These biographies and family sketches are copied exactly as found. Undoubtedly there will be minor variations found in later research.
COLONEL WALTER B. CAMP
GEORGE CAMP, father of the subject of this sketch, came to Sackets Harbor in the winter of 1816-17, and established the first printing office in Sackets Harbor, issuing the first number of the Sackets Harbor Gazette in March, 1817. At this time his family consisted of Talcott Hale Camp, now president of the Jefferson County National Bank, and George Hull Camp, an extensive manufacturer, now a resident of Marietta, Ga. George Camp married Elizabeth Hitchcock, a native of New Haven, Conn., who, at the time of their union was a resident of Utica.
Walter Bicker Camp, the subject of this biography, was born in Sackets Harbor, October 1, 1822, and has remained a resident through all its changes and vicissitudes, to the present time. Mr. Camp was to the "manor born," and it has been his ruling passion that the place of his nativity might advance in importance, as its natural location and surroundings seemed to justify, and in accordance with the spirit that inspired its founders. The commercial and military spirit in this locality was so happily combined, and each of foremost importance, that Mr. Camp imbibed its influence with the younger generation that stamped the earlier history of the village, and he has not ceased in his endeavors to save, as far as possible, the prestige of this historic locality. To that end all the enterprises that were calculated to retain Sackets Harbor in its commercial and military consequence obtained a large share of his time, means and services. The building of the first railroad here, from Sackets Harbor to Pierrepont Manor, enlisted his earnest endeavors, hoping for the successful accomplishment of an enterprise that would retain the commercial importance of the port of Sackets Harbor. About $400,000 was spent in the constructionof this road by the enterprising citizens of this town, Henderson and Ellisburgh, to which Mr. Camp was no mean contributor, and acted as custodian and local director for two years, before the abandonment of the road. That portion of his available means, realized from the sale of the road, was donated by Mr. Camp to the Presbyterian Church Society, as a perpetual fund for the purchase of books for the Sunday-school, and for repairs of the church.
When the War of the Rebellion broke out, Mr. Camp was chosen by Governor Morgan as the one to whom he would intrust the management and occupancy of the military depot at Madison Barracks, Sackets Harbor, and accordingly appointed him to that command, with the rank of colonel, October 17, 1861. Mr. Camp considered the appointment not only complimentary, but almost obligatory, and entered upopn his duties immediately, and in 24 hours one company had been enrolled into the service, and in 18 days the 94th Regiment had perfected its organization. Governor Morgan was very reluctant to open any more depots, and feared serious results from the want of proper direction of the improvised depots about the State. When the 94th moved from camp and reached Albany the following day, Gov. Morgan called upon Col. Camp, who had accompanied the regiment, and complimented him by saying "he was proud of the 94th; that it had given them little or no trouble during its organization; was composed of splendid material; was in magnificent form and discipline, and had been recruited and maintained at $20,000 less expense than any like regiment in the State; and instead of losing 20 or 30 men, it had gained two on leaving camp."
The depot now being established, it became the active centre for enlistments and organization during the war. The 10th N.Y. Heavy Artillery was organized, and Col. Camp was appointed the town war committee, and, with Senator Bell, of Brownville, took the quotas of that town and Houndsfield, and formed the company commanded by Capt. O.H. Gilmore and Lieut. Flowers.
After the war General Sherman was disposed to break up the military post here, there being no railroad for the effective transportation of troops. To meet this objection measures were immediately taken to extend the Utica & Black River Railroad to Sackets Harbor. Col. Camp was untiring in his efforts to prevent the removal of the post, and to secure the completion of the road to this village. Meetings were held on the line of the contemplated road; and the towns along the route, with the hearty co-operation of their enterprising citizens, secured the completion of the road in 1873.
During the ocupancy of the barracks by Gen. Ayres, the officers' quarters, to the east of the commander's dwelling, were burned. General Sherman was opposed to any outlay; but with the hearty co-operation of Congressman Bagley, Mr. Camp succeeded in getting an appropriation of $25,000 to rebuild. Unfavorable influences continued for years, until Gen. Grant was seen by Col. Camp, with whom for a long time he had retained a most intimate acquaintance. With his valued services in presenting to Gen. Sherman the desirability of retaining the military post there came a marked change, and from that time Madison Barracks has received the attention from the government the importance its position demanded. On General Sherman arriving here with the 12th Regiment, under General Wilcox, he expressed himself captivated with the location. In this matter Col. Camp had been an interested actor, and considers himself fortunate in having an acquaintance in the army among many of its most illustrious characters, being related to Admiral Foote and Commodore Hitchcock on his mother's side, and upon the paternal side to the first and most conspicuous member of the Hale family, the descendants of whom have marked their way by deeds of patriotism and valor. In May, 1885, he was unanimously elected, with title, associate member of the Military Service Institution on Governor's Island, of which Gen. Hancock was president.
Col. Camp followed the business established by his father after the latter had disposed of his printing establishment in 1821, continuing it to 1884. In the meantime he travelled extensively upon the continent of Europe, and far and wide over our own territory, bounded by the different oceans.
In 1844 the family came into possession of the mansion and grounds formerly owned and occupied by Col. Melancthon Woolsey, and, although never married, Col. Camp has, for the past 30 years, entertained with a refined and generous hospitality.
He also was deeply interested in the organization of the Jefferson County Historical Society, of which he is the first vice-president. In 1885 he succeeded in securing the old battle-ground, as executor of the estate of Elisha Camp, as a gift to the Jefferson County Historical Society and the village of Sackets Harbor, which was dedicated with imposing ceremonies.
Col. Camp has given much time and attention to the study of the aboriginal history of the county of Jefferson, upon which subject he has written some valuable papers, and has secured a choice collection of relics which characterize the race that so fully occupied this locality, and were extinct at the time of the advent of the white race to these shores; and which has brought him in communication with the Smithsonian Institute; and, as correspondent of the Oneida County Historical Society is brought in contact with many distinguished men of like taste. He has an inherent and decided talent for music. In visiting his delightful home we find it supplied with many accesories to give it expression. He is a lover of fine animals, and has his farm stocked with blooded cattle. He has been an ardent devotee of Nimrod and Isaak Walton, and finds pleasant companionship in good horses, and with his friends he is happy to say: "Whatever we possess is doubly valuable when we are so happy as to share it with others."
DANIEL McCULLOUGH Among the men who have been prominently identified with the social and business interests of Sackets Harbor, was Daniel McCullough, who located there in 1826. He was from Massachusetts, and located at first in Martinsburg, Lewis county, where he learned the wagon-making and blacksmith's trades. On arriving in Sackets Harbor he purchased a shop on Main street and commenced work. He built a pair of four-horse coaches, which were, perhaps, the very first manufactured north of Utica. During the frontier troubles of 1838, he served with the volunteers who were called out at that time. Jonah Woodruff, the well-known citizen of Watertown, portrait painter, of sleeping-car fame, worked at one time in McCullough's factory. It is related of him that he sold a wagon to a man who went West, and as he could get no cash he consented to take a lot in the then village of Chicago. That lot is one of those upon which the Sherman House is built and Mr. McCullough received $25,000 for it.
HON. JAY DIMICKwas born in Redfield, Oswego county, N.Y., April 30, 1821, which would make his age 78 years and 8 months. He received a good education, taught school more or less, was superintendent of schools in the town for some time. He built, largely with his own hands, the buildings upon his farm. He was supervisor of his town for several years, and afterwards represented his Assembly district in the State Legislature at Albany for two terms, 1869 and 1870. Since then he has not taken a very active part in politics, but has lived a retired life on his farm. He was a charter member of Star Grange, and had its interests near to his heart, and his presence at its meetings could always be depended upon.
