Chapman Publishing Company.

Portrait and biographical record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York. Containing portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the counties. Together with biographies and portraits of all the presidents of the United States online

. (page 32 of 58)
Online LibraryChapman Publishing CompanyPortrait and biographical record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York. Containing portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the counties. Together with biographies and portraits of all the presidents of the United States → online text (page 32 of 58)
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was well known to the traveling public. The
parental household included eleven children, of
whom six are now living. Of these, William,
who is a resident of Detroit, Mich. , is the only
member living out of Seneca County. Samuel P.
attended the district school until fourteen or fifteen
years old, when the limited circumstances of the
parents made it necessary for him to look out for
himself He accordingly worked on farms in the
neighborhood until a little older, when he went
West. In Glencoe, 111.^, he worked on the farm
of Mr. Gurnee, then President of the Chicago &
Milwaukee Railroad. Later he obtained a posi-
tion on that road as brakeman and baggage-
master, holding the same for three or four years.
Subsequently he became transfer and ticket agent
at Prairie du Chien, Wis., and McGregor, Iowa,
for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad,
filling both positions for eleven and one-half
years. At the expiration of that time he became
baggageman on the train, it being his duty also
to hunt up lost baggage. He followed the road
for twenty-six years, when, tired of the hurry
and bustle which attend such a life, he resigned
and settled down to the peaceful occupation of a
farmer, it being his desire to pass the remainder
of his life amid rural scenes.

The marriage of our subject and Miss Susanna
Lerch occurred in the town of Fayette, January
II, 1882. The lady was born in West Fayette,
October 27, 1853, and is the daughter of Benja-
rcin F. and Jane (Gouger) Lerch. The former,
who was born in Fayette, October 18, 1828,
was a farmer by occupation, as was also his
father, Anthony Lerch. The latter was born in
Northampton Countj^ Pa., in which place he was
married. Afterward he came to Seneca County
and reared a family of five children, all of whom
were born in this county, and of these Benjamin
was third in order of birth. He was married
February 11, 1851, and by his union with Jane
Gouger nine children were born: Elnora E. ,
Susannah, George, Anthony, Perez F., Carrie,
Nellie Jane, and two who died in infancy. June
2, 1879, the wife and mother died. In October,
1883, he was married to Mrs. Arminda Abbott.
Two years later, September 2, 1885, his death

occurred. To Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Lerch have
been born three children: Edna Dean, whose birth
occurred in Milwaukee, Wis. ; Ethel Regina and
lone Jane. Mr. Lerch is a Democrat in politics
and takes an interest in the success of his party.
Socially he belongs to Fayette Lodge No. 539,
F. & A. M., in which order he is an active and
influential worker.

WILLIAM ASHMORE, well known as one
of the upright citizens and retired business
men of Waterloo, was born August 20,
1820, in the city of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire,
England. Not only by birth, but also by many
generations of his ancestors, he is a typical Eng-
lishman, possessing the inherited love of busi-
ness and interest in public affairs characteristic
of his nation. However, since adopting the
United States as his home, he has been loyal to
the institutions of this Government, and believes
it to be the best upon which the sun shines.

The parents of our subject, William, Sr., and
Sarah Ashmore, were natives of England, where
the former followed the occupation of a miller
until his death. The family was a large one,
consisting of eight sons and eight daughters,
nearly all of whom remained in the Old Country.
William, who was next to the youngest, passed
the days of youth in Mansfield, that old city
where still stands a grammar school founded by-
Queen Elizabeth, and an ancient church in which
several successive generations have met for wor-
ship. His educational advantages were limited,
tor at an early age he began to care for himself.
At the age of thirteen he began an apprenticeship
of seven years to the baker's trade, gaining a
thorough knowledge of that occupation, which he
afterward followed as a journeyman in London,
Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and other
cities of England.



It was in 1845 that Mr. Ashmore, then a stal-
wart young man of twenty-five, crossed the At-
lantic, taking passage in a sailing-vessel at Div-
pool, April 24, and landing in New York City
after an uneventful voyage of seven weeks. From
that place he went direct to Utica, Oneida Coun-
ty, N. Y., where he was employed for eighteen
months. Thence he came to Waterloo, reaching
this village in July, 1847. He at once secured
work in a bakery owned by Charles Insley,
remaining- with him until his death, and after-
ward continuing with his successor, John O'Neil,
for several years.

