Township Sections of Mini-Biographies

The History of Otsego County, New York


D. Hamilton Hurd

Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia



Numerous descendents of Increase THURSTON are still residents 
of the town, and Joel Thurston occupies the old homestead.
Elnathan NOBLE was one of the pioneers who located in the 
southwest part of the town, where the village of Noblesville is 
located, from whom it derived its name. George I. PECK, Esq., 
a descendant of Elnathan Noble, resides at Noblesville.
PECK- Many citizens of New England left the comforts and 
conveniences of their eastern homes and sought an abode in these 
forests in what was known in about 1800, and prior thereto, as way 
out west in Otsego County. They came bringing with them the 
energy, industry, and character of the sons of New England, and 
have left their imprint upon their posterity. Prominent among this 
number was Captain Joseph PECK, who early settled at Noblesville, 
where he remained until his death. He was, during a long period, a 
successful merchant there, and eminently respected and esteemed. 
He was prominently identified with the interests of his town and 
county, and represented the Second assembly district in the 
legislature. He was also supervisor of this town thirteen consecutive 
years. Three children are living. A daughter is the wife of Mr. 
BENNETT, son of Hon. Harmon Bennett, and resides in New 
Jersey. Martha and George I. Peck reside in the town. George I. 
is a merchant at Noblesville, where he has been in business many 
years as the successor of his father and David M. HARD.
Joseph NEFF, father of Joseph Neff who now resides at Garrattsville,
was an early emigrant from Connecticut to this county, and settled 
in the adjoining town of Burlington, where he lived and died. He was 
a celebrated violinist, and many of the older citizens of Otsego 
remember "Fiddler Neff," as he was commonly called, in connection 
with the dances, "paring bees," etc., of "ye olden time." His violin, 
now over one hundred years old, is in the possession of Jonathan R. 
Neff, and was the first violin played at Fort Washington, now 
Cincinnati. Four sons and two daughters are living, the oldest 
eighty-five and the youngest sixty-five years. Zora, widow of 
Timothy MORSE, son of Judge Timothy Morse, resides in the 
town of Pittsfield, and has during the last half-century; Joseph Neff, 
as mentioned above, resides at Garrattsville; Sophia, widow of 
Joseph CONE, and Orris, Samuel and Abel are residents of Wisconsin; 
and Jonathan W. Neff resides in this town, South Garrattsville.
An honored pioneer and prominent citizen was Elias CUMMINGS, 
who located on lands north of New Lisbon Centre. Three sons 
reside in the county; Harris in Plainfield, and Leman and Moses D. 
in this town. The latter has retired from active business, and is a 
resident of Garrattsville.
The GREGORYs are an honored family, and are also mentioned 
among the pioneers of New Lisbon. Numerous representatives of 
this family are residents of the town. William Gregory resides 
northeast of New Lisbon Centre.
The PATTENGILLs were pioneers, and the family has been closely 
identified with the history and progress of the town. Several of the 
family have joined the ministry, and became talented clergymen. 
Numerous representatives of this honored family still reside in town, 
among whom is Hon. D. F. Pattengill, the present member of 
assembly from the second assembly district. He is a Democrat, and 
was elected in a Republican district.
The ROBINSON family were pioneers in the eastern part of the 
town, on premises now owned and occupied by their descendants. 
Honorable and upright, they enjoyed the respect of their fellow-
citizens. Mathew Robinson, a worthy descendant, resides in the 
east part of the town.
The ROCKWELLs were prominent pioneers, and did much to 
advance the interests of the town. Abner and George B Rockwell, 
descendants, are leading citizens of the town. 
The locality known as "GROSS Hill" was early settled by a family 
named Gross. Ellis Gross, now at an advanced age, resides in the 
A family of Nearings were early settlers, of whom Asa NEARING,
who resides south of Garrattsville, is a descendant.
PERRY- Prominent among the New England people who came to 
this locality were the PERRYs. They ranked among the worthy 
citizens of the town. The widow of Noah Perry, now at an 
advanced age, resides with her son, James H. Perry.
HARRIS- A prominent settler in the north part of the town was 
James HARRIS, who came from Rensselaer Co., N.Y., in about 
1816, and located on lands now owned by Mr. LAIDLAW. The 
farm upon which he settled was in the possession of the Harris family 
about seventy-five years. A son, Ora Harris, came into the town 
with his father, and lived and died here. A son, Henry T., is a 
practicing physician in Laurens. Hon. Edwin M. Harris is a 
practicing attorney in Cooperstown, and is an ex-judge of this 
county. The youngest son, Albert, resides in this town on a farm 
adjoining the old homestead.
Jonathan W. Neff, a native of the town of Burlington, has resided 
on the farm he now occupies nearly forty years. This was one of 
the first settled farms in the town, and was originally owned by Mr. 
CHAUMONT. Jonathan R., a son of Jonathan W. Neff, resides 
on the farm with his father; is at present justice of the peace.