Yates County, New York
If you would like to submit a biography or Family tree to be posted to this site, please contact me. Owned, Transcribed and Contributed by Dianne Thomas.
Return to Home Page Return to Biography Index
A - C
John T. ANDREWS
from History of Yates Co., by L. C. Aldrich, Pub. 1892 Pg 501 - 503
Hon. J. T. In the
year 1812, on the day that war was declared by the United States against
England, Ichabod ANDREWS purchased of Phelps and Gorham, 200 acres of
land in the town of Reading, file miles south of Dundee.
In the spring of the following year, the Andrews family,
consisting of the parents, five sons and one daughter, removed from
Greene County to their new home. The
country at that time was almost unbroken wilderness.
Other families from the same locality, including a brother
(Amherst ANDREWS), soon settled in the same neighborhood, which was then
and is still known as the Andrews Settlement.
The genealogy of the ANDREWS family reaches back to the early
settlement of the country and numbers among its members such names as
Aaron BURR and Jonathan EDWARDS.
The family was from sturdy English stock. The mother’s family, the TUTTLES, was more in the clerical
line, and has among its members two bishops and several clergymen,
mostly Episcopalians. The
primitive ANDREWS house was a “double” log building, larger and
better than the houses of most of the settlers.
It was a pleasant place of resort for the neighborhood, and to it
all were welcome. The
nearest post office was at Havana, twelve miles distant.
The only newspaper taken in the settlement was The Catskill
Recorder, and Mr. ANDREWS was the only subscriber.
Every Saturday John was dispatched to the post office for the
mail; the distance traveled going and returning, twenty-four miles. Sunday afternoon the neighbors would congregate and the paper
would be read aloud, beginning at the title and ending at the last
advertisement. It was
during the time of the last War with England, and people were eager for
Tuttle ANDREWS was born in the county of Greene, NY, near Schoharie
Creek on the 29th day of May, 1803.
His early years were passed among the Catskill Mountains.
His early education was obtained in the district school.
He was fortunate later in having for his teacher Street
DAVENPORT, a whimsical old bachelor, though a thorough scholar and a
graduate from some eastern seminary.
Under his instruction, Mr. ANDREWS studied the higher branches.
In his early ears he was engaged
in teaching school and was clerk in a county store.
Later he was in the mercantile business with Hiram CHAPMAN as
partner, in Irelandville and Watkins.
The business was not a success, and in closing it, Mr. ANDREWS
was a heavy loser.
was married to Ann Eliza ANDREWS, April 12, 1832.
The union was a happy one and continued for forty-three years.
Mrs. ANDREWS died in the year 1875 on the anniversary day of her
marriage. One child was
born to them, that died in infancy.
ANDREWS’s political career commenced early in life.
His first office was justice of the peace, which office he held
until his election to the office of sheriff.
He was elected sheriff in 1835 and the following year,
Representative to the XXVth Congress.
Mr. ANDREWS was the youngest member of that body, and is now
the only one living.
lived several years in Bath, NY, where he made many friends, not one of
them now remaining. Among
those friends were John MAGEE, ex-Lietuenant-Governor Robert CAMPBELL,
Judge EDWARDS, General MARSHALL, Judge RUMSEY, and many others.
Mr. MAGEE was the first to propose his candidacy for
representative to Congress. The
preposition was a surprise to Mr. ANDREWS and he reluctantly accepted.
There was some dissatisfaction among the older members of the
party. They thought that
for so young a man he was unduly crowded to the front, that he could
afford to wait for political honors.
After he had secured the Congressional delegates, Mr. ANDREWS
handed to the editor of the Farmer’s Advocate, a note declining
the nomination. After consultation with Mr. MAGEE, Governor CAMPBELL and
others, a change was considered not advisable and Mr. ANDREWS was
nominated and elected. He
served two regular sessions and the memorable extra session called by
Mr. VAN BUREN. At that
time, John Quincy ADAMS was fighting for the right of petition and the
Senate was composed of such giants as WEBSTER, CLAY, CALHOUN, MC DUFFEE
came to Dundee somewhere in the “forties”.
He did not engage in any active business until 1866, when he
became a member of the firm of Martin Vosburgh & Co.,
In 1877 he retired from the firm, and since then has not engaged
in business, employing his leisure in caring for his personal estate,
and with his library, which is one of the most extensive in the county.
wonderful changes have occurred during this long life, “looking
backward” almost to a former century!
The forests have disappeared, generation after generation has
been born, has lived and passed away.
State after State has been added to the Republic.
The map of the world has been changed.
At the date of Mr. ANDREWS’ birth, Fulton had just perfected a
steamboat that would make the magnificent record of four miles an hour.