The writer heard him deliver there one of his inimitable and characteristic speeches only a few weeks since. He was the son of Richard and Abbie (Spinning) Dimick, who came into the town of Houndsfield in 1824 from Redfield, but were originally from New England. They settled upon the farm they occupied for so many years, situated on the road from Sulphur Springs to Sackets Harbor. They reared eight children: Orange, Laura, John, Marinus, Betsey, David, Jay and Giles.
Jay had the benefit of the common schools, completing his scholastic education at the Black River Literary and Religious Institute. He taught school after completing his education, and subsequently learned the trade of a carpenter, serving an apprenticeship with Egbert Dodge, at Field's Settlement. In 1849 he married Miss Sophia Maxon, eldest daughter of Hon. Benjamin Maxon, of Houndsfield. In that year he commenced farming, and that has been continuously his occupation ever since. In 1869 he was elected to the Assembly from the first district of Jefferson county, and was re-elected in 1870. He was supervisor of Houndsfield for several terms, has been justice of the peace and school commiissioner. Mr. Dimick was one of the most successful apiarians in Northern New York, sometimes turning out 2,500 pounds of honey per year. He has at present 85 swarms of bees, but has had as many as 200.
In many respects he was an unique character, but modesty and ability were his predominant traits. He was a pure-hearted man, singularly free from guile or jealousy. Himself honest and unassuming, he gave to others credit for being as good as himself.
Perhaps we might say that the chief characteristic of Jay Dimick, as a public speaker and writer, was his great fund of wit and humor, but below that lay true and correct principles, like the bed-rock of the ages below the surface soil. His fund of humor was his chosen method of illustrating the essential principles which governed his social, political and religious action. If fault there were in his method, it was that wit and humor overlaid rather too deeply the principle he sought to impress. He was true to the principles of the best American citizenship--industry, temperance, education and liberty in religion, recognizing the good in all creeds, and tolerant of all differences from his own individual views.
The above is nearly what we had prepared in relation to our dear friend, previous to his death. He was in consultation with the author of this History only the day before his death, the details of which horror we append, from the Watertown Daily Standard, of date December 31, 1894:
A lurid light in the West last night gave information by inference of a great fire then in progress. It turns out to have been a great tragedy that was transpiring within a few miles of Watertown, and the death of one of the ablest men of the county is in consequence sorrowfully recorded to-day. Hon. Jay Dimick, in trying to save his cattle and horses, was incinerated in the building which he had erected with his own hands.
Orrin Hall, the young man who lived with him and worked his farm, went to the barn to do chores, and when he opened the door the back end was all ablaze. He ran back and told Mr. Dimick, and together they entered to try and save the horses, five in number, but finding they could not do it, turned to save their own lives. Young Hall barely escaped suffocation, but Mr. Dimick, nearly 74 years of age, and in poor health, was overcome and lost his life. The charred remains of his body were found later, and taken from the ruins. It was only by the almost superhuman efforts of the neighbors, who began to arrive, that the house was saved from going up in smoke.
The loss of Mr. Dimick is a serious one to the community, to his own family and intimate friends it is simply irreparable. His devoted wife, who long since desired her husband to give up all labor upon the farm, will always mourn his loss and the dreadful manner of it, for he was the chosen husband of her youth, her playmate in early life, one whom she had always known. We pause here and draw the veil over sorrows that time alone can assuage. Jay Dimick was a grand man, unselfish, guileless, without any mean or narrow thing in his composition. As such he passes into history.
The funeral of Hon. J. Dimick was largely attended on January 3, 1894, at his late residence in Houndsfield, near Sulphur Springs. The attendance was very large, comprising neighboring farmers with their families, a large delegation from Houndsfield Grange, and citizens from surrounding towns. There were also several distinguished citizens from the city of Watertown. The house was filled in every corner, and the occasion was wonderfully solemn and pathetic. Mrs. Dimick was entirely prostrated. The religious services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Brown, from Sackets Harbor. Houndsfield Grange also participated in the services, both at the house and the grave. The interment was in the Sulphur Springs burying-ground, which is now nearly filled with those who but a few years ago were the active men and women of that portion of the town of Houndsfield. The speaking was superior. Mr. Brown, the officiating clergyman, gave an instructive address, impressing upon all the necessity of constant preparation for death, which was as likely to come to any of his hearers as unexpectedly as it came to Mr. Dimick. Col. A. D. Shaw made a brief address, which was full of pathos and sympathy. His remarks were wonderfully fitting, and elicited the most favorable comments. The crowning and most affecting tribute to the memory of the deceased, was made by General Bradley Winslow, of Watertown, a life-long acquaintance of Mr. Dimick, their boyhood residences being only two miles apart. The General spoke as follows:
Friends and Fellows citizens: I hardly presume that I can add to the interest of this sorrowful occasion by any words of mine, especially after listening, as we have, to the able, eloquent and feeling address of the reverend gentleman who has preceded me. But as one representing the great body of the laity as distinguished from the ministering servants of the church militant, it may be proper for me to speak briefly. I have the more reason for doing so from the fact that he, beside whose bier we stand to-day possessed a most catholic spirit. Every man, whatever his creed or nationality, was his brother. He believed in the equality of the natural rights of all men. His voice and influence were ever against the wrong of the oppressor, and against the proud man's contumely. In short, he believed in the brotherhood of man. In his public career he illustrated the principles of honor, honesty and fidelity. Did he assume a public trust, the duties pertaining thereto were discharged in utter forgetfulness of self, and with the sole purpose of executing in the best manner that which was given him in charge to perform.
Jay Dimick had many characteristics and traits, of which it is a pleasure to speak; but it seems to me that the phase of his career, which is most prominent, and which will be longest felt in the community at large, is the splendid citizenship his life illustrated. He was a model citizen. What higher enconium can be pronounced with respect to any man than to say, "He is a good citizen." And to excel in citizenship is the highest attainment of a noble ambition. A good citizen is he who renders ready obedience to the law, who avoids, as far as honor will permit, contentions with his fellow-men--who, while maintaining a careful guardianship of his own rights, respects absolutely those of his neighbors; who is honest in his dealings, temperate in his habits, industrious and frugal. A good citizen, moreover, is one who takes a lively interest in those public questions which affect the community in which he lives; who exerts his influence intelligently for the righting of every wrong, the amelioration of every calamity; who encourages education and culture, who sustains the district school, who participates in the town meetings, who may be found in the assemblies of the people, giving attentive ear to every complaint, to every suggestion, and then, with calm wisdom and assurance, counsels as to the true course to be pursued. Readily you all agree that he whose memory we cherish to-day was such a man. Whether he was able to accomplish all that he did from qualities that were inborn, I know not; but it may be, having these, he was spurred on in their development by the silent influences of propitious surroundings. It was his great good fortune in early manhood to become united in marriage with a noble family. Most of you who are here are cognizant of the fact that the life-partner whom he chose was the eldest daughter of the Hon. Benjamin Maxon, the active years of whose life were spent in this neighborhood, and who left behind him as a legacy to his children an example of honor and good citizenship worthy of imitation. To the steadfast devotion and wise counsel of her, who to-day sits in the gloom of widowhood, much is due for the noble product of manhood which crowned the life of our friend, more brilliant than sapphire or rubies, or the emblems of a monarch's power. And when the great wave of grief, by which her soul is now overwhelmed, shall have partially subsided, she will find much compensation for her loss in the reflection that her unselfish, wifely devotion assisted to make the noble character which will through all the ages illumine an ample page in our local history.
