John Soden

Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen

John Soden, a prominent farmer of Otsego County, who has lived on his 
present farm for more than forty years, was born in Unadilla, NY,
March 26 1824. His father was Benjamin Soden, of Oxfordshire,
England, who was born sortly before the beginning of the
nineteenth century near Banbury, that shire, his father Joseph
Soden, dying when he was a small boy. Benjamin was one of three
children, the names of the otherbeing John and Sarah. All are
now deceased. Benjamin married Betsey Webb, of Otsego County,
and they began life in humble circumstances, in an old log house
on a farm, on the Susquehanna River, near Wells’ Bridge. They
later moved up Sand Hill Creek, and bought a tract of timber land
of about 100 acres, at $4.50 per acre. He was a strong believer
in the doctrines of the Quakers or Friends, and was accustomed to
go to meeting five miles away on horseback. He made this farm
his permanent home, adding to its acres and raising the
necessities of life, including wheat in considerable quantities
and also flax. He also raised sheep. The family made their own
wearing apparel from the flax and wool. Mr. and Mrs. Soden had
children – William, John and Joseph. The father died when
sixty-seven years of age, his widow surviving him some
sixteen years, and dying at the age of eighty-two. Their son
Joseph died of paralysis, March 23, 1891, at Gilbertsville, aged
sixty years, leaving a family. He had never been a very strong
man. He was engaged in various kinds of merchandising, and was a
sound business man, and also served as magistrate. He left a
fair estate. William, the eldest of the family, is now a farmer
in Morris, and is about seventy years of age. John Soden was brought up on the farm at home, and secured what
education he has in the district schools of his time. He was
very stout, and when but fifteen years old took especial delight in
wielding the ax and felling the huge trees of the forest. His labors
were much needed, and there were few of his age his equal as a
backwoodsman. He was married in his twenty-first year to Miss
Lucinda Furman, a native of Morris, Otsego County, and a daughter of
William and Rhoda (Thorp) Furman. He and his wife began their
married life in Otsego County on rented land. Mrs. Soden died on the
farm upon which they first settled, and about eight years of married
life, leaving one daughter, Mary, now the wife of William DeForest, a
farmer of Rogers Hollow, in the town of Unadilla; she has one son.
Mr. Soden was again married, June 8, 1853, to Mary A. Furman,
younger sister of his former wife; to them were born four children,
only one of whom is now living, William B. Lucinda was married when
quite young to G. R. Hay, and died about two years later. Charles
died when three years old, and one son in fancy. Mrs. Mary A. Soden
died August, 4, 1876, aged forty-five years. Mr. Soden was married
the third time, to his present wife, Hannah E. Coppock, who was born
in Ohio, daughter of Pleasant and Lydia (Cook) Coppock. Her mother
died July 1, 1873, at the age of fifty-four, leaving eleven children,
four of them sons. Of the seven daughters Mrs. Soden is the eldest.
The father died in Ohio, March 23, 1891, at the age of seventy-six.
Mr. and Mrs. Coppock buried a son and daughter in infancy. Their
daughter Almira, who was the wife of Elijah Stanley, of Iowa, is also
deceased. Mrs. Soden remained at home with her father until her
marriage, and was married February 28, 1883, at her home in Ohio. Mr. Soden has 140 acres of land in his home farm, and eighty acres in
another farm adjoining. He has always carried on general farming,
and as also followed dairying and the keeping of thoroughbred Jersey
stock, the latter having been a kind of specialty. He usually keeps
about thirty cows, and enough young stock to bring the aggregate up
to forty head of horned cattle. He has the finest large pear orchard
in this section of the State. He was formerly a Republican, but is
now a Prohibitionist. His son, William B. married Emma Butts, who
died leaving one daughter. He is a farmer in the immediate
neighborhood, and is living with his third wife. By his second wife
he had two children, Grace, and Charles, and has one daughter, Mary,
by his present wife. Mr. and Mrs. Soden are firm believers in the faith and doctrine of
the Quakers, and Mrs. Soden is an ordained minister, and preaches in
Laurens. Until recently disabled by a serious accident, Mr. Soden
was one of the most thorough and intelligent agriculturists and
horticulturists in this part of the State, but now his work has to
be, for the most part, carried on by others. He has always been one
of the true, honest men of the county, and because of the sterling
qualities of his character has hosts of admirers and friends.
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