These biographies and family sketches are copied exactly as found. Undoubtedly there will be minor variations found in later research.
The Bentons Mrs. Caroline C. Benton, wife of Colonel Z. H. Benton, formerly of Antwerp, who died at Richfield Springs some years ago, was a natural-born niece of Napoleon I., she being the daughter of Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain. Though so near a descendant of a family that helped so greatly to make history, she seldom made an allusion, save to her intimate friends, to the fact that she was the only descendant in America of that distinguished house. It may not be altogether unbecoming for an historian to make mention of some well-known facts concerning people who have passed away, for sometimes such allusions may help to "point a moral or adorn a tale." In such a light we present a few remarks:
When Joseph Bonaparte, who had been King of Spain when his great brother had thrones and crowns to give away, took up his residence in Bordentown, N.J., he met and loved a beautiful Quaker girl. Her family were eminently respectable, and it was a great blow to their just pride to see their daughter contract a mesalliance with an acknowledged French roué like Joseph Bonaparte, then an old, corpulent man. Outside of her won friends and acquaintances, no one knew the family name of the fair Quakeress, nor do we here give it, although well known to the author of this History. This union resulted in the birth of two children, both daughters. The younger died in infancy, and the other was she who married Colonel Benton. Her mother came to Watertown in the thirties, under the name of Madam de la Folie, and resided for a long time on Arsenal street, in the brick double-house later owned by the DeLongs, and demolished to make room for the Opera House. There Mrs. Benton grew to woman-hood, and there she was married to Col. Benton early in the thirties, there ceremony being performed early in the old Trinity Church on Court street, destroyed in the great fire of 1849. Shortly before the year of this marriage, Joseph Bonaparte spent a large part of his time in this northern country, having 240,000 acres of land in Northern Jefferson and Southern St. Lawrence, the Natural Bridge being his headquarters, and there he erected quite a pretentious dwelling. He also built a hunting lodge on the high rocky hill that forms the eastern shore of Bonaparte Lake, but only the foundations walls are now traceable. It is a lonely, bleak place, the trees all cut down, and the naked rocks adding to the desolation. During his residence in this northern section, he chose to be called the Count de Survilliers. He finally disposed of his lands to the Antwerp Company, we believe, though not positive. In the fall of 1830, having heard of the French Revolution of the previous July, he departed for France.
Mrs. Benton received a pension of $1,200 a year from France up to the time of the Franco-Prussian war. After that she taught French for a living. She was a beautiful and accomplished lady, and in no way ever violated the rules of conventionalism. She left several children; one of her sons is a summer resident upon the shore of Bonaparte Lake, where he has a fine cottage. In 1879 Mrs. Benton wrote an interesting book about France and the French people. She visited Paris, and is said to have been received by Napoleon III., but we have no authority for the statement that she was acknowledged as a legitimate Bonaparte. She is represented as having been a splendid girl, with beautiful eyes, and a manner that was charming. Her residence in this remote section is not so remarkable, when we consider that the very first efforts at a settlement of the Black River country were made by émigrés from France, driven out by the Revolution of 1793, as the Bonapartes were in turn driven out by the returning Bourbons, after Waterloo--they too, seeking this northern section for a home. At Cape Vincent there were Frenchmen who entered Moscow with Napoleon I., and survived the awful horrors of that campaign. They even hoped to see "L'Emprere" himself among them at Cape Vincent, after he should have escaped from St. Helena. Vain hope! His restless ambition left him, as it should have done, to die a prisoner upon a lonely island in a distant sea.
John D. Ellis Among the best known and most respected business men of Jefferson county is Hon. John D. Ellis, of Antwerp. John Davis Ellis was born in 1834, in the town of LeRay, being the youngest and now the only surviving son of Joseph Phinney and Almira (Steele) Ellis. His education was acquired in the Academy at Carthage, and at a private school in Evans Mills; but at an early age he was obliged to leave his books to enter the store of his father at Antwerp, where Mr. Ellis senior added the duties of postmaster to the demands of a large general country trade, making his son's services greatly needed. At the age of 21 he was admitted to full partnership, and upon his father's retirement a few years later, reorganized the business under the firm name of John D. Ellis & Co., the other partners being Hercules Weston Ellis (his brother, now deceased), and Albert Hoyt, his brother-in-law. Under this firm's management, a steady, growing and thriving trade was established, it being a well known fact that very few country stores of the present day cover anything like so large a range of territory in their customers. It was here, indeed, that the foundation of Mr. Ellis' fortune was made--a fortune which he owes almost wholly to his own untiring industry and business ability. The retail sales of J.D. Ellis & Co. reached $100,000 in a single year, and in addition they handled farm products to the amount of $250,000 per annum. It was at this time, also, that Mr. Ellis began to deal in real estate, a line of activity which has broadened until to-day he pays one of the largest realty taxes in this section.
The Bank of Antwerp, a private banking institution owned by Mr. Ellis, with Albert Hoyt as cashier, was established under its present ownership in December 1872. The Bank of Antwerp has been a successful institution, enjoying the confidence of the community, by reason of conservative business methods and sound financial practices. The great fire of 1889 destroyed the old bank building, a frame structure, and it was replaced by the present one, of brick and stone, with modern vault and time-lock protection, which is one of the finest banking offices in the county. Mr. Ellis was active in the establishment of the Antwerp Liberal Literary Institute (now Ives Seminary), an institution which has incalculably contributed to the educational interests of the town; and was a trustee, and for several years president of the board of trustees thereof.
All his life an earnest and consistent Democrat, in foul weather and in fair, Mr. Ellis has nevertheless enjoyed the respect and support of his strongly Republican town, and has held many public offices, both elective and appointive. His first election was as supervisor, the only Democrat chosen to that office from the town of Antwerp since the organization of the Republican party--a period of nearly 40 years; he has also filled many other local offices. In 1879, a year almost paralleling 1894, as one of Democratic dissension and defeat, Mr. Ellis was nevertheless elected member of the Assembly from the second Jefferson district, and was thus one of the very few Democrats who have represented this county at Albany since the war. Mr. Ellis carried the district by the substantial majority of 268. His own town, ordinarily Republican by 300, gave him for the Assembly 169 majority. While a member, he inintroduced [sic] and secured the passage of several measures of great importance.
But the most important public office ever held by Mr. Ellis was that of State Assessor, to which Governor Cleveland appointed him in 1883. The Board of State Assessors, of which he was for nine years a leading member, was always regarded by authorities as an exceptionally able one, and its decisions in equalization contests have invariably been sustained by the Court of Appeals. Mr. Ellis was especially known as a representative on the Board of the great farming interests of the State, which had not, until his appointment, been similarly recognized since the creation of the office in 1859.
During the war Mr. Ellis was a "War Democrat" was active with his influence and his means in aiding the Union cause, and, as treasurer of the funds for raising troops, became personally holden for large sums of money. During recent years he has been active in the movement which has culminated in the erection of the Soldiers' Monument at Antwerp, and is vice-president of the Association that has reared this beautiful tribute to the soldier-dead.
He is a member of the First Congregational Church of Antwerp, and a liberal contributor always to the cause of religion and to worthy charitable objects. Still in the prime of life, h is an excellent type of the successful American business man, the architect of his own fortune.
In 1861 he married Mary J. Buell, daughter of the late Almon Buell, one of the pioneers of the town of Antwerp, and man of upright and respected Christian character. Their children are: Mary (wife of Willard S. Augsbury, of Antwerp), and Marion Josephine (wife of Ira M. Beaman, of Westboro, Mass.).
LeRoy S. Rogers was born in Hebron, Washington county, N.Y., in 1819. His parents were John and Polly (Eggleston) Rogers, who were married in 1816, a season remembered as extremely cold. Polly Eggleston was the daughter of Asa Eggleston, of Washington county. John Rogers bought a farm near Antwerp in 1828, where he resided until his death, in 1870, aged 77 years.
LeRoy S. is the eldest of five children. He married Pamelia M. Burtch in 1846, and their family is as follows: Emogene P., wife of E. B. Perley, a leading druggist of Antwerp; Allen L. who married Mattie, daughter of Giles Bannister, of Watertown, where they reside and have one daughter, Bertha; Will J. Rogers, who resides on the homestead, near Antwerp, and married Maud L., daughter of Hiram A. Mix, of Richville, St. Lawrence county; George P., a druggist at Canton, St. Lawrence county, who married Jennie McLaren, of Heuvelton, St. Lawrence county; they have one daughter, Margaret G. LeRoy Rogers retired from the farm in 1876, and built the house in Antwerp village where he still resides. He has always been a Republican, and for 13 years the assessor of the town. He is a substantial, honored citizen, enjoying the respect of his neighbors and friends.
