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.
Jonathan Boynton was born in Milford, Mass., in 1795, and when a few weeks old his parents moved to Rockingham, Vt., where they resided for 13 years, thence removing to Rodman, in 1808, where they made a settlement upon the farm now owned by John Gregg. At the age of 20 years, without means, Mr. Boynton commenced the battle of life for himself, with a hopeful heart and willing hands, and three years thereafter had saved $700, with which, in company with his brother Richard, he purchased a farm near Sandy Creek, and about two mile east of Rodman, where he resided for many years. In 1819 Mr. Boynton wedded with Maria Kinney, a most worthy helpmate, who shared his joys and sorrows until her death, 22 years after her marriage, leaving to his care their family of nine children, whom he lived to see grow up and become useful and honorable members of society. Their names are as follows: Lester S., Harriet A. (Mrs. Israel Adam), of Watertown, Harrison, who resides in the village of Copenhagen, Lewis County, Elonzo D., of Adams, Martha M. (the late Mrs. O. D. Hill), Emma A. (Mrs. O. D. Hill), Jeannette E. (Mrs. R. D. Kenfield), and Austin, of Chicago. In 1829 Mr. Boynton was elected trustee of the first Methodist Episcopal Church, in this town, and aided largely in building and sustaining the same. By his industry, integrity, and frugality he acquired a competency, and gave freely for charitable and religious purposes. At his death he left a name of which his descendants may well feel proud, and his life was an example worthy of emulation.
Mrs. Ruth Brown, widow of Samuel, came to this town with her parents, Daniel and Ruth Canfield, from Massachusetts, in June 1812, the same month the war of that year was declared, since which time she has resided here. She was married in 1814 and has had six children, only two of whom are living, namely: James C., with whom she now resides, and Eunice R. (Mrs. Solomon Kellogg), of Worthville. Mrs. Brown, who is a pensioner of the war of 1812, is 89 years of age, and still possesses much activity.
Ziba Buell, Sr., was a native of Vermont, whence he removed to Jefferson County in 1803, and in 1804 or '05 located in Rodman on the farm now owned by Simeon H. Gates. In 1832 he removed to Zoar, where he resided until his death. He reared eight children, namely: Verona (Mrs. Kellogg Greenly), Horace, Oren, Ordelia (Mrs. Elias Burton), Silas, Mary (Mrs. O. C. Wyman), and Hiram. The latter resides in Ellisburgh.
George L. Butterfield, son of Jehiel and Elsie M. (Wyman) Butterfield, was born in Watertown in 1834, came to Rodman in 1859, and bought the Ora Cooley farm, on which he now resides. He married Anna R. North, June 17, 1874. Mr. Butterfield has been justice of the peace, and a member of the town board, for 20 years; was reelected for another term but refused to serve. He was one of the drafted men in the late war, but owing to circumstances could not go, and paid $300 to the government. His grandfather, Zachariah Butterfield, was one of the first settlers of Watertown, and took up 100 acres of land where Washington Hall now stands. He was a captain of militia. Mr. Butterfield's mother was one of the earliest white children born in town, her birth occurring December 22, 1805. She is now 83 years of age, and has had six children, five of whom lived to maturity. The eldest, Robert Wyman Butterfield, prepared for college, but in 1851, two years after gold was discovered in California, he removed to that state. He took an active part in the political canvass for John C. Fremont in 1856, and was the choice of Republican leaders in his district for member of Congress, but died before the election.
Mrs. Louisa Cole, daughter of Barrett and Ellen (Boyce) Phelps, was born in Watertown, July 19, 1818. She wedded with Daniel Cole in 1839, and they removed to this town, Mr. Cole having previously purchased a farm of Timothy Greenly, where he died in 1883. Mrs. Cole, at the age of 70 years, still occupies the farm with her son Andrew J. She has had children as follows: Barret A., who resides in this town; Adelaide J. (Mrs. A.W. Smith), of Copenhagen, Lewis County; Andrew J., mentioned above; Ellen L. (Mrs. J. F. Miller); and Frank J. and Herbert D. both of whom reside in this town.
Asa Cooley, a native of Connecticut, came from Whittingham, Vt., to Rodman, about 1807, locating upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Oscar F. Cooley. He married Sarah Pratt, by whom he had three sons and two daughters, viz.: Ora, Lura (Mrs. E. Palmer), Laura (Mrs. James Ingalls), of Wilna, Loring, and Elam. Mr. Cooley was an extensive farmer and was well known in the town. Three of his brothers, John, Stephan, and David, settled in this town and reared families. Ora Cooley, son of Asa, was born in 1776. In 1821 he married Amanda, daughter of Timothy Greenly, of Rodman, and located on the farm now occupied by his son Julian V. He married, second, Chloe Kellogg, by whom he had three children, Julian V., Augustus C., and Rodoski. By his first wife he had four children, Alfred, Deloss, Emily, and Charlotte. Mr. Cooley was prominent in town affairs, was supervisor from 1833 to 1836, and in 1841, '53, and '57; was town clerk several years, and served as school commissioner. He died in 1858.
Elam Cooley, son of Asa, was born in Rodman, July 24, 1809. About 1831 he married Julia F. Bullock, of Worth, and located upon the old homestead, where he resided a few years, when he removed to Rodman village, where he died. He did an extensive business in buying produce from the farmers. He had four sons, namely: Orson M., a druggist, who resides in Rochester; Leander W., a produce dealer of Rochester; Oscar F., who occupies the homestead, and Nelson G., who resides in Rodman village, and is engaged in the produce business.
