The History of Otsego County, New York
D. Hamilton Hurd
Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia
KILBORN, E. B. - Oneonta
The subject of this sketch was born in Meredithtown, Delaware
county, N.Y., July 17, 1807. He was third child in a family of five
children of Elisha B. KILBORN and Polly SEYMOUR, both natives
of Connecticut. The former, born in Wethersfield, lived to be
seventy-six years of age, and died in Walton, Delaware county.
The latter, born also in Wethersfield, lived to be eighty-six years of
age, and died also at Walton, Delaware county. The names of the
other children, brothers and sisters of the subject of this memoir,
were, Emily, Walter (older), and Louis Ophclia (died in infancy),
Louis Ophelia. Of these, besides Elisha B., Walter only survives.
The two eldest children were born in Connecticut, and the next
two in Meredith, Delaware county, and the last in Franklin, Delaware
In the year 1807, in the month of March, his father, with his
family, left Connecticut, and moved to Meredith, where he remained
for some sixteen years as a farmer; thence to Franklin, where he
remained several years; and removed and settled in the town of
Lawrence, Otsego County, about the year 1838, and remained in
this county the balance of his active life, subsequently going to live
with his daughter in Walton, where he died.
Elisha received very limited opportunities for any education from
books, and remembers, upon coming to Meredith to reside, that the
country was a wilderness, and that he had some three miles to
travel through the woods to get to a school; and as parents in those
days were apt to place a pecuniary value upon the time of their
children, the most of his minority was spent at work clearing the land.
Upon coming of age he went to work out by the month, at what
would not be considered very small wages, and at the age of twenty-four
years he married, in the year 1831, Jan. 30, Miss Mary FITCH,
daughter of Samuel Fitch and Naomi SUMNER, of Franklin,
After his marriage he went to Pennsylvania, but remained only
two years; returning, engaged for two years with Carlton EMMONS,
of Oneonta, in the lumber business, attending saw-mill. He then
bought a farm in the town of Otego, where he remained for three
years; and after spending some four years in Franklin, he finally
settled on the farm where he now resides, in the town of Oneonta,
in the year 1844. His farm shows the hand of a judicious agriculturist,
and is among the best farmed in the south part of Otsego County,
and Mr. Kilborn is among the representative farmers of the town
His whole life has been one of activity, mostly in agricultural
pursuits; and he is one of those men who have made the various
changes in our country's growth from a wilderness to the present
state of high culture, and prepared a place for prosperity to enjoy
the fruits of his toil and labor.
His first vote was cast for General Jackson for President of the
United States, and he remained an unswerving Democrat down to
the time of the formation of the Republican party, when he became
a member of that party, and has since been an ardent supporter
of its platform. Mr. Kilborn has never been an active politician,
but always ready to cast his vote for whatever measure he conceived
to be right.
To Mr. and Mrs. Kilborn have been born three children,-
Seymour S., who married Miss Delilah, daughter of Isaac SHEPHERD
and Caroline CAMP, of Oneonta, Oct. 3, 1860. They reside in
the old homestead.
Mary S., wife of Allen ADAMS, of Floyd Co., Iowa; and
Lodema A, wife of William A. DEWEY, of Franklin, N.Y.,
married July, 1859.
Mrs. Kilborn was born Jan. 30, 1810; was in early life connected
with the Free-Will Baptist church; lived, an example of uprightness
of character before her family and the world, a consistent Christian
woman, and died in April, 1861. She lived in the full confidence
of her children, and leaves a record of virtue behind her.
Mr. Kilborn is, at the time of the writing of this sketch, in his
seventy-first year, and although he shows bodily a life of toil, yet
he is active in both body and mind.
Peculiarly characteristic of Mr. Kilborn are his unassuming, plain,
and modest ways, possessing that integrity of purpose and character
worthy the emulation of the rising generation.
Excerpt from History of Otsego Co., NY, opposite page 232
[Note: Elisha Kilborn & wife; son Seymour S. & wife are
buried in Riverside Cemetery]
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