William McAllaster was born in Antrim, N.H., March 6, 1792. The family was respected in that community, and, until William was 13 years of age, in easy circumstances. Then misfortune came and swept away the results of years of industry and frugality. At the age o f 18, finding himself at liberty and on the world, with only a small amount of money in his pocket, William packed his scanty wardrobe in a bundle, and taking it on his back, set out upon a march through the wilderness. Of the length of time consumed upon this journey we can say nothing; but we know that upon reaching Antwerp he found little or nothing to do, and so continued his journey to Odgensburg. He obtained employment for one season with Mr. Ford, the builder of the State road. Returning to New Hampshire, he again came to Antwerp, bringing with him his parents and one brother and five sisters. The journey was performed with a yoke of cattle and a two-wheeled cart. On arriving at Antwerp, Richard, the father, immediately set about the erection of a house, on a site now within the limits of Hoyt street, just in the rear of the Congregational Church. Richard and Susan died in 1813, their graves being among the first dug in the old burying-ground on the hill. In the meantime, William was laboring hard at small wages on the turnpike, which was then being built from Antwerp village to the Ox-Bow. Subsequently he was elected constable and collector. As collector he compelled Parish to pay his taxes in Antwerp instead of Albany, somewhat against the gentleman's inclination, but William's energy and promptness in the matter pleased the wealthy land-owner, and he subsequently made the young man his agent.
In 1828 he married Nancy Stowell, a lady who came to Antwerp in 1809 from New Hampshire, and who was born January 6, 1804. Of this marriage were born four children, William P., George D., Oliver R. and Major. Of these only George D. is now living. Major died while young, and William P. and Oliver while serving in the Union army in the Civil War. The Grand Army post at Antwerp bears the name of "Oliver McAllaster." Hon. George D. McAllaster has served one term in the Legislature, and has been several times supervisor of his town.
William McAllaster continued as Parish's agent until his land was all sold, and he ceased to do business in the town. He was elected to the Assembly in 1840, and for one year was supervisor of his town. He died May 5, 1870, probably the best known and respected of any man in that northern section.
The peculiar hardships endured by these early settlers are well described in a number of places in this History. But their lives were not all hardship. They raised families, founded homes, and what more do we accomplish now? Mrs. McAllaster, is certainly a remarkably well preserved and intelligent lady.
The life and labors of Mr. McAllaster are fitting illustrations of the benefits progressive and active men are able to receive from being connected with a new country. It is probable that were he to be living to-day, under the greatly changed conditions which now prevail, he would scarcely have done better than his descendants have done, who, left with large possessions, have no more than kept the patrimony they inherited. Such is often the case where men of considerable ability and prominence achieve success upon a small theater, when, if compelled to grapple with the conditions of a later era, they would scarcely have been successful, or risen above mediocrity.
James B. Harris was born in Glasgow, Scotland, August 12, 1825. When seven years of age his parents removed to Canada, arriving at Montreal in the fall of 1832, where they remained until the following spring, when they removed to the township of Dalhousie, county of Lanark, Ontario. His father not liking the country, went to Toronto, where he died in 1837, leaving James B., the subject of this sketch, with Mr. Charles Brown, with whom he lived until October, 1842, when he came to Jefferson county, N.Y. Up to this time he had never attended school, and he immediately sought a place to do chores for his board and go to school. He worked summers on a farm and went to district school winters for five years, and then he attended the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary for three terms. After leaving school he traveled through several of the Western States, lecturing on mnemonics, a subject he had become familiar with. From 1847 to 1854 he was captain of a boat running on the canal and river from Oswego and Buffalo to New York.
April 24, 1854, he was married to Miss Rachel L. Emmons, of Somerville, N.Y. Five children were born to them: Agnes P., John H., Isabell J., George B. and Lydia Maria.
He farmed it for 10 years, and in 1864 moved to the village of Antwerp, where he now resides. October 19, 1866, he married Mrs. Levi D. Fairbanks, who assisted him nobly in bringing up the children, who were all educated at the Academy in Antwerp, and are now all good business men and women. In January 1867, he was appointed deputy sheriff by James Johnson, and continued to discharge the duties for 12 years.
In 1870 he purchased one-half interest in the cheese factory at Antwerp, and went in company with H.H. Bent, continuing in that business until 1880, when he was engaged by the Dairy Association of Eastern Ontario to instruct the cheese makers of that Province, and so continued for four years, when he went to Scotland, in the spring of 1884, to instruct the cheese makers of his native country at a salary of $10 per day for six months. At the end of the season the Scotch Dairy Association re-engaged him for the next season, at $12.50 per day, and paid his passage home and return, and presented him with a gold watch and chain, costing $250, in appreciation of his valuable services. While there he visited London, Liverpool and several other cities.
In the winter of 1884-5, he wrote the "Cheese and Butter Makers' Hand Book," and on his return to Scotland had it printed in Glasgow, and it was widely circulated among his Scotch pupils. The University of Edinburgh purchased over 200 copies and used it as a text book in the Agricultural Department. The visit to Scotland was attended with much good to the Scotch cheese-makers, as they had very crude implements. There was not a vat in the whole of Scotland--all using round tubs; no curd knives, they had used the same tools in use for the past 200 years.
Before leaving for home, in 1855, he visited Belfast, Dublin and other cities in Ireland, arriving home in December. Since then he has been called to Western Ontario for two seasons to instruct the cheese-makers; and has been often called to factories in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties.
The perseverance of Mr. Harris in his efforts to obtain an education, is an example which may be safely followed by the young people of the present day, who have far greater facilities for learning than were obtainable in his youth, even if he had had friends and means behind him. He rose, without these advantages, to be an author and an honored citizen, and displayed an energy and a determination in a good cause, that is as commendable as unusual.
Bent Family The family of Bents in this country are all related, to a greater or lesser degree--more than through the common medium of Adam. It is of English extraction, and sprang from two brothers who left the mother country before the Revolution to seek their fortunes in the New World, and settled in Vermont. From this center the scions of the family have radiated into nearly every State of the Union, being more numerous in the old Commonwealth, New York and Illinois, and it is perfectly safe for each one bearing that name to greet the other as a relative, wherever found. The family may be said to be conspicuous for none of its members having ever been hung or convicted of crime; at least none has ever been heard of, but no doubt some of them ought to have been. At any rate, this virtue would generally be considered of a negative character. Nevertheless there have been members of the family who have worthily held positions of trust and responsibility--who have possessed positive virtues. Some of them became pioneers in that great section even so recently known upon the geographies of our fathers as the Great American Desert, out of which, rich enough for an empire in itself science, civilization and progress have wrought several productive and wealthy States.
Over this vast section, two or three decades ago, the solitude was unbroken, except by the shrill cry of the wolf and the rattle of a prairie "schooner," following westward the star of empire, and roaming over nothing but cactus and sage brush, but which is now dotted with thriving towns and populous cities. Two brothers, Charles and William Bent, the latter better known as Colonel "Bill" Bent, were intimately connected with the early history of a large portion of this region, especially Colorado and New Mexico, the former State having one county named in their honor. "Bill" was the first Governor of New Mexico. He married a squaw, moved to Kansas, raising a family, out of which only one daughter married a white man, the entire family, except father, abandoning the follies and foibles of civilization and returning to their nomadic state. Thus again was illustrated the futility of attempts to civilize the red man, even by assimilation.
The family is now prominent in the affairs of the old Bay State. Hon. William H. Bent, of Taunton, Mass., is president of the Home Market Club, of Boston, an organization of national prominence and importance, and presided at its recent banquet in honor of ex-Speaker Reed.
