Township Sections of Mini-Biographies
The History of Otsego County, New York
D. Hamilton Hurd
Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia
CONE- Among the prominent pioneers of Unadilla, and one whose
career was marked with honesty of purpose, uprightness, and a desire
to alleviate the wants of his fellow-man, was Dr. Nijah CONE, of
honored memory. He, accompanied by his wife, emigrated from
Connecticut, and in 1808 settled in this village, and for some time kept
a public-house, mentioned above as standing at that time upon the
present site of the Unadilla hotel. He was a physician of large
practice, and died in 1862, aged eighty-four years. His widow, -Lydia
Cone,-now at the advanced age of ninety-one years, is living with her
son, Lewis G. Cone, and is smart and active, and retains, in a
remarkable degree, the vigor and elasticity of youth.
David FINCH as an early settler, and located in about the year 1808.
Two sons, D. O. and W. T. Finch are residents of Des Moines, Iowa.
The former is a prominent attorney.
PAGE- Among the early residents of the village, none occupied a more
prominent position in the affairs of the village, town, and county than
Sherman PAGE. He was a prominent attorney, and occupied many
positions of trust and responsibility within the gift of his townsmen.
He was member of assembly in 1827, and a member of the 23d and
24th congresses, and associate judge of the county. He erected a
house which stood on the site of the present residence of A. G.
OWENS. His family consisted of five children,-two sons and three
daughters. Robert was an attorney, and removed to Flint, Michigan,
where he died; the other son, Vincent, is a resident of Madison. His
eldest daughter, Elizabeth, is the wife of Arthur YATES, and resides
in Waverly, N.Y. Mary and Maria, deceased, were twins. The
former became the wife of William H. EMORY, and the latter of
Frederick A. SANDS, Esq. Mr. Sands was one of the founders of
the First National bank of Oxford, N.Y., and is ranked among the
wealthy and prominent citizens of the county.
Henry OGDEN came into Unadilla from Catskill. He was a
prominent lawyer and a man of remarkable social qualities. He was
member of assembly in 1820. He reared a family of four sons and
two daughters. His eldest son, Edmund A., was a graduate of West
Point, and an active participator in the frontier wars. At the time of
his death he was a major in the regular army. Richard and Frederick
Ogden reside in California.
Curtis NOBLE, mentioned above as a member of the firm of Noble &
Hayes, early merchants, was an energetic and useful citizen. He held
various offices, and was several times supervisor of the town. In
those days shad came up the Susquehanna in great numbers, and the
inhabitants used to be astonished to hear the fact related that Curtis
Noble shot a huge one out of the uppermost branches of a pine-tree.
This singular feat was explained by the fact that Mr. Noble, by a
well-directed shot, brought down a hawk, in the talons of which was
the said shad! Two sons, George and Charles, now deceased, were
residents of the village.
Mr. Nobles' copartner, Isaac HAYES, was a man who did much to
advance the interests of the village, and was prominent among the
business men of the county. He was also conspicuously identified with
the politics of the town and county, he having officiated as supervisor
for ten years, and six years represented this county in the legislature
as member of assembly. Two children reside in Unadilla, viz., a son,
Clark I. Hayes, and Augusta, wife of Arnold B. WATSON, a
prominent citizen, who was member of assembly in 1840, and is one
of the present directors of the Albany and Susquehanna railroad.
Mr. Watson has ever manifested an interest in educational matter,
and was foremost among the progenitors of the Unadilla academy.
Among the earliest settlers was Daniel BISSEL. The first town-
meeting was held at his house. His advent into the town was
rendered impressive upon the inhabitants by bringing with him a
half-bushel of silver dollars. Here his life was passed, and here he
died, and was buried on the banks of the Susquehanna. The present
dwelling of H. J. LAUNT stands on the spot where his remains were
interred, which have long since returned to dust, and entirely lost
their identity. No marble slab tells to the passer-by where rest the
remains of this old pioneer.
HUNTINGTON- Among those who located prior to 1796 was Dr.
Gurdon HUNTINGTON, who was a useful and honored citizen. Dr.
Huntington was the first town clerk, and officiated in that capacity
seven years; was supervisor in 1809, and from 1805 to 1808 was
member of assembly.
An honored pioneer, and the first saddler, was Abijah BEACH.
Two daughters, Mrs. Daniel C. HAYES and Mrs. Thomas NOBLE,
reside in the village.
The first cabinet-maker was William WILMOT, who emigrated from
Danbury, Conn., and settled there in 1810. He erected the house in
which his son now resides. The cabinet and furniture business
established by him he conducted during life, and was succeeded in
the business by his son, D. W Wilmot, who has since continued it at the
old place. One daughter, Mrs. ALLEN, resides in Chicago, and
Louisa and Emeline live in the village with D. W. Wilmot.
