These biographies and family sketches are copied exactly as found. Undoubtedly there will be minor variations found in later research.
GAYLORD ENOS was born in Herkimer county, N.Y., in 1801, and moved to Depauville in 1824. He married Minerva Sperry, to whom were born seven children--four sons and three daughters. In the early and almost wilderness days, the raising of children was decidedly a labor of love, and manly toil was the watchword of the time. Mr. Enos was a man of pronounced convictions, great strength of character, and an active and public-spirited citizen. He was a Whig in politics up to the birth of the Republican party, and ever afterwards an ardent supporter of the party of Lincoln and Seward. He was devotedly loyal to the cause of the war, and gave two sons to the service--one dying in the conflict. Col. Wallace W. Enos made an excellent record, serving continuously through the great rebellion.
Mrs. Mary Copley, wife of Hiram Copley, of Chaumont, is a daughter of the subject of this sketch. Mr. Enos was a liberal supporter of schools and churches, and their strong advocate, but he never formally united with any church society. His religious views were, however, along the line of the Universalist Church, and yet he was a broad-minded citizen, deeply impressed with the majesty of life. He was a farmer and made a success in his favorite pursuit, for he took an honest pride in his calling. He brought up and educated his family to move in the best society, and enabled his children to take good and useful positions in life. His simple record was one of life-long probity of character and usefulness. Rugged in his personality, positive in his views, and commanding in his citizenship, he lived and died a fine type of an independent American farmer, such stock as brings strong and useful elements into the individuality of succeeding generations. His was a laborious and self-denying life, because he had to cut down the forest on his farm, and undergo many of the hardships of a pioneer in the wilderness. He died at Depauville in 1873.
COL. W. W. ENOS is an old-time resident of Chaumont, having been born in the town of Lyme. He was a merchant when the flag of his country was fired upon by rebel conspirators at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, and he left a prosperous business and a store full of goods to enlist as a private soldier, the only man in Jefferson county, as far as the writer knows, who sacrificed as much to take up arms. He served faithfully, earning promotion long before it came, for the colonel of his regiment was too much of an adventurer to place a proper estimate upon a man like Colonel Enos.
JAMES I. HORTON was born at Point Salubrious, in Lyme, 19th of March, 1810. He was the fourth son of James and Martha White Horton. In 1806 his father moved to Chaumont, then a dense forest. He settled permanently on Point Salubrious, being the first white family who ever settled there. Here he was exposed to hardships, causing continued ill health until his death, November 5, 1833. At that time most of the children had married and moved away, and James being the oldest, the burden of the family fell on him. His father had bought 125 acres of timber land, and on account of poor health, had not succeeded in meeting the payments. James, with the help of his two younger brothers, met those payments, and there never was a happier boy than he when he handed his mother the deed in her own name. January 1, 1839, he married Lucy B., second daughter of the late Isaac and Bethia Snow Hubbard, who moved from South Hadley, Mass., in 1814, to Chaumont, working at ship-building and at the carpenter's trade. In the winter of 1849-50 he and A. L. Hazelton built the wood work on the town bridge across Chaumont river. In 1852 he bought the old stone grist-mill at Chaumont, which was burned a few years since. At one time he did quite an extensive trade in shipping flour east until poor health compelled him to seek a warmer climate for himself and wife. He united with the Presbyterian church in Chaumont in early life, and in 1840 was made ruling elder for life, which office he held until he removed to Hammonton, N. J., in March, 1866. That same year he was elected to the same office at Hammonton, a position he still holds.
Two children were born to them, T. Kimball and Ella I. Kimball, a lad of 16 years, was clerk for Sterling & Mosher, at Watertown when the last call for volunteers came. After much persuasion on his side, he at last gained his father's consent to his enlisting. His mother was visiting in the West. He enlisted, joined the Union army in August, 1864, but his days of service were short. His mother returned from the West in time to reach City Point, Va., to close his eyes. He died October 6, 1864. She brought his remains home and he was buried in the village cemetery at Brownville.
Mrs. Horton died March 3, 1883, at Hammonton, N. J., after a long illness. When death came, her eyes were raised above, as though she saw into the Golden City. Her last words were: "Glory, glory, glory," and thus she crossed over to "rest in the shade beyond the river."
James I. Horton's mother was a niece of old Stephen Van Ransselaer, "The Patroon," of Albany, New York.
The Horton family was one of the largest in numbers that has ever inhabited Lyme. They were mostly farmers, though the name was also found connected more or less with trade and mechanism. Many of the family are dead or moved away to other localities.