The head of the family in this section was David Bent, one of the two brothers first mentioned, the great-great-grandfather of Myron H. Bent, and there being two generations younger, makes seven from the origin to the present time. The grandfather, Dalmanutha Bent, came from Vermont in 1830 and settled in Philadelphia, this county, removing thence to Denmark, and again to Antwerp in 1848. An uncle, Hartwell H. Bent, youngest son of D. Bent, and father of Roy H. Bent, has been the most conspicuous representative of this region. He was a man of public spirit, of the strictest integrity and signal worth of character. He was active in business, having established, with many others, the cheese factory in this village, which has grown to the present Baumert factory. He represented the town on the board of supervisors for five years, was its chairman for two terms, and was a man universally respected, was without an enemy of any description, and when he died, in 1894, at the age of 47, his funeral was of a public nature, and his loss sincerely mourned. His only brother, Hon. Curtis R. Bent, was a prominent citizen of West Union, Iowa and a member of the Legislature.
Myron H. Bent, the author of the greater part of Antwerp's contribution to this History, was born on a farm in that town, on April 22, 1865. He attended school at Ives Seminary, learned the printer's trade at 15 in the Gazette office, afterward spending a year at the Phillips Exeter Academy, N.H., one of the leading preparatory schools fo the country, entering Williams College in 1885, a year ahead of his class. After a year at this institution, he became connected with the Watertown Times as Albany correspondent, and with the Utica Herald, and other papers at the Thousand Islands and other points. At the age of 23 he purchased the Antwerp Gazette, continuing the same until 1892.
Mr. Bent has been our main dependence in writing up Antwerp. He is a ready writer, but rather imaginative for a historian.
Jay Van Rensselaer Van Ness The late Jay Van Rensselaer Van Ness was born in Guilderland, Albany county, N.Y., of grand old Knickerbocker parentage, in the year 1815. At the age of 27 he married Anna Maria Vrooman, of Albany, and from this union five children were born, namely: Judge A.J. Van Ness, now of Mount Sterling, Ohio; Mrs. Gladys M. Gillette, Mrs. Sarah Wyngert Cushman, Mrs. Frances Helen Waters and Mrs. Harriet Aris Eager, all of whom were residents of Jefferson county for may years. The first business venture of Mr. Van Ness was in Salisbury, Vermont, where he joined a company for the manufacture of window glass, also carrying on a large dry goods store, in which he was very successful, and continued the business for 13 years. Finally ill-health brought him to farming in Jefferson county, near Antwerp, which occupation he followed until his death, which occurred in December, 1888. Mr. Van Ness was largely instrumental in bringing about the construction of the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad from Watertown to Potsdam junction. He not only used his voice and pen, but was a liberal subscriber as well. He was the first station agent at Keeneville, St. Lawrence county, which position he held for nearly two years. He possessed many grand characteristics, yet was modest and unassuming withal, being a profound scholar and an excellent authority on all subjects. The places of such men are not easily filled. Mrs. Cushman, one of his daughters had been for many years a resident of Watertown, an useful member of State Street M.E. Church, and a lady respected for her industry, decision of character, and charitable, home-loving disposition. Mrs. Gillette, another daughter, has been a newspaper writer since she was 15 years of age, having been a contributor to over 30 different newspapers and publications. She taught school when 16, painted from nature at 10, and has proven herself a woman of fine literary taste and acumen. She has improved herself by travel, having visited nearly all of the States and all the larger cities of the United States. She is the author of "Facts and Fancies," published when she was in her "teens." Mrs. Gillette is a lady of refinement, agreeable manner and enlightened mind. Her residence is usually in New York city during the winter months, and at Thousand Island Park during the warm weather, sometimes remaining late.
Luther H. Bailey was a man of unusual strength of character, whose very name became a synonym for integrity. His career was eminently mercantile, and the name of Bailey was thus associated, even the infancy of the oldest of today. For 45 years, with an interim of only three years, he was one of Antwerp's most prominent and successful merchants.
He was born in Lowville, Lewis county, in 1816, the son of Isaiah and Mary (Horr) Bailey. He was educated at Lowville Academy, and in 1827, when 21, he came to Antwerp and engaged in mercantile business with his brother, A.J. Bailey. In or about 1855 their store was burned, and for three years Mr. Bailey, who had alone conducted the store since his brother's death, was out of business. At this time he fully intended, and for many years afterward, to move to Minneapolis, and with this end in view, paid it a visit in 1856, in company with J.P. Ellis and John N. Green. At this time Minneapolis was not as large as Antwerp, and Mr. Bailey's brother-in-law, H. K. Joslyn, had erected a shanty, opposite St. Anthony's Falls, and afterward a frame house, upon the spot where the famous Washburn mills now stand, which was recently sold for $70,000. Mr. Joslyn located many land warrants for Mr. Bailey.
During this visit to the "Flour City," he made what terminated in a successful purchase, although for many years it was much of a loadstone. It was a quarter-acre lot of the original plot of the city, with 66 feet front at $1,100, which was sold for $1,500 a front foot, or $99,000 in 1887. Returning to Antwerp he engaged in business in the present store of Wait & Moore. In 1869 he erected his house, and in 1870 the brick store on the corner, retiring from business in 1882 with an ample competence.
Mr. Bailey was a staunch supporter of the cause of education, which in Antwerp never had a firmer friend. He was one of the founders--always a liberal contributor--of Ives Seminary, its treasurer for many years, and of its board of trustees a member during its entire existence, until his death. In religious faith he was a Baptist, one of the last two trustees fo the Baptist Church in Antwerp, which was sold, upon his permission, and the proceeds applied to the Soldiers' Monument fund.
Mr. Bailey was married, September 29, 1846, to Jane Church, who died in 1849, leaving one son, James Luther Bailey, who lived until 15 years old. In 1854 Mr. Bailey married Miss Catharine Evans, of New Bremen, Lewis county, and estimable lady of Welch parentage, who still survives him, with four children: Clark E. and Clinton R. Bailey, successful merchants of Winona, Minn., and Fred J. and Kate E. Bailey, of Antwerp.
Albert A. Pitcher, once of Antwerp, was a lieutenant and then captain in Company C, 35th N.Y. Volunteer Infantry, and served throughout the war with that distinguished regiment. Without much talent or experience in life, he was one of those whom the Civil War rescued from the oblivion that in all ages, has overtaken common men. Captain Pitcher is remembered in Antwerp as a harness maker. He was one of the very first to volunteer, and that of itself was a great recommendation--for the men who went into the Union army then did so from the purest motives. Bounties were then unknown. It is hard to predict what the result of Northern resistence [sic] to the slave power would have been, had the people at the beginning fully understood the gigantic demands that would be made upon all their financial resources and upon their very heart's blood by the exigencies of the Civil War. Be that as it may, those burthens [sic], coming one at a time, were patiently borne, and the result was a nation free and great. After Captain Pitcher had served through the Rebellion, he emigrated to Missouri, where he was moderately successful. By an unfortunate accident he fell into a deep cistern with such force as to bread both his legs. One of them had to be amputated; he did not rally from the operation, but died in a few days after the accident.
The writer served with him in the 35th, and found him generous, confiding and ever ready to serve a friend to the utmost of his ability. Had he been educated and disciplined in his youth, he would have developed many noble traits of character, for he had a desire for knowledge and for the great opportunities it often brings to its possessor.
Elijah Fulton Old age is said to be honorable, but it is chiefly so when the retrospect of its possessor embraces a life of achievements and of interesting events. Such may be the backward look of Elijah Fulton, one of Antwerp's oldest and most respected citizens. Commencing the great battle of life without a shilling, with only 11 month's schooling, but with indomitable energy and a never-bending will, he blazed his own way to success.
Mr. Fulton was born at West Carthage, February 14, 1811, and his remarkable memory recalls scenes in the War of 1812-14. His father, Daniel Fulton, came from Massachusetts, and started the first clothing works in Jefferson county, at that place. He is a descendant of Rubert Fulton, the famous inventor, and belongs to a wood-working family, leaving home when 11 years old, to learn the trade with an uncle, Nathan Fulton, at Burrville, near Watertown. Having saved 10 cents in three years, out at both elbows, and with his "good clothes" tied in a red bandana, he left the uncle to still further advance his fortunes. He stopped at an hotel on the State road, lost his 10 cents in a turkey shoot, and was given permission to sleep on a bench. Awaking at daybreak, fearfully homesick, he resolved to test the old scheme of standing a pole on end and going in the direction in which it fell. Its fortunes secured him work in Whitmore & Church's woolen mill at Great Bend, at $10 per month.