Making a change in his occupation, Mr. Ash-
more entered the hotel business, and for eight
years sucessfuUy ran what was known as the
Ashmore House. Upon retiring from that busi-
ness, he turned his attention to his general prop-
erty interests, to which he has since given his
time and thought. Being a man of economical
disposition, prudent and cautious in his invest-
ments, he has been enabled to accumulate a com-
petency, not through "luck," but as a result of
his determined and ambitious efforts. In his
political affiliations he adheres to the policy of the
Republican party and uniformly votes that ticket.

In 1891 Mr. Ashmore was united in marriage
with Mrs. Rachel M. Weaver, the widow of
Montgomery Weaver, and a daughter of J. R.
and Jennie (Miller) Spence, who came from Penn-
sylvania to the town of Dodi, Seneca County, be-
coming early settlers of that locality.

. NOCH EMENS. In the pleasant little vil-

'S lage of Fayette reside a number of influen-

_ tial citizens, among whom may be mentioned

our subject, who is senior member of the firm of

Emens & Son. He is a native of Seneca County,

and was born in the town of Varick, three miles

south of this village, June 26, 1819. His parents
were Joseph and Martha (Johns) Emens, the
former a native of Monmouth, N. J., of which lo-
cality the latter was also a native.

Grandfather William Emens, likewise born in
New Jersey, moved to Seneca County about the
year 181 2, at which time our subject's father was
a young man, his birth occurring in 1793. He
had stood seven drafts in the War of 1812, but
each time drew a blank. The maternal grandfa-
ther of our subject, John Johns, was also from
New Jersey, whence he and his wife came to this
state when their daughter Martha was a child,
and in this county she was reared and married.
Her parents located on a tract of eighty- four acres
of productive land in the town of Varick, which
they worked industriously to improve and make
more valuable.

To Joseph and Martha Emens there were born
four children, of whom Enoch was the youngest
but one. He acquired such an education as could
be obtained in the schools of the neighborhood,
and at the age of sixteen years began to work at
the carpenter's trade, receiving for his first year's
work $50. After becoming an experienced work-
man he went to Rochester, where he followed
his trade for a period of ten years, working
the first year as a j^ourneyman carpenter, after
which he did contract work. In this way he
saved the sum of $2,000, and, returning to the
town of Varick, purchased one hundred acres of
land and soon became one of the prominent and
substantial agriculturists of the locality.

The subject of this sketch was married, Octo-
ber 18, 1848, to Miss Eliza Van Riper, of the
town of Varick. They at once located on the
farm above referred to, and continued to make it
their home until 1883, when they came to Fay-
ette. Here our subject engaged in merchandis-
ing, and the firm is now operating under the style
of Emens & Son. He became the father of eight
children, of whom three died in infancy. Those
living are Martha; Olin E., the partner of his fa-
ther, and whose sketch may be found elsewhere
in this volume; Humboldt, superintendent of an
extensive silver and gold mine in Denver, Colo.;
Edgar A., Professor of Greek in Syracuse Uni-



versity; and Frederick, Postmaster of the village
of Fayette, and also a clerk in his father's store.
Edgar A. is a graduate of Wesley an University
at Middletown, Conn., and after completing his
studies traveled extensively in Europe.

Mr. Emens is greatly interested in bee culture,
and has about fifty stands. In politics he is a
Republican, tried and true, having voted for the
candidates of that party ever since its organiza-
tion in 1856. His first ballot, however, was cast
for William Henry Harrison, the Whig candidate

of 1840. During all these years he has been true
to his party, but has desired no ofiBces. He is
a valued member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, with which he has been connected for
over half a century. In this denomination he has
been Class-Leader and Steward and an active
worker in the Sunday-school.

Mrs. Emens departed this life March 9, 1895,
at the age of seventy-three years. She was born
March 6, 1822, in Varick and proved her hus-
band's most efficient helpmate for many years. h. everts.





