George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

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Benjamin and Harriet Merrill, who settled here in 1820. The elder Merrill was a maker


of boots and shoes, and in later years a dealer in the same. He was born in George-
town, Mass., January 1, 1808, and died in 1888, aged eighty years. His wife was born
in Lyndeborough, N. H., April 6, 1817, a sister of Nathaniel Merrill, of this locality,
who was one of the best lawyers in the county. Benjamin and Harriet had eight chil-
dren, of whom John H., Edward P., James A., and William H. were in the late war.
William H., who is a life-long resident of this town, was with the 9th Artillery in the
thick of the fight at Cedar Creek. He married November 30, 1872, Margaret, daughter
of William Anderson, of Wolcott, and has two daughters: Mary, born September 1,
1883, and Harriet, born January 30, 1888.

Millard, George F., was born in Stamford, Vt., May 6, 1828. His father, Stephen C,
was a native of Vermont, and was a prominent farmer of his town. George F. laid the
foundation of his education in the common schools, to which he added through life
by reading and close observation. He was one of ten children in his father's family,
seven brothers and three sisters. In 1850 he came to Clyde, N. Y., and established his
present business of manufacture of tinware, both wholesale and retail, and is one of the
largest dealers in rags, paper stock, old rubber, old metals, and old iron in Central and
Western New York. At the age of twenty-six he married Marietta Barnes, of Galen,
who died April, 1869, leaving him two children : Hattie Bell, now Mrs. E. E. Sampson,
of Atchison, Kan. ; and Ernest G., now of South Omaha, Neb. In 1872 he married
second S. J. Porter, of Cazenovia, by whom he had three more children : Adelbert C.
(deceased), George Porter, and Flora. George F. is a prominent business man of his
town, and is also a steward of the M. E. Church, of which he has for many years
been a worthy member.

Miles, William, was born in Mount Morris, N. Y., August 21, 1816. His father,
William, came to Wayne county in 1820, settled in the town of Sodus, and took up
200 acres of land, what is known as the Hopkins farm. William was educated in the
common schools. At the age of twenty-four he married Isabel, daughter of John But-
ler, of Lyons, and they have had one son, W. H. Miles, who is married and lives on the
homestead, and a daughter, Elizabeth B., born October 7, 1841, who married, aged
twenty-four, Edwin R. Sweezey, of Marion. They are both deceased. They left one
(laughter, who died aged thirteen. In 1885 Mr. Miles bought the John Butler property
of seventy-five acres, also bought the balance of the John Butler farm in 1879 of forty-
four acres, and through life has been a prominent farmer and producer of garden seeds.
He takes an active interest in educational and religious matters, having been trustee of
the M. E. church of South Sodus for a number of years.

McOmber, Frank H., was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., May 24, 1859. His father,
Mansfield S., was a native of Jefferson county, N. Y. Frank H. was educated in the
common schools and finished at Ann Arbor, after leaving which he followed farming
for five years, then entered the dental profession under Dr. A. W. McNames, of Water-
loo, and in 1885 entered the Pennsylvania Dental College, graduating in 1887, and the
same year came to Lyons and established the dental parlors occupied by him, where he
is recognized as one of the most progressive and enterprising men in his profession,
using the latest and most approved methods and appliances in his business. At the age
of thirty-three he married Marguerite, daughter of James Gibbons, of Newark. He is
a Republican in politics, and in 1894 was elected justice of the peace, receiving the larg-
est majority of any candidate on the ticket. Our subject is one of the progressive men
of the town, taking an intelligent interest in educational and religious matters, and in
advancing its best interests ; where he is recognized as a man of conservative character
and sterling worth.

