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 24 of 32)
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The general health of our family, and of those who
became our neighbors, continued good, with trifling
exceptions in the form of ague and fevers, &c., until
after the war of 1812.

During this war much suffering prevailed, as no
provisions had been laid by, and the war necessarily
took the time of many who would have otherwise
been raising all necessary food, thus ceasing to be
producers, and yet remaining consumers. This pro-
duced a great dearth of j)rovisions, and much suffer-
ing, consequently in some instances whole families
left the county, some on foot ; in some instances wo-
men went away carrying their children in their arms,
in hopes of reaching a land of plenty and safety.

At the taking of Fort Niagara, I and most of our
family, and our neighbors of sufficient age and size to
bear arms, went to the defence of our country. Du-
ring our absence a band of Tuscarora Indians on a
retreat passed through our neighborhood and greatly
frightened our women and children before they could
be made to understand that these Indians were our

Uj} to this time the settlers were sparse and illy
prepared to encounter the horrors of war in our
midst, and were in constant preparation for immedate

The hardships and privations and sufferings of our
people consequent upon the war, were speedily fol-
lowed by fearful sickness.


About this time emigrants coming to this region
w«re many and frequent, and as the population in-
creased so the sickness increased. Great and ahnost
universal suffering among the inhabitants followed. If
any were so fortunate as to escape sickness themselves,
their physical abilities were overtaxed with care of
those who were sick, and still the improvement of the
county continued ; perfect harmony abounded among
the people, and contentment, founded on hope, was

On June 1st, 1825, just fifteen years after dining
off tliat stump above referred to, I was married to
Miss Eliza Reed, of Cayuga county, IST. Y., and we
took up our residence within a stones thrown of the
log hut first erected by m}^ father. I have resided on
the place ever since, and am happy and contented in
the realization of the hopes entertained when a boy
fighting musketoes and felling trees in the tlien wil-
derness, w^here is now a good flourishing neighbor-
, hood of inhabitants.


Ridgeway, June, 1864.


Lyman Bates was born in Palmyra, N. Y., Janu-
ary 16th, 1798.

In November, 1819, he came to Ridgeway and
commenced clearing a new farm.

In January, 1821, he married Miss Abinerva
Kingman, who was born in Palmyra in June, 1796.
When not employed in discharging the duties of
public office, in wdiich much of his life has been spent,
he has labored on his farm. He has served nine
years as Supervisor of the town of Ridgeway, been
several terms justice of the peace, and held othei-
town offices. He served one term of five years as a
.Judge of the Old Court of Common Pleas of Orleans


county. He was a member of Assembly for Orleans
county in 1828. He was President of the Farmer's
Bank of Orleans, and lias always been deeply en-
gaged in business.

Coming here when everything was new and unset-
tled, lie identified himself with every movement
made to develop the resources o± the country, and
to establish and maintain good order and prosperity..
Of a plausible address and sound mind, honorable,
fair, impartial and honest in all he did, his party, his
iriends and all who knew him, have ever made him
the prominent man in his town and neighborhood,
Aviiose opinions have been sought, whose counsel has
been followed, and whose influence for good has been
seen and felt.


David Hooker was born in Connecticut, July 9th,.
1771. He married Betsey Saunders in 1795,

Mr. Hooker settled in Ridgeway, on lot thirty-
seven, township fifteen, range three, in February,

Soon afterwards in company with Dr. William
^Vhite and Otis Turner, he was engaged in building
the mills on Oak Orchard Creek, since known as
Morris Mills, which are now destroyed. He served
in the war against Great Britain, and was at the
taking of Fort Erie.

His wife died in Mai'cli, 1813. He married his seC'
ond wife, Polly Pixley, February, 1814.

He built the framed liouse now occupied by his
son, Perley H. Hooker, in 1816.

Besides his son Perley, he left one daughter, wliO'
still survives him as widow of the late Harvey Fran-
cis, of Middleport, 'N. Y. David Hooker died Au-
gust 6th, 1847.



Otis Turner removed from AYayne county, and
settled on the Ridge, east of Ridgeway Corners, in tlie
year 1811 . He was a farmer l)y occupation, but pos-
sessing intelligence and aj)titude for business, he was
frequently employed in public, official stations. With
his brother-in-law, Dr. White, and David Hooker, he
built a sawmill on the Oak Orchard Creek, between
Medina and the Ridge, the second in town.

