The following family group descriptions are adapted from Hamilton Child's "Gazetteer of Jefferson County, N.Y.", published in 1890. The families are arranged alphabetically by township, and wherever possible, a link has been made to a Jefferson County Pioneer. We welcome any corrections and additions to the information presented.
This project has only been made possible through the efforts of several volunteers, directed by Shirley Farone, who has been a behind-the-scenes participant in this website from the very beginning. The original idea came from Sharon Patchett, who is also giving her time to the project. Sisters Marcia Alary and Barbara Britt, both of whom have been volunteering on other projects for the website, are also working on this. Gary Roe was one of the first to get his work in. We are grateful to each of them for making this material so easily available. More volunteers have made contributions as the task proceeded. Sharon Lagendyk's work has been extremely accurate and timely. Mark Wentling has undertaken a special project connected with the gazetteer. Eleanor Burrows here in Jefferson County, and Melinda Cornwell in Alaska are our newest volunteers.
Note: In this file, the highlighted name click(s) will take you to the pioneer group sheet associated with the name.
John Allen was born in Montgomery County, where he married Rhoda, daughter of Benjamin Sawdy, of Charleston, and soon after moved to Clinton County. They had six sons and four daughters, namely; Salina, Esther, Cook T., Prince, Bethuel, Mary, John, Benjamin, Philip, and Rhoda. In 1835 Mr. Allen removed to this county and located in Le Ray. In 1853 Phillip Allen married Eliza, daughter of S.G. Matthews, and they had three sons and one daughter, viz.: Mary A., Byron J., Samuel C., and frank M. They resided in this town on road 2 for the past 20 years. Mr. Allen died during the past year.
Jeremiah Bacon was born in Herkimer County, and in 1823, at the age of 22 years, came to this town and bought what is now known as the Bonny farm. About the same time he married Chloe Pickett, of Spafford, by whom he had three sons and four daughters, of whom Willard attended the common schools and worked on his father's farm until he was 21 years old. Then he leased the farm for a term of years. He has been twice married, first, to Nancy Watts, of Orleans, by whom he had one son, Clinton. For his second wife he married Mrs. Jane Watts, of Herkimer County, who had one son. Wellington, by her first husband. They have a daughter, Ida C., and reside near the old homestead.
Samuel O. Barnes was born in the town of Pamelia in 1821. He worked on his father's farm and attended school until he arrived at the age of 18 years. At the age of 25 years he married Gracie Eddy, of Pamelia, and for six years worked, on shares, the farm which he afterward purchased. He died September 6, 1867, aged 46 years. He had one son, Oscar W., born February 20, 1852. Oscar W. attended the Clinton Liberal Institute, Oneida County, for three years, and shortly after his return home took charge of the farm which he has since conducted. December 22, 1875, he married Eva J., daughter of J.B. Ball, of Watertown, and they have one son, Roy O., aged 10 years.
John B. Bichet and Julia Moureaux came to this country from France, the former in 1828, and the latter a few years previously. They were married in 1836, and the same year bought a farm on road 34, in Le Ray. He subsequently added to his wealth by purchasing two other farms, one on road 33, and the other on road 34. They had born to them five sons and three daughters, namely: Louis V., Joseph J., Francis F., John, Mary J., Celia, and Peter. Mr. Bichet died February 18, 1886, and Mrs. Bichet January 29, 1866. Peter Bichet worked at home on the farm until he was 18 years of age, alternating his labors with attendance at the common schools winters, with one term at Kingston College. He removed to Croghan, Lewis County, where he conducted a custom boot and shoe store. The confinement in the store was not conducive to his health, and he sold out. He married Ellen, daughter of Michael Kelly, of Belfort, Lewis County, and returned with his bride to his old home in Le Ray. He soon after purchased of Noel Conway the old Lewis farm on road 35. Mr. Bichet has had born to him three sons, viz.: Ralph E., who died in infancy, and Lawrence J. and Adrien J., who survive.
Joseph V. Bisha came from France to his country in 1828, at that time being 13 years of age. In 1841 he married Almira, daughter of Robert Sixbury, and followed the occupation of farming on road 8, where they remained 16 years. They then removed to Pleasant Valley, in the town of Cape Vincent, remaining there five years, when they returned to this town and purchased a farm on road 35. During the next 19 years they resided in several different places, finally returing to the farm on road 35, where Mr. Bisha died November 24, 1883. Their children were Mary V., Sarah J., Malinda, Louis J., Charles E., Ferdinand A., Julia A., Peter J., George A., and William M. The latter resides with his mother on the old homestead.