Loring Cooley, son of Asa, was born in Whittingham, Vt., and came to this town with his father when about three years of age. He married Charlotte Bullock, of Lorraine, and settled on the farm now owned by Eri Cooley, where he died. His first wife died about two years after their marriage, and for his second wife he married Mary Bullock, a sister of his first wife, and they had four children, Egbert, Esther, Eri, and Elvira (Mrs. H. S. Porter).
Nelson G. Cooley, son of Elam and Julia F. (Bullock) Cooley, was born January 3, 1841. In 1858-59 he served as a clerk for Strong & Cooley, and in 1860 formed a partnership with his older brother, L. W. Cooley, in the general merchandise business, under the firm name of Cooley Brothers, successors to Strong & Cooley, in which business he continued four years. He then engaged in farming for four years, when he again formed a partnership with his brother under the firm name of L. W. & N. G. Cooley, which was continued until January 1, 1876. December 21, 1874, he was appointed postmaster at Rodman, which office he held four and a half years. He was elected commissioner of highways in 1877-78 and 1881, and town clerk in 1885-86-87.
William Dodge, who served in the Revolutionary war, came to the town of Rodman with his family in 1803, and settled on a tract of wild land on road 11. He brought with him a horse, a yoke of oxen, and two cows. At the time of his settlement here fish and game prevailed in abundance, and trout and salmon were caught in large numbers from the brook running close by his house. Mr. Dodge assisted in organizing the first Congregational society in Rodman, of which church he was an active member. He and wife both died in Richland, Oswego County. They had eight children, namely: Abigail, John, Lydia, Chester, Sylvester, Clarissa, Fanny, and Polly, all of whom are dead. Sylvester Dodge, son of William, was born in 1788. He married in 1810, Margaret, daughter of John and Abigail McChesney, of Rupert, Vt., and settled on the old homestead. He always resided in this town, and was a deacon in the Congregational Church and was a much respected citizen. He was accidentally killed in 1854 by being thrown from his carriage. His wife died in 1865. Their children were Abigail, Lydia P., John D., William S., James S., Gilbert S., and Franklin L. William S. Dodge, who was born June 25, 1820, married Cynthia, daughter of Samuel Ballard, of Watertown. In 1854, and settled on the farm where he now resides. His children are Charles P., of Adams, Ward S., Minnie G., and Melvin Gilbert, the latter a student in Hamilton College. Mr. Dodge has been a justice of the peace for eight years.
Alvin Eastman came from Rutland, Vt., to Rodman in 1810, and settled in the southern part of town, where he engaged in farming and kept a hotel in the early days. Of his six children, Herman was born in Rutland, Vt., and was 11 years old when he came with his parents to this town. When 29 years of age he married Laura, daughter of Joseph Parsons, and settled on the farm now owned by his son H. L., where he died in 1866. Of his six children, five are living, namely: Herman L.; Laura L. (Mrs. Thomas Remington), of Ellisburgh; Mary A. (Mrs. Florello Clark), also of Ellisburgh; Helen M. (Mrs. William Hitchcock), of Rodman; and Louis P., of Ottumwa Junction, Iowa.
Ariel Edwards was born September 7, 1781, in the town of Haddam, Conn., where his life was spent until the spring of 1802, when he migrated to what is now Rodman and took up a farm on the north side of Sandy Creek, on great lot No. 14, where he spent the summer clearing the land. In the fall he sold his betterments and returned to Connecticut. Returning the following spring, he located on great lot No. 18, where he resided for a number of years. In the summer of 1805 he was united in marriage with Lydia, daughter of William Dodge, a prominent citizen of the town, by whom he had four sons, Daniel, Rufus, Nelson, and William A. His wife died in 1813. In 1814 he was married to Mrs. Jemima Hurlbut, by whom he had four children, Lydia, Ariel, Paul S., and Charles L. He continued to reside in this town until 1835, when he removed to Pinckney, Lewis County, where he died in May, 1853. Daniel Edwards was born in Rodman, May 10. 1806, and is believed to have been the first child born in the town who attained maturity. He was educated in the common schools of the town, and spent the most of his time on his father's farm until he was 21 years of age, when he was engaged in business on his own account. In 1833 he married Elizabeth, daughter of the late Michael Heustis, of this town, by whom he had eight children, Lydia A., Martha J., Maryette, Elizabeth, Innocent, Orrin F., John S., and Alice M. He removed to Pinckney, Lewis County, near East Rodman, in 1868, where he died February 6, 1874, at the residence of his sons, who are prominent citizens of that Town, having held various offices of trust and responsibility in the town and county.
John Fassett, Jr., was born in Fitzwilliam, N.H. in 1767. He married Sally Nichols, who was born January 1, 1775, and they located in Whitestown, Oneida County, whence they removed to Rodman in 1803, bringing with them four children, Sally, Polly, Austin, and John, Jr. Mr. Fassett came in the winter, with an ox-team, and took up a lot of wild land now owned by his grandson, Milan A. Fassett. After locating here five more children were born to them, namely: Benjamin, Martha, Harriet, Laura, and Benjamin. Dr. John Fassett, Jr., was born in 1801. He married Electa M. Toby, of Brownsville, and took up his residence on the old homestead. He studied medicine with Dr. Hale, of Adams, and practiced his profession in this town for 25 years. He was a kind and charitable man, and always ready to assist the unfortunate. He had three children, Oren, Laurette, and Milan A. The latter was born December 25, 1839. He married Nettle, daughter of Washington Holley, of Adams, in 1868, by whom he has a son, John T. Mr. Fassett occupies the old homestead, and is also proprietor of a creamery.