It is sad to think that the places which have known our friend will know him no more forever. He will be missed in the dear circle of home and family; he will be missed from the Grange; from all the those places marked by his familiar presence. No more will his exuberant humor enliven the meetings where he was wont to find expression: no more will the touch of "his vanished hand be felt, nor the sound of his voice be heard." He has gone from among us forever! But in this hour of sorrow and bereavement it is consoling to remember that the influence of his example will remain, more potent, perhaps than while he lived. It is not true, as the great dramatist wrote:
"The evil that men do lives after them,
While the good is oft interred with their bones."
Oh no, rather the converse of this sentiment is true--the good survives, while the evil is forgotten. Happily, whatever of evil existed in our friend's nature was so infinitesimal as not to be remembered. Good citizen, kind neighbor, loving husband; farewell, farewell. Thou art gone; in all the years that remain to us, we shall miss and mourn for thee, but as to thy future we are not concerned. Whether it be to sleep in the gloom of eternal night or to hail the dawn of a brighter existence beyond the grave, we instinctively know it is the best that mortal man can receive. Inspired by the hope and faith that animates all Christian hearts, we believe that by and by in a world where suffering and sorrow are unknown, and brightness and joy abide always, we shall meet our friend again.
Mr. Frink read the following touching poem:
It seemeth such a little way to me
Across to that dear country, "The Beyond;"
For it hath grown to be
The home of those of whom I am so fond,
They make it seem familiar and most dear,
As journeying friends bring distant regions near;
So close it lies, that when my sight is clear,
I think I almost see the gleaming strand;
I know, I feel those who are gone from here
Are near enough sometimes to touch my hand.
I often think but for our veiled eyes,
We'd find that heaven round about us lies.
I love this world, yet I shall love to go
And meet the friends who wait for me, I know:
I never stand above a bier and see
The seal of death set on some well-loved face,
But I recall the dear ones who will welcome me
When I shall cross the intervening space.
The casual observer may think it strange that, in a History like this, there should be so much space devoted to any one man, but there have been few occurences in Jefferson county that have awakened deeper feelings than the untimely death of Mr. Dimick, and an extended account seems called for.
MR. AND MRS. BENJAMIN ORCHARD
BENJAMIN ORCHARD, long a resident of Houndsfield, owning a fine farm on road 49, corner of 59, was the son of John Orchard, who was born in Devonshire, England, where he died at the age of 80 years. Benjamin emigrated to America in 1829, and in 1832 located in Houndsfield. He was a successful farmer, and married Armenia, eldest daughter of Rev. Enoch and Anor (Hazen) Barnes. Their children were Matilda, now wife of DeEstang Moore, of Watertown; Sarah, married to John D. McMullin, of East Houndsfield; Elsie, wife of Marcellus Reed, of Chicago, Ill.; Richard, Benjamin Jr., Julia A., wife of Myron Holden, of Sackets Harbor; Martha A., married to J.W. Brockway; Effie E., wife of Dyer Harris, of Watertown; Darius, Ada R., married to Emmet Holden, of Kansas; she died on February 22, 1892, and Ida M., wife of Jas. B. Phillips.
Benjamin Orchard was a steady-going, methodical farmer. He had advanced ideas about agriculture, for he was reared in England, where agriculture had reached its highest development.
ARMENIA BARNES was the eldest child of Rev. Enoch and Anor (Hazen) Barnes, and born in the Thomas Settlement, in Houndsfield, October 3, 1821. She had the benefits of the common school of the town, completing her education at the Methodist Seminary at Cazenovia, N.Y. Returning home she married Benjamin Orchard, June 7, 1838. Their children are given above. Mrs. Orchard is spending her mature years in Sackets Harbor, where she has a fine dwelling on Main street, and is surrounded by loving and sympathetic grandchildren, who are only too glad to minister to her wants.
REV. ENOCH BARNES. was one of the earliest Methodist preachers in the Black River country. His father, Rev. Asah Barnes, was also a minister, well remembered at Little Falls and along the Mohawk Valley as a most fearless and devoted preacher of the word of God, the contemporary of the Rev. Lorenzo Dow, who made Elder Barnes' house his home while upon his journeyings up and down the central part of the State--a man of rude and uncultured manners, but possessed of a power over men, through the persuasive influence of his eloquence, that roused thousands to the forsaking of sinful ways, and to following Him, who Himself was a preacher. and "spake as never man spake."
Enoch Barnes married Miss Anor Hazen soon after he was licensed to preach. He first began as an exhorter, when a mere lad, doubtless tutored more or less by his father, and when scarcely 21 was accepted into the Methodist itinerancy, and began that singularly devoted Christian life, which earned him a place among the foremost preachers of his day. There must have been some peculiar strain of eloquence in this family, for one of Elder Barnes' nephews was that Rev. Dr. Haddock, murdered at Sioux City, Iowa, by the whisky men, after he had been for years one of the most eloquent Methodist preachers in the whole West. Elder Barnes' eldest child was born at Little Falls in 1814. Soon afterwards he removed to the Black River country, and located upon a piece of land in Jericho, a precinct of Houndsfield, where he reared a numerous family, all of whom are deceased, except his eldest daughter, Mrs. Benjamin Orchard, who has removed from Camp's Mills to her residence in Sackets Harbor. It was in 1811 that he joined the Methodist itinerancy. His first visit to Jefferson county was as a drafted man to participate in the battle of Sackets Harbor.
Without attempting to follow Elder Barnes through all his itinerancy, it will be enough to say that he was faithful in the discharge of every ministerial duty. There came a time when the great question of Christian fellowship with slave-holders began to agitate the Methodist Church, and Elder Barnes, who had Revolutionary blood in his veins, resolved to secede from any ministerial relation with a church which countenanced slavery, even by implication. He left, with great reluctance, the organization in which he had been so long an honored minister, and retired to his farm in Jericho. It was not many years before the M.E. Church took the same ground he had advocated, and declared itself as unwilling to longer maintain Christian fellowship with owners of slaves, and then began the two distinct organizations of that great church, a Northern and Southern, the separation continuing until this day.
Elder Barnes had one peculiarly eloquent and able son, William Hazen Thomas Barnes, who was also a preacher. He lost his life in the Texan army, where he held the rank of Chaplain, in one of the battles with the Mexicans previous to the admission of that State into the Union. This young man was a protege of Hon. Eldridge G. Merick, of Clayton, who sent him to college. Having retired from the Methodist itinerancy, Elder Barnes thenceforth affiliated himself with the Seventh-Day Baptists, which denomination he served for nearly twenty-five years, both in New Jersey and the State of New York. In 1842 he removed to Sackets Harbor, and though he preached more or less after that, the real activity of his ministerial life was closed. The Seventh-Day Baptist Church at Sulphur Springs he served more or less for many years, for it was near his old Jericho home, and was also the neighborhood where three of his sisters had lived, and in the near-by graveyard reposed his aged mother, Mrs. Sally Barnes. Having come to Houndsfield to reside, in the year 1822, he was at his death one of the oldest inhabitants of the town, certainly one of the most respected. He died in Sackets Harbor, in 1877.
