerusalem. They have one son, William Henry. Cyrenus married Mary Jane, daughter of Amos PERRY of Jerusalem, where they reside. Mary Ann married Charles HEYDECKER and lives in Illinois. Emma married John JOHNSON of Penn Yan and their children are Mary and Alice. Anna died in her 20th year, unmarried.
Henry TOWNSEND, born in 1781, married Anna, daughter of John LAWRENCE Sr., of Milo. They resided where Major George A. SHEPHERD now lives on lot 16 in Milo. He was an enterprising and prosperous citizen, and bid fair to become a man of large wealth, but died in 1821, at the age of 40 years. His death was the result of an injury received on the highway, by being thrown out of his wagon. His wife afterwards became the second wife of Martin KENDIG Jr., and died in 1860, at the age of 74 years. The children of Henry TOWNSEND were: John, Lawrence, Sabra, George N., Reliance W., Mary Jane and Olive D.
John L., born in 1804, married Susan, daughter of Martin KENDIG, Jr. Their children were: Leah Ann, Nancy, Sarah and Ada. Leah Ann died young. Nancy married John L. MERCER, a merchant of New York. Sarah married Mr. HART of Chicago. Ada is single. Sabra TOWNSEND, born in 1806, married Dikens CHASE of Jerusalem, and both are dead, leaving no descendants. Reliance W., was born in 1812, married Ludlow E. LAPHAM, in 1830 and died in 1855. George N. died at Peoria, Illinois in 1838, at the age of 23 years, unmarried. Mary Jane, born in 1817, married Merritt BOYD of Benton, who died leaving no children. She subsequently married James ARMSTRONG, now a hardware merchant of the firm of Armstrong & Gage, and a leading citizen of Penn Yan. Their surviving children are Fred S. and H. Kendig. Fred S., is a graduate of Genesee College. Olive D. TOWNSEND, born in 1819, married Job T. SMITH in 1838 and died in 1854.
Phebe TOWNSEND was the wife of Aaron REMER.
Abraham married Sabra, daughter of John LAWRENCE Sr. Their children were: Anna, Mary, James, Watson L., and Joel, who died at 21 years. Anna was the wife of Benjamin M. REMER. Mary married William H. LAMPORT, late sheriff of Ontario county, and one of its foremost citizens. Their children are: Charles, William, Cornelia and Caroline. Charles married Susan LAMPORT, his cousin, and is a prosperous merchant in New York. William was a soldier in the 126th Regiment, and died in service in 1862. Cornelia married Edward C. HUNTINGTON of Penn Yan, who died at Galesburg, Illinois, leaving his widow and a daughter, Gertrude. James H., is single and lives in Jerusalem. Watson L. TOWNSEND married Arabelle CRANE of Penn Yan, and resides in Pultney. Their children were: George A., Elizabeth E. and Sophia I. George A. married Louisa V. BREEMER and resides in Steuben county. They have one child, Charles. Elizabeth E., married Edwin Am AMSBURY, a machinist of Penn Yan. Their children are George T. and Fred G. Sophia I. Married Jason T. PARKER of Pultney. Their children are Edwin L. and Harry.
Captain Lawrence TOWNSEND died in 1821, in the 81st year of his age. His son, John, who has numerous descendants in Jerusalem and Italy, resided on Head street, and at one time kept a public house where Luman PHELPS afterwards was an innkeeper. Abraham TOWNSEND resided on what is now known as the Boyd farm, a little west of his father’s place in Benton.
TRIMMER pg 300 – 302
During the last year or two of the eighteenth century, there came a colony of settlers from Pennsylvania, who located in East Benton, some of them, in what now is Torrey. Among them was Anthony TRIMMER, who was descended from Scotch or Irish people who had settled an early colony in Northumberland county, Pa. His wife was Sarah HOWARD, a sister of Thomas HOWARD, also an early settler and noted citizen, who resided about one mile north of Hopeton. The ARMSTRONGS, HARTS, MC LEANS, HOWARDS and TRIMMERS were all members of the same colony. The TRIMMER family located on a farm, earn the old Presbyterian Church, where they continued until the parents died. Anthony TRIMMER died in 1838, at the age of 84 years, and his wife in 1832, at the age of 73 years. Their children were David, Isaiah, Betsey, Amy, Epenetus, Anthony, Polly, Sally and Thomas. David married Susan READING, who died in Benton. He married a second wife, Mary KELLY, a widow, and moved to Kent Co., Michigan, where they reside. Isaiah married in Benton, and moved to Northeastern Ohio. His children are Chester, Frances and Amy.
Betsey married Frederick BACKENTOSE, a tailor of Geneva. He died there leaving three children, Frederick, Eliza and Sally. She married a second husband, Leonard SMITH of Seneca, of whom she was the second wife. Their children were: George, Hiram and others. They afterwards moved to Angelica, where both died.
Amy was the first wife of Leonard SMTIH of Seneca.
Epenetus married Rebecca, daughter of William ELLIS, and settled on the TRIMMER family homestead, where he died. Their children were: Jemima, Mary, Ellsworth, Eliza, Sally, Thomas, William and Ruth. Jemima married Aaron E. SWARTHOUT, son of John SWARTHOUT. They reside on and own the old TRIMMER homestead, and have one son, Ray. Mary married Vincent SWARTHOUT, a son of Anthony, and resides in Torrey. He is a farmer. Ellsworth married Ellen PERINE, and resides in Dresden. They have a son named Ellsworth. Eliza is the wife of Luther HARRIS, a resident of Dresden, and a boat builder and farmer. Their children are Ella and William. Sally married Lewis CUDDEBACK, a carpenter at Dresden. Their children are Vincent and Ida. Thomas died single, at the age of 18 year.
William married Mary HARRIS, of Dresden and resides there. They have one son, Epenetus. Ruth died single at eighteen years.
