Town of Starkey FamilySketches

Yates Co., New York


From the "History of Yates Co., NY",  byL.C. Aldrich,published 1892   

FamilySketches for Town of Starkey


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Pg. 570 

ANDREWS,John T., a son of Ichabod and Lola T. ANDREWS, is a native of Green County, NY,born May 29, 1803.  He was reared ona farm, received a business education in the common schools of the old town ofReading.  In 1828 he engaged in themercantile business, at Reading, continuing until 1832, when he was electedsheriff of this county in which capacity he served three years. In 1835 he was elected a member of Congress, serving one term withdistinction and honor.  At the closeof his Congressional term, he again turned his attention to the mercantilebusiness, forming a partnership with Martin & Vosberg at Dundee. They carried on a successful business for several years. Mr. ANDREWS married in Steuben County, Miss Ann Eliza ANDREWS, daughterof Amherst ANDREWS, in 1831.  Onedaughter was born to this union, who died in infancy. Mrs. ANDREWS died in 1877.  Mr.ANDREWS is one of Dundee�s most prominent and enterprising citizens. 


ARCHER,James M., born in Bradford, England, June 27, 1836, came to America ion 1842,with his parents, Thomas and Sarah, who settled in Starkey, where they resideduntil their deaths.  James M. waseducated at the Starkey Seminary, and in 1860 married Mary HATHAWAY. Their only child, Fred, born July 23, 1862, married Florence ALLEN of NewYork City, where he resides, being in the employ of the United States ExpressCompany.  James M., in 1857 enteredthe store of C.W. BARNES of Rock Stream, as clerk, remained until 1862, when heenlisted in the 14th New York Heavy Artillery, and was sergeant,quarter-master sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant, and was musteredout as adjutant at the close of the war.  Returningto Rock Stream he entered the store of his old employer as clerk, remainingthere until 1876.  He then engagedas traveling salesman for four years, then opened a store at Rock Stream, wherehe now resides.  He was electedjustice of the peace in 1889.  He isa Republican, and takes an active interest in political affairs.


BARNES,Charles W., an extensive business man, and a highly respected citizen, was bornJanuary 1, 1823, and died in Rock Stream within a quarter of a mile of the placeof his birth, on February 5, 1884.  Hisfather, Enos, was born in Litchfield, Conn., and his mother in Lansingburg, NY. At the age of sixteen, Enos BARNES went to Lunenburg, Va., where heremained eight years, studying medicine and commencing practice as a physician. He served as a surgeon in the War of 1812, and afterward returned to thenorth.  June 22, 1814, he marriedMiss Rebecca WICKS.  They came fromHyde Park to what is now Rock Stream, in 1815, the first of the following eightchildren having been born previous to their removal: Dr. Harry R. BARNES, ofRock Stream; Woodruff L., who died in Brooklyn; Morris T., who died in Watkins,and whose two daughters, Mrs. A. C. PIKE and Mrs. R. H. CANFIELD, and theirmother, Mrs. M.S. PHINNEY, now reside in Corning, NY; Delia M., who married Dr.J. S. STEVENS of Penn Yan, and Charles W.; Edmund F., who died at Folly Island,S.C. during the rebellion; Emma H., who became the wife of Julius BANCROFT anddied in New Madrid, Mo.; and Hattie N., wife of Mr. Otis WHITNEY, of Oswego,Kan.  Dr. Enos BARNES was twicemarried, and two children were born of the second union, Enos W. BARNES, editorof the Allegany county �Reporter�, who died at Wellsville, NY in 1888, andRebecca, wife of Rev. J. T. OTIS, of La Preston, Dak. Charles W. BARNES, after attending the Penn Yan Academy, at the age offifteen became a clerk in the store then kept by Alonzo SIMMONS at Rock Stream. He remained there two years and then entered the employ of L.G. TOWNSEND,at what was then called Big Stream Point, now called Glenora, where he remaineduntil going into business for himself, which was nine months previous to hisattaining his majority.  April 18,1853, he married Mary S., daughter of Alonzo SIMMONS. Two children were born to them: Delia M., wife of John D. GOUNDREY, andAlonzo S.  Mr. BARNES was a memberof the Masonic order, but not of any religious society. He gave freely for charitable purposes and for years gave liberally tothe Presbyterian Church of Rock Stream.  Attwo periods of his life partners were associated with him in business, Mr. SHARPfor a term of years, and subsequently his brother in law, George SIMMONS. During his long and prosperous business career his dealing were everhonorable and his relations with acquaintances were such that only death couldsunder the bonds of friendship formed.  AlonzoS. BARNES was born October 22, 1860, and educated at Starkey Seminary and CookAcademy, and in 1888 married Erma L. MILES. He succeeded his father in the mercantile business at Rock Stream.