HON. WILLIAM DEWEY. One of the most prominent and useful citizens of Jefferson county in his prime was William Dewey, so long a resident on Ashland farm, near Three Mile Bay. He was a son of Timothy Dewey, for a time a resident of Watertown, who was the original purchaser of the large tract of land above named, which descended at his death to his son William. This consisted of some 1,400 acres, situate in the town of Lyme, and covering a low-lying stretch of land, liable to overflows during the spring and fall. The father was a builder of much prominence, and was the first engineer of the Manhattan Gas Company, of New York City. He was held in high esteem by the promoters of that pioneer company, and he received a silver snuff box in recognition of his services in connection with its early history and development.
William Dewey was educated as an engineer, and also was admitted to the bar in Watertown-- studying with Frederick Emerson, but never practiced. He was deeply interested in the first survey of the Rome, & Watertown Railroad, and was at the head of the corps of surveyors who first ran out the line. He gave a great deal of time, and wrote and spoke in support of the enterprise, in season and out of season. To him more than to any one man, Northern New York was indebted for the inception and success of this useful line of railroad. He expended a large sum of money in making a "big ditch' through Ashland farm-in its day a piece of work of much magnitude. His home at Ashland far was that of a cultivated gentleman, and for quite a long period a store was kept at that point for the supply of the country round about. This has long been a thing of the past.
William Dewey was a bachelor, and for years owned one of the finest libraries in Jefferson county. He was endowed with rare intellectual gifts, and as a Shakesperian critic had few equals. His readings from this master of English verse were brilliant exhibitions of splendid elocutionary powers, and had he taken the stage as a profession he would undoubtedly have risen to the very first place. He would occasionally give readings from this favorite author for Y. M. C. Associations and literary societies, and always with the most remarkable success. He was a powerful delineator of the matchless Shakespeare's plays, and his wealth of resources in bringing out the different characters was really wonderful. The writer of this brief sketch has had opportunities for hearing some of the world's great Shakespearian readers and actors, but no one of them could compete with William Dewey for versatility and power. To illustrate: in 1858 he gave readings in Washington Hall, and such was the profound impression made by his recitals that every copy of Shakespeare in the book stores was sold the next morning, and one dealer took orders for twenty copies. This incident will illustrate how ably he brought the great scenes before his audience through his elocutionary gifts. Mr. Dewey was three times elected member of Assembly, and was regarded as one of the safest and one of the most useful members. Possessing great natural and cultivated talents, he was lacking in ambitious energy and push, and so seemed to fall short of his opportunities and possiblities. "Inglorious ease" was the stumbling block in his path of life, and while recognized as a man of rare accomplishments, he failed to make his way to positions his ability fitted him to adorn. He was buried near his old home in a grave on his former farm, beside his father, where he requested to be laid away before his death. A. D. S.
ALEXANDER COPLEY. A sketch of the pioneer history of Lyme and its early industries would scarcely be complete without a brief notice of him whose name heads this article. He was born upon a farm in Denmark, Lewis county, on September, 10, 1805, where his boyhood was chiefly spent, and where his education was gained in the common log school house of the time, saving one year's instruction at the Lowville Academy. Leaving school, he became, first, a clerk for William K. Butterfield, at Felt's Mills, Jefferson County, and then for Jason Francis; next, he was a partner with Mr. Francis, then bought him out, and finally re-sold to Francis & Butterfield, going into partnership with John Felt and William Coburn in the lumber trade. On the 30th of October, 1833, he married Miss Lucy Kelsey, of Champion, and for a wedding trip they moved upon a tract of 400 acres of land, which Mr. Copley had purchased in the town of Lyme, and there their pioneer life began. Before the close of the next summer, he purchased of Vincent LeRay 2,562 acres of land, and then removing to Chaumont he bought a house, store, saw and grist-mill, and made that his future home. Only three years later he purchased of Governor Morris 16,961 acres of land lying in the towns of Clayton, Brownville and Lyme, and still later he purchased 10,000 acres in Antwerp. Mr. Copley carried on an extensive business in lumbering, quarrying, merchandizing and vessel building. He served his town as its supervisor for eight years, but had no taste for official position. His whole life was one to be chosen as an example to the young man of to-day. He was a man of correct habits in every walk of life. He died at the age of 65 years, in the full maturity of a well-spent manhood. The board of directors of the National Union Bank, of Watertown, of which Mr. Copley was a member, passed the following:
Whereas, Alexander Copley, one of the directors of this bank, and one of of the fore-most citizens of our county, has, in the maturity of his manhood and in the midst of his usefulness, been removed by death; therefore
Resolved, That in the death of Alexander Copely we have lost a valued associate and friend, this institution 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 readily be filled.