Mathews, F. H., elder son of Lawson Mathews, at present one of the largest land
holders of his native town. He was educated at the Leavenworth Institute, where he
took the highest contested prize for scholarship and ability in his department during


two successive years, and was awarded a full regents' certificate at fifteen years of age.
After a long course in the special study of jurisprudence, and as confidential clerk for
William Roe and E. M. Walker, esq., Mr. Mathews was admitted to the bar in 1881.
F. H. Mathews is of old Puritan stock, his ancestors emigrating for conscience sake in
the times of the " Merrie Monarch," and afterwards resisted British oppression upon
the battlefields of the Revolution. Jesse Mathews and Lucius Hibbard, who were re-
spectively his paternal and maternal grandfathers, were two of the six pioneers who
came from New Hartford, Conn., in 1809 and 1810, and settled upon that portion of
the Clyde road running south from Wolcott village, and hence known as New Hartford
street. The old Mathews homestead, one mile south of Wolcott, is one of those rare
pieces of property which has never changed ownership only by the laws of natural suc-
cession. Jesse Mathews died while supervisor of his adopted town before the forma-
tion of Wayne county. His wife, Alice Mathews, died on the old homestead in 1871 in
her ninety- third year, after fifty years of widowhood. Lucius Hibbard lived to become
the wealthiest farmer in the town of Butler, and was well known as an active Aboli-
tionist in ante-bellum days. Owing to lung weakness and consequent ill health, F. H.
Mathews was compelled to abandon his chosen profession and seek relief in a warmer
climate. In 1886, while principal of the High School in Seddon, Ala., he married Mol-
lie E., elder daughter of Willis H. Roberf-on, a prominent citizen and politician of St.
Clair county, and formerly an officer in the 10th Alabama C. S. A. Army of Northern
Virginia. Mr. Mathews was a local correspondent for the Lyons Republican for ten
years. Subsequently he has written several series of letters to the local press from
Florida and the industrial centers of the New South. In 1892 Mr. Mathews purchased
the old Moore farm, and now resides adjoining his ancestral homestead, upon which his
aged father is passing his more than three score years and ten in peace and comfort.

McKee, Joshua, was born in Webster, Monroe county, in 1846, son of Josiah McKee,
born in Washington county, Vt. The grandfather was Josiah McKee, of Vermont, and
a farmer. Subject's father was also a farmer. His wife was Electa Rodgers, and their
children were : Josiah, Mrs. Mary A. Thayer, of Ontario, John, David, George, Simeon,
Lernun, Nathan, and Joshua. He died in 1885, and his wife in 1888, aged ninety, re-
spectively. In 1874 Mr. McKee came to Huron, in 1877 he purchased a farm, later sold
and returned to Webster. In 1883 he purchased his present farm of seventy-five acres,
on which he erected a modern dwelling; also made other essential improvements. In
1866 he married Maria, daughter of Joseph and Hannah Lake, of Huron, born in Farm-
ington, Ontario county. Subject is a member of the Odd Fellows, from 1891 to 1894
was overseer of poor, and always takes an active interest in politics. He and wife are
members of the Huron Orange.

Milhan, David R., was born in Dutchess county, N. Y., September 1, 1834, and is the
oldest of six children of Martin and Maria Rhoda Milhan. The father of David R. moved
to Columbia county in 1837, and in 1849 came to Williamson, Wayne county, and
settled on what is now known as the Plyster farm (formerly as the Gilbert farm), where
he resided for five years, then went to Marion, where his last days were passed, dying
May 28, 1877. June 27, I860, Davis R. married Orvilla S., oldest daughter of Colonel
Cephas and Sally Porter Moody, who was born and brought up on the place they now
occupy, which has always been known as the Colonel Moody farm, it having been
cleared from a wilderness by him, when he came to this place from Amherst, Mass., iu
1812, and remained at his home until his death, November 24, 1869. He was colonel
of a standing regiment for several years, deputy-sheriff two years, and overseer of the
poor fifteen years, until his health failed, being about eighty-one years of age. D. R.
Milhan resided on his father's farm for three years after their marriage, then settled
permanently on the Moody homestead. He has since bought the Vaughn farm, making
in all 160 acres of land in a high state of cultivation. He has been a dealer in all kinds
of agricultural implements, fertilizers, etc., for twenty-five years, and for several years