A trifling incident occurred which settled his future in Antwerp. He started for Hermon, St. Lawrence county, upon horseback to collect (at halves) $100 in accounts for his uncle, taking maple sugar, and thereby successfully ending his first speculation. On his way, near the present residence of Frederick Stype, he met and engaged his services four years to Reuben Wilmot, proprietor of the Antwerp Carding and Clothing Works, then quite an establishment.
About 1858 his energy and sagacity were given a larger field as traveling agent for Hon. Charles B. Hoard, with whom he remained nearly 12 years. He was signally successful in selling engines, laying thousands of acres of land grants, and making collections--handling thousands without losing a dollar. He visited Denver in 1860, when it was known as Pike's Peak. It then had but one wooden building, an hotel, made from green lumber hauled 75 miles, and the cracks in the sleeping apartments were filled with paper. Mr. Fulton sat at the same table and was well acquainted with Kit Carson, the noted hunter.
Mr. Fulton bid off upon a mortgage sale, for Mr. Hoard, the township of Ceredo, W. Va., where a thriving village now stands, surrounded by valuable coal and timber lands. He was upon the exciting theatre of Washington much of the time before and during the war, and his impressions of Lincoln, Seward, Buchanan, Stephens, both of the Johnsons, Sherman, Blaine and Conkling, are vivid and entertaining.
Elijah Fulton was twice married; first in 1840 to Betsey Heald, daughter of Daniel Heald, first supervisor of the town, and she died in 1859; then in 1865, to Lavina Ellis, sister of Hon. John D. Ellis, who died in 1886. His only daughter by his first marriage, Libbie, died in 1868. He represented Antwerp upon the Board of Supervisors four years, and has been president of the village . Since 1872 he has not been active in business, having obtained a comfortable fortune as the fruit of industry and shrewd management.
Dr. Ira H. Abell Dr. Abell, for many years one of the most prominent and highly esteemed physicians in Jefferson county, was born at Fairfield, Vermont, January 1, 1823, and died at Antwerp, N.Y., from a wasting consumption, April 29, 1894. His father Dr. Chester Abell, of Fairfield, married Miss Abigail Corliss Stone, of East Berkshire, Vt. He died aged 36 years, having already won high regard in his profession.
His son, Ira, was educated in St. Albans, Vt.; studied medicine there with Dr. Locke Chandler, and graduated from Woodstock Medical College, Woodstock, Vt. In 1851 he married Miss Caroline C. Wiggins, of Irasburgh, Vt. They had two children-a son, George Wiggins, a peculiarly gifted child, who died in 1876, aged five years, and a daughter, now Mrs. Archibald L. Hilton. Mrs. Abell also survives her husband.
Dr. Abell's professional life covered a period of 50 years, 40 of which were spent in Antwerp, to which place he came from Vermont in 1853. He was especially interested in the organization of the Jefferson County Medical society; served a term as its president, and was never absent from its meetings except as compelled by necessity. From 1876 to 1880 he was delegate to the State Medical Society, of which he became a permanent member. Later he was one of the founders of the State Medical Association, and for five years was a member of its executive committee. In the deliberations of both state bodies he was an active participant, and in the County Society active and influential, expressing his views candidly, openly and forcibly, on all subjects brought before it for consideration. His papers and addresses were practical and to the point, and he was much beloved and respected by the members, not only of the Association, but by his brethren generally in the profession of medicine. Dr. Abell was a conscientious man, regarding his profession, not as a trade--a mere means of subsistence--but as a sacred trust, to be used for the benefit of his fellows. He ever exerted himself to maintain a high standard of professional honor, abhorring all forms of quackery and pretense, whether practiced by members of the regular profession or not. Always desiring to give those under his care the benefit of the best and most approved methods of treatment, he was throughout his life a diligent student of the science of medicine. A man of wonderful vitality and force of character, prompt, firm, cheerful and kind, his presence in the sick-room inspired hope and confidence. He was ever solicitous for the welfare and success of his juniors in the profession, gladly giving them the benefit of his larger experience. Dr. Abell was a man of mark in the community where he so long resided. As a physician he was high-minded and skillful, as a citizen public-spirited, up-right and fearless at all times, and under all circumstances. He was the steadfast champion of that which is right and pure--a true Christian gentleman.
Col. C.C. Abell, of the 10th New York Heavy Artillery, was the brother of Dr. Abell. There were two sisters, Mrs. Alvah J. French, of Franklin, Vt., who died in 1861, and Miss Ruth G. Abell, who resides in Antwerp.
Alexander Copley, the son of a respected farmer, was born in Denmark, Lewis county, N.Y., September 19, 1805. His boyhood was spent upon his father's farm, with the exception of four years at the home of his maternal grandfather, in New Lebanon, N.Y. He gained his education chiefly from the common schools of the day. Seated on the flat side of a pine-slab, supported by the unbarked limbs of a tree driven into a two-inch auger-hole, he studied the three "R's," reading, writing and arithmetic. Beyond this he spent one year at Lowville Academy, paying his own way as janitor of the buildings. At an early age he became a clerk in the store of William K. Butterfield, at Felt's Mills, but soon changed to the store of Jason Francis, and shortly became a partner with Mr. Francis; then bought him out, and finally sold again to Francis & Butterfield. He also became a partner with John Felt and William Coburn, in the lumber trade. After about three years his attention was called to a tract of over 400 acres of wood-land for sale in the town of Lyme, owned by parties in New York city. He had just collected funds to renew his stock of goods, but went to the city and bought the land instead of the goods, came home, closed up his affairs at Felt's Mills, and on October 30, 1833, he was married to Miss Lucy Kelsey, of Champion, N.Y. For a wedding trip they moved into the then dense forests of Lyme, where they found a small house and barn and four acres of cleared land, and began a warfare upon the tall pines, some old stumps of which to this day remain as a memento of their toils. At the head of half a dozen choppers, Mr. Copley himself led the attack, while the young wife, alone, and with her own hands, did the indoor labors for the whole family. She started life with the idea of helping to accumulate and economize.
Before spring came, Mr. Copley had 30 acres of his pine forest cleared, burned over and ready to grow bread for his family. But while swinging the axe on those dreary winter days, his sharp foresight discerned a fortune in those wild lands, stretching out on every side of him, and ere the next summer went by he had purchased 2, 562 acres of the Vincent LeRay lands. He then moved to Chaumont, bought a house, store, saw- and grist-mill of William Clark, making that his future home.
Three years later he purchased a large tract of 16,961 acres of Gouverneur Morris. These lands lay in the three towns of Clayton, Brownville and Lyme. Later in life he added to his purchases 10,000 acres in the town of Antwerp, making nearly 35,000 acres in all. Thus he became the largest holder of lands lying in the bounds of the county. This large property was shrewdly managed, greatly increasing in value as the county became settled, and made him one of the wealthiest men of the county at the time of his death. In addition to the management of his extensive land property, Mr. Copley dealt in lumber, grain, stone from the quarries, managed a store, engaged in vessel-building, and was a bank director. He served his town as supervisor in 1843-48-51, but was always averse to political life of official position, yet he was a true patriot and ardent supporter of the government in its days of greatest peril.
By his indomitable energy and perseverance, by remarkable industry and economy, coupled with correct habits of life, he filled a conspicuous place in the highest business circles of Jefferson county, and accumulated a large estate. Like all land-holders, he was brought in contact in his deals with every variety of character. With men of good habits, honest and industrious, yet unable to meet contracts, he was always lenient, and not a few have been lifted over the hard places in life's struggle by his helping hand. He avoided not merely those vicious habits, which prove the ruin of so many young men, but also those placed of resort and those little useless expenditures that levy a constant tax on daily earnings, and prevent so many from rising above conditions of actual poverty. If the young men of this day would heed his example in these respects, it would greatly enhance their usefulness, happiness and prosperity in life. He was abstemious in his habits, and a warm friend of the cause of temperance, especially in his later years. He was not without interest in the cause of education and religion, and made some generous benefactions for their support. He was a frequent reader of Shakespeare, and also of the Bible, and a believer in its precepts. Though he made no public profession of his faith in Christ, yet to the ear of his confidential friends he spoke of his dependence upon His grace, and his love for His person and character. Mr. Copley died in the maturity of his powers, at the age of 65 years.