HIRAM COPLEY is a son of Alexander Copley, and has long been known as a prominent citizen of Chaumont, and connected with many of its largest business interests. In him some of his father's traits are especially prominent, particularly his leniency toward those who are in his debt, but from force of circumstances are temporarily unable to pay. He married Mary, daughter of Gaylord Enos, Esq., of Depauville. They have five children: Carrie, Lucille, Mayme, Allen E. and George W. Upon the two sons the weight of business now rests, and there is no doubt that it will be manfully and successfully sustained.
THOMAS SHAW, one of the pioneer settlers of the town of Lyme, moved into this county from Saratoga county, early in the present century, and took up a tract of land in what is known now as the French Settlement, and here reared a large family. He was a tall and commanding man, of fine physical mould, and possessed rugged and original personal characteristics. He was of Irish-English stock, his ancestors settling in the North of Ireland under Cromwell's rule, and his wife was from Holland. Henry and David, two of their sons, became carpenters, and built many of the early frame dwellings in this county. Henry was a skillfull millright [sic] and a mechanic of rare gifts. He was the father of Col. Albert D. Shaw, and one of the best of citizens and truest of men. He is buried at Chaumont. Another son, Thomas, was a sub-contractor on the Cape Vincent branch of the R., W. & O. Railroad, and made the cuttings near Rosiere. The contractor ran away with the money drawn to pay the sub-contractor, and this rascality nearly ruined Thomas Shaw. His year's hard work in the rock cuttings was not only lost, but quite a sum which he had to pay to his workmen in addition.
Mr. Thomas Shaw, a grandfather of Col. Albert D. Shaw, was a very aged man when his grand-son, Albert, then 18 years of age, paid him his last visit before enlisting, and which proved to be the last time he ever saw his venerable and noble-looking grand-parent. He was blind, and taking his grandson on his knee, he passed his hand over his face and said: "My dear boy, I am so proud you are going to enlist. When I was nine years old I rode and drove a four-horse team through a portion of New Jersey, on Washington's great retreat through that state. I rode 36 hours without stopping, only as the horses were eating and resting. I was the youngest boy in the long baggage train, and when we got to our destination the officer commanding the guard took me to General Washington's headquarters and said: 'General, I wish to show you our little hero,' and he told what I had done, how old I was, and my name. General Washington took me upon his knee, just as I have you, and squeezed me in his arms, saying: 'You are a dear, brave boy, and I am sorry I have no money to give you, but here is my jack-knife, and I thank you for your service. You will be sure to make a good man if you live.' I kept the knife more than twenty years, and then lost it. I wish I had it now to give to you." The old grandfather died in 1862, and is buried at the Warren Settlement burying ground, and the news of death and burial was received by his grandson just before going into battle in Virginia.
HENRY SHAW was born in Saratoga county, New York, in 1810, and removed to the town of Lyme with his father, Thomas Shaw, some time later. He helped his father clear away the forest trees on the homestead, and afterwards learned the carpenter's trade. He was a very able mechanic, and had his lot been cast in a large city or upon a broader theater, he would have won a high place among the architects and builders of his day. As it was, he became locally famous for his integrity and ability as a country builder--for any work done under his supervision was sure to be always first-class in every respect. There was no sham about him. He hated deceit in any form, and his word was always as good as his bond. He lived a laborious and true life, and his words and works go to make up that sentiment of public and private character which uplifts communities and enriches the State and nation. He married Sally A. Gardner, a daughter of Revolutionary stock, and two sons blessed this happy union, Colonel Albert D. and David F. The former is well known; the latter died in 1884. He was the general agent of the Isolated Risk Insurance Company of Canada at the time of his death.
Mr. and Mrs. Shaw are buried at Chaumont, along with their son David. The sterling character of Henry Shaw and the devoted, religious zeal of his wife, have left a sweet memory behind them. Truly, the seeds of Christian faith and good living bear fruit in future days.
When Colonel Shaw was Consul at Manchester, England, he said, in an address delivered at the famous "Arts Club" there, (speaking of his father): "My father was a mechanic--a millright and carpenter--and a workman unto the Lord. Had Carlyle's father laid the foundation of a building in stone, and my father reared the superstructure in wood, one of the most perfect of buildings would have been the result. He always did his very best in everything his hands found to do, because he hated shams and loved the honest things of life."