Anthony TRIMMER Jr., (born 1787) married Anna (b 1796), daughter of John GANUNG (and Esther RANDALL) of Benton. He was constable and collector of that town many years, and was crier of the courts in Yates county, from the organization of the county (1823) for a period of about 20 years. His immediate successor in that office was John D. WOLCOTT. Their children are Betsey, John C., Harriet, George, Edward M., Rebecca E., Mary H., William h., Charles M. and Anna E. Betsey married Joshua SWAN of Canadice, NY, where they reside. Their children are Albert and Rosetta. John C. married Mary BALDWIN of Lapeer, Mich., and resides in Benton. They have one child, Anna E. Harriet married Sylvester SIMMONS, now residing in Milo. George married Sarah SWAN of Canadice, where they settled and where he died. Edward M. married Ellen PATTEN of Richmond, Ontario county, and resides in that town. Their children are: Ida M., Charles and Horace P. Rebecca E. married Van Rensselaer VAN SCOY, of Milo. They reside in Benton. Mary H. is the wife of William T. REMER. William H., married Emeline GOULD of Richmond, Ontario Co., where they now live Their children are: William, Alice and Fanny. Charles M. married Rosetta LUNDY of Canada. They reside in Rockton, Ill, and have two children. Anna E. married Niel GOULD, of Richmond, Ontario Co. They have two children.
Polly married William GATES who was a merchant at Spencer’s Corners. He died leaving two daughters, Sally and Amy. Mrs. GATES died in Orleans, NY. Sally married William LAMB of Benton. They reside at Orleans, Ontario county. Their children are Epenetus, Isadore, Austin, Avery, Gena and Charles. Amy married William MOSIER, son of Davison MOSIER, of Milo. They reside in Iowa, and their children are Harvey, Mary, John and Davison.
Sally TRIMMER married Horace GAGE, son of Reuben GAGE of Benton. They reside in Michigan, and their children are Anthony, Heman and Azuba.
Thomas TRIMMER never married, and was for many years celebrated in Benton as a school teacher. He was one of the early pupils of John L. LEWIS. His death occurred in 1858. at the age of 57 years.
TUBBS & HARFORD pg 286 – 288
Enos TUBBS was a native of Connecticut, and a solider of the Revolution. He married Molly EARL, a sister of Jephthah EARL Sr., and settled for a time at Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania. They came to what is now Benton almost as early as Levi BENTON, and purchased a farm of 100 acres on lot 31, where Mrs. TUBBS died in 1815, at the age of 53 years. He married a second wife, Sarah, widow of James JACKSON of Seneca. She died in 1861 in Benton, at the age of 90 years, leaving no children. (Enos died 1838). The children by the first marriage were: Lyman, Anna, Semantha, Amos, Roswell, Dorcas, Roxa and Alpha.
Lyman married Phoebe SPRINGSTEAD of Benton and settled for a time on part of the homestead, and afterwards emigrated to St. Joseph, Michigan. Their children were Ethalinda, Delia, Nelson and Lyman. Ethalinda married George, son of Zachariah WHEELER, and Delia married Mr. GALLAHGER of Benton
Anna TUBBS married Joshua SMITH of Seneca, and settled there, but afterwards emigrated to Ohio, near Cleveland. They had several children.
Semantha married Ayers RAYMOND of Benton, and settled at Benton Centre where he died, leaving two children: Charlotte and Ayers. She married next, Mr. HOPKINS and settled on the lake road in Barrington, where they kept a tavern several years and finally emigrated with their family and her’s to St. Joseph, Michigan.
Amos did not marry. In the War of 1812, he volunteered as a substitute for his uncle, William EARL, and belonged to a rifle corps. He was sent, along with his cousin, as sharp shooters to guard against Indian scouts at the battle of Queeston Hights, and fell, mortally wounded, by the shot of an Indian, who fell the same instant from the well aimed rifle of his cousin, who stood by his side.
Roswell married Sally SACKETT and settled on a farm now owned and occupied by Robert N. MC FARREN, then owned by William EARL. He died while on a journey of observation at the west, leaving his widow and one child, Alvira.
Dorcas married Ziba, son of Joseph SMITH of Benton and finally emigrated to St. Joseph, Michigan. They had two sons, Conklin and Amos.
Roxa married Colville PEARCE of Benton and emigrate to Ohio, near Cleveland.
Alpha married Jane LOW of Benton, settled on the TUBBS homestead, and subsequently moved to St. Joseph, Michigan.
The TUBBS family were among the primitive settlers of Benton, and improved a fine farm, which put them in good circumstances. In his old age, the father followed his children, who had gone to St. Joseph, Michigan, and died there quite aged. The farm is now mostly owned by Jacob WATSON.
Enos T. HARFORD was an adopted son of Enos TUBBS, was reared with the family and is not its only representative in this county. He still resides in the immediate neighborhood of the TUBBS homestead, on lot 33. Mr. HARFORD married Sally JACKSON, daughter of Enos TUBBS’ second wife. Their children are: Diana J., Marcus H., Sarah E., Calvin J., Susan C., Richard J., Francis A. and Charles.
Diana J., married Philip SCHUYLER of Benton and settled at Mitchelville, Steuben county, where he was accidentally killed. His widow and one child, Sarah E., reside in Benton.
Marcus H., married Mary BARNES of Benton, and resides at Bellona. They have eight children: Armeda J., Eunice M., Horace E., Frank, Walter, George, Lillie E. and Bertha L. Sarah E. is single.
Calvin J. married Susan BAKER of Benton and resides in that town. They have two children: John and Jay C.
Susan married David, son of Murray GAGE, and they reside in Benton. Richard J., married Mary E. HOOSE of Prattsburg, and resides at Bellona. Their children are Minnie J., Ida May, Alice and James H.
Francis A. was a volunteer in Co. A., 126th Regiment, shared the perils and hardships of that regiment, and finally died in the hospital at Union Mills, Virginia, January 10, 1863. Charles A., is single, residing with his parents.
The TUBBS and HARFORDS were near neighbors and friends of Elder John GOUGH. All of their marriage ceremonies and funeral services were performed by him while he remained in Benton.
HARFORD says that she well remembers many of those occasions, and that the Elder
occupied from ¾ of an hour to a full hour at a wedding, and tow hours at a
WATSON pg 343
Robert WATSON was an early settler in the town of Seneca. He was an Englishman and was born in Northumberland in 1768. His wife, Jane SINCLAIR, was native to the same place, born in 1766. They were married in 1790 and afterwards emigrated direct to the farm where their subsequent lives were spent, about one mile and a half north of the Benton line, on the first road eastward of Benton Centre, leading north. He died at the age of 73 years, and his wife at the age of 90 years. Six of their children were born in England and three in America. They were Jacob and Sarah, twins, Isabella, James, Robert, Foster S., Jacob, Ebenezer and Joseph. Of this family, but two became residents of Yates county. The eldest son, Jacob was killed when a child, by the fall of a tree and a subsequent son took the same name.