He was a Judge of the Old Court of Common
Pleas of trenesee county, before Orleans was set oft\
and he represented Genesee county as one of her
Members of Assembly in 1823.

He was for many years a prominent member of the
Baptist Church at Medina, being one of the few who
took part in its organization. He died in Rochester,
N. Y., August 14th, 1865.


Thomas Weld, father of a large family who bear
his name, was born in Connecticut in 1771. He mar-
ried Lorana Levins.

They first settled in Vei-mont, and moved to North
Ridgeway in 1817.

Mrs. Weld died in 1820, and Mr. AVeld, November,
18th, 18o2.

They had five sons and two daughters. The sons
were Elisha, Jacob, Andrew, Elias, and Marston.
They all settled near their father. Elias now lives
where his fatlier did. They were industrious and
thrifty farmers.


Samuel Church was born in Brookfield, Massachu-
setts, in 1781. He married Ann Daniels. They set-
tled in North Ridgeway, in 1816. Mrs. Church died
in 1855. They had four sons.



AVilliani N. Preston was born in Lyme, N. H., in'
1781. His wife, Sarali Daniels, was born in Pem-
broke, N. H., in 1785.

They settled in North Ridgeway, a mile and a half
north of the Ridge, in 1819.

His wife died October 3d, 1831. He died Decem-
ber 29th, 1841. He had three sons, Isaac Samuel,
and Williston.


James Daniels was born in Pembroke, N. H., in;
1783. He settled in North Ridgeway, on the town
line. A few years since he moved to Michigan. He
was brother of Grosvenor Daniels. He had four


William Cochrane was born in Pembroke, 'N. H.,.
in 1781. He married Rlioda Mndgett, of Pembroke.
They settled in Ridgeway in 1819. They had four
sons and three daughters. William Cochrane, of
Waterport, is eldest of the sons.

V/ILLIAM coiin.

William Cobb was born in Massachusetts. He
married Hannah Hemenway. They settled in Ridge-
way in 1817. They had four sons and one daugh-
ter. He died on the fEirm where he settled, April Ist,
1855, aged sixty-six years.

S K Y MOr H ]Sr I ' Kl )0C K .

Seymour jNIurdock was born in Dutchess county,
N. Y., iiil7G4.

He married Catharine Buck of Amenia. She \vas
born in 17G8.


They moved from Greene county to Ridgeway in
1810, and located on the Ridge Road, about live
miles east of Johnson's Creek. At that time there
was no settler between Mr. Murdock's settlement and
lake Ontario on the aorth ; none south to the swamp
but Coon and Walsworth in Shelby, and east and
west on the Ridge it was several miles to any neigl)-

The nearest postofRce, store or church, was at Ba-
tavia, thirty miles distant.

The nearest gristmill was at Niagara Falls, forty
miles distant.

Mr. Murdock was one of tlie first settlers on the
Ridge, in Ridge wa}^

He had eight sons and four daughters. His sons
names were Israel, John, Seymour B., Henry, Zimri,
Jasper, Hiram, and William.

Israel kept public house some lifteen years on the
Ridge Road. He was one of the best business men
in town. He died in 1831.

John died in Gaines, September 19tli, 1860. Mr.
Seymour Murdock died April 14tii, 1833. His wife
died September 7th, 1823.


Grosvenor Daniels was born in Pembroke, Rocking-
ham county, N. H., May 3d, 1793.

He married Sally Palmer, of Vermont, in April,
1813. She died in July, 18.^4, and he married Florinda
Hicks, in 1855.

Leaving his family in Vermont, Mr. Daniels came
to Ridge way in the spring of 1815 and took an article
of part of lot forty- seven, townshij) lifteen, range

Robert Simj3son came with Mr. Daniels and took
one hundred acres adjoining his land. At that time


there was no settlement between Ridgeway Corners
and Lyndonville, in Yates.

Simpson and Daniels built for themselves a camj)
and began cntting the trees on their lands, getting
their washing done and bread baked at Eli Moore' s,
on the Ridge. After cutting the trees on five or six
acres, Mr. Daniels went over to Canada to work a
few weeks to get money, as lie could get none in
Ridge way. After a few days he was taken sick with
fever and ague, of which he did not get cured until
the next spring. Being unable to work, he returned
to Vermont, where he arrived in December, 1815.
The next winter he started to move his family to
his western home, on an ox sled. He had sixty dol-
lars in money and thirty dollars worth of leather.
On arriving at Rome, N.Y., the snow went off and he
bought a wagon, on which he made the remainder of
his journey, and on arriving at his log cabin home
he had spent all his leather and money but six cents,
and owed six dollars for money he borrowed of a
friend on th(^ journey.