Adam Flint, a British soldier, was the first of that name to locate to this country, but in what year he came is not known. His son, Adam Flint Jr., served in the French and English war, and in the revolution, and became a resident of Montgomery county. William A. Flint, son of Adam, Jr., was born in Montgomery County in 1776. He married Malinda Russell, and in 1808 came to Rodman, and located on the farm now occupied by his son, Cyrus C. He was a member of the M. E. Church, and one of the first members of the Masonic lodge in Rodman. He had 11 children, namely: Mary E., Martha, Russell, Malinda, Adam R., William R., Mary A., Maria, Alanson R., Cyrus C., and Cyrenus C. Russell Flint was born in the town of Rodman, where he married Elizabeth Belcher, and settled on the farm now occupied by his son George W., where he died in 1846, and his wife in 1889.
Major William Gardner, who was an officer in the Revolutionary war, removed from Rhode Island to Pinckney, N.Y. in 1808, where he resided until his death. Job, son of William, was born in 1800, and in 1822 married Laura Chase, of Elbridge, Onondaga county and subsequently located in Lewis County, whence he removed, in 1832, to Rodman, locating upon the farm now owned by his son Giles W. He had born to him eight children, six of whom are living, namely: Sarah (Mrs. Anthony Scidmore), Mary J. (Mrs. J.D. Adams), Maranda (Mrs. Milo Wait), of Tylerville, Esther (Mrs. A. Wait), of Pinckney, Cornelia M. (Mrs. George Bibbins), and Giles W.
Syril Harrington, who served in the battle of Sackets Harbor in the War of 1812, was one of the early settlers of Rodman, where he resided until his death, in 1855, aged 72 years. His son Caleb married Hannah Whitney, of Three Mile Bay, and his children were Gustavus A. and Alvaro. The latter located in Sackets Harbor in 1875. He married, first, Joanna Carley, of Parish, Oswego County, and they had four children, viz.: Leda and Sada, deceased, and Manly and Shelly, now living. Mr. Harrington served in Co. H, 121st N.Y. Vols., and was honorably discharged.
Simeon Heath came from Hartford, N. Y., to Rodman among the early settlers, locating upon a farm in the southern part of town. He had born to him eight children. Jacob Heath, son of Simeon, was born in Washington County, N. Y., and in 1809 came with his wife, Dorcas Rathbun, and two children to this town, locating upon the farm now occupied by his son A. C., where he engaged in farming and carried on a cloth-dressing-mill and a saw-mill. He reared 10 children, all of whom survived their father, and six are now living in this town, namely: Lyman, Albert C., Amos, Charlotte (Mrs. Nathan Whitford), Celestine (Mrs. William Cleveland), and Mary A. (Mrs. William Glazier). One son, Oren, lives in Medina, N. Y. Mrs. Heath died in October, 1889, having attained the extreme age of 97 years.
Asa Hill removed from Massachusetts to Oneida County, and thence to Rodman, with his wife, Katherine Davis, and three children, and took up a tract of wild land, upon which he erected a log house. He was one of the pioneer settlers of the town, and resided here the most of his life. He had three sons and eight daughters, of whom four daughters are living, viz.: Electa (Mrs. B. Yandes), of Adams; Arodyne (Mrs. William P. Ball), of Rutland; and Jeanette, who lives with her sister, Mrs. Sophronia Merwin, in Rutland.
Calvin P. Hill, son of Asa, was born in Bridgewater, Oneida County, in 1801, and came to Rodman with his parents in 1810. He married Miss Lois Wait, of Rensselaer County, in 1824 and soon after located in Watertown. In 1829 Mr. Hill was appointed in the 14th Regt. Cavalry of the state of New York, with rank from August 8, 1828, his commission being signed by Martin Van Buren and N. F. Beck as adjutant general. In 1859 he located in East Rodman. Mr. Hill was a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and one of its officers for many years. About the year 1870 he took up his residence in Watertown, where he died in 1880. The death of his wife occurred in 1875.
James Hill came from Lenox, Madison County, to Rodman, in 1826, locating on the farm now occupied by his grandson, H.E.Hill. Jared A. Hill, son of James, was born in Lenox, Madison County, in 1822. In 1853 he married Ruby M., daughter of Azariah Eastman, of Rodman, and settled on the homestead where he remained until his death, August 30, 1883. His children were Dagan A., Herman E., and Cora A. (Mrs. W.D. Kenfield), all of whom reside in this town. His widow survives him.
Orrin D. Hill, son of Calvin P. and Lois (Wait) Hill was born in Watertown in 1827, and came to this town when 19 years old. In 1852 he married Martha M. Boynton, and settled on the farm on which he now lives. Mrs. Hill died October 4, 1884, and January 27, 1886, he married Emma A. Boynton, a sister of his first wife. Mr. Hill was assessor of this town for four years, at the end of which time, in 1873, he was elected supervisor, and again in 1874. Mr. Hill, though considerably past the meridian of life, is still very active in business. In early life he was a school teacher.