The National Union Bank of Watertown, of which Mr. Copley was a director, passed the following resolution on February 6, 1871:
Whereas, Alexander Copley, one of the directors of this Bank, and one of the foremost citizens of our county, has, in the maturity of his manhood and in the midst of his usefulness, been suddenly removed by death, therefore
Resolved, That in the death of Alexander Copley we have lost a valued associate and friend--this institution has lost one of its ablest and safest officers and advisors, and the community in which he lived a useful, high-minded and honorable man, whose place in society and business will not be readily filled."
Mr. Copley left four sons: Hiram, who married Mary Enos, of Depauville, in 1858. Mrs. H. Copley is a sister of Col. W. W. Enos, of Chaumont. DeWitt Copley married Miss Rosalinda Klock, of Chaumont, in 1859. Alexander Copley, Jr., married Eva Shepard, in 1863. She died in 1873. He was married again in 1874 to Miss Lettie Shepard. Eugene Copley married Harriet B. Sumner, of Oswego, in 1872. He died in 1889.
S. G. Wiggins has been a prominent resident of the village of Antwerp for 43 years. He was born in Vermont, in the city of Montpelier, August 21, 1824, and was married at Watertown, N.Y., June 23, 1852, to the only daughter of Colonel William Gill, of Antwerp. His father, Colonel Joseph Wiggins, a man of worth, was the youngest of 11 children, all but one living from four score years to 99. His mother, Abigail Walton, was his father's second wife, and a direct descendant of George Walton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
S. G. Wiggins did a successful clothing and boot and shoe business in Antwerp for many years, and afterward engaged in farming. He was one of the pioneer workers in the organization of the Grange in this town and county, having been Master of Antwerp Grange No. 19, four years in succession, and secretary of Jefferson County Grange 10 years. Mr. Wiggins became a member of the Jefferson Union Lodge, I.O.O.F., Watertown in 1848; is a Past Grand of Antwerp Lodge; a Patriarch in Montezuma Encampment, Watertown; a chevalier of Canton Ridgley, and a member of the Grand Lodge of the State, of the same order.
In politics Mr. Wiggins has always had the courage of his convictions. For many years he was a Democrat, but has latterly been a Republican. Five children resulted from this marriage, all of whom are living except one daughter and one son. His son, J.G. Walton Wiggins, is superintendent of the Antwerp Excelsior Mill. Mrs. Dr. I.H. Abell, of Antwerp, is his only surviving sister, and a brother, George W. Wiggins, an esteemed citizen of Watertown, is living. Mrs. Wiggins died in 1881.
John R. Sterling, son of Daniel, was born in Connecticut, May 20, 1802, and when five years of age came with his parents to Antwerp and located at Sterling Corners. The land upon which Daniel Sterling settled has ever since been owned by some member of the family.
Daniel S. Bethel was for many years an esteemed resident of Antwerp. He was born in 1815 on the farm on the Somerville road, now occupied by his son, W.D. Bethel. At his death he was undoubtedly the oldest native-born citizen of Antwerp. He died in the fall of 1894.
His father, John Bethel, settled here when this section was a wilderness, receiving in 1806 the second real estate deed granted in this town. The hardy and industrious pioneer cleared a small piece of land, and soon made the preliminary steps towards converting the virgin forest into a fine farm. On this farm Daniel S. Bethel was born, spending his boyhood days and early manhood, then became its owner, and there resided continuously until seven years ago, when he erected his pleasant home on Mechanic street, and removed to this village, leaving the old and much-cherished farm in charge of his son.
Forty-nine years ago he was united in marriage with Miss Esther H. Rounds, a native of Vermont, and the union was blessed by the birth of several children, five of whom, together with the beloved wife of nearly half a century, survive him, and were present at his bedside during his last hours.
Mr. Bethel was a man of strong convictions, a great reader and thinker, and his counsel and advice on many matters of private and public importance were often sought and highly appreciated by his neighbors and friends.
Joseph and Isaac Hinsdale, brothers, came from England to America as early as 1724. Ira Hinsdale, a descendant of one of the brothers, and grandfather of Ira C., was born in Antwerp, November 11, 1819. He married Harriet A. Hamlin, of Ox-Bow village, and they had three children, namely, Ira C., Florence L. and George J. Ira C. was born in Antwerp, December 26, 1844. When he was 13 years of age his father died, and his early life was occupied with work on the farm summers, and attendance at the district school winters. September 4, 1862, he enlisted in the Union army, and was discharged as second lieutenant, at the close of the war. February 15, 1870, he married Margaret F. Seymour, of Antwerp, and they have a son, Roy S. Mr. Hinsdale is a successful general merchant at Antwerp village. He was formerly located at the Ox-Bow.
Ansel Clarke, Jr., was born in Rutland, January 14, 1822, and when six weeks old came with his father to Antwerp. September 5, 1842, he married Hannah Otis, of Antwerp, and they have five children, two of whom, Linda A. and Jerome, 2d., are living. The latter married Cora I., daughter of Amos Fuller, of Onondaga county, and they have two children, Lindon Logan and Edith May.
Ezra S. Beaman was born February 23, 1845. He received an academic education, and is a graduate of the Poughkeepsie Commercial College. He married, first, December 30, 1867, Maggie Farley, of Wilna, who died January 1, 1875. February 23, 1886, he married Elizabeth A., widow of Oliver Mack.
Levi Chase was born in Portland, Maine, February 22, 1808, and when 14 years of age came to this county. In 1838 he married Harriet Shurtliff, of LeRay, and they have three sons and two daughters. Clinton A., the subject of this sketch, is an adopted son, and was born March 26, 1863. He received a common-school education and is now engaged in farming. November 15, 1888, he married May M., only daughter of John G. Miller, of Theresa, and now resides in Antwerp.
Elbert C. Willard was born in Antwerp, October 11, 1833. He received a good education, and is now engaged in farming and breeding horses. March 11, 1865, he married Anna, daughter of George Cornwell, and they have two sons and two daughters: Charles H., Muriel A., John C., and Eleanor E. September 25, 1872, Henry E. Willard married Eleanor, fourth daughter of George Cornwell.
Rufus S. Maxon was born in Houndsfield about 1829, where he married Azelia Warren, who bore him five children, three of whom survive, namely: Frank E., Minnie L. and Bennie M. Frank E. Maxon was born in Houndsfield, January 20, 1863. He received a common-school education, with two years at Potsdam Normal School. In March 1887, he married Anna M., daughter of John Graham, of Sackets Harbor, and was the station agent for the R. W. & O Railroad at Antwerp.
Jacob S. Cole was born in this county, where he attended the common schools until he attained the age of 15 years. He married, in 1875, Ellen F., daughter of Peter A. Nellis, of Otsego county, and they have a son, Fred S. In 1862 Mr. Cole enlisted in the Union army and served to the close of the war. His great-grandfather, Henry Lyon (or Lines), was a Revolutionary soldier. Andrew McFee, father of Mrs. Jacob W. Cole, was captured by the Indians and taken to Canada, and was adopted by a chief of the tribe and remained two years.
Robert Dickson, 2d., is a farmer by occupation. November 6, 1867, he married Adelia E., daughter of James C. Lynde, and they have three children, James R., Anna E. and Milton L. John Dickson, 2d, is also a farmer, and is located on road 32, in the town. March 4, 1879, he married Lucy A., third daughter of George Ormiston, of Ox-Bow village, and they have two children, John C. and Helen E.
George W. Cornwell was born in Brownville, September 11, 1805. In 1830 he married Polly, third daughter of James Shurtleff, of Theresa, and was one of the pioneers of that town. They had five sons and five daughters, namely: Melvin E., Philinda, George, John F., Mary, James S., Isaac, Anna, Eleanor and Sarah. Isaac died in 1865, while serving in the navy during the late war. Mary married James Casey, of Theresa, and died in 1886. John F. Cornwell was born in Theresa, February 22, 1837. He was educated in the common schools and an academy, and is now engaged in farming and horse breeding. In 1863 he married Lois A., only daughter of Clark Willard, and they have a daughter, Mary E., who married Frank O. Eddy, of Theresa.
William A. Houghton, son of William, was born on the homestead November 12, 1863. He received a common school and academic education, and graduated from Eastman's Commercial College, at Poughkeepsie. He taught school several terms, and is now a bookkeeper and clerk. I n 1888 he married Alice, eldest daughter of Samuel E. Wicks, of this town, and they have one son, Charles W., not now at Antwerp.