EHARLES H. EVERTS, attorney and coun-
selor-at-law, and one of the influential citi-
zens of Watkins, was born in the town of
Dix, Schuyler County, October 4, 1835, being
the son of Alanson G. and Anna (Levitt)
Everts. The family of which he is an honored
representative has for three generations been
closely identified with the growth and develop-
ment of this section of the state. The first of the
name to come hither was his great-grandfather,
Daniel Everts. He and Reuben Smith left vSalis-
bury. Conn., for the western country, and ar-
rived at Hector June i, 1793. They remained
that season, putting in crops of corn and wheat,
and after harvest returned to Connecticut. In
the spring of 1794 Daniel Everts, with his wife
and eight children, and Reuben Smith, with his
wife and five children, returned to Hector. The
great-grandfather's family comprised the follow-
ing children: Aranthus, Charles, Polly, Daniel,
John, Asena and Abram. Aranthus Everts, the
grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a
Colonel in the War of 181 2, and raised a regi-
ment, which went on foot through the unbroken
wilderness from Hector to Buffalo. He had
command of a fort when a flag of truce was sent
to him, and a demand to surrender was refused.
The General in command .sent word, "I want you
to understand that we will take our breakfast in

this fort to-morrow morning. ' ' Colonel Everts
replied, "If you undertake it you will get your
supper in hell." The Everts family originated
in Wales, but has been associated with American
history from an early period in the settlement of
the country.

Aranthus Everts married Margaret Mathews,
daughter of Courtright Mathews. Their son,
Alanson G. Everts, was united in marriage with
Anna Levitt, and their family consisted of five
sons and two daughters, of whom Charles H.
is next to the youngest. He passed the days of
his boyhood in his native town, gaining the ru-
diments of his education in the primary schools,
and later became a student in Alfred University,
where he remained for a time. Afterward he
taught school, in which way he gained the means
that enabled him to prosecute his legal studies.
He commenced the study of law with Marcus
Crawford, of Havana, and gained a thorough
knowledge of Coke, Blackstone and Kent, and
was admitted to the Bar in 1857. Later he took
a two-years course at the Albany Law School,
from which institution he was graduated Novem-
ber 26, 1858, with the degree of LL- B.

Opening an ofiice in Havana, Mr. Everts con-
tinued the practice of his profession there for
three years. Thence, in 1 861, he went to Farmer,
Seneca County, where he remained for two years.



In 1865 he came to Watkiiis, opened an ofiBce and
commenced a general practice, which he has con-
tinued to the present, being now one of the old-
est members of the Schuyler County Bar. In
politics he is a Democrat, and during the entire
period of his connection with that party he has
stood by it, in cloud and sunshine, with unshaken
fidelity. In 1888, when Grover Cleveland was
a candidate, he was a Presidential Elector. Dur-
ing campaigns, his services are especially valua-
ble, as he takes an active part in both local and
national elections, and he is now Chairman of the
Democratic County Committee.

January 15, 1861, Mr. Everts married Miss
Eliza A., daughter of Job Banker, of Hector.
They are the parents of one son and two daugh-
ters: Josiah B., a young man of ability, now serv-
ing as Justice of the Peace, and also as a court re-
porter; Mary E., the wife of Frank Hill, of El-
mira, N. Y.; and Hanna M., the wife of L. H.
Chase, of Watkins, N. Y. Mr. Everts is domes-
tic in his tastes, and his friends are always hos-
pitably welcomed to his pleasant home. He was
fortunate in securing in his wife a companion
fully suited to his qualities of mind and character.
To a large degree is it due to her ready sympathy
and mental capacity that he has been enabled to
make for himself a noble record as a citizen and
as an attornej-.

gRONSON A. WESSELL is Treasurer of the
firm of Rumsey & Co., Limited, at Seneca
Falls, manufacturers of all kinds of pumps,
fire appliances, hand fire-engines, hose trucks,
hose carts, hose wagons, hose carriages, etc. The
works were established in 1844 by John A. Rum-
sey, and continued under his name for many
years. A short time previous to his death, how-
ever, which occurred May 30, 1888, a stock com-

pany was formed and articles of incorporation
secured, with John A. Rumsey President, and
L. Rumsey Sanford Secretary. The present
officers are: Andrew G. Mercer, President; A.
Rumsey, Vice-President; Bronson A. Wessell,
Treasurer; and L. Rumsey Sanford, Secretary.
The works are run b}- water-power, and a large
force of men is constantly employed. The plant
is in every wa)- well equipped for the business and
its reputation is first-class, both at home and

Bronson A. Wessell was born in Oneida Countj^
N. Y., December 21, 1842, and is the son of
Richard and Eydia (Norton) Wessell, the former
a native of New York, and the latter of Connecti-
cut. The Wessells are of German origin, and the
Nortons of English descent. Richard Wessell
was a farmer, and spent the greater part of his
life engaged in farm work. Some time previous
to his death, which occurred in 1880, he removed
to Vernon Center, where he lived a retired life.
The mother died in 1875.

