George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

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twenty-one years of age. The grandfather was Charles, who spent most of his life in
Saratoga county and died aged ninety-four years. The father was bound to millwright
trade at the age of fourteen, and at the age of twenty-one went to Canada. He built
the first saw mill in Mexico, and put up the first thrasher in Western New York. He
died in Marion in 1874, aged seventy-seven. The mother still survives. Subject was
reared on the farm and educated at the Marion Institute. He married in 1858 Lydia,
daughter of Daniel and Hannah Dean, of Marion, and they have one son and one daugh-
ter : Byron D. and Mary H. Byron married Eva Brown, and is county superintendent
of public schools in Marion, Kan.; is a graduate of Cornell University, and is also a
practicing lawyer. He is superintendent of city schools of Marion, Kan. Mr. Van-
ostrand has always followed farming, his home being in Marion, but has spent some
time in Kansas. He carries on general farming and fruit growing, also dairying. He
is a member of the Grange, also a member of the A. 0. TJ. W., and of Marion Lodge
No. 296. *


Ure, Hosea, of Savannah, was born in 1825, at Pompey, Onondaga county, a son
of William and and Susan (Drake) Ure, of Pompey. In 1826 they moved to Volney
(now Palermo), Oswego county, where the subject's boyhood was spent. His parents
being poor, and being left an orphan at the age of seventeen, he received only a com-
mon school education. He became a Christian in 1843, was licensed to preach, and ap-
pointed to the Truxton Circuit in 1848, joined the Onondaga Conference of the Metho-
dist Protestant church in 1849, was ordained in 1852, and was in the active work of the
ministry the most of the time until 1890, Wolcott being his last change. He has
preached as pastor in Cortland, Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, Herkimer, Otsego, Cayuga,
and Wayne counties, represented our conference as delegate to the General Conference
in Pittsburg, Pa., in 1870. He married in 1847 Rhoda A. Howard, of Mexico, N. Y.
The mother of Darius D. Ure, boni in 1858, is now in Nebraska. Rhoda died in 1849,
and in 1851 Mr. Ure married Ruth Blanchard, of Wayne county, and their children
were : Charles S., born in 1852 ; Rhoda, born in 1855 ; Lineus, born in 1856 ; Frank
S., born in 1858; Mary E., born in 1862 ; Nellie, born in 1868 ; and Hosea, jr., born in
1870. In 1882 Mr. Ure was again bereaved of his wife, and in 1883 married Charity
Dean, widow of Alonzo L. Dean, and now lives quietly on Clyde street in Savannah.

Van Duser, Sylvester B., was born at Fairville, October 1, 1846. His early life was
spent in his father's mill and on the farm, and received his education from the public
schools. In 1863 he enlisted in Company F, Second Mounted Rifles, N. Y. Volunteers,
and was mustered into service February 4, 1864. He participated in all the engage-
ments from Spottsylvania Court House to the siege of Petersburg, and was honorably
discharged at Buffalo, August 10, 1865. He is a member of Vosburg Post No. 99, G.
A. R., department of New York, and has held the position of commander three years,
and was re-elected to the office of chaplain last December. Upon his return from the
army in the fall and winter of 1865-66 he attended Marion Academy, and then occu-
pied the position of clerk for E. P. Soverhill and for Soverhill & Nicholoy. February
22, 1872, Mr. Van Duser purchased E. P. Soverhill's interest and a copartnership was
formed with W. H. Nicholoy, under the firm name of Nicholoy & Van Duser. This
continued twenty years, when Mr. Van Duser purchased Mr. Nicholoy's interest and is
conducting the general dry goods business on his own account with success. January
2, 1872, he married Ellen A. Eddy, of Taunton; Mass., and ihey had six children: S.
Eddy, died in infancy, Sylvester B., jr., Orville B., Elizabeth E., Douglas H., and G.
Rhodes. Mr. Van Duser's father, Robert Van Duser, was born February 9, 1821. For
the greater part of his life he was a miller, but later took up farming. September 22,
1840, he married Phebe Rose of the town of Arcadia, and to them the following chil-
dren were born: Elizabeth, Frances A., Sylvester B. (as noted above), Charles E.,
Emma O, Robert A., and Hiram A. Mr. Van Duser died March 16, 1882, but his wife
is still living. Mr. Saul Eddy was born in Taunton, Mass., February 16, 1819. He was
educated in the common schools of his town and then learned the mechanics' trade.
His wife was Abby Clark, of Taunton, and the following children were born to them:
Emma C, Abby A., Ellen A. (above noted), and Alice E. Mrs. Eddy died in 1857;
her husband survives and resides at the old home. Mr. Sylvester Van Duser is an of-
ficial member of the M. E. church an J one of its trustees. Mrs. Van Dnser is a mem-
ber of the Baptist church.