Elder Barnes was a man of peculiarly simple and unpretending manner. But his personal convictions were always strong. When he believed a thing he gave it its complete logical sequence. Believing human slavery to be a sin against God and man, he declined to fellowship with any church or body of men who held the converse to be true. He could not stifle his convictions. If he could not preach the complete doctrine of universal Christianity, as applied to all men his blessed Master died to save, both black and white, he could not preach at all. He was a Garrison Abolitionist, one who believed that the Federal constitution, when it failed to protect the poor black man from brutality and chains, was indeed a "league with Hell." Thus believing, he so preached, and so lived.
THE PETTIT FAMILY.
HEMAN PETTIT, who, in the list of early settlers, is erroneously written Pellet, one of the first settlers of Watertown, came from Washington county, N.Y., in March, 1800, and settled near Burrville. His grandfather, Samuel Pettit, came from England to this country, and settled on the west end of Long Island. Heman married Martha Selfredge, of Salem, Washington county, N.Y. In 1800, hearing of the opening up of the Black River country and its great milling facilities, and he being a millwright by trade, this couple migrated to Watertown, where he helped build most of the mills about Burrville, and many in Watertown. Their eldest child, Susanna, was born June 8, 1800, and is supposed to be the first female child born in Watertown. She married James Douglas, and became the mother of James Chester Douglas, of Pillar Point; John Pettit Douglas, of Theresa (president of the Standard Publishing Company), and Norval Eliada Douglas, of Auburn, N.Y. Mrs. Heman Pettit was one of the founders of the First Presbyterian Society of Watertown.
In the year 1803 Heman Pettit moved with his family to Sackets Harbor, where he planned for the construction of mills, wharves and warehouses. About the close of the War of 1812 he moved to what is now historical Jewettsville, where he purchased land and made a homestead, in which he lived until his death. Mrs. Martha Pettit was also one of the first persons to help organize the Presbyterian Society of Sackets Harbor. Hon. Eliada Pettit, their eldest son, was born in 1803, and in youth became a teacher. He took up navigation, for which he had a particular adaptation, owning and commanding his own vessels. He moved to Wayne county, N.Y., from which place he was elected to the State Legislature, in 1847.
WILLIAM SELFREDGE PETTIT, second son of Heman and Martha Pettit, was born at Sackets Harbor, March 1, 1805. He secured a substantial education. The business of his choice was agriculture, and he became a prosperous and progressive farmer. It is not often in these days of change that a man lives in one place his allotted time--three score and ten. He was married twice. By his first marriage he had a son. His second wife was Mary Catherine Stevenson, born in Nottinghampshire, England. By his second marriage there are three children, who survive him: Elizabeth A., Martha L. and John S. Early in life he became a member of the Presbyterian Church at Sackets Harbor, and lived the consistent life of a Christian, as did his wife.
JOHN PETTIT was born at Sackets Harbor July 24, 1807. He was educated at Watertown, and studied law with one of the Jefferson county judges. In 1830 he located at Troy, Ohio, where he remained one year teaching school and studying his profession; from there he removed to Lafayette, Indiana, where he made a permanent settlement, in May, 1831. He was a member of the Indiana Legislature, in 1836; U.S. District Attorney for that State under the Van Buren administration; a Representative in Congress for six years; a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1851; a United States Senator for three years; a Judge of Tippecanoe Circuit Court for two years, and in 1859 President Buchanan appointed him Chief Justice of the Territory of Kansas, in which capacity he served until its admission as a State, 1861, when he returned to Lafayette, where he served four years as City Attorney, and two years as Mayor. In 1870 he was elected Judge of the Indiana Supreme Court for a term of six years. When his term of office expired, January 1, 1877, he resumed the practice of law, which he continued until his death, June 19, 1887.
CHESTER D. WARD, a citizen of the town of Houndsfield, was born in Massachusetts, in 1845, the son of Moses L. and Demidecy (Scott) Ward, who came into the Black River country, in 1833, from Oneida county, and settled upon a farm on the road from Watertown to Smithville, about two miles south of Stowell's Corners. They reared seven children, Chester D., the subject of this sketch, was born upon the homestead, and had the benefits of the common school of the town. He has always been a farmer, and most of the time upon the farm first located by his parents. In 1875 he married Miss Sophronia Lee, and they have had one child born to them, Sarah Frances. Mr. Ward is a successful farmer, and enjoys the confidence of his fellow citizens. He is now serving his second term as highway commissioner of the town of Houndsfield.
HON. HENRY J. LANEwas born in Sackets Harbor, February 27, 1841. He was educated at the common schools of his native town, and began to teach school at the early age of 17, and so continued from 1858 to 1862. Since that time he has been engaged in merchandise at Sackets Harbor, where his business has grown into large proportions for a village of that size. He has always been a Republican, casting his first vote in 1862 for the candidates of that party, with which he has been most thoroughly identified up to the present time. For many years he has been chairman of the Republican Committee of his town, and a member of the Republican County Committee.
He was elected town clerk of the town of Houndsfield at the age of 21 years, holding the office for three years; was justice of the peace two years; assessor for the town three years; president of the village of Sackets Harbor six years; supervisor of the town of Houndsfield during 1885, 1886, 1887 and 1888; was frequently chosen a delegate from Jefferson county to the Republican State Convention; was elected Member of Assembly from first district of Jefferson county in November, 1888, and in the session commencing January 1, 1889, was appointed on the Committees of Commerce and Navigation, Public Health and Public Education; was re-elected to the Assembly in the years 1889 and 1890, serving three terms in succession; was first chairman of the new committee of the Assembly on Forestry and Public Lands, created in 1890. At the close of his third term in the Legislature he returned to his home, again taking charge of his mercantile business, which, with the aid of his large acquaintance, has rapidly increased in volume.
Mr. Lane formed the acquaintance of Miss Rosaltha S. Payne, daughter of Worden and Rhoda Payne, of the town of Houndsfield, which resulted in matrimony on August 14, 1862. Six children have been added to their family record, three of whom died in infancy. His first born son, H.H. Lane, was born July 14, 1863. He lives in Sackets Harbor and takes charge of his father's growing business. His daughter, Rose F., assumed control of her father's correspondence when he entered upon his term in the Legislature, and has since had charge of the same. His only other living child, a son, was born on the eve of the election of Garfield and Arthur, and was named by his parents after those noted officials--Arthur Garfield Lane.
The parents of Mr. Lane, Charles and Fanny Lane, were natives of England, coming to America in early life. They were united in matrimony in the city of Kingston, Canada.
Mr. Lane may be called a self-made man. He has earned the promotion which has come to him, not by the aid of rich relatives or influential friends, but by his perseverance and indomitable push. He has always been loyal to his town, which appears to have lacked men of his character, who, instead of submitting to the fate that comes try to make "fate," and to make it right.
HON. THEODORE CANFIELD
JOHN M. CANFIELD, son of John, was born in Sharon, Conn., December 22, 1775, and came to Jefferson county in 1810. He wedded with Fanny Harvey, of Stamford, Conn., and they had 11 children, namely: Jane H., John, William F., Richard M., Laura, Fanny C., Frederick W., Annis A., Harriet, Sarah D., and Theodore.
Theodore Canfield was born in the historic village of Sackets Harbor, March 6, 1823, and here he commenced a career in the hardware trade which was continued with enviable success until his retirement in 1868. Mr. Canfield was also prominent in municipal affairs, and for his known integrity and fitness for the position was chosen the town's representative in the board of supervisors in 1859, and again in 1869, '70, '71 and '72, holding the honorable position of chairman of that board for two years. In 1866 he was the successful candidate of his party for member of Assembly. For 18 years he was an influential director of the Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbor Railroad, and for eight years served as vice-president of that corporation. On the 12th of September, 1848, Mr. Canfield wedded with Annie, daughter of John Little, a lady of refined and domestic tastes.
