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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MEEK, Charles, son of James and Mary A., (GILLHOFUN) MEEK, was born in Lodi, Seneca County, NY, June 23, 1809 and came with his parents to Milo, now Torrey, in 1810. He was reared a farmer and taught to work. He received a common school education and began life for himself about he age of twenty-one. He first purchased ten acres of land adjoining the homestead, paid for it, and soon after purchased 100 acres off his father’s farm. His father died about 1835 and he then bought the remainder of the homestead (fifty acres) of the heirs. He made this his home until 1856, when he purchased two other farms, and on them he erected a fine set of buildings, and removed to it. He still owns 300 acres of excellent land. In 1864 he removed to his elegant home in Dresden, and to secure an investment became the proprietor of a general store, which he conducted the ensuing six years. Mr. MEEK has been a busy man, and a man of sterling integrity, who by his financial ability has amassed a fine fortune. He has been a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for nearly three score years and has been for years its efficient trustee and steward. January 26, 1832, he married Diana TRAVIS of Milo. They had eight children. Those now living are George MEEK, a farmer in Milo; Susan E., (Mrs. D. C. DENNISTON), whose husband is a merchant in Dresden; Ann F. (Mrs. Perry DENNSITON), whose husband was late a merchant and farmer residing in Dreden; Mrs. Jennie M. JONES, who is residing with her father, and Theodore H. MEEK, a farmer living in Cayuga County, NY.
MITTOWER, John, came to Torrey from Maryland in 1801, settling in the north part of the town on the lake road. There he had a family of five children, three sons, Andrew John and Abram; and two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. Andrew moved to Ohio. John and Abram reside on the homestead. Abram married Catharine MERICAL, by whom he had seven children. He died August 8, 1846, and his wife of May 4, 1876. Three of the children are living, viz.: Mary A., wife of John BACHMAN, who resides in Michigan; Elizabeth, wife of William BROWN, who resides in Torrey; and George. The latter was born December 21, 1826 and married Sarah E. THOMPSON, by whom he had two children, Aaron G. and Alfred J., both of whom reside in Torrey. George MITTOWER has been a carpenter and joiner and held the office of constable three years. He has always resided in Torrey. John MITTOWER Jr., was drafted and went to Buffalo in 1812. John Sr., died in October 1817. Nancy MITTOWER, daughter of John, married Clinton KING and hand one child, Libbie, wife of Charles A. SMITH. Clinton KING died November 9, 1879. His wife died October 11, 1875. Charles A. SMITH, son of Albert L., was born April 10, 1856 and has been a resident of Torrey since 1863.
MITTOWER, Martin, son of Abram, was born in Torrey, and married Susan NORMAN. They had seven children. Mr. MITTOWER died in 1868 and his wife in 1874. five of the children are ling, the only one residing in Torrey being S. Dudley, who was born near the old homestead, July 16, 1848 and has always resided in Torrey. He married Irene C., daughter of Zera SWARTHOUT, by whom he has two children, Frank D. and F. Mary. He is a farmer and has fifty acres on Seneca Lake.
MITTOWER, Samuel, son of Abram, was born in 1828. He married Mary A. VANDEVENDER and had three children, Sarah and Ella (both deceased) and Harvey W., who resides on the homestead. The latter married Helena TANNER, and has two children, Wendell and Mary. He is a fruit grower. His father, Samuel, died in November 1880 and his mother in 1864.
NORMAN, Solomon born February 8, 1761 in Cleveland, Yorkshire, England, came to America in early manhood. He located first at Geneva, where he was engaged as overseer of a gang of slaves. In 1803 he purchased of William SPRING of Northumberland County, Pa., the Norman homestead at three dollars per acre, now owned by his grandson, Amos A. NORMAN. December 7, 1806, he married Susannah CHARLES, of Geneva. He was a gentleman of the old school, well educated, held town offices and the invention of the first grain drill is attributed to him. He remained on their farm until about 1840 when he went to Illinois, where he died May 1, 1846. Mrs. NORMAN died July 18, 1826. They were the parents of twelve children. His youngest child, Harvey W. NORMAN was born February 18, 1825 and succeeded his father on this homestead. He was prominent in the Presbyterian Church and an F. and A.M. He was a Republican holding the office of supervisor and other town offices. November 12, 1846, he married Nancy A. VAN DEVENTER, who was born September 9, 1825. He died July 21, 1879. Their children were: Minard A., born September 3, 1848, married Hattie M. HAZARD, of Torrey in 1867, was a farmer and mason and died May 9, 1883; and Amos A., born July 1, 1850. Amos A. NORMAN is a farmer and fruit grower on the homestead. He is a prominent Republican and has been honored with several town offices, including supervisor. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and ha been many years worshipful master of Seneca Lodge No. 308. He has been twice married: March 18, 1875, he married Olive A. BROWN, who died January 13, 1876. They had one child, deceased. February 6, 1878 he married Mary E. MARLOW, to whom four children have been born, viz.: Harry W., born April 11, 1880; Maud A. born September 28, 1881; William A., born December 31, 1882; and Stephen D., born September 2, 1884.
