Town of Torrey Family Sketches
Yates Co., New York
From the "History of Yates Co., NY", by L.C. Aldrich, published 1892
Family Sketches for Town of Torrey
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Pg. 619 - 620
BIRKERT, Henry, son of Thomas, was born in Cumberland, England, June 10, 1827, where he spent the first twenty years of his life. His energy and activity impelled him to emigrate to America at that early age. December 21, 1859, he married Matilda, daughter of William DEISHER, of Waterloo, NY, and made his first permanent residence on a farm in the town of Torrey. He had previously owned a share in the flouring mills at Dresden. After three years experience at farming, which occupation was not congenial to this tastes, he sold the farm, and in company with his nephew, Nathaniel WILLIS, again purchased the flouring mills. After a short term of partnership he purchased Mr. WILLISís interest and conducted the business alone to the close of his life. He was also an extensive dealer in lumber. He conducted a large business in his mills, and a much larger business in grain. He was a quick and rapid thinker, and his judgment was seldom at fault. He was kind and courteous and in his large dealing he had an extensive acquaintance with leading business men, who counted his death as a public calamity. He suffered losses by fire and otherwise, but left his family a liberal competence. His name always headed the lists in the cause of charity and benevolence. He was in sympathy with the Episcopal church, and was an active an influential Free Mason. He died May 24, 1884. Mrs. & Mrs. BIRKETT had five children, who are now living and two (twins) who died in infancy. William M. BIRKETT, oldest son of Henry BIRKETT, was born in Dresden, June 11, 1861 and was educated in his fatherís business. At his fatherís death, he and his brother, Clarence T., conducted the business for the estate until 1886. Then these brothers conducted the business the ensuing year (1887), with the firm name of Henry Birkettís Sons. In the summer of 1887 the present firms of Birkett Bros. & Co. was organized. They are conducting a large milling business, are extensive dealers in grain, and also wholesale and retail dealers in lumber of all kinds. In connection with the flouring mills they have a large planning and lumber dressing mill. William M. BIRKETT is the only member of the firm who resides in Dresden, and the business is under his supervision. He is a man y of energy and a reliable citizen. November 26, 1884, he married Clara JESSUP, of Penn Yan, NY and owns a fine residence on Seneca street.
BOTSFORD, W.H., MD was born in Branchport, January 28, 1865. He began the study of medicine with Dr. J. C. WIGHTMAN, of Branchport, continuing with him one year. He then studied for two years in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and for two years in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, from which he graduated in 1887. He now enjoys a lucrative practice.
BROWN, James, a native of Scotland, emigrated to America with his parents in his boyhood. The family first settled in Livingston County. In 1803 or 1804, James purchased a farm in the town of Benton, built him a log cabin, and soon after married Mary BARNES, of Benton. He died on the place in 1818. The widow survived until 1845. They reared five sons and two daughters. Alexander, the youngest, succeeded his father on the homestead, married Elizabeth WILKIE, and died in 1859. His widow now resides in Geneva. John W. BROWN, born October 13, 1809, remained with his parents until he attained his majority. He was a natural mechanic and commenced his business life as a carpenter and builder. May of the fine residences in Benton and Torrey are specimens of his skill. He married Eliza A. MEEKER, of Benton, and resided near Bellona until 1878, when he removed to Michigan, where he died in 1888. His wife died January 1, 1858. They had nine children, four daughters and five sons. Only one of the five sons resides in Yates, William, born August 16, 1833. July 4, 1855, he married Elizabeth MITTOWER, and in January 1859, removed to the homestead of his wifeís father. Mr. BROWN is a Democrat and a worthy and reliable citizen. He is a member of Seneca Lodge No. 308, F. and A.M., and is now serving his eleventh year as Worthy Master.
