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Abigail (Conklin) Jorolmon, both natives of
Owasco. Her parents are now deceased, her
father having died at the age of sixty-five
years, on March 20, 1873; while Mrs. Jorol-
mon, who survived her husband a few months,
lived until November 26, 1874, dying at the
age of sixty-four years. They were devoted
members of the Presbyterian church, and po-
litically Mr. Jorolmon was a stanch member
of the Republican party. Of the ten children
born of their marriage nine are now living.

The farm of Mr. Alexander J. Culver is
one of the most pleasant and comfortable of
any in the place, containing eighty-eight
acres of fertile land, well kept and well
equipped, on which he has a beautiful resi-
dence, the best of farm buildings, and the
most modern machinery and implements for
carrying on his business. His dairy consists
of eight or ten choice head of cattle, of which
he takes excellent care. He is a man of great
capability, and is endowed with strength of
character and independent opinions of his
own, that give him influence in his commu-
nity. Politically, he is a sound Republican,
and has served his town for a year as Road
Commissioner. Mr. and Mrs. Culver are
held in high esteem by their neighbors and
friends for their many excellent qualities of
mind and heart, and are admired for their
generous hospitality and friendliness.


LLIAM F. PIERCE, an honored
and respected resident of the vil-
lage of Cayuga, is a native of the Empire
State, his birth having occurred in Putnam
County, June 20, 1828. Among the sturdy
pioneers of that county was his grandfather,
Abizer Pierce-, who was a New Englander by
birth, and the descendant of an old Massachu-
setts family. When a young man, he emi-
grated from Cape Cod to Putnam County,
bringing all of his household effects in an ox
wagon ; and his wife, who accompanied him,
travelled the entire distance on horseback.
In common with the other early settlers of the



county, he took an active part in its develop-
ment, and during the many years that he lived
there was enabled to note with pride the
mighty changes wrought within its borders,
the densely wooded wild giving place to mag-
nificent farms and thriving villages and
towns. He served during the War of 1812,
and on one battlefield was accompanied by his
son, who was then a youth of eleven years.
He was subsequently a pensioner of that war.
He died in Cayuga County, at the venerable
age of ninety-two years. The maiden name
of his wife, whose death occurred several
years prior to his own, was Jane Hopkins.

Thomas J. Pierce, son of Abizer, was born
during the residence of his parents in Putnam
County, the date being March 15, 1801. He
was reared to man's estate in his native town,
where he attended the district school, and
assisted his parents on the homestead. In
1839 he removed to Cayuga County, travel-
ling by carriage to Poughkeepsie, thence tak-
ing the night boat to Albany; and from there
to Schenectady he travelled on a balance-wheel
cable-car, which was so contrived that, when
the passengers were going down hill, the bal-
ance-car, filled with stones, was going up.
Settling in the town of Sennett, he bought a
farm, and engaged in general agriculture until
his death, on March 13, 1846. On July 31,
1839, he married Phoebe Fowler, a daughter
of Solomon and Hannah (Caldwell) Fowler.
They reared two children — William F. and
Hannah J., the latter being born August 2,
1830, and dying May 20, 1887.

William F. Pierce completed his education

in the public schools of Sennett, in the mean
time assisting his father in the labors of the
farm, remaining on the homestead until the
time of his marriage. After taking that im-
portant step, Mr. Pierce, thinking the chances
for improving his financial condition would be
better in a Western State, bought a farm in
Illinois, and, removing there, remained two
years, when, not entirely pleased with the
results of his labors, he disposed of that prop-
erty, and returned to Cayuga County. The
succeeding five years he acted as Keeper in
the State prison at Auburn, and then resumed
his agricultural occupations, buying a farm in
Lima, where he was successfully engaged in
general farming for five years. Selling that
property in 1869, Mr. Pierce purchased a
good farm in Cayuga, and for two years con-
ducted its labors very profitably, being skilful
and judicious in its management. He then
moved into the village of Cayuga, where he
has since resided, being numbered among the
representative citizens of the place.

