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Arad Thomas.

Pioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations online

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Online LibraryArad ThomasPioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations → online text (page 12 of 32)
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a framed building for a store on the corner of Main
and Canal streets, where the Empire block now
stands.

Ingersoll & Wells (^Dudley Wells) traded some
years in this store, and business Avas carried on in
the warehouse by Ingersoll and Levvis P. Buckle^y.

In the struggle for the location of the County build-
ings, Mr. Ingersoll engaged with spirit. In competing
with the village of Gaines, he offered tlie commission-
ers appointed to locate the Court House, the grounds
on which the Court House now stands as a free gift,
which offer was finally accepted and the location thus
secured here.

Early in 1826 he removed to Ablion to reside. He
was prominent among those engaged in effecting the
organization of the county of Orleans from the county
of Genesee, and in establishing all those institutions



OF OllLEANS COUNTY. 1 Gl

required and eonseqiient upon beginniiio: a m-w
county.

In 1835, having sold or contracted for the sale of mowt
of his land in Albion, he removed to Detroit and en-
gaged in large hnsiness there, in which he sustained
severe loss ; and in 1845 he went to Lee, Oneida county,
N. Y., at which place he resided until his death.

Mr. Ingersoll married in his youth Miss Polly Hal-
sey, daughter of Col. Nathan Halse}\ of Columhia
county. She died in 1831.

For a second wife he married Miss Elizabeth C.
Brown, of Lee who survived him.

Mr. Ingersoll died February 21, 1868, aged eighty-
two years. He was naturally of a strong constitn-
tion and of an active temperament and ap-
peared twenty 3'ears younger than he was. Although
the later j^ears of his life \\ore spent awa}' from Albion,
he was often here and always manifested the deepest
interest in the prosperity of the village and county of
Orleans. At his request his remains were Ivi-ought to
Albion after his decease and deposited besid*:' liis first
wife in Mount Albion Cemetery.

His second wife, Mrs. Elizabeth C. Ingersoll, died
August 17th, 1869. After her marriage, she resided
several years in Albion and shared with her hus-
band in a feeling of attachment to the place and peo-
ple, wdiich proved itself in a generous gift of ten
thousand dollars, which she made in her will to tin;
Prostestant Episcopal Church in Albion. Both Mr.
Ingersoll and his wife were members of that com-
munion.

•Il'STUS IN(ii:HSOLL.

Hon. Justus Ingersoll was born in Stanford, Dutch-
ess coiinty, IST. Y., in 1794. He learned the trade of
tanner.

On the br(>aking out of war with Gi'eat Britain, in



162 PIONKER HISTORY

1812, he entered the United States army as ensign in
the twenty -third regiment of infantry. He served on
the nortliern frontier in several engagements, and was
in the celebrated charge on Queenstown Heights. He
was promoted to the rank of Captain for meritorious
service.

In one of the battles in Canada, in which he served
as Captain of Infantry, he was wounded in the foot.
Refusing to leave his Company, and being unable to
walk, he mounted a horse and continued with his
men. In another engagement he was shot through
the body, the ball lodging in a rib. He refused to
lia\'e it removed, as he was informed a portion of
rib would have to be cut away, which would proba-
bly- causfi him to stoop ever after in his gait.

He was a favorite with his company and much es-
teemed by Gen. Scott under whom he served.

In 1818 he came to Elba, Genesee county, N. Y.,
and soon after settled at Shelby Center, in Orleans
(^ounty, where he carried on tanning and shoe-mak-
ing, and held the office of Justice of the Peace.

After tlie canal was made navigable, and Medina
began to be settled as a village, he removed there,
built a large tannery and transfered his business
to that place.

He was appointed Indian Agent and postmaster at
^ledina, by President Jackson ; he was also Judge
of Orleans County Courts.

His tannery being accidental!}' burned and sus-
taining other misfortunes in business, he removed to
Detroit with his brother Nehemiah, in 1835, where
they went into the leather business on a large scale,
iu which they were not finally successful.

Mr. Ingersoll was a man of firm and persistent
charactei', active and enteiprising — esteemed among
his acqy.aintances for the u])rightness of his conduct



OF ORLEANS COUNTY. 163

sand the courtesy of his manners. He died in 1845.

LORENZO BURROWS.

Lorenzo Burrows was born in Groton, Conn.,

:March loth, 1805. In his boyhood he attended the
Academy at Plainfield, Conn,, and Westerly, Rhode
Island. In Nov., 1824, he came to Albion, N. Y., to

riissist his brother, Roswell S. Burrows, as his clerk.
He continued to act in that capacity until in 1826,

.after he attained his majority, he went in company
with his brother in business under the firm name of
R. S. & L. Burrows.