a partner in the firm of Bennett & Milhan, general dealers in produce at the warehouse
at Williamson depot. Mr. Milhan's politics has always been Republican, and for twenty-
one years in succession he served as poormaster. Pie and his wife were charter mem-
bers of Williamson Grange. They have three children : Warren O, who married Minnie
Tinkiepaugh, who have one daughter and one son ; Sidney D., who married May Wilder,
they have one son ; and Winona 0., who married Benedict Cook, of Webster, Monroe
county, N. Y.

Moore, Isaac, was born in Seneca county, September 10. 1835. When about twelve
years of age, his parents removed to the town of Manchester, Ontario county. He is
and always has been a farmer. He married Clarissa Short, of Manchester, and to them
five children were born: Marion S., Mary E., Floyd N., Clara I., and Lillian A., all
residing at home. Mrs. Moore died in 1882, and in 1883 the family moved to Palmyra,
and in 1884 to Newark, where Mr. Moore bought the farm on which they now reside.
Mr. Moore l s father, John Moore, was born in Columbia county in 1802, a..d when a boy
went to live with an uncle in Cayuga county. He married Margaret Howell, of Cayuga
county, and located east of Seneca Falls on the State road. They had eight children,
only three now living. The three surviving members are: Harriet, Isaac, and Emily.
He died in 1854, and his wife in 1874. Mr. Moore has bought lots on Mason street, on
Madison, north and south side of Miller, and on Main street, and has sold sixteen build-
ing lots, residences erected on thirteen of them.

Mead, John G, was born in Dutchess county, March 16, 1824. His great-grand-
father, Jonathan, was one of the first settlers in Connecticut. Nathaniel, the grand-
father, was born August 19, 1750. He was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary war.
Richard T., the father, was a native of Dutchess county, born June 22, 1787. He mar-
ried Phebe, daughter of John G-urney, of Stanford, Dutchess county, and their children
were: Thomas W., Judith G., Hannah, Nathaniel, John G, Phebe S., and Mary, of
whom three are now living: Nathaniel and Mary (Mrs. Wm. Cline), who live in
Rochester, N. Y. ; and John G, who married, October 20, 1848, Emma B., daughter of
William Cookingham, of Livingston county ; these are their children : Edgar L., Alfred
M., and E. Louise (now deceased), wife of Dr. C. M. Briggs, of Fairport, Monroe
county. Edgar B. married Alice H. Smith, of Macedon Center, N. Y., and has two
children: E. Louise, and Alvin S., who reside in Rochester, N. Y. Alfred M. (physician
and surgeon), of Victor, Ontario county, married Hattie A. Brown, of Ontario, Wayne
county, and has three children: Edgar R., Dora E., and Mary E. The occupation of
John G. has always been farming. He has held the office of road commissioner six
years and was county superintendent of the poor nine years. They are members of the
M. E. Church.

North, Miss Orissa, was born May 17, 1848, at Rose. Her father, John North, came
here in 1834, and bought the farm four miles north of Savannah, where she now lives.
He was one of the sturdy pioneers of this locality, who helped to clear away the wilder-
ness, a man of much ability, who served in his later life as assessor for twelve years
and it is worthy of remark that he did not omit his presence and vote at a single election
or town meeting from the date of his majority until his death, July 18, 1892. March 7,
1832, he married Sebel Campbell, who was born atElbridge, August 1, 1812, and reared
three children : Elias W., born February 10, 1833, married, September 22, 1869 ; Sarah
E. Mills, of Palmyra, who died November 1, 1869 ; Fitz Alen C, born March 16, 1835,
married Julia P. Gay, of Savannah, October 31, 1855, and died February 26, 1892 ; and
Orissa, now left sole representative of her family, her mother having died February 23,
1892. Miss North was educated at Wolcott Academy and elsewhere, and is a lady of
much ability and refinement.