Mr. Pierce wooed, won, and wedded Cather-
ine Bruner, of Yates County. Their house-
hold circle was enlarged by the birth of two
children — Luella and Catherine, the former
of whom married George Shoemaker, son of
John and Castilla (Flynn) Shoemaker, of Au-
relius, and has one child, a son, named
George Pierce Shoemaker. Mr. Pierce is a
man of influence and honor, his strict integ-
rity in all business transactions, his intelli-
gence, and public-spiritedness placing him
in a high position among his fellow towns-
men. Socially, he is a member of the Ma-



sonic Order. He has been prominently iden-
tified with the Republican party since its for-
mation, and cast his first vote for President in
1852 for General Winfield Scott. Although
taking great interest in local and national
affairs, Mr. Pierce has never been an aspirant
for political office, but served most satisfac-
torily as Postmaster of the village from i
to 1893.



R. SUSAN G. OTIS, one of the
^ I prominent women physicians of Au-
burn, N.Y., was born at Sherwood,
Cayuga County, a daughter of Samuel D. and
Elizabeth (Gorham) Otis. Her father was a
farmer and an old resident of the county,
moving here from New Bedford, Mass., in
1833. He was of the seventh generation from
the emigrant ancestors who came to New
England in the seventeenth century, and were
early settlers in the town of Scituate, Plym-
outh County, Mass. For several generations
members of the family have been prominent
in medicine. John Otis, from Glastonbury,
England, settled in Hingham, Mass., in
1635. His son John, born in England in
1622, came to Hingham, and married Mary
Jacob, and was the father of Stephen, James,
and Job.

Stephen, born in 1661, married Hannah
Ensign, and lived in Scituate. They had a
son Isaac, born in 1699. In the historical
sketch of Scituate, in the "History of Plym-
outh County, Massachusetts," it is recorded
that "Dr. Isaac Otis [who is probably the
Isaac named above] was the first regular

physician that settled in the town; and so
highly did the town appreciate the advantages
of having the services of such a skilled pro-
fessional man that they voted a settlement of
one hundred pounds to encourage him to re-
main in the town." That was in 1719. Dr.
James Otis, son of Isaac, began practice in
1760. Dr. Gushing Otis, son of Dr. James,
commenced in 1792, and in 1884 was said by
the historian of Scituate to be well remem-
bered by many people then living as a
"famous doctor."

The descent of medical talent, which is
often noted, has seldom been more marked
than in the case of Dr. Susan G. Otis, as
above shown. Her grandfather Job, who was
the son of a doctor, was one of the early phy-
sicians of Cayuga County, but did not practice
very much, being chiefly engaged in farm-
ing. He was a Quaker, as the family had
been for many generations. Samuel D. Otis
was married to Miss Gorham, of Nantucket,
whose father was a whaler of the early times.
Mrs. Otis was connected with the family of
Benjamin Franklin's mother (Folger), and
also with the Coffin family, who were early
and prominent settlers at Nantucket. She
reared a family of eight children, seven of
whom are living, namely: Deborah; Stephen
G. ; Dr. Susan G. ; Hannah, wife of Samuel
J. Brown, of San Jose, Cal.; Elizabeth G.,
teacher in a select school; Lois Macy, a
teacher in Philadelphia; and Mary Amy, also
of I^hiladelphia, an artist and art teacher.

Susan G. Otis was educated at private
schools. She was engaged for a time as a



teacher in public and select schools at Sher-
wood, and in 1880 matriculated at the
Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, at
Philadelphia, where she took a four years'
course, graduating in the class of 1884. Dur-
ing the last vacation, in 1883, she spent three
months in the Staten Island Hospital, and
two months at the New York Infant Asylum.
After graduating, she went to the Staten
Island Hospital (nursery and children's) as
Assistant Physician, retaining that position
for six months, when the Resident Physician
resigned; and at a competitive examination
she was appointed to the place, which position
she held for two years. During this time she
took a course at the New York Polyclinic.

In the spring of 1887 Dr. Otis, being
called home by the death of both her parents,
practised in Sherwood for one year. She
came to Auburn in 1888, and occupied the
old office of Dr. Armstrong on Grover Street.
In 1889 she was established at her present
place. No. 40 South Street. She has a large
general practice, and conducts a fine private
hospital, patients being sent to her by physi-
cians from all parts of the State. Several
very important cases of abdominal surgery by
Dr. C. O. Baker have been cared for in this
hospital, which has filled a great need, and
has secured the confidence of the people and
the profession at large. Dr. Otis is a mem-
ber of the Cayuga County Medical Society, of
which she is Secretary. She is an attendant
of the Central Presbyterian Church. Dr. Otis
has had large and varied experience, which
have given her skill and assurance; and this.

with her tact and agreeable manners, at once
gains the confidence and esteem of her pa-
tients. The private hospital which she has
so well equipped, and which she conducts so
satisfactorily, is beautifully located on one
of the finest streets in the city, overlooking
Seward Park Statue and homestead. It is not
only a successful private enterprise, but a
public benefit as well.