Michael Huestis removed from Warren, N. Y., to Rodman in 1810, and settled in the northern part of the town, where he engaged in farming. He married Margaret Gardner, and their children were Hannah, John, Valariah, Ann, Annis, Michael, Jr., David, Elizabeth, Ruth, and Hugh. Mr. Huestis served as a justice of the peace for many years, and was engaged in the mercantile business. He died in Rodman in 1849. David, son of Michael, was born June 10, 1812, and at the early age of 14 years was apprenticed to the blacksmiths' trade. He was employed by Behm Palmer for six years, and in 1833 bought the shop of Mr. Palmer and continued the business nearly 50 years. He also, during a portion of this time, conducted a carriage shop. He married Anna M. Hills, and their children were Helen M., who died at the age of 10 years; Emerette A., who died at the age of four years; and Benjamin F., who served in Co. B, 10th Regt. N. Y. H. A., was with the regiment during its entire service, and now resides in Lyons, N. Y.
Simeon Hunt was one of the first settlers in the town of Rodman, having moved here from Vermont, with an ox-team in 1801. He built a log cabin on the site now occupied by G.F. Isham's house, and here kept a tavern for a number of years. It is related of his wife that for six months after coming here she saw no other female. At this time, and for some years after, the nearest grist-mill was at Brownville, a distance of 12 miles, to which the early settlers carried their grain on their backs, their only guide through he unbroken forest being "blazed" trees. Mr. Hunt was a very religious man, and was a member of the first church in town, organized in 1805.
Jesse and Noah Merwin came from Connecticut about the year 1808, and first settled in Lewis County, where they resided for 22 years, when Jesse removed to this town and purchased the farm formerly occupied by Deacon Dodge, about three miles east of the village of Rodman. About five years later Noah followed and bought a farm of Daniel Staplin, located near his brother. In 1854 Jesse purchased a place two miles nearer the village of Rodman, near the little hamlet of Zoar, and here resided until his death, in June 1862, at the age of 78 years. Mr. Merwin married Rebecca Morris, of Wilbraham, Mass., in 1811, and they had children as follows: Sylenda, Talcott, died young, Betsey, died young, Talcott, Mary, Fanny, Miles, and Harriet R. Mrs. Merwin died in 1862, aged 77 years. Noah Merwin occupied the farm purchased of Mr. Staplin until his death, January 2, 1866. He was twice married, first to Sylenda Morris, of Wilbraham, Mass., who bore him one child, Nancy, and second, to Mary Carpenter, of Coventry, Conn., by whom he had six daughters, viz.: Mary, Ruth, and Eliza, who died in infancy; Candace, who died March 8, 1849; Mary M. (Mrs. Moody), who resides in the village of Rodman; and Cordelia, who resides with her sister Mary M.
Lyman Miller, son of Archibald and Lucinda (Bissell) Miller, was born in Melbourne, Lower Canada, in 1811, and at the age of 16 years located in Washington County, N.Y., thence moving to this town with his father in 1834. He married Lois Cooley in 1838, and located in the Cook neighborhood, where he bought the John Cooley farm, where he now resides. Mr. Miller has three children, as follows: J. Francis, Polly Ann (Mrs. George Smith), who resides in Pinckney, Lewis County, N.Y. and Lois T. Mr. Miller's father was a native of Vermont, and his mother a native of Massachusetts. They removed to Canada in 1804. Both his grandfathers did honorable service in the Revolutionary War.
Ebenezer S. Porter settled in the town of Rutland about 1805, locating near Tylerville, where he cleared a farm, and where he resided until his death. He had a family of one son and four daughters. Richardson Porter, son of Ebenezer S., was born in Rutland, where he carried on blacksmithing until his death in 1843. He had three children, namely: Horatio S., a farmer, Oliver R., a miller, and Elizabeth S. (Mrs. N. G. Cooley), all of whom reside in this town.
Miles Ralph came from Delhi, Delaware County, to Rodman, about 1805, and settled on the farm now occupied by Ward Bibbins, where he purchased and cleared 225 acres of wild land. He served as justice of the peace several years, was a director in the Jefferson County National Bank, and at the time of his death was one of the wealthiest men in the town. He married Mary Cornwell and they had 14 children, 11 of whom attained maturity, and two are now living, viz: Leonard D., of Neshkoro, Wis., and Marcus D., of Rodman. The latter married Fanny Edwards, of Philadelphia, by whom he has two children, Fred, and Elena.
John Scidmore, Sr., located in Saratoga County at an early day. John Scidmore, Jr., located in Pinckney, N.Y., before the war of 1812, and participated in the battle of Sackets Harbor. He married Abigail Colomore, and in 1823 located in this county, dying in Rutland. Anthony Scidmore, son of John Jr., was born in 1816. In 1844 he married Sarah Wilcox, of Rutland, and located in the southeastern part of that town. He had three children, namely: Franklin, who served in the 10th N.Y.H.A., and died on Staten Island; Solomon, who lives at Whitesville village in this town; and James H., of Brownville. Upon the death of his wife, in 1859, he married Sarah Gardner, of Rodman, in 1860, and in 1871 removed to Whitesville, where he now resides.
John Shearer, son of William, was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, whence he emigrated with his father to America in June, 1849, and in July following, located in the town of Wilna. In 1853 he married Ellen S. Dean, and in 1858 located in Rodman village, where he now resides. He is a farmer, and a member of the Congregational Church.