The next summer, 1810, was the cold season. He
had not got his land fitted for crops ; produ(;e through
the country was cut off by the frost, and Mr. Daniels
found great difficult}^ in getting food for his family,
but having recovered from his long sickness of the
former year, and being strong and resolute, he worked
with a will and got thiough until lie had raised some-
thing on his land.

Being among the first settlers in his neighboiliood,
he had raised produce and had it to sell to settlers,
who came in abundantl}' for several years next after,
and soon found himself in affluence, a condition in
which he has ever since remained.

After a few years on the lot Ik? first took up, lie
bought of Abiier Balcoin the fai-ni he now lives on.
Having taste and ability foi- military service, he was


commissioned Ensign not many years after lie came
here, and rose hy regular promotions to Brigadier
General in tlie militia.

He lias been a prominent man in public aflairs,
and though he has never sought official distinction in
civil life, he has been honored with various town
and local offices .


Mrs. Laura Baker was born in Bristol, Vermont.
March 16th, 1799, and married Samuel Bostwick,
December 4th, 1816.

In January, 1817, the}' emigrated from Fairfield,
V^ermont, in a wagon drawn by a yoke of three year
old steers, to Shelby, N. Y.

While at AVhitesboro, on their journey, their
trunks were broken by thieves and robbed of ever}'-
tliing valuable. This obliged them to sell part of their
clothing to pay expenses b}^ the way. They traveled
in company with another ox team with another famil}'
of emigrantb', averaging from eight to nineteen miles
R day.

They remained the last night on the road, at Gaines.
The snow fell that night a foot deep. The road was
so bad and the steers so exhausted by travel and
hard work, that Mrs. Bostwick was obliged to walk
the last six miles of the way on foot, as she had done
half the wa}' from Vermont.

The house into which they, with the other v>-agon
load of emigrants, moved, was a nice log building
with one door, no window or light except what came
down cliimney or between the logs. It was then
occupied by another family from Vermont, former

A few weeks later anotlier family of acipiaintances
came on from A'ermont and moved into the same
house, where they all resided until other houses could
be built.


The inmates of this cabin now numbered twenty-
five persons. Their furniture was two cliairs, a spin-
ning wheel and a few pieces of iron ware. Their
table was a chest, their bedsteads were round poles
bottomed with bark, one un each side of the room,
the other beds were made on the floor. Holes bored
in the logs, in which, pins were driven, supj)orted
shelves against the walls.

The next spring, while making sap-troughs, Mr.
Bostwick cut his foot and was disabled from work
four weeks. Mrs. Bostwick hired a few trees tapjDed,
gathered the sap herself, boiled it in the house in a
twelve quart kettle, a six quart pot, and a small tea
kettle, and made one hundred and sixt}^ pounds of

When th(? snow went off she made a garden in
which she set gooseberry, raspberry and blackberry
roots which she found in the woods. She never
feared wild animals that roamed in the forest, but she
used to admit her fear of the Indians who frequently
came along and remained all night, and she would
watch and tremble with fear while they slept like
logs on the floor, with their feet to the fire.

Having worn out the clothing they brought from
the east, Mrs. B. bought a loom and made cloth for
her family and others. She took in weaving of her
neighbors, and received pay in wheat at six shillings
a bushel, though the best she could do with it was to
take it to "R.idgeway Corners and sell it for four shil-
lings a bushel, paid for in goods at a high price.

Mr. Samuel Bostwick died many years ago, and in
the y(\ar 1888 his widow married Mr. Otis Baker, a
thriving farmer of Shelby.

In 1853 he disposed of his farm and moved to Me-
dina, wh(^re they yet resid(\

Married at the age of seventeen years, Mrs. Baker
lias passed a stirring and eventful life in things which


"belong to the settlement of a new conntry. Slie lias
passed through it all in triumph. From pinching
poverty to the possession of abundance, she has
traveled every step, and surrounded by kind friends
and present plenty, she yet remains one of tlie best
specimens of the noble women who did their part in
bringing this county out of the woods.