BASKIN,Lyman J., farmer and attorney at law, is a native of Yates county, born June 16,1853.  HI is a son of William R.BASKIN, and grandson of William BASKIN, who settled here at a very early day. The latter was born about 1777 and died January 7, 1866. The father of Lyman J., was born February 14, 1817, a farmer and stockdealer.  He married Eliza A. GRAVES,a native of Ireland, by whom he had six children, five surviving in order ofbirth, Lyman J., Herman C., Estella A., Winifred E. and Mabel A., all of whomreceived their education at Starkey Seminary. The mother was a very earnest churchwoman. The children are all Episcopalians, as also is the family of Lyman J.  In 1872-73-74, the latter having read law with Hart & Tomlinson,attorneys at law at Elmira, for one year attended the law department of MichiganUniversity, Ann Arbor, Mich., receiving the degree of LL.B. in 1874. He located at Jackson, Mich., where he had a large and paying practice,while there.  In 1876 he was electedcourt Commissioner of Jackson County on the Democratic ticket, by about 1,000majority, the highest vote accorded to any Democrat on the ticket, in thatusually Republican county.  June 7,1877, his father, William R. BASKIN, died, and the subject of this sketchreturned to his old home in Yates County, resigning the office of courtcommissioner to which he had been previously elected, not having served out theofficial term.  Since that time, Mr.BASKINS has traveled through the greater portion of the west, and has beenengaged in speculations in the west, where he now has investments. He has also practiced law more or less in Yates and Schuyler Counties,and is particularly interested in grape growing, giving it his personalattention.  His law and businessoffice is at Watkins, NY, where he also has valuable real estate interests. In June, 1878, he married Miss Ella INGALLS, of Watkins, NY, by whom hehas one daughter, born November 18, 1879.  Theold homestead, comprising 200 acres, one-half mile north of Starkey Station, isoperated by Lyman J. BASKIN, his brother and sisters, who, excepting the elder,are also engaged in breeding standard bred trotters in connection with farmingand grape growing.  Lyman J., is inpolitics a zealous, though conservative Democrat; a man of positive and strongconvictions, and a Knight of Pythias.


BELLIS,Captain Joseph, a native of Pennsylvania, came to Barrington about 1816, and wasa captain in the War of 1812.  Hewas a cooper by trade and carried on the business for many years, at Barringtonand Eddytown.  He married Sarah FOX,of Easton, Pa., and they had seven children, three of whom survive, Charles, whoresides in Starkey; J. Lewis, who resides at Berlin, Wisc., and George F., whowas born at Barrington, April 21. 1829.  Hemarried Mary J. YOUNG of Central Square, Oswego Co., NY, a direct descendant ofCharles PELTON of Ithaca, NY.  Theyhave three children, Louille, Mark G., and Newman. In 1871 he settled in Warsaw, Wis., he is owner and builder of threeblocks there, besides two hotels, of which he is also the proprietor, TheArlington and Hotel Bellis.


BENEDICT,Jewett, a farmer and fruit grower of Starkey, and a native of Steuben county,NY., born June 19, 1843, is a son of Lewis and Catherine (HENDRICS) Benedict,both natives of Sullivan County, NY.  Thefather was born 1805.  Of their ninechildren, four survive: Mary J., wife of Harrison HORTON; Harriet M., widow ofMarcus J. HILTON, of Bradford County, Pa; Delia M., wife of J. M. SHOEMAKER. The father learned the blacksmith trade and followed the same for thirtyyears, after which he engaged in farming and stock raising. He died in 1878.  the mothermakes her home with her son, Jewett, and is eighty-six years of age. Jewett BENEDICT was educated a the Dundee Academy. In 1851 he came with his parents to the farm where he now lives. In 1862 he joined the Union army, enlisting in the 126th NYInfantry, serving but a short time, when he was discharged for disability.  In 1863 he was drafted, re-enlisted and served until theclose of the war in 1865.  November13, of the same year, he married Julia E. ROGERS, a native of Illinois, bornJuly 12, 1844.  Her father built thefirst steam saw-mill in Chicago, Ill, and made the first set of chairsmanufactured there.  Mr. And Mrs.BENEDICT have three children, Lewis H., Millie M. and Fernwood. In 1855 he formed a partnership in the grocery business with his brotherWesley, at Dundee, where he continued until the fall of 1862 when he sold outbefore entering the army.  After thewar he engaged in farming until 1867, when he moved to Caldwell County, Mo.,remaining until 1870, when he returned to New York to his old home and commencedfruit farming. 