His influence upon the business concerns of Houndsfield has been important and beneficent. He is conservative in management, and his habits of thought, as well as his business education, alike inspire him to demand a strict accountability in all matters relating to public affairs. He believes, as did the founders of the governmaent, that a public office is a public trust, never to be perverted, as with Tweed, to a means for enriching the officeholder at the expense of the people. He is a mild, but at the same time, a very determined man. He is a strong friend, and ever on the side of churches, schools and temperance.
In the progress of every frontier town from its early settlement to a later permanent growth there are usually found some men who maintain an equable and continuous course, and become the ones whose integrity is never questioned, and whose word is always as good as a bond. Such an one was Mr. Canfield, whom the writer remembers away back in the fifties, the same just and honorable man he is to-day--equiposed, discriminating, fair and just.
A. JUDSON HORTON eldest son of C. Van Ranst and Emeline E. (Dickerson) Horton was born at Somerville, St. Lawrence county, N.Y., March 13, 1850. His parents removed to Point Salubrious when he was quite young, and where they continued to reside until he was 11 years of age. In 1861 he went to live with an aunt, where he remained until after the death of his father, in 1862 when he returned home to his mother in Chaumont. November 19, 1863, he, together with his youngest sister, Eva (now Mrs. J. S. Pettit, of Sackets Harbor) went to live with Hon. Jay Dimick, of Houndsfield, remaining there until 21 years of age. After attaining his majority he went to Missouri, and upon his return, February 22, 1872, was married to Ellen L. Maxon, youngest daughter of Hon. Benjamin Maxon, of Houndsfield. They took up their abode with her father and worked his farm. Two years later, in 1874, his wife and her father died within a short time of each other. At the earnest request of his mother-in-law, he continued to stay with her on the farm until her death, in 1891. February 19, 1882, he was again married to Mary Ladd, by whom he has three children: Hannah Ellen, Gilbert Van Ranst and Kenneth Field, aged respectively 11, 9 and 6 years.
NEWMAN HOLLEY POTTER who was a gallant soldier in Company K, 35th N.Y. Vol. Infantry, was born in Houndsfield in 1829, the son of Anson and Abby (Fall) Potter. Mr. Potter, Sr., came from Massachusetts, and his wife from Connecticut, both from good New England stock. They came into Jefferson county in 1808, locating at Stoel's Corners. They were married in 1826, and reared five children, all of whom are now (1895) living: Walter W.; who married Delila, daughter of Daniel Bennett, of Houndsfield; Newman H., Lorentine C., who married Chauncey W., son of Col. Bates, of Houndsfield, they now residing at Crocker, Iowa; Lydia M., who married Harrison E. Spaulsbury, of Leonidas, Mich., and Anson A., of Syracuse, N.Y., who has never married. Anson Potter, the father of this family, and his amiable companion, were people highly respected by all who knew them. He died in 1883 in his 79th year, after a long life of honorable and successful effort. His farm, where he lived so many years, was located on the Military Road between Sackets Harbor and Brownville. His widow survived him nearly nine years, dying in 1891.
Newman H., the subject of this sketch, had the benefit of the common schools of Houndsfield, completing his education at the Watertown Institute. He worked upon his father's farm in summer and attended school in winter. In his 32d year he joined the 35th N.Y. Vol. Infantry in 1861, being one of the first to enlist. He had previously married Miss Harriet E. Goodrich, daughter of Major Goodrich, of Houndsfield, and they had three children born to them when the husband and father volunteered to go and be shot at for the princely reward of eight dollars per month, payable in greenbacks, worth all the way from 50 to 80 cents on the dollar. Mr. Potter served with his company and regiment through the whole term of their two-year enlistment, sharing in all the battles in which the 35th participated, from the first skirmishing at Fredericksburg to Antietam. He was never in the hospital a single day, and that gallant regiment never stacked arms without his being with them from beginning to end.
On leaving the army he returned to his original avocation, farming, and has gone right along in that business until he is now the proprietor of the farm first located by his grandfather, John Potter, who married a sister of Charles Holloway, of Houndsfield. Mr. Potter has now five children, all of whom are married, and he is about ready to give up the hardships of farming and take a little rest after a life of unusual activity and endeavor.
Mr. Potter, in his early manhood, taught district school, and in the days when teaching a common school in Jefferson county was no idle pastime. The larger boys occasionally amused themselves by throwing the teacher out of doors, and one of the schools Mr. Potter engaged to teach had witnessed the dismissal of two teachers before he was (owing to similar treatment) engaged. As a result, a good deal of curiosity existed as to how long the new instructor would hold his place. The second day after he took charge four or five of the biggest boys purposely infringed the rules so as to dump "the teacher out doors." as they termed it. Potter was comparatively small in body, but he made up in muscle for what he lacked in flesh, and when the boys formed in line of battle and moved to the attack, amid the intense excitement of the school, it looked as though an easy victory was at hand for them. But they counted without their host, for, quick as a cat, Potter sprung forward and knocked down the foremost, and in quick time had them all sprawling on the floor, and before they were aware, he had seized them one by one and pulled and rolled them out of the door. Looking quietly round, Potter calmly said: "The next class will take their places." It is needless to add that there was no more trouble in that school during the winter.
The company with which Mr. Potter served was a peculiar one. Col. Lord and Captain Camp got it together in Brownville and Houndsfield. It was composed mostly of young men, some of the recruits being barely elegible. But it gradually developed into a very reliable fighting company.
This company was a part of the gallant 35th, whose service called for participation in every line of pickets from the Potomac to the Rappahannock, and it never failed to respond to every call.
Dr. Samuel Guthrie. One of the most unique characters that ever rose to prominence in Jefferson county was Dr. Samuel Guthrie, of Sackets Harbor, the discoverer of chloroform. He was born in Brimfield, Mass., in 1782, his father being a physician. He began to practice medicine soon after reaching his majority, removing to Smyrna, N.Y. During the War of 1812, he held the position of examining surgeon in the army. While at Smyrna he had paid considerable attention to the manufacture of gunpowder, and after coming to Jewettsville, one mile east of Sackets Harbor, he manufactured gunpowder in a small way. He was a great experimenter, often receiving painful injuries as a result of his carelessness. But he must have had an inventive and highly intelligent mind, for his experiments resulted in two great discoveries--chloroform, now the standard anaesthetic in medicine, and the principle of percussion, as applied to the firing of guns. Years ago, there was no means known for alleviating the pain of an operation in surgery, and the percentage of deaths under operations was very much in excess of the present time. During the Civil War there were over a million fluid pounds of chloroform used in the Union Army, and the benefits it conferred upon poor wounded men are almost beyond description.
The application of the principle of communicating fire to the charges of a gun loaded with powder, by simple percussion, was first applied in the village of Sackets Harbor, preceding all other similar efforts. Dr. Guthrie was the inventor, but he never realized a dollar in money from his discovery. His fulminating powder, igniting by a slight blow, was the beginning from which have sprung all the later high explosives, used in all countries, and of inestimable value.
After a life of great usefulness, Dr. Guthrie died at the home of his daughter in Jewettsville, near Sackets Harbor, October 19, 1848.
HON. JOHN R. BENNETT, now a prominent judge residing in Janesville, Wisconsin, is a native of Houndsfield, and studied law in Sackets Harbor under Burnham. His parents were farmers, and the Judge's father, Daniel Bennett, long supported them by burning charcoal, then the only fuel used by blacksmiths. The boy John had only fair advantages in the way of schooling, yet he possessed remarkable ability, which soon raised him to eminence, and he now occupies a position of much responsibility.