OLMSTEAD, George M., son of Francis, was born December 16, 1831, at Adams Basin, NY, in 1832. His father moved to Attica, NY, where he resided until 1852, when he moved to the town of Torrey and settled on the town line between that town and Benton, where he and his wife died in 1872. For of their eight children are living. Elizabeth J., (Mrs. Levi BLACK), George M., and Edward D, who reside in Penn Yan and Henry F., who resides in Evanston, Ill. George P., carried on farming until the death of the latter in 1872. The son now owns the homestead. He has never married.
PATTESON, William M., son of William and Jane (SHEPPARD) PATTESON, and grandson of Charles C. SHEPPARD, of Penn Yann, and Edward PATTESON of Philadelphia, was born in Galva, Henry County, Ill., April 7, 1863. He received his education at Phillips Academy and early engaged in agriculture and fruit growing. Mr. PATTESON married Cornelia S. FEHRMANN, of Plainfield, NJ, April 21, 1886. They have one daughter, Louise M., born July 30, 1887, and one son William SHEPPARD, born June 30, 1890.
PROSSER, John, son of David, and a native of Wales, immigrated to America when quite young. They settled first in New Jersey but finally came to Yates County. John married Permelia CONKLIN and settled in Dresden. He followed the trade of carpenter and joiner and died in 1834 leaving a widow and four sons. Mrs. PORSSER became the wife of John A. Mc LEAN and died at he age of seventy years. David PROSSER, oldest son of John, married and removed to Montana, where he now resides and has four sons and a daughter. Albert G., and Andrew J. (twins), sons of John PROSSER, born April 11, 1824 and are the only members of the family residing in Yates County. Albert G. PROSSER married Temma VANDEVENTER in October 1848. Mr. PROSSER is a dealer in coal, wood, lime and salt, and is also with S.D. Graves, proprietor of a vineyard. Mr. PROSSER is a highly respected citizen and has served his town as assessor and collector. He had an adopted daughter, the child of the deceased sister of Mrs. PROSSER, whom they took into their family at the age of eighteen months. She became the wife of Robert S. FRINK of Auburn and died June 1, 1890.
REMER, John S., son of Abraham V. was born in Torrey, September 26, 1836. He married Mary WOOLEVER, of Torrey, by whom he had two children, Hettie and Louie. His wife died in 1881 and he married second, Hattie, widow of Myndart NORMAN. Mr. REMER has been engaged in milling business since nineteen years of age and has been miller at Dresden Mills since 1866. He began his trade on March 31, 1856 in this mill with Amos C. LEACH.
REYNOLDS, William came to Yates County from Orange County, NY, some time before 1812. He was a blacksmith. In 1812 he enlisted in the army as a musician and died in the service. He married Mss SUTERHLAND, who was the mother of one son, Jesse, and a daughter, Polly. Jesse REYNOLDS, born about 1804, at an early age worked out on a farm. At he age of about twenty years he engaged with Judge Samuel S. ELLSWORTH in the distilling business, continuing in this occupation for some ten or twelve years, when he became a farmer. He married Cynthia CARROLL, of Dutchess County, and they have twelve children, eight of whom grew to maturity. Four are residing in Yates County. James F. REYNOLDS, born in Jerusalem, January 9, 1838, has spent a large part of his life in teaching. He is now a carpenter; has served as justice of the peace and at present holds the office of justice of sessions of Yates County Courts. January 30, 1862, he married Harriet P., daughter of Peter and Harriet AYERS, of Milo. They have had four children: George Fred, Nellie M., and Wlibert & Wilmer (twins).
SPEELMAN, David, a native of Maryland, came to the town of Seneca, Ontario County, NY in 1801, with his father, David. The next spring they purchased a farm in the town of Benton, and David Sr., died in 1803. His wife died in 1842. They had three sons and four daughters. David Jr., married Elizabeth MITTOWER, daughter of John MITTOWER and settled in Benton, remaining until 1836 when he sold his farm and bought the farm now owned by his son, Levi. He had three children, Nancy, Margaret and Levi. He was a farmer and after 1836 resided in Torrey. He died April 12, 1864, and his wife died November 30, 1857. David Jr. was born in 1781. He was drafted in June 1815 and went to Buffalo, remaining there several months. In 1827 he joined the Presbyterian Church and was an active member until his death. His wife joined at the same time.