Van Valkenburg, C. F., was born at Victory, Cayuga county, November 6, 1848.
When eighteen years of age he learned the jeweler's trade at Port Byron, and in 1869
established himself at Red Creek, where he remained five years. In 1874 he came to
Wolcott as a partner for six years with W. D. Campbell, and in 1880 established an in-
dependent business, now conducted by his son Lee. September 1, 1874, he married
Alida Williams, of Red Creek, and they have two children : Lee, born July 14, 1875,
and Genevieve, born July 4, 1878. Mr. Van Valkenburg was appointed postmaster of
Wolcott, April 1, 1894.


Veeder, Major A., A.M., M.D., was born at Ashtabula, 0., November 2, 1848, lived at
Schenectady, N. Y., from 1850 to 1871, graduating from the classical department of the
Union School in that city in 1866, and from Union College in 1870, was principal of
Ives Seminary at Antwerp, N. Y. several years. Studied in Leipzig University, Ger-
many, and graduated in medicine from the Medical Department of the University of
Buffalo in 1883, then entered upon general practice at Lyons, N. Y., for three years in
association with Dr. E. W. Bottum and subsequently alone. Dr. Veeder is a member in
good standing of the Wayne County and Central New York Societies and has read and
published many papers upon medical topics. He is also a member of the American So-
ciety of Microscopists and has been employed as an expert to give evidence of this class
in medico-legal and other cases. He was one of the earliest investigators to adduce
positive evidence that freezing does not purify water from the presence of living mi-
croscopic organisms, a point whose importa nee has since come to be very generally
recognized. His contributions to Sanitary Science have won for him recognition, and
he has recently been honored by a request to prepare a paper to be read at the Inter-
national Congress of Hygiene and Demography to beheld at Buda Pesth, Austria. Since
1887 he has been a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
and has presented to that body the results of his own original researches respecting
certain phases of meteorological science, which are beginning to attract wide spread at-
tention. These results have been set forth somewhat in detail in a series of papers which
he read before the Rochester (N. Y.) Academy of Science and which have been publish-
ed by that institution, entitled "The Forces Concerned in the Development of Storms,"
"Thunderstorms," "The Aurora" and "The Zodiacal Light." As the result of
the interest aroused by these and other articles, he was invited to prepare
papers which were presented at the International Congress of Meteorology
held at Chicago in 1893 on the following topics, "Periodic and Non-periodic
Fluctuation in the Latitude of Storm Tracks" and "An International
Cypher Code for Correspondence respecting the Aurora and Related Conditions." These
researches have led to the organization of a system of concerted observatories of the
aurora in which the Arctic explorers,Lieut. Perry and Dr. Nansen, are co-operating with
observers scattered throughout every part of the earth where this phenomenon is en-
countered at all. The results of these organized efforts have been to establish an anpar-
ect relation of the aurora, not only to the disturbances of the earth's magnetismwith
which it has long been known to be associated, but also to thunderstorms, and to certain
very definite solar conditions in a manner not heretofore suspected. If these results,
which now seem highly probable, are verified completely by the earnest efforts being
made to that end, it will revolutionize meteorology absolutely. In connection with the
studies above indicated Dr. Veeder has become a contributor to many journals both in
this and other countries and has entered into active correspondence with investigators
connected with various societies and institutions in all parts of the earth. He is also a
member of the Holland Society of New York, whose members are required to be de-
scendants in the direct line of Hollanders who came to this country previous to 1675, he
being a descendant at the eighth generation of Simon Volkertse Veeder, who was
purser of the ship Prince Maurice of the Dutch navy, and who settled in New Amster-
dam (now New York) in 1644, and who was a member of the pioneer party who went
from Beaverwyck (now Albany) in 1662, for the purpose of founding what subsequent-
ly became the city of Schenectady. Dr. Veeder at the age of twenty-four married Mary
E., daughter of Peleg Wood of Schenectady, and they have four children, Albert F.,
Willard H., Sarah E., and Martha A. Veeder.