Mitchell, D. P., town clerk of Butler, and junior member of the firm of Wilson &
Mitchell, general store keepers at South Butler, was born at Rose, Wayne county, De-


cember 19, 1861. He is the oldest son of Philander and Margaret (Barnes) Mitche'l,
for many years residents of Rose. His paternal grandfather, Philander Mitchell, was
of Scotch ancestry, a man of great energy and ability, a prime mover in the business
affairs of Rose in earlier days, holding the office of justice for a long period. Darwin
became a citizen of South Butler in 1883, and was for three years principal of the public
schools. In 1886 he engaged in the mercantile business with Gorham Wilson. A Re-
publican in politics, he was elected to his present position (town clerk) in March, 1894.
November 18, 1885, he married Jessie, only daughter of William H. Clapp, of South
Butler. Mr. Mitchell has been the regular local correspondent for the Clyde Times from
South Butler for eleven years.

Nutten, Wilbur F., was born in Churchville, Monroe county, December 2, 1839. He
was educated in the public schools in various places and in Genesee Wesleyan Seminary
of Lima. He first began to study medicine in Hornellsville, Steuben county, attended
lectures at Buffalo Medical College one course, and one course at Ann Arbor Medical
College, Michigan. He graduated from the Medical College of Physicians and Surgeons
in New York city in 1863. His father and family came to Newark in 1860. Dr.
Nutten began to practice in Newark the year that he graduated in company with Dr.
Pomeroy, under the firm name of Pomeroy & Nutten, which continued over four years,
since which time he has practiced on his own account. He has married twice, first,
November 20, 1867, Mary E., daughter of Rev. Orrin Trowbridge, of Lima, N. Y. She
died January 24, 1885, mourned by a bereaved husband and regretted by many friends.
September 30, 1888, he married, second, Mrs. Addie J. Jewell, nee Green, of California.
She had one son, Frank J. Jewell, who is a student in the Academy. Mrs. Nutten's
father-in-law, Rev. F. F. Jewell, is a presiding elder in the M. E. Conference in San Fran-
cisco, Cal. The doctor's father was a preacher in the M. E. church fifty years. The
doctor is a member of the Wayne County Medical Society, also of the Central New
York Medical Association, New York State Medical Association, and the American
Medical Association. He is a member of the Newark Lodge, No. 83, F. and A. M., and
Newark Chapter, No. 117, R. A. M.

Norton, G. P., was born on the old Norton homestead at Lakeside, N. Y., in 1851.
The great-grandfather of our subject. Felix H. Norton, came from England to America
and settled at Old Guilford, Conn. Five of his sons moved to Ontario, Wayne county,
N. Y., in 1811, settling on what is now known as the Lakeside Road. Lester, the
grandfather, of our subject, married Matilda Allen, who died in 1826, leaving eight
children, of whom four are now living. He married, second, Nancy Taylor, who died
in 1863, and the death of her husband occurred in 1864. Philetus H., father of our
subject, was born on the old homestead in 1822, and followed farming, besides speculat-
ing in horses, cattle, produce, wool, etc. He lived on the old homestead during his
life, except one year in Rochester. In politics he was a staunch Republican. In 1850
he married Cordelia Whitcomb. a daughter of Samuel Whitcomb, whose father came
from Scotland and was a soldier of the Revolution. Airs. Norton died in 1873, leaving
a daughter, Frances A., of Marion, Wayne county, N. Y., and a son, Gilbert P. the
subject of our sketch. Oscar, the second son, died at the age of three years. He mar-
ried, second, Mrs. Emily Merritt, widow of Calvin Merritt and a daughter of Uzial
Brown, of Penfield, N. Y., who served in the war of 1812. Mr. Norton died July 4,
1891, and his wife, who still survives him, resides on the Norton homestead. G. P.
Norton was reared on the farm and obtained his education at a common school and
Macedon and Canandaigua Academies, and taught school for a short time after he had
finished his education. A Republican in politics, and an ardent worker for the suc-
cess of the party ; has always followed farming, except three years in the marble and
granite business at Webster, Monroe county, N. Y. He now has the Norton home-
stead, settled by his grandfather, and carries on general farming and fruit growing. In
1885 he married Mamie B., a daughter of Robert and Eliza Thompson, now of Detroit,


