BIOGRAPHIES AND FAMILY SKETCHES

for the

TOWN OF ORLEANS

from The Growth of a Century

by JOHN A. HADDOCK, 1895


These biographies and family sketches are copied exactly as found. Undoubtedly there will be minor variations found in later research.


BYRON J. STROUGH, the supervisor from Orleans, was born in Theresa in 1844, the son of Samuel W. and Emeline (Tallman) Strough. Samuel W. Strough came into Theresa with his parents when an infant of three years. He grew up on the farm where his parents, Daniel and Anna (Wiswell) Strough, ultimately settled near Rappole's Corners, now known as Strough's Crossing. Samuel W. was killed by lightning, and his sudden death will long be remembered in that vicinity, for he was a man of affairs, active as a citizen, respected by all, and exemplary as the head of a family. He left four children, three boys and a daughter. Byron J., one of these boys, and the subject of this sketch, received his education primarily in the common school, completing his scholastic education in Mr. Goodnough's Theresa High School. Mr. Strough began teaching as soon as he left the Academy, and continued as an instructor of youth for 28 consecutive terms. In 1866 he received a State certificate, an honor not accorded to every applicant. In 1882 he commenced mercantile business at LaFargeville, and after the completion of the railroad the firm of B. J. & L. S. Strough abandoned merchandise, and began to buy and ship hay and grain. They are now the largest shippers of hay and grain of any firm in Jefferson County. In 1886 he was elected supervisor of the town of Orleans, and has been continuously retained a member of the board now serving his ninth term. In 1867 he married L. Marie Ford, daughter of Rev. L. P. Ford, of the Baptist Church, Mr. Strough has been for 22 years in business in LaFargeville, and has met with unusual success in all he has undertaken. He has been a progressive, enterprising, and honorable citizen--himself and his brother enjoying the entire respect of the community in which they reside. Upon the board of supervisors he is authority in matters relating to legislation, for no man has given more critical examination to the subject of town and county government than Mr. Strough. Possessed of a good share of this world's goods, his position in society is an enviable one. Indeed, the writer knows of no man in Jefferson county whose individual record as a man is superior to that of Mr. Strough.


ANDREW B. BEARDSLEY is a son of John N. Beardsley, one of the pioneers of Orleans, who located at Omar in 1822, and helped to build the first mill and dam on Mullett creek. Andrew B. married Miss Grace Richard, of Chicago, and is one of LaFargeville's prosperous merchants.


HALSEY ELLIS was one of the early settlers of Orleans, coming to the town in 1825. He married Miss Sylvia Graves of Orleans. They had nine children. A daughter, Harriet S., married Brayton E. Avery of Stone Mills.


HIRAM P. MOORE is the eldest son of John Moore, of Elizabethtown, Canada. He came to Orleans in 1837, and located on Wellesley Island, where he helped clear a thousand acres of land before he was 13 years of age. He married Miss Esther E. Brady, by whom he had 15 children. Mr. Moore is the oldest living resident of Wellesley Island.


WAYLAND F. FORD is the eldest son of Rev. Lewis T. Ford, who was born in Eaton, Madison county, in 1809, and in time graduated at Madison University, studied theology and entered the ministry. He married Arminda Stetson, of Cooperstown, by whom he had six children - Wayland F., Marie E., William G., and Charles H. Wayland F. was born in LaFargeville, June 26, 1838, during the incumbency of his father as pastor of the First Baptist Church, and was one of the first students in the short-lived Orleans Academy, where he prepared for college going thence to Madison University. In 1856 he began the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1861m beginning practice at LaFargeville the same year. In October he enlisted in the 94th N. Y. Infantry, and in March, 1862 was promoted to second lieutenant of Company E, and was discharged by reason of its consolidation with the 105th Infantry. In May, 1863, he enlisted in Troop M, 20th N. Y. Calvary, and was promoted to first lieutenant of Troop D., September 4, 1863, and to be captain of the same troop October 13, 1863. He was discharged with the regiment July 31, 1865, and resumed the practice of law at LaFargeville. In 1866 he married Miss Maria Cline, of Three Mile Bay. Captain Ford has built up an extensive practice, as a result of careful attention to the interests of his clients, coupled with a thorough knowledge of his profession. His sister, Marie E., is the wife of Byron J. Strough, of LaFargeville.


FRED W. BALTZ is one of the enterprising farmers of Orleans. He is a son of George Baltz, who was a native of Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, and who came to Orleans in 1840. Fred W. enlisted at the age of 15 and served until the close of the war. For 16 years he was a sailor. He married Miss Esther Spalsbury, of Alexandria.