The first of the name of Burhans in this country, so
far as can be ascertained, was Jacob Burhans, who appears March 28, 1660,
as a soldier in the Netherland service in the company of his Noble Honor
the Director General. December 7, 1660, he was one of the first
organizers of the Dutch Reform church at Wiltwyck, now Kingston, N.Y.
November 21, 1661, he was appointed collector of church rates and excise
tax. In June, 1663, he had two houes burned in the second Esopus war.
April 28, 1660, he was elected schepen (judge) of the court at Wiltwyck.
He was a prominent man in all public duties until his death about
April 16, 1663, Jan Burhans and Barent Burhans arrived in this country in the ship Bontekor (spotted cow). No farther trace can be found of Barent, but Jan married, in 1675, Helen Traphagen and reared a large family. He was also a magistrate, and was prominent in public life. He was a member of the church and one of its principal supporters, acting as elder for a number of years. He died in 1708.
Barent Burhans was born April 24, 1681; Johannes Burhans was born August 26, 1711: Petrus Burhans was born May 26, 1742; David Burhans, born November 16, 1775, was the grandfather of the present generation of Burhans in Jefferson County. He married Elizabeth Flager, July 8, 1798, at Saugerties, Ulster County, N.Y., and died March 31, 1834. Their children are all dead. David settled in the town of Le Ray, December 5, 1809. James D. Le Ray executed a deed of 115 acres in this town to David Burhans, and there are many of the latter's grandchildren in Jefferson County, viz.: James H. Burhans, son of James Madison Burhans; Mrs. Lester Carter, of Champion, daughter of Gilbert Burhans; Wesley Rullison, son of Eliza (Burhans) Rullison; Mrs. Welles Taylor and Fred Burhans, of Le Ray, children of Peter Burhans; Carlos Burhans, of Antwerp; John S. Burhans, at Chateaugay, Franklin County; and many great-grandchildren who reside in Philadelphia, Champion, and Le Ray.
Joseph Child came from Bucks County, Pa., to Le Ray in 1806, and located on road 79 where he took up a tract of 800 acres. He had four sons, Daniel, Samuel, Joseph, and Moses. Daniel settled on the homestead, and of his family a son, Louis, resides in the town. Samuel settled upon, and occupied until his death, the farm now owned by his son Thomas, where he reared nine children, four of whom are living, Thomas, Eunice, Mary, in this town, and William, in Minnesota. Joseph, Jr., settled in Le Ray, and his daughter Hannah still resides here. Moses also settled on road 79 an reared five children, none of whom now live in town.
Elijah Corey was born in New Hampshire in 1795. In 1815, at the age of 20 years, he came to this state and settled in the town of Le Ray, at Sanford's Corners, where he followed his trade of blacksmith and horseshoer. At the age of 26 years he married Maria, daughter of Hezekiah Clark, by whom he had nine children, all of whom attained mature years. Their names were Sally C., Mary, Lydia, Nancy, Hannah, Netty C., Elijah, William, and James. The latter was born on a farm on road 103, where he now resides. He acquired a good common school education, and worked on the farm with his father until he attained his majority. He carried on the farm for his father until the latter's death in 1880. He married, in 1860, Lizzie, daughter of John Layng, and they have had three sons, viz.; Sidney, Charles, and Peleg, all of whom reside with their parents in this town.
Joseph Cory came from Keene, N.H., and settled in Jefferson County in 1809 when he was 22 years old. He served in the War of 1812, and participated in the battle of Ogdensburg. About 1816 he married Jane McMullen, of Rodman, by whom he had seven sons and two daughters, namely: George C., Curtis W., Sarah W., Mary Charles B., Josiah C., Henry S., Albert P., and Daniel M. The latter was born January 7, 1828, and has been married three times. His first wife, Angeline C. Kennedy, bore him three children, viz.: Angie C. (Mrs Holland Whitney), of Le Ray; Fred D., who married Ella L. Phelps, of Sackets Harbor; and Charles Lincoln, who married Carrie B. Clark, and now resides in Pinckney, Lewis County. For his second wife Daniel M. married Cornelia Deaker, of Ellisburgh, in 1867, and she bore him one son, Orin P. In 1872 he married Mrs. Lydia A. Sharp, of Black River, who died May 11, 1878. His son Orin P. lives at home with his father. Curtis W. Cory was born in Jefferson County, and for many years resided on the "Limekiln" farm, on road 111, in this town, where he died. He married Charlotte Waters, and they had three sons and three daughters, two of who died in infancy, and four attained mature years, viz.: Caroline, Oscar E., George F., and Emma S. Oscar was reared upon a farm, and was educated at the common schools. At the age of 27 years he married Anna A., daughter of Henry Sharp, of Antwerp, and they have one son and two daughters, viz.: Edith C., Frank C., and Maud E. They reside on road 111, in this town.