William Sill came from Lyme, Conn., to Jefferson County during the war of 1812. In 1815 he married Sophia Hopkins, of Rutland, and settled in Rodman village, where he carried on a general store until 1825, when he removed to Henderson and engaged in farming until 1836, in the latter year returning to Rodman, where he purchased the farm of E. Fuller, now owned by his son John S. Here he resided until his death in 1869. He had four children, namely: Mary M., John S., Edward, and Elizabeth. Mr. Sill served the town of Rodman as supervisor one term. John S., son of William, was born in Rodman, October 27, 1820. He married Arletta V. Winslow, daughter of William M., and settled on the homestead, where he has since resided. He has two sons, J. Sterling and William E.
Daniel Smith, from Columbia County, N.Y., located in Hounsfield about 1804 or '05, at the locality known as Camp's Mills, where he erected a saw-mill, which he conducted for about 12 years, when he sold to Elisha Camp and removed to Rutland, a few years after locating in Rodman, where he resided until his death. He served in the battle of Sackets Harbor, was a justice of the peace in Rutland several years, and an influential member of the Baptist Church. He had three sons and ten daughters, all of whom attained maturity, and all but one reared families. Daniel Smith, Jr., was born in Hounsfield in 1815. In 1844 he married Elizabeth Robbins, of Copenhagen, and has since resided in Rodman, engaged in farming and dealing in cattle. Upon the death of his first wife he married Mercy A. Brown, of this town. His first wife bore him one son, Stephen R.
George W. Smith, a resident of South Rutland, married Jennette A., daughter of William Oakes. Their son, Herbert A. Smith, born in Rutland in 1863, was educated at Antwerp Academy. He studied medicine with Dr. J. H. Tamblin, of Copenhagen, attended the Medical University of Buffalo, in the class of 1888. He married Florence Isabel, daughter of Nathaniel and Juliette (Schyler) Lewis, April 14, 1886, and practiced his profession in Lorraine until he removed to Rodman, where he now lives.
George W. Smith, son of Reuben, was born in this town in 1812, on the farm now owned by George C. Bibbins. In 1840 he married Fanny, daughter of Jesse Merwin, of Rodman, and resided on the homestead until 1850, when he removed to Unionville, where he died in 1871. He had four children, namely: Zelia (Mrs. Giles W. Gardner), Reuben Z., Emma R. (Mrs. La Mort S. Holley), of Iowa, and Ora T., who died in 1879. Reuben Z. Smith married Mary G., daughter of Almanson Tibbitts, of Rodman, in 1866, and has three children, Fannie E., G. Raymond, and Milton E. Mrs. Smith died in 1876.
Reuben Smith, from Nelson, N.H., came to Rodman in 1802, locating upon the farm now occupied by George C. Bibbins, where he cleared the land and engaged in farming. He married Pamelia, daughter of Jesse Wright, by whom he had 10 children, namely: Eunice, Ezra, James, Esther, George W., Ruth, Mary, Jennette, Oren, and Andrew J. He was well known in the community and served the town as supervisor one term. James Smith, son of Reuben, was born in Rodman 1808, and in 1831 married Harriet E., daughter of Miles and Mary Ralph, who died in 1884. He has been a farmer, and now resides at Unionville. He has a daughter, Adelia W., who married Laban F. Spink, who is a farmer and resides on road 13. Mr. And Mrs. Spink have five children, viz.: Rozaltha E. (Mrs. W.D. Hickox), Albert L., Janette M., Mary H., and Harriet B. The latter married C.P. Dodge of Adams, and died in 1881, leaving two daughters, Bessie L. and Ina P., who reside with their grandparents.
Rev. David Spear was born in Rupert, Vt., in June, 1781. He was converted to Christ at the age of 14 years, and at once commenced a course of study preparatory for the ministry, being licensed to preach the gospel May 27, 1807. The studies of Mr. Spear were pursued under the supervision of Rev. John B. Preston, and at his house, July 13, 1808, in West Rupert, Vt., a committee of consociation assembled for the purpose of examining and ordaining him for his life work. He immediately commenced a missionary tour of Jefferson County, and on the second Sabbath in August, 1808, his labors commenced, and were equally divided between Rodman and Adams. In September, 1809, Mr. Spear was installed as a permanent pastor of the Rodman Congregational Church, in which capacity he continued for more than 50 years. During his pastorate here about 53 were added to the church, and it is estimated that he preached not less than 1,500 funeral sermons. Mr. Spear was greatly beloved by his people, who he served so faithfully and long. In February, 1810, he married Mary Roberts, who was born in Stillwater, N. Y., in 1787. They celebrated their "golden wedding" at their home in Rodman, February 1, 1860, on which occasion they were presented with a bountiful donation. Mrs. Spear died January 23, 1865, aged 78 years. Her venerable husband survived until November 13, 1868, in his 88th years. His last days were spent with an only and widowed daughter at Mannsville, in the town of Ellisburgh.