ILLIAM THOMAS, M.D., is a re-
tired eclectic physician in Spring
Lake, where he actively practised his profes-
sion for forty years. John Thomas, the Doc-
tor's grandfather, came from Germany in his
youth, and married and died in Newburg,
Orange County, N.Y. His son William was
born in Newburg in 1781; and on June 12,
1 8 19, thirty-eight years later, the subject of
this sketch was born, in the same house, and
received the same name.

The senior William attended a school in
Newburg in his boyhood, and worked on the
home farm. He lived in his native town sev-
eral years after his marriage and the birth of
his son William. In 1824 he went to Ca-
millus, Onondaga County, N.Y., whence in
1833 he removed to Huron, Wayne County,
N.Y., where he remained until 1844. Then,
going to Wisconsin, he there remained until
his death in 1856, at the age of seventy-five.
His wife, Jemima Terbush, of Newburg, was
born August 20, 1785. Her parents came
from Holland. William and Jemima Thomas
had twelve children — Hester Ann, Philip,



Catherine, Hepsy, Jacob, John, Henry, Will-
iam, Stephen, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Hannah.
The mother died in i860, aged seventy-five,
after the removal West. The Terbush and
Thomas families v/ere Baptists; and young
William Thomas's brother Jacob studied
seven years in Hamilton, became a Baptist
clergyman, and went as a missionary to the
Burmese empire, where he met death by the
sinking of a boat, within sight of the very
station to which he was assigned.

The subject of this biography went through
the usual routine of farm work and district
schooling, and lived with his father till that
gentleman went West in 1844. Meanwhile
the young man had begun to teach school ;
and he continued in this occupation some
years in Walcott, Huron, and other places, of
course attending to agricultural matters in the
summer. Besides this he studied medicine,
and in 1846 began its practice in Butler,
Wayne County, N.Y., where he lived two
years. On June 22, 1848, he came to Spring
Lake, Cayuga County, N.Y., and opened an
office. At first he encountered some opposi-
tion, but gradually overcame all prejudice,
and had about as large a practice as any physi-
cian in the county. In 1889, however, his
health demanded retirement.

In 1844, at the age of twenty-five, when his
father went West, the younger William mar-
ried Harriet Nichols, daughter of Jefferson
and Sarah Nichols, from the eastern part of
the State. By this marriage Dr. Thomas has
one child living, Sarah, who is her father's
housekeeper, three children having died —

Charles, Ann Elizabeth, and Ida. The Doc-
tor's wife died December 5, 1879, after thirty-
five years of happy wedded life.

Dr. Thomas belongs to the Central New
York Eclectic Medical Society. For many
years he was a member of the Board of
Health, for seventeen years an Overseer of
the Poor, for eighteen years a Notary Public.
Until after the election of James Buchanan to
the Presidency he was a Democrat, but has
since been a decided Republican. Since
young manhood he has been connected with
the Methodist church, wherein he has held
various offices. All together, he is worthy of
the esteem in which he is held, both person-
ally and professionally.

(s>rDELBERT UNDERHILL represents
rjA the agricultural interests of the town
^ - ^ of Ira as a shrewd, practical farmer
of sound judgment and excellent business
ability. He has a large and well-equipped
farm, pleasantly located, which by good
management he has rendered one of the most
valuable estates in this part of Cayuga
County. He was born three miles west of
the city of Auburn, in what is known as Half
Acre, on November 6, 1844.

His parents, Henry and Emeline (Dicker-
son) Underbill, were both born in Schoharie
County, New York, where they resided for
many years. The father was a man of su-
perior mental attainments, and was for many
years a successful and well-known physician.
In later life he turned his attention to agri-



culture, and, coming to this county, settled in
the town of Ledyard, where he and his wife
spent their remaining years, he dying when
seventy-two years old, and she at the age
of sixty-three years. They were numbered
among the respected residents of their neigh-
borhood, their fine qualities of heart and mind
endearing them to all. They were progressive
people, and liberal in their religious views.
In politics Dr. Underbill cast his vote with
the Republican party. They had five chil-
dren, all of whom are now living, the follow-
ing being their record: Joshua, a machinist,
resides in Auburn. Ezra is a farmer in the
town of Scipio. Adelbert lives in Ira.
Adell, the twin sister of Adelbert, married
Calvin Phelps, of Ontario County. Esther is
the wife of J. B. Dickinson, of King's Ferry
in the town of Genoa.