Jacob Doxtater was born in Herkimer, N.Y., in 1816. After the death of his mother, which occured when he was nine years old, he went to live with his uncle, Frederick Doxtater, a banker and farmer in Herkimer village, and here resided until he attained his majority. Jacob worked upon his uncle's farm, attended the district school, with a few terms in the High school in the village. At the age of 25 years he married Catharine, daughter of Christian Davies, of Herkimer County. In March, 1843, they removed to the town of Pamelia, and in 1848 bought the farm in Le Ray where they now reside. They have had seven children, five of whom survive, viz.: Alexander, Mary C., Milton W., Emma E., and Charles G. Emma E. has been twice married, first, to Myron S. Stollar, of Theresa, by whom she had one daughter, Rosabel. Upon the death of Mr. Stoller his widow married James D. F. Shead, of Brownville, and they occupy the farm owned by Mrs. Doxtater.
Spencer Failing attended school at Clayton until he was 19 years of age, and from this time until he was 22 worked on his father's farm by the month. He then married Patience, daughter of Augustus Coon, of Leeds County, Ont. He worked his father's farm seven years on shares, and soon after removed to this town and purchased of his uncle, Josiah Failing, the farm where he has resided for six years, and by frugality and industry has greatly improved this place. Mr. and Mrs. failing have three sons and two daughters, viz.: Emmoratta, Willie E., Burton E., Roy A., and Gertie B.
George A. Fisk was born in Randolph, Vt., in 1841, and was a resident of that state until 1861, when he removed to Albany, and enlisted in Co. G, 22nd N.Y. Vols., in the first call for 75,000 men, and served two years. He reenlisted in Co. A, 2nd N.Y. Veteran Cav., at Saratoga Springs. He was in 12 general engagenents during his first term of service, and escaped with out a wound. During his cavalry service he was wounded twice, first with a rifle-ball through his ear, and second, he was cut on the neck with a sabre. He also had two horses shot under him. At the close of the war he visited his old home in Vermont, and shortly after removed to this county, finally locating in Le Ray. In 1870 he married Caroline, daughter of Curtis W. Cory, of this town, and they have two children, George M. and Lottie C.
George G. Gardner, a native of Nantucket, Mass., married Maria, daughter of Uriah Coon, by whom he had two children, Eliza M. and Alexander P. For some years they resided in Columbia County, subsequently removing to Albany, N.Y., where Mr. Gardner successfully conducted a meat market and grocery for about 10 years. In 1864 he purchased a farm on road 49, in this town, where he now resides, aged 84 years. Alexander P. was born in 1832, and now resides in this town on road 30. He was educated in the common schools, and at the academy at Evans Mills. In 1864 he married Fanny A. Stone, of Lewis County, by whom he has one daughter, Lila M., who is attending the Friends School at Union Springs, N.Y. Mrs. Gardner died in 1887.
James Gibbs, son of Jesse, was born in Worcester, Mass. He came to Black River about 1815, entered the employ of David Dexter, in the chair shop, and died in 1858. He married Maryette D., daughter of John and Hannah Kennedy, by whom he had three sons, viz.; Callie F., of Syracuse; Frank D., manager of the Empire wood pulp-mill at Black River; and Romaine D., a carpenter and millwright, who resides with his mother at Black River village.
Thomas Gillespie, a native of Ireland, emigrated to America at an early day and located in this county. He married Hannah, daughter of John Gardner, of Brownville, and they had seven children, three of whom are living, two in Black River village, viz.: John W., who is employed in Dexter's chair factory, and George G. The latter was born September 10, 1837, and in 1859 he married Amelia, daughter of William Wolf, and settled at Black River, where he has since resided, in the employ of D. Dexter & Sons. In August, 1861, he enlisted in Battery C, 1st N.Y. Lt. Art., and was discharged May 24, 1862, on account of sickness. In August, 1863, he enlisted in Co. E., 14th N.Y.H.A., and participated in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna River, Tolopatomy Creek, Bethseda Church, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Blick's Station, Poplar Grove Church, Pegram Farm, Hatcher's Run, Forts Haskell and Stedman, and at the taking of Petersburg. He was discharged in September, 1865. He had one son, George W., deceased. He has an adopted daughter, Fanny.
