The History of Otsego County, New York


D. Hamilton Hurd

Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia


SILL, Jedediah P. - Cooperstown

Jedediah P. SILL was the fifth son of Abel Sill and Hepzibah 
PECK, and grandson of the late Judge Jedediah Peck, a man of 
note in his day in this county and in the State.
He was born in the town of Burlington, May 28, 1808. His 
father died in 1824, leaving to the care of his wife - a woman of 
remarkable strength of character and well-balanced mind - a family 
of nine children.
When seventeen years of age, by her consent, Jedediah P. left 
home to learn the trade of gunsmith, at which he served four years, 
and then engaged in the business on his own account, taking jobs of 
his former employers. Having worked at the trade about seven years, 
he then abandoned it, believing that he was pursuing the wrong 
calling. He then entered the store of his uncle, Henry Sill, at 
Burlington, with a view of getting an insight into the mercantile 
business, and gave to him nine months' service; after which he 
removed to Schuyler's Lake and opened a store there with his 
uncle as partner, under the firm-name of H. & J. P. Sill. This 
co-partnership lasted for about six years, when Mr. Sill bought out 
the interest of his uncle and continued in trade on his own account 
until 1848, when he sold out. He held the office of postmaster for 
thirteen years, and represented his town with marked fidelity and 
success for seven years in the board of supervisors. He ran for 
delegate to the constitutional convention of 1846, and was defeated 
through a split in the Democratic party of this county.
After closing his mercantile business, Mr. Sill engaged in the 
produce trade, and continued the same up to August, 1854, when 
he moved to the village of Cooperstown, and entered into the hop 
and wool trade, under the firm-name of Scott, Pier & Sill, which 
firm dissolved after the expiration of one year, and was succeeded 
by the firm of Scott, Sill & Co., which firm remained in the trade 
about three years and was then dissolved; after closing the business 
of the late firm he occupied most of his time in looking after the 
affairs of the Bank of Cooperstown and operating in real estate. 
During fifteen years, ending with 1874, he purchased about 30 acres 
of land lying on the corporation of Cooperstown, nearly all of which 
he divided into village lots, and sold to actual settlers. He also put 
up a number of dwellings, and loaned to others the means with 
which to build.
In January, 1853, the Bank of Cooperstown, was organized, 
and at the first meeting of the stockholders Mr. Sill was chosen 
one of the directors, which position he held during the existence of 
that institution. In 1859 he was elected vice-president, and in 1861, 
on the death of Colonel PRENTISS, president of the bank. When 
under the act of congress it became expedient to close the affairs 
of the bank, it was succeeded by the Second National Bank of 
Cooperstown. This took place in January, 1864, and at the first 
meeting of the stockholders Mr. Sill was elected president, and 
held that position for ten years, till January, 1874, when he resigned 
the office on account of ill health.
Mr. Sill took great interest in the location and construction of
the Cooperstown railroad, and no man was more efficient in raising means 
for that object. He was a large stock and bondholder, a director 
from its organization until his death, and one of the railroad 
commissioners for Cooperstown.
In 1872, Mr. Sill, though always a most ardent old-school 
Democrat, heartily indorsed the nomination of Horace Greeley for 
president, and was that year placed upon the Democratic-Republican 
ticket as elector for this congressional district. Mr. Sill was a man 
of excellent natural abilities and strong common sense; for several 
years previous to his death he was a member of the congregation 
of Christ's church, of Cooperstown, and one of its vestrymen at 
the time of his decease. He was twice married, first to Caroline S., 
daughter of Noah WOOD, of Smyrna; second to Lavantia, daughter 
of the late Noah WOOD, of Syracuse, and niece of his first wife. 
He died at Cooperstown, Sept. 27, 1875, leaving two children, 
Florence V. and Henry D.

Excerpt from History of Otsego Co., NY, opposite page 271


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