Foster S. WATSON, born in England in 1801, married Jane a. WALKER of Caledonia, NY in 1838. she was a native of Delaware county and was of Scotch descent. They first settled near Seneca Lake and subsequently moved to his present home on lot 35. They have no surviving children.
Jacob WATSON, born in 1804, married Maria SHAW of Caledonia, NY, in 1834. They first settled on the farm now owned by George MC MASTER, and afterwards at their present home on lot 31, where Elisha BROWN was the original settler, about one mile north of his brother. Their children are: William, Henry, James, Samuel and Jane, two of whom are married. William married Ann E. LITCHFIELD, daughter of Rev. Daniel W. LITCHFIELD, at one time pastor of the Baptist Church at Benton Centre. They reside near and north of the paternal homestead in Benton, and have four children, Franklin, Harriet, Albert and Clement. Henry WATSON married Elizabeth BUSHNELL of Columbia county, NY. They reside at Barrington.
Joseph WATSON married Elizabeth, daughter of Joshua MEAD, of Benton. They reside on and own the original WATSON homestead in Seneca. They have one surviving child, Phebe Ann.
WEED pg 230
John WEED came to this county in 1808. He had previously married Rhoda ANDERSON, and their five sons were all born at Walkill, Orange county. They settled where the family homestead remains on Flat street. John, the oldest son, died single at 21 years.
William married Harriet GAMBEE and settled on the north part of the homestead, where he died in 1868, leaving six children: Bradley S., John, Charles, Margaret, George and Rhoda. Margaret married Tobias SOUTERHLAND and resides in Benton. Rhoda married James CARROL and also resides in Benton.
Hiram married Julia FARGO and settled on the south part of the homestead, where he died in 1865, leaving his widow and two daughters, Rhoda A. and Ruth T. Rhoda A. first married William H. CLAWSON and resides at Harrisburg, Texas. Ruth T. married Tobias HOLLOWAY of Toledo, Ohio, and resided on the homestead in Benton, where he died. Charles married Ellen TUELL of Penn Yan, where she still resides.
James married Emma, daughter of Martin Brown Jr., of Benton, and settled in Italy, where he died. Thomas died single, at 21 years. The wife of John WEED died in 1818 and in 1820 he married Anna GAMBEE, widow, of Benton He died in 1832.
WHEELER pg 197 - 200
Eleanor WHEELER married Jabez CARD of Potter,
and both are deceased without children.
Ephraim WHEELER married Fanny, daughter of Joshua
BROWN of Potter, and settled on the Brown homestead.
Their children are, Martha E., Horace B., James H., George C.,
Francis, Charles W., Joshua B., Edwin G. and Mary E.
Martha E. married George W. SPENCER, and after her decease, Mary
became the second wife of Mr. Spencer. Horace
B. married Elizabeth, daughter of Silas LACEY.
They reside on the Brown WHEELER homestead in Potter, and have two
children, Glennis and Bradley. James
H. married Janett BOSWELL of Jerusalem, and settled on the homestead
in Potter, where he died leaving one child, Daniel W. George C. resides at Bloomsburg, Indiana.
Francis J., married Bertrim SEMPLE of Oxford, Indiana,
where she died leaving no children. Charles
W. resides in Iowa. Joshua B.
resides in Coldwater, Michigan, unmarried.
Edwin G. resides on the homestead in Potter, unmarried.
Samuel WHEELER married Harriet BARDEN,
daughter of Olive WOLCOTT and her first husband and James BARDEN,
and stepdaughter of Dr. Erastus WOODWORTH, They lived in Benton for a
time and emigrated to Michigan, and thence to California, where they reside.
Their children are Sarah, George and Erastus.
Henry C. WHEELER married Mary, daughter of Elijah
SPENCER, engaged for some time in the book trade in Penn Yan, was County
Superintendent of Schools several years, and a farmer.
He finally emigrated to Minnesota and moved thence to Chicago, where they
reside. Their children are E.
Spencer, Frank and Caroline. Frank
is married and was connected with the army during the rebellion, and engaged in
the recent Indian campaigns.
Catharine WHEELER married Alva BUCKBEE of
Benton. He died, leaving one
daughter, and his widow married for her second husband, Stephen, a son of
Peleg BRIGGS of Potter. Peleg
and Stephen BRIGGS were born of the second marriage.
Martha WHEELER married Mr. CRITTENDEN, and
moved to Allegany county, from whence, after his death, she has removed to
Virginia, near Alexandria with her family.
George WHEELER Jr., when married, was a man of the
world. His wife led him to think of
religion, and he was converted and became an ardent Methodist and defender of
the faith with tongue, heart and soul, and especially against the Unitarian
heresies of a certain brother, Reuben FINLEY, who, though a Methodist,
leaned toward the Unitarian interpretation of the mysteries of the Godhead.
He ultimately became a local preacher, and for many years officiated in
the neighborhoods about, in barns, private houses and elsewhere, as
circumstances demanded. Was active
in causing to be erected the first Methodist Meeting House built exclusively for
that purpose, within the bounds of this county.
It was located on his homestead farm, near the Elisha WOLCOTT
residence, on the road running west from the South Centre road, a short distance
west of the schoolhouse that used to stand on the three corners.
