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 
and responsibility.
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.