BRUNDAGE, Dr. George W., was born September 15, 1822 at Lodi, Seneca County, NY, and studied medicine with Dr. Alfred SEARS, of Townsend. He graduated from the Geneva Medical College in 1846, and settled in Dresden in 1847, where he has practiced his profession ever since. He is a member of the Yates County Medical Society, also the Central New York Society. He has been a resident of Dresden for several years. He married Caroline L., daughter of William GOUNDRY, and they have one child, Caleb D., who is engaged in the mercantile business. Dr. BRUNDAGE joined the Presbyterian Church in 1851, of which church he has been an elder since 1854.
CLARK, James M., was born March 19, 1834 in Milo (now a part of Torrey), was reared a farmer and received a good education at Starkey Seminary. At the age of twenty-two he purchased the farm of 260 acres on which stood the log meeting-house of the Friends, erected in 1790. Here he resided twenty-one years. He also practiced land surveying. In 1878 he removed to Dresden, where he now resides, being engaged as carpenter and builder. His townsmen elected him supervisor of Torrey in 1872 and again in 1874. He has also served as justice of the peace. March 18, 184, he married Nancy A. SWARTHOUT, of Milo, and they have a son, A. J., born March 20, 1875, and a daughter, May born May 5, 1877.
DAINS, Cornelius A., son of Daniel W. and Nancy DAINS, was born in the town of Milo, July 1, 1856, received a common school education. In 1859 his parents removed to Dresden, where he has always resided. In 1875, when nineteen years of age, he was postmaster at Dresden, under Grantís administration, and held that office until December 1, 1885. He was re-appointed under President Harrison, June 12, 1889, which position he has held since. In 1886 he married Belle ALDEN of Wellsville, Allegany County, NY. He was town clerk of Torrey for nine years and has been in mercantile business since 1875. He has one child, Clement Alden, born April 9, 1887.
DAINS, George Y., son of Jesse, who came to this country with his father, Jesse, among the first settlers, from Connecticut. George Y. was born December 16, 1810 in the town of Milo, when it belonged to Ontario County. He has always been a resident of the county. In 1840 he married Eliza HEADLEY, daughter of Samuel, and settled in the town of Milo. They resided here until 1884, when they left the farm and moved to Dresden. Their four children were: Harriet E., Mary, Stephen C., and Theron S., all living. Mary, who resides in Ontario County, town of Gorham, is the wife of John W. WASHBURN. Harriet E., married Jerome PENNEY and resides in Reading, Schuyler County. Samuel HEADLEY, came to Mil from Morris county, NJ about 1821. He was a blacksmith and farmer and had a family of six children. The only child living, is Eliza, wife of George Y. DAINS, residing in Dresden. Mr. HEADLEY died in 1847 or 1848, aged eighty-four years. His wife died eighteen months previous and both were members of the Free Will Baptist Church.
Pg. 622 - 623
DENNISTON, Daniel, was born February 3, 1758 and died February 3, 1824, aged sixty-six years. Maj. Daniel DENNISTON served in the Revolutionary war as Major for seven years and died in New York City. He married Elizabeth KEINSTEAD, a Holland Dutch lady of rank, and a cousin to the Queen of Holland. The marriage certificate of Elizabeth KEINSTEAD, widow of Maj. Daniel DENNISTON, is in the war department at Washington. She was born May 14, 1767 and died May 8, 1861, aged ninety-four. She was the mother of fourteen children, of whom Mrs. Ellen BUSH of Geneva, was the youngest. All are now deceased. Edward, the eleventh child, was born on Long island in 1800. When fourteen years of age he came to Western New York, located near Geneva, and learned the carpenterís trade, which he pursued for a number of years. He then purchased a farm on City Hill where he resided until his death, June 18, 1875. About 1826 he married Mary, daughter of Nicholas JONES, of Benton, and they had eight children, seven of whom are living. The widow and mother still survives, aged eighty-five years, and resides with her youngest son, Johnson J. DENNISTON, in Penn Yan. Perry DENNISTON, the oldest son, born in Seneca, NY, September 15, 1831, was a successful farmer until he entered the mercantile business in Dresden, NY, in 1871, which he pursued until 1887. March 25, 1859, Mr. DENNISTON married Anna M. MEEK, daughter of Charles MEEK, of Dresden. They are members of the M. E. Church and are liberal contributors to its financial interests.