John Marsh came to Antwerp when six years of age, and has lived in the town continuously until 1894. He was born in New Fane, Vt., in 1830, and is the son of Hiram and Lucinda (Seaver) Marsh. Their family are: Mary (Mrs. J.R. Welsh, of Antwerp), Abigail (Mrs. W. C. Waite, deceased), John, a jeweler and optician, of Antwerp, and the subject of this sketch; Hiram F., of Gouverneur; Lucinda D., deceased, (wife of J. S. Dwyer, Commander of Oliver McAllister Post); Cassius, a boot and shoe merchant, of Antwerp; James M., of Gouverneur, St. Lawrence county; Anna (Mrs. T. C. Gray, of Antwerp); Ettie J., who resides in Antwerp. Mr. Marsh is a highly respected citizen, and acted at one time as president of the village of Antwerp. He is a member of the Congregational Church.
Archibald Lord Hilton may be considered one of the representative business men of Antwerp. In 1874 he became identified with the Jefferson Iron Company, as its assistant manager. He is president of the Antwerp Chair Company, which was incorporated in May, 1894. Their fine new building is near completion, and promises to be the chief manufactory of the village. While diligent in the pursuit of his own private business, Mr. Hilton is ever mindful of the general interest of the public and the growth and prosperity of the town. He is the son of Archibald Hilton, who was born in 1819, and married Miss Josephine Lord, daughter of a retired merchant of New York city. Archibald Hilton was admitted to the bar in 1841, and early won distinction in his profession, becoming a prominent lawyer in New York city. He was the brother of ex-Judge Henry Hilton, also of that city, and died April 1, 1854, leaving two children, Archibald L., the subject of this sketch, and Emily J., now Mrs. Alvin W. Green, of South Manchester, Conn. Archibald L. was born in New York city, February 5, 1850, where he passed his minority. He was married in 1880 to Mary Abbie, daughter of the late Dr. Ira H. Abell, of Antwerp. They have one daughter, Isabel Abell. For the past 20 years he has been a warden in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, of Antwerp, and superintendent of the Sunday school, and has the respect and confidence of the entire community--a progressive, enterprising man.
Charles W. Hall, a prosperous furniture dealer of Antwerp, was born in Somerville, St. Lawrence county, in 1844, and is the son of Hiram and Letina (Goodnough) Hall. Hiram was a mechanic, and came from Vermont to Antwerp at an early date. He died in 1880, but his wife still survives him, and resides with her son, Gaylord W. Hall, of Antwerp. Charles W. came to Antwerp in 1870, and married Hattie Wallace, daughter of Charles R. Wallace, of Belleville, N.Y. They have one daughter, Lena Belle.
David Beaman, one of the early settlers of the town of Antwerp, was born in Westminster, Mass., in 1796. He was the sone of Joseph and Annis Beaman. The latter was left a widow with 11 children. David, being next to the eldest, was put out to learn the hatter's trade. In 1818, when but 22 years of age, he came to Antwerp with a small stock of the fine felt and gentlemen's silk hats, and three $10 bills. Finding no demand for such expensive head dressing, he turned his attention to the principal industry at that time--the clearing of land. He hired out to Mr. Copeland, who conducted an hotel on the site of the present Proctor House, for $10 per month, and thus paid for the farm, which he purchased of David Parish. After taking possession of the farm, on which was a log house, he sent for his mother and younger children. David Beaman married Miss Lucy Porter, and they had three children. His second wife was Miss Sally Mosher, and their children are Alonzo Beaman, of Kansas, and Alice and Annis (twins), who reside with their mother in Antwerp. David Beaman died in 1883, aged 86 years. He was a successful farmer, and followed that occupation until his death, with the exception of a few years in Watertown.
Gaylord W. Hall was born in 1851, and married Miss Martha Hunt, of Rodman, and have two children. He is the clerk of the town of Antwerp, which office he has held for four consecutive terms; also one of the directors of the Antwerp Chair Company. He, in partnership with his brother, Charles W. Hall, conduct a first-class furniture store, carrying the best goods in that line.
Richard S. Hodge was born in England, of English parentage. He came to America in 1862 and engaged in the Quincy, Franklin and Pewabic mines, in the Superior copper region, where he remained eight years. About 23 years since he came to Antwerp, and was a manager of the Jefferson Iron Mines, near Antwerp, which have been discontinued. The stock company at one time employed 150 men, and the mines have been worked to the depth of 150 feet, and extend for acres under ground. They are located in a swamp, and are at the present time flooded with water. The last pumping was done in March, 1893.
From having charge of so many men, Mr. Hodge received the title of "Captain." He was married to Emily Freegans, of England. They have four sons living, having lost two daughters and one son. They have a house in Antwerp, where they reside. Mr. Hodge is a gentleman of intelligence and integrity, retaining the obliging courteous manner so noticeable in many of the old country people, which some American-born citizens would do well to imitate.
Alonzo Chapin, one of the very oldest inhabitants of Antwerp, and 67 years a resident of the village, was born in that town in 1823; the son of Japhet and Betsey (Sprague) Chapin, who came into the town in 1816, settling on the farm now owned by A. and Eli Moshier. They reared nine children. Alonzo, one of them, had the benefits of a common school education, completing his scholarship at the Gouverneur Academy. After leaving school he taught for several years, and then began a clerkship with Alanson Drake, in Antwerp, and with John N. Green. This continued for three years, when he purchased the stock of goods of James H. Bowen, and began business for himself in 1848. From that time to 1894 he has continued in trade, a period of 47 years. In 1850 he married Miss Maria Wiser, daughter of Stephen Wiser, of Deerfield, Oneida county. They have reared two daughters, Miss Adelle, having married Charles G. Banister, of Watertown; Miss Cora remaining unmarried. Mr. Chapin has held the office of supervisor and town clerk. He was postmaster for 12 years, his first appointment being made under the administration of President Taylor. He has always been a very reliable and thorough business man, and has maintained through a long life a most enviable reputation for fair dealing. He is one of the products of the early settlers of Jefferson county, and his ancestors have no occasion to be ashamed of their representative.
Josis Miller was born in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1828, and is the son of John and Ursula Miller, and one of 10 children. He learned the shoemakers' trade in Germany, and came to Antwerp in 1853, where he built a frame house, and opened a boot and shoe store and manufactory, which business he conducted for 22 years. He was also connected with G. N. Crosby, in tanning, for 12 years. He is the president of the Cemetery Association, and is the present postmaster, having been appointed under the Harrison administration; he was one of the trustees of the Antwerp Liberal Institute, and held all the minor offices within the gift of the corporation. He married Dorothea Winkler, of Switzerland, and they have reared six children: Louise (wife of Dr. G. H. Lathan, a dentist in Antwerp), Charles W. Miller, assistant-postmaster at Antwerp, who married Sarah Thayer, of St. Lawrence county; Theodore Miller, of Omaha, Neb.; Adelaide, recently teacher in a school at Yonkers; Albert G., bookkeeper of A. L. Hilton, of Antwerp, and Emma Irene, who resides with her parents. He is a member of the Congregational Church, and an honored and respected citizen, which fact is shown by the different positions of trust he has from time to time filled.
John Howe Conklin was born in Remsen, N.Y., in 1812, and was the son of Luther and Hannah (Howe) Conklin, by his second wife. Their other children were Luther S., Miriam, Ruth, Hannah, Calvin, Stephen, Lucretia and Elizabeth, all deceased. John was married, in 1841, to Sarah Northrup, of Antwerp, who died in 1858, aged 35 years. Their son, Luther G., died in 1865, aged 22 years. In 1865 John married Maria White, daughter of James White, of Antwerp. Their children are Emma W., the only surviving member of the family, who resides on the homestead in Antwerp; James W. and John H. Conklin, Jr. John H. Conklin, the subject of this sketch, was a prominent citizen of Antwerp, and was supervisor of the town for 10 years (from 1855 to 1864), and at one time warden of Auburn State Prison. He died February 11, 1875, aged 63 years, respected and honored by his neighbors and a vast number of friends.
