Erastus C. Rous
Rene' Treffeisen

Erastus c. Rous, a farmer of Laurens, was born near the village of Laurens, April 8, 
1823. He is a son of George Washington Rous, who was born in Rhode Island, in
1777. His grandfather Rous was a farmer and cooper, both of which occupations he
followed most of his active life. He was a native of New England, and it is
believed he died in Rhode Island. He reared at least three sons and two
daughters, viz: John, who was a blacksmith, and died in Laurens about 1823, at
the age of fifty three; Rebecca, wife of Rufus Morse, and who died of old age
about 1833; Elizabeth, wife of Enos Kimball, and who die din New Berlin, Cheango
County, in 1840, when about seventy years of age; Benjamin, who died about 1825,
in middle life; George W., the father of the subject of this sketch, who died in
Laurens, October 2, 1835, at the age of fifty eight. His wife, Mary Cook, was
born in the East, but they were married in Laurens, when she was seventeen years
old, she having been born in 1787. George W. Rous came to Otsego County at the time of his majority, and bought wild
land, some twenty acres at first, at a low price, and afterward small parcels at
different times until he had 160 acres. He built a log cabin, in which he lived
alone for some five or more years before he was married. In those days there
were plenty of wild animals in the woods, such as deer, bears, wolves, etc., and
the Indians, thought numerous, were friendly. They frequently amused themselves
with "shooting at a mark" with Mr. Rous, and in other ways helped him to pass
more pleasantly this time of loneliness. When he and his wife began life
together it was in a most humble and unpretentious way, in the little log cabin
erected some years before, to which the effects of the bride were carried for a
mile or more through the woods. John Cook and his wife, Thankful Tripp, came
from New England with their children, three sons and four daughters of whom Mary
was the third child and eldest daughter. Mrs. Cook died in the town of Laurens
in 1830, when past middle life. Mr. Cook was a soldier in the Revolutionary
War, and was slightly wounded by a flying stone, set in motion by a cannon ball.
After the death of his wife he lived a widower over twenty years, and died at
the age of eighty six. His sons, Israel, Benjamin and Samuel, were residents of
this town , and died when very old, both Israel and Benjamin attaining the age
of eighty six, Benjamin dying a t Erie, Pa. Samuel died at Morris, Otsego
County, at the age of ninety one, and remaining so vigorous as to be able to
break colts at the age of eighty-five. George W. Rous and his wife never moved from their first home, where their ten
children were born, five of them were sons; two of the daughters died in
infancy. Those who reached adult age were as follows: Edward, a farmer of the
town of Laurens, who died in Laurens in 1841, at the age of thirty four, leaving
five children; Miriam, who diedin Otego, while in the prime of life, the wife of
John Stafford; Israel C., now a retired farmer of Adams County, Wis., and in his
eightieth year; George W., who was killed by a falling tree in Erie County, Pa.,
when about sixty years of age; Thankful, who died unmarried at the age of thirty
four in 1853, at the home of her brother, Erastus C.; Abel a blacksmith of
Laurens, who died there at th age of thirty one, leaving two children; Erastus
C.; Catherine, wife of John Elliston, and who died in Green County, NY about
1852, in the prime of life. Erastus C. Rous was reared at home until he was sixteen years of age, having but
limited opportunities for securing an education. On the sixteenth anniversary
of his birth he left home, and began to learn the trade of a tanner and currier,
at Oneonta, serving until he was twenty-one. With the exception of one summer
spent in Broome County, his home has always been in Otsego County. He inherited
about $400, and the competence that he enjoys he has himself accumulated. He
was married, February 12, 1845, to Phebe Mosher, of Laurens, daughter of
Crandall and Comfort (Austin) Mosher. Mr. and Mrs. Mosher had one son and seven
daughters. Mrs. Rous now has three sisters living, aged seventy-eight seventy
seven and seventy-three respectively, she herself being sixty-eight. The rest
of the family have passed away. Her father died when past seventy, and her
mother when seventy-seven. Mr. and Mrs. Rous have become the parents of five
sons and two daughters, of whom two are deceased, Erastus dying at the age of
three, and Crandall at the age of six. Those living are as follows: Albert, of
West Oneonta, who is working his saw, feed, and planing mill, is forty-seven
years old, and has one daughter; I. P. of Butts corners, who has a farm of fifty
acres, water, saw and feed mill attached, and a steam portable sawmill; Mary,
wife of Samuel Hillsinger, a farmer of ONeonta; Frank, residing on part of the
farm of his father, and who has one son; Hattie, wife of Thaddeus Green, a
farmer residing on his own farm near by, which farm containing 160 acres, he
bought of his father in law. Mrs. Green is the mother of two sons; Jesse, aged
eight years, and Charles E., six. Erastus C. Rous owned at one time 350 acres of land in one body, but now has his
home of ten acres, and an interest in fifty acres near by. He has served the
town as assessor six years and Road Commissioner three years, at the
solicitation of his friends. In politics, he is a Republican. Both he and his
wife are Freewill Baptists in religion. Mr. Rous has been West eleven times, To
Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. His first journey West was made in
1856, to visit friends. He has been largely interested in sawmills, and had one
on his farm, which is now abandoned. He and his family at one time had a narrow
escape from a flood, caused by the breaking of a dam which was constructed about
1805 or 1806. This was on January 14, 1892. Mr. Rous is a natural mechanic and
can make anything, from a horseshoe (or his own shoes) to a sawmill. He and his
wife are now practically retired from active life, and are living in their neat,
new home, built in 1886. They still attend to their own work, and are in good
health, strong and vigorous for their age. They are highly respected by their
neighbors and friends for their many excellent qualities.
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