It remained a standing monument of Mr. WHEELER’s
and his neighbor’s energies and devotion to the Christian cause for many
years. It was a frame building,
clapboarded and rudely seated, without steeple, paint, lath or plaster and no
means of warming, except through the use of coals in iron kettles dispersed
about the floor. It was furnished
with a pulpit of remarkable altitude, but circumscribed in dimensions, which was
reached by a straight, narrow stairway from each side, representing the
“straight and narrow path”, doubtless, while it was surrounding by a
circular chancel for penitents and members to kneel and pray for and receive
blessings. Robert PATTERSON was the architect and builder in
A circumstance occurred during one of the many exciting
seasons this house and neighborhood were blessed with, and still remembered by
the believing faithful, and runs in this wise: A worthy brother, Rev. Samuel
ROWLEY, was holding forth in strains of exuberant exhortation to the
surrounding mourners, such ecstatic visions of the future, that he became so
spiritually and ethereal, during one of the singing intervals as at a single
impulse, to leap over the high from of the pulpit and land in the midst of the
vocal group surrounding the alter below, without the least harm to himself or
others, and at once joined with them in raising the choral strains to the
Richard H. WILLIAMS, who contributes this paragraph,
says he will remembers this old house, as it stood vacant long after it was
abandoned as a place of worship, and its shelly, dilapidated character, and also
seeing Dr. Erastus B. WOLCOTT, ( who was an expert with a bow and arrow),
shoot a blunt or square ended arrow through its siding from a bow once belonging
to the celebrated Indian Chief RED JACKET, a distance of twenty rods.
This bow was lost in the burning of the residence of
W. WOLCOTT, of Barrington. It
doubtless was one of the most remarkable and powerful articles of the kind, and
it is well authenticated that it was long the prized and favorite bow of that
noted chief, and that with it he had slain many a deer and other large wild
game, even to the buffalo. The wood
of which it was made was of the most dense and perfect hickory, and of marked
and unusual weight. The bow was
backed with sinew from the back of the deer, the most ingeniously and perfectly
attached to the wood, and in such manner as to add to it all the elasticity and
strength of that material, while the union of the wood and sinew was perfect and
even closer than the natural bark.
Thus is this brief note do we transmit to posterity four
important and well-authenticated facts. George WHEELER Jr.’S Christian energy and devotion; the
old and first Methodist Meeting House, with some of its leading incidents and
spiritual scenes; the remarkable bow of RED JACKET, the more remarkable
Indian Chief, and the consummate skill of Dr. WOLCOTT in the use of the
bow – for it may be remarked and remembered, that not one man in a thousand
could draw that bow to it’s maximum power; to which should be added the
remarkable feat of muscular Christianity here related.
WHEELER pg 214 – 216
One of the earliest Benton pioneers, who is represented by a numerous line of descendants, was George WHEELER Sr. He and his wife, Catharine LYON, were natives of Dutchess county, and of the same age, the birthday of one being Christmas and the other New Years. He died in 1824 at the age of 79 years and she three years later. He purchased at an early day lot 37 of township 7, first range, 276 acres, the northwest corner lot of Milo, embracing so much of Penn Yan as lies north of the Keuka outlet and west of a line nearly coincident with Benham and Sheppard streets. This tract he gave or sold to his two sons in law, Robert CHISSOM and James SCOFIELD, who settled on it in 1791. CHISSOM had the northwest and southeast quarters of the lot, and SCOFIELD the southwest and northeast quarters; and theirs is the first recorded title of the land on which Penn Yan stands.
George WHEELER himself was one of the settlers of Benton in 1791. He was a quiet man and became a large land owner, giving each of his children farms of liberal dimensions. From old maps of No. 8, it would appear that he owned lots 57, 42 and 45 of that township. Some of his early purchases cost him but fifty cents per acre. Two of his sons, Ephraim and Samuel, young lads, died in 1791 of what was called Canker Rash. They were the first calls of mortality among the settlers of that town, and were buried on the premises of Levi BENTON, where the cemetery, east of Benton Centre, still remains. The other children of the WHEELER family were: Eleanor, George Jr., Nathan, Susan, Margaret and Zachariah. Eleanor married James SMITH and remained at Greenbush, NY
George Jr., married Martha HULL, and settled on the south half of lot 57, and his descendants are included in the HULL family record. He was noted as a preacher.
Nathan married Mary SHERMAN of Utica, and settled on the north half of lot 57, where she died, leaving two children, George S. and Elizabeth. His second wife was Betsey MILLER, a widow. He died and his widow emigrated West with several children. Lydia the oldest daughter of the second marriage became the wife of Delorville BALDWIN. George S. WHEELER married Elizabeth, daughter of Griffin B. HAZARD. They settled in Benton, where she died, leaving one surviving daughter, Dorcas, the wife of Dr. Wemple II CRANE. The second wife of Mr. WHEELER was Jane SCOTT, who left three children, Hadley, Arthur and Scott. His third wife was widow MIDDLETON, with whom he emigrated to Michigan.
Elizabeth WHEELER married Henry SAYRE of Benton. They settled in Starkey where he died. Their children were Job, Nathan, Mary, George, and Henry. Job married Ann REYNOLDS of Starkey; Nathan married Emeline SICKLES of Barrington; Mary married Asbury HARPENDING of Dundee. George married Harriet GIFFORD of Dundee and moved to New York, where he died leaving one son, Wheeler. Henry married Mary, daughter of William S. HUDSON of Benton. They reside in Starkey and have two children, William and Ferdinand. Susan WHEELER married Robert CHISSOM.
Margaret WHEELER married James SCOFIELD of Hillsdale, Columbia county. They first built a small log house near the little brook running through the Penn Yan cemetery. One of the apple trees that sprang from seeds planted by him, is still in the field a little west of Sucker Brook. They removed soon after to the farm in Benton, since known as the Samuel RANDALL farm, now owned by the Joseph KETCHAM family. From there they removed to the locality where Rochester now stands, and left there because the land was poor and the place unhealthy, going first to Chautauqua county and thence to Ohio and finally to Illinois. Their children were: Elizabeth, Samuel, Phoebe, James, George, William, Hiram, Catharine, Robert and Margaret. James is a Baptist minister at Bristol, Illinois, and the father of Gen. John M. SCOFIELD, a distinguished soldier during the rebellion and late Secretary of War. WHEELER, another son of James SCOFIELD Jr., was a Brigadier General during the war, and Charles, another son, is now a Cadet at West Point.