Joseph BRAGG was a leading spirit among the pioneers of Unadilla,
and during many years was the owner of the village mills, adn also
rendered himself useful to the community and the traveling public as
the proprietor of a public-house. Two sons are living, viz., Edward S.
Bragg, in Fond du Lac, who was a soldier in the late Rebellion, and
rose to the rank of brigadier-general; and Frederick, in Chicago, who
is a prominent citizen, and has filled many municipal offices of trust
ROBINSON- Another who contributed to make up the business of
the village was Neil ROBINSON, a saddler and harness-maker, who
came from Hebron, Conn., in 1813, and settled on premises now
occupied by Widow WRIGHT. He is still living in the village of Corning,
at the advanced age of ninety-four years. His wife was killed by
lightning, Oct. 7, 1826.
The first tannery was erected by John EELLS, who came from Walton
in 1811, where his parents had settled in an early day. He was popular
among his fellow-townsmen, and filled various offices, among which
were justice of the peace and supervisor. He was one of the foremost
in organizing the Presbyterian church; was one of the first deacons, and
a ruling spirit of the enterprise. He died here in 1870, aged
years. A son, Horace B. Eells, and a daughter , Caroline, the wife
of E. C BELKNAP, Esq., reside in the village.
BENTON- An honored pioneer, and owner of a large portion of
the land upon which the village is located, was Stephen BENTON, who
came from Massachusetts and settled here in about the year 1800,
on premises now owned by a son-in-law, Major C. D. FELLOWS.
His family consisted of three children,- one son and two daughters.
The son, Albert M., resides in Annapolis, Md.; Almira, deceased;
Caroline, also deceased, was the wife of Major FELLOWS.
[Note: see mini-bio on Fellows below]
FELLOWS- Among those who early located in the village and still
reside here is Major C. D FELLOWS. He came to Unadilla in 1816,
then but fourteen years of age. In 1823 he married Caroline BENTON,
mentioned above, who died in 1871. He is a life-long Democrat, and
has officiated in various positions within the gift of fellow-citizens.
He has served several terms as supervisor of his town, and was
elected to the assembly in 1844. Major Fellows is still in active
business, and, although past the Scriptural age of three-score years
and ten, retains much of his youthful vigor and ambition. He has
two children living, viz.: George B., of the firm of C. D Fellows & Son,
and Elizabeth M., wife of Milo B. GREGORY, both of whom are
residents of the village.
NORTH- Prominently identified whit the interests of Unadilla and
Otsego County, is Colonel Samuel NORTH, who settled in the village
in 1828. He has served in various official capacities, and is closely
identified with the politics of his county and State. In 1849 he was
elected county clerk, and in 1853 was appointed principal clerk in the
apportiionment office of the post-office department. He was soon
after appointed one of the nineteen special agents of the post-office
department, which position he held seven years. He held commission
under Campbell, Brown and Holt. Colonel North was the subject of
considerable notoriety during the late Rebellion, being of a number
that were arrested and thrown into the old capitol prison at Washington,
charged with forging votes. The legislature of 1863 passed an act
requiring the governor to appoint agents, whose duties should be to
visit Washington, "give general attention to the wants and interests of
the volunteers from the State of New York," the "sick in hospitals,"
etc. Under this act Colonel North was appointed and went to
Washington in the discharge of his duties. About this time an act
passed giving the soldiers in the field the right to vote. This, of
course, was open to gigantic frauds, and no sooner had it commenced than
charges and counter-charges of fraud were made by both of the
political parties. Colonel North's office being the Democratic
headquarters, he and two clerks were singled out as victims of the
administration, and were arrested, and, without knowing the charge
upon which the arrests were made, were thrown into the old capitol
prison, where they remained several weeks in close confinement
in indecent cells before their examinations were held. Finally, a trial
was had before Judge-Advocate-General Holt, and Colonel North
and his associates were found not guilty and discharged. The charges
upon which he was arrested were without the slightest foundation; his
keeper while in prison was a blasphemous wretch; and, taken all in
all, this was a proceeding on the part of the administration over which
the veil of forgetfulness may well be drawn. Colonel North has two
sons residing in Unadilla, Thomas G. and Samuel S. North.
Calvin and Lorin GATES emigrated from the "land of steady habits,"
and settled on the river-road in about the year 1810 or 1812, on lands
now owned by their descendants. A son and daughter of Lorin survives,
viz.: Jehial, who occupies the old homestead, and Nancy, the wife of
Abram FLEMING, resides in Otego. William Gates, son of Calvin,
occupies the homestead, and a daughter, Lovina, wife of Ephraim
WINCHELL, resides in Unadilla village.