Jesse Spencer came from Steuben, Oneida County, to Rodman, about 1815, and settled on the farm now owned by Myron Babbitt, where he resided until his death. He had eight children. Hadley, son of Jesse, came here with his father. He married Sarah Clark, and resided upon the old homestead until his death. He had three children, Mary E. (Mrs. Myron Babbitt), Henry C., and Julia E. (Mrs. Oscar Eastman). Henry C. Spencer was born February 6, 1842. He enlisted in Co. F, 94th N. Y. Vols., and was wounded in the leg in the second battle of Bull Run, and was discharged in February, 1863, by reason of his wound. In September, 1864, he enlisted in Co. B, 10th N. Y. H. A., and was with the regiment until it was mustered out in 1865. In the last year he married Caroline, daughter of Gardner Turner, of Worth, and has since resided in this town.
Hon. Nathan Strong, son of Thomas and Phebe (Seward) Strong, and a descendant of Elder John Strong, of Northampton. Mass., came from Whitestown, N. Y., to Rodman, in 1810, and purchased a large farm and grist-mill, which he conducted until his death, in 1841. He served as justice of the peace from 1811 until 1824, was a postmaster from 1816 until 1841, supervisor from 1815 until 1830, and again in 1838, and was a member of assembly in 1832. He was for many years the principal man in the town, and to him was referred many controversies among his neighbors, which he amicably settled. He was married and had six children. Herman Strong, son of Nathan, was born in 1802. He married, first, Mary S. McKinstry, and they had four children. He married, second, Sarah Ann Millard. His first wife died in 1851. Mr. Strong was engaged in farming from 1823 till 1861. He was supervisor in 1843, sheriff of the county from 1844 to 1847, and superintendent of the poor from 1861 till 1876. In 1861 he removed to Watertown, where he died in 1876. His son George B., who resides in Rodman, married Ordella M., daughter of Oren Buell, and they have a daughter, Mary E.
Almanson Tibbitts was born in Monkton, VT., and when a small boy came with a family named Thompson to Jefferson county, locating in the town of Lorraine about 1807. He located in Rodman about 1818. He married first, Mary Moody, and second, Maria G., daughter of Timothy G. Seward. He had one daughter, Mary E., who married Reuben Smith.
Daniel Todd, son of Daniel, a native of Connecticut, removed with his wife, Betsey Peck, to Rodman, in 1804, locating at Whitesville, where he built a tannery in 1806, and engaged in shoemaking, continuing in the latter business nearly up to the time of his death. He was also a farmer during the last years of his life. He had 13 children, 12 of whom attained maturity. They were Mary, Lyman, William, John, Eliza, Betsey, Enoch L., Daniel, Jr., David M., Marietta, Julia E., Joseph, and Melissa. Mr. Todd was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for 70 years, and was an influential citizen of the town. His son, David M. Todd, was born December 18, 1820. In 1848 he married Phebe S. Babbitt and continued his residence on the homestead, where he now resides. He has been a farmer and a school teacher, and served the town as justice of the peace for 12 years. He has had five children, namely: Emma L., who died at the age of 23 years; Edward M., of Burr's Mills; Arthur C.; Eunice A. (Mrs. Frank J. Clements), of Tylerville; and Herman S.
Dennis M. Wait, son of Benjamin, came to Rodman about 1817, when 18 years of age, and was apprenticed to learn the carpenter and joiners' trade, which was his occupation during the remainder of his life. He married Eunice, daughter of Reuben Smith, of Rodman, and settled on road 23, where the widow of Harlow B. Wait now lives, where he worked at his trade and was the principal carpenter in that locality. He had eight children, namely: Milo S., Ruth E. (Mrs. Miles Barrows), Mariette (Mrs. Franklin Toby), Charles M., Ermina E. (Mrs. G.E. Dean), Favoriat P. (Mrs. Eri Cooley), Wilfred D., and Harlow B. The latter married Nettie O., daughter of Gaius Oatman, of Adams, by whom he had a son, Harvey R. Harlow B. Wait was a prominent man in the town, and served as supervisor and road commissioner.
Nathan, John, Job, Benjamin, William, and Bowen Wait, brothers, came from Vermont to this town among the early settlers. Bowen Wait married Polly Putnam, of Whittingham, Vt., and about 1816 settled near Unionville, where he followed the dual occupation of carpenter and millwright until his death. He had 11 children, 10 of whom attained maturity, namely: Adaline E., Martha J., Elon G., Almeron B., Mary M., Phebe J., Lydia C., Martin P., and Adelia A. Martin P. Wait was born in Rodman, September 11, 1831. In 1850 he married Mary E., daughter of Jospeh Clark, of Lyme, and settled on road 42, where he built a saw-mill, which he conducted for about 30 years, when he sold out and removed to the farm where he now resides. Mr. Wait was road commissioner for eight years, and has built many of the bridges in the town. He has three children living, namely: Viola B., Nora A., and Burt P.
Roger Washburn came from Connecticut to Rodman about 1820, and settled in the southern part of the town, where he resided until his death. He married Betsy Ross, and they had nine children, of whom Alanson served as sergeant in Co. E, 18th N.Y. Cav. Levi, son of Roger, was born April 20, 1840. In October 1861, he enlisted in Co. F, 94 N.Y. Vols., and served with that gallant regiment until March 1864, when he was discharged. In 1863 he was commissioned second lieutenant. He participated in the battles of Cedar Mountain, second Bull Run, Antietam, South Mountain, Fredericksburg, and other minor engagements. In 1881 he married Ella L., daughter of Hiram Herring, and now resides in Rodman village, where he holds the office of postmaster and carries on a tannery.