Sylvester Gould was born at Gould's Corners, in the town of Pamelia, in 1819. He married Lucy Gale, of Le Ray, and they had seven children, viz.: Harriet, who died at the age of six years; Maria, who married Anthony F. Sheffner, of Pamelia Four Corners, and died at the age of 41 years; Lodema S., who died at the age of 35 years; and Edith L., Mary R., Emma D. (Mrs. Harrison K. Cole), and Stephen N., who survive. Stephen N. remained at home until he was 20 years old. Then he attended the business college at Watertown for three years, and graduated from that institution, following which he worked on the farm for four years, and taught school winters. At the age of 27 years he married Viola, daughter of William Watts, then of Pamelia, now of Watertown, by whom he has two children, Lula L., born in 1874, and William S., born in 1884. They have resided on their farm on road 40 for the past 15 years.
Augustus Grappotte was born in France, and at the age of six years immigrated with his parents to America, and located in this town on road 9. He married Lena Benway, by whom he has had two sons and three daughters, viz.: Mary (Mrs. Ephraim Lawrence), of this town; Rose L. (Mrs. Edward Payne), of Orleans; Florence A., who died in 1880, aged 19 years; George A., who married Sarah Leonard, and resides in Watertown; and Moses, who married Abba Getman, of Le Ray, by whom he has two daughters, Mabel and Viola. Moses occupies the old homestead on road 9, which was settled by his grandfather in 1834.
John M. Haap immigrated from Wurtemberg, Germany, in 1831, and located in this town, on road 31. In 1882 he married Dorothy Haap, who came with him from Germany in 1831. In 1836 they bought the farm on road 34 now owned by their son Frederick. They had born to them four sons and two daughters, of whom Ezekiel died January 12, 1844, and the others attained mature years, viz.: Barbara, John G., Margaret M., Charles, and Frederick. The latter remained at home and worked on the farm until he was 21 years of age. He then went to Rochester, N.Y., and learned the trade of carpenter and joiner. After two years' residence there he returned to Le Ray and married Barbara Witterhahn, of Watertwon. With the exception of six years in Watertown he has resided in this town, occupying the homestead. Mr. and Mrs. Haap have had born to them four sons and one daughter, viz.: George V., who died at the age of three years; Theodore M., who died at the age of 10 years; and Rose A., Gustave, and Albert, who are living at home with their parents.
A. W. Hadsell, son of Solomon, was born in the town of Champion, January 14, 1835. He married Louisa, daughter of Asahel and Caroline Sheldon, and located on the old homestead, which he occupied until 1880, when he moved to Alexandria Bay and run the St. Lawrence Hotel for two years, when he located in Black River village, in the town of Le Ray, where he is now engaged in mercantile business. He attended the district schools until he was 20 years of age, and subsequently attended the High school at Watertown one term. He was supervisor of the town of Champion in 1870-71, has been one of the board of trade since the organization of that body, was railroad commissioner for Champion from 1871 till 1880, and has been assessor of Le Ray since 1886. He is said to have been the first person in the county to make factory cheese, about 1857 or '58. He has a daughter, Carrie A.
Daniel Harter was born in Herkimer County, November 30, 1808. When he arrived at maturity he removed to this town. September 15, 1831, he married Adelia Bowman, by whom he had one daughter, who married Peter W. Slack. Mrs. Harter died July 25, 1868. For his second wife he married Adeline, youngest daughter of Ambrose Bolt, of Le Ray, by whom he had one daughter, Sarah Louise, born in 1872, now residing at home with her mother. Daniel Harter died in 1884. His widow resides in this town at the age of 76 years.
Henry Helmer immigrated from Germany to this country previous to the Revolutionary war, and located in Herkimer County, where Philip Helmer, his son, was born, August 21, 1825. In 1884 Philip married Betsey C., daughter of Peter Hoover, and their union was blessed with one son, Albert E., born December 18, 1860, near Evans Mills, in this town, to which village he removed with his parents when he was 11 years old, and where he has since resided. He attended the public schools of his native town until he arrived at the age of 16 years. He then engaged as clerk for Wesley Rulison, and subsequently with J. P. Steinhiller, with whom he remained four years, when he bought the entire of stock of general merchandise from his employer and engaged in business on his own account. In 1883 he was elected town clerk, which office he has since held. March 1, 1885, he engaged in the drug and grocery business at his old stand on Le Ray street. Mr. Helmer's maternal great-grandfather was a native of Switzerland. Mr. Helmer has never married.