MERRICK M. BATES was born in the town of Brimfield, Mass., July 10, 1801. In the spring of 1801 his father, Samuel Bates, in company with Aaron Blodgett, came from Massachusetts and purchased 285 acres of land in the southeast corner of Houndsfield. Erecting a log house and making some slight improvements, he returned to Massachusetts in the fall, and in December, 1802, returned with his family. Upon the breaking out of the War of 1812, he enlisted in Capt. Camp's artillery company, and served gallantly at Sackets Harbor. He died in 1813. The death of his father threw many responsibilities upon young Merrick, he being the eldest son and the main dependence of his widowed mother. His early life was one of toil, and but slight aid was received by him from the district school, but whatever ability was possessed by him, obtained strength by improved opportunity. In military matters Mr. Bates was quite prominent. He was colonel of the 21st regiment of New York Light Artillery, and was a strict disciplinarian and an able officer. In 1816 he married Miss Abigail Stoel, daughter of Mr. Osline Stoel, by whom he had 10 children, eight of whom are now living. Mrs. Bates was all that is expressed in the terms, "amiable and intelligent." The attachment between husband and wife but strengthened with time; they lived in harmony and labored in unison, and when she closed her eyes upon this world, in July, 1846, it was in a full faith in a higher existence. Mrs. John Winslow now residing in Watertown, was the daughter of Merick M. Bates.
IRA HALL. Samuel Hall, father of the subject of this sketch, came from Connecticut with his family, to Madison county, N.Y., in 1798, and purchased a small farm, being a man of very limited means. Upon this farm he resided until his death, which occurred in 1841. Ira lived with his father until he was 27 years of age. He received the advantages of an academic education, which he made practically useful, teaching for 10 years. He was married April 3, 1827, to Miss Sophia Fort, and in that year located in Houndsfield, where he purchased 109 acres of land, now a part of one of the best in town. Mr. Hall was a successful farmer. By a long life of integrity, he secured the love and esteem of his fellow-townsmen. He filled the office of justice of the peace for 12 years; that of postmaster for 28 years, and that of assessor for three years. In 1831 his wife died, and in the spring of 1832 he married Maudina Swift, of St. Lawrence county. By his first wife he had two children, and by his second wife he had eight. Mr. Hall is buried in the Sulphur Springs burying-ground.
JOSHUA CROUCH was one of the writer's earliest friends. He was a prosperous farmer near the Sulphur Springs, in Houndsfield, where he reared a large family, having married for his first wife, Miss Mary Resseguie, who was descended from an old and distinguished French family. The Resseguies were also related to the Bonticous, a name well known in France as well as in the early settlements of this country. Mr. Crouch's ancestors were of English descent, coming to America in 1632, and settling in Hebron, Connecticut. Mr. Crouch and his wife had born to them eight children: Esther, who died in infancy, Daniel, Cynthia (who married Sylvenus Tyler), Hannah (who married E.D. Maxon), Wm. Harrison, Samuel, John and Emily. This last named, the youngest child, is more particularly, the subject of this sketch, being the sole survivor of this once numerous and well-known family. She married Martin P. Lawrence in 1849, and they have reared four children: Everett D., William G., Mary Inez, and Susan Emily, who died in infancy. They reside upon a part of the original Joshua Crouch farm, which once embraced 214 acres, though Mr. Crouch at one time paid taxes upon 500 acres of land in Houndsfield. He was one of those designated as "minute-men" during the threatened attack upon Sackets Harbor, and on hearing the guns he started for the fight, but reached the town only in time to see the British in full retreat. The Grange Hall for Houndsfield, is near Mrs. Lawrence's home, and she is an influential and industrious member of that organization. Her children are about her, an abiding comfort and solace, for they are dutiful and affectionate. Miss Mary, the only surviving daughter, is an expert telegraph operator, having had charge for several years of an important station upon the R.W. & O. Railroad.
APPLETON McKEE, a native of Hartford, Conn., located in the town of Adams, in 1803, where he engaged in farming, and so continued until his death, in 1831, aged 74 years. His wife was Mercy Hill, and of their nine children, Alvin was born in Connecticut, and removed to Adams with his father. In 1841 he located in Houndsfield, where he died at the age of 77 years. In 1830 he married Mary, daughter of Elisha and Elizabeth (Edwards) Allen, of Johnstown, Fulton county, and they had six children, viz: Corrilla, Levi, Elisha, Phila, Harrison and Oscar.
The latter was born in Houndsfield, in 1846. He married Frank R., daughter of Ephraim P. and Elizabeth (Dimick) Morseman, and their children are Appleton G., Nellie I. and Teall. He still resides on the homestead farm, from which his mother died in 1890. Oscar R. McKee served in Co. C., 186th N.Y. Volunteers, until the close of the war.
FREDERICK M. LIVERMORE, long a resident of Houndsfield, was the son of Elisha and Mercy (Benjamin) Livermore, who came into Houndsfield from Litchfield, N.Y., about 1808. They took up land, and began farming, rearing four children: Julia A., who married Lewis Livermore; Frederick M., William and George. Frederick M., the subject of this sketch, was born in Houndsfield, in 1824. He had the common school advantages, and completed his education at the Black River Literary and Religious Institute at Watertown. He taught school for several terms in winter, working on the farm summers. In 1847 he married Miss Mary A. Frost, daughter of Orra Frost, of Omar. They reared three children: George, Mary, who married L.G. Ives, and Miss Ida. Mr. Livermore may be classed as having been a farmer from his youth up. He purchased the farm on the State road from Watertown to Sackets Harbor, in 1857, and it has since been his home. His wife is still alive to share his earthly pilgrimage. He has held several town offices, and is one of the best known and most respected citizens of Houndsfield, a universal favorite. Mr. Livermore was commissioned by Gov. Silas Wright to be Captain in the 189th Regiment of State Militia, November 4, 1846.
NATHAN LADD, long a resident of the southern part of Houndsfield, came into the Black River country in 1811, from Bridgewater, though he was born in Coventry, Conn. He located upon the farm still held in the family, on the road from Stoell's Corners to Smithville. After locating the land (102 acres), and putting in one crop of wheat, he returned to Bridgewater, and brought on his parents. He married Betsey Edick, and they reared four children: Eliphalet, Brayton, Matilda C. and Mary E. Matilda married Isaac B. Fults. Eliphalet married Charlotte Spaulding, of Onondaga county.
Nathan Ladd died in 1877. living to be 90 years of age. He was a much respected citizen, laboring diligently to support a growing family. The farm he took up was part of the original Houndsfield tract, and was purchased from Col. Elisha Camp, the agent. The old homestead is now occupied by Miss Mary E. Ladd, a lady much respected, who owns one-half of the land, the other portion belonging to the son of her brother Eliphalet - who was one of the writer's school and playmates in youth. They are the nearest neighbors to Hon. Jay Dimick, who met his untimely death in trying to free his horses from his burning barn, late in December, 1894.