Mich. Mr. and Mrs. Norton have one son, Harrison W., born September, 1886, and
one daughter. Lucille C, born May, 1891. Mr. Norton is a zealous Mason, being a
member of Wayne Lodge No. 416, F. and A. M., of which he served as master six

Newell, Mrs. Emily J., is a daughter of R. Cahoon, of Little Falls, Herkimer county,
N. T., and was born there June 29, 1829. Her father came to Wayne in 1842, pur-
chasing a farm in Huron. She married, in 1849, Roger H. Newell, a life-long resident
of Huron. He was a prominent Odd Fellow and Mason, and was at various times
constable, town clerk, and commissioner of highways. His principal business, how-
ever, was farming, and he was a large land owner in Huron. Mr. Newell was also a
prominent Granger, and in politics he was a Democrat. He was always charitable to
the needy. He died April 30, 1893, aged seventy-two years and three months, and a
year later Mrs. Newell became a resident of Wolcott by the purchase of an elegant
home, corner Wright and Orchard streets.

Olmstead, Ira M., was born in Huron December 29, 1821. His father, Elijah, came
from Connecticut in 1810 and reared a large family of children. He died in 1833, and
since that time Ira has been a resident of Butler. He married, in 1850, Olive, daughter
of Ethan W. Allen, and of their three children, H. Allen, Lucy Irene, and an infant
daughter, only the former, born July 28, 1853, is now living. Mr. Olmstead is a veteran
of the late war, with Company E, 96th Regiment, N. Y. S. Volunteers. Allen Olmstead
married, in 1873, Flora F. Campbell, of Butler, by whom he has had three children,
Charles A., Ira, Le Roy and Zemira E.

Owen, C. Wooster, was born in Penfielcl, Monroe county, July 8, 1841, the sixth of .
a family of nine children born to C. W. and Clarissa (Beebe) Owen, natives of Ballston
Springs, Saratoga county, and of Vermont, respectively. C. W. Owen came to Monroe
county when a young man, in 1814, and learned the carpenters' trade, also owning a
good property in the village of Penfield, where he spent his last days, and where his
widow now resides, at the age of eighty-five years. The grandfather of C. W. was
William, who was born December 29, 1764, a native of Boston, who spent much of his
life in Penfield, where he died, May, 1833. He served in the Revolution three years.
Our subject was reared in Penfield, and there educated, coming to Ontario at the age of
nineteea years, and learned the tinners' trade. In 1863 he formed a partership with
M. Lockman in the tin and stove business, and then Mr. Owen purchased his interest,
and has since been alone in the business, which he has enlarged in many ways, carrying
a line of paints, oils and glass, besides his regular lines of stoves, furnishing goods,
agricultural implements, etc. He is a Republican in politics, and a member of the A.
0. U. W., Lake Shore Lodge. No. 306. H. B., a brother of our subject, was in the late
war about two years, and was killed in the battle of Spottsylvania, May 10, 1864. In
December, 1873, Mr. Owen married Emma Fewster, a native of Antwerp, Jefferson
county, and they have two children : Daisey and Charles F.