HENRY D. KLOCK, another of Orleans' solid farmers, is a son of Adam Klock, and grandson of Jacob A. Klock, who came to Orleans from Herkimer in 1846. He married Miss Maggie Hagan, of Alexandria, and resides on the old homestead near Orleans Corners.


EDMUND NUGENT is a son of M. and Mary Nugent who came from County Clare, Ireland to the United States in 1851. Edmund was born in Cahar, County Clare, in 1836 and came to the United States in 1855. He enlisted in Company H, 1st N. Y. Light Artillery, October 7, 1861, and was promoted to sergeant. He participated in 17 battles, and was badly hurt near Alexandria, Va., by his horse falling upon him. He was honorably discharged October 16, 1864. He is a charger member of Geo. W. Flower Post, No. 306, G.A.R. of Theresa. In 1867 he married Miss Eleanor Graham, of Orleans Four Corners. In 1877 he purchased the Graham homestead.


NELSON GOODRICH is one of the pioneers of Orleans. His father, Bailey Goodrich, came originally from Massachusetts, first to come to Turin, Lewis county, thence to Denmark in the same county, and then to Orleans in 1819. Nelson was born in Denmark in 1816. He was educated in the common schools, with the addition of three terms of high school instruction. In 1838 he married Miss Catharine Snell, of Theresa.


ROSWELL W. GATES is a son of Samuel W. Gates, who came to Orleans in 1838. Young Roswell attended the district schools until he was 16, and then entered the Brownville High School, and thence attended the Hungerford Collegiate Institute at Adams. In 1869 he married Miss Eliza A. Zeran, of Orleans, by whom he has raised a pleasant family. Mr. Gates is now proprietor of the Orleans house, LaFargeville.


HENRY A. HARMAN is a son of Milton Harman, who came from Pawlet, Vt., to Oswego in 1816. He was a commissioned officer in the War of 1812. Henry A. enlisted in Troop A., 12th N. Y. Cavalry, in 1862. He was taken prisoner at Plymouth, N. C., April 20, 1864, and sent to Andersonville; from there he was removed to Millen, Savannah, Blackshire and Thomasville, in Georgia; thence to Charleston, S. C., Selma, Ala., and Meriden, Miss. He was paroled at Big Black River camp, near Vicksburg, March 31, 1865. In 1867 he was married to Miss Elizabeth W. Rottier, of LaFargeville.


SPENCER PAYNE is a son of Wm. Payne of Pamelia, and is a prosperous farmer of Orleans. At the age of 20 he married Fidelia Shimmel, of LeRay, by who he had two sons. In 1868 he married, for his second wife, Miss Mary Garner, of Orleans, and they have one son. They reside near the old homestead.


JOSEPH RASBACH, JR., was born in Mannheim, Herkimer county, in 1827, and came to Orleans Four Corners with his parents at eight years of age. He worked on his father's farm and attended the common school until he was 18 years of age. At the age of 21 he married Miss Sallie Van Bracklin, the union being blessed with a family of three sons and four daughters. Mr. Rasbach, in addition to being a thorough farmer, is also an ordained minister of the Lutheran Evangelical Church, and a member of the Franklin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.


GRANDISON C. TIMMERMAN is a son of Henry F. Timmerman, who came from Manheim, Herkimer county, to Orleans in 1834. He received a good common-school education, while engaged in farm work and cheese-making. In 1869 he married Miss Maria A. Hilliker, of Dexter. Mr. Timmerman was appointed postmaster at Orleans Four Corners in 1885, and is now a prosperous merchant at that place.


JUSTIN GRAY, son of Adam and Sally (Fults) Gray is a well-to-do farmer of Orleans, residing on the old homestead, a part of which has been in possession of the family for quite 70 years. He married Miss Carrie Timmerman, of Orleans in 1886.


GEORGE W. GOULD was one of the first settlers of the town of Orleans. He came from Pamelia in 1840 and engaged in farming. He was one of a family of five sons and five daughters, and at the age of 88 is a remarkably bright and intelligent gentleman. He has long since retired from farming. He married Mary C. McKinley. His son, Wm. N., is the only merchant in the village of Omar, and has held the office of postmaster for the past four years. William married Miss Emma Kilburn, a daughter of John Kilburn of Omar, and they have one daughter, Addie S. Gould, a school-teacher.


