George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

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William, who is a farmer in Sodus and married Maria Sergeant; Susanna, who mar-
ried William Messenger and settled in Michigan ; Samuel, who was born in 1826 and
settled in 1874 in Sodus village, where he has since lived. He is a member of the M.
E. church of Sodus, and married Cynthia, daughter of James Sergeant, of Sodus.
Their children are: He-ter A. (Mrs. Albert Stocking, of Sodus), and Elizabeth (Mrs.
A. Eugene Payne, of Sodus), and George Robinson, who settled in Sodus and is a pros-
perous farmer. He was commissioner of highways one term, it a member of St. John's
Episcopal church of Sodus and Sodus Grange. He married, in 1857, Sarah A. Stone,
and they have two chiliren, Elizabeth and John.

Rogers, George H., was born at Sodus Point June 8, 1846, and is a son of David
Rogers, who was a native of Watervliet, N. Y., who was a son of Nathaniel. David
was a ship builder and carried on the business at Oswego for several years. In 1838
he came to Wayne county and settled at Sodus Point, where for many years he was
extensively engaged in ship building. He married, in 1840, Caroline, daughter of
Abner Wood, one of the early settlers of Sodus Point. Mr. Rogers died in 1892.
George H. Rogers entered the store of Willis T. Gaylord at Sodus in 1864, and held a
clerkship there until 1872. In that year he, in company with 0. W. Bates, engaged in
the hardware business, under the name of Bates & Rogers. Ward Smith afterward
acquired the interest of Mr. Bates, and the firm was Rogers & Smith. In 1885 Mr.
Rogers purchased the interest of Mr. Smith and has since conducted the business alone,
except during the year 1890, when his son, David G., was a partner. Mr. Rogers is
one of the enterprising public spirited men of the town and one of its most successful
business men. He is a member of the Sodus M. E. church, having been a member for
over twenty-five years. He married, in 1867, Maria, daughter of Jesse H. Greene, of
Sodus, and they have one son, David G.

Ridley, William, was born in Phelps, Ontario county, January 30. 1817. He was
educated in the district schools and has always followed farming. January 14. 1839,
he married Elizabeth M. Tittsworth, of his native town, and they have had eleven chil-
dren : James T., William, Esther A., Morrison, Aaron, George D., Mary E., Clara, an
infant daughter not named, and Alice and Delbert, twins. Mr. Ridley's father, Mathew,
was born in England in 1781 and came to the United States when eighteen years old,
locating in the town of Phelps. He married Delila Sober, of the town of Arcadia,
Wayne county, by whom he had seven children, of whom James, William, as above,
Nelson, Lydia, Hiram, and Delira are now living. Mrs. Ridley's father, Richard Titts-
worth, was born in New Jersey about 1785 and married Esther Dewitt, of his native
place. They had four children : James, Ann, Jennette, and Elizabeth M. He died in
1830 and his wife in 1834. They came to this locality about 1810. Mr. Tittsworth
was a soldier in the war of 1812 at Sodus Point. Morrison is a professional caterer.
James T. married Phoebe Westfall ; Willard married Pamelia Eggleston ; Aaron mar-
ried Cornelia Morris ; Mary E. married Oliver Eggleston ; Alice married Charles Corn-
well, and Delbert married Hattie Morris.

Robison, Minard, was born in Arcadia, October 3, 1845, was educated in the common
schools, and has always followed farming. December 27, 1872, he married Alice A. M.
Rowe, of Manchester, Ontario county, and they have one daughter, Harriet E. Mr.
Robison's father, John D., was born in Phelps, Ontario county, January 25, 1813, was
educated in the schools of his day, and was also a farmer. He married Christina Yan
Decar, who was born in Rensselaer county, and had five children : Abram, Aaron V.,



260 LANDMARKS OF WAYNE COUNTY.

Minard, as noted, Mary, and Andrew J. He died in 1877, and his wife in 1885. His
grandfather was Minard, and his great-grandfather, John Decker Robison, was the first
settler in the town of Phelps. Mrs. Robison's father, Freeman Rowe, was born in
Wayne county in 1827. He married Harriet A. Oderkirk, of Manchester, and they had
three children: Robert D., George F., and Alice A. M. Both parents were killed at the
same time on the N. Y. C. & H. R. R. R., March 12, 1887.