DENNISTON, Johnston J., son of Edward DENNISTON, was born in Torrey, July 12, 1845, spent his boyhood on his fatherís farm, and received a business education in Eastmanís College, at Poughkeepsie. In 1864, at the request of his parents, he took charge of his fatherís farm and at the latterís death in 1875, he purchased the homestead of the heirs. Mr. DENNISTON is a prominent man in town affairs. He held the position of supervisor in 1888 and again in 1889 and served as highway commissioner in 1886. He is a regular attendant at the Presbyterian Church, of which his wife is a member. December 12, 1875, he married Anna A. DUNLAP, of Victor, Ontario County, NY. They have two daughters, Maud D. and A. Lulu.
DOWNEY, Robert, came to Torrey in 1800 from Antrim, Pa, and settled on the farm now owned by his son, David. He married Rachel SUTHERLAND, and died October 27, 1832, aged sixty-eight years. His wife died December 13, 1832, aged fifty-six years. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters, viz.: William, David, Eleanor, Jane, Robert, John, Elizabeth and Mary. David DOWNEY, son of Robert, who is the sole survivor, was born March 10, 1803, and has always resided on the farm. He married Caroline NORMAN, and had four children, Robert N., William W., George S., and David Jr. William died in 1861. David has always been a farmer and held the office of assessor six years. His wife died January 19, 1870. Mr. DOWNEY is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, of which he has been a member for many years. David DOWNEY Jr., was born on the Downey farm, February 13, 1840, where he has always resided. He married Sarah A., WHEELER, daughter of Sumner WHEELER and has had seven children, five of whom survive. He is a farmer and a grape grower, of which he has four acres.
DOX, Abraham, born in Albany, NY, June 7, 1777, was reared a merchant. At the age of fourteen years he entered the store of Dudley WALSH, of Albany, and remained there until 1804, when he was entrusted with the management of a branch store in Geneva, NY. Soon after he bought the store of Mr. WALSH and conducted the business alone until 1824, when he removed to Benton, now a part of Torrey, and purchased a flouring mill, clothing mill and tannery. In 1826 his mills were burned and he have his attention to agricultural pursuits until his death in August 1862. He was a representative in the State legislature in 1812. The same year he organized and drilled a company of 100 men at his expense, took them to the front, and was obliged to leave them to attend the legislature. He was an old line Whig.
HAZARD, The Family Ė The HAZARD family of America is of Welsh origin and descended from Thomas HAZARD who emigrated from Wales in 1669 and settled in Rhode Island. Jonathan J. HAZARD Jr., who was the progenitor of the HAZARDS of Yates County, was the fifth generation from Thomas HAZARD. He served in the Revolutionary War and was taken prisoner by the enemy. He was a sea captain later in live and died on the ocean. His wife was Tacy BURDICK. His son, George V. HAZARD, married Marian, daughter of John, and a relative of Judge William POTTER. They settled on a farm on City Hill, about 1800, and were in the Friendís settlement. He eventually died at the age of sixty five years, at Dresden. His son, Jonathan, married Elouisetta F., daughter of Russel BROWN, a pioneer of Torrey. He was a farmer and met his death while bathing in the canal. Their children were George R., Adaline A., and Harriet M. George R. HAZARD, born June 18, 1841, married Gertrude TEFT, of Torrey, and is now the genial proprietor of Dresden Hotel, situated on the site of the first hotel erected in the village of Dresden.
HURLEY, Daniel B., was born in Reading, Schuyler County, NY, March 14, 1842. August 10, 1862, he enlisted in Co. A., 141st NY Infantry, and was honorably discharged as corporal June 24, 1865, at the close of the war. He was with General SHERMAN form Chattanooga to Savannah, and participated in over twenty engagements. He resides in a pleasant home in the village of Dresden, where he has lived for the past twenty-five years. January 10, 1866, he married Hannah PETRIE, of Dix, Schulyer County and they have one daughter, Carrie.
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