Elizabeth, one of the daughters of James SCOFIELD Sr., married Smith M. COLE, and still survives at the aged of nearly 80 years. She came here before she was six months old, has been an eye witness of all the transformation that has come since, and is able to give many interesting reminiscences of the early years. One day, going on a visit to her aunt, Mrs. Robert CHISSOM, where Stephen B. AYERS now resides, she was confronted by a large bear and two cubs. She was startled by a deep growl and turned for home, followed by Bruin who came very near, but turned back as she sprang, greatly frightened, over a fence. She proceeded home, on the RANDALL farm, and the men and boys with dog and gun, hunted down the old bear and one of the cubs the same day, and the other the next day. She was then fourteen years old. She relates also how one Robert LENNOX lived in a log house on Jacob’s Brook, not far from the place where the BENHAM house now stands, in Penn Yan. One day a bear entered their hog pen and commenced depredations on their only porker. LENNOX was frightened, and it is said even climbed a ladder, but the brave little wife assailed the bear with her frying pan, the first offensive weapon she could seize, and broke it over his head. She succeeded in driving away the ravenous beast, and long kept the handle of her frying pan to exhibit as a memento of her prowess.
Zachariah WHEELER married Margaret WEAVER of Deerfield, NY and settled on the place known as the Asa COLE farm, and afterwards moved to Jerusalem. Their children were: Susan, George, Samuel, Elizabeth and Zachariah. George married Ethalinda, daughter of Lyman TUBBS of Benton and all moved West.
WHITAKER pg 282 – 286
Stephen WHITAKER was the owner of an iron forge in New Jersey, which he traded for five hundred acres of forest land in the town of Jersey, now Bradford, Steuben county. He had not seen his land, but attempted to reach it in 1798. There being no road leading to it, he stopped at Mud Creek and hired a farm one year, and in the autumn came to No. 8 and purchased the premises where he thenceforward resided through life, on lot No. 20, now in Torrey, where he was the original settler. He was a man of sterling character, sustaining good morals and endeavoring to promote religion. IT was by his labor and influence that the first Presbyterian church was formed in Benton, from which have descended those at Penn Yan, Bellona and Dresden. He had the highest respect and confidence of his fellow citizens and held various local offices. His death occurred in 1827, at the age of 80 years. Stephen WHITAKER married Susannah WHITE in 1772, Ruth CONKLIN in 1799, Mary, widow of John CROSS in 1803, Agnes VAN COURT, and widow of Daniel POTTER in 1816. The first wife had one child, which died in New Jersey. The second wife was the mother of all his remaining children, as follows: Jonathan, Mary, Deborah, Stephen, Ruth, Isaac, Phoebe and Ann.
Jonathan WHITAKER, born in 1780, inherited his father’s virtues and his religious tendencies, and was a citizen of true worth. He was a young man when the family came from New Jersey, and participated in the arduous labors of pioneer life, working out by the month, clearing land, and putting forth every energy of his life to secure by industry a competence and honorable independence in the land. With but six months of early schooling he was yet well educated for the practical affairs of his day, ready in computation, able to write a good hand and a competent business man. In 1806 he married Mary BAILEY of Sussex county, New Jersey. They united with the Presbyterian church of Benton in 1825. He was soon made an elder of the church and honored his office over 30 years, and until his death in 1856, at the age of 76 years. His name was identified with all the religious and benevolent movements of his time and he was a man whose life was squared by his principles. He was frequently elected to office in his town and was supervisor several times. The implicit trust of his fellow men in his integrity, led him often to be chosen an arbitrator, referee and administrator, the duties of which positions he always discharged with fidelity. Of his iron muscle and unyielding energy, it is related that, when the nearest wheat market was in Mud Creek, he set out on one occasion with 40 bushels on a sled drawn by two yoke of oxen. The day proved warm, the sled sunk in the snow and the oxen became so tired and discouraged, that at the foot of a hill they would not draw at all. So he would carry the most of his load up the hill on his shoulder before his team would move. This he was obliged to repeat several times, and when he reached the mill where he disposed of his grain, he had to carry it again up two flights of stairs to empty it. After all this he received the meager pittance of 25 cents a bushel for his wheat. Late in his life there was an attempt made to rob his house. A villain wearing a mask entered the bedroom where he and his aged consort were sleeping, while a confederate stood at the door. The robber lighted a candle, which awakened Mrs. WHITAKER, and a scream from her, awakened her husband, who asked the intruder what he wanted. He replied, money and held a pistol in his hand to enforce his demand. In getting up as if to comply, the room being narrow, the robber was backed up to the doorway where he stood, a pistol in one hand and a candle in the other. By a sudden movement, Mr. WHITAKER pushed the door against him and shut it, upon which the two inside held it, against the best efforts of the two outside to crowd it open. The enraged and baffled burglar threatened to shoot and when he found his threats ineffective, did shoot, the bullet passing through the door between the pair inside. The noise aroused others of the household and the scoundrels soon deemed it wise to decamp. It is said that Mrs. WHITAKER never recovered from the shock caused by this attempted robbery, and that her life was shortened by it. She died in 1854 on her 71st birthday. Their children were: Squier Bailey, Stephen M., Alexander F., William H., Ephraim M., Ruth Ann, Marietta and George W., who died young.
Squier B., born in 1807, married first, Mercy AMSBURY, second, Lydia C. AMSBURY, and third, Mary L. OLMSTED. He has one son, James S., the child of his second wife, resides on the Old Stephen WHITAKER homestead and is a useful citizen.
Stephen M., born in 1809, married Mary Ann, daughter of Martin GAGE and resides in Gorham. Their children are: Ephraim S., George H., Mary V(irginia)., Stephen E., Emma F. and Hattie L. Ephraim S. married Lizzie THAYER of Ohio. They have one child. Virginia married Dr. Obadiah ROGERS of Gorham. They reside at Charles City, Iowa, and have one child.
Alexander F., born in 1811, married Louisa P. TORRANCE. They resided in Benton many years, and now live in Penn Yan. Their surviving children are Helen, Lucinda and Mellville Torrance. Alexander F. WHITAKER was long connected with the Old Rifle Corps under the military laws, previous to 1849, and attained the rank of Major General in that finely equipped and will drilled organization. He was raised at one promotion from the rank of Sergeant to Lieutenant Colonel and from that passed to the highest rank, which he resigned in 1849.
William Harlow, born in 1813, married Ann Eliza MC DOWELL and lives on the old homestead of Jonathan WHITAKER in Benton. Their children are William Henry, Jonathan, Augustus, Marietta, Frank, Alice, Kate L., and Charles F. William H. married Emily A. HEWLETT and resides at Harrisonburg, VA. Their children are Emily A., Mary L., Mattie and Ella Bertha. Jonathan married Phoebe E., daughter of William WOOLLY of Jamaica, Long Island. Their children are: Clarence A., Cornelia and Anna. Augustus was a soldier of the company of Captain martin S. HICKS, 148th Regiment and died in 1865, of disabilities resulting from the service.