Nahum Barrett was born in Hinsdale, X. H. He
married Sally Bennett of Westmoreland, N. H., in

In March, 1815, he removed with his family to Ti-
oga county. His wife died there in 1820. In Janua-
ry, 1828, he removed to Ridgeway, and died there
April IStli, following, aged fifty-one years. He had
nine children, of wliom the eldest is


Luther Barrett was born in Windham county, Yt.,
in 1806. While living in his father's family in Tioga
Co., for three years of the time it was live miles from
Ids father's to any school, and when a school was
opened nearer, young Luther never had much op-
portunity to attend it.

In Ma}^, 1825, he left his father's family and came
to Ridgeway and labored for his uncle, Amos Bar-
rett, on his farm. He continued to work out b}" the
month, until the year 1831 he purchased the farm
three-fourths of a mile west from Ridgeway Corners,
on which he has since resided.

He married Miss Almira Flood, February 18th,
1835. She was born in Londonderry, A^ermont, Jan-
uary 2d, 1807.

They have four children, S3'lvcster F., Elsie A.,
married Henry Tanner ; Medora P., and Lod(Mna A,


Lodema iiiarried xindrew Weld, and I'esides in Pax-
ton, Illinois.

Mr. Barrett is a former, wlio by a life of persistent
industry and prudence, lias accumulated a fair prop-
erty, and by a life of honesty and integrity lias se-
cured a fair character. He enjo^^s the confidence of
his townsmen and represented them as Supervisor of
Ridgewa}^ in the years 1857-8.


Christopher Whaley was born in Montville, Con-
necticut, June 16tli, 1798. AVith his parents lu) re-
moved to Yerona, N. Y., in 180;:>.

He was educated as a physician at the medical in-
stitution at Fairfield, Herkimer county, and gradua-
ted as Doctor of Medicine, June 18th, ]819. In Sep-
tember, 1819, he settled in the practice of his profes-
sion at Shelby Center.

In February, 1832, he removed to Medina, where
he resided until his death, October 20th, 1807.

Dr. AYhaley married Mary Ann S. Coffin, March
20tli 1824. iVfter li^r death he married Soph-
ronia Martin in 1841. After her death he married
Carrie E. Perry, July IGth, 1863. His ^\ddow and
three children survived him.

Dr. Whaley devoted his life zealously to the jirac-
tice of his profession, in which lie had a large ride
and eminent success. It is truly said of him "lie
never refused his services to any one in need of them,
whether they were rich or poor, and without taking
into consideration the possibility of losing his fee.''


Andnnv AVeld was born in Heading, A'ermont, Au-
gust 6th, 1804. lie canu^ to llidgeway in the fall of
1817, in the family of his father, Thomas Weld.


The}' came in a wagon drawn by three yoke of
oxen, being twenty- seven days on their journey. Mr.
AVeld settled on lot nine, township fifteen, range

Andrew resided with his father until he was twen-
ty years old, then lal)ored one year for his brother,
EJislia, on a farm for one hundred dollars.

In February, 1828, he married Roxy Stockwell.
She died May 9th, 1839. He married Clarissa Root
for his second wife. She died December 22d, 1866,
and for his third ^\Mfe he married Mrs. Susan

Mr. Weld is a farmer, industrious and frugal who,
in the honest pursuit of his chosen calling, has laid
up a competence for his support and comfort while
he lives.


AVilliam Jackson was born in Duanesburg, N. Y.,
October 21st, 1799.

He bought an article for one hundred acres of
land in Kidgeway, j)art of lot twenty-one, township
fifteen, range four, in September, 1826, After build-
ing a log house on his lot, he returned to Onondaga
county after his family and brought them to
their new home the next February. His
liouse was without a door or window or floor when
lie moved into it, but blankets for a few days were
good substitutes for doors and windows, when he
made a floor, and doors and lived comfortably.
Prosperit}^ attended his labor. In a short time he
bought more land, wliicli he has fitted and cultivated
into one of the fint^st farms in the county.

Mr. Jackson married Martha Comstock, January
20tli 1822. They have had eleven children, seven of
whom are living.


His father, James Jackson, was born in London,
England, and emigrated to America in early life.


Elijali Hawley was Iborn in Bridgeport, Connecti-
cut, June 2d, 1792.

He married Rlioda Spencer in May, 1805. In May,
1815, lie settled near Ridgeway Corners.

