Town of Torrey FamilySketches
Yates Co., New York
From the "History of Yates Co., NY", byL.C. Aldrich,published 1892
FamilySketches 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 heage of twenty-one. He firstpurchased ten acres of land adjoining the homestead, paid for it, and soon afterpurchased 100 acres off his father’s farm. His father died about 1835 and he then bought the remainder of thehomestead (fifty acres) of the heirs. Hemade this his home until 1856, when he purchased two other farms, and on them heerected 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 tosecure an investment became the proprietor of a general store, which heconducted the ensuing six years. Mr.MEEK has been a busy man, and a man of sterling integrity, who by his financialability has amassed a fine fortune. Hehas been a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for nearly threescore years and has been for years its efficient trustee and steward. January 26, 1832, he married Diana TRAVIS of Milo. They had eight children. Thosenow 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), whosehusband 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 CayugaCounty, NY.
MITTOWER, John,came to Torrey from Maryland in 1801, settling in the north part of the town onthe lake road. There he had afamily of five children, three sons, Andrew John and Abram; and two daughters,Elizabeth and Margaret. Andrewmoved to Ohio. John and Abramreside on the homestead. Abrammarried 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 bornDecember 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 ofconstable 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. NancyMITTOWER, daughter of John, married Clinton KING and hand one child, Libbie,wife of Charles A. SMITH. ClintonKING died November 9, 1879. Hiswife died October 11, 1875. CharlesA. SMITH, son of Albert L., was born April 10, 1856 and has been a resident ofTorrey since 1863.
MITTOWER,Martin, son of Abram, was born in Torrey, and married Susan NORMAN. They hadseven children. Mr. MITTOWER diedin 1868 and his wife in 1874. fiveof the children are ling, the only one residing in Torrey being S. Dudley, whowas 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 twochildren, Frank D. and F. Mary. Heis a farmer and has fifty acres on Seneca Lake.
MITTOWER,Samuel, son of Abram, was born in 1828. Hemarried Mary A. VANDEVENDER and had three children, Sarah and Ella (bothdeceased) 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. Hisfather, Samuel, died in November 1880 and his mother in 1864.
NORMAN, Solomonborn February 8, 1761 in Cleveland, Yorkshire, England, came to America in earlymanhood. He located first at Geneva, where he was engaged as overseerof a gang of slaves. In 1803 hepurchased of William SPRING of Northumberland County, Pa., the Norman homesteadat 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 officesand 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. Theywere the parents of twelve children. Hisyoungest child, Harvey W. NORMAN was born February 18, 1825 and succeeded hisfather on this homestead. He wasprominent in the Presbyterian Church and an F. and A.M. He was a Republican holding the office of supervisor and other townoffices. November 12, 1846, hemarried Nancy A. VAN DEVENTER, who was born September 9, 1825. He died July 21, 1879. Theirchildren were: Minard A., born September 3, 1848, married Hattie M. HAZARD, ofTorrey in 1867, was a farmer and mason and died May 9, 1883; and Amos A., bornJuly 1, 1850. Amos A. NORMAN is afarmer and fruit grower on the homestead. Heis a prominent Republican and has been honored with several town offices,including supervisor. He is amember of the Masonic fraternity and ha been many years worshipful master ofSeneca Lodge No. 308. He has beentwice 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 havebeen 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, GeorgeM., 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 hemoved to the town of Torrey and settled on the town line between that town andBenton, 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 inPenn Yan and Henry F., who resides in Evanston, Ill. George P., carried on farming until the death of the latterin 1872. The son now owns thehomestead. He has never married.