Edward Whitford was born in 1778, and his wife, Polly Maxon, in 1781. They were married in 1799, and had born to them 12 children. All except three attained maturity and reared families. Mr. And Mrs. Whitford came from Renssalear County to Jefferson County in the spring of 1836, and occupied the same farm until their death. Both died in 1862. The only survivor of this large family is Edward W., who resides in Illinois. Albert S. Whitford, son of Edward, was born in 1818, and came to this county with his parents. He married Charlotte Heath, October 29, 1840, and they had one son, Albert O. H. Albert S. died January 29, 1844, aged 25 years. Albert O. H. was born December 17, 1842. He married Roseline S. Green, December 18, 1865, by whom he had three children, Mary B., Edward A., and Bertha E.
Darius Wood, son of Dr. Isaac S. Wood, was born in Wilbraham, Mass., in 1804, and was one year old when his parents located in Rodman. May 1, 1826 he married Sally, daughter of Richard Boynton, by whom he had seven children - Marcia S., Alonzo D., Isaac S., Mary J., Ellen E., Eliza J., and Morris. Mr. Wood died in 1849, and his wife in 1872. Their son Isaac S. resides in Rodman village.
Joseph Woodman, M. D., was born in the village of
Salisbury, N. H., March 5, 1785. His father, Benjamin Woodman, was a farmer
of limited means who found it difficult to rear and maintain his large and growing
family upon the rugged hills of the granite state. In 1808 he moved to Irasburg,
Vt., where he continued in the occupation of farming. Joseph Woodman was then
a young man of 22 years. He was educated in the common schools, and taught
several terms before he was 24 years old. He also taught singing school. Soon
after attaining his majority he commenced the study of medicine, and attended the
medical school at Fairfield, N. Y. Graduating from that institution, he returned
to Irasburg and practiced until August 1812, when war was declared and he turned
his attention to military service. Leaving home he journeyed via Walden, Barre,
and Stockbridge to Rutland, Vt., thence via Fort Ann and Saratoga to Johnstown,
N. Y., and thence to Albany, where he was appointed surgeon's mate in the
Scoharie regiment, commanded by Col. Rich. The regiment embarked at
Schenectady and proceeded up the Mohawk as far as Utica, then marched by land
to Sackets Harbor. The Doctor continued with the regiment six months, and was
discharged February 22, 1813, but continued with them until March 17th, when
he was appointed surgeon of the first regiment of United States volunteers. He
remained at Sackets Harbor as surgeon until the war of 1812 closed. During the
battle of Sackets Harbor he left his tent, musket in hand, and fought in the ranks
until his services were required to attend the wounded. While stationed here he
made several trips to Oswego and Buffalo, and one to Detroit, the latter being
then little more than a French trading post. After receiving his discharge paper,
signed by Gen. Macomb, he, in company with an old army friend, Richard
Goodell, went to the latter's home in Adams, where they remained some time
resting from the campaign just closed. They then went to Whitesville, now East
Rodman, on Sandy Creek. Whitesville was at that time a little hamlet of scarce
a dozen houses. Among the principal men of the place was Elias Slocum, a
merchant, who later became noted as the man who captured John Van Allstine,
at Buffalo, the murderer of William Huddleston. Daniel Todd was another
representative man, a shoemaker; Peter Yandes, a merchant and farmer. In this
village Dr. Woodman bought a house and lot and commenced the practice of his
profession, being the first doctor to locate in Whitesville. His contemporaries
were Dr. Wood, five miles west of the village, and Dr. Converse Johnson, who
lived six miles east. Dr. Woodman being a bachelor he boarded for a time with
Ebenezer Blackstone. January 16, 1816, Dr. Woodman was united in marriage
to Sally Wright, sister of Mrs. Blackstone, by Rev. David Spear. The Doctor and
wife began housekeeping, he continued his medical practice some time, teaching
district school in the village or in Tylerville. Many and varied were the trying
experiences of those pioneer people in that community. Pages might be filled
with interesting incidents - some humorous, but often pathetic and painful. At
this period (1816-17) occurred the memorable year known as the cold season.
During these years heavy frosts occurred in midsummer, with flying snow and
cold winds. Scarcely enough of the farmers' crops matured for their own
subsistence, suffering and want prevailing where plenty and cheerfulness had
It chanced one morning in June, 1818, Dr. Woodman was told by his wife that nothing remained in the house to eat but a few dry beans. Hearing this he quickly mounted his horse, and with his pill bags under him started to make the rounds of his patients. After visiting several he called at the house of Daniel Kinney, where he made known the condition of his family. Mr. And Mrs. Kinney were deeply touched at his story, and although they had neighbors in the same plight Mrs. Kinney gave the doctor a "rye 'n' injun" loaf of bread just drawn from the oven, a pillow case full of flour, a small roll of butter, they having no meat of any kind in the house. After leaving the Kinney's the Doctor visited a patient at Mr. Stillman's. Here he saw hanging in a plum tree the carcass of a sheep just slaughtered. Mr. Stillman told the Doctor he had promised a half dozen neighbors a piece of that sheep, but that he should surely have a part of it. Concluding his visit here Dr. Woodman mounted his horse for home, carrying in his arms bread, butter, mutton, sack of flour, and a small bag of salt, which his wife prepared, and their hunger was soon appeased. In 1827 Dr. Woodman sold his property in Whitesville and removed his family to Pinckney, Lewis County, where he bought a small farm, his sons then being old enough to assist him in working it, while he still followed his profession. In 1837 he sold his farm, and with his wife and six children emigrated to Oakland County, Mich., being 19 days on the journey from Sackets Harbor to Detroit. Arriving at Novi, Oakland County, he rented a log cabin, where he spent the summer, following his profession, his sons working out by the day or month. In September he bought an 80 acre farm in Novi, to which he moved his family. He now commenced life again in a home of his own, on a partly cleared farm in a rich and fertile country. He resumed his practice, but soon fell victim to malarial fever, and died August 15, 1838.