Prescott, Joel H, was born in the town of Phelps, Ontario county, Maj' 28, 1815.
He was educated in the common and select schools and completed a course preparatory
to entering the academy at Oaks Corners. He taught district school for several years,
and was assistant teacher in the Seneca Falls Academy. In 1835 he became clerk for
John R. Green, of Phelps, where he remained until 1837, and during the next three
years he was in business with the late Cornelius Horton. He was major, colonel, and
paymaster of the 71st Regiment, N. Y. Militia. In 1840 he moved to Lyons, and in
1844. came to Newark, where he conducted a general store until 1854. He then
accepted the position of secretary of the Wayne County Mutual Insurance Company, and
held that position until 1869, when it discontinued business. Since that he has made
insurance and real estate his business. He has served as president and trustee of the
village of Newark for ten years. For nine years he has served as president, trustee,
and secretary of the Union School and Academy of Newark. He held the position of
postmaster nearly eight years, it being the first presidential appointment in the village.
In 1851 he became one of the founders of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, and has served
as vestryman and warden until the present term. October 18, 1838, he married Sarah
A. Davis, of his native town, and they had six children living : Helen, Serena A.,
Sarah A., Clara A., Joel H., and T. Davis. Serena married Henry J. Peirson, now of
Meadville, Pa.; Joel H. married Nellie Harding, of Buffalo, where he now lives. April
26 1882, T. Davis married Anna, daughter of Rev. J. P. Foster, now of Davisville, and
they have two children, Grace F. and Joel H. He now conducts a jeweler's store in
Newark. He has served as town clerk two years, and is a member of the Board of
Education. Mrs. Prescott died August 26, 1890.

Pyatt, the late Stephen A., was born in Oswego county, November 9, 1839, and came
to this county with his parents when a young man. He was educated in the public
schools. He enlisted twice, first in Company I, 17th Inf., N. Y. S. Vols., was promoted
corporal, and was honorably discharged on account of illness, caused by exposure,
November 8, 1862, and returned to Newark. After recuperating in September, 1864,
he re-enlisted in Company E, 111th Inf., N. Y. S. Vols., soon after was commissioned
second lieutenant, and was honorably discharged at the close of the war. Mr. Pyatt
was an active member of Vosburg Post No. 99, G. A. R. Dep't of N. Y., of Newark.
After his return he formed a co-partnership with M. E. Burnham in the grocery and
crockery business, under the firm name of Pyatt & Burnham. In politics he was a
Democrat. September 13, 1865, he married Amelia Lewis, who was born in the State
of Pennsylvania. Mr. Pyatt died May 22, 1885, mourned by a bereaved wife, and re-
gretted by many friends. He was a member of Newark Lodge No. 83, F. & A. M.
Mis. Pyatt's father, Lyman Lewis, was born in Troy, N. Y., May 10, 1792. He mar-
ried Lucinda Lamb, formerly of Vermont, and they had ten children. Mr. Lewis died
September 29, 1859, and his wife May 4, 1854. Mrs. Pyatt is an active member of the
Woman's Relief Corps.