Ephraim M., born in 1816, married Eliza W., daughter of Linus BATES of Benton, and resides in Washington DC. He was a Colonel in the Rifles Corps. They have had two children, Greenville Adelbert and Herbert B., of whom the first is the only survivor and is engaged in the book and stationery trade in Washington.
Ruth Ann, born in 1818, is unmarried. Marietta, born in 1820, is the wife of Henry HICKS of Penn Yan.
Mary, daughter of Stephen WHITAKER, born in 1781, married Moses HALL and lives in Geneva.
Deborah, born in 1783, married William Roy Jr., and lived in Benton, now Torrey, on the farm where her son, Charles ROY now resides.
Stephen, born in 1784, married Mary HALL (June 1811), sister of Moses HALL and lived in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ruth, born in 1786, married first, Ephraim MALLORY and lived on the farm where John ROSS now resides; second, Jacob VANDERVENTER and died where Stephen W. VANDERVENTER now lives, in Torrey.
Isaac, born in 1792, married Achsa CUSHMAN and lived on the farm where Peter MESEROLE now lives, for a time, and then moved to Michigan.
Phoebe, born in 1789, married MOSES HALL, after the death of her sister and lived in Geneva.
Anna, born in 1796, married Jonathan A. HALL and lived on the farm where Dr. R.R.C. BORDWELL now lives in Milo. Their children were: Mary Ann, Deborah, Moses and Stephen C. Mary Ann married Rev. Luther LITTELL of New Jersey, a Presbyterian clergyman at Goshen, Orange county. Deborah married John, a brother of Luther LITTELL, a farmer at New Providence, New Jersey. Moses married a Miss CLARK and Stephen C., a sister of the same lady. Moses lives at Whitehall, Michigan, and Stephen C. at Muskegon, Michigan, where he is a prosperous and successful man.
WINANTS pg 310 – 312
Jacob WINANTS was from eastern New York and married Rebecca TALMADGE, an aunt of Nathaniel P. TALMADGE, at one time, US Senator for this State. They came to this county in 1800 and settled in east Benton, where he died in 1814 and she in 1828. They had eleven children: James, Josiah, Fanny, Asenath, Abraham, Sybil, Martha, George R. Pamela and Luther. Six of these were never residents here. Fanny married John SUYLANDT of Seneca Falls and emigrated to St. Joseph, Michigan. Asenath married Col. Thomas LEE of Benton. Abraham married Lucinda KEELER, niece of Dr. Joshua LEE. He died near New York, leaving two children, George and Jane, and his widow became the wife of Judge John KNOX of Waterloo, the father of Judge Addison T and William KNOX.
George R. WINANTS married Mary SWARTHOUT of Barrington. They settled in Potter, near Rushville. He has been a man of prominence in the town and held various civil stations. Their children are: Marietta, Martha J. and Edward J. Marietta married Timothy BLODGETT of Potter. Their children are Helen, George and Grace. Martha J., married Henry CHESEBRO, of Naples. They reside on the WINANTS homestead in Potter, and their children are Henry and Mary. Edward J. married Bella NOBLE, of Detroit, granddaughter of Col. Thomas LEE. They reside in New York.
Luther WINANTS married Pamela, daughter of Elisha BROWN, of Benton. They were married July 19, 1812. He was in the early years a school teacher, and a shoemaker. They resided in Oneida county about ten years and returned in 1823, residing thereafter in Penn Yan, where he died in 1864, at the age of 74 years. He was village clerk eighteen years and at one time Justice of the Peace in Benton. Their children were: Alvin, Herman H., Mary Ann, George M., Caroline A., Harvey L., Sarah Jane. Charles V., Margaret M., Roderick N. and Susan S. Alvin was a lawyer, and for some time a partner of David B. PROSSER. His wife was Sarah A., daughter of Samuel WISE. He was several years in California, and died in Kansas in 1860 at the age of 47 years. His widow married Judge William H. MC GREW, of San Francisco, and resided in that city. His only son, Samuel N. WINANTS , married Sarah SHUMWAY of San Francisco, and resides there. They have one daughter, Daisy.
Herman H. was a printer, and married Ann BANNISTER of Newark, NY. They had one son, Henry W. He afterwards married a widow SEELY, in Pennsylvania and died in Illinois at the age of 47 years.
Mary Ann married Abraham MILLER, a highly respected mechanic of Penn Yan. Their children are, Susan C., Frederick M. and Mary A.
George M. was a painter, and married Marian A. NASH, of Penn Yan. He died in Louisville, KY, in 1859, leaving a son, George H.
Caroline A., married Homer M. TOWNSEND, and died in 1852, leaving a daughter, Mary Jane, now resident in Penn Yan.
Harvey L., was a printer and editor. He learned his trade as a printer with one GILBERT, in Penn Yan and was editor of a third paper in Penn Yan, called the Democratic Organ, in which his brother, Alvin, was associated with him. They also conducted a paper at Newark, NY, for some time. Harvey was afterwards associate editor of the Rochester Advertiser, for a brief period. He married Cornelia Z., daughter of Stephen ELMENDORF of Penn Yan, and died at Cincinnati in 1866, at the age of 44 years. His only son, William H., is a bank clerk in Kansas City. He is married and his mother has a home with him.
Sarah Jane married James MC LEAN of Benton. They lived at Lima, Mich., where she died at 34 years, leaving five children: George H., Morris L., Fanny C., Sophia S. and Charles J.
Charles V., was a blacksmith, and married Mary GAY of Aurora NY. He died in California, leaving one daughter, Anna, who married west.
Margaret M., married Ephraim S. FLETCHER, a Methodist preacher, living at South Hansom, Mass. He is a man of worth, and held in high esteem. Their children are Albert, Frank and George.
Roderick N., is a printer and remarkable as a rapid compositor. He married Cornelia W. WOOD, of East Mendon, NY, and lives in Bloomington, Ill. Their children are Cora and Frank.