HON. BENJAMIN MAXON, for many years one of the most prominent and capable farmers of Houndsfield, came into Jefferson county, about 1828, from Brookfield, Madison County, NY settling on the farm he occupied so many years. He was born in 1800, and had married, before coming to Jefferson county, Miss Lucy Ives, and they brought two children with them, Sophia, now the widow of Hon. Jay Dimick, of Houndsfield, and Rufus L., now residing on a part of the old homestead. Mr. Maxon was a large man physically--a very successful man--much above most of his contemporaries in ability, force of character and natural capacity. His wife died in 1845, and he married, for his second wife, Miss Hannah Gilbert, by whom he had two children, both of whom are now deceased. Mr. Maxon died in 1874, in his 74th year. No man in the town was more respected. He was Member of Assembly from the first Assembly district of the county, and was supervisor of his town. In religious belief he was a Seventh Day Baptist, and his exemplary life shed lustre upon his profession.
RUFUS L. MAXON, son of the above, was born in 1828, and had the benefit of the common schools, completing his education at the DeRuyter (Madison county) Academy, and at the Troy Polytechnic, where he learned surveying, which he practises more or less. But he is by occupation a farmer. He married Miss Azelia Warren, by whom he had three children. She died in 1871. In 1873 he married Mrs. Sarah Hall, who had three children by her former husband. Mr. Maxon owns a part of the farm originally settled by his father, and is a successful man and an honored citizen.
DAVID S. DICKERSON was admitted to the Jefferson County Medical Society in 1836. He was born in January 1808; granted a diploma by the Medical Society of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Fairfield, December 25, 1826, and July 26, 1828, he received a license to practise medicine and surgery from the Herkimer County Medical Society. He located at Rice's Corners, in Houndsfield, and died there August 19, 1845. His death was the result of an operation performed upon himself for the cure of stricture of the urethra, caused by an injury received in the saddle. By his early death the community was deprived of a bright, conscientious and energetic citizen and physician. The profession lost from its ranks one to whose example and career they could point with honest pride.
LEBBEUS F. ALLEN, a native of the town of Houndsfield, was born in 1831, and was the son of Leonard and Eunice (Knowlton) Allen. Leonard Allen came into the Black River country with his parents, settling upon the farm now owned by Lebbeus F., his son. Leonard's wife was the first white child born in the town of Brownville. They reared six children: Eleanor, who married Albert Allen; Jane, who married William Fisk; Lucy, who married Charles A. Ostrander; Phoebe, who married Safford E. Field; Lebbeus F., who married Miss Meroe Warren. Lebbeus F. and his wife have had four children born to them, one of which died in infancy. Those living are; Leonard L., of Watertown, who married Stella Brimmer; T. Warren, of New York city, who married Bertha Marr; and Frank W., of New York city.
Mr. Allen was justice of the peace of the town of Houndsfield for 10 years. He enjoys the respect and confidence of his neighbors. The farm which he owns, and upon which he was born, has never been out of the Allen family. It was originally purchased by Mr. Allen's grandfather from Col. Elisha Camp, who was agent for Houndsfield, the original proprietor.
Mr. Allen has been always closely identified with all interests pertaining to the community in which he has spent his life-time, foremost in church and educational work, and sacrificing much time, labor and money for the public good. In the school district in which he resides, is one of the best made and furnished district school houses in the county. It was built after his designs and under his supervision. The community's pleasant little church also owes much of the beauty of its interior to his labors. He has been a director in the Jefferson County Patron's Fire Relief Association for the past 15 years, and foremost in the business of the Association. He has also had the settlement of several estates to care for. He was nominated for supervisor of his town several years ago on the Republican ticket, but lacked a few votes of election.
EPHRAIM P. MORSEMAN, who was one of the earliest instructors the author of this History remembers with grateful affection, was born March 11, 1809, at the village of Henderson, N.Y. He commenced teaching in 1827. In 1830 he married Betsey Dimick, the youngest sister of Hon. Jay Dimick, of Houndsfield. He continued his vocation as a teacher in the common schools for nearly 20 years; after that he became a partner with Alex. Salisbury in merchantile operations at Theresa, N.Y. Here he also taught the village school, having some of the distinguished Flower family as his pupils, also Mary Foote Lull, whose father had then lately died. Removing to the West he remained there only a year, when he returned and purchased a small farm not far from Sackets Harbor, where he raised garden seed and fruits, to supply the garrison at Madison Barracks. He has been superintendent of the schools for Houndsfield, justice of the peace and assessor. He purchased Moorland, a dairy farm of only a few acres, which he has increased, until now it contains 260 acres. Upon this farm he resided until he and his wife celebrated their golden wedding, on June 6, 1880. She died in 1882. He then left the farm in possession of his son. In 1887 he married Margaret, widow of Dr. Ferguson, of Mogadore, Ohio, when he again took up his residence at Moorland. In 1893, Margaret, his wife, died, which caused Mr. Morseman to again leave the farm, and he is now living with his daughter, Mrs. Stearns. There he is passing into the sere and yellow leaf, though in full possession of all his faculties; in his 85th year, he is a remarkably well preserved man, good for several years yet of enjoyable life.
AMOS MOORE, born in 1796, was the son of Veranus Moore, Sr., one of the earliest settlers of Houndsfield, where he resided for many years, in the extreme southeastern portion of the town. Amos received his farm of 72 acres as a gift from his father, when yet a young man. He married Miss Harriet Smith (Barnes), and they began house-keeping on the road leading from Rice's to the Reed Settlement, above the beaver meadow in Houndsfield. There they lived for many years, but had no children. They adopted a little girl, to whom they gave their own name, and when she had reached womanhood, she married John Alexander. They raised two children, Amos, the boy (born June 2, 1844), lived with his grandparents (the Moores), after the death of his mother, which occurred in his eleventh year. His father died two years after his mother, and young Amos remained with his grandparents until he married Miss Amanda Smith, in 1873. They have reared four children, William H., Ida May, Harriet E., and Laura Etta. These children are very promising, and are being well educated. By his grandfather's will, Amos Alexander inherited the Amos Moore homestead, where he now resides. He is a respected and honorable citizen, and has a neat farm. Amos Moore died in 1874; Harriet, his wife, died in 1882.
ORVILLE W. BAKER, a native and a long resident of Houndsfield, was born in 1827, the son of John and Rocksena (Weed) Baker, who were born in this State, and came to the farm they lived upon for so many years, near Stoell's Corners, where Mr. Baker died, in 1880. Mrs. Baker died in 1891. Orville W. had the benefit of the common schools of Houndsfield, and graduated from the State Normal School at Albany in 1849. He taught school nine winters, and worked upon the farm summers. In 1852 he married Miss Olive Reed, daughter of Garret Reed, of Sackets Harbor. Mr. Baker has always been a farmer, except when he was teaching. He has been justice of the peace for 16 years, and served as railroad commissioner for Houndsfield for several years, and was secretary, for 13 years, of the Jefferson County Patrons' Fire Relief Association. Mr. Baker is an extremely modest and reticent man, but he has so many sterling qualities that he enjoys the entire respect and confidence of all his neighbors and acquaintances. He, too, is one of the descendants of that primeval stock who have left durable traces of their ability and integrity.
ELIJAH FIELD came into the Black River country from Woodstock, Vt., in 1806, settling on a farm in Field's Settlement. Himself and wife reared 12 children, nine boys and three girls. Spafford Field was one of these sons, born in 1790, in Vermont, and came to Watertown with his parents. He, also, was a farmer during his whole life. He married Mary Resseguie, by whom he had one daughter. The mother died in 1813. Spafford Field died in 1870, aged 80 years, having married Miss Alice Moore in 1817, and they reared only one child. This wife died in 1859. In 1861 he married Mrs. Mary Becker for his third wife. She died in 1873.
