Horace B. Eells

Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen

Deacon Horace B. Eells, a prominent citizen of Unadilla, was born in that place May 22 1818.  
He is a son of Deacon John Eells, who was born in New England, of English ancestry. The
grandfather removed from New England to the State of New York, accompanied by his family,
and located in the town of Walton, Delaware County, being one of the early settlers in that
place. He bought a tract of timber land and cleared a farm, upon which was good water power,
and he therefore built a sawmill, and operated it in addition to farming. Upon this farm
he spent the rest of his life. The maiden name of his wife, the grandmother of the subject
of this sketch, was Anna Mead. Deacon John Eells was but a boy when his parents removed to this State. At that time Otsego
and Delaware Counties were very sparsely settled, and for years afterward there were no
railroads in the country. On one occasion he went to the Susquehanna River to mill,
following a trail marked by "blazed" trees, carrying the grain to be ground upon horseback,
a distance of eighteen miles. Residing in Walton until 1811, he removed to Unadilla, then
a hamlet of but a few houses. Being a shoemaker, he began working at his trade at Unadilla,
hiring at first a small room of Noble & Hayes, but later he removed his business to the
lower part of the village. After a time he built a small tannery, combining in this way
the business of leather-making with that of shoemaking, which he continued until his death,
February 5 1870. The maiden name o fMrs. Eells, the mother of Horace B., was Elizabeth
Reynolds, born March 11 1787, in Walton, delaware County, where she grew to womanhood,
and died at Unadilla, march 22 1825. mr. Eells was again married, to Mary Hibbard, who
is now also deceased. Deacon John Eells was a member of the Presbyterian church at
Unadilla, having been on of its founders. For many years preceding his death he held the
office of deacon. Horace B. eells received his education in Unadilla. having learned the trade of tanner,
he, on becoming of age, engaged in the business for himself at Unadilla, until 1880, when
he sold out to his son Spencer, and has since devoted his attetion to his farm. he was
married, February 17 1847, to Armenia Spencer, who was born in Maryland, Otsego County,
January 17, 1820. her father, Ithamar Spencer, was born, it is supposed, in Spencertown,
Columbia County, his father Amos Spencer, having been, so as known born there also, and
being a pioneer of the town of Maryland, in which town he afterward resided until his
death. The maiden name of his wife was Dorcas Spencer. Ithamar Spencer was fourteen
years old when his parents removed to the town of Maryland, and he was there reared and
married. After his marriage he resided a year or two in Dutchess County, when he returned
to Otsego County, and bought a tract of timber land adjoining his father's farm, and upon
this land erected a log house, in which he lived until 1840. he then purchased a farm
at the mouth of the Unadilla River, upon which he lived some years, finally removing to
the village of Unadilla, and residing there until his death. The maiden name of his
wife was Caroline M. Houghton. She was born in Petersham, Mass., and was a daughter
of Pharez and Jemima (Southworth) Houghton. Pharez Houghton was of English ancestry.
He was a good citizen, and was for many years a deacon in the Presbyterian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Eells have three children, viz: Anna E.; Spencer, who married Nettie Gates,
and Alice A. Anna E. married Orson J. Butts, and Alice A. married Marvin P. Sweet. Mr.
and Mrs Eells are both members of the Presybterian Church, of which he has been a deacon
upward of thirty-five years. Both he and his wife have lived consistent Christian lives,
and are highly esteemed by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
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