Asahel Horton came from Rhode Island, and located in the town of Watertown, on Fell Creek, where he built a grist-mill, residing here until 1831 or '32, when he removed to Black River and built the first grist-mill at that place, which he conducted for 10 years, when he sold out to Christopher Poor, and removed to Ohio, where he died. Albert, the only survivor of this family now living in Jefferson County, resides in the town of Rutland, on road 6. He married Eunice, daughter of Jay Worden, and is a chairmaker by trade.
The death of Mrs. Cyrus T. Huntington, at Pamelia Four Corners, recalled many incidents of the first settlements of Jefferson County. Mrs Huntington was a daughter of Elijah Graves, of East Haddam, Conn., where she was born July 8, 1805, the youngest of a family of nine children, among whom were Hon. Joseph Graves, late of Rutland, and Sterling Graves, late of Antwerp, early settlers of this county from Westmoreland, Oneida County, to which place their father had moved with his family in 1809. At the age of 15 years Miss Graves visited her sister, Mrs. Ambrose W. Huntington, at Huntingtonville, and during her stay taught three terms of school in the Bronson (now Eames) district, in Rutland. At this visitation she formed an acquaintance with Cyrus T. Huntington, which resulted in their marriage, July 7, 1824. Mr. Huntington was born in New Grantham, Cheshire County, N.H., March 15, 1801. His father William Huntington, sold his New England farm and moved his family -- composed of wife and seven children, of whom Cyrus T. was the youngest-- to "Black River country," and located upon 200 acres of land, contracted by him the previous fall, on the 6th day of January, 1804. Mr. D.D. Taylor now owns and occupies a portion of the same farm, located in the eastern part of Watertown, then known as "Woodruff Settlement," upon which he erected the first farm dwelling in the "Settlement" in 1809, having built a barn in 1805. Here he remained with his family until 1817, when he sold his farm to the late Colonel John Gotham, for $3,000, and purchased 300 acres at the present village of Huntingtonville. Here he built the dam across Black River, erected a saw- mill andscy the factory, and did an extensive lumber business the remainder of his active life. That he was a man of enterprise, liberality, and public spirit will be inferred from the fact that he served as magistrate, first by virtue of appointment by Gov Clinton, and subsequently by election, and as commissioner of highways for a long series of years. In 1810 he subscribed and paid $50 for the erection of a school-house in his district, donating the land upon which it was erected, and one acre of land nearly adjoining as a cemetery. In 1814 he paid $500 towards the erection of the first cotton factory built in Watertown. It was burned in 1869. He was an elder in what is now the First Presbyterian Church, lived after the strictest sect of his religion, and paid $200 towards the erection of the first church edifice, built in the present city of Watertwon, occuping grounds covered by " The First Church" in 1820. He died May 11, 1842. It is worthy of mention that Mr. Huntington enlisted in the Army of the Revolution, in April, 1777, having served therein eight months the previous year. He served three years, spending his last winter at Valley Forge, and received his discharge in April, 1780. It would be inadvertent to omit the record of the fact that Elijah Graves, father of Mrs. Cyrus T. Huntington, performed a like service to his country, and was dischared at the same date, although to each other entire strangers. Mrs. Huntington was of religious parentage, and was early taught to have a high reguard for religious observances. At an early stage in their married life Mr. and Mrs. Huntington united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which they were active and devoted members for nearly 50 years. Mr. Huntington served as class-leader and superintendent of the Sunday-school at Black River, the place of their residence, for more than 30 years, which office he held at the time of his death, October 16, 1885. A mechanic by intuition, his first effort to meet a needed demand for separating clover seed from the hull or chaff, he erected a mill, in which he inserted machinery for that purpose, of his own construction, also a turning lathe and tools for the manufacture of grain cradles, to supersede the use of the sickle, upon the bank of Fall Creek, upon land now owned by Nathan Staples, on the north side of State street, where he prosecuted a lucrative business for a series of years. He next purchased the farm now owned by T. C. Beecher, built the house now thereon, and continued to meet the demand for his cradles in this, Oswego, and St. Lawrence counties. Unable to accomplish his object without increased motive power, he sold the farm, and in 1814 established his business ar Black River, owning a farm on the north side of the river. Mr. and Mrs. Huntington spent 61 years, three months, and nine days of happy married life, celebrating their golden wedding July 7, 1854, 57 children, relatives, and friends being present. The had five children, all of whom reached maturity, and four survive them, viz; Henry G., a farmer near Black River in this town; Dr. John W., of Mexico, Oswego County; Dr. Charles S., of Liverpool, Onondaga County; and Eliza, wife of Madison Goulding, of Pamelia Four Corners. Hiram C. was a volunteer in the 94th Regiment at the commencement of the civil war, and fell at Fredericksburg, December 13,1862.
