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.