Adelbert, the third child and youngest son,
grew to manhood in this his native county,
being educated in the district schools of Led-
yard. Throughout the years of his youth
and early manhood he assisted on the home
farm, remaining under the parental roof until
the time of his marriage, which auspicious
event took place on the 24th of December,
1869, when Ella Phelps, a native of Ira, be-
came his bride. Mrs. Underbill is the
daughter of the late Chauncey and Mary
Phelps, the former of whom was born in Ira,
and the latter in the State of New Jersey.
Mr. Phelps was the son of a distinguished
pioneer family of this town, and probably did
as much as any other individual to develop its
agricultural interests, and advance its growth

and welfare, being a prominent and important
member of the community. He was noted for
his stability of character and good business
habits, and was held in high regard as a rep-
resentative citizen of the place, his death,
which occurred September 18, 1888, being
deemed a public loss; and his memory will be
cherished for many years to come. His es-
timable wife, who was born June 9, 181 1,
survives him, living on the old farm, and is
passing down the sunset slope of life, and
tenderly cared for by her loving children. Of
the five children born of their union only two
are now living, namely: Mrs. Ruth Ann
Blessing, who resides on the old Phelps home-
stead in Ira; and Mrs. Adelbert Underbill.

Very soon after his marriage Mr. Underbill
purchased the place where he now resides,
taking possession of it in the spring of 1870;
and here he and his young wife began house-
keeping. His farm contains one hundred
and fifty-seven acres of excellent land, all
carefully cultivated. He keeps from fifteen
to eighteen cows, and raises abundant crops
of the cereals and other staple productions.
Since becoming one of the citizens of Ira, Mr.
Underbill has been no unimportant factor
in making this one of the richest farming
communities in the Empire State. He is a
systematic, practical agriculturist, a keen,
wide-awake man of business, and is one of
the most substantial and trustworthy citizens
of his adopted town, his conduct in all rela-
tions of life being such as to win and retain
the esteem and confidence of all with whom
he comes in contact. Mr. and Mrs. Under-



hill have no children, but their hospitable
home is ever open to their many friends and
acquaintances. They are liberal in their re-
ligious views, and ever tolerant of the beliefs
of all other Christians. In him the Republican
party has one of its stanchest adherents; and,
socially, he belongs to the Farmers' Grange of
Ira, No. 592.

known retired farmer residing in the
north of Niles, was born in the
town of De Ruyter, Madison County, N.Y.?
August 20, 1829. His father, David Cham-
berlain, was born in Adams County, Pennsyl-
vania, May 16, 1803. His grandfather,
Ninian, was also a native of the same place,,
where he was born October i, 1751. During
the Revolutionary War Ninian Chamberlain
was engaged with the Continental Army as
Master of Transportation, and had the gratifi-
cation of meeting and knowing General Wash-
ington. Upon the conclusion of the war he
resumed his occupation of farming; and in
1807 he left Pennsylvania with his family,
coming overland with teams, and settled in
the town of Niles, Cayuga County, on what
is known as lot 8, where he bought three
hundred and twenty-five acres of land of
Lucas Elmendorf, of Albany, for five dollars
and fifty cents per acre. Together with his
sons, he cleared the land, living in the mean
time in a rude log house. The title to the
land proving defective, he bought a portion of
it again, having thus to -pay twice over for
the same property. Mr. Chamberlain was a

member and supporter of the Reformed
Church of Owasco Village, and in politics was
a Whig. On July 5, 1784, he married Miss
Elizabeth Ewing, to whom were born seven
sons and six daughters, as follows: Margery,
May 28, 1786; Samuel, March 16, 1789;
Jeremiah, August 24, 1790; John, September
I, 1792; Rachel, October 25, 1794; James,
January 10, 1797; Robert, March 11, 1799;
Betsy, June 23, 1801 ; Sallie, June 23, 1801;
David, May 16, 1803; Polly, October 30,
1805; Hamilton, April 22, 1808; Margaret,
November 22, 1810. Mr. Ninian Chamerlain
died December 20, 1833, aged eighty-two
years; his wife, surviving him nearly twenty-
two years, died March 10, 1855, aged eighty-
seven years.