IRVIN W. NEAR was born at Redwood, Jefferson county, N. Y., January 26 1835, a son of Richard and Mary (Cotter) Near; shortly after moved to LaFargeville, in that county, where he remained until his majority. He was educated at the Orleans Academy and Montreal College. Read law with Horace E. Morse, at Clayton and with Clarke and Calvin, Watertown; admitted to the bar in 1858; removed to Steuben county, N. Y., in 1859; and has since resided in Hornellsville, in that county, where he is actively engaged in the practice of his profession. He has been mayor and a member of the Board of Education in that city for nine years. To no person is the city of Hornellsville more indebted for its growth, prosperity and reputation. In 1888 he was elected district attorney of Steuben county--the only Democrat elected to that office in 40 years--and served with credit to himself and to his party. He is now serving as commissioner, appointed by the comptroller of the State, in the matter of the cancellation of tax sales of township No. 40, Hamilton County. Mr. Near has for a long time taken a lively interest in the history of the State, and especially in the early history of his native and adopted county. He is now and has been for a number of years, president of the Canisteo Valley Historical Society. He intelligently participated in the centennial celebrations of the settlements of Hornellsville and of Bath. Mr. Near has been twice married, first to Miss Alice Goff, of Bath, N. Y., and she died in 1878; his present wife was Miss Mary E. Staples, of Watertown, N. Y. He has but one surviving child, Paul E. Near, now 18 years of age.


LIEUTENANT FREMONT PIERSON PECK, U. S. A. was almost instantly killed at the Sandy Hook Proving Ground, February 19, 1895 by the bursting of a Hotchkiss gun. Two rounds had been fired by Lieut. Peck, but at the third discharge the gun burst, injuring the Lieutenant so seriously that he died within a few minutes. He was in his 30th year, having been born at Stone Mills, in this county, in 1866. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Peck. His early education was received in the common school and at High School in Watertown, and at Canton University. He was appointed a candidate for West Point by Congressman Skinner. After graduation he filled several responsible positions, being an unusually bright and capable officer. He was finally transferred to the proving station at Sandy Hook, where he met his death.


SAMUEL B. GRENELL, a proprietor of Grenell Island Park. - The subject of this sketch was born in Adams, Jefferson county, November 10, 1818. He is the son of Ezra and Phoebe (Barker) Grenell, and one of five children. Samuel B. lived in Adams until 10 years of age, when his father sold his farm in Adams and bought another in Houndsfield, not far from the old Blanchard stand, now the Half-Way House from Watertown to Sacketts Harbor. He resided there a number of years, when he sold his place and bought the Roselle Randall farm, at the village of Antwerp. The house stood where the railroad station is now located, in the village of Antwerp. Here he met and formed the acquaintance of Lucy A. Jennison, the youngest daughter of the widow Jennison. This daughter he married. Her father was a patent-leather finisher, and worked for Jasan Fairbanks. He died from consumption. S. B. Grenell resided in Antwerp a few years and then moved to LaFargeville, and from there to Omar. He saw advertisement in the paper of four islands for sale in the River St. Lawrence. The daughter of Henry Yates had died and left no heirs, and the property was thrown into the courts, and the judge appointed a referee to dispose of it. Mr., Grenell bought Jeffers' Island for a nominal sum. There he built the first public place for the entertainment of guests until then ever kept on any island of the St. Lawrence. The house was calculated to accommodate about 20, but the number was frequently increased to 40 or 45. The government name for the island is "Stewart's Island." It was assigned the name of "Jeffers" from a man who called himself by that name. The islands were a dense forest then, and plenty of deer and fish. The two men were rowing along among the islands in those early days, when they discovered near them on the shore, a smoke arising from some habitation. Out of curiosity, they made a landing and made the acquaintance of a man who called his name Jeffers. Whether that was his real or assumed name they had of course no way of ascertaining. He had built a log shanty about 12 feet square, and had cunningly placed it against a large rock, which formed the back of his fire place. Here he lived many years, fishing and hunting, clearing a little spot of land and raising vegetables. As the islands became more settled he went to Gananoque, where he died. A little later, a French family by the name of Pecor squatted on the island, and were still there when Mr. Grenell purchased it. This was over 30 years ago. About four years ago, Mr. Grenell laid out Grenell Park, which is one of the prominent parks on the river. The old hotel has been torn down and a fine new one, "Pullman's," takes its place, which will accommodate 100 guests, and has a fine dock about one-half mile from 100[0] Island Park, four miles below Clayton and six miles above Alexandria Bay, and on the direct steamboat route. He also laid out, 10 years ago, Stewart's Island (in close proximity to the hotel), into 177 lots, containing in all a trifle over 100 acres, and it has already 36 cottages. He reserved two lots for a hotel in the future, near Grenell dock.

Mr. Grenell is a pleasant gentleman, and one who never tires of pointing out the beauties of his surroundings. He is enterprising, not satisfied to settle down and merely enjoy what he has acquired, but like the typical American, is anxious to keep near the top, and improve on what his ancestors have bestowed upon him.


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