Ocean navigation by steam was not considered possible.
Of the present great railroad system there was nothing.
Not a railroad, or telegraph, or telephone, or an express company
on the earth. What of the
next century? Few of us
will see it, but we can speculate and the speculation is bewildering.
Peter H. BITLEY
from History of Yates Co., by L. C. Aldrich, Pub. 1892 Pg. 519 - 520
Hon Ezekiel, the son of John and Lydia (RHODES) CASNER, was born in
Norristown, Pa., April 23, 1802. His
father dying when Mr. CASNER was quite young, he was only able to obtain
the advantages of a common school education.
He was appreciated to learn the trade of miller, and when hardly
in his majority he engaged in the milling business in Allentown, Pa.,
which place he left in 1824 and came to Penn Yan, which thereafter he
made his future home. He
first obtained employment of Abraham WAGENER who ran a flouring mill
where the present one is located in Penn Yan.
In company with Hon. Aaron REMER, he purchased the mill and the
firm continued until 1843 when it was dissolved by the death of Mr.
REMER. During the same
year, Mr. CASNER formed a partnership with John C. SCHEETZ, under the
firm name of Casner & Scheetz.
This firm continued business until the death of the senior
partner; and during a partnership of most forty years the most pleasant
relations existed, which speaks well for their enterprise and mutual
confidence. In politics Mr.
CASNER was originally a Whig; he was elected a member of the Assembly in
1844; he was appointed by President FILLMORE to fill the unexpired term
of Mr. James ROBINSON as postmaster of Penn Yan, and during the seven
months he filled that position he gave the income of the office to his
assistants. Upon the disruption of the Whig party he became a Democrat,
with which party he thereafter affiliated, taking an active part, and
persistently refusing any political honors, though often solicited to do
CASNER was a man of sincere convictions, and free and frank in the
utterance of his views. He
was in no mean sense a wit and as such was a character in his
originality. When in his neighborly way he did talk it was to the point
and the hits were worth considering and remembering.
He was industrious, economical and exemplary in his daily
unostentatious life. Commencing
business in Penn Yan with no advantages and among strangers, he early
attracted the men of prominence in the community by his self-reliance,
merit and worth, and always enjoyed their confidence. He
married before coming to Penn Yan, Miss Elizabeth KACHLINE. They had a family of nine children, and though six of them
arrived at the age of maturity, none are now living. The six mentioned above were Joanna, who married Henry L.
KENDIG; Frank, Lydia, Margaret Prior, who married Hon. George H. LAPHAM;
Samuel, and Albanus C. Mrs.
CASNER died May 26, 1846 and on June 17, 1852, Mr. CASNER married
Elizabeth J., daughter of Dr. E. E. W. GALE, of Albany, NY, who survives
him and resides on the CASNER homestead in Penn Yan.
The issue of this marriage was Elizabeth A., who married Dr.
Byron HB. HARCAS, at Penn Yan, and died at Rushville, NY.
Mr. CASNER died October 22, 1882, and the universal testimony and
appreciation of the poor to his goodness of heart and sympathizing
disposition are sufficient evidences of the love he bore his neighbors,
however lowly. His
benevolence was a marked trait of his character.
He was successful in accumulating a comfortable competency,
which, after providing liberally for his widow, was equally distributed
amongst his surviving heirs. Besides being engaged in the milling business, Mr. CASNER was
connected with other mercantile enterprises.
He was from its organization in 1873 until his death a director
of the First National Bank of Penn Yan, and on financial and other
matters his approval was often sought by the general public. He was very outspoken, direct and practical and rarely erred
in judgment of men and things.
George Rathbun CORNWELL
from History of Yates Co., by L. C. Aldrich, Pub. 1892 Pg 490
George Rathbun, was born in the village of Penn Yan, on the same premises
on which he now resides on the 24th day of February in the year
1836. He was the son of Dr.
William and Sarah (CHIDSEY) CORNWELL, and the 8th of their nine
children. His father was born
in Delaware County in 1787 and settled in Yates as early as 1809.
He taught school for a time, but soon became a medical
practitioner, and was in the service as “surgeon’s mate” during the
War of 1812 – 15. After his
return the hardships of extensive riding that fell to the lot of every
early physician, induced failing health, and obliged him to leave the
practice of his chosen profession. Thereafter
he was admitted to the bar ad took to the practice of the law.