David Chamberlain, the sixth son of
Ninian, was reared to agricultural pursuits,
but left home at the age of eighteen to learn
the wagon-making trade at Skaneateles, after-
ward moving to De Ruyter, where for a few
years he was in business for himself, going
thence to Scipio to live with his sister. In
1865 he came to Niles, making his home
with his son, Henry D., where he died June
12, 1893. He married Miss Eliza Smith, a
daughter of Jacob Smith, of Nelson, Madison
County; and she became the mother of one
child, a souj who is the subject of the present

Henry D. Chamberlain was educated at the
district school, Aurora Academy, and the
Scipio Select School. After the death of his
mother, which took place when he was four
years of age, he made his home with his



grandmother, remaining there until his
twenty-sixth year, when he married, and
bought a farm of one hundred and eighteen
acres. His wife was Miss Abigail A. Post,
a daughter of Christopher and Martha Post,
of Fleming. She died June 7, 1868, aged
forty, leaving two sons, namely: George S.,
engaged in the seed business in Auburn, mar-
ried to Miss Carrie Bulkley of that city; and
Day K., a farmer of Scipio, who is married to
Miss Rebecca Odell, of Niles, and has four
children, namely: Harry, Pauline, Odell, and
Howard. Mr. Chamberlain married for his
second wife Miss Prudence Austin, a daughter
of Henry and Mary (Tyler) Austin, the for-
mer a native of New York State, and the lat-
ter of Rhode Island.

Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain are members of
the Presbyterian church of the village of
Owasco. In politics he has always been
closely identified with the Republican party.
Mr. Chamberlain has devoted his whole life
to his agricultural interests, in which he has
achieved a success that has enabled him now
to retire from active pursuits. He is a highly
respected member of the community in which
he resides; and, although his talents are such
that he could have filled public office with credit
and dignity, he has always preferred to leave
the management of national and town affairs
to others.


^^ enterprising farmer and a member of

^— ' a well-known and highly respected

family, was born in the town of Owasco, Ca-

yuga County, N.Y., November 3, 1853. His
father, Jeremiah N. Chamberlain, was born in
what is now the town of Niles, February 9,
1822, and was a son of John, who was born
in 1792, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
James, the founder of the family in this coun-
try, who is supposed to have been born in
Scotland, came to America about two and a
half centuries ago, settling in Bucks County,
Pennsylvania. In early times the family had
undergone much persecution at the hands of
the upholders of the Established Church in
Scotland; and together with other Cove-
nanters they fled to the north of Ireland,
where they remained for some time, but left
that country on account of the high rents, and,
coming to America, settled in Hunterstown,
Pa. Ninian Chamberlain came to Cayuga
County, New York, in 1807, and bought a
tract of land, consisting of about three hun-
dred and twenty-five acres, in what is now
Niles, for five dollars and fifty cents per
acre. After paying for it and clearing a large
portion, a flaw was discovered in the title;
and he was compelled to pay for the land over
again. During the Revolutionary War he
was engaged as a Master of Transportation,
being personally acquainted with General
Washington. He was married to Elizabeth
Ewing, who was born in Adams County,
Pennsylvania, in 1768. Mr. Chamberlain
died December 20, 1833, his wife surviving
him twenty-two years, dying at the advanced
age of eighty-seven, March 10, 1855. John,
grandfather of the subject of this sketch, re-
mained on the homestead until his marriage.



when he settled on fifty acres of land on lot
No. 8, afterward buying sixty-two acres on lot
No. 9, and, as his means afforded, adding to
his property until he had acquired one hun-
dred and twenty-three acres. In 1868 he re-
tired from the farm, and passed his declining
years in the village of Owasco, where he died
September 3, 1874. He was married to Miss
Mary A. North, who was born in Tompkins
County, New York, January 7, 181 7, and
reared the following children: Eliza, Thomas
N., Jeremiah N., Magdalena, Naomi, Ann,
and Marjorie J. Jeremiah, the father of the
subject of this biographical sketch, was
brought up on the farm, where he remained
until his twenty-third year. He then went to
Scipio, where he woi'ked for twelve dollars
per month seven months in the year for a
period of three years. He then returned to
Owasco, and together with his brother bought
a farm of one hundred and thirty-seven acres,
which they worked for three years. Mr.
Chamberlain afterward bought his brother
out, and has followed the pursuit of farming
up to the present day. He was married on
November 15, 1849, to Miss Sally Swartwout,

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