Peirson, Henry R., was born in the 'town of Arcadia, three miles north of Newark,
January 22, 1816. He was educated in the public schools and in early life was a
farmer. He afterward learned the shoe trade and carried on the tanning business,
which in those days was very profitable. April 22, 1840, he married Celestia Reems, of
the town of Arcadia, and they were the parents of the following children: Silas S.,
who is a banker in Newark; Mary A. C, Sarah S., Henry A. and Samuel A. (twins),
Sophia M., Herbert, and . The twins lived to be grown men, but are now dead,



FAMILY SKETCHES. 261

and only three of the other children are now alive. Mr. Peirson moved to the village
of Newark in 1852. He was a drover for some years, selling to the eastern market,
then a produce dealer, and purchased the flouring mill on Mud Creek, which he con-
ducted six years. After this he became a merchant in the grocery business, and later
was a banker with his son, Silas S., under the firm name of Peirson & San. Mr. Peirson
then retired from active business and purchased a farm of forty acres, including the old
Bartle place, which is now nearly all sold and fine residences erected and streets opened.
His life has been an active one and in all his various pursuits success has crowned his
efforts. He has always identified himself with the growth and prosperity of the town
of Arcadia and of the thriving village of Newark. In politics Mr. Peirson is a Democrat
and has been trustee and assessor of this village some years. When Sumter was fired
upon he put himself in line with such men as Daniel S. Dickinson of New York, and
General Dix, and was largely instrumental in sending the first company of this county
to the front from the village of Newark. Mr. Peirson's father was a soldier in the war
of 1812.

Palms, Andrew, was born in Oneida county, May 13, 1838, was educated in the
public schools, and came to this county in 1869. He became superintendent of H. C.
Edgett's Canning Factory, which position he filled eight years, then spent two years in
the same position for a concern in Batavia, and six months in Water town, Jefferson
county. He is now a carpenter and joiner. November 26, 1862, he married Harriet
E. Abbott, of his native county, and they had two daughters, Addie and Cornelia S.
August 14, 1862, he enlisted in Co. H, 117th N. Y. Inf., and participated in thirteen
general engagements, among others he was present at the capture of Fort Fisher, N.
C. He was honorably discharged June 8, 1865. He is a member of Vosburg Post,
No. 99 G-. A. R. and of Newark Lodge No. 83, F. & A. M. Levi, his father, was born
in Rensselaer county in 1811, and came to Oneida county with his parents when a young
man. He married Emily Dibble of that county, and their children were: Stephen,
Andrew, Almira E. and Adelia. He died in 1889 and his wife in 1891. Alfred W.
Abbott, father of Mrs. Palms was born in Oneida county in 1817, and was a millwright
and carpenter. He married Mary Thompson, by whom he had five children : Harriet
S., Esther E., Willard W., Mary A. and Eliza J. Mr. Palms' grandfather, Stephen,
was a soldier of the War of 1812, and his maternal grandfather was in the Revolution.

Price, George H., was born south of the village of Newark, October 17, 1834, was
educated in the district schools and the Union School and Academy and in early life was
a farmer. He resided in Baltimore five years before the war, then farmed on the
homestead five years, and then became a miller at the lower village three years, since
which time he has kept a general supply store at the upper lock on the canal, together
with a dry dock. February 27, 1867, he married Matilda Pierce, of Orleans county,
and they have had four children : Perry G., Roy well S., Allerton R. and Anna A.
Pe-ry G., the father of Mr. Price, was born in Maryland in 1802 and came to Ontario
county with his parents, where they settled in Spring. He married Mrs. Eliza (Taylor)
Douglass, and they had four children : George H., Ann E., Esther E. and Seward F.
Mr. Price died in 1872 and his wife a few years later. ' Our subject was elected super-
visor while on his wedding tour, and received a re-election in 1873. He is a member
of the A. 0. TJ. W.

Price, Seward F., was born on the old homestead two miles south of Newark village
February 17, 1845. His education was acquired in the district schools, also attended
the Union School and Academy'five years, and delivered the valedictory address for
the graduating class, January 13, 1869, he married Sarah L., daughter of Henry R.
Peirson of this village, and they have three sons, George H., Harry B. and Seward P.
Mr. Price is cne of Arcadia's representative men and one of her best farmers.