J. S. Woodward was born in the town of Antwerp, in the year 1839, the son of Allen and Susna Woodward. He enlisted under the first call in the spring of 1861, in Company C, 35th N.Y. Volunteers. Mustered with the regiment, and mustered out with it. Married April 26, 1866, to Tinnie L., youngest daughter of Silas and Eliza Bacon, of Watertown. They have reared two children, a daughter and a son. He is now living, and has been for the past 40 years, on what is known as the Fuller road, in the town of Antwerp. His occupation is that of a farmer.
Among the earliest settlers of Antwerp was Elliott Lynde, born at Brookfield, Mass., October 28, 1772. His father was Lieutenant Benjamin Lynde, of the Revolutionary army. Elliott Lynde came to Antwerp in the year 1811. He carried the mail from Denmark to Ogdensburg during the War of 1812; was afterwards justice of the peace for six years, and during his service he married more people than any other justice or minister in that length of time, for the reason that he always made it a practice to give the marriage fee back to the bride. The old Lynde mansion in Melrose, Mass., is one of the most remarkable of the few scattered relics of American antiquities of over 200 years ago. This remnant of the earliest settlement of New England, was built more than a hundred years before Washington was born. An appeal was made to the Massachusetts Historical Society to save this place by purchasing it as a venerable relic. Elliott Lynde's family consisted of 12 children, 11 being boys and one girl. She became Mrs. Martha Lynde Payne, a life-long resident of Antwerp.
Aaron B. Lynde, the only survivor of that large family, was born February 26, 1817, he being the 10th son. His occupation has been farming and dealing in real estate. He has sold more land in Antwerp for $100 per acre, than has ever been old in that place at that price. His present residence is on Main street, and is one of the most commodious in town. It is opposite the house where he was born. His wife, Ann Clark Lynde, was also born in the same house four years later (a singular coincidence); he has no descendants, but adopted a son two years of age.
William T. Bentley was born in Antwerp in 1842, and died September 10, 1894, at which time he was a prominent merchant. He married Alice E. Parker, of Theresa, Jefferson county. Their children are Harold, Hazel, Mabel and Brayton, who succeeded his father in business. In early life, William was interested in farming. After the disastrous fire, in which his store was burned, he was one of four merchants to build the Syndicate Block, an ornament to the business portion of Antwerp. A progressive business man is never so well appreciated as when taken from a community where he has done much to advance its interests and promote its prosperity. Mr. Bentley has done much for Antwerp, and his memory is respected in the town in which he lived.
George P. Coolidge was born in the town of Antwerp, and is the son of Charles and Abi (Kirkbride) Coolidge, and one of six children. He was left motherless when three weeks old, and was adopted by his uncle, Alvin Coolidge, who resided with him until his latter days, and died January 3, 1893, at the advanced age of 84. The Coolidge family were early settlers, having followed marked trees, making clearings and establishing homes between Antwerp and Philadelphia, which is now called the Coolidge Settlement. Alfred, an elder brother of Charles, came first, and the next year, 1816, the father, Daniel, and the other sons, Charles, Nathan, Daniel and Alvin. There were also five sisters; Betsey, Eunice, Sally, Sylvia and Harriet. The father of Daniel the elder was present at the throwing of tea into Boston Harbor, the account of which is famous in history. The modern historian can but in a small measure depict the heroism of our forefathers, the determination required, and privations incidental to seeking a new country and establishing homes in an unbroken forest. The present generation are, perhaps thoughtlessly, receiving the inheritance of an advanced civilization, the foundation of which was thus established, and in turn are pressing forward to the fulfillment of their own ambitions. George Coolidge is now the possessor of the homestead of his grandfather, the Coolidge block, and several residences in the village of Antwerp. He married Miss Angeline, daughter of Elijah Kellogg, of Antwerp, whose grandfather, Elijah Kellogg, was born in Germany, and fought in the American Revolution. George has been interested in the management of his farm and in stock raising, and a resident of the village of Antwerp for several years, filling several minor offices in the corporation. He is a successful business man, respected by his neighbors and friends. His children are Brayton J., Lizzie (deceased), Jay H., Jerome and Libbie.
Dr. Emerson Seymour was born in Antwerp in 1839. He graduated from Bellevue Medical College, and practiced for more than 20 years in Antwerp. He married Miss Jennie Christian, of Natural Bridge, who survives him, and is a resident of Carthage. He died in 1882, aged 43 years. His grandfather, Asher Seymour, was a pensioner of the War of 1812, having gone from Antwerp.
T. T. Ballard was born and lived in the town of Clayton, near Depauville, until 19 years of age, when he enlisted in Company H, 2d Regiment N.Y. Heavy Artillery, October 1861, and served in that command until the regiment was mustered out of service. This regiment was stationed in the fortifications of Washington, on the Virginia side of the Potomac, until Grant was made lieutenant-general, when they joined the Army of the Potomac during the progress of the battle of the Wilderness, and was assigned to the first brigade, first division of the second army corps, participating in all the battles, 19 in number, that that heroic command engaged in, until the culmination of Appomattox. Since the close of the war he has been a resident of the village of Antwerp.
George B. Hoard was one of the first settlers of the town of Antwerp, and brother of Hon. Charles Brooks Hoard, formerly member of Congress from Jefferson and Lewis counties, who died at Ceredo, W. Va. A son of George B. Hoard was Charles A., who married Catharine McIntyre, and they had born to to [sic] them two children, Lena and Fred C. The latter first saw the light in 1866, in Antwerp. He has always resided in his native town, and is now clerk in the store of Alonzo Chapin. His father, Charles A. Hoard, died in 1880, aged 33 years.
Several Antwerp citizens were involved in the disturbances of 1837-38, known as the Patriot War, although that episode hardly justifies a name of such dignity. Meetings were held frequently in Copeland's hall, and afterwards in the old building on the west side of Main street south of the bridge. The excitement ran high, and many enlisted and went to the "front"-ier. Among them were Gen. T. R. Pratt, Nelson Truax, who was tried and let go, and Benjamin Fulton, cousin of Elijah Fulton. The latter, with one or two others, escaped from the famous "Windmill" and crossed the St. Lawrence on a raft. A. H. Munro, of this village then lived in Canada, and took part in the "Battle of the Windmill" on the side of the British forces. None from Antwerp were hung for their foolishness.
The Gen. T. R. Pratt named above, was an unique character. He first came into public notice as a hotel keeper at Antwerp, but his acquaintance was finally so extensive as to make him known to nearly the whole county. He served one term as sheriff, finally removing to Watertown, when so elected. The lands where the Keep Home is located were once his. General Pratt received his commission from Gov. R. E. Fenton. He died in the seventies, but his widow survived until the nineties. They both died in Watertown.
Antwerp, it is but just to say, was not alone in furnishing foolish men who participated in the unprecedented movement know in our day as the "Patriot War" of 1837. Some of the best men in nearly every town in the county, and all along the frontier settlements from Niagara to Ogdensburg, were in active sympathy with the movement, and some of them participated, much to their regret and suffering.
Colonel Hiram B. Keene We present our readers with pleasure one of the most widely known and highly esteemed of the early pioneers of Antwerp, who stands as an example of what perseverance, industry and integrity may accomplish. Hiram B. Keene was born at Pompey, Onondaga county, N.Y., June 17, 1810. His parents, Job and Mary Keene, reared 13 children in the habits of frugality and industry, and all of them, except two, became heads of families. Of the five brothers, but two survive, Miles A., who resides in Hermon, St. Lawrence county, at the age of 71, and Hiram, the subject of our sketch. He was early taught the value of money. His advantages for acquiring an education were of a limited character. At the age of 12 (February, 1822), he came to Jefferson county with his parents and settled in the town of Antwerp. He assisted them on the farm until he reached his majority. With a large family to provide for amidst the hardships incidental to farming in pioneer life, Hiram's parents could afford him very few advantages and very little pocket money. He married (January 17, 1831) Miss Betsey Doud, of Rupert, Vt. At the time of his marriage he had but two dollars and owed for his wedding suit. One of the dollars he gave to the minister, who married them, and the other dollar he divided equally with his wife. Thus he commenced his wedded life with almost nothing, but he possessed a great amount of energy and perseverance, which enabled him to provide a comfortable home an finally to accumulate a handsome competence. He first purchased on credit 25 acres of land at $6.00 per acre. This indebtedness he cleared up in two years. Once, while plowing, the point of the plow struck a hard substance, which proved to be iron ore, and the iron ore mine thus discovered is yet known as the "Keene ore bed." It is near the line between Antwerp and St. Lawrence county. Other mines were developed soon after. One, about a mile from Keene's station, is called the Carney or Caledonia mine. Neither of them are now in active operation. At one time the ore was delivered on the cars for $5.00 per ton, but now would not bring $1.00. This is accounted for by mines in the South, which are operated more advantageously. Colonel Keene sold his interest in the Keene mine of $920 to James Sterling. It is now owned by New York parties.