Mrs. Pamela WINANS survives at the age of 77 years, with a clear and accurate recollection of the early years. She attended the school taught by Olivia SMITH, at Benton Centre, and remembers all the pioneers of No. 8, so few of whom are yet numbered with the living. It was her lot to assist Daniel GOFF, a tailor, who boarded at her father’s house, in making dress coat, vest and pants, all of pure white dimity, worn by Master John L. LEWIS, as manager, in a play written by himself, and performed in one of the earliest years of the present century, at the house of Ezra COLE. When a few more like her have passed away, nobody can relate from personal recollection the primitive scenes of this county, then so new, now so old in comparison with the larger portion of our land.
WISE pg 336-337
Samuel WISE was the son of John WISE, of Columbia county. He married there, Lovica NEWELL and about 1823 came to Benton, where he bought of Elisha WILLIAMS the old Thomas LEE farm, now owned by Guy SHAW, and resided there about twenty years.
Zenas P. WISE, his brother, purchased a farm of 150 acres adjoining him on the east. They laid out a fine race course, partly on both farms, which for many years was a very popular track and drew multitudes of people on various occasions to witness the races, some of which were quite memorable. The house was an important tavern in those days; trainings and other gatherings were often held there. After selling that place, he kept the American Hotel in Penn Yan, about five years, after which he resided on Flat street and finally moved to New York, where he died at the age of 64 years. His children were: John J., Adeline, Augustus, Charlotte, Harriet N., Nancy and Mary.
John J., kept a hotel in New York for some time. He is now a hardware merchant in Penn Yan, and postmaster. He married Maria, daughter of William H. STARK. She died leaving two children, William and Harriet M. He has a second wife, Ruth Ann, daughter of Edward J. FOWLE, and they have a daughter, Sophia.
Adaline married Benjamin B. STARK. They moved west, where he died, leaving a large family Augusta married Alvin WINANTS.
Charlotte married William T. SCOTT, formerly president of the old Bank of Geneva, and now cashier of the First National Bank of that place. She died leaving two children, Frances and William.
Harriet N. married Elisha W. FARGO, who is a commission merchant in New York and resides in Brooklyn. Their children are Julia and George. Nancy died unmarried, in Benton.
Mary married Edwin HYATT, a commission merchant in New York, also residing in Brooklyn. Their children are Harriet, George and Caroline.
WOLCOTT pg 201
Hannah WOLCOTT was born August 21, 1800.
She married Dr. Mason LAMAN of Benter Centre.
He followed his profession a short time, and died leaving one child, Mary,
who became the wife of Henry N. WAGENER of Penn Yan.
Mrs. LAMAN married a second husband, James MC AULEY of
Seneca and they reside in Barrington. They
have had one child, Margaret, not now living.
Oliver P. WOLCOTT married Sophia STEWART of
Penn Yan. He commenced his practice
as a physician, at Warsaw, in Barrington and afterwards removed to Benton Centre,
where he had a large practice for seventeen years. In 1857 he removed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his wife
died ten years later. He resides there still, and is eminent in his profession.
They have two surviving children, Jane S. and Hubert.
The daughter married Joel N. JILLETT of Benton.
They reside in Milwaukee and have two children, Frank and Harriet.
Hubert married Anna SWIFT of Milwaukee and resides there.
Erastus B. was born in 1806, also became a
physician, joined the United States Army as Assistant Surgeon, and served
through the Cherokee campaigns, was afterwards stationed at Fort Snelling in
Minnesota, and for a time at Mackinaw, where he married Jane, daughter of Michael DOUSMAN, long associated with the army and connected with the fur
trade, ad one of the founders of the city of Milwaukee, where the Doctor finally
located. He has been identified
with the growth and prosperity of that city.
He is regarded as head of his profession in that State, especially as a
surgeon. During the late war he was
Surgeon General of Wisconsin, and is one of the commissioners for founding and
locating soldiers homes in several of the states. He is also surgeon in charge of the Wisconsin Soldier’s
Home at Milwaukee. They have two
surviving children, Marian and Douglass.
The daughter is the wife of Major YATES of the United States Army,
residing at Milwaukee, and in charge of the Soldiers’ Home at that place.
The son is unmarried. Jane
DOUSMAN, the first wife of Dr. Erastus B. WOLCOTT, died several years
ago, and he married in 1869, Miss ROSS, a celebrated lady physician of
George W. WOLCOTT was born in 1811.
He married Flora SHAW and resides on the homestead in Barrington.
He has been an active and successful farmer, and he represented the
county in the Assembly in 1846. Their
children, are Saxton S., Gurthra, Emma and Arthur.
General Abner WOODWORTH - One of the most noted families among the earlier residents of Benton, was that of the WOODWORTHS. They were from Connecticut, and people of sterling worth. Abner WOODWORTH, the grandfather of the late General Abner WOODWORTH, and two of his sons and two of his daughters, became citizens of Benton. The prominent place they filled in their days is alluded to in its proper place. Molly was the wife of Levi BENTON Sr., and Hannah, of Gideon WOLCOTT Sr. Dyer WOODWORTH was a very useful man in the Barden neighborhood, and Elisha WOODWORTH’s family cleared the farm of John MERRIFIELD, on Flat street. They were widely connected with the leading families of Benton. Polly, the oldest daughter, was the wife of Dr. Calvin FARGO, whom she outlived over half a century. She died in 1878, upwards of ninety-six years old, the last of her father’s family. General Abner WOODWORTH reached the age of eighty-three, though during a few of his last years was confined to his him by paralysis on one side of his body. He was long a prominent and popular citizen, and genial in his manners and a man of genuine kindness of heart. In the later period of his life he resided in Penn Yan. His military title was derived from an organization of 1812, kept up to secure the claims of that class of the public defenders form the State. In that work General WOODWORTH devoted several of the later years of his active life. As a representative of the country he is well chosen. Few men in his day were equally well known of all the people of the county, and there were very few toward whom there was such universal good will and kindly feeling. His portrait will recall very vividly to many citizens an epoch that is receding into the past. It is by the liberality of our fellow citizens, Samuel S. ELLSWORTH, that General WOODWORTH’S portrait is numbered among the illustrations of this book. He was the last of his name, and the last of the male line of his family in the county.