He assisted his brother in establishing the Bank of
Albion in 1839, and after it went into operation he
was appointed Cashier and devoted himself mainly
to the business of the bank and to the duties of Re-

• ceiver of the Farmer's Bank of Orleans, until in No-
vember, 1848, he was elected a Member of the House

/ of Representatives in Congress, for the District which
comprised Niagara and Orleans counties. He was
re-elected to Congress in Nov., 1850, and served in
that office, in all, four years.

Since his election to Congress he has done no busi-
ness as an officer of this bank.

He was elected Comptroller of the State of New
York in Nov. 1855, which office he held one term of
two yearb\

In Feb., 1858, he was chosen a Regent of the Uni-
versity of the State of New York, an office he has

■Jield ever since.

He was County Treasurer of Orleans county in the
year 1840, and Supervisor of the town of Barre for
the year 1845. He was Assignee in Bankruptc}' for
the county of Orleans, under the law of 1841. In
the year 1862 he was appointed one of the Conmiis-

•sioners of Mount Albion Cemetery— an office to

-which no salary or ])ecuniary compensation is



164 PIONEEK HISTORY

attached, but wliicli is attended with considerable-
labor. To this labor he has devoted all the time neces-
sary, discharging the principal part of the duties
of tlie Commission, with what success let the beauti-
ful terraces, trees, paths, walks, avenues, roads, and
improvements whicli adorn tliis "city of the dead," ~
and which remain the creations of his taste and skill,
bear witness.

Since leaving Congress Mr. Barrows has employed,
himself principally in discharging the duties of the
offices above mentioned in taking care of consider-
able real estate he owns in connection with his broth-
Qi\ and in liis own riglit, in, or near Albion, and else-
wliere ; and in tlie enjoyment of such leisure as an
ample fortune whicli he has secured in ea-ilier
life affords, in social intercourse with his family
and friends.

(JEOnOE E. MIX.

'• I was born in (Treenlield, Saratoga county, IST. Y. .
yiy fathers name was Abiathar Mix. In May, 1817,
when I was less than one year old, my father re-
moved with his family to what is now Barre, Orleans
county, ]N^. Y. There I had my bringing up and have
(^ver since resided. My Genesee cradle was a sap-
trcnigh, Genesee school rooms were log houses, log
barns, and other like accommodations.

I stayed at home and worked on the farm summers,
and went to schools wint(U's when I could, until I was
•nghteen years of age. My father then gave me my
time, saying he had nothing else he could give me
then, but that I could make his house my home.

After that I worked by the day and month summers^
and attended school winters — went several terms 'to>
an Acad(»my.

At the age of twenty-three I commenced teaching,
district scliool and tau";ht five winters in succession-



OF ORLEAXS COUJV^Ti'. 165

During those five years I traveled considerably in the
western and southern States, and became quite a rad-
ical reformer in sentiment.

I was nominated County Clerk by the Liberty Par-
ty but was not elected.

I married Miss Ellen De Bow, of Batavia, N. Y.,
in 1852.

I have alwa}'s made a living, and got it honestly I
think, and have laid by a little every year for myself
-and others I have to care for. I never sued a person
and never was sued. I never lost a debt of any great
.amount, for if a person who owed me could not pay
it, I forgave the debt.

I made a public profession of religion when I was
eleven 3'ears old, and several years afterwards united
with the Free Congregational Church in Gaines and re-
mained a member of that Church as long as it was in
being.

I never held any civil office of profit. My political
principles were not formerl}' jjopular with the major-
ity of the people.

I held military office in the 214th regiment X. Y.
State militia, from 1837 to 1844, and served as ensign,
lieutenant and captain.

I have lived to see slavery abolished in this coun-
tr}^. The landless can now have land if they will.
Now let us drive licpior and tobacco from the coun-
try.

GEORGE E. MIX."
Barre, February 1869.

•'TIIINCJS I CAN r.iniE.MiJKK."

BY GKOUOE E. MfX.

'•I can remember the dark and heavy forest that
-once covered this land, with only now and then a lit-
tle ' clearing ' that made a little hole to let in the
.sunsliine ; the large creeks tliat seemed to How and



166 PIONEER HISTORY

flood the whole country during a freshet ; the large '
swamps and marshes, in almost every valley ; the
wild deer that roamed the woods almost undisturbed
hy men ; the bear that plodded his wa}^ through the "
swamps and the wolf that made night hideous with '
his howling,

I remember when the roads ran crooking aroundi
on the high grounds, and when roads on the low
lands were mostly causeways of logs. When almost
all the houses were made of logs, and almost all the
chimne^^s were made of sticks and mud, and the fire- •
places were of Dutch pattern.