Mr. Hawley was a practical surveyor, and many lines
of lands in Ridgeway and Shelby were traced and
settled by his surveys.

From memoranda found among Mr. Hawley' s pa-
pers after his death, made by himself, in 1814 the
town of Ridgeway, which then comprised the present
county of Orleans, contained six hundred and eighty-
one inhabitants, one hundred and thirty electors, and
but live freeholders worth two hundred and fifty
dollars each.

He was appointed justice of the peace by the coun-
cil in March, 1816, and Judge of Genesee County
Common Pleas, May 23d, 1818, which office he held
until his death.

He Avas Supervisor of Ridgewa}^ in 1818. He was
appointed postmaster at Ridgeway Corners in

He died April 29th, 1820, leaving his widow and
six children surviving. Merwin. S. Hawley of Buffa-
lo is his son.


James Jackson, eldest son of James Jackson, was
born in Duanesburg, N. Y., March 29th, 1798. He
married Maria Marlatte, February 21st, 1819. He
settled on part of lot twenty, townshi23 fifteen, range
four, in Ridgeway, in February, 1823, where he has
since resided.


He lias been a successful farmer, overcoming by
sturdy industry the obstacles of sickness, hardships
and the privations of a new country, by which he
has been beset.

He has had ten children, ]iine of whom survive.
His wife died December 13th, 1870.


John Le Valley was borii at Paris Hill, N. Y., May
'31st, 1810.

His parents removed to Holland, Niagara county,
when he was nine years old. His father died poor,
leaving a widow and five minor children, of whom
John was eldest.

At the age of eighteen he commenced the battle of
life on his own account, with a resolute will his only
capital, and his father s family on his liands to
provide for.

He iirst bought seventy rods of land adjoining the
place on which his father liad resided, and paid for
it in work at seventy-five ceiits a day and boarded
himself. On this he built a small house, into which
he moved his mother and her children. He then
bought on credit one hundred acres of land. On this
he cleared and fenced seventy acres, built a house
and barn, dug wells and made other improvements,
and at the end of three years sold his farm for three
thousand six hundred dollars. This he accomplished
though to begin with he had not a dollar in money,
no team, or stock or seed ; but he did have good
health, a strong will, and a noble mother s wise
counsel and encouragement, to which, he was ready
to listen and follow, in whose welfare he has always
felt the most tender solicitude, wlio has always shared
his house and home, and still survives at the age of
eight}^ years, enjoying in the family of her son all


that filial affection and abundant means can supply
to make lier old age liappy.

In 1835 lie purchased the farm he now occupies,
parts of lots twenty -nine and thirty, township fifteen,-
range four, in Ridge way, containing one hundred and
ninety -two acres.

He has built mills, worked a stone quarry, and
cultivated his large farm with eminent success and
become wealthy.

In 1852 he was appointed one of the Commissioners
by the Legislature to re-survey the Ridge Road.

He has held various civil ofiices in the gift of his
fellow citizens.

He has been three times married, and is now living
with his third wife, Seraphine M., daughter of the
late Joseph Davis, of Ridgeway, to whom he was-
married January 13th, 1856.


Amos Barrett was born in Chesterfield, N. H., May
10th, 1778.

In 1802 he married Lucy Thayer, and soon after
settled in Fabius, Onondaga county, N. Y. His wife
having died, he married Huldali Winegar, December
20th, ^1807.

In 1811 he bought fifty acres of land, part of lot
fifteen, lying one mile west of Ridgeway Corners, on*
the Ridge Road.

He started to move his family to their new home'
with a sleigh and horses and an ox team. One of
his oxen broke his leg while being shod. He made a
single yoke for his remaining ox, hitched him in the
team beside a horse, and thus performed his Journey,
liis team attracting much notice in passing. The
yoke is preserved as a valued relic by his cliil-

He crossed Genesee river on the ice, and arrived at


his lot in Ridgeway, Mairli 14t]i, 1812, and stopped
with his neiglibor, Jonathan (Jobb, in liis log hoiiso,
eighteen by twenty-four feet square, which on this
occasion contained tw(^nty-six iinnates.

Mr. Barrett soon built a log house on his lot and
moved into that. Snow was deep that spring. He
had no hay ; as a substitute he dug up a few brakes
on low land near and felled trees, on which his ani-
mals brows

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 24 of 32)