Pg. 490


BITLEY, Peter H., of Jerusalem, NY, was born at Moreau, Saratoga Co., NY, in 1801, and was the son of Henry and Elizabeth (DONALDSON) BITLEY.  His ancestors on the paternal side were from Germany, and on the maternal, they were of Irish and Holland extraction.  His parents were natives of Moreau, NY.  Mr. BITLEY came to Yates County in 1833, being in the employ of Paddock & Nichols, who were lumber merchants of Yonkers, NY.  He commenced furnishing square timber and spars by contract and delivering same at his employer�s dock at Yonkers.  In 1843 he commenced operations for himself, buying timber in Yates and Steuben Counties and other localities and shipping to eastern markets by way of the Erie Canal.  His shipments amounted to as high as 300,000 cubic feet in a single year, and average, till 1867, when he retired from the lumbering business, 250,000 cubic feet.  After 1867 he devoted himself largely to the management of his farming lands.  He became a resident of Branchport soon after that place was founded and where he accumulated a large fortune and was one of its most valued and worthy citizens.  Mr. BITLEY was a man of large and generous heart, and was noted for his benevolence.  He was for many years closely identified with the interests of the Universalists denomination, and mainly through his efforts a church was erected and sustained in the village of Branchport.  He gave largely of his means for general religious purposes and was always a steadfast friend to the poor and needy.   

Mr. BITLEY married in 1839, Mary J., daughter of Benjamin LAIRD.  They had one daughter, Mary E., who married in 1868, Rev. Henry B. HOWELL.  Mrs. HOWELL�s death occurred in 1876.  There comes a time when all useful and well-regulated lives must close their earthly career.  Mr. BITLEY passed away August 12, 1888.  His widow still resides at Branchport, lending a helping hand to all those in need of assistance, and enjoying the love and respect of all who know her.  


Pg 496-498

 Hon. William S. BRIGGS -  The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Milo on the 30th day of October 1820, and has lived continuously in the same town from his birth, being one of the best known and distinguished citizens of the county.  His parents were David and Anna BRIGGS, old and respected residents of the county, whom to know was to love. 

Judge BRIGGS entered upon school teaching at an early age of seventeen years, and continued in that work for about four years, during alternate terms of which period he attended schools as a student in Lyons in this State. 

In the spring of the year 1840 he took up the study of the law in Penn Yan in the office of the late David B. PROSSER, with whom he continued until the year 1844, when he commenced the active practice of his profession with the late Hon. Abraham V. HARPENDING, although he was not admitted to the profession until January 1845.  In the fall of the year 1846, the law firm of Harpending & Briggs terminated because of the failing health of the latter, which caused him to engage in agricultural pursuits for three years. 

In October 1849, the co-partnership law firm of Prosser & Briggs was formed, Judge BRIGGS having regained his health and sold his farm.  At the general election in the year 1855, Judge BRIGGS was elected County Judge and Surrogate of Yates County, and was continued in that office by virtue of three additional elections thereto.  In 1871, he declined a proffered fifth election, preferring to again resume his place at the bar. 

Judge BRIGGS and John T. KNOX, who had read law in his office, commenced doing a general law business on the first day of January  1872, under the firm name of Briggs and Knox.  This co-partnership continued for six years, and proved to be both pleasant and profitable alike to both members, and the firm arose to the first rank in the law business of the county. 

But the people demanded that Judge BRIGGS should again be their servant in the office of County Judge and Surrogate.  It therefore, so happened that Judge BRIGGS was again nominated to fill that office in the fall of the year 1877, and his partner was at the same time placed in nomination for District Attorney. 

The election of either followed almost as matter of course, and so Judge BRIGGS served a term of six years in that office, the official term having been lengthened since he occupied the office before.  At the first of January 1884, the firm of Brings & Baker came into existence, the junior member being Charles S. BAKER, and continued until Mr. BAKER�s death, March 27, 1891.  After the death of Mr. BAKER, a partnership was formed by Judge BRIGGS and Judge Martin J. SUNDERLIN,  which still exists under the name of Briggs & Sunderlin.   