But the sound of the axman was heard at his toil
through the forest, hurling the old trees headlong.
The woods and the heavens were lit up with the lurid
glare of fire by night, and the heavy forest sooiii
melted away. Those little holes in the old woods,
soon became enlarged to broad fields of waving"
grain, that glistened in the sun light.

The foaming creeks soon became rivulets, or dried
up. The swamps disappeared and nothing remains
to show where many of the great marshes of the old
time were. The deer, bear and wolf have departed.
The crooked I'oads have been straightened, and the
log causeways have been buried out of sight. The
log houses, stick chimneys, and Dutch fireplaces,
are reckoned among the things that were and are not
now.

I can remember when my mother spun Hax on a
little wheel and carded wool and tow by hand and
spun them on a great wheel ; when she colored her
yarn with th(^ bark and leaves (»f trees and had a
loom, and wove cloth and made it up into ch)thing
for her family.

I can remember when my father plowed with a
wooden plow with an iron share and reaped his grain
with a sickle and threshed it with a flail ; Avhen he •



;0F 0KLEAN8 COUNTY. 167

mowed his grass with a scythe and raked it witli a
hand rake. I remember when no fruit grew here but
wild fruit, but we soon liad i)eaches in profusion,
bushels of them rotting under the trees.

At the first settlement of this county, fruits, sucli
as grapes, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries,
gooseberries, raspberries and mandrakes, were to be
found growing wild. We had nuts from the trees,
such as butternuts, chestnuts, beachnuts and wal-
nuts.

Pumpkins, squashes and melons, were largelj^
raised and of great value to the people. Pumpkins
were cut in strips and diied on poles in the log
cabins and kept for use the year round. Maple trees
furnished, us nearly all our sugar. At our fall par-
ties and our husking and logging bees we had pump-
kin pies. At our winter parties we had nuts and
popped corn and in the summer, berries and
ci'eam.

I can remember when the common vehicle for trav-
eling about was an ox sled with wooden shoes ar.d
the only wheel carriages were lumber wagons and
they were few, when the Ridge Road was the main
thoroughfare by which to reach the old settlements
and stage coaches were the fastest means of convey-
ance.

It was considered an impossibility to make the
Erie Canal. People said possibly water might be
made to run up hill, but canal boats, nevei-.

Some said they would be willing to die. having
lived long enough when boats in a canal should tif)at
through their farms ; but afterwards when the^^ saw
the boats passing by, the}^ wanted to live more than
ever to see what would be done next.

Next after the canal came the railroad. I heard
the cars were running at Batavia and I went out there
to see the great wonder of the age, and saw them.



1/58 PIONEEK HISTORY

We were next told of tlie telegrapli. Knowing ones
said that was a liumbug, sure. I remember even
some members of Congress ridiculed Professor Morse
and liis telegrapli as a delusion. But in sj)ite of rid-
icule, and doubt, and incredulity, the telegrapli be-
came a success, and b}^ it the ends of the earth have
been brought together. These things I have seen and
remembered wliile living here in Orleans county.

GEORGE E. MIX."

MRS. LYDIA MIX.

•' I v/as born in Brantford, Connecticut, in 1783. At
the age of eighteen I married Abiathar Mix, and ec-
moved to Dutchess county, N. Y., where my hus-
band owned a farm, on which we lived, working it
chiefly by hired men, my husband being a mason b}'
trade, labored at that ])usiness in the summer and
winters he made nails and buttons.

We resided there until Ma}', 1817, wht-n we sold
our farm and removed to Bai-re, Orleans Co., and lo-
cated on lot 'S2, township 14, iMiige 2. Very little
land was then cleared in that neiglil)oihood, and e^'en
tliat vras covered with stumps of trees. Mr. Mix had
been here the yeav before and engaged a man to build
a log house for him. AVhen we came on we found oui-
house with walls up and roof on. My husband split
some bass wood logs and hewed them to plank, with
which he laid a floor, and we began housekeeping in
our new house.

My husband had ten or iifteeu Jiundred dollai'S in
money, when he moved here. He took an article for
a large tract of land and went to making potash aud
selling goods and merchandise, in company with his
brother, Ebenezer IMix. who was then a clerk in the
land office of the Holland Company, at Batavia.

The settlers, building their houses of logs and theii-
chimneys of sticks ami mud, my husband found noth-



OF OKLEANS COU^VTY. 169

ing to do at liis trade, until they began making briclv
and malving tlieir cliimneys of stone, witli brick ovens.

He then closed out his mercantile business and
went to work at his trade and being something of a
lawyer, he used to do that kind of business consider-
ably for tlie settlers.

We had pretty hard times occasionally but managed
to get along with what we had and raised our seven
children to be men and women.

