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Biographical review; this volume contains biographical sketches of the leading citizens of Cayuga County, New York online

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largely in lumber, a profitable business at all
times, but especially so when a country is



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



rapidly growing. He followed his birthright
religion as a Quaker, and was widely re-
spected as a good and industrious man. He
was a Whig and a Republican, but not a
politician, though his interest in education
led to his filling for many years the office of
School Clerk and Librarian. In 1869, when
he was over sixty years of age, the family re-
moved the village of Union Springs, where
they built a pleasant residence on the corner
of Centre and Ridgeway Streets; but Mr.
Winslow lived only three years to enjoy it,
for he died May 7, 1872, aged sixty-five.

Mr. William B. Winslow was not married
early. In fact, he had reached the age of
thirty-seven when he was united January 24,
1844, to Hannah Kellett, who was born in
Poplar Ridge, May 10, 1818, and was there-
fore twenty-six years old when she became
a bride. Her father, John Kellett, was an
Englishman, born at Emmont Bridge in
Westmoreland County, England, September
23; 17775 while the American colonies were
fighting for their independence. Little did
his parents dream that, when their baby grew
to young manhood, he would emigrate to the
new republic; but he did so, settling on the
State road, half a mile east of Poplar Ridge,
when he was about twenty-eight years old.
Then he bought land, and established a home,
taking for his wife Hannah Vannornum, who
was born in Washington County, New York,
November 8, 1781, before the Revolution was
fairly over, and was the daughter of Abram
and Margaret Vannornum, the latter belong-
ing to the Dunham family, of French extrac-



tion. The marriage of John Kellett and
Hannah Vannornum took place at the house
of a Friend, Isaac Mitchell, in Northville,
March 15, 1807, only two years after his
landing in New York City on March 20,
1805. Not only did Mr. Kellett have a prof-
itable farm of three hundred acres, but he was
also a leading stock-dealer, driving his cattle
all the way to New York; for this was ante-
rior to the days of railroads. At the time of
the War of 1812 he supplied the American
army with beef, and did not give up business
till his failing years made it impossible for
him to properly attend to it. Being greatly
respected, and having many friends through-
out the county, he was forced, almost against
his will, to fill a few minor offices; but he
had little or no ambition in this direction.
Mr. Kellett took his daughter Hannah into
his counting-room in 1830, when she was
only a dozen years old; and thus she learned
business methods and habits which have been
invaluable to her ever since. Father Kellett
was a member of the Established Church of
England, and attended the daughter church in
this country; but Mother Kellett was a Pres-
byterian. He died September 4, 1858,
twelve years after his daughter's marriage to
Mr. Winslow. Mrs. Kellett survived him
eleven years, dying May 5, 1869, at Poplar
Ridge, leaving a family of nine children.

Hannah Kellett received a good education,
first at the public schools, which she attended
till she was seventeen years old, and then in
what was called the New Hive School, at
Skaneateles, the foremost boarding-school in



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



"3



this section. Beginning at the age of twenty-
two, slae taught school for two yeai's before
becoming the wife of Mr. Winslow. Since
1870 she has been a member of the Presbyte-
rian church, and is a valuable helper in the
community. Besides her two farms at Union
Springs, she owns another of one hundred
and eight acres, near Wells College, in Au-
rora, and at one time was the possessor of
still larger tracts of land in this county.

The Right Rev. Bishop Henry C. Potter,
at the Washington centennial service, held
in St. Paul's Church, New York City, April
30, 1889, said, "If there be no nobility of
descent, all the more indispensable is it that
there should be nobility of ascent, a character
so fine and high and pure that, as men come
within the circle of its influence, they invol-
untarily pay homage to that which is the
one pre-eminent distinction, the royalty of
virtue." Such grand and hopeful words are
made real in such lives as are set down in
this Winslow sketch.

Born in the second decade of the century,
Mrs. Hannah K. Winslow, now nearing her
eightieth year, is one of the oldest persons in
the county still living in the region where
they were born, and yet, enjoying the bless-
ing of health, with mental faculties unim-
paired, shows few of the marks of age, unless
as such be regarded the wisdom and serenity
which happily come from useful activity,
wide experience, and cheerful content. Her
portrait and that of Mr. Winslow accompany
this brief outline sketch of the two families.