Pearsail, John T., was born in Huron, Wayne county, in 1856, and is a son of Henry



262 LANDMARKS OF WAYNE COUNTY

who came from Saratoga to Seneca county, and about 1845 settled in the town
of Huron and engaged in farming. He married Jane Turbush, and their children were:
John 0. (deceased), William H., Eleanor, Esther, George, Amanda, John T., Phoebe
and Edward. William H. settled in Huron, where he died ; Eleanor married Cyrus E.
Fitch and settled in Butler ; Esther married James McClure and settled in Tompkins
county ; George settled in Wolcott where he died ; Amanda married Frank W. Hagen
and settled in Niagara county ; Phoebe married, first, Anthony Curtis and second
Abraham Griswold, and settled in Wolcott; Edward settled in Sodus ; John settled
in Sodus and is an enterprising farmer. He was for several years excise commissioner,
and in 1893 was elected assessor. He married in 1893 Delia L., daughter of John Bates
of Sodus, by whom he has two children, Leo B. and Theda J.

Pratt, Elizabeth A. — Her father, Isaac Soverhill, was born in New Jersey December
6, 1809, coming to the town of Phelps with his parents when a boy, where he was edu-
cated in the schools of his day and came to this county soon afterward. September 1,
1831, he married Maria Cline, formerly of Columbia county, and they had two daugh-
ters, Elizabeth A., as above, and Gertrude J., who died aged thirteen. He died
December 19, 1866, and his wife July 27, 1876. December 15, 1859, Elizabeth A.
Soverhill married Morrison Pratt of the town of Marion, and they have five children, I.
Byron, Gertie M., Anna E., Marion E., and Leland M. T. Byron married Anna Whal-
ing and has one daughter. The youngest son is the farmer for his father. Mrs. Pratt's
grandfather, Isaac Soverhill, was born in New Jersey January 24, 1774. He married
Elizabeth Dobbins of his native place, a sister of General Dobbins of Revolutionary
fame, and came to this State. They had nine children : Samuel, Jemima A., Justus D.,
James M., Isaac, Eliza J., John G., Hugh W. D. and Charles W. In 1817 Isaac Sover-
hill bought from the land office a tract of land three and a half miles northeast of
Newark village, and Mrs. Pratt now resides on a part of the original purchase. A
cousin, Cornelius P. Soverhill, was born in Marion, Wayne county, June 8, 1843, son of
the late Justin D. Soverhill. In early life he was a farmer and now a resident of New-
ark, dealing in coal, wood, etc. He married Mary Lans;don, of Clyde, and they have
one daughter, Ada J., who is a student in the Union School and Academy. Mr. Sover-
hill was a soldier in the late war, and is a member of Vosburg Post No. 99, G. A. R.,
Department of New York.

Potter, James, was born in Lyons in 1828 and is a son of Elry Potter, who was a
native of Eastown, Rensselaer county. He served in the War of 1812, holding the
rank of sergeant. He came to Wayne county in 1811 and settled in Lyons, taking up
a farm of 160 acres. He remained until 1838, when he removed to Sodus, purchasing
a farm in the southeast part of the town, where he spent the remainder of his life and
died in 1883. He married Elizabeth Hay, and they had ten children: Maria, who mar-
ried William Sutherland ; Eliza, who married Samuel Warren ; David settled in Lyons
and was a farmer. He married Anna E. Woodworth ; Jane married Samuel Clary ;
Elry settled in Michigan ; Horace was a farmer and settled in Sodus. He married Har-
riet Thompson ; Conrad was a ship carpenter. He first settled in Michigan and later in
the South; William was a shoemaker and settled in Lyons. He married Susan Price;
Harvey lived and died on the homestead in Sodus. He married Clarissa Allen ; James
Potter in his early life run a boat on the canal eleven years, but for over forty years has
been a farmer in Sodus. He is a member of the Sodus Grange, and married Elsie
Burns.

Peek, Winslow J., was born on the old homestead two miles west of Newark August
31, 1841. He was educated in the common schools, has had a variety of occupations,
and is now a farmer and fruit grower. He has been section foreman of the West Shore
Railway six years. He has also followed the canal several years, owning the boat F.
M. Allerton. December 17, 1862, he married Levina J. Shaver, formerly of Broome
county. His father, Abram, was born in Nelson, Madison county September 4, 1805.