From time to time he added to his small farm until to-day he is the owner of 1,400 acres of land, comprising six different farms, on which are 200 head of cattle, 165 of them cows giving milk. Of late years he has been interested in these farms and in conducting dairies and making cheese. While proud in the consciousness of owing no man a dollar and enjoying his well-earned property, many enterprises of a worthy local character have received substantial aid. He gave $500 toward the beautiful soldiers' monument at Antwerp, at a time when the projectors were about discouraged in their efforts to obtain the necessary funds for its erection. Each one of the churches in Antwerp in turn have been benefited by his liberal hand, and he has always been a liberal supporter of the schools. The handsome marble Masonic temple of Gouverneur received $100 from him, and many other instances of his generosity of a private nature might be cited. While a resident of Antwerp he enjoyed the confidence of his townsmen, holding every office from postmaster to supervisor. He was justice of the peace eight years, town assessor 24 years and supervisor three terms. Colonel Keene was a captain of the 84th Regiment State Militia, and was afterwards promoted to be its colonel, which position he held several years, until the regiment was disbanded. For three years he was a director of the old Watertown & Potsdam Railroad, and gave the right of way across 1,400 acres. He acted as their agent for five years, and was station agent at Keen's [sic] station for 11 years. By signing paper for other people connected with the railroad he lost nearly $10,000, which he paid. For 12 years he was president of the Board of Trade of Gouverneur, and many years president of the Antwerp Union Agricultural Society. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being transferred from Antwerp Lodge when he made Gouverneur his home in 1885. Although a member of no church, he believes in the final restoration of all mankind to the loving favor of God. Politically he was a Whig until the formation of the Republican party, when he joined that organization. His first wife died in 1882, aged 75 years. For his second wife he married Mrs. Frances Jacobs, daughter of Noah Williams, and they have one daughter, Miss Mary F. Keene, aged nine years. At the age of 85, Colonel Keene is a remarkably well-preserved and intelligent gentleman, possessing a courteous, genial and kind disposition, enjoying the fruits of a well-spent life, one of whom it is a great pleasure to know. He has shown himself a kind husband, and accommodating neighbor and friend, and a good citizen. One could hardly say more of anyone. But in this instance, all that is said of this genial gentleman is true. His manner is gentle, his bearing that of a gentleman of the old school.
Colonel Zebulon H. Benton [Copied from Wallace's Guide to the Adirondacks.] There was probably no more romantic, picturesque or conspicuous figure connected with the chronicles of Lake Bonaparte than Colonel Zebulon H. Benton. He invariably dressed with the nicest regard to minute particulars, in peaked felt hat, long black coat and ruffled shirt--every article faultlessly neat . With his fresh, ruddy complexion, clean-shaven face, rich growth of snow-white hair, graceful carriage, and form almost as lithe and perfect, at the ripe age of 82, as if in the flower of youth and strength, he seemed the embodiment of a gentleman of the old regime.
Colonel Benton was born in Apulia, N.Y., January 27, 1811, and the details of his checkered life would fill a book. We can only briefly allude to the following facts: He was a cousin of Thomas Hart Benton, the great Missouri statesman, and consequently a kinsman of his daughter, Jessie Benton, Fremont, the noted wife of the famous "Pathfinder." In the War of the Rebellion he received an appointment on the staff of General Fremont, but before he could arrange to take the position the General was suspended. He was also a relative of the eminent novelist, James Fenimore Cooper. From his very boyhood he led an extremely active life, and before he was fairly out of his teens he was entrusted by his employers with commissions of the utmost importance, which he brought to successful consummation. He was engaged from time to time in great enterprises, especially those of land, mining and railroading. The capital invested in these sometimes exceeded a million dollars. His venture, often gigantic, were not confined to Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, but extended into the Canadas, to the Gulf of Mexico, and even into South America. The mines at Rossie, Clifton, Jayville and Alpine are examples of these operations. We are convinced that the Carthage & Adirondack Railway owes its existence to Colonel Benton and to Hon. Joseph Pahud, of Harrisville, N.Y., as they were unceasing in their efforts to establish that line to the Jayville mines.
From the Carthage Republican, Philadelphia Press and other reliable sources, we glean the following interesting information: Soon after the arrival of Joseph Bonaparte in this country, he met and loved a beautiful Quakeress, by the name of Annette Savage, a member of a family of high respectability, residing in Philadelphia, descendants of the celebrated Indian princess, Pocahontas. They were subsequently married in private by a justice of the peace in that city. Two daughters were the fruit of this union, one of whom died in infancy. The other was christened Charlotte C. Soon after arriving at maturity, she became the wife of Colonel Benton. Their marriage resulted in seven children. The five surviving bear the approprite [sic] names of Josephine Charlotte, Zenaide Bonaparte, Louis Joseph, Zebulon Napoleon and Thomas Hart.
Mrs. Benton, having obtained a letter of introduction from General Grant to Hon. Elihu B. Washburn, United States Minister to France, and one also from Dr. J. DeHaven White, the eminent Philadelphia dentist, to his former pupil, Dr. Evans, the dental surgeon of Louis Napoleon, repaired to Paris in 1869. She obtained audience with the Emperor, and received immediate recognition as the daughter of Joseph Bonaparte; and by his imperial will and the laws of France, the union of her parents was confirmed and her legitimacy established. Honored by an invitation to attend the French court, she and two of her children were there kindly and cordially entertained by the Emperor and Empress, who presented her with valuable souvenirs upon the occasion. Napoleon often expressed great regret that he did not know his cousin earlier, so that he might the sooner have bestowed upon her children the places to which, by birth, they were entitled. He presented her with her father's palace; but this was lost through the downfall of the empire and of that ill-fated royal family. Mrs. Benton attended Napoleon during his imprisonment in Germany, and a short time afterward (1871) returned to America. She was a woman of remarkable beauty and talent, and of most lovely characteristics. Her eyes were large, dark and lustrous, and, like the Colonel's, never dimmed by age. Receiving a fine education, in Europe and in this country, she early developed great versatility in writing. Many brilliant articles in various papers and magazines were the productions of her pen, and she was the author of a book of rare merit, entitled "France and her People." She died December 25, 1890, at Richfield Springs. Her husband, the subject of this sketch, died May 16, 1893, closing an unique, interesting and wonderfully romantic life.
Publius Darwin Foster, of Killingly, Conn., although he has not been a resident of Antwerp since the war, yet deserves mention in this History, for he has left here the impress of his good work.
His grandfather, Daniel Foster, was a private in the Continental Army, whose youngest son, Wodin Foster, was born in Maine, and, in 1827 was commissioned a colonel by Gov. Clinton. He married Harriet Gould, and Publius D. was the first child born to them, December 13, 1828. Publius attended the common schools, became a bookkeeper, studied law with Judge Daniel Kellogg in Vermont, returned to Antwerp in 1852, and studied with Bagley & Wright at Watertown until admitted in 1853. Mr. Foster was a member of the first Republican State convention at Syracuse, presided over jointly by R. E. Fenton and J. A. King, which presented the name of Preston King for Secretary of State, and Joseph Mullin for judge of the Court of Appeals. In 1862 he entered the government service, having charge of the accounting branch of the War Department, under whose writing passed bills calling for $1,200,000,000, and he at one time saved the government a large sum in detecting a spurious claim. During the war, Mr. Foster was secretary of the N.Y. State Soldiers' Aid Association, with Hon. R. E. Fenton president. He was a good lawyer, and was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1870, but retired from practice and left the capitol city in 1876.
In 1857 he married Amanda E. Warren, and three of their four children are now living--Warren Wodin Foster, M.D., Irving Lysander Foster, and Harrriet, now Mrs. J.G. Moore, of Chicago. The youngest son, Irving, is a graduate of Brown University, and is a remarkable linguist. He recently refused an offer to teach French, Italian and Spanish at Williams College, and another to teach French and German at Phillips Exeter (N.H.) Academy, and is now studying in Germany.
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