PATTESON,William M., son of William and Jane (SHEPPARD) PATTESON, and grandson of CharlesC. SHEPPARD, of Penn Yann, and Edward PATTESON of Philadelphia, was born inGalva, Henry County, Ill., April 7, 1863. Hereceived his education at Phillips Academy and early engaged in agriculture andfruit growing. Mr. PATTESON marriedCornelia S. FEHRMANN, of Plainfield, NJ, April 21, 1886. They have one daughter, Louise M., born July 30, 1887, and one sonWilliam 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 awidow and four sons. Mrs. PORSSERbecame 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, wherehe now resides and has four sons and a daughter. Albert G., and Andrew J. (twins), sons of John PROSSER, bornApril 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 withS.D. Graves, proprietor of a vineyard. Mr.PROSSER is a highly respected citizen and has served his town as assessor andcollector. He had an adopteddaughter, the child of the deceased sister of Mrs. PROSSER, whom they took intotheir 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, Hettieand Louie. His wife died in 1881and he married second, Hattie, widow of Myndart NORMAN. Mr. REMER has been engaged in milling business since nineteen years ofage 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 1812he 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 adaughter, 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 SamuelS. ELLSWORTH in the distilling business, continuing in this occupation for someten or twelve years, when he became a farmer. He married Cynthia CARROLL, of Dutchess County, and they have twelvechildren, eight of whom grew to maturity. Fourare residing in Yates County. JamesF. REYNOLDS, born in Jerusalem, January 9, 1838, has spent a large part of hislife in teaching. He is now acarpenter; has served as justice of the peace and at present holds the office ofjustice of sessions of Yates County Courts. January 30, 1862, he married Harriet P., daughter of Peter and HarrietAYERS, of Milo. They have had fourchildren: 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 nextspring they purchased a farm in the town of Benton, and David Sr., died in 1803. His wife died in 1842. Theyhad three sons and four daughters. DavidJr., married Elizabeth MITTOWER, daughter of John MITTOWER and settled inBenton, remaining until 1836 when he sold his farm and bought the farm now ownedby his son, Levi. He had threechildren, Nancy, Margaret and Levi. Hewas 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. Hewas drafted in June 1815 and went to Buffalo, remaining there several months. In 1827 he joined the Presbyterian Church and was an active member untilhis death. His wife joined at thesame time.
SPEELMAN, Levi,son of David and Elizabeth SPEELMAN, was born in Benton, October 27, 1809 andhas 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., whodied 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 issupposed 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 hisparents, George and Eliza SMITH to Canada where he resided until 1867, when hecame to Torrey, this county. Mr.SMITH is a farmer, lumberman, manufacturer of drain tile and proprietor of asteam threshing machine. He is aRepublican, is deservedly popular with both parties, and has served his town assupervisor for several years. April13, 1881, he married Carrie M. BUCKLAND, of Dresden, and immediately settled intheir present home with Mrs. SMITH’s father, William BUCKLAND. They have one surviving daughter, Annis.
SMITH, WilliamJ., son of Isaac and Nancy (STEVENSON) SMITH, was born at Salem, WashingtonCounty, 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, YatesCounty, NY, where he still resides. Mr.SMITH was a miller by trade, but on coming to Dresden, he at once engaged ingrape culture, and now has a fine vineyard of ten acres. His son, George C., of whom we write, was born at Seneca Falls, December21, 1844, and came to Dresden with his father in 1861. February 10, 1863, he enlisted in Co. E. 192nd NY volunteersand at once went to the front with his regiment in the Army of the Potomac, andfought under Generals HANCOCK, MEAD and GRANT, participating in the battles ofAntietam, Gettysburg, Winchester, the Wilderness, and many others. He escaped without eve a scratch and was honorably discharged at the endof the war in 1865. He thentraveled through most of the Western States, and finally settled at Dixon, LeeCounty, Ill, in the fall of 1871. Hethen 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 Englishfame. He prosecuted his trade underthe direction of Col. T. MORGAN, an unusually competent mechanic, and a largecontractor and builder, until 1880. Hethen established a business of his own. In1884 he returned to Dresden and bought a home on Seneca street adjoining hisfather, where he is successfully conducting his business of contractor andbuilder. Some of the finest newbuildings 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 ofBenjamin and Chloe VERMILYEA. About1818 his parents moved to Prattsburg, Steuben County, where Isaac resided until1865. He then moved to Torrey, where he has since resided. He married Margaret SMITH of Wheeler, NY and they have one son, HerbertS., who is a farmer. Isaac VERMILYEA has been a farmer, but is now engaged ingrape 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 wasmaster, one year. He joined theBaptist Church at Prattsburg over fifty-five years ago, and has been an activemember ever since. He was justiceof the peace in Prattsburgh eight years, and assessor six years. Isaac VERMILYEA died August 21, 1891.
YOUNGS, TheFamily – 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 LongIsland, on the old domain of his father (who owned a square mile), where heresided until 1850. He then removedto Yates County and became the proprietor of the Mosher mill about a mile eastof Penn Yan. In 1863 he moved toDresden, where he died in 1865. About1816, he married Sarah WIGGINS, of his native county, and had seven children,two sons and five daughters. Theiroldest son, Seth, was born May 13, 1833. Hereceived a good common school education and is a skillful mechanic and acabinet-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, telegraphoperator and postmaster at West Camp, Ulster County, NY.
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