FAMILY SKETCHES. 263

He married three times, first Martha Holdridge of his native place and they had two
sons, Andrew and Germaine, who reside in Michigan. For his second wife he married
Asenath Heath, of Penfield, Monroe county, by whom he had four children, Martha J.,
Adaline M., Winslow J., as above, and Sarah A. For his third wife he married Rhoda
E. Covey, of Penfield, formerly of Columbia county, and they had two daughters, Grace
A. and Bertha E., the eldest residing in Kansas and the other a teacher at home. Mr.
Peek has resided on this homestead fifty-five years. His grandfather, Abram, was a
soldier in the Revolutionary War. Mrs. Peek's father, George Shaver, was born in
Greenbush, Columbia county, in 1818, and came here with his parents when a boy. He
married Hannah Shartz.of this town, and they had five children. Mr. Peek is a member
of Newark Lodge No. 83 F. & A. M.

Patrick, the late Isaac N., was born in Pittsford, Monroe county, November 7, 1822,
and came to this town with his parents when three years old. He was educated in the
district schools and was always a farmer. December 23, 1859, he married Mary Ann
Deny, who was born April 10, 1840, in Fendrayton, Cambridgeshire, England. They
had two children, Sarah E., who married John C. Penoyer, of Bristol, Ontario county,
and they had three children. Walter J. was born February 8, 1865, was educated in
the district schools and at Newark Union School and Academy, and is the farmer on
the home farm. February 7, 1884, he married Julia L. Bloom of this town, and they
had one son, Newton J., born April 17, 1888, who died August 7, 1893. Patrick died
March 22, 1888, mourned by a bereaved wife and family. He was a member of the
Masonic order. His grandfather, John, was born March 1, 1788, and was a captain in
the War of 1812. Mrs. Patrick's brother, Aldred Deny, was a soldier in the late war
in the cavalry branch of the service, was promoted to the position of colonel. John
Patrick Avas a manufacturer of plows. The Patrick family located on this homestead
about 1828. The ancestry of this family is Scotch and English.

Pitts, Jesse G., was born in Chatham, Columbia county, June 7, 1823, and was edu-
cated in the common schools and Kinderhook Academy. In 1845 he came to Geneva
Ontario county, where he engaged in saddlery business, including harnesses and trunks
until 1852. He then came to Newark, where he embarked in the hardware business,
in company with Eli Van Valkenburg, under the firm name of Pitts & Van Valkenburg.
They sold out in 1854, and Mr. Pitts then went on his farm, north of the village and
sold timber, remaining two years. June 2, 1859, he married Heien R. Day of West-
field, Mass., and they have one adopted daughter, Louisa, now Mrs. Calvin P. M. Vary,
a banker in this place. They have two children : Grace and Calvin. Mr. Pitts has re-
sided in New York seven years, also in Brooklyn seven years, returning to Newark
about 1873, where he has conducted a boot and shoe business about twenty years, in-
cluding the manufacture of moccasins under letters patent about six or eight thou-
sand dozen pairs annually, selling them to jobbers and the finding trade. Mr. Pitts'
father, John W., was born at the old home in Columbia county in 1795, and came here
at an early date. He married Polly Gifford. of his native town, and has six children.
He died in 1874 and his wife in middle life. Mrs. Pitts' father, David M. Day, was
born in Westfield, Ma»s. He married Eliza Johnson of Bristol, Conn., and they had
two children: Helen R. and Martin. Both father and mother are deceased. Mr. Pitts'
father was a soldier in the war of 1812.

