Jefferson County, NY

Demster Rockwood Family

Dempster Rockwood, an intelligent and progressive farmer of Champion, is a native of the town, and grandson of one of its pioneer settlers. His grandfather, William Rockwood, was a native of New England, the son of Reuben Rockwood and his first wife, who died when William was only three weeks old. On attaining his majority, William came to Champion to settle, the year being 1799, and was followed in the ensuing year by Reuben and three younger sons--David, Roswell and Asa. All came here from Remsen, NY. On the organization of the town in 1800, Reuben Rockwood was made one of the two overseers of the poor, and office which must have been a sinecure, or else, burdensome. But few had ventured to settler her to live prior to 1799, and all were about on a level, as far as worldly possessions were concerned, with much to gain and little to lose.

William Rockwood secured 150 acres where Dempster Rockwood now lives which he cleared, and was a successful farmer. Here he died February 4, 1864, at 88 years and 6 months. Soon after settling in Champion he married Polly Cutler, who bore him four sons and four daughters. She and her daughters were members of the Methodist Church.

1. Priscilla, the first child, married David Raulston, and died in Russell, St. Lawrence County, NY.
2. Sally, wife of George R. Sayre, died in Champion.
3. Philetha married Warner Van Allen, formerly lived in Alexandria, and died in this town.
4. Charles G., further mentioned below.
5. William went to Kansas, served as a soldier from that state and died as a result of exposure in that service.
6. Reuben went to Michigan and died in that state.
7. Sabrina married Warren D. Johnson, lived in both Jefferson and Lewis counties and died at Beaver Falls.
8. John W. is now living at Omro, Wisconsin.

Charles Giles Rockwood, fourth child above, was born March 16, 1816 on the farm where his son resides, nearly a half mile east of Champion "Huddle." He knew no other home, and here he passed away on January 1, 1894. He aided his father in the cultivation of the farm and succeeded to its ownership. Always industries, he continued to labor until one month before his death. His health was good, with the exception that he was somewhat troubled by rheumatism. He accepted the religious faith of the Methodist Church. During the Civil War, he was a commissioned officer of Company A., Twentieth Regiment New York Cavalry, and was in active service for a period of two years. He married 1) Mary Submit Rounds, who died April 26, 1844. They lost two children, one being a daughter fourteen years old. In June, 1846, Mr. Rockwood married Gitty Jan Van Dusen, a native of Montgomery County, NY, daughter of Martin and Maria (Van Alstine) Van Dusen, died October 18, 1897. Two sons came to the second marriage, namely, Fernando Lansing Rockwood, born June 3, 1847, now a carpenter in West Carthage, and Dempster Rockwood..

Dempster Rockwood was born November 6, 1848 in the house in which he now lives and which has always sheltered him. He attended the local district school in early boyhood and subsequently was a student of the Watertown High School. In the intervals of vacation he continued his devotion to the duties of the farm, which became his upon the death of his father. They were very congenial and the son continued in filial direction of the father, their work being carried on together through long years of intimate association. A large dairy is conducted by Mr. Rockwood, keeping 30 cows of part Holstein grade. For the past eleven years Mr. Rockwood has been a member of Carthage Grange, and has been its lecturer ten years. He is recognized as one of the progressive thinking men of the day, and has the welfare of humanity close to his heart. Not in any sense a politician, he holds settled convictions of political economy and supports the Republican candidates and principles. He is liberal in religious thought and is ever ready to further any plan for the reform of existing evils.

Mr. Rockwood was married September 19, 1881 to Anastasia Wise, who was born September 29, 1860 in Branford, CT and reared in Watertown, NY. One son, Wesley Wise, was born to this couple on December 8, 1883 and is now at home. Mrs. Rockwood is a cultured and lovable woman, and a fit helpmate for her husband, and both are held in high Regard.

Source: Our County's People by Oakes Vol. 1.

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