HOUGH- On the river-road, below the village, an early settler was
Colonel John HOUGH. A son, Colonel David Hough, was prominent
in the old training days. It was his delight "To beat the sheepskin,
blowthe fife, And march in trainin' order." Other sons of Colonel
were Daniel, Henry, and Wade.
Moses FOSTER was a pioneer in this vicinity, and reared a large
family. His sons were Norman, Henry, Augustus, David, and Leonard
(deceased). A daughter married Erastus KINGSLEY.
An honored pioneer on this road was Elisha LUTHER. A son, Martin
Luther, is a prominent citizen, and has officiated several years as
supervisor, and has been the nominee of his party for member of
SPENCER- In the western part of the town, on the river-road, early
settled two brothers, William D. and Elisha SPENCER. William P. and
James K., sons of the former, reside on the original purchase.
FULLER- In this vicinity, the lands now owned and occupied by Hobart
IVES were early settled by Isaac FULLER. A son, Isaac, and a
daughter, the wife of Henry MILLER, reside in the town.
Gurson MORGAN was also a pioneer in this vicinity. Sons-in-law now
residing in the town are Joseph D. CURTIS, Henry TALCOTT, and
John FISKE, familiarly known as "Uncle John," is still living in this
vicinity, where he settled in an early day. He was a soldier in the War
of 1812, and participated in the engagement where Colonel Saunders
was killed. Hiram, Amos, Albert and Charles were sons. Charles
was killed in the army. A daughter married John DE FOREST, who
is said to have been accidentally shot, soon after the close of the war,
by one ROGERS.
Thomas G. DAVIS is a prominent man, and was supervisor of the
town in 1840, and again in 1853. A daughter of Peter Davis, wife of
Daniel WAIT, resides in this vicinity
Aaron SISSON was an early settler at Sand Hill. Two sons, Alanson
and Christopher, reside in the vicinity.
Among the respected pioneers was Cheder COLLINS, who reared a
large family. Jared C. was a son. Rufus, Henry, Leroy, and a
daughter Sally, are residents of the town. James resides in Bath.
A soldier of the Revolution was Captain Seth ROWLEY, who was a
honored pioneer in this vicinity. Abel, a son, resides in the town, and
Seth G. S. Rowley, also a son, is a prominent citizen of Bolivar, N.Y.
ROGERS- Among the honored pioneers who early left the comforts
of a New England home for an abode in what at that time was
considered the western wilds was Samuel ROGERS, who settled in
this locality and reared a large and respectable family. Gustavus,
father of Hon. Sherman S. Rogers, of Buffalo, died in Michigan;
Charles S. died at Sidney Plains; Jabez J. is a resident of Sidney
Plains, and his present wife is the mother of Hon. David P. LOOMIS,
a leading attorney of this county and ex-State senator, residing at
Unadilla; Henry W., formerly an eminent attorney of Buffalo, now
resides in Ann Arbor, Mich. There were also several daughters in
the family, one of whom married a Mr. MILLS, and a number of
the children have been missionaries to China.
Elias SAUNDERS early settled at Sand Hill, on premises now owned
by H. STORMS, deceased. He was a soldier in the War of 1812,
and was killed in battle. B. G W. Saunders, a son, resides in Otego.
Another son, Elisha S. Saunders, was for many years a practicing
physician in Otego.
Whitney BACON came from New Hampshire in 1815, and settled
in the locality known as Hampshire Hollow. He died in this town in
1877, aged eighty-six years. He reared a family of twelve children,
viz.: Jeremiah W., Samuel D., Dennis, Franklin, Lydia, Eliza, Delia,
Nancy, Persis, Willard, and John. Samuel D. and Franklin are
residents of the town.
MAXWELL- In the vicinity of Unadilla Centre, a prominent pioneer
was James MAXWELL, who came from Massachusetts in about
the year 1810, and located on lands now occupied by A. C. DUNHAM.
His family consisted of five children, viz.: Moses B., Sally, Mille,
Betsey, and Esther. Moses B., Sally, and Esther are deceased. Mille,
the wife of Ebenezer GREGORY, and mother of Milo B. Gregory, Esq.,
resides in Unadilla.
BETTS- A sturdy and honored pioneer from Norwalk, Connecticut,
who settled up the river from Unadilla, was Samuel BETTS. He
located, in 1794, on lands now owned by the HECOCK family.
His family consisted of John M., Samuel, David, and Elizabeth. John
M., deceased, was a prominent citizen of Sidney, Delaware county,
was sheriff of the county, also a State senator. Samuel, deceased,
was a member of assembly from this county. David removed to Aurora,
Ohio, where he died. Elizabeth, the wife of William T. THOMPSON,
Esq., resides in Unadilla.