Vrooman, W. R., D.D.S., was born in Dixon, 111., December 5, 1858, where his father,
S. A. Vrooman, was engaged in the mercantile business. He is a direct descendant of
the old Knickerbocker stock, amongst whom were the several Vrooman brothers who
came from Holland to the United States and settled in the Mohawk Vailer about 1760.
At an early age he removed to Canada where he was educated at St. Catharine's



Collegiate Institute and Toronto University; and, graduating from Toronto Normal
School, taught for a number of years in Ontario successfully, also a graduate of the
Dental Department of Toronto University, member of the Royal College of Dental
Surgeons and honor graduate of the Pennsylvania College Dental Surgery, receiving
the honors of his class of 300 members. In 188She carne to Clyde and established him-
self in his profession in which he is actively engaged. At the age of thirty-two he
married Jessie B., daughter of the late Hon. J. S. L'Amoreaux, of Clyde. They are the
parents of one daughter, Marjorie Roselle. Thoroughly scientific in his attainments, he
employs nothing but the latest and most scientific methods in his profession. A close
student and lover of science, he is now pursuing a course of medical studies in Jefferson
Medical College, Philadelphia, from which institution he expects to graduate at an early
date. He is prominently identified with the Masonic order, being a member of Clyde
Lodge, F. & A. M., Gnswold Chapter, R. A. M., and Zenobia Commandery Knights
Templar of Palmyra, N. Y.

Yan Etten, J. W., was born in Lyons, March 11, 1833. His father, Cornelius W.,
was a native of Sussex, N. J., and removed to the town of Wolcott in 1835. He died
in the prime of manhood at the age of thirty-five. His wife Esther, daughter of Jacob
Westbrook, of Sussex county, N. J., and four children were left : Margaret, Henry,
John W., and Mary J., of whom John W. is the sole survivor. He was educated in the
common schools, the Lyons Union School, and took business course at the Brvant &
Stratton College at Buffalo, graduating in 1856, after which he read law with William
Clark of Lyons, and was admitted to the bar in 1862, and subsequently admitted to the
United States District Court as attorney and counsellor thereof. At the age of thirty-
seven he married Sarah, daughter of George S. Zeilley, of Fort Plain. Subject is and
always has been a Republican, and was appointed postmaster at Lyons, N. Y., in
August, 1869, holding the office to February, 1879, also takes an active interest in edu-
cational and religious matters. He is identified in advancing the best interests of his
town, and is of conservative character and recognized worth.

Yanalstine, H. O. is the son of John J., who was a very prominent man in this
vicinity, holding for a period of thirty- five years the position of justice of the peace.
He died in 1891, leaving a family of seven children, of whom only Henry and Jesse are
now in Wayne county. Henry was well known as a builHerfor twenty-five years, and
more recently as the proprietor of the Red Creek Hotel, purchased and converted from
the Hotel Wood in 1883. Mrs. Yanalstine was before her marriage Cordelia Bogert,
a daughter of Samuel Mason, of Manchester, Ontario county, N. Y., and has one
daughter, Mary C. Bogert, now the wife of George Cairns, of Colorado Springs.
Cordelia Bogert was widowed May 19, 1874, and five years later became the wife of
Henry Vanalstine. Their hotel is headquarters for traveling men in Red Creek, and is
justly renowned for the excellence of its cuisine, which is under the personal super-
vision of Mrs. Yanalstine.

Van Der Yeer, H. E. — The subject of this sketch is of Holland descent and traces the
genealogy of his family for seven generations to Cornelius Jans Van Der Veer, who
emigrated in the ship Otter in the spring of 1659 from the province of Alkmeer, Hol-
land, and settled in Flatbush, Kings county, N. Y., and was the ancestor of the Van
Der Veer family of New Jersey and Long Island. The grandfather of our subject was
Garrett Van Der Veer, a native of New Jersey, born in 1765, who married Rachael
Covenhoven, a native of Monmouth county, N. J., on whose father's farm the battle of
Monmouth, of Revolutionary fame, was fought, when she, with others of the family,
offered their help by furnishing water, and other offers of kindness during the battle
and after it was over. Garrett Van Der Veer, the father, was born in Montgomery
county, May 9, 1813. married Mary Allen, who was born June 4, 1814, removed to
Wayne county in 1847, and settled ai Marion. She died December 1, 1890. Mr. Van
Der Veer has devoted much of his time in later years to the manufacture of machines of