The subject of this sketch is the eldest of the
parental family, which comprised five children,
and his early life was spent upon the home farm,
and also at A'ernon Center, where he attended the
common schools and later Vernon Academy. He
was but fifteen years of age, however, when he
left school and went to Knoxboro, N. Y. , where
for four years he clerked in the store of James C.
Knox. He then went to Oneonta, N. Y., where
he engaged in business for himself and thete re-
mained until 1861. That year he came to Seneca
Falls and engaged in the clothing business, re-
maining thus emploj'ed until 1865, when he en-
tered the service of the Merchants' Union Express
Company. In 1869 he entered the employ of
Rumsey & Co. as clerk, which position he con-
tinued to hold until 1890, at which time he was
made Treasurer.

Mr. Wessell's marriage united him with Miss
Belle A. Kerr, of Seneca Falls, and daughter of
Thomas H. Kerr. They have one daughter,
Mildred F. , who is yet at home. In politics Mr.
Wessell is a Democrat, and has been very active
in the councils of his party for many years.
While never an office-seeker, and even though



averse to holding public ofBce, he has yet filled
some minor positions, including Supervisor of the
town, and member of the Board of Trustees of
the village. Since February, 1890, he has been
President and a Director of the New York Mutual
Savings and I^oan Association. Religiously he
and his wife are members of the Episcopal Church.





HON. A. L. CHIEDS, editor and proprietor
of the Waterloo Observer, was born in Sen-
eca Falls, N. Y., April 12, 1840. He is
the son of Amhurst Childs, who was born in
Massachusetts, and who came to Seneca County
in 1820, and read medicine with Dr. Welles, one
of the early physicians of Waterloo. He was a
graduate of the old Geneva Medical College. He
soon rose to eminence in his chosen profession,
and at the voice of his co-workers in the healing
art became President of the State Medical College,
and was long the head of the State Medical So-
ciety. He died in 1869, in his seventy-first year,
in Waterloo, where he had long conducted a
most successful practice. His wife was Earissa
Southwick, a daughter of Maj. David Southwick,
of Junius, Seneca County. She and the Doctor
had seven children, three daughters and one son

Mr. Childs, the subject of this article, as might
be expected from the learning, the broad views
and the substantial prosperity that had charac-
terized and attended his father, was thoroughly
trained and educated for a useful and honorable
career. From the public school he passed to the
Waterloo Academy, and in 1857 entered Hamil-
ton College, at Clinton, N. Y., graduating from
that institution in 1861. Then, bearing in mind
the saying about traveling making a "ready
man," he spent a year or more in traveling
through the Western States and territories. His
continuous school course was interrupted by a

course of law study under the guidance of Judge
Sterling Hadley, and his admission to the Bar in

In 1878 Mr. Childs founded the Seneca Coun-
ty News, and for seven years remained at its
head, making it one of the influential papers of
the region. It then passed from his hands into
the possession of Varr & Medden, the present
proprietors. For several years he devoted much
time to the practice of law in Rochester. In 1894
he secured the control of the Waterloo Observer,
an eight-column paper, finely printed and ably

Mr. Childs has received honors from his com-
munity and from the state. He was Clerk of the
Senate Judiciary Committee under Charles J.
Folger, President Arthur's Secretary of the
Treasury, and his party honored itself and him by
electing him as a Member of the Assembly to
represent Seneca County. In 1885 Isabel Eni-
mett, of Waterloo, became his wife. They have
two daughters, Alice and Maria Isabel. It need
hardly be said that their home is delightful.

Mr. Childs is a man of influence, not only in
his immediate neighborhood, but throughout the
state, and is much in demand for stump speaking
in every campaign. He takes much interest in
political afiairs, and gives himself freely to the
call of his part)\

i^., _^^mh. .(51

♦♦♦♦♦♦"J"?- ♦•{•♦^ •{••}*++

EHARLES BIZLEY DAY. Among the well-
to-do and enterprising tillers of the soil
in Seneca County, mention must surely be
made of Mr. Day, whose home is on the Waterloo
and Geneva Turnpike, one mile west of the vil-
lage of Waterloo. There he carries on farming
and market-gardening after the most approved
methods, and is meeting with success in his



Mr. Day is a native of .England, and was born
October 20, 1857, in Axbridge, Somersetshire.
His parents were Charles and Mary (Bizley)
.Day, natives of the above place, where thej' were
farmers. In April, 1871, however, they left their
native land, and, crossing the Atlantic, found
themselves on American soil a few weeks later.
They made a location at Port Byron, Cayuga
County, and there engaged in farming.