Ostrander, Rev. L. A., D.D., was born in Franklinville, Cattaraugus county, N. Y.,
July 14, 1843. His father, Joseph Ostrander, a farmer in moderate circumstances, died
when he was eight years old. Shortly after this his home was broken up. He went
to Chicago and took a position in a drug store. When fifteen years of age, feeling it
his duty to preach the gospel, he determined to obtain a liberal education. He pre-
pared for college at Cazenovia Seminary. During the winters he taught school. He
entered Knox College at Galesburg, 111., in 1861. After two years he went to Hamil-
ton College at Clinton, N. Y., where he graduated in 1865, He took both "Head" ora-
tion and the "Clark" prize at Hamilton. Upon leaving college he accepted an appoint-
ment as tutor in Robert College at Constantinople (Turkey). He traveled quite ex-
tensively in Europe, also in Egypt and the Holy Land. Returning to America in 1867
he began the study of theology, graduating at Union Theological Seminary in 1871.


While pursuing his theological studies he entered the lecture field and gave a course of
five oriental lectures, by this means meeting his seminary expenses. In 1871 he re-
turned to Constantinople, where on the 25th day of May he was married to Miss Eliza
A. Thomson, daughter of Rev. Dr. Alexander Thomson, a Scotch missionary. His first
pastorate was at Dubuque, la. After five years of successful labor in that field he ac-
cepted a call to the Presbyterian Church, of Oswego, N. Y. Here he remained six
years. He then accepted the pastorate of the Presbyterian Church at Lyons in 1882.
A good degree of prosperity has marked this long and happy pastorate. The church
now has a membership of 442. While a hard working pastor, Mr. Ostrander is still
able to devote some time to the lecture field. He received the honorary degree of D.D.
from his alma mater, Hamilton College, in 1890. He has four children: Leroy, Aleck,
Robert, and Ethel.

Osborne, William H., was born on the homestead, September 19, 1841. His father,
George L., was a native of Dutchess county. The family who were among the early
settlers of Massachusetts were of English extraction, and came to Wayne county in
1833. George L. married Martha H., daughter of John Cornell, and they had three
sons: Charles A., and Gilbert L., now of Owosso, Mich. Wiliiam H. was educated in
the common schools, and at the age of forty married Julia, daughter of Nathaniel H.
French, of Junius, Seneca county. In 1865 he inherited and purchased the homestead
of 120 acres, which has been in the family over sixty years, raising fruit, hay, grain and
stock. Our subject is one of the representative farmers of his town.

Porter, Nathan B., is the only son of the late Nelson Porter, of Saratoga county. He
acquired a thorough business education at Eastman's Business College at Poucrhkeepsie,
graduating in 1878. After five years as bookkeeper for S. C. Redgram, of Lyons, he
became manager for the Ryan-McDonald Manufactering Co., builders of locomotive
engines at Baltimore, Md., and in 1891 became secretary for the Q & C. Co. of Chicago,
manufacturing railroad specialties. In 1S94 he purchased an interest in the foundry
and machine works, now known as the Knapp-Porter Iron Works, on Mill street, Wol-
cott. In 1884 he married Julia Darrin, who died, February 12, 1893, leaving two
daughters, Miriam and Nathalie.

Paddock, H. R., only son of Henry and Clarissa Paddock, was born near the site of
his present home in Wolcott, May 12, 1840. Henry Paddock, the elder, was born at
Vienna, Oneida county, N. Y., 1810, and came to Wolcott in 1835. Our subject grad-
uated from Falley Seminary at Fulton, N. Y., and engaged in farming, where his sur-
roundings are models of neatness and convenience. His present home was acquired
by purchase in 1879. December 20, 1860, he married Lucy Dowd, of Huron, and
they have one son, Frank A., born March 15, 1862, now a druggist in Rochester. He
was married May 31, 1894, to Nellie Loughborough, of Rochester, N. Y.

Pallister, Albert A, born in Pultneyville July 21, 1843, is the son of John and Han-
nah (Wake) Pallister, natives of Yorkshire, England. He and brothers came to Amer-

Online LibraryGeorge Washington CowlesLandmarks of Wayne County, New York → online text (page 65 of 107)