Frederick L. Jabas came from Switzerland in 1825, and located in New York city, where he remained five years. In 1830 he came to Sanford's Corners, in this town, and bought the farm now owned by Phineas Hardy, on road 86. He married Lovina, daughter of Louis Rosse, by whom he had two sons and four daughters. Those who survive are Emelia L., Anna M., George F., and Philip A. George F. remained on the home farm until he was 18, when he went west, and enlisted in the regular army, serving 13 years. He married Carrie Stephens, of Worthington, Mass. in 1880, and their four children are Philip C., Franklin F., George W., and Jennie L. Philip A. remained at home until he attained the age of 28 years, when he married Mary A., daughter of John Smith, of Watertown, in 1879, and they have two children, Agnes L., and Edith E. Mrs. Philip A. Jabas's father was born in Halifax, N.S., in 1810, and her mother in Coldingham, Scotland, in 1811. They were married in New York city in 1836.
Isaac H. Keller came to Evans Mills from Little Falls in 1824. He married Elizabeth Casler, and they had two daughters, Margaret and Barbara. Margaret married Elias A. Wood, of Lowville, and Barbara married Samuel T. Potter, and now resides in Omaha, Neb.
John Kennedy, son of John, was born in Montgomery County, N.Y., and in 1830 located in the town of Philadelphia, where he engaged in farming for about five years, when he removed to Black River village, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a millwright by trade. He married Hannah Thatcher, and they had eight children, three of whom are living, viz.: John C., of Oneida, N.Y.; Jenette (Mrs. J.D. Randall), of Rutland; and Maryette E. (Mrs. James Gibbs), of Black River.
David Lawrence was born in the town of Le Ray, June 19, 1841. He was reared upon a farm, and his educational advantages were those afforded by the common schools, which he attended winters. At the age of 21 years he married Emogene Baum, of this town, by whom he had five children, namely: Nelson J., George D., William J., Edson H., and Kate E. Mr. Lawrence died at the age of 45 years. His widow and five children survive.
Samuel Martin was born in County Cavan, Ireland, in 1834. At the age of 23 years he married Alice Carl, of County Monaghan, by whom he had four sons and five daughters, viz.: Mary Ellen, Wilson, James, Jane, Margaret, Samuel, William Henry, Alice, and Annie. Margaret and James immigrated to America in May, 1885. Wilson followed in April, 1886, and they first located in the village of Dexter, in the town of Brownville, subsequently settling near Evans Mills, in this town. They purchased a house and one acre of land on road 43, with the laudable purpose of furnishing a home for their parents, and to which they came, September 22, 1887, with two boys.
James Murphy was born in Herkimer County, N.Y., where he married Mary Kizer, of Little Falls, by whom he had 10 children, all boys, namely: Thomas, James, Levi, Barney, Ephraim, Henry, Alexander and Lysander (twins), Benjamin, and Adam. About the year 1817 he moved his family to the town of Le Ray, and located about four miles from Evans Mills. At this time the surrounding county was in its primitive state. Adam Murphy attended school winters until he was 17 years of age. After this he worked on a farm by the month until he attained the age of 23 years. He them married Pamelia J., daughter of Alfred Vebber, of this town, by whom he has had eight children, namely: Augustus D., Alfreda V., Alzada L., Bennett E., Sarah A., Erwin S., Frank J., and Lewis P. Of these children only three are living--Augustus D., Frank J., and Lewis P. Mr. Murphy is a carpenter and resides at Evans Mills.
Samuel S. Porter was born in this town on road 103. He was educated in the common schools, and at the age of 19 years married Eliza Baker, by whom he had six children, four of whom attained mature years, viz.: Martha, Jeremiah, Stephen, and Benjamin S. The latter, at the age of 18 years, married Harriet, daughter of Aaron Poor, of Black River village, and they had one son and two daughters, namely: Francis, Carrie, and Jennie. Mrs Porter died in 1868, and in 1872 Benjamin S. married his second wife, Angeline, daughter of Joseph Ford. They are living on the homestead on road 103, which Mr. Porter purchased when he was 19 years old.