Joseph Woodman was a man of strict and unswerving integrity, a kind husband and father, a regular attendant of the house of God, where for many years he led the singing. As a physician he was very successful and very popular having a pleasing address, and a never failing fund of humor, which brought cheer and encouragement to the sick room. In politics he was a Democrat of the Jefferson-Jackson school, and voted for every Democrat President from the time he cast his first vote for Martin Van Buren. Though in no sense an office seeker, he acceptably filled various offices of honor and trust, both in township and county. Dr. Woodman left a widow and six children, five sons and one daughter. The four eldest sons are living; the eldest, E. S. Woodman, is a lawyer in Northville, Mich.; the second, William W., is a lawyer in Johnson Creek, Wis.; the next two brothers are farmers in Ionia County, Mich.; and all are well situated and honored citizens in their respective localities.
Caleb Woodward, son of Caleb, a Scotchman, one of the early settlers of Duchess County, N.Y., settled in Rodman from Warren, Herkimer County, in 1803, purchasing 300 acres of land on Dry Hill, where he engaged for a number of years in the manufacture of potash. His family consisted of two sons and nine daughters. The eldest son, Jesse, was born in 1783, in the town of Oblong, Duchess County, and the youngest son, Milton, in the same place in 1789. The daughters were all married and settled near Rodman. Caleb Woodward was a captain in the Revolution. He and his sons, with others, cut the first road through from Toad Hollow to Nathaniel Harrington's. He died in Canada, aged 91 years. Milton Woodward, in 1816, married Hannah Webb, and settled in the town of Adams, one and one-half miles north of Adams Center, the Sand street road being then but a mere path in the woods. He served in the war of 1812, and was one of the 140 men who carried the "big cable" from Sandy Creek to Sackets Harbor. They had children as follows: Marquis, Oliva (Mrs. Charles Hall), Constant (Mrs. Mary Stickney). Egiva (Mrs. Eleazaer Williams), Minerva (Mrs. Henry Gordinere), Juliett (Mrs. J. Weaber), Ovilla, Benjamin, Franklin, Richard Rush, Amelia Maria (Mrs. Louis Sluman), Jenet (Mrs. Isaac Parker), and William Jasper. In 1834 he moved to the town of Rodman, to the farm now owned by B.F. Woodward, where he lived for nearly 30 years, dying in his 85th year. He was twice married, the second time, in 184, to Mrs. Electa Stickney, who survived him three years. Marquis Woodward, in 1845, emigrated to Van Buren County, Mich., where in 1847, he married Eliza A., daughter of Daniel Taylor, of Litchfield, Conn. In 1865 he and his family returned to Jefferson County, locating in Henderson, afterwards removing to Rodman, where he now resides. They had two sons and two daughters, Leonora A., Oren M., Fremont M., and Carrie A. (Mrs. Samuel Parker). Oren M. Woodward married in 1871, Mellie E., daughter of C. S. and Mary (Smith) Gage, who settled in Rodman in 1833, from Monkton, Vt. Mr. Woodward has two sons, Charles G., born in 1874, and Rollin O., born in 1879. He resides in Rodman, on the farm of C. S. Gage.
Jesse Wright came from Nelson, N. H., to this town, in 1804 or 1805, and settled on the farm now occupied by his grandson Nathan A. He cleared land and engaged in farming, which occupation he followed until his death. Nathan, son of Jesse, married, first, Sophia Beals, of Nelson, N. H., and second, Almira Hunt, of Vermont. By his first wife he had four children, Lucy A., Nathan A., Elford F., and George B., and by his second wife a son, Charles E. Mr. Wright continued on the old homestead until his death, and always retained the respect and confidence of his neighbors.
Jonathan Wyman, son of Samuel, was born in old Concord, Mass., and in 1805 came to Rodman, from Nelson, N. H. He married Abigail, daughter of John Adams, of Nelson, and they had three children, Abigail, Mary, and Henry, who came to Rodman with their parents. Mr. Wyman brought his family with a one-horse sleigh, in the month of February, locating upon what is now a part of C. S. Gage's farm. He subsequently removed to the farm now occupied by J. M. Brown, where he died in 1823. After locating here he had born to him four children, Elise M., Nancy J., Oliver C., and Caroline E. Mrs. Wyman died in 1864. Oliver C. Wyman, son of Jonathan, was born in this town on April 1, 1812. He attended the common schools until he attained the age of 15 years, after which he went to the Ruger High School at Watertown. He taught school several terms, and served the town as school superintendent. He was supervisor in 1858-59 and in 1866-67, and in 1871-72 was a member of Assembly from the first district. In 1838 he married Mrs. Marcia S. Sanford. W. J. Wyman was born in this town in 1849, and has been engaged in mercantile business here since he attained maturity. He has been justice of the peace since 1880, and has been supervisor for the past three years.
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