SPEELMAN, Levi, son of David and Elizabeth SPEELMAN, was born in Benton, October 27, 1809 and has never been a resident outside of this county. In 1839 he was united in marriage with Mary FREEMAN, daughter of R. L. FREEMAN and since 1836 he has resided on the same farm. He had three children, Charles M., who resides in Penn Yan; Byron F., who died in 1879; and Mary E., wife of Avery C. DEAN, and resides in Torrey. Charles SPEELAMN married Deborah A., daughter of Daniel DEAN. Nancy SPEELMAN was fatally burned by falling into the fireplace ( it is supposed while fainting) and died January 24, 1826. Margaret married George GARNER and settled in Pultney, Steuben County, but later moved to Oakland County, Mich, where they now reside.
SMITH, John W. 2nd, born in Brighton, Sussex County, England, January 1, 1847, emigrated with his parents, George and Eliza SMITH to Canada where he resided until 1867, when he came to Torrey, this county. Mr. SMITH is a farmer, lumberman, manufacturer of drain tile and proprietor of a steam threshing machine. He is a Republican, is deservedly popular with both parties, and has served his town as supervisor for several years. April 13, 1881, he married Carrie M. BUCKLAND, of Dresden, and immediately settled in their present home with Mrs. SMITH’s father, William BUCKLAND. They have one surviving daughter, Annis.
SMITH, William J., son of Isaac and Nancy (STEVENSON) SMITH, was born at Salem, Washington County, NY in 1823. He married in 1843, Margaret VAN CLEEF, of Seneca Falls, where they settled and remained until 1861, when they removed to Dresden, Yates County, NY, where he still resides. Mr. SMITH was a miller by trade, but on coming to Dresden, he at once engaged in grape culture, and now has a fine vineyard of ten acres. His son, George C., of whom we write, was born at Seneca Falls, December 21, 1844, and came to Dresden with his father in 1861. February 10, 1863, he enlisted in Co. E. 192nd NY volunteers and at once went to the front with his regiment in the Army of the Potomac, and fought under Generals HANCOCK, MEAD and GRANT, participating in the battles of Antietam, Gettysburg, Winchester, the Wilderness, and many others. He escaped without eve a scratch and was honorably discharged at the end of the war in 1865. He then traveled through most of the Western States, and finally settled at Dixon, Lee County, Ill, in the fall of 1871. He then engaged in joiner work and May 11, 1872, he married Grace, daughter of H. C. DUDLEY, esq., and a lineal descendant of Sir Guilford DUDLEY, of English fame. He prosecuted his trade under the direction of Col. T. MORGAN, an unusually competent mechanic, and a large contractor and builder, until 1880. He then established a business of his own. In 1884 he returned to Dresden and bought a home on Seneca street adjoining his father, where he is successfully conducting his business of contractor and builder. Some of the finest new buildings in Dresden are samples of his skills and also several in Penn Yan. They have two sons and two daughters.
VERMILYEA, Isaac, was born in Jefferson, Schoharie County, NY, on May 7, 1816, a son of Benjamin and Chloe VERMILYEA. About 1818 his parents moved to Prattsburg, Steuben County, where Isaac resided until 1865. He then moved to Torrey, where he has since resided. He married Margaret SMITH of Wheeler, NY and they have one son, Herbert S., who is a farmer. Isaac VERMILYEA has been a farmer, but is now engaged in grape growing more especially, having seven acres devoted to this culture. He owns a farm of twenty-five acres. Both he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church of Penn Yan. He helped to organize the Dresden Grange, was a charter member and was master, one year. He joined the Baptist Church at Prattsburg over fifty-five years ago, and has been an active member ever since. He was justice of the peace in Prattsburgh eight years, and assessor six years. Isaac VERMILYEA died August 21, 1891.
YOUNGS, The Family – of America is of English origin and descended from Rev. John YOUNGS, who came from Suffolk, England and settled in Suffolk, Long Island about 1640. Benjamin F. YOUNGS, one of the eighth generation was born in 1790 on Long Island, on the old domain of his father (who owned a square mile), where he resided until 1850. He then removed to Yates County and became the proprietor of the Mosher mill about a mile east of Penn Yan. In 1863 he moved to Dresden, where he died in 1865. About 1816, he married Sarah WIGGINS, of his native county, and had seven children, two sons and five daughters. Their oldest son, Seth, was born May 13, 1833. He received a good common school education and is a skillful mechanic and a cabinet-maker, and now engaged in manufacturing artificial stone at Dresden. June 1, 1859 he married Arabella SPRAGUE, who died June 11, 1889. They had one son, Edward F. YOUNGS, who is station agent, telegraph operator and postmaster at West Camp, Ulster County, NY.
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