The Winslow name stands among the first



in honorable distinction in the early annals of
New England, having been borneby two Gov-
ernors of Plymouth Colony.




|rjiEV. EDWARD PAYSON SPRAGUE,
A.B., D.D., Ph.D. This esteemed
clergyman, pastor of the Second
Presbyterian Church in Auburn, once de-
clared in a sermon that the best thing you can
say of any man is that he bore fitly and well
the name of Christian; and this is the very
thing that can be said of Dr. Sprague himself.
Though an eloquent preacher of the gospel
and in the habit of speaking without notes, he
is also a deep thinker, as broad and liberal in
his spirit as he is sincerely devout in his
convictions.

His lineage can be traced clearly back
seven generations to Edward Sprague, of the
town of Upway, Dorset County, England,
who died in 1614. Edward Sprague had a son
Ralph, who in 1628, fourteen years after his
father's death, left Upway, and came to
Salem, in Massachusetts Bay. Three years
later, just as Winthrop and his coadjutors
were settling Boston, Ralph Sprague's wife
bore him a son, Samuel, who removed to Mai-
den, and had a son, born there in 1666, and
named Samuel after his father. This Samuel
Sprague, Jr., had a son John, who was born
in 1707, and in 1752, at the age of forty-five,
moved to Killingly, Conn., where he died at
a good old age in 1796. John had a son Dan-
iel, the first of three Spragues bearing this
prophetic name, who was born in 1740, lived



114



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an agricultural life in Killingly, witnessed
the Revolutionary struggle, and died in 1826.
His son, Daniel Greene Sprague, was born
in 1796, and did not pass away till the latter
half of the present century, in 1873. He was
a minister by profession, and was graduated
from Brown University in the class of 18 19,
when he was twenty-three years old, and from
the Andover Theological Seminary three
years later, in 1822, when he was twenty-six.
He was presently ordained as a Congrega-
tional minister at North Mansfield, Conn., by
the Windham County Association, and sent
into the field by the Connecticut Home Mis-
sionary Society, with instructions " to labor
in the United States, west of the Alleghany
Mountains." He was associated with the
Rev. Mr. Catlin, a name famous in connec-
tion with Indian lore; and together they
started on horseback for a tour through the
State of New York, which was then by no
means the well-settled country that it is
to-day. They also went through Ohio, Ken-
tucky, Illinois, Indiana, and even into Mis-
souri, everywhere preaching the word of God,
and organizing, wherever it was feasible,
either a Congregational or Presbyterian soci-
ety, as seemed most expedient. After two
years of such devoted effort the Rev. Mr.
Sprague returned to his native State, intend-
ing to procure a suitable library and then go
West again, to take charge of a Presbyterian
church in Carrollton, 111. Truly says the
proverb, "Man proposes, but God disposes."
The Congregational pastor in Hampton, Conn.,
happening to be ill, Mr. Sprague was invited



to take his place for a few months. So ac-
ceptable did his services prove that when the
pastor died, not long after, Mr. Sprague was
persuaded to give up his missionary plans and
stay in Hampton, which he did for nearly
twenty years. Subsequently he was settled
five years in Westchester, in the town of Col-
chester, near New London, Conn. In 1844
he became pastor of the First Presbyterian
Church in South Orange, N.J., a post which
he occupied sixteen years. The last dozen
years of his life were spent in retirement with
his son Edward, who was then residing in
Salem, Washington County, N.Y. This vet-
eran clergyman's first wife was Lucy Dan-
ielson, whose ancestors gave the name of
Danielsonville to her native Connecticut
town. She died August 28, 1827, leaving
only a daughter, who died at the age of eigh-
teen. Mr. Sprague married on March 11,
1829, Mrs. Caroline (Wood) White, the
widow of Jay White, of Amherst, Mass.
Mrs. Caroline Sprague outlived her second
husband six years, and died November 19,
1879, leaving several children. One of them,
a daughter by her former husband, was Caro-
line White, who married J. H. Denison, of
Newark, N.J., and died August 22, 1880.
Daniel J. Sprague lived in South Orange,
N.J., and later in New York City, where he
died January 20, 1888, having been a mem-
ber of the McKillop & Sprague Mercantile
Agency. Harriet Sprague became the wife of
John Lambert, M.D., and died in Salem,
N.Y., November 5, 1893. The mother of
these children was born the day after Christ-



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



mas, 1 80 1, the daughter of Matthew Wood, of
Brookfield, Mass., where the family had lived
for several generations, and where Mr. Wood
was born February 12, 1770, and died March
15, 1826.

