The History of Otsego County, New York
D. Hamilton Hurd
Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia
SLADE, James - Oneonta
The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Westerloo,
Albany Co., N.Y., Oct. 19, 1798. He was second son in a family
of ten children - six sons and four daughters - of James SLADE and
Lois BARBER; the former a native of the New England States,
and of English descent, the latter a native of Connecticut. His
father was born May 30, 1770, and died in Westerloo, May 30, 1840.
His mother was born March 4, 1775, and died also in Westerloo,
Dec. 31, 1836.
The subject of this memoir spent his early life on the farm at
home. His father was a well-to-do farmer, and although he had a
large family gave them the best opportunities he could afford for
obtaining an education, which was confined to the district schools.
James so improved these rare opportunities that before coming of age
he had taught school some two terms.
At the age of twenty-one he struck out into the world for himself,
and, after working about one year on a farm for a neighbor, he started
and made the trip on foot to explore, with a view of settling, for a
homestead, and visited Pennsylvania, going to thethen "far west"
Buffalo, returning the same year. In 1820, Mr. Slade, with his
father's assistance, bought 114 3/4 acres of timber land in the town
of Meredith, Delaware Co., N.Y., and after erecting his log cabin
returned to his native town, and the next month, Dec. 27, 1820,
married Miss Samantha, daughter of Sylvester FORD and Lydia
REED, of Westerloo, Albany Co., N.Y., both descendants of New
Fully settled in his new home in the wilderness, all the obstacles
of a pioneer life loomed up before the minds of the new-comers in
the strange forest; but resolution, patience, a will to succeed,
together with that natural ability which has so developed itself in Mr. Slade's career in subsequent years, in the course of a few years cleared off
the original forests, prepared the fields for the seed, and in the
course of eleven years he had some 80 acres of his purchase ready for
It was at this house that four of the children were born, Lumon
Reed, Sherman Winslow, Theron Ford, and Lewis Sherrill. The
third son died at the age of one year.
In the year 1832 Mr. Slade sold his farm and removed to the
town of Oneonta, Otsego County, and purchased 200 acres of
land, to which he has since made several additions, and where he
has resided until the writing of this sketch. A view of his stone
residence, surrounded by fruit-growing and ornamental trees of
his own planting, showing the result of his ambition and toil, together
with the portraits of himself and wife, will be found on another page
of this work.
In politics Mr. Slade was first identified with the Federalists,
afterwards with the Whig party, and upon the formation of the
Republican party became an ardent supporter of its principles,
and has since remained unswerving in its ranks, always looking to
principles involved rather than to the men representing them. He
was a very strong advocate of anti-slavery principles, and a warm
supporter of the Union cause during the Rebellion.
At the age of twenty Mr. Slade became interested in the church,
and united with the Baptist denomination in his native town; and,
upon coming to take up his residence in Oneonta, and finding no
church of his persuasion, with others was one of the founders and
organizers of the Baptist church in that place; and now he with
two others are all that are left of the old landmarks of the church
to give reminiscences of its pioneer days. Upon its organization
Mr. Slade was elected one of the deacons of the church (David
Yager being the other), and still retains that office, now in his
As he has been prospered with the goods of this world, he has
been liberal in supplying the wants of those less fortunate, and in
supporting all interests tending to make society better.
Mrs. Slade was a consistent Christian woman, remembered the
needy and administered to their wants and necessities; was a strong
advocate of temperance, and reared her children under that discipline
that contributes to true manhood and womanhood. Her many virtues
are remembered by all who knew her. She died Oct. 15, 1875.
After removing to Oneonta, there were born to Deacon and Mrs.
Slade two children, Elvina (died in infancy) and Hamilton Ford, who
married Miss Lucy MICHAEL, of Davenport, and resides on the
old homestead, and care for their father as he walks down the decline
Excerpt from History of Otsego Co., NY, page 237
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