his own invention, for packing evaporated apples. He also kept a temperance hotel at
Marion for several years. Henry E. Van Der Veer, the only child, was born in .Mont -
gomery county, April 27, 1843, was reared in the village of Marion, where he received
his education at the Marion Collegiate Institute. At an early age he commenced busi-
ness as clerk for F. & J. B. Reeves, which he followed in that place and Palmyra. He
was also clerk daring the war in the commissary department at Fort Gibson, Indian
Territory, and also traded and acted as clerk for Indian traders in Southern Kansas and
Indian Territory. In 1866 he returned to Marion and engaged in the drug business for
himself. In 1873 he removed to Ontario, where he has since conducted a successful
business. He is a Democrat, and was appointed postmaster in 1803. He is a member
of Wayne Lodge No. 416, F. & A. M., also of Cyrene Tent No. 203, K. 0. T. M., in both
of which he holds positions of honor. February 22, 1870, he married Annette L.,
daughter of Jonathan and Clarissa (Jennings) Pratt, who were among the first settlers
of the town of Williamson. Mr. Pratt settled in the northwest corner of the town of
Williamson in 1811, where he became one of the largest land owners in the town. They
reared a large family, and the oldest son, Aaron W., was the second male white child
born in Williamson. In 1841 he sailed on a whaling ship under Captain Roise, and was
on board the ship that first discovered the northwest whaling grounds. Another son.
William W., was a whaler and merchant man for forty years. Of a large family that
grew to maturity, none remained on the land for which their ancestors endured the
vicissitudes of pioneer life.

Willoughby, S. E., was born in the city of St. Albans, near London, England, April
18, 1826, came to Clyde from London in 1848, and having learned the painter's trade,
established the same business in Clyde, the firm in London keeping the position open
for him if he should determine to return to England. For forty years the house has
been the leading decorators in Wayne county, and is now carrying a large and fine stock
of wall paper and house furnishing goods. At the age of twenty -four, subject married
Mapelet, daughter of Jeremiah Finck. He is one of the oldest merchants in the town,
taking an active interest in educational and religious matters.

Wells, Hon. E. B., was born in Prattsburg, Steuben county, April 22, 1834. His
fathe, Ira Wells, was a manufacturer of fanning mills, and was one of the best known
residents of Steuben and Wayne counties. He married Miss Pamelia Taylor, daughter
of Elijah Taylor, and they were the parents of seven children, who lived to mature age.
Mr. Ira Wells died in 1882 at the age of eighty-seven. E. B. Wells, after leaving
school, learned the marble cutter's trade, and in 1855 went into business in Cherry
Valley, N. T. He afterward sold out his business there, went to Fort Plain, N. Y.,
and in 1860 came to Clyde and established his present business as dealer in granite and
marble cemetery work. He handles both imported and domestic stock and has
acquired a well- deserved repuatation for fine work. At the age of thirty-two he mar-
ried Miss Alice C. Gregory, daughter of Aaron Gregory, formerly of Mexico, Oswego
county, N. Y. Mr. Wells has been very prominent in public affairs, having been post-
master for two terms, supervisor for three years, and member of assembly two terms,

Williams, Samuel, is a citizen of more than ordinary ability and prominence. He .
was born July 10, 1833, at Copake, Columbia county, and his parents were Thomas
and Polly Williams, both deceased. He lived at his birthplace until twenty- three
years of years of age, received a good common school education, and after engaging in
the grocery business at South Butler for several years, located in 1861 on a farm of 200
acres, five miles northwest of Savannah, and upon which he has erected an elegant
residence. February 23, 1859, he married Henrietta, daughter of John and Polly Gor-
ham, of South Butler, N. Y., and they had these children : Anna, born December 12,
1859, and wife of Millard Miller of South Butler; John G., born February 20, 1862,


now operating the homestead farm. He married, August 20, 1893, Minnie Shoecraft
of Butler ; George R., born August 19, 1864, now engaged in hardware business at
Butler; Mary E., born April 16, 1867; and Hattie, born February 6, 1874, died June

19, 1884.

Whitman, Irving A., was born in Lyons July 20, 1865. His father, William, also of
Lyons, with H. S. Moor, now deceased, established a drug business in 1863, and was
one of the prominent business men of his town. Irvin A. was educated in the Lyons
Union School. Taking up the study of stenography and typewriting, he served under
Hon. George W. Cowles when surrogate, and afterwards entered the law office of
Camp & Dunwell, and was private secretary to Hon. J. H. Camp for four years. While
there he made the study of pension and war claims a specialty, and the first claim prose-
cuted was granted by the Bureau of Pensions, and which commenced payment July

20, 1865, the day, month and vear of his birth. He has achieved a success that is recog-
nized throughout the United States, practicing in the bureau of pensions, the patent
department and the treasury department. He also has been notary public for the past
six years. In 1884 he invented an automatic freight car coupling device, which was
patented July 21, 1885, and was submitted to a severe test by the Master Car Builders
Association in September, 1885, at Buffalo, which was successful in meeting all re-
quirements. In June, 1886, it was tested before the railroad commissioners at Albany
and was again successful. At the age of twenty-three he married Mary Ellen, daugh-
ter of Garrett Flavahan, of Lyons, and they have three sons ; Stewart C, Irvin Y.,
and Burnard C.