WOODWORTH pg 226 – 229
Abner WOODWORTH, born at Little Compton, Massachusetts, in 1725, married at the age of 23, Hannah DYER of Norwich, Connecticut, and settled at Salisbury, in that State, where they reared a family of nine children, of whom Molly, Hannah, Elisha and Dyer, became residents of this county. The father came here as a widower, and although then about 70 years old, made his way on foot carrying a kit of shoemaker’s tools, and driving a cow. He lived on Flat street, and the last year of his life In the family of his daughter Molly, the wife of Levi BENTON Sr. His death occurred at the age of 84 years, in 1809.
In the summer of 1798, Elisha WOODWORTH came on with his two sons, Erastus B. and Elijah Jr. and cleared 8 acres on the farm now owned and occupied by John MERRIFIELD on lot 41, and sowed it with wheat. He returned in January following and brought his wife and seven remaining children, Polly, Sally, Abner, Amy, Ariel, Anna and Amelia. The mother’s name was Ann BRADLEY, a native of Dutchess county. For four weeks, while Mr. WOODWORTH and his sons erected a log house, they lived in the house of Daniel BROWN, whose five children added to the rest, made a household of eighteen. By the aid of the sawmill in what is now Penn Yan, they were able to floor their new house with oak plank. Elisha WOODWORTH died in 1808, at the age of 57 years, and his wife in 1828, in her 74th year.
Polly, the oldest child of Elisha WOODWORTH, married Dr. Calvin FARGO in 1809. He had been several years in the town and was at first a school teacher. He settled on Flat street and practiced as a physician till 1817, and had a very extensive ride, going to all pars of the country from Geneva to Bath. He then moved to Indiana where he died very suddenly in 1818. The family returned, and his widow still survives at the age of 93 years, residing with her daughter, Mrs. Hiram WEED of Benton. Their children were: Hiram S., Russel R., Julia, Elizabeth, Abigail R., John C. and Elisha W.
Hiram S. FARGO died single in 1830. Russel R. married Mary, daughter of Hugh CHAPMAN of Ovid, NY and settled in Penn Yan, a cooper, where his wife died, leaving two children, Ann and Mary. His second wife was Mary ST. JOHN, a widow of Pultney, where they reside and have one child, Sarah.
Russel R. FARGO was elected Clerk of Yates county in 1846, and served three years. Julia married Hiram WEED of Benton and settled finally on the old John WEED homestead in Benton, where he died and his widow still resides. Elizabeth is unmarried and resides with her mother. Abigail R. married William H. GAGE. John C. is a physician, married Irene SMITH, removed finally to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where she died and he still resides. They had one child, William. Elisha W. married Harriet N., daughter of Samuel WISE of Benton, resides in Brooklyn, and is a commission merchant in New York. Their children are Julia and George.
Erastus B. WOODWORTH, born in 1779, was a physician and married Olive, widow of James BARDEN, and sister of Elisha and Dr. Walter WOLCOTT. They settled at Flint Creek, where both died leaving three children, John L., hector T. and Asa H., none of whom survive. They were married in 1807, by his father, Elisha WOODWORTH, who was a Justice of the Peace. Dr. WOODWORTH studied his profession with Dr. Jareb DYER of Middlesex, and Dr. GOODWIN of Geneva. He was Surgeon of the old 42nd Regiment of Infantry, on the Staff of Colonel Thomas LEE, his commission bearing date March 27, 1819. His brother Abner, was a captain in the regiment at the same time. Dr. Gavin l. ROSE was Surgeon’s Mate. James BOGERT, famous as the old Editor of the Geneva Gazette, was Lieutenant colonel, and Lansing B. MISNER, a talented young lawyer of Geneva, Adjutant. Dr. WOODWORTH was himself Justice of the Peace several years, and Postmaster of Flint Creek for some time.
Elisha WOODWORTH Jr., born in 1781, was an early school teacher in Benton, married Sarah KELSEY in 1805, and settled on the Pre-emption road near Bellona. Their children are Harriet, Jane, Catharine and Ariel. Harriet is the wife of Edward PERRY of Middlesex. Jane married Rowland PERRY and emigrated to Grad Blanc, Michigan. Catharine married Mr. BATES of Middlesex and went to Grand Blanc. Ariel married a sister of Catharine’s husband (BATES) and also moved to Michigan.
Sarah WOODWORTH born in 1783, married Nathan P. COLE of Benton in 1808.
Abner WOODWORTH 2nd, born in 1785, married in 1816, Isabella BLACK of Seneca, and settled on the paternal homestead where they resided many years and finally moved to Penn Yan, where they died within a few weeks of each other in 1868, he at the age of 83 and she also quite aged. He was a genial, social and popular man, was a Justice of the Peace 24 years in Benton, County Clerk three year, elected in 1837 and candidate of the Whig party for Representative in Congress in 1842. In the war of 1812, he was captain of a company drafted from Benton, then embracing Milo and Torrey. In later life he was active in endeavoring to obtain from the State a proper remuneration for the soldiers of that war.
Ariel WOODWORTH, born in 1787, was a physician, and died single at Canandaigua in 1812.
Amy WOODWORTH, born in 1789, married Joseph WILLIAMS and settled at Sodus, NY, where she died in 1869, at the age of 80 years. They had three children, Susan A., Andrew C. Alexander B. and Charles O.
Anna WOODWORTH born in 1792 married John SHEARMAN of Penn Yan. Pamela, born in 1794, married John MEANS of Seneca and settled in that town. Their children are Elizabeth, Ada B. and Francis.
Hannah, daughter of Abner WOOLWORTH first married Gideon WOLCOTT Sr.
Dyer WOODWORTH was a blacksmith, and a man of general handicraft. He settled on lot 52, where Homer MARINER now resides. Their children were Mehitable, Hannah, Charity, Almira, Riley and Artemedorus. Mehitable married Amos, a son of Phliemon BALDWIN of Benton. Hannah married Phillip SHAY of Benton. Almira married Joseph SHAY, a brother of Phillip. Artemedorus married Polly STULL of Seneca. Riley married Keturah NEWKIRK of Seneca. They all emigrated about 1814 to the west fork of the Whitewater River in Indiana.
HTML by Dianne
These electronic pages may be printed as a link or for personal use, but is NOT to be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by ANY other organization or persons.
Copyright 2004 - 2008
[NY History and Genealogy] [ALHN]