These deaths have made Dr. Edward P.
Sprague, who was the fifth child of his
parents, the Rev. Daniel G. and Caroline
(Wood) Sprague, the only living descendant,
except his own children, of his father's branch
of the Sprague family. He was born in
Westchester, Conn., October 18, 1843, and
was fitted for college at the Newark Academy
in New Jersey, and at Williston Seminary,
Easthampton, Mass. He entered the Uni-
versity of the City of New York in i860, and
was graduated at the head of his class in 1864,
taking the degree of A.B., with a prize for
the best Greek scholarship, and was chosen
valedictorian for his comrades. He was also
an enthusiastic member of the Zeta Psi fra-
ternity, and in the early days of base-ball
headed the organization of the university
team. In war-time he joined the Second New
Jersey Militia Regiment, and his gripsack
was packed for departure to the field of Antie-
tam; but, the quota of the State being al-
ready filled, he finished his college course,
and then followed his father's example and
advice by going to Andover, Mass., and study-
ing theology. He was graduated in 1867,
and while there was closely associated with
the Rev. Joseph Cook, somewhat noted for his
lectures; with President Ezra Brainerd, of
Middlebury College, Vt. ; with Dr. Edward T.
Bartlett, dean of the Philadelphia Episcopal



Divinity School; with the late Dr. John
Edgar, President of Wilson College, Cham-
bersburg. Pa. ; and with the Rev. Dr. Will-
iam J. Tucker, President of Dartmouth Col-
lege.

Edward Payson Sprague was ordained by
the Troy Presbytery, and duly installed as the
pastor of the Presbyterian church in Salem,
Washington County, N.Y., April 28, 1868,
and remained in this charge till October 23,
1 88 1, thirteen years, when he accepted the
pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church in
Meadville, Pa., where he was installed on
the 3d of November following. Six years
later, November 25, 1887, he was installed
over the Second Presbyterian Church in Au-
burn, N.Y., his present station. The church
edifice was remodelled while he preached in
Meadville. A similar change has been made
for him in Auburn, and a large organ pur-
chased, at a total cost of twelve thousand dol-
lars. The degree of Ph.D. he obtained by
passing the required examinations at the Alle-
ghany College in Meadville, and the well-
merited honorary degree of D.D. was con-
ferred upon him by his Alma Mater in 1887.
He is stated clerk of the Cayuga Presbytery,
is one of the Commissioners of the Au-
burn Theological Seminary, and has repeat-
edly been sent to the Presbyterian General
Assembly. In efforts to revise the Presbyte-
rian Confession of Faith, he was actively
associated with the late Rev. Dr. R. B.
Welch as a leader in the endeavor to liberal-
ize the denomination to which both belonged.
Dr. Sprague drew up and introduced, into



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



both the Portland and Washington assemblies,
the protests against the action of the General
Assembly adverse to the Rev. Dr. Briggs in
a recent celebrated case. Dr. Sprague is the
author of a History of the Salem Church,
which has been much quoted in later histo-
ries, and of a memorial of his beloved father;
and he has published various sermons. His
History of the Second Presbyterian Church
in Auburn was printed in the Advertiser for
July 10, 1893.

Dr. Sprague was married June 10, 1868,
two months after his ordination, to Sarah
Frances, daughter of Henry S. Dering, M.D.,
of Setauket, Long Island, a descendant of
Henry Dering, who was born in Boston, Octo-
ber 6, 1684, died in 1750, belonging to the
oldest Saxon family in old England, whence
his father came in 1660. The Derings owned
vast acres in Kent. The head of the family
was killed in 1066, at the battle of Hastings,
in defence of Harold, the last of the Saxon
kings. Sir Edward Dering was created a bar-
onet by Charles I., and was a member of the
famous Long Parliament in Cromwell's day,
during the time of the Commonwealth. The
present titled representative of the family in
the mother country is Edward Cholmeley Der-
ing, the eighth baronet in regular succession.
The Derings who came to Massachusetts were
merchants, and afterward moved to Shelter
Island, N.Y., off the eastern end of Long
Island, which thus became their family es-
tate; while they entered largely into whaling
fishery, and sent their ships far over the seas.