Judge BRIGGS was called upon to fill several important offices.  He was clerk of the village for several years, a trustee of the village, clerk of the board of supervisors of the county from 1852-56, a member of the board of education of Penn Yan Union School district for may years, and vice present of the First National Bank of Penn Yan from the time of its organization in April 1873 until the fall of 1885. 

Judge BRIGGS has been three times married.  In 1843 he married Elizabeth S. DORMAN, a daughter of the late Joel DORMAN.  This estimable lady died in the month of May 1877.  By this marriage, four children survive: Mrs. Wilson W. QUACKENBUSH, Mrs. Charles H. ROSS, Mrs. George R. WHEELER and William S. BRIGGS Jr.  The second marriage was in April 1883 with Adelaide L. POST, widow of the late John POST of Geneva, NY.  This lady died very suddenly on the 19th day of May 1888.  The third marriage occurred in the city of Chicago in October 1889 with Joanna M. OLIVER, widow of the late Gen. John M. OLIVER.  The parties to this union now have one of the happy homes of Penn Yan. 

Judge BRIGGS is easily one of the first in the profession of law in Yates or neighboring counties of the State.  He possesses a sound, reasoning, judicial mind.  The ability to weigh legal questions is possessed by him in a pre-eminent degree.  Well grounded in the principals of the common law, equity has become his strong point in the practice.  His deep research and strict application to the dues of the judicial offices he has filled have tended to make him a sound and safe adviser and counselor.  In all th4se points his ability and penetrating knowledge have become so well known that he has enjoyed the rare distinction of being a chosen referee by the members of his profession in an exceedingly large number of important litigated cases in Yates and surrounding counties. 

As a neighbor and friend he has the admiration of all him acquaintances.  Clever, kind, tender, all appreciate and love him.  He is ever ready to aid the young, while those of his years have his full confidence.  As was pronounced of Brutus, so may be truthfully said of Judge BRIGGS:  �His life was gentle; and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world, �This was a man� .�  


BUNCE,Loomis, was born in Massachusetts in 1840, and when nineteen years of age camewith his father and settled in Barrington, Conn. His father, Peter BUNCE, was a farmer, and had eleven children. Loomis was a millwright by trade, and in company with John SPICER carriedon that business, building many mills in this and adjacent counties, alsocarrying on framing extensively.  Hemarried Mary, daughter of William HOLMES, of Steuben County, NY, by whom he hadtwo children, Melvin N., who was killed at the battle of Gettysburg in 1863, andEliza, wife of Hon. Geo. P. LORD, who resides in Dundee. Loomis BUNCE died in March 1878.  Hewas twice married, his first wife dying in 1867, and his second wife, Eunice C.OLNEY, widow of Rev. D. B. OLNEY, in 1880. 



CONKLIN,Thomas J., one of the wealthiest farmers of Starkey, and a native of YatesCounty, was born in Barrington, February 20, 1826; a son of Samuel and Esther (FERRIER)CONKLIN.  The parents settled inthis county in 1823 and had six children, three surviving; Mary A., wife of JohnH. SHANNON; Sarah, wife of William T. BEAUMONT; and Thomas J. The parents were members of the Baptist Church of Himrods. The father, who was a stone mason in early life, afterwards a farmer,died in 1868. aged sixty-eight.  Themother died in 1890, aged ninety-two.  ThomasJ. married in Starkey, April 17, 1853, Mary A., daughter of Martha TITSWORTH, bywhom he had one daughter, Charity, born July 22, 1855. she married December 21, 1876, B. F. ALLEN, a native of Buffalo, son ofRalph and Sephronia (JENNEY) ALLEN.  Hewas born March 9, 1848.  Mr. ALLENis largely engaged in the oil and lumber business in Pennsylvania. Mr. CONKLIN is one of the prominent farmers of Yates County, and owns 320acres of land adjoining Dundee.  Mr.And Mrs. CONKLIN make their home with their daughter, Mrs. ALLEN.

Pg. 575 

COOK,Samuel, proprietor of the European Hotel at Dundee, is a native of Yates County,born June 16, 1851, son of James and Betsey (KINNEY) COOK.  He received a common business education at the Dundeedistrict school.  In 1875 he learnedthe miller�s trade, with John RICHARDSON, of Dundee, worked at his trade until1888, after which he was clerk at the Wilson Hotel, of Dundee, until 1890, whenhe opened a hotel of his own.  Hehas conducted a nice and neat little house, and received his share of the trade.  Mr. COOK married on June 16, 1875, Emma A. BURNS, a native ofDundee, born May 5, 1853, and daughter of Thomas and Sarah (WILSON) BURNS.