Wood, Charles, was born in Butler, June 25, 1838. His father, Horatio N. Wood, a
native of Oran<re county, came to Wayne county in 1821 and died in 1861, aged fifty -
eight years. He was a prominent farmer in his town, which he represented several
years on the Board of Supervisors. Charles was educated in the common schools, and
finished at Red Creek Academy and Falley Seminary at Fulton, N. Y., afterwards
coming to Savannah, where he established his present business of lumber, coal and
grain, potatoes, apples, etc., of which he handles large quantities. He is a Democrat,
and was elected supervisor from 1872 to 1875. At the age of twenty-eight he married
Louise C. Bell, daughter of Charles Bell, of Jordan, Onondaga county, by whom he has
three children : Charles II., of Syracuse; Helen Mabel, a graduate of Syracuse Uni-
versity, and at present a teacher in Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, Pa.; and Marielle
Ruth, a student at the same institution.

Whitlock, Levi J., was born in Lyons December 3, 1855. His father, Benjamin, was
also a native of Lyons. The family came from Orange county in 1814, and bought the
Peter Yan Etten property. Benjamin married at the age of twenty-one, Jane, daugh-
ter of Philip Swartwout of Orange county. Levi J. was educated at the Lyons Union
School, after which he returned to his father's farm. At the age of twenty he married
Grace, daughter of Cornelius Cuddeback, of Phelps, and they are the parents of four
children, Cornelius A., Neva C, Hope and Grace. Our subject is now occupying the
old Whitlock homestead, which has been in the family eighty years, raising hay, grain
and stock and making a specialty of pure Jersey butter, and was one of the first to
introduce the custom of dehorning cattle (in Wayne county). The subject is an active
energetic man, identified in advancing the best interests of the town.

Willits, E. D., born in Ontario, August 11, 1843, is a son of Jonathan and Hannah
(Knowles) Willits, he is a native of Farmington, Ontario county, and she of Albany
county, N. Y. The grandparents came from New Jersey to New York and settled in
Ontario county, where the grandfather died. The grandmother then came and lived
with her son, Jonathan, in Ontario. Jonathan came to Ontario when a young man and
purchased a farm, part of which subject now owns. Mr. Willits resided on this farm
over fifty years. He was a Republican in politics, and in religion was a Friend. He


died 1880, and his wife, 1878, E. D. was reared on the farm and educated at the com-
mon and select schools. He has for twenty-six years followed teaching winters and
worked his farm summers. He is engaged in fruit growing, having a general variety of
fruits. His wife is Sarah (Allen) Willits, whom he married February 18, 1869. She
was a daughter of Freeman and Betsey Allen, of Ontario. In politics Mr. Willits is a
Republican, has been justice sixteen years, justice of sessions sixteen years, and is now
notary public. At present he is supervisor of Ontario. He is a member of the G. A.
R., M. M. Fish Post, No. 406. In religion Mr, Willits is a liberal Christian.

Woodhams, R. A., was a native of England, born December 11, 1835, and came with
his parents to America in 1850, and settled in Ontario, Wayne county, near Furnaceville.
When they came to America the family consisted of Mr. Walter Woodhams, his wife
Francis (Walters) Woodhams, and three sons and four daughters. They removed from
Furnaceville to the Ridge on the farm now owned by Mr. Howk, where they resided
till his death, December 27, 1878. His first wife died in June, 1873, and he married in
1875, Hannah Hutson, who now resides with our subject. He and wife were Wesleyan
Methodists, and a son, Roland, is a presiding elder of the Methodist Episcopal church,
and resides at Bay City, Mich. Walter Woodhams was a member of the 8th
New York Cavalry, and was killed near Harper's Ferry in 1864. Subject commenced
as a farm hand when about fifteen years of age, and has been very successful. He
now owns three hundred acres in Ontario, where he lives retired. He married in 1862
Dorcas C. Sabin, born April 13, 1837. She is a daughter of H. M. Sabin, a native of
Connecticut, who came with his parents Samuel and Elizabeth (Gleason) Sabin, settled
in Macedon and then in Ontario, where he died December 19, 1832, and his wife in
1846. Mr. and Mrs. Woodhams have no children, but reared an adopted son and

Online LibraryGeorge Washington CowlesLandmarks of Wayne County, New York → online text (page 52 of 107)