Mrs. Sprague was educated at Miss Haven's



Seminary, New York City, and has two chil-
dren. Vesta Dering Sprague, born in 1870,
is a graduate of Wells College, in the class
of 1894; and Dering Jay Sprague, born in
1877, is still pursuing his studies preparatory
for college. The handsome brick building
in which their father preaches so ably is a
fine specimen of the Doric order of architect-
ure, and capable of seating some eight hun-
dred people; a'nd one thousand eight hundred
communicants have in the course of its his-
tory professed Christ through the influence of
this hallowed place. The name of Dr.
Sprague's city recalls the verses of Oliver
Goldsmith, addressed to

'■ Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain,"

and perchance suggests to many a listener
that poet's couplet about the pastor in ancient
Auburn, —

" Trutli from his lips prevailed with double sway,
And fools who came to scoff, remained to pray.''



1 * •» »



vVACOB S. dills, whose well-managed,
highly productive farm is finely lo-
cated in District No. i in the town
of Ledyard, of which he has been a resident
for more than a half-century, occupies a
prominent position among the more intelli-
gent, enterprising, and active citizens of
Cayuga County. He is a native of Pennsyl-
vania, born in Monroe County, September 12,
1 83 1, being a son of Henry Dills, of the town
of Dills Ferry, Pa.

That little Pennsylvania town, located in
Cumberland County, was named for an ances-



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



117



tor of Mr. Dills, his great-grandfather, David
Henry Dills, having been its founder. He
was born and reared in the State of New Jer-
sey, and moved from there to Pennsylvania,
where, taking up a tract of land, he began
its improvement. He was followed by other
pioneers, the small settlement increased in
size, and Mr. Dills, who was an active, wide-
awake man of business, pushed forward every
enterprise calculated to bring people and trade
to the hamlet, which in his honor was subse-
quently named Dills Ferry. There he re-
mained, an honored citizen of the town, until
his decease, March 14, 1816, at the age. of
seventy-two years. The maiden name of the
good wife, a native of New Jersey, who
shared with him the hardships attendant upon
life in a new country, was Catherine Freese.
Henry Dills, the father of Jacob, as above
noted, was born, bred, and educated in the
town of Dills Ferry, where he began life on
his own account as a tiller of the soil. After
laboring there many years, deciding that a
change of location might prove beneficial to
his finances at least, in 1839 he removed
with his family to Cayuga County, travelling
in his own vehicle, which was a lumber
wagon, nine consecutive days before arriving
here. He brought all of his farming and
household goods with him, driving before him
his flock of sheep. He purchased a very good
farm, now known as the Grinnell farm, pay-
ing eighty dollars an acre for it. Six months
later he sold it at an advance of thirty-two
dollars per acre, receiving one hundred and
twelve dollars per acre for it. He subse-



quently bought another tract of land, giving
seventy-five dollars an acre, and continued the
improvements already begun on it. He sub-
sequently bought fifty acres of adjoining land,
and carried it all on with great success. He
was an industrious, progressive farmer, of
excellent business capacity, and continued
actively engaged in agricultural pursuits until
his death in 1874, at the advanced age of
eighty-six years. The maiden name of his
estimable wife, who survived him several
years, dying in 1882 in the eighty-first year
of her age, was Elizabeth Stroud. She was
a daughter of John and Betsey (Depuy) Stroud
and a grand-daughter of Colonel Jacob Stroud,
who served throughout the Revolutionary
War, being in command of a regiment. Of
their union were born five children, the first
four being thus enumerated : Rachel, who
married Jerome Crise, died February 16,
1888, leaving four children — Henry, Peter,
Adam, and Ellen; Ellen, who married Henry
Crise, died in 1852, leaving three children —
Elizabeth, George, and Eliza; William, who
died in 1853; James, who died in 1851.

Jacob S. Dills, the fifth of the group, whose
name leads this short biographical record,
was a little lad of eight years when he came
with his parents to Cayuga County, which has
since been his abiding-place. He received a
good common-school education; and, being
reared by a father who was well versed in the
intricacies of agriculture, he became famil-
iar with all of its branches at an early age,
and selected farming as his life occupation.
Being the only surviving member of the pa-



ii8



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



rental household, he is in possession of the
home farm, which he manages with the same
vigorous ability and varied skill that charac-
terized his father. He has continually in-
creased its value and added to its extent by
the purchase of one hundred and twenty-five
acres of fertile land, his homestead being now
one of the finest and most valuable in the
vicinity, well supplied with convenient build-
ings and all the appliances for carrying on his
work after the most approved modern methods.
The family residence, which he purchased in
1884, is a tasteful and substantial structure,
beautifully situated on the lake shore, and is
fully in keeping with the means and position
of the inmates, a credit to its owner and an
ornament to the neighborhood.