Pulver, John, was born in Schoharie, N. Y., in 1807, a son of John M., who came to
Sodus in 1829. Their ancestors came from Holland in an early day and settled in
Dutchess county. John M. married Rebecca Millis, and their children were : Serene,
John, Jane, Dorcas, William, Daniel, Anson and Jerome. John settled in Sodus and is
engaged in farming. He married Mrs. Lucinda, widow of William Ellsworth. Ami
Ellsworth, the pioneer of the family in Wayne county came from East Windsor, Conn.,
on foot in 1800, and took up 100 acres of land on the lake west of Sodus Point. He
built a log house and returned to Connecticut for his family. They endured all the



264 LANDMARKS OF WAYNE COUNTY.

hardships that fall to the lot of a settler in a new country. His wife was Chloe Allen,
and in 1807 learning that she had inherited some property in Connecticut, she made the
journey there and back on horseback alone. Their children were : Ami, Sophia, Hul-
dah, Aurelia, Julia A., Levi, Ann, William, who settled on the homestead and was a
prosperous and enterprising fanner. He married Lucinda I. Selby of Palmyra, and
died in 1853.

Potwine, Thomas H., the first of the family to settle in Wayne county, came from
East Windsor, Conn., in 1835 and settled in the eastern part of Sodus, purchasing a
farm north of the Ridge. The family were of English and French descent. Caleb the
father of Thomas H. was a son of the Rev. Thomas Potwine, who was pastor of the
Presbyterian Church at East Windsor from 1753 to 1802. Thomas H. was a man of
thrift and energy. He was a regular attendant and liberal supporter of the Sodus
Presbyterian Church. He married Jane Trumbull, a descendent of Governor Trum-
bull of Connecticut, and their children were : Mary, who married William Sergeant of
Sodus; Thomas, who died in early manhood, and Charles, who settled in Sodus, and is
a prominent farmer. He is a member of Sodus Lodge, No. 392, F. & A. M., and
Wayne Chapter. He married Emma A, daughter of John Gates of Sodus, and they
had five children : Henry H., Charles J., Nora E., Morris M. and William T. Thomas
H. Potwine died March 15, 1894.

Proseus, Elias, was born in Columbia county in 1819, and is a son of John, whose
father, John Proseus, sr., came from Germany and settled in Columbia county, ard in
1831 came to Sodus and purchased a farm northeast of the village on the lake road. He
was a prosperous and thrifty farmer. He married Hannah Coon, and their children
were: John, Peter I., Henry, Hannah, Betsey, Ira, Anson, Jonas and Margaret L.
John Proseus, jr., died in Columbia county in 1821. He married Ella Carnun, and their
children were : Hiram, who married Catherine Harvey of Sodus and settled in Wiscon-
sin ; Elias and Robert, who never married. They settled on the Proseus homestead in
Sodus and were farmers. Robert died in 1893. Elias Proseus has held the office of
highway commissioner three years.

Oaks, Charles G., was born in Rose August 22, 1834, son of Charles G., and Sallie S.
(Hills) Oaks, he a native of Craftsbury, Vt., and she a native of Pittstown, N. Y. The
father of our subject was reared on a farm and started in life at the age of twelve, his
father dying at that time. He learned the cooper's trade and also followed farming.
He came to Rose in 1830 and here lived and died. He owned ninety acres of land. He
Avas a strong temperance man. Subject was reared on a farm and educated in Red
Creek Academy. He followed teaching several terms, and then followed farming and
also worked at the cooper's trade. He traveled for Ellwanger & Barry, nurserymen of
Rochester, for two years. He was also engaged in selling maps for two years previous
to the war, and owns a fruit farm of fifty acres known as the Robert Wilson farm. In
1885 he engaged in the manufacture of boxes and the ssleof paints, oils, etc., in partner-
ship with his son Charles W., and the firm is known as Oaks & Son. Subject was in
the lumber business two years previous with H. L. Munn. He enlisted in 1864 and
served ten months, and was at Lee's surrender. He has been justice of the peace three
years, and is a member of the I. 0. G. T., of North Rose. He married Hulda A. Wil-
son, a native of Rose and daughter of Robert and Catharine Wilson, natives of Dundee,
Yates county, who came to Rose where they died. Mr. Oaks ard wife have four chil-
dren : Katie, wife of James Thomas, of Huron ; Charles W., who is a partner with his