LYMAN ACKERMAN, born at Saratoga, N. Y., in 1787, was long a resident on Pillar Point. He was a brick-layer, and helped to build many of the old blocks and churches in Watertown. But he was best known as a Methodist preacher, having been for 53 years a fearless, earnest standard-bearer in that aggressive and successful organization--a church that seemed, by its simplicity of faith and its earnest denunciation of sin, to be peculiarly adapted to the wants of a people who had to give and receive hard knocks as they struggled for existence. He died at the residence of his son in Three Mile Bay, in 1861, respected and beloved, having preached the gospel without pay, as did his great prototypes John Wesley, Lorenzo Dow, Bishop Asbury, and thousands of others whose memories are fragrant and beloved, and form so great a contrast with the church to-day and its salaried hierarchy, its surpliced choirs, its lofty edifices, and its expensive environment, really shutting out the very ones to whom our dear Saviour preached, and they "heard him gladly."
BRITELL MINOR, residing on Point Peninsula, is the oldest inhabitant of the town of Lyme. He was born December 28, 1801, in Addison Vermont. With his father, Roe Minor, he came to Jefferson county in 1813, first locating in Lorraine. The following year the family moved to the town of Henderson, near the village of Smithville, where they resided until 1822, when they removed to Point Peninsula, where the elder Minor "took up" a farm. At that date most of the land on the Peninsula was occupied by squatters, the real owners being unknown, or the title to the same being in dispute. Mr. Minor informs us that there were more inhabitants on the Point at that time than now. Subsequently the land came into the possession of LeRay, and from him the occupants obtained a good title. Roe Minor died in 1835. Britell has lived in the town of Lyme since 1822, with the exception of two years spent in Sackets Harbor during the late rebellion. Although about 93 years old, he is hale and hearty and as vigorous as the ordinary man of 65. His mental faculties are also unimpaired.
DALLAS RYDER is a son of David Ryder, who was a prominent citizen of Lyme, serving as supervisor for two terms. Dallas is the youngest of eight children; he served for 22 months in Co. B, 35th N. Y. Volunteers; he participated in the battles of Manassas Junction, Cedar Mountain, Rappahannock Station, White Sulphur Springs, Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He re-enlisted in the th N. Y. Cavalry and was promoted to a second lieutenancy. He is now a captain on the lakes, and resides at Three Mile Bay.
JOHN TREMPER is the son of John M. Tremper, who was born at Fishkill, N. Y. He was a soldier of the War of 1812. John was born in Chaumont, where he now resides. He is one of its oldest citizens, and was never married.
CHARLES M. EMPEY is a son of Charles Empey, who settled in Lyme in 1835. He married Amelia E. Wells and their children are Gertrude L. and DeWitt C. They reside on the old homestead farm.
JOHN M. WILCOX is the son of Charles Wilcox, deceased, and grandson of General Sylvanus Wilcox, of Connecticut. John M. served in the 10th N. Y. H. A., Co. M, during the war, and was honorably discharged. He was at Cold Harbor, in front of Petersburg, and with Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. He entered the service as second lieutenant and was promoted to first lieutenant.
JERRY WELLS is a son of Harry Wells, one of the early citizens of Lyme. Jerry married Augusta Cory, and their children are Florence, Harry, Fannie R., Brayton and May. Mr. Wells resides at Three Mile Bay, and is a substantial citizen.
REV. HIMON HOXIE is a son of Colson Hoxie, who was a native of Rhode Island. Himon was born in Albury, Vt., and was ordained in 1848. He has been very active in church work. He resides in Chaumont.
ANDREW J. DILLENBACK is a son of Wm. Dillenback, one of the early settlers of the town of Orleans. Andrew J. was born in Orleans and in 1858 removed to Chaumont, and is now one of the trustees of the village. He married Kate Cornwell, of Brownville, and they have six children.
CHAS. W. MCKINSTRY is a son of Chas. McKinstry, one of the early settlers of Rodman. Charles W. was born in Rodman, and came to the town in 1858. He married Carrie S. Schuyler. He is a general merchant of Three Mile Bay, and has been in business many years, being postmaster for 14 years. He is a prominent and respected citizen.
JOHN L. SCHUYLER is a son of Daniel J. Schuyler, one of the pioneer merchants of Jefferson county and the first merchant of Three Mile Bay, where he engaged in business with Dr. William Carlisle. John L. has been engaged in business in Three Mile Bay for nearly or quite 40 years, and has always been identified with the best interests of the village.
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