The marriage of Mr. Dills with Mary N.
Brown, the daughter of the Rev. E. C. and
Anna (Kern) Brown, of Eaton, Madison
County, was solemnized November 13, 1866.
Mrs. Dills, who is an accomplished and cult-
ured woman, after completing the academical
course at Cazenovia Academy, was engaged in
teaching until her marriage at the age of
twenty-two years. Since that important event
she has been a true and devoted wife, a tender
mother, and a most eificient manager of her
home duties, presiding with gentle grace and
dignity over her household, and rearing her
children in paths of rectitude and usefulness.
The home circle comprises five intelligent and
promising children, namely: Elizabeth E.,
who was graduated from the Syracuse High
School with the class of 1889, and is now
teaching in Union Springs; Henry E., a



teacher in Scipio Centre, and a graduate of
the class of 1890 of the Syracuse High
School; William B., who was graduated from
the Syracuse Academy, and intends to study
medicine; Anna F. ; and Robert Depuy.
Mr. Dills and his family occupy a pleasant
social position among the people of this com-
munity, by whom they are respected for their
many virtues, and heartily liked for their
frank, open-hearted hospitality and genial and
kindly manners. They take a deep interest
in the educational and moral advancement of
the community, and are consistent members of
the Union Springs Methodist church. In
politics Mr. Dills is a stanch Republican,
and cast his first Presidential vote for John
C. Fremont in 1856.



T^HARLES STANDART is a promi-
I J| nent and wealthy citizen of Auburn,
— ^ where he has lived since 1821, with
the exception of twenty-seven years of his
earliest manhood, spent in Ohio. He was
not born in Auburn, however, but in the vil-
lage of New Hartford, Oneida County, on
May 30, 1802, just after Jefferson had de-
feated John Adams in the Presidential con-
test. His grandfather Standart was a purser
on board a British man-of-war, and died in
1768. The purser's son George, the father
of Charles, was born in the metropolis of New
England in 1766; and there he grew up and
learned the trade of shoemaking, which ill-
health and the need of open-air exercise sub-
sequently compelled him to relinquish. This



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



119



led to his removal in 1794 to Oneida County,
New York, with his family; for already,
about the year 1785, he had married Lucy
Williams, who belonged to an old family lo-
cated in Roxbury, and Lucy's mother be-
longed to another ancient Colonial family,
the Winslows. Mr. Standart bought wild
land in New Hartford, where he continued
farming till 1821, when he removed with
his family to Auburn. There they bought
another farm, which afterward came into
Charles Standart's possession, and whereon
he now resides; for the purchase included one
hundred and sixty acres in what is now a pop-
ulous part of the city. George Standart and
his wife were evidently independent and pro-
gressive thinkers ; for they belonged to the
Universalist church in its cradle days, when
any serious departure from the previously
accepted religious standards incurred frowns
and contumely. They had eleven children,
of whom Charles was the sixth; and all of
the eleven lived to maturity.

Charles Standart was educated at New
Hartford, in a school where a hundred pupils,
of all ages and both sexes, were huddled into
a small room, under one teacher; and, if such
schools turned out able and well-trained men
and women, as they certainly did, it was par-
tially because the master had little time for
any one urchin separately, and the scholars
had to delve for themselves in the mine of
knowledge, and do their own thinking, with
small aid from instructors, text-books, or
maps, and with no scientific apparatus. As
Charles was ten years old when the War of



1812 began, he remembers distinctly some-
thing of that struggle, which spread a cloud
of anxiety over the entire lake region of New
York, especially in the towns near the Cana-
dian border; and this belligerent period was
the more indelibly impressed upon the lad's
memory by the fact that his father was unwill-
ingly pressed into service for the transporta-
tion of British troops from Utica to Buffalo.
When the family removed to Auburn, Charles,
already a stalwart youth of nineteen, was
sent a few weeks ahead, to live on a large
farm of three hundred acres, bought by an
uncle, Noah Olmstead, nearly thirty years
before, in 1794. Even in 1821 the roads
were poor, and ran mostly through the un-
cleared forest. Two years later, having at-
tained his majority, Charles went to that part
of Northern Ohio now called Erie County,
where he was one of the first to engage in the
produce and commission business along the
Great Lakes. That region was as yet sparsely
settled, the mails being brought from Buffalo
by cattle teams; and a wide field was thus
opened to enterprising men like Mr. Standart,
who in October, 1828, bought the first lot of
wheat ever forwarded to Buffalo from that



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