Charles B., of this sketch, attended school in
England, but after coming to America was
obliged to work out and aid in the support of
the family, hence was not permitted to carry on
his studies but one term. The family included
five children, of whom Charles was the eldest but
one. He remained under the parental roof until
1885, when he started out in life for himself.
Five years previous to this time his father had lo-
cated upon the estate which he now occupies,
making. that place his home until 1889. That
year, however, on account of failing health, he
rented the farm to our subject, and moved to a
more healthful locality. He died in December,
1891. Charles B. then purchased the interest of
his brothers and sisters in the place, and is now
its sole owner. It comprises forty-eight acres,
under a high state of cultivation, and is devoted
mainly to market-gardening. Mr. Day finds no
trouble in disposing of his products at a good
price, as he raises only the best vegetables and
fruits. He has customers in Waterloo, Seneca
Falls, Aubarn, and also ships large quantities to
other points. He has been very successful in the
industry, and has no reason to regret having en-
gaged in it.

Mr. Day and Miss Anna B. Rodgers were
united in marriage February 5, 1889, and to them
has been born a son, Howard C, whose birth
occurred May i, 1894. Mrs. Day, who was born
in Black Hawk County, Iowa, is a well educated
lady, and became acquainted with Mr. Day in
her native state, which he had visited several

Although reared in the faith of the Episcopal
Church, our subject now attends services at the
Presb5'terian Church, as does also his wife. In
politics he is a true-blue Republican, and takes

great interest in the success of his party. His
mother is still living, making her home in Wa-
terloo with her daughters, Gelinda Bizley and
Ada M. One son, Henry G., is living on a
farm of sixty-two and one-half acres, which is lo-
cated in the town of Fayette, this county. Stella
M., the eldest of the family, married Samuel
Beard, and they make their home on a tract of
land which lies near that of our subject. Mr.
Day is a whole-souled, thoroughly honest and
reliable man, and possesses the confidence and
esteem of the entire community.

QOHN J. BAIEEY is a very popular resid^it
I of the town of Tyrone, Schuyler County,
\z) and has made farming and stock-raising the
principal occupation of his life. He has taken
advantage of every method and idea that would
enhance the value of his property, and this course
has had a great deal to do with the competence
which he now enjoys.

Mr. Bailey has made this section his home
throughout life, and was here born December 6,
1847. The parental family included three chil-
dren, of whom he was the second-born. He,
like other lads of the neighborhood, carried on
his studies in the schools taught in the district,
and by applying himself to his books became
well informed. He lived with his mother until
his marriage, which occurred November 18, 1869,
the lady on this occasion being Miss Emma R.
Sanford, whose birth occurred in Wayne, Steuben
County, N. Y., May 10, 1850, and who was the
daughter of the late Russell and Laura K. (Chap-
man) Sanford.

Russell Sanford was the son of Ephraim San-
ford, and was born in Wayne, Steuben County,
this .state, November 15, 1822. His wife was the
daughter of Peter and Sally Chapman, and her



birth occurred in Allegany County, N. Y., April
I, 1826. To them were born two daughters,
Mary E. and Emma R. The latter was Mrs.
Bailey. The mother died March 21, 1892, and
was followed to the land beyond by her husband,
who died July 17, 1893. They were highly re-
spected residents of their community, and Iheir
loss to the residents of Wayne was deeply felt.

Soon after his marriage Mr. Bailey located upon
the tract of land where he now makes his home.
It is one hundred and fifty-five acres in extent,
and the attention and care which the owner be-
stows upon it have made of it one of the most
productive in the town.

To Mr. and Mrs. Bailey there have been born
three children, of whom we make the following
mention: MaryE., who was born August 28, 1870,
is a well educated young lady, and in 1889 was
married to John Carman, a resident of Bradford,
N. Y. Ella M., born December 28, 1873, also
attended the schools of this locality, and in 1893,
after completing her education, was married to
Clifford Boyce; their home is in Wayne. Lena S.
was born September 24, 1877, and is at home
with her parents.

Mr. Bailey adheres to the principles of Democ-
racy, which appeal to him the most strongly. He
seeks to instill into his neighbors the idea that im-
provement in any direction is for the public good,

Online LibraryChapman Publishing CompanyPortrait and biographical record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York. Containing portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the counties. Together with biographies and portraits of all the presidents of the United States → online text (page 32 of 58)