In 1822 Dr. CORNWELL represented Ontario County in the Assembly,
and was one of the important factors in bringing about the erection of
Yates County in 1823. He was
considered a man of ability and learning, and was honored and esteemed by
(CHIDSEY) CORWELL was the daughter of Maj. Augustus CHIDSEY, a former
resident of Cayuga County, but later a highly respected citizen of the
town of Milo. Her mother’s
maiden name was Anna RATHBUN, a relative of the late Hon. George RATHBUN
of Cayuga County. She was a
woman of uncommon endurance and industry; kind and considerate in her
intercourse with others, and faithful to her family to the last degree.
She was also one of the thirty-six persons who formed the First
Presbyterian Church of Penn Yan, organized in 1822, and was the last
surviving original member at the time of her death in 1888.
our subject was not quite ten years old his father died, leaving to the
mother the care and education of a large family of children.
George attended the public schools of the village, a part of the
time at the select academic institution conducted by Professor MURRAY.
At the age of seventeen, George commenced work as a clerk in the
bookstore of Burns & Miller, of Penn Yan, and continued at that
employment though through several changes in partnership, from 1853 to
1858, when in October of the year last mentioned, he purchased the stock
of L. & S. Denton, booksellers and stationers doing business on Main
street, next south of the present First National Bank.
1864 Mr. CORNWELL moved to his present location on the east side of Main
street, where he has without intermission conducted business to the
present time. In October
1872, he purchased the block of three stores since known as
“Cornwall’s Opera House Block.”
the time of starting out to make his own way in business life, Mr.
CORNWELL had little or no capital except his own determination and energy. But what to him was of equal value, he possessed the
confidence and respect of the best men of the village.
R. CORNWELL has been known in business circles in Penn Yan for a period of
more than thirty years, and in that time he has made an acquaintance
throughout the whole of Yates County, and even beyond it, and he has ever
been know as a straightforward, reliable and successful business man.
Not only is he a man of undoubted worth and integrity of character,
but as well a man of rare business ability, tact, and judgment.
He is what has been aptly termed a “detail man”, and would have
made a success in any business calling, but his constant familiarity with
books, coupled with his naturally studious mind, has peculiarly fitted him
for his present occupation, and as well stamped him as a man of superior
culture. Naturally enough
such a man, with so extended an acquaintance, and having at heart every
interest that might tend to promote the welfare of the county or of his
village, could not well avoid being drawn somewhat into the field of
politics. He is a Republican,
and one of the leaders of his party in the county and the congressional
district. While he has not
made oratory a study, and lays no claim to ability as a public speaker,
his services upon the stump have been required by his fellow workers in
every important campaign during the last twenty or more years.
In presenting the issues in any canvass, Mr. CORNWELL speaks with
force and directly to the point. He
addresses himself to the understanding of his hearers rather than
appealing to their passions, and approaches the subject in hand with
dignity, self-possession and in the light of reason and common sense.
Since attaining his majority he has taken an interest in politics,
but as a factor therein he has been especially prominent for the last
score of years. Still,
however much he may have indulged in this direction, the end sought to be
accomplished has been more for the benefit of his friends than himself.
matters pertaining to education, Mr. CORNWALL has felt a deep interest.
Especially is this true respecting the public schools of Penn Yan.
In 1872 he was elected a member of the Board of education for the
village of Penn Yan Union School district, a position he has held for that
until the present time. On
January 1, 1891, he was elected president of the board, and was re-elected
for 1892. That Mr. CORNWELL is familiar with the schools, academics and
other institutions of learning in this county is fully evidenced in the
fact that the chapter on education in this work is from his pen.
R. CORNWALL represented Yates County in the Assembly during the
legislative sessions of 1887 and 1888.
He were there honored by positions on the Ways and Means, Internal
Affairs, Claims, Public Education, and Manufacture of Salt Committees,
four of them the most important committees of the House.
In 1882, -83 and –84, Mr. CORNWELL was chairman of the Yates
County Republican Convention that placed in nomination James G. BLAINE for
the presidency of the United States.
The same fall, and again in 1888, he received the delegates from
Yates for the nomination of representative in Congress from this district.
the 11th of November 1863, George R. CORNWELL was married to
Catharine E., the daughter of Dr. James HERMANS, then of Penn Yan, but
formerly of Potter.
children of George R. and Catharine E., CORNWELL are William S., Mary E.,
James H. (married Maud E. WHITAKER), France E., wife of Remsen M. KINNE,
Catharine E., George R. Jr., Sarah H., Hermans Hart (who died in infancy)
and Henry B. All of these
children who have attained their majority have received a thorough
education. William S., the eldest, is county clerk of Yates County,
James H., the second son, remaining with his father in business.
CORNWELL is still in the prime of life – the measure of success achieved
by him has been wrought by well-directed thought and action.
His family is his greatest ornament, and with that his is content.
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]