RICHARD M. EARL, a native of Sackets Harbor, where he now resides, married Lucy, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Jackson) Boulton, and his children are Richard H. and Charles S. Mr. Earl served as captain of a lake vessel, which plied between Oswego and Chicago for many years. He was for a long time proprietor of the Earl House at Sackets Harbor.
JOEL KNIGHT was born in Vermont, and came to this county, locating in Watertown in 1821, later removing to this town, where he remained many years, finally settling in the town of Alexandria where he died in 1847, aged 75 years. He married Hannah Ayres, of Vermont, and of their 10 children, Randall Knight was born in Vermont and came to Houndsfield in 1822. He has been twice married. By his first wife, Avilla Galloway, he had three children, Hiram, Edward and Emma. His second marriage was with Rosetta Olmstead.
EDWARD KNIGHT married Lutheria, daughter of John and Sarah (Pilmore) Sargent, and is on a farm which he has occupied for over 30 years. They have two children, Elma M. and Mary E.
WILLIAM PORTER was born in the village of Sackets Harbor, April 12, 1822. He married Caroline A., daughter of Ashby and Dolly S. (Robbins) Smith, of Houndsfield, and their children are William H., now a resident of Walula, Washington; George A., a grocer of Osage, Iowa; Edward F., of Portland, Oregon; Fred B., Ida A., Albert S. and Mary A. He served as night watchman in the custom-house at Sackets Harbor, and was appointed inspector of construction at Madison Barracks in 1880. He is a carpenter and still resides at Sackets Harbor.
THEODORE WASHBURN married Jeanette, daughter of Albert and Mary (Davis) Rice, of Adams, and he has two children, Albert and Arthur, and resides in this town on the farm where he was born. Silas R. Washburn was born and reared in this town, where he married Esther, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Lane) Stoodley, by whom he has two children, William W. and Homer T.
HENRY J. GRAHAM was born in this town. He married Mrs. Martha Gifford, of Three Mile Bay, daughter of Asa Chapman, and they have had three children, Grant G. (deceased), Nellie and Maggie, and reside on a farm. Mr. Graham served in Co. I, 10th N.Y. Heavy Artillery, nearly three years, and was honorably discharged. He participated in the battles of Cole Harbor and Petersburg, was with Sheridan in the campaign of 1864, and was at the front at the time of Lee's surrender.
CAPTAIN JAMES M. TRACY was born in this town, where he married Elmina, daughter of Aaron and Susan (Perkins) Wheat, by whom he has four children, viz: Elizabeth H., James M., Howard N. and John R. He was a captain on the lakes for 35 years, and is now retired, at the age of 65 years.
RICHARD MEEKS, who served in the Revolutionary War three years, was born in Albany county, where he died. He married Jamima Nelson, and among their children was a son named Edward, who settled on a farm in the town of Henderson in 1835. He died in Canada, aged 66 years. He married Harriet Cook, and they had nine children, viz: Dennison, Martha, Joel, Champlin, Lewis, Amelia, Moses and Nelson.
NELSON MEAKS married Geraldine, daughter of Matthew D. and Hannah (Davis) Wright, and their children were Jesse, Glenna and Pearl. Mr. Meeks served in Co. B, 10th N.Y. Heavy Artillery, until the close of the war. He is a farmer in this town.
ALBERT METCALF entered the naval service in 1866, as custodian of the naval property at Sackets Harbor, and still retains that position.
JOHN GRAHAM, proprietor of the Graham House, at Sackets Harbor, is a native of that village, and was born in 1831. He sailed the lakes for 42 years, and has commanded five different vessels. In April, 1874, he became proprietor of the well-known Eveleigh House, near the historic battle ground, changing the name to the Graham House. His son, Harley B. Graham, is the clerk.
PHILANDER B. CLEVELAND, one of the esteemed and oldest citizens of Houndsfield, died very suddenly at his late residence on the Sackets Harbor road, a few miles from Watertown, February 23, 1895. He was in his 72d year. Philander B. Cleveland was born in the town of Rutland, being a son of Harvey Cleveland and grandson of Isaac Cleveland, both early settlers of this county. Isaac Cleveland was a Revolutionary soldier and was born in Connecticut, whence he removed to Rutland, finally locating in Houndsfield, where he died, aged 80 years. His son Harvey was born in Connecticut and served in the War of 1812. He came to Jefferson county among the early settlers, and finally located in Houndsfield, where he died in 1887, aged 80 years, the same age as his father. Philander B. lived 63 years on the farm where he died. He was married 47 years ago to Mercy Richardson. Besides his wife, the following children survive him: Merritt A. Cleveland, of Brockport; Milo L. Cleveland and Stephen R. Cleveland, of Watertown, and Miss Flora Cleveland, of Houndsfield.
In bringing to a close our imperfect and very much shortened account of the town of Houndsfield, the author of this History feels that he has scarcely done the dear old town justice. History should be regarded very much like a panorama. You sit and look at it as it is unrolled, and patiently listen to explanations of the lecturer as he points out the more interesting or celebrated points; but the hearer's mind may not be altogether absorbed by what he hears. He thinks of the things omitted--perhaps of his father's mansion, which stood upon the banks of the stream the glib lecturer talks about, but that home is not apparent. It was the most important thing in the whole panorama to him, for it was the home of his childhood. In that way the reader must look upon history--not as a work entering into all the minute details of biography or of personal incident --but as selecting the most important matters and dwelling upon them--not denying that there is very much unsaid, and many most worthy names omitted.
There is a representative of one distinguished family yet living in Sackets Harbor (the Morris family).
LEWIS MORRIS, born in Morrisania, now a part of the present city of New York, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and served in the Revolutionary war. Among his children was Jacob, who removed to Otsego county, town of Morris, which town took its name from him, and where he died, aged 82 years. He was a brigadier-general under General Washington in the Revolutionary war, and served as State senator four years. He married first, Mary C. Morris, of Philadelphia, Pa., and their children were Mary, Sarah, Catharine, Lewis Lee, Richard, John Cox, Jacob W., William A., James V. and Charles V. He married, second, Mrs. Sophia Pringle, and by her he had one son, William A.P., now of Madison, Wis. Charles Valentine Morris was born in the town of Morris, Otsego county, May 4, 1802. On January 1, 1818, he entered the U.S. navy as a midshipman, and after serving three cruises resigned in 1826, in consequence of having yellow fever while doing lieutenant's duty. In 1841 his old shipmates induced him to return to the navy, and he entered it as a master-mate. In six months after he was examined by Commodore M.C. Perry, president of the board, and promoted as master, and ordered to duty in the navy yard. In 1855 his grade was placed on the reserved list by an act of Congress. January 1, 1861, he came on to Washington from Michigan, and offered his services, which offer was refused by the Hon. M. Toucey, then Secretary of the Navy. He came on again April 15, 1861, and his services were accepted, and he was immediately ordered to duty by the Hon. Gilbert Wells, Secretary of the Navy. He was ordered to command the steamer Mt. Vernon, by Admiral Dahlgren, May 24, 1861, and took the late Col. Ellsworth and six companies of his command down to Alexandria; afterwards was sent down to the Rappahannock and other places. He was ordered by Admiral Dahlgren down the Potomac with a marine guard to take possession of the steamer Forbes, which he accomplished, placing the sea officers in irons and bringing her up to the yard. Mr. Morris married Eliza, daughter of Dr. Elizur and Caroline (Harrison) Mosely, of Oneida county, by whom he had children as follows: Mosely (deceased), Caroline E., Joshua S., Thomas B. and Virginia, the last named of whom resides in the village of Sackets Harbor.
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