Martin Reese was born in Herkimer County, July 20, 1813. He attended the common schools and worked on his father's farm until he was 22 years of age, when he married Amy S. Paul, of Wilmurt, Herkimer County. In 1840 they removed to this town and located in the village of Evans Mills. They had born to them nine sons and four daughters, viz.: Wellington W., Ezra G., Elizabeth C., Evlyn P., William H., James E., Emogene, Lucius E., Martha E., Martin H., Milton C., John A. and Elva E. Mr. Reese died October 21, 1859, and Mrs. Reese March 27, 1879. Their sons Wellington W., Lucius E., Martin H., and John A. reside in Watertown, where they are extensively engaged in butchering and conducting a meat market. Evlyn P. is a farmer in Pamelia; Emogene married Henry Cable and resides in Watertown; Martha E. married Taylor Carpenter, and also resides in Watertown; Elva E. married Webster Murphy, of Philadelphia, N.Y. William H. Reese lived at home until he was 14 years of age, when he engaged to work for nine dollars a month, attending school winters, which he did for three years, giving all his earnings to his parents. Soon after this occured the death of his father, when he was obliged to return home and take charge of the farm, assisting his mother in the care of the family. He was much given to traffic, and his mother's chief anxiety was lest he would trade off everything she had. But he was a successful trader, and succeeded in securing for his mother a good home. In 1864, at the age of 20 years, he married Maria, daughter of Lawrence L. Timmerman, of Pamelia, and they commenced their wedded life with the extensive capital of 20 cents. With this he started out in his speculative career, and for three years was a farmer and dealer in cattle, sheep, and horses. At the end of this time he leased his farms and removed to Evans Mills, where he became a general dealer, and in 1888, at the age of 45 years, owned 540 acres of land, with a beautiful new residence in the village. Mr. and Mrs. Reese have one daughter, Eva M., who was born May 14, 1866, and has been educated in the schools of her native town, and at Ives Seminary at Antwerp.
John St. Louis was born in Plattsburgh in 1823, and died July 15, 1885. His boyhood days were spent in Canada and in Plattsburgh. At the age of 19 he married Catharine, daughter of Joseph Lamay, of Canada, and soon located in Watertown. They had 10 children, viz.: Delia, Mary, James, Henry, Celia, Jane, Ann Eliza, Harriet, Anthony, and Joseph. Anthony, Henry, Celia, and Ann Eliza are dead. Joseph attended school and did farm work until he was 15 years of age, when he enlisted in the 10th N.Y.H.A., and served three years, and was discharged at the close of the war. In December, 1865, he married Josephine, daughter of Joseph Legacy, of Le Ray, by whom he has had four sons and one daughter, viz.: John, Anthony, Wallace, Maud (deceased), and William (deceased). They reside at Black River village.
Lawrence Scott was born at Little Falls, Herkimer County, in 1811, where he married in 1835, Betsee Frank, who was born in France. They located in this county in 1842. Of their six children, Nelson R. was born in Herkimer County in 1840. In 1862 he enlisted with the Union army and served three years. In 1866 he married Helen Lyon, by whom he has one son, Melvin L., who lives at home with his parents. Mr. Scott is a farmer on road 39.
Peter Slack was born in Windsor, Vt., in 1797, and in 1804 came to Watertown. His wife was born in Salem, Mass., and she was a direct descendant of one of the pilgrams who came over on the Mayflower. They had two sons and one daughter, namely: Anna, Marshal B., and Peter W. The latter was born March 19, 1830. He received a good common school education, and at the age of 22 years married Adelia E., only daughter of Daniel Harter, of this town. He located in Pamelia, where he remained three years, when he bought a farm on Military road, in this town, where he has since resided. He was elected justice of the peace in 1858, and held that postion for eight years.
Richard Smith, father of Richard, Jr., was born in Montgomery County un 1791. He married Catharine Beach, of Brockville, Canada, and they had three sons and seven daughters, four of whom died young and six survive, viz.: Maria, Christina, Julia, Amanda, Sarah Jane, and Richard, Jr. About 1847 Mr. Smith removed with his family to South Rutland, in this county. His health failing, much of the care of the family devolved upon his son Richard, Jr., then only 15 years of age. Richard, Jr., remained at home until he was 28 years old, when he married Mary A., daughter of Henry Pinckney, of Lewis County. They remained in Rutland seven years, and removed to Rodman, thence to Houndsfield, then located in Le Ray, from whence they returned to Rutland, and are now living at Felt's Mills. The have one son and two daughters, viz.: Flora A., William H., and Minnie Ola.