Pg. 575 

CURTIS,Thomas R., son of Roswell and Jerusha CURTIS, who were born respectively August1, 1795 and November 3, 1794, were married October 13, 1816.  To their union, eight children were born; Thomas B.; Charles,a resident of Howell, Mich.; Lester, of Prairie, Ark.; Samuel, living inIllinois; Isabella, wife of J.J. HOOPER (deceased); Esther, wife of Dr. E.MOSIER, of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Caroline M. (deceased), wife of John T. Williams. Agar, the grandfather of Thomas B., moved to New York in 1796 with ox team and cart, the wheels of which, with anancient clock, are now in the possession of Damon, a nephew of Roswell CURTIS,of Exeter.  He also owns the farmthat belonged to his grandfather.   Roswell,father of Thomas, learned the carpenter and joiner�s trade, which he followedduring the early part of his life, afterwards, turning his attention to farming. He died October 29, 1869, his wife died July 24, 1869. Thomas B. CURTIS was born on the farm where he now lives, July 28, 1817,and married September 10, 1842, Alvira, daughter of William B. and Martha(WILSON) BRIGGS.  She was born April7, 1820.  Two children have beenborn to them. Lydia, wife of J. E. TENO; Frances, wife of Byron H. DISBROW. Mr. CURTIS has served three terms as justice of the peace of this town;two terms as master of service, and several years as master of the poor.  Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church atStarkey.

Pg. 576 

ELLIOTT,Edwin L., of Starkey, a fruit grower and nurseryman was born in Auburn, February22, 1855, a son of Smith D. and Clarinda (LEAVENWORTH) ELLIOTT. The father followed the machinist�s trade in early life, but for thepast thirty years has been a farmer, being now in his seventy sixth year, andhis wife in her seventieth.   They make their home with their son Hiram. Edwin L. married August 20, 1890, Abbie, daughter of John and Catherine (MARONEY)FORDHAM.  She was born November 16, 1869 in Schuyler County, NY, and isa member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. ELLIOTT owns a farm of forty two acres with thirty acres of fruit. He shipped 1,000 bushels of peaches this year, one and one half tons ofgrapes, 1,500 pounds of raspberries, and forty baskets of currants.

Pg. 576 

ELLIOTT,Hiram, a fruit grower of Starkey, born September 19, 1857, in Yates County, is ason of Smith D. and Clarinda (LEAVENWORTH) ELLIOTT. (See sketch of parents elsewhere).  Heowns a farm of sixty three acres with seven acres of peach orchard, sixteenacres of vineyard, eleven acres of raspberries, one of plums and pears. His farm produced this year $2,440 worth of fruit and $470 worth of hay,grain, etc.  During the six yearsthat he has been the owner of this place he has made many improvements, the lastof which was the erection of a fine, large grape-packing house at his vineyard.

Pg. 576 

FRENCH,Benjamin of Eddytown, this county is a farmer, residing on the farm of his greatgrandfather, David, who was born in New Jersey, February 6, 1747. His wife, Sarah WILCOX, of New Jersey, was born October 8, 1755. David FRENCH settled on this farm about 1794.  Benjamin, son of David, was born November 7, 1776, andreceived title of his farm June 8, 1803.  Hemarried Mary CONKLIN.  He died onhis farm November 7, 1808 and his wife February 9, 1811.  They had two sons, David, who died in infancy, and Levi, bornJanuary 17, 1805.  The lattermarried, in this county, December 17, 1826, Elizabeth SCHENCK. He died November 26, 1868, and his wife March 5, 1879. Levi FRENCH, was the first to set grapes in Yates County, on his farm onthe west bank of Seneca Lake.  Hewas noted for his interest in fruit growing. Benjamin FRENCH, son of Levi, was born January 22, 1830, and married atFramingham, Mass., August 6, 1860, to Catherine H. GALLAGHER. They have three children, Eliza H., Hattie B., wife of M. WILSON ofWashington DC and Grace.  Mr. FRENCHhas been trustee of Starkey Seminary for the past twenty years. The family are members of the Presbyterian Church of Dundee.


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