My husband died in 1856. Three of my children

have died. I shall be 86 years old in a few days, if I

live.

LYDIA MIX."

Barre, February, 1869.

.roSEPil JIAKT.

Josepli Hart was born in Berlin, Hartford Co..
Conn., in Nov., 1775, and died in Barre, Orleans Co..
N. Y., Jul}', 1855.

Mr. Hart moved to Seneca, Ontario County, N. Y..
in the year 1806. In the fall of 1811, he came to Bar-
re and took an article from the Holland Land Co., of
lot 34, township 15, range 1, containing 360 acres, the
principal part of which is still owned by his sons,
William and Joseph.

In April, 1812, in company witli Elijah Barrow,
Frederick Holsenburgh and Silas Benton, then 3'oung
unmarried men, he returned and built a log house on
his lot and moved his famil}' into it in October follow-
ing.

Elijah Darrow took an article of part of lot 1, town-
ship 15, range 2, held the land and Avorked on it about
two years, then sold it to Mr. Hart, who sold it to Eb-
enezer Rogers, about the year 1816.

Sikis Benton took an article of part of a lot lying-
next north of Darrow' s land, which was for many
years afterwards owned by Samuel Pitch. Benton
made a clearing on his land, built a log house on it,



170 PIONEER HISTORY

in wliicli he lived several years and in which his wife,
Mrs. Silas Benton, tanght a scliool, probably the tirst
school in the town of Barre, boarded several men and
did her house work at the same time, all in one room.
A log school house was afterwards built on Benton's
land, to which Mrs. Benton moved her school, whicli
was said to have been the first school house built in
town.

Frederick Holsenburgh took an article of part of
the lot lying- next north of Benton' s, in the village of
Albion, on the west side of the Oak Orchard Road. —
The Depot of the N. Y. Central Railroad stands on
the Holsenburgh tract.

Joseph Hart mariied Lucy Kirtland, wlio was born
in Saybrook, Conn., and who died at Adrian, Mich.,
January, 1868, aged 89 years.

He was here during the war of 18J2, and was sever-
al times called out to do militar}^ sei-vice in that war.
He was a prominent and active man in all matters
pertaining to the organization of society in the new
country. He assisted in forming the Presbyterian
Church, in Albion, in wiiich he was a ruling elder
Avhile lie lived, and from his office in tliat church he
Avas alwa3"s known as Dea. Hart.

He almost always held some towji office, and for
many of his later 3^eai-s he was overst^er of the poor of
the town of Barre, a position tlie kindness of his na-
ture well qualified him to fill. His fortunate location
near the thrivina- village of Albion, which has been
(extended over a part of his farm, made him a wealthy
man. Tlirough a long life, he maintain(ed a high
charactei' for probity and good judgment, and died
respected by all wlio knew him.

ADEN FOSTER

Was T)orn in Sudbury, Vermont, July 20, 1791 ;
married Sarah Hall, of Brandon, Vt., Jan. 28, 1817;



OF ORLEANS COUNTY. 171

came to Bane in the winter of 1817 and settled on lot
80, township 14, range 1, half a mile south of Barre
Center. He cleared np his farm and resided on it un-
til his death, Feb. 18, 1838. Mr, Foster was an active
business man, a leading man among the early settlers.
He was for several years Capt, of a militia compan}-,
and for some years a Justice of the Peace.

ALEXIS WAllD.

Alexis Ward was born in the town of Addi-
son, Vermont. May 18, 1802, His parents removed
to Caj^uga county. New York, when he was quite a
lad. He studied law with Judge Wilson of Auburn,
and w^as admitted to tlu^ bar in 1823. In 1824 he re-
moved to Albion, where he was soon appointed a Jus-
tice of the Peace.

On the refinement of J udg(e Foot, who was the iirst
Judge of Orleans count}^, Mr. Ward was appointed
First Judge in his place Feb. 10, 1830, an office he
held by re-appointment until January 27, 1840.

In 1834-5 he Avas mainly instrumental in procuring
the charter incorpoiating the Bank of Orleans, which
was the first bank incorporated in Orleans county,
and in 1836 was elected its President and held that
office until his death.

He was one of the movers in founding the Phipps
Union Seminary and the Albion Academy, and was
always liberal in sustaining our public schools.

It was mainly owing to his exertions that the Roch-
ester, Lockport and Niagara Falls Railroad was built,
and if it has ])roved a beneht the thanks for its con-
struction are chietly due to Judge Ward.

The Suspension Bridge across Niagara River made
a part of his original plan in connexion Avitli this rail
road, and his arguments and exertions were? mainly
effectual in inducing Am«*ri



Online LibraryArad ThomasPioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations → online text (page 12 of 32)