William Stewart was born in Londonderry, Ireland, in 1768, and when four years of age immigrated with his parents to America. In 1792 he married Caroline Billson, of Albany, N.Y., and for many years lived in Cherry Valley, Otsego County. They had four sons and four daughters, viz.: Nelly, David, William, Jr., Agnes, Matilda, Hannah, John and Stephen Van Rensselaer. In 1811 they located in this county, in the town of Le Ray. William, Jr., attended school winters and in the summer assisted in subduing the wilderness. He learned the carpenters' trade and built several houses in the vicinity of Pamelia Four Corners. He was twice married, first, to Susan Jenkins, who survived one year and eight months. For his second wife he married Sarah E. Van Epps, in 1850, and by her had one son, Clarence J. He died in 1862. Clarence J. was educated in the common schools, with the addition of a course in the academy. When he attained his majority he took charge of the farm. At the age of 30 years he married Lillian, daughter of Royal R. Crook, of Champion, and they now occupy the old homestead near Pamelia Four Corners.
George Ten Eyck, from the Mohawk valley, was one of the early settlers to the town of Philadelphia. He was a miller by trade, and when the grist-mill was built at Felt's Mills, in 1822, he removed to that place and took charge of the mill, and subsequently located at Black River village, on the north side of the river, where his grandson, Charles Ten Eyck, now resides. At this place he, with his son John L., had charge of Coburn & Hubbard's saw-mill. He removed to Madison County, where he died. John L. Ten Eyck married Sally Stebbins, and resided at Black River until his death in 1843. Of his two children, John M., born in 1842, enlisted in Co. E, 14th Regt. N.Y.H.A., was taken prisoner June 17, 1864, in front of Petersburg, was taken to Andersonville, and died there September 17, 1864. Charles, born in 1834, married Emily, daughter of Osborn Baker, of Le Ray, in 1861, and located at Black River, where he has since resided. He has one son, John H.
Otis Town was born in Watertown, December 8, 1801, and had the distinction of being the first male child, and the third child, born in the hamlet, now the flourishing city of Watertown, where he spent his boyhood days. He married, first, Pamelia Russell, of Watertown, by whom he had five sons and one daughter, viz.: Edwin, Lorenzo, Adeline, Orrin, John, and Hiram. Orrin was killed by a runaway team when 14 years of age. Mrs. Otis Town died in 1842, and in 1844 he married Mary Ann, daughter of William Hart, of Le Ray, and they had a son and a daughter, viz,: Martha Jane and Jerome. The latter is now conducting the farm and Martha J. resides at home with her mother. Otis Town died July 18, 1876, having resided for 50 years in the vicinity of Black River, on road 114. His second wife survives him at the age of 74 years.
Thomas Ward, of English descent, removed from New York city to Le Ray in 1803. His son James, who was two years of age when his parents located here, married Lavina Barber of Champion, and they had 11 children, all of whom are now living. James died September 5, 1880, and his wife December 22, 1883. The old farmstead, which has been in the family since 1803, is now the property of Buel F. Ward.
Riley Whitney, who was born in Westminister, Vt., in 1805, came to Le Ray in 1838. He joined a company commanded by Capt. Daniel D. Heustis, took part in the Patriot war, and was taken prisoner and sent to Van Diemen's Land in September, 1839. He suffered severe privations and was away from home 10 years. His son, Holland Whitney, now occupies the old homestead in this town.
Henry Wilson was born in Williamstown, N.Y., January 29, 1813. When he was quite young his parents removed to this town, where Henry learned the millwright and carpenters' trade. He was twice married, first, to Mary Ann Bassett, of Le Raysville, by whom he had five children, three of whom died young, and two survive, viz.: Julia C. and James E. August 11, 1853, his first wife died, and in 1854 he married Mary J., daughter of Daniel Smith, and they have three daughters and one son, viz.: Mary A. and Sarah A. (twins), Jennie E., and George A.. The latter was born on road 49, in this town, in the house in which he now resides, and where he has always lived. He received a good common school education, and at the age of 22 years married Estella L., daughter of David Honeywell, of Seneca Falls, and they had two sons, Henry Grant and Edward Everett.
Justice Wolcott came from Old Hartford, Conn., and located in the town of Wilna about 1812, where he took up a lot of land and cleared it. He reared a family of eight children, only one of whom, Henry is now living. Henry Wolcott resides at Black River village with his sons George H. and Eugene R., who are contractors and builders.
Isaac A. Wood, son of Elias, was born March 16, 1848. He married Eliza Llewellyn, by whom he has two children, and is now a resident of Watertown. He is a dealer in Western mortgages, and